The Earthy Image of the Mountain Goat
By Steve Nation
To begin, can we pause for a moment of silence to create an alignment. First, building a sense of group - of the group of meditators linked through this World Service Group website … visualising a fused field of mind and heart, a group that is characterised by its intention to be of use to humanity and to the Great One's on the inner side of life. Then realise that, as a defined, specific group, we are embedded within a net of similar groups of people meditating for world service in different locations around the globe. One group, one mind, one heart - this will be our place of creative Work. Now bring this alignment inwards and upwards. Inwards to a centre of poise, of balance and stillness within ourselves and within the global group; upwards towards those great potencies of mystery that lie 'beyond the veil', those mythic Beings which lead us to a Reality so much greater than our limited human senses - to the Christ, the Lord Buddha, the Mother of the World, the Spirit of Peace … and then beyond again towards a centre of Spirit, a place at the core of all being where the peaceful silent will prevails, a place spoken of in the Tibetan Buddhist and in the Western Theosophical and Esoteric traditions as Shamballa .
Holding this alignment, sound the Gayatri:
O Thou Who givest sustenance to the universe,
From Whom all things proceed
To Whom all things return,
Unveil to us the place of the true Spiritual Sun
Hidden by a disc of golden Light
That we may know the Truth
And do our whole duty
As we journey to Thy sacred feet.
This is the first full moon of a new year, so it seems appropriate to write a little of the background and purpose of group meditation for world service around the time of the full moon. There are numerous traditions, going back into the depths of pre-history, of religions and cultures using the rhythm of the full moon to hold their most sacred rites and rituals. These traditions continue to be alive in religions today - the date for Easter festivals, for example, are fixed each year by the Christian church in relation to the Aries full moon; and many Buddhist and Hindu communities continue to hold special rituals and meditations over the full moon.
In the tradition of the teachings found in the series of books by Alice Bailey, it is not the moon that is significant about the full moon period - it is rather that the moon at this time is reflecting the light of the sun to the fullest extent in the monthly cycle. The light that gently illumines the night at the time of full moon is actually sunlight, reflected off the surface of the moon and onto the face of the earth. This tells us something about the spiritual significance of the full moon: it is a time when there is a lot of light around; a lot of solar energy is about on subtle levels.
The work, the meditative work that groups and individuals working under the inspiration of the Bailey teachings share at this time, is essentially invocative. Using our imaginative and intuitive faculties, we identify ourselves as part of one group in consciousness - attuning with all who meditate in service to humanity. This group nature of the meditation is vitally important - the outline we will be using begins with an act of group fusion. We imaginatively become part of a centre of mind and heart within the vast field of human consciousness. All those human beings in incarnation who find much of their life meaning and purpose in their will to love and to be of service are thought of as a new group of world servers: the group of all who love and serve. This is referred to as a 'new' group because in the entire history of human evolution it is a relatively new phenomena - a hundred years ago there was no such thing as a sense of global connectedness between servers from different cultural, religious and economic backgrounds. It just did not exist. Now there is a strong sense of a community of people of goodwill and concern.
Within this Group of World Servers we identify the meditators, those who can be thought of as being part of the World Esoteric Group. This isn't some group belonging to a particular faith. It refers to the group of everybody who practises meditation and prayer with a quality of loving mind - those who actually are developing this aspect of the heartful mind. This planetary meditating group can be thought of as the heart centre of the new group of world servers.
There is a vertical orientation as we build in thought a bridge in consciousness that looks upwards to the Great Ones from all traditions who are the source of love and light: the Planetary Healers and Inspirers, the Communion of Saints, the Masters of Wisdom. Acting on behalf of humanity the meditating group makes an approach to the overshadowing sources of all love - invoking, calling forth, a down pouring of lighted, loving energies. And this is the key to the work: invoking aspects of divine consciousness and helping to 'think them through' into the realms of the human mind and the human heart - of relationships, of society.
The energies that are evoked on behalf of humanity are then distributed - radiated outwards. Again we are working with the imagination, and with intuitive, radiatory qualities of mind. Individually in the silence of our thoughts, and as a planetary meditating group, we build images of a future world characterised by wisdom, love and sharing. We sense the light of a higher vision and a higher purpose shining into the veils of illusion and glamour, enabling seekers the world over to better recognise the obstacles in their nature that obstructs their expression of soul light. As we look out upon the collective realities of consciousness we hold in mind the transition that the human family is undergoing in this historical period, and the traumatic emergence of a civilisation that adequately reflects the vision of wholeness and interdependence. Looking out upon humanity, in the light of the divine energies released over the full moon, we sense our potential as a species to express right relations - and our shared dharma to give incarnation to a civilisation of light and goodwill.
The Work is ritual in the sense that the same simple meditation is used month after month, year after year. There is a great beauty in its continuity - rather like a great inner breathing, inwards and outwards - a timeless tuning in to the mysterious processes of the evolution of consciousness. Yet there is also variety - every month sees the sun in a different zodiacal sign, bringing different qualities, a different energetic environment for the birthing of the new.
This month the sun is in the sign Capricorn, and the meditation outline asks us to ponder, reflect, contemplate, the opportunities Capricornian energies bring to the growth and development of discipleship qualities - the qualities of a mature spirituality. We are asked to think about those in the human family who are in process of developing deep skills of discrimination, detachment, harmlessness, wisdom, and of a loving will. This is not elitist - it is simply acknowledging that those who are most consciously bringing aspects of the Divine Self into incarnated expression represent the peak, the growing point of the evolutionary process. In some way, in some small measure, we ourselves will be in process of developing these skills - so we can meditate from a framework of what is real rather than fanciful ideas and ideals about what a more lighted consciousness might be like.
The discipleship themes for Capricorn are to do with light, illumination, initiation and transfiguration. Heady stuff! Our natural inclination might be to think of the element of fire or air, but we would be wrong for Capricorn is an earth sign. What does it mean for a sign with a discipleship keynote, lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back , to be associated with earth, and with the earthy image of the mountain goat?
This question leads us into the mystery of transfiguration, the third initiation, and that momentous event in the life of Jesus when, on the mountain top, soul and personality were fused. The light was no longer outside, above, or in the realm of soul, but was brought right into the substance of life. The substance of physical, emotional, mental matter became lighted - the very life of the atoms carried light. In other words light supernal was earthed, became earthy. And it was done as a service - as a way of redeeming and enlightening matter - not because matter is in some way evil but because when spirit and matter are consciously unified, the matter of mind and heart becomes translucent, electrically alive, radiatory - it carries the energies of solar fire. That is what Capricorn holds out for us - it is where we are headed.
The earth aspect means that this energy is all about the process of manifesting, concretising, crystallising, making material. So for the vast majority of human beings whose focus of development is about building the personality, Capricorn brings with it an enormous stimulation of ambition and personal desire. Through will power and concentration of purpose things can be achieved, and material goals can be pursued with persistence. But for those in whom the world of earthly desire is being or has been shattered and whose focus is shifting into the higher purposes of the soul Capricorn brings a quality of dogged persistence to bear on the quest for illumination. We think of a new cycle of effort and of testing leading to the mountain-top of initiation.
The image of the goat fits so well. It is such an earthy creature - rugged, tenacious, not to be messed around with. It can survive in the most difficult of climates, roaming through deserts and rocky terrain in search of what little food and water is available; and at the same time it is so sure-footed and willful that it can climb right up to the top of the mountain when other creatures would give up or perish.
In the poetry of the image the goat that takes the path up the mountain and keeps on keeping on up the most testing cliff-faces gradually changes shape as it approaches the summit. We suddenly see the rough and rugged creature with its two battered horns transform into the mythical unicorn. Now our whole impression is of a being of radiant beauty - the strength is still there but it is a pure inspiring and uplifting strength. And the two horns have become the golden, single horn of vision, insight and enlightened direction.
The unicorn stands on the mountain top, gazing outwards towards the great beings of light, the stars and constellations of the Milky Way. The journey now appears to have come to a stop, for, while still keeping the feet firmly on the ground, there is no further ascent possible. So having stood for a time bathed in the light supernal the path now leads downwards again, taking the insight and understanding back to the valleys and plains in service.
And, so to meditation, using as our keynote: Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back .