A year ago, last month I was in Brazil for an international meditation gathering for Wesak. After the full moon, during the time when the energies of the Buddha’s blessing were being radiated through humanity by esotericists around the world, I was privileged to be part of a small delegation who visited the offices of the President of Brazil to meet a most inspiring server who was, at the time, a Special Assistant to the President. His name is Frei Betto. Along with most of the others in the delegation, I had never heard of him before the meeting but in Brazil I got the impression that most people would know who Frei Betto is. A controversial figure who has written almost 50 books, mostly in Portuguese, he is a Dominican, a former monk, a socialist, and one of the most influential leaders of Latin America’s movement of Liberation Theology. His only book in English is now out of print. It is a record of a dialogue he had many years ago with Fidel Castro about the nature of religion. Frei Betto was responsible to President Lula for mobilising support amongst the people of Brazil for a pioneering and inspiring national programme, the Zero Hunger Project. Now is not the time to speak of this project, or of Frei Betto. I simply want to share a comment he made when he led us in a brief meditation. After asking us to stand and hold hands in a circle with him, he said: “Now please close your eyes so you can see more clearly”.
These words capture so beautifully the profound truth of the esoteric perspective. In order to see more clearly; to see into the heart of the mystery of our lives and relationships, we need for a time to close our eyes to all the external realities of time and space. The esoteric perspective requires that we be detached from the realm of time and space, from the incarnated world. It requires that we train ourselves to see and to experience the world from the higher perspective of the soul and from that realm of collective heart that is known as the kingdom of God; the Spiritual Hierarchy; the Great Ones on the inner Side of Life.
As human beings we are creatures with mind, emotions and desires, appetites and instincts. Mind, in its higher reaches, gives us insight into the perspective of soul and of the kingdom of God. Emotion, in its higher, purer reaches, gives us access to intuitive knowledge direct experience of aspects of the mind of God and of the loving mind
To see more clearly we must develop the higher arts of mind and heart. And to do this we need for a time to close our eyes. As we do this persistently and regularly we begin to see the incarnated world of time and space as the place in which a great drama is unfolding time ceases to be seen in terms of consecutive moments, of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and years, but rather as past, present and future; a dynamic in which the world is in process of becoming a sacred place; a purposeful dynamic in which individual souls are maturing human consciousness through constantly repeating cycles of incarnation; a dynamic in which, through memory of the past, through the intensity of the present, and the ever important sense of future destiny we are constantly making the future.
There is a wonderful passage, actually part of a meditation, in the book Discipleship in the New Age, Volume 1, which helps us see time in this way, seeing time as an expression of will.:
The past has gone. I am that past. It makes me what I am. The future comes. I also am the coming destiny and, therefore, I am that. The present flows from out the past. The future colours that which is. I make the future also by my present knowledge of the past and the beauty of the present. And, therefore, I am that I am page 210
So, if we close our eyes, figuratively to see more clearly, we begin to see that what we are doing in incarnation is that we are making the future this is what we are doing in the present, in each moment. And who precisely are “we”? Well “we” certainly includes us as individuals you, me, all our friends, neighbours, family and all the millions of individualities in incarnation who we will never know. Each of “us” is in process of creating the future in each moment of the present although each of “us” is not conscious of this fact. But we are also doing this as collectives, as ‘groups’ and this is the important thing about the meditation work we do at these full moon festivals.
Esotericists around the world (in other words those who are in process of learning to think with a measure of loving mind and of universal understanding) form a group and in our meditation work we are a part of this group. Our home countries each form a living entity a being with mind, heart and soul. We are each a little cell within this group entity. Humanity is another entity a being with mind, heart and soul. Each of us is a cell within this group entity. And the point is that for each of these levels of group (people of goodwill, world esoteric group, nation, humanity etc) there is a dynamic of time in which the future is constantly being made through the present knowledge of the past and the beauty of the present.
It is with the dynamic making of the future (particularly for humanity as a whole and for each of our nations) through the beauty of the present that we are working tonight. Our meditation constitutes for us the beauty of the present. It is a very real beauty that we experience in these meditations. And within this beauty we have a real role to play in the forging and moulding and nourishing of the future humanity.
On World Invocation Day the future needs to be very much in our minds. When we use the Great Invocation on this day we are asked to focus the deepest aspirations of humanity, and to carry the human cry for a better, more loving and just world on the wings of our imagination; lift it up to the heart of love which we find deep within ourselves, to that great inner heart centre which is the Christ.
Gemini speaks to us of the twins, the ‘Brothers who live in the Light’. It speaks of duality between soul and personality duality is unsettling, disturbing, a source of tension and distress. This is experienced as conflict, as being pulled in different directions as if the soul and personality have two entirely different agendas and these two elements of self seem to ‘tear us apart’. Because of this disturbing and painful experience we tend, from the human perspective, to see duality as a problem that is ruining our life.
But the esoteric perspective asks us to close our eyes so that we can see more clearly. Then we can begin to see the role that duality plays in the souls work with time and the dynamic making of the future. For duality wakes us up as individuals, groups and as society as a whole to the fact that there is more to life than what we see around us; more than our materialistic desires and inclinations there is a realm of quality and of values and conscience that we ignore at our peril there is the burning, loving gaze of the Christ. And when our reflections begin to lead us to see increasingly through the eyes of the soul the nature of the duality changes then it is the light of the soul that waxes, while the light of the personality dims. Yet still the Gemini challenge is to balance the pairs of opposites and to find an inner harmony a right relation between the two.
Gemini represents the high point in the cycle of full moon festivals. Why? What particular gifts does it bring that are so important during this period of human history? It brings a tremendous energy of change, providing an atmosphere of mind and heart in which the Christ life, the Christ within, can become more conscious. For this to happen there has to be disturbance, and unrest.
There is another reason why Gemini is so important at this time. It is Love. The Love of Deity reaches our solar system primarily through Gemini. Love underlies the entire universe and it holds the key to the future destiny of humanity. We are, as a species, destined to become more loving. This means that in our meditation work, through the beauty of the energies we are working with, our task is to contribute to the forging, moulding and nourishing of more fundamentally loving qualities in all areas of relationship in the world. This is not the love of sentiment we are speaking of it is the fire that generates warmth the energy that manifests in society as goodwill (intelligent, wise, practical goodwill) in such areas as race relations, education, religion, and the eradication of poverty. It is the energy that manifests in personal relationships as genuine caring about and concern for others the genuine will to stand with others, and to do so with humility and the simple thought: ‘how can I help’?
Invocation. This is our focus at this festival. There is a palpable wish amongst human beings everywhere for an end to violence in all societies; for an end to extreme poverty; for a true respect of the rights and the dignity of all human beings. Our work is to take that vague, nebulous wish and to bring it right into the core of our meditation work as a group. To see it concentrated in meditation and to project that call for a better world upwards towards the Christ, the Buddha and all the Great Masters of Compassion. Through the intensity of our invocation we can act as a magnet to the Great Ones on the inner side of life. All the meditators working at this time around the world can actually invoke a flow of energy from Hierarchy to humanity and we can play our part in the opening of a doorway into that region of peaceful silent will lying at the very centre of the planetary life.
So far, I have referred to the Gemini full moon festival as World Invocation Day. In fact the festival is known by a number of different names each telling us something about the way it stimulates the awakening of humanity. It is the Festival of Christ, the Festival of Humanity, the Festival of Goodwill. On inner levels we are told that a “solemn ceremony” takes place at this time.
At the exact time of the full moon Christ, standing at a central point in Asia, “remote from the throngs and the impact of humanity” pours out a blessing on the world. He then repeats the last sermon delivered by the Buddha when he was on Earth, and the Beatitudes delivered in His incarnation as Jesus. And finally, the Christ sounds the Great Invocation. (Externalisation, p 480).
This occurs on the day of the full moon. The entire ritual is said to be spread over four days: three days of concentrated invocation by the Christ and a broad assembly of Divine Beings and Masters of the Wisdom, followed by a final “climaxing day”. On each of the days the Christ sounds the Great Invocation alone, and then the assembled group of higher Beings sounds it, and the energies that have been held by the Christ since Wesak are released and poured out upon the field of human consciousness. On the first day Hierarchy invoke Light for humanity, holding in mind the Triangles network. On the second day it is Love that is invoked. Some of the Masters and initiates are said to hold in mind the group of world servers all the human beings in incarnation who serve with love and a broad spiritual vision. On the third day it is the will of God, the will-to-good, which is invoked with a concentration on networks and movements for goodwill in the world. On the climaxing, fourth day, the Hierarchy “unitedly and led by the Christ, pronounce the entire Invocation, prefacing each stanza with its appropriate keynote, again sounded in unison”. (Externalisation p 556)
We are told that the keynotes are sounds that emanate and radiate a potency or a quality. The sounds are not known or heard by humanity but we are given hints. The Tibetan tells us that if a very large number of world servers were brought together “their united OM might approximate the appropriate keynote” of the fourth and climaxing day. (Externalisation p 556) That is something to exercise imagination!
There is a fascinating section in the book A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, which may help us to understand a little of the significance of these higher sounds. There is a discussion about the higher correspondences of the senses. Hearing is listed as the first sense at the physical level this is the hearing of physical sounds (with all its possible refinements and subtleties); at the astral level we hear clairaudiently; at the mental level there is a higher sense of clairaudience; at the level of intuition, Buddhi, hearing becomes “comprehension (of four sounds)”; and at the level of spirit, the Atmic level, the highest form of hearing is referred to as ‘beatitude’. Perhaps these sounds emanating from Hierarchy during the period of this Gemini full moon may be heard as a ‘comprehension’ and an understanding of particular qualities in all their shades of beauty.
We are urged to approach these festivals with a full play of the imagination to try to imagine ourselves as part of the inner group taking part in this great sound of invocation and the tremendous release of energy sensing the Christ’s presence remembering that Christ has, on behalf of humanity, been holding the blessing of the Buddha in a sacred chalice. And in the four days of the inner festival the Christ releases this blessing; it pours through the assembled ashrams of the Lords of Compassion, and radiates out into the field of human consciousness. There it resonates throughout the year, bringing a mighty charge to the forces of love, and of goodwill in the world. It stimulates the goodwill which we human beings are, of our own will, creating and bringing into our relations with each other and the world.