In these full moon festivals the goal is to drop our personal agendas and consciously move into a group identity. In response to the question 'Who am I'? we might well answer: 'I am one of a group'. All who meditate for world renewal at this time are part of the group mind. It is a mental field that is rich in spirit, and insight. The group is focused on human need - the deep need for liberation from illusion and from the transitory desires of the separated self. Knowing that humanity is in the midst of transition, and feeling the energy of the rising of the holistic vision, the group wants nothing more than to be of use in bringing that vision into the very centre of human affairs and relationships. The group is poised, alert and sensitive to the impression of law and of living ethics. The group has a refined ability to see Light in expression in humanity and to recognise that a collective movement onto the discipleship path is occurring.
Yet the group is more than this - more than a body of human thought. For it incorporates lighted ancestors on the inner side of life. The group stands in alignment with the Christ. Great, redemptive, sacrificial spirits have their eyes on the global group. They provide a reservoir of energies that radiate through the psyche, impact on historical processes, and strengthen the hearts of all who, knowingly or unknowingly, are working for unity, justice and peace.
I am a point of light within a greater Light.
I am a strand of loving energy within the stream of love divine.
I am a point of sacrificial Fire, focussed within the fiery Will of God.
And thus I stand.
I am a way by which men may achieve.
I am a source of strength, enabling them to stand.
I am a beam of light, shining upon their way.
And thus I stand.
And standing thus revolve
And tread this way the ways of men,
And know the ways of God.
And thus I stand.
Libra brings many gifts to humanity. The image that comes to mind is of a set of scales, balanced. We think of poise and equilibrium - of the scales perfectly balanced on the fulcrum - still and quiet. In meditation we think of contemplation - the mind is still while deep inner work proceeds. And we think of intuitive vision and insight.
Yet the poise and equilibrium, the balance, of the sign tends to be a result of much conflict and tension between opposing forces. The scales tip backwards and forwards before they come to rest. We will all know the experience of being drawn to higher goals and interests while old habits, old ways and old desires seem to constantly get in the way. The desire life becomes a battleground. This is a part of what it is to be a human being, with tension between inner and outer, higher and lower.
The Libran energy is about the process of standing back, observing the two great lines of force and over time making a conscious choice to be grounded 'at the centre' not identifying with either of the two poles. It is a process of harmonising the different aspects of self. Values are carefully weighed. The action all takes place on inner levels - at times it is not even conscious. All is preparing for the moment when the path forward will become clear. Once we have seen the possibilities that the Path offers, our future becomes clear. The key point about Libra is the making of a choice to set out upon a middle path.
At a collective level Libra is said to rule the probationary path where the desire world is addressed. We learn to regulate our behaviour in such a way that we are not prey to mood swings, strong passions and desires. We learn to regulate our desires. For the vast majority of people at this time the balancing is one of desires. Libra prepares the ground for mass desire to turn towards spiritual values. A desire for unity, a desire for a community spirit, a desire for harmony between the religious faiths and between the nations.
I believe that this has much to say about the collective experience of our time. Always we are listening to news reports, watching television coverage of events, observing the apparent clash between separative, fundamentalist perceptions of the world and inclusive, universal paradigms. There is this great collective listening; not understanding what is taking place; deeply concerned and troubled yet feeling as if this is new territory and there are no clear ways forward. It is a time of deep reflection expressed in millions of conversations between friends, looking for some understanding. Within this brooding, uncertainty one can sense the silent shaping of a desire and feeling for human unity. I believe we see this in some of the reporting of the troubles in the Middle East, in Darfur and elsewhere. Beyond the confusion of politics and international relations there are countless stories about the human suffering that these situations represent. And this I think is helping to engender a sense of a common humanity, a shared suffering and a wish to love.
We can visualise Libra bringing calming, balancing energies in the global scene - and tipping the balance in favour of mass desire for common human values to be restored to international relations.
Libra governs law and legislation. It is concerned with the process of the working out of the Plan under spiritual and natural law. On an individual level Libra gives aspirants and disciples the energies needed to rule their conduct wisely, and to apply compromise in balancing material and spiritual law. In global terms we should remember that Libra holds the balances in the inevitable energetic interchange between right and wrong, negative and positive, East and West.
As the human family moves onto the discipleship path, law is increasingly becoming a focus in national, regional and international arenas. And law is moving into an entirely new dimension. We are used to thinking in terms of punishment and response to crime. But today it is through law that we are as nations and a global community charting the way towards a civilised, humanitarian global society. We are doing this in so many areas. Twenty years ago I doubt that there would have been many young, up and coming lawyers who would have been interested in pursuing a career in environmental law, for example. There would have been no such thing as the rapidly evolving body of expertise in the relations between indigenous and non-indigenous communities in the legal life of many nations. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Think of how family law has developed - think of the way in which law is used to bring balance into relations between men and women. Consider the intensity of international negotiations concerning the law surrounding cigarette smoking. At an international level an entirely new global civilisation is emerging out of the negotiations around such legal documents as the Kyoto agreement on Climate Change; the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Convention on Children's Rights. New treaties, pacts and conventions are being negotiated constantly. The negotiations involve muscular debate, controversy and often passion at a national level. These debates may be very Libran - with the scales of public opinion moving up and down. But over time what is happening is that a choice is being made to legislate for a global order centred around principles of freedom, human unity, a valuing of diversity, a balancing of the relations between women and men.
Libra is a good time for us to shine a light on the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands - the World Court. May this institution be strengthened. Let us also shine a light on the International Criminal Court as it develops legal precedents in dealing with crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and international terrorism. May these institutions be empowered.
At another practical level we can envision the United Nations being strengthened as a truly global space for nations to think together and plan together in the creation of structures of security. Let us think too of the United Nations as an inner space where a spirit of goodwill can grow - as an environment where a sweetness and a tolerance and a quest for understanding can condition the atmosphere. This may sound mystical and out of touch with the political realities of the world body. Yet consider the Charter statement which declares that the UN is to be a centre for "harmonising the actions of nations in the attainment of the common good". This is profoundly Libran - the process of harmonising the actions of nations is subtle. It makes us think of a particular atmosphere in the relations between nations. Actions are not harmonised in the glare of public confrontations, but in the quiet diplomacy that builds momentum for the Millennium Development Goals and that slowly looks for achievable goals in advancing real human rights.
With this in mind it is useful, right now, to be thinking with clarity about the qualities needed by the next Secretary General of the UN. The person who gets the job of replacing Kofi Annan on January 1st next year will be able to do more than anyone else in generating the atmosphere needed to harmonise the actions of nations for the common good - and in holding a potency of transparent will to achieve the Millennium Goals. May the right person emerge out of the voting process currently underway in the Security Council - for the best information on this do check the regular updates on the web site www.unsg.org.
As we build these Libran thoughts of balance and harmony in preparation for the deep choices to be made in the creation of a new world let us also recall with joy that in recent days the world has seen unprecedented levels of inner work seeking to build cultures of peace and right relations. On International Day of Peace, September 21st, meditation vigils took place in countless locations around the globe, including over 700 groups and individuals registered for the Intuition in Service global 24 hour Vigil. And on October 2nd a remarkable event was held in Sri Lanka when it was hoped to have one million people present for a two hour meditation for peace. There is something deeply moving about this event held by the Buddhist development movement, Sarvodaya Shramadana, and it is well worth checking the web to find more information: www.sarvodaya.org. The goal was to create a critical mass of spiritual consciousness which can induce inner peace AND can create outer peace in war-torn countries by transforming the consciousness of the people. The meditation included these stages:
Concentrate for 20 minutes on waves of unselfish loving kindness spreading throughout your consciousness, beyond you and to all living beings. With a calm mind, you become aware that you can help other living beings who are troubled, frightened or suffering.
Concentrate for 10 minutes: May the spiritual energies of loving kindness arising in your mind be like a clean, pure jet of water rising from a fountain. May this energy enter the minds of people throughout the world.
The Libran keynote for meditation is: I choose the way which leads between the two great lines of force.