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Hammarskjold, the Spirit of Peace and the Balancing of Libra

Steve Nation
October, 2013

Welcome to this meditation meeting for world service in alignment with the energies of Libra. Right now the sun is in the astrological sign of Libra. The human family is bathed in energies of balancing, equilibrium, law and intuition. We can imagine that the Spirit of Peace, a Great Being, also known as the Spirit of Peace and Equilibrium, is shining a pool of radiant light right into the core of the field of mind of all who are meditating for the world at this time.

Equilibrium, balance, law and intuition sound as if they are peaceful, quiet, still. And in a sense they are. But these energies can also bring up shadows, veils of materialism, selfishness and ego. So it is not unusual to observe the response to these energies as resistance and an unsettling disturbance — a situation that is necessary if there is to be equilibrium.

It is one thing to consider balance and equilibrium; it is something quite different to think of the active process of balancing and moving into equilibrium. Balance suggests poise. The act of balancing suggests crisis and the fourth ray dynamic of finding harmony in the midst of conflict.

For most of us this balancing work of Libra focuses on our intent to be the soul and to act on the impulses we sense coming from the soul, while within ourselves there are habits, forces and impulses which are pulling us in another direction.

What this means is that Libra, for humanity at this transition time, and for those on the discipleship path, is all about deep processes of balancing: actively balancing personality and soul energies in the life of the individual, the serving group, the institution, the nation, the world of nations etc. In times of heightened significance, such as this time, these balancing, Libran processes are of huge significance. For discipleship work (in individuals and in groups) the balancing is all about the slowly emerging soul vibration finding expression in and through the personality life.

Choices are presented to the personality. These choices need to be understood as choices, faced, lived through and settled before the soul can begin to move in to an ease of expression in the world. The quest for the midway point, order and equilibrium involves freely made choices — not choices that someone else tells us should be made but real, authentic choices to move, as a living breathing personality with all the characteristics and color of a personal life into alignment with soul vision, soul purpose and the Presence of the Soul.

Libran balancing between soul priorities and the personality's desires and preoccupations often involves a see-saw, shifting and shuffling between the two points of being - 'ease' would be the last word to describe this process. And yet the unsettling balancing needs to happen before choice can be freely made and before the personality can see that the greater perspective of the soul is not a threat to its existence. Balancing precedes a period of testing which then leads to poised balance, equilibrium and what may be called 'ease'.

There is a wonderful article in the latest issue of Shambhala Sun about that great disciple, Dag Hammarskjold, diplomat, spiritual visionary and second Secretary General of the United Nations. The article is by his biographer, Roger Lipsey. A profound thinker able to bridge easily between the esoteric and the exoteric, Lipsey has written extensively on such subjects as the spiritual in 20th century art, the art of Thomas Merton, and the great Sri Lankan philosopher and metaphysician, Ananda Coomeraswamy.

His Shambhalla Sun article draws attention to Hammarskjold's balancing of the inner and outer worlds - a very Libran theme. Even the title of the article, 'Stillness in Action', tells us something about Libra. The article begins:
Dag Hammarsjold, Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, had a keen sense of above and below. For example, in the fall of 1958 the Swedish diplomat wrote in his private journal:
Lord, Thine the day.
And I the day's.

The article ends:
"Forward!" Hammarskjold wrote in Markings. "Thy orders are given in secret. May I always hear them - and obey." This also is a hierarchy. The high orders secretly spoken, the uncertainty of one's willingness to obey. And the immense promise that, after all, we can know what to do and have courage.

Libran energies are all about the relationship between the above and the below; the day and the days; the hierarchy of high orders secretly spoken and the uncertainty of one's willingness to obey. In many ways the path of discipleship is characterized by cycles of balance and dissonance in the relationship between these pairs of apparent opposites.

In meditation Libra represents the interlude between two active mental processes. This is a time for contemplation. Visualization and thinking have prepared a fertile field. Then it is time to pause and enter into what is often called silence or stillness. While the mind is stilled something is happening at a deeper level - a hidden, esoteric level. During this time of silence, stillness, the soul may be active, organizing itself — even if the meditator is not aware of this. Also during this time of silence the intuition may be actively receiving impression.

This focus on contemplation and intuition leads into a reflection on what we mean when we speak of 'esoteric'. Esoteric work is inner, hidden from the outer understandings of mainstream religion and philosophy. Every religion, every faith, throughout time has had its quiet, behind the scenes group of esoteric students seeking to understand the deeper, hidden and veiled meanings of symbols, myths and stories. Exoteric thinking proceeds in analysis from the known to the unknown; from the world of human experience to the world of the spiritual; from the particular to the universal. Most academic disciplines work in this way - using analysis to approach the spiritual and the unknown through the eyes of the personal and the known. Esotericists learn to see life and events the other way round, proceeding from the universal to the particular. Events and happenings are looked at in terms of symbols and metaphors in an attempt to see from a higher, more universal perspective. Esoteric and exoteric; intuitive and intellectual are simply different modes of knowing. Each has their own disciplines, refinements and methods of learning discernment.

What calls itself 'esoteric work' may be or may not be esoteric - just as what calls itself rational and scientific work may or may not be the result of a rigorous scientific approach. In the esoteric field it may be the case that thoughtforms about the esoteric, concrete ideas about the abstract worlds and the way inner work should be are being applied without any alignment with the living realities of the higher worlds. Each one of us must search out the Real for ourselves — learn to discriminate between what is said and what carries the touch of the truly Good, Beautiful and Real. It is from these golden realities that esoteric work proceeds, radiating out into the world of time and space, into the world of days as Hammarskjold put it, and in the process transforming the outer, the effect — the lower.

Proceeding from a higher more universal level, real esoteric work affects the mental climate, bringing impressions and energies from the level of the Spiritual Triad (and hence from the Ashram) into relation with human thinking. Real Esoteric Groups which make up the One World Esoteric Group allow a flow of Light, divine Light, Love, divine Love, and Purpose, Divine Purpose to be present and to release their radiations into the world of human thinking and being. Real esoteric work invokes these higher energies. This invocation operates with different degrees of knowledge and understanding; with different degrees of faith and purity — this is the nature of group work. Each one of us brings who we are and where we stand on the discipleship path into the group.

Light, Love and Power in their essence carry the reflection of the divine. They are the source of real transformation. Their work in reshaping the world never ceases — it is a constant on-going process, just as the soul embedding itself in the life of the personality and finding expression through the life of the personality is a process taking place throughout our lives. This is true of individuals on the path just as it is true of entities like cities, states, nations, groups of nations, and civil society networks.

We are told that: The keynote of the new yoga [is] synthesis; its objective [is] conscious development of the intuitive faculty. This development will fall into two categories: first, the development of the intuition and of true spiritual perception, and secondly, the trained utilisation of the mind as an interpreting agent. [Treatise on White Magic, p. 429]. In the sign Libra we can imagine that this new Yoga is leading to the development of the intuitive faculty, and we can consider what this will mean for the way in which servers and people of goodwill think about any of the big issues facing humanity.

In the book Glamour A World Problem there is an outline of a meditation attitude referred to as The Technique of the Presence. This technique involves work with what is referred to as the triple light of the intuition involving the light of the personal self, focussed in the mind; the light of the soul focussed in the Solar Angel, and a hidden light radiating from Life itself — from the Presence throughout the universe. Earlier in the technique we are advised to sense the Presence throughout the Universe — not theoretically but in vibrating response to its Existence.

Work with the intuition, Libran work that balances these three core vibrations of light, leads us into true esoteric work. Awakening the intuition takes time. It cannot be rushed. This refers to the real, deep intuition where impressions from the mind of god are received and then assessed, interpreted and incorporated into ones being. It requires some experience in differentiating between the three lights: the light of the personal self focused in the mind — light that is experienced as clear thinking or what Buddhists sometimes call mindfulness; the light of the soul focused in the Solar Angel — this is a light of wisdom, love and understanding from the perspective of the Angel — so very different from what we usually refer to as love - it is a light that brings healing, balance and equanimity — deep understanding of a life's purpose and direction — where one has come from and where one is heading — an understanding that reaches out to include the groups we serve through and in and that looks upon nations and whole fields of being as in a process of evolution; and then beyond all of this the mystery of the light of the Presence — the germ or seed of divinity in all forms and in all presentations of truth — the stupendous vision of the Presence.

The focus on Libra and on the intuition leads into a reflection on the Spirit of Peace - a Great Being, an Embodied Presence. Together with the Avatar of Synthesis and the Lord Buddha, the Spirit of Peace is said to be one of the three Associates of the Christ — radiating a potency of love that has the power to dissipate glamour and the distortion of selfishness on the emotional plane. It is this energy of Love emanating from the Spirit of Peace and radiating through the Christ that is responsible for the momentum in human affairs leading towards right relationships. That's really something to think about.

The Spirit of Peace is said to be a Being of tremendous cosmic potency, overshadowing the Christ in much the same way that Christ overshadowed and worked through the Master Jesus two thousand years ago in Palestine. In the New Testament , Matthew gives an account of an earlier overshadowing by the Spirit of Peace. Following his baptism we are told that the Spirit of God descended on Jesus like a dove, alighting on him.

Alice Bailey writes: This Spirit of Peace is not the sum total of an emotional and static calm, bringing to an end the turmoil on the Earth and instituting an era of peace. He is, in a mysterious sense, the Spirit of Equilibrium; He works with the Law of Action and Reaction. She suggests that the overshadowing energy of the Spirit of Peace will demonstrate in the world in two ways: chaos, turmoil and mental unbalance will be balanced by a corresponding cycle of calm, emotional quiet and mental poise ; and the hate in the world will be balanced by an expressed goodwill. [Reappearance of the Christ, pp 74 - 75]

The Second World War, and the period leading up to it, saw an intensification of hate in the world, accompanied by chaos, turmoil and mental unbalance. During the period since the ending of the War there have been outbursts of hate in specific countries and regions, and in various regressive and fundamentalist movements. Yet it is possible to see that throughout this modern post-war era, balancing energies of the Spirit of Peace, and of Libra, are at work. Hate is being balanced by an expressed goodwill. Now, especially during the period of this full moon, can we imagine this Spirit of Equilibrium growing with a further empowerment of expressed goodwill in the world? Can we imagine the veils of glamour and selfishness that distort the emotional plane slowly dissipating, allowing a cycle of emotional quiet and mental poise to emerge?

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