What joy it is to work together in the subjective silence of meditation during these full moon festivals! As we do so we are training ourselves to use thought as a vehicle of service. We learn by doing! It can be comforting to know that, while each of us contributes our own light and livingness to the whole, we are participating in a labour that is far greater and more beautiful than anything we might register in our individual consciousness. For this is group work. It is the group nature of the work that is its primary, its most outstanding characteristic. There are countless individuals and groups meditating for world service during this period all over the face of the earth - and all of us, from different traditions and different religious and philosophical backgrounds constitute one group in consciousness.
So when we enter into the subjective silence of the higher realms of mind and heart at these special times of alignment with the Heart of the Sun and the Central Spiritual Sun we are entering into a communion, an inner community where we become one with a vast number of group brothers and sisters. The one meditating group contains a richness, a subtlety, a fragrance, and a clarity of understanding, of compassion and of intuitive, direct knowing that is just so much greater than the parts. And yet it is, above all else, a group of human beings - you, me and many, many others.
This should always be our first point of recognition. We are entering into the aura of a planetary group of meditators.
In relation to humanity the group is positive. The potency of the group thought forms mean that the group radiates energy to humanity - and this radiance is a source of nourishment for all the work being done in the world to build more civilised and humane societies - to build cultures of peace.
In relation to higher fields of awareness, the Great Ones on the inner side of life, the meditating group is magnetic and invocative. Our field of thought, coloured as it is by a wish to serve humanity and to be of use in the working out of the hidden Plans of God, attracts the attention of those great minds that are the beacons of the inner worlds.
So the communion of mind and heart that we can enter into during these meditations draws us near to the subtle planes where the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion watch over, guide and protect the processes of human evolution.
Can we just pause for a moment recollecting that we are one with a global group of meditators - that together we form a station of light in the mind of humanity - that our work is to be of service to humanity - and that in this work we draw on the inspiration, insight and wisdom of the Christ and the Immortals of the higher realms.
We know o Lord of Life and Love about the need,
Touch our hearts anew with Love,
That we too, may love and give.
This full moon we are working within the energy flow of Virgo. Virgo speaks to us of the 'cosmic mother' giving birth to the new life - birth to the new humanity. We are told that:
"The sign Virgo is one of the most significant in the zodiac for its symbology concerns the whole goal of the evolutionary process which is to shield, nurture and finally reveal the hidden spiritual reality. This every form veils, but the human form is equipped and fitted to manifest it in a manner different to any other expression of divinity and so make tangible and objective that for which the whole creative process was intended." In Virgo soul and personality "are blended and of great and supreme importance to each other; the mother protects the germ of the Christ life; matter guards, cherishes and nurtures the hidden soul. The keynote which embodies the truth as to the mission of Virgo most accurately is 'Christ in you, the hope of glory'. There is no clearer or more adequate definition of this sign than that. …" (Esoteric Astrology, pp 251-2)
Virgo is an earth sign and the archetypal image is that of the Earth Mother - form - the personality life becoming the vehicle of expression of the soul. It is the sign above all others of the birthing process; embracing the period when the germ of the spiritual life emerges from a hidden state of darkness, through a period of gestation, into a stage of awakening and quickening when soul and personality enter into a symbolic relationship summed up by the seed thought for meditation: I am the Mother and the child. I God, I matter am.
It is the thought of this experience leading up to birth that I want to hold in mind as we consider the needs and opportunities facing humanity today.
First let me quote a particularly evocative passage on Virgo from Esoteric Astrology:
"Virgo symbolises depths, darkness, quiet and warmth; it is the valley of deep experience wherein secrets are discovered and eventually 'brought to light'; it is the place of slow, gentle and yet powerful crises and periodic developments which take place in the dark and yet which lead to light. It is the 'blinded stage' which is found in Masonic rituals and which ever precedes the gift of light. Virgo stands for the 'womb of time' wherein God's plan (the mystery and the secret of the ages) is slowly matured and - with pain and discomfort and through struggle and conflict - brought into manifestation at the end of the appointed time. Today it would seem (curiously and convincingly) that we are entering into the eighth month of the gestation period. …" (page 260)
The image of the "womb of time" wherein God's plan is slowly matured helps us to understand this historical period. We seem to be passing through an era of pain and discomfort, struggle and conflict. Yet through this labour we can perceive a new and living consciousness emerging - the inclusive attitude, the sense of one human family, the sense of responsibility about the health and well-being of the earth; the genuine concern for building relationships of goodwill between cultures races and religions, and the strength to face, transform and ultimately redeem darker patterns of relations between men and women - and between adults and children.
There a passage in A Treatise on White Magic which is I think particularly helpful in understanding the birthing of the soul in humanity:
"The vortex of conflicting desire in which men find themselves is now chaotic and so potent that (the waters of space) are stirred to the very depths. Students of modern history and of social order are faced with an unprecedented condition, corresponding in the corporate body of humanity to that upheaval in the life of an individual aspirant, which always precedes the passing on to the Path of Discipleship. Hence there is no cause for depression or undue anxiety, but only ardent desire that the transition may be made in due time and order and be neither too rapid - hence destructive to all right ties and affiliations - nor too prolonged and so strain beyond endurance the sorely tried fabric of humanity. All new manifestations in all kingdoms in all ages must come slowly, and therefore safely, to the birthing. All new forms if they are ultimately to carry weight and gather adequate momentum to carry them through their life cycle, must be built in silent subjectivity, in order that the building may be strong and sure and the inner contact with the creator (human or divine) and true conformity to the pattern may be substantial and unbreakable. This is true of a universe, a kingdom in nature, or a thought-form created by a human thinker." (pp 277- 278)
The key point here is that: There is no cause for depression or undue anxiety, but only ardent desire that the transition (the birth) be made in due time and order. It takes time for the birth of a new consciousness, and it is important to recognise this. Yet this is to be balanced with the recognition that the birthing process ought not be too prolonged and too drawn out. Meditators help by positively seeking to understand the child that is being born … and by always looking out for evidence of soul influenced attitudes and values.
I have long admired a statement that Pope John Paul II made several years ago when he was visiting the United Nations and addressing staff of the UN secretariat. He referred to the UN workers as the "carvers of the stones", labouring at the task of building a world of justice and peace. In many ways it strikes me that his words could well be applied to all who today are struggling to bring the spirit of right relations to birth in every field of living, but I also find the work of UN staff who are so directly engaged in the process of building human unity particularly worthy of our thoughts.
"The builders of the pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, of the temples in Asia, of the cathedrals in Europe were not only the architects who laid out the designs, or those who provided financing, but also, and in no small way, the carvers of the stones, many of whom never had the satisfaction of contemplating in its entirety the beauty of the masterpiece that their hands helped create. And yet they were producing a work of art that would be the object of admiration for generations to come.
"You", he said to the U.N. staff, "are in so many ways the carvers of the stones. Even a lifetime of dedicated service will not always enable you to see the finished monument of universal peace, of fraternal collaboration and of true harmony between peoples. Sometimes you will catch a glimpse of it, in a particularly successful achievement, in a problem solved, in the smile of a happy and healthy child, in a conflict avoided, in a reconciliation of minds and hearts achieved. More often, you will experience only the monotony of your daily labours, or the frustration of bureaucratic entanglements. But know that your work is great and that history will judge your achievements with favour."
This full moon period is an unusually inspired time because it is part of the build-up to United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21st. On this day, during the Equinox period when there is a balance between the hours of sunlight and darkness, there will be a vast focus of organised, intelligent activity by people in all parts of the planet - all dedicated to the vision of cultures of peace, goodwill and right relations. Never before has there been the global focus that there will be this year - with millions joining in a moment of silence at twelve noon; with a televised global concert for peace broadcast on the youth network MTV; with vigils of prayer and meditation from religious and spiritual communities around the world; with initiatives to establish a global cease-fire for one day; and so very many activities - look at www.internationaldayofpeace.org to see something of the range of activities planned for the Day and the build-up to the Day.
Meditators in the Bailey tradition are especially invited to take part in a Vigil which involves people of all spiritual heritages but has a strong focus on the Great Invocation. Participants sign up on line for specific periods of time, agreeing to use the Great Invocation (or a world prayer of their choice) at 15 minute intervals on the quarter hour during their chosen period. From every part of the planet there will be a pulse of invocative energy, a rhythmic call to divinity for the light, the love and the spiritual will needed to enable humanity to bring to birth a culture of peace - and this will be just one global meditation vigil amongst many. Please consider registering, and please tell your friends about it - why not gather together with a group during the specific registered time? The Vigil will operate for the 24 hours from midnight to midnight on Thursday September 21st in all time zones. To find out more, and to register, please visit: www.intuition-in-service.org/intuitionVigil.cfm . If you have any questions you can address them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Soon after Peace Day there will be a major meditation for peace in Sri Lanka on October 2nd when Sarvodaya Shramadana will be organising a gathering where a million people are to assemble in the ancient city of Anuradhapura to meditate for universal peace. Again this is an event that we can all link in with subjectively. More information at: www.sarvodaya.org.
We can reflect on the important role meditations for right relations and cultures of peace are playing as we all learn to think in new ways and to find a new, living ethics to lead us into the next era. The process of birthing a new humanity is above all a process of bringing higher values into the forefront of our lives as individuals and communities.