The progress of consciousness through the life expression on the physical plane of our planet and perhaps the universe, is not unlike the unfolding of a carefully choreographed dance whose score or pattern is hidden within each dancer, a wrong step and the dancer meets with a crisis of identification which he must resolve by revealing the secret of his next step. Slowly the choreography of his prescribed part in each act is revealed to him, slowly he realises that all must connect with that inner oneness, all need to achieve accord with the soul of the dance and together contact the one soul of this great cosmic ballet or dance of time. All need to learn through reflection and experience to develop the fluid expression of their hidden potency and potential, finding their own path forward in this evolving symphony and finally manifest the latent spirit to play their part to perfection. This is so whether they are the evolving consciousness of an atom, a man, a planet or a star system all must move to the dance of time.
As this great vehicle for divine expression expands or revolves upon its axis, stars, planets, man and atoms swing around their orbits passing in and out of the influence of distinctive forces radiating from the greater cosmic lives. As our solar system circles gracefully time and again through the influence of twelve star systems or signs the distinctive rhythms of each play upon all, upon our planet and on man and provide the material for a unique expression of the soul through his life. Within each of the twelve there are three constellations that embody the problems that the traveller in consciousness must face and also their solutions. These three are ever the symbol of the threefold spiritual aspect and present the range of activity of the soul upon the physical plane, allowing the aspiring dancer to demonstrate, in the fullness of time, his latent spiritual powers and innate divinity within mankind. The challenge set for all is to express the correct relationship between life, consciousness and form so that the soul or Christ consciousness as it is fully revealed can fulfil the purposes of Spirit, 'the Father in Heaven'.
We are now in the middle of the Aries moon cycle and it is worth studying its particular influence upon our lives. There are two beginnings in Aries, one for the son of mind as he learns to live as a son of man and later as he learns to live as a son of God. Aries gave the first stimulus to the cycle of manifestation upon our planet and thus allowed humanity to emerge as mental entities, although the expression of the emotional-desire nature would not begin to function until the age of Taurus and we would finally emerge into the cycle of manifestation in the age of Cancer. Although Aries produces the first impulse to consciousness upon the physical plane and is ever the birthplace of ideas we must not forget that an idea is in reality a spiritual impulse seeking to take both subjective and objective form. Though in our day-to-day lives we are most often inclined to think within the confines of a self-prescribed capsule of thought associations that may be small or extended to include many of the problems of our planet, it is useful to consider that we live within a vehicle that circuits a significant part of a universe. This is a universe that is in its entirety a physical body for the expression of 'the One Life in which we live and move and have our being' and it is vibrant with light, life and consciousness that affect us all. You are a child of the universe whose life is influenced from far beyond the biosphere of this planet.
Through the stimulus from Aries the soul responds to the highest aspect of deity through the Monad and through the awakening of the 'will to incarnate' and thus it can reach the lowest and there learn control through a developing form consciousness, eventually succeeding to know all that there is to know concerning the life and purpose of the form and thereby externalise the spiritual capacity to face and understand all experience. The task is always one of evolution, to unfold the power to manifest and create the conditions for all experience and through activity and strife arrive at a unity through this effort.
These qualities leading to an eventual synthesis are those that the Lord of the constellation Aries expresses and it is his task to influence all life and consciousness upon our planet so that it too will achieve this end. We must ever remember that matter everywhere is intended not only as the vehicle for the expression of the soul, the soul in its turn is intended to be the vehicle for expression of spirit. Upon a higher plane, matter, soul and spirit are a trinity that will be synthesised by the life that pervades them all. Aries represents the first step in this process; it is the initiation into individualisation, the point at which we became human. The initiatory steps for this trinity are to unite the form and the soul through the vehicle of the human personality, so that the soul becomes the director of life, finally the soul will fully identify with spirit and spirit will be able to manifest upon the physical plane through its unity with the soul. The objective of this transformation of humanity is to allow the divine self to manifest upon the physical plane. The true nature of this triplicity is Life - Quality - Appearance; it is life in terms of a consciousness that needs to be qualified by the purifying soul in order that the appearance of the divine is made possible.
The test that Hercules faced in Aries was the capture of warring horses and their fierce brood mares that were reeking great havoc in the world of this his first labour. His greatly loved friend Abderis accompanied Hercules and with courage and great difficulty they were able to capture the mares. With the beasts secured Hercules marched ahead out of the land leaving Abderis to follow leading the horses but alone he feared them, they were too much for him to handle and he was trampled to death during their struggle to escape. Grief stricken, humbled and at least wiser Hercules returned and was able to complete the whole task alone. What is this Labour intended to symbolise? The world of this labour is the world of thought, the warhorses are brood mares of thought and their devastation is caused by wrong thought, wrong speech and erroneous ideas. Man must understand the tremendous power of thought and the harm wrong thought can cause through pride, selfishness, unkindness, gossip and criticism. The feminine creative side of the mind (symbolised by the brood mare) must learn that the birth of concepts and ideas must be fertilised and have their origin in the world of the soul, the plane of mind, the spiritual realm and not be fertilised by the lower aspects of man's nature. Abderis represents the personality working alone and he was killed because the great law of karma says that we paying the price for wrongly spoken words and ill judged actions, Hercules had not stayed to lead the mares because he thought that the task was beneath his dignity and so it failed. This labour or lesson concerns the taking of proper mental control of the personality by the higher self, the soul (here in the guise of Hercules).
The whole process of human growth requires that we constantly realise the error of wrong thinking and the subsequent wrong actions that follow, then we can face a crisis of change where we destroy the error, remove it from our life and thereby take a step of purification. Aries is the supplier of Electric Fire to our solar system, this is a quality of the nature of God that fosters and nourishes heat and the fire that burns and destroys. We all conceal the image of the nature of God in our own higher self, the soul. At different points along the path of life Aries subjects the soul to a fiery process of purification because Aries is the major agent of the ray of the destroyer, the first Ray of Will or Power. Along with the building rays this ray enables man to build a vehicle of expression and through the power of the mind to be able to destroy and rebuild it as his quality of expression becomes more highly refined, eventually after many of these renewals this process enables him to build the thoroughly spiritual body of manifestation.
This evolutionary process begun in Aries is like a sunrise, for it is the beginning of the life of spirit on the plane of matter and the Sun is the symbol of spirit, through its rise the life of God is swung into activity in our world. As the Sun rises further the light of the personality will be consumed in the blaze from the light of the soul, the soul's light in turn will be lost in the brighter blaze of light from the monad - spirit, the radiance from the Divine Life will consume all these lesser lights by the end of our world. The power of Saturn, that Lord of Karma, who demands that we pay all debts and pay retribution, begins to fall in Aries. It is Saturn who creates our struggle for existence as personalities and as souls but as we begin to live a life of harmlessness as the spiritual man we begin to be freed from karma and Saturn's power but this great reversal cannot be completed until the mind has combined with the heart.
At the beginning of the work in Aries man responded to the keynote, "And the Word said: Let form again be sought", when we return to Aries as the disciple, or soul, we will be able to identify with the keynote; "I come forth and from the plane of mind, I rule". That rule of the personality life allows a man to perform the work of the soul, which is service and he can now work using all the faculties of the soul.
There are four cycles of motivation and subjective stimulus upon the paths of both the individualisation of the personality and of the revelation of the spiritual man or disciple. (1). It is the influence of Cancer combined with Aries that produces the conditions for the first appearance of man. (2). It is the growing influence of the soul that produces the interior change that form the regeneration of the personality but (3) the point of change where the personality reorients itself to the soul is stimulated by Libra, (4) the personality relinquishes control to the soul and finally there is a cycle of twelve lives, one under the influence of each sign, in which the spiritual man renounces all for the love and service of humanity and at the end of this work he must take a final test that will allow him to pass on to one of the seven paths of evolution or training that lead again to a higher evolution and the freedom to choose to work in one of the seven solar systems.
One of the great inhibitors to the progress of human and planetary evolution, it seems to me, is that we predominately view the spiritual growth, the mind of understanding, from within the confines of one personality life span or just one incarnation. We may see the influence of our group work upon the future of the planet in our time but we need to extend that vision, begin to see, or at least imagine the long-term future as the soul views it. It is quite likely that our lifespan represents the equivalent of one day or maybe just a millisecond in the timeline of the life expression of the overshadowing soul. Rather than viewing our work in terms of our time, we should be looking as far as we can into the future, seeing what we seek to do now in terms of the continuing growth of human consciousness and as an aspect of our continuing work through many of our future incarnations and recognise that it has some bearing upon the future life expression of all those souls whom we love. The planet is still forming physically and has thus hardly come of age but we should ever hold in mind that it has been created as a vehicle for the expression of the One Soul, the One Life of whom all of us are a part. These ideas surely fit into the Christian concept of eternal life, the Hindu and Buddhist belief in reincarnation and relate to many other religions? It requires that we work towards the possible development of a continuity of consciousness from life to life so that our service work can continue to develop with the least struggle to reveal in each incarnation the nature of the true self once again.
We are already spiritual beings, souls and spirits but we must fully recognise that fact and to live thoroughly as spiritual beings upon the physical plane. In order to carry consciousness from life to life requires that we must be completely in touch with our spiritual self and also in touch with and understand the roll of both the male and the female aspect of human consciousness. Our task is not to strive to gain eternal life, as some kind of reward for our goodness or faithfulness, eternal life remains ours as long as we are beings evolving towards an inclusive consciousness. We should simply live upon the physical Earth accepting that we live forever and need to serve others in preparation for our shared future life. Heaven is not some other place of delights that we go to as a reward for loyalty to a faith, it is a place that must be created in all our hearts and minds and then manifest here on Earth. We need to develop the determination to work through life as the soul following in the footsteps of elder brothers like the Christ, the Buddha and many others. The soul was sent into the physical world to make it fit and to equip it as a vehicle for the expression of the divine life, that One Life that will manifest through us all. As we work to make the physical planet a divine place, it must become a place of love and light for every soul, a place where everything that grows upon the Earth can manifest the true pattern of God and live in harmony with all as Spirit intends.
We certainly have great work to do and some way to go yet. We are some way away from a broad or worldwide identification with the idea of the universality of evolution, yet with the birth of the concept of one world and one humanity, people are just beginning to look beyond the sphere of their own lives, beyond self-consciousness and towards the concept of the global village and of a planetary group consciousness. As a part of this transformation of consciousness we see the first stirrings of a unified soul-consciousness, manifesting through the work of the growing new group of world servers. There are of course many today who are allowing the soul to do its work through their lives and this puts them into the ranks of that group of servers. Soon humanity will more widely recognise another group, the group of world saviours, in contrast to the recognition of a saviour in their own faith alone, this will happen as men come to the realisation of the true unity of spiritual expression of the sons of men, who are all the sons of God. Sectarianism is in no way the way of God but rather the way of self-aggrandising men, we have all had very selfish concepts of the One Life at some time in the past, seeing this truth framed only in our own religious viewpoint we have demanded that all men should become like us. The place of God is the place where all men can be free and true to their own souls, all have their place in the heart of God no matter how different they may appear to be to us. There is a long way to go in order to reconcile the faiths but many have started well upon this work. The recent conflicts in the name of religion throughout our world have touched the hearts of many, leading to a terrific growth of interfaith groups who seek that reconciliation of mankind. Yet in the life of humanity as a whole the soul has a long way to travel upon its journey of spiritual redemption and reconciliation of all so that we can all manifest our spiritual Self. We can be sure of unimaginable changes taking place in the next decades and throughout the age but we can more readily aid this future unfoldment now through the development of our own intuitive understanding and clear visualisation of the will-to-good.