The evolutionary potential in the atom throughout the three kingdoms of our Earth, the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, is at first stimulated subconsciously by the initiatory life impulse within the lunar pitris, or lesser builders. These reached their fullest expression in the animal kingdom where their prime function was to produce animal man and this occurred in the Lemurian period. At the stage of animal man their work was taken over by the solar pitris, the egoic builders, whose force is most adequately expressed through man because they are the source of his self-consciousness. As the vehicle of man's consciousness steadily develops he is increasingly able to respond, at first subconsciously and later consciously, to influences coming to him from many sources both planetary, cosmic and through stimulation from the divine centre hidden within him. He is now able to grow because he has the potential to learn the lessons that are presented to him and to resolve those crises that they produce, so his self-consciousness is able to evolve as he travels from sign to sign around the wheel of life. This is the first stage of the work of consciousness or the work of the mutable cross, sometimes called the cross of "repeated incarnations"; this is so because it presents the first opportunity in man for successive and continuous expansions of consciousness.
In the early period of animal man, I understand that the wheel of life consisted of only eight signs because man lacked the capacity to respond further, but as early man became more fully responsive to those planetary and solar influences during the Lemurian period, the seed of the Christ or Buddhic consciousness, that potential for soul expression, was planted in him and individualisation was able to take place. Now he was able to respond to more influences streaming into the planet from Leo and Virgo and the wheel grew to ten signs with Capricorn as the last sign upon the wheel.
In Atlantean times the potential response of man to those planetary and solar influences became so great that the entrance into Hierarchy was opened. Now his sensitivity made it possible for him to go beyond his present cycle of influence and so Aquarius and Pisces were incorporated into the wheel because he was now capable of responding to their qualities of expression, this meant that the total number of signs were now the twelve that we know today. Now the union of personality with the soul was possible, enabling the dedicated man or woman to reverse their travel upon the wheel of life and to begin to work as an aspiring disciple. This opportunity to build a bridge of consciousness between matter and spirit caused the inevitable beginning of the battle between the Lords of Darkness, (the forces of materiality and obstruction) and the Lords of Light.
Today that battle continues upon a higher turn of the spiral because sufficient of the world disciples are ready to mount the second stage of the expansion of consciousness upon the Cardinal Cross, the cross of the Monad - the Planetary Logos and of the cosmic Christ. Here they are able to take the higher initiations. This will enable them to more clearly work for the Hierarchy of the planet who are under the control of the Forces of Light and work against the forces of materiality, obstruction and darkness. All men are implicated in some way or other in this conflict between darkness and light, and it is a conflict that we can so clearly see playing out around the world today, be it in the different forms of violence on the streets of all our cities, in the mountains of Sudan, Ethiopia or Afghanistan or the simple struggle of the individual in order to gain some material advantage over his neighbours or free himself from the grip of that material world in order to freely explore the spiritual world or adjust to his newly realised responsibilities.
The whole of humanity has now been thrown into turmoil because it is being prepared to take a great step forward in the group unfoldment of self-consciousness; this is the expression of a sense of inclusive and planetary responsibility. So many men and women are sensing this need and are attempting to express this sense of responsibility at least towards the health of the biosphere or the animal, vegetable or mineral worlds but increasingly thinking men and women are making a stand in order to resolve the problems at the centre of all these issues and these are the problems of humanity itself. The conclusion of that war between darkness and light lies in the resolution of that central problem of humanity when all men and women can value and respect each other as equals and are able to stand united upon the side of the forces of light.
The pressure of turmoil is more especially on the thinkers and aspiring disciples of the world because they are being tested in order to prove their preparedness for an increased stimulation of their consciousness that will allow them to enter the first two stages of world discipleship and for them to be able to do the work required of them in the Aquarian Age. This stimulation will allow the personality and the soul to be united, and allow the disciples to do the work of grounding the principle of the cosmic Christ, through soul expression, in humanity as a whole. For this to happen, a powerful stimulation of the intelligence of humanity is needed by the thinkers of the race so that all lives may be enriched through their own ability to use the process of creative thinking. The stimulation of the spiritual will in all spiritual men and women is essential but many disciples today have insufficient love for humanity as a whole and this is their main problem, they must learn that it is the worldwide community to whom they must give their total loyalty and service. Not to serve the needy as if they were poor souls 'who know no better' but as brothers and sister whose life and faith we now hold in the greatest regard as our equals. We cannot work through those first two stages of discipleship until we can address and resolve these problems within ourselves so that we may get on with the work required of us today. As we are able to do this work of world service, not only with humility but also 'as if' we were the cosmic Christ in terms of the quality of His selfless love and dedicated service, we can enter the third stage of world discipleship. This third stage is really the first stage of complete control of the lower centres by the soul; it is the point at which he, (the disciple) is prepared to co-operate completely with the karmic responsibility of the planetary Logos. The first of the lower three initiation was concerned with the process of individualisation way back in Lemurian times, these initiations refer to the attainment of particular stage of realisation and consciousness, the third lower initiation is as you see the first of the higher initiations and very many thousands of humans have already taken this step of consciousness in preparation for the tasks that we face in the present age.
That very first push that mankind received towards the human life that we are so familiar with today was driven by the potential for the expression of consciousness on this planet and this came through the qualities that the sign Aries promotes, and this is the expression of the first Ray of Will or Power which drives the creative process of God, the Father, as He manifests as the incarnating monad. That push started us off towards life expression, clockwise around the wheel of life in the direction of the Sun and we are driven forward by the need for material experience. We began to move forward on that path and as we gained experience and overcame one crisis after another as we make our slow progress from sign to sign, growing in the clarity of consciousness, occasionally resting as we found comfortable and secure life conditions but eventually the urge drove us forward again towards the experience of something new. What began as an involutionary, subjective cycle increasingly grew into a cycle with a purpose that would eventually come to fruition through an all-inclusive consciousness. It was the birth of an idea conceived long ago which would be expressed as the awakening of the will to reach the lowest and there control, to know all that can be known of the physical world, to face all experience and there to control. As I look around the world today I see men and women attempting to do all of these things.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (King James Bible, Genesis, 1:27) In other words God created monads in human form, with the seed of the profound creative potential of the Monad concealed in them but as yet lacking the consciousness of a sense of the right time or place for things in this world, and an unclear interest or vision of the worlds beyond. Thus man must learn what it truly means to be a creative monad and until he learns the process he will be self-centred and destructive. Eventually man finds himself back again in Aries but this time with a wealth of experience and developed wisdom and no longer identifying himself with the form but with the soul and its work, here then his path will be reversed, he will begin to circuit the wheel of life in an anticlockwise direction. Along this route he will begin to identify himself with the will of divinity and seek to know the Monad's eternal plan and purpose. He will join those servers who work for the planet from the centre of Love upon the mental plane, in the council chamber of the planetary Hierarchy, and eventually because of the breadth of his loving understanding, he will work in the conclave at Shamballa, the centre where the will of God is known, he will have arrived there not out of spiritual ambitions but because of his dedication to selflessness, to Love and service.
We began our journey in Aries through the need to express the will to be and to do and so we unfolded the power to manifest in the physical world. We return again to Aries because we have entered into the battle to be one with the soul and the all-soul and eventually through our effort we arrive at unity. The process of life upon this planet is ordered in this way; Creation-Being-Activity-Strife-Synthesis, for this is the nature of the Lord of the first constellation who seeks to combine the matter of this planet with spirit. (Esoteric Astrology, p 93) There is a sentence in The Secret Doctrine (I.80) which expresses the task of Aries beautifully: "Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a trinity synthesised by life which pervades them all." Aries offers the spiritual will to formulate this vision.
That expression of spiritual will in Aries leads to the physical birth of man in Cancer, here he only carries the seed of soul consciousness which does not reach a state of balanced co-operation with the personality until the lessons of Libra are learnt and spiritual will is not clearly expressed until that time in Capricorn when its tests are completed and the goal of incarnation can be seen. In Capricorn a man on the ordinary turn of the wheel of life reaches the height of personal ambition but when he reaches that constellation upon the reverse wheel he can attain his spiritual objective of entering the spiritual world.
Man begins his journey through manifestation because Aries can create those conditions, processes and activities that lead to the manifestation of the soul through the form as the personality of a man or woman and align with it, much later when they have reached a higher level of creative activity Aries is once again able to produce those right conditions that will enable spirit to manifest through the soul. This represents the start of a pathway to the conclusion of the great experiment through humanity of combining spirit and form and thereby transforming our world into something very different and wonderful. This is the place that has been spoken of and dreamt about by spiritual men and women from the beginning of all the worlds' faiths. Man as a whole has the potential to fulfil these prophesies but shall he be able to measure up to the task? Many great souls think that he will. The keynote of Aries is, "I come forth and from the plane of mind I rule".