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The Beginning of the Development of Human Consciousness

By Trevor Leese
June 2005

Keynote: "I build a lighted house and therein dwell"

If we begin to think that we are essentially divine beings seeking expression upon the physical plane, as the soul manifesting through its vehicle the personality, then we must assume that we have hidden away within the heart and mind all the understanding and potential of that divine being. This understanding is accessed and the potential utilised little by little as suitable modifications or developments are made in the personality vehicle. I choose to use the word understanding rather than knowledge because knowledge per se is far from the answer. The larger picture that I see of this understanding is not merely a comprehension of the divine idea along with sympathy and agreement with it but a firm unity with the One in whom we live and move and have our being that expresses both Deity's life and purpose. So this will not only require the evolution of our consciousness but because the essential expression of the divine nature within our solar system is the expression of Love, it also requires the development of that mechanism of relationship that we call the heart.

It was perhaps more than anything our success in mass relationship, which took us beyond the instinctual need of the herd and created the opportunities for the exchange and development of ideas, for the use of tools and the utilisation of physical materials beyond merely nest building. It is the heart that makes even the most ordinary human relationships possible but the mechanism of the heart; the emotional body, presents us with its own set of difficulties as humans. Physical response to the emotions can be instantaneous; it encapsulates the trigger to fright or flight. This is a very necessary safeguard to life in the animal world but how many of us have found that mechanism triggered in a contact with another human that has appeared to overwhelm us through the intensity of our emotional response, passion, fear or rage that is beyond our experience to deal? The emotional side of our nature is responsible for a large part of the working of the imagination, for the fear of the unknown, of that which we cannot see and can only imagine. This we share with the other animals but only humans, as far as I know, have been able to use this process to imagine a multitude of things and conditions beyond their experience, then to create them physically and from that new raised creative platform climb to yet higher life experiences. While the birds or apes have learnt to use sticks and stones to crack a nut or a mollusc shell we have moved on a very long way even to cracking the puzzle of reaching for the stars. But we must harness and control the emotional life in such a way that it can no longer be our undoing but rather our expansive, creative tool.

According to the ancient wisdom teaching it was in the Age of Cancer that our ancestors were able to reach beyond the strictly animal condition into an embryonic form of human consciousness that was the beginning of instinctual awareness driven by mass consciousness and the collective imagination. Our human advance at that time, like the crab, was slow moving; we also carried our house upon our back as the hunter-gatherer living nomadically upon the land and also in the watery world of instinct, emotion and imagination. An imagination that was a little less sophisticated than it is for many of us now. We then had rather basic physical and emotional needs yet this was the point at which the physical form and the overshadowing soul could, for the first time, be united through the expressive potential of this early human. Eventually in Cancer that deeply hidden intuition is found and the human no longer identifies with the mass and can begin the lonely journey as an individual, facing all the tests and trials that will eventually lead him to control over the personality vehicle which now more than ever becomes his creative pallet.

Those who are born in the sign of Cancer today are always conscious of that which they have built, their homes are very important to them. They are often over-sensitive or emotional and easily hide away. I have known Cancer types who appear elusive, unusually hard to pin down or to understanding. Cancer as a sign is symbolically one of hiding just as there are no conspicuous stars to be seen in its physical constellation.

It wasn't until the Age of Leo that we humans began to be self-conscious and intelligently aware. That process is of course continuing, for how many of us are as yet thoroughly self-conscious or intelligently aware? I can't claim to be, for I am sure that there is much in my psyche still to be revealed to me and far more beyond it to thoroughly understand. This current Age of Aquarius will present all the conditions and opportunity for us all to become group conscious (a very different thing to mass consciousness) and intelligently aware.

There have always been those fore-runners, those few who have been conscious ahead of their time and have to give many within the mass of humanity a leg up in the stretching of their understand. Those like Plato, de Vinci, Newton and Einstein as well as Christ and the Buddha that have helped many to open their minds and become thinkers in their own right. Here lies the difference between mass-consciousness and group consciousness. The mass are influenced unknowingly by the collective mind of humanity while the thinker processes ideas, accepting or rejecting them according to his or her point of understanding. The true thinker hopes to contribute to thinking and the group consciousness in order to service and benefit all its members. For he is conscious both of that which he gives to the group and the tremendous wisdom he accumulates through the knowledge within the group pool of thought.

As Cancer marks the great gate into the human kingdom through the development of instinctual and mass-consciousness, its polar opposite, Capricorn marks the great gate that leads out of it through a thorough self-consciousness that is self-initiating and potent, yet serves the group good and the work of the universal soul. The task of those who exit through this gate is to serve humanity. Some have chosen to serve in that group of thinkers who seek to influence the collective mind of humanity towards the will-to-good, others return to serve in the physical world of men. They may be seen as divine but they are still human. Likewise it is important to remember that as humans we are still animal, can we be fully human before we are prepared to be responsible animals and prepared to take great care of our animal brothers? Shouldn't that level of care also extend to the vegetable and mineral worlds? For they too contain the same divine seed as we. Is there anything that is not an expression of some aspect of the divine nature, just as it is hidden within humanity, no matter how obscurely it may appear to be hidden in some unfamiliar form? If there is One life then all are to be cared for as the members of one family. Aren't instinct, intellect and spiritual intuition progressive stages in the development of one expression, that of consciousness? This appears to be so.

The drive to attain this final goal of human manifest can be found in all the signs. In Cancer it is a hidden discontent and deep inner urge that gradually becomes so strong that the human is eventually lifted out of the seemingly stable conditions of this watery world of retreat and through aspiration steadily climbs up through all the tests until the summit of the mountain in Capricorn is reached. Our journey of consciousness began then with mass consciousness and instinctual awareness. We are now evolving through self-consciousness and intelligent awareness towards the establishment of group consciousness and intuitional awareness. The conditions for this have never been so good as they are in this new age. We have more than two thousand years remaining of that age, so there is a chance for all of us to achieve this task.

Can instinct just be uncontrolled emotions as a part of a fragmented intellect or the heart/mind of intellect be an uncoordinated spiritual consciousness? It is certainly the personality vehicle that lacks co-ordination of all the facilities of expression of the soul. Yet it would seem that all the material for the structure of expression of our spiritual being is already in place and accessible to the human personality, but we lack the level of organisation or co-ordination of mind, emotion and physical body plus the necessary refinement of purpose which are needed for us to be reabsorbed into our spiritual being.

The task of the labour of Hercules in Cancer was to capture the illusive doe or hind but what does this represent? That unrefined emotional nature in Cancer, with its fears and imaginings, its fragility and lack of control hide the illusive hind. When a measure of control of the emotional nature is established through the mind the hind can be harnessed, for it represents the spiritual intuition and as this relationship develops the individual is no longer lost in the mass. He is no longer one of the sheep but emerges onto the path of self-consciousness leading eventually to spiritual consciousness. It is at this point that the tests and trials of self-consciousness, all the difficulties, all the trials and tribulations of the personality, we are all so familiar with, are seen as needing control and refinement and so we can begin the task of achieving just that.

This suggests that all those of us who are thinking individuals are beyond the stage of the man in the Age of Cancer and therefore use an elementary form of the spiritual intuition in some measure. Most of us are only occasionally aware of responding to some intuition about a situation, when asked why we did something which appeared to be inspired we may think about it and say something like "I just had an instinct about the situation", we are beginning to use that sixth sense. But true spiritual intuition can be consciously developed through the construction of the bridge of consciousness called in Sanskrit the antahkarana. That bridge connects the personality who has attained a measure of integration with his soul to the spiritual triad or human monad. How shall we do this? Not by an intellectual understanding of the ideas. We must certainly study the qualities of the soul and try to express those qualities through our daily living. We must live 'as if' the soul, this is not an easy thing for any of us to do but with patience, those attributes of the soul that we seek to absorb do eventual stick and when sufficient have done so, we will wake up one day and realise that we have absorbed so many of those qualities into our personality consciousness that we have become the soul in outer expression. The soul is dedicated to the service of all, so we must learn to love and to serve if we wish to become the soul.

A vehicle will only do those things or go to those places for which it is designed. So we must modify the design of our personality vehicle to do those tasks that we aspire to do. As the design is perfected we will intuit with ever-deeper understanding and will begin to do things that seem far beyond our expectations for this life. So "build a lighted house and therein dwell", not because you are spiritually ambitious but because you desire to serve others. So Love and live.