A friend of mine is at times surprised by how positive I feel about mankind in spite of all the horrors that continue to be perpetrated by man, these stem from his wrong personality motivation, egotism, lack of correct integration and self-centredness, these manifest through wickedness, brutality, greed or straightforward lack of care for anything beyond himself or his own kith and kin. I have faith in humanity not because of how the minority of men behave now or have done so in the past but because I know that within the heart of man lies hidden a centre of profoundly spiritual being that can be stimulated into functioning through the correct alignment of the mind and sooner or later will manifest itself wonderfully through the human personality. So this spiritual being will appear in outer expression as soon as the vehicle for its expression has become pure, true, unwavering, when the integrated personality wishes the contact to be so and a permanent alignment can thus be made. This higher being is to my mind the reason that each one of us exists, it is a greater triad to whom the personality is as yet for the most part only a dark or shadowy reflection. Relatively few men have, as yet, reached that stage of enlightened consciousness but this is the destiny of the human mind. This great flowering of the expression of the one life through the form, perfected in a life fully dedicated to the service of all through the realisation and the expression of love-wisdom is much more than a seed within us all. Man exists because of the possibility of this evolution transformation of consciousness taking place within the human form, for his consciousness is a consciousness that can only evolve towards unity with the divine. It does so in the early stages through great pain and tribulation but can never the less through self sacrifice become at first one with the soul and then through this temporary bridge towards spiritual consciousness become the human monad in physical manifestation. This, as we understand is a profoundly inclusive consciousness that sees itself as not only one with all life upon the plain of matter but also has access to and begins to bring to the physical plane the breadth of conscious understanding of the higher mental and spiritual planes.
That transformation of consciousness, as it is beginning to happen in growing numbers of humanity will greatly change the physical world as our influence upon lives of all those beings within it becomes increasingly thoughtful and our actions become fully supportive and inclusive. For humanity is central to the great work of the spiritualization of the whole of the material plain of our planet Earth. But just as the individual conceals deep within his consciousness the means to the One Spiritual Truth so it is also hidden rather more abstractly within every atom of matter and also lies at the heart of all our great religions. It takes great effort, self-sacrifice and inclusiveness for the individual to see this truth in its fullness and so as yet that truth mostly manifests in the religions diversely and exclusively as is the case for the majority of individuals who are just beginning the journey towards that source of the One Truth within themselves. Thus the outer form of the religions appear to manifest differently because the men of religion have either taken the truth that they are beginning to access for their own purpose or have related it only to their own faith community instead of keeping it completely open, free and accessible for all humanity to recognise from their own viewpoint.
It is at times hard to accept that man or 'his' religion can manifest as a monster but this is just so for the powerful personality who is not being motivated by his higher nature, appearing either spectacularly as the obvious megalomaniac or in some cleverly deceptive and secret way. I believe that something of this will have been so at some point in all our lives, no matter how spiritually exalted we may think we now have become, be it so earlier in this life or at some other point upon our evolutionary journey through the many preceding lives.
In the labours of Hercules, that symbolic account of mans journey towards self mastery and the beginning of the process of union with the divine nature comes to such a crisis as this for his personality at the eighth of his twelve labours, the labour of Scorpio, it is there that he encounters the nine-headed hydra. This is the monster that constantly bewitches we humans before that point where our personality integration leads towards spiritual vision. We are reminded by Alice Bailey1 that the heads of the hydra represent nine tests for the personality.
The first three tests concern the problems of our animal nature. They are to do with the proper control and the right functioning of sexual energy through the thoughtful direction of desire and the emotions. The also concern the beguiling affect of physical comfort and material possessions that deflects one away from the need to achieve ever greater understanding of life and the exploration of one's personality potential. Then there is the danger of the accumulation of money becoming an insatiable master passion and distorting the mind so that it lays aside ethical and human values in its need to acquire wealth.
The second group of three tests are concerned with the proper control of the emotional body and the nature of our desire. They are concerned with the resolution of those fears and phobias that condition our day to day living. They include the prejudices and ignorance that lead one to hate and thus condition the way that we make relationships with others and the proper control of our objectives through our ambition or the lack of it. The first test in this group is concerned with fear. It is fear, fear of ridicule, failure, the unknown, chance and death that constantly torment humanity, it is through the lack of control of the astral/emotional nature that this 'fear monster' appears. These fears can be cast off and the necessary control again through the raising of ones consciousness to a higher level of integration so that the subconscious and emotional processes are understood and the attention of the mind can be focussed above the threshold of fear. The second test in the group is concerned with hatred. Hatred is the opposite of the desire for union, at its lowest it is driven by fear, ignorance or misunderstanding but when it is raised into the realm of the mind it can manifest as the rejection of all that is unreal. When hatred is stripped of emotion a man can lay aside the form for the sake of the life which motivates it. Once hatred has been purified it clearly becomes the opposite of love. Alice Bailey points out that the energy of power has been realised in humanity in the past few hundred years far more than the energy of love resulting in an imbalance of energy within the personality.2 So many of our social, national and international problems have been created by men of power who are lacking in love and compassion, resulting in an insatiable desire to control and to dominate others. Power without love is a corrupting force that brings with it constant hostility and suffering for the people who are dominated by it but power correctly applied manifest as the will to achieve and the will to sacrifice. This positive will is a generous facilitator who serves love and that love is in turn glorified by power.
The third group of tests are concerned with the proper control of the mental body, these deal with pride and the intellectual satisfaction that make the mind a barrier for one because our attitudes are in variance with the thinking of the soul. It is also the problem of personality separativeness or an attitude of isolation that makes the mind a barrier to right group relations and finally the cruel, selfish attitudes or the belief that only one's own methods of doing things are the right ones. The proud man is isolated by his self-exalted thoughts as he looks upon others with condescension. With this he breaks his link with others and moves further and further away from any sympathy from them. The separative man is ever more conscious of the differences between people rather than all those things that make them similar. He sees all other religions as the exact opposite of his own or considers so called 'class differences' to be more important than the very many human values that we all share, he sees the nations as very different groups seeking only their own ends rather than seeing a family of nations who can work with each other in mind and are increasingly working together towards the structure of the one world. The cruel man seems to get satisfaction out of tormenting or hurting others, these include the parent who ridicules or brutalises a child, the child or teenage bully who delights in terrorising the child or any vulnerable person who appears to be different in some way, the husband or wife who control or enslave their spouse through fear and all the many men in positions of power who terrorise those who come under their control.
You may remember that Hercules found the hydra in a dark cave in a fetid swamp and there he proceeded to cut of its heads only to discover that where each head had been two more appeared and with each blow from his club the beast grew stronger. The object of this story sets out to demonstrate that compulsive behaviour can be transmuted into benevolent and philanthropic behaviour. That self-centred passions and separative thinking can be transformed, that intellectual riches and spiritual treasure can be realised as more bountiful and fulfilling than material riches. As Hercules recognised the hydra as one monster rather than nine heads his victory was within reach, as he knelt down he realised the spirit of humility that is needed in order to resolve these problems of the personality. When he held the monster high in the light of reason and compassion he understand how fear can be eliminated through the illumination of the mind by raising the consciousness to a higher level. So many people have irrational fears and phobias yet when a child or their spouse is in danger they become fearless in their effort to rescue them, in doing so they demonstrate the much higher potential of the soul of love hidden in each one of us. Hercules at last realised that killing is not the solution to these tests but that love and compassion are; he let the light of understanding into the darkest recesses of his sub-consciousness to perform a cleansing process. This labour of Scorpio is certainly one in which humanity is engrossed at this time, so many of us are not only as individuals but also as faith communities and as nations, struggling to recognise the subconscious problems of man in this one world. When we have done so we will be able to embrace with courage that seed thought for Scorpio which is, "Warrior am I, and from the battle I emerge triumphant".
- The Labours of Hercules, An Astrological Interpretation, p144-150, Lucis Press.
- Ibid, p148.