Capricorn Festival Talk
The text which follows was an address given by a member of the Headquarters staff of Lucis Trust at one of our public meetings. The purpose of these brief talks is to prepare and seed the group mind for the real work to be done--group meditation. This talk can be used by individuals and groups who wish to cooperate with this service.
YET ON THAT LIGHT WE TURN OUR BACK
Good evening everyand welcome to the Festival of Capricorn; a warm welcome also to the many friends and co-workers who are listening in and linking up with us today via BlogTalkRadio.
It has been stated that Capricorn is the most mysterious of the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and, according to the Ageless Wisdom teachings, the symbol of this sign carries with it such potency that it has never yet been revealed to humanity in its true form, as its delineation would bring about an inflow of force which would be as yet undesirable and, by inference, destructive to the steadily unfolding Plan of evolution. Perhaps more than any other sign a consideration of Capricorn brings to the fore those issues which surround the fundamental problem of energy and force contact and distribution. It is no coincidence that this problem is the fundamental problem of the initiate as he begins to work behind events in the three worlds, in the subtle realm of causes, for Capricorn, from the spiritual angle, is peculiarly the sign of the initiate.
Before we continue, let us pause for a few moments and align with that wider group of 'souls and servers' who work unceasingly for the uplift of humanity and the unfoldment of right relationships as they express themselves upon a planetary scale; then let us sound together the Gayatri:
O Thou Who givest sustenance to the universe,
From Whom all things proceed,
To Whom all things return,
Unveil to us the face of the true Spiritual Sun
Hidden by a disk of golden light
That we may know the Truth
And do our whole duty
As we journey to Thy sacred feet.
The problem of Discipleship
To help us in our exploration of this intriguing sign we have available to us the two seed-thoughts which ever symbolise the higher and lower aspects of each zodiacal sign. The higher seed-thought in Capricorn for disciples and initiates is “Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back;” whilst the fate of the relatively undeveloped human unit and the mass of men is foretold in the seed-thought: “And the word said: Let ambition rule and let the door stand wide.” Capricorn has the power to drive a man to the extremes of his nature. As the ancient symbol of the Centaur depicts, man is both animal and God, and for aeons the battle rages between these two aspects of his nature as he seeks to work out what and who he truly is. In Capricorn the depths of materiality are plunged and material ambition is brought to its zenith; and yet later it is Capricorn which helps propel the would-be initiate up the steep incline of the mount of initiation, whereupon he is transfigured before his subjugated personality. The disciple, in his own place, is likewise faced with the challenges of Capricorn, and in this sign he finds himself driven not by selfish material ambition but by an unrecognized selfish spiritual ambition. In many ways the problem of the disciple in this sign is an exceedingly difficult one to solve. He has largely succeeded in breaking the shackles of materialism and yet, often unwittingly and unconsciously, he then finds himself caught in the thorny briars of spiritual selfishness, if such a paradoxical term might be permitted. At base the fundamental problem of self-interest remains and it is this basic focus upon the personality and its ambition and advancement which bars the door to initiation. All sincere disciples will recognize this painful phase which constantly pecks at the conscience just as the vultures pecked at poor old Prometheus – the symbol of humanity lost in the wilderness of personal desire. There is a genuine turning towards the light and a deep longing for at-one-ment with the goal of desire – the soul. It is here that Capricorn in its higher presentation holds the solution to the problem and which is given to us clearly in the words: “…and yet on that light I turn my back.” Here is the way to initiation and a further seeming paradox in the life of the would-be initiate. Hercules in his Tenth labour in Capricorn depicts beautifully for us this turning back and a descent from the Mount of initiation in order to enter once again into the world of men to serve and save. This Tenth labour is different from the rest, and Hercules descends into Hades not for his own sake but for humanity as a whole – symbolised by the shackled and suffering Prometheus. From this point onwards Hercules is definitely a server of the race, the world initiate, free from any interest in personal achievement and attainment, and this fundamental reorientation and utter self-forgetfulness will see him become the World Server in Aquarius and finally the perfected World Saviour in Pisces.
The hardest task for the disciple then is to turn his back on his own spiritual ambition. To do so leaves him bereft of any attachment to form – including that most prized possession the highly integrated personality. He long since gave up the serpent of desire for material things, and now he is faced with the decision to give up that which he has for so long considered supremely spiritual. He is left thus with one thing only – service. He discovers, much to his surprise, that long-elusive middle way between the pairs of opposites, thereby resolving the cause of that raging inner battle which has dominated his life for so long. Now he is free to serve because he desires nothing other than to be of use to humanity; he is free because he desires nothing for the separated self – not even the heights of spiritual attainment.
And yet how can this be? How can such a state of affairs arise? What impels the disciple to leave behind even the very thought of his own liberation and salvation – a thought which has driven him for so long and in so many guises? The Buddha and the Christ, each in their own way, and in their own symbolism, give us the clue to this inevitable renunciation, based upon recognition of and subordination to a greater will and greater good. The Buddha, we are told, gave up the immediate opportunity to enter into so-called Nirvana, in order to stay with humanity a while longer that this kingdom might continue to benefit from His presence. He thus remains, and His continued presence is symbolized for us and celebrated at the annual Wesak Festival. The Christ, as the Bible recounts, permitted the sacrifice of His own personality, and, from the higher aspect, even His own Soul, in order to anchor the Will or Father aspect for the first time upon on this planet, and for the benefit of Humanity as a whole. We can only speculate as to the power and potency of the motive which impelled these two great Sons of God to make such a sacrifice, and yet we must at least recognize and understand that it was a basic recognition of the One Life extant in all forms that formed the basis of Their conviction.
Returning then to the problem of the disciple, it is very easy to get lost in the light of one's own spiritual aspirations and achievements, and yet there is a fundamental distinction to be made if one is to make the transition from the Path of Probation onto the Path of Discipleship. Self-absorption upon the mystical path should be losing traction and giving way steadily to a life of selfless service; service becomes the disciples keynote and this supersedes the previous preoccupation with personal purification. Purification still proceeds apace, but it is the result of an orientation towards service and not a primary focus in itself – purification is in fact the effect of a higher cause and agency. The disciple recognises that the light which is in him is the same light which dwells in the breast of his fellowmen, and in the breast of humanity as a whole. This recognition impels him to serve the one light, the one soul in all men without exception and without prejudice; the disciple no longer talks of my soul and thy soul, he knows and he hearkens but to the One Soul which embraces all - the Light Universal.
The problem of the Group – invocation, evocation and right distribution
On a higher turn of the spiral, and yet implicit in all that has been spoken of in terms of the disciple, is the problem of the Group and its united attempts to invoke and rightly distribute or direct those energies which are needed for planetary redemption. It is the group which occultly ‘saves’ the disciple, providing a focus of attention and a directed purpose for his aspiring consciousness. The group, being greater than the sum of its parts, permits and facilitates the entrance of certain energies and forces into the planetary life, which would otherwise be far too potent for individuals to work with. The group, or soul life, is therefore protective and at the same time transformative as far as the individual is concerned; more importantly however, it will be seen to provide a vital channel for planetary redemption. The group therefore forms the embryonic symbol of humanity as the planetary light-bearer.
A question that arises in the minds of esotericists is how best to direct the inflowing energies when they have been successfully evoked. The esotericist is one who is reconciled to a greater or lesser degree to the idea of the subjective potency of thought and visualisation. The occult aphorism that ‘energy follows and conforms itself to thought’ really means something to him and he seeks to utilise this fact for the greater good. As already stated, it is important that the disciple work in group formation as both a means of protection and of effectiveness. This work is basically group work. It is often asked if it is wise to visualise the inflow of lighted energy to certain trouble spots upon the earth, such as we find in the various conflicts currently waging in the region of the Middle-East, or indeed through certain individuals or organisations associated with these conflicts. We are, after all, advised to keep abreast of current affairs and to study well the problems which face humanity – with a view to contributing intelligently to a collective solution. The answer to this has to be that it depends upon who or what group is directing the energy, and whether a discipleship group, such as the one subjectively gathered this evening to work with the Full Moon potencies, should be engaged in such a detailed and specific distribution of energies, or whether more generalised and established channels of distribution would be better and more safely utilised.
It might be well here to make a distinction between the channelling and distribution of energy and the creation of thought-forms of solution – two basic activities of a discipleship group, and yet differing modes of approach to the problems which beset humanity. Thoughtforms of solution might be seen as a much more detailed and focussed approach to a given problem – holding ever in mind the wider Plan for humanity and upholding the higher principles in any given situation. It may involve drawing attention to, or vitalising, a unifying principle which is hovering on the periphery of mass realisation; and yet this is always based upon a real practical and informed understanding of the problem at hand which is sympathetic to the peculiar difficulties faced in the world of appearances. The lower concrete mind is far more engaged in this process than it might be with the task of energy distribution, yet the higher spheres of consciousness, emphasising inclusiveness, still provide the inspiration. Other thinkers are susceptible to encountering such thoughtforms of solution upon the mental plane, and it is thus that the work of redemption can proceed in detail. A specific and noteworthy example of this, given in the book Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle (p.5), concerns the case of Colonel House, who encountered the stepped-down thoughtform which was to become the outer form known as the League of Nations – a very specific and practical solution to a problem in time and space, and the forerunner of our present-day United Nations Organisation.
Energy distribution on the other hand comes under a different category of work, and, due to its potency, presents certain dangers which we would, as a group, be best to avoid. We know that energy is basically neutral, neither good nor evil, but that it is rather the motivated use of this energy which defines it in these polarised terms. We are also told that the White and Black Lodges use precisely the same energies, but for differing purposes; and herein lies the danger of directing energy to a given agency when we are not entirely sure how it will be used. Of course that danger will always exist no matter how well we might think we know the recipient, and, by way of example, we are told that even the Hierarchy is continually having to offset and repair the damage inflicted by some of its most able and dedicated agents. But it is of course right that we should not be so foolish as to willingly place a loaded gun in the hands of an infant, and thus we should know well the channels into which we are directing available resources. There is little doubt that energy directed to a trouble spot or crisis can further inflame the problem. The physical plane correspondence to this can easily be seen when more fuel is indiscriminately added to a fire which is already out of control. It is equally true that the wise use of an additional fire or explosion can counteract a rampant blaze, but great skill is required to effect this whilst avoiding further harm. Returning to the Middle-East, and Syria in particular, we note a further physical plane example of the unintended consequences of good intentions, as many of the weapons provided by the West, and destined for the official Syrian opposition, appear to be falling increasingly into the hands of undesirable groups.
This whole problem then requires us to recognise that as a discipleship group we are not the only agents in the working out of the divine circulatory flow. A group such as this has its definite place and utility, but we should not kid ourselves into thinking that we are the only actors, and thus stray into realms of activity which are best left to the expertise of others. In Discipleship in the New Age Volume I (p.760) the Tibetan Master warns of “the dangers incident to the untrained neophyte endeavouring to distribute forces, to direct so-called energies in a specific and particular direction.” He goes on to indicate that this more detailed work should be left to a band of workers close to the Masters heart, and that until such a status is achieved and known, the task is to “act as channels for the distribution of energy in a general and universal but not in a specific manner” (ibid). In the familiar meditation form which we will be using tonight we have a major hint as to the established channels through which we should work as a group in our thinking, and through our directed visualisation. The required sequence of energy precipitation is apparently a very simple one indeed, passing down from Shamballa, through Hierarchy – the Christ – the New Group of World Servers – men and women of goodwill and finally the anchoring of these potencies in the five planetary centres – London, New York, Geneva, Darjeeling and Tokyo. Yet in this simplicity is to be found an inherent potency and a very real mobilisation of energy and force. Thus, the group works with the great centres of energy distribution, precipitating this inflow into the hands of those who are best qualified to fine-tune its activities. In The Externalisation of the Hierarchy (p.675) we are told that “...the physical plane areas or localities which constitute the modern exits for energies, through which directed energies can pass to carry out the creative process, are five in number...at each one of these five centres one of the Masters will be found present, with His Ashram, and a vortex of spiritual forces will there be organised...” Our role then might well be seen as intermediary, and yet ultimately essential to the right distribution of the ever-evolving divine circulatory flow.
Let us now turn our attention to this evenings meditation - invoking and distributing the available energies of Capricorn - aided in our efforts by the directing potency of the seed-thought for disciples in this sign: Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back.
Full Moon Festival in Capricorn -
London - 15th January 2014