The Coming Kingdom
Printed in The Beacon September 1936 and March 2002
By Alice A. Bailey
The persistent striving for the understanding of the deeper realities and the more permanent values of life is the prerequisite of achieving the new consciousness.
THE THING WHICH is happening in the world today is the inauguration of a new consciousness. The consciousness of human beings is radically different from the consciousness of animals, and is not static but is a progressive state of being. This new consciousness which is dawning in the human family will bring with it new ideals, new ways of living based upon a new appraisal of values, new aspirations and new personal objectives. It is this expanded and deepened consciousness which will bring in the new civilization. Before that new civilization can come we all have to be sufficiently detached from the old thought habits and desire patterns, from the old way of doing things and from the old ideas of what are the real values of life.
The basic and most important fact which we need to grasp is the very simple statement that there is a plan for mankind, a goal towards which the evolution of the entire human family is tending. There are those who know of this plan and who, therefore, in a certain sense may be considered the custodians of the plan. They are human beings who have evolved a little further along the path than the rest of us. In seeking to hasten the manifestation of that plan these custodians have worked through the minds of those advanced and altruistic thinkers who are near to them in consciousness. Such people are often spoken of as disciples, and it is these disciples who stand near to the custodians of the plan who carry the burden of the practical working out of the great ideals in the world. These disciples or world workers are impressed with the great basic principles which have to be accepted and acted upon by the sons of man if the plan is to go forward. Of these principles and ideals they write and speak. In this way the thinkers of the world hear of these ideas and the plan begins to be discussed. In increasing numbers people become familiar with these basic principles as, for example, the idea of cooperation as compared to competition, or the ideal of internationalism as compared to national struggle and superiority. When such ideals are widely enough known and enough people consider them desirable the plan makes great and more rapid strides. Thus the great ideas seep into the consciousness of the race and thus are the fundamental changes brought about in the consciousness of the masses and the trends established which characterize the civilization of the succeeding ages.
The new way of living in conformity to the new civilization will be governed by new ideals and new values, and will give us all a new consciousness which may be somewhat described as being fourth dimensional. This new consciousness makes fourth dimensional living possible, and this new consciousness has been achieved and is an every day experience of these world workers of whom I have been speaking. The practical question is whether or not such an expansion of consciousness and fourth dimensional living can be achieved by us and if so by what methods. The only human beings who ever really help to save the world are those who can first take hold of themselves and live divinely. This is an age of mind, and the use of the power of the human mind is the outstanding characteristic of our time. We have had more power than intelligence, and what intelligence we have had as a race has been used to harness the power for acquiring possessions in order to enjoy more abundant physical comforts and a succession of enjoyable sensations. We are being taught on a world wide scale that such an objective is childish and impermanent and brings an inevitable reaction of discomfort and unenjoyable sensations. The trouble has not been with the mind but with our use of the mind for objectives which are too shallow. It is by more intelligent living that you and I can save the world.
Let us consider man in terms of life, quality and appearance. These are the terms of the new age and to them we can relate a consciousness which is ours today. We know little in fact about what life is, and attempted definitions do not help us very much. We do, however, know something about quality and to a large extent we live with each other and gauge each other according to our qualities. For a short contact the personal appearance is often the most important factor in setting up relationships but for continued associations with our fellow men it is the quality which they possess and manifest which holds us to them or drives us apart. If we judge our fellow men and measure what is most desirable in terms of quality rather than in possessions or appearance we become aware that the factors producing the best results for everybody are those qualities which are the natural result of kindness, unselfishness, cheerfulness and the capacity to be considerate, sympathetic and helpful. These are qualities of the personality which are the manifestation of the divine principle in man. They are qualities, therefore, which are in harmony with the basic fundamental quality of divine life itself.
The outstanding difference between quality and appearance is that appearance is objective and quality is subjective. Already in the scientific field in our study and control of matter and by the power of the mind, our skill in experimentation has brought us into the realm of the intangiblethe constitution of the atom, the measuring of the cosmic forces, the experimentation with light, the utilization of that substance which we call ether. All these fields of investigation are already forcing even the most materialistic minds of our era to the acceptance of the fact of the reality of the subjective qualities and values of life. This is real progress but the greatest step and the next inevitable step is the utilization of man himself as the field of experiment with relation to subjective values. Man himself has already made the great transition from instinct to intellect, and just before him lies the transition which will carry him from intellect to intuition. For this great transition there is a technique of training marked by definite stages of progress and this new consciousness is to be achieved in the light of the soul by the power of the mind.
At present our minds are so filled with everyday affairs and necessities and we are so weighted down by a sense of the futility of personal effort with relation to national problems and social betterment that hundreds of thousands of us who might be effective remain impotent and inactive. It is as though we were glamoured by the accumulated effects of wrong motive, blind action and the destructive tendencies of the past. We need a new faith and the quickening of the will but that new faith must not violate the conclusions of the rational mind and must be acceptable to the most keen and best trained intellects. We must understand why it is not only necessary but reasonable that we should expand our present consciousness and live more intelligently according to the deeper and subjective values which are slowly and inevitably emerging in the coming years.
The persistent striving for the understanding of the deeper realities and the more permanent values of life is the prerequisite of achieving the new consciousness and the capacity to appreciate the subjective life of quality which will determine the character of our new civilization. The world is not going to he changed by feeling, the world can be changed only by knowledge. Knowledge does not come to us because our minds do not truly function. They simply register. We suffer from mental inertia, but the esoteric schools of the future will so train our minds that they will not only record and correlate that knowledge which comes to us through the five senses but we shall also be able to penetrate into the kingdom of the soul where the new vision is achieved and where we shall be able to function in the kingdom of God. This urge to realize God and His plan, to understand what is going on around us, is the evidence of the presence in us of divine quality. The greatest guarantee of our ultimate achievement lies in the fact that we are able to desire spiritual things and vision spiritual achievement. This seeking and longing in the heart of man is the dim reflection of the God quality in us. It has always been there but we are now as a race so intelligent that it must reveal its rational aspect.
It is, therefore, gradually dawning upon mankind that there is a divine or spiritual plan, and many are seeking to discover that plan and hasten the next step in its manifestation. We must let our personal feelings go in order that this wonderful plan may be materialized. There is no time for quarrel. There is no time for dividing ourselves off from one another because of fancied superiorities. There is only time to serve our fellowmen. It does not matter what nation we have been born into, we are one under God. Mankind with all its powers stands today on the verge of coming in contact with another aspect of the fundamental and divine principle of love. When that divine principle of love is wedded to the divine principle of intelligence we shall have appearing on earth the fifth kingdom of nature. This is the spiritual kingdom of nature. This is the spiritual kingdom of God wherein we shall function as Souls whose nature is love and wherein we shall demonstrate that love intelligently. [-]