Capricorn 2006 - New York
FESTIVAL OF CAPRICORN
At the moment of the winter solstice, December 21st, which just passed, the spiritual Hierarchy begins its preparation for the higher interlude of the spiritual year which culminates at the Wesak Festival on the full moon of Taurus. Such a long period of spiritual tension cannot be sustained by us human beings, but relating it to the process of meditation and the breath may help us to understand its significance. The winter solstice begins the period of the inbreath, of the consolidation of forces in preparation for the higher interlude—the three spiritual Festivals—which approximate the retention of the breath in a period of "inspired waiting" for spiritual impression.
On a lesser level the full moon is the higher interlude of each month and as we begin a new calendar year, perhaps it might be helpful to review the purpose and opportunity of these monthly full moon meditation meetings. Although we are accustomed to calling them that, the more accurate name is an Approach to the Hierarchy. On a minor level, we might think of this opening talk as the moment of inbreath, when we consolidate our forces, as a group, put aside our personal concerns and unify our consciousness, prior to the group meditation itself.
The approach to Hierarchy that we seek to make is as a group; not for personal contact or inspiration, but for selfless service and with no expectation of seeing results that we can personally note. If we believe that that the realm of consciousness is universal, then we can understand that this service is an opportunity to provide a group channel, in meditation, for the light and love being directed into humanity by the Hierarchy.
The directing of them specifically at the moment of the full moon follows the soul’s pattern of rhythmic impulse. Spiritual energies are powerful and stimulating, and a rhythmic transmission of them is much safer and more balanced than occasional, sporadic, overly intense effort.
Every aspirant to discipleship must learn to build a sane and balanced rhythm into his spiritual endeavours. He is also urged to develop an awareness of the group with which he makes the monthly approach to the Hierarchy. This group may, or may not, include people whom the disciple knows personally. Many people work physically alone in their monthly approach, so we are fortunate to be able to work as a group in physical proximity with each other, because this coming together physically gives added stimulation and inspiration through the sharing of spiritual resources.
Let us take a moment to envision our subjective alignment as a group, with each other and with our co-workers—our fellow meditators who are meeting in meditation literally throughout the world. Then let us say together the Affirmation of the Disciple.
I am a way by which men may achieve.
I am a source of strength, enabling them to stand.
I am a beam of light, shining upon their way.
And thus I stand.
And standing thus, revolve
And tread this way the ways of men, and know the ways of God.
And thus I stand.
The keynote of our meditation will be that for the disciple in Capricorn: "Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back." We might wonder, why would anyone turn his back on the "light supernal", once it’s found? We find a clue in the affirmation that we just said: "I am a way by which men may achieve. I am a source of strength, enabling them to stand. I am a beam of light, shining upon their way. And thus I stand. And standing thus, revolve and tread this way the ways of men, and know the ways of God. And thus I stand." Another hint lies in the seed thought of our meditation at the time of the full moon:
"He who faces the light and stands within its radiance is blinded to the issues of the world of men; he passes on the Lighted Way to the great Centre of Absorption. But he who feels the urge to pass that way, yet loves his brother on the darkened path, revolves upon the pedestal of light and turns the other way.
"He faces towards the dark, and then the seven points of light within himself transmit the outward streaming light, and lo! The face of those upon the darkened way received that light. For them the way is not so dark…."
That is the pledge of Capricorn, sign of the initiate, who, having passed through the human experience and reached the summit of initiation, then turns and descends the mountain to serve those still making their way up the steep path of spiritual evolution. "On that light I turn my back so that for them the way is not so dark." Selfless service is the natural, spontaneous expression of the soul and today we see many examples of such service throughout the world, and often in groups. The new group of world servers is the term given in the books of Alice Bailey to the subjectively related network of all servers who are linked by a shared commitment to world betterment. Once every seven years a Festival Week of the new group of world servers is observed between December 21st and 28th, and just a few weeks ago was another such opportunity. This special week always falls in Capricorn, so perhaps we should begin by considering what the link might be between Capricorn and the new group of world servers.
Humanity’s intended role in the divine Plan is to serve as planetary mediator between the higher and lower kingdoms of our planet and to bring about the redemption of the outer realms of earthly life, and Capricorn, as an earth sign, provides the necessary conditions for humanity to do so—for reasons that might come as a surprise. Alice Bailey said that in Capricorn "is expressed the densest point of concrete materialisation of which the human soul is capable. When crystallisation has reached a certain degree of density and ‘hardness’, it is easily shattered and destroyed." And it’s the task of the new group of world servers to deliver the "hammer blow" to world conditions that delay the evolutionary progress of humanity and impede its achievement of right relations with the kingdoms above and below it: hierarchical, animal, vegetable and mineral.
Capricorn helps to bring Shamballa and humanity into closer relation, we’re told. This Festival Week was the first since the Shamballa impact of 2000 and the release of the first Ray of Power and will directly into Humanity. Can we see, any signs as yet of humanity’s responsiveness to the powerful spiritual force of Shamballa? "The Shamballa energy is the energy that most powerfully expresses the Will of God. The difficulty most people have in comprehending the Will of God is that they approach this divine Will from a materialistic perspective—from an emphasis on the physical form. We regard the preservation and well-being of the form as the true goal of human effort, yet sometimes the destruction of the form can be much more spiritual, much more in line with the Plan, than its preservation would be.
This was the lesson behind the World War, which caused immeasurable sorrow to millions upon millions of people, let alone to the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. Yet, the Tibetan wrote that the war was actually a mixture of destruction both for evil reasons and for essentially benign purposes. The Forces of Evil that worked through Germany and Japan during the war were attempting, in the view of Hierarchy, to destroy the souls of men. But on the other hand, the old social, political and religious forms that were stultifying the human soul and handicapping all progress needed to be destroyed in order for new life to pour in.
And this is the situation at this time of transition, when an old age is making way for the new age, for a new astrological dispensation and a new stream of ray energy. In the case of an outgoing ray, the higher form—which always manifests earliest—is rapidly disappearing, and only the denser, coarser and "lower" aspect of the ray’s energy remains; while the newer energies of the incoming ray are still in an embryonic stage and not so potent or well-anchored as the old. This means that all forms associated with the outgoing ray, whether they are human characteristics, ideas, or institutions, hold on tenaciously for dominance—"so much so", the Tibetan says, "that they require the calling in of the first ray (or the Shamballa force) in order to effect their destruction. Bear this in mind as you study the world situation." The recent impact of the Shamballa force is propelling humanity towards synthesis in numerous ways without much understanding on humanity’s part and in ways that some people see as destructive, as in some aspects of globalization and the increasing homogenization of so much of modern life.
To understand synthesis as an expression of the energy of Shamballa, the word "subjective" might provide the key. Again, humanity’s tendency is to put too much emphasis on the physical, outer effect and to overlook the subjective, underlying intention. Synthesis in this sense is the binding wholeness that knits the web of our planetary life into a coherent, unified, integrated whole. It isn’t something that can be built "from the ground up", so to speak. We can’t create synthesis by focusing on the outer, material plane because that will only generate uniformity. Nor can it be enforced. The past century saw enough examples of totalitarianism to teach us that imposing a uniform collective structure does not work with human beings, probably because it denies the mind that each human being is endowed with by the Creator, and the unique individuality that each human being expresses. The synthesis that underlies the outer diversity of life on earth has to be grasped by the individual human mind; it can’t be imposed upon one’s thinking. It is the human being’s way, when the mind develops, to pride oneself on one’s mental independence. To think means to think freely, without outside authority, and this fosters, for a very long stage of the way, a kind of mental contrariness that is very much a part of the human experience.
The tendency of the mind to harden and to separate is probably a necessary stage that humanity has had to pass through on the way to mental development, but we can see how dangerously limiting the effects of the lower mind can be as we look at the materialism and separativeness that dominate so much of human living today. "When crystallisation has reached a certain degree of density and ‘hardness’, it is easily shattered and destroyed", the Tibetan said, and it’s the task of the new group of world servers to deliver the "hammer blow" to these conditions which delay evolutionary progress. This the new group of world servers is doing, not by attacking the forces of separatism and materialism head on, but by their responsiveness to synthesis. We see this in their sense of urgency about the state of the planet, the natural world, whose ecosystems are such a vibrant demonstration of living synthesis. They can be identified by their commitment to globalisation, but a just and human globalisation; by their striving for conflict resolutions that result in "win-win" solutions; by their capacity to see the divinity in everyone regardless of outer differences; by their love of humanity, collectively, not just their family and friends.
Man is literally "one who thinks" and the trajectory of this capacity is towards the realisation of synthesis—towards a realisation of the wholeness, what David Bohm called "the implicate order" of the world. The growth of the human mind has led to an acute fixation on the outer levels of life, and in many ways this is to the glory of the human experience, but many people who love humanity and believe in the essential goodness of human beings fear that something has been sacrificed at our peril. And this leads to a particular task that the new group of world servers must render. "At the centre of human life, the integrating group of new World Servers must meet a very real need. Their work must primarily be to keep such a close link with the soul of humanity that there will always be those who can ‘work in the interludes’ and so keep the plan progressing and the vision before the eyes of those who cannot as yet themselves enter into the high and secret place. They have to learn to work subjectively, and this they must do in order to preserve the power, latent in all, to withdraw into the centre. They constitute the door, speaking symbolically. Capacities and powers can die out for lack of use; the power of divine abstraction and the faculty to find what has been called ‘the golden path which leads to the clear pool and from thence to the Temple of Retreat’ must not be lost. This is the first work of the Group of World Mystics, and they must keep the path open and the way clear of obstructions. Otherwise knowledge of the way might temporarily die out and the selfish purposes of the material nature assume undue control. This dire event happened in Atlantean days and the group of workers then had to withdraw from all external activity and 'abstract the divine mysteries, hiding them away from the curious and the unworthy.'"
In a transitional era between two ages, such as the present time, the pressures of conflicting energies colliding in a time of transition from an old age to a new, place enormous stress on the physical, emotional and mental states of human beings. In a sense, this is a period of training as we build up our spiritual muscles to accommodate the demands of the coming age. "The Hierarchy, through the Group of World Servers, is seeking to externalise itself, and to restore the mysteries to humanity to whom they truly belong", the Tibetan said. "If the attempt is to succeed, it is basically necessary that all of you who have sensed the vision or seen a part of the intended plan should re-dedicate yourselves to the service of humanity, should pledge yourselves to the work of aiding to the utmost of your ability all world servers, and should sacrifice your time and give of your money to further the endeavor of the Great Ones. Rest not, above all, from your meditation work; keep the inner link; think truth at all times. The need and the opportunity are great and all possible helpers are being called to the forefront of the battle. All can be used in some way, if the true nature of sacrifice is grasped, if skill in action is developed and if work without attachment is the effort of each and all of you."
"When the world of thought is unified," Alice Bailey said, "then the outer world will fall into a synthetic order." What better way to foster the unification of the world of thought than through meditation, and particularly group meditation, so let us turn our backs on the "light supernal" so that the seven centres within us transmit the light into the world, and thus for humanity the way will not be quite so dark. Let us work now in meditation. [-]
New York, January 13, 2006