The Externalising Pattern of Things
Reprinted from The Beacon, January-March 2010
Good afternoon friends and welcome to the festival of Capricorn.Traditionally we associate Capricorn with the achievement of the goal set in Sagittarius – an abstract goal best considered in terms of light quality.On assimilating this light, the disciple symbolically turns his back on it in order to transmit it into the world, and Capricorn facilitates this through its inherent concretising power.Patterns of abstract light are rendered down or 'spiritually reduced' intoideas that intelligent thinkers unconsciously appropriate and apply in some area of human creativity.A further reduction then takes place as the lighted ideas are shaped into new values and human principles.These may take the form of general welfare movements, upgraded social values, or perhaps new international declarations and treaties that would have previously been too idealistic and unworkable.Somehow though, the quality of new light must be externalised and expressed in human activity as, between the heavens and the earth, disciples and discipleship groups take their stand as light bearers.
This process is beautifully described in the following words from an ancient Commentaryquoted in the Alice Bailey teachings:“The Angel of the Presence stands within the light divine – the centre and the meeting place of many forces.These forces meet and blend.They focus in the head of him who stands before the Angel.Eye to eye, and face to face, and hand to hand, they stand.Will reinforces will, and love meets love.The will-to-power merges with the will-to-love and strength with wisdom meets.These two are one.From that high spot of unity, the One who is released stands forth and says:‘I return from whence I came; from the formless to the world of form I make my way.I will to be.I will to work.I will to serve and save.I will to lift the race.I serve the Plan with will, the Whole with power’”
There is a tremendous feeling of spiritual uplift in this passage, bringing to mind the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas that are often associated with the achievement of the goal in Capricorn.The peaks of mountains are natural steeples that evoke the fires of aspiration within us, the pure white snow which covers them a reminder of the pristine nature that is required to live at spiritual altitude.As snow covers the landscape in a blanket ofwhite, it wonderfully symbolises the unity normally hidden within visual diversity, and as the clamour of mundane life is temporarily silenced – nature's power hints at the rapturous beauty of the subtle worlds, which, one day, will be externalised.
The intensity of natural silence is but a dim reflection of the silent awe that precedes revelation in the heart of the true mystic.This inner silence activates an upward rush of energy and focuses the consciousness on the threshold of new beginnings.That which is old, crystallised and outworn is lost sight of and the invitation to become part of nature's revelation burns with a deep intensity.As the mystic becomes the occultist and achieves initiation through the power to sacrifice the lower self to the good of the whole, so each snowflake – a miracle of sacred geometry – makes its sacrificial fall to rest as part of a blanket of unity.Yet this is not sacrifice in the common understanding of the word, for at its own level, the snowflake like the initiate, retains self-identity while simultaneously expanding out of itself into the consciousness of a greater whole.
We are told that no two snowflakes are alike, just as no two people are identical, and yet their unity utterly transcends any sense of separateness.One of nature's fundamentalpatterns is based on the hexagon and this is beautifully revealed in the snowflake – each crystal perfect in its design, silently revealing nature's urge to geometrise and expressing, in H.P Blavatsky's words, that “there are six Forces in Nature...and the seventh—the all-Force, or the absolute Force, which is the synthesis of all.” 1
The perfected human being will also demonstrate six principles or forces and a seventh which will be the all-force – which synthesises the others.This latter force will put human consciousness in sympathetic resonance with nature and the power of celestial hierarchies will flow directly into the lower kingdoms through humanity, shaping, adapting, transmuting and raising it's atomic fire to a point of fusion.This will result in a revelation the magnitude of which human consciousness cannot imagine at present.All we can do is look with eyes anew at nature's fundamental tendency to geometrise and realise that this externalising pattern is at work at many levels, not just in the mineral kingdom.This is because there is a secret, inner world where great archetypes stand, vibrant with living power through the might of which a divine plan is working out.Down the ages, the Ageless Wisdom teachings have led humanity ever closer to its door.
Just as a blanket of snow is formed from the crystalline geometry of individual snowflakes, so is the powerful sense of unity conveyed by the Wisdom teachings the result of words arranged in a specific manner to form symbols of geometrical power.They are written in a way that induces patterns of sympathetic resonance in the mind of the avid reader connecting him to great forces and thoughtforms that lie behind the text.As the Master Hilarion writes in the book, Light on the Path: “There is another way of reading, which is, indeed, the only one of any use with many authors.It is reading, not between the lines but within the words.In fact, it is deciphering a profound cipher.All alchemical works are written in the cipher of which I speak; it has been used by the great philosophers and poets of all time.It is used systematically by the adepts in life and knowledge, who, seemingly giving out their deepest wisdom, hide in the very words which frame it its actual mystery.They cannot do more.There is a law of nature which insists that a man shall read these mysteries for himself.By no other method can he obtain them.” 2
The pattern of things as they are in the heavens precipitates to earth in a similar way to a fall of snow.The task of meditating groups is to rend the veils through which great truths may fall to earth and be anchored here to unite humanity once more with the cosmos, but on a higher more intelligent turn of the spiral than heretofore.But we don’t have to bring geometrical skills to our meditation in order to precipitate these patterns for this is the role of the deva hierarchy that cooperates with man's thinking by converting the impulses behind his thought and emotion into geometrical force patterns.Exactitude of thought and feeling generates geometrical precision and beauty with the assistance of nature's inner helpers.
On a world-wide scale, as will, love and abstract intelligence start to characterise humanity's thinking, the geometry of the etheric web of the planet will change from a pattern of squares to a pattern of triangles, reflecting these three higher forces inherent in the human being.In the next solar system these will change again to become a pattern of overlapping circles similar to the way in which the sun's etheric web is presently constructed.Although the significance of this is not immediately apparent, some insight may be gleaned by reflecting on the geometrical pattern of “The Flower of Life”. This can be viewed on the Wikipedia website and is described there as “a geometrical figure composed of multiple evenly-spaced, overlapping circles, that are arranged so that they form a flower-like pattern with a six-fold symmetry like a hexagon.The centre of each circle is on the circumference of six surrounding circles of the same diameter.Throughout human history, philosophers, artists, and architects around the world have known the Flower of Life for its perfect form, proportion and harmony.It is considered by some to be a symbol of sacred geometry, said to contain ancient, religious value depicting the fundamental forms of space and time.In this sense, it is a visual expression of the connections life weaves through all sentient beings, believed to contain a type of Akashic Record of basic information of all living things.”
“The Flower of Life” is certainly an excellent model for pondering on nature's six-fold building pattern as is seen, for instance, in the geometry of the snowflake we have been considering.And this six-fold pattern can also be applied to the evolutionary unfoldment of the Soul in manifestation, for at an advanced stage, we are told that the initiate becomes “the perfect six-pointed star...(the threefold personality and the threefold Triad merged and blended and perfectly produced through the intermediate point, the causal body) and which, when the physical body is eliminated, makes him the five-pointed star or perfected manasaputra.” As with the initiate, the current aim of natural evolution for the whole planet is to strive towards perfection based on a six-fold force-pattern with a synthesizing seventh, and later to discard the outer form and move onto subtler levels.This isn’t going to happen any time soon of course as it is an incredibly long and measured procedure, even in geological time-scales.Because of its materialistic greed however, humanity has so far failed to live up to its planetary responsibilities and to make significant headway at this time.From this perspective, the world crises that are currently engulfing humanity are to be welcomed as a much needed correcting force that can prove to be its saviour rather than its destroyer.One way or another, selfishness and attachment to form have to be overcome and the more humanity heeds its responsibilities, the more likely it is to understand these lessons and be able to capitalise on this time of unprecedented opportunity.
As desire of one kind or another becomes deeply habitual and ingrained, a state of complete crystallisation occurs when it then becomes possible for occult forces to shatter the mindset and liberate the consciousness from its imprisoning desire.Capricorn is a wonderful facilitator in this process.And in the following passage from Esoteric Astrology, what the Tibetan has to say about the individual's evolution could easily be applied to the current world situation: “when crystallisation has reached a certain degree of density and so-called ‘hardness,’ it is easily shattered and destroyed and man, born in Capricorn, then brings about his own destruction; this is due to his fundamentally materialistic nature, plus the ‘blows of fate’ which are the enactments of the law of karma.Again and again, a certain measure of concreteness is achieved, only again to undergo destruction, prior to the release of the life and the rebuilding of the form....Capricorn is, therefore, the sign of what has been called esoterically ‘periodic arresting.’ Progress becomes impossible under the existing forms, and there has to be the descent into the valley of pain, despair and death before a fresh attempt to scale the heights takes place....Capricorn is, as a consequence of all the above, the sign in which is inaugurated a new cycle of effort, whether this effort is in connection with the individual man or with the initiate.Effort, strain, struggle, the fight with the forces native to the underworld, or the strenuous conditions entailed by the tests of discipleship or initiation—these are distinctive of experience in Capricorn.”
How fitting this passage is to the current disturbances we are experiencing in the world economy.With the passage of Pluto into Capricorn comes the power to destroy the crystallised obstacles to a more spiritual type of globalisation.Rather than one dictated by self-serving financial institutions and corporate economic policies, we will have the opportunity to create more inclusive and constructive systems that benefit the many instead of only a few.Pluto will be in Capricorn for the next two decades and so we can expect much that is crystallised in the world psyche to shatter bringing the opportunity to resurrect and redirect the life-force along sounder lines.As Saturn, the great planet of karma rules Capricorn, the chance for redemptive change on a planetary scale is with us and the opportunities to redeem old habits of thought and behaviour on a world scale are unparalleled.
The fairer distribution of wealth and planetary resources is a subject whose time has come and the public discussions that are now taking place will hopefully have a positive impact on the policies of governments worldwide.The freeing up of money from the bond of materialism is one of the major challenges of our time.The darkness of the times we live in is the needed backdrop to such a change too and from this we can take heart.In the Agni Yoga teachings we are told, “Only in spheres where a shadow veils the vision can the spirit seek the Light.Only where the shadow stands behind its back can the spirit display its strength.Only where the shadow conceals the far-off world can the spirit reveal its power to discrimination.Therefore, the growth of the spirit is quickened through obstacles….The knowledge of transmutation will reveal all possibilities.Therefore, when the fiery experiment is confirmed for humanity it’s offering will be unlimited.” 3
This theme is then continued in the book Infinity II, of the same series of teachings, where we are advised, “The cosmic construction is under strain; therefore, the tension of the nations is so irrepressible.Each country is like a chord in the cosmic creativity.As the subterranean fire continuously links the centres, so do the events link the countries.Under the pressure of the Cosmic Magnet, all nations now show stress.With the approach of catastrophe people sense the force of the shifting.It is a very serious time; events are being generated.Thus, the tension of the time can create a new step.It is a very difficult time.Darkness always veils the horizon before the dawn.”
New patterns of world interaction are on the verge of externalising and the ethers are currently being subjected to much stress and strain.In many of a sensitive disposition, this is generating strange new psychological pressures that are hard to bear, but it is under such conditions that the strength and the power to serve are cultivated, and the opportunities that lie in the “tension of the time” are to be welcomed therefore.It is indeed a serious time in which global events are being generated, but this is indicative of energetic activity taking place in the world of causes where powerful new ideas are moving outwards from the world of meaning and into human consciousness.Like the seed that pushes its way through the earth into the light of day, all that lies in the way is being disturbed, broken up and cast aside.The destructive forces that we see at work on so many levels are not so much the work of evil forces as the result of humanity's own resistance to the new, externalising pattern of things.While it is true that evil will take hold and utilise any opportunity it is provided with, we are assured that the heart of humanity is sound, and can ultimately be relied upon to side with the forces of light.
With this in mind let us join together to direct the light of Capricorn into that which is in process of externalising and further prepare the way for the glory that is to come.
1 Collected Writings Vol.VII, p.291 April 1887, H.P.Blavatsky
2 Light on the Path,pp 29-30M Collins
3 Infinity II, Sloka 139.H Roerich
A talk given at the Festival of Capricorn in London, January 2009