SECTION TWO - THE GENERAL WORLD PICTURE - Part 3
Again I tell you that even the Hierarchy itself, with all its knowledge, vision and understanding and with all its resources, cannot coerce and cannot forecast what mankind will do. It can and does stimulate to right action; it can and does indicate possibility and responsibility; it can and does send out its teachers and disciples to educate and lead the race; but at no point and in no situation does it command or assume control. It can and does bring good out of evil, illuminating situations and indicating the solution of a problem, but further than this the Hierarchy cannot go. If it assumed authoritative control, a race of automatons would be developed and not a race of responsible, self- directed, aspiring men. This must surely be apparent to you and may serve to answer the question which is uppermost in the minds of the unthinking, occult students today: Why could not the Hierarchy have prevented this catastrophe? Unquestionably the Masters of the Wisdom with Their knowledge and Their command of forces could have interfered, but in so doing They would have broken an occult law and hindered the true development of mankind. This They will never do. At all costs, man must learn to stand and act alone. Instead, having done all that was permissible, They now stand beside suffering and bewildered humanity and—with the deepest compassion and love—will help men to right the wrongs they have initiated, to learn the needed lessons and to come through this crisis (which they have themselves precipitated) enriched thereby, and purified in the fires of adversity. These are not platitudes but eternal truths.
This world crisis, with all its horror and suffering, is—in the last analysis—the result of successful evolutionary processes. We are ready to recognise that when a man's life cycle has been run and he has learnt the lessons which the  experience of any particular life has been intended to teach, his physical body and the inner form aspects (making the sum total of his personality expression) will begin to deteriorate; destructive agencies within the form itself will become active and eventually death will take place, resulting in the liberation of the indwelling life in order that a new and better form may be built. This, we perforce accept either blindly or intelligently, regarding it as a natural and unavoidable process, but normal and inevitable. We are apt, however, to forget that what is true of the individual is true of humanity. Cycles of civilisation such as that we call our modern civilisation are analogous to a particular, individual, human incarnation with its inception, its progress and growth, its useful maturity and its ensuing deterioration and subsequent death or the passing away of the form.
Forms are ever open to attack. A strong subjective life and spiritual detachment are the two safeguards. Where the form is more potent than the life, danger is imminent; where attachment to the material aspect or organisation is present, spiritual values are lost.
Today we are watching the death of a civilisation or cycle of incarnation of humanity. In all fields of human expression, crystallisation and deterioration had set in. Worn-out religious dogmas and the grip of theology and the orthodox churches have no longer sufficed to hold the allegiance of the potent, inner, spiritual life; humanity is deeply spiritual and innately religious but needs today a new form with which to clothe the ancient verities. Old political schools have been deemed inadequate and new ideologies bear witness to the strength of the life which is seeking more adequate expression; the educational systems, having served their purpose, are fast being recognised as inadequate to meet the need of the demanding life of the race; there is everywhere a cry for change and for those new forms in the religious, political, educational and economic life of the race which will allow of freer and better spiritual expression. Such a change is rapidly coming and is regarded by some as death—terrible and to be avoided if possible. It is  indeed death but it is beneficent and needed. It is this realisation of the passing of a civilisation which gives rise to the recurrent and foreboding cry, "This is the death of civilisation; it must not be"; "This is the end of the order, and the old order must be saved"; "This is the destruction of the old and loved values, and it must not be permitted."
That humanity is bringing about this needed change in unnecessary, cruel and painful ways is indeed true, just as it is true today that human beings by their wrong thinking, foolish habits of physical living and undesirable emotional attitudes do precipitate a final, physical breakdown and eventually death. Nevertheless, for the progress of the soul of the individual and the soul of humanity, death is inevitable, good and necessary; it is also a practice with which we are all most familiar in our own experience and in watching it in others. But we need to remember that the worst death of all (as far as humanity is concerned) would be if a form of civilisation or a body form became static and eternal; if the old order never altered and the old values were never transmuted into higher and better ones, that would indeed be a disaster.
We need to bear in mind also that the forces of destruction or death are two-fold: first, the rapidly emerging and developing life with its demand for more room for expression and fuller experience, and its spiritual aspiration for change and progress; and secondly, the reactionary forces and the conservative attitudes which adhere to the well known and the familiar, and which hate the new, the untried and the unknown. Both of these produce the great and divine transition from the past into the future, and from the old into the new, from experience into fruition and then into experience again. The realities are eternal and undying; the forms are ephemeral and temporary; the soul is persistent and deathless; the form is changing and doomed to die. The processes of evolution have in the past and will in the future prove successful in bringing forms to birth, to maturity and to death.
But (and this is the interesting and significant point)  humanity is for the first time aware of process. It has for the first time chosen intelligently to observe what is going on and to relate it to experience and to environment. This in itself indicates a stage of true and much to be desired development. Reasoning, analysis and the presentation of differing viewpoints are going on in every country on a large scale with varying results, based on differences of temperament, of tradition, of development and of training.
This stage of death and of birth (for the two are proceeding simultaneously) can be easily grasped by the esotericist as he studies the world war in its two distinctive periods: 1914 to 1918, and 1939 until 1942. The first stage (if you could see the situation as it truly is) was most definitely the death stage; the second stage, in which we now find ourselves, is literally the stage of birth—the birth pangs of the new order and of the new civilisation through which humanity's sense of life can express itself. The mother dies in order that the child may live; the form is sacrificed to the life. But today, the form aspect, the Mother or matter aspect, is dying consciously, and just as consciously the child, the infant civilisation, is coming into being. This is the new thing and it is in this that we are all participating. It is the death of the personality of humanity and the coming in of the soul.
Such a dying is ever a painful process. Pain has always been the purifying agent, employed by the Lords of Destiny, to bring about liberation. The accumulated pain of the present war and the inherited pain of the earlier stage (begun in 1914) is bringing about a salutary and changing world consciousness. The Lord of Pain has descended from His throne and is treading the ways of earth today, bringing distress, agony and terror to those who cannot interpret His ends, but bringing also a re-stimulation of the instinct to self-preservation which—in its higher aspect—is the instinct to immortality; it tends to focus humanity's attention upon the life aspect and not upon the form. The names of the Lords of Karma signify, symbolically and from the angle of their inner meaning, Relationship, Enlightenment, Pain  and Return. Ponder on this. They are all peculiarly active at this time, and in their activity lies the hope of humanity.
Ancient Karmic Events
It is not my intention to explain or elaborate the subject of Karma. This occult yet fundamentally exoteric theme, the Law of Cause and Effect, evokes a general recognition when called by this name. When called the Law of Karma, it is immediately regarded as mysterious, Oriental and new. Called (as it sometimes is) the Law of Retribution, an entirely erroneous connotation has become attached to it. Today, the karma of humanity is descending upon it. I would remind you, however, that the continuous emphasis laid upon the malevolent aspects of karma conveys a wrong impression and negates the full grasp of the truth. There is as much good karma as there is bad; even in the present world situation, the good karma emanating from the soul of humanity balances the evil which comes from the material aspect and is continuously over-emphasised. It is the rhythm of matter in contradistinction to the rhythm of the soul, and these constitute the initiating causes of the present conflict, both in individual lives and in the general world situation. When this is properly grasped, the true picture may emerge in your hearts and minds with greater clarity.
In my effort to make clear the picture, I shall have to overlook many essential details; I shall also be forced to take the always debatable position of making statements which cannot be checked and which find their sole arguments (as far as the average thinker is concerned) in deduction from the effects produced by causes that do not appear to the occultly unenlightened. In time to come, man will develop that mental attitude which will consider causes of greater importance than effects; he will then learn to consider with care the first steps taken in initiating any line of action, pondering upon and deducing the probable effects before committing himself to any specific deed. Only through pain,  error and consequent price-paying will this salutary stage be reached.
Today, all that is taking place is due, first of all, to the essential duality of man; in the second place, it is due to certain major lines of cleavage which were brought about by this essential dualism in an early stage of human history, and thirdly, to the growing tendency towards synthesis which the inflow of the Shamballa force is producing at this time. This is the simplest statement I find it possible to make anent this complex problem. With broad generalities I cover the past, indicate the effects which are now being experienced in the present, and forecast the future.
It was the coming into incarnation of the spiritually self-conscious human being which is the inciting cause of the present conflict. Had the sons of God not "come in unto the daughters of men" (which is the Biblical and symbolic way of expressing the great relationship between spirit and matter which was established in the human kingdom), had the spiritual entities which are humanity itself not taken unto themselves material forms, and had the positive spiritual element not attached itself to the negative material aspect, the present world conflict would not be taking place. But the divine plan of evolution was based upon the production of this relationship between spiritually conscious man and the form aspect, and thus the great Law of Duality came into action, bringing about the "fall of the angels," as they descended from their sinless and free state of existence in order to develop full divine awareness upon earth, through the medium of material incarnation and the use of the principle of mind. This was the divine plan, emanating from the Mind of God and swept into activity and progressive unfoldment by an act of His Will. At its inception, there took place the original "war in the heavens," when the sons of God who responded to the divine urge to experience, to serve and to sacrifice, separated themselves from the sons of God who responded to no such inspiration but who chose to stay in their original and high state of being. To this truth, Christ Himself bore witness in the story of  the Prodigal Son and his relationship to his elder brother, who had not left the Father's home. It is obvious, is it not, from this parable, where the approbation of the Father lay; a careful study of this story and an intuitive understanding of its implications may evoke some day a response to the "sin of experience," as it has been called, and a comprehension of the two major laws governing the process: the Law of Evolution and the Law of Rebirth. Here lies the prime initiating cause of what is taking place today.
The second cause arose slowly out of the first. Matter and spirit, focussed in the human family and expressing their basic qualities and essential nature, were eternally in conflict. In the early stages and during the long Lemurian cycle, infant humanity steadily evolved and yet in spite of this the lines of cleavage, though present, were not recognised. The latent spark of mind served only to bring a relative enlightenment to the five senses and their purely physical application. The physical life was strong; the deductive or self-registering life was practically nil. The life of humanity was then focussed within the physical body, thus fortifying and stimulating the animal nature and developing the physical organism and the various internal organs through the unfoldment of the five senses; man became primarily a selfish and a fighting animal with, however, at times, vague tendencies towards something dimly sensed as better and with moments of high grade desire which was not aspiration and the urge to progress, as we know it, but their embryonic forms.
It is not possible for modern man to vision or understand such a state of consciousness, for he has left it too far behind. The focus of the life force was also in the region of the adrenal glands, producing animal courage and resistance to shock. But the dualism of man's essential nature was, as always, present and the lines of cleavage gradually appeared; slowly yet steadily, the pioneering souls (a very small minority) shifted their consciousness gradually higher into the solar plexus and a recognition of the factor of desire for that which was material and a capacity for emotional reaction  began to develop. Hitherto, in Lemurian times, desire and instinct were identical. Ponder on this, for it is interesting because it concerns a state of consciousness of which modern man knows practically nothing. But, in Atlantean times, the lines of demarcation between what constituted purely physical life and that which—though still material—could be the goal of effort and thus acquired, began to control the purely animal nature; man began to be acquisitive and to surround himself with that which he wanted. The lines of cleavage between the instinctual animal and acquisitive man began to be more clearly defined.
Gradually the mental element unfolded among these pioneers just as the intuitive element is today unfolding among the mental types; men began to acquire some form of mental perception and to bring what little mind they had to the processes of increasing their material possessions. The stage of civilisation (which is basically a recognition of group relation) began. A period of urban existence superseded that of a pure nomadic and agricultural existence. Men began to congregate together for their greater material comfort and protection, and the rhythmic processes of concentration and their world-wide extension began. These cycles are similar to the inbreathing and the outbreathing of the physical organism of man. Some day a study will be made of these basic and controlling factors of human existence, dispersion or decentralisation, and community life or the expression of the herd instinct on a higher or lower turn of the spiral of existence. The past few hundred years have seen a major problem arise in the present tendency of humanity to collect together in great cities and to congregate in vast herds, leaving the countryside denuded of its population and creating serious problems of sustenance, of health and also of crime. Right before our eyes this rhythm is today changing and a serious problem is being solved; cities are being evacuated and—as men and women are driven forth for one reason or another into the country—the lords of evolution are forcing the breaking up of the rhythm of concentration and substituting for it the rhythm  of dispersion. This will do much for the race and will facilitate the unfoldment of a subjective synthesis which will greatly enrich humanity and give new values to living.
The lines of cleavage between the animal, instinctual nature and some form of desire (embryonic aspiration) steadily grew during Atlantean times and this early civilisation began to demonstrate its own note and to set new standards of material comfort and of selfish control on an increasingly large scale as the urban existence developed. It is perhaps difficult for us to visualise a world as densely populated then as is the modern world but so it was. The animal nature, being dominant, the tendency was towards sexual relationship and the production of large families, just as it is among the lower orders in our civilised areas today, for the peasantry and the slum dwellers produce more children than do the intelligentsia. In those far-off times, the only people who had any true measure of intelligence were the disciples and initiates; they guided and guarded infant humanity, much as modern parents guide and guard their children, and as the state assumes responsibility for the welfare of the nation. The Hierarchy was, in those days, present upon the earth as the priest-kings and they acted as focal points of attractive energy, drawing to themselves those in whom the more intangible values were slowly assuming a vague control, thus making the lines of cleavage between materialism and spirituality still more clear and definite.
We must remember that the spirituality of that time was of a very different quality from that which now goes under that name. It was in the nature of an aspiration towards a sensed hereafter, for a satisfying beauty and for emotional completion. There was no thought—as we know thought—in this attitude but only a reaching out after a sensed unattainable and for that which was desirable. This was fostered in the people by the Hierarchy through the gift of various inventions and by the use of the instinctual masses of men in building great and beautiful cities and stupendous structures, the remnants of which persist until  today. This was done under the expert guidance of the initiates and adepts who employed their knowledge of the nature of matter and energy to produce much that today man is gropingly endeavouring to discover and make possible. All that the modern processes of civilisation have made possible, and much more than that which today comes under the name of scientific discovery were known in old Atlantis, but they were not developed by men themselves but given to them as a free gift, much as people today give to a child beautiful and wonderful things which the child uses and enjoys but which he does not understand in any way. Great and beautiful cities, full of temples and great buildings (of which the Chaldean and Babylonian remains are the degenerate remnants, and the modern skyscraper the child) were everywhere to be found. Most of our modern scientific knowledge was possessed by these priest-kings and constituted in the eyes of the masses a form of wonderful magic. Sanitation, hygiene, means of transportation and air machines were developed and of a very high order; these were not the result however of man's achievement but gifts from the Hierarchy, developed or constructed under a wise guidance. There was command of air and water because the guides of the race knew how to control and master the forces of nature and of the elements, but none of it was the result of human understanding, knowledge or effort. The minds of men were undeveloped and not adequate to such a task, any more than is the mind of a little child.
The cleavage between the two groups (the one expressing the forces of materialism and the other the energy of light) grew gradually wider until towards the close of the Atlantean Age it was so wide, and the lines of demarcation between the two schools of life and thought were so clear, that a crisis was precipitated in the then civilised world of which the present conflict is a definite effect. Let us also hope that it constitutes a climax which will never again occur. Then took place the great war between the Lords of Form and the Lords of Being, or between the Forces of Matter and the Great White Lodge. A careful study of  volume two of The Secret Doctrine will prove enlightening to students, if they will study with particular care pages 275-466. To our understanding, this account may seem vague and obscure, but the issues at the time were clear. The Forces of Light triumphed because the Hierarchy was forced to intervene potently, and, with the aid of certain great Lives extraneous to our planetary life, They brought the Atlantean civilisation to an abrupt end after a long period of chaos and disaster. This took place through the medium of a culminating catastrophe which wiped hundreds of thousands of human beings off the face of the earth. This historical event has been preserved for us in the universal legend of the great flood.
Those who survived are symbolically spoken of in the Bible as those who were saved in Noah's ark, and in the ancient writings it is expressed in the following terms:
"Like as a dragon snake uncoils slowly its body, so the sons of men, led on by the Sons of Wisdom, opened their folds and spreading out like a running stream of sweet waters.... Many of the faint- hearted among them perished on their way. But most were saved."
A close study of the tale as given in The Secret Doctrine will reveal the state of immature development (from the angle of our modern standards) and of the basically emotional and physical focus of the humanity of the period; it will show also man's magical ability to subdue and control the subhuman kingdoms and the elemental forces of the planet. These are two angles which have been but little studied.
Emphasis has, however, been rightly placed upon divine interference and intervention; this succeeded in salvaging an ethically sound minority (the word "spiritual" would not yet apply, except relatively) and in destroying those who were wrongly focussed or oriented and, therefore, dedicated to the life of material aspiration and perception.
This nucleus which was saved, formed the basis of our present root race, the Aryan. The whole theme of the Old Testament is built around the development and growth of this nucleus. Symbolically speaking, the inhabitants of the ark and their descendants and the Jewish race stand for the salvaged remnant of humanity—salvaged in spite of themselves and in face of stupendous difficulties by the Great White Lodge.
Two points warrant attention here. The first and least important from the standpoint of the soul is the disappearance off the earth of practically all signs of the wonderful Atlantean civilisation except for those few archaeological treasures which intrigue and interest modern research workers, plus those dim memories of ancient scientific achievement which lead the modern student to investigation and invention, and which incite him to discovery and the production of what we call the triumphs of modern science.
The second point is that for the good of humanity, the Hierarchy withdrew into the background, leaving man to find his own way out of the mirage and illusion of materialism in right ways and eventually to bring to an end the ancient cleavages. War must be brought to its final consummation and expression with a view to its final discarding as a means of arriving at desired ends.
The Modern Era
I would like to pause here and remind you of one or two points which should be recognised as we approach this modern era in which all these culminating effects are taking place. Let me state them concisely and clearly.
The lines of cleavage between materialism and spirituality (as we now understand the terms) have become increasingly clear. Two things have tended to bring this about. First, the pronouncement of the Ten Commandments. These, though negative in their form and dogmatic in their attitude, have made the issues and the required attitudes adequately clear. Owing to the relatively low stage of the  universal human intelligence at the time that they were given (for the Biblical dates are not correct and the date of their pronouncement is far older than is thought) they were expressed by the formula, "Thou shalt not," thus turning human attention to the material expression of material tendencies. In days to come, the Ten Commandments will be expressed in a reversed form of which the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes are the embryonic form.
Second, the Hierarchy withdrew in order that humanity, on reaching maturity and years of discretion, should not be handicapped and hindered by coercion and undue safeguarding but should express its major divine characteristics. Of these, free will and the discriminating use of the mind are the outstanding qualities. There was no free will in Atlantean days. There is a tendency to free will (note that term) today and we call it liberty and independence, freedom of thought and the right of the individual to determine the issues which control or should control the group of which he is a part. These are all attributes and qualities of free will but not the divine principle of free will per se. Of that we know as yet but little. Only the disciples of the world and the initiates know the true significance and implications of freedom of choice, and the right use of the will, and this because they are motivated by group good and the need of the majority.
The test to which humanity was to be subjected and which is today the controlling factor was whether—given mental development and knowledge—it would consecrate that knowledge and its scientific and mental attainment to group good or to selfish ends, to material issues or to spiritual incentives and impulses. This ancient conflict has now been carried through into another field of human expression, that of the mind and—as the race has progressed and the personalities of human beings have reached a high stage of integration and achievement—the conflict has become acute, the issues clearer and the ranging of the opponents into two clearly defined groups is now so complete that the final struggle has become possible.
Intelligent appreciation of the situation and a general capacity to present to the mind the underlying conditions has now been achieved by the bulk of the intelligent people upon the planet and, though the point of view is necessarily coloured by national traditions, inherited ideas and policies as well as by environmental control and bias, the race has gone a long way towards its final emancipation. There is, therefore, a certain measure of free will displayed, and this constitutes an entirely new factor and a most satisfactory development. But I would remind you of a most important point and that is that the masses of the people—the middle classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat (I use these words in their general sense and simply because of their significance and meaning)—are still victims of authority, of control, and remain relatively unthinking and childlike. This means that the true conflict is between a small minority to whom the issues are illuminatingly clear and who have definitely ranged themselves on one side or other of the embattled forces. A mere handful of men, the direct descendants or rather the reincarnations of the leaders in the ancient Atlantean conflict, are now on earth, directing the forces of light or of darkness and bringing into being a direct line-up of millions of men whose will is that of their leaders.
The lines of cleavage have grown steadily until now they can be expressed in terms of a humanity which is oriented towards the higher spiritual and altruistic values and whose keynotes are sacrifice, group good and world understanding, and those whose focus is predominantly material and whose aims are selfish, animated by ambition and the spirit of acquisition.
It was the acuteness of this situation, and the wide extent of the cleavage, which induced the watching Hierarchy to permit a direct inflow of the Shamballa force (in spite of its attendant risks) to pour into the world. The objective was to stimulate the free will of the masses; the result upon them has been relatively good as it has led to the formulation and expression of the great world ideologies—Fascism,  Democracy and Communism as well as that peculiarly distorted blend of Fascism and Communism which goes by the name of Hitlerism or Nazism. All these ideologies are fostered by the desire of the masses for the betterment of the condition in which the populace in any country lives and it has become focussed, expressive and creative by the force of the Shamballa influence. But another result of this inflow of the will-to-power has been to stimulate a certain group of outstanding personalities in many lands so that they have assumed control of the masses and can thus determine the policies and methods—religious, political and social—of the different nations. In every nation a relatively small group of people decide all important issues and determine all major national activities. This they do either by force, terror and deception or by persuasion, fair words and the application of ideological motives. Of this situation in the world the Lords of Destiny are availing themselves in order to bring the ancient conflict to an end and so enable humanity to pass into the new Aquarian Age relatively free and with a clearer understanding of right human aims, right relationships and man's predestined future.
It will serve no purpose for me to trace the relation of the present world conflict and the present world leaders to the conflict and the leaders in Atlantean times. Suffice it to say that many of the same personalities (on a higher turn of the spiral) are again playing their various parts in the great drama. It is no service to you and to your mental grip upon the situation for me to emphasise the details of that great war and its modern correspondences; it is of no value for me to compare the old methods and the modern usages whereby one side or the other carries forward the struggle for supremacy. You are in no position to verify what I say or to check the accuracy of my statements. The point which is, however, of major importance is for you to arrive at a clear understanding of what is at stake and a just appreciation of the values involved and also a correct grasp of the ideals animating the two groups of opponents.
In Atlantean days, it was stated that the battle was between  the Forces of Darkness (the so-called "Black Lodge of Adepts") and the Forces of Light (the so-called Great White Lodge, the Hierarchy of Masters). That was then approximately true, for the conflict was between two small groups and the masses of the people were simply the blind and miserable victims of the fight and of the situation.
Today, it is not possible to make such a clear distinction between the forces engaged, nor is it properly admissible. No nation or group of nations can be classed in a broad generalisation as either black or white. Bear this in mind. Only those with no vision and an intolerant and prejudiced spirit will speak thus. All nations have within them those who belong in their thousands to the category of those who are swayed by the Forces of Light and who, therefore, respond normally and easily to the concept of goodwill, to the desire for right relationship between all men and to the ideal of true international and world understanding. In all nations there are those to whom this position makes no appeal at all and they are still in darkness and blinded to the true issues. This is a statement of fact. Those who seek to see the establishment of goodwill and understanding are in the majority but are—as I pointed out in earlier writings—relatively futile to control the situation as yet or to force their leaders to follow the mass will-to-good. They are either inspired or protected by the Hierarchy of Light and it is with them that the task of stimulating the free expression of this goodwill must be carried forward when the conflict ends.
As for the other group, they are those who through inclination or ancient karma are the descendants of the Lords of darkness; their actions and ideals make possible the activity of the forces of materialism. I would have you note that phrasing. Even the most dangerous of them are nevertheless conscious of some form or another of idealism, but they are misguided and full of response to the will-to-power (power upon the physical plane and through the medium of form activity). This is stimulated by the inflow of the Shamballa energy. Because of these reactions and tendencies, they constitute focal points for those Lives and  Energies which are inherent in matter itself and whose influence and work are dedicated to the preservation of form, and of that which is. They endeavour constantly to negate the new and to hold back the evolution and development of the human consciousness. Forget not that the real issue is in the field of consciousness and that the struggle is between form and the life within the form, and between progress, leading to the liberation of the human spirit, and reactionary activity, leading to the imprisonment of the human consciousness and the restriction of its free expression.
I would pause here and solemnly beg you not to make the lines of cleavage wider by placing yourself, and all who follow your form of ideology, upon the side of the Forces of Light and all other people and their ideologies, with which you may not agree, upon the side of the Forces of Darkness. The issue is, in the last analysis, the right to express the will-to-good, the right to express human relationships, untrammelled by territorial barriers and national habits of thought; it involves the right and the felt necessity to shew love to all beings and thus stamp out all hate and separateness. It concerns the right of all nations to live at peace with their neighbours and harmoniously with each other and to express the true and subjective synthesis of humanity, and not place national possessions, frontiers, culture, power and ambition before the general good and the happiness of the world of men. This is the real and underlying issue. All the national challenges and patriotic calls are simply the attempts of the leaders everywhere to hold the people to a particular line of thought and of action. To make the world safe for democracy, to gain room to live, to defend the rights of little nations, to preserve the balance of power, to meet force with force, to restore ancient and historical boundaries, to impose some culture deemed desirable, to prevent economic destruction, to conserve national stakes and interests are all the talking points of the leaders today. But the real issue is the intangible one of Direction. Which way will humanity go?  Will it go the way of selflessness, expressed in a willingness to act always in the interests of all, thus promoting world understanding and world unity, or the way of selfishness and aggression, expressed in an intense nationalism, thus sacrificing the true and larger values of liberty, independence and freedom to think. This selfishness may show itself through active aggression or an active neutrality. Those nations who participate in no way in this struggle will lose much and—enhancing their own selfish struggle and clouding the real issue in beautiful words—will help to prolong the struggle and hold back their own people from useful opportunity.
I would point out here also that as in all families, business and organisations there are those who are the focal points of authority and the designers of the planned activities, so within that group or organised body which goes by the name of humanity there are similar focal points or those who plan, direct and produce the outer happenings and events. They are in the period of personality achievement—that time in which human beings, having achieved integration and a blended expression of feeling and perception and mind, are actively and effectively working upon the physical plane. These focal points are used to bring about two major changes in the world; the first is the fusion and blending of peoples and minorities so that coordinated empires and cultural nations are appearing everywhere and, secondly, the changing of frontiers and the altering of boundaries so that a complete re-adjustment of the map of the world in Asia, Europe and Africa can take place.
It will be apparent to you that three major methods or modes of producing these fusions can be noted. Great Britain, the United States of America and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (the U.S.S.R.) are working out the principle of federation, of relation and of the fusion of bodies into concentrated wholes, responding to the same inspiration but employing their own specialised methods to bring about the desired ends. Be not surprised by my  including Russia in this triplicity. Their ideology is fundamentally as sound as that in the other groups, but the difference lies in the factors of personality and the mode of applying the ideology. The control of powerful and dangerous personalities, and the use of the methods of force and cruelty have been avoided in the first two groups of nations, and the reason is based upon the different source of the inspiration producing the effects. Another reason is to be found in the placing of power in the hands of those who are historically unprepared to rule and of those whose past unfoldment has as yet brought them only to the nursery stage of evolution.
Nevertheless in these three groups there is much of interest to be noted. One of them, Great Britain, represents a fusion, the foundations of which have been laid in a long historical past of preparation for government; another, that of the U.S.A. represents a fusion which is unfolding and developing in the present which is new in its experiments, though employing factors from every nation in Europe; the U.S.S.R. in its turn represents a coming fusion or future synthesis. In these three, you have an interesting and immediate expression of the three divine aspects, each of which inspires and colours the embryonic civilisation. Great Britain expresses the will-to-power but on account of age and experience, dearly bought, this is today mellowed by justice and a growing understanding of human need. This, in its turn, is the result of the control for many centuries in the past by the aristocracy, with its paternalism, conservatism and its method of slow adjustment. The U.S.A. expresses the will-to-love, which shows itself in an ability to absorb vastly divergent elements and yet to present equal opportunity to all. This is brought about very largely because the control is, in this federation of states, in the hands of the bourgeoisie, with its financial goals, its power to determine living conditions, and its quick and sympathetic touch upon life. Its method is not that of slow adjustment but of quick assimilation. It is in that country also that people are most sensitive  to the influence of the Hierarchy. The U.S.S.R. expresses the will-to-create and to produce new conditions and a new order—planned and determined and foreseen. This has been brought about through cruelty very often, by a willingness to compromise and to change or lower the original ideal. This, in its turn, is brought about by the activity of the proletariat with its inability to govern, its desire to retaliate, and its ignorance of tradition and of inherited procedures.
A most interesting experiment is, therefore, working out in these three groups of interrelated elements and differing national ideals. The U.S.S.R. will eventually place its emphasis and direct its major interest upon Asia, bringing about great changes on that continent, as far as the Pacific The other, Great Britain, through its successful demonstration of the principle of federation, can affect major changes in Europe if there is an awakened insight, a true and sympathetic justice and wise patience. The U.S.A. has a similar task to perform for the Americas, calling for statesmanship of a high order and a spirit of understanding.
It will also be apparent to you if you have rightly understood the above suggestions that the Shamballa force is working through that community of federated nations called the British Empire and is expressing the will-towards-synthesis and the will to just and legal procedure. It is the force of the Hierarchy which can express itself increasingly through the United States of America, for an intuitive recognition of subjective realities and a real sense of the higher values can and frequently do control the impulses governing this group of federated states. The will-to-be of Humanity with its almost extravagant emphasis upon human values and the will-to-rule creatively is the contribution of the U.S.S.R., that great federation of republics. Thus the influence of the three great world centres about which I have earlier written can be seen expressing itself through these three groups of nations. At the same time, the Shamballa force is active in all of them, for it produces federation and synthesis. Its first great expression or demonstration  of the spirit of fusion took place in the 18th and 19th centuries, and led to the formation of such countries as Italy and Germany which were created out of many smaller states, duchies and kingdoms. A history of the trend towards fusion in the modern world would prove a most illuminating study. It would be found that the first faint indications were felt around 1575 A.D. This was due to the fact that permission for the inflow of this force was given when demanded at the Centennial Conference of the Hierarchy, held in 1425. I referred to this conference in my earlier writings. [v]*
In the second group of changing ideologies and of reaction to mass need, you will find France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal, all of whom have altered their ancient policies, changed their forms of government and reacted gradually and slowly to the Shamballa force. They have, however, reacted to that force through the medium of certain great and outstanding personalities who were peculiarly sensitive to the will-to-power and the will-to-change and who (during the past 150 years) have altered the character of their national life, and emphasised increasingly the wider human values. The men who inspired the initiating French revolution; the great conqueror, Napoleon; Bismarck, the creator of a nation; Mussolini, the regenerator of his people; Hitler who lifted a distressed people upon his shoulders; Lenin, the idealist, Stalin and Franco are all expressions of the Shamballa force and of certain little understood energies. These have wrought significant changes in their day and generation and altered the face of Europe, incidentally affecting Asia and conditioning attitudes and policies in America.
The results even when dangerous and terrible, have developed two vital characteristics in humanity. One has been the widespread development of the discriminating faculty, and secondly, a tendency to dispersion with its  consequences of diffusing civilised and cultural values and the diverse gifts of the many people to the world soul. The drift of people to the colonies from Great Britain, the drift of the people from every nation in Europe to America, North and South, the dispersal of people within national boundaries as the result of war and expediency such as the evacuation of cities has brought about today, the removal of people out of Italy and of groups of people within Russia, and the constant moving onwards of the wandering Jews indicate a breaking down, upon a world-wide scale, of all outer boundaries and the institution of a process of blending and amalgamation such as the world has never seen before. It constitutes an educational system of untold value, leading as it does to the constant necessity to readjust viewpoints, to change modes of living, to intermarriage and so-called illicit relations. The outer change is producing an inner synthesis and outer dispersion, and cleavages are working out interiorly in closer relations and a more tolerant spirit of understanding. The power to consider, to choose, to think and to discriminate is rapidly developing among all classes everywhere as a result of the many cataclysmic happenings, the presentation of many changing circumstances and the many points of view and theories of government and of religion; these grow naturally out of new contacts and the rapid presentation of events through the medium of the press and the radio.
It is this that is of importance from the standpoint of evolution and the growth of the world consciousness. The physical plane happenings are incidental and of no permanent lasting power.
The physical plane events and precipitations are carried forward and made possible through focal points of energy who are the world dictators, the world statesmen, and the outstanding human beings in all lands as well as by groups which are actively working in every country for their own ends or—as is more often the case—under the influence of some group ideal or wisdom plus personal ambition, personal will-to-power and personal aggrandisement.  We call these people dictators, demagogues, inspired leaders, or just and wise men, according to our peculiar ideology, tradition, attitudes to our fellowmen and our particular political, economic and religious training. But all these leaders are simply human beings and like other men—idealistic, mistaken, lovers of their country, egoists, impressionable, foolish, cunning, powerful, focussed on some goal or ambition, with clear vision and at the same time myopic reactions, cruel or wise as the case may be—but, in the last analysis, highly developed personalities. They are being used to engineer great and needed changes and to alter the face of civilisation. The wrong methods employed and the evil things done are the fault of humanity as a whole, and of the habits of thought which have made mankind selfish and cruel and cause this great and universal spirit of the will-to-change to manifest so powerfully and cruelly.
Blame not the personalities involved or the men who produce these events before which we stand today bewildered and appalled. They are only the product of the past and the victims of the present. At the same time, they are the agents of destiny, the creators of the new order and the initiators of the new civilisation; they are the destroyers of what must be destroyed before humanity can go forward along the Lighted Way. They are the embodiment of the personality of humanity. Blame yourselves, therefore, for what is today transpiring and seek not to evade responsibility by placing it upon the shoulders of spectacular men or any statesmen, dictator or upon any group. Look not to one person or to one group of persons and accuse them of causing the present world condition. Look not also to any one person or group to bring liberation or to find a solution of the world problem. That is for humanity itself to do. Humanity must take action and will do so, when the right time comes. To recognise joint responsibility, joint mistakes, ancient errors of judgment, wrong attitudes and habits of thought, world-wide selfish purpose and intent, a universal spirit of aggression which, down the ages, has  influenced first one nation and then another, the tendency last century to crystallise and become static, the reactionary forces on every hand—these are universal qualities and no nation and no race is free of guilt or has entirely clean hands. Also, no one national group is purely wrong and evil or purely good and unselfish. There are mixed motives everywhere. Nationalism, aggression, selfishness and cruelty in all countries face a desire for world understanding, peaceful relations, and an unselfish and beneficent spirit also in all countries. The Forces of Light find their adherents and their workers in every country though some are subjected to greater handicaps in expression than others. So also do the Forces of Materialism. And in between these two great groups stand the masses—waiting for the emergence of fresh opportunity and new revelations.
It is the universality of these conditions and the clear-cut issues that have made this period one of planetary opportunity and planetary initiation. Initiation is essentially a moving out from under ancient controls into the control of more spiritual and increasingly higher values. Initiation is an expansion of consciousness which leads to a growing recognition of the inner realities. It is equally the recognition of a renewed sense of the need for change and the wise engineering of these needed changes so that real progress can be made; the consciousness is expanded and becomes more generously and divinely inclusive and there is a fresh and more potent control by the soul as it assumes increasingly the direction of the life of the individual, of a nation and of the world.
In the last analysis, and from the standpoint of the Hierarchy, the present conflict between the personality of humanity (expressing the material values as the dominating factor in life experience) and the soul of humanity (expressing the spiritual values as the dominating factor in human affairs) is identical with the conflict which takes place within a human being's consciousness when he has reached the stage of discipleship and is faced with the problem of the pairs of opposites. This conflict is expressed in many  ways according to the point of view and the background of thought. It can be called the conflict between Christ and anti-Christ but not as those who usually employ those phrases understand them. No one nation is expressive of the spirit of anti-Christ, just as no one nation expresses the spirit of Christ. Christ and anti-Christ are the dualities of spirituality and materialism, both in the individual and in humanity as a whole. Or you can speak of God and the Devil with the same basic implications. For what is man himself but an expression of divinity (God) in a material form (the Devil), and what is matter but the medium through which divinity must eventually manifest in all its glory? But when that takes place, matter will no longer be a controlling factor but simply a medium of expression.
The battle is therefore on between the form side of life and the soul. The Dweller on the Threshold (the threshold of divinity, my brothers) is humanity itself with its ancient habits of thought, its selfishness and greed. Humanity today stands face to face with the Angel of the Presence—the Soul Whose nature is love and light and inclusive understanding. The great problem today is which of these two will emerge the victor out of the conflict, and which of these two great agencies of life will determine humanity's future and indicate the way which humanity will decide to go.
The issues at stake are clear to all right-thinking people. Intolerance and an intense national pride and self-satisfaction can blind men to the facts of the case today, but there are enough people thinking clearly to make the future of right decision more probable than at any previous time in the history of the race.
Preparation for World Goodwill