Today, many people are seeking authentic spiritual experience, both within and outside the major world faiths. Enlightened religious thinkers are striving to end age-old conflicts between differing sects, and to search for the living reality behind the outer forms. While affirming the enduring value of their own traditions, they are seeking the golden thread of truth found at the heart of every faith. This drive towards a deeper understanding of what the religious impulse signifies for all human beings is leading to a greater unity between diverse traditions.
As humanity moves away from the idea that any single interpretation of the truth must be the only and correct one, we can envision a future in which people of spiritual inclination respond to a shared sense of the sacred in each other, and celebrate each others’ holy days. This is already happening: for example, the great Eastern festival of Wesak, sacred to Buddhists and Hindus, is increasingly being recognised in the West. Such shared celebrations can bring about a pooling of spiritual resources, and a united spiritual effort, plus a simultaneous spiritual invocation. The potency of this will be apparent. New festivals celebrating the spiritual and divine nature of humanity may also emerge. A major example, one month after Wesak, is the Festival of Goodwill, celebrated annually since the early 1940s. This festival is also now celebrated as World Invocation Day, explicitly acknowledging the importance of a day of worldwide, united invocation. Throughout the year, other festivals of group meditation and invocation are already celebrated, which, like Easter, Wesak and World Invocation Day, follow the rhythm of the lunar calendar. As time goes on, these may become an acknowledged part of a new religious approach to the Divine.
Growing co-operation between diverse spiritual traditions can help prepare the way for the new revelations of spiritual truth which the evolving consciousness of humanity will surely evoke from the Source of all Life and Love, which many spiritual traditions name as God. We cannot know how these revelations will come - but the major faiths agree that, in times of deep uncertainty and change, a great spiritual Teacher may be expected. Buddhists refer to the coming of the Lord Maitreya, Hindus to the Kalki Avatar, and Christians to the Christ. There may also be a growing sense of relationship with subtler dimensions of conscious being, dimensions where the Saints, Bodhisattvas and Rishis of all traditions are constantly working to inspire humanity. A new understanding of this chain of spiritual hierarchy can surely revitalise all religions.
God works in many ways, through many faiths and religious agencies. The universal platform of religion in future can be built by emphasising essential truths and the unity and fellowship of the spirit. The most fundamental ideas which are universally acceptable are: the fact of Divinity, however named, both transcendent and immanent; our relationship to Divinity - we are all one in the spirit; our relationship with each other - human unity; the fact of immortality and of eternal persistence; the Continuity of Revelation and the Divine Approaches, known in the East as the Doctrine of Avatars and in the West as the Doctrine of the Coming One; and the Path to Divinity, travelled down the ages by saints of every faith.
One way that we can help to prepare for a more universal approach to religion is through the daily use and distribution of the Great Invocation, one of the oldest and most powerful prayers ever given to humanity; all who use it produce powerful changes both within themselves and within their environment. Since 1945 this prayer has been used by millions and is now translated into almost 70 languages. It is the most potent tool available to us for planetary transformation during this time of expectancy of a spiritual renaissance.
THE GREAT INVOCATION*
From the point of Light within the mind of God
Let light stream forth into human minds
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into human hearts
May the Coming One return to Earth.
From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide all little human wills
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the centre which we call the human race
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
*THIS IS A SLIGHTLY ADAPTED WORDING OF THE GREAT INVOCATION. MEN AND WOMEN OF GOODWILL THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ARE USING THIS INVOCATION IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE. WILL YOU JOIN THEM IN USING THE INVOCATION EVERY DAY - WITH THOUGHT AND DEDICATION?