For many years now, the World Goodwill newsletter has featured the service of various groups, under the title of “Transition Activities”. A transition implies a crossing from one state to another: in terms of consciousness, we might employ various metaphors, for example, a shifting of gears, or a renewal of view point. But if we are crossing from one state to another, where have we been, and more importantly in this time of world crisis, where are we going to?
Alice Bailey indicates that the transition now going on is between two different ages or epochs in consciousness. The age now passing, which has conditioned human civilisations for around two thousand years, she labels Piscean, whereas the age coming in she labels Aquarian. Whether or not one places any credence in astrology, it is impossible to deny the seismic shifts that are now going on in human consciousness, and in that complex system of relationships that we label ‘society’. In the Piscean era, there was a general tendency among most people to accept the authority of institutions, be they religious, political or cultural. But there is now a shift away from this attitude towards a determination to make up one’s own mind about the key questions of human life. This is connected to a growth both in available information, and in the power of the human mind to absorb and intelligently apply that information – two trends which are closely related to the rise in mass education. Naturally, this major change is not without its problems, as an unquestioning rejection of authority is just as mistaken as an unquestioning acceptance, and can lead to behaviour that damages the social fabric. It may take some time for the disruptive effects of this mass growth in intelligence to subside, but the final effect should be positive, with a populace more able to understand the complex problems that face humanity, and to find creative solutions.
At the same time as more and more individuals are unfolding intelligence, a further development is taking place among those who are already practised in the use of the mind. They are discovering an increasing urge to work together with like-minded individuals in coordinated groups, in order to realise a vision of a better world. The extraordinary explosion in the number of non-governmental organisations since the beginning of the twentieth century highlights this trend. And while many of these groups may find themselves, from time to time, in varying degrees of opposition to the status quo, a key feature is that they do not define themselves solely by this opposition, but have a positive vision of the future which they are seeking to bring about.
The groups included in this issue represent a spectrum of approaches, from the level of presenting a vision, through training and education programmes, down to actual implementation. Each phase is necessary to carry a high vision of ideals down into practical techniques for improving people’s everyday lives. Thus the work of different groups can be seen to complement and reinforce each others’ efforts.
These groups, and the many others like them, are building a bridge from the problems of today’s world to the solutions of tomorrow’s world. At a deeper level, they stand as examples of the bridging consciousness needed to produce a safe transition from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age. All people of goodwill can find inspiration and scope for cooperation with their work in service to humanity.