CREATION OF AN ENLIGHTENED PUBLIC OPINION
The history of humanity has been that of the apprehension and the use of ideas. Ideas deal primarily with that which will eventually be, and are those spiritual and creative impulses which will supersede the old and build the “new house”, the new civilisation in which humanity will live. Cycle after cycle and civilisation after civilisation, the fresh stream of inflowing ideas has conditioned humanity's mode of life and expression. Through the impact of these ideas, humanity passes on to something better and greater and more appropriate to the life of a slowly manifesting divinity.
There are seven ways of working with ideas of constructive value and spiritual uplift. These seven ways are:
1. Imposition. Those who use ideas in this way wield them with powerful impact, emphasising the governing principles which must be assimilated by humanity. These workers bring about two developments. First, they initiate a period of destruction and of breaking up of that which is old and hindering, and this is later followed by the clear shining forth of the new idea and its subsequent grasping by the minds of intelligent humanity.
2. Deep thought, meditation, assimilation. Those who work with ideas in this way carry them deeper into the mass of humanity by building a matrix in which the ideas have a chance to grow and develop. By magnetic, attractive, sympathetic understanding and the wise use of action, based on love, they give ideas steadily increasing power to affect and change consciousness.
3. Manipulation, adaptation. As ideas emerge from the elevated consciousness of those who impose principles, they are rendered attractive (magnetic) by the second type of worker; these ideas are then taken by a third type of worker, adapted to the immediate need, and rendered vocal by the force of the intellect.
4.Harmonisation. New ideas must be blended with the old so that there can be no dangerous gap or break. Those who work in this way bring about a “righteous compromise” and adapt the new and the old so that the true pattern is preserved. They are engaged in the bridging process, for they are the true intuitives and have a capacity for the art of synthesis so that their work can help in bringing forward a true presentation of the divine picture.
5. Investigation. Some workers investigate form in order to find its hidden idea, its motivating power. Theirs is the art of scientific investigation. By understanding the meaning behind outer events, by recognising the causes which create circumstances, these workers are preparing that new world in which all will work and live a more deeply conscious spiritual life.
6. Idealism, evoked desire. The main work of servers along this line is to capitalise on the developed tendency of humanity to recognise ideas and – avoiding fanaticism and superficial desire – train world thinkers to so ardently desire the good, the true and the beautiful, that the idea which should materialise can shift from the plane of the mind and clothe itself in some form on earth.
7. Organised movement. This work lies naturally on the physical plane and is characterised by potent rhythmic implementation. It is a method now coming into power and increasing use. Translating the ideal into constructive activity, so that it will embody as much of God's purpose as humanity can produce, calls for much skill in action. The difference between the methods of the old age and those of the new can be seen in the idea of leadership by an individual and leadership by a group. It is the difference between the imposition of an individual's response to an idea upon his fellowmen and the reaction of a group to an idea, producing group idealism and focalising it into definite form, carrying forward the emergence of the idea without the dominance of any one individual.
Public opinion is the growing responsiveness to mass ideas by the rapidly evolving human mentality. This potent force has been much abused. Mass psychology and mob determination have been exploited down the ages, for the unthinking and the emotional are easily swayed in any direction. Hitherto this has been turned to advantage by those who do not have the best interests of humanity at heart. It has been used for selfish and evil ends far more often than for good.
Focused, determined, enlightened public opinion is the most potent force in the world. No ideology, no nation, no powerful group of human beings is immune to its reality. It has no equal but has been little used. Therefore, the problem before us is the creation of an enlightened public opinion based upon spiritually sound principles as a force for good within the world. Enlightened public opinion is positive; it does not draw upon negative receptivity for its effects. Its underlying premise is that mass thought and energy can be directed into right lines so that good motives and wise action can dominate human affairs.
At the heart of the responsibility for enlightened public opinion lies the power and the worth of the individual, epitomised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each of us, as an individual, is a definite and integral part of the whole. The value of the individual is surely based on the inherent divinity of the human spirit and on the integrity of the whole. The recognition of the common good, “each for all and all for each”, is the basis of enlightened public opinion.
Two spiritual principles are needed as focal points for the creation of an enlightened force within world affairs. These are light upon the way and practical goodwill. Light demonstrates as positivity. Light upon the way is the illumination of men's minds so that they can see things as they are, can apprehend right motives and the way to bring about right human relations. The motivating power of goodwill is essential to right action. Light reveals the goal; action, motivated by goodwill, releases the energy needed to achieve the goal. One spiritual activity which focuses upon increasing the inflow of both light and goodwill is World Goodwill’s sister service activity, Triangles. Individuals agree to form groups of three, and use a world prayer, the Great Invocation, to channel the energies of light and goodwill into human consciousness. For further information, please go to www.triangles.org
Through the seven methods of imposition, deep thought, adaptation, harmonisation, investigation, evoked desire and organised movement, these two formative creative impulses, essential light and love, have the power to re-orient the mass ideas of the entire human race. Seized upon by many minds, they can bring the idea of right human relations to a point where it becomes the ideal of the masses and will begin taking form in all national, public and community affairs.
We are all capable of adding our share of thought to the resource of an enlightened public opinion. It has been said that “nothing can stop an idea whose time has come”. Anyone who has struggled to work with ideas, to think them through into constructive forms, knows well that preceding the emergence of an idea into clear life expression is a long, often arduous process of thought, application and repeated rethinking and relating of the idea to daily circumstance. This holds true within the world body as well. An idea whose time has come within the public mind has done so because deep responsible thought by many individuals has prepared the way for its inclusion into the arena of world events.
GOODWILL: THE BRIDGE TO THE NEW CIVILISATION
There are around seven billion people living on our planet today. Within this aggregate we call humanity, each single individual has a life of his own, functioning as an individualised point of consciousness. This sense of individual orientation is the outstanding characteristic of a human being. Yet no single person stands alone, for each one of us is integrated into larger wholes from the moment of birth. Family life constitutes our first unit of experience; but race, religion, nationality, the type of work we do, the group interests we develop, are aspects that we come to see as facets of our being. These various categories of human living interpenetrate each other. We do not find this unusual. Humanity throughout the ages has created rich and varied civilisations and we live and function within them as a matter of course.
Our civilisations indicate an ascending life of human aspiration and endeavour. Humanity is not following a haphazard or uncharted course. There is a Plan. This Plan has always existed and is part of a greater design of the cosmos. Our civilisations are entities of varying life spans with the inevitable effect of conditioning man's existence. Civilisations are created by human beings, but they are built in response to the divine will of God. Ultimately it is more abundant life that we seek to express through our civilisations, but we must unfold our knowledge of God and our love for His creation in progressive, sequential order.
Material emphasis, not spiritual realisation, has governed the latest civilisation to emerge from humanity. Material perception, material desire and material purpose have guided our growth. But this focus could not have been maintained if mankind were not shifting from an emotionally polarised sensitivity to a truer, more mental apprehension of life's principles. Our gradual mental development, although relatively limited, is proceeding according to plan. Man's mind is threefold. It is the lower concrete mind that finds expression through material means. The soul, the middle principle of the mind, governed by love, and the abstract mind, are gradually becoming a conscious part of our lives.
Material development as a stepping stone to growth in consciousness has found its consummation in the preceding age of Pisces, lasting 2500 years. Although the momentum developed over the past hundreds of years exerts a powerful influence upon us, the weight of our concern must rest with the birth of a new civilisation as we gradually make the transition into the age of Aquarius. On it our care and attention should be lavished.
This new civilisation has the potential to restore God's Plan on earth. Through it the soul, the spiritual centre in man, can find its first expression through an entire civilisation. Politics, education, religion and economic concerns will continue to form the elements of our societies, but the foundation of our lives will be entirely changed. Self-centred awareness will be transcended as the focus of our attention is shifted to giving embodiment to the spiritual energies of light, love and power in a new civilisation.
Mankind is one. The barriers that exist between individuals, the partitions we have erected between nations and groups, the separatism that has plagued the human condition since time immemorial will be revealed as artificial constructions of our concrete minds. This does not mean that we will cease to be individuals, for each of us has a part to play in the ascent of humanity. It means that our individualised sense of self will be tempered by an enriched, expanded consciousness of the whole of mankind. We will see ourselves in a new light, the light of one humanity.
How is this massive change in consciousness to come about? The nucleus of the new civilisation exists today, nurtured and upheld by thinking, loving members of the human family whose lives are dedicated in service to the unfoldment of God's Plan. It is the first task of the new group of world servers, as they are called, to expand this nucleus outward. To accomplish this they must turn to the men and women of goodwill throughout the world.
Men and women of goodwill exist in their millions. Theirs is the power to change human ways of life. These men and women are not necessarily in the spotlight. They would be, however, conspicuous by their absence for they are the responsible, responsive members of our communities, cities and nations. They are the lifeblood of the world body and hold the key to the solution of world problems. They are energy transmitters.
The widespread recognition of the evils caused by greed and aggression in every national policy has made possible the emergence of a new worldwide attitude based on goodwill. The energy of goodwill is available to mankind in abundance, but it is largely an untapped resource. Stimulation and circulation of the energy of goodwill in human affairs will in its turn infuse the mass consciousness of humanity. Public opinion reflects a growing response of great masses of humanity to ideas of all kinds. The attitude of goodwill can become a staple of public opinion serving as a sane, sweet ingredient in the turbulence of these trying times.
Using the creative imagination can we see this vision? Can we become its bestower? Thousands of men and women stand as points of light upon the face of the Earth. This light radiates forth from the very heart and centre of their being, and this radiance will light the way into the new world. Through the lighted expression of goodwill the way is opened for our transition from one civilisation to another.