THE WORLD SITUATION AND IDEOLOGIES
Before we take up the more technical side of our work, I would have you for a moment reflect upon the world situation and the world ideologies from the angle of education. I would have you consider it deeply from the point of view of the existing fundamental group relations, envisaging the necessity to prepare the youth of the future for the coming age—outlines of which can only now dimly be seen. I would like you to achieve if possible a general idea of the present world situation, dealing only with the broad and general outlines and omitting any study of detail or of specific personalities, except by way of illustration. In my other writings I have laid a foundation for this when I briefly endeavoured to consider the psychological problem of the various nations, its cause or causes, and the peculiar contribution which each specific nation has to make to the world whole.
We will try to recognise certain outstanding facts, though these facts may be more usually considered facts by esotericists than by the world in general. But we are working, or endeavouring to work, as esotericists. These facts are:
- The fact that there are certain basic ideas which have come forth down the ages and have brought humanity to its present evolutionary point. Ideas are the substance of the evolutionary urge.
- The fact that there is a hidden control which has persisted down the ages and which can be deduced from the definitely emerging plan, as far as the consciousness of man is concerned.
- The fact that all growth is through experiment, struggle and persistence—hence the present modern upheaval. It is significant of a “pushing through” to the light, the light of the world, as well as the group antahkarana.
It is obvious that a good deal of what I may give in these instructions may not prove of immediate application, but students are asked to ponder and to think along the lines which I may point out, for only as a nucleus of thinkers is thus formed who are responsive to the new educational ideas, does it become possible for the spiritual Hierarchy of Masters to achieve the intended results in Their work to bring into being the plans of God. The Masters can not and do not work without Their chosen physical plane focal points. I would ask you again to regard yourselves as outposts of the consciousness of Those Who, upon the inner side of life, are seeking to bring in new light upon the subject of social organisations, the relationship of the individual to the whole, and the new and desirable trends in education. I would ask you to submit yourselves to thought training with this in view. Note the manner in which I have worded this request: first, regard; then, train. First, faith as to contact; then the steps taken to facilitate and develop that contact.
Our theme is the study of the educational organisation of humanity, involving as it does (in its later stages) responsibility and right action. We shall consider, on broad lines, the development of man from an isolated personal unit, through the stages of family life, tribal life, national life, to the present stage of aspirational idealistic humanity. This idealism and this prevalent enquiry are responsible for the present world chaos; they have produced the conflicting ideologies, and the dramatic emergence of the national saviours, world prophets and workers, idealists, opportunists, dictators and investigators on all sides, in every department of human thought and in every land. This idealism is a good sign. It is also responsible for the seething unrest and the urgent demand for better conditions, more light and understanding, deepened cooperation, for a security based on right adjustments, and for peace and plenty in the place of fear, terror and starvation.
It is not my intention to handle this subject from the angle of the many modern textbooks on government, on law, or on the many schemes (economic, political, etc.) which are today so dominantly engrossing attention. I do not intend to go into details or definitions. The exponents of the differing creeds can provide the needed literature and present their case far more successfully than I can. The protagonists of an ideology can express their beliefs and objectives more fervently and hopefully than is possible to me. I shall write for you as one who sees the pattern emerging more clearly than you, because I can see it both from the inside and the outside, and also from the blueprints in the custody of the Hierarchy. I shall write as one who has, in conference with workers in the Hierarchy, sought to comprehend the objectives and to cooperate with the immediate plans in this time of planetary crisis and upheaval, of drastic changes, and of the stepping up of humanity to new levels of living and higher states of consciousness; as one who has studied somewhat deeply into the records of the past and into the modes of meditation, and has achieved thereby a measure of inclusiveness of past, present and future which is naturally not possible for you at this time.
Some of the plans and ideas controlling hierarchical action I will seek to lay before you, leaving them to ferment in your minds, thus bringing to you either rejection or conviction. I but seek to suggest. It is for you to make deduction, to draw intelligent inferences, and to think along the lines indicated. I seek to have you steep yourselves in this line of thought so that my work with your minds may be facilitated and the group building of the needed bridges of light may go on apace. Forget not that I, too, have to make an effort to render my thought and ideas intelligible to you, and this can only be possible if I demonstrate wisdom and you demonstrate intelligence and perseverance. Where the teacher is wise and the pupil intelligent, much then becomes possible.
I would ask that your attitude should also be (for a time at least) non-critical; that you discard temporarily your preconceived ideas; that you cultivate a willingness to consider and to weigh, not evidence this time, but an inner structure of esoteric happening of more import than the outer events, and thus grasp somewhat of the purpose of the new education. Ponder on this last phrase and deeply consider my meaning. I would have you achieve a vertical position, with a horizontal outlook. Ponder too on this phrase.
As we study the way of man as he gropes his way out of the animal condition to his present increasingly intellectual attitude, and as he presses forward into a future of widest possibility and opportunity, let us always remember that to the Custodians of God’s Plan and to Those Who are working out the new developments, the form side of life, the outer tangible expression, is of entirely secondary importance. Your vision is oft distorted by the pain and suffering to which the form is subjected (either your own or that of others, individually or en masse), so that you do not see clearly the purpose and the urgency of the life within the form. To many of you, for instance, the World War was a supreme disaster, an agony to be averted in the future at any cost, a dire and dreadful happening indicative of the wickedness of man and the incredible blind indifference of God. To us, on the inner side, the World War was in the nature of a major surgical operation made in an effort to save the patient’s life. A violent streptococcic germ and infection had menaced the life of humanity (speaking in symbols) and an operation was made in order to prolong opportunity and save life, not to save the form. This operation was largely successful. The germ, to be sure, is not eradicated and makes its presence felt in infected areas in the body of humanity.
Another surgical operation may be necessary, not in order to destroy and end the present civilisation, but in order to dissipate the infection and get rid of the fever. It may not, however, be needed, for a process of dissipation, distribution and absorption has been going on and may prove effective. Let us work towards that end. But at the same time, let us never forget that it is the Life, its purpose and its directed intentional destiny that is of importance; and also that when a form proves inadequate, or too diseased, or too crippled for the expression of that purpose, it is—from the point of view of the Hierarchy—no disaster when that form has to go. Death is not a disaster to be feared; the work of the Destroyer is not really cruel or undesirable. I say this to you who am myself upon the Ray of Love and know its meaning.
There are two lines of destruction: that which is meted out by human beings with no understanding of the life purposes, who act blindly and ignorantly, prompted by selfish desire, by love of power or by hatred; there is also that which is permitted by the soul in due and right time, and it comes when a new vehicle of expression is demanded by the indwelling life. Therefore, there is much destruction permitted by the Custodians of the Plan and much evil turned into good, because the end is seen from the beginning, and the consciousness is ripe enough in experience to relinquish the form because of the sensed benefits to be gained. This is true of individuals, of nations and of races. Sensitivity to world suffering is a great and divine characteristic; when, however, it is qualified by emotion, it becomes separative in interpretation and focussed in partisanship and personalities, and thus develops into a glamour and an illusion, confusing the real issue and blinding men to the divine facts.
I would remind you that the esotericist always argues from universals to particulars. This I shall always do, and thus offset the detailed point of view, the distorted foreground and the myopic vision of the student. We will study the major trends, the wide sweep of the emerging human consciousness, demanding—as it ceaselessly does—a change in education, religion and social organisation commensurate with its unfoldment. Civilisations, cultures, races and nations appear and disappear, but the same individualities come and go with them, garnering the fruits of experience, and progressively marching on to fuller Self-government and group organisation and synthesis.
I would remind you also that there is a peculiar quality in every human being—an innate, inherent characteristic which is inevitably present—to which one might give the name of “mystical perception.” I use this term in a far wider sense than is usually the case, and would have you regard this quality of mystical perception as inclusive of:
- The mystical vision of the soul, of God and the universe.
- The power to contact and appreciate the world of meaning, the subjective world of the emerging reality.
- The power to love and to go out to that which is other than the self.
- The capacity to grasp and to intuit ideas.
- The ability to sense the unknown, the desirable and the desired. The consequent determination and persistence which enable man to seek, search for and demand that unknown reality. It is the mystical tendency which has produced the great mystics of world renown, the large number of explorers, discoverers and inventors.
- The power to sense, register and record the good, the beautiful and the true. It is this that has produced the writer, the poet, the artist and the architect.
- The urge to discover and to penetrate to the secrets of God and of nature. It is this which produced the scientist, and the religious man.
From a study of these definitions you will see how inclusive the term “mystical perception” is. It is no more and no less than the power, innate in man, to reach out and to grasp that which is greater and better than himself, and which has driven him on, through progressively developing cultures and civilisations, until today he stands on the verge of a new kingdom in nature. It is the power to appreciate and to strive after the apparently unattainable good. Let this broad and general thesis therefore be in your minds as we study man’s developing power of self-expression, self-determination and self-government.
What are the basic ideas (beginning with the recognised instincts) which have led man, step by step, to his present struggle for world betterment, group evaluation and natural self-determination, with a view—unconscious for the most part— of providing a better organ of expression within the living organism, humanity?
I dealt with this elsewhere when discussing the present Ray Plan for humanity in the field of politics, of religion and of education, and I should like to repeat part of what is there said for it has a direct bearing on our theme:
“In the final analysis, the main problem of world government is the wise use of ideas. It is here that the power of speech makes itself felt, just as in the department of religion or of education the power of the written word, of the printed page, is felt. In the field of politics, the masses are swayed by their orators, and never more so than now through the use of the radio. Great ideas are dinned into the ear of the public without cessation—theories as to dictatorship, communism, nazism, fascism, marxism, nationalism and democratic ideals. Methods of rule by this or that group of thinkers are presented to the public, leaving them no time for consideration, or for clear thinking. Racial antipathies are spread, and personal preferences and illusions find expression, bringing about the deception of the unthinking. The man who has a golden tongue, the man who has the gift of playing with words and can voice with emphasis people’s grievances, the juggler in statistics, the fanatic with a certain and sure cure for social ills and the man who loves to fan race hatreds, can ever get a following. Such men can with facility upset the balance of the community and lead a body of unthinking adherents to a transient success and power, or to obloquy and oblivion.
“In the aggregate of this play with ideas, and in the constant impact upon the human consciousness of the great concepts which lie back of our evolutionary process, the race is developing the power to think, to choose, and to build a sure foundation. Through the evolutionary presentation of these ideas there is a steady march towards a liberty of thought (through the old method of experiment, of discard, and of renewed effort with ever newer concepts) which will enable mankind to build true to the great thought patterns which underlie the outer structure of our world. The attentive minds of the age are constantly being made sensitive to these patterns, so that the individual mind can recognise them and wrest them out of the darkness into the light of day. Thus will the true patterns be made available, to play their part in leading the race towards its destiny, towards those deeper realisations which mould the racial types, and to that synthesis of understanding which will result in a realisation of Brotherhood. Thus thoughts play their part, and the problem of ideas will be increasingly understood, until the time may come when we shall have our trained intuitives and thinkers who will be able to work directly in the world of concepts and bring through (for the use of the race) the pattern ideas upon which to build. In saying this I realise that I may be accused of romancing and of communicating the impossible; but time will demonstrate the truth of that which I predict. The world structure emerges from and is built upon certain inner thought patterns, and it is these thought patterns which are producing the present flood of governmental experiments among all nations. But today there is no training given upon the process of contacting the world of patterns and upon the true interpretation of ideas, and hence the problems. Later, when the race sees its problem with clarity, it will act with wisdom and train with care its Observers and Communicators. These will be men and women in whom the intuition has awakened at the behest of an urgent intellect; they will be people whose minds are so subordinated to the group good, and so free from all sense of separativeness, that their minds present no impediment to the contact with the world of reality and of inner truth. They will not necessarily be people who could be termed ‘religious’ in the ordinary sense of that word, but they will be men of goodwill, of high mental calibre, with minds well stocked and equipped; they will be free from personal ambition and selfishness, animated by love of humanity and by a desire to help the race. Such a man is a spiritual man.” (A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Vol. I, p. 179-181.)
Bailey , A. A. (1954) Education in the New Age, pp.108-116. Lucis Trust.