"Are we there yet," or should we say, "Are we here yet?" How do we know we've arrived? What and where are the signs of humanity's spiritual paradigm shift?
We should all recognize we are in the midst of a spiritual reorientation. The Mayan Calendar suggests a new beginning, an awakening to our collective heritage. The Mayan Calendar-keepers tracked celestial events with the goal of aligning sacred rituals with the available heavenly influences. December 21, 2012 is the beginning of a Sacred Great Cycle, a 26,000-year event—the time it takes our sun to orbit Pleiades. The earth, the sun, our solar system, will be crossing the mid-plane of the Milky Way.
The Mayans called the Milky Way the World Tree—the giver of life. In symbols the tree itself represents the Great Cross formed by the Milky Way and the solar ecliptic (in the constellation Sagittarius). In its roots lives the K'awak Monster, also described as a mountain. A sacrificial bowl on its head contains a flint blade. At the top of the tree dwells the celestial bird—a Principal Bird deity, Itzam. The symbol suggests that to manifest our spiritual selves and attain the freedom of the heavens we mount the cross, sacrificing the lower self, and climb the mountain to become the immortal bird, depicting spirit.
On December 22, 2012 our planet enters the sign of Capricorn, gateway for the prepared disciple to the spiritual Hierarchy, the fifth planetary kingdom of lives, the Kingdom of Souls. Humanity stands at the first doorway to this higher kingdom. Many face the first initiation—the birth in consciousness to our indwelling spiritual reality, the spark of divinity that brings awareness that we are part of the One Life. Others, approaching the second initiation, a “Baptism of fire,” are learning to use the mind to quell the emotional waters and overcome glamour and illusion. Through it all humanity, as the world disciple, is being born out of pain and suffering. We move together from the dark ages of evolutionary bumbling to a spiritually magnetized development.
We long have struggled with the concept that we are a portion of infinity. As our spiritual legacy becomes clearer, we realize and know in truth that we have the potential to become an expression of divinity on the outer plane. Humanity is learning to identify with group consciousness and less as an individual. "Initiation is essentially an expanding series of inclusive recognitions." (The Rays and the Initiations, 341) [Author’s note: This quotation and those that follow are from the books of Alice A. Bailey and the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul.]
Yet what are the signs? How do we know? "One of the marks of readiness for initiation is the ability to see the expanding and inclusive Entity, and to note the law which is transcended when the part becomes the Whole." (Discipleship in the New Age II, p.420)
The Law of Economy is one of the basic fundamentals of matter itself. It follows the evolutionary path of least resistance. That Law no longer sweeps us along as we approach initiation. Instead we are drawn toward our spiritual destiny.
On the individual level, establishing Soul control of the physical and emotional bodies marks the early initiations. The forces used by the lower centers are gradually raised and transformed to fulfill Soul purpose. By using the creative throat center and the heart center vivified with Divine Love, the personality becomes an active participant in the Soul's objective which manifests in a capacity to serve humanity. It is a struggle that can seem never-ending from our limited outlook.
On the group level, humanity, seen as a group disciple, is on the threshold of taking the first initiation. Millions intelligently sense the divine expression of love-wisdom innate to the Soul—a sense that leads to the fusion of the group heart and the establishment of right human relations. We intuitively recognize that which has produced our current situation and can conceive the way forward utilizing the will-to-good. As we stand together hand-in-hand, each lifting the other, we strengthen all the links in the chain.
Currently we stand awash in the astral flood. Humanity's unbounded desires have created myriad global problems. The pain and suffering is obvious. There are many waves threatening to pull us under: selfish use of money, fundamental religions, dogmatic nationalisms, and more. All currents which empower the separative way create a riptide dragging humanity away from solid ground.
We are in the midst of experiencing the initiatory process: tension, crisis, and emergence, hopefully, to a higher level of consciousness and renunciation of our selfish ways. "The unleashing or application of spiritual energies is ever followed by crises. The light ever draws forth the shadows or that which is not of the light. The potent spiritual energies ever burn up in the fires of destruction all that which would impede the free flow of that energy. The dross, which would limit and distort the new possibilities, must be brought forward so that it can be known and then eliminated by the fires of consciousness." (Discipleship in the New Age I, p.678)
If we fix our eyes on the light streaming forth to humanity, all that crystallizes the illusion of separatism and stands as a barrier to Soul expression and human betterment can be transformed. There are no unilateral or individual solutions to our problems. Together as the chain we can anchor right human relations firmly on earth.
So what's holding us back from embracing the new vision? What's the cause? Some say it is our evil twin, the Dweller on the Threshold. It must be them, it's not me. The reality is that it is us. From our limited point of view we can't comprehend the bigger picture. We are fearful and cling to what we individually know. We disconnect from each other to preserve what is ours. A simple example is what happens when we are in our cars, isolated from other drivers. When two lanes merge into one it's easy to impose our will to be first, yet the same drivers would probably hold the door open for each other when entering a building. We need to move from "I win you lose" to "together we can solve this."
What one group proposes as the highest good for humanity might be offensive to the other. It is a fact that two men describing an elephant, one viewing it from the back end and the other from the front, would describe what appears to be two different beasts. We should not be debating good or bad, for judgment implies separation. If the world was black and white it still might be considered beautiful. Look at Ansel Adams’ great works of art. Whereas in the case of a rainbow or a southwest sunset, the rich diversity of color ads to our appreciation of beauty. Unity encompasses diversity. Let us rejoice in the fact we are thinking in terms of the betterment of humanity and trying to find solutions to our present problems. Goodwill involves planning and vision, using the mind, not just our desires.
Finding the path leading toward the future requires an inclusive vision. There are hopeful signs of our renunciation of the untrue motives rooted in the past. Many global movements are working to resolve our problems such as the peace movement, sustainable living, socially responsible business, inter-religious peace councils and all the hopeful youth movements including One, WeDay, Generation Waking Up, Free the Children. These and many other endeavors are all signs of the awakening heart of humanity. Herein lies the hope that we will cross the burning ground. Our current crisis will focus the fire of mind with purifying intensity on the dross of our old habits that holds us imprisoned. Recognition identified in the group consciousness of that which needs change will release us to adopt a more inclusive conviction.
Grasping our spiritual heritage, we are now aware of the choice before us: a Soul-conscious inclusive direction or the entrenchment of our separative thinking. "It is the unfoldment of the human consciousness in response to the presented conditions in any country or countries that is of moment; the ‘human state of mind’ is just beginning to focus itself on the things that matter and to express itself in a living fashion. The thinkers and servers must learn to concentrate upon the awakening consciousness, and not upon the superficial movements." (The Externalization of the Hierarchy, pg.74)
Sometimes pain and suffering are overwhelming: we fear there is no end in sight. Yet hope lies in recognizing the signs of progress. The Mayan Principal Bird deity, Itzam, represents spirit in matter. She is often depicted with her wings inscribed with the signs for day and night, which could suggest spirit hidden and revealed. The time for revelation is now. We are not alone. We are one.
The Mantram of Unification
The sons of men are One and I am One with them.
I seek to love not hate,
I seek to serve and not exact due service,
I seek to heal, not hurt.
Let pain bring due reward of Light and Love.
Let the Soul control the outer form, and life and all events
And bring to light the Love that underlies the happenings of the time.
Let vision come, and insight.
Let the future stand revealed.
Let inner union demonstrate and outer cleavages be gone.
Let Love Prevail.
Let All Kind Love.
~ From Alice Bailey, Djwal Khul in Discipleship in the New Age, Vol II.
Bob Svihovec, when asked what he does for a living, usually responds that he is an animator, breathing life into matter. His search for the path home has led to the stories which inspire us on our own journeys. He has published the graphic novel Hercules: The Mythic Journey Retold, and has developed several animated films—from the award-winning children's film, “Little Blue” to the just released Buddhist story, “The Ritual Cat.” It is his belief that we are all animators.
Travel well, laugh often and loud. firstname.lastname@example.org
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