[People of goodwill everywhere]… need to learn to apply the Law of Love as enunciated in the life of Christ and to express the truth that "no man liveth unto himself" and no nation either, and that the goal of all human effort is loving understanding, prompted by a programme of love for the whole.1
Glamour: A World Problem
A Vision of the Future
“Loving Understanding” is the term given to the principle that will govern the next cycle in human evolution under the sign of Aquarius. It is described by the Tibetan master2 as “the law of the coming race.” He writes that this “Law of Loving Understanding” is “a scientific expression of a great coming evolutionary development in…human consciousness.”3 Already, according to the Tibetan, “advanced groups in every nation” are beginning to resonate to this Law—“responding to [its]…broader synthetic brotherly note.”4
This is a law which will eventually emphasise the eternal brotherhood of man and the identity of all souls with the Oversoul.5
In a future cycle—at a higher turn in the evolutionary spiral—the coming into effect of this Law will signal a new point of achievement for the human race. We are told that until it is an accomplished fact, there are no means by which to express its true significance.6 The underlying idea of the Law of Loving Understanding will elude humanity as a whole until the consciousness of human beings has further evolved.
Nonetheless, there are individuals within the ranks of the human family today who have evolved sufficiently—who have developed in some measure the buddhic or intuitional aspect—to foreshadow the great racial unfoldment that lies ahead. Their state of awareness reveals a higher aspect of the self, reflecting what President Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” They demonstrate in their lives a capacity to see, through the inner eye of wisdom, the subtle energies of the world. Through spiritual perception or direct knowing—the higher aspect of the intuition—they sense the inner unity of life, apprehending a vision of future possibilities for us all.
In practical terms, based on an innate sense of connectedness with others, such individuals make a conscious attempt in day-to-day relations to treat one another as souls. As the Tibetan says in A Treatise on White Magic, they make it a practice to “keep the inner link” and “think truth at all times."7 The goal is explained in the Tibetan’s instruction to a disciple:
…the true practice of loving understanding…leads to the seeing of all people in truth, with their faults and their virtues, their pettiness and their grandeurs, and still to love them as before and even more.8
The growing number of people in every land who strive to express such loving and forgiving attitudes towards their fellow citizens heralds a future time in the Age of Aquarius when such virtues will unfold on a racial scale. It will be a period marked by “a world-wide international spirit…recognition of one universal faith in God and in humanity [and will signal a]…major expression of divinity upon the planet.”9
Such a demonstration of harmony amongst the citizens of the Earth will give clear evidence of contact with the soul and invoke a further downpour of spiritual energies upon the planet. The expression of the Christ self (or Buddha nature) amongst the peoples of the world will foster a cycle of right human relations, demonstrating on a planetary scale the spirit of “at-one-ment, loving understanding and goodwill.”10 Those will be the hallmarks of the coming age, as members of the human family awaken to the reality of their true identity as citizens of the Inner Kingdom of Souls.
Lessons from the Past – Hope for the Future
In the coming age humanity will learn:
“Evolution…is in itself an initiatory process
leading from one living experience to another.”11
The Rays and the Initiations, 732
It is important to see this vision of future unity in the context of the current racial epoch, now drawing to a close, which has provided a platform of experience upon which to build. Clearly, humanity in the year 2016 has not reached a place of at-one-ment or spiritual realization. We live in a world rife with conflict, division, and strife. There are many reasons for this but one of the most illuminating explanations given by the Tibetan relates to the particular evolutionary cycle in which we are now—the Aryan12 or fifth root race—and to the ray energy that governs this phase of development—the fifth ray of the lower concrete mind.13
The fifth ray of concrete mind is the form-building faculty and this aspect of mind, when used in isolation from the light of the soul, can be a divisive force. Thoughtforms born of the senses and form identity are separative in nature. Thoughtforms created in alignment with the soul are cohesive and unifying in effect.
It is the [concrete] mind which separates and divides; it is mental activity…which produces the many differentiations.14
This statement applies specifically to the concrete, analytical mind, which governs in the realm of science. The concrete mind is the level of mind that gives credence only to that which can be seen, touched or measured. The higher aspect of mind is free from the senses and functions on abstract levels, which are formless and boundless. It is responsive, via the higher sense of the intuition, to that which is above the plane of form, just as the concrete mind responds to that which is in the world of form—via the five physical senses. Higher mind is resonant to the consciousness aspect—reflecting the light of love-wisdom and ideas held in the Mind of God.
In the current cycle of racial unfoldment—under the current ray influences—it is intended for the form-building faculty of mind to come into prominence. Humanity as a whole is intended to develop “reason, mental perception and other qualities of mind and thought life.15 The cultivation of this aspect of mind is a positive and necessary phase of human evolution.
However, one of the byproducts of concrete mental development is the creation of competing and conflicting thoughtforms by people of differing backgrounds and levels of intelligence. People with different points of view and degrees of understanding will naturally create divergent forms and systems of thought that will clash with one another, causing cleavages leading to divisions within society.
Current divisions of thought are found in all spheres of life, separating race from race, religion from religion, nation from nation and, ultimately, the haves from the have-nots. The most obvious example is the separative view of the .001 percent vs. the view of the disenfranchised 99.999 percent. Separativeness, dissidence and discord have combined as the backdrop to the daily life of much of humanity. In the language of the esoteric teachings, this is the result of the misuse of the form-building, fifth-ray concrete mind, very much with us in this second decade of the 21st century.
Such cleavages within society have escalated over time to the present point of crisis, which is providing an opportunity to discover a new way of thinking. To many, the happenings of these times are reminiscent of the parable of the sheep and the goats from the Gospel of Matthew (25:31).
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him… All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
In the unfoldment of consciousness through cyclic evolution, the separation referred to reflects a crisis of values and a subsequent division in consciousness within the human family. Most of humanity is still at loggerheads, locked into divided ways of seeing, and we are fast approaching a “dividing of the ways.” The Tibetan identified this current ‘crossroads in consciousness’ as a period of transition from one age to another—a point of decision for humanity as the old age of Pisces fades out and the new era of Aquarius dawns. In 1935 he wrote:
During the next two hundred years the old influences under which we have been living will gradually die out, and the new potencies will make their presence felt.16
Drawing attention to the pivotal nature of this crossroads, he described the inflow of Aquarian and other cosmic forces as:
…a proffering of opportunity to those who can avail themselves of it. We shall have…a period of discipline…wherein choices will be made, and through these discriminating decisions humanity will enter into its birthright. This influence is now being strongly felt.17
In 1935, the Tibetan observed that humanity was already feeling a pull to higher consciousness in response to Aquarian energies. He noted, as mentioned earlier, that advanced groups in every nation were beginning to resonate to the higher Law of Understanding that will govern the coming race. Groups of seekers across the globe—aspirants and disciples on the spiritual Path, and people of goodwill in every land—were already registering the “broader synthetic brotherly note” that will characterize the coming age.
Dawning of a New Age
Earth at Sunrise ~ Satellite Photo
“The Sun is in Aquarius,
for the Aquarian Age is just beginning."18
Discipleship in the New Age – c. 1945
“…the word "initiation" signifies
the processes of "entering into"…
Humanity [today] is undergoing a true initiation
as it enters into the new age of Aquarius…”19
The Reappearance of Christ – c. 1948
As we enter the Age of Aquarius, illumined people everywhere are responding to its universal note of love, understanding and brotherhood. The symbol for this sign is a man or woman bearing a pitcher of water, bringing to mind the following passage in the Gospel of Luke:
"As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters.” ~ Luke 22:10
The symbol of a man carrying a jug of water dates back to ancient times. In the story told by the disciple Luke, about Christ’s instructions for locating the place of the Last Supper, the water in the jug is commonly understood to symboloize “the water of life” or Spirit. That is also the essential meaning of the symbol for Aquarius—the sign in which the water of life will universally condition human consciousness and the human family will awaken to the spiritual reality of the inner worlds. Christ foresaw this future time, which is finally upon us after two millennia under the influence of Pisces—the sign of the fishes.
The Tibetan master tells us that Christ appeared in Jerusalem at the start of the new zodiacal cycle of Pisces, in which He was to become world Teacher, yet He “looked ahead to the work He would have to do in the Aquarian Age.”20 In His first appearance on Earth He was the embodiment of the principle of sacrifice as the World Saviour. When He comes again in Aquarius as Dispenser of the Waters of Life, He will be the embodiment of the World Server and the head of the New Group of World Servers. Disciples, aspirants, and people of goodwill within this worldwide Group will consciously cooperate with Him and those of His Co-workers from the Inner Ashrams of Light who will physically appear with Him.
This expanded perception of the role of the Christ and the spiritual Hierarchy in the coming age enhances our understanding of our own role in preparing the way for His return. The Christ—in the eyes of the Great Ones Who work with Him as Custodians of the Plan and Who look to us for aid in implementing that Plan—is the Teacher and living example of two ages: both Pisces and Aquarius. As both Savior and World Server, He stands as the divine mediator in the chain of Being that links humanity and Hierarchy. He is the spiritual head of the Brotherhood of Light that directs planetary evolution. He and the Masters of Wisdom, His disciples, exemplify the discipleship service that advanced humanity will demonstrate over the course of the coming era.
Crisis of Opportunity
Constellation of Aquarius
Aquarius is the sign of the Water Bearer that follows Pisces, the sign of the Fishes, in the Great Turning of the zodiacal wheel known as the Precession of the Equinoxes.21
The Tibetan tells us in The Reappearance of the Christ that: “This passing of the Sun into the sign Aquarius is an astronomical fact…not an astrological prognostication.”21 Nonetheless, the science of esoteric astrology, which focuses on the evolution of consciousness, can tell us much about events that will occur as the new era dawns:
…esoteric astrology is entirely concerned with the forces and energies which affect the consciousness aspect of the human being, and condition the personality life. [It]…is concerned with the soul and not with the form and…in the last analysis…with the Science of Initiation.23
It is important to understand the connection between consciousness, soul, and initiation, to better comprehend the role that humanity can play in the externalization of the spiritual kingdom. The awakening of the soul of humanity is an initiation into a higher stage of consciousness. The collective consciousness of the race is expanding in order to make it possible—in the cycle of growth immediately ahead—for large numbers of human beings to be initiated into or “enter into” the higher state of awareness defined as soul consciousness. This will prepare us to consciously cooperate with the members of the fifth kingdom in nature—the Kingdom of Souls.
In one of the Tibetan’s “Talks to Disciples” he paints a picture of what lies ahead:
We stand now on the verge of a…momentous event—the appearance of the fifth kingdom, as a result of the planned activity of the New Group of World Servers, working in collaboration with the Hierarchy of perfected souls, and under the guidance of the Christ Himself. This will usher in the New Age wherein five kingdoms in nature will be recognised as existing side by side upon earth.24
In the process of entering into a new stage of consciousness, enabling us to stand side by side with our Elder Brothers from the Inner Worlds, a portion of humanity—as a group—is preparing to take a great step forward. As the soul of humanity—the fourth kingdom in nature—awakens, we are undergoing a process of initiation into living relationship with the fifth Kingdom of Souls, a process that involves recognition of a graded series of expansions of awareness. We are experiencing, collectively, the birth of higher consciousness through the purification of the lower nature and a growing responsiveness to higher energies issuing from the subtle energy spheres of the planet and solar system.
This extraordinary time, reflected in the patterns of stars, signs, and planets, is spreading out before us in a predictable way through insights from the science of esoteric astrology. In this "astrology of the soul" there are three distinct phases of development in each of the zodiacal ages. These are called decanates or decans.25 The Tibetan writes extensively about the significance of the three decanates within each zodiacal sign, describing the influence of each period—each span of ten degrees—upon individuals or groups passing through it on the basis of “the direction” in which we are travelling on the wheel of life.
Esoteric astrology takes into account the stage in evolution of the individual or group whose chart is being interpreted. The degree of soul- vis-à-vis form-identity is reflected in the horoscope by the direction in which the entity is moving on “the wheel of life”—either clockwise or counterclockwise.26 When the personality or form life is predominant, the chart is read in one direction (clockwise, right to left); when the soul or consciousness influence comes into effect, it is read in the reverse direction. The Tibetan suggests that astrologers of the future ask themselves before interpreting a horoscope: “Is [this person]…progressing around the wheel as a personality or is he moving forward as a soul?”27
In addition, each decan of a sign can be interpreted on two levels. Those within the human family who are still moving into the realm of form (still actively building a vehicle for the soul) are immersed in the plane of matter and will thus experience the chastising influence of karma in the first decan of Aquarius, plus an opportunity to change the course of their lives. Those who have turned on the wheel of life, whether in this lifetime or a previous one, are transcending the influence of the world of form and escaping “the lure of matter”—in response to the call of the soul. They will find themselves growing further in consciousness, expanding in awareness, taking initiation, and “entering into” higher worlds. This latter phase—identified with the Path of Discipleship—is related to the idea of ‘ascension’ talked about frequently in recent times by lecturers within the spiritual community.
Basically, ascension describes the expansion of consciousness experienced by the soul who is emerging out of matter and into spirit on the Path of Return. Those who are awakening are ascending in consciousness and entering into living relationship with the higher worlds. Every person who is in this position on the path—at this time of the Great Turning in evolution now occurring—will have a special role to play in the period of accelerated change that lies immediately ahead. Because of the knowledge we possess and our responsiveness to inner contacts, we will be responsible, as we are able, for leading others who are just now waking into “greater light.” We will be offered the “opportunity” to hold the door of opportunity open to others.
In discussing the immediate cycle that humanity faces in the section above (“Lessons from the Past – Hope for the Future”) the theme of “proffering opportunity” was addressed. This phrase expresses succinctly the astrological influence of the first stage of human development predicted to occur in the coming era. It is, we might say, the message of the first decanate of Aquarius to awakening humanity. It tells us that the energies available in this sign of the Water-Bearer will provide, in the stark language of the Tibetan: “…opportunity to suffer and, through suffering, to learn to choose rightly, to analyse correctly and to decide upon the higher values.”28
Though this “may be a hard saying for some of you…”—in the Tibetan teacher’s words—responsibility to absorb the truth of this advice lies with each of us, according to the guidance of “the better angels of our nature.” As he told his disciples when they witnessed and questioned the destructive power of first-ray energies of will impacting the planet during the Great War, it may be “a hard saying…but your failure to recognise this truth and to respond to it does not affect the issue.29
The issue for us now, in this second decade of the new century, is that humanity is being offered a choice, during this time of trial and testing, as we transit together into a new cycle of learning and growth. We are being “proffered an opportunity” to choose our direction—in the face of difficult circumstances. The idea deserving serious attention is that we are now living through the difficult labor pains of the birth of the new age and are being “so tested” that our right response to the opportunity at hand will show our “fitness for the world service demanded in Aquarius.”30 We are being prepared to fulfill our destined role in the unfolding plan.
Humanity (human beings, individually and in groups) are meant to be mediators in the Great Chain of Being. The wisdom, power, courage, and humility to do so will blossom in the pioneers of the race in the coming era—the age of “scientific brotherhood” now upon us. As the Age of Aquarius unfolds the Law of Loving Understanding, which rules the consciousness of the Guides of the Race in the Inner Kingdom of Light, will hold sway. As this occurs, the Brothers of Light—our Illumined Co-workers from the Kingdom of the Soul—will come to Earth to again walk physically among us, as they did in ancient Atlantis. We will have the opportunity to stand with Them—They who embody the consciousness that “No man liveth unto himself and no nation either, and…the goal of all human effort is loving understanding.”
Martin Vieweg is co-author of When the Soul Awakens
and co-founder of this website.
1 Bailey, Alice A., Glamour: A World Problem, 166. Note: The image below also appears in the article “Christ in Aquarius” on this website.
2 The Tibetan, a Master of the Ageless Wisdom named Djwhal Khul, is often referred to as the Master D.K. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Mahatmas, or Great Ones, who serve as the spiritual guides of humanity and oversee planetary evolution. Master D.K. is the spiritual teacher who worked with Alice A. Bailey from 1919 to 1949 to produce 24 volumes known as the books of Alice A. Bailey, affectionately called ‘the blue books’ by esoteric students. This collection of wisdom constitutes a continuation of the body of esoteric teachings handed down from ancient times, known as the Ageless Wisdom.
3 Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I, 379.
4 Bailey, Alice A., The Destiny of the Nations, 47-48.
6 See The Destiny of the Nations, 47.
7 Bailey, Alice A., A Treatise on White Magic, 521.
8 Bailey, Alice A., Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, 763.
9 Bailey, Alice A., The Destiny of the Nations. 47.
10 Bailey, Alice A., The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, 108.
12 The Aryan race, as the term is used in the Ancient Wisdom, “includes the civilisation of India and all Latins, Teutons, Nordics, and Anglo-Saxons, and their various offshoots.” [EP, II, p. 580]. “The word Aryan here has nothing to do with Hitler's use of the word. It concerns the Aryan method of spiritual evaluation and the way in which people belonging to the Fifth Root Race make their approach to reality.” [The Unfinished Autobiography, 189.]
13 There are seven rays or channels through which energy circulates on our planet, in the solar system, and beyond. Each ray expresses a predominant characteristic, color, and method of activity. The first ray, for example, expresses the energy of Will or Power; the second ray Love-Wisdom; the third ray Active Creative Intelligence. The fifth ray, which governs our current cycle of racial unfoldment, is the ray of Concrete Mind or Science.
14 Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I, 376.
15 Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, 350.
16 Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I, 292. Italics added.
18 Bailey, Alice A., Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, 425. Note: The satellite image of the Earth above was posted in The Guardian – US Edition.
19 Bailey, Alice A., The Reappearance of the Christ, 82.
21 “The precession of the equinoxes refers to…a cycle which spans a period of 25,920 years, over which time the constellations appear to slowly rotate around the earth, taking turns at rising behind the rising sun on the vernal equinox.” See ancient-wisdom.com for details.
22 Bailey, Alice A., The Reappearance of the Christ, 80.
23 Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Astrology, 484.
24 Bailey, Alice A., Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, 32. Italics added.
25 In an astrological chart each of the 12 signs is comprised of 3 decans, 10 ° in length. “Decans are a…way of breaking down the qualities of each individual sign by separating each one into thirds of ten degrees each. Every sign will have three Decans and each Decan has a planetary ruler which becomes the co-ruler of that particular sign.” See Tarot.com for further details. The three planetary rulers of Aquarius are Saturn, Mercury, and Venus.
26 “The crucial question…to be determined in every case, is the direction in which the man is progressing around the wheel of life. The orthodox horoscope concerns the personality life and the form is bound upon the ‘wheel of life as it turns from right to left’ (from Aries to Taurus via Pisces). But the soul is bound to the wheel as it turns from left to right, going from Aries to Pisces, via Taurus.” — Esoteric Astrology, 103. Italics added.
27 Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Astrology, 282.
29 Bailey, Alice A., The Destiny of the Nations, 16.
30 Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Astrology, 143.