|These words of Alice Bailey describe the thrust of the evolutionary plan for our time. The crisis referred to was the global battle that raged during the first half of the 20th century—the two world wars that were viewed from the inner planes as one prolonged conflict. At that time, the spiritual guides of humanity harbored the hope that the horrors of war would awaken us from the ancient illusion of separation, based on the outer appearance of things in the form world, and pave the way for a new era born of the soul’s awareness of unity.
Tragically, it has taken the staggering crises of the 21st century to foster this awareness on a large scale. In the wake of a decade of disaster, magnified this week by the devastation of Haiti, the words above ring true with heightened clarity. With every passing year of this new millennium the outlines of the divine plan of evolution have become more lucid. Growing numbers of us realize that hidden forces are catalyzing a global shift in consciousness from matter to spirit. It appears that this intensifying time of transition is jolting us “out of the form and the material aspect of living—into the consciousness of the Soul.”
To ease the pain and sorrow of these times, it can be helpful to realize that a higher purpose is being served by the present course of events. A divine plan is working out. All who can read the “book of life” in the happenings of our time will discern the workings of the esoteric principle that the destruction of old forms precedes the creation of new ones. This truth applies universally to all forms—from the physical form of a human being to a community, a nation, and even a world order. Form dies to free the spirit within to take on a new and more appropriate form for the evolving consciousness. Spirit Itself never dies.
For a seeker of any era, but particularly now as an old order breaks apart before our eyes, truth is vital sustenance for the journey. As we move through this time of transition from one age to another, the light of truth nourishes the light of our souls and keeps us moving toward the source of Light. A new glimmer of truth may last for only a moment, like a flash of lightning that brightens the night sky. But light invariably attracts light. Its magnetism draws us forward on the journey toward even greater light and truth.
But what is truth? And how do we recognize it? In the post-modern era, intellectuals came to believe that truth, like everything else, was relative. There was no unassailable Truth because everyone’s individual truth was deemed equally valid. At the dawn of the global age of pluralism, this was a needed corrective which served to break the stranglehold of religious and cultural absolutism. But it also led to a blind alley. If there is no absolute truth, there can be no standard for integrity or morality.
And yet, within the swelling ranks of those who are awakening and stepping onto the Path, the soul has begun to recognize a higher dimension of truth. As Emerson wrote, “The soul is the perceiver and revealer of truth… We know truth when we see it… as we know when we are awake that we are awake.” Proof that universal Truth exists lies in its power to ignite sparks of recognition. Just as we know the power of beauty to open the heart, and the power of goodness to heal, we know the power of truth to kindle the light of the soul.
The greatest source of truth about this critical moment in evolution and what it portends for our future is the modern esoteric teaching known as the Ageless Wisdom. The books that appear in the name of Alice Bailey were written to prepare humanity for this radical shift in our evolutionary journey. Their purpose was to help us bridge the divide between the old age (of Pisces) to the new age (of Aquarius) by transforming our identity as physical beings to that of awakened spiritual beings, conscious souls.
The appearance of these books in the first half of the 20th century formed part of the Divine Plan of Evolution. Most of the books of Alice Bailey were transmitted to her by an advanced member of the Kingdom of Souls—a master of wisdom named Djwhal Khul. His mission was to reveal the workings of the spiritual realm of Reality and the Path by which human beings learn to contact this inner realm. There dwell the inner guides and teachers of humanity, the Great Ones who form the spiritual hierarchy of our planet and oversee the working out of the divine plan.
Despite the appearance of growing chaos in our world, we live in an ordered universe. It looks to the outer eye as if life on our planet is deteriorating, and yet we know that a global spiritual awakening is taking place. To the inner eye, the divine plan is working out in and through and behind the outer chaos. In response to the mounting toll of human suffering around the globe, the Soul of humanity is increasingly becoming manifest through compassionate giving and humanitarian aid. As the scale of catastrophe grows, the heart of humanity opens wider. External barriers are dissolving, soul consciousness is arising; all is in alignment with the divine Plan.
The awakened soul is the gateway to the new era. The development of soul awareness is as pivotal to the new age as was the development of mind to the cycle now ending. The ageless wisdom reveals that the human kingdom came into being millions of years ago when the spark of divine mind was implanted in the most advanced members of the animal kingdom of that time. That spark endowed us with intelligence that would allow us to eventually master the material plane of living. But it also contained a spiritual dimension that is emerging only now, as the soul comes alive within us and the new era unfolds.
Learning to see with the eye of the soul can help us move through the portal to the new era with wisdom and equanimity. It will also help us discover the unique role that each of us can play in this time of urgent need. Through the soul’s eye we recognize our oneness with all of humanity and feel moved to serve and uplift the whole. As the new age unfolds, we will come to know our place in the great Chain of Being. We will recognize the Kingdom of Souls, from which masters of wisdom guide our evolution, and will learn to serve the lesser kingdoms on Earth in fulfillment of the divine Plan.