The shattering of the old has become the drumbeat of daily life in this transitional time. Chaos spreads as tornadoes, fires and floods ravage cities and entire regions, while earthquakes and tsunamis disrupt the lifelines of entire nations. Violence explodes across continents as people struggle to overthrow repressive regimes. Poverty grows as the wealthy concentrate the world’s resources in their hands. And everyone wonders what is really going on. Is it the end of the world we know? The end of an age? Is there really a battle taking place between the forces of spiritual light and material darkness?
The darkness of this time can seem unrelenting. Rumors fly on the Web of shadow governments conducting covert actions with secret powers. Retrograde forces threaten to turn back the clock on decades of human progress. And yet, at the same time, the Soul of humanity is clearly stirring. The light of the soul is breaking through after eons of immersion in matter. People at the evolutionary edge in every land are awakening to their higher selves and to a higher reality, slowly constructing the inner scaffolding for a new age. Given that consciousness precedes form in the evolutionary order of things, it is certain that “newer and better chalices of life” will follow.
For now, we’re faced with the challenge of straddling two realities and two dimensions of consciousness—one ebbing and one flowing. Our material reality appears ever more precarious, a notion once unfathomable, though the first astronauts to observe our world from outer space were struck by its fragility. Spinning alone in the darkness of space, our planet appeared to them as a small, blue orb with a peculiarly fragile quality. To those of us on the surface of the orb at that time, four decades ago, Earth seemed as solid and immovable as ever. Since then, however, especially since the beginning of this millennium, we’ve witnessed an on-going display of the infirmity of lands, oceans, rivers and species of life.
At the same time, we’ve been learning more about the true nature of matter. Science has proven that matter only appears to be solid. In actuality all is energy. We now know that atoms, once seen as the basic building blocks of matter, are subtle forms containing discrete clusters of energy. These energy clusters vibrate at different frequencies, which determine the density, and visibility, of a form. When energy spins at lower frequencies, forms are dense enough to be visible as objects. At much higher frequencies energy takes the form of light waves. At even higher frequencies, there are forms too subtle for our physical eyes to register.
It is predicted that in the future, the foundation of reality will shift from the illusion of dense matter to the suble energies that constitute matter at the subatomic level and to the field of energy in which all living things exist. With the evolution of soul consciousness, humanity will become aware of the etheric or vital energy body that gives life to the outer physical form and is the vehicle of the soul while in incarnation. We will have more refined faculties of perception and will generate more of the highly refined energy that is equated with light and spirit.
During the course of the coming age, it is said, a new planetary civilization will emerge, infused with the collective light of the human Soul and of the Kingdom of Souls. Such a world may now seem unfathomable, yet the discoveries of science and the omnipresence of “soul”—in book and song titles, on websites, even in advertisements—suggests that this higher dimension of ourselves is beginning to penetrate into popular awareness.
Shatterings and Quickenings
In these times of ebbing and flowing realities, the destruction of forms has captured the most attention. But there are also growing signs that shatterings of the material world are serving to quicken the unfoldment of higher consciousness. Forces of destruction have been relentlessly eroding the perception that matter is solid and permanent, while also accelerating the quest for what is eternally true and real. Growing numbers of people are turning within to contact the light of the soul, thereby fulfilling the evolutionary purpose for these times: “to shift the focus of human awareness out of the form and the material aspect of living, into the consciousness of the Soul.”2
Evidence of this shift appears in the reflections of those from around the world who have experienced devastation and have encountered the sense of oneness known to the soul. People spoke of this poignantly in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. A woman trapped in a neighborhood without food or water wrote of experiencing “the truth of oneness” through the extraordinary generosity of strangers. She added, “Perhaps crisis can give birth to new evolution.”3 An American woman living in Japan wrote, “I can feel my heart opening wide. I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step occurring all over the world at this moment. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.”4
The emerging consciousness of the Soul is, in turn, shattering systems and structures that have long suppressed basic human rights and freedoms. Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have dramatically demonstrated the power of the soul to break the stranglehold of deeply entrenched and seemingly immovable dictators. Tyrants who ruled with weapons of fear were toppled by people whose “only weapons are our dreams…of freedom and justice,” as protesters in Cairo’s Liberation Square sang out. A readiness to die for their cause—a declaration that the soul's liberation is more important than the ephemeral life of the outer form—remains the most potent weapon of freedom fighters.
Toward a Higher Order
The escalating drive for political freedom is a definite sign that the Forces of Light are intensifying on our planet. For all who seek freedom, the overthrow of external authority is central. The individual has to break free from the imposition of outer control—whether by a regime or dogma, a parent or a partner. But there are also interior structures that need to be broken apart in order to release the light of the higher Self—the builder of "the newer and better chalices of life" referred to above. Casting off external fetters is a first step on the path to spiritual liberation. Yet paradoxically, the removal of external constraints often magnifies internal impediments and patterns that keep repressive systems alive.
The deeper struggle was described in political terms by Filipino novelist Jose Dalisay. Having experienced the euphoria of overthrowing the Marcos regime 25 years ago, Dalisay offered a unique perspective on “the Arab spring.” Reflecting on the many lessons he and others had learned, during an interview with the BBC, he said: “Freedom is in some ways far more difficult and complicated than dealing with a dictatorship… It’s not enough to remove just one person, the underlying system must be reformed.” When asked if he had advice for protesters in Tunisia and Egypt, he replied: “The road to freedom and reform has really just begun.”5
The underlying systems in which we live can only be reformed by a shift in consciousness from self to Self. The road to inner freedom and reform has just begun for those who are awakening to the limitations of the material world. Travelling this road—to the point where the light of the soul irradiates a new world—is the central task for humanity in the coming age. It involves moving beyond the illusions of the form world and into a realm shaped by the constant interaction between consciousness and subtle forces—a realm where it is known that all of life is infused with a divine creative Force, a planetary Life evolving in consciousness and form, as we evolve within it.
In this mysterious time of transition, growing cracks in structures that once seemed permanent and impenetrable are allowing rays of spiritual light to filter through. Pillars of the old civilization constructed on the illusion of separation are being increasingly eroded by natural disasters and political upheavals, as the soul of humanity slowly enters the world. The future is already being born in us and through us, as soul awareness penetrates the realm of everyday living with fleeting visions of a world without boundaries, where a new humanity is knit together in conscious recognition of our essential unity.
On January 13, 2011, a day of relentless devastation—from floods in Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines to violence in the streets of Tunisia and the Ivory Coast—a higher vision of our world was offered by an astronaut, once again. A reporter asked a European astronaut on the International Space Shuttle if he had any “moral sense” about the earth from his vantage point in space. He replied, “We need to think of humanity as living together, not separated by barriers into little countries. "We really are all together.”6
|Nancy Seifer and Martin Vieweg
 The causal body contains light accumulated by the soul for lifetimes, as well as causes of karmic learning. For a deeper understanding of the causal body’s functions, see When the Soul Awakens, pp. 102-103.
 From The Externalization of the Hierarchy by Alice A. Bailey.
 Yuka Saionji on www.dailygood.org, March 11, 2011.
 Anne Thomas in a letter circulated by email March 14, 2011 and posted at www.odemagazine.com.
 BBC World News, Feb. 25, 2011
 BBC World News, Jan. 13, 2011