THE COMING ONE
Study Set 8
The New World Religion
Letter from Teaching Staff
Why Arcana Emphasizes the Full Moon Rhythm
Religion is the invocative appeal of humanity and the evocative response of the greater Life to that cry.
REAPPEARANCE OF THE CHRIST, Pages: 137-159
STORY OF THE THREE LINKED FESTIVALS
WRITTEN WORK TO BE COMPLETED
1.) Please write out seven specific ways of improving human relations in your particular environment.
2.) In 1943 Wendell Willkie pointed to the goal of ONE WORLD. At that time his ideas met with mixed reactions. Now, many years later, what indications do you see that humanity is moving in the direction of One World?
3.) How can an individual of clear thought and pure heart influence public opinion? It is very important that the thinking of all of us on this question be practical and to the point.
Dear Fellow Student:
Have you realized that when you meditate you are entering the world of the soul? The world of ideas is the world of the soul. Spiritual ideas reach man through the mind, for the mind is the instrument of the soul, and meditation is the method of contacting the soul. The seed thought used in meditation is an idea planted in the mind where it germinates and becomes rooted before the effect of its influence can be seen in the outer life expression.
Once the life of the soul is recognized as being real, then the person is interiorly pointed toward soul unfoldment regardless of how erratic his personality expression may be, or regardless of what is going on around him.
The outer effects of meditation are not immediately noticeable. The growth of an idea is similar to the process of the growth of a seed that is planted in the soil of the earth. Ideas also require the interval of hidden development under the surface. A seed expands and breaks its outer shell, it develops roots to anchor the new growth in the soil before it reaches in the opposite direction to continue growing above the surface where it can be seen and identified.
How do we recognize the reality of the life of the soul? The indications vary. One aspirant is torn by conflicting attitudes; he knows that his actions do not always express his better qualities; he is dissatisfied because his actions are following the old habits of his personality views, which are resisting the decision of the soul and the impulses flowing from the new viewpoint; so a conflict arises in the consciousness.
Another person may think that nothing has changed since he started meditating because his life continues along the same old pattern of outer activities. Perhaps he is looking for change in the wrong place and therefore fails to notice the change in his attitude toward the conditions around him, for inner change and inner growth always precede any change in outer conditions. The old pattern of activity was satisfactory while his attention remained focussed on personal aims, and when his responsibilities were limited to the welfare of his small circle: i.e. his particular family, school, church and social group.
The spiritual impulse of a new idea of wider scope than personal affairs disturbs this self-centered attitude, and then the person becomes aware of the thoughts and aspirations of groups beyond his circle of acquaintances, and his field of consciousness expands beyond that which personally concerns him. As the response to impressions from the soul becomes steady he begins to recognize inner relationships and the universal experiences common to all men, where once he saw only the outer differences. He now sees that the welfare of his particular group depends upon right relationship with other groups, and he begins to assume responsibility for the welfare of a larger circle of relations without neglecting his responsibilities to his family.
Like any natural process of growth, an idea develops gradually through various stages of unfoldment; it develops evenly under the right conditions and with faith in the process. We have faith that the seeds planted in a field will grow and produce fruit or flowers when the conditions are suitable. The proper conditions include a field, or garden, that is protected from extremes, from too much or too little sunlight; and given sufficient air and water, and well cultivated soil.
ARCANA selects a meditation outline to protect the aspirant from extreme conditions while unfolding his consciousness. Alternating periods of over-enthusiasm and periods of discouragement are the extremes to be avoided to insure even development and a steady rhythm of alignment with the soul. During the daily period of meditation the seed thought is exposed to the light of the soul, aired by the mind, and watered by aspiration. This provides the right conditions for the growth of the new idea in the consciousness of the meditator, also the right condition for the meditator's growth in spiritual stature. The soil for spiritual growth is self-forgetfulness. The only way to cultivate this is to love others more than oneself, and to help them recognize their innate divinity.
Spiritual life has a continuity and path of its own leading in an opposite direction from the aims of the personality; hence the conflict in the life of the disciple. He is obliged to live and serve in an outer environment that reflects his inner life as it had been in the past. His present circumstances are essentially the effects of the past and the working out of previous causes. All the while the soul is influencing the person to change his habits. Persistent meditation eventually develops the ability to keep the inner focus upon the souls intent, while fully discharging the obligations of life in the outer world.
Each new state of consciousness, each new step upon the spiritual path, has a vibratory rhythm that is different from the rhythm which was established in the past; therefore as a man changes interiorly he will be out of step with conditions caused in the past. That is, a person who is growing spiritually and whose consciousness is expanding, is quite likely to be out of tune and out of step with his immediate environment. On the other hand, being in full accord with our environment merely reinforces the status quo; this does not contribute to progress.
The high calling of the meditator in training is to channel into his environment, from Hierarchy through the soul and out into some form of appropriate expression, the new ideas that will eventually build a new civilization. Such is the effort to which ARCANA is dedicated. This is what esoteric work is all about. So by the light of the group soul and the strength of each other's persistence, let us together proceed with learning to meditate effectively.
Your loving companions,
The Staff of ARCANA
WHY ARCANA EMPHASIZES THE FULL MOON RHYTHM
Ideas come from somewhere. Inspiration comes from somewhere. Spiritual guidance comes from somewhere.
We locate that "somewhere", not in space, but in time and in certain relationships. We hold that the cyclic recurrence of the full moon marks a rhythmic beat which facilitates conscious interplay between the light and seekers after enlightenment, between the world of ideas and the human mind, between the true executives of the planet and the rank and file of workers for the common good.
In the mythology of the sun, moon and planets we are taught that the head of our planet, the Lord of Shamballa, regularly intensifies His meditation at the time of each full moon. Just as we have our daily meditation, He establishes contact at regular intervals with the earth's source of light and heat and life (the sun). At these times of contact, all dedicated work on the mental plane is facilitated and meditation is more effective.
It is good workmanship, then, to take advantage of this rhythm. Meditating groups who plan and regulate their work so as to intensify their meditation from the new moon until the full moon, and then energize their service activities from the full moon until the new moon, are part of a dynamic movement to mobilize and coordinate the meditative strength of the world.
This has nothing to do with overall conformity of method, or standardization of form, or promotion of any sort of super-organization It is simply a sensible preparatory step towards the realization of a new universal religion. It is simply acting upon a legend as old as creation and as new as tomorrow: the legend of the sun in its journey through the heavens, blazing a trail for the soul of humanity and charting both the direction and the tempo of man's evolutionary progress:
"In legend is expressed the sense of creative energy. And in a short formula is defined the hope and the achievement. It is a mistake to believe that legend pertains to fantastic antiquity. The impartial mind will discern the legend spun through all days of the Universe. Each achievement of the people, each leader, each discovery, each cataclysm, is veiled in winged legend. Therefore, let us not disdain the legends of truth, but let us discern keenly and cherish the words of reality. In legend is robed the will of the people and we cannot cite one legend which was false." AGNI YOGA, p. 18
All parts of the world do not use the same calendar. By the clock, high noon in London is an hour or more before dawn in San Francisco. But the evening of the full moon is one time to every man and sets a dependable universal time.
Uniform worldwide timing in man's invocative approach to God, and God's responsive approach to man, embraces in one broad cyclic experience:
One Humanity, and
The long chain of graded lives in between.
Into this unified experience can be fitted, comfortably and importantly. the whole gamut of different doctrinal beliefs and different forms of worship, the different tonal inflections and different local atmospheres that man in his individual diversity seems to require.
This is essential oneness including essential diversity. It is a cooperative whole that holds no threat to its many parts.
Three common denominators -- one time, one God, one humanity - afford a simple workable formula for a vast vertical alignment of spiritual interest between different levels of consciousness, and horizontal coordination of meditative service all around the world. Thus, when the meditator deliberately uses the full moon time to draw closer to his own spiritual guide and at the same time strengthens his relation with those in his environment who are likely to benefit from the good energies he has dedicated himself to channel, he is participating significantly in the spiritual life of the world.
The validity of this teaching is subject to experiment and proof: if it works, it can be considered true. A fair and reasonable experiment would be faithful attention to every full moon occasion within an appropriate group affiliation for several years. ( Obviously, if your full moon observance is irregular, you are not adhering to the rhythm.) If it works, the individual participant in a participating group will quicken his awareness of forces and influences that are moving together for GOOD. He will find his place of maximum usefulness among those forces and influences. He will discover and develop his special contribution therein.