Thoughtline  February 1999

Invoking the Heart of L.A. by Miki Webb
The Los Angeles Heart Project: The Balance of the Head and Heart by Dan Underwood
The Cosmic Change Agent by Tom Carney

Invoking the Heart of L.A.

With the many bids for your attention during the holiday season, we are very appreciative that you have come to help launch the Los Angeles Heart Project. In a recent Irish film, a musician paid tribute to beginnings stating, "Once you have a beginning, the rest is inevitable." From an esoteric standpoint, this comment rings true. Only a small beginning may be apparent on the physical plane, but as the physical is the last step in manifestation, the completed project already exists on the subtler planes and can continue to filter down to us if we keep acting as anchors and invoking it.

You might want to note that term invoke, as it will come up numerous times in this talk. In fact, the talk will end with one of my own little serendipitous successes in invocation to help show the far-reaching magical power of this process. Djwhal Khul has suggested the Science of Invocation and Evocation, based on the power of thought, is the tool that will usher in the New Age. (A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Volume V, p70.) This science is based on the hierarchy of kingdoms and the reciprocal energetic relationships between them. In this hierarchy, a kingdom is negative to the one above it, and thus, invokes the positive higher energy available from that plane. The same kingdom is positive to the level below it, and evokes responses from that lower kingdom because of its relatively higher energy. The process, when rightly energized, and especially when done as part of a group, is as irresistible as the way negatively charged electrons are drawn to an atom's positive nucleus. Invocative groups do not require huge numbers of people to be successful. D.K. has said that wherever nine or more link hearts, they can be "occultly absorbed in the heart center of the Planetary Logos." (Esoteric Psychology, Volume II, p197.) Nine linked hearts can, thus, affect the whole world, and we have well over that number gathered at this meeting. The work simply requires us to maintain our alignment with the Plan, and to remain steady in our resolve, unperturbed by reactions, setbacks or lack of immediate results.

Why Now?
So, why attempt a beginning at this time of year when there are so many other competing demands on people's time and attention? Several esoteric reasons come to mind. First, there is special energy available astrologically now to guide what we invoke for the greater good into physical being. We believe this energy is why the New Group of World Servers Week and Christ's birth are celebrated at this time. It is now the darkest time of the year, but that darkness is what increases our desire for light and what allows us to see new light more clearly when it comes, just as we can see stars more clearly when it is really dark around us. We also believe the coming millennium carries its own invocative power as the world calls in new light to understand this century and to do better in the next one. Aquarian and 7th Ray energies are both now on the rise and can greatly assist in such invocative group work. Finally, D.K. advises the next touch from Shamballa is due in the year 2000. Anything we can do to increase the heart energy on the planet in the meantime is our best hope for being able to contain and distribute this coming Shamballa energy constructively.

Los Angeles Heart Project
So, what is it we are beginning today? We trust most of you received our letter earlier this year describing the Los Angeles Heart Project, but for those who did not or who could use a review, we would like to recap some of that letter's main points. In Externalization of the Hierarchy (p.85), D.K. states Los Angeles is the heart center of the United States. He further states the U.S. will play a vital role in manifesting the long awaited Aquarian Age. With major help from one member's meditations, we hypothesized that anything we could do to further the opening of L.A.'s heart would be in line with the Plan. In all of D.K.'s writings, only a handful of cities are identified as having specific esoteric significance. The fact that Los Angeles is so identified in the book about externalizing the Hierarchy, we took as a clue that work here could be particularly fruitful in expediting that externalization.

However, if any of you have tested out the notion of Los Angeles being the U.S. heart center on friends, you may have detected more than a slight bit of resistance. We have had responses range from amused incredulity, to mild disdain, to sheer horror. This reactiveness to Los Angeles is why we began our initial letter with a discussion of the prevalent negative thoughtforms about Los Angeles-the "city people love to loathe"-and have imagined destroying in films and literature far more than any other city in the entire world. We outlined Los Angeles' extensive sin list that no doubt has contributed to its reputation, including conspicuous consumption, urban sprawl, plastic people, mind-deadening diversions, road rage, smog, riots, gangs, corruption, greed, drugs, neglected schools, racial tensions and a burgeoning underclass. We noted, however, that Los Angeles is hardly the only city to be guilty of such offenses.

We, therefore, posited two additional reasons for the special psychic grudge against L.A. First, if Los Angeles is the only city that can open the U.S. to its heart, the forces of materialism would have a vested interest in manufacturing propaganda that would keep this truth buried. The second and more optimistic reason for the widespread negativity toward Los Angeles may be the growing intuition of humanity. Collectively, people may be sensing what must be relinquished in L.A., as a center of mass culture, if the world is to get better. Imagine how different the world would be if L.A., let alone the U.S., consistently displayed an open heart in its relations with others!

Truth's Bumpy Road
Schopenhauer once said, "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." My own reaction to the notion of L.A. being the U.S. heart center went through all of these stages. I was born and raised in L.A. and spent a fair amount of my youth plotting my escape from this city at the earliest possible moment. I went as far as running away, and then chose a college and subsequent work in Northern California, determined never to live here again. But, something always pulled me back. The last "something" was my job. Its headquarters had been in San Francisco for nearly 100 years, but suddenly the leadership decided to relocate here and offered me a promotion. My Bailey book studies began after this last return. When I first heard of the L.A. heart center connection, I thought the person was joking or testing my gullibility. Nonetheless, the notion began to percolate in my head and, gradually, not only did the resistance die down, the thought actually became a source of comfort that there might be a larger soul purpose to being in L.A. At some point, there was simply no more doubt about L.A. being the heart center.

This shift in perspective suggests that what we are able to envision is very much limited by our frame of reference, especially if that frame is negative. Opening that frame and acting as if some hypothesized potential is already true is a powerful service tool that we can all utilize to improve our surroundings. Refusing to collude with the national pastime of L.A. bashing is another service opportunity, as is actively seeking evidence of L.A.'s heart and sharing it with others. In any such sharing, it helps not to be too concerned about others' immediate reactions. We must trust their intuition will eventually sort out the truth of the matter, and that Schopenhauer's stages may be a necessary part of that process.

Heart Clues in L.A.'s History
One way we can open up our frame of reference regarding L.A. is to learn more about the city's history and see what evidence we can find of it operating like a heart. John Alexis Viereck, a longtime Bailey student, kindly shared with Arcana some of the insights he gained from this kind of research. Several years ago, on the anniversary of the last Watts riot, John helped organize a multicultural program aimed at healing the heart of Los Angeles. One of the participants in that event was the current Chief of the Indian tribe that resided in the L.A. basin before there was any city. The Indians' translated name for this area was "Earth People," a most inclusive sounding name suitable for a heart and rather prophetic of an area that would one day be home to people from every corner of the earth. D.K. has said that "name and form are synonymous," and that "these two words hold the secret of manifestation." (A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Volume V, p53.) We will come back to this idea after looking at other names used to reference Los Angeles.

The Spanish/Mexican influence on this region began in 1781 when, after a 1,000-mile trek on foot, a band of weary travelers from Mexico established a settlement by our small river. They had been sent by the King of Spain to deter Czarist Russia from moving down from Alaska to claim the area. The new settlers came up with a mouthful of a name which translated means "The Town of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula." John Alexis expressed the value of knowing and honoring this full name as it invokes the balancing, nurturing energy of the feminine. The full name also invokes the healing, building powers of the deva life. John reminded us that various devas will try to work more closely with humanity as this century comes to a close.

The feminine and deva aspects of the Spanish name enrich the note of universality and harmony with nature already invoked in the earlier Indian name. John Alexis also noted there were a group of Franciscans among the first Mexican settlers. Franciscans are a religious order founded by St. Francis, who understood the reverence due animals and nature. The ecological sensitivity of this religious order helped keep alive some of the heartfelt connection the original Indians displayed toward the land and animal life.

The Los Angeles Pueblo became an agricultural success as the Mexicans applied their expertise in irrigation techniques to overcome the challenges of a dry climate. A heart magnetically attracts new life and then radiates or pumps it outward to all parts of a living whole via an extensive circulatory system of arteries and veins. The irrigation channels that transformed this area into fertile farmland might be posited as the city's first externalization of this subjective heart structure. Unfortunately, just as blood cells are given little choice but to go along the channels where the beating heart directs them, the local Indians were often given little choice about serving this new system, though they were essential to its success.

In 1822, a revolution in Mexico ended all ties of the Pueblo with Spain. In 1846, the U.S. went to war with Mexico and Los Angeles became an American city as part of the treaty that ended that war in 1848. Once again, the people of the region were required to accept new elements into their population and the immediate impact did not appear to be for the better. The only new settlers the city seemed to attract were outlaws drummed out of the gold rush country in Northern California. In 1850, Los Angeles had a population of 1,610, while San Francisco had 35,000. In 1860, San Francisco had grown to 57,000, while Los Angeles only had 4,400 residents. During this time, there was a long drought, and the city was often called "Los Diablos." Gunfire, violence, gambling, prostitution and public drunkenness were rampant as outlaws, dispossessed Mission Indians, ex-soldiers and unemployed cowhands all clashed. One might see the 4th Ray at work here using conflict to find the point of harmony among diverse parts. This greater-than-usual freedom in Los Angeles to push conventional limits, to indulge excesses in the search for something better, to tolerate rebels and outcasts-all these developments fit with what might make a heart not only strong, flexible and tolerant, but also creatively courageous and, hopefully, someday wise.

Despite the uproar around them, a number of Angelenos set up businesses, planted orchards, vineyards and tracts of wheat. Eventually, the pull to connect to outlying parts (so suitable to a heart) caused L.A.'s local leaders to pay handsomely for the Southern Pacific Railroad to come to town in 1876. Nine years later, the Santa Fe line also came to L.A., completing another set of arteries and veins for the city and ending its isolation forever.

These two railways soon started a bidding war against each other. They advertised L.A. as an earthly paradise and succeeded in attracting 130,000 immigrants from many cultural backgrounds to the city by 1900. With this latest influx of immigrants, L.A. not only again added dramatically to the diversity of its population, it also greatly enhanced its quota of dreamers and imaginative risk takers who yearned for the new, the untried and the unfettered. This development would fit with the magnetic, attractive power of the heart and with D.K.'s statement that ". the heart is the custodian of the imagination." (Discipleship in the New Age, Volume II, p555.)

The rail lines soon allowed the city to share its life with the rest of the country. The first orange shipments took a month to arrive back east, but were so relished, they quickly led to a thriving industry that ended up attracting more settlers than the gold rush. It is interesting to note that oranges were the first product we shared, as above all other foods D.K. seems to view oranges as particularly life-giving-as if they directly carry some of the power of the Solar Logos, the heart of the Solar System.

In 1892, oil was discovered in L.A., again changing the face of the city. With the invention of the automobile, the oil industry took off and another system of arteries and veins spread over Los Angeles-motor highways. The flat terrain in Los Angeles was a boon to the first low-powered cars, as was our mild climate that allowed year-round operation. The city grew in every direction insisting on easy transit to all parts (just like a heart). We soon had more cars per capita than any other city in the nation. Fuel, open space and a sunny climate that allowed year-round business operations continued to make L.A. very attractive to entrepreneurs. New business, in turn, fueled further growth of the city.

L.A.'s next cutting edge step in connecting with the larger world came with the invention here of the first commercially viable plane that could carry more than its own weight. The airline construction industry burgeoned here, as did its offshoot-the aerospace industry. The arteries and veins of these transport industries have moved up a couple of planes to the air, but they are just as real and can reach even farther and with greater speed than their denser predecessors of irrigation channels, railroad tracks and roads.

Los Angeles is also the place where the film industry was born and continues to thrive, nurturing huge music, and eventually, TV industries in its wake. The circulatory systems of these industries are built in still subtler matter and have begun to connect the world, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally. The best group creations in these fields frequently tap even the intuition. World War II exploded the manufacturing economy here and gave the city its strongest sense of serving the larger good of the country in a time of need. The film industry was drafted to keep patriotic ideals of sacrifice, courage, freedom, honor and the ultimate triumph of good over evil prominent in the consciousness of our citizenry. After the War, film and TV idealized the possibility of the good life, though tainting it with a materialistic focus that fed conspicuous consumption.

The light engendered by the civil rights movement, as well as the pain of the L.A. riots and gang violence, all show the heartbreaking cost of leaving any segment of the population out of the plan for growth and prosperity. The global economy and the changing demographics in L.A. (where the white population is quickly shrinking to minority status) are forcing the recognition of our common ground and interdependence with all humanity. Though there remains much polarization, these elements provide an intensely rich breeding ground from which a creative, compassionate sense of universality can continue to grow in L.A.

Even our car culture, which many fear will be the death of us due to toxic smog, road rage and car accidents, is now attracting all the major car company design divisions from around the world. They claim the greater sunlight in L.A. and more open psychological atmosphere here encourages more daring, colorful and attractive designs. This draw to the sun in L.A. makes me hopeful these designers will further emulate the sun (the heart of the solar system) by developing viable solar-powered vehicles here.

In the realm of film and TV, L.A. has circulated a lot of trash, but also a lot of humor, goodwill and, occasionally, even an idea. Many put down the crass commercial productions that greedily pander to humanity's lowest instincts. Cynics use such phenomena to discount any spiritual core to the energy here. However, D.K. reminds us that the negative, materialistic aspect of new energy is usually the first to manifest. This is so because the materialistic aspect is denser and easier for our brains to register. Also, the Dark Forces work directly with matter and, thus, are most adept at manipulating this energy on the lower planes. The Forces of Light must wait for mentally-polarized groups to invoke the higher aspect of the energy on higher planes. Too often, these groups tend to become available only when the lower aspect has brought more problems than satisfaction. In light of this information, a heart center, as one of the first points of contact with new incoming energy, would likely be subject to various extreme excesses (such as L.A. has exhibited) while learning how to use the energy constructively for the greater good.

What's in a Name?
We have reviewed a few names for Los Angeles and have considered some of the different energies each name tapped. Now, it is quite common for people to simply call our city "L.A." If, as D.K. suggests, name and form are synonymous, some fear this shift is retrogressive, as it no longer directly invokes the angels. I am not convinced "L.A." is an unfortunate acronym. It may simply indicate the energy we now are meant to invoke. If we are moving toward one world religion, it may be time to de-emphasize the Catholic/Hispanic formulation of the city's spiritual connections.

D.K. says number is another "clue to the form and the purpose of the life which the form veils." (A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Volume V, p81.) Numerologically, "L" brings in 3rd Ray energy and "A" brings in 1st Ray energy. Both are on the 1st Ray line of force and, thus, directly invoke the will of God. This is a step beyond Our Lady's and the lower devas' roles to protect the spiritual potential in matter.

In the name "Los Angeles," all the letters but "o" are on the 1st line of force. The letter "o" represents the 6th Ray, which is fast cycling out of manifestation. No wonder people have had difficulty easily associating this city with heart energy. Condensing the name to "L.A." concentrates the 1st Ray line of force in the major rays. However, "L" and "A" add up to 4, which gives access again to the 2nd Ray line of force. Four also is the number of the human hierarchy and recalls our earlier Indian name of "Earth People." The Fourth Ray techniques of using conflict to find harmony gives an optimistic frame for all the problems we still see in the city. We also are told the 4th Ray is due to cycle back into manifestation in 2025. At that time, D.K. suggests we will see a glorious renaissance of creative works far beyond anything in history.

Hopeful Signs
One of my favorite lines from our first letter was, "Rather than falling into the ocean or being devoured by space aliens, we predict L.A. will, in the next 50 years or so, learn the lesson of harmlessness [the higher aspect of the 4th Ray] and become one of the most progressive centers of culture on the planet." Hopeful signs in this direction include the fact that L.A.'s universities have become world-class institutions in record time. Having indulged various excesses, L.A. now seeks higher balance. It is a mecca for organic foods, therapists, holistic medicine and New Age philosophy. The new Getty Museum definitely has been built with the next century in mind. It looks out on Los Angeles, giving a lighted overview of the connective arteries and veins of its freeways at night, and sunny vistas for contemplating beauty during the day. Though the current collection may be somewhat decadent, the Getty has more money for purchasing new art than almost any other gallery in the world. If the higher energy of the 4th Ray is tapped, it can become a powerful anchor for heart-worthy art that truly lifts the spirit and unites humanity.

In its search for a symbol with which the City could be identified, L.A. City Council just has provided one of the most hopeful signs of all: they have authorized a privately funded statue larger than the Statue of Liberty. It will portray an angel who will hold a sword above her head invoking new light for Los Angeles and the world.

The Music Center and theater also are growing in L.A., with a new Opera House to be built by 2002. Music and art are said to be the next two languages that will eventually supersede words. The shortening of our name from 36 letters to 2 letters seems in line with these coming wordless means of communication. Two also brings in the energy of love-wisdom and is the number associated with the Hierarchy. Ultimately, since "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he," "L.A." will have good or bad connotations depending on the thought energy with which we invest it. My vote is consciously to invest it with the rich reservoir of energies developed from its previous names, while invoking the higher aspects of its current, often abbreviated form. In this work, we might remember "l" and "a" are the last two letters in Shangri-La and the last two letters in Shamballa, so they must have some redeeming qualities!

Pondering even the negative names for the city such as "Los Diablos" or "La La Land" can help us to recognize and own our collective shadow, which is always the first step in integrating such energies.

In reframing our views of L.A., it might also help to look at New York, our country's new head center. Similar cleanup work there is proving quite successful. In a very short time, Mayor Giuliani has invoked one positive aspect after another and has made the public a critical agent in each stage's success. Schopenhauer's stages have greeted every one of his campaigns. "This time he has gone too far" would be a common initial refrain, but eventually the viability of his strategy has evoked people's intuition and cooperation. New York is now much cleaner. Crime and corruption are down, as are the number of sex shops and adult bookstores. The city, which faced bankruptcy not so long ago, is again prospering. His latest campaign sounds the note that citizens can greatly improve the wealth and health of the city by their thoughtful acts of politeness. I gratefully experienced some of this unexpected politeness when I was in New York last month. We can do the same kind of thing for L.A. by invoking the heart virtues discussed in our first letter.

Invoking the higher aspect of heart energy is greatly facilitated in group formation and is becoming easier as more and more of the population manage mental polarization and gain experience in group work. D.K. has told us that only as a group can we gain constructive access to Shamballa's energy. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." The liberating power of this dictum, when vitalized by a group's mental understanding and alignment with the greater good, is why we are so glad you have joined us today. As a group, we can invoke right thinking in each of our hearts and in L.A. at large.

I have used the term "invoke" a number of times in this talk. D.K. has said that invocation is a science that "embodies the seed concept of the new world religion." (A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Volume V, p71.) He states invocation must take the place of worship in any individual who knows he is divine. (Ibid, p69.) We need to realize we are invoking all the time. Unfortunately, of the 50 thousand thoughts psychologists say we have each day, most are only semiconscious and far too few are focused upward. Most of our energy still goes to meditating on selfish desires. When we join a group and begin to consciously meditate on an aspect of the Plan, our invocations become more powerful as our focus increases and we align with a higher stream of energy. We start to get corroborating signs that we, as a group, have tapped into a common higher stream of energy. Arcana members experience this phenomenon regularly at the Community Meditation Meetings in the way the various speaking parts and props seem magically to coalesce without any sharing of the program beforehand.

Invocation 101
To bring home the fact that invocation is a powerful gift that keeps on giving and can occur anywhere, I want to end this talk with an example of invoking elephants. While in a beginning drawing class, I was asked to draw a bust of a mother and baby elephant. The bust held my undivided attention for nearly three hours. My personality was frustrated at not being able to get the baby elephant's face to look right, but I kept on trying to find the right relationship of the parts. At the end of class, I was still critical of my progress. It was not until the following week that the real value of the concentrated effort became apparent.

The next week, elephants greeted me at every turn. The Cousteau Society magazine, usually devoted to marine life issues, arrived with the plight of South African elephants as the cover story. I turned on the TV only to be graced with Goldie Hawn's special on elephants. Later in the week, I tuned in to a Bill Murray interview regarding his latest film with an elephant, including footage of the close off-camera relationship they developed. A friend's child asked me to read to him from his favorite animal photo book; we both gladly soaked up all the information on elephants. I always have had a vague fondness for elephants, but each of these unexpected encounters elicited sheer delight. I was blessed with a new, more focused connection, interest and appreciation for these remarkable creatures after having simply pondered how to draw a symbol of their form.

Persevering with the question of "right relationship" in the drawing exercise invoked response. Despite the discomfort of the lower bodies, the personality's stubborn determination to see and express the true proportions kept me on the mental plane long enough for the soul to gain access and respond to the question from its higher vantage point. The soul brought to light what lies behind the elephant's form-the strong, resourceful, nurturing, nonseparative, service-oriented, 2nd Ray essence of these animals. It further showed how their form is uniquely designed to contain and utilize such energy.

Though the number of encounters has slowed since the original experience, I still perk up any time elephants enter the scene whether they are in films, articles, art, wild animal parks, TV or seminars. The latest example occurred quite serendipitously while in New York last month. For the last couple of years, any time I mentioned a possible visit to New York to an esotericist, I immediately was encouraged to check out the Nicholas Roerich Museum. Two of Arcana's members were particularly strong in this entreaty, one of whom had been to the museum over the summer and secured an unpublished print of one of the paintings on display. The steady stream of encouragement definitely helped me to overcome my talent for inertia after work and anathema for driving in cities I do not know well where parking is a challenge. I actually made it to the Museum and was duly rewarded with the warmth and vibrancy of the various pieces. Eventually, I encountered a painting entitled "The Ashram." My whole being tingled in smiling recognition of elephants seeming to emerge out of stone to greet me as they both graced and guarded the Ashram's narrow entrance. Two of the elephants mirrored the bust I had drawn a couple of years before.

I suddenly got the thought that all of Arcana should share in this vision of the Ashram's entrance. I decided to look for a postcard of the painting in the display case downstairs. I searched all the cards and posters to no avail. I checked with the staff person only to have him confirm it was not available. I had wondered which of the paintings Tom and Mary Carney had selected from the Museum, but made no connection until Tom shared his desire to hang their new Roerich print in the Workshop and finally mentioned it by name. I experienced more of those delightful energy tingles. Beautifully mounted, the full size print of "The Ashram" just has been hung on our east wall. Now, those gathered here and future visitors to Arcana Workshops will get to share in this bit of invoked community with elephants and the attractive power of our 2nd Ray Hierarchy.

May our hearts be elephantine receptors of light, love and the will-to-good for Los Angeles, so the Ashram's guardian elephants may herald us as companions on the Way.

Miki Webb
December 20, 1998

The Los Angeles Heart Project: the Balance of the Head and the Heart

Good evening. Tonight, we meditate in the sign of Capricorn, the sign into which the Christ was born. In case you've forgotten already because of the New Year festivities, we just celebrated Christmas seven days ago.

I would like to start off first by sharing a few-very few-thoughts on Capricorn. As a general rule, in a public meditation meeting such as this, we try not to spend too much time talking about astrology or the astronomical indications of the sign we find ourselves in. However, most of us here tonight are students of the teaching of the Tibetan Master. As esoteric students, we know it is a wise course to know a little bit of information about the energies that we are about to invoke, meditate on and distribute out into the world. So, maybe a few thoughts on Capricorn are not out of order. There is so much good esoteric information available about each astrological sign which is relevant to our monthly meditation meetings that it is always hard to limit oneself to a few choice morsels of illumination.

The Energies of Capricorn
Djwhal Khul tells us that Capricorn is one of three great doors in the zodiac:

1. Cancer admits the soul into the world center which we call Humanity. 2. Capricorn admits the soul into . that world center which we call the Hierarchy. 3. Libra admits the soul into the world center which we call Shamballa. . (Esoteric Astrology, p168.) Humanity today is ready for and needs to enter that second door-the Capricornian experience. We, humanity, must be reborn into the center we call Hierarchy. Another way to say it is that humanity is ready for and needs to undergo the birth of the "Group Christ" or what is called the "Christ Consciousness" which is, as we all know, "Group Consciousness." Humanity, with its main quality of "Active Intelligence," must invoke the energies and qualities of the Christ and the Hierarchy.

Djwhal Khul tells us that Capricorn brings out and stands for the best and worst qualities of humanity. One reason for this is because, in times past, there were only ten signs that affected humanity. Humanity, as a whole, was not then ready for the experiences of service in Aquarius or sacrifice in Pisces. In those days, Capricorn marked the start of the cycle of experience for the average human and marked the end of the cycle for those on the reversed wheel of life. In other words, the average person started life's experiences in Capricorn and ended in Aries. Advanced humans then went through what is called the reversal of the wheel and started their experiences in Aries and ended in Capricorn, the tenth sign in the zodiac. (Esoteric Astrology, p169.)

The best of Capricorn is symbolized by the fact that, "Esoterically, all world Saviors and Sun Gods are born in Capricorn but also the very worst type of man-hard, materialistic, cruel, proud, selfishly ambitious and egoistic. The head rules the heart in such cases, whereas in the perfect example of the influences of Capricorn, head and heart are perfectly balanced." (Ibid, p169.)

So, in the very best that Capricorn has to offer--World Saviors and Sun Gods-the head and the heart are perfectly balanced. I think that you would agree that, at the present time, humanity's head and heart centers are not in balance. This is true for every country in the world and also for most individuals (as above, so below).

So, the question becomes, what can we as trained meditators do to help bring about this needed balance of head and heart?

The Los Angeles Heart Project
As some of you know, on December 20, 1998 Arcana Workshops kicked off a very special project. This project has and will continue to consume a lot of time and energies of the members of Arcana Workshops. I am talking about the Los Angeles Heart Project.

Why is Arcana launching this effort just now? Because the time is right. If you read the news and analyze what is going on in the world and in the U.S. today, especially in the realm of politics and of public policies coming out of NYC/Washington (which is our nation's head center), it is clear that the head is getting all the attention and focus and the heart is being ignored and underused. I'm not sure I would go so far as to say that humanity is suffering from a heart attack, but I think we could safely say we are suffering from a lack of energy flowing into and out of the heart center, and this also is true from both the individual perspective as well as from the larger group perspectives such as cities, nations and humanity as a whole.

Even members of the press have called some of our new welfare and other policies heartless and unfeeling. From the cold clear mental approach and from the point of ultimate need, they may well be right; but, they could be served up a little warmer with a little bit of heart and compassion. There are so many illustrations of our wrong human relations that bear witness to the unbalance of the head and heart. But those, I will not go in to tonight.

Whether this unbalanced head/heart relationship is a natural and normal occurrence in this time cycle, or is intentionally being created and orchestrated by the Forces of Materialism, is debatable.

From a deeper, esoteric perspective, we know that the battle is on between the I Consciousness of the individual personality and the Group Consciousness of the soul. This is true of the individual and of the nation as a whole.

I think the main mantra of those who want to continue the I, the personality, is presently being called Individualism:

All these current ideas focus on the I, the individual, and relegate our groupness to the background.

But, as esotericists, we know this continued focusing only on the I of only individualism is not part of the current plan; it was part of and may have been needed in the Piscean Age we are rapidly passing out of. The incoming Aquarian Age calls for the integration of the I Consciousness into Group Consciousness. It calls for more cooperation, not less.

So, how do we as meditators increase this Group Consciousness and offset and balance the I Consciousness?

Opening the Heart Center
We know from D.K.'s teachings that the main center of reception of Group Consciousness and of soul energy is the heart center. So, the next question becomes, how does one safely open the heart center-whether individual, national, or of humanity as a whole? How do we open the window of the personality to the light and love of the soul? How do we open up humanity to the energies of Hierarchy-the planetary heart center?

The Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul, tells us over and over again that we should not meditate directly on any force center, including the heart center. This would be a dangerous and foolish process unless done under the watchful eye of a Master. I think the key lies not in meditating on the center itself, but rather on the energies or qualities of a particular center. Every force center is a product of and a meeting point of many energies; these various energies of a center are sometimes described as petals circulating around a central point. The number of petals represents the number of energies meeting in and flowing through a particular center.

The heart center is described as a 12-petaled center. This means that it has 12 major energies meeting in and circulating through it. Each of these energies has a specific quality to it. These 12 qualities of the heart center are also known as the 12 virtues of the heart. Therefore, if we were to think about and meditate on the 12 qualities or virtues of the heart, we would begin to increase the quantity and purity of these 12 energies; we would, in fact, be helping to open the 12 petals of the heart center. This would be a safe and effective method of meditation on a center.

The main purpose of the Los Angeles Heart Project, then, is to get individuals and groups of trained meditators (such as this group) to focus on and meditate on the 12 qualities or virtues that should be coming out of the nation's heart center-Los Angeles. Doing this would safely and effectively open the nation's heart center, the result of which will be an increased inflow of soul energy and group consciousness. This should balance out the over-stimulated national head center.

As part of the Los Angeles Heart Project, we have 12 public meditations planned. We are inviting the public to join us in group meditation each month on one of these 12 qualities or virtues of the heart. We have literature and handouts on these 12 qualities, for anyone who did not get the January 1999 Thoughtline.

Humility: the First Heart Quality
The first of these public meditations is in a few days, on January 17, which is still in Capricorn. The first of the 12 heart qualities or virtues that we are meditating on is Humility. Humility is precisely the needed attitude to overcome the lowest qualities of the Capricornian nature mentioned earlier, such as hardness, materialism, cruelty, pride, selfish ambition and egoism.

The Tibetan tells us, "Capricorn rules the knees and this is symbolically true, for only when the Capricornian subject learns to kneel in all humility and with his knees upon the rocky mountain top to offer his heart and life to the soul and to human service, can he be permitted to pass through the door of initiation and be entrusted with the secrets of life." (Esoteric Astrology, p169.)

The Capricornian experience is also undergone on the mountain top, for that is the vantage point from which the future vision is seen in all its glory. The mountain top is also seen symbolically as the maximum height one can achieve in any one life-the point beyond which further ascent in the current condition and with current forms and obstacles is not possible. And, as you know, we are holding the first meditation on Humility on top of a small mountain at the Griffith Park Observatory, where we, too, may gain a vision of the glorious future possibilities.

From there we move on to the last two signs (the 11th and 12th) of our current 12-signed zodiac. Humanity is now ready to do group service in Aquarius. On February 14, Service will be the second quality of the heart we will meditate on. Then we move on to the quality of Sacrifice in Pisces. Christ sacrificed in Pisces and this act of sacrifice is a requirement that each of us goes through in our daily lives. The nation itself will face the need of sacrifice in the coming years, but that, I will leave for someone else to talk about.

Dan Underwood
January 1999

The Cosmic Change Agent

I suppose everyone knows that the Great Wheel of Stupendous Lives whom we call the Zodiac is the door through which cosmic energies flow into our little piece of the galaxy, and that it is these cosmic energies which our Solar Logos employs in the development of our solar system. I also suppose that everyone knows that for some reason inscrutable to us-inscrutable to me, at least-the primary energy of this system is that mysterious stuff we mere humans call Love.

Love... I love that word. Love is the deepest, most profound idea or life known to man and, maybe, to the angels, too. Love is the basic building block of our system. It is, for example, the first aspect of love that we call will, and the second aspect of love that we call love, and the third aspect of love that we call intelligence. It is all love of one shade or one note or one flavor or another.

And, to quote perhaps the most famous messengers of change since Christ-the Beatles-"Love is all you need." So, no big surprise here. Love is all there is, and love is all you need. Love is the Cosmic Change Agent. It is love that hatches the egg, that breaks through the shell of the present ring-pass-not and releases the imprisoned life into new light. There is no escaping the power of love. Can't dodge love; it will bring change into every life...  . Count on it.

So, good evening friends, good evening. It is good to see that we have once again passed through the loving tests of Scorpio. Scorpio, as everyone knows, is the place where the disciple finally finds the arrow that he shot in the previous Sagittarius. I suppose that everyone has figured out that there is no real passing or failing of the tests, that the tests-pass or fail-only indicate the needed next step. So, we all know what our next step is, right?

Of course, there are always those who, as Morya says, "would rather fall down the stairs than look at that next step," who sort of shoot themselves in the foot, as it where. But life is long and Scorpio comes every year, so we should not get discouraged. And, like clockwork, Sagittarius-that Cosmic Reorienter and Inexhaustible Path Walker-can be depended upon to open the Way for us, to provide another opportunity to reassess, to take aim and to fire into our future . or to take aim and to finally, and at last, let the fire of our future flow into us.

Some of us (many of this gathering, I am thinking) have experienced frequent and significant change in the forms through which our lives have expressed and, as a result, we have come to realize that permanence in the world of form is really a chimera-an illusion. All of the constants-all of those things or situations or conditions which give to one a sense of permanence and the comfort that accompanies that sense-all of those conditions with which we have been supplied by our cultures or societies or our families or simply by tradition-have, under close examination and as the result of experience (oftentimes painful experience), proved to be ephemeral . some rapidly so, and others taking quite a time to sort of dissolve or disappear or mutate into something else. Actually, the only constant in the physical side of universe that I have been able to identify is change. Change is the result or effect of love trying to "build a more stately mansion." Evolution is the name we give to the irresistible force that is driving the unfolding of love-the cosmic idea that is this system and that is this planet. Evolution guarantees that change is ultimately unavoidable and will come to any and all forms.

I think that, on examination, most people will agree with these propositions. And yet change, it seems, is one of the least-liked things that humans encounter. In fact, change usually terrifies those who are going to be affected by it, and people will almost universally resist change.

This resistance is like an automatic defense mechanism. The nature of the change seldom matters. It could be something obvious, such as that one must move to a new place, get a new job, or that some old custom or tradition be modified or changed. Or it could be something much more subtle, such as changing the way one behaves in certain situations. But, whatever the nature or conditions, change is most often seen as a threat.

The reason for this sense of fear and the automatic engagement of one's defense mechanisms has to do, as you know, with the fact that we identify ourselves with the forms-dense physical or more subtle-which we occupy. We think we are our intellects, our minds. We think we are what we do, or-perhaps a bit less sophisticated-we think we are where we are and, even in many cases, people think they are what they have in the way of material possessions like houses and cars, and so forth.

A problem of the highly-integrated individual-and, therefore, a problem that all disciples eventually encounter-is that one's equipment and function and place are so inextricably wound-up in each other that the identification is with a whole system, with the persona, with the total environment through which one works, so that change of any sort seems almost a death sentence. And, of course, particularly in the case of the disciple, it is.

No sense in feeling smug about passing the tests of Scorpio. The test passed is the signal for the change of direction in Sagittarius. Change-significant and deep change-is always the indicator of evolution on the path of discipleship. So, why are we so automatically afraid of it? What is it? At what do we quail? More importantly, how do we accept change, even learn to rejoice at change-ours and others?

Well, as I mentioned just a minute ago, it is a question of identification. As long as the person thinks he or she is the highly-integrated and effective form through which he or she is expressing, there will be fear and reluctance and downright refusal to accept the opportunity to grow, to move on . the opportunities which the soul will tirelessly, and forever, present to its shadow. You can't dodge love.

The solution is also a matter of identification. The solution has to do with transferring our identification from the form side, no matter how intricate and beautiful it is, to the life side of reality. It has to do with recognizing our essential divinity. It is no longer an issue of transforming ourselves. We already have, many of us, these marvelous highly-sophisticated and integrated mechanisms, and we already have, many of us, hung ourselves up for lifetimes on the coat hanger of transformation. So, rather than once again transforming ourselves, the solution has to do with transfiguration, with transfiguring our conception of ourselves, with realizing that rather than any form-no matter how wonderful, beautiful, smart, etc.-rather than form, we are, indeed, love incarnate. This is our essential self. Our divine self is simply love. That's all there is.

I am sure that everyone understands the concepts that I have been laying on the table here. It is easy to be intellectual about this stuff, to talk and carry on about it, so understanding is not the issue. Yet, because it requires a change of great significance-a shift in identification-it is much harder to embody it, to live it; and we do so, it seems, only by increments. I am acquainted with a lot of people who are conscious disciples, who see themselves as disciples on the planet, and I do not know of any overnight successes in this area. So, it is an incremental thing . step by step.

Although this is a complex issue, there are some universals that are relatively easy to see, if one bothers to look. First, it seems normal to me for we humans to work ourselves into situations that are painful. This is why we have Scorpio. Scorpio hips us, tunes us in, to these presently painful and potentially deadly situations into which we have managed, by dint of persevering hard work, to land. Have you ever considered how hard we work to mess ourselves up?

Sometimes-and, from the overwhelming focus of our media on the criminal elements of our society, you might think all the time-the situation of pain is actually the result of wrong living, of breaking the laws of man or God. However, life situations that cause suffering and pain are very much more commonly not criminal in nature at all. They are caused by a multitude of weaknesses within the human psyche, most of which resolve themselves into some form of inertia. It always seems better to hang out where we are than to move on.

If we take the time to analyze situations that are causing pain for ourselves and our brothers, we will see that in the vast majority of cases the pain is being caused by staying in a situation that has outgrown its usefulness for us. The life in us, the divinity in us, wants to-needs to-move on; but, not recognizing our essential divinity-its pulling, its yearning-we keep it locked in this situation, and that generates the pain. This requires close analysis, however, because superficial living or leaping from situation to situation is likewise a form of inertia. Lots and lots of movement is a form, too, and it usually means that one is not going anywhere.

Anyway, hanging out or hanging on to an outworn form is the number one generator of pain on the planet. And, as we know, pain is an efficient teacher. Incidentally, this is true for criminal behavior, too. The criminal is exercising a form. Criminal behavior is as much a form as is being the dutiful little wife, and, as will any outworn form, both of these can generate untold levels of pain. It is true that some of us have this incredible capacity for suffering, and will suffer literally lifetimes before we get the message and move on.

There is a very important-crucial, you might even say-point to all of this that I want to leave us with this evening, and it has to do, not with pain, but with love. You see, changing one's behavior to escape the pain is not change at all, and the behavior that generated the pain will, you can be sure, reassert itself once the immediate sense of the pain is gone, even if it takes another life to do so.

So, the notion that punishment or force can bring about change is simply empty. The notion that God punishes the wicked-and this for our own good-is a notion we really need to let go. This notion is, in my view, a very clever part of the Master Deceiver's great illusion of separation. It is, I think, a major aspect of the final veil.

The Deceiver has actually clouded over the image of God. That is a pretty thick veil.

Incidentally, the popular notion of tough love-which is simply a modern euphemism, or a child of the notion of God punishing the wicked-is, of course, also a bogus holdover of the decadent aspects of Pisces. Love is never tough. Love never causes pain or anguish or terror. Those things are actually the result of the absence of love. Love frees, it liberates, it brings joy and understanding. It is the Phoenix, not the ashes. We do not need to inflict pain on each other. Each of us is a past master at doing this to ourselves.

Nations, likewise, need not worry about punishing or forcing another nation to do this or that. On the levels of both the One Humanity and the individual, we need to see the difference between keeping the peace and enforcing the law. The untold tons of resources that, worldwide, we are channeling into armaments, into prisons and law enforcement and punishment, are resources that could go a long way to bring about real change if they were applied with love rather than the force of revenge or retribution and hate and fear. When the men and women of the planetary intelligentsia-who are, in the final analysis, responsible for keeping the peace-are at peace themselves, we will have a peaceful planet. This is an Aquarian dream, an Aquarian goal, not the reaction of law enforcement, but proactive keeping of the peace.

I am reminded of the Covenant imparted by the Brotherhood:

Do not cause suffering-such is the Covenant imparted by the Brotherhood to the wayfarer. Let him realize how much easier it is not to cause suffering than to treat it afterwards. Should humanity renounce the causing of suffering, life would be immediately transformed. It is not difficult not to torment one's friend. It is not difficult to think of how to avoid inflicting pain. It is not difficult to imagine that it is much easier not to allow illness to take place than to cure it later.

Do not cause suffering-such is the Covenant of the Brotherhood. (Brotherhood #571)

Finally, let me point out that Christ, the metaphor of Love, is the Teacher, the teacher alike of angels and men. Pain is only a notifier. Pain lets us know that our present course is out of sync with the unfolding power of love. We do not change to escape the pain our wrong living brings to us; we change because we finally see the beauty and promise of the next step. When we change, truly change, it is because we have become a little better at loving, at being expressions of God, or of Love, which is what God is.

It is true, Love is the Cosmic Change Agent, but love doesn't change. In the end all there is is love. When it is over or done or finished, love is left. At the end, love is all that will be left because love, actually and truly, is all there is.

That being the case, why don't we close this little talk with a group sounding of the mantra that appears in your program.

In the center of all love I stand.
From that center I, the soul, will outward move.
From that center I, the one who serves will work.
May the love of the divine Self be shed abroad
In my heart, through my group, and throughout the world

Tom Carney
December 1998