The Pilgrim’s Path: “Rules of the Road”

smallsquare40530784_1792996864130293_6152666730284974080_n (2)Perhaps you’re wondering what exactly is the Pilgrim’s Path and what are the secrets to walking it? A Pilgrim is defined as one who journeys to a sacred place. In the esoteric teachings, the Pilgrim’s Path  is not really a linear path that one walks from A to B, but rather a deepening and opening into the life of the soul. Naught can then be hidden, and at each turn, a man must face himself.

On that path, one of the first lessons learned is that you cannot go it alone. Each Pilgrim, knowing this, presses his footsteps forward, and finds himself surrounded by his fellowmen. This lesson is not easy to remember because often when we begin the esoteric study, we get lost in our “little me” and tend to isolate ourselves.

Eventually, some circumstance will happen that shakes us to our core. As we grow spiritually, we become more in tune with other people and we naturally forget about our own needs and begin to focus on everyone else. The Pilgrim eventually learns that soul consciousness is synonymous with group consciousness. Living as soul involves new duties, new obligations, and new relations to others. The call to service becomes something wider and more embracing.

In the teachings of Alice Bailey, she gives a mystical formula in her six “Rules of the Road.” Each one can be a seed thought for meditation. These simple rules can provide much insight to the Pilgrim in all of us.

I. The Road is trodden in the full light of day, thrown upon the Path by Those Who know and lead. Naught can then be hidden, and at each turn, a man must face himself.

II. Upon the Road the hidden stands revealed. Each sees and knows the villainy of each. (I can find no other word, my brother, to translate the ancient word which designates the unrevealed stupidity, the vileness and crass ignorance, and the self-interest which are distinguishing characteristics of the average aspirant.) And yet there is, with that great revelation, no turning back, no spurning of each other, and no shakiness upon the Road. The Road goes forward into day.

III. Upon that Road one wanders not alone. There is no rush, no hurry. And yet there is no time to lose. Each Pilgrim, knowing this, presses his footsteps forward, and finds himself surrounded by his fellowmen. Some move ahead; he follows after. Some move behind; he sets the pace. He travels not alone.

IV. Three things the Pilgrim must avoid. The wearing of a hood, the veil which hides his face from others; the carrying of a water pot which only holds enough for his own wants; the shouldering of a staff without a crook to hold.

V. Each Pilgrim on the Road must carry with him what he needs: a pot of fire, to warm his fellowmen; a lamp, to cast its rays upon his heart and show his fellowmen the nature of his hidden life; a purse of gold, which he scatters not upon the Road but shares with others; a sealed vase, wherein he carries all his aspiration to cast before the feet of Him Who waits to greet him at the gate – a sealed vase.

VI. The Pilgrim, as he walks upon the Road, must have the open ear, the giving hand, the silent tongue, the chastened heart, the golden voice, the rapid foot, and the open eye which sees the light. He knows he travels not alone.

— “Glamour: A World Problem” by Alice A. Bailey

How is Music a Gateway to the Soul?

39396384_2047651861925996_3623420340039843840_nMusic, when created from the heart and with truth and pure intention, is a spiritual expression of the most universal nature and the highest order.

As Ravi Shankar put it: “The highest form in music is spirituality.”

The impact on our thoughts, our emotions, our subconscious, and even our physical well-being can be quite profound. Music can be one of our most powerful gateways to align in the fullest possible way to our spiritual nature — our divine source — the unseen.  It has the capacity to transport us to other dimensions, and, literally, to open the door to other realities.

Every human being is destined to become the music of his own life. Indeed, the soul’s purpose is to creatively express the sound of its note in order to evolve consciousness ultimately to serve humanity better.  Yet to do this we must realize that deep within each of us are notes of power, light and vibrations, waiting to be expressed, seen and heard. The soul within each of us is seeking to creatively generate melody and harmony and music that has the power to uplift and transform.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” — Plato

Is Intuition a Key to Evolution?

41370427_1800887206674592_742286901276311552_nWhat speeds us along on our evolutionary path? Perhaps we could say that experience is the great teacher. But “professor experience” presents us with a snail like classroom in which our evolution creeps forward slowly. One truth may take many lifetimes to instill into our soul. Is it the only method? Is there another way?

There is another method which is quicker called the intuition. It is an important tool in our spiritual toolbox. Intuition generalizes from within and not from without through sensing the archetype itself. Intuition transcends reason. It is not mere knowledge. Intuition is lightning- fast.

When we become intuitive, love is awakened. Buddhi is the name in the esoteric teachings given to the faculty of intuition. Buddhi, in truth, manifests the immortality within, for it is a desire for the everlasting possession of the good, the true and the beautiful.

There is something exquisite about having the sensitivity to be attuned to Beauty. Inspirational. Ephemeral. Sublime. This is what we feel when reflecting on unique symbols or art.

What does it require? We have to slow down, breathe in, and let the intuition enter. In those magical moments, there is the soul, there is a sense of significant being, there is an opening to initiation and evolution.

Alice Bailey writes:

“Initiation is never taken unless the intuition is becoming active. Spiritual instinct, the lowest aspect of the intuition, indicates readiness for the first initiation; an illumined mind and spiritual intelligence is the definite sign that a man can take the second initiation; whilst spiritual perception or intuitive instinct signifies preparedness for the Transfiguration, the third initiation.”

Love: The Perfume of the Soul

red-rose-1275807_960_720The rose is a flower that has for centuries held the imagination. Why is this? I think on some level it is rich with deeper, esoteric connotations. It has been said the soul is a symbol of a beautiful flower that radiates the “perfume” of Divine Love.

It is through our attraction to the qualities of soul that we find the upward way. At first, it begins its journey of revelation with tightly closed petals. With each lesson learned another love petal opens. Eventually, a love for higher truth opens the door to clear perception. More doors open until we are literally flooded with revelation, the beauty and grandeur of which is beyond description.

Love is in all our tests, in our chaos and in our aspiration, because this leads to our spiritual growth from individual to cosmic. Humanity must learn in thought, word and deed to live in terms of love. Love serves the great masses of humanity as life giving energy and a protection from any negative forces.

An opportunity is being presented to us now as we enter the Age of Aquarius. We are now being called to open the heart petals and journey into a new field of human exploration and group endeavor. We are poised to enter the domain of love in which more of the mysteries of life will be unveiled.

This idea is reflected beautifully in the Mantram of Unification:

“The sons of men are one and I am one with them.
I seek to love, not hate;
I seek to serve and not exact due service;
I seek to heal, not hurt.
Let pain bring due reward of light and love.
Let the soul control the outer form, and life and all events
And bring to light the love that underlies the happenings of the time.
Let vision come and insight.
Let the future stand revealed.
Let inner union demonstrate and outer cleavages be gone.
Let love prevail. Let all men love.” — Alice Bailey

Pondering the Light of the Soul

Thinking 1One of my favorite Alice Bailey books in called “Ponder on This.”  It is a compilation of short topics concerning the Ageless Wisdom. It’s not a book that you read straight through from start to finish.  Instead, you check out a topic that comes to mind and sit with it.  Brood, hesitate, reflect, meditate, speculate, think deeply.

Why is it important to ponder?  Because in quiet contemplation we learn to see to see through the soul’s eyes.  Motivated by love, the soul aspires to that which is greater than itself, and reaches out to the world of divine ideas.

We are taught that the Planetary Logos meditated, brooded, conceived mentally, and formed the whole world through thought. Within the simple act of pondering is hidden the power of creation. Likewise, a thought or “seed idea” contemplated in the light of the soul produces new vision and mental clarity.

In meditation deep, we discover the immortal, imperishable spark of divinity, the Son of God, which inspires a sense of wonder and unity with all life. Such is the promise of the future awaiting us as the miracle of the Plan unfolds.

A part of a powerful mantra that encapsulates this truth is the Mantram of Unification:

“Let the Soul control the outer form, and life and all events and bring to Light the Love that underlies the happenings of the time.”
– Alice Bailey (Djwal Khul  Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II)

 

Entering the Stream of Consciousness

2768656542_3e7f2f04ed_bIn India the second initiation of the soul has been called “entering the stream.” Here in the West, it is referred to as “the Baptism” or cleansing by water. It is part of the evolutionary process in which the disciple transforms the emotional nature to be receptive to the nature of the soul.

Where does the stream take us? As we ride the currents, the stream brings us endless opportunities to change course, to shift our energetic focus. It’s flow is always changing and shifting patterns.  When we learn to control our emotional direction, the astral body becomes “cleansed” or purified enough so that it can acquire the “gentle stillness” of the divine qualities of the soul nature. Love. Light. Peace. Wisdom.  The future is all ours for the making.

As we navigate the course in the stream, we explore our own powerful connection to the endless potential of the current.  The longing to serve the whole becomes the guiding principle in the life. Our emotions glow with love for all beings, able to irradiate light into the planetary consciousness.

That’s when we discover our own unique gifts…. and when that happens, anything can manifest.

“The human family stands today upon the threshold of a new experience, that of Soul consciousness. Every man, woman, and child incarnate upon the planet is being brought closer to this happening by the force of evolution itself.”

~Lucille Cedercrans

 

 

Spring as a Metaphor for Initiation

resized 29178215_1566033750159940_6946588157890527232_n“With the spring of the consciousness stirs new life. It looks about with newly opened eyes, observing its activities and the activities of others with greater interest.” ~ (Lucille Cedercrans)

Spring has been celebrated by people around the world throughout time. There are obvious reasons, such as it bringing with it all of the blooming colors and fragrances in our gardens that we love. But is there more to it than that? Does it have spiritual significance? Is spring and gardening a good metaphor for the path of initiation?

In ancient times, people would reflect on their connection to the cycles of seasons both on earth and in the heavens. In this way, they could contemplate the timeless nature of such wisdom. It was often a way to enlighten in each aspirant the deeper meanings of initiation.

An initiation has been said to be a new birth.  It’s easy to see that spring, with its theme of birth, serves as a good metaphor for renewal in a person’s life.  It can be a true blossoming of growth and purpose, a time when the pouring in of new spiritual energies is experienced.

We might say that spring marks not only growth in nature, but also the warm influx of the heat of spirituality.  The seasons are the continual application of the sun and its journey but also our own journey through life and knowledge.

Incredible beauty awaits us on each new cycle of growth, and each new season. The possibilities are far greater than any human imagining.  We are taught that Hope blooms in the garden of livingness.

 “You realize that you are the gardener, the Divine Soul, and that you can do anything you wish with your garden.  You can let it become a bed of weeds or a wonderful garden of spiritual food for the spiritually hungry! “~ (Lucille Cedercrans)

Disillusionment – A Path to Truth

resized26907697_1516317198464929_4623046799398590193_nDisillusionment is an experience that is known to all. The experience involves a massive breakdown of perceived truths, leading to a sense of aimlessness, futility and disorientation. Our daily encounters in life inevitably force us at one time or another to face disillusionment. While being stripped of illusion is initially devastating, can it also be transforming?  Can painful realizations lead you to truth and freedom?

Disillusionment is very common on the spiritual path. John of the Cross, who was a Spanish mystic talks about periods of inertia in his spiritual life, and called them “dark nights of the soul.” During those moments he pondered the validity of the path and felt worthless and filled with doubt. He stumbled in his commitment to what he believed and why he believed it.

Every student is forewarned about the possible encounters with bewildering situations when on a quest for truth. It is fair to say that many aspirants seeking enlightenment have usually suffered through many such periods. These tests are a way a person’s dedication and moral commitment are proved unshakable.

While none of us like to be uncomfortable, it is perhaps through disillusionment that we can embrace our humanity and create new truths and paradigms. We learn ultimately to enter the process willingly, knowing that the final result will be worth it.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

Conscious Creativity

LotusFully conscious creativity in line with the Divine Plan plays an important role in the work of the aspiring student of the wisdom teaching. In order to create something, the student first needs to visualize or build a thoughtform in his mind. Thus, it is necessary to learn how to visualize skillfully.  Visualization is the initial way to embody the occult law that “energy follows thought.”

It is important to realize that visualization, like any technique, is developed through practice. By simply doing it over and over, progress can be observed over time, even if subtle.  The reality is that we all know how to visualize expertly. In the ordinary way, it means actually seeing what something will look like. We do it all the time when we plan activities or organize things that we need in our daily lives.  However, often it is but more of an automatic response, not conscious creativity. Often it is for ourselves and not to further the Divine Plan.

To work as a conscious creator with the Plan is to work with energy, force and substance by aligning with the higher purpose for humanity A good beginning practice is to begin with a service related idea that we want to manifest at some point. It can be a simple one, like helping with a humanitarian cause in the community.  Bring to the mind as much detail related to the idea. This adds strength to a mental focus being created as a truly intelligent activity.  It creates a power potential behind the idea; behind that which is to be done. A one-pointed focus is essential. During the process, endeavor to remain positive and aware that we are the controlling and directing agents. If the technique is mastered, the idea takes shape in ways unimaginable.

In Discipleship in the New Age we read:

This visualising process, and this use of the imagination, form the first two steps in the activity of thought-form building. It is with these self-created forms — embodying spiritual ideas and divine purpose — that the Masters work and hierarchical purpose takes shape.

Intuition: An Instinct of the Soul

awareness-1052371_1280 2Blavatsky writes that “everyone of us possesses the faculty, the interior sense, known as intuition, but how rare are those who know how to develop it! It is, however, the only faculty by means of which men and things are seen in their true colors.

It is an instinct of the soul, which grows in us in proportion to the use we make of it, and which helps us to perceive and understand real and absolute facts with far more certainty than can the simple use of our senses and the exercise of our reason. What are called good sense and logic enable us to see the appearance of things, that which is evident to everyone.

The instinct is a projection of our perceptive consciousness, a projection which acts from the subjective to the objective, and not vice versa, awakens the spiritual senses in us and the power to act; these senses assimilate to themselves the essence of the object or of the action under examination, and represent them to us as they really are, not as they appear to our physical senses and to our cold reason.”

In the words of Professor A. Wilder:

We begin with instinct, we end with omniscience

(Theosophy Vol 8)