The Fires of the Phoenix Soul

60288161_10156511436784200_6292044663922622464_nPerhaps one of the best metaphors for fire as an agent of transformation is the traditional phoenix. The phoenix is a mythical bird that after an extensive life combusts into flames and is reborn from its own ashes.

Nietzsche wrote:

“You must be willing to burn in your own flame: how could you become new unless you had first become ashes?”

A great preparation for a world change is taking place, one in which the fiery forces participate. Thus, all the principles of the fiery laws will be given to humanity as a final touchstone. How, then can we best prepare? How do we become friends with this spiritual fire?

The fire of the heart is said to not just be a symbolic or poetic abstraction. We are taught it is a very subtle energy. And while we may not yet be able to measure this energy with physical instruments, we can feel its warmth and see its effects. When the fire of the heart is strong, we feel a great and powerful joy. Eventually this joy becomes a continuous expression of our essential nature.

The ancients implemented a trial by fire and thus fire is an agent of destruction. Perhaps it is a reminder to the neophyte that he must set aside or destroy his old image of life and self to receive the spiritual teachings and become a new and better creature. The fire of spirit brings transformation and massive change into our personal worlds with all the potential to turn our life around – from ashes to dust to re-generation. When we walk across the fiery trials, we must remember to walk with intention bringing forth our truth.

The element of Fire has a mysterious relationship between the spiritual and the material states of existence. It has been said to be closely related to the will and determination. Fire energy enhances personal power, ingenuity and assists in manifesting creative endeavors, bringing passion and motivation into any circumstance. Fire is our inner light as well as a living symbol of the Divine fire burning in every soul.

In the Tibetan’s teaching, he gives us this ancient saying:

“I am a point of light within a greater Light.
I am a strand of loving energy within the stream of Love divine.
I am a point of sacrificial Fire, focused within the fiery Will of God.
And thus I stand.”

A mystical key is offered here. When we learn to work with fire as a force of creation, destruction and transformation, we tear ourselves free from the gravity of physical reality that grounds it to “stand” as spiritual beings. Sacrifice and service to humanity would be impossible without the fiery striving of the heart doing its evolutionary work to liberate the personality.

The Purpose of the Soul

krishna-spring-in-kulu-1930.jpg!LargeWhat does purpose mean for the spiritual seeker? We may like to define purpose as the objective of one’s goals, or a certain direction. But what does that really mean for a conscious soul incarnate?  How do we know our purpose in life?

Unfortunately, it is not always clear. The spiritual path is a journey where you take many twists and turns on the road and continually challenge illusions about your life. Sometimes the spiritual path is more about keeping the process going step at a time, and developing determination and perseverance. Gradually, the purpose becomes clearer as you approach the Truths that govern our vast and mysterious universe.  As we get closer, we begin to recognize the inner guidance that leads us to “know thyself.”

Purpose is intimately related to Will. Will is the power that produces action.  We use will power in our daily life such as to monitor our diet, meditation and sleep.  But on the spiritual path, Will shifts its focus from the personal needs to the more altruistic needs of humanity at large.

Even though we may have been involved in our spiritual development for years, it takes courage to look outside of ourselves to what is needed for the greater good and the evolution of mankind.  Maybe all the years we have invested in worrying about our life purpose, reading spirituality and in inner work has been in preparation for this time on our planet right now.

It is stated in the third verse of the Great Invocation written by Alice Bailey:

“From the center where the Will of God is known… Let purpose guide the little wills of men…The purpose which the Masters know and serve.”

The Will of God seeks to produce certain racial and momentous changes in the consciousness of humanity which will lead to a different attitude to life.  The Masters of the Wisdom know and serve this.  So, our job as spiritual workers is to align our little will with the Greater Will.  In this way, we understand what purpose is wanting immediate expression on Earth.

What could be more important than that?

Embodiment of Soul

WTS image butterfly lotusWhat does it mean to fully become an embodied presence?

To “embody” to to be a substantial expression of  something whether it be a feeling, a virtue, a belief or a thought. It means you have transformed an intangible quality into a reality right in front of you that you can sense and see.

How can a person consciously step into this kind of fully embodied soul?   Where do you start to practice and understand this …?

Lucille Cedercrans in Applied Wisdom tells us that “through disciplinary action, one impresses upon the energy, force, and substance of the instrument those concepts of truth which he is able to grasp and to absorb into his consciousness.” 

Thus, the good news is that we can make a conscious effort of discipline to become what we desire to embody.

For example, if we say that we want to be more “loving”, then everything about us – what we say, how we say it, what we do, how we do it – becomes an expression of love. At first we act “as if” until the pattern becomes automatic in our devic substance.  At that point it’s not merely just saying loving words or doing a loving act, the actual core essence of our being is love.

So, what holds us back? Author Marianne Williamson says:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

It is the overwhelming feeling of responsibility that prevents us from moving forward. Once we realize the truth of how beautiful we are, we are responsible and beholden to embody it. We are luminous beings, and we can no longer hide behind justifications. Our ultimate mission is consciously invoking this divinity in the body until it becomes automatic.  This takes vision and courage.

“It takes courage to adjust our lives—daily and in all relations—to the need of the hour and to the service of mankind.” —Alice Bailey


Finding Joy in Service

wutaishancloudtempleIs service always joyful? Often it is seemingly not. Tackling a problem of humanity, whether it be feeding the hungry or educating the children or something else can be overwhelming to say the least. Is there a deeper meaning to the word service?

Alice Bailey defines service as the “spontaneous outflow of a loving heart and an intelligent mind; it is the result of being in the right place and staying there.” This suggests that service pours to us from a higher place.  It is not just something we do for others.

Does a focus on the spiritual realms minimize acts or deeds performed to those in need in the world? No, indeed. A True Server learns to combine the urges received from his awakened soul with his physical plane activity.

How does this happen? When a person first treads the spiritual path, he experiences an increasing flow of energies circulating throughout his body. His daily life is charged with new insights and revelations. Through developing a self-forgetfulness, he finds a constructive way to channel the newly found energies into his environment. The path of initiation is an esoteric training, a time when these several important subjective and objective changes happen.

Service, then, is the spontaneous effect of soul contact.

Often, our soul is shouting to contact us but we fail to hear the message. Our little ego or selfish personality has not become spiritualized. Through training the personality to be obedient, the server encounters the true tests of worthiness. He discovers that virtue, love and intellectual mind are the keys to making revelation possible. He leaves behind any selfish need to be famous or find fortune and stands securely in spiritual being.

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” — (Mahatma Gandhi)

The Soul is Calling

31841601_1615848978511750_201543217265508352_nWhat does it mean to be “called”? The idea implies that when a person is ready, he or she will receive an inspired message, have the experience of an epiphany, or suddenly awaken to the soul’s potential. We are all familiar with the saying “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

But can it be that simple? Is it wrong to be waiting for an inspired message to tell us what to do? What does it mean to become an agent of transformation in the world?

In the Agni Yoga teaching we read:

“One must fulfill one’s obligation to Earth by promoting the foundations of evolution. In this way one achieves the highest cooperation with humanity.”

From this perspective, a “calling” amounts to more than one “aha” moment. It is more than some glorified individual achievement. For the seeker, it means ongoing tests and a spiritual journey of continual purification and refinement. It is a path of challenges, where he or she confronts illusions about cherished beliefs and personal choices. It takes courage to enter the truth of a vast and mysterious universe.

The Wisdom Teaching tells us that it is possible for all aspirants and disciples to participate in this effort to a renewed spiritual life, and to dedicate themselves to the task of service. It also says that it will not be easy.

What is the soul calling us to become?  The following mantram gives a clue to the hidden potential within all of us. 

The Affirmation of the Disciple
“I am a point of light within a greater Light.
I am a strand of loving energy within the stream of Love divine.
I am a point of sacrificial Fire, focussed within the fiery Will of God.
And thus I stand

I am a way by which men may achieve.
I am a source of strength, enabling them to stand.
I am a beam of light, shining upon their way.
And thus I stand.

And standing thus, revolve
And tread this way the ways of men,
And know the ways of God.
And thus I stand.”

                                — Alice Bailey

Thinking in the Heart

love-580248_960_720Many of us have heard the saying “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” What does it mean and how is it important to the disciple?

For most of us, the rational mind is more developed than the intuitive heart awareness. We are therefore inclined to believe in the illusion of separation instead of the eternal truth that we are intimately connected to everything in the universe. Our belief in separation has created in us a deep spiritual loneliness. We seek out love, unfortunately, in all the wrong places.

Our advanced teachers tell us that it is love that opens the door to clear perception. It is not always easy to understand that our unity with others arises, not from being loved, but by loving others. Mind speaks to the brain with spoken or written words. However, heart speaks to heart in more powerful ways that cannot be written or spoken.

As the Bible says: “the love of God is shed abroad” in the human heart. Most of us have felt the magnetic, transforming and healing power of love. We are taught that it is the organ of the energy which brings about inclusiveness.

The Wisdom Teaching says the heart is essential for the reconstruction of the world and for the establishment of the new world order. We are taught the heart center corresponds to the “heart of the Sun,” and therefore to the spiritual source of light and love. The most profound of all occult mysteries are therefore open to us in the secrets of the heart.

All disciples are asked at this time to ponder and reflect upon the unfolding of the heart. An illuminated consciousness is an experience of the heart.

Why does it matter? Alice Bailey writes:

“The heart is the organ for the distribution of hierarchical energy, poured out via the soul into the heart center of all aspirants, disciples and initiates; in this way this energy is made available and brings about two results: 1. The regeneration of humanity through love. 2. the relationship, firmly established, between a rapidly developing humanity and the Hierarchy.” ~ (Esoteric Healing)

The “Soundless Sound” of Soul

1awareness-be-one-buddhism-268073Are the two poles of speech and silence antagonistic? We live in a world that seems to depreciate the value of silence and glorify the constant chatter of technological distractions. It seems difficult to reconcile the current state of our noise pollution with the perennial wisdom of a silent path. Many have lost memory of the silence of the Divine and of our inextricable oneness with it. Alas, we decline to hear it and, in consequence, look without for that which is within.

What is the inner sound? Where can we find this “voice of the silence?”

Perhaps we can look for answers in the exemplary lives of those who have gone before us. They have demonstrated that through silent meditation, consciousness can be kept at a high point of awareness. This is a spiritual attitude of being true to ourselves—the essential prerequisite for any spiritual journey. We are told that the sublime voice of the silence is a “ringing radiance.” It is called the soundless sound because it is beyond the range of acoustical frequency.

How may the inner sound be realized if it is beyond acoustic frequency?

H.P. Blavatsky states by a gradual unfoldment of inner faculties and various stages of meditation, something transformational can be experienced.

She says: “He who would hear the voice of Nada, the soundless sound, and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dharana.”

To comprehend ideas and truths larger that the ordinary, takes a new kind of mental effort. Dharana is a Sanskrit word which means that you have achieved the ability to bring the mind into focus and to hold the concentration on a single point. In true dharana all body-consciousness and restless thoughts cease.

Thus, we see that silence and speech are not antagonistic. The highest form of silence is that achieved and maintained through contemplation. After mastery of such practice, our words carry this energy of the Divine into manifestation and our daily lives. Each of us is the “voice of the silence?” or “word incarnate.”

Each of us is a Word made flesh.

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.”