Thoughtline  October 1996

Priority One

In the whirlwind of Eternity the stone and the spirit are imponderable, for they are drawn into the same magnet. Prologue to Infinity I (Agni Yoga Series)

Any physical object-like a diamond, say, or our planet Earth---can be viewed as a symbol. The entire physical plane is, after all, only a dense precipitation of Spirit. I have found it most instructive to think of objects in this way, and I have, for example, spent a lot of time pondering the meaning and significance of the Earth, to see it whole as a symbolic representation of some grand and vast Idea, driven into manifestation by The Great Will.

Natural human activities, like breathing and beating our hearts or being born and dying, are also symbols. Thus, it is not unusual for persons who have grown beyond the confines of the materialistic view and have gained a relative level of spiritual maturity, to see that the planet, too, is a living, breathing being; that the solar system is likewise a living being whose beating heart, if one can be still enough, one can hear. For the materialist, however, such objects and processes are simply things or events that occur in physical reality, things and events to be studied, cataloged, analyzed and so forth.

One of the most profound symbols, pregnant with meaning and significance, is the birthing process. It is, on the one hand, an event of incredible wonder, a miracle that occurs over and over again on every level of reality. On the other hand, the process of giving birth in all its aspects is a symbol, perhaps a metaphor, that demonstrates how the unmanifest is moved into manifestation. Even historians and physical scientists have applied this metaphor to phenomenon. Thus we have "The Birth of a Nation" and the birth of a solar system.

Tonight, since it is Virgo and, among its several attributes, Virgo has to do with birthing, I want to take this metaphor with all its aspects-the joy, the terror, the wonder, the pain-all of it, and apply it to-the single most important unfolding event of the last 2000 years. I refer, of course, to the externalization of the Hierarchy and the reappearance of the Christ.

I think that it is clear from our history, all of our scientific evidence, every observation that has ever been recorded, our total experience as humanity, and especially our recent experience as disciples, that the manifestation of an idea or of a spiritual entity, the movement of an abstract being into form, requires a berthing process. The Hierarchy is no exception. It too, if it is to manifest or externalize as an organic part of this system and be accepted by Humanity, must be born.

It is not such a big deal to say this, for souls have always found their way into form through the human kingdom. This is just looking at the natural process in a synthetic, holistic way. Hierarchy, the Kingdom of Souls, will be born through Humanity

What I am saying here is that we should forget about the Hierarchy or the Christ, who is also a member of the 5th kingdom, we should forget about their floating down from the clouds and pulling our chestnuts out of the bonfires of greed and stupidity that we have ignited on the planet. What I am saying is that Humanity, particularly those of us who are attempting to live a 'spiritual" life, we have a role here. The "Plan of the Great Ones" is an implementation blueprint for the Grand Idea of the Great Will. Humanity is a part of the Plan. We are, in fact, an essential part, Humanity is going to have to save Humanity, and, in the process, we will just save the rest of the planet, too.

This is not arrogance; this is common sense. We are the 4th or the middle kingdom. For the implementation of the Plan, even for aspects of timing and fine tuning, Hierarchy depends entirely on disciples who are able to stand between them and Humanity. Hierarchy cannot manipulate or coerce co-operation from Humanity. They cannot interfere with our free will. If we do not do it, it is not going to get done. That we do it is an essential part of the Plan.

If, through our own blundering and greed or through our cowardice, Humanity fails, the Plan will fail. If we do not do our immediate part, play our present role as it is designed in the Plan, there will be, at minimum, a terrible setback for the planet, not just for Humanity, but for all the kingdoms on the planet, a number of which we do not even know about. That is what "synthesis" means, it means that it is one thing, one whole thing. It either all makes it or none of it makes it, including Shamballa.

I sense an urgent need to put light on this issue. Admittedly, it is not an easy issue to talk about in any arena. It is true the vast, vast majority of people on the planet believe in some form of a God. However, while paying lip service to their God, the vast, vast majority of the theologians, priests monks, ministers do not want to think of the 5 kingdom as a real place that really does exist. They do not want to talk about the fact of the Spiritual Hierarchy. When the spiritual realms are discussed, they are usually pictured in terms that are vague or mystical, a dream-state place that has importance only after one is dead. And to bring the fact of 5th kingdom consciousness, the fact of the Hierarchy and its role in the planetary evolutionary process forward in a conventional academic or other intellectual arena is to invite ridicule and the destruction of credibility.

We have only ourselves to blame for this sorry state. People who know, and who could bring these facts forward, have been more than reticent, thus leaving the field open to the not-so-well qualified. Consequently, when there is some proclamation regarding the existence of the Spiritual Kingdom being a real place, it is usually made by some obvious fanatic, obvious to all but his victims, whom he is busily luring into some crazy scheme or other.

The absolute greatest challenge a disciple faces in this day and age is not whether he or she is able to contact the Buddhic plane in meditation or master "the engendering of a magnetic aura upon which the highest impressions can play" (Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle, p 95). The challenge is in how we handle this stuff after we get it. The razor edge lies between the boiling pits of fanaticism on the one hand and the glaciers of cowardice on the other. We, all too often, see the work of the fanatics. It is, however, the too timid, the-dare I say-cowards, the people who know and have the skill to act and still remain silent, who are the more responsible for humanity's present plight.

Tonight, as I said a moment ago, I want to examine this occurring process, this birthing of the Hierarchy, with the purpose of highlighting Humanity's part in it. As you could guess from the title of this talk, I think that our role, the part that we as individuals and group members can, should, better play is of the utmost importance. I think that it should be, for all of us, Priority One. There is nothing more important for any of us to do than to throw our total resources into the labor of helping the Hierarchy externalize. This is a birth we need to cause. The Hierarchy is truly an idea whose time has come. This is a baby that Humanity desperately needs to have.

One of the problems with helping the 5th kingdom to be born or to be accepted as a natural aspect of our system is what we call it. It is important that we understand, and that we help others to understand, that Hierarchy is the name of the 5th kingdom, just as Humanity is the name of the 4th kingdom. When self-conscious humans apply their meaning or understanding of the concept of hierarchy to these beings or to that realm or kingdom, all sorts of confusion and nonsense gets started, chief of which is the erroneous, the ridiculous, picture of Hierarchs that arises.

The word "hierarchy" is encrusted with a patina of meaning and associations that is, to say the least, troublesome. To understand the Spiritual Hierarchy one has to have a glimmer of what it means to be 'group" rather than "self-conscious." The conventional definition of hierarchy is a self-conscious view of the concept. Since self-consciousness is separative by nature, it could only engender a definition that looked like a competitive, military, line and staff thing.

"Hierarchy" as it is used in connection with the 5th kingdom does not have anything to do with one individual being better, smarter, more pure, more spiritual, richer, or more powerful than another and, therefore, naturally entitled to a greater share of the wealth, a bigger car or house and servants or superior to or in charge or command of his underlings. The amassing of property and material wealth, overlings and underlings, superiors and inferiors, these self-conscious concepts do not work in the group-conscious 5th kingdom. They are absurd, schizophrenic figments of the Great Illusion and have nothing to do with reality.

Another aspect of the problem of positing a 5thkingdom is that humans are, as a result of their self-conscious nature, so self-important that they have a real problem thinking or accepting that there are possibly other beings who have a wider, more synthetic grasp of reality or truth than they have. Yet announcing, positing, declaring, exposing the fact of the Hierarchy has to be done, and since it is not just an abstract truth, but a logical, common sense extension of mind, I think that we can count on the native intelligence of human beings to grasp it, to see it.

Our problem is to strip off the film of lies and half truths and just plain nonsense that surrounds the 5th kingdom. Our problem is to not just proclaim but to demonstrate through our spiritual livingness the fact of the 5th kingdom. I am tempted in this talk to get into all of the ins and outs of how we need to go about the specific aspect of that assignment, the labor to have this birth happen. However, how one gives birth to one's inner understandings is one's own creative challenge, and this idea-the Spiritual Hierarchy-needs exposure in many places by many people in many different ways. There is no one way or right way to do this work.

I have a different mission here and now. My effort now, here, is to encourage those of us for whom what I have been saying is common sense, is already a fact in consciousness, to do something about it.

I am, incidentally, ever conscious of the razor edge here. I know that to do this work at almost any level will call in more energy, will encourage more effort, will require an even clearer grasp of the stakes, an even greater balance between inertia (which is another name for cowardice) and wild activity (which is another name for fanaticism). I know that you all know that, too. We must act boldly, but, as Morya has pointed out, "Boldness should be combined with caution. Otherwise boldness will be madness and caution will turn into cowardice." Fiery World II, #444.

This is what I think: I think that there are a very large number of souls out there who are on the verge of stepping forward and breaking through this incredible net of materialism that is being used to shroud the truth. They do not think of themselves as disciples or even as souls, but they can see the logic of the Grand Design. It is, after all, not that big of a deal to be able to see something as beautiful and precise and simple as the natural harmony of creation. However, I think these men and women, many of whom are working in the hard sciences, many more of whom are working in the social sciences and in the field of education, are frightened. I think that they are scared to death to open their mouths about the things they already think and, in their bones, know.

Let us not forget reincarnation. It is on our side. Souls have learned things in previous lives. Those who are incarnating now are old souls; they know. So reincarnation is on our side, but time is not. It does not take an overly astute observer to see the indicators of an approaching hurricane, and one would have to be blind to miss the indicators of the approaching disaster Humanity is facing. Let me site just two of the indicators. The Welfare Bill that President Clinton just signed into law was the best that this truly caring President could get through the Congress. The State of California, one of the more humane and forward states with a budget that is several times larger than many countries in the world, has allocated 8% of its budget to education and 9% of its budget to the building and running of the state prison system. We are running out of time here, friends. Now is the time for action, bold action.

The basic fear is that if one does posit anything like the possibility of an externalizing Hierarchy, or, even worse, the reappearance of the Christ, one will be finished in one's profession. One will be fired, discounted, ridiculed, lose all of one's position in the community, whatever community one is working in. In essence, the fear is that one will be killed, symbolically if not literally Given reincarnation, maybe I should say 'killed again."

This scenario is at present not too farfetched. One can understand the hesitancy of these folks to step forward. They are, after all, not disciples "whose hearts are aflame." They are very possibly, however, members of the New Group of World Servers. They need encouragement to move. They need some examples. They need to see men and women of sound mind and inclusive hearts who are not fanatics and who are not afraid and who do understand what sacrifice means, take the sacrificial step forward, who are not afraid to put their credibility, their careers, their groups, on the line and speak the truth they know in their hearts.

As long as we see our daily environments as the source of our value, our worth, as that which gives meaning to our lives, we will be immobilized, rendered inert. We will be unable to serve the Good. We will be doomed to suffer the pain of disappointment, loss, depression. If we identify ourselves with the impermanence of the passing scene, we will suffer. We are lost in an illusion of reality that can only generate sorrow eventually. What did you think the Buddha was talking about?

When we learn to detach ourselves from the passing panorama of daily events, identify ourselves as souls and more than souls, we will be freed to act, to serve our environments, to unfold that incredible dignity which is the Christ in us and the hope of our glory, and we will experience joy, that special wisdom about which Morya talks and which has to do with understanding the difference between reality and illusion.

We speak of the Great Chain of Being, the Golden Chain that runs from the least to the highest. We speak of the ladder of ascent, of the seamless nature of the Grand Design. If there is a missing link in this chain or missing rungs in this ladder, the gap is not between the 3rd and 4th kingdoms that famous missing link is between the 4th and 5th kingdoms, and it is only missing because we lack the courage, the faith and the will to manifest it.

I am not suggesting any foolishness, any stupidity, any fanatic programs or seeking of martyrdom. At the same time I am saying that a lot of what goes down as caution is fear rather than careful planning to actually make an impact, to actually have an effect. I think that working with individuals who after a period of time demonstrate that they are ready to hear about the Path of Discipleship, who are, in other words, safe to work with, is OK. It is one of the time-honored ways in which disciples have been helped to find their way onto the Path. But finding disciples who are ready to step on the Path is not what is needed here, now.

We need to bring the fact of the 5th kingdom forward in human consciousness. Someone-if not we, who else?-has to step forward and start talking about these facts in a rational, loving way. I think that if enough of us do that in whatever venues we have available to us, we will force open the flood gates of materialism behind which many, many souls, the spirit of Humanity, are being imprisoned. These are the true prisoners of the planet, and they are being held in their prisons by the fear generated by the forces of retrogression.

Let's break them out.

When we, who are the vanguard of the Spiritual Hierarchy, make it safe for those scientists who know that the subjective realms exist, for those people in the social and political sciences to think and express their understandings of the Divine Plan in terms of co-operation instead of competition, in terms of the One Humanity, we will also be providing the birth canal through which the Hierarchy can be born. This will be how the Hierarchy will emerge. The 5th kingdom will come into incarnation, will be born, as it has always, through the 4th.

These are unusual times, friends. We all chose this moment to be in incarnation for some reason. Certainly it can't have been to sit back and watch Humanity spiral down into some material abyss, while we live a life of safety and comfort. We can do more than that. We are, you know, part of the One Group of all true servers. We can allow that power we invoke every day at 5 o'clock to really flow through us. We can allow our lives to be characterized by the love of the One Soul, and if we do, we really can, as we pledge every day at 5 o'clock, do our part in the One Work through self forgetfulness-an active fiery concern for others, an active fiery concern for the whole planet, through harmlessness-that positive, creative, dynamic kind of harmlessness, and through right speech-courageous speech, skilled and timely speech.

I do not remember getting any assurances about this particular trip being an easy one, a laid-back assimilation trip. This is our work, friends. There is no one else to do it, no one else that can do it. I think it is why we were born, why we chose to be here now.

Tom Carney