There is no moment greater or lesser than another. There is no better or worse thing; no nicer or nastier job; no higher or lower person. All that exists in the world is divine; is made of sacred matter and so is spiritual in its own way. Could we but see it, even a speck of dust shines with an inner light. This is the view of the ageless wisdom, preserved and handed down to us by the wise of each epoch.
This wisdom teaching is filled with paradox – for although all life is equal and one, there is also a hierarchy in all things. There is an order and structure whether it’s a universe, solar system, a human body, diamond or particle of matter. Everything is part of a hierarchy of ordered, magnetised substance.
The paradox is the energy or spiritual entity that forms the cross of service of love-wisdom – the way many of us now tread. What will we find at the end of our journey? Another cross, this one is made of fire; the fiery will of sacrifice. Upon that cross we are eventually crucified, as was Christ. On that cross duality disappears and only unity remains.
The cross of service known as the Fixed Cross, is the basis for the planes of consciousness that form the evolutionary process. These levels of being create the paradox because what is true on one level is not on another. We die to form life only to be reborn to soul life. This paradox is demonstrated for us by Pisces and its polar opposite sign of Virgo in terms of the two extremes of life – spirit and matter.
Pisces rules the whole and the mass consciousness, while Virgo cares for the tiniest particle that makes up, level by level, the whole universe. Pisces, the Father Spirit; Virgo, the Mother, Matter. Both divine, both in the process of becoming more than they are. While the sun moves through the zodiac sign of Pisces we are given the opportunity to learn more about this dual expression of the one Life and particularly about the Father aspect. This is helpful in our preparation for the day when we come face-to-face with Life Itself.
When we think of life, we may think of liberation from constraints, of complete health un-hindered by disease or disability; of time and ease to do whatever we please; of sharing with loved ones; of helping others. We may also think of death, as the cessation of life. All these considerations can exist only within the paradox of duality: life and death, health and disease, leisure and activity. Where there is duality, there also is limitation.
It’s difficult, perhaps impossible, to think of life without reference to un-life, or health without awareness of un-health. Only as children or animals are we able to live in the bliss of a unified state of being with its attendant limitations. As we mature most of us develop self-consciousness with its agonies and ecstasies of self-knowledge and the continuous reflection of ourselves in the face of the other.
Thinking demands duality and when we try to understand what life is, we’re really thinking about what consciousness is. Most of us don’t really know what matter is, even scientists grapple with that question. And even less of us really know life, but we’re getting a pretty good handle on what consciousness is.
If Life is the Father or Spirit aspect and Mother is the Matter aspect, then when these two come together, the soul is born and this is the root of consciousness. This consciousness shows itself differently across kingdoms in nature. In the mineral kingdom it’s the amount of radiation or light emitted; in the vegetable it’s the perfume and colour and in the animal it’s the capacity for learning and devotion to humans.2
The whole of life in the three kingdoms of nature is based on sacrifice, and it is an emerging consciousness of this that is changing the face of humanity. From selfishness and self-service is developing the new holy grail of selflessness and world service. Sacrifice means to make sacred the lesser by the greater, and so make the lesser great. From a parent’s sacrificial love for their child which is really the same instinctual devotion that we share with animals, to the daily sacrifice of our lesser desires and wants, we learn the art of renunciation. This is the art of love, beauty, rhythm, joy and persistence. Sacrifice is the energy that drives us on and up towards the ultimate goal.
Alice Bailey tells us that the capacity of each kingdom to sacrifice is dependent on its ability to conform its structure to the pattern set in the heavens, or the etheric blueprint. The better the forms intelligence in registering this pattern, the more perfect is its capacity to express it. Our human capacity to be of service is dependent on our capacity to live beautifully. The beauty of our activity and of our lives depends on how well we can vision this etheric blueprint and sacrifice the lower or lesser parts of our self to manifest it.
As the lower is sacrificed to the higher, one has less materially, yet gains more in consciousness – love, light – and eventually, power. ‘When it is recognised that the “giving-for” involves right living upon the physical plane and not … the dying of the physical body then we shall see a revitalised world.’3
This is the path to true freedom – shown to us by the Buddha and Christ. Freedom from the limitations of the lesser desires through the intelligent application of love. Pisces calls us to the ultimate sacrifice – of our soul. Eventually we must give or offer up the perfected soul, the sacred lotus, to reveal the jewel at its centre. This is the source of our life and light, the Monad or the Father aspect. When this sacrifice is achieved, then Life beyond the duality of life-death is revealed to us.
In the words of Patanjali,4 ‘through intense devotion to, and love of Ishvara, the Christ in manifestation, that Christ or soul may be contacted or known. Ishvara is God in the heart of every child of God; He is to be found in the cave of the heart; He is to be reached through pure love and devoted service, and when reached He will be seen seated upon the twelve petalled lotus of the heart, holding in his hands the “jewel in the lotus.” Thus the devotee finds Ishvara. When the devotee becomes the raja yogin then Ishvara will reveal to him the secret of the jewel. When Christ is known as king upon the throne of the heart, then He will reveal the Father to His devotee. But the devotee has to tread the Path of Raja Yoga, and combine intellectual knowledge, mental control and discipline before the revelation can be truly made. The mystic must eventually become the occultist: the head qualities and the heart qualities must be equally developed, for both are equally divine.’
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.
The Law of Group Work
In this emerging Aquarian age, the work of conforming the new forms to the divine etheric blueprint is the work of the New Group of World Servers. While the sun was transiting Aquarius we learned more about this group work and the Law of Group Progress which governs it.
Although each individual in the group must do their own work of service and sacrifice to eventually reveal the jewel in the lotus, we do not walk this path alone. In this new age of Aquarius, Bailey tells us that initiation will be taken in groups because so many are preparing themselves for this step in realisation. ‘Group initiation means that the bulk of the members are correctly oriented; that they are proposing to accept the discipline which will prepare them for the next great expansion of consciousness, and that none of them can possibly be deviated from their purpose.’5
While Aquarius governs group service, Pisces governs group sacrifice or universal consciousness. Not the cultish devotion to a guru and sacrifice to a person, but the sacrifice to the whole. As a water sign the Piscean consciousness is capable of synthetic wholeness or a consciousness of the whole. It can be aware of everything. It’s as difficult to grasp this elusive quality as it is to know Life. The Piscean consciousness seeks to embrace all, merge with all. It also channels the will of sacrifice. Pisces is esoterically ruled by Pluto and the first ray. This is the ray of the destroyer. It gives us the gift of perserverance and the will to tread the way of fire. This way demands all dross be burnt before we can enter into the secrets held in Shamballa where the Will of God is known.
Alice Bailey tells us that when Christ uttered the words, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ he was not calling to a God who had betrayed him, but to his soul. The beautiful radiant being that he had nurtured through his life – the soul or sacred lotus – stepped aside having done its job and achieved its purpose. It may be hard to imagine that the very thing we have lived and fought to know for so long must also be eventually renounced. The sacrifice of the soul is the giving up of feeling or any form of reaction, even the highest and best we have known. That’s the great renunciation of the fourth initiation when we fully learn the lessons of Pisces – to stare into the void and not only know it to be divine, but to fully enter into the mind of God – to know, love and become one with, the Plan and Purpose of the Logos.
Weaving the Path
The keynote for Pisces is: ‘I leave the Father’s home and turning back, I save.’ Many aeons ago, says the ageless wisdom, we descended into matter leaving a silvery trail. Like Hansel and Gretel, we knew that one day, we would need to make the return journey back to our Father Spirit.
Conscious now of the imprisonment of soul in form, we reach out trying to alleviate our pain and suffering. We touch the soul, the fiery reality in the etheric all around and within us.
Having left the Father’s home so long ago to descend into Mother matter, we now turn and begin our homeward journey. Weaving in consciousness and love a silvery thread, like a spider weaving beams of light, we lift ourselves up out of the darkness. With us come all whom we can serve and save. The redemptive task is achieved because we have no other path of return but the one we have created.
The spiritual warrior saw his group brothers and sisters. He knew he was not alone as together they walked the city streets, pouring the healing waters of love and light on all they passed. They were a group filled with the joy of knowing their place and purpose in the divine Plan. ‘What more could be asked of this life?’ The warrior asked himself. ‘What more can I give than my whole self to the glory of God?’
Time passed and one day the warrior realized that he didn’t know enough to be able to continue his service to the world. ‘I am limited in the abundance of light and love in me,’ he told his fellow servers. ‘There is still something we need to see, yet it cannot be seen with this mortal vision. There is something more we need to be, yet its beingness cannot be known while the knower and the known remain apart.’
The warrior, his soul-personality filled with fiery love, pondered while he continued his work of salvage. As his body trembled with the strain of unceasing labours to meet the need of his fellow humans, he pondered. As his entire being radiated joy and love to the trees, rocks and animals, he pondered. Until one day while sitting alone in a quiet place, the warrior saw what he must do to be yet more than he had ever been before.
He understood that he must let go of the one who had been with him throughout his long and arduous journey from the beginning of time. In that moment of realization, his heart was torn and his mind left him.
“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” cried the warrior, as his eyes could not see and his heart could not feel. At that moment all he had known ceased to exist. There was only blackness as the utter omniscience of the divine Will hovered near. The warrior felt bereft of all he had known and held dear. As the highest and best left him he stared into the impenetrable void and darkness of negation.
For a moment he hung between, pendant in a zone of timelessness and nothingness, until the very Beingness of Life Itself descended into him. All sense of other departed as the warrior’s body dissolved in a flaming glory. Matter and Spirit were re-united. The warrior was no more a separated consciousness, a point of light, a strand of loving energy, a point of sacrificial fire. He was now one with the whole; of Life; of Source, the Monad.
Some of those who worked with him were likewise consumed by the divine fire, some remained to carry on the work of service in the three worlds. They knew what had happened to their fellows and they knew that, with time and sacrifice, they too would tread that fiery path.
Time passed, one day a world worker was spending his energies in healing and serving. He looked up in surprise as a vision appeared before him. He drew breath as he recognized his old friend the spiritual warrior. The vision’s shape was alive with dancing, vibrating flames of animated light and unearthly colour. The worker trembled, not in fear, but because his body was filled with a chorus of fiery sound as pure electric fire coursed throughout his being.
‘I still live’ said the vision splendid. ‘In you, around you and among you I remain.’ The worker’s heart overflowed with the bliss of Life. It flowed from him into the surrounding ethers; the plants and birds, the animals and rocks, all that could be touched were filled with the divine essence that heals. In that moment he faced the void and lost his all. In that same moment the lotus that had given him mortal life was rent from top to bottom to reveal the secret of the jewel within. The worker and server of light and love stepped forward, united now with the vision before him he joined his brother – into the sparkling livingness of Life eternal.
The keynote for Pisces is: ‘I leave the Father’s home and turning back I save.’ Christ and all divine avatars down the ages have showed us how to be better and more than we believe ourselves to be. In the paradox of our dual consciousness, we find that to be more we must become less.
During his life Christ personified the cross of service – the way of love when soul and form are unified. At the end of his life, he showed us the cross of sacrifice – the way of divine will and purpose when soul and spirit become one. At this moment the great Mother of matter is liberated, free to return on the wings of love-wisdom to sit at the feet of her beloved, the Logos or divine Intelligence, the Father. No more can the din of duality clamour in our ears. Now there is only unity, and the peace that passeth all understanding is all that can be heard.
I see His face in every flower,
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but His voice – and carven by His power
rocks are His written words. (Joseph Plunkett, ‘The Testament of Man’)
1. Alice Bailey, ‘From Bethlehem to Calvary’ p. 175-228
2. Ibid ‘Esoteric Psychology I’ p 215-223
3. Ibid ‘Externalisation of the Hierarchy,’ p.144-171
4. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali paraphrased in, Bailey, ‘The Light of the Soul’ p. xvii-113
5. Alice Bailey, ‘Rays and Initiations’ p. 25-47
6. Ibid ‘Esoteric Astrology, p. 115-134
Image: Ursa Major, The Great Bear, courtesy Hubble Images.