Journey of a Lifetime: A Group Story is an account of the journey of a group through more than thirty years’ work. From February 2018 a chapter is being posted each month. Here is this month’s chapter. Please Note: Copies of the book are available from Sydney Goodwill.
CHAPTER TWO The Bus Ride
We all have had the experience at some time or other of meeting another person with whom we find an immediate affinity, a recognition that sometime, somewhere, we have met before. At the same time there can be a stirring in one’s awareness that the contact is destined to continue or that it has been reestablished to fulfill a cooperative project in service when the right moment arrives. Such was the experience of two workers who initially felt it strange under such circumstances that life had seen fit to position them at extreme opposite ends of the planet.
Their first meeting was at an international conference in a country other than their own. They found themselves seated together on a lengthy bus ride travelling with a group to a conference centre. Their inner recognition of one another was immediate, although nothing was verbalised. However, their awareness of the inner relationship inspired such trust that they found themselves speaking to one another of those things that they would only discuss with their very closest co-workers. It seemed imperative, with the time constraints, that they convey certain things. There was a sense of urgency. One of the other co-workers was so aware of the contact and the necessity for communication that she quietly maoeuvred the two into seats together. One of the two spoke of an experience that initiated the life of the Group with whom she has worked for many years.
After the Group had met a few times she had an intense but strange experience. She awoke in the early hours of the morning aware vividly of the inner plane and the projection of this happening into outer consciousness.
She found herself in a place somewhat strange to her. Others there asked her to join with them in a ‘local game’. She said she did not know how to play and they said to watch and she would understand. They unrolled a large oblong sheet on the floor, around the edge of which were groupings of numbers and symbols squared off not unlike a monopoly board.
Each person was given a similar smaller sheet and apparently required to match the numbers in some way. There was also a pile of cards from which to draw. Play commenced from the left and proceeded clockwise and as she watched she began to get a general idea of the game.
Then a man appeared at her side (behind her left shoulder) and silently began to indicate what to do. The people became annoyed when they saw this and that she was doing quite well with the numbers she had. They really did not understand what was going on. She used up all her cards.
She also had a bundle of what appeared to be bamboo sticks that had to be matched in some way. She stood up and laid them on a seat that stretched the width of the room along one end. A young girl in a sari, her head covered, sat in the corner of the seat cross-legged. As their eyes met she found herself telepathically linked with the young girl who indicated that the Master was in the vicinity and she indicated that she should very much like to catch a glimpse of him. The young girl conveyed to her the understanding that ‘this was in hand’ although there were no words in this exchange.
The stranger still stood beside her and now a few children also. She matched up the bamboo sticks until two lay left beside each other and she said, “They are so alike, so white, surely they are twins?” And a woman left the game to see and reached her hand down and said, “Look, there are other smaller pieces hidden there, all different sizes. You have revealed to us you can no longer match any other numbers and you are therefore out of the game.”
She felt disappointed and began to gather up the sticks that suddenly had become long-stemmed roses that were fast dying. She said, “Well, the roses are dying, I won’t be here long anyway.”
Then the stranger, now recognised as a friend and helper, said telepathically, “I shall take you to a meeting.” She asked, “Who will be there?” And he replied, “MacTavish, MacDonald, and the others.” And rather bewildered she said, “The Scottish are accepted here then?” He just smiled.
She followed him from the room, carrying a young child on her left hip, and was in turn followed by the girl in the sari and the other children. After a while the girl and the children were no longer present. The two came to an open door of a room in which quite a few people were assembled and a man stood at the door. She felt they were just in time and the friend said, “We have to give a password.” Turning to the doorman he said, “Macleod for us.” And they were allowed to pass through the door.
Everyone stood as the Master entered with a few others following him. The Master walked very erect and rather quickly. He was fair in appearance with fair hair and beard. Hi hair became progressively white as he proceeded into the room. He appeared to look at or speak to no one.
The friend turned to her and said, “The Master wishes to see you.” She experienced a growing bewilderment and said, “What is this place?” He replied, “Darjeeling.” She was instantly back in full consciousness in her physical body with the experience remaining most vivid.
A week later she and another group member attended, on invitation from Masonic friends, a lecture given by a Master Mason of the Order of the Scottish Rite. It was held in the Egyptian Room of the Masonic Temple. They walked into the room and were astounded to find themselves in the middle of the ‘monopoly board’, the surrounding walls ‘squared off’ in a series of vignettes telling the story of the life journey of a royal Scribe. At a certain point he sat at a table to play out his own game of life on his own small ‘monopoly board’, aided by a woman standing behind his left shoulder and who had gone before him. As the Scribe proceeded along the final wall, his hair became white until in the last square he completed his journey, the goal achieved.
The lecturer was an excellent speaker. His talk was very interesting and entertaining to the invited guests and at the same time deeply meaningful to the masons present. But to the above two group members it revealed another dimension altogether, undoubtedly without the notice of the speaker.
Contained within these symbols is the revelation of our life’s work. Our group work. The world group today is being required to reveal that level of being which is termed monadic and which relates to Shamballa, the Life aspect.
If one does not know how to play the game one is urged to watch. This is exactly what happens as we come into incarnation and learn about the world around us. We absorb the viewpoints of our particular culture and time, the attitudes and beliefs of parents, friends, teachers, and all things in our environment. This enables us to function in this world but results in that conditioning that obscures from our sight the true world of our spiritual identity until such time as we recognise the situation and take the responsibility to direct our lives upon the spiritual path.
The game upon the floor of the room symbolizes the game of life. We each have our own smaller game within the greater scheme – our hand to play. The average person returns time after time to play out yet another hand. The pile of cards from which to draw indicates the opportunity of another chance – either of a new lifetime itself or choice within a lifetime. Every move is self-directed. The play proceeds clockwise as is the direction on the outer plane of life. The sticks represent the balancing of the pairs of opposites.
The stranger who stands behind one’s left shoulder in assistance is one who has ‘gone before’, as also in the story of the Scribe, portraying the flanking support given by one who has previously passed through this same experience.
The young girl in the sari and the children represent those upon the path at various stages. One recognizes the necessity for all, at every place upon the path, to move onward and thus to light the way for those who follow behind. All will proceed as far as they are able at any time. So do we all travel the Way together.
The woman who plunges her hand into the sticks, causing them to appear confused once more, is one who is yet trapped in the game of life. Her attention would not have been drawn if no comment had been verbalised and occult silence maintained.
The rose symbolises the soul. These roses were dying, pointing to the next phases to be acknowledged in human development, that phase wherein the soul will no longer be seen as the goal to be revealed, but will give way to the revelation of the One, the Monad.
The whitening of the hair is the symbol of perfection.
The use of Scottish names and their symbolic relation to certain levels of experience and understanding as represented in the various degrees of masonry, specifically those of the Scottish Rite, hints at the story of mankind held within Masonic lore. It also directs us to the new phase in the world work with its movement from the soul or consciousness aspect to the Monad or Life aspect.
So, this whole symbolic experience not only encapsulates the entire story of human evolution upon this planet Earth but also reveals this next phase presenting in the world work. Disciples in the present time have the responsibility to apprehend and give out this expanded revelation in some suitable format that clearly conveys the new emphasis that must be substituted for previous goals.
The symbolism clearly points to the monadic life, to a complete understanding of the purpose of the incarnating process and its opportunities and lessons; to the balancing of the pairs of opposites, the achievement of the soul; to the assistance in the next stage of growth in awareness by those who have gone ahead and to the drawing onward of those who are coming behind, according to their readiness to proceed as far as they may. Here is the synthesis of life and its living relationships. All stages of human development in consciousness are represented, encompassing those who identify as yet with the outer game upon the square to the Master himself and his disciples, every possible stage of understanding and development.
Here was the completed picture that the Group understood should guide the work of disciples in this time.
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Throughout the bus ride these two age-old friends, now reunited in this lifetime, continued to converse and there was a recognition of a mutual inner response. Later this would be revealed as a shared Ashramic task, leading to this publication. Over the years they occasionally met and consistently shared thoughts and ideas, and a vital awareness of their subjective togetherness. The following chapters invite you to participate in their sharing as told by the author.