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 EIGHT Third Phase of the Group
As the Will aspect intensified its focus on and through the planet, the third phase of operation of the Group moved into expression. The point of focus of the group statement and definition moved on from the soul emphasis to the monadic although this had always been implied. It must be understood that the group purpose is present and complete at all times. It is not created. It can only emerge.
The Logos of our planet is the supreme example of this principle. His purpose is present and complete at all times but we see only the stage of manifestation outpicturing on the planet at any point in time. It is said that the Logos’ purpose is already complete within His statement but He has not yet finished speaking.
Because we live and move and have our being within the life of the Logos, we express within this same principle. The work is one as it is held within the meditative focus of the inner group and moves outward into the world through its progressive phases. It is implemented by those workers whose task it is by the very fact of their response to the sound of that new phase.
As the Group moved from the first more subjective phase into its second phase with public contact, so the third phase of the Group was inevitably more visible and attracted more attention. The manner in which the Group attracted its personnel for this third phase differed significantly from the first phase. This may readily be understood when we note the different moment and requirements within each phase of the work. Once again those people whose task and expertise it was to carry on this work appeared in the Group.
The group entity itself is at once attractive yet protective of its mission or purpose. So whoever may come to the group remains to serve if they are sounding to the same note and those who have come seeking something for the separated self, or those whose true work lies elsewhere, just fall away. There is no impulse to increase group numbers because the outer group is known to be an externalized point of the inner group and its magnetic life will attract whomever it will.
It is recognised that the Group is sounding a particular note and maintaining the focal point through which that newly emerging work must continue to unfold. While the Group maintains its subjective focus, at the same time it continues to serve the needs of the public.
It is understood that there are many groups working in a similar way and each sounding its own note according to its specific task, together blending in a symphony of sound, within the synthesis that is the Work
The Group Focus
Towards the end of the century, leading up to the year 2000, with increasing inflow of the energy of the will and the impact of Shamballa force into human consciousness, the world group intensified its focus and turned its attention to the implementation of this new period.
In the third phase, the Group cooperated in this work according to its own direction and its own specific task. Its thought ranged around the nature of the will in operation and related aspects as it understood the challenge to apprehend, define, and take the work into the New Era. Along with many other world groups at this time, group thought addressed the significance of the Monad, the life aspect, synthesis, will, identification and identical at-one-ness.
Although this Group holds within its ranks an assortment of personalities, there are no personnel problems. This type of difficulty has ceased to exist. If any individual member experiences any reaction or difficulty within or as a result of the group activity, it does not affect the group expression or its steady focus upon its purpose. The group members may be aware of an individual’s difficulty but the individual is held with love within the Group’s life and understands the responsibility to address his or her own challenges and thus free energies for service within the Group. At this point a group stands ready to explore deeper and more significant relationships.
Thoughts on Identical At-one-ness
How may we find words to define the nature of identical at-one-ness wherein an individual enters into an experience of life-sharing with another? We are so used to separated existence; we are so dependent upon word forms to define the world as we have known it that it is well nigh impossible to accept, let along understand, the inexpressible which flashes forth in its fiery essence when we embrace and are embraced by the subtle worlds of existence.
At the risk of over-simplification, identical at-one-ness may be understood as an experience of relationship at inner levels of being and may be said to express from the ‘inside – out’ as it informs and enlightens living and reveals the essential unity of life. It is therefore entirely free from the common relationship problems that can result from ‘outside to outside’ relationships. In other words, those expressing identical at-one-ness carry this spiritual state into their world of outer living, whereas the human relationships we generally see are most commonly interactions between personalities within their personal worlds. A very different matter. Even within the ranks of disciples this state of identical at-one-ness is as yet exceptionally challenging to contemplate and yet it hovers over the group consciousness.
We need to engender a greater capacity for freedom, a freedom which can only be known when we are no longer dependent upon forms for guidance or support, particularly those which enshrine viewpoints that dictate or limit our understanding of the true purpose of life and especially now, in terms of the New Era. Many forms must disappear because they are a source of separation, but the inner spiritual synthesis must be recognised. We no longer seek personal enlightenment but rather growth into an increasing experience of, and within, that greater Whole of Life itself.
Christ told us that he came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Life is a free flowing circulation of energy throughout all parts of the whole; it is irresistible; it cannot be arrested. It brings all things together in union or at-one-ment. It is that great Synthesis which exists throughout the universe, the basis of all awareness. As we come to recognise this great divine expression of Synthesis and allow it to flow through our consciousness we find we can no longer entertain separative thoughts and will endeavor to be at one with the life in all forms.
Christ called us to the realisation of oneness, unity, synthesis and identification as recorded in St. John’s Gospel Chapter 17 when he prayed to the Father that his disciples might also experience this state of oneness. Christ’s great realisation is summed up in his words, ‘I and the Father are One’. He was identified with the Father – one and the same as the Father. Until we can understand identical at-one-ness with at least one human being we will find it very difficult to conceive of the idea, let alone imagine the nature of the experience. And just allow the old usage of word forms to rush in and we have confusion.
There are no techniques or bridges across to this realisation as contained in past teachings. As we may see from the example Christ has left us, it is a matter of identification. It is a transference of the life from the outer form into the inner being, a returning to the Father. It is a burst of realisation, transformative of consciousness. It opens the way into greater things and areas of service, a process of conscious participation within the Life of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being.
St. Paul left us similar revelation in his letter to the Jewish Christians which he wrote following his blinding revelation of reality along the road to Damascus. He points us to the Way that Christ opened to humanity to enter the Holy of Holies, the innermost sanctum, the highest aspect of Deity on our planet, “by a fresh and living way, which he has opened up for us by himself passing through the curtain, that is, his own human nature” (Heb. 10:19-20). We are invited to step beyond the personal world of form, of our own human natures, into the realm of the first aspect of Life, Will, Synthesis.
We may note that Christ, in the experience in the Garden of Gethsemane, anchored the divine Will upon the planet as his will merged with that of the Father. He made it possible for humanity to come in contact with the divine Will. He opened the way for all humanity. St. Paul, as a result of his experience, also opened a way into the recognition of the first divine aspect of will or synthesis as his letter to the Jewish Christians reveals. And in like manner the fact that even two people enter into an experience identical at-one-ness makes it not only possible but inevitable that we may all eventually experience this state, individual to individual, group to group.
Along the way the disciple gains an inner focus on life which results in an awareness of the thoughts and feelings of others, evoking a clear and loving understanding, a positive harmlessness, and a response to need, or that which is truly required in any circumstance, while all the time working within the good of the Whole.
Life More Abundant
In terms of those who share the experience of identical at-one-ness, there is a life-sharing, an exchange of energy. The inner senses become acute. There is an intensity of awareness. Time and place, as limitations, cease to exist except that one chooses to work within them. An all-embracing trust is shared and a freedom so vast that all is encompassed, nothing is without.
Initially we face ‘letting everything go’ – otherwise we still have some barriers. But just what is it that we let go? It has nothing whatsoever to do with character or conventions or the various emphases of the past. It is a progressive realisation as we discard those things that have completed their usefulness in providing learning experience – anything that now restrains liberation. There is no sense of judgment in this – it is the nature of life on this planet that we experiment, experience, absorb, refine, distil, discard. However, we have arrived at a moment in time when Life is demanding a new requirement of us, and what we as a group are experiencing and sharing together is pointing us to this new unfoldment.
Life-sharing is much more than personal sharing and also more than soul sharing. It is only possible if we can glimpse the vision and then let go of our partial recognitions, ideals or formulations which may have been good and useful in the past, so that life itself may flow and flow abundantly. May we as disciples be involved at this time in a lesser work than cooperation with the Christ’s true mission: that we might have life more abundantly?
Our ideals and beliefs are only stepping stones to discovering the true nature of humanity, of ourselves, who we are, but at a certain point they stand in the way of progress into freedom. And it is not only ideals and beliefs, but those things we hold to ourselves, such as memories. It seems ‘fair enough’ that if we have been wronged, or believe we have, a barrier goes up or a reaction occurs. But if we experience freedom we do not find any necessity to identify with or hold onto errors, actions, ideas or thoughts of others. Otherwise we have two, or more, people involved (compound interest) when we do not really need to subscribe at all.
Commenting on the above, a group member said: “I remember once someone asked my forgiveness for what she had thought and said about me that she subsequently realised was not so. I told her that I had never been involved and all she needed to do was to forgive herself.” Therefore, no personal link or reaction or ongoing negative relationship had been forged. We are really discussing personal karma and its creation. There is absolutely no need for us to continue that process. Besides, it robs us of all the time, free flow of energy and thought expression which could be better used in enlightened service.
Life-sharing just is. Everyone initially may experience life-sharing with those people they work closely with and it will have as many facets as there are people experiencing it. There is a constant and intense awareness of immediacy, of togetherness, but which in no way intrudes upon the individual’s or group’s expression in the outer life. In fact all expression in every dimension is enlivened, enhanced, deepened. There are moments when two (or more) realise they are thinking together, are drawn together consciously. They experience a sense of being together in a ‘place’ where separation cannot exist, an awareness that there is identical at-one-ness in thought and a knowing that each knows that both (or all) know. At other times one may draw another, and such contact is experienced by a welling up of the life force and an intense awareness of shared participation in thought or energy levels.
A conscious sharing in some form of service is possible at any distance, even across the planet, demonstrating an extension of the sense into the subtle dimensions. This brings in the qualities and capacities of each involved, deepening and extending the possibilities and expression in service. Time, space, distance, have nothing to say – nor does form. It is a labour of love and love is its essence. We come to understand the significance of the Fire of Love which Christ brings, proclaiming the New Era of Fire. We must learn to master this element.
To summarise, when we stand here in this transitional time and we know that our work is to apprehend and implement the new, then we have to be abundantly free because it is one thing to subscribe to the past and what is known but it is another thing to live in that which is not yet expressively here – not yet anchored or founded. Thus there is no option but to experiment with that which we contact. It is the only way we can anchor. Thus this exceptional kind of freedom where there are no limitations, so that we may begin to give expression to the new day. In so doing we are revealing the new outlook, the new attitudes, to humanity.
There are inevitably those who are left behind and we hear a clash between the old and the new eras. The debate is between separateness and synthesis. In the very experience of this new experiment we must be aware of the fact that we are anchoring, anchoring, anchoring. We are leaving behind past ways of seeing things. We find the new which we are embracing arising from the spiritual dimension.
Researching Identical At-one-ness
The following is an e-mail communication between the author and a co-worker discussing their thoughts on identical at-one-ness.
Author: “We’ve set one another off in thought since our conversation yesterday. Regarding your comments re identical at-one-ness or singleness of being, we not only find our ‘reach’, our understanding, our vision, deepened and extended when we can work identically at one with another, but we can also tap into life itself because it is life-sharing that it is all about. One thought I had as I read your ‘paper’ – is our capacity governed to some extent by our point of understanding?
“We must assume that anyone capable of expressing identical at-one-ness is at a point at which they touch the life aspect and not just soul consciousness. However, there are still varying degrees of realisation in the ensuing work as implemented. Sure, we identify and the life energy flows, but knowing surely is a must? What do you think? And there is another possibility. That those working together in this way (two or more) may draw on the capacities of the other/s or that this flows automatically if we truly understand life-sharing and that even those at inner levels may also be involved? Where are we going?”
Co-worker: “Identical at-one-ness might also be defined as shared presence. Although individual identity remains there is a distinct awareness of shared thought, feelings and etheric presence, at times virtually tangible. Even when immersed in a task requiring a good deal of focus and concentrated attention, there is a clear sense of this shared presence or shared existence. It is almost as thought we share an ‘etheric space’ simultaneously regardless of geographical location. Thus one finds an increased clarity of thought, capacity to access information, intensified etheric sensitivity (sending and receiving).”
Author: “Identical at-one-ness is an all-encompassing state and although we are right in its midst we find that one of its features is movement or motion or perhaps that is how it is being experienced in our conscious awareness. Here is our experience of a state of continual deepening, expansion and change, and particularly as we take notice of the effects into our outer world of living – effects in (or within) the work we do, the people we work with, the energies released.
“These energies are released into the outer world by the very intensity shared by those experiencing a singleness of being, and the energies of life itself are ‘gathered up’ and pour forth along with the stream. We are in a learning process and are currently noting the impacts into the outer world and upon vehicles, our own and those of others – different manifestations – but all of them moving all onward to the new day. And yes, those experiencing identical at-one-ness are increasingly aware of shared thought, more and more clearly registered.
“One of the requirements for those who are part of this new development in human consciousness is obviously and naturally the necessity to be so free as to allow complete openness and free thought flow so that no obstruction may stand in the way of reception or cause distortion or colouring by conventional definition or persuasion – or reaction to such. And yes, more than shared thought – the forces that flow through all vehicles are shared through every dimension of being – each remains entirely individual while having the extended realisation and depth of awareness of the shared forces.
“We are already aware that everyone shares the etheric and therefore all that flows through it, but the end game is a revelation of identical at-one-ness superseding past goals of unifying. Some of us in the Group here are noticing this experience almost automatically flowing through those who are open to this possibility. It certainly is deepening and enhancing our work.
“Pioneers tread a challenging path and must be resilient and tensile, but the Law of Compensation guarantees them ‘abundant return’. Now, see how out of date is the use of such language? ‘Abundant return’ as though things were separated. ‘Do this and get that’. Unless of course we see ‘return’ as a part of a cycle of ‘life more abundant’. So in writing we are going to be challenged to choose terms that carry the new vision with a clarity that does not allow anyone to relate back to word-driven old definitions. Perhaps we may need to resort to the ‘what is not’ beside ‘what we hope to reveal to you that it is’. Do you think it possible that this may become a book in which we both share with the readers our life’s work and unfoldment of this new day? This is still in such an infant stage as we together experience the new realisations inherent in identical at-one-ness. And what a journey we are on – by conscious choice – as if there were any other choice that could have been made once having entered upon a bus ride and renewing recognition of a continuing story through time and space.”
Co-worker: “Yes, what a ride! And are we surprised? No. And the more I think the more I realise that the magic carpet upon which we ride is called Shamballa energy. We can expect a power ride with everything charged and stimulated to peak of usefulness and expression. There is a reason behind everything. It is in our recognition of this moment with its mighty energies that we have the opportunity to assist in ushering in the new day.”
Author: “We are truly giving ourselves totally to the revelation of this next phase of awareness in the life of a human race. We both know that we will follow it wherever it may lead us and do whatever it may require or request. We are both aware of the fact that it is the Work that has driven our very lives for as long as we have been here. Freedom reigns because all relationship is indeed initiated from the inside out and because it is the Work which is the driving force. We have ample opportunity to test the truth of this in our daily lives, do we not my friend? I am sure we will continue to make discoveries of internal and eternal nature. ‘Let not him who seeks cease until he finds, and when he finds he shall be astonished. Astonished he shall reach the Kingdom…’ (from the Oxyrhynchus Sayings of Jesus).”
Identical At-one-ness in Group Life
It is a natural progression to see identical at-one-ness proceed from that expressing between two people to that experienced within a group to identical at-one-ness between groups, thus demonstrating a living synthesis.
It is like the story in the greater group. In 1925, when the Ashrams were moved from the higher mental plane onto the buddhic level, the distinctions which had been obvious between the ray groups when on the mental levels were no longer a factor. The ray qualities were of course still in evidence and available in the work but it was now ‘all Hierarchy’.
A parallel may be seen in understanding identical at-one-ness wherein no distinctions can divide, as we note with that unity existing within each ray group – the Ashrams – proceeding to the realised oneness within the one group – Hierarchy. Identical at-one-ness may be seen as an expanding state of realisation that progresses until one is identified with all selves – wherein all selves are known as one. We also cannot overlook the fact that in this development a movement upward is visible. As this takes place the whole group moves to a higher plane of expression.
It is understood that this desirable possibility emerges from an inner realisation and proceeds outward into that Aquarian group expression wherein individuals and groups arrive at a complete and conscious recognition of their unity of purpose within the one great group, while still honouring their necessary and diverse contributions to the whole of the Work, such as we note with the ray groups within Hierarchy. There can then be no impulse to gather workers under any one particular umbrella which may appear of undue importance to a group leader. Such methods, so noticeable in the past, are instituted on and from the outer plane of the work and can exert unwarranted pressures upon co-workers. Until the world groups leave each other completely free in this third phase of the work yet recognise the unity leading eventually to identical at-one-ness within the world group, then this emergent realisation is not possible of worldwide expression.
One further thought. Just as it was time, and it was timely, for the Ashrams to move from the higher mental levels onto the buddhic plane then that movement necessarily required the groups in the outer world, who are the externalized points of the inner group, to reflect the same movement. This is just obvious when you look at it – the groups that are the outer statement of the inner fact, and are working to bring the inner realisation into outer expression, must necessarily work under the same realisation and inspiration as does the inner group.
This realisation is stepped down as it is presented within the work on the outer plane within the community, the world, or humanity as a whole. However, the groups themselves must not step down in their own living expression that which is currently understood in the inner group on the inner plane in the Ashrams of Hierarchy.