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 ELEVEN – Focusing the Fourth Phase
At this point the Group gathered to consider the necessities outlined in the previous chapter regarding the fourth phase of the Group work. When everyone was seated in our meeting room the author said, “Let’s work!”
Some weeks earlier the Group had been invited to participate in supportive thought for the book that was being written. Everyone responded enthusiastically and put their thought consciously behind this group task. At the time of this meeting the book was at a point when a chapter was being written about the fourth phase of the Group work. It was understood that this chapter could not possibly be a mere academic statement of what we might logically anticipate was about to emerge but, as with the first three phases of the Group, could only be revealed through the very experience of living it into existence and expression on the outer plane.
Consequently, the group members considered their participation within the implications and responsibility of this next phase. The ensuing discussion led to a recognition of the requirements that the work demands of the group members and the nature of the attitude of mind we must bring to this fourth phase in our work.
We began by reminding ourselves of the basic platform from which we work, the recognition of our inner relationship with one another and within the inner group, and the understanding that this identification offsets that personality introspection which sets up impenetrable barriers between a group member and the spiritual life of the Group. If any individuals find in themselves undue focus upon personal difficulties then they must examine whether they are in fact standing together with the Group within its focus of intention.
At this point one member asked everyone to recall previous group consideration of the nature of that which is shared within a group or Ashram – a sharing in group life with all that that signifies in opportunities presented, a sharing in service to humanity, a sharing in the stimulation resulting from inflowing energies, a sharing of group love and of insights, a sharing of the protection afforded by the group life itself, and a sharing of individual limitation but not of personal problems.
Another group member described her feeling of inadequacy as a hindrance to the group work. The Group reminded her that in the movement of the moment we all, including the Group itself, stood at a point of crisis. Each of us understood the necessity to address our own individual crises since there is no one else who is responsible, whereas we recognised the responsibility together to set in motion the work that was ours to do and for which we had come together.
Furthermore, it was stated, “You would not be in the Group except for your strengths, qualities and capacity to love. Everyone has been drawn into the Group because they have some particular potentiality that sounds in accord with the group note – tapped or untapped – and which can enhance the group work.” It became evident that each individual was needed to contribute their full potential in order for the Group to express as a complete entity.
Each individual became acutely aware of where they stood and just what may hinder their full expression within the group work, whether comfortable with this discovery or not. Everything within the individual and group life was revealed with intensified clarity. It became obvious that since the group thought was focused upon the nature of the fourth phase of the Group and what was potentially in emergence, then this very energy was itself impacting the group consciousness and every individual within it. It was in fact the driving force and the energy with which we now had to work.
One member, overwhelmed by the magnitude of the next step, requested, “Give me a technique.” Everyone understood how she felt and where this was coming from, but nevertheless reminded her that we need no bridges in our way of group operation because everything is known within the One and there is no need to think in terms of ‘from here to there’. Then it was said, “If you really must have a ‘technique’, watch your thought!” The group member moved back into the flow of the group thought.
Balancing the Forces
The group members need to understand the responsibility to keep their thought focused together within the point of tension. The balancing of the forces of the Group is part of the responsibility of holding the Group at a point of tension. During periods of movement in the group consciousness this is particularly required and put into operation with considerable deliberation. So it was at this meeting.
In the inner life of a group it is obvious where the forces need to be brought into and held in balance. Not all members of a group understand the forces which may be let loose within the group’s living process, interrupting free flow, and particularly those related to individual expression. This causes the necessity of balancing forces to maintain the group on an even keel. The process takes place on the inner plane and when necessary in communication with the individual.
Any member of a group who still maintains any personal requirement has no possibility of perceiving the nature of the forces in movement at the inner level. However, if one lives life beyond the personal these forces are clearly recognised. We understand what is going on with the individual and just where their point of difficulty may be. And being beyond any possibility of imposition, even of that which appears good and useful for the individual, being beyond that which we call opinion, or any thought of pressure, then it is possible to assist in the freeing of the individual. The motivation behind this entire process is always and only the unified movement of the group.
A lively discussion took place within the group meeting regarding clarification of the balancing of forces. One member started by asking:
“Does a person’s understanding of balancing forces or one’s likelihood of unbalancing the forces within a group depend upon their point on the Path?”
“No it does not. That is exactly where a misunderstanding exists. Nobody has an excuse in terms of position on the Path. Nobody. Otherwise ‘miniature Hierarchy’ does not exist. Within an Ashram everybody takes responsibility.”
“So this presumes that everyone shares a sense of responsibility”
“Agreed. Providing everyone can maintain a focused sense of responsibility for the group and the group work irrespective of where they stand on the Path, then such position is irrelevant.”
“How much knowledge anyone has is also irrelevant, but motivation is all-important.
“Someone who has the sense that their grasp of knowledge is most important and requires personal recognition does not help balance the forces, but knowledge implemented with wisdom for the sake of the group work assures the balance. Anywhere there is personal reference or emphasis, spoken or thought, one is aware of forces that need to be balanced.
“And the forces must be balanced so the group can stand. Unless this can be achieved the life of a group ends. There must always be those within a group who can see where forces are out of balance and move to restore that balance.”
“It occurs to me that to balance forces one must be outside of their effect – not subject to them – otherwise we could not ‘see’ them or identify them. Nor could one hold the point of balance if one is not centred there at the source of balance, within the greater reality. To do this for a group one is identified with the inner group entity and its purpose. The point of balance is the centre – the Whole.”
“We find forces are balanced during esoteric discussion in the group because whatever is under consideration, and focused within the group mind, draws the individual comment. Watching this movement one is aware of the interaction and input of the group members, and the ebb and flow of the discussion. Those with inner understanding bring all the forces involved into balance with overview or clarifying statement.”
“Is the Will used in the balancing of forces?”
“Not necessarily but almost inevitably. It is the will of the group that is used. It is the life of the group. We are speaking about energies and forces. Forces are only controlled by that which s greater. There is an intermediate stage where people may not yet be working with the will and by their loving understanding they hold everything in balance. However, due to the direct impact of the Shamballa energy, in this time our challenge and opportunity within group work is to contact and use this first divine aspect.”
Generally speaking, the balancing of forces is handled by standing steady in spiritual being, holding the point of tension, sounding the note of the work and the forces are organised thereby. Forces are only forces and are subject to our directed intention.
New and vital energies flowing into the planet impinging upon the consciousness of the individual and the group can also cause effects and sometimes reactions as they impact, resulting in the release of forces within the group. When observed and recognised this presents the necessity to hold the group consciousness in balance on the inner planes. The group members together identify, through discussion and experiment, the nature of the energies entering world expression and the nature of the forces which must be rendered powerless to enable movement into the new day.
Whether or not the individuals defined clearly to themselves just what it was we were all experiencing during this meeting, it was inwardly obvious that a movement in consciousness was taking place. While some individuals knew they were inevitably moving with this energy, others knew that these forces would no longer allow them to hold back much longer. The ground had to be prepared for a new recognition, a new step, and therefore we had to be more aware than ever of even the least obstruction to movement.
Then a group member made this point, “Can you imagine a group where everyone is so entirely focused together within the group entity and on the group purpose that there is never a thought about the separated self in the group meeting – ever? Personal matters never enter anyone’s thought. It doesn’t matter what may be happening in anyone’s personal life. That is a matter between the person and their soul, to which they themselves attend. There is no impulse to think of anything other than the work at hand. The power with which we could work if this were understood is amazing.”
Consider the energy that is available within such a group when the members are focused together upon the work as a single point and without interruption. When they are not spending time and energy adjusting, adapting or balancing the forces within the group. When the sum total of their energy is forward looking, outward going into the work, into service, into bringing in the new day according to their vision. The is where freedom is the keynote and responsibility its implement.
A worker may believe that only a group comprised entirely of initiates can work from a focused point of power but that the usual group of disciples does not have the capacity to achieve the required degree of unity. Let us look at two instances in the world work where we may observe this capacity understood and functioning.
Consider the healing process. We know that for as long as we hold the point of focus the energy will flow and do its work. So also the network of triangles surrounding the planet results, from, and is maintained by, the focused meditative thought and intention of many people. This principle when recognised can be applied in any group activity. But invariably people come into a group and are still thinking about themselves, drawing the energy away from the group focus.
If people can just capture the vision they are not distracted by all those personal things that interrupt and disrupt and let in the undesirable forces that take us off that point of focus. As long as we keep our undivided attention within our group work, the energy will flow. We can maintain that undivided focus if we will. Then all energies will be used in and for the work.
It must be understood that it is energy that is held in focus and forces that are held in balance.
At the close of the meeting everyone was invited to share any observations, questions or thought regarding the fourth phase of the Group work. And then it was noted that within the discussion of the meeting people had already been addressing their own questions as revealed through their comments and observations, a fact that all may not have been award of at the time.
It was also obvious that no one any longer could possibly think of applying disciplines as may have been necessary in the first phase of the Group years ago because the energy itself was operating now through this Group., making its own demands consistent with the demands of the time (quite a forcing process). Neither was there any impulse for anyone to counsel or advise another because we can only demonstrate the fact that we are each responsive to this energy by responding to its demands and effects within our own individual awareness of it.
The individual is responsible for handling the effects of this impacting and inflowing energy within their own small individual system but they must not stop there. This is not an end in itself but serves only to free the individual into unrestricted work within the group as the energies of the new phase begin to express throughout the entire living process, the whole life of the planet, in this new day. Within this life the group consciously participates.
When we observe this process functioning we note the economy of operation as we respond inwardly to such prompting and work with its flow into outer expression, whereas the alternative method of operating from an external point of focus engages us in the rather laborious task of apprehension and application from within the world of time. It is at this stage that a group realises that they now move freely in the understanding that life is one and the lesser rules of the material world can no longer hold the group.
As the meeting concluded one group member asked, “Are we all ready to take this next step together and as a group?” Another member replied, “I’m in!” And all agreed. Various members added their observations of the moment.
V: “There is a sense of a major testing of all members of the Group at this time in readiness for the work to come.”
O: “The freedom of which we speak is simplicity itself.”
S: “I sit in the energy amazed at the group connectedness. As each new energy enters the room I see it become one with the energy already there. There is no needy, personal stuff or if there is it isn’t at a level that impinges on the Group. I feel a focus, a vision that is held by the Group and added to by everyone who enters.”
P: “’Focusing the fourth phase’ was overall an important meeting because the note of urgency sounded seemed to have focused our energies and this brought on more understanding of our task.”
H: “There is a new recognition of the love uniting the Group and its potency to protect and release. A new divine quality is emerging into awareness. There is a feeling that there is only time left for the new. Everything else seems dwarfed by a greater planetary need and impending sense that something profound is to emerge.”
M: “Entering upon the fourth phase of the Group we recognise the challenge to redirect our energies towards a new and higher goal. Take the focus off the old – keep the entire focus on the new.”
L: “For some time I have been aware of conscious inner relations. In meditation I have the impression that I am the Group. The Group, not I, meditates.”
As we recognised what we had to do to achieve group readiness it dawned on us that it was the Group itself, as an entity, that had to be ready for this phase. We were just following the necessary requirements so that the Group would be ready. We were standing there in that realisation that it was more than just getting the individuals ready. The injunction ‘to move’ was addressed to the Group entity. The Group moves onward in life.
Until this indivisible unity is an expressing fact it is not possible for the Group to move into this next phase of the work. Implied in this statement is the realisation that there is no individual thought or emphasis, whether of oneself or of another, within the Group but every capacity, every direction of energy is a function of the Group entity and within which all individual capacities are merged and employed.
Then the realisation expanded and it was noted that the individual and the group were yet another pair of opposites and when unified in the one there is the sense of the expanded consciousness of group and the individual awareness of identity within it. Now we think automatically in terms of group, without conscious effort, as part of our nature, just as in earlier stages we have thought naturally in terms of the separated self.
And it was noted within the Group that already some members were consciously experiencing a merging with others in singleness of being.
We became aware that similar experience was taking place within groups across the planet and it was noted that there was an inner demand that every group realise that state of freedom where no individual focus or pulling away exists. The group acts as a single entity with its entire focus upon the purpose within the work.