It’s been said that we are made of stardust. The thought is uplifting in its implication of an exalted potential and an expanded sense of being and of relationship with something unknown yet deeply familiar, with something greater and larger than our ordinary selves, beyond all earthly aspiration. This deep relationship resounds in this verse:
Broadly has spread the praise of daring. The least of the disciples have turned to the path of searching and have approached Us, asking that We judge their striving. Each brought his dreams: ‘I will destroy all earthly temples, because Truth needs no walls. I will water all deserts. I will open all prisons. I will demolish all swords. I will blaze all trails. I will wipe away all tears. I will travel through all lands. I will inscribe the book of humanity.’
But the least one of them turned to the shining stars and said, ‘Hail to you, brothers!’ And in this salutation of daring his ego vanished.
Let the path of the Universe be acknowledged in this daring greeting!” [Agni Yoga, verse 12]
Dust may not be just dust
It would appear that some aspects of our life are so automatic and all-pervasive that they can be taken for granted without our considering the power they constantly exert in our daily living. The power of life pulsates through the heart of every atom from human tissue to the very air we breathe; from earthly stone to heavenly clouds. And where humanity is specifically concerned it is the power of thought that drives our living activity, emotional response and the creativity of our minds.
Tides and currents of thought sweep through human consciousness, generating experience and our response to it in a constant reciprocal dance – evolving, unfolding and expanding consciousness outwardly into the manifest world and inwardly into the subtle layers of Life’s unfolding expression. The Tibetan explains:
We speak at times of an expanding universe; what we really mean is an expanding consciousness, for this etheric body of the Entity, Space, is the recipient of many types of informing and penetrating energies, and it is also the field for the intelligent activity of the indwelling Lives of the Universe, of the many constellations, of the distant stars, of our solar system, of the planets within the system, and of all that constitutes the sum total of these separated living forms. The factor which relates them is consciousness and nothing else, and the field of conscious awareness is created through the interplay of all living intelligent forms within the area of the etheric body of that great Life which we call SPACE.” [Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle, page 179]
At the centre of our thought life is the constantly maintained thought-form that we call the personality which is the persona or worldly mask expressing through physical appearance and action; emotional values and attachments; lines of interest and focus. As Shakespeare revealed through Jacques in Act II, Scene VII of As You Like It:
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts”
And yet this form that can loom so large in our worldview is more insubstantial and fragile than thin air. It is a most subtle creation of structured thought – designed by the subtle Self or soul and coloured, in varying degrees, according to family, culture and circumstance.
Thought is not just something we do – it is the creative force of Life’s intention manifesting – and it is the prerogative of the human kingdom. We are told that
In the study of thought man learns the laws of being.” And that “Only the self-conscious can create, and only they are capable of purpose, of co-ordination, of direction and control.” We are responsible for the thought-forms we create, and so are held to account in the great balancing of energies that is constantly moving our world and our universe. “Where self-consciousness is not, there is no responsibility. Hence animals are not held to be responsible, and though they suffer on the physical plane and in their physical vehicles, on the subtler planes they are freed from karma, for they have neither memory nor anticipation; they lack the correlating faculty and as the spark of mind is missing, they are held free from the law of retribution, except where the physical body is concerned.” [A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, pages 566, 577, 562-3]
Thought projects Life into form. It is the flow-through of divine impulse into manifestation, of Spirit into matter.
We are told that revelation is ever present and that realisation is the key: a key which opens up for us a world of energies. We then realise that all is energy and that our worldly experience derives from energy impacts. Even physical experience is only really known and appreciated through the registration of energy on mental or emotional substance. It is apprehended through the responsive recognition of it in our thoughts and feelings. We create thought bridges of meaning by relating new impacts to those already experienced and known, and we form patterns of relationship that reflect something more deeply “known” such as symbols and archetypes.
Every moment is potent with revelation that then imbues all subsequent thinking, feeling and activity. We are told that:
revelation concerns Oneness and nothing else” [The Rays and the Initiations, page 298] and that:
“…all that IS is ever present. What we are concerned with is the constant awakening to that which eternally IS, and to what is ever present in the environment but of which the subject is unaware, owing to short-sightedness. The aim must be to overcome the undue concentration upon the foreground of daily life which characterises most people, the intense preoccupation with the interior states or moods of the lower self which characterises the spiritually minded people and the aspirants, and the imperviousness or lack of sensitivity which characterises the mass of men. The Kingdom of God is present on Earth today and forever has been, but only a few, relatively speaking, are aware of its signs and manifestations. The world of subtle phenomena (called formless, because unlike the physical phenomena with which we are so familiar) is ever with us and can be seen and contacted and proved as a field for experiment and experience and activity if the mechanism of perception is developed as it surely can be. The sounds and sights of the heavenly world (as the mystics call it) are as clearly perceived by the higher initiate as are the sights and sounds of the physical plane as you contact it in your daily round of duties. The world of energies, with its streams of directed force and its centres of concentrated light is likewise present, and the eye of the see-er can see it, just as the eye of the mental clairvoyant can see the geometrical pattern which thoughts assume upon the mental plane, or as the lower psychic can contact the glamours, the illusions and delusions of the astral world. The subjective realm is vitally more real than is the objective, once it is entered and known. It is simply (how simple to some and how insuperably difficult to others, apparently!) a question of the acceptance, first of all, of its existence, the development of a mechanism of contact, the cultivation of the ability to use this mechanism at will, and then inspired interpretation.”[Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle, 53-54]
So behind the worldly mask of the player in the world – who is the Author that creates the play, directs the actor and thus reveals reality through a living, experiential enactment? Perhaps we might:
…begin…to have some more exact idea…as to the distinctions existing between the thinker, the apparatus of thought, and thought itself, beginning with its dual esoteric function which is:
1. The recognition and receptivity of IDEAS. And:
2. The creative faculty of conscious thoughtform building.”
[The Rays and the Initiations page 446]
The following summation comes from an article by Alice A. Bailey reprinted in the latest Beacon magazine (April-June 2013):
The Piscean Age utilized and purified the hearts of its people. The Aquarium Age will render the same service to the race, only this time working with the mind. The Aquarian man will be distinguished by his mind control acquired through concentration, or one-pointed attention. He will be focussed in his own centre. He will know himself and that which he has to do: he will have found that centre, in that secret place, the esoteric point of his entire being – God, his divine Self. From that centre he will work, self-directed, not led. He will be self-confident and self-reliant in the higher sense, the self-reliance of a man who knows his own soul and works intelligently under that soul’s direction.”