Crisis – a real spiritual opportunity
A student of the Alice Bailey writings shares her understanding of spiritual crisis.
The handling of crises is the hallmark of the disciple, and every crisis met and rightly handled, provides (once the difficulty is occultly “under the feet”) the place from which an extended vision can be gained, fresh knowledge can flow in and the transmuting light can shine from the Angel of the Presence and thus produce results. [Discipleship in the New Age Volume 2 p.13]
A minor crisis precipitated at the time of the approaching Easter full moon. As the crisis climaxed I experienced a feeling of overwhelment and despair as to how to reconcile my aspirations with my “reality”. I wanted to contribute to the group effort, yet my inner state of being precluded it. Suddenly I recognised the signs – “this is crisis”. I had been there before, and in the position of observer, I saw that this crisis was a re-iteration, a recapitulation of my earlier crises. It was as though I was being tested in my responses – “Have you really learned these lessons?”, asked my Soul.
Armed with this understanding, I was able to rise up and respond appropriately. I made efforts to refine my vibrations, clean up my environment on all three levels – physical, emotional and mental. I relegated the television to the storage shed for the season, and gave up eating meat. Not that I am suggesting these are necessary steps for other aspirants or disciples, but they seemed an appropriate way for me at the time to help myself refine my vibration.
Crisis means, among other things, increased sensitivity. It can be to the point of excruciating pain and a consuming fire. One can respond by trying to achieve “normality” by lowering one’s vibration and anaesthetising one’s senses and sensitivities, by trying to reach for the pleasures that once used to entertain one’s bodies before one embarked on this spiritual journey. Or one can accept the opportunity to contribute to the group effort towards world service, working with the increased flow of light, striving to discount the personal cost through indifference to one’s own suffering, and making renunciation – a recapitulation of bhakti devotion. This renunciation is of activities which lower one’s spiritual vibrations. In one sense, this distances us even further from the masses of ordinary people in Western society who perceive the indulgence of the senses as normal, necessary and desirable. Yet in another sense, it brings us closer to the heart and soul of humanity, as the revelation that comes during crisis discloses to us that we share all human tendencies, good and bad. This recognition, the Tibetan tells us, is what enables us to serve. [Discipleship in the New Age Volume 1 p.708-9 – see online copy]
Crisis equates to spiritual opportunity. The outcome of the crisis is completely irrelevant. What counts is how one conducts oneself during the crisis. Every victory gained over one’s own lower nature is one of the treasures that one “stores up in heaven” which can never be taken away.
Crisis, rightly handled, results in an expansion of consciousness or revelation. Revelation is hard to bear. The accompanying stimulation of the personality vehicles is exhausting. After the period of stimulation passes, one drops back down to everyday reality with a clunk and has to struggle with the pain of knowing and needing to work with the newfound knowledge without the benefit of stimulation. [See Discipleship in the New Age Volume 2 p.389 – see online copy]
Let us sustain each other in love and understanding during this time of opportunity, knowing full well that crisis and revelation are indeed hard for each of us to bear, yet knowing too that our every effort to work with our souls and learn the lessons of crisis helps to support and strengthen the group, and helps to make possible the fulfilment of our spiritual opportunity and destiny, to work as a group as Light Bearers, receiving and transforming Hierarchical energy so that it may be handled by humanity.
The efforts of each and every one of us, no matter what our level of spiritual attainment, count, and help to sustain the group.
Shirk not these crises, hard and difficult though they may appear to be. Difficult they are. Forget not that the habit of confronting crises, is a long-established one within the consciousness of humanity. Man has the “habit of crisis”, if I may so call it. They are only the points of examination as to the strength, purpose, purity and motive and the intent of the soul. They evoke confidence when surmounted, and produce greatly expanded vision. They foster compassion and understanding, for the pain and inner conflict they have engendered is never forgotten, for they draw upon the resources of the heart. They release the light of wisdom within the field of knowledge, and the world is thereby enriched. – Esoteric Astrology p.477