The Journey Continues is a sequel to Journey of a Lifetime: A Group Story and continues the account of the group’s journey through more than thirty years’ work. We continue to post a chapter each month. Here is this month’s chapter. Please Note: Copies of the book are available from Sydney Goodwill.
CHAPTER TWELVE – Anecdotes along the Road
As I have been writing this book I have been vividly aware all the time of the pressure from the inner planes and the presence of inner friends. It seems I hardly have to think it out and yet it is a matter of continual, unwavering point of tension and continuous work. Thus focused, it has been a matter of ‘downloading’ the flow from the inner levels of awareness and of living.
Looking back through the work of this lifetime I can observe how the inner planes have always guided me along the Way and often with apparently strange methods. It has been a matter of seizing upon many and varied impressions that seemed to be attracting my attention, telling me something, directing my thought to observe, interpret or decipher.
This has urged me to investigate all possibilities – to crawl under, over, around and through whatever came into my range of contact. It prompted one co-worker to make the comment, “It is a matter of seeing something in everything even when there is nothing (no thing) there!” In fact, there is nothing in this world that does not have a lesson of some kind to teach us or the capacity to reveal life’s hidden recesses to our view. But that which is impressed directly upon our awareness from our inner Source is far more specific and related to our particular area or function in the world work. Whatever we contact and make ours we must use in service.
Very early in this life’s work, like many another server, there was a great impulse to search out a clear and directive picture of the way ahead. What details may be seen in such a picture? What choices could or should be made? Could I be correct in assessment in the midst of uncertainty? Many other searching questions tumbled through my mind. And then I found myself swept into an unusual waking experience.
It seemed that I was moving upwards through planes, passing then through a space I could only call at the time ‘no man’s land’ and onward until I looked down upon the scene below me. I observed a long straight dirt road and I stood half way along that road. The picture immediately conveyed to my mind the message it held.
Before entering into incarnation the path is already set, laid out before us. We have only to walk it. In fact, we already know it. It is not seen as the polarity between beginning and end – it is a completed whole. The questions I had been asking were questions about the details of the life and its work and the understanding needed to fulfil these requirements. However, the important thing to recognise is that we may express only what we are at any moment in time. The details – how and what we express as we meet the circumstances and opportunities of life – are worked out in those moments and directed by that which we have brought with us in terms of understanding and awareness of the spiritual principles.
There can be no turning back. There is only the path straight ahead. The only errors we can make are: attempting to turn back; stopping in one place; departure from the path or turning aside from the task; and failing to advance wholeheartedly using everything we are and have for the sake of the work of the time.
About this time, in the early-to-mid sixties, ‘new’ thoughts were appearing to my focused attention. Deep pondering opened the door upon some vision or another which increasingly revealed more and more the nature and function of the inner worlds that informed and drove the outer world. Although I was working with groups, the truly esoteric group had not yet begun to gather and I felt very much on my own (a great illusion!) In my search.
One day while closely examining some issue or another I became aware of an aggravatingly large patch of blotches in front of my sight. Suddenly I had the sensation of movement backwards at considerable speed. The blotchy dots receded and from a distance now were seen to form the pixels comprising a face that regarded me. I understood the necessity to stand back and take the total view – see the whole – work from the universal to the particular.
But it was not finished. Next I found myself standing in inner awareness at a bay’s edge. Trees lining the shores were reflected in the water and a gentle rippling of the surface of the water presented a distorted but fascinating image. Again I was moving at speed coming to a stop at the top of a high cliff looking down upon the same body of water. What a greatly changed picture revealed itself! The scene startled me. Reflected in the mirror below me was the image of the Divine Life. To attempt to define it further is impossible.
How important to stand back – not to be caught myopically in the foreground of life, the little personal world with its claims to primary reality and its oft-times enchanting scene! And more importantly, to recognise the far vaster spiritual reality which substands all outer seeming – to work from the world of cause and not be confused and deceived by the world of effects. Only then may we build according to the true spirit of our time.
Even film captured my attention and made revelation. Watching the film Joan of Arc one finds this heroine portrayed as a martyr and indeed such she was. But viewed symbolically and observing the story as an analogy of the life of every disciple, one may note that every true world server can never identify with the idea of ‘the martyr’. The true worker demands the utmost of all vehicles, physical, emotions and mental – the whole three-fold personality – and never acts to save or protect these personal forms from the rigours of the work and its fiery nature.
The response is ever to the demands of the soul and the needs of the work. It is a response made under the Law of Sacrifice. Again this is not seen as ‘giving up’ something, as does the martyr, but rather of ‘taking over’ responsibility to work on behalf of the human race with very much of the work proceeding behind the scenes, unknown and unrecognised by any other than those who work together consciously in the subtle dimensions of life. The disciple’s identity is merged with that of the inner group of workers and together they work according to the divine plan.
Another film with a comment on today’s work and workers is Imitation General. The General is by no means the usual general. He did not remain in secure position way behind the lines but joined his troops up front in the thick of the action. He was an inspiration to the men who felt they could achieve anything required under his leadership.
During the action told within the film the General and his troop found themselves trapped within a wood surrounded by the enemy. As they awaited the arrival of reinforcements the General devised many clever ways to confuse the enemy and deceive them into the belief that there were a considerably greater number of troops within the wood. As a result of the enemy fire the General was killed. A soldier with the rank of private discovered the General’s body and hid it in a shed in the wood, knowing that the morale of the men would suffer if they realised the General had died.
The soldier took the General’s helmet – his five-pointed star – upon him and proceeded to direct operations with similar ability. The troops held out until the arrival of the reinforcements at which time the soldier, having suffered a blow to the head was lying unconscious. The new arrivals discovered the General’s body in the shed and presumed he had just been killed in the final assault of the enemy prior to their arrival. Since the soldier was unconscious he received neither commendation nor a court martial for impersonating an officer.
When the day is done the soldier blends back into the ranks, unknown and unsung by the external world, but possessed of the realisation of a task well done, and a deepened understanding of that great Law of Sacrifice and the capacity to save.
Here is the modern day disciple, taking the ‘five-pointed star’ upon the self, acting within the Work as one who has assumed the responsibility and the realisation of the Soul – an inspiration and a rallying point for the work and for the workers. This disciple leads as one with the whole group and by the living demonstration of selfless and intuitive service. No safe retreat here. This disciple is in the thick of it, and demanding the utmost from self, draws those souls who are co-workers in service together and as a group.
Life continued to play the teacher and much was learned about the Aquarian principle of service and its methods. The esoteric group began to gather. It became clear that in one sense it was so much easier to work alone. The difficulties presented by early group work wherein personalities frequently could disrupt and delay the work, was not a factor. However, since we had entered the Age of Aquarius with its group awareness and expression it was essential, indeed unavoidable, that the work must proceed in group formation. It was subsequently realised that so very much more was open to discovery when working within a group containing as it did such a valuable collection of souls, minds and hearts of varying outreach, expression and qualities.
By the end of 1969 the Group was in full operation and the ‘instruction’ continued as before but now in terms of the Group and its work as a whole. Esoteric advice was received by group members but only in terms of effects on or within the Group, its life and work.
At this time a ‘message’ was received by impression for each group member which spoke clearly to the individual while holding within it deeper insights that could progressively be recognised and implemented in service. As the individual penetrated into the inner worlds that which was ‘hidden’ could be accessed in an ongoing way, revealing deeper meaning and significance throughout a lifetime. It was as if these words were recorded on cassette tape and could be played through at will within one’s attentive awareness.
As time went by other methods and processes of group impression emerged. One such entailed the following: During a group meeting it was suggested on impulse that all members write on a slip of paper a word or phrase that would define the opposite of the verb ‘to give’. Of the eight people present at this meeting there was no duplication of answer. This seemed surprising. The slips of paper were collected together and drooped into the back of a notebook without further thought.
Nine months later (gestation period) there was the impression to retrieve these answers and ‘match’ each one beside the consciousness of the respective individuals. It was quite a revelation and considerably useful to each member concerned. Each one had spoken from their own awareness and the outpicturing or unfolding understanding was clearly to be seen in process of emergence demonstrating just where the member stood, both individually and within the group work, and directing their course ahead.
A few examples of the choices made in response to the question “What is the opposite of the verb ‘to give’?” plus their assessment nine months later follow below. They have been taken from the journal record of December 1972.
Pr: ‘To receive’ – thought process: first thought “the usually recognised opposite word of ‘to give’ is ‘to take’.” This brings reaction in the individual to that condition in humanity of taking, grasping, selfishness. Second thought “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Answer decided on, therefore, ‘to receive’ because even though it is more blessed to give, it must to some degree be blessed to receive and this is much preferable to ‘taking’. There was no deeply considered thought beyond these steps or stage. Pr has a great capacity to reach a vast majority of people in today’s world who are swinging to this understanding.
Ne: ‘Hold’ – a recognition that it is a mistake to give to ‘children’ anything that cannot yet be handled, for which they are not yet ready. Drawn first into teaching of children in the actual sense – symbolic of the work of teaching those young in spirit. Ne has a great sympathetic rapport with these people (on both sides of the veil). Works well on the astral plane where for safety, emotion must be kept in balance. Through service will learn to fill the needs (learning-wise) of these people. The word ‘hold’ may also be understood as ‘not rushing in’ – the mind must be brought in here as the determining factor, or instrument of decision – always. In other words, well considered action.
As with Pr, Ne will fill a vital position as distributor (in group work and out from the group) – a great responsibility not to be underestimated in its importance and value at this particular moment (thereby lessening its effectiveness) for it is preparing the way or setting a pattern for further building or development which will follow in the work of others involved in the ‘next’ or another phase (not of ‘time’ but of expression).
There is no recognition as yet of the fuller significance ‘withhold’. ‘Hold’ implies ‘to keep in trust’ while the way is prepared for greater or broader recognition, while ‘withhold’ suggests that one who has this ability has come into a knowledge of the truth which is revealed (to others) only by his or her radiation and understood or received by any ‘recipient’ to the degree of their own capacity. It allows or permits stimulation only at soul levels.
C-c: ‘Relinquish’ – reveals a need to fix the eyes upon the object of service or that which is being served rather than upon any thought of ‘preparing the server to serve’. The soul is very wise and knows exactly what occult service means and is abundantly capable. The esoteric service stage has definitely been reached. Throw off forever all conventional thought – this relinquish – for it will condition and restrict your service. An aura of conventional attitude persists. It is not by any means overpowering but appears as a faint haze and can easily be unnoticed or overlooked by the individual. Because it is so nebulous it can constitute a danger to unimpeded soul expression and it must be disintegrated with a deliberate and final forcefulness.
Ar: ‘Withold’ – not yet a complete recognition but close. The omission of a letter from the word was known as a possibility at the time of writing. It holds no great importance, as personalities think, in regard to correct spelling but nevertheless occultly reveals incompletion of a particular recognition rather than error (which would be occultly represented by a wrongly chosen letter symbol – omission is another matter). There is a significant vibration surrounding the thought in this particular response. It lies in the fact, or is defined by Ar’s recognition that the word ‘may have a letter missing’ – that the state of incompletion does not exist because Ar has not yet recognised the step to completion of fullness (as contained in the definition of ‘withhold’ at the end of Ne’s notes) but that she ‘sees’, if not with absolute certainty, that which is omitted, that which will bring forth or allow of soul service unrestrained and unrestricted.
La: ‘Retain’ – That which is retained in this case is the same as that which is withheld. But the situation is different. That is seen and known but the channel of outgoing is not wide open. (Surprised?) Where wisdom dictates that a flood of brilliance be occultly ‘withheld’ (conscious soul work) that one may serve by stimulation by degree, ‘to retain’ suggests that our knowing is not completely available to all and sundry according as they would demand (esoterically or unconsciously). This does not suggest personal selfishness for at this point that is not a factor but rather a misapplication of the meaning of the term ‘isolated unity’ – perhaps indicating a first ray focus. The world task and the need are fully recognised, the knowing or wisdom is not in question – response must be drawn into objectivity without restraint or restriction.
These were still early days of the Group and learning processes ever continued to change, to expand and to become more deeply esoteric in nature. As time went by the individual was no longer addressed as such but was merged within the group life. ‘Instruction’ or impression then became a concentrated focus upon the group work.
For some time individuals became aware of, or interpreted, the ideas contacted in symbolic form and at our meetings invariably found a dovetailing of each one’s discoveries with those of the other members. A larger picture of what was emerging was then seen incorporating each person’s viewpoint, quality or type and how it could be used in service. Eventually impression became more direct and we called this stage ‘the Group coming out from behind its symbols’.
Towards the end of 1984 a Group member joined with representatives of various schools of thought at an inner plane meeting to discuss causes of world problems and to ponder thoughts of resolution. There appeared some difficulty in communication due to the variety of emphases, points of importance and the general background of the participants. It was a moment to leave behind formal presentation and speak from the heart. One person was recorded speaking as follows:
“Our world is seemingly divided by nations and their cultures, races and ideologies. When people come together to discuss resolution of world problems we find that even such dedicated and concerned people can be further divided by semantics and by their background and the forms through which they express.
“We need to get to the heart of the problem. We need to speak from the heart. The human mind has seen such tremendous growth; it can outweigh the heart, seemingly. The heart and mind need to be a balanced team. Human capacity to make discovery in the areas of science, technology and so on, the mental and analytical ability, has expanded enormously – especially noted since the demands made upon scientific expertise by World War II. There is no suggestion that we should deny the fruits of such progress – this phase in human history has developed to the full the analytical, critical mind. We see ‘the parts’ in everything and this can temporarily obscure the fact of the basic unity, the underlying synthesis, of all life. Human unity is indeed a fact.
“When some of us were speakers at an interstate conference mid-year we were asked to leave our ‘satchels of ideas’ at home – not to emphasise our own particular approaches but to communicate together with the recognition of our basic human unity. The conference theme was “The Healing of the Nations – a personal purpose’.
“We have all assembled here with the one purpose. We are all concerned to restore peace, sanity and right relationship in our world otherwise we would not be here today. We need greatly to emphasise and to focus upon our common purpose. This is the heart of the matter. And we are pressured by time. There are those who set the world clock at ‘four minutes to midnight’ and have lately put it at ‘three minutes to midnight’.
“Let us identify the essentials and drop the non-essentials. Let us listen inwardly and hear what each other is saying and not just how it is being said. Even within our own organisations there can, at times, be misunderstanding, conflict or dissension. This may be even more likely when various approaches to life meet together.
“What are the real issues here?
“Let us take one example of how the use of words can inflame or cause division. We have replaced all male-sounding words by such as ‘chairperson’ and so on. Certainly – most assuredly – women in our society have frequently been treated as ‘second class citizens’ and there is no doubt a need to provide equal opportunity, to address inequity. Often in society when injustices are being righted the balance can be overweighted to one side or the other by a vigorous pendulum swing. But if we all, men and women alike, learned to hear from within the heart of the matter, to stand at the centre, we would find no great objection, for instance, in the use of the word ‘man’ in its generic sense. We would find of greater importance the thought being conveyed rather than the focus on the word used. This is but one example and there are many more important ones. It is, however, a continuing bone of contention.
“There is no doubt that this adjustment in language needed to take place at the time since it is, of course, symbolic of a changing consciousness. Nevertheless, the fact of such necessity illustrates the powerful hold of the form world (including word forms and symbols in general) upon human consciousness. And let us always remember that any symbol ever places something between ourselves and reality. A symbol may hold interpretive value but nevertheless veils and hides the very reality we seek, that we would see face to face.
“Remember: As Christ advised, ‘the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath,’ so language is made for humanity and not humanity for language.
“As individuals, groups and nations I am sure we all want peace and goodwill in our world. Why then does it seem such an incredibly difficult task to implement? Mainly because the world is afflicted by that great heresy – a belief in separateness. This in turn breeds distrust, fear, hatred, insecurity and misrepresentation of motive, to name just a few of our negative attitudes.
“But around the world today groups of people, like all of us here, are coming together with a shared purpose. There is a wide interaction – a networking of group thought. This can be a mighty force for constructive and creative change in attitudes and in action. A force that can even influence the decisions of governments.”
Many meetings take place on inner planes at astral and mental levels in response to the needs of the work, as well as at those deeper levels of consciousness wherein we function with our inner group or Ashram. Not all workers maintain a conscious recollection of activity on the subjective planes. Undue focus upon the foreground of life is a common cause.
It is not possible in a book such as this to share any but isolated happenings and experiences from a journal of over 1600 foolscap pages. But throughout the time of the past thirty and more years the Group never slowed or ceased to move onward in deepening understanding and into the light and the service of the New Day in Aquarius.
The various phases of the group work are described in a general sense in the first book Journey of a Lifetime. Step by step together upon the Way the Group has arrived at a stage of its expression where former processes and methods of discovery are no longer necessary or relevant. Earlier processes give way to direct knowing. As described earlier in these pages the Group entered into the fifth phase of its living expression and learning proceeds within the Life aspect.