Universal Brotherhood and Spiritual Transformation

Roger Price—Belgium


My previous article, "The Mystic Foundation of Universal Brotherhood," showed that attaining the universal brotherhood of humanity here on Earth requires us to realize our mystic spiritual unity at the level of our higher Ego, the Manasaputra. This is one of the goals of spiritual evolution. Although physical evolution will continue according to the evolutionary blueprint, our evolution now is a spiritual transformation of consciousness. At the level of the personality this evolution requires a reorientation and transformation of psychological, social, religious, and political values and systems, based on a growing awareness of the unity of all life. Such transformation is towards universal brotherhood, without which we cannot progress in our spiritual evolution.

We each have to try to base our lives on the reality of universal brotherhood by intuitively understanding that one life dwells in all of us. That understanding brings equanimity of spirit leading to the establishment of brotherhood in the collective life of humanity.

Humanity's spiritual evolution includes husbandry of the environment of Earth to safeguard the evolution of all other species. It requires responding to the highest within ourselves, which always benefits the whole. Concerning the deeper mystic aspects of such altruism, The Key to Theosophy (section 12) says:

"The individual cannot separate himself from the race, nor the race from the individual. The law of Karma applies equally to all, although all are not equally developed. In helping on the development of others, the Theosophist believes that he is not only helping them to fulfill their Karma, but that he is also, in the strictest sense, fulfilling his own. It is the development of humanity, of which both he and they are integral parts, that he has always in view, and he knows that any failure on his part to respond to the highest within him retards not only himself but all, in their progressive march. By his actions, he can make it either more difficult or more easy for humanity to attain the next higher plane of being."

Everything that benefits humanity from a physical and social perspective is important, particularly where human beings are deprived of physical welfare and social equality and opportunity. However, the greatest benefit for humanity is that which helps it to realize its essential spiritual nature and attain the next higher plane of being. In working for that benefit, we fulfill our deeper nature. The next higher plane of being we must obtain is that of our higher Ego, the Manasaputra. We can fulfill our lives only by working for the benefit of all humanity. Only by such work can we hope to turn away from our efforts to fulfill ourselves through ambitions for ourselves, our loved ones, or our nation. Spiritual transformation toward universal brotherhood begins by understanding that we cannot separate ourselves from one another because of universal causation (the fact that what affects one affects all).

We must do all we can to help the development of humanity. But how? The Key follows with an answer: "One general test may, however, be given. Will the proposed action tend to promote that true brotherhood which it is the aim of Theosophy to bring about? . . . In every conceivable case [the Theosophist] himself must be a centre of spiritual action, and from him and his own daily individual life must radiate those higher spiritual forces which alone can regenerate his fellow-men."

The ideas of universal causation and human solidarity must be at the basis of the way we view the world and our life if we are to become a centre of spiritual action. However, being a "centre of spiritual action" requires an understanding of the mystical aspects of our nature. Of our higher Ego, the Manasaputra, a Son of Mahat, The Secret Doctrine (2:103) says: "The Sons of MAHAT are the quickeners of the human plant. They are the Waters falling upon the arid soil of latent life, and the Spark that vivifies the human animal. They are the Lords of Spiritual Life eternal."

To rise to the level of our higher Ego, we must try, as Light on the Path says, to "live in the eternal." HPB's Diagram of Meditation, which begins "First conceive of UNITY by Expansion in space and infinite in Time," provides practical instruction in doing so. It is in the eternal that the unity of all humanity can be felt. Through an effort to live in the eternal we can begin to let go of our conditioned sense of separateness and all that comes from it. When we begin to feel some sense of the reality of the eternal unity of all, we can get some feel for the greater purpose and destiny of the whole of humanity. The very effort to live in the eternal draws us closer to our higher Ego, the Manasaputra. It is in our efforts to "live in the eternal" that we are able to see the relativeness of much of our personal life. And we are also better able to feel human solidarity and harmony within ourselves and in our daily life.

The changes we have to make in ourselves to lead a spiritual life or to unfold our inherent spiritual nature are the same transformations needed to move towards universal brotherhood. And only through universal brotherhood can we elevate our natures on the path of spiritual evolution. If we aspire to live a life of transformation toward universal brotherhood, then a day will come, perhaps still far distant, when in HPB's words (Isis Unveiled 2:150): "the whole of humanity recognizes but one father — the UNKNOWN ONE above — and one brother — the whole of mankind below."


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