Tim Wyatt – England
[Introduction:These six ideas dominate our thinking and obsess our lives but our understanding of them all is deeply flawed because we look on them from a purely material rather than a deeper spiritual perspective. When we begin to explore these ideas esoterically from an Ageless Wisdom perspective, we realise that there is much more to them than we may have originally imagined and so we need to radically re-think these notions. God is not a separate and seasoned sadist waiting to punish us. War is cruel, but it has also been a key catalyst for evolution. Work is undergoing its biggest transformation in the history of the human race. Sex is widely misused and misunderstood but will ultimately prove to be redundant. Death is a myth. And because money has been systematically degraded from an energy into a toxic form of control it needs to be re-spiritualised.]
God, war, work, sex, death and money dominate virtually every aspect of human activity and endeavour. Our attitude and understanding of all these concepts are key drivers of our behaviour, shaping virtually everything we do, say, think and feel. They mould our attitudes and world views. They provide the template for our art and culture, politics, economics, social organisation and just about everything else. And if you think about it for even a moment, every one of these ideas is a potentially deeply divisive and separative force.
But our understanding of all of these concepts remains fragmentary and incomplete because we understand these things from a purely exoteric and exclusively material rather than an esoteric or spiritual perspective. Most of us don’t waste much mental energy on questioning existing beliefs and being brave enough to explore alternative explanations. This, of course, requires energy and effort and in the modern dumbed-down world most people simply can’t be bothered. But unless and until we do look beneath the surface we shall have only a rudimentary and deeply flawed comprehension of how all these ideas really work.
This requires a developed degree of free-thinking – something which is rapidly disappearing in the modern world. It requires ingenuity and courage. And it effectively requires a change of consciousness. This means applying some of the timeless ideas contained in the Ageless Wisdom tradition – most notably that there are subtle and hidden realms of existence beyond the familiar physical realm which we occupy.
Modern science’s explorations of the weird and wacky workings of the quantum world and its reluctant conclusion that more than 90 per cent of the universe consists of invisible dark energy or dark matter has still not persuaded its adherents to explore or accept etheric, astral or other states of reality.
In the modern era God has become something of problem. Quite frankly, the widely-held and traditional view of God – as a person – has become a severe impediment to human progress and psycho-spiritual development. This isn’t God’s fault but down to narrow-minded, tunnel-visioned and bigoted human beings who create and then perpetuate divisive and literal religions which survive and influence people and events long after their sell-by date. There are examples of this in every organised religion.
Religions and all their warring factions are responsible for the vast majority of human problems today. I’ve written about this previously in Theosophy Forwardconcluding principally that: 1) religions are for children, 2) they have outlived their usefulness and 3) they represent the most toxic form of spiritual pollution possible.
However badly these religions behave, people continue to adhere to them in large numbers. Having said that, the UK and the United States have seen a significant upsurge over the past ten or fifteen years in the number of people who describe themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’. Which means that there is a slow re-discovery of individual spirituality and the potential for soul growth as increasing numbers of people unshackle themselves from the bonds of religious orthodoxy and faith-based certainty. Mercifully, personal spiritual unfoldment and unquestioning religious adherence are gradually beginning to part company – for a minority of people but sadly not the unthinking masses for whom this would be a step too far.
Theosophy and the Ageless Wisdom tradition offers enormous help to the spiritual seeker by pointing out the essential truth that God is not a personal, anthropomorphic or human-like entity. In fact he – or sometimes she or it – isn’t a person at all despite what The Bible says about God creating human beings in his own image. And neither is God separate from us. We are all part of the same universal, eternal energy. Which means that those ridiculous religious people who assert, ‘My God’s better than your God,’ or ‘Only my God exists’ are certifiably insane and should be locked away until they see sense. As indeed should those who claim that religious texts such as The Bible are the word of God and should therefore be interpreted absolutely literally. And millions do.
Once we dispense with these kindergarten notions of God we might start to realise that maybe the deity doesn’t want to be worshipped, fetishized, idolised or eternally esteemed as the ultimate cosmic celebrity.
Until human beings reclaim their own spirituality from the bearded men in robes with their rules, regulations, dress- and dietary-codes, human beings will remain in perpetual religious conflict. And as long as they do that, it is virtually impossible for them to evolve spiritually. When God stops being transcendent ‘out there’ and becomes immanent – an intimate part of us and everything else – then everything changes. Massively. God is the unfortunate word we use to describe the ultimate consciousness which makes up the universe physical and otherwise. There is nothing but consciousness in the universe. We are part of that. So is God. Therefore God and everything else including ourselves – are one. We are indivisible and it’s about time we realised it.
There are challenges to mainstream religion. In the UK especially, the NHS (i.e. National Health Service) has arguably overtaken Christianity as the new secular religion to be blindly worshipped and never challenged. Doctors and medical staff are the new priests to whom we go for salvation or to confess our sins or lapses in lifestyle. But possibly the strongest worldwide religious force is that of materialism itself in which the acquisition of wealth, goods, status, power and position are the sole purposes of life.
So mistaken notions about God and whether he’s Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or a member of some other exclusive club or cabal are often chiefly responsible for the second item on our list – war. This year marks the centenary of the end of The First World War, the war they said would end all wars and which did anything but. In the intervening one hundred years wars and conflict have claimed the lives of tens of millions of people. The technologies of death and the means of killing people have become much more efficient. And much more profitable, too.
In recent decades war itself has undergone a radical transformation. These days it is far less about two armies lining up on a battlefield somewhere. It is much more confused and asymmetric involving factions who often constantly shift allegiance. It is about cyber-attacks as well as economic, political, psychological and even psychic warfare. It is about deception, disinformation, propaganda and fake news.
Among a great many people – supposedly spiritual people at least – the idea prevails that war can be somehow eradicated and that we can all live in peace and harmony dancing together hand-in-hand across sunny meadows with a grin from ear to ear. No one would disagree with that but sadly, this remains a distant aspiration. There isn’t much evidence that human beings with different economic, political, cultural and religious leanings can even co-exist let alone live in harmonious togetherness. There has probably not been a single day in the last one hundred thousand years when rival humans – individually or collectively – have not violently slugged it out somewhere in a bid to achieve supremacy.
Peace has never really existed throughout the course of human history apart from odd, very short-lived periods. And even when wars don’t exist, conflicts between individuals or groups still do.
And yet we shouldn’t be surprised about any of this. The timeless, universal laws which underpin the Ageless Wisdom teachings tell us in no uncertain terms that nothing stays the same for the tiniest fraction of a second. Everything is in a constant churning state of flux and transformation. Everything is evolving. Everything is constantly being transmuted into something else – a little higher up the scale.
Alongside the cosmic principles of evolution there is another important law – The Law of Polarity. Progress occurs through the interplay of opposites. If there were no conflict between opposing forces there would be no movement, interaction or progress.
On the face of it war and violent conflict would seem to offend the human spirit. But could it be a necessary mechanism for ensuring that cycles of change and transformation continue?
Now, of course, war is never desirable, but I would suggest that it remains an inevitable if unfortunate by-product of current and past human behaviour and a driver of progress – especially technology. Whether we like it or not, wars are the mothers of invention. They accelerate technology. Had it not been for the Second World War, computers, jet-engines, radar and many other modern technologies would not have reached their current levels of sophistication for decades and possibly centuries. And this may have been no bad thing.
As well as technological change war also dramatically alters the prevailing social order of the time and this has always been the case. This was particularly true in both the First and Second World Wars when in Britain women did men’s work for the first time and even class structures were altered – at least for a while. Landscapes, too, are changed. The slums in British cities were bombed and replaced with new homes. Some of these became new slums within a generation.
So conflict of one kind or another has always been a central feature of the human project. I’ve spent a great deal of time pondering the possible esoteric reasons behind this. Since my knowledge of the deeper workings of the universe remain severely limited I can only speculate fairly broadly about what may possibly be happening.
Perhaps our aspirations towards peace and harmony are naïve and unrealistic. Maybe war and conflict are the default factory setting for Planet Earth. We are told that Earth is not one of the so-called sacred planets – at least not yet. It is a place of tough learning. Sometimes it is described as a prison, penitentiary or classroom to which we regularly return to learn harsh lessons and work out the often painful karma accrued from previous visits to Earth School. For this reason maybe it is not meant to be an easy ride. Or possibly human beings have not yet reached a stage where they have worked off enough karma to enjoy true communal conviviality.
War and conflict are no doubt the direct karmic results of humanity’s thoughts, words and deeds throughout its long and tortured history. Our past and present ignorance and selfishness are the direct creators of perpetual unrest on this planet. We ourselves are the architects of perma-conflict and only we can fix the problem. But we can only do this when we truly realise who we are and what our mission and destiny is and start taking responsibility.
The truth is that as long as we continue to act the way we do we with our lower minds we are condemned to a vicious circle of escalating violence. There is no chance of peace breaking out any time soon. The only ultimate answer is to change our behaviour and before we do that we have to significantly elevate our consciousness. And human beings have consistently shown themselves to be deeply reluctant to do that.
So let us pose a series of questions: Could war prove to be the means by which humanity annihilates large parts of itself and then condemns itself to a prolonged period of inactivity while it regenerates and re-establishes itself as it did during Atlantean times? Could war be the mechanism for curtailing an out-of-control population? Could war be the catalyst for other Armageddon scenarios involving starvation, mass murder, disease, pestilence, pollution, plague or other means of culling the human population? Could war in fact be vital for humanity’s long-term survival, development and progress? Or is war an anathema and an anachronism which needs to be transcended?
Having dealt with God and war we move on to that pervasive topic of work. If available, work has often been dreary, poorly-paid, insecure and back-breaking for the majority of people. At its best it can be ennobling, purposeful and satisfying. At its most routine and stultifying it corrodes the spirit and hampers the soul’s development. And yet enforced idleness and inactivity can be even more corrosive. The paradox is that work is both alienating and addictive. For many people it is what defines them more than anything else. If I tell you I’m the Prime Minister you instantly conjure up a set of assumptions about me. If I tell you that I’m a toilet-attendant, traffic warden, estate agent or long-term unemployed you will dredge up an entirely different set of assumptions.
However, like a great many other things work is being redefined by technology, Artificial Intelligence and robots. Many jobs are being and will continue to be destroyed. This presents a huge problem but also a massive opportunity if we can identify and seize it. It potentially gives us the chance to transform work from a ritualistic, purely economic enterprise into fulfilling and meaningful activity.
Work and activity are central to human progress – but not as they have been largely practised in the past. Neither should involve exploitation and putting profits before people. But achieving this also remains very far beyond the distant horizon.
The true work which matters – especially here in the rigours of Earth School – is work on ourselves. This is an area we largely ignore or neglect. We do supposedly try to improve our minds through a process of indoctrination we mistakenly call education. The vast bulk of this effort is concentrated on the lower concrete mind of facts and figures – not the higher mind of loftier concepts. A great many people go to extraordinary lengths to improve their bodies through sport, exercise, diet, cosmetic surgery and other means – often with very dubious consequences.
And yet how many people concentrate on the vital work of soul growth? The vast bulk of humanity continues to believe that while humans do indeed have souls, their development is completely out of their hands. This is God’s work – not ours. Theosophy and related traditions have an entirely opposite view. Soul work and personal evolution are completely down to our own individual efforts and persistence, not a man with a halo sitting on a throne in a sparkly heaven somewhere.
In short, work is about the acquisition of experience, consciousness and wisdom – not the hoarding of wealth, possessions or other physical assets. Which is why we need to urgently develop a new economics which recognises the central role of the human soul and its needs.
When we’re not agonising about God, going to war and sacrificing ourselves on the altar of work, the universe offers us other transitory diversions which give us pleasure and ensure our physical survival. Yes, we’re talking about something which British people like me never used to talk about and now talk about all the time – sex. In my lifetime sex has gone from being a largely taboo topic into one which has to be endlessly discussed in all its variations, permutations and especially in terms of its oppressed minorities. Unfortunately, sexuality has become one of the key characteristics which defines many of us. It has also become a battleground.
In my view we live in a world which has become dangerously over-sexualised in every respect. Sexuality has grown beyond procreation and even pleasure or sensuality into power, plunder and profit. This isn’t new in itself. Like everything else, sex and our attitudes to it are cyclic and we’ve seen it repeated throughout history. However, in the contemporary world our obsession with sex has reached – if we might forgive the term – a climax. But we still fail to understand its esoteric significance. And this is where the esotericist Alice Bailey can offer some insights.
Sex, says Alice Bailey, is the relation of the lower nature to the Higher Self and a means of achieving complete unity with the divine. But humanity has debased sex into an animal function rather than elevating it into a symbolic mystery. She adds: ‘Sex is but the symbol of an inner duality which itself must be transcended and wrought into a unity. It is not transcended by physical means or rituals. It is a transcendence in consciousness.’
Bailey says that when man was purely an animal there was no sin in sexual procreation. But when emotional desire began to appear, sin crept in because the original urge was perverted into the satisfaction of that desire. And now that the human race is more mentally developed, an even more serious situation is emerging. This, she says, can only be resolved when the soul assumes control of its three instruments: its higher mental body, its wisdom-intuition or Buddhic body and its spirit.
This is unlikely to put dating sites, discotheques or other romance-based enterprises out of business any time soon.
In the far distant future sex won’t be a problem because it will ultimately cease to be an indispensable means of procreation. In the latter part of the next development group of humanity – the Sixth Root Race – many hundreds of thousands of years down the line we will have developed the means to reproduce by non-physical means – by a purely mental process known as Kria Shakti. And let us not forget that our very distant ancestors up to the mid-point of the Third Root Race, the Lemurian, also used a variety of non-sexual means to reproduce such as budding or simple division. In some earlier periods human beings were dual-sexed hermaphrodites – and this is where we may be heading in the future. But the key point to remember is that only the transient personality has gender. The higher self or soul is sexless.
Throughout humanity’s long history – marked by progress and marred by ignorance – there is one topic which has arguably had a greater impact than any of the others – an inevitable experience for us all. We are, of course, talking about death, a subject which causes so much fear, anxiety and general consternation. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of cosmic laws and esoteric principles knows that death is a myth. Death in terms of annihilation and the ultimate destruction of life and consciousness is pure illusion, a total lie and a complete distortion of the truth. In the long course of our development we have all done it many times and you would think that we should be getting used to it by now.
For many people there is only one physical life and death is the end of everything forever. Others have no idea what awaits them and this intensifies the dread. For some religious people death is a passport to heaven or hell where you spend the rest of eternity. For the more spiritually aware, death is a regular portal to afterlife states where we absorb and refine the fruits of each individual life before preparing for the next incarnation – hopefully a little higher up the evolutionary spiral.
Like sex, we have little or no control over our lives as far as death is concerned until we accept the existence and indeed the supremacy of the soul. This is the most important of all the occult mysteries and esoteric teachings. Discovering that we have an eternal principle which guides and directs our regular re-appearance in bodies here on Earth is one of humanity’s most important lessons at this time.
One of the most difficult things is to try and prove to sceptics is that life doesn’t require a physical body and that it persists after death. Although there is a great deal of very persuasive evidence in terms of past-life memories, near death and out-of-the-body experiences, they don’t tend to convince the cynical because their crystallised mental make-up generally prevents them from being convinced about anything they don’t already believe.
And this is an important point. When looking at things from an esoteric perspective we very often have to rely on our higher rather than lower principles. Sometimes we have to bypass the lower concrete mind and even the higher abstract mind and let information flow in to us via that higher Buddhic or wisdom-intuition principle. This is almost impossible for those rooted in the lower monkey-mind.
Identifying, using and developing this wisdom-intuition principle is humanity’s next big challenge as it slowly begins to develop the next spring-board for human progress – the sixth sub-race of this the Fifth Root Race. This sub-race is now forming in a number of locations around the world, although will not emerge as a dominant pathfinder group for some considerable time. A few members of this group are walking among us now and they are as different from average humanity today as we are from our ancestors of two millennia ago.
And this brings us on to our final topic – one which absorbs and obsesses us as much as sex, death, war or work and which is intimately interwoven with all of them. This is money – the ultimate symbol of our modern materialistic age. We’ve all heard the expression: ‘Love of money is the root of all evil.’ Money itself is not evil. It is a neutral energy. Loving it and worshipping it is where the evil intent thunders in. And we do a lot of money worshipping.
Money is as misunderstood by most people as it is inaccessible to them. Everyone knows there are vast gaps in wealth so that a few dozen people own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of humanity – some three and a half billion people. Wealth inequalities – along with religion – are one of the main drivers of conflict.
Very few people are able to view money in any kind of spiritual way. Alice Bailey describes money as the karma of the mineral kingdom but perhaps she was referring to a time when money existed purely as coins rather than imaginary wealth. Because much of the money in the world today is illusory and doesn’t exist in any real sense. It is known as fiat money – created by the banks out of nothing so you can have a loan. In a world where algorithms control stock market transactions, where existing money is being replaced by crypto-currencies and where the cash you borrow is phantom cash, it is even more difficult to understand what money is for and how it should be used properly – by that I mean spiritually.
We are encouraged by all authorities that it is desirable to be rich, that we should amass wealth as some kind of bulwark against insecurity and that – to quote the lines from Gordon Gekko in the famous Wall Streetmovie: ‘Greed is good.’ But most of the world is poor. It is not only an impractical aspiration for the mass of humanity to hoard even more cash and goods – it is also deeply undesirable and destructive.
Money has the power to do great good, which we do see from time to time. It is also one of the most corrosive and corrupting forces in the world as well as one of the most disruptive and divisive – a close second after religion.
Our understanding, use and distribution of money needs an urgent esoteric make-over. But even the most naïve, idealistic and enthusiastic optimist would be challenged to predict this as a serious possibility for many generations to come. Maybe as the Age of Pisces begins to fade and as the influence of the Aquarian Age kicks in with more vigour, we shall eventually see human consciousness transform its notions of what wealth is, what it should be and how it should be shared out.
Money needs to be urgently re-spiritualised and turned from a means of coercion and control into a creative and beneficial force. Perhaps ultimately, we shall arrive in that Star Trekworld where money no longer exists and resources are simply appropriated on the basis of unselfish need. None of us may see this for the next incarnation – or three.
Over the past century our views about all the topics we’ve discussed have changed and in some cases many times. But these views have been mainly shaped by an outward rather than an inner understanding of them. As long as we view the world purely exoterically with our very inadequate five physical senses and our emotionally-dominated lower minds, we shall reach only a shallow understanding of things along with fragmentary and very distorted versions of the real truth.
Only by applying occult principles and timeless universal laws can we begin to penetrate the real meaning of anything – ourselves included. Only by understanding the concealed causes and effects – by understanding the true workings of the law of karma – do we get any real insights into anything at all.