A Planetary Frame of Reference - 1
Because the consciousness and the emotional response of most human beings today revolve around the ego, and their minds refer most experiences to an irreducible feeling of "I myself," it is very difficult for them to come to a vivid existential realization that the person they "know" themselves to be is only a transient phase in a vast process of unfoldment of human potentials — a process which can never be fully understood unless it is seen to encompass the whole of mankind on this planet. This knowledge of being a particular person centered around a self, definable in terms of everyday experiences, seems to most individuals of our time fundamental and irreducible because it no longer operates within a powerfully compelling and larger frame of reference. Even in old Europe the family, the ancestral religion, and the national culture constituted unquestioned frames of reference in relation to which the "I" was given some kind of function and purpose — if only that of perpetuating the family, the racial inheritance, and the cultural and religious tradition.
Now, especially in America, the "I" has acquired a quasi-absolute character and value, thus an unrelated significance in a pluralistic universe which to the spiritually oriented is ultimately reducible to an immense number of independent spiritual "monads." These monads, in some ancient metaphysical systems, are considered to be co-eternal and absolute; but to the Christian theologian and philosopher — and still to most ordinary people in the Euro-American world — they are created ex nihilo (out of nothing) by a mysterious all-powerful God of Whom they are, in some sense at least, the spiritual progeny. Thus the one essential relationship to which these centers of consciousness and will can and should respond is their relationship to their divine Father. All other relationships are usually regarded as transient means to "learn lessons" which most often involve conflict and pain in the process of developing love and overcoming pride, greed, and possessiveness.
Christianity no doubt officially believes in the Brotherhood of Man as well as the Fatherhood of God; all men theoretically are "brothers" inasmuch as all are "sons" of God. But the record of our Western society and of the Christian religion assuredly fails to present a glowing picture of "brotherly love" between Christians and non-Christians, and even between Catholics and Protestants. This is usually attributed to the still spiritually and morally unevolved character of the immense majority of human beings or to the inherent sinfulness of human nature since the "Fall of Man." However, back of such concepts, and giving them power and meaning, we are actually dealing with a more basic metaphysical belief in the irreducible separateness of individual Souls and/or monads. This belief almost inevitably leads to and strongly supports a personalistic and sociocultural glorification of the ego, as well as the "sovereign" state and national entity. The cult of the ego and, at least in theory, the dogmatic assertion of the prerogatives of the individual person as a social "atom" — the citizen — were bound to generate a collective mentality which, as soon as the binding moral framework of family tradition and religious beliefs lost its credibility and effectiveness, would give rise to an anguished and widespread sense of separateness and alienation.
Perhaps this is the inevitable shadow of the light produced by the "gift of Fire" made by the Kumaras to human beings. As self-consciousness grows in the human organism and every experience becomes referred to a center — an interior "I" — the habitual responses of this center becomes organized as an ego-structure. Eventually the pride of personal achievement produces an increased reliance upon this controlling ego-structure; and, as it is the very nature of life to expand, and the human being is still dominated by the compulsive instincts of organic living in the earth's biosphere, this ego-structure also tends to expand. This ego-expansion requires, and indeed receives, the services of the mind's capacity for organization.
It is the mind that can provide frames of reference for man's experiences and impulses, and for his aspirations and personal desires. Religions and philosophies build such frames of reference. At the collective level of society these become the "traditions"; they always have a local character when referring to the products of particular cultures and societies. But there is a level which is higher, because more inclusive, than that of relatively local cultures and even of "Races" (in the theosophical sense of the term) and continents. It is at this level that the Promethean or Kumaric fire of self-consciousness and individual responsibility operated when, millions of years ago, it was brought to Man; and it has never ceased to operate at that level — the level of the earth as a planetary organism. At that level, Mind does not operate as the servant of the egos of individuals, or of any situations in historical time or local space. It operates in terms of the evolution of the entire solar system — or "heliocosm" — and in relation to the galactic whole of which this heliocosm is but a small cellular unit. It operates in terms of planetary consciousness.
The coming of the Kumaras and, according to Occultism, the special relationship between Venus and the Earth, are factors that have meaning in terms of the evolution of the whole solar system as an organized field of interrelated and interdependent activities. For human beings who cannot operate beyond the planetary field of the earth (but now man has begun to take a transcendent step in overcoming this limitation) the inplanetarization (rather than incarnation) of the Kumaras and the start of the process of individualization of Man are global events. They are phases of a planetary process; phases which cannot really be understood unless the whole process is studied and its over-all structure discovered. This requires at least the start of a planetary type of knowledge. That knowledge can be acquired only by planetary beings. They can transmit it only to individuals who, in some manner, have developed minds whose intuitional perceptions encompass processes of a planetary scope.
This is the reason why The Secret Doctrine and the very existence of Adepts who inspired HPB could not be publicly revealed — i.e. revealed to the collective mentality of our Western humanity — before human beings had at least begun to circumnavigate and physically experience the whole globe of the earth and become related to all the sociocultural collectivites at present in existence. The Industrial Revolution of the first part of the nineteenth century made such global concrete experiences possible. Thus it brought to the fore the need for a planetary type of knowledge, and also for the kind of "universal Love" which the humanitarian movements of the 1840s at least foreshadowed. Blavatsky's travels around the world are ritualistic symbols of a globe encompassing all-human awareness. They herald the actual emergence of a planetary consciousness, which our two World Wars have precipitated under baptisms of blood.
Actually the first public impact of the new potentiality of existence of integrally organized all-human society came with the proclamation in 1863 by the Persian Prophet-Avatar, Baha'u'llah, of his worldwide mission as Law-giver for a New Age society. This proclamation was sent also in the form of "Letters" to the then ruling Kings of the main nations of the world. At the close of this book I shall try to interpret the relation between the Theosophical Movement and the Bahai Faith. But at this point I should state that the Theosophical Movement has essentially operated at the level of the higher Mind and in terms of occult knowledge, rather than as a worldwide social-religious organization. The aim of the early Theosophical Movement actually was to present a planetary-cosmic frame of reference for the then imminent development of a new science and psychology; above all, it has continued to stress fully conscious growth of a spirit of all-human brotherhood made possible by the breaking down of cultural boundaries and religious dogmas.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1975 by Dane Rudhyar
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