Light – part 2

Buddha’s final words to his disciples when he was leaving this earthly plain were, “Be a lamp unto your own feet,” because he knew that every human being had within him the resources to attain his own enlightenment.

Robert: Welcome to Inner Sight. Inner sight is simply seeing that which is always present but not yet fully recognized. You have within you the ability to see yourself and the world around you in a new way with new eyes. So, stay with us, and together we’ll look at the world and ourselves with inner sight. Our topic for today is light—part two and we have an opening thought that has a lot to do with our topic. It’s from one of the oldest pieces of literature on the planet, the Upanishad, and I quote: “Lead me from darkness to light, from the unreal to the real and from death to immortality.” Before we go into the questions that I have for Sarah and Dale today, I’d like Sarah to comment on that thought. 

Sarah:  It’s said to be one of the most ancient prayers known to humanity, so that gives you a sense that this longing for liberation from the darkness and death of life on Earth is an ancient human urge. Really what we’re looking at in this prayer is three dualities: darkness and light, the unreal and the real, and death and immortality. If you really examine this prayer, you realize that darkness, the unreal, and death are references to life as we know it now on Earth and the urge for liberation is in fact a plea to be liberated from the confines and the prison house of earthly life. There was this sense, even in ancient humanity, of a realm of life and light much greater than what the five senses told them. So that tells us that the sense within the human being, that he or she is able to perceive only a small part of what life really holds in store for us, is a very ancient realization. 

Robert:  Well, just to continue further with our discussion of light and how profound light is, there is so much material in the twenty-four volumes of books by Alice Bailey. So much of it is dedicated to how profound light is and how it connects with our own spirituality. I also mentioned that I visualize light when I go into meditation and how therapeutic that’s been for me, but maybe that’s just me. Does light have anything to do with meditation? 

Sarah: Well, if meditation is done properly, light should be the effect in terms of greater awareness on whatever level one is striving to achieve—a more inclusive understanding. You can meditate on many levels. You could meditate to solve problems relating to your business or workplace and a lot of us may not realize that in effect we are meditating when we are ruminating on the subway, or at home in a quiet moment, about problems that are placed before us for solving. All of us have these problems, these issues that we’re supposed to deal with, and when we give our minds over to them in a contemplative, ruminating way, we are in fact meditating. Then there’s the meditation that’s done to develop the spiritual consciousness, the recognition of the soul, and that’s a meditation on a higher, more abstract level. And then there’s meditation on pure spiritual energy, like fire, universality, light, that takes one to even higher levels. 

Dale: Yes, and the meditation that we use at the Lucis Trust and with the Arcane School, it has a lot to do with light; bringing forth the light of the soul. All the meditation work is designed to enhance that link with the soul and to open up that channel with the soul and allow that soul light to come through and shine through and radiate into the world. 

Sarah:  The interesting thing about that is that the premise is, there is this light available within each of us. It’s not a light that comes from outside oneself, as we might think or imagine; that the light has to come in from some place out there; we certainly couldn’t have it. But in fact, the Ageless Wisdom teaches that we do have this light present within us awaiting— what? —not fruition—awaiting awakening. 

Dale: And it does come through in terms of awakening, because often that’s what happens. One may often make a breakthrough into these higher realms, more subtle realms, and this allows more of the light to shine through. This opens one up to the higher mind and eventually to the intuition which is an even more subtle aspect of light. That is the whole objective behind the meditation work that we do. 

Sarah: We’ve talked before about the fact that Buddha, whose very name means the Enlightened One, through his spiritual breakthrough two thousand four hundred years ago—I think he lived six hundred years before Christ—achieved for humanity as a whole a breakthrough that has forever been his legacy. That’s what I understand is achieved by someone called an avatar such as Buddha or Christ. They anchor a spiritual principle on Earth for humanity by their achievement, but they do it as representatives of humanity so that this breakthrough, this achievement, then becomes possible for all of us. The Buddha made his breakthrough into a realization of reality that then left an opening, you could say, in human consciousness which each of us can penetrate through our own spiritual practice, through meditation. His final words to his disciples when he was leaving this earthly plain were, “Be a lamp unto your own feet,” because he knew that every human being had within him the resources to attain his own enlightenment. Another thing that the Buddha did was to create an inroad into the world of glamour and illusion. We’ve talked about these terms before. They’re very familiar concepts to people who study the books of Alice Bailey, but maybe not to all of our listeners. Glamour means basically the fog of the emotional realm and the desire nature, and delusion refers to the limited ideas and ideological concepts that are formed by the human mind but that are limited; they aren’t really comprehensive of the whole or the total reality. We all have a tendency to have certain idées fixes, certain ideas that we think are absolutely true. And they might be, on one level, but on another level they are only partial and perhaps very limited perceptions of truth. The Buddha made a breakthrough in dispelling that glamour and illusion. And that’s why when he was asked, who are you, what have you achieved?, he said, “I am awake.” 

Robert: That says a lot, actually. 

Sarah: Most of us aren’t! Carrying it, if I may, just a little bit further, I think we can look at what has happened as a result of September 11th as a further extension of the Buddha’s work. To me that is what has happened, in a sense that I think so many of us share, that everything is different, everything has changed. There was such a terrific blow to human consciousness as a result of that horrific day that it’s let in some kind of new recognition in human consciousness. I don’t know what Dale would say about that, but to me, we are entering into a new realm, a new day in which we perceive our relationships and our fellow men in a new way. 

Dale: Yes, I think there was a definite group breakthrough there, not just on the individual level, but at the group level and that’s tremendously significant for the future of humanity. 

Sarah: And maybe we could say that it was a breakthrough for humanity as a whole. Not that that includes every human being, because there are countless people who are not ready to understand what has been revealed by this terrible tragedy, which is that we are all one, that humanity is suffering and its aspiration is universally shared and the compassion and the love that were awakened by the suffering of that day revealed this readiness to realize the universality of the human heart, the human aspiration, the human capacity to suffer. Not everybody shares that, but I think we could say humanity in general, en masse, has received this breakthrough that has let in the light of this reality, that we are interconnected. We are one. 

Robert: I perused to some extent, one of Alice Bailey’s books, entitled Serving Humanity and I can see that one of the highest values and one way that we can dramatically increase our spirituality is by being of service to our fellow man. But is there a way to serve humanity by using light? 

Sarah: Well, there are many ways in which we distribute light or radiate light, but meditation—to come back to the subject we were on just a moment ago—is a way of distributing light, especially when it’s done by a group. And here in New York, we have monthly group meditations that are open to the public. If any of our listeners would like a schedule of those meetings, they could call us and we would send it. 

Dale: Yes. And then there is also the activity that we call Triangles and you might want to go into that because that’s a wonderful activity. It’s essentially three people linking up each day and visualizing a lighted triangle and visualizing your triangle as being connected to a great worldwide network of lighted triangles, and then sounding the Great Invocation and distributing the energies of light and love and the will to good throughout this network. That’s a marvelous way of serving with light. 

Sarah: It’s a way of serving human consciousness, which means that you aren’t trying to manipulate circumstance. We don’t have the wisdom to know what the right circumstances for humanity would be, but it works with energy. It distributes light and good will into human consciousness so that those energies can make impact on receptive minds and hearts. It doesn’t stimulate people who are so evil that they would only use that energy to further their evil ends, but it does stimulate those who are responsive to goodwill and to light. It’s a wonderfully quiet, subjective, unselfish service that takes place in meditation for the good of the whole of humanity. There’s another way to serve with light which relates to a wonderful passage in one of the books of Alice Bailey, about the impact that one who has generated a certain degree of light within his own personality and soul mechanism, through his aspiration and his spiritual striving, that this person then has an effect on every living thing that comes into their presence. I don’t remember the exact wording of the passage, but it said that whether it’s an animal or a flower or another human being, they are stimulated by the light radiating from that person and quickened in their own evolution. That’s a lovely thought. And we can probably realize that we have been so quickened by those who have radiated their light toward us. 

Robert: I agree with you. Sometimes you come in contact with certain individuals and it’s almost like being involved in meditation. You come away from them feeling good and feeling more highly evolved. What are some other spiritual techniques using light?  

Sarah: Well, we were talking about light in terms of meditation and then the impact of light as radiance, in that it quickens plants, animals, other human beings. It made me think about my violets and the fact that one of them just died. It’s not easy to have that radiance and to use it wisely, but the thought that you do have the capacity to stimulate and quicken living things through the radiance of your own soul presence is a technique for world upliftment. There’s another way to use light which is to use it to solve problems, and that technique involves visualizing a line of light between oneself and the problem. Without going into too much analysis about it, whenever it comes to mind, visualize this line of light extending from you to the resolution of your problem, and it’s a technique that’s very simple that you can return to every time the problem comes into your mind. It creates a bridge between your soul, which is your light body, and the resolution of the problem according to the expectations of the soul. Sometimes we would solve our problems in ways that might not be at all what the soul has in mind, so that’s why I say don’t analyze it too much. Just know that this light is available, generated from your soul, and can be a way of bringing about a resolution of any problem. There’s another technique that’s given to us in Buddhism for using light as a means of service, and that has to do with overcoming the duality with which most of us think. As we live our lives, we tend to see things in terms of dualities, just like the prayer of the Upanishads, darkness and light, the unreal and the real death and immortality. The more we can train ourselves to think in terms that unite dualities, as one that sees the oneness which joins and transcends the apparent dualities, we are using light to dispel illusion. 

Robert: Well, that’s very profound to me. I like to think about the different ways we can use light as a tool for our own healing and well-being. Humanity is called in the writings of Alice Bailey, “the planetary light bearer.” What does she mean by this? 

Dale: Well, that’s essentially what our great task is in the world, what we’ve been talking about in these programs, is being radiant bearers of light. That’s essentially why we came into the world, I think, is to be the bearers of light; we’re light bearers. I don’t know how I can say it… 

Sarah: I get it! (laughter) 

Dale: (laughter) We have to carry this light and bring it into the world because it is the task that God has set for humanity to be, to bring the light of God into the world. We are in a sense his agents or his points of expression here in the world, and that is what we have to be and that’s why we said earlier about making ourselves more translucent so that we reflect this light. It doesn’t mean that we all have to light up like a light bulb or a Christmas tree or whatever, but we have to use the light of the mind to see really what’s going on in the world and using the light of the mind to understand and to know why things are, why things work, and why they were caused. 

Sarah: That’s not always so easy for people to identify the causes of the world situation or their own personal situation. 

Dale: I’m just thinking of an interesting analogy. Today we have a lot of reporters who are investigative reporters, they’re going around and investigating where they can find crime and corruption and they’re bringing these corrupt practices to light. That’s another way in which the light is being brought to the surface and wherever there is corruption, light will bring it out. There’s a tremendous amount of that happening today, I think. 

Sarah: There’s another kind of light that’s being radiated today, and it’s the light of the soul that shines through all those who are engaged in some kind of service to the world. And George Bush’s father, the first President Bush, recognized this when he started the Thousand Points of Light Foundation. We who study the books of Alice Bailey were quite jubilant at the naming of that foundation because the point of light is invoked in the Great Invocation that ends our broadcast of this program — “From the point of light within the mind of God, let light stream forth into the minds of men”— and that light is expressed, radiated in the act of every person who engages in service. 

Dale: And that’s another wonderful way of using light as service, by using the Great Invocation because it invokes the light and love and the will to good. 

Sarah: That in itself, on its own, is a form of service that’s right; working with prayer on behalf of humanity, working in meditation to bring light and love into the world. Those are ways of working with light. 

Robert: Well, I can’t help but enjoy this comment too, that the light of the radio wave is the ultimate carrier of the news or messages and forms a basic network of information which links the material universe together. (laughter) 

Sarah: Well, I wonder about that. You know, there was a tremendous blast of light, don’t you suppose, when these great inventors like Marconi, with the radio, and Edison — we’re always referring to Edison — were making their inventions and the impact it had on humanity must have been absolutely incredible! When we think back to—what, one hundred years ago—did we have electric lights? Certainly not on the level of today with our lighted cities that can be seen from a satellite. 

Robert: Do you have any more final thoughts? 

Sarah: Well, I would just like to come back to the fact that this light that we are discussing is present within each of us. I think that it’s such a human tendency to feel that we must go outside ourselves to look for what we need to salvage ourselves spiritually. The message that rings so loud and clear from the life of the Buddha, the Awakened One, was that we have the light within ourselves. We have the means to create our own path of liberation, and it comes through self-knowledge, meditation, dwelling in reality as much as possible. 

Robert: So, if we were raised on an isolated Caribbean Island, if we abandoned ship and ended up there, we would still have the potential of that light being developed within us. 

Sarah: It would still be with us. (laughter) 

Robert: That’s a very comforting thought. I like that thought. 

Sarah: Wherever you go, there you are. 

Robert: Yeah, that’s very interesting. 

Dale: And that’s essentially what we are — beings of light, and that’s what we have to bring into the world. 

Robert: Well, we’ll continue this another time. That’s about all the time we have for our discussion today. You’ve been listening to Inner Sight. Now we would like to close with a world prayer called the Great Invocation, which mentions light also, to quote Sarah before. It’s a call for light and love and goodwill to flow into the world and into our hearts. Let’s listen for a moment to these powerful words. 

Sarah: Closes the program by reciting the adapted version of the Great Invocation

(This is an edited transcript of a recorded radio program called “Inner Sight”. This conversation was recorded between the host, Robert Anderson, and the then President and Vice-President of Lucis Trust, Sarah and Dale McKechnie.)

(Transcribed and edited by Carla McLeod)




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