September 11th

Using the Great Invocation will help to sustain this effort to bring more light and love into the world. And that’s so very important, so that the lives that were lost will not be lost in vain. That will be the greatest memorial that we could ever erect, I think—to bring more light and love into the world.

Robert: Hello and welcome to Inner Sight. Our theme for today is September 11th. I think the best way to approach this theme is to begin with a quote from Alice Balley: “There is only one way in which focused evil will can be overcome, and that is by the opposition of an equally focused spiritual will displayed by the response of men and women of goodwill who can train themselves to be sensitive to this new incoming energy.” Is there a real force of evil working out here? 

Sarah: Do you mean in the events of September 11th? Yes, I think every intelligent, reasonable person around the world would agree that it was an expression of evil. Someone in the early days of the aftermath said, “We have seen the demonstration of evil; now we must show a demonstration of good.” And it’s quite clear when we look at this terrible tragedy that there is an alignment of forces that we’ve seen displayed: the great evil of people whose hatred is so overpowering that they take the lives of thousands—at this point, nearly seven thousand innocent people—and then the response evoked is one of great goodwill and unity. Sometimes in the world it seems that the more powerful the expression of evil, the more powerful the response of the spiritual will, as Alice Bailey said. The expression of good through unity, compassion, and goodwill comes forth as a kind of a counterpoint. 

Dale: Yes, and this evil is not a new thing because it’s been present in the world for centuries, eons perhaps. But this evil that was perpetrated upon us just recently on September 11th was really, I think, a carryover of the same evil that we fought against during World War I and World War II. There was a whole period in which we were up against a real evil force, and it’s not something that just comes out of human hatred, but it’s something much deeper. It’s an evil energy that’s almost cosmic, some people say, in its origins. The problem is that this is an organized effort to imprison the freedom that is given by the human soul. So, the impact of this tragedy has, I think to our benefit, led to a forceful awakening in the world consciousness. Not just in American consciousness, but in world consciousness, because the expressions of horror really woke up people all over the world. 

Sarah: Yes, it’s as if it let in a great deal of light. Sometimes a great blow, a great grief does that; things that are less important and significant seem to pale in comparison. One starts to see the really important things in life, one sees the real values in a new and illumined way, and it seems as if evil stands in stark contrast to good. They’re both so visible in the world to date. In my opinion, there is the great evil of injustice in the world, in terms of the distribution of economic resources. That in no way means that this terrible blow was deserved, but nevertheless, we have to face and try to understand if there is some contributing factor in the reality that the United Nations Developmental Program says that fifty percent of the world’s people live on two dollars a day or less, and one in five of the world’s people, which would be about 1.2 billion people, live on one dollar a day or less. They live in abject poverty and misery, many of them. The other day I heard that the United States consumes forty percent of the world’s resources. We cannot look at those facts and then naively wonder why people of different cultures hate us. There is an imbalance in the world and it’s not consciously chosen by the American people, I don’t believe. I believe the American people are people of goodwill and of compassion, but somehow the nature of the world today is that the increasing polarization between the “haves” and the “have nots,” between the conservative forces and the liberal, freedom loving forces—you could draw parallels on many levels—are becoming more and more polarized. 

Dale: I think that’s very true. We get so caught up in the material expression in this Western civilized world, that we may lose sight of what’s really happening and perhaps we’re not attentive to the real crying need in other parts of the world, as much as we should be. 

Sarah: We’re insulated from it. It isn’t that we don’t care; I think we don’t know. 

Dale: Right. And even with all our communications, the Internet and television that goes all over the world, we don’t always hear what’s happening in the other parts of the world or we’re not totally sensitive to the injustices that are taking place. 

Sarah: That reminds me of a little story that I have to inject. During the last presidential election campaign there was a survey that found that most of our young people in their twenties and thirties who were going to vote, were getting their news about the campaign from the late-night talk shows. Heaven help us! (laughter) 

Robert: That’s how they became so knowledgeable about what was going on. (laughter) When so many people die all at once, which is what happened and was so tragic, what effect does that have on the soul? 

Sarah: Well, we can only make conjecture, but the soul is light and the soul is love in its expression of energy, and when a human being makes a transition from the physical body to the subjective level of life— which is called Heaven by Christians, Nirvana by the Buddhists—I suppose there is a release of light; when many thousands die that might increase. 

Dale: Yes, it’s interesting. I had a thought, a day or so after this tragedy occurred, that had to do with the tremendous outpouring of love and service and sharing that occurred right after the tragedy; there was an outpouring of giving. I just couldn’t help thinking, “where did this all come from?” I think—I don’t know and it’s my own idea on this—that when souls are released from a physical body in any death, natural, accidental, or in this horrible situation where thousands of souls were released simultaneously within a very few minutes of each other, it’s like a group exit and it’s a group relationship that they all share now. When souls like this are released, there is a tremendous release of love, energy and light, I think, into the consciousness. I suspect that’s what so many people were picking up on. The rescuers and people all over the world, they were responding to this release of love because that’s what will eventually conquer evil, and it did in this case; it just wiped out the effects of this evil. 

Sarah: And it’s interesting, too, to follow up on your thought, with the growth of cell phones so many people were able to make telephone calls from the airplanes that were hijacked, from the staircases of the World Trade Center. I don’t know of a single story where someone called and said to their loved one, “I want you to get those SOB’s if it’s the last thing you ever do.” Instead, they called those dearest to them and said, “I love you” and this expression of love is what I think is so phenomenal. Not only is it heartwarming, but it’s also a powerful energy that was released just as Dale says. 

Dale: Absolutely. And I think it’s such a powerful force that it totally countered any of the effects of evil and it deflated the intentions of the terrorists. If their intentions were to disrupt our way of life and to cause terror in our hearts, they did not succeed at all. 

Sarah: Yes, I saw a message on the Internet from a person who has a real spiritual vision, and he said his thought was that many of those who died in this event did so with thoughts of love and courage. And we can see the importance of this because they’ve left a powerful gift of energy, and I hope their loved ones who are left behind can see that sacrifice as a gift to humanity. But I think it’s up to us, we the living, to hold on to this unity, this international outpouring of compassion and solidarity, and maintain it and strengthen it. That would be our tribute to those martyred human beings. We owe it to them. 

Dale: Yes, certainly. That’s the great memorial: that their lives were not taken in vain, because something happened in the consciousness of the human race at that time. I think it’s something lasting, and it’s got to be sustained, not just remembered year after year, but it should move us forward in consciousness. That’s the important thing.  

Sarah: There’s an interesting point in the writings of Alice Bailey about goodwill that our listeners might not have thought of. She says that goodwill, as it strengthens, actually reveals cleavages more starkly, more dramatically, wherever those cleavages exist. So, we are seeing the revelation of cleavages between East and West, between the “haves” and “have-nots,” between the conservative fundamentalist forces and the freedom loving libertarian people. These are expressions of the power of goodwill to reveal the disparities and to reveal the cleavages that still remain in the world. It doesn’t mean that we are hopelessly destined to fight continuous warfare. It may actually be a sign that goodwill is strengthening in the world because it prepares us to see where it does not exist. You have to have the opposite to be able to see and recognize the power of the contrasting force. 

Robert: Yes, and Khalil Gibran said that so well, too, in his poetry. He was speaking about how in order to understand one emotion or one human gift, oftentimes we have to look to the opposite in order to really appreciate the higher value. Our theme today is September 11th and that’s a day that will live in infamy. We’re attempting to find some meaning in it, trying to cope with it and trying to understand it to some extent. I like the thought that we began with and I’d like to repeat it once more; I thought it was quite profound. I always like to think that there’s a way of confronting evil and actually coming out on top. That thought was from Alice Bailey, and I quote: “There is only one way in which focused evil will can be overcome and that is by the opposition of an equally focused spiritual will, displayed by responsive men and women of goodwill who can train themselves to be sensitive to this new incoming energy.” How can we possibly sum up and arrive at some understanding of the horrible tragedy on September 11th? 

Sarah: Well, it’s very difficult because we are still caught up in it and it is an enormous event. But this thought that you have quoted from the writings of Alice Bailey seems to me to point the way for all of us in the future to mobilize public consciousness, public opinion. As we can see, it is through the talk shows, and the call-ins that I’ve been listening to, the letters to the editor, citizens, ordinary people like us throughout the world—literally, according to the e-mails that we’ve been receiving in our office—are trying very hard to think their way through to the spiritual implications of this event and that to me is a sign that the spiritual will is mobilizing. 

Dale: Yes, we have to remember that this wasn’t a thing that happened just to Americans, because there were people from eighty different nations working in those two buildings. One hundred Russians, at least two or three hundred Britons, there were people from all over the world; South America, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It’s been referred to an attack on America, but really it was an attack on the world humanity because this was a world centre, called the World Trade Center. We need to see this as a way of learning what we can do next and where we have to go. We have in this country and in this world a certain destiny that is ordained for us and I think it lies along the lines of the soul of each nation. And the soul of the American nation has to do with love and wisdom and this is the great goal that we should set for ourselves to bring about. I think that’s what really happened when we went through that forceful awakening, and the soul love and light poured forth and the rescue people came forth in such profusion and willingness. The little ego stood aside and this spontaneous giving and sharing came forth. That’s really the message here and people shouldn’t forget that there is a message of love that comes forth from this tragedy. That’s really the direction that we should be moving in, I think. 

Sarah: Wisdom can be our lasting legacy out of this tragedy. I don’t necessarily think it’s a quality that our nation is expressing spontaneously and consistently. Certainly, there is a compassion and a generosity in the American psyche. Wisdom is something, perhaps, that we are aspiring towards, and I think we will demonstrate whether we have gained a greater wisdom in the response that comes to the people who have perpetrated this evil deed, and that’s something that’s still working out. That’s where, in my mind, public opinion at this time is so important; that people must not leave this just to our government leaders. Although it’s true that the people in government have the responsibility and they have knowledge about the situation that we don’t know, but we citizens can make our voice known for certain principles that we think must not be violated. The writings of Alice Bailey talk about the principle of freedom in a way that to me is very illumining, and it concerns everybody no matter what side they might stand on. When the human spirit is infringed in any way, it’s a great evil, and we think of the people whose minds are imprisoned by constricted, hateful, limited thinking, prejudice, and bias, or perhaps at the same time by materialism. That’s a great evil, and we must throw off those fetters in our thinking, so that we can learn to grasp the spiritual ideas that are emerging in human consciousness. If we’re imprisoned by materialism, or by hatred or prejudice, we can’t think our way into a new and better future. 

Dale: No, this is a choice too. We have this human free will which is given to us by God. We all have free will to make the choices that we do and we can choose the path of evil, or we can choose the path of good. It’s of course much better if we choose the path of good, because that is falling in line with the greater Will of God. 

Sarah: I think many people don’t know, though, how one should define the good. How would you? 

Dale: The good that has to do with the good of the whole. At least that’s the way it is described in the Bailey books. It is the good of the whole human race. 

Robert: I don’t think you’re really putting down materialism in and of itself. I think what you’re saying is, that when the human being gets caught up and takes the wrong path, is when he is, as you said, “imprisoned by materialism.” You’re not saying that materialism in and of itself is bad, are you? 

Sarah: Well, I might be! (laughter) I’d have to think very hard. Obviously, Robert, people in the developing world have every right to aspire to a more materialistic standard of living that would make for greater comfort and enjoyment of life, health, longevity and so on. That kind of materialism is needed to live on Earth. The devotion to a five-car garage and an ever-bigger house and more and more money—that’s materialism. That doesn’t serve any purpose for the soul.  

Robert: Yes, that’s the situation where the person is not actualizing his highest potential. He’s more or less stuck, I guess, is what you’re saying. 

Sarah: And I think that we, through this tragedy, are beginning as a society to see these principles in a new way. There was an interesting comment by Mark McGuire, the great baseball player, who said he suddenly saw his sport in a whole new way. He saw it as an entertainment, but not as something that stands in any degree of importance compared to the enormity of this tragedy, and he spoke in a really refreshing way about how we have to keep things in perspective. I read an article in The New York Times about how this had affected the fashion industry, which is getting ready to put on one of its biannual shows. People just lost their spirit for it, the article said, and it quoted a couple of people saying, “We’re thinking about what we do and wondering what the point is.” Certainly, people need clothing and they have a right to aspire to beauty and fashion, but to be so engrossed in it is no longer acceptable. 

Dale: What can we do to help? 

Sarah: Well, what can we do to help? That’s a good question. One suggestion is for everyone who responds to the Great Invocation—which closes our program every week—to work with it in a new and more thoughtful way, as a form of meditation. Because the Great Invocation—which will be sounded in a couple of minutes—invokes the power of God’s Love, the power of God’s Light and the power of God’s Will to sustain and augment human will. We can’t leave everything up to divinity; we must mobilize our will. But when we work with the Great Invocation, we also are appealing for and drawing into the world the power of divine Will, Love and Light, and surely that is more potent than any human evil. 

Dale: Using the Great Invocation will help to sustain this effort to bring more light and love into the world. And that’s so very important, so that the lives that were lost will not be lost in vain. That will be the greatest memorial that we could ever erect, I think—to bring more light and love into the world. 

Sarah: We can sound it in their memory. 

Robert: Perhaps the thing to do with this monumental disaster is to see if we can reach deep within the disaster and pull out something that perhaps is of great benefit to our thinking, perhaps looking at life in a different way. 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. 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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