Some Thoughts on Cancer – The Building of Adequate Forms

Cancer, following the three conditioning signs or energies which lie behind manifestation (Aries, Taurus, Gemini), marks the passage of the soul into manifestation and the taking of a form. Why should this journey—descent into form life—be necessary for the soul’s evolution? Why wouldn’t it be infinitely better for the soul’s development if it simply refused entry into the world of forms and sought only (re)union with the Whole? Because, the Bailey writings tell us, without the form and without the ability to respond sensitively to the environing conditions and circumstances, the soul would never know God in manifestation. This necessity is governed by a fundamental spiritual truth: that matter is spirit at its lowest point and spirit is matter at its highest, and that the apparent duality is but an essential unity.

On a microcosmic level, the incarnation of each human being represents the potential of life in form to be an expression of spirit in matter. Without incarnation, there would be no opportunity to awaken to the reality that “through the medium of every human life God is, through the form, working out an idea, a specific concept”. What an extraordinary realization this is! Surely a particular lifetime or incarnation can’t be sufficient for the working out of this fundamental aspect of the human experience. Perhaps that’s why Cancer is a sign closely associated with reincarnation and the ancient concept of karma. The dimly sensed awareness of unfulfilled obligations and responsibilities, of the “unfinished business” of the soul, seems to lie deeply buried in the consciousness of the human being. Gradually, as consciousness begins to awaken, dim memories of the breaking of spiritual laws governing right human relations surge to the surface of consciousness. The driving impulse to return then becomes not the satisfaction of unfulfilled desire or the gaining of perfection through earthly experience, for the soul, we’re told, is already perfect. Instead, the urge to serve sensed needs becomes the propulsive force governing return to incarnation.

Consciousness expresses through many levels or stages, and all that we observe on the outer planes of life is simply the reflection of one state of consciousness or another. The gradual awakening of consciousness begins in Cancer and progresses from the consciousness of the mass or herd, to self consciousness. This helps us to understand the present world condition, for only slowly and much later does the consciousness of the group begin to awaken. Public opinion seems to verify that the large majority of human beings occupy a stage somewhere in transition from the consciousness of the herd to that of the self-centered individual. However, increasingly we can see evidence of the growth of group consciousness and this is the hope of the world.

The building of adequate forms, when recognized by increasing numbers of human beings as a demonstration of the quality of Deity, includes a span from the tiniest atom to the vastness of a solar system. The Earth itself is a form, described in the Ageless Wisdom as the battleground between spirit and matter. From the perspective of esoteric teaching, our planet is not yet one of the “sacred” planets of the solar system. Its potential, however, to become such a radiant expression was captured in the image of the Earth called “the blue marble”, taken from Apollo 17 in 1972 and now is one of the most widely viewed images in history. Over the decades, this image has been transforming our perception of the Earth and of humanity’s responsibility to it, as can be seen in the increasing focus on the environment and humanity’s role as planetary steward.

The Bailey writings offer an interesting perspective on the dual nature of this responsibility: “Love as relationship to divinity and wisdom as relationship to form lie behind the soul’s intent.” Let us ponder on this thought as we join with the worldwide group in meditation upon the keynote of Cancer: I build a lighted house and therein dwell.



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