Some Thoughts on Cancer

Working lovingly with substance

The Sun’s passage into Cancer marks the transition from the subjective energies of Aries, Taurus and Gemini into the realm of manifestation—of form life. In one of her lectures, Alice Bailey said that “God is, through the form, whatever it may be, working out an idea, a specific concept”. We might not think of ourselves as an idea in progress, but apparently we are, as is a rose or a ladybug, a dog or a cat, a nation, and the planet itself. The soul is present in every atom in all kingdoms in nature. Every form has its own awareness, esoteric teaching tells us, and evolution is the process whereby forms respond to contact, react to impact, and pass on to greater usefulness.

From another perspective, every form veils or conceals an idea, and this is true without exception on all planes of our solar system, we’re told. “The matrix holds the diamond”, Alice Bailey wrote, “and when the matrix reveals its hidden gem, and the work of cutting and polishing is accomplished, the glory of the jewel will be seen.” In this statement we gain an insight into the purpose of forms. Through the interaction between the indwelling soul, the diamond, and the form or matrix through which it manifests, the soul gains experience in the three worlds of mind, emotions and etheric-physical living, and the form nature is given the opportunity to react to the higher soul impulse—to gain sentiency.

The challenge of the human stage, in particular, is that the average person identifies so closely with the form, regarding the self as “a bag of skin”, to use Alan Watts’s words, as a singular identity with an outer appearance separate from all other forms, that a kind of cul de sac is created. This view the Eastern spiritual teaching calls maya. “Hold not on to the form no matter what it be”, we’re cautioned. This helps us to understand why Cancer is so closely associated with rebirth and why it is considered one of the two “gates” of the zodiac. Cancer, along with its polar opposite, Capricorn, generates the cyclic process of spirit’s descent through the birth of a form and its spiritual quickening through upward striving. These repeated cycles offer invaluable training to the soul in the developing of a field of service.Gradually, over repeated incarnations, forms are created which are more conscious, more responsive, and thus provide a more appropriate dwelling place for spiritual impulse.

The keynote of Cancer is I build a lighted house and therein dwell. To build a lighted house is to create a dwelling for the light of the soul to radiate through all one’s thoughts, words, and actions. In a time when light is being cast into some of the darkest corners of human living and much that has been previously hidden is coming into the glare of the public gaze, this keynote has a special poignancy. Human consciousness is being impacted in profound ways and human reactions are not always predictable. The spiritual goal in Cancer—to give mass service rather than to be immersed in the mass consciousness of the herd—takes on new relevance. We are asked to participate in the creative activity of divinity. “The divine idea must become the possible ideal”, we’re told, “and this idea must become unfolded and manifested in substance upon the physical plane.”

Perhaps this is why we are urged to “work lovingly with substance”, with the energetic component or essence within matter. Every manifested form can be revelatory of “the glory of the One”. Learning to recognize the divinity of form and form building awakens one to the discovery that “beauty is, after all, as much of divinity as can be expressed through any one form”, in Alice Bailey’s words. As we build a lighted house and therein dwell, we contribute to the beautification of the world.



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