Some Thoughts on Leo

The Self-Directed Life:

Leo, as viewed in the writings of Alice Bailey, has major importance in the life of the spiritual aspirant. The “inquirer of the Way”, she wrote, has to know the individual self through true self-awareness before it’s possible to know the divine aspect which is the true Self and to know also one’s fellowmen. Thus Leo is called “the birthplace of the individual”, emerging out of the mass or herd instinct (Cancer) into self-awareness (Leo). In time, this self-consciousness has to be steadily expanded into group consciousness (Aquarius). Because the present world cycle Is in transition into a new age governed by Aquarius, an interesting dynamic is being generated by the interaction of the polar opposites, Leo and Aquarius. The trend towards amalgamation, fusion, and federation, which is Aquarian in nature, is fostered by Leo’s self-centralization; a trend which also underlies the growing power of dictatorships, as Alice Bailey noted. We can see both forces are at work in the world today.

The development of the sense of self is a crucial stage in human psychology, which may be why esoteric teaching says that Leo is the most human sign of all. The outstanding theme of Leo, we’re told, is the development of sensitive response to surrounding impacts by the one who stands—as the Sun stands—at the center of its little universe. The whole story and function of Leo can be summed up in the word “sensitivity”, Alice Bailey wrote. We can all probably identify examples of individuals who seem to occupy their own personal silos, unaware of and/or uninterested in the larger world around them. But we can also identify in increasing numbers those who are prompted by an expanding consciousness of their environment in ever more inclusive dimensions. This development is not just of benefit to society but has profound spiritual consequences, for it opens up a wholly new cycle in the life of the soul.

The only truly self-conscious person, we’re told, is one who is aware of purpose, of a self-directed life and a definite plan and program. The self is both the Director (Self) and actor (self), and thus the freedom to realize one’s destiny is a vital attribute of the energies of Leo. Perhaps an especially relevant example of this can be noted in the experience undergone by the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who was imprisoned during the Second World War. The power to remain at the helm of life even in spite of confinement was the “pearl of great price” he extracted from his suffering. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing”, Frankl wrote—“the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”. He realized, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” This is the executive power of Leo, the Director, in action.

Viktor Frankl may be seen as a pioneer in achieving the recognition of the essential truth underlying the ancient affirmation Tat tvam asi—That art thou: the real or true Self, defined in the Upanishads as the vital force that is present and active at the deepest core of every form of life. When this realization awakens within the human being, there is a sense of both personal freedom and of responsibility—the realization of one’s place within the chain which endows the individual with both unassailable freedom and undeniable responsibility.

Towards this realization the keynote of Leo points: I am That and That am I.



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