Some Thoughts on Libra

Serving in the Silence of the Pivotal Point:

Libra, we’re told, is the sign in which the first real vision of the Path appears—a path which runs between the pairs of opposites. So tenuous is this path that it has been called “the razor’s edge”, an apt term which implies both the exactitude required for maintaining equilibrium and the peril of losing one’s balance. In today’s world this challenge is more demanding than ever, for we live in a time when the opposite extremes are emerging into acute definition and the overwhelming impulse is to choose one side over the other. The power of the analytical mind can all too eagerly summon all its resources to build a case for its choices, and the results of this are increasingly visible in the growing polarization we see in society, revealing cleavages that seem all but impossible to bridge.

The lesson of Libra is thus more timely than ever: If human beings are to determine their own destiny and exercise their free will in establishing the kind of world they choose to live in, they must learn to use the resources of the mind on a much higher level if that world is to be peaceful and humane. The keynote for Libra provides the direction: I choose the way which leads between the two great lines of force. In Libra the balancing of the pairs of opposites takes place through the activity of the judicial mind and the establishing of a point of equilibrium, the writings of Alice Bailey tell us. An ancient symbol of justice is the Scales, which render judgment through the function of the fulcrum or pivot between two arms of equal length. It’s here “at the center of the Scales or at the hub of the wheel that the true perspective and indicated action can be seen correctly”, Alice Bailey wrote.

Perhaps this understanding lay behind the Taoist concept of Wu Wei. Sometimes this is translated as “doing nothing” but in fact it’s a mode of action which issues forth from the pivot, the essence, of the Tao (sometimes spelled Dao) or Way. Huston Smith, in his discussion of Taoism in The World’s Religions, pointed out that “we must remember that we have little idea of what energy is. Action in the mode of Wu Wei is action in which friction is reduced to the minimum.” Instead of either dominance or restraint, the Taoist way is to seek attunement with nature—with the natural flow of events—through the faculty of adaptability or active intelligence. This is quite different than passive acceptance of “whatever happens”, but it does require maintaining equilibrium in the face of change, as well as silent listening.

Interludes of silence and of activity characterize all of life, from the flow of daily life to the monthly lunar and solar interludes, to the annual interludes and beyond. The practice of meditation works with the interludes to distribute spiritual energy by developing the capacity to hear “the voice of the silence”, the intuition or inner voice of the soul. This has deep relevance in the tumult of the present times, when there is a greater need than ever for poise and silence. Instead of reacting to the world’s turmoil, the server must learn “to pause upon the astral plane, and there, in a holy and controlled silence, wait, before permitting the force to pour through”, in Alice Bailey’s words. “This point of silence is one of the mysteries of spiritual unfoldment”.

Such spiritual poise enables the mind to reach the clarity of the higher mental plane where the common good, the good of the whole, prevails. All true ideas emerge from this pivot point, casting illumination on the choices and judgments that lie ahead. To this powerful form of service to a world in turmoil and transition we can all contribute.



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