The Great Invocation

Simply by working with this invocation daily, endeavouring to deepen one’s understanding of its meaning and to become an agent of its energy flow into human consciousness, one is serving to dedicate one’s will to the Will of God.

Robert:  Hello and welcome to Inner Sight. Today our show is on the Great Invocation. What is an invocation? Is it related to prayer? 

Sarah: It’s related, but there are also fundamental differences. Prayer is an appeal to God, and usually it’s an appeal with a personal wish or a personal relevance to it. We all probably pray from time to time in moments of emergency and urgent need but invocation is based more on the realization, as it’s said, “draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” In other words, as one strives to make an approach to divinity, whatever divinity means to one, that sets up a flow of energy that draws the divine quality into oneself and ignites it from within one’s resources. Invocation has to start from below, in the sense that it has to begin within the human being, and then God responds. This is a realization that goes back to the dawn of time for humanity. In fact, it’s said that one of the most ancient prayers in the world comes from the Hindu religion, and that it’s an invocation. It says, “Lead us from darkness to light, from the unreal to the real, and from death to immortality.” There is another more modern invocation which we call the Great Invocation, and maybe Dale could say that for us now, before we start discussing it. 

Dale: From the point of Light within the Mind of God, let light stream forth into human minds. Let light descend on Earth. From the point of Love within the Heart of God, let love stream forth into human hearts. May the Coming One return to Earth. From the centre where the Will of God is known, let purpose guide all little human wills, the purpose which the Masters know and serve. From the centre which we call the human race, let the Plan of Love and Light work out, and may it seal the door where evil dwells. Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth. 

Robert: It’s so beautiful and I hate to dissect something so beautiful. It’s like dissecting a flower, but I think it’s necessary to do. The first stanza refers to the reaching out for light. 

Sarah: Yes, this urge to light is something present not only within human beings, but within all living beings, within animals and plants. Watching the vegetable kingdom is a depiction of the search for light. Plants literally follow the light of the sun and respond to it and carry out photosynthesis through the light of the sun. The human being aspires to light in a different way, the light of the mind and the Light of God. The first stanza says, “let light stream forth into human minds,” and this is a setting up of a relationship or a flow of response between the Mind of God and the mind of man. It’s very interesting to reflect on this because man actually is a word derived from the Sanskrit word manas, which means “one who thinks” or “thinking entity”, so the human being has the capacity to function as a mind and to think in a way that is aligned with the thought of God in some sense. Even scientists are beginning to realize this because Lewis Thomas, who wrote The Lives of a Cell and The Medusa and the Snail, said he thought that we may be engaged in the formation of something like a mind for the life of this planet. So, this is a recognition that’s beginning to dawn in human consciousness, that human beings are an outpost of the Mind of God. 

Dale: It’s the light that is in the soul as well; therefore it’s within us, and it’s that urge to betterment which draws us forward. Each human being has the seeds of light within them, and that’s probably the relationship to the flower because we are in a sense like flowers, in the process of growing and blooming and so we turn our face to the light just as the flower turns its face to the sun. 

Sarah: One of the interesting things to me is that two great religious festivals that celebrate light come at the time of year when in the northern hemisphere the days are shortest and there is the greatest darkness. The birth of Christ is celebrated by Christians on December 25th, which is just a few days after the darkest moment of the year, and the Jewish festival of Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights. I think there’s something to the fact that light is celebrated in darkness. It takes darkness to be able to appreciate the existence of light in a sense, by the contrast. 

Robert: Who is the Coming One that’s referred to in the Great Invocation? 

Sarah: The Coming One is another term for Avatar. Perhaps some of our listeners have heard the word Avatar. It’s a Sanskrit word meaning, “one who comes down from far away to Earth, to humanity.” The Coming One is the embodiment of the Love of God. It’s a being that is expected to return to Earth not only by Christians who look for Christ, and the reappearance of Christ, but by people of many faiths. In fact, Buddhists expect the Maitreya, Muslims expect the Imam Mahdi and Jewish people look for the Messiah. What’s really quite fascinating is that the terms Christ and Messiah both mean the same thing. Christ is a Greek term in origin and Messiah is Hebrew in origin. They both mean the “Anointed One” meaning “consecrated and set apart as holy.” So, the Coming One is this embodiment of the Love of God that humanity looks for. 

Robert: So, the implication is that many religions are in reality looking for the same Coming One but are using different names. 

Sarah: Yes, because this urge for a perfect embodiment of love in human form is something that’s deeply inherent in human nature. It really has nothing to do with differences of religion, race, class or whatever else. It’s apparently, a fundamental appeal or hope within human nature. 

Dale: It’s not unusual to think of a Coming One or this person returning. He actually hasn’t left. He’s always been here, but he’s just not in a physical state. If we think about it and believe in the theory of reincarnation, it’s not unusual for this Coming One to return to a physical state because every human being does this with every lifetime. We all go through this same cyclic process, only most of us just do it more often than the Avatar or the Coming One. He comes maybe every couple of thousand years and the rest of us go much more quickly.  We have life after life when we appear, then we disappear for a while and then we come back. So, it’s not unusual to think that this Great Avatar will again appear. 

Sarah: Another point to keep in mind is that when we speak of the reappearance of the Coming One, whether we mean Christ, the Messiah, or the Maitreya, we’re not only appealing for the return of this embodiment, this perfect expression of God’s Love in human form, but we’re also invoking the quickening of the expression of this perfect love which exists within every human being. There’s something called the soul or the Christ principle, which exists in all human beings and it expresses itself better in some than in others. When we appeal for the Coming One to return, we are also appealing for the resurgence of this Christ principle, the soul, which is love in its most natural expression, to come to power, to be vivified in human beings. So again, it’s a two-way street: the appeal for the Coming One to return to Earth and at the same time for this quality within human beings to come to the forefront. 

Robert: Am I to understand that one of the implications then in the Great Invocation is that we are all capable and all have the potential within us of the pinnacle of love, the Christ consciousness? 

Sarah: Well, Christ said, “Greater things than I have done, ye shall do,” and he predicted that human beings were capable of the same achievements as he had made. Buddha said the same thing to his followers. These great beings enact for humanity in a kind of a prototype way, as I understand it, something which humanity is destined to achieve and fulfill, individual by individual, until the very last one of us has made it through the gate into a realm of light and love. 

Robert: So, what we have to do then is to actualize that potential of love. Why is the human will referred to as little? 

Sarah: Well, maybe Dale will have a different response, but I’ll take a stab at it. There’s the little human will which is self oriented, and I think we’re all probably acquainted with that will and it’s probably alive and kicking within each of us—the will that says I want, I want, I want and puts the selfish separated interests of the personality first and foremost. The greater will, the spiritual will, is another matter altogether and that comes from the soul. When we appeal for the purpose to become active in human beings, we’re really appealing for the submergence of the little selfish will and the acquiescence of human will to God’s will, not to become automatons, but to submerge and blend our will with the will of God in an act of cooperation on behalf of the Plan. The Great Invocation itself is a means of blending or merging one’s will with the Will of God, simply by working with this invocation daily; endeavouring to deepen one’s understanding of its meaning and to become an agent of its energy flow into human consciousness, one is serving to dedicate one’s will to the Will of God. It’s a tool for transformation in that sense. Not only does it bring one’s own being into alignment with God’s Plan, but it works through each of us who uses the Great Invocation to help bring all of humanity more into alignment with the Plan. 

Robert: What is the door where evil dwells? 

Sarah: Well, there are different levels of evil. There’s a kind of cosmic evil that we are told humanity really can have nothing to do with. It’s beyond the control of humanity, and we are protected from it by the Spiritual Hierarchy. But there is human generated evil for which we are responsible: the evil of separatism, hatred, prejudice, cruelty that human beings are abundantly capable of expressing. This kind of evil is our creation, and we are responsible for eradicating it. That evil is overcome by the building of right human relationships between people and by generating lines of light and love flowing between human beings, between groups, between nations. All of this is fostered by the Great Invocation and the energy flow that it lets into the world. It’s an extremely potent, powerful invocation because it serves to merge human minds with the Mind of God. It merges human hearts with the Heart of God, setting up an energy flow for light and love that can then enter into the planet and not only uplift humanity, but help also to uplift the other kingdoms, animal, vegetable and mineral. The Bible says man has dominion over the Earth. Those kingdoms are dependent on humanity’s ability to cooperate with the Plan of God or to not cooperate with it. I think this is something that’s coming very much to our realization, through the science of ecology, that humanity has the capacity to impede the Plan of God or to cooperate with it, and the planet suffers or rejoices depending on our decision. 

Robert: I believe that words are extremely powerful and if anyone doubts that, just recall a time when someone hurt you with words, where your whole biochemistry changed. Here we have the Great Invocation, where for me anyway, the words change my whole biochemistry for the good and I think we have to acknowledge the ability of words coming from something as important as the Great Invocation to transform us in a positive way. Can you comment? 

Sarah: Yes, I think that it does work kind of a magic. As one works with the Great Invocation, one is kind of taken over by it and I’m speaking about those of us who have worked with it on a daily level for many years at a time. It’s extremely impersonal, for one thing. You’ll notice that it doesn’t ask anything for the separated self. It asks for humanity as a whole, for the planet as a whole, and yet the individual part, which is each human being, is included within that flow of energy. It’s a perfect merging of the part with the whole and the inclusiveness of it is what makes it so magical. The appeal for Light and Love and Power is for every living being, not only for a chosen few. I find that deeply appealing. 

Robert: I’m understanding from what both of you are saying, that a prayer is words that are said to God more or less for a personal purpose, whereas the Invocation is intended for humanity as a whole.  Is that correct? 

Dale: I might clarify that a little bit. I think prayer is more of an intersession, a more petitionary type of approach or appeal to God. But invocation carries a much wider and deeper connotation. The Great Invocation invokes energy.  We’re working with energies here and as Sarah said, it’s strictly impersonal.  What we are invoking is not for ourselves, but it’s for the upliftment of humanity. We invoke Light and Love and the Power of the Will to Good. 

Robert: Why does humanity seem to occupy such a crucial position in each stanza of the Great Invocation? 

Sarah: Well, it’s said in the writings of Alice Bailey, that the outstanding characteristic of humanity is its sensitivity or its responsiveness to impression, which I think means that humanity has the capacity to respond to God’s Plan. Again, we come back to the real meaning of the word man or manas, which is “one who thinks.” Through the awakening mind and through the inclusive, open, sensitive heart, human beings are able to respond to God’s Plan and to become agents for it, and as agents we can thereby serve the other kingdoms that share the planet with us: animal, vegetable, mineral. It really comes down to the choices that humanity makes. Because we have the capacity to think, we also have the capacity to make wrong choices. So, humanity is the crucial question mark in the working out of God’s Plan. 

Dale: Humanity is a mediator. The middle kingdom between the lower kingdoms of animal, vegetable and mineral, and the higher Spiritual Kingdoms. But everything is focused on the human kingdom, it has to work out here, and that’s our responsibility to see that it does work out, in accordance with the Will of God. 

Robert: One of the questions that I frequently get asked about the Great Invocation is the word Plan. Can we comment on that? 

Sarah:  The Plan is the basic structure or blueprint for the evolution of our planet, which is held in the Mind of God, and which he seeks to impress upon human beings for its furthering, for its manifestation on Earth. It’s a Plan that is threefold, a Plan of Love, of Light, and of Power, and those three energies are invoked in the Great Invocation. Those are the essential components of the Plan. 

Robert: What I like so much about the works of Alice Bailey is the idea that all life is to be treated with dignity and understanding. Her work is to unite humankind. In closing, remember these words of Alice Bailey: “Goodwill is the touchstone that will transform the world.” There is a world prayer called the Great Invocation. It’s a call for Light and Love and Good Will to flow into the world and into our hearts. Let’s listen for a moment to these powerful words. 

Invitation by Robert to listen as Sarah closes with the Great Invocation

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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