The Present World Crisis, Seen From a Spiritual Perspective

Many people of goodwill, and especially those with spiritual aspirations for humanity, may find the tenor of the present times depressing, frightening, confusing, discouraging, even dire.  But the writings of Alice Bailey provide a long-range perspective on the world situation which highlights the need for persistent, unwavering faith in the divine Plan and in humanity’s capacity to understand and implement that Plan.  

The clash of ideologies so visible now in human affairs is not just an effect of divisions, but more importantly a sign that we have reached a creative moment in learning discrimination:  to choose between values which serve self-interest and those which contribute to the greater good; between evolutionary, progressive forces and those which would retard growth and discourage productive change.  The clash of these ideologies, these basic thoughtforms about life, is affecting not only the human kingdom but the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms as well, as the present environmental crisis is displaying for all (who are willing) to see.  

Perhaps the area in which the clash of ideologies is most visible lies in the political realm.  In numerous nations the choice of the people recently has been to put individuals with dictatorial, power-seeking tendencies into office.  Is this the result of a sensed need for someone who can “keep the lid on” in a time of turmoil?  On the subjective level, is it an effect of the inpouring Ray of Power which is now blasting its way throughout world conditions, including the changing climate, the movement of vast numbers of people fleeing the conditions of their countries for some hoped-for better life?

For many, democracy has always seemed the ideal system by which people should govern themselves, yet we need to remember Winston Churchill’s wry observation that “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the rest.”  He must have had a clear insight into the pitfalls of entrusting the power of decision in public affairs to an uninformed, polarized, biased, or distracted electorate.  When viewed from a spiritual perspective, it’s a mistake to think of democracy as, simply, the rule of the majority.  That implies that decisions should be made by the wide spectrum of citizens each of whom, one by one, expresses his or her choice.  The numbers are then tallied and…we have a winner!  But what about all the rest of the citizens?  Particularly in close contests this can seem a harshly unfair way of choosing leaders.  

To function for the good of the whole—not just the part that forms the majority opinion—democracy must concern much more than the collective sum of its constituent parts.  The sum total of the views of all the individual citizens isn’t sufficient.  To be worthy of democracy, a society has to cultivate an inclusive vision of the varied, multiple parts that comprise the society, and support that which serves the broadest consensus—in other words, to strive towards the good of the whole.  The United Nations has always functioned by consensus, and this accounts for the sometimes tedious, frustrating quality of its decision-making process.  However, such a system confronts each member with the need to think in terms of the whole, to consider choices that are likely to elicit the agreement of all its parts.

Clearly, most nations are a long way from that vision.  However, the writings of Alice Bailey stress that “a great awakening is in process” and it is coming through—not in spite of—the widespread conflict we see throughout the world.  The battlefield of Kurukshetra, on which the epic Bhagavad Gita was played out thousands of years ago, is acutely visible in the world today.  Many people can sympathize with Arjuna’s dilemma of having to make a choice, to take a side.  Particularly for people who consider themselves spiritual, it can seem preferable to just “sit this one out” and try to avoid adding to the conflict.  Such was not the choice advised by the Tibetan Master for whom Alice Bailey wrote during the World War (1914 – 1945).  As Christ said, “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”  The faculty of discrimination, a divinely endowed function of the creative intelligence, is humanity’s best means for dealing with the present world crisis. 

As this battle rages, rather than seeking a peace which would enforce too early a settlement, the balance or equilibrium to be sought lies on the plane of the emotions.  Now, in the midst of astral turmoil, an inclusive, sane equanimity must be found despite the recognition of differences.  How can this be achieved unless one cultivates a long-range belief in the capacity of human beings to strive towards goodwill, towards common ground, towards sharing, and to prefer truth over illusion?  In times of dissension, sometimes the only power to cross vast chasms of difference is the sheer will-to-love; to refuse to allow the powers of darkness and separativeness to carve deep inroads in one’s consciousness; to love in spite of, not because of, outer appearances.  

“I call you”, the Tibetan wrote, “to recognize that goodwill is a dynamic energy which can bring about world changes”, remembering that it’s an expression best served through “massed intent”.  The massed power of goodwill and intelligent understanding can generate an unbelievable potency through a public opinion which desires the greatest good of the greatest number.  “This dynamic power has never been employed”, the Tibetan said.  “It can, today, save the world.”



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