Thoughts on Cancer

The radiance of a lighted house

Aries, Taurus and Gemini, the three conditioning signs behind manifestation, prepare the way for the form-taking experience in Cancer. As one of two “gates” in the zodiac, Cancer leads into the realm of matter or manifestation while Capricorn, the other gate, strives towards union with spirit, and the result of the interaction between these two polarities is the development of consciousness. Because this process is slow, there is a close link between Cancer and the great Law of Rebirth or reincarnation, also known as the Law of Periodicity. Often misinterpreted in terms of personality goals, reincarnation is in fact a repeated form-taking for the purpose of developing sensitivity to contact—the expanding awareness of what constitutes one’s environment. Initially in human consciousness the environment is that of the mass, the herd, but in time it’s honed into an increasing sense of self-awareness, of individuality and the delusion of being separate and apart from the herd. Perhaps this stage is necessary to break free of the mass, but eventually it too becomes an imprisoning perspective, until the recognition of being part of a group begins to dawn.

As this awakening sense of group affiliation becomes increasingly responsive to contacts and the borders of one’s environment continue to expand, the spiritual path opens up for exploration, and this phenomenon is becoming steadily more prevalent in humanity today. However, the writings of Alice Bailey point out that most human beings are found somewhere between the consciousness of the masses and that of the individual self. No doubt, most people think of themselves as able to think independently, uninfluenced by their environment, but the power of the mass media through modern technology is making apparent how strong strongly such negative forces as conspiracy thinking and outright untruths form the views of millions of people and enhance the power of public opinion. The intense polarization seen on so many fronts today is an indication that mass consciousness remains susceptible to conditioning by unrecognized forces, but the very intensity of the conflict may also foreshadow the approach of a critical stage of resolution and renewal.

The Law of Rebirth, we’re told, accounts for human differences and circumstances, and provides the key to all problems of humanity. Understanding that some individuals are focused on self-assertion and personality development, others are awakening to group relationships, and a few are achieving the decentralization that brings release from the form of personality imprisonment, instills compassion and tolerance. The desperation underlying the common assertion that “we only live once” vanishes when we consider the process of the soul’s awakening. Neither does the assumption that reincarnation is an individual experience resonate with esoteric teaching, which focuses on its group nature. The concept of the group naturally brings to mind the individual’s birth family and ancestry, but H.P. Blavatsky said that the true family is one’s “astral family”, her term for the spiritual family of soul relationships. This is especially significant when we remember that the soul returns to incarnation not for sentient experience but for purposes of service. The law of karma, “the most stupendous law of the system” according to esoteric teaching, governs our relationships with those with whom we serve, and we’re told that these soul ties are renewed repeatedly through reincarnation.

Cancer marks the entrance into manifestation in order to awaken to knowledge in the three worlds and to see God in manifestation. This building of a lighted house, windows open to the world, through which Light and Love can radiate abundantly, is a slow process of evolution. “Behind each human being stretches a long series of lives”, Alice Bailey wrote; all, in time, lead to an unfolding divinity expressed in form. This is the outstanding service of Cancer, expressed in the keynote: I build a lighted house and therein dwell.



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