This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Leoni Hodgson, PMAFA, MSE (Psych), PhD Esotericism NB. This article is generally directed to those who study theosophical writings, particularly those of Alice A. Bailey. There are many who believe, that to be involved in politics, to side with one side or the other in a conflict, is to be “unspiritual” - that politics is a dirty and bloody business, and to willingly involve oneself in any way is to add to the evil of it all. Many whose thoughts tend in this direction believe that pacifism is the only correct option for those who consider themselves to be on the spiritual path. Pacifism is defined as: 1. The belief that violence, war, and the taking of lives are unacceptable ways of resolving disputes. 2. The refusal to take up arms or participate in war because of moral or religious beliefs. 3. The belief that international conflicts should be settled by negotiation rather than war. Although the latter point is listed under pacifism, since the Second World War, the attempt to settle disputes by negotiation so as to avoid war, has become a moral imperative, and the United Nations generally was created upon this notion. But still, when it comes to politics opinion is divided. There are those who wage in, in an attempt to interpret events esoterically, or to assign a greater degree of “rightness” to one side or the other, throwing their support behind the “right” side. Then there are those who hold the conviction that the only right way to be involved is through prayer or meditation. List of comments from those who believe “spiritual” people should not get involved in politics: 1. Spiritual people stay completely neutral where both good and evil are concerned. The minute you find yourself taking sides you are not being spiritual. a. A disciple stands in the middle always. Anti-anything is a polarized field - it means one is taking sides. b. To take sides would only create greater separation than what already exists. c. The spiritual are neutral, do not take sides they stand in the middle always. 2. 3. 4. 5. Disciples must exercise an unprejudiced attitude. Criticising someone creates harm. There is no problem in the world which cannot be solved by love. // Just keep your heart open in love, stay aligned with God/ Heaven/ Jesus/ the Hierarchy, and all will be well. Disciples must only work on the higher level - in meditation. The spiritually inclined, the New Group of World Servers (NGWS), do not get involved in politics. Master Djwhal Khul says so. Spiritual people - should always remain neutral/ never take sides. Spiritual people - must never criticise. Spiritual people - should only love, love will solve all problems. Spiritual people - should stay above the fray, and only meditate or pray. Spiritual people - should not be involved in politics - Master Djwhal Khul says so.
In summary: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
To get this argument into its correct context, I will repeat the former points, but this time adding the phrase “even if war threatens”. There are generally good moral arguments which can be made to support any of the former statements in less challenging situations. But this article focuses on the moral dilemma which faces good people when war looms - such as the recent invasion of Iraq by America.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Spiritual people should always remain neutral - even if war threatens. Spiritual people must never criticise - even if war threatens. Spiritual people should only love - even if war threatens. Spiritual people should only meditate or pray - even if war threatens. Spiritual people should not be involved in politics - even if war threatens.
1. Spiritual people should always remain neutral - even if war threatens? The greatest wars of modern history were the two World Wars, and the movements towards in pacifism/ appeasement/ neutrality were particularly strong as Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party rose to power. However, once countries were engaged in war, the movements generally declined. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who promoted the appeasement approach, was later accused of weakening Britain’s position at the same time Hitler was preparing for war. Alice A. Bailey said that pacifism has no place when human rights and higher spiritual values are at risk. In the following quote she challenges those who would pray for a peaceful outcome when evil forces are being unleashed - such as they were by the Nazis: Will you use prayers for peace, and then patiently wait for the forces of good to fight your battle and for God to do the work? Are you going to issue forth from the safe security of your pacifist alibi and gratefully acknowledge what they have done and grasp your share of the gains which they have purchased at such a cost? 1 Many who claim to be pacifists are actually afraid to have their comfortable life disrupted, or believe their businesses or livelihoods will be impaired if they get involved. Such people selfishly count on other people to make the needed sacrifice. Bailey went on to say that the spiritual Hierarchy - those ascended Beings who guide mankind’s destiny under the leadership of the Christ, are definitely not neutral, and side with the right element in every nation and against greedy materialism. Bailey said that people are confusing an unwillingness to take sides, with brotherly love, and that they forget the words of the Christ who said that He who is not with me is against me. 2 Some pacifists claim that the spiritual teachings demand complete un-involvement and neutrality where both good and evil are concerned, and this assertion has some support. Buddhism teaches harmlessness, and the Bible (Matthew) asks us to “turn the other cheek”. These are the most likely sources of modern pacifism. But there are many more passages in the Bible which encourages action to be taken against evil. When viewed against the backdrop of the greater whole - humanity is one organism or centre in the planetary field, it is truly a unity and its sufferings are one. Bailey said that those who do not grasp this important fact will suffer for their deliberate non-participation in the fate of the whole. 3 I assume Bailey was referring to karma and the fact that in a future situation, such people will find themselves on the receiving end of injustice, and without any aid or support. Finally in this section - although it is generally understood that whatever a man may think in his mind, then that thought will eventually make its appearance on the physical plane - neutrality does not fit into this category. Bailey said that there is never neutrality in thought 4. We can see the truth of this as far as the lower mind is concerned. It is the separative element of man, the “slayer of the real” as it is called by Helena Blavatsky, and only when consciousness is focused on the higher plane of unification - the Buddhic Plane, is true union possible. So neutrality as manufactured by the unillumined mind of man, is a creation designed for his own comfort, and is given some sense of “rightness” by those who seek to justify their lack of participation in the crises which beset man. 2. Spiritual people must never criticise - even if war threatens?
Criticism, debate, argument, and the expressing ideas, these are all sanctioned techniques by the spiritual Masters. Helena Blavatsky attributed the following quote to Gautama Buddha: The lord Buddha has said that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumours, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them: nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us.. nor on the mere authority of our teachers or masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness.. then to act accordingly and abundantly.5 As evolving consciousnesses, we are expected to ask, enquire and debate, in order to develop discrimination, and therefore the ability to ascertain the truth of things. Realisation is brought about by the soul beginning to practise discrimination, at first theoretically and intellectually .. hence the great value of the present era of criticism and polemical discussion. 6 When the ability to discern higher truths and values has not been developed, and neither has the ability to love impersonally as a soul, then people may start to interpret moral injunctions such as - standing up for spiritual values/ loving all men/ expressing the spirit of goodwill, as meaning that they must not criticise or fight for principles or values. 7 Bailey said that this was an erroneous belief. 8 But it is easy to see why the error would be made. When impersonal love has not been developed, then criticism is usually personal and issues forth from a sense of superiority, a love of fault finding, and as a defensive attack. Recognising that criticism at this level is not something to be proud of, such people then project their own limitations onto others. So the general belief forms that to criticise is to be unspiritual - and it is at the lower level, because the judgment is coming from a spirit of separativeness. Another reason why public debate over the morality of aggressive acts of war is so essential, is because the large majority of people on earth - the masses, are unable to distinguish the truth of things for themselves. They gullibly accept whatever appeals to them emotionally, whatever is repeated to them time and again by the loudest public leaders, and then they throw their force behind such people without a proper examination of the true motives. Mass psychology and mob determinations have been exploited down the ages, for the unthinking and the emotional are easily swayed in any direction, and hitherto this has been turned to their own advantage by those who do not have the best interests of humanity at heart. 9 Even with this brief examination, it is clear that the statement “spiritual people must never criticise” is an erroneous assumption. 3. Spiritual people should only love - even if war threatens? There is a potential truth in this statement. We live in a system in which love is being developed - Christ came to teach the lesson of love, and one day love will be the most powerful force in existence. But this is not the case today, and at humanity’s present level of development, there are not enough people who are able to love impersonally as souls, to bring about the needed changes. What most people interpret as love is actually selfish sentiment. Love for many people is.. a mixture of the desire to love and the desire to be loved, plus a willingness to do anything to show and evoke this sentiment, and consequently to be more comfortable in one’s own interior life... It is this pseudo-love, based primarily on a theory of love and service, which characterises so many human relationships.10 It is very clear when the social climate of humanity is studied - the high divorce rate, the aggression expressed so often within families, the selfish self-centredness of so many parents and spouses, that humanity is a long way from being able to use the pure energy of love to stop world aggression. Many people think that an emotional reaction and clamouring outcry of horror at what has overtaken the world (in WW2) indicates love and spiritual sensitivity. It is far more likely to indicate self-centredness and personal discomfort. 11
True love is an unsentimental and unemotional force which takes into consideration the needs of the whole, and then which acts for the good of the whole. Universal Love.. is, predominantly an identification with all beings. . it is that synthetic, inclusive grasp of the life and needs of all beings. 12 4. Spiritual people - should stay above the fray, and only meditate or pray- even if war threatens? In times of trouble, prayers to God or to other divine forces surge up from mankind. And while this is beneficial in a sense, it is obvious that God is not going to issue forth on chariots of fire with trumpets blazing to save the righteous. Man - working in alignment with spiritual guidance, must work his way out of the troubles he himself has created. There are many who believe that spiritual people should stay above the ugliness of war, and that intense meditation or prayer is the only method which should be rightfully used. But while there is a potential truth in this, the fact is that there are not enough people in the world who are able to work at this higher mental level, to stop atrocities occurring on earth at this point in our history. The truth is, we are told in many spiritual texts that the spiritual goal is to “establish the Kingdom of God on earth”, and to this end disciples are asked to be active on all levels. There are esotericists who hold that to be an esotericist means that one holds oneself aloof from mundane affairs and that esoteric students should take no part in the affairs of humanity.. they should be active in spiritual and mental realms. If the physical plane and its affairs lie outside the sphere of influence of spiritual livingness, then there is something basically wrong with our interpretation of truth; if the goal of the spiritual effort is to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, then all physical plane events become the concern of all spiritual people everywhere. 13 This instruction to be involved on all levels goes right down to “grass roots” level I believe, and for example to the front line of military action in times of war. The military is but the will of the collective mind of a nation, put into action on the physical plane. Soldiers who may be unconscious of spiritual principles, but who will go to war to “fight for their country” are actually aligning themselves with the highest of spiritual ideals - they are prepared to sacrifice their lives for the safety and well being of their loved ones. Compare this to people who claim spiritual superiority but who hide behind neutrality or pacifism to avoid having their lives disrupted. The purification of the political arena is high on the agenda of the spiritual Hierarchy, and to bring this about, disciples - overshadowed by their souls and therefore being agents for the forces of Light, need to be working in these fields. For example, Bailey said that Franklin Roosevelt was a disciple 14, and he was a political war leader! I have no use for mystical visionaries and esoteric students who love to wander in the high realms of abstract thinking and amass details of occult or mystical information, but who refuse to understand that the changing of the old order, the awakening of humanity to the new possibilities and the purification of the political and economic arena are today the factors of the greatest spiritual value.” POH 247 Politics and the military are valid fields for discipleship service, but not everyone is suited or able to work in these areas. A potent direction in which spiritual workers can effectively direct their energies, is to seed the lower collective mind of man with thoughts and ideas which are founded on the higher spiritual ideals of - all men and women are children of God, and, love your neighbour as yourself. This means entering into the battle ground of public debate to argue human rights’ issues - a perilous thing to do when the prevailing attitude is partisan and warlike. The task in this case is to fight to take the reins which guide the masses of humanity - out of the hands of the selfish and materialistic people of the world, and place these reins in the hands of Christ and of the Masters of the spiritual Hierarchy. 5. Spiritual people (the New Group of World Servers) should not be involved in politics - Master Djwhal Khul says so. This misconception amongst students of Bailey writings is attributed to the following quote: The New Group of World Servers.. It is not interested in politics, 15 The New Group of World Servers is the main channel of expression for the Hierarchy, and is composed of all world disciples and working initiates, and many of these are involved in political service. The field of service for
the Ray 1 Ashram governed by the Master Morya, is politics. 16 So taking the previous quote literally, is to take it out of context of the body of teachings of the Master Djwhal Khul as a whole, and the thrust of his teachings which encourages active discipleship involvement in all human fields - which includes politics. A qualifying statement which throws light on this subject, includes the world “partisan”: The New Group of World Servers.. They belong to no party or government, in the partisan sense. 17 A good definition for partisan politics is. Those partisan and nationally minded persons who.. exploit the world situation for their own immediate ends and for the benefiting of their particular nation or group.. are selfishly motivated; they do not care for humanity as a whole and have no liking or interest in anything or anyone but their political party and the reactionary interests of some national group. They.. engineer moves which will benefit an individual, a class or a nation.. (to) attain their narrow ends, no matter at what cost to the rest of the world. 18 It is partisan politics and selfish nationalism which is repudiated by the Hierarchy. The following quote is from a co-worker who has summarised the problem nicely. There are some misconceptions about political service, one of the fields of service of the NGWS.. Of course, we must discern between partisan politics and discipleship work. But if a scientific or a liberal arts education does not prepare the student to discern between good and bad science, or between high and low expression of art, then the purpose and effectiveness of such education should be questioned. Likewise, if esoteric education does not prepare the student to discern between the lower expressions of nationalism and the higher purpose of internationalism then it has failed. A well educated esoteric student should not consider Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms as partisan but as political expressions of a higher PRINCIPLE.. Service for the NGWS comprises seven fields, and political service is one of them. Partisan politics is not political service and we should not confuse them.. The Hierarchy is neither partisan nor politically neutral. The Hierarchy has and will always support the higher political principles and values, such as goodwill (over self interest); such as “the greatest good to the greatest number”. If we keep in mind the difference between partisan politics and the R1 political field of service, the glamour and illusion surrounding this field of discipleship service can be dissipated and dispelled. JB 6. In Summary The various justifications given at the beginning of the article, to avoid participating in politics or war when human rights issues are at stake, have been analysed and discounted by sections of ideas and thoughts taken from Bailey’s writings. Students of these teachings acknowledge that the author of most of these books was the Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul. The Tibetan asks us to actively participate in world affairs. Critical debate over issues affecting humanity and the world is vital to offset the propaganda poured forth by materialistic forces and which seeks to sway the public into wrong action. Love on its own is not enough, and must be accompanied by intelligent action. The world had an opportunity to exercise these options when America contemplated the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It is very pleasing to note that the majority of citizens in the world opposed this action - indicating the presence of higher spiritual values present in the collective lower mind of man. That the invasion went ahead anyway based on lies - with the disastrous consequences we see today is testament to the power of the material forces. Perhaps if more so-called spiritual people had become more actively involved in debating and supporting the higher moral principles, of - all men and women are children of God, and, love your neighbour as yourself, in relation to the impending action, or did not actually throw their support behind the invasion as a “just war”, a peaceful negotiation could have been worked out, and the attack prevented. Whatever one may think about the quality of a leader such as in this instance Saddam Hussein, a pre-emptive strike on a nation posing no immediate to threat its neighbours or to the world, violates both current international law 19, and the laws of God. This is what the spiritual workers in the world actually debated and fought for at the time.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Externalisation of the Hierarchy. p233. Bible, Luke 11:23 Destiny of the Nations, p65 Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p216 Secret Doctrine, Vol. III, p401. Light of the Soul p67-8 Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p217 Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p217 Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p379 Glamour a World Problem p76-77 Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p381 Glamour a World Problem p4-5 Unfinished Autobiography 292 Externalisation of the Hierarchy 578 Esoteric Psychology II 667 Externalisation of the Hierarchy p663 Esoteric Psychology II 636 Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p460 Geneva Conventions
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.