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Education in the New Age - Chapter IV - The World Situation and Ideologies
As we study the way of man as he gropes his way out of the animal condition to his present increasingly intellectual attitude, and as he presses forward into a future of widest possibility and opportunity, let us always remember that to the Custodians of God's Plan and to Those Who are working out the new developments, the form side of life, the outer tangible expression, is of entirely secondary importance. Your vision is oft distorted by the pain and suffering to which the form is subjected (either your own or that of others, individually or en masse), so that you do not see clearly the purpose and the urgency of the life within the form. To many of you, for instance, the World War was a supreme disaster, an agony to be averted in the future at any cost, a dire and dreadful happening indicative of the wickedness of man and the incredible blind indifference of God. To us, on the inner side, the World War was in the nature of a major surgical operation made in an effort to save the patient's life. A violent streptococci germ and infection had menaced the life of humanity (speaking in symbols) and an operation was made in order to prolong opportunity and save life, not to save the form. This operation was largely successful. The germ, to be sure, is not eradicated and makes its presence felt in infected areas in the body of humanity. [112]

Another surgical operation may be necessary, not in order to destroy and end the present civilization, but in order to dissipate the infection and get rid of the fever. It may not, however, be needed, for a process of dissipation, distribution and absorption has been going on and may prove effective. Let us work towards that end. But at the same time, let us never forget that it is the Life, its purpose and its directed intentional destiny that is of importance; and also that when a form proves inadequate, or too diseased, or too crippled for the expression of that purpose, it is from the point of view of the Hierarchy - no disaster when that form has to go. Death is not a disaster to be feared; the work of the Destroyer is not really cruel or undesirable. I say this to you who am myself upon the Ray of Love and know its meaning.

There are two lines of destruction: that which is meted out by human beings with no understanding of the life purposes, who act blindly and ignorantly, prompted by selfish desire, by love of power or by hatred; there is also that which is permitted by the soul in due and right time, and it comes when a new vehicle of expression is demanded by the indwelling life. Therefore, there is much destruction permitted by the Custodians of the Plan and much evil turned into good, because the end is seen from the beginning, and the consciousness is ripe enough in experience to relinquish the form because of the sensed benefits to be gained. This is true of individuals, of nations and of races. Sensitivity to world suffering is a great and divine characteristic; when, however, it is qualified by emotion, it becomes separate in interpretation and focused in partisanship and personalities, and thus develops into a glamor and an illusion, confusing the real issue and blinding men to the divine facts.

I would remind you that the esotericist always argues from universals to particulars. This I shall always do, and thus offset the detailed point of view, the distorted [113] foreground and the myopic vision of the student. We will study the major trends, the wide sweep of the emerging human consciousness, demanding - as it ceaselessly does - a change in education, religion and social organization commensurate with its unfoldment. Civilizations, cultures, races and nations appear and disappear, but the same individualities come and go with them, garnering the fruits of experience, and progressively marching on to fuller Self-government and group organization and synthesis.

I would remind you also that there is a peculiar quality in every human being - an innate, inherent characteristic which is inevitably present - to which one might give the name of "mystical perception." I use this term in a far wider sense than is usually the case, and would have you regard this quality of mystical perception as inclusive of:

  1. The mystical vision of the soul, of God and the universe.
  2. The power to contact and appreciate the world of meaning, the subjective world of the emerging reality.
  3. The power to love and to go out to that which is other than the self.
  4. The capacity to grasp and to intuit ideas.
  5. The ability to sense the unknown, the desirable and the desired. The consequent determination and persistence which enable man to seek, search for and demand that unknown reality. It is the mystical tendency which has produced the great mystics of world renown, the large number of explorers, discoverers and inventors.
  6. The power to sense, register and record the good, the beautiful and the true. It is this that has produced the writer, the poet, the artist and the architect.
  7. The urge to discover and to penetrate to the secrets of God and of nature. It is this which produced the scientist, and the religious man. [114]

From a study of these definitions you will see how inclusive the term "mystical perception" is. It is no more and no less than the power, innate in man, to reach out and to grasp that which is greater and better than himself, and which has driven him on, through progressively developing cultures and civilizations, until today he stands on the verge of a new kingdom in nature. It is the power to appreciate and to strive after the apparently unattainable good. Let this broad and general thesis therefore be in your minds as we study man's developing power of self-expression, self-determination and self-government.

What are the basic ideas (beginning with the recognized instincts) which have led man, step by step, to his present struggle for world betterment, group evaluation and natural self-determination, with a view - unconscious for the most part - of providing a better organ of expression within the living organism, humanity?

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