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Education in the New Age - Chapter IV - The Angle of Parenthood
The Angle of Parenthood

I began with the angle of citizenship for two definite reasons: first, because it is a basic rule in esotericism to argue always from the universal to the particular, and secondly, the theme of citizenship, of the relationship of the unit to the whole and of the individual to the state, is the all-engrossing topic today in world affairs. With it newspapers, radio dialogues and governmental appeals all deal. This subject necessarily embodies the whole problem of individual freedom and of collective responsibility. This subtle relationship must be understood and expressed by humanity in line [126] with the underlying principles of the entire human and planetary structure. This structure is that of an all-embracing Hierarchy. In spite of the rationalization of men's minds, this Hierarchy exists and extends from the atom of substance at the very depth of manifestation to the entire solar system; it expresses in its graded ascent every type of consciousness, from that of the infinitesimally small to that of the infinitely great. It is with a small section of the hierarchical structured a very small section at that - that we are engaged. Our field of investigation is that of the fourth Creative Hierarchy, which is the hierarchy of human beings; it concerns the relations of the members of this hierarchy within its hierarchical periphery; it deals also with a possible range of existence in the subhuman realms on a lower rung of the ladder of hierarchical existence, and with that hierarchical structure which is found immediately above the human in the scale of being, that of the fifth or spiritual kingdom, the Kingdom of God.

With that great hierarchical unit which we call the animal kingdom, the third kingdom in nature, man is definitely related through the medium of his animal, etheric and astral bodies. He is also related to the kingdom of souls, because his own soul is an integral part of that kingdom, just as his physical body is an integral part of the animal kingdom. The aspect of himself which is strictly and specifically human is the mind or mental body; this is essentially the organ of relationship to all other human races.

In connection with our subject, therefore, I would have you bear in mind that the "threads of lighted consciousness" which we unfailingly create, and which eventually form the antahkarana, have to be woven between each and every hierarchical unit, and that within the human kingdom itself these connecting relationships and bridging factors have to be established between unit and unit and between group and group.

In the earlier stages this is effected on a mass scale by [127] means of the influence of the prevailing culture and civilization. This, through its external impact and through the medium of its telepathic influence, makes a gradual and slow change, for at the beginning of the evolutionary process development is so slow as to be scarcely recognizable. Inevitably, however, subjective changes are wrought in the life of the individual. As evolution proceeds the process becomes increasingly rapid, until today in the so-called civilized countries, the areas affected by civilization are speedily widening and the cultural effects are as rapidly deepening.

It is hard for the modern thinker to conceive of that time when there was no racial, national or blended religious consciousness such as is expressing itself in the world today. Even the most imaginative man is unable to visualize a state of mind wherein the consciousness was purely instinctive, self-engrossed in the physical sense, and unable to register any wider contacts than those of mate, offspring, and the call of physical appetites. Some study of such a state of consciousness has been attempted in connection with the evolution of the tribes which are fast dying out in the modern world, but even here it is impossible to make adequate allowance for the subtler impressions and influences which are the result of united thought and inner mental pressure of the civilized part of humanity. Gradually the world of men has become increasingly self-aware and is being sharply differentiated (with the relationship at the same time recognized) from the animal. The state of consciousness related to the kingdom of souls is divided into various psychological schools, or is termed either occult or mystical.

We could therefore, in connection with the consciousness of humanity, divide the entire subject into three parts:

  1. That concerning the tangible apparatus, the animal body, and the response mechanism whereby objective and outer contacts are made possible.
  2. That concerning the inner or psychological life of [128] man. This consists mainly of desire, aspiration, ambition and mental activity, and all of these can manifest either in their animal, psychical, mental or spiritual forms.
  3. That concerning the spiritual life of man and his relationship to the world of souls, which involves, incidentally, his relationship to his own soul.

As time has progressed, these three developing aspects in the realm of consciousness have brought humanity to the recognition, not only of man's own inner personal relationships (incidentally leading to an understanding of his own physical, psychological and mental equipment), but they have brought mankind also to a realization of the various human group relationships of which the first and the most important hitherto has been the family group-unit. It is here that one of the major distinctions between the human state of consciousness and that of the animal has developed, through the divine imposition of the Law of Necessity. This law has provided opportunity for the development of the sense of responsibility for the care of the family. Once an animal or a bird can fend for itself physically, it is cast off by the parent or parents and left to its own resources. In the case of the human family, the physical care of the child, as well as its psychological unfoldment, has gradually been extended until either the parent or the church, the community or the state, is responsible for him for many years - the time element varying according to the country of birth and social status.

This has entirely altered the aspect of affairs and the first group, therefore, of which any individual child becomes normally aware is the family group as a unit in the community. In that particular group relationship, throughout the ages (both symbolically and indeed in fact), the following factors - underlying the very structure of existence itself - [129] are preserved and developed and are held before the race as that which is ultimately ideal:

  1. The recognition of hierarchical status, which is, in the last analysis, the relation of the lesser to the greater, of the weaker to the stronger and of the more experienced to the less experienced. Thereby the sense of protection is developed, which is the working out of one form of the love aspect in the universe.
  2. The recognition of responsibility, inherited, applied or shouldered. This is the relation of the older to the younger, of the wise to the ignorant. Thereby the need of providing opportunity for the unfoldment of knowledge is developed.
  3. The recognition of the faculty of forgiveness, which is, or rather should be, the expression of the relationship between unit and unit within the larger group, or of group and group within a still larger whole. Forgiveness is essentially the process whereby each gives to each along psychical lines, and it is one of the rudimentary expressions of the quality of self-sacrifice which is, in its turn, an aspect of the will nature of Deity. Being therefore related to the monadic or will life, it is as yet completely misunderstood and misinterpreted. It is in reality the sense of synthesis or of identification and of "each for all and all for each." This sense is being developed today as never before, but it is still so embryonic that words do not help in explaining it. This faculty of forgiveness is not a form of magnanimous forgetting or overlooking, neither is it a gesture of superiority whereby the slate is wiped clean. It is the very breath of life itself - the giving of all to all and for all.
  4. The recognition of group interplay within the larger world relationship - justly, harmoniously and [130] rhythmically. It is the sense of right relations, carried forward consciously and harmoniously developed.

In the period which is coming, and under the influence of the new education, these four basic recognitions will be inculcated and taught to every child in school and college. They will thus govern and develop the new form of family unit which must inevitably come into existence.

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