It is the task of spirituality to communicate to the personality that there is more available to us human beings than we can comprehend, for as long as we are viewing life through the frame of everyday concerns. As part of the same message, spirituality has to emphasise that we will not be able to access the higher reality as we are. We have to learn another way.
Hearing this and believing it is the first stage of spirituality.
The need to deliver this message makes spirituality inherently hostile to the personality, not in any absolute sense, but because the personality’s goals and priorities are obstacles to the kind of awareness that encourages human consciousness to yearn and strive for a higher level. Were it not hostile, then it would run the risk of colluding with the self-interested, self-centred personality. Then the real message is lost. We saw much of this in the New Age.
The hostility to the personality has been expressed in many different ways, in different times and different cultures. The same is true of brief glimpses of a higher reality, which spirituality tries to give the personality also. These too have been given in different ways across different cultures at different times in human development.
The stick and the carrot can take many forms. The teachers from whom I priggishly recoiled, because they did not maintain the high level they inhabited at certain times were giving glimpses of a higher reality. They were offering a carrot, but I saw what was not there, not what was. This is commonly the case when we are new to spirituality and full of judgemental attitudes. We miss the point.
The personality bears witness and takes note. That is our first spiritual task. How we organise ourselves around what we have seen is less important than the fact of having seen, albeit fleetingly, a different reality, a break in the clouds, and that we keep faith with it. What we achieve or fail to achieve as individuals is far less important than we continue to believe that things can be different. This keeps spirituality an option for humanity, and makes our personal failures far less of a liability than we are inclined to think.
The goading of the personality is part of spirituality, but if it is not handled intelligently it will provoke antagonism and despair, and encourage self-dislike and self-disgust, and that tedious compulsion of spiritually-aware people to talk about their own worthlessness.
It is the role of the Hierarchy to supervise the relationship between the personality and the spiritual teachings available to it, putting out new approaches and enlisting new agents to deliver the timeless truths.
It is time now to shift the emphasis off personal attainment, and put it into an awareness of how our personalities generate energy, and how with our mental and emotional energy, we spin the future for those who come on behind us. What we achieve or fail to achieve as individuals is far less important than we continue to believe that things can be different. It is time to look at and appreciate what, collectively, we can do.
The personality thinks always of having and holding for self. We want to get a good grip on higher realities, and benefit from them in the form of attainment. But from the point of view of human development, this is not the only response, nor indeed the best response to spirituality. It is the belief in something higher, and the yearning for it that achieves the most for spirituality because it creates an awareness of spiritual possibility for those that come afterwards.
This is the theme of House 11, the House of Aquarius, which is concerned with work on behalf of those that come afterwards. This also is the work of the Soul, of which the group is the lower correspondent. Uranus, which rules the casual body, also rules H11.
What man has desired ever he has had, Master D.K. said, but he did not say that you or I would attain what we desired, or that it mattered whether we did or not.
What matters is that we continue to believe in something higher.
Getting out into nature, and surrounding ourselves with literature, art work and teachings, which remind us to believe is important, because the personality soon forgets amongst the distractions and responsibilities of daily life. For spiritual remembrance, the New Age was good, and the present time increasingly, a waste land.