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Raj Yoga (continued)

Karma & Yoga

Raja Yoga is known as the highest of all teachings because the aim of Raja Yoga is perfection; not merely bringing about a little change or making someone a better person, but the definition and the aim of Raja yoga are perfection. There is a recognition that the soul was the divine, has now lost its divinity, but that it is possible to regain that divinity once again. So Raja Yoga works on soul. This Yoga (union) is the method by which there is a transformation in the very personality, the very nature, of the soul itself, that is, within the Sanskaras. The significance of this is that the devilish qualities that have been acquired over the few past thousands of years are all shed, and the original divinity sparkles once more.

Method
The aim of Raja Yoga is perfection; the method is the connection with the supreme. Whilst I only have connection with human beings or even with prophets and messengers, I cannot reach my own most elevated stage. But when I have union with the supreme, I am given the strength to erase my own defects, and the strength to absorb all virtues and achieve perfection.

The Complete Stage
THE STAGE OF PERFECTION could be described as BEING COMPLETELY VICELESS, COMPLETELY VIRTOUS, FILLED WITH ALL DIVINE TALENTS AND ATTRIBUTES AND COMPLETELY NON-VIOLENT - the soul who follows the highest code of conduct.

Through the knowledge that is taught by the supreme and the method of meditation that is taught by the supreme, this becomes possible. Yoga means union; Raja Yoga means union with supreme. It also means the highest the highest of all unions: that yoga through which the soul regains its supremacy. I became the master over myself, my own mind, my senses, my personality, so that I can develop in the direction of my choice. Instead of being manipulated by outside events and circumstances, or even by other people, the soul can see its target and will move forward with constancy, or even by other people, the soul can see its target and will move forward with constancy and with determination, thus achieving its target , its final aim and object.

Sometimes we have felt that as Raja Yoga is highest, perhaps it is also the most difficult. Nothing could be further from truth, because Raja Yoga is the very natural awareness of one's own true identity. How could that possibly be difficult? Raja Yoga is also the natural, loving communication with the supreme father. Can communication with a beloved father be called difficult?

Whilst there is lack of understanding, or whilst there is no clearly defined knowledge, there is a clear introduction, I can begin to establish a relationship on the basis of that introduction. And as I experience the benefits of that relationship, it deepens until it becomes one of perfect union, perfect harmony, in which the souls becomes the image of the supreme. It is recreated with the qualities of the supreme Father.

A Choice of Yogas?
Sometimes we have been told that, because there are a variety of yogas, different yogas are suited to different personalities and that we must choose the path of yoga we would like to follow. Let us see how far this idea is valid.

Yoga through love and devotion - Raja Yoga means the total development of the soul; if I am told that I must follow the path of bhakti yoga (the yoga through love and devotions) because this is the way in which my personality is inclined, what will be the final result? Through bhakti yoga there is the expression of love for the supreme, there is the experience of love from the supreme, and there is also great humility. But the soul does not just need love; it needs a great deal more.

If there is only the development of the emotional aspects, of love within the soul, my personalities will develop in a dangerous pattern, for not only do I need to love GOD, I also need to know him, in order to follow his instruction, and obey the directions he gives for my life. So while I remain only a yogi of bhakti, love will be developed but there will be no wisdom, no understanding and no strength within my soul.

Yoga through learning knowledge - I also need that which has been described as gyan yoga (gyan meaning knowledge) because only when I have a yoga which is based on knowledge will I be able to protect myself from any temptation.

Yoga of the intellect through depth of perception of knowledge - While there may be any love for god, there is also the possibility that any temptation coming in front of me will prove to be greater than the emotion I experience at what moment, and I will be distracted from my path of Yoga or union. But if there is knowledge, with the depth of perception that knowledge brings, the soul is able to recognise the difficulties, obstacles and temptations and will make sure that it is not trapped by any of these, and that it remains the firm yogi. Gyan yoga is linked with buddhi yoga (buddhi mean intellect).

The balance of yogas - While Gyan and buddhi yoga are isolated, there is the danger that simply with knowledge, simply with yoga of the intellect, I may develop arrogance, and there would not be a complete development of personality. Complete development implies a tempering of qualities of love and law with each other: love channel by law, and law tempered by sweetness of love. I need both, surely, if I am to be completely balanced personality.

I need the bhakti to develop to develop the sweetness within my nature, and equally I need knowledge, in order to develop the strength within my being. So I cannot separate my yoga into compartments and say that I must choose the one or the other. I must find a yoga, which combines both. And if we look at Raja Yoga, we can see the perfect combinations.of all yogas within one system.

The yogas within Raja Yoga - first and foremost, perhaps it could be described as the buddhi yoga because it is yoga based very much on the intellect. The intellect is the faculty which takes knowledge, so raja yoga is also given gyan yoga .the intellect uses knowledge as the basis for communication with the supreme, there is spontaneous expression of pure love and devotion for the supreme being, not only as my father and mother, but my friend, my beloved and my companion. So it contains the purest love of bhakti. Without this, the perfect relationship of the soul with the supreme could not exist.

Yoga through renunciation - with this love of supreme the soul very naturally turns away from all others and comes to one - the seed. Thus raja yoga is sanyas yoga (sanyas means renunciation). It is not a physical renunciation. If I have physically renounced something, and yet my thoughts are pulled to that being or thing it is only artificial renouncing.

However if my thoughts are pulled by the supreme as a result of there being a recognition.

Of the sweetness of the supreme and my thoughts and intellect have renounced or left behind the pulls or attraction of the physical gross world then this is the highest the natural unlimited renunciation.

Yoga through discipline and determination - Raja Yoga is also hatha yoga ( hatha implying a system of discipline or a system of force). Within Raja yoga there is natural discipline, he natural force and power that comes from a deep understanding within the soul. No physical postures are performed but this soul is completely disciplined so that it remains in the mental postures necessary for each particular situation.

Hatha is also determination. Raja Yoga is not achieved without determination in the soul. However, again the determination is an internal one. Rather than simply holding the body the body in a lotus posture, the raja yoga is intent on keeping the mind in a lotus posture; that is, while living in the old, impure world of kali, yuga (the iron age), to make sure the soul itself is quite unaffected and always above the influence of the impurity all round.

In raja yoga, there is not the shauv assan (the death posture) for the body, which is used to bring relaxation. However, because the soul experiences total detachment from its physical senses and its physical costume, there is perfect relaxation, even more so than with the shauv aasan.

Thus in raja yoga everything is translated to apply to the internal state of development and the complete stability achieved through that development.

Yoga through action - raja yoga is also karma yoga (karma means action). Karma yoga can be defined in three ways:

Firstly - yoga which can be practiced even whilst performing action. Since raja yoga is simply turning the loving thoughts to the supreme father, does not involve any physical posture or physical aid, my thoughts can be with my supreme father even while I work with the hands, and be in perfect yoga with him. As I walk, as I talk, as I sit, as I eat, and whatever action I am engaged in, my thoughts are engaged with my supreme beloved. Therefore it is the one and only yoga that one can maintain whilst engaged in action.

SECONDLY - KARMA YOGA IS ALSO TRANSLATED AS THE YOGA THAT IS REFLECTED IN MY KARMA (MY ACTION). My communication with the supreme fills me with purity, love and peace; my actions then reflect this state of being - my yogic state. Actions are transformed to ones of total purity, ones that spread both peace and love.

THIRDLY - KARMA YOGA IS THE ACTION BY WHICH MY YOGA IS STRENGTHENED; i.e. through which I come closer to supreme being, or through which my union with him is strengthened. When there is karmic exchange (giving and taking) between human beings, a relationship develops. Precisely the same occurs with the supreme father; as I perform action out of love for the supreme, in the love of the supreme, that action brings me closer to him, and strengthens my yoga. So yoga is also true karma yoga.

Yoga through equanimity - Raja yoga is the samatwa yoga (samatwa meaning equanimity) as I have union with my supreme father, I am pulled away from the fluctuating influences of the external world. The only influence able to reach me is that of the qualities of my supreme father. The influences of the impure world of the iron age,* with their negativity, have been left behind. My thoughts, my intellect and my SANSKARAS are now influenced only by the qualities of my supreme father, and so my complete state of mind, through my whole being, reflects this equanimity.

There may be many other yogas but each one of them is found within raja yoga. It is the supreme of yogas, for it leads to the full development of myself, the soul. * The present age of the degraded state of the world. (see lesson 6, in due course).

The Stages of Development

Stage-1 MEDITATION
It is interesting that the very foundation of raja yoga is different from most other forms of meditation. One of the very first stages of raja yoga could be described as meditation. But in this meditation we are not using a "mantra" (a holy word, phrase or sound), nor are we using any physical images. We are using knowledge.

Stage-2 CONCENTRATION
With meditation, straying thoughts cease, and there is concentration. Far from concentration on a mere physical object, the raja yogi seeks union with the supreme, who is incorporeal, without physical form of any description.

Stage-3 REALISATION
So the aim of my meditation is to have total concentration on or connection with the supreme being. This total concentration can be called realization.

Why not a Mantra or an Object ?
WHILST A MANTRA, OR AN OBJECT, IS USED, THE best I can hope to achieve is concentration on the word or object. Most certainly, I a very far away from experiencing communication with the supreme. The most I will achieve is a certain peace of mind, because my thoughts have moved away from a pattern of thinking linked to my physical existence or the events that were causing me grief and sorrows. My thoughts have been diverted to the mantra or the object, and that period of time I performed that meditation. However, after that of meditation, I discovered I am still the same as I was before.

The meditation of raja yoga is the aim of achieving communication with the supreme. It is not merely a concentration exercise.

How does one acheive communication ?
Thought - even when two people are communicating by means of physical energies, such the sound of speech, aided by visual communication through the eyes, the basis of that communication is thoughts. Their thoughts, in harmony, are the communication that is actually taking place. In the same way, I must use my thoughts if I am to communicate with the supreme father.

This is why in the GITA we are given the instructions "manmanabhav" - "focus your mind on me".

On the hand, this is surely the simplest thing I can do and very easy to achieve. There is no difficulty for my physical body. There is no penance or ritual - nothing for me to perform. All I must do is think, turn my thoughts, my mind, towards GOD. And yet this most simple of tasks proves to be the most difficult thoughts, because I don't know where to focus my thoughts. I do not know hoe to discipline my thoughts.

A focus - therefore, knowledge is needed: (i) knowledge of the self, so that I know how the soul is creating thoughts (ii) knowledge of the supreme, so that I can focus my thoughts on the Supreme Being. Once there is knowledge, and love, my thoughts will automatically move away from al other directions and will focus on the supreme.

In the first stage of raja yoga, the mind is used very actively. This is surely the best system, being the easiest and most natural. To try and stop the mind functioning is the most laborious thing. It is not even necessary.

My mind is accustomed to working constantly. If a car is running at full speed and I slam on the breaks, I will come to a halt, but I would possibly create damage in the process. In the same way, my mind is accustomed to racing and if I would try to prevent it from doing so, I will either have great difficulty or I will only be successful for a short while. The mind will again leap to another direction and I will loose control all over.

The Experience
Supreme teaches a very beautiful system: let the mind race, but simply control the direction in which it is going. When the intellect has knowledge, thoughts will be elevated from the level of physical mundane activity to thoughts of the self: "who am I? What am I? What are my original qualities? Where is my home? Who is my father? What is my relationship with him? What are his qualities? What is his address? What does he do?

The answers to these questions are given in raja yoga, and the soul ponders on these questions. As it discovers and churns the answer, the soul finds that it has moved away from the gross, corporeal world into subtle areas - the subtle regions. There is then "meditation" taking place on the most natural level.

Then there is full concentration on the Supreme Being. I go deeper and deeper into the Ocean, discovering His qualities, experiencing different relationships that I have with Him, Conscious thoughts are still operating, but now all thoughts are focussed on One - on Supreme - not even  on other areas of spiritual knowledge.

During the meditation, perhaps many areas of spiritual knowledge were being taken up. During the concentration, I speak to my Supreme Father - my thoughts become quieter, calmer, no longer racing. And, the mind becomes still, I even begin to hear what my Supreme Father is saying to me. I reach the stage where there is "concentration" - the experience of my Supreme Father as He truly is.

I am flooded with the experience of His qualities. I absorb them. I am transformed. I even begin to radiate them in the universe.

I have reached a stage where there are no longer conscious thoughts at work. Pure experience has taken over. And as I come away from that stage of experience, I can classify it, and conscious thought comes. But whilst in that experience, there is not even conscious thought

The Natural Way
In a very natural way my mind has moved from conscious, gross thinking to conscious, subtle thinking (first stage), and then to concentration (second stage), and then even to a stage beyond conscious thinking (third stage). Because there has been a natural process at work, it has been a very simple procedure. The difficulty with meditation has been that people have considered it necessary to stop all thought, and in order to achieve this, have had to use artificial means. But the active mechanism comes to a halt naturally when the system of Raja Yoga is understood and practised.

It is not even a matter of having to spend many months on one stage before going onto the next. As I practice, and observe the disciplines of a yogi way of life, and understand more and more knowledge, the soul moves away from ordinary consciousness to soul consciousness to God consciousness in another easy step, and then experiences perfect union.

The Effect on the World
So Raja Yoga has an effect on one's whole life. But a Raja Yogi is also influencing change in the World, in two different ways. Firstly, on one level, as I change, I trigger off a reaction in all others around me - my family, my relatives, my friends, my colleagues, in society, and in the world. Secondly, as one sits on the highest stage of yoga, one is an instrument for spreading the qualities of god, the qualities of purity and peace, into the universe, so that not only am I transformed, but the world is also transformed.

The ultimate aim of Raja Yoga is not even just the transformation of the self, not just perfection for the self, but the creation of a new world order in which there is perfection. The aim of Raja Yoga is the establishment of the "World of Truth", the Golden Age, the World of Purity, the World of Love, the World of Happiness.

The system of Raja Yoga is simply turning the thoughts towards the Supreme, with love, as has been spoken of in the Gita.

Suggested Thoughts for Meditation

 

 

become aware of my true identity…I the soul…I move away from the pull of the body and the physical world… The pull of the Supreme Father is stronger than these others. I come in front of my Supreme Father…In the presence of Baba, the Incorporeal pinpoint of light…I experience the blessings of my Father, my Teacher, and my Supreme Guru…the blessings of purity…of divinity… I am filled up with the peace from the Ocean…with the light and might that is within the Supreme…Naturally, easily I am filled with all that I desire…for I have met the Supreme Father of all souls and taken from his store… And as I go about linked with my Father, I spread those vibrations of light and might into the physical world.

Questions
Why is Rajayoga considered to be the supreme yoga?
In what ways do we achieve a link with the Supreme?

In your own words, explain how through meditation one can bring about a change in others and also in the world.

 


Wheel

THE COSMIC CYCLE

This lesson is on the subject of the Cosmic Cycle according to the teachings given by us by the Supreme Father through the human instrument who was given the name Prajapita Brahma. Every aspect of these teachings has relevance, both to our stage of meditation and also to our day to day activity. This is the purpose of spiritual knowledge: that it should bring me closer to the Supreme Being, so that I am able to take power and strength from Him. It would be knowledge that will help me in my day to day activities so that I then know how my karma, my own actions, should be transformed. The transformation should be such that, each moment of each day, I am moving further towards my destination. If spiritual knowledge is merely for the satisfaction of my own human curiosity, it will not help me reach a state of perfection. The spiritual knowledge I need to know is one, which has to serve the two-fold purpose of bringing me closer to the Supreme, and helping me in my day to day activity.

The secrets of the cycle cover the three aspects of time: the past, the present and the future. It is interesting that there are only these three aspects. There just isn't a fourth. There is that which happened in the past, there is the present and then there is the future. And that which is in the past was at some point the present, that which is the present will immediately become the past, and that which is of the future will, within the next moment, become part of the present. So we see that past, present and future are only terms applicable to physical dimensions of consciousness and the physical dimensions of time. What would happen if we were to move beyond physical consciousness? Then we would see that in fact thee is absolutely no difference at all between the past, the present or the future. We would see instead a rotating cycle: the future becoming the present, and that very soon becoming the past. We would see a wheel spinning, and it is this concept of the wheel that brigs about a real awareness of the whole idea of eternity.

Perhaps eternity is one of the most difficult things for the human mind to comprehend, and even with understanding, it is difficult to apply that awareness to one's day to day activity, because the human mind is accustomed to thinking in terms of a beginning and an end. When we think about eternity, no beginning, no end, there is a tremendous fear because then the mind is trying to think of a past that stretches beyond the limits of awareness, things that I cannot remember, things that I cannot recall. And one tries to comprehend a future that reaches out towards infinity, a time without end. To be suspended in this timeless state is likely to cause great fear if there is "physical" consciousness.

In physical consciousness I am content to stay within the walls that I have built around my consciousness. I do not wish to know the distant past or the distant future; I am quite content just to know the past I can understand immediately, a past that takes me back maybe ten years, twenty years, thirty years of this human life. And very often I do not even want to know about the next ten years. Yes, perhaps I would be curious to know what the next year will bring, hence the great interest in horoscopes, astrology and such things, but am I really concerned about knowing what the next ten years hold? Obviously, there are so many unknowable factors that I would wonder, will I be alone, or will I be with someone whom I love, will I be old and gray, will I be weak and infirm - what will my physical situation be? There are so many question marks, and so many fears and doubts in just thinking about the immediate future, even just in terms of my own personal identity, let alone the state of the world, that often the soul is happy to stay in a state of ignorance. In this situation, it could be said that "ignorance is bliss", because there is no need to be making any extra effort - let me just work for my day to day survival, let me just be concerned about what tomorrow will bring. Why should I care about anything further in the future?

And yet, it seems the soul is not content with these physical restrictions of time and space. There is something within the self that asks, "Where was I before this particular body came into existence?" And even the most stable person, however caught up in materialism, will sometimes have the question, "Where will I go once I leave this body? Will there simply be death and ashes? Is there anything else beyond?" Where there is this curiosity, and the soul begins to search for its own identity, it becomes aware of itself as a greater being, a being of light, separate from the physical body. In this consciousness, it has risen above the dimensions of time and distance, and it begins to experience its own immortality, its own eternity - I have always existed, I exist now, and I will always exist. I become aware of my eternal existence without a beginning, without an end.

In this state of awareness I begin to see the cyclic patterns of events within the cosmic history. I see my own eternal being, I see within myself my own eternal personality traits or sanskaras, and I see how I the soul move through an eternal, and complete cyclic pattern of existence. I see how this is not only related to myself, the individual soul, but, being aware myself as a soul and recognizing others around me as souls, I see how they too are part of this whole cyclic patter. I see how the cycle is made up of actions and reactions; actions and interactions interweaving with each other so that the history of one soul becomes inseparable form the history of others. I see how, going through a cyclic pattern, there must be change at every step. At no two points on the circumference of a circle is there movement in the same direction. I begin at one point facing in one direction, at the next step my direction has changed, and so I see how there is constant change and yet, because there is very definite pattern within the constant change, there is still stability. I see a spinning wheel, yet it is not one spinning in chaos, I see a wheel spinning in order, with perfect accuracy

The Unlimited Drama - Scene I.

The sun and the moon provide lights for the stage, and we can see the drama as it begins. Of course, the drama is eternal, infinite, without beginning, without end, yet there is a very specific sequence of events, so let us make a starting point. The most logical one would be when the drama scene first of all opens up with just a very few actors on the world stage. We see the earth in its youngest form; we see the earth in its newest form; we see nature and all blending together to provide the most beautiful background for the actors to make their appearance. In fact, the beauty is so tremendous, that this can be described as Perfect Paradise, it could even be called the Garden of Eden. We see beauty in the flowers, we see beauty in the waters, there is fragrance all around. We feel the touch of the wind on our cheeks as if caressing them, and we are here in this land where beings do not seem to be ordinary mortals, but it is as though deities have incarnated on this earth. I see men and women with smiles in their eyes, smiles on their faces and laughter in their words. I see the love radiating from each one all around touching everyone they meet. I see my dream of Paradise here on the earth. This is the Age of Truth, this the Age which is Golden, this is the Age in which man is perfect, in which there is love, in which there is harmony. I see the rulers of this perfect Paradise, for it seems to be a kingdom. I see in which there is harmony. I see the rulers of this perfect Paradise, for it seems to be kingdom. I see these rulers ruling with total love and complete authority. I see how their words of wisdom are sought by their subjects, so that there is no need for them to write down laws, to make laws, for their words are instantly obeyed, their word is the natural law. In fact, not only is their word the law, the life itself it based on law, and so this is the kingdom of the Golden Age. This is the new age that awaits us. This is Satyuga, the Ancient Kingdom of the deities. In this world of Satyuga, there are human beings, but human beings who are deities. A kingdom, but a kingdom which is based on the disciplines of divinity, in which there is no need for advisors, a kingdom whose rulers have God given gifts of wisdom and justice. I see how they wear a crown, a crown of light - a halo that surrounds them. I see them also wearing a crown of jewels, a crown showing their governing strength, their power. It seems to be a world in which there is total unity, a world in which there is oneness, one world kingdom, one world religion. The language of these people seems to be one of sweetness and silence and so there is one language for all.

I look around and see happiness on every face. Whether young or old, there is still absolute beauty. I see no signs of sickness or even death. I see how a soul leaves one body when it has become too old to carry on further, and simply moving away, out of that costume and flying within a second to another tiny body which awaits to receive the spirit. Another more beautiful, more perfect little form awaits the soul and so those around the old person have no need for tears. There is no sorrow, there is no separation. The soul has simply gone on to the next part of its journey, leaving one shore yet having friends and relatives waiting to greet it as it lands on the other shore, like a ferry boat going from one side to the other. There is no question of sorrow or suffering at all. I see a world where there is not only beauty of spirit, and the eternal beauty of nature, but where there is also beauty in human beings themselves. Every being has been shaped with the hand of the Supreme so that the physical form reflects the beauty of the spirit within. Faces are glowing, eyes are perfect, every aspect of each human being is divine. These human beings live together, they work together. Yes, there is work, but not the toil and labour we know today, even as they work, it is as though they are dancing. As they go into the fields to sow the seeds, there is none of the tedious labour of digging the land and soil, the earth is fresh, it is fertile and waiting to receive those seeds and with just the wave of a hand, it is as though the seed is sprouting, and beautiful fruits emerge so quickly. How was all this achieved ? Everything around the soul, including nature, exists to serve that soul, so, naturally, when the soul is pure and the spirit powerful, it brings about purity in the world. This is the Garden of Paradise where human beings first live, in the first part of the world cycle.

Scene II.

However, the cycle has to move on as souls pass through the different ages - different scenes within the Drama. They move form the Golden Age into the Silver Age, that is, from the time of the Sun Dynasty where the sun spread its powerful light to the period of the Moon Dynasty. Here too is Heaven on earth. The same purity and divinity; one kingdom, one land, and one law, as before, but a certain lustre has been removed and the purity has diminished a little. We have moved from the stage of being 100% complete to a stage of 80%. As the soul has passed through its different births, it has gradually been losing its original energy and power, thus moving from the Golden Age to the Silver Age. But these two ages, the whole of the first half of the cycle, could be described as the Day of Divinity, a time when there is light and awareness, when there is the spirituality and souls are aware of their true identity. Why was the soul referred to as being like gold in the Golden Age? Pure gold is a metal which is completely unaffected by the external elements - water, wind, air. It remains untarnished. Similarly, the soul in that first period on the world stage, unaffected by anything external, the master in charge of its situation. Once the soul has moved into the Silver Age some of the power is lost, so, like Silver, it becomes tarnished after a while.

From the Day of Sunshine, the light of total awareness, the soul continues to move round - to the third scene of the Drama Cycle, the Copper Age.

Scene III.

Here there is a vast change in consciousness. That soul that was silver aged, has, through the passage of time lost its power and become tarnished. The physical elements have affected it, and it moves into a stage, which is described as body consciousness. Man falls from his pedestal of divinity, the spirit now comes into the bondage of matter. Man is no longer the master of matter, but matter now dominates man. And this is the age that is described as the age of duality. In the first two parts of the cycle, half the cycle, there was complete unity, for there was the consciousness of the spirit. Now through the loss of power there is a change in consciousness and a duality. Sometimes there is the consciousness of the spirit, but more often than not, the awareness of the physical, which means the awareness of the body. This split in consciousness brings about a total split within the personality, so that those qualities, which were divine - purity, peace and love - are now coming into conflict, or are now being challenged by other aspects. There is sometimes confusion, and the soul is pulled from its stage of complete purity into thoughts of the physical attractions of the body and impurity begins to pull it down from its highest level.

Because of this change in consciousness there is bondage for the soul. It no longer has the strength to maintain its pure stage, and negativity of many different varieties begins to affect it. Sometimes there are the thoughts of lust, of anger and greed - and attachment begins to emerge. There is also arrogance and ego. Where before there was the purest vision of love for all, there is now the vision of lust, because the body is pulling the soul. Now because there is concern for the self rather than for others, and my desires are not fulfilled, violence erupts; there is anger. Previously, absolutely everything was available, but now I begin to have thoughts of greed, and to covet other people's things. I desire to have more than I need. When there was pure love there was complete freedom of spirit; but now there is the grossest form of attachment and possessiveness. Not only do I think of myself as a body, but I also begin to demand possession of other bodies as well. I make demands on my relatives and my friends, and so the ropes of attachment grow stronger and stronger. My vision is tainted with the consciousness of my own physical being; this causes ego and arrogance. When such a transformation has taken place within the soul, it is not surprising that it is now referred to as Copper Aged, it is being influenced by the external elements, like copper, it has become very tarnished.

Parallel to these changes in the soul, there are changes in the world; now many kingdoms arise out of battles caused by greed and jealousy. Instead of one religion, the religion of peace and purity, many 'bodily' religions come into existence. Messengers are sent to us from the Supreme Regions to try and show us the path of light, but the Night has already started and dusk grows deeper and darker. It reaches the stage of total darkness, when there is not a trace of light anywhere.

Scene IV.

We are now in the Iron Age. The age when the soul is so completely under the influence of the external that it has become rusted, even poisonous. Just as iron is affected by water and wind, similarly the soul, is so full of evil that it is dominated by Body Consciousness - lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego. The world itself is also influenced, and we see before us a period of extreme violence, corruption, great sorrow and suffering. Since the beginning of the Copper Age, nature, which at one time used to serve man, has been reacting against him. It is now so violent that man is struggling for survival. There is untimely death, and this death comes with great sickness, pain and suffering. Once man was in the land of happiness, but this is the land of sorrow, and he wonders: is this the story of existence? Is there any purpose to existence at all? From freedom to bondage, and now there is nothing but chains binding the soul. Even in relationships - where in the Golden Age was just pure love - now there seems to be pain and sorrow. Every connection; mother and child, husband and wife, brother and sister, is one of bondage.

Scene V.

It is at this period, however, at the very end of the Iron Age that the Supreme Soul the Sun of Knowledge intervenes. When the Sun comes, the darkness of the night is dispelled, and day can begin once more. We are so fortunate to find ourselves in this period of time, for this is the dawn, leading to the day. We are no longer in the Iron Age. The Iron Age continues to exist, but, for those who recognize the Sun of Knowledge and who experience a relationship with Him, there is light. Such souls have moved out of the darkness and into the dawn. They prepare themselves to greet the fresh new day, and help others by leading them to that New Day. This period of conjunction, the end of the old cycle and the beginning of the new, is called the Confluence

If the new age is described as the Golden Age, then this period of Confluence can be described as the Diamond Age. Within such a short space of time so much is experienced, so much transformation takes place and the soul becomes as valuable as a diamond. It bridges the gap between the end and the beginning; it moves from darkness into light. This is the age when the entire knowledge is revealed, the age of wisdom, the age of preparation. As the soul passes through this part of the cycle it understands the World Drama, and is able to see the entire stage, to see its own role within the drama and it prepares itself with complete purity, so that it can move forward into the Golden Age. We are just a short step away from that Golden Age of Paradise.

Suggested Thoughts for Meditation.

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As I become aware of myself, the being of light … I step beyond my costume … beyond the stage of this physical world … I see how I the soul travelled through the ages …I am the actor, the player, of the drama … who has come through so many scenes … so many episodes … from the great, golden Kingdom of the sun … with its glorious beauty and perfect harmony … through the kingdom of the Moon … to the Copper Age, where all cried out, searched for truth, for light … through to the darkness of the Iron Age … And in my moments of desperation the Supreme Father intervened … and now I find myself in front of the Supreme … a being of light … I stand on the Confluence … the age between the old and the new … and I bathe in the light of God …I am transformed … my own original role is experienced quite clearly … I was pure … now in this consciousness I become pure once again …It was I who was the embodiment of love … I forgot myself and developed hatred … but now I know who I am … a deity soul with love for my entire family of all humanity …I become the embodiment of love … the instrument to spread love into the world …In this awareness I prepare my role for the New Age which is about to begin.

Questions

Can you explain why the World Cycle is called the Drama?

Briefly state what the lifestyle is like in the first two scenes of the Drama.

What factors have come into play in the third and fourth scenes of the cycle that have led to a radical change of consciousness?

What happens at the final scene, or Confluence Age?

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