One is bewildered by the complex entanglements of the old which we realise cannot change, does not know how to, and is so massive and widespread that we feel the task is impossible. How then is the work to be done, the prophecies to be fulfilled?
The key lies in clear-seeing and knowledge. Knowledge tells us, shows us the roots of the problem and reveals the real mechanism whereby a collective karmic web is sustained. We see that each human being contributes his/her part to keep that web alive and thriving. Therefore we know that nothing of that web will change, because to change one part means to change the entire web, which is impossible since all the constituents are precisely the perpetrators of the web: each supports the other, fortifies the other’s stance, consolidates the hold the web exerts. The constituents form the periphery or the multiple – the millions of points on the circumference. To deal with any one of these points and seek to bring a change therein is ineffective for the creation of a really new world consciousness. The only way this can be done is by dealing with the centre of the web (or circle); because it is the components of the centre that determine in the first place what will subsequently fan out from that central ‘seed’ and will ultimately constitute a civilisation or a species. The centre holds the essential key to the process.
Thus to try to eradicate poverty, or violence, or whatever, is futile if one deals with the matter on the surface level of the periphery. And one always does. A Mother Teresa, for example, so compassionate and indefatigably dedicated to the poor, is really just a part of that web and in her own way sustains it. That is, all her noble work cannot do more than alleviate suffering to some extent. But, at the same time, realising it or not, she supports the old and perhaps even furthers it precisely by this compassionate alleviation. She helps to make it less painful, more comfortable, and at the same time to ease the guilt in people who have in abundance and to whom she turns for charity. This accommodates the malaise deeper into the fabric of the collective karmic web. Yet she can do nothing other than this. It is her dharma, to which she is supremely faithful, unlike many others. But the new creation requires precisely a ‘new dharma’, a new inherent seed of truth.
This is an example of a positive contribution or support to the web of the old collective consciousness, in which we can include all the political and sociological attempts to introduce change, which most of their proponents have felt they were attacking at its roots rather than by cosmetic surface alleviation. But there are the negative contributions also. Yet, in the higher vision this distinction ceases to have any value, because the only factor that emerges clearly in this seeing is that all elements, negative and positive, contribute to consolidate the consciousness-fibre of our decayed civilisation. They unwittingly conspire in this task.
And the difficulty lies precisely in this factor: What is one to do? If all our actions, positive or negative, conspire to sustain the old, how can we contribute to something entirely new that does not belong to this old network of reactionary forces, held together by a play of energies in opposing positive and negative ‘charges’?
Since the old web of civilisation arose from a central ‘seed’, it stands that a new civilisation can only come into being on the basis of the emergence once again of a central seed, but composed of elements that in their reproduction will not constitute a replay, or any fortification of the old. Rather, the seed must provide the central ‘hub’ that holds together a new web, the consciousness of a new society.
But the greatest problem we face, which has never been squarely faced before, is that the new construction must arise amidst the old. And yet, it must remain uncontaminated by the decaying consciousness. How does one shield oneself from the contamination, and at the same time contribute to the creation, the emergence of the new?
This is done first by clear-seeing. That is, to recognise the play, to look fearlessly at all aspects of society, avoiding cynicism above all, and to recognise this conspiratorial contribution in all its facets. This is easily done with regard to negative manifestations, but difficult with the ‘noble’, the ‘good’. For this reason it is an activity that requires courage and fearless devotion to truth.
The next step is to acquire knowledge concerning the elements of the new Seed, the components that form the nucleus of this new Cell, which will eventually reproduce itself and send out new peripheral forms bearing the stamp of this central seed of a new consciousness. To have this knowledge is the most precious aid of all, because it is our best protection against cynicism, despair, fatigue which overtake us when we look at and see the old web; not to be overcome by a sense of helplessness to change it in any way since the proportions are so colossal. It helps us to channel our energies positively, to avoid waste.
All of this proceeds simultaneously: the old crumbles, caves in on itself, in spite of its solid appearance – for are we not all aware that our civilisation is, in most respects, a dying one and set upon a course of self-destruction? And in the midst of this decay and collapse the new arises. At present, concentration is on the emergence of a nuclear seed. But this is now reaching the stage where expansion is possible and the new web of a collective consciousness can begin to manifest.
The most important aid along this new way is therefore a tool by which we can see this new creation arising and distinguish it from the old that is dying. This assures that we remain uncontaminated in our collaboration, that we miraculously extricate ourselves from the conspiring process of support and sustenance of the old, and that we channel all our energies into the creation and the establishment of the new.
Yet very few are capable of this type of vision or are able to discriminate; and on the basis of the knowledge, to join their energies to this endeavour. Most, while expressing a desire to bring about a change and to support the rise of the new, by their inability to recognise that very thing they aspire to, end by giving support once more to the old. It is this factor that makes the work so laborious and retards progress. It stands to reason that the greatest obstacle is thus the well-meaning, yet dated, conspiracy of the forces of good.
Bangalore, 1 January, 1986