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A Vision of the Aquarian Age
Sir George Trevelyan


First published in 1977 by Coventure UK and in 1984 by Stillpoint USA
This book is out-of-print, now available only on this website
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2  Spiritual Awakening in Our Time


"Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul". - D.H. Lawrence

A SENSE OF WONDER is one of the factors that characterises the awakening of the new age. It arises in part from the sense of the sacredness of all life working through all diversity. We are passing out of an epoch in which we were mere observers, distinct, isolated and alienated from an infinite number of disparate things. The experience of solitude was necessary – a prelude to the imaginative vision of the kinship with all life, and of the fact that mankind is in reality one great family. The poets and prose writers of the Romantic Movement recognised Imagination as that faculty which could apprehend the Whole, and by doing so restore to the soul what the analysing intellect and sense-bound perception had taken from it.

Keats wrote, "I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affection and the truth of Imagination". We must, however, ask in what sense imagination is true. The emerging world view helps us answer that question in much the same way that Coleridge, in "Religious Musings", did 175 years ago:
It is precisely such understanding which is rising to consciousness again, both among older people and in a new generation of youth. We are beginning, perhaps dimly as yet, to see that behind and within the outer forms of matter is one life, manifesting in infinite variety and diversity. With an inner eye, we are looking into this whole, with what Coleridge called "sacred sympathy" – for once perceived as part of that whole, everything alive becomes sacred. Every form is a housing for Being. Each is therefore a window into the eternal worlds. Each is a navel for the universe of spirit, each a vortex leading our sight into the etheric planes. Creative Oneness has manifested itself through infinite diversity; but our consciousness now is emerging from its imprisonment in matter to find it can extend and unite itself with the organic oneness of things. As Wordsworth says:
A crystal, a bird, a single leaf can trigger this new understanding. Thus, meditation on a single object can lead one through to an empirical recognition that we as human beings are intimately and inextricably part of the whole of nature. In this way, we proceed to discover that Planet Earth is truly alive, a sentient creature with her own breathing, bloodstream, glands and consciousness. We human beings are integrally part of this organism, like blood corpuscles in a body. We are, moreover, points of consciousness for the Earth Being. Man is that point where, as Teilhard de Chardin says, "evolution becomes conscious of itself" and can think out into the cosmos. And having done that, we discover that the cosmos itself is shot through with living Thought, Intelligence and Creative Imagining. We can then begin to share what Wordsworth experienced in his famous musings at Tintern Abbey:
Raynor Johnson, in his book Watcher on the Hill, has collected many examples of "ordinary" people in our own time who have had a sudden flash – perhaps only a few seconds or minutes in duration – in which they have seen the life in nature and in man. All colour in flowers and trees and sky is enhanced and intensified, colour is even experienced as sound, everything appears extraordinarily beautiful and burgeoning with significance; and the seer knows with profound certainty that he has glimpsed the Reality behind appearance. All who have undergone this phenomenon concur that life will never be the same again, and that it will be invested with a quality of hope, of joy and of serene confidence unknown before. And such experiences are becoming ever more frequent. R. M. Bucke, in his book Cosmic Consciousness, describes a characteristic experience:

Like a flash there is presented to his consciousness a clear conception, a vision in outline of the meaning and drift of the universe. He does not come to believe merely, but he sees and knows that the cosmos, which to the self-conscious mind seems made up of dead matter, is in fact far otherwise, is in very truth a living presence. He sees that instead of men being, as it were, patches of life scattered through an infinite sea of non-living substance, they are in reality specks of relative death in an infinite ocean of life. He sees that the life which is in man is eternal, as all life is eternal, that the soul of man is as immortal as God is, that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all and that the foundation principle of the world is what we call 'Love' and that the happiness of every individual is, in the long run, absolutely certain. Especially does he obtain such a conception of the whole, or at least of an immense whole as dwarfs all conception, imagination or speculation, springing from and belonging to ordinary self-consciousness, such a conception as makes the old attempts mentally to grasp the universe and its meaning petty and ridiculous.

This note of joy is a real sign of the new age. It seems to run through so many of the contemporary groups that characterise our era. Despite often difficult and adverse contingencies, the soul can nevertheless be flooded with joy and confidence through the vision of its eternal nature and the certainty that it is on the path to the worlds of light and oneness.

Thus the whole of life becomes sacred. And once the same divinity is seen to be working within all diversity, all aspects of daily life begin to take on something of a ritual character. Meditation becomes a necessity at some time during the day, for during this period the stilled consciousness is lifted to approach the higher worlds. It is a ritual of inner listening which leads to a blending with the Creative Intelligence.

The spiritual world view, once experienced, cannot but permeate all our thoughts and actions. Attitudes then begin to change. Many people, for instance, both young and old, find they must change diet. It becomes essential to eat whole foods, organically grown. Many feel compelled to become vegetarian. Not only does flesh become distasteful, but it appears unthinkable to take animal life for the purpose of eating. Instead, one learns to live on the life forces within plant and fruit and grain. And the eating of fresh and uncooked food becomes both a delight and a necessity. Moreover, the need to give thanks to the beings which have produced such food becomes appropriate – a natural and sincere thing to do. The meal, then, like all else, becomes a new ritual. Partaking of the new pattern entails simplification. We must get closer to the heart of life, and too many things or too complex an existence are barriers to our exploration.

There are other dimensions to the spiritual world view as well. Even if one is in no sense clairvoyant, one awakens to the certainty of invisible planes of consciousness interweaving with our material world – regions peopled by those we love, who have moved on through the gate of physical death. One learns that they have telepathic contact with us and – since they are beyond space and time – can respond instantly to a call sent up to them with love and thanks. This offers further possibilities of inner communion – with both our minds and our hearts.

As we have stated, the inner being in each of us is immortal. It cannot be touched by the "death" which will break down the discarded sheath of the body. This recognition of the spiritual entity in man has immense implications. We are a creature of body, soul and spirit – and the spiritual being within us, the true "I", is imperishable. It always was and always will be.

In the first centuries of the Christian epoch this was accepted, as it had been in the ancient mysteries. But in 869 A.D., the 8th Ecumenical Council at Constantinople, under Pope Nicholas I, decreed that it would in future be heresy to speak of an immortal spiritual entity. Man was to be regarded as a duality, a creature of body and soul, and all spiritual qualities were categorised as mere adjuncts of the latter. Spirit, in short, was denied its divinity, was thrown back, so to speak, into the mundane world of limited reason and the senses. Thus sundered from its source, it assumed the forms by which we recognise it today – self-consciousness, intellectual pride and arrogance. And during the last two centuries, doctrines have proliferated that even attempt to show that soul is a fallacy, that man is a physical body and nothing more. Despite their pioneering work in fields of extrasensory perception, the most scientists will conclude from their remarkable discoveries is that the physical body has subtle and invisible vibrations and attributes. Soul is dismissed as non-existent. The spiritual awakening in our time attempts to restore both soul and spirit to their proper status. It seeks to re-establish the realisation that the essential nature of man is immortal spirit, and that the soul body and physical body are the sheaths necessary for life on the earth plane.

This position restores a meaning and coherence to life. Every event takes on intensified significance, and the world becomes an endless adventure, an immense opportunity for realisation of the true individuality on ever finer spheres of being. We are now, one might say, reversing the edict of Pope Nicholas I and reinstating man as a spiritual being. The implications of this are enormous. But it is important to remember that we are not talking about a religious revival or a proselytising movement. We are talking rather about a transformation in consciousness, such as occurred at the beginning of the Christian era, at the Renaissance and at the so-called Enlightenment – which, in many respects, was anything but that. We are talking about a new channelling of energies of Higher Intelligence, a recognition of guidance from the invisible and the possibility of widening consciousness to blend with the inner worlds of light. This entails, in one individual after another, a veritable transfiguration of mankind. And it brings in turn a 'gentling' of human nature – particularly necessary in an age when so many lost souls, in apprehension and doubt, are succumbing to panic and violence.

A new age is being born and a new society is forming, composed of those who have found within themselves the power of light and love. The spiritual within man unites with the spiritual in the cosmos, and out of this union a new order begins to crystallise.

In this new order all living things are experienced as divine. A quite new orientation takes shape. Teilhard de Chardin called it "homing upon the Omega point". The soul, the human monad, experiences internally its goal and path of reuniting with the Divine Source from which it descended; and, like a homing pigeon, it sets its course to find the unity (or numinous) which is there to be born again within the heart. In our chaotic world this obviously offers an immense and forgotten prospect of home. And the big evolutionary picture is essential to us. Mankind has evolved to an unprecedented degree of ego-centred self-consciousness, with all its desolating sense of aloneness and separation. He has reached the point in his evolution where he may transcend that state, may discover that his inner being is spiritual, immortal and already one with the Whole. The barriers between the worlds are beginning to crumble. Inner and outer worlds are, as we are beginning to see, intimately and inextricably linked. Release of consciousness becomes possible, so that the soul may expand beyond its bodily limitations.

Toynbee, in his Study of History, contends that one sign of a declining civilisation is the phenomenon of direct inner contact with the spiritual sources. It becomes possible for the individual to drink from the spiritual springs of being. On this basis, Toynbee compares our civilisation to that of the Roman Empire in its decline. Then, in the catacombs, a new seed impulse began to blossom, which shook the world. In our time, a new ardour is stirring with a similar quality, a similar effluence of love and joy. Now, as then, a great impulse overlights mankind. Every death is also a rebirth. Every wintry decline is an occasion for the bursting of a new spring. This applies both to the life of an individual and to that of a culture. And again, free choice is always open to us. We can, if we wish, direct our attention solely to the symptoms of disintegration in our time – and very unpleasant, not to say alarming, some of them are. Alternatively, we can choose to watch the first bursting of the new spring; and the pace at which it is doing so is phenomenal. Over the broadest conceivable spectrum, spiritual knowledge is breaking through. The power of the living spirit, seeping through human consciousness like fresh water, bubbling up like fresh springs, blowing like a fine clean wind, is sweeping away the barriers between worlds. As Francis Thompson proclaims:
And, to quote Teilhard:
Nor is it only poets and mystics who are embracing a spiritual world view. Sir James Jeans, the great physicist, wrote:
And Einstein, another great scientific seer, states, "Religion without science is blind and science without religion is lame".

This great spiritual advance manifests itself, naturally, in a multitude of diverse ways. The object of the directing intelligence is clearly to sweep new shoals of souls into spiritual understanding. No one way of approach could achieve so vast a task. For some, the path will be one of deep and intensified thought, for some a surge of love, for some a training of the will, for some healing, for some a new awakening within the churches, for many a new development of the inner life that brings it into direct contact with the source. No one path is the only right one. We might almost say that the spiritual worlds show great wit and humour in throwing into the pool new dynamic ideas which will shake people out of their fixed positions and galvanise new interest. One's task is clearly to find one's own most appropriate personal path and to learn tolerance and discrimination in meeting all others who have found theirs. And what appear at first to be contradictions often prove to be polarities or paradoxes – the only verbal expression possible for the otherwise inexpressible. We are all striving to climb the same mountain. All ways lead to the summit, but not all ways suit everyone. Each must choose a way or be thrown into some confusion. And certain of the more direct routes are admittedly dangerous.

We are in the second Elizabethan Age, the second Renaissance. In the first, our ancestors explored the seas and discovered new continents, new tracts of the physical world. Those who failed to master the new arts of navigation risked drowning, but the goals of Drake and Raleigh were worth the risk. In our present Elizabethan Age, we are setting out to explore the cosmos and reality. True, our rockets may reach the moon and beyond, but the spiritual awakening of our time is an exploration of inner space. And of course it is dangerous. We are approaching fields in which the soul can well be lost if it allows itself to function recklessly or irresponsibly. Yet such dangers must not deter us from exploration. And nothing will stop the contemporary surge of investigation into esoteric wisdom, just as nothing will stop man from space exploration. We must recognise the dangers and learn to distinguish between valid and invalid paths of inquiry. And we may be certain that we have invisible guides and helpers who can lead us through to the light.

But there is also a sense of urgency. We are approaching a crucial turning point, and this generation is involved in a great task. Either man learns the true healing impulse of blending consciously with the powers of light, or he will plunge himself into disaster and catastrophe. Much may have to fall away in our present social structures, but a new society may then emerge in which the unifying spiritual impulse is genuinely at work. For there are springs of creative energy which can never run dry because they tap the eternal reservoirs of love and Creative imagining.

If changes are imminent, it is important that as many souls as possible awaken to their spiritual nature and be able to discern what is happening. In consequence, the immediate present is a time of profound growth and mind-opening – a resurgence of the spirit linking individuals and injecting fresh impulses into man's understanding. And as the pressure of inner and outer change increases, all who have touched their spiritual realities will comprehend what is occurring. We are truly involved with a Second Coming. Essentially, all is well, despite the ostensibly proliferating difficulties. But we need the courage to see that something tremendous is upon us – the majesty of a New Birth on a planetary and a cosmic scale – and that we are all a part of it. The only real anxiety is that we may not be awake and aware when our moment comes.


Next:  3  The Ageless Wisdom Re-emerges

This way! Click me and I'll take you to the next page!
A Vision of the Aquarian Age
Sir George Trevelyan


First published in 1977 by Coventure UK and in 1984 by Stillpoint USA
This book is out-of-print, available only on this website
Next page
Previous page


Start of the book
Download a zipfile
HOME
Articles   Books
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Close encounters
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© Copyright Sir George Trevelyan and estate, 1977 and 2001. This book may be downloaded and printed on paper in single copies for personal use and study only, in a spirit of fair play and without financial transaction. .