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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
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8  Living into Change

ALVIN TOFFLER, a professor of futuristic sociology, contends in his Future Shock that when the demands of social and personal adjustment are too great, a psychological state occurs in which people become incapable of decision and initiative. We might conceive of this state as a species of soul-paralysis – an instinctive protest against the pressure of inordinate demands. We have spoken before of the imminence of tremendous changes. If Toffler's argument is valid, it is then of paramount importance to train ourselves to move into conditions for which we have no precedent and without being thrown off poise or out of balance.

It is certainly sufficiently apparent that mankind is approaching a great spiritual crisis or turning point, a partial consequence of its entry into the Aquarian Age. The seers and adepts of our time foresee profound inner changes before the end of the century. As we have mentioned, these may involve, for many people, the opening of fourth and fifth dimensional awareness. And the higher worlds are deeply concerned with what happens on this planet. They are prepared to pour in the powers of light for the redemption of mankind – but only if a sufficient number of men will invoke them and call on them to descend.

In considering how to face change, therefore, we must learn how to open our consciousness to spiritual forces which can work creatively within us. This is the supreme challenge and hope. Using it as a basic foundation, we may train ourselves to live into the new without succumbing to "future shock" or losing psychic balance.

In considering "living into change", we must first and fore most make good the oft-repeated aphorism that only the present moment exists. The past is dead, the future may never come as we expect it. The Eternal Now is the one moment over which we have control and in which we can make changes. Yet this moment too is instantly past. It is a razor edge of moving experience. Like a surf rider, we are poised on the surging crest of an advancing wave. If we lose balance, we are thrown back to flounder in the backwash of memories and remorse for the past, or forward into a turmoil of anxieties about a future that may never come.
Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat is only ostensibly and superficially in praise of "drinking and being merry for tomorrow we may die". Seen more profoundly, it is an allegorical statement of eternal value. It speaks of the wine of life and the Cup offered by Him who called Himself the "True Vine". In God Calling, one passage given from the high source reads as follows:
We must admit, if we are honest, that the present moment, in all its actuality, is rarely intolerable. Our agonies are nearly all associated with regrets and remorse about the past or worries about what might happen in a week, a month, a year. "One step enough for me", as Newman said. We are metaphorically crossing a morass on stepping stones in a fog. The next step is always apparent to us, but no more. Our fears arise from looking too far ahead. Once we implant in our soul the certainty that we are each of us led by invisible guides who have an overall view above the fog, we may step forwards boldly.

Our spiritual world view does bring this certainty and it is essential to brave living into change. The invisible worlds do exist. Each man's destiny is guided by beneficent mentors. There are angels who watch our faltering footsteps and are there to help and serve. Once we accept this, we can step forwards with courage into the unknown, which is not unknown to our Higher Self. If the invisible helpers are not allowed to exist for us, however, we will truly flounder in uncertainty, driven to cling desperately to old fixed modes, habits and thought forms.

We have stressed that we are living in apocalyptic days. We must expect changes – social, psychological and even in the outer world. Many think that man's treatment of the living earth has been such that this great sentient being will strike back in protest. Whether that be literally true or not, we are in any case in an epoch for which we have no precedent in history. What then should we do? Often we feel helpless and revert to brain tracks or habits which lead us back into old anachronistic reactions and an opportunity is therefore thrown away. How often we "kick ourselves" for doing this! But how do we move forwards into change? One clue may lie with the Chinese, in whose language there is no word for "crisis". The closest Chinese approximation is "opportunity for important decisions".

Our world view, as we have seen, includes the principle of the Higher Self. Each of us has this "utterly trustworthy parental being", to use the "Huna" phrase, who is part of the super-conscious world and a counterpart to our subconscious mind. Psychology as yet is only beginning to recognise this all-important factor in our being, though it appears to be the source of many of the creative impulses in our conduct previously explained as sublimation of the sexual drive. What we are really working with are higher "drives", issuing from the light-filled plane of the super-conscious, and the Higher Self is our Higher Ego into which our lower ego must in time be dissolved. If we can accept this postulate, we can proceed to act upon it. And literally "act". For we can act into our Higher Self. Faced with a crisis situation that lacks all precedent, we can in a flash of lifted imagination conceive how our Higher Self would react and then bravely act the part. This is a valid and creative use of the inherent power of acting which resides in all of us. It opens up a new field for the sublimated actor latent in everyone. We can move beyond the amateur drama club and carry the same talents, through conduct established on the creative imagination, into the kingdom of the Higher Self. Then we may learn to move into change with the certainty that we are indeed being guided, even through totally unprecedented circumstances.

The trouble is that, when faced with a sudden call to action, we frequently allow a preconception to flash into our minds which then determines our course of conduct. Once this occurs, there is little hope for a new course, since the preconception must perforce throw us back into an already experienced habit.

Thus we must learn to inhibit the instant reaction to the stimulus of the event and calmly review the available alternatives and options, using the imagination to feel out the new. This is one aspect of what Keats called "Negative Capability" – "that is, that a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries and doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason". As the poet contends, it is this quality that goes to make a man of achievement.

As an analogy, we might consider a fencing match or duel. We may be faced with some challenge – which perhaps we take as insult and which kindles our anger. We hit back, parry and riposte, with bitter words – or worse. But this is just what "the devil" wishes, and draws us down into painful emotion and mutual injury. On the other hand, we can, if we choose, parry the attack but recognise that the true riposte is not at our opponent but at our own lower-self reaction. Outer circumstances are so frequently the counterpart of our inner world. If we can inhibit the harmful reaction and bring our emotional response under control, we are free to choose a reaction which does no damage.

As we have stated, our inner world and our outer world are closely linked. We all have flaws in our characters which actually draw us into situations and circumstances – usually involving people – which present us with the temptation to "fall" anew. As long as such weaknesses are not overcome, we will succumb to the temptation again and again. Through agony, we at last recognise what is happening and by creative and imaginative conduct can learn to use the temptation itself to overcome the flaw. John Vyvyan, in his book Shakespearean Ethic, develops this principle as an important key to the understanding of Shakespeare's tragedies. The protagonist is confronted by the temptation which is the counterpart of the flaw in his character, falls, and is thrown into mental and emotional confusion; he is then hit a second time, and if he falls again the situation deteriorates to the point where the stage is littered with corpses. If the act of creative mercy can intervene, however, there is hope for redemption.

As a result of the materialistic foundation of our science, we are too prone to assume that character is solely the product of heredity and environment. This affords us the convenient excuse to transfer responsibility for how we behave to an external cause – one's parents were separated, one was an only child, one's family was too poor, one's environment was intolerable... But the whole picture can be reversed. My "I" is an eternal being. Therefore, "I" was already a developed soul be fore I was born. Indeed, I must logically have used this earth plane many times previously in the long evolution of my soul. Therefore, in cooperation with my Higher Self and spiritual guides, I must have been given some form of preview of the destiny I was assuming when I decided to incarnate.

If we can accept this view, it offers a new courage and involves a shouldering of ultimate responsibility. It implies that we truly are the total cause of all that we are and all that happens to us. There are really no accidents, because our Higher Self stages situations and experiences which are essential for our inner progress. Seen from the spiritual perspective, we choose our heredity and environment as the outward setting for experiences and circumstances which may develop the inner man. If we are really courageous, we will act on the assumption that we took on the task of transmuting a difficult environment. The frontier pioneer in the American West took pride in tackling and taming wild country. So we may feel that we have taken upon ourselves a task in descending into a difficult and intricate web of circumstances. But it is in their very difficulty and intricacy that they present a challenge for redemption and transformation – which, if we prove worthy of it, enables us to serve the world and mankind.

We must, moreover, face the implications of this heavenly preview of our destiny before descending to the "obscuration upon earth". We know that, since mankind is approaching a great spiritual turning point, the next twenty years are critically important. A great many souls must be crowding into incarnation that they may be present to experience the great events of this generation. If we have awakened to these implications and set our feet on the path to spiritual understanding, we may be sure that each of us, in his or her present incarnation, has a special task, however humble. We incarnated by intent and with a purpose, and probably in association with a group of souls with whom we have been together in previous earth lives. For the moment, we have perhaps forgotten the original task. But our Higher Self still knows it, and waits patiently for us to recall it. When we do so, when we see and acknowledge what we are meant to fulfil before we leave this plane, a new meaning and sense of purpose will be imparted to our lives. We will then be able to go forward into battle with greater certainty and courage, working in ever greater consciousness with our Higher Self. The spiritual movement in our society may be expected to develop with ever greater momentum and purpose as individual souls learn to recognise the task they undertook in coming to birth. Furthermore, as ever increasing numbers of workers for the spirit move on to the higher planes, we may expect ever closer cooperation. The New Age groups are continually being strengthened by their members who, released from bodily limitations, can work in the subtle blending of thought from the soul world.

We must have faith enough to see what it means to start absolutely from where we are now. For we are where we are meant to be. This is axiomatic once we admit to our invisible guides. If we are striving for understanding of the spirit, we must assume we are now where "they" want us. We are all volunteers in an army which takes no conscripts. If the "High Command" wishes to post us somewhere else, our Higher Self – a part of that Command – will have no difficulty staging events and circumstances which transport us out of our present condition and into the one desired. Again, however, we must act on this courageous view that we are in the right place now and the more consciously we recognise the "guidance", the more positive and remarkable it will become. In the meantime, we float in our little canoes down a great river of events. If we fight against the current, we court disaster. If – with real trust – we let ourselves go with that current, we can negotiate a path through the immediate wild water. We have no time to think about or be concerned with the rapids far ahead.

If it is true that we choose our lives and are being guided through experience on the earth plane of "separation", it is axiomatic that we must have inherent soul powers to overcome all difficulties. The spiritual pattern truly suggests that we must have latent reserves of strength on which we can draw to overcome any obstacle, and every such triumph further strengthens the soul for the next step in the adventure.

Each man is truly an ambassador of the divine. We descend by intent into the chaos of the world and are each responsible for our personal areas of growth and activity. Thus when we pray "Thy Kingdom come on earth", we are in one sense referring to ourselves – to our particular place of "earth", represented by all the ramifications of connection, responsibility and activity which constitute our life at the moment. In all these factors, we are backed and supported by the invisible guides so that nothing happens purely by chance. When life is considered from a broader perspective, there are few, if any, accidents. The events which seem to us accidents are in fact staged by our invisible guides to enable us to take a further step in development. "To him that overcometh will be given the crown". At any rate, to act as if all accidents and untoward events were planned for us by or through our Higher Self develops in us a strong and courageous view of our lives. We will not whine or complain if we shoulder full responsibility for all we are and all that happens to us. We are total cause. History is us and now.

A most constructive change of attitude accompanies this sort of thinking. It diverts us from excessive preoccupation with our own petty wills. If our plans go awry and we are prevented from doing what we wished, our attitude will not be disappointment or resentment, but rather a serious reappraisal of what is required of us and what new door has opened. Thus daily life will become increasingly an exploration into the ever new, with continuous opportunity for free choice and, simultaneously, an awareness of higher guidance. On earth we are learning to be free moral beings and to exercise creative initiative. For this, man has come into incarnation. We move out of the age of aggrandisement by the self-conscious ego into the New Age of transforming that ego into an instrument that can, in freedom, say: "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done..."

But man does not simply wait on divine grace. He must rise to the obligation imposed upon him, to become co-creator and take the initiative in forming a new society in cooperation with higher worlds of being. Hence, "living into change" is the great creative task for all of us.

Most of us have reached a stage of evolution that precludes our indulging in brutality or other excesses born of animal passions. Most of the things we do which hurt others are errors of judgement, which may have to be made good by agonies of remorse. "Seven times tried that judgement is – That did never choose amiss". In other words, our wrongdoing is usually more the mistakes of the reasoning middle self than the passions of the instinctual animal lower self. To illustrate a correlative of this principle, it is worth considering a passage of Little Gidding, in which Eliot speaks of the "gifts reserved for age":
Here indeed is the secret: the passage into the Now is like a dance, and we can voluntarily give ourselves to the refining fire. This fire is the remorse, disappointment, desire of atonement or agony of loss, into which we may plunge until it purges and purifies us. It will be sloughed when the soul lesson is learned, for we will realise ultimately that all loss on this plane is recompensed on the higher planes after death. There we shall meet again those we thought we had lost, in conditions that allow us to blend much more closely than we ever could in embodiment. Then there will arise the opportunity to do those things our life on earth did not, for one reason or another, permit. We must forego so much in the limitation of a body, while in the hereafter we can move into realms of freer creative action. The blending of inner world and outer world makes our passage through events like a dance. We can let go into it and accept what comes in each day. For we are to experience the metamorphosis of the soul through the refining fire, a burning away of the dross as we move into the flame in conscious acceptance.

Whenever one permits oneself to express discouragement, criticism, cynicism, anger or fear, one sends out a jet of darkness into the already darkened psychic atmosphere, of the world – which, in consequence, rebounds back on us to our own further detriment. Conversely, whenever one takes the initiative and attempts to build high-self positive qualities into the soul, one strengthens the bond with the planes of light. This is our human duty and purpose. It has been contended that we are the vocabulary we use. We are obviously free to choose to cut out all negative expressions. If we allow none such to pass our lips, we will in time eradicate them from our thoughts as well. We can, in short, learn to use what has been called "the perfect language".

Meditation is a channel for continuous reconstitution of the self, to prepare it that it may move into the new. Our lower self is a creature of habit, repeating brain tracks from the unconscious. These must frequently be expunged so that we may allow new impulses from the Higher Self. In the daily period of meditation, we achieve the inner stillness and tranquillity necessary for this purpose. The entire nervous system and the vital processes rest as in deep sleep, while there is a condition of alert attention in the mind, a listening to the world of being. We are then open to the qualities of the Higher Self, which essentially are peace, love, gentleness, courage and joy.

While these fill the soul, there is simply no room for the negative qualities of the lower self, which include remorse, regret, disappointment, anger, resentment for things past, and fear, anxiety and doubt about the future. These negative emotions cannot enter, any more than darkness can remain in a room when we switch on the light.

When we pray that we be forgiven our trespasses, we may regard that "us" as the partnership of the low self with the conscious middle self personality. Forgive, in other words, the silly things and blunders and hurts of which "we" were guilty yesterday. Let the mirror be wiped clean so that today we may start afresh and try again. This the Higher Self is always prepared to do. Indeed, in a real sense, the self is new each day. The self who thought itself insulted a week ago no longer exists. I now live afresh in a new dawn. Once I see this, I know not only that "to understand all is to forgive all", but truly that "there is nothing to forgive", for each day, once we see it, constitutes a new start, a new reality. Polish the mirror afresh and reflect the positive Higher Self qualities.

One means of teaching the lower self to be still and tranquil is, as we have noted, meditation. In meditation, we receive an intimation of the joy and bliss of being in touch with the higher qualities. Then, when we plunge back into the day's activities, all our doings will increasingly be coloured by the positive impulses. Each day, in fact, they are so strengthened, and the citadel in the soul becomes more powerful, more impregnable to the transitory assaults of the phenomenal world. But the lower self must be trained to defend this citadel against attack by darker thoughts or impulses. In this way, we can build a sanctuary of light in heart and mind which gradually can be held intact throughout the day's ordeals. And in time, the whole day itself becomes a continuous meditation – "the yoga of action". The citadel will then indeed become impregnable. If it is filled with light, we will indeed have made our real contribution to the coming of the New Age. As Jesus says, "If I be lifted up, all men will be lifted with me". Each in his small way must work towards this end.

The image of the citadel is particularly apt, and it is worth developing further. For we are each involved in the war against the powers of darkness. Each of us is a spearhead or bridgehead in the great battle now being joined between light and spirit on the one hand, and, on the other, the dragon of materialistic and negative thinking. In Goethe's Faust, Mephistopheles introduces himself as "Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint" – "I am the Spirit (or Principle) which denies (or negates or in validates or withers) everything". He is the vitiator, the repudiation of the spirit, the eternal negative of cold mocking laughter. We must fight him by commitment, by positive thinking and action. And we can do so, backed and supported as we are by the forces of light, which long, through our 'initiative, to subsume and redeem the earth plane.

We might – if it does not sound too presumptuous – compare ourselves to the Theban army in ancient Greece. It was an army made up of companions, of lovers. In the front rank fought the young man, immediately backed by his older friend; and both were certain that, through the love each bore the other, neither would succumb to cowardice. So we can feel ourselves backed and supported in the fight by the Invisible Lover, who is our Higher Self. To quote from Mabel Collins' book, Light on the Path:
If we can really make our inner citadel impregnable and so advance into battle, we will achieve something of immeasurable importance. We will have created a seed point in the soul which we will carry through into the life between death and rebirth. Then, when the time comes for the ego to reincarnate, it can, with this strengthened seed, draw to itself improved quality in the astral body or soul, and enter earth life again with much bad Karma erased and expunged. We are truly working for the future of our own souls and that of the planet as a whole. We are involved in an endless process of metamorphosis of the soul as a creative deed, which assumes ever greater interest and significance as we awaken to what it implies.

Something like a new moral principle is emerging in our age. For the Victorian mind, "obeying conscience" and "doing the right thing" rendered all issues quite clear. "Budge, says the fiend. Budge not, says my conscience". Now, however, things are rarely so cut and dried, rarely so simplistically black and white. On the contrary, they are fraught with a new and often terrifying complexity. We are constantly offered a multitude of ways, each of which may in all likelihood lead to injury or difficulty. And we must deliberately choose, incurring the karmic consequences, whatever they may be. As if we were mountain-climbing, a number of routes open before us and we must choose one, putting the rejected alternatives out of mind and not looking back with regret. Positive thinking often calls for selection of the boldest and most exciting, most dynamic course. For most of us, if we look back, the most profound regrets are for what we failed to do, for the opportunities missed. The gush of impulse in the heart suggests a course of action – but then, how often, we allow cold intellect to divert us, to dampen our intention, to rationalise us into paralysis. It would cost too much, people might think us silly, we have an appointment.
In this respect, we are all like Hamlet. But when we acknowledge guidance and direction from the Higher Self, we see that it speaks precisely in the impulse of the heart or the flash in the mind or the still small inner voice. So quiet, so discreet and unobtrusive are these hints that we too easily miss them, and they are overlaid by our chattering intellects and hard cold reasoning. Yet we can learn to work with this subtle 'cooperation. It is truly the key to "living into change". Self-deception is of course easy. Obviously we cannot blindly trust all our heart impulses – which may not ultimately be issuing from the heart at all. But we can accept that we are learning to use a telepathic contact with the Higher Self, our guide, who must speak delicately. Again, there is no constraint, no enforcement. But the technique for exploration of the New is clear.

We are indeed learning to work with our INNER TEACHER. This may be of paramount importance for New Age education. Much education today is composed of learning information imposed from without, of cold facts, statistics and data. Such things may have little relevance for wholly new conditions in the future. What we most need for "living into change" is a method of contacting our inner teacher. As Browning says in his poem, "Paracelsus":
We must, therefore, devise forms of training that will facilitate contact with the inner sources of truth. Then, with ever greater confidence, we will find we can move through into the unknown. The greater the spiritual crisis, the more certainly will the higher world offer its guidance and protection to those who are dedicated to its service. Therefore, in the ultimate apocalyptic challenge, we must be prepared to commit our selves wholly to the new.

We are moving into a New Age, which on inner planes is with us already. The advent of this New Age means axiomatically that to the spirit all things are possible. In the spirit (Oneness) is abundance. And here we touch a new economic law for a new society. For Oneness can obviously answer all needs. At present, we spend our lives working less to satisfy needs than to satisfy wants and desires. Wants and desires are very different from genuine needs. If we could really learn to work for the latter, however, they would be supplied as if miraculously. Numerous groups and individuals have demonstrated the truth of this statement, particularly in our time. It entails, however, an abandonment of which most of us are incapable – until extremity compels us to have recourse wholly to it. Then the "miracles" can begin to occur. What is necessary is a sort of reckless reliance on the divine. When this act of trust can be performed, it will produce results. It entails, as we have noted, a surrender of self-will, but it does not entail becoming an ascetic. "Leave all and follow me" can mean simply a total casting away of the past with all its failures or successes, and a completely new beginning in the daily present. We must learn to "think abundance" and to know that all things are possible.

Our collective Higher Self is building a new world, right down into material society, and it wants nothing but the highest quality on all levels. We need not feel we are called to an arid Puritanism, which is often associated with readiness to accept the second-rate. The spirit is Cavalier enough to appreciate, and insist upon, the most colourful and beautiful, the very best.

Cavalier and Puritan represent the great cleavage in modern British history and collective character. We each of us carry the polarity between them in our very souls. According to 1066 And All That, "the Roundheads were right but repulsive and the Cavaliers were wrong but romantic". A basic, if only partial truth! Puritanism knew that the new consciousness must rise above the sensual, but it seared and withered the soul by its sterile aridity. The Cavaliers, though lapsing at times into excessive licentious enjoyment, simultaneously delighted in ritual and beauty. It may be that the New Age is beginning to resolve this basic cleavage in the national character. Certainly we are lifting above the lower sensual to a realisation of the subtler senses, which brings a deeper and more refined delight – as well as a demand for beauty in form and ritual living. We are also rediscovering the romance and idealism inherent in reality, for never was there a more poetic or beautiful vision of new possibilities for transforming all that is sordid in our lives. Thus the Puritan in us rises above the downward drag of the coarser senses and unites with the true Cavalier in our nature, which longs for joy in life, beauty, and colour of ever new forms. Quality is necessary for the New Age. Everything is to be the best on every level, but there is to be nothing beyond what is necessary. Thus we must be able to simplify in our lives, while at the same time to strive for beauty, trusting absolutely that prayers will be answered which are tendered for the satisfaction of genuine needs.

Let us close this chapter with a little poem by T.E. Brown called "Indwelling". It summarises the whole issue with exquisite brevity:




Next:  9. Stewards of the Planet

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
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HOME
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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. .