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The DK Foundation

Getting Real 1
'New Age Fall-Out Problems

Introductory note: In this short series of articles we are defining New Age activities as those spiritual ideas and activities that, in the past hundred or so years have grown up outside the established religious traditions and exist independent of these organisations, or indeed any established organisational structure.

It is the nature of the Third Ray to work through time and to place things in causal relationships with each other, as part of the ceaseless effort to assist the process of becoming through evolution that is the function of this Ray. The planet Saturn fields the Third Ray within our solar system. The Master of the Third Ray is ‘the Venetian’.

Teaching on the Third Ray takes on the commitment to impart understanding of this process, through the use of the intellect and analysis. At its best, the Third Ray teaching activity encourages awareness, realism, discrimination and responsibility; at its worst it is damning, critical, mean-spirited and superior.

The D.K. Foundation was set up to work on the Third Ray and to use astrology to encourage self-responsibility through an awareness of purpose and causality.

In the three years that we have been in existence, we have dealt with countless questions from people from all parts of the world and, when requested, we have used astrology to look at the situations that are causing people confusion or distress. In the course of this work, it is has become very apparent to us that there are some common misunderstandings, encouraged by New Age thinking, that are the cause of a lot of suffering, disappointment and disillusionment in people’s lives. Let us call them New Age fall-out problems and see them as by-products, because this way we do not have to take anything away from the achievements of that stupendous movement that has been called the New Age.

With some of these problems in mind, we are constructing a series of articles that looks at some of the consequences of the explosion that occurred when the New Age met the close of the last century. The aim of this series is to encourage awareness, discrimination and self-responsibility. It is not offered in a spirit of contentiousness. If it challenges, so much the better, but please do not allow this to be a cause of offence because none is intended.

Firstly let us define spirituality. Spirituality is a conscious transformative process that turns the lower into the higher.

In the second half on the last century, the closet doors were thrown open and esoteric ideas and techniques, which supported the transformative process and that up to that time had been in restricted circulation, were made freely available. There were a number of factors contributing to this development, the most important of which was the decision taken, in the ‘centre where the will of God is known’ greatly to broaden the base of those with understanding of the nature and purpose of spirituality. Factors of significance to the implementation of this aim were post-war affluence and commercialism.

At the close of the Second World War, communicating through Alice Bailey, D.K. wrote:

One thing you must constantly bear in mind. Now that the war is over, and the time of acute trial and tribulation has come to an end, a great spiritual awakening (of a quality and a nature quite unpredictable today) will arrive. The war will have taught humanity many lessons and will have torn the veil of self away from many eyes. Values which have been hitherto expressed and understood only by those whose “eyes are on God” will be the goal and desire of untold thousands....

And D.K. has been shown to be right, of course. These developments gave us the New Age as we lived through it at the close of the last century, spawning libraries of books on unlocking potential and unleashing therapies and teachers of every hue. In Britain at least, it put paraphernalia on the shelves of many supermarkets, candles and crystals in every home, and articles on contacting higher levels in magazines hitherto devoted to cooking , dressmaking and cosmetics. The past twenty-five years have indeed seen the emergence of untold thousands of spiritual aspirants in the West.

But to aspire is one thing, to realise is quite another.

There are no perfect solutions, as well the Masters know. They do not work with perfection because the material, humankind, with which they have to work is not perfect and the system in which we take our place is not perfect. The Masters release to mankind solutions in the form of ideas, usually designed to correct obvious imbalances in human understanding that have become counter-productive. In time, those solutions themselves may become counter-productive and have to be the subject of balancing-out strategies. Excessive reverence for any system of ideas is unwise because it does not allow them to grow old and fall away.

The time has come now when the forms that encouraged that widescale aspiration have to be balanced out by new forms that will encourage practical application. It is not the ideas that we amass in our heads, or the books that we collect on our shelves that change lives, but the extent to which that knowledge is able to become understanding i.e., part of consciousness. This is brought about by experience. Does it help to know that there are seven planes of consciousness when our marriages are breaking up or our teenage child doing hard drugs? Probably not. But what might help is an understanding that experience is the carrier of consciousness and to be able to accept that whatever hell these experiences put us through on the subplanes of the mental and astral planes (accessed through our personalities), they will, for sure, be providing some kind of opportunity to change consciousness in some way.

Who mentioned hell? Not the commercially geared book and teachings on spirituality, that is for sure. Commercialised spirituality is consumer friendly, vanity-flattering, spirituality. Of course it is; it would not sell otherwise. Thought needs to be given to the implications of this, because they are giving rise to some of the worst New Age fall-out problems in the form of unrealistic expectations and agreement on the matter of the glossy ease and loveliness of it all. What happens if we spiritual aspirants do not find what we encounter in everyday life as easy or the effects lovely, and if we discover that the gloss is only on the covers of the books? Does this make us failures, beyond redemption?

Knowledge has to be applied and not simply held in our heads. And the place to apply it is to the crud of our everyday lives. There is no other place. To embrace a spiritual idealism that makes the everyday life nothing but a distraction in all the all-important task of becoming spiritual, it to miss the point entirely. And many, many people are missing the point. Spirituality is about becoming not arriving (arriving where, when the Universe itself is in a state of constant becoming?) As Don Juan reminded Castaneda, ‘Your shortcomings are your road to power. You cannot say that if your life would be different power would flow to you.’ But to make our shortcomings work for us means time, effort and slow returns; and we are the generation whose values have created the ready meals sectors and which has agreed that in return for taking DOS out of PC, Microsoft can rule the world.

One of our biggest problems currently is that we have taken consumerism and commercial values everywhere and that includes into spirituality. We want ceaselessly. Usually, what we want are loving relationships, emotional security, company and a sense of fulfilment - and we view spirituality, or rather signing up for a spiritually aware life as the means of getting these things, rather than as a way of moving on from a dependency upon them.

People who travel on the trains on the South of England may be aware of the advertisement for fare-saver tickets, featuring the unfortunate child who, when asked the question, ‘What do cheaper fares mean to you?’, is made to assume an expression of sheer avarice and reply, ‘More yummy things.’ For cheaper fares, substitute spirituality and there you have another New Age fall-out problem.

The bottom line is that the developments of the past twenty-five years have enabled the personality to lay hold of spirituality and indulge itself when the need has ever been for spirituality to lay hold of the personality and knock it into shape. This has been able to happen because the New Age has released esoteric ideas from the schools and organisations where once they were jealously guarded and their application closely supervised. The old esoteric schools did not sell anything; many were very difficult to penetrate. Commercial spirituality, by contrast, panders to the need to have, whether that is knowledge, a certain level of development, or a spiritual image.

We can now breeze in through the doors of many traditions, customising a path for ourselves which involves taking what attracts us and leaving behind the difficult bits, because this is what the personality does. It will always try to make itself comfortable. What spirituality gained in broadening its base, it has lost in discipline and tone and has made being seen to be nice and kind the most important attributes of a teacher. (Sexually attractive is usually a bonus too.) Spirituality has been taken hostage by the very indulgences it has the task of controlling and when this happens it is like finding that the person you were relying upon to help you escape from an uncomfortable prison is, in fact, a gaoler in disguise.

This always was going to happen because there are no perfect solutions, only swings and roundabouts. So it is not a hopeless situation but one in need of balancing.

Spirituality is not a buyer’s market let alone a consumer market. It is a means whereby we gain access to higher planes that are inhabited by other beings with their own functions. The Universe is not ours. We humans do not call the shots at all. At most, we can co-operate with the process in which there is a pivotal place for us. This pivotal position confers responsibilities, not rights upon us, because the lower kingdoms rely upon us.

In our minds and expectations, if we like, we can reduce enlightenment to a consumer-friendly experience, and hope that if we ignore our personalities they will go away, but we will not go anywhere in reality because beneath all the forms of all religions and traditions there is an objective process that has to be undergone by all people who aspire to release themselves from the restrictions of personality consciousness. There is no circumventing that process and there never has been, and it never will be consumerised.

If we are collecting ideas to convince ourselves that there is something to this spirituality business, or simply to entertain ourselves, then we do as we like, but if we are serious about wanting spirituality to change our lives, and not simply decorate them with concepts, we have to get real about this and learn how to co-operate with the process. It is less that our delusions are going to get us into trouble because there are very few pernicious ideas around: the biggest flaw in New Age thinking now is

the lack of proportion that makes us underestimate what the process called spirituality requires of us and to expect too much from what others (teachers, therapies, products) can do for us,

and a lack of context that makes us try and mix and match ideas and approaches that are incompatible. This wastes precious time. Time-wasting in this way is another New Age fall-out problem. D.K. calls it ‘meandering down the years’.

Over the course of the next two months, in this series entitled ‘Getting Real’, we will be attempting to build a context in order to provide a perspective. The remaining articles are:

‘The way of men’

‘Shortcomings are your road to power’: understanding the function of the separated self

The D.K. Foundation
June 2001

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