The Path of Daring
As we gradually move from the Piscean, Sixth Ray, and familiar energies, to the Aquarian Age, Seventh Ray and the energies of an emerging order, a new question is being asked in the spiritual community.
One does not now hear so much, “How can we contact spirit?” – the paths are relatively well known and marked out by many religious and spiritual traditions during the last two thousand years. But we do hear, “How can we understand and apply spirit?” – as mankind has recognised that the way in which we ‘unpack’ our understanding of spirit has considerable impact on our political, economic and philosophical systems.
Understanding Spirit allows us to sort out the seeds of truth from the dogma. Increasingly however, the question is being asked, “Having somewhat contacted and understood spirit, how do we then express spirit in our individual and collective lives?” It is this question which calls for a new ‘yoga’ or path of union.
Hatha yoga controls the physical body, Bhakti yoga purifies the emotional and Raja yoga focuses and develops the mind and integrates the threefold personality as a vehicle for soul.
The expression of soul life through the personality, however is the focus of Agni Yoga.
Agni Yoga means the yoga of fire, or the path of daring.
Agni yoga is practiced by the soul, not by the personality, and therefore requires a shift of identity from personal habits to a Soul-filled identity. This is the path that results in the ‘externalisation’ of the inner being on the outer planes of existence.
In a planetary sense, it results eventually in the externalisation of the Hierarchy, considered as the spiritual government, and the anchoring on earth of the Fifth Kingdom, that of conscious souls. This kingdom is epitomised for us by the Christ. Having journeyed to the Father or Spirit aspect, He seeks to express that spirit ‘on earth as it is in heaven’. Our souls, as aspects of Christ, seek to do the same. It is not ascension the soul seeks at this time, but descension – the demonstration of Life More Abundant upon the physical plane.
The energies of the new, Seventh Ray, are demanding the spiritual community ‘walk their talk’ and demonstrate through living example the presence and power of the soul. It could be said that it is not the material focus of the masses that prevents the recognition of the fifth kingdom on the planet, but a lack of courage on the part of the advanced members of the human family.
One of the tasks before those who guide humanity is to turn the disciples around and direct their consciousness out into the world rather than in towards the inner world, so that they become “relaying channels of light” rather than “delaying points of selfish interest.”1
What are the hallmarks of an agni yogi, someone trying to walk, as a soul, the path of daring?
This is not the suppression or denial of fear, but the anchoring of the identity in the part of us that is deathless. We may be theoretically aware that we are immortal, but if we were to conduct a ‘spiritual audit’ of our lives, how often do we actually act as if this were the case?
Fearlessness is the recognition and realisation that there are no environments or circumstances in which the spirit of man can be defeated. This realisation allows one to take risks in a world that seeks security and the minimization of risk as a primary goal in ‘making a living’. To risk poverty (not to make a vow of it, but to accept it as a potential consequence of action based on a higher principle); to risk not being liked; to risk one’s own precious accumulations of beliefs about reality – this is a step taken by the Agni Yogi.
This is not the simplicity of ignorance but the quality that is developed by winning through complexity to a recognition of what really matters. It is the simplicity that results from a life based on clear spiritual principles that have been tested and refined through practice. These principles order the life and allow for resources to be used efficiently in serving a higher purpose than accumulation for its own sake.
This is not the outer attractiveness of form, but the harmony created when the inner and outer worlds are functioning in unison. The result is grace – that spiritual nourishment that penetrates all the worlds revealing the essential divinity and usefulness of each component part.
These hallmarks are developed through the acceptance of spiritual responsibility.
Once the spiritual energies are contacted and that contact is maintained through meditation, contemplation or prayer, then the attempt is made to understand the nature of the spiritual plan through the wisdom teachings.
Once the plan for our planetary evolution and humanity’s role in that plan is somewhat understood, then the conscious acceptance of a role within that plan is the next step. This acceptance and the resulting life of service is what is meant by ‘spiritual responsibility’.
Spiritual responsibility requires the maintenance of a point of tension between what an individual or group is capable of and what is needed. This tension is like the tension in a violin string – too much tension and the string snaps, not enough and the note doesn’t sound at all. It is the ‘note’ sounded by a soul under tension that attracts the inner and outer resources needed to carry out the responsibilities accepted. We are at a time when the spiritual strings of the planet are being tightened and we are asked to carry a higher point of tension. A tension which will allow an increased inflow of spiritual energy.
The significance of the present day hero is sustained by the realisation that from no quarter can he expect cooperation. When he pronounces, “I cannot abandon the field of the battle,” he absorbs new strength. We are ready to provide the current for reinforcing the strength in accordance with the firmness of decision not to abandon the battle.2
Maintaining a point of spiritual tension is an art and a science. Entering the path of daring requires that we leave what I call the Café on the Edge. The Café on the Edge is a transition point between understanding spirit and expressing spirit.
During the early stages on the spiritual path there is a tendency to overestimate one’s capabilities. Once a glimpse is seen of what is truly required, however, there can be a tendency to underestimate. We stand on the edge and wonder whether … actually, it might be someone else’s karma to jump. We sit down for a minute to catch our breath and decide that … maybe we should have a cup of tea before jumping. Then we need to build a little shelter – just for the first night of course, because tomorrow we are definitely jumping. A week goes by and we have built a little Café on the Edge where we serve lattes to other potential jumpers.
Pretty soon we have added a bookshop and have evening talks on the fine art of jumping. Of course we do intend someday to actually jump. However, maybe it will have to wait untill after we have the franchise on a chain of Cafés on the Edge up and running. And so the world waits for the great Jumper who will Jump for us all.
In this fantasy it is easy to forget that the spiritual kingdom will anchor on earth ‘through humanity’ and not ‘for humanity’. The quickest way for this external-isation to happen is if we deconstruct the fence of rationalisations we have built along our own cliff, close the door of the coffee shop, walk to the edge, and gracefully take the first great step upon the path of daring.
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
1 Telepathy and The Etheric Vehicle, A. A. Bailey
2 Agni Yoga, Verse 290, Helena Roerich