(Continue to Part 2 .)
I think it helps to have a grasp of the fundamentals of life, especially at a time when we know that all aspects of our understanding are going to be called into question, renovated, added onto, as soon as the galactics can walk freely among us.
Brief Review of the Purpose of Life
I’ve already gone over the purpose of life at some length, both from God’s standpoint and from ours. (1)
God created forms from His/Her/Its own Being, placed a spark of Its Divinity in them, and sent them on a path of spiritual evolution so that these sparks could one day realize their true identity as Him and in that moment God would meet God. At that moment, God, for His own enjoyment, would experience His own bliss.
Here is Sri Ramakrishna, himself an Incarnation of God, putting out this view: “It is the Godhead that has become these two [that is, God and the devotee] to enjoy Its [own] bliss.” (2) And here is Hazrat Inayat Khan:
“The purpose of life … is that the only Being makes his oneness intelligible to Himself. He goes through different planes of evolution … to make clear to Himself His oneness. And as long as this purpose is not accomplished, the one and only Being has not reached His ultimate satisfaction, in which lies His divine perfection.” (3)
You can read more about the purpose of life in the articles mentioned in footnote 1. Now I’d like to turn to discussions of the Divine Plan created to fulfill the purpose of life.
That Divine Plan can be put in two words: spiritual evolution.
The first part of this article looks at short references to spiritual evolution in the various spiritual traditions and the second part (to be published later) looks at what certain teachers have said in more detail about it.
Part 1: Spiritual Evolution in the Great Spiritual Traditions
Terrestrial Spiritual Teachers
We know about the Divine Plan from the testimony of saints and sages who have seen it in a moment of enlightenment. Here Krishnamurti, from the standpoint of Theosophy, which he later left to emerge from the shackles of all religions, describes his vision of it.
“The really important thing is … the knowledge of God’s plan for men. For God has a plan, and that plan is evolution. When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because it is so glorious, so beautiful, so, because he knows, he is on God’s side, standing for good and resisting evil, working for evolution and not for selfishness.” (4)
White Brotherhood master Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov described it, saying “the law of life is evolution, that is, development all the way to perfection.” (5)
Theosophist Madame Blavatsky, channeling the ascended masters, used a mixture of Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian terms to describe it.
“No purely spiritual Buddhi (Divine Soul) can have an independent (conscious) existence before the spark which issued from the pure Essence of the … OVER-SOUL … has (a) passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara [round of life], and (b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha). (6)
We can go back through the ages and hear whispers of it in the teachings of numerous great masters.
“And [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
“And behold, the Lord stood above it.” (7)
Jesus hints at spiritual evolution when he tells his listeners: “God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (8) After all, God has already raised stones to be children of Abraham and we are they, as St. Peter suggests: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house.” (9) The spiritual house we are build up is probably all the bodies we have as part of our entire makeup.
If we evolve, then at some point, having gone beyond mineral, plant and animal inheritance, we should also go beyond the human. Here is St. Paul implying that Jesus has gone beyond the human and entered the angelic realm.
“For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
“Saying, Fear not, Paul: thou must be brought before Caesar.” (10)
The wonderful Christian non-dualist, Pseudo-Dionysius, agreed with St. Paul that Jesus had become an angel:
“I do not need to remind you … of the fact that because of [Jesus’] generous work for salvation he himself entered the order of revealers and is called the ‘angel of great counsel.’ Indeed, when he announced what he knew of the Father, was it not as an angel?” (11)
Beinsa Douno, a Christian master of the White Brotherhood and teacher to Omraam Michael Aivanhov, suggests how the process may work:
“If this tree … understood the Law of Cosmic Love…, it would gradually be transformed into an animal; and if the animal … applied Cosmic Love, it would be transformed into a human being and the human being – into an angel.” (12)
These more modern masters, even Krishnamurti, could loosely be described as part of the western intellectual tradition. If we look to the east, we find a similar assortment of masters who describe the Divine Plan of spiritual evolution.
From antiquity, Zarathustra captured spiritual evolution in a phrase when he said that “Ahuramazda … created the creatures for progress, which is His desire.” (13) Paramahansa Yogananda, speaking after death, held that “life is but an opportunity to develop along certain lines.” (14) The Sufi sage Ibn-Arabi, also sees life as the journey of a soul through successive stages of evolution:
“Level after level he traverses the seven spheres and comes down into the Globe of Fire, then Air, then Water, then falls on earth; after that to the Minerals, Plants, Angels, then visits Mankind and the Jinn.
“Until he reaches the degree of human being he passes through many tribulations at every level of his descent; he meets with difficulties. Sometimes he rises; sometimes he goes low; and half a circle is completed till he is lodged with … mankind.” (15)
Al-Ghazzali speculates that the realm of angels lies beyond the human: “By means of the ‘alchemy of happiness,’ [man] rises from the rank of beasts to that of angels.” (16) Here Rumi talks about his own evolution as a soul. In his review of the stages, he includes the angels, above humanity.
“I died as mineral and became a plant.
I died as plant and rose to animal.
I died as animal and I was man. …
Yet once more I shall die as man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! For Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, ‘To Him we shall return.’” (17)
Notice he says “I died as mineral.” Does that not support Jesus and Paul in suggesting that we pass through a stage of consciousness as a stone?
Reaching the degree of human being adds to our understanding of something David Wilcock said when he speculated about souls throughout the universe that:
“The human body shows up in the galaxy on every planet where life can form. It’s a natural evolution. Some might get there by an insect; some might get there by a lizard; some might get there by mammals like we do; some might get there by cetaceans; some might get there even by vegetation, apparently.” (18.)
So all is evolution, but not just physical evolution, as Darwin suspected, but spiritual evolution as well.
Terrestrial Post-Mortem Spirit Teachers
Notice that life does not skip a beat with death. The Divine Plan for life carries on; we continue to evolve on the spirit planes.
It’s easier to learn and evolve on Earth than it is on spirit planes exactly because of the hardshps we encounter here, as the unammed spirit teacher of Betty Bethards makes clear.
“It takes many, many hundreds of years on the other side to gain … knowledge [of God and the nature of existence]. Men must gain it in the body to be open to it from the other side.” (19)
“This is why many souls will incarnate when they really don’t need to, because it would take a thousand years out of the body to do what you could do in one short sixty or eighty-year life period on the earth plane. So many will choose to incarnate to speed it up, but it is more difficult because you don’t have the awareness you have when you are on the other side.” (20)
There are many great teachers who have left the body and communicate back to us from spirit realms. White Eagle and Silver Birch are two well-loved British spiritual teachers who assume the purpose of educating us on the Divine Plan of spiritual evolution.
White Eagle describes the total process as the evolution of consciousness: “The whole purpose of incarnation is this slow evolution of the spirit, its awakening in matter, to self-consciousness and God consciousness.” (21) He says it is the duty of each of us “to help forward the spiritual evolution of all life. “ (22)
Silver Birch put the process of spiritual evolution this way:
“You are forever climbing a mountain, ascending one peak, only to behold another to be scaled. Knowledge, progress, development, unfoldment, advancement, all these are eternal processes.” (23)
“It Is an infinite evolution,” he says. “There is no summit to be attained. As the spirit unfolds, so it is realized there is more to be achieved. It is like knowledge. The more you have, the more you realize there is further knowledge to be gained.” (24)
South African Clifford McLean describes life as “a process of gradual refinement.” (25) His relative Jim McLean thinks that “Divine Mind has conceived of a perfect plan of gradual advancement, a plan that banishes all conceit.” (26) He amplifies:
“Divine Mind has perceived the necessity for a gradual awakening of the soul in diverse schools of experience, the rate of progress of which is controlled by the individual, according to his desires. In this sphere, the crystal clarity of thought penetrates the darkest recesses of the mind, revealing all hidden faults, coupled with an overwhelming desire to atone for one’s shortcomings.” (27)
“Who grieves that an acorn is slow in becoming an oak? It is equally unphilosophical to feel that the truth which I have endeavoured to make you understand—the truth of the soul’s great leisure—is necessarily sad. If a man were to become an archangel in a few years’ time, he would suffer terribly from growing-pains. The Law is implacable, but it often seems to be kind.” (28)
We can see, so far then, that disembodied spirits share the same point of view on the Divine Plan for life that embodied spirits do. Now let’s look at celestials and galactics.
Celestial and Extraterrestrial Teachers
Archangel Michael calls Ascension “an ever-evolving, continuous, on-going evolutionary process and not a destination.” (29) He tells us that there are many levels and stages of evolution.
“There are many levels and stages of ascension: personal earthly ascension, whereby you gradually balance and harmonize your chakra centers which in turn triggers the process of clearing your physical vessel and your auric field of discordant energies. …
“Ultimately, we will experience the universal ascension process together. This phase of ascension will take place in the far-distant future; however, we in the higher realms of existence have had glimpses of this prodigious cosmic event and, we assure you, it is so magnificently complex and awe-inspiring that it is beyond your present comprehension.” (30)
SaLuSa, a spokesman for the Galactic Federation who hails from Sirius, informs us that “life is infinite… It is part of your spiritual evolution.”(31) This evolution will “never cease until you return to the absolute Source.” (32)
He reveals that everything is “mystically attracted to the Source, where you will finally reach the ultimate completion of the return journey. The Creator draws all back into its Being, only to again commence further great cycles of experience.” (33)
However “there is far to go and many experiences to be had, before you reach the ultimate goal.” (34) Ascension, his Sirian colleague Atmos tells us, “ is but a step towards achieving full consciousness, and taking your place with the Masters.” (35)
SaLuSa agrees: Evolution is “a never-ending journey.” (36) The object of working our ascending in 2012,” SaLuSa tels us, “is to move into a state of enlightenment and continue to evolve.” (37) “The purpose of living many lives,” saLuSa says, “is to follow an overall plan that leads to your spiritual evolution. It is the only way to advance and leave the cycle of re-birth behind.” (38)
Ascension “is simply the commencement of another journey that will open up the Cosmos to you.” (39)
So the celestials and galactics agree with the great spiritual teachers of Earth, whether embodied or disembodied. Spiritual evolution is the Divine Plan for all life, to work out the purpose that God should meet God.
(Continued at Part 2.)
(1) John Smallman’s Saul put the purpose of life this way: “The sublime Intelligence … created you in Love to experience eternal bliss.” (Saul, Oct. 2, 2010, at http://johnsmallman.wordpress.com.)
For more on the purpose of life, see SaLuSa and the ”Greater Picture”, Life No Matter Where, No Matter When, To Know God is the Purpose of Life, The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment, Ch. 3 The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment For more on the Divine Plan for life, see Ch. 2 Is There a Plan to Life?, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/16244-2/the-purpose-of-life-is-enlightenment/ch-2-is-there-a-plan-to-life/.
(2) PR in Nikhilananda, Swami, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 305.
(3) Hazrat Inayat Khan, Way of Illumination. Delhi, etc.: Motilal Banarsidass, 1988, 237.
(4) J. Krishnamurti, At the Feet of the Master. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974; c1910, 17.
(5) Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov. Aquarius. Herald of the Golden Age. Part 1. Vol. 25 of the Complete Works. Freju: Editions Prosveta, 1981, 19.
(6) Blavatsky, Helena P. An Abridgement of the Secret Doctrine. Ed. Elizabeth Preston and Christmas Humphreys. Wheaton, Ill: Theosophical Publishing House, 1968, 13.
(7) Genesis 28:12-14.
(8) Jesus in Matthew 3:9.
(9) I Peter 2:5.
(10) Acts 27:23-4.
(11) Pseudo-Dionysius in Luibheid, Cohn, trans., Pseudo-Dionysus, His Complete Works. New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1989, 159.
(12) Beinsa Douno, “The Cosmic Love,” Lectures, 24 August 1919.
(13) Zarathustra in Duncan Greenlees, trans. The Gospel of Zarathushtra. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1978, 141.
(14) Paramahansa Yogananda in Robert Leichtman, Priests of God. Atlanta, GA: Ariel Press, 1997; c1980, 120.
(15) Muhyidden Ibn Arabi, Kernel of the Kernel. trans. Ismail Hakki Bursevi. Sherborne: Beshara, n.d., 20.
(16) Al-Ghazzali, The Alchemy of Happiness. trans. Claud Field. Lahore: ASHRAF, 1971; c1964, 32.
(17) Rumi in Anne Fremantle and Christopher. In Love with Love. 100 of the Greatest Mystical Poems. New York, etc.: Paulist Press, 1978, 58.
(18) Project Camelot Interviews David Wilcock, Part 2 of 4, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bz9YPriDLo&feature=channel
(19) Unnamed spiritual teacher to Betty Bethards, medium, There is No Death. Novato, CA: Inner Light Foundation, 1976; c1975, 11-2. John Heslop, resident of the Christ Sphere, agrees:
“It is far easier to acquire this knowledge [of lessons unlearnt] in the earth surroundings than on this side, just as it is easier for a child to receive the groundwork of education, than for a man, when he tries to learn what was taught him vainly in his youth.” (John Heslop through F. Heslop, medium, Further Messages Across the Border-Line. A Continuation of “Speaking Across the Border-Line.” London: Charles Taylor, n.d., 28-9.)
(20) Ibid., 9.
(21) White Eagle, White Eagle, Wisdom from White Eagle. Liss: White Eagle Publishing Trust, 1983, 49.
(22) Ibid., 80.
(23) Silver Birch, Silver Birch’s Teachings. Located at http:/www.angelfire.com/ok/SilverBirch/Tcon.html, n.p.
(24) Silver Birch, Light from Silver Birch. Comp. Pam Riva. London: Psychic Press, 1983, 19.
(25) Clifford McLean in Lesley May, med., Letters from Mother. A Family Biography in Two Worlds. Ed. Edmund Bentley. London: Psychic Press, 1964, 100.
(26) Jim McLean in ibid., 112.
(27) Ibid., 113.
(28) Judge David Patterson Hatch (“X”), Letters from a Living Dead Man. Elsa Barker, med. New York: Mitchell Kennerly, 1914. Ebook downloaded from http://www.earthlypursuits.com/LtrLDMan/LtrLDMan.htm, 28 August 2008. Letter XXXVIII.
(29) Archangel Michael, May 2010, through Ronna Herman, at http://www.ronnastar.com/latest.html.
(30) Archangel Michael, May 2009, through Ronna Herman, at http://www.ronnastar.com/latest.html.
(31) SaLuSa, Nov. 24, 2008 at http://www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/First_Contact/Channeled_Messages_by_Mike_Quinsey.htm.
(32) SaLuSa, March 26, 2010.
(33) SaLuSa, Feb. 26, 2010.
(34) SaLuSa, Sept. 18, 2009.
(35) Atmos of Sirius, May 18, 2009, at http://www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/First_Contact/Channeled_Messages_by_Mike_Quinsey.htm.
(36) SaLuSa, April 20, 2009.
(37) SaLuSa, April 6, 2009.
(38) SaLuSa, Oct. 4, 2010.
(39) SaLuSa, Feb. 23, 2009.
(Continued at Part 2.)