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The Externalization of the Hierarchy - Section III - Forces behind the Evolutionary Process
The Forces of Enlightenment

A realization of the need of humanity, and a careful appraisal of that which must be done to meet that need, have awakened the men of goodwill to responsiveness to the Forces of Restoration; this has led to an insistent demand that the second phase of the hierarchical work be set in motion. This phase is directed towards those activities and the development of that invocative spirit which will bring the Forces of Enlightenment into contact with humanity and lead to activity on their part. These forces can function [462] fully and until 1949 hold sway over the minds of men, if the people of the world can be organized to stand with massed intent behind that type of statesmanship which is seeking the greatest good of the greatest number, which sees the world as one great interdependent whole, and which refuses to be sidetracked by the clamoring of the selfish little minds or by the demands of the reactionary forces to be found in all lands.

These Forces of Enlightenment are always present on Earth on a small scale, influencing the minds of the new group of world servers, the selfless workers for humanity, and the thinkers in every school of thought, working in every field of human betterment; they work upon and through all who truly love their fellowmen. They are unable to influence the minds of the closed egocentric person; they can do little with the separative isolationist; they are ineffectual where the theologian of all groups - political, religious or social - is concerned, and they can do little with the type of mind that is concentrated upon personal or group problems (their group, expressing their ideas and working their way) and who fail to see themselves or the group in relation to the whole of humanity.

Today, however, a community of suffering and a general recognition that the causes of war are to be found in selfishness and in inherent cruelty has greatly widened people's approach to reality and to possibility, as they exist today. Churchmen, statesmen and leaders of important world groups are admitting the failure of their church, or their legislative bodies, or their policies to bring about world order and world tranquility. They are seeking earnestly for new ways in government, new modes of suitable living, and for a method whereby right human relations can be established. They present a field of expression to the Forces of Enlightenment and offer Them opportunity to change the ways of human thinking; they are being mobilized by the light-bearing energies upon the planet so that wisdom, understanding and skill in action may distinguish the activities of men in the immediate future. [463]

The organizer of these Forces at this time is the Buddha. He is the symbol of enlightenment or of illumination. Countless millions down the ages have recognized Him as a Light-bearer from on high. His Four Noble Truths exposed the causes of human trouble and pointed to the cure. His message can be paraphrased in the following words: Cease to identify yourselves with material things; gain a proper sense of the spiritual values; cease regarding possessions and earthly existence as of major importance; follow the Noble Eightfold Path which is the path of right relations - right relations to God and to each other - and thus be happy. The steps on this Path are:

  • Right Values
  • Right Speech
  • Right Mode of Living
  • Right Thinking
  • Right Aspiration
  • Right Conduct
  • Right Effort
  • Right Rapture or true Happiness

His ancient message is as new today as it was when He spoke His words on earth; a recognition of its truth and value is desperately needed, and the following of the "eight right ways of living" will enable humanity to find liberation. It is on the foundation of His teaching that the Christ raised the superstructure of the brotherhood of man to form an expression of the Love of God. Today, as it views the crumbling, devastated world, mankind has a fresh opportunity to reject selfish, materialistic motives and philosophy and to begin those processes which will - steadily and gradually - bring about its liberation. It will then be possible for men to tread the Lighted Way which leads back to the divine Source of light and love.

The Buddha could point to the goal and indicate the Way because He had achieved full enlightenment; the Christ gave us an example of One Who has reached the same goal; the Buddha left the world after reaching illumination; the Christ returned to us, proclaiming Himself as the Light of the World, and showed us how we too could learn to tread the Lighted Way. [464]

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