Counselling and Psychotherapy Author, Consultant in Equalities and Diversity, Counselling and Self-Awareness Trainer
EUROPE: The Evolution of an Idea
A Look Back at Europe
The power of citizenry
The search for European identity
The idea of Europe
20th Century Europe
The Vision of Jean Monnet
The Principle of Solidarity
Europe as a ‘whole’
Ray and Zodiacal Influence in Europe
The Voice of the People
Leo-Aquarius in Europe
Raising the quality of European life
A note of balance
Symbols of unity
The common European home
The Evolution of an Idea
We are not forming coalitions between States,
but union among people. Jean Monnet
The emergence of a `New Europe’ and the growing trend towards European unification provide an opportunity to gain some measure of insight into some of the deeper, esoteric processes that are taking place. What do we mean by esoteric processes? It refers to processes taking place that are to some degree hidden, we might say invisible. The Ageless Wisdom teachings, for instance the writings of Alice Bailey, describe the existence of levels of being that are more subtle than the physical level with which we are all familiar. The forces and energies that exist upon these subtler levels are those with which the esotericist seeks to consciously work. One level is that of the mind, the plane of ideas. What I am suggesting is that there has existed, on mental levels, an idea of Europe which has been a source of inspiration for thinkers and activists down the centuries. This idea of Europe might be seen as a blueprint, a pattern upon which outer human relations between individuals and peoples can be constructed.
We should not think of this idea as authoritatively directing the evolution of Europe. It exists as an idea and human minds have added to it and modified it over the centuries, adjusting areas of emphasis in line with the times. So not only does it bring inspiration to human minds, it is also itself evolving through the thoughts of those concerned in bringing the idea into expression.
Can we describe this idea? This is not easy. It seems to be concerned with the expression of unity in diversity. However, like all ideas, they are best described in terms of how they have emerged into form through the passage of time. It is my intention, in this book, to bring the reader into closer contact with this idea. This book is not intended to be an intellectual exercise. Rather, I hope that it will encourage the reader to take an interest in Europe, in the processes of change that are occurring and, I hope, will also encourage him or her to look at how they can co-operate with the working out of the idea behind Europe.
The energies that are being released into the European civilisation are bringing new forms and structures into being. A vast experiment in transnational relations is taking place, and as we stand today in 1992 with the single market due to come into being, this seems an appropriate moment to cast a light of esoteric understanding upon the fascinating developments that are occurring in Europe.
To gain some understanding of the tensions and opportunities that the ‘New Europe’ presents today we need to look back over its history. This book focuses upon particular visionary thinkers who have, each in their way and time, contributed to the idea of European unity that has been a vision for so many generations, people for whom the idea of Europe has made a distinct impression upon their minds. Many readers will think of others who have played a major role in this process. This book is not intended to be a comprehensive history of Europe. It is not being written, either, for simply academic interest. The intention lies in trying to convey something of the livingness of the idea of European unity through a focus upon some of the ways this idea has taken form.
Any attempt that seeks to understand the processes that shape human destiny sheds light upon the way that the divine Plan is working out. What do I mean by a divine Plan? I mean that as there is an idea behind Europe, so there is a greater idea, plan or blueprint behind humanity as a whole and, indeed, all of evolution on earth. Spiritual traditions refer to the existence of a group of beings who is some mysterious way act as guides for human evolution. These `Masters of the Wisdom'. as they have been called in the writings of Alice Bailey, are ‘Custodians of the Plan’. The Plan involves, to simplify it drastically, the fostering of those conditions on earth that will lead to the establishing of right human relations. It is much more than that, but this is not an area I wish to get sidetracked into now. For more detailed information you are advised to read the books by Alice Bailey.
I should emphasise, though, that the Plan is not forced upon us. We have free will. We can ignore the Plan and go our own ways, but at our own peril. Evolution has a destiny. It is teleological. We can block or hinder the process leading to the fulfilment of the Plan, should we so choose, but we will have to face the consequences. This brings us into the whole area of karma which, though it is equally applicable to nations as it is to people, is not an area that this book will deal with.
As I have said before, this paper is not intended to be comprehensive. It is written with the aim of acting as a trigger for further thought. Readers will wish to fill in the many gaps with their own ideas. There will be disagreement, no doubt, over some of the contents. That is OK. I hope that this, too, will motivate further thought. Perhaps, by developing a more comprehensive view through further research, reflection and discussion, trends may be recognised more clearly and future direction glimpsed with greater certainty. The light of understanding that this releases can, I believe, serve to strengthen the idea of European unification and it’s working out. In a sense, our thoughts and the actions that follow are a process of bringing ideas down into tangible form.
Let us turn to a consideration of when the concept of Europe first emerged in human thought? It seems that the name was first conceived by the Greeks. Their great trading economy had much contact with the shores of this region. Interestingly, Europe, or ‘Europa’, is the only continent to have evolved its name from within, rather than from without. The word was at one time thought to mean "sunset", probably because it was, to the Greeks, the region of the setting sun. More recently though it has been thought to mean "mainland". To the Greeks, Europe was a barbarian region. Seen in the light of their own culture, the peoples of Europe were culturally undeveloped. The region therefore stood apart, in the Greek mind, from their own land and civilisation.
In it’s early history, Europe was scantily settled. It was made up of a rich diversity of peoples. There was certainly no concept of European identity although it can be regarded as having one clearly unifying factor. It has been described as "pre-eminently the homeland of the white peoples". In a sense, Europe is something of an anomaly. There it sits, on the far Western end of Asia, dwarfed by this massive continent whose land mass it shares. And yet it has managed to evolve its own distinctive civilisation and culture and contribute richly to the creativity of the whole of humanity. You can be tempted to think that Europe has been in some way insulated from being permanently swamped by influences from beyond the region. It has been invaded, yet it seems as though invasion served to bring new ideas and techniques that were not previously known. It can almost seem as though it was all planned to foster the development of the infant Europe, to expose it to the new ideas and ways of social life that it needed to develop into an adult in the centuries ahead.
Throughout European history there have been many unifying movements that have sought to bring peoples together. The era of the Roman conquest, of European civilisation under Charlemagne and the establishing of a Holy Roman Empire each in their own way reflected a tendency towards European unification. Other examples will be cited in this article. All, in their way, served to make Europe a melting-pot of peoples.
Europe seemed to pass through periods of relative unity — usually imposed — before fragmenting once again. Yet each achieved unity left a mark within the European psyche. It is worth placing emphasis upon the efforts of Charlemagne to establish what we might today call a ‘superstate’, uniting all Christian lands in Western Europe apart from the Kingdom of the Asturias in Spain, southern Italy and the British Isles. In the Encyclopedia Britannica we read that
although his empire survived him by only one generation, it contributed decisively to the eventual reconstitution, in the mind of a western Europe fragmented since the end of the Roman Empire, of a common intellectual, religious and political inheritance on which later centuries could draw.
For many centuries following Charlemagne, the example he had set proved a source of inspiration for others. He had shown what was possible. He had proved that the peoples of Europe could form one vast Empire. This is not to say that there were not rebellions during his rule, there certainly were. But through his own intense will-to-power he held the peoples together long enough to make a deep and lasting impression. Of course, he did not achieve this single handedly, but without his presence it would have been unlikely that such an Empire would have taken form, however briefly it endured.
As European civilisation continued to develop, other influences can be seen playing their part in establishing connections between the peoples of Europe. There has been a continuous thread of diplomatic activity bringing peoples closer and encouraging alliances and co-operation between states. Throughout the past few centuries Europe, though frequently ravaged by war, sought to establish a balance of power system in order to keep the peace. This was first introduced from Italy where it had been adopted to try and maintain internal peace. Essentially, whenever one state became too powerful, the others would form a coalition to topple it, or bring it back into line. Because this system of balance and counter-balance required a great deal of knowledge about what everyone else was up to, ambassadors were sent abroad and a network of political communication was established. It was, of course, open to abuse. One effect of this was that in order to lessen the threat of war, states tacitly agreed upon a number of rules that can be seen as a forerunner of international law.
According to the ‘Encyclopedia Britannica’, this system introduced a number of Italian metaphors into the European language that remain with us to this day. Phrases such as: "balance of powers"; "equilibrium of forces"; "equal balance of powers" and "counterweight of forces" are mentioned. For the esoteric thinker the energies of Libra immediately come to mind and in a later section we shall explore how the note and energy of Libra can be seen to be working out powerfully in the shaping of Europe today.
No attempt is here being made to provide an all inclusive history of Europeanism. I simply describe some of the ideas and events that have inspired visionary thinkers who have themselves been responsive to, and responsible for, the European idea. These include the social visionary Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the profound political and economic thinker Thomas Paine. The vision of Jean Monnet, such a key figure in the birth of the European Community this century, is included, along with such profound and unique thinkers as General Smuts and Count Hermann Keyserling. The thinking of Mikhail Gorbachev is also included, showing something of the livingness of the European idea as it inspires vision and thought among key thinkers and activists today.
Significant astrological influences are explored. These are included because from the esoteric perspective, different forces and energies have a dominant influence over the life and the development of nations in the same way that they affect individuals. The ruling signs of the various nations are compared, showing how nations, like individuals, are learning to handle energy. Esoteric interpretation is put upon some of the relationships that are playing a key role in the shaping of modern Europe. Ray energies, which are explained in more detail in a later section, are considered and the attempt is made to shed light upon what may be the dominant influences upon Europe. Much of the astrological insight is taken from the writings of Alice A. Bailey, whose books, ‘Esoteric Astrology’ and ‘`The Destiny of the Nations’, provide rich insight into Ray and zodiacal influences upon the nations of the world. Tabulations are also included that go some way to show the complex interweaving of force and energy shaping the relationships and qualities of the European nations.
I hope that you find this book interesting and that it will at least set you thinking. It is my hope that you will feel stimulated to fill in the many gaps and to add your own insight and understanding to the thoughts and ideas here presented. The light that is thereby released into the pool of thought surrounding the evolution of Europe, or perhaps we should say at the heart of the evolution of Europe, can serve to bring clarification of the processes and the ideas that are today working out through the urge to unification in Europe. From such deeper understanding may spring increased ability to consciously co-operate with the shaping of the new Europe and the new European identity within our interdependent world.
A Look Back at Europe
Though I have mentioned some historical perspectives on Europe in the introduction, let us now focus upon a few of the key thinkers and events of the past that have had such a powerful influence in shaping Europe. One of the great themes of Europeanism has been the quest for liberty.
The power of citizenry
A thousand years ago the Carolingian Empire broke up. The result was that a multitude of small States and duchies came into being, mostly governed by local potentates. Struggles were common as each sought greater power for himself, and it was ever the people who bore the brunt of this seeming continuum of conflict. The situation worsened at the time of the Protestant reform when Christianity, to be seen perhaps as the best hope at that time for fostering a united Europe, split into warring factions.
Nevertheless, there were always attempts by the people to wrest freedoms from their overlords oppression. Citizens movements were not uncommon. Though officially powerless, the burgesses or borough-dwellers as they were known, would join forces and because they were well organised they succeeded in curbing some of the abuses of power. Much of this pressure was centred upon trade and the need for freedom of movement through and between States. A pattern of modifying power in order to expand its scope to serve a wider need was being established. Though achievements were small, they indicated a very definite tendency which would lead to increasingly inclusive charters enshrining individual freedoms and rights. A process was being initiated. Magna Charta, the Habeus Corpus Act and the Bill of Rights reflect this. The principles that evolved in time became enshrined in the French Revolution’s Declaration of the Rights of Man.
Certain key ideas emerged at the time of the French Revolution. Again quoting from the ‘Encyclopedia Britannica’, these are described as:
the recognition of individual rights
the sovereignty of the people
the universal applicability of this pair of propositions
The ideal of freedom has fostered a continual movement towards its realisation in all areas of the individual and collective life. It continues to move human minds and hearts both in Europe and throughout the world, inspiring evolutionary change, an evolution that is "‘dynamic’ because it simply does not change rulers or codes of law but it also arouses a demand and a hope in every mind and every people".
Whenever freedom has been curtailed this vital urge has fought back. The history of Europe and its peoples is testimony to this. Right up to the present time the recognition of citizens rights and the growth of freedom among the peoples of Europe has been a key factor in the unifying process. The ‘voice of the people’ for justice, co-operation and the sharing of power is a common element among the European peoples. It expresses itself in many diverse forms, social, political, religious, economic, for instance. But at heart, and this is a crucial factor, it is a common movement, apparently separate groups of people acting out of a common urge or impulse towards realising freedom and human rights. The ‘New Europe’ must evolve in such a way that it remains responsive to the voice of the people. In fact, it needs to be more sensitive than this. As we read in a recent European publication, ‘A Human Face for Europe’:
... the soul of Europe cannot be encapsulated in slogans, ideologies or economic theories. It must be judged by its capacity to listen to the almost inaudible voice of its underpriviledged citizens and provide generously for them.
The search for European identity
Only recently has a sense of European identity emerged within the consciousness of the peoples of Europe. This has occurred after much drastic searching, involving the greater part of the world, as European peoples sought to find their place, and thereby their identity, within the wider world.
There is little doubt that European civilisation has held a dominant position on the world stage for the past few centuries. In his book, ‘Civilisation on Trial’, the historian, Arnold J. Toynbee, suggested that from the period of the medieval Crusades onwards attempts have been made to expand Western European influence. The Crusades, he suggests, were the first such attempt. He writes, though, of the failure of the Crusades "to impose the political and economic dominion of Western Europeans upon other peoples". The emphasis that he placed on "economic and political" dominion is interesting. It is in these two areas that the greatest impulses towards European unification are to be seen today.
The second attempt at expansion, he suggests, was during the sixteenth century and focused through the activities of the Spanish and the Portuguese. Here, the most notable success lay in Latin America. Elsewhere their attempts to impose Western civilisation ended after about a century. As with all such expansion, it involved conquest, subjugation and the imposition of a new way of life upon the conquered peoples.
The third attempt to expand Western European civilisation, Toynbee suggests, "was begun in the seventeenth century by the Dutch, French and English". These three West European nations he describes as being "the principle authors of the worldwide ascendancy of our Western civilisation". By 1914 European technology, systems of transportation and communications and network of trade had spread to much of the world. Politically, "the European nations had not only colonised the New World but had conquered India and tropical Africa".
Much has changed since then. The days of empire are passing rapidly as nations around the world have discovered their national identities and asserted themselves upon the international stage. It is as though Europe, having expanded on a wave of centrifugal force which carried her civilisation out into the world, has now contracted. A centripetal motion that has drawn the nations of the continent closer together, almost forcing them, through their peoples, to realise European identity. This might be seen as a process of breathing out and breathing in. The drawing back towards a common European identity has brought with it an opportunity to lift the focus of European civilisation on to a higher and more spiritual footing. Having projected out to explore the realms of the European ‘not-self’, there has now been a return back into itself to find a greater identity that is the spirit of Europeanism. The danger in this is that the contraction might simply generate a kind of Eurocentricism and a crystalisation of form. However, it seems that this inward rush of energy may be generating an impulse towards a higher spiritual centre, like air rushing into the centre of a depression to generate uplift at its heart. This uplift is a raising of human consciousness, carrying it towards a fuller realisation of the sense of unity that is working out so powerfully in Europe today.
Also, the tide of destruction in Europe during the second world war may well have helped to avert excessive crystalisation. It generated an opportunity for fresh creative expression through the rebuilding work that was then so desperately needed. Energies drawn back into Europe could be given constructive expression, serving to meet human need. An opportunity was afforded to anchor or earth new energies, carried through into expression as a result of the vertical uplift of consciousness. In this light it is interesting to read the following passage which can be found in the first edition of ‘Problems of Humanity’, by Alice A. Bailey:
Fire from heaven has been applied to the very depths of our geat cities in Europe, unearthing ancient evil, bringing to light the foundations of the buildings, necessitating a re-planning, a re-building and a re-laying of entire towns in many countries. This is very good.
Thankfully this era of mass destruction has passed. Of course, there remain forms and structures that serve only to limit and handicap trends towards the realisation and expression of European unity and a European identity. These obstacles will surely pass away as the spirit of Europe asserts itself. Today we are witness to a European quest for identity. Such identity is not achieved by conquering without, but by discovering the spirit of unity and cooperation that lies within. It is essentially a movement in consciousness.
It brings to mind the well known words of T.S. Elliot from ‘Little Gidding’:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
The "place" is the Europe we see today. It is a Europe that is moving along a path of internal exploration, a path of integration and a path that is lighted by the idea of unification. Let us consider the evolution of this idea.
The idea of Europe
The history of Europe is as much that of an idea as it is that of a grouping of peoples. This perception is crucial in order to understand the significance of what we see emerging in this final decade of the twentieth century. The idea of Europe is still unfolding, its essential quality and purpose remains largely hidden from view. Visionary thinkers over the years have glimpsed something of this idea. Many have given form to it and, in their areas of major concern and activity, sought to bring it through into some tangible outer form. Today, the idea of European unity is stronger than ever before. The nations of Europe have come a long way from Thomas Jefferson’s view a couple of centuries ago that "they are nations of eternal war". Let us hope that the trend is now well set upon a path to harmony and solidarity.
There are various points of significance that we might focus upon in the history of Europe that indicate a trend towards some form of unification. We have already touched upon the significance of Charlemagne. Throughout the centuries, powerful rulers have sought to impose their will beyond their borders. Alliances have been created, and broken. Wars have raged in the seemingly continual struggle for power and the right for self-determination. It seems appropriate, for the purposes of this book, to focus upon the period of revolutionary change 200 years ago. The French Revolution and the bold and visionary Declaration of the Rights of Man, marked a turning point in the evolution of Europe. The order of Europe was transformed and a fresh and powerful vision of future possibilities was unleashed into minds and hearts. The principles of ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’ were, without doubt, an expression of Soul impulse.
We should not, however, ignore other major contributions to the revolutionary change of that period. No one can underestimate the writings a few years earlier, for instance, of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who sought to bring the light of knowledge through to the very lowest members of the human family so that, in the words of Alice A. Bailey,
they can become strictly and consciously human. It was the objective of this impulse which inspired the Renaissance and which lay behind the work of Rousseau, that great initiate, and this is the impulse which is today responsible for modern Humanism with its apparent materialism and yet its deeply spiritual subjective programme and purpose. (Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 49)
Rousseau awakened the consciousness of the masses that they might begin to think for themselves. He prepared the ground for future mass movement towards freedom and the lifting of the yoke of oppression with his words "Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains".
The French Declaration, the Revolution and the events that ensued — the Napoleonic era of vision and conflict leading up to the establishing of the Congress system in 1815 — meant that Europe would never be the same again. Major powers were brought together through the threat of the common enemy of the time — the march of French soldiers across Europe. After Napoleon’s final defeat, a spirit of international co-operation was tentatively established through the founding of the Congress System which was no doubt a forerunner of future pan-European co-operation. Following the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the four major European powers of the day — Austria, Russia, Prussia and Britain — sought, through a system of regular meetings, to both maintain the Vienna settlement and to meet for discussion of matters of common interest and concern. Though it collapsed in the following decade at the Congress of Verona, a seed had been sown for a later fruition in a different form. European inter-governmental co-operation could happen where common interests overlapped; it was no longer unthinkable and, for the esotericist, this would seem to be crucially important. Though this recognition may have later been lost sight of, it was kept alive within the European mind, destined to re-emerge to help inspire similar thought this century.
Thomas Paine deserves mention for a variety of reasons. Some say he was the first person to refer to a "United States of America". But the vision of this profound political, social and economic thinker was not confined to only one side of the Atlantic. In 1791, Thomas Paine wrote the first part of ‘Rights of Man’, a defence of the French Revolution. In 1792, he published part two, the same year that France declared herself a Republic. ‘Right of Man’ is important because not only did it reflect and anchor much of the visionary thought of the time, it voiced too the vision of some form of European entity. The following passage is taken from his Conclusion to the first part of ‘Rights of Man’:
From what we now see, nothing of reform in the political world ought to be held improbable. It is an age of Revolutions, in which everything may be looked for. The intrigue of Courts, by which the system of war is kept up, may provoke a confederation of Nations to abolish it; and an European Congress to patronize the progress of free Government, and promote the civilisation of Nations with each other, is an event nearer in probability than once were the Revolutions and Alliance of France and America.
Visionary thinking for the times, twenty-three years before the first Congress actually met, yet he went much further in expressing his vision in an essay entitled ‘Of Constitutions’ which appeared in part two of ‘Rights of Man’:
For what we can foresee, all Europe may form but one great Republic ...
In his later book, ‘The Age of Reason’, much of which was written whilst he was held in jail in France, Paine wrote:
There are two distinct classes of thoughts: those produced by reflection, and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord. I have always made it a rule to treat these voluntary visitors with civility, and it is from them I have acquired all the knowledge I have.
The theosophist, W. Q. Judge, who quotes this passage in an article written in 1883, contends that "these ‘voluntary visitors’ were injected into his brain by the Adepts". This is supported by comments in the book ‘Letters to a Disciple’, by Eugene Milne Cosgrove, in which it is stated that Paine was a messenger of "the Hierarchical agent for the New World".
Another passage from ‘The Age of Reason’ in which Paine describes one of his earlier experiences, is again quoted by W. Q. Judge. Paine writes:
I saw, or at least I thought I saw a vast scene opening itself to the world in the affairs of America; and it appeared to me that unless the Americans changed the plan they were then pursuing and declared themselves independent, they would not only involve themselves in a multiplicity of new difficulties, but shut out the prospect that was then offering itself to mankind through their means.
The American Declaration of Independence gave inspiration to those in France who were themselves awakening to the new ideas that were precipitating into human consciousness. Powerful ideas were being anchored in human minds and hearts. The founding father of the United States of America provided a powerful group focus for the new energies, ideas and vision entering human consciousness. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who later wrote in his essay entitled ‘Circles’:
Beware when the great God let’s loose a thinker on this planet. Then all things are at risk ... The very hopes of man, the thoughts of his heart, the religion of nations, the manners and morals of mankind, are all at the mercy of a new generalization.
"Generalization", he goes on to say, "is always a new influx of the divinity into the mind". Then, as now, great thinkers were shaking the established order, pioneering a "new order of ages".
The French were not the only people to respond to the fresh light being released upon the human condition following the American Declaration of Independence. It also inspired much radical and visionary thought in England which was also close to revolutionary change. A sense of process emerges. The idea of revolutionary change through popular uprising affected many countries in Europe during the 19th century. It rippled across Europe on into the 19th century. The vision of freedom and brotherhood was flowing into receptive minds in Europe. This vision has been carried through to this century. Paine is attributed as having said, "A share in two revolutions is living to some purpose". It might so easily have been a share in three, and who knows what the political map of Europe might than have been. Much can still be gained from a re-reading of Paine’s original visionary thought to gain some insight into the direction the energies of the times were intended to take. One might then measure these against the achievements of today and decide whether we are now ready for fresh vision, or whether in fact we are still working to make real a vision from the past.
It seems there are threads running through time and space linking the period around the turn of the eighteenth century to the early and middle part of the twentieth century. It is thought-provoking to reflect on parallels between these two periods so far as Europe is concerned. The most obvious is the fact that war raged across Europe and it was as part of the solution towards avoiding such conflict in future that tendencies towards co-operation began to emerge. The vision of some form of united Europe was born of war and a yearning to build an era of lasting peace. Two centuries ago Napoleon had swept across Europe. This century it was Hitler. Both effected a change in outlook and inspired recognition of the need for some form of common security.
Both eras were also times of revolutionary thought and action. The settled order was being disturbed, unable to contain or adequately reflect the new life sweeping into people’s minds and hearts. Looking back it is as though a destructive path-clearing exercise was under way, allowing new and fresh thought and idealism to emerge. In Christian terms we might well say that new wine was shattering old bottles. There was a great deal of social and political ferment. The mass mind was awakening and the soil of European thought was under the plough, being prepared for sowing seeds of a new European order. Indeed, we can go further and say that principles were being anchored within the human mind that would prepare the way for a future world order. For the full realisation of this we are still working today.
20th Century Europe
The Vision of Jean Monnet
The main instigator and driving force behind the evolving European Community in this century was Jean Monnet. He wrote, and his words echo back to the thoughts of Thomas Paine, himself a visionary economic thinker:
There will be no peace in Europe if States are re-constructed on the basis of national sovereignty, with all that that implies in terms of prestige politics and economic protectionism ... Prosperity and vital social progress will remain elusive until the nations of Europe form a federation of a ‘European entity’ which will forge them into a single economic unit.
After the second world war Jean Monnet had the vision to see that there was no future in apportioning blame for the horrific war that had taken place. Rather he saw that the countries of Europe should combine to bring freedom and prosperity to their continent. "Let us combine our efforts and adapt to the new world situation", he urged. He knew this would take time, acknowledging that:
it had to be demonstrated — as it will for years to come — that national sovereignty withers when entrapped in the forms of the past. For it to be effective, in an expanding world, it needs to be transferred to higher spheres, where it can be merged with the sovereignty of others who are subject to the same pressure. In the process, no one loses: on the contrary, all gain new strength.
One of the charges made against the tendency towards European unification is that it will diminish national sovereignty and that therefore national interest will be relegated to second place behind Community interest. From the esoteric perspective, such a view is actually a strong argument for unification! In our interdependent world humanity can no longer afford national self-interest to dominate the world stage. The good of all is paramount. This is particularly true in both environmental and economic areas of human life. There has to be co-operation and a harmonising of relationships. The growing trend towards economic interdependence marks a very definite recognition of this fact. Two hundred years ago Thomas Paine knew that the world was economically bound together:
There can be no such thing as a nation flourishing alone in commerce; she can only participate; and the destruction of it in any part must necessarily affect all. When, therefore, governments are at war, the attack is made upon the common stock of commerce, and the consequence is the same as if each had attacked his own.
The sovereignty issue is interesting because it revolves around the idea of self-determination. It is not surprising that this issue has become such a dominant one because the will to self-determination flows via Leo, which has a major influence upon Europe. Sovereignty was destined to be a major issue in moves towards an envisioned unity of nations in Europe. Leo rules the personality of France, the personality of Berlin, the Soul of Italy and the personality of Rome. It rules, too, the Soul of London and, significantly, Geneva as a planetary centre. Geneva, interestingly enough, is the governing planetary centre for the nations and peoples of Europe, including Russia which itself has a personality ruled by Leo. In Leo the individual finds self-consciousness and learns to act out of his or her centre. It is the sign of individual identity. Some nations have an established national identity, others are somewhat young and therefore immature. The great challenge before the peoples of Europe has been first, to find their sense of national identity and then to attain a sense of European identification and solidarity that in a sense transcends, yet includes, national identity. In this respect, Europe may be seeking something greater than a mere unity of nations. Unification may be the present goal, but ahead lies a synthesis of peoples. This accords well with Jean Monnet’s vision of his work in Europe: "We are not forming coalitions between states, but union among peoples."
What eventual form European unification will take, we do not know, and we should not be too precise in our thinking. Unification is a process, and an ongoing one that will reach into many spheres of our individual and collective lives. But it is not just an outer process. Far more important is the inner process; the widening of our individual and collective spheres of identity. It will not simply be bureaucratic dictates that ensure a common European home and a sense of European identity. It requires a change of heart and mind, and a willingness to think and feel in wider terms. Not everyone finds this easy, or even natural. There are enormous obstacles of attitude and habitual thought and reaction to be overcome, but the signs are good. For more and more people the vision of a common European home is attractive because, quite simply, it makes sense. We should not underestimate the potency of common-sense, particularly when it becomes a mass experience.
The Principle of Solidarity
We are witnessing today the emergence of two things. At an individual level we are seeing the appearance of the European, on a collective level the emergence of a European entity. Writing earlier this century in a book entitled ‘Europe’, Count Hermann Keyserling described his view of the various nations and national grouping within Europe. He also explained what he regarded as significant in terms of the emergence of a European identity and the European entity. He suggested that "all previous attempts at the unification of Europe, such as those made more or less consciously by Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, and Napoleon, failed because the differences between the various European peoples meant more at that time than what they had in common". Differentiation is a vital factor in the evolution of peoples. At one time the clan or tribe meant more than the nation. Indeed, there are areas of the world today where tribal allegiance remains stronger than national allegiance. But the trend is ever towards greater ‘living unities’. "And one of these unities", writes Keyserling, "is Europe". He continues:
Europe is not created by the pan-European or any other movement. On the contrary, this movement, like every other movement of the same intent, is possible only because it represents a living and creative tendency. Europe is emerging as a unity because, faced at closer range by an overwhelming non-European humanity, the things that the Europeans have in common are becoming more significant than those that divide them, and thus new factors are beginning to predominate over the old ones in the common consciousness.
The idea that the movement towards European unity is being driven by "a living and creative tendency" brings us directly into the realms of esoteric thought. Creative energy is here seen to be moving in a certain direction. This brings to mind a sense of plan and purpose underlying the European experience. Outwardly, forms — which are essentially structured relationships — are taking shape to reflect or convey this subjective impulse. We might consider this "living and creative tendency" as the dynamic that is carrying the unfolding idea of Europe into expression. A case of "potencies produce precipitation", as the esotericist is fond of saying. As thought grows within the European mind of those things that are held in common, and thoughts of division diminish, a new order will emerge. We can regard this as testimony to the occult truth that "Energy follows and conforms itself to thought".
What Keyserling suggested was that each nation would discover its inherent uniqueness, it’s essential quality, which it would offer to the world for the common good. "The new age presents a synthesis of extreme universalism and of equally extreme particularism; it is in Europe that this will emerge with the greatest clarity", he wrote. Here we have a very definite condition of tension indicated, the challenge being to lift it on to a higher level. What he foresaw and hoped for was that the nations would realise their individualities and emerge as national entities from out of the collective that had gone before. Each nation might then realise its personal and spiritual qualities and cultivate the will to use them for the greater glory of God and His creation.
It is interesting to reflect at this point on the words of the great British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. He, too, had a vision of a united Europe and of the unique qualities each must bring to enrich the common good:
When the United States of Europe becomes a fact, each nation must have something to bring to the common stock of good. What we have to offer must derive essentially from our own life. It must not be a bad imitation of what other nations already do better.
Each nation has its distinct culture and talents, its unique way of going about its business. That which is good and positive, the expression of a nations heart and soul, must be preserved and allowed to flow into creative expression. As a result, a richness of diverse quality can be gathered within the unified condition. In this way each nation, through its people, experiences its inherent worth and gains a sense of participation in adding to the "common stock of good". No people may then feel left out or belittled. All can take pride in their unique contribution, knowing that what they are giving is truly of themselves. The ideal is that they give not for personal gain or aggrandisement, but for the greater good.
There is a danger, however, where a nation does not respond to this ideal. As a nations’ people become increasingly conscious of their uniqueness and individuality, a sense of superiority and separateness can develop. A kind of national self-consciousness manifests. The nation, through its people, gets in touch with its personal nature. This national personality can be extremely separative and assertive when not qualified by the radiance of the Soul. A nation, like an individual, can develop such a strong and dominant identification with its personal characteristics that it experiences superiority over others. It tries to dominate and assert itself at others expense. We saw this, during the Second World War. It seems that Keyserling did not expect this war to occur. Of the First World War he wrote: "it can never happen again, for by now these tensions are, in the last analysis, subject to the principle of solidarity and not to the principle of the struggle for existence".
The struggle for existence, coupled with desire for power and wealth, has governed so much of European history. Perhaps Keyserling was over optimistic for his time. His words, however, seem to ring true today in a Europe that is seeing the emergence of the principle of solidarity, and where a fresh motive can be seen shaping human destiny. It is interesting to see the dictionary definition of solidarity. In Webster’s we read: "Unity or communion of interests and responsibilities among nations or mankind in general." Let us hope that this principle of solidarity spreads across the world for today there are millions for whom the ‘struggle for existence’, both individually and collectively, is an all to stark and bitter reality.
Surely it is no chance that the peoples’ movement in Poland adopted the name ‘Solidarity’; a symbol and a reminder of our common humanity. During the 1980s the Solidarity movement in Poland brought a much needed ray of light into an oppressive darkness. Not only did it inspire people within the movement in Poland, but it also filled those who looked on with inspiration, evoking a spiritual will to freedom in other parts of Europe. The achievements in Poland were a signal to the peoples of Eastern Europe to find their voice in the cause of freedom and the service of the common good.
It is important for the peoples of Europe, as it is for humanity as a whole, that the "principle of solidarity" is allowed to manifest. As this principle works out, nations and societies will learn to respect their differences and to see beyond them so that they build upon their common humanity. They may then avoid the temptation to look for scapegoats when the experiment that is Europe today goes through difficult periods, as it surely will, and strengthen and support what is achieved rather than criticise without thought the failures and limitations that exist and that will continue to arise.
It will also be important to think of the trend towards unification in terms of process. In the words of Jean Monnet:
We want the community to be a gradual process of change. Attempting to predict the form it will finally take is therefore a contradiction in terms. Anticipating the outcome kills invention. It is only as we push onwards and upwards that we will discover new horizons.
The above words are timeless, applicable to any effort of self, group or national development. We have to be open-minded about the future. We set ourselves goals to be achieved by certain dates — degrees of unification, free trade etc — but these are stepping stones towards a kind of Europe that today may be completely unthought of. We don’t know what will happen or what will emerge from a pattern of right relationships between nations. A new role model may be established in Europe for the whole of humanity to follow, it’s keynote — solidarity.
Europe as a ‘whole’
The New Age thinker is fond of saying that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". As far as Europe is concerned, we are still only putting together the parts. What the "greater" element will be when unity is achieved we do not really know. The Europe of the future can become a centre of true culture and enlightenment and Soul-directed in its activities and relationships. It could provide a driving force within the human family to resolve global problems once and for all. Or, if national self-interest is transferred to international self-interest, then it could become a self-oriented power block. This would drain world resources, distort any possible pattern of right human relations on a international level and thus maintain a destructive, separative focus within the international community.
The Ageless Wisdom teachings are optimistic though. Alice Bailey writes in ‘Discipleship in the New Age’, Vol. I, page 161:
From the United States of America, the teachings must go out. But Europe is the field for the educating of the world in the ideas of the true world unity and for the wise presentation!of the Plan. From that continent can the inspiration go forth to the East and to the West.
To educate the world "in the idea of the true world unity" there is need for this idea to be lived before the eyes of the world as being workable. Europe has a responsibility to demonstrate the possibility of establishing unity within a greater whole than that of the nation state.
Another visionary thinker who needs mention, and whose visionary thought sheds light upon this matter, was Jan Christian Smuts. Smuts’ idea of holism earlier this century provided an anchor for many of the emerging ideas about the relationship between parts and wholes. Drawing on the insight and discoveries of the modern science of the day he wrote that:
If you take patterns as the ultimate structure of the world, if it is arrangements and not stuff that makes up the world, the new concept [of matter dissolving into energy] leads you to the concept of wholes. Science has come round to the view that the world consists of patterns, and I construe that to be that the world consists of wholes.
Smuts emphasised that for qualities of truth, goodness, beauty and value to have meaning they require patterns to be expressed through, and patterns imply the presence of relationship. The factor of relationship is seen to be incredibly important in this world-view, whether it is relationship within that whole that we call "family", "nation" or indeed "Europe". In terms of Europe we can see that it is going to be right relationship between peoples and nations, between the lesser wholes and the greater whole, that must emerge, if Europe is to educate the world in "the ideas of the true world unity" of which the Tibetan wrote. For a greater unity to be revealed in some measure, a lesser unity must be created, a seed pattern of a higher state or condition of being. Evolution can therefore be seen as a progression of wholes, a trend towards ever greater universality and inclusiveness.
Smuts spoke towards the end of the Second World War about the vision of the new Europe that was becoming increasingly alive in the minds of leading thinkers in many fields of activity. In a BBC programme that he called, "The Changing World Picture", he spoke of how the earlier rise of self-determination among the nations and peoples of Europe had led to a process of its breaking up into many national units, but that:
Now at last Europe is once more resuming the historic movement to greater unity, instead of furthering disruption. Both European security and European economic prosperity are dependent on closer European unity.
The need for a new structure to ensure economic recovery in Europe was widely acknowledged. Of the creation of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation and the Marshall Aid plan Smuts said, "Nothing finer has been done in the history of human solidarity".
Not only were security and economic considerations fuelling moves towards some form of European unity. There was a growing political movement in this direction too, and one of it’s foremost advocates was Winston Churchill. This movement, said Smuts, "aims at a more ambitious and enduring union of European democracies, which in the long run will build up a United Europe, or United States of Europe ...".
Ray and Zodiacal Influence in Europe
Earlier it was stressed how the tendencies towards unification and cooperation have ever been born of war and conflict. 200 years ago it was the French army invading much of Europe. This century it was the German army. This is interesting because the moves towards the creation of some form of European economic community, earlier this century, was really inaugurated through agreements between France and Germany, in particular concerning the establishment of a Coal and Steel Community that encompassed both French and German production. It is as though national dharma was involved with these two great nations ‘duty-bound’ to play a major role in initiating constructive moves towards unification. From its inception, the European Community was founded upon economic considerations.
It is interesting to note that the Treaty of Paris which detailed the structures and powers of the institutions created, was signed under the influence of Aries, the sign of new beginnings. The Treaty of Rome was also signed in Aries, in 1957, when the European Community was founded between Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This Treaty has been described as embodying "one of the greatest visions of all time". It is fascinating to observe how such key initiating moments were aligned with zodiacal influence. The Treaty began with the words:
Determined to lay the foundations of an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe,
Resolved to ensure the economic and social progress of their countries by common action to eliminate the barriers which divide Europe.
This was the visionary goal before the Community at its beginning some 35 years ago and towards realising this vision it continues to strive. Let us turn now to the Ageless Wisdom and consider some of the ways in which the Rays may have influenced Europe as we see it developing at this time.
A main element of the writings of Alice A. Bailey concerns the nature and significance of the seven Rays. These are described as "embodiments of seven types of force which demonstrate as the seven qualities of Deity". Each Ray energy uniquely expresses an essential quality of Life. These qualities interact and interweave to generate the rich tapestry of expression through form and consciousness that we see in the world. All that has been created expresses Ray quality, whether we are speaking of the individual human being, a kingdom in nature or the nations of the world. The following names, given to the seven Rays are, in the words of Alice A. Bailey, "simply some chosen from among many". Each conveys the note of the Ray energy and yet we should beware of letting these names limit our understanding of their nature.
1. The Ray of Will, or Power.
2. The Ray of Love-Wisdom.
3. The Ray of Activity or Adaptability.
4. The Ray of Harmony, Beauty, Art, or Unity.
5. The Ray of Concrete Knowledge or Science.
6. The Ray of Abstract Idealism or Devotion.
7. The Ray of Ceremonial Magic, or Law.
These Ray energies qualify human expression, indeed they condition all forms of expression. They are said to cycle in and out of manifestation at different times, and when in manifestation they serve to stimulate certain forms of expression. The Ageless Wisdom teachings tell us that the various aspects of ourselves — our physical, emotional and mental bodies; our personalities and Souls — are each conditioned by Ray influence. They provide us with distinctive qualities that work out through those particular aspects of ourselves. Individual people, groups, nations and humanity as a whole are conditioned by Ray energies. We might therefore gain from a consideration of some of the ways in which these Ray energies may have contributed to the shaping of Europe.
Throughout history Europe has been ravaged by conflict as each nation, either individually or in alliance, sought to establish its authority and expand its territory. The "intrigue of Courts", which Thomas Paine wrote of, led to a seemingly continuous conflict in one form or another. From conflict to an often tense peace, and then back into conflict seems to sum up much of the European experience. Yet simultaneously, there has been a very definite sense of beauty within European culture and an appreciation of quality and the finer things in life. Whilst nations squabbled, individuals have expressed beauty in many diverse forms: architecture, literature, painting, music are only some of the forms in which the culture of beauty has been made manifest within the European civilisation. This might suggest that the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict and of Beauty may be a major conditioning factor for Europe.
The Third and Seventh Rays are also major influences on the life and destiny of Europe. There is, first of all, the tremendous focus upon economic interplay at the heart of European interdependence. With this both Rays are concerned. There is also the fact that the Master Rakoczi, the Regent of Europe, is on the line of the seventh Ray, though he now has the responsibility of Mahachoan, the Lord of Civilisation, focusing the third Ray which is the synthesis of the minor Rays. There can be little doubt that senior disciples and initiates from his Ashram are involved in the changes in Europe today. And there can be little doubt, too, in the light of developments in recent months, that attention is being given by Hierarchy to the emerging new Europe. Needed energies will be released and only time will tell if we in Europe are able to respond and use these energies to good and positive effect in line with Hierarchical Planning and Purpose. One thing is for sure, spiritual impulse is reaching the minds and hearts alike of leaders and of the people they represent. When there is such a unity of vision, when both aspects of the national and international community harmonise in this way, a great deal can be achieved in a very short space of time.
Returning to the consideration of specific Ray influences in Europe, it is worth noting how so often in esotericism apparently minor factors can prove significant when seeking a deeper understanding. An instance of this may be in the fact that the first agreement between France and Germany concerned the mineral kingdom, an expression of seventh Ray energy. It may seem small, yet the esotericist recognises the play of correspondences in life. There does appear to be a case for Europe to be governed by a fourth Ray Soul and a seventh Ray personality. This, though, is extremely speculative and there will be many other viewpoints. The suggestion is made to stimulate thought and discussion about other possibilities as much as anything else. The complicated and devious European bureaucracy, and the history of intrigue, could well reflect the lower expression of third Ray energy.
We can see, too, the influence of third and seventh Ray energy working out through the strong focus in Europe upon money and finance, and the way money economic interplay is being utilised to draw the nations into a closer relationship. It is interesting to note the following ‘prophecy’ of Keyserling, in ‘Creative Understanding’:
... the peaceful unification of Europe will ultimately be the result not of a vote of idealists, but of the association of economic interests for far reaching egotistic purposes.
We cannot and should not overlook this perspective. There exist economic forces in Europe that will simply strive to exploit the free market economy for selfish gain. These ‘egotistical purposes’ will be powerful factors in shaping the post 1992 European Economic Community, just as they have been in recent decades and their power may well grow and pose a very real threat to European unity. This may be less of a nationally based threat as national economies become part of a much wider economic process. The creation of the European Monetary System is an important element in this process. Some degree of economic unity and interdependence among the nations of Europe will help to break down the whole ethos of the national economy. The problem will probably lie with the activities of certain independent, multi-national corporations and financial institutions. There will be vital need to offset exploitative activity within the European market through binding codes of ethical practise. The temptation of economic exploitation will provide a major test for the highest ideals of Europeanism. The Ageless Wisdom tells us quite clearly and directly, that "the love of money is the root of all evil". If the European Economic Community is ever to achieve the true ideal expressed in its name, love of money must be strangled out of the system.
How might we regard the contentious issue of a single currency in Europe from the angle of the Soul of Europe? Money has been described as "the medium of loving distribution". However, for this to be made manifest it requires a great deal more selflessness than we see today. There are going to be enormous difficulties in bringing national economies together and questions of sovereignty arise and concern over democratic control over the economic life of Europe. But let us put these technicalities aside and try to think of money as being simply a concretised expression of energy. Money energy flows throughout the planet, though not by any means evenly. It’s flow is disturbed by human selfishness. Some countries attract more money, their economies grow which in turn suck in more money. Others are drained of their money energy. The presence of different currencies leads to speculation and the increase in the phenomena of making money simply by moving it around from currency to currency.
A single currency in Europe would be a large step towards ending this latter phenomena within Europe and may perhaps provide a forerunner of a future single world currency. Ideally, a central bank in Europe would be able to control the flow of money within the community, ensuring that there is an equitable distribution according to need. This may seem thoroughly idealistic. Perhaps it is. But given the appropriate human attitudes, and a truly European identity, such a mechanism could be used to serve the common good in a way that our at present fragmented economies are unable to. There will be accusations of "pie in the sky". Why? Because it contains elements that at present are literally unthinkable for many people today. But one of the great adventures in life is steering the unthinkable to the point at which it becomes thinkable. The re-unification of Germany within five years was unthinkable five years ago. There is huge scope for esoteric service by giving constructive thought to the idea of a common European currency and unified economy. As the idea waxes in potency, so too will its attractiveness. It will continue to draw individuals skilled in economics who will rise to the challenge of thinking through ways of applying this vision in practical terms.
Given wise direction, and if self-centred market forces can be controlled and eventually offset by more inclusive economic planning, we may see a new pattern of economic interplay emerge within Europe. But such a pattern, in which people and the environment are seen as crucial elements in the economic equation, will only be born out of an established European identity which itself will be qualified by increasing sensitivity to the needs of human beings throughout the world.
The esotericist will not be surprised that much of the trend towards European unification has been focused through economic activities such as finance, trade and agriculture. There is a strong third aspect element in the way the community has been developing. It has been very matter oriented, leading to the creation of something of the original vision of an economic community. However, if it is to evolve further and closer to its ideal, it will need to move into a period of emphasis upon the second aspect — values, qualities, relationships — the emergence of Soul into the forefront of the unifying impulse. Of this there is growing evidence in the many social initiatives being formulated in Europe and directives that concern relationship — between individuals and peoples, and with the environment. This is a sign of great hope and may well lead to a great shifting of emphasis in the years ahead. It also provides a focus for the esoteric thinker who wishes to strengthen and support the new ideas that need to emerge into the forefront of concern if the European Economic Community is to develop along wholesome lines.
There is another quality of Third Ray energy evidenced in the way that Europe has developed. One of the important factors in bringing the people’s of Europe closer together has been the development of communication in its many forms — radio, telephone and travel, for instance. Any ruler has needed an effective mechanism of communication to ensure that their power and control could be maintained. Those in power needed to know what was going on so as to be ready to confront trouble. They also needed to be able to ensure that they knew what there representatives were doing in their name.
During his time, Charlemagne set up an effective system of messengers linking his court with his representatives in the provinces. During the Middle Ages too, where there were few standing armies and often sovereign reliance upon the support of the nobles of the land, communication was vital. Today, where important collective decisions are required by the European Community, effective communication between national governments is a vital component in ensuring the maintenance of some measure of unity. Unfortunately, mechanisms of communication are open to abuse and manipulation for individual ends — whether in terms of the individual human being or the individual nation — and deviousness and manipulation are expressions of third Ray influence. This is a tendency that the community of Europe has to confront and rise above if it is to truly work harmoniously for the common good.
Other Ray energies are also involved in shaping Europe. Ray One is evident in the political nature of the Assembly. It is very possible that it is the governmental line that is esoterically drawing the UK closer into the community, however much she seems to distrust that which she cannot control and dominate herself. The first Ray governs the British personality. There can be a great tendency for this energy to be used for national self-interest. It can be a unifying energy, drawing groups together under firm leadership. It can also lead to isolation where it is not qualified to some extent by the softening and more inclusive influence of the second Ray. A major British problem with regard to closer integration into Europe is captured in the following description of the British in `The Problems of Humanity" (p. 20):
The British, as a whole, have been reactionary, over-cautious and conservative, slow to move, and apt to be satisfied with existing conditions, particularly if those conditions are strictly British.
One of the dominating themes of the struggle to achieve European unification is power — who holds it, how accountable will they be, how will it be used. These concerns are understandable. The primacy of European identity has not yet been established across the European Community. There remains distrust of others, of legislation being passed that may not be in a particular nations interest. But in essence there is a similarity here to a national government that makes a decision not in a certain regions interest. Economic decisions may hit one region more than another, as they may hit one country more than another. Hopefully, though, mechanisms will be established to give support and provide necessary investment. Again, this is idealistic, but there is nothing inherently wrong with idealism. It is basic to human nature, providing us with goals to aim for. It is surely of greatest benefit to set our idealistic vision in Europe as high as we can and seek to establish patterns of political and economic life that reflect that ideal. One of the higher expressions of first Ray energy is in statesmanship. This is a quality of leadership that stands above the squabbling of domestic politics.
Are there statesmen around today who will lead us towards European unification? I will leave the reader to decide this. What I will do, however, is provide the following definition of leadership, given by Field Marshal Montgomery:
The first characteristic of the leader we seek must be a deep, great, and genuine sincerity. The sincerity I mean is that type of which the man himself is not conscious — it is there naturally — he just cannot help being sincere.
Added to sincerity must be selflessness, by which I mean absolute devotion to the cause he serves with no thought of personal reward or aggrandisement.
Then comes the ability to dominate, and finally to master, the events which encompass him. Once he fails in this respect, his leadership becomes suspect — since he will lose the respect and confidence of those he leads.
He goes on to stress the importance of a "genuine interest in, and a real knowledge of, humanity". In the final analysis leaders lead people. They must therefore be in touch with what people think and feel, their hopes and concerns and be able to bridge between their own vision of what must be undertaken and the people who will bring that vision to fruition. This is what is needed in Europe today.
Returning to our consideration of Ray influences in Europe, the Community’s tendency to inclusiveness and to expansion indicates second Ray influence, as does the tremendously strong focus on human welfare and justice. The European Court of Justice being one example of the latter, as well as the more recently formulated Social Charter. To this the British second Ray Soul can contribute when her powerful personality allows it. The British, at heart, are not anti-social. As Alice Bailey writes, "they have led the way in welfare reforms, instituting such measures as the old-age pensions long before other nations did so". One of the first economic thinkers to formulate a system of pensions and welfare was Thomas Paine, interestingly enough, though he is seldom credited for this.
We can also see evidence of fifth Ray influence in the early founding of Euratom. At that time this energy was probably at its peak, though it has been gradually withdrawn towards the latter part of the century. This Ray might be considered generally less to the fore within Europe as a whole, but rather focused through certain nations such as France and Switzerland. Although Switzerland is not a member of the Community, she is very much central in the affairs of Europe. And with Geneva as the planetary centre for Europe she is a nation of great esoteric significance.
As far as the sixth Ray is concerned, there is little doubting the presence of idealism in Europe, both after the war, and today. Let us hope that this idealism and the devotion to the cause that is ‘Europe’ is anchored in a firm vision of right human relations between peoples, and not limited by narrow political or economic thought. Here there is a role for the esoteric thinker who can consciously direct sixth Ray energy towards strengthening the vision and ideal of some form of united Europe, with emphasis upon the liberating, egalitarian and fraternal principles that lie at its heart. Using this energy to strengthen idealism towards a Europe that is not internally oriented and working only for the benefit of member States, but is responsive to the needs of humanity as a whole, is important work during these years of change and transition. It is a time of great hope for new patterns to become firmly anchored in the European consciousness.
In ‘Esoteric Psychology’, Vol. I, we read that "the fourth Ray of Harmony or Art ... will begin before long to come into power again in its major aspect" and that it is to be found prominent in the destinies of Germany and Italy. The Tibetan describes how in these countries there has been "a process of breaking down, and of destruction of old forms, prior to an adequate responsiveness to the influence of the incoming ray". A similar situation might be postulated in relation to the seventh Ray too. This would suggest that Russia, with her seventh Ray Soul, might also be subject to a breaking down process prior to a fuller realisation of a fresh and more potent energy potential. Alice Bailey writes, again in ‘Esoteric Psychology’, Vol. I, that "it should be remembered that as with individuals, so with nations — the reaction to an increasing influence of the egoic ray is ever accompanied by a breaking down period, but this demonstration of destruction is but temporary and preparatory" (p. 384).
If Europe does have a fourth Ray Soul and seventh Ray personality, it is perhaps no wonder that she has passed through such destruction this century. New energies are clearly being released and today Europe shows signs of a truly positive response. The Ageless Wisdom tells us that the Ray energies cycle into manifestation in seven stages, each stage corresponding to a sub-ray of that Ray. Alice Bailey suggest that at present the following Ray energies are in and out of manifestation:
Ray 1 ... Not in manifestation
Ray 2 ... In manifestation since 1575 A.D.
Ray 3 ... In manifestation since 1425 A.D.
Ray 4 ... To come slowly into manifestation around 2025 A.D.
Ray 5 ... In manifestation since 1775 A.D.
Ray 6 ... Passing rapidly out of manifestation. Began to pass out in 1625 A.D.
Ray 7 ... In manifestation since 1675 A.D.
We are at present moving out of 2,000 years of 6th ray dominance and into a period — the Age of Aquarius — that will see the 7th Ray dominating human expression. As the 7th Ray influence began to cycle into manifestation, it was initially qualified by the first sub-ray of Will or Power. This energy serves, in the case of the 7th Ray, to heralds a breaking up of the order already existing. Perhaps we are beginning to witness some second sub-ray influence in Europe. Tendencies towards harmony and inclusiveness emerge between nation states, as well as a definite impulse towards rebuilding international relationships seem to reflect this. In this respect, the shifts of emphasis in both NATO and the Warsaw Pact are signs of great hope. They present evidence that harmony may now be the prevailing theme rather than the previous dominance of fear and preparation for conflict. Trust and understanding need to provide the foundations for the new structures of relationship and interplay across Europe. Second sub-ray influence is a constructive force and, with the growing vision of the Common European Home, let us hope that this energy will be wielded to good effect.
It is also not insignificant that Europe is conditioned by energies flowing through two of the five major planetary centres — London and Geneva. Both sound totally different notes yet perhaps together reveal much that is significant for the future of Europe. London, we read in ‘Destiny of the Nations’, is a focus for first Ray energy in it’s building aspect. This major centre’s motto is given as "I serve". London is essentially the planetary centre for the Commonwealth. But as the United Kingdom is drawn into ever closer co-operation with Europe, this building energy may be destined to be used to good effect closer to her shores. With Geneva’s motto, "I seek to fuse, to blend and serve", and the fact that it is a centre focusing the second Ray energy of Love-Wisdom, the Will and the needed energies to build an inclusive and unifying web of relationships across Europe seem to be available. The matter has been prepared, the bonding energies are available, the plans are being held in mind, and the Will can now be seen motivating the building work. Geneva is also the planetary centre influencing the USSR, so we should expect the true European identity to include both East and West. The so-called East-West divide is artificial with no basis in esoteric reality. (In her writings, Alice A. Bailey does not distinguish between the Russia and the USSR. She generally refers to Russia, however, in view of recent changes in the Soviet Union, the word USSR is here used throughout.)
As an entity Europe has for decades been divided upon itself. It’s potency has been sapped by the cleavage, but with it’s healing, new and potent energies will be, and are being, released into the European consciousness. And as the Eastern bloc is drawn closer into the European framework, we may see the deeper meaning of the USSR’s motto emerge more clearly, "I link two Ways". Recent developments in Eastern Europe suggest that the first sub-ray of the USSR’s Soul Ray, the seventh Ray of Ceremonial Order, has been directed to good and purposeful effect among Eastern bloc countries. Old political and economic patterns are being swept away. Much of this is probably linked to the double Taurus full moon in 1989 which may well have produced a potent inflow of first Ray energy. This galvanised a growing will to freedom. This inflowing energy of will needs, we know, to be qualified by Soul energy if danger is to be avoided. Alice Bailey writes in ‘The Rays and the Initiations’, and this is as relevant to the individual as it is to nations or to humanity as a whole, that:
"when the individual antahkarana has been successfully started, and there is even a tenuous thread of living energy connecting the three-fold personality and the spiritual Triad, then the inflow of the will-energy becomes possible. This, in the early stages, can be most dangerous when not offset by the love energy of the soul". (p. 471)
The Voice of the People
We saw the effects of this unqualified will energy in China in 1989 when it simply galvanised a potent and separative will-to-power, crushing the less potent will-to-freedom as it sought expression. We have witnessed similar reactions in Rumania too. The separative and ruthless element of the Aries personality of Rumania has been strengthened by this will-energy and she will find it difficult to bring her Leo Soul into constructive expression. The people have sought to assert their voice and will succeed in time, but it may be a long and bitter struggle.
Many leaders forget that a nation is it’s people. Dictatorial leaders and totalitarian regimes may impose their will on the people for a time, but they will eventually be drowned by the voice of the people. This is the sound of public opinion which, the Ageless Wisdom tells us, is the most potent force in the world. The greatest crime is to isolate a people so that they are unable to formulate their own informed opinions and therefore unable to find their voice. It removes self-determination and the ability of a people to manifest its will. In a sense, one might see a totalitarian nation as one that has been hijacked, forced into a new direction by the will of a handful of individuals rather than allowed to pursue its own self-determined path. Let us hope that we are today witnessing major steps towards the ending of totalitarianism, at least in Europe, and hopefully throughout the world.
We have witnessed how, in some of the countries of Eastern Europe, the voice of the people has been heard to good effect. Attention was earlier drawn to the Solidarity movement in Poland, the forerunner of the liberation movements that have emerged in much of eastern Europe. In ‘Destiny of the Nations’, we are given examples of the way that first Ray energy of Will or Power works out in the world. Alice A. Bailey writes:
The second way in which this dominant will impulse makes itself felt is through the voice of the masses of the people throughout the world. This will express itself through sound, as consciousness or love does through light. The sound of the nations has been heard as a mass sound for the first time. That voice is unmistakably expressive of the values which embody human betterment; it demands peace and understanding between men and it refuses — and will steadily refuse — to permit certain drastic things to happen. This "voice of the people", which is in reality the voice of public opinion is, for the first time and with no recognition of the fact, being determined by the Will of God.
This is a very important and, in a sense, astonishing statement. Yet in the light of events in Europe it does not seem unreasonable to suggest that the Will of God has been evoked in Europe and, in most instances directed, into constructive expression. How the nations who have recently liberated themselves from totalitarian domination will evolve in the future, only time will tell. Perhaps they will be wise enough to learn from their own bitter experiences of the past, and those of the West, and create new patterns of social and economic life. What evolves may provide a seed pattern for right human relations, not only for all the nations of Europe, but for humanity as a whole. When a nation has an opportunity to rebuild its internal relationships and institutions, the creative potential must attract Hierarchical attention. Perhaps some presently unseen quality or pattern of economic, social or political activity has yet to be introduced into the European consciousness that will enable it to become the ‘whole’ that is intended, and so more fully reflect a greater spirituality throughout its activity and expression. This extra ingredient may be the unique contribution of the Eastern bloc to the ‘New Europe’.
In another passage in ‘Destiny of the Nations’ we read of the significance of the London-Paris-Berlin triangle, "a triangle of force which conditions Europe most potently. It is between these three that the destiny of men in the immediate future lies ...". Though these words were written in the 1940s, this triangle remains significant to this day, and perhaps this triangle of energy is only now beginning to realise some of its creative potential for good, particularly as Berlin returns to being a whole city once more and therefore waxes in potency. Energy may now be able to flow more freely through this triangle. It is a triangle in which Leo figures strongly too, as ruler of the personality of Berlin, the Soul of London and the personality of France.
Clearly, the divided Europe that emerged after the war was not as the Hierarchy had anticipated. We know, from the Ageless Wisdom, that the Hierarchy cannot always anticipate how humanity will react to the release of energy or to what use it will put that energy. Humanity chose to take a path deeper into materialistic and separative living. Yet there were seeds for the future, as we have seen, with French-German co-operation lying at the heart of the birth of the EEC. It is therefore interesting to read in ‘Destiny of the Nations’, how these two nations are interacting:
The Piscean soul of France and the Piscean personality of Germany must eventually come to terms and it is obvious, is it not, that the real solution lies in the hands of France, which must let its soul control? ... Berlin is controlled by Leo from the personality angle, and there again comes out the relationship between the two countries. They are both powerfully influenced by this sign of self-interest and of individuality as well as by Pisces. They cannot escape this relation.
With this interplay in mind, and recollecting what Alice A. Bailey said about the London-Paris- Berlin triangle, we might suggest that Great Britain, through her rulership by Gemini, can understand and appreciate the difficulties in the relationship between the French Soul and the German personality. Gemini is a dual sign with its keynote, from the angle of the Soul: "I recognise my other self and in the waning of that self I grow and glow". As Great Britain responds more fully to her Soul she will be able, esoterically, to help France and Germany to overcome their differences, as well as both stimulate the Soul of France and support Germany as she breaks free of her dominant Leo personality. This process is already underway and now that Berlin is once more becoming whole, perhaps energies focused through this triangle will flow more freely to shape the destiny of Europe.
Leo-Aquarius in Europe
In ‘Esoteric Astrology’ Alice A. Bailey emphasises the importance of the interaction between opposite signs of the zodiac. Both in Europe and throughout the West the interaction between Leo and Aquarius seems crucial to the future. We have seen some of the areas of influence of Leo. It’s opposite, Aquarius, rules the Soul of the USA, the Soul of the USSR, the personality of Moscow. In the USSR in particular there seems to be a microcosm of the greater interaction of energies taking place as she strives to evoke her Soul, ruled by Aquarius, to govern her Leo personality. Aquarius, we know, is ever the sign of the world server; Leo, for the unevolved personality, the sign of self-will.
The interaction between zodiacal opposites is wonderfully expressed in the case of the USSR. Alice A. Bailey describes the interaction for ordinary humanity and for disciples and initiates. Compare those for Leo-Aquarius in light of the experience of the USSR:
For ordinary humanity: "The individual seeks full expression and arrives at the point where he uses his environment for purely individual ends. He dominates his fellowmen for entirely personal objectives. The isolated individual becomes the group ruler or dictator."
For the disciple and initiate: "Personality interests as an expression of the individual are submerged in the good of the whole. Selfish individual man becomes the world server."
The challenge before the USSR and her people, as it is for humanity as a whole, lies in allowing self-consciousness to emerge whilst, at the same time, re-orienting this potent self-will towards serving the good of the whole. We must also ask whether the emerging self-will of the European Community will be allowed to become limited to its own well being, or opened to serve the whole of humanity? In other words, will "decisions be based upon the good of the whole, or the good of a part of the whole", as Alice A. Bailey describes it? A wider, more inclusive and universal identification is needed. Alice A. Bailey writes, in ‘The Problems of Humanity’, that "the USSR inherently stands for a new world consciousness, and through her means, a new planetary expression will gradually be wrought out in the fire of experiment and experience". (p. 23)
The nature of this experiment may have changed since those words were written back in the 1940s. However, it is recognised by many esoteric thinkers that the USSR holds the seed of spiritual revelation and only time will tell how, when and in what form this revelation will emerge, if it isn’t already occurring in the political arena and the reshaping of international relations. Bearing in mind the thought that Europe is "the field for the educating of the world in the ideas of the true world unity and for the wise presentation of the Plan", the growing Soviet interaction with Europe may be seen as holding much promise for the future. As Mikhail Gorbachev has written,
There is no doubt that all European peoples without exception favour an atmosphere of neighbourliness and trust, co-existence and cooperation on the continent. This would be a triumph for the new political thinking in the full sense of the word. Europe can set a worthy example. The world currently stands at a crossroads, and which direction it will pursue depends largely on Europe’s political position.
No one can replace Europe with its vast possibilities and experience either in world politics or in world development. Europe can and must play a constructive, innovative and positive role.
Raising the quality of European life
Certain countries can be seen to be reflecting a more inclusive and universal vision that others. One such country in Europe is Holland. Like most countries, she has her problems, but it is interesting that Taylor Nelson Research in the UK has found that Holland has the greatest number of inner-directed people. She may be quietly anchoring vital and potent energies in Europe through her awakening Aquarian Soul. She is certainly at the forefront of action in response to environmental concern, contributing thereby to raising the quality of European life.
However, it is important to acknowledge that each of the nations of Europe has its own unique qualities to contribute to European life, whether they have been realised, or remain somewhat dormant. Each nation has much that is positive to contribute to the evolving community of nations. Ray influence indicates the qualities available that can help to make Europe a leading light in world culture.
There is France with her fifth Ray Soul and third Ray personality. If her brilliant mind can be opened to the light of the Soul and directed towards revealing that which is for the good of the whole and negate her tendencies towards self-interest and manipulation, she will bring much needed illumination into the European mind, and to the collective mind of humanity. Her unique Ray make-up means that she is well suited to pursue scientific lines of enquiry and investigation, and to bring forth new discoveries as a contribution to the enrichment of human life. And it is worth remembering that Alice A. Bailey has suggested that from France would come "a great psychological or soul revelation which will bring revelation to world thought" and he added that "if the true Piscean element can be drawn forth and the selfishness and the self-protective interests of the French can be offset, France then stands free some day to lead the world spiritually ..." The latter can only happen "when the personality ray is subordinated to the soul ray and Leo can respond to the Aquarian influence in the coming new era when Aquarius is dominant". (Destiny of the Nations, p. 73). France, like the USSR, has experienced the effects of a Leo-governed personality obstructing the flow of Soul energy. Perhaps the growing Soviet response to Aquarian influence will evoke the Soul of France into fuller, outer expression.
The way that Germany has sought to heal her East-West division reveals that she too has so much that is good to offer. The will energy that ensured the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the liberation of the people of East Germany could have intensified her first Ray personality. However, it seems probable that the love and the genuine goodwill between her people, both East and West, will ensure that this energy is not misused or misapplied for selfish ends. Of course, Germany is still mistrusted, particularly by the USSR, and this is understandable but, as this fear diminishes and a united Germany becomes wholly integrated into the new Europe, then vast creative potential will be released. As the fourth Ray cycles back in to manifestation, her Soul may well flourish and her rich heritage of philosophical thought and musical composition once again emerge into prominence. Germany may then again be a centre of culture at the heart of Europe.
Spain and Italy both bring the Ray of Idealism into the Community, an energy that will be needed to hold the vision of a united Europe before her peoples. Let us not forget what Italy has, and will, contribute to the world of beauty and art. And perhaps, in time, the Scandinavian countries will formally join with Denmark in membership of the Community. Whether they do or not, they are a vital part of Europe, steeped in mythic tradition, deeply spiritual and sounding their own unique note of balance.
A note of balance
This note of balance, in particular, might be seen as quite a major factor in the further evolution of Europe for we know from the Ageless Wisdom teachings, that:
In this transition period through which the world is now passing and in this interlude between two activities — that of the Piscean Age which is passing and that of Aquarius which is coming in — Libra will eventually rule, and the end of this century will see Libra steadily coming into pronounced control and into a position of power in the planetary horoscope.
Libra is the sign of balance and governs the pairs of opposites. It also "indicates the will-to-express — in perfected proportion and harmony — both the life of the spirit and the potency of matter". (Esoteric Astrology, p. 632)
Libra also rules the relation between East and West, and it is not unreasonable to suggest that strong Libran influence is affecting the developing fusion of the Eastern and Western European ‘opposites’! Europe also lies at the heart of that greater pair of opposites — the Cold War opposites of "East" and "West" that has so divided humanity in this century. Through the period since the war, the stress laid upon maintaining ‘military balance’, in particular, has lived within the European mind. Yet this was a balance designed to separate. It was, therefore, a definitely uneasy balance.
Today we see a balance that is of a very different nature, a balance that brings together in what we hope will be increasing harmony. Europe could be seen as a fulcrum which, during the height of the Cold War, was sharply pointed. Thus the East/West balance, though maintained, was far from steady. Europe was experiencing, perhaps, the keynote of the personality in Gemini, "Let instability do its work"! Now, with the far-reaching changes taking place in East/West relations, it is as though the point of the fulcrum is flattening out and spreading outwards from the centre. The whole structure becomes more stable as a result, making it increasingly difficult for either extreme to re-establish imbalance in the relationship. There is simply too much middle ground. As Keyserling stressed, "the things which the Europeans have in common are becoming more significant than those which divide them ...". The "moving from suspicion and hostility to confidence, from a ‘balance of fear’ to a balance of reason and goodwill, from narrow nationalist egoism to co-operation" which has been urged by Mikhail Gorbachev certainly seems to be occurring now in Europe at least, and we must hope it will spread throughout the world.
In 1985 in Moscow, Francois Mitterand expressed the idea that:
It is necessary that Europe should really become the main protagonist of its own history once again so that it can play in full measure its role of a factor for equilibrium and stability in international affairs.
Europe is slowly beginning, in the words of the keynote or the Soul in Libra, to "choose the way that leads between the two great lines of force". it is incidently intriguing to note that the date set for the re-unification of Germany is the 3rd of October 1990. This is the day before the Libra full moon. It will be interesting in the future to look back on this date and see which energies were released in new and greater potency for the future shaping of Europe. From the angle of discipleship, Libra is ruled by Uranus, focusing 7th Ray energy of Ceremonial Order. This Ray energy is coming into increasing influence and perhaps we may see this magnified. It will be interesting to see if the ideal of a new European order is fired into greater potency within European hearts and minds from around that time onwards.
Europe today is clearly coming under potent Libran influence, as is humanity as a whole. From this we can see one way in which Europe is helping to educate the world "in the ideas of the true world unity" of which Alice A. Bailey wrote. Libran influence, stimulating the achievement of balance in relationships, seems to be a key factor in this process. The growth of European law is an expression of the legislative aspect of Libran influence. Earlier on we touched upon how the process of balancing power between nations necessitated the evolution of diplomatic rules which in time evolved into international laws. The European Court of Justice, which is accessible to both individuals and member states, is a powerful institution. As an independent court it seeks to ensure compliance with Community rules. Member states are obliged to bow to its rulings and if necessary, amend their own legislation and internal practices so that they are brought into line with Community law. The petitions that are received from individuals, in particular, have enabled case-law to develop and have provided opportunity for interpretations of the Treaty of Rome. One effect of this has been to force through greater harmonisation between national laws. It is particularly significant to note that the Court has established a strong tradition for the upholding of human rights. The European Court of Justice has been a vitally important development in the creation of acceptable and workable mechanisms to ensure justice for all. In search of justice people can now look beyond their own national boundaries, beyond the sometimes limited nature of national laws governed, as they often are, by national prejudice and historical precedent.
The sign Libra governs the reversal of the zodiacal wheel. During this century we have witnessed humanity striving to bring about this reversal under Hierarchical inspiration, stimulating the latent will-to-good at the heart of humanity. The keynote of Libra from the personal angle is: "Let choice be made." The peoples of Eastern Europe are today making their choice and are coming down firmly on the side of freedom. A study of esoteric astrology and the Ray influences that dominate the human condition today can cast a light of understanding upon the present situation in Europe. It is then for the esoteric server to discover how he or she can co-operate with these energies to serve the Hierarchical plan for Europe.
There is certainly much to reflect upon in order to gain a clearer esoteric understanding of the process of change sweeping Europe and to what it may be leading. Each nation has a part to play and we must seek to find what we can contribute to evoke the Soul of Europe. It may be that the major Ray influences have still to emerge with clarity. As an entity, the new Europe is still very much in its infancy, though she is growing up fast. What we know is that some form of European Community is with us and is rapidly taking form. Where it will lead we do not know. Whether it will become a potent force for good in the world, only time will tell. What we do know is that it contains the seeds of some tremendous opportunities in bridging between peoples and in providing them with a path towards a wider identification.
For the esoteric thinker, it is perhaps significant that the European Community is administered through three centres: Brussels, Strasbourg and The Hague. Could the presence of such a triangular energy relationship be a symbol of the Communities founding and if its future potential? The triangle is regarded by esotericists as symbolising the Soul, and its presence denotes the potential for the release and distribution of Soul energy. It is certainly intriguing to find this triangular relationship at the administrative heart of the European Community. The triangle is regarded by the esotericist as the symbol of the Soul. We read that Brussels has a personality ruled by Capricorn, denoting age and experience. Her Soul is ruled by Gemini which holds the key to the waning of her perhaps crystallising personality and the waxing of Soul light. Can this triangle be flooded with this light? What role does Great Britain’s Gemini Soul have in relation to Brussels? It certainly seems to indicate the inevitability of Great Britain’s involvement and relationship with Europe. And perhaps it is the Soul of Great Britain, ruled by Gemini, that will esoterically stimulate the Soul of Brussels as a focus for spiritual impulse within Europe?
It is intriguing to note that like the USSR, Belgium is ruled by a pair of opposite zodiacal signs, Sagittarius the Soul ruler, Gemini ruling the personality. This, too, is a most interesting pairing, indicating both the potential of fusing Soul and personality whilst also containing an overriding sense of direction and of one pointedness towards a future goal — the goal of initiation. From the angle of ordinary humanity we can see a hint of the possible dangerous of an integrated but extremely personality dominated Europe:
Fluid interplay and instability leads to personality focus and determination. The man is one-pointedly devoted to personality achievement. The threefold lower nature, synthesised and directed, controls all activity.
Of this Europe should beware, for it would be that very situation, earlier alluded to, in which Europe would become a self-centred power bloc upsetting global balance and making the establishment of global right human relations increasingly difficult. It might also be seen as a threat to the strong note of citizenry and of freedom, of democracy and justice for all within Europe. By way of response to this latter concern, another passage from the booklet ‘A Human Face for Europe’ suggests that the institutions and programmes established by the Community are "more than mere trappings of citizenship" It goes on to outline some of the challenges that this evolving citizenry faces:
Will it be able to stand up to power? Will it be inventive and questioning enough to hold in check the technocratic temptations which the Community will inevitably face?
Let us hope that, as this EEC publication goes on to suggest:
With the democratic traditions of the peoples of Europe we can undoubtedly look to the future with confidence: they will not be content with a gimcrack citizenship limited to a few small areas. Where freedoms are threatened, bonds of brotherhood broken or discrimination introduced, they will band together and raise their voices in defence of human rights.
So it has been in the past. Let us hope it continues into the future.
From the angle of discipleship the interplay between Gemini and Sagittarius is described by Alice A. Bailey in the following words:
The result of this related pair of opposites is that there is one-pointed soul effort, spiritually directed activity and a demonstrated readiness for initiation. There is the waning of the power of form and the waxing of the life of the soul.
That this latter condition should be achieved, not just in Belgium, but in Europe as a whole, will be uppermost in the thinking of the esoteric server. The added influence of Brussels’ Gemini Soul can only enhance the scope for a spiritually enlightened unity amongst the peoples of Europe, once this higher vision can be registered in the European mind. We know that "without vision, the people perish", but today there is fresh vision alive in the minds of the people of Europe, a fresh goal to be achieved. Progress towards European unity has been a step by step approach, a citizens march, we might say, towards freedom, justice and peace for all. It brings to mind the keynote of the Soul in Sagittarius, "I see the goal. I reach that goal and then I see another". It may all have seemed impossible when the Hierarchical Plan for Europe first began to make impression upon visionary minds. But as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "The world advances by impossibilities achieved".
Interestingly, too, there is a direct connection between Gemini and Libra. The Ageless Wisdom tells us that the keynote for the influence of Gemini upon the individual taking form is "Gemini moves towards Libra", and for Libra it is, "Libra relates the two in Gemini". So the growing influence of Libra, mentioned earlier, may also have deep significance for those nations and national centres in Europe that are themselves ruled by Gemini.
Returning back to the triangle at the heart of the European Community, the evolution of the European parliament in Strasbourg has also moved on to a new dimension of credibility after the first direct elections back in June of 1979. The presence of a strong democratic process is a vital component in ensuring representation of the people, rather than an overdominant bureaucracy issuing directive with little or no accountability. The democratic process will no doubt improve in time, and though it has imperfections, nevertheless it lays a solid foundation for the future political base of a United Europe.
Symbols of unity
We must also consider the Community flag — a five pointed star for each nation positioned to form a circle. Is this a symbol, again, of future possibilities, each nation evolving into five-fold being standing in equal partnership to form a living whole? The stars are set against a blue background — Souls standing within an ocean of love? Flags are potent symbols, they are never chance creations. They are an expression of force and energy, a symbolic expression of the soul of the people. Alice A. Bailey tells us in’`Discipleship in the New Age’, Vol. II, that "flags are symbols of the devotion of a people to their national soil and to their national spiritual objectives. They have of course been prostituted to signify national separateness and national patriotism, but behind the flag is a point of power which is the point of inspiration to the soul of the people". (p. 273) The twelve stars might be seen to reflect the keynote of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" too. Each star stands free and unattached, equal in size and shape, yet bound in fraternity to complete the circle that symbolises the whole. Individual identity and common identity are synthesised as one.
So we can see that a sense of community and equality is embedded in the Community flag, with each nation contributing its inherent and unfolding uniqueness (symbolised in the five-pointed star) to the creation of a greater whole (symbolised in the circle of stars). Many will also see that the twelve stars symbolise the twelve points of a lotus. Perhaps the fact of a community of twelve has been of major esoteric significance in the release of spiritual energy into the European consciousness. This release of spiritual energy may initially have the effect of stimulating national personalities. Later, perhaps, we will see the emergence of the souls of the nations to strengthen the bonds of unity. From this unity will emerge something quite new to enrich the life of humanity.
Another great symbol of greater European identity is the European Community passport, introduced in 1985. This passport, burgundy red and bearing the title ‘European Community’ along with the name and national emblem of the issuing Member State, has provided a vital token of European identity. Increasingly we can expect people, in the coming years, to think less of themselves as being first and foremost French, or German, or Spanish, but as being a European. This is not to imply that their sense of nationality will have been swamped by this wider identity, rather it will have been transformed.
What can be seen occurring in Europe, as within humanity, is a widening of the individual sphere of identity and of love. From love of self, through love of family, of community through to love of nation. Today in Europe, we see this love expanding still further towards a community of nations, with individuals gaining an identity beyond national limits. Sir Francis Younghusband, in his book, ‘The Living Universe’, traced the evolution of this love, and wrote about this evolution and expansion of individual love in the following terms:
... as this love of country grew and expanded the urgent desire would arise that his country should stand forth among the other countries of the world as inspired by a true esprit-de-corps for the whole community of nations. As a man’s country would expect of him that he should put the good of his country before his own interest, so would he feel the community of nations expecting of his country that she should pursue no exclusively selfish end, but should interest herself in the general welfare. (pp. 241-2)
Today, rather than focusing on the preservation of national interests where relationships with the European Community are concerned, perhaps our attitude should take more account of Younghusband’s vision. For unless we can become, in some measure, nationally self-forgetful, which will require much broader vision amongst a nation’s people, seeds of divisiveness will continue to be sown, obstructing the natural process of growth. We want the nations of Europe to stand apart and exclusive from one another no more than we want Europe as a whole to stand apart from the totality of humanity.
However, it is not nations, of course, that create divisions, but people who allow regimes that are conditioned by divisive and exclusive thinking to direct the national life. The other side of the coin is equally true, for it is people who create lines of communication, who generate a spirit of unity and the sense of solidarity earlier referred to. It is the creation of right human relations across political and geographical barriers that indicates the tendency towards unity. Younghusband described these contacts as "filaments thrown out from one country to the other by the individual members of each". And from these connections international associations emerge which draw people of common concern together. Throughout Europe such networks are forming, as they are throughout the world, bringing together people of goodwill who together provide a distinctly human basis for international co-operation. Individually and collectively we are moving closer towards a unity of spirit in Europe and towards the emergence of a unique ‘Europeanness’, which is the product of the emerging relationship and the unique qualities brought to it by each nation and each individual.
Returning to Count Hermann Keyserling, he did not suggest that the new Europe which he envisioned would be of the nature of a new nation or a new race. Rather, he suggested that what would emerge would be a new unity of style, style seen as a unique expression of the spirit of Europe. "Style", he writes, "makes the nation as it does the individual". This style flows out of and into expression from the collective consciousness, the emerging psychology of the European. The European, he says, is not the ideal man, "but on the other hand he is more than any previous inhabitant of Europe because he is of wider scope". Perhaps the secret of the flag is hinted at in his answer to the question, "Under what conditions will the European become a higher being than any previous native of our part of the earth?" His reply was, "when every nation, as a special and separate entity, has learnt to confirm every other nation as the complement to itself within the framework of Europe". And he continues:
Then, and only then, will the idea of competition in the same fields of achievement ... yield place to a new division of labour among the nations. For then only will the psychological premises of that division of labour become an organic reality, a molecular transposition of the self- consciousness such that the emphasis of the love toward ones own people shall rest on those things which the people alone can accomplish, or can accomplish better than any other. This will of its own accord transform what until now was the principle of vanity, of envy, of backwardness, the static principle, into a forward-looking principle; every one will then recognise his own nation to be what it has always been to the great man: his task. Then, as every national representative will feel, the proper thing will be to make of every nation the best, the very best, which its possibilities permit. And that no longer for the sake of exclusiveness or self-glorification, but for the sake of a higher unity — not at the expense of the others, but for the best interests of all. When this has been done, the national consciousness which has existed hitherto will have been transcended from within.
There can be little doubt that 1992 will mean great change in Europe and immense opportunity to expand human identity and establish right human relations across a wide range of nationalities. It will mean, in the words of Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities, "an economic area where all barriers have been removed and the principles of solidarity are applied ... it is one of the main driving forces that will take us on to European Union".
We have seen how the idea of a united Europe has inspired thinkers over recent centuries and they way that it has emerged into tangible form during the latter half of the twentieth century. Who are the visionary thinkers who are today in touch with this vision and carrying it into the European arena? Certainly many European leaders are responding to the idea of a united Europe. Yet perhaps now is the time for the idea to expand across the whole of Europe, East and West, to encompass the whole of Europe in its working out. Vision ever leads one onward towards something greater than that which has gone before. Much of the thought during the founding of the European Economic Community has been oriented towards Western Europe. It is now time for a broader vision.
The common European home
Mikhail Gorbachev has frequently spoken of his vision of a ‘`Common European Home’. In his book, ‘Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World’, he describes how the metaphor, "Europe is Our Common Home", came to his mind. He writes of how he was looking for such a formula for some time, and that it had not come to him "all of a sudden but after much thought and, notably, after meetings with many European leaders". He continues:
Having conditioned myself for a new political outlook, I could no longer accept in the old way the multi-coloured, patchwork-quilt-like political map of Europe. The continent has known more than its share of wars and tears. It has had enough. Scanning the panorama of this long-suffering land and pondering on the common roots of such a multi-form but essentially common European civilisation, I felt with growing acuteness the artificiality and temporariness of the bloc-to-bloc confrontation and the archaic nature of the "iron curtain". That was probably how the idea of a common European home came to my mind, and at the right moment this expression sprang from my tongue by itself.
Then it came to have a life of its own, so to speak ...
Europe is indeed a common home where geography and history have closely interwoven the destinies of dozens of countries and nations. Of course, each of them has its own problems, and each wants to live its own life, to follow its own traditions. Therefore, developing the metaphor, one may say: the home is common, that is true, but each family has its own apartment, and there are different entrances, too. But it is only together, collectively, and by following the sensible norms of coexistence that the Europeans can save their home, protect it against a conflagration and other calamities, make it better and safer, and maintain it in proper order.
Some people may think this a beautiful fantasy. However, this isn’t fantasy, but the outcome of a careful analysis of the situation on the continent. If the world needs new relations, Europe needs them above all. One may say that the nations of Europe have conceived them in suffering, and deserve them.
Mikhail Gorbachev concludes this section of ‘Perestroika’ saying that "the concept of a ‘common European home’ suggests above all a degree of integrity ... it combines necessity with opportunity".
Whether the vision of European Union, or of the "common European home" can be made into a practical, living reality, only time will tell. We certainly cannot doubt that now is indeed a time of opportunity. We seem today to be closer than ever before to Thomas Paine’s vision of Europe as "one great republic" or to that "United States of Europe" called for by Sir Winston Churchill in Zurich back in 1946. Whatever the final outcome, a New Europe is today taking form carrying with it a new, enriching quality into the collective life of humanity. As mentioned before, we are still putting together the parts; the whole, in its true sense, has yet to emerge. Just what uniquely European energies it will carry into the world we can only speculate about. The esoteric thinker will have his or her ideas about what possibilities may open up in the decades ahead. All will have a point of view, but they are inevitably partial. The challenge is, as always, to align ourselves to that greater Idea which has remained through time and which the great, visionary European thinkers of the past have touched upon. The European idea is alive and precipitating into form.
The citizens of Europe will no doubt continue to take inspiration from the great Idea of ‘European Community’ in its very fullest sense. As they tread the path towards this common goal, establishing en route visionary laws and patterns of relationship that enshrine the highest ideals of unity, democracy, justice, co-operation and peace, it is fitting to leave the last words to Jean Monnet, described by many as the ‘grand designer of Europe’:
When an idea corresponds to the needs of the times, it is no longer the property of the men who invented it and is stronger than those responsible for it.
... the Community itself is only a stage on the way to the organised world of tomorrow.
A Human Face for Europe, European Documentation.
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This paper first appeared in 'The Beacon' published by The Lucis Press (London and New York).