For this new year letter, I wanted to talk to you about compassion, and how – after all the effort we may or may not have made to pass through the gates of liberation in the run–up to 2012 – liberation is NEVER for ourselves alone. As we are fond of saying to each other, we are all ONE, and that means, we share. We share our woes, our failures, our joys, our victories. It is ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL. And that is why the first key to the gates of liberation, is compassion. No one gets through who does not know how to turn that key. You can get all the way to the gate, but the chaps at the door will just say to you, ‘Bye bye – time to turn around and go back. Dive into the sewer of human sorrow, roll your sleeves up, get your hands dirty, and then we’ll see.’
Shine a light
Humans get lost down all kinds of dark alleyways. Are they to wander there alone? Without a light? Without a guide? Not while you and I are here, I hope! And that might mean that sometimes, we take on some share of the human burden of woe, and through our efforts to find a way through for ourselves, we shine a light for our brothers and sisters as well.
To illuminate this for you, I want to share with you something a friend of ours wrote about a little incident in book five of the Harry Potter series:
One day, when Ron is engaged in playing quidditch, Hagrid asks Harry and Hermione to come into the Forbidden Forest with him. When they reach a place deep in the forest, they see a great mound of earth that moves rhythmically up and down, accompanied to the sound of deep, grunting breathing. They realise to their horror that it is a sleeping giant.
‘I couldn’ leave him,’ said Hagrid, tears now trickling down his bruised face into his beard. ‘See – he’s my brother!’
These are among the most sublime words in the whole Harry Potter septology. This proves what the Masters of Compassion feel for humanity: they see us as their brothers. The sleeping giant is the symbol for the unconscious masses.
We learn that the giant’s name is Grawp and that he is tied down to the trees around him. Hagrid asks Harry and Hermione to befriend him and to ‘teach him things’.
Here we see a Master of Compassion, or Hierophant, showing the apprentice alchemist what his task will be in the future: to teach unconscious humanity. This is an extension of Harry’s work as leader of Dumbledore’s army, which is the Jupiter initiation. We notice that Ron is absent. This is a task for the new soul and the new mind. The old, earthly personality is not involved.
The mystery of why Hagrid is always bleeding and showing wounds and lacerations is now solved. Grawp is somewhat reluctant, and not too sensitive about what he does to others. This is the reward for the Bodhisattva’s sympathy for the suffering of the human race: wounds, blood and pain. But to Hagrid this means nothing. He loves his brother with all–enduring patience and brushes the wounds off as insignificant.
So you see, if you are suffering, take courage. You can use your situation to lighten the burden of your brothers and sisters. Like Harry and Hermione, you can be an apprentice alchemist. Maybe that’s why this experience has been drawn into your life – not because you ‘thought the wrong thoughts’ or ‘felt the wrong feelings’, or ‘made the wrong choices’, but because light – our light, the love of our Mother God – has to be brought into every area of human experience. And how else to do that, unless you share in that experience yourself?
And you know what? Enormous benefits will accrue to you if you throw yourself into the ‘game’ of life in this way, for it is through compassion that our intelligence, vision, discrimination and wisdom are clarified. A person who does not cultivate compassion can be fooled every step of the way. Basically, you can get them to swallow anything, so long as there’s a bit of ‘jam’ on it! And that’s why I think Jesus said ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’. Because you know, I’ve observed all kinds of people and asked myself what gives them that quality of spiritual purity which means their efforts to love can’t be contaminated by the ‘dark side’? And the only answer I can come up with is because that little saying of Jesus colours their life. And that’s why I agree with Mrs Blavatsky (see The Voice of the Silence) that compassion is the first key to liberation.
She says there are seven keys, so maybe we’ll talk about more of them in the coming months. Meanwhile, we pray that you may find and be able to use all of them.
With our heartfelt good wishes for a light–filled 2013!
Ann, Geoff and the Cygnus Team