I watched a lecture by William Meader last night – an interesting and hopeful talk from someone who seems to have trained in both psychology and the Alice Bailey tradition of esoteric philosophy. Towards the end of the talk he mentioned 5 ways in which he feels we can best serve humanity at this time, which I’ll summarize here:
1. Get away from dualist thinking. It would be nice to add to that the taking of a stance of Non-Absolutism: developing an awareness of multiple viewpoints (well explicated in the Jain doctrine of Anekanta). And as a corollary, the great contribution of Jung, who when asked how best to be of use in the world, declared “Withdraw your projections.”
2. Start to look at all social institutions as living things. Sense their ‘divine mandate’ – in other words look deeper than the obvious and try to sense a group or organisation’s soul, whether that’s the government, the Health Service or your family.
3. Get used to the ‘hill and valley’ experience that shows us that even when things seem to be on a downward trend there is in reality a general evolution or upward trend. (He expands on this in detail in the first section of the talk).
4. Realise that all formulations of the truth are partial and relative. We all have a piece of the jigsaw.
5. Examine the source of conflict in your own nature. Meader believes the ‘archetype of conflict is inherent in our human nature’. This would be a good point for debate. He is of the school that believes that the Higher Self must ‘master’ the Lower Self. I used to believe this, but now find this too dualistic (See point 1!) While recognising that a process of evolution, refinement even, characterises spiritual development, a model that splits one into two warring halves does not seem consistent with more holistic approaches, and in fact can create more tension I suspect than it resolves in some instances. But applying the doctrine of multiple viewpoints suggests that there is indeed a value in seeing things this way! If you have the time have a look at the talk and see what you think: is ‘the real battle’ the ‘transformation of your lower nature’ as Meader suggests, or perhaps simply a welcoming of it as one part of the Whole You? He is an engaging speaker, and I particularly liked his way of assessing where you are on the path. His rule goes: “You’re never as evolved as your high moments in consciousness would suggest. You’re never as unevolved as the low moments would indicate.” So next time you catch yourself blobbing in front of the telly, a warm beer in hand, don’t worry – you’re not really that unevolved! And when you emerge from a profound meditation, relax: you’re not the Messiah.
You can see the film clip here.
His Home Page is www.meader.org