The Soul of Humanity and the New Civilization

The things we now esteem fixed shall, one by one, detach themselves like ripe fruit from our experience and fall… The soul looketh steadily forwards, creating a world before her, leaving worlds behind her. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the Ageless Wisdom teachings,* one of the names given to the soul is the Observer. It is the aspect of ourselves that allows us to step back from the turmoil of life on the material plane and see from a higher, broader perspective. What can be seen from the soul’s perspective at this time is a dual reality unfolding simultaneously on our planet: a process of death and a process of birth.

Kuan Yin | painting | Nicholas Roerich

What is dying is an old civilization based upon the consciousness of separation—a consciousness circumscribed by our five physical senses. In the modern and post-modern ages, our consensual reality has been largely limited to what can be perceived through these senses. Through my physical sight, you are separate from me because you are a separate form. Not only are you a separate form, your form is different from mine by race, gender, hair and eye color, weight, height, and many other physical features.

The soul, by contrast, sees what lies behind the outer form. Over time, what it sees and knows will inevitably give rise to a new civilization. As consciousness takes a leap into a new era, we are developing subtler senses born in the deep recesses of the heart, where the soul first comes alive to itself. The heart recognizes beauty, the heart recognizes love, the heart recognizes truth. In the absence of the heart, we have a world of ugliness, hatred, and ignorance—a world on the edge of an abyss. It is the tendrils of the heart reaching upward to the light of the soul that are helping us to cross the abyss into a new world.

Soul Consciousness

The soul is both light and love in the modern wisdom teachings. It is a unit of consciousness whose qualities have been honed over the course of eons of human living, though it has lain largely dormant for most of that time, masked by the outer form. Now, at this momentous turning point in evolution, the soul is beginning to outgrow the limitations of its form. The true Self is peering out from behind the mask, discovering kindred spirits on the path to greater light. We are learning together to see through the eyes of the heart, which are also the eyes of the soul.

As light, the soul is a knower of truth. It is the Observer that can penetrate the outer veneer of another’s persona and recognize the true Self, invisible to the physical eye. Likewise, the soul can penetrate the veil of outer events and recognize invisible forces working within the life of our planet. To our physical eyes, death and destruction are pervasive across the face of our Earth. To the eyes of the soul, these forces are serving to rend the veil of separation between human beings, and between us and all other living beings.

Every time tragedy strikes, we see an outpouring from the heart of humanity—of love, of compassion, of assistance. The more often tragedy strikes, the longer the heart remains open, the more tender it becomes. Massive suffering is hard to escape these days in one form or another. Through the eyes of the soul, the accumulating experience of human suffering is breaking down barriers and spawning a sense of human solidarity as nothing else has been able to do until this juncture in the evolution of our species. Through the terrible toll of human suffering, we are gaining awareness of our essential oneness.

In the light of the soul, the causes of suffering are also being revealed. All the misery we’re currently witnessing—whether from fires, floods, droughts, disease, war, dislocation from war, migration, slavery, political repression, endemic poverty, economic injustice, or other forms of exploitation—has karmic origins. In the wisdom teachings, there is one root cause of all suffering: selfishness – self-centeredness born of identification with the outer form. If I am only as significant as my physical being, enhanced by its material possessions, then I will do virtually anything to amass a fortune or gain renown, to maximize my own self-importance so that I become known, seen, admired, envied, recognized.

The soul, on the other hand, is aware of the greater life of which it is a part. Soul consciousness exists on a plane where there is no separation, a subtle plane where life’s inherent unity is perceived—unity of essence, origin, and destiny. In the soul’s perception, all of life is inseparably interrelated, interdependent, and intertwined. The global climate crisis is teaching us this outwardly, mirroring in a sense the inner reality. This crisis is the result of our collective karma and afflicts all of us in some way, while forcing us to recognize our interrelatedness. That recognition, in turn, is causing some to begin to live from a different set of premises.

If I am inextricably bound to you, then I am constantly aware that whatever happens to you affects me. As physical beings, we are like individual cells in a living body called humanity. As souls, we are units of consciousness within a greater consciousness that ensouls the Earth and flows beyond Earth’s borders into a larger universe within which Earth is embedded. As consciousness itself, the soul’s awareness is potentially boundless. But the nature of this awareness is always relatedness, connection, inseparability from all that one’s awareness embraces.

The Significance of this Moment

According to the wisdom teachings, the soul is part spirit and part matter. It is born of the marriage of the two and, once awakened, it is the conscious awareness that unites the two. Having remained latent within the race through millions of years of evolution, from the time when the first human beings emerged from the animal kingdom, the spiritual aspect of the soul is now emerging into the awareness of our species. The fact that this is occurring within more than a handful of individuals is unprecedented in human history.

It is said that our collective awakening is as significant in the evolution of our species as was the birth of the human kingdom millions of years ago. For the very first time, as growing numbers of us enter more fully into soul awareness, we are developing the inner resources to subdue the powerful forces of our animal nature—instinct, passion, and all the insatiable desires of the lower self that have governed human history until now. It is foreseen in the Ageless Wisdom teachings that in time, as mastery of the lesser nature is achieved and human identity shifts from matter to spirit, we will learn to live consciously in the world as souls, reflecting the love and light of the higher Self in every aspect of our lives.

Observing the great awakening rippling across the globe, this vision no longer seems so far-fetched. With growing recognition of the true Self and the many initiatives designed to nurture it into expression, such a vision becomes fathomable. Already we see the first stirrings of soul awareness on a wide scale through the acts of kindness, compassion, and love that are regularly broadcast by the mass media and by social media. After eons of separation from one another, we are beginning to knit ourselves together, learning what it means to love one another, and developing the will to love.

The Will to Love

‘The will to love’ may at first sound like an incongruous phrase. An initial reaction to it might be: doesn’t love flow naturally—without the imposition of will? Isn’t love the most natural feeling in the world? Don’t we all have love in our hearts and long for the opportunity to express it? The answer to these questions can be seen in the worlds of our creation, both individual and collective.

Love that flows from the consciousness of separation is often based on a type of barter: I will love you as long as you (in some way) meet my needs. Love that flows from the Soul, however, seeks nothing in return; it needs nothing from another. The love of the soul is replenished from inner spiritual sources that never run dry. It is the nature of the soul to love, as it is the nature of the sun to shine. The challenge is to reveal the soul’s true nature—to free it from entanglement in ancient personality patterns to the degree that it becomes who we are in the world.

To do this requires considerable will in the form of self-discipline: the will to change deeply engrained patterns foundational to one’s established identity, unconscious behaviors that have held sway over the course of lifetimes. For most individuals, it takes the rigors of a spiritual path to transform the isolated personality living in a heartless, competitive world into an awakened soul conscious of belonging to a greater life. This new life invariably begins in the heart, with a glimpse of being part of a universe pulsing with order, harmony, and love. To keep the heart open, however, requires learning to dissolve ancient habits of separateness through disciplines learned on the Path. It is developing the will to love—learning how to remain in the soul’s innate state of oneness—that will become the bedrock of our coming civilization.

Love from a Higher Source

Sacred Himalaya | painting | Nicholas Roerich

One of the great secrets of spiritual evolution is that progress on the Path is fueled by love from higher, subtler planes. As we tread this path, consciously transforming ourselves from self-centered personalities into beings whose hearts are becoming as strong as our minds, we are met with love from the inner planes of spiritual Reality. By pursuing the rigors of this path of self-transformation, we enter an invisible realm of life discovered through finer senses. Deepening soul contact, which unfolds naturally on the path, results in a higher vibrational frequency that gives rise to subtler ways of knowing, such as spiritual telepathy and a form of intuition called ‘direct knowing.’ Through such means, the seeker gains access to the wisdom and love of inner guides who help to navigate the inner worlds.

These guides dwell in a subtle realm considered in the wisdom teachings to be a spiritual kingdom. It is the fifth kingdom in nature—beyond the human, animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. Disinformation about this higher realm has always existed, but as the soul of humanity awakens and reaches upward, there is a growing capacity to apprehend the reality of a Kingdom of Souls, another name for the fifth kingdom. This kingdom or realm of consciousness is also known as the heart center of our planet—a reservoir of inclusive, all-embracing, universal, spiritual love from which inspiration flows for all human progress.

Among those who dwell in the next kingdom are illumined beings called Masters of Wisdom, according to the wisdom teachings. It is they who have revealed the higher truths that are preparing humanity to enter a new age and a new cycle of evolution, in which the soul will come to flower. They have foreseen that in the coming era, awakened souls will work in cooperation with members of their Kingdom of Souls to create an enlightened civilization and culture. In the future, we are told, some of these higher beings will emerge from their inner dwelling place to lead humanity toward the fulfillment of its divine potential.

It was 21 million years ago when a divine spark of mind was implanted in the most evolved animals of the time, giving birth to the human kingdom. Now, having reached the limits of our lesser selves, we are collectively calling forth our higher selves and, in so doing, evoking a growing responsiveness from the planetary center of spiritual love. The beauty of this time is that many thousands of us across the globe are simultaneously breaking free of the confines of our strictly human nature, feeling the stirrings of the soul and intuiting the future it portends.

As souls, we are already one. We know the truth of essential oneness and cannot be divided in consciousness. Our challenge is to dissolve remaining walls of separation by developing the will to love. All that differentiates us, in truth, is our karmic heritage: those qualities, characteristics, talents, proclivities, and life experiences (for better and for worse) that the soul carries from one lifetime to another on its journey of return. The saying “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle” is apt for all who are awakening and facing karmic obligations. Yet knowing that many of us are fighting these battles on the way to creating a new world brings added strength and heart as we journey together.

A New Era

Everything we are learning from those who have had near-death experiences in our time, and from mystics and seers across the ages, points toward a higher realm of being. We are told that there is scintillating beauty in this realm, there is radiant light, there is truth, and love, and there is joy. It is said that joy will be the prod to spiritual growth in the new era, as the soul gains prominence, as pain has been the prod until now. There is joy in experiencing union and communion with all of life; in feeling aligned with a higher purpose and order; in the recognition of kindred souls – the ineffable joy of working together to bring a measure of light and love into the world.

This is our future, according to the great sages within the Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet—those who have preceded us into a higher realm of existence, having completed the human evolution. Beings who no longer need to re-incarnate in human form, they have paid all karmic debts and have revealed the fullness of their human-divine potential. They have become liberated to serve the evolution of our planet from a higher vantage point, from which they know ‘the mind of God.’ With that knowledge, they work to implement divine purpose by impressing sensitive human minds with ideas that will advance the evolutionary plan—such as the oneness of humanity, the interrelatedness of all life, the fact that all is energy (and consciousness). And they transmit teachings that will further planetary evolution.

We are told that within the ranks of this hierarchy of love and wisdom there are many great beings whose names are known to us: the founders of world religions, the great philosophers and statesmen, inventors, scientists, artists, and musicians who devoted their lives to uplifting and expanding human awareness. The universal teachings brought forth on their behalf in the past century and a half, collectively known as the Ageless Wisdom, reveal that they have not disappeared from the Earth, nor do they exist in an amorphous heavenly realm. They dwell on a subtler plane of life, working out a plan to fulfill the purpose of the planetary Logos, the divine intelligence who gives life to our Earth and is the impulse behind great shifts of the ages, like the one we are presently living through.

In this critical time of transition between the ages, many things predicted in the modern wisdom teachings are coming to pass.

Song of Shambhala | painting | Nicholas Roerich

We are witnessing the crumbling of structures born of the dying consciousness of separation, and we are witnessing the rise of the human spirit—the birth of soul awareness. It was to prepare us for the Soul to enter the world that many volumes were transmitted by teachers within the spiritual kingdom who sought to unveil the true nature of the higher self of humanity—the consciousness that will infuse the new world—and the requirements for realizing this higher potential.

In the world created by the soul of humanity, it will be evident that behind the visible universe lies an unbroken web of energy created and sustained by divine love. By mastering the will to love, we will become resonant to this higher-frequency energy and, under the guidance of beings within the spiritual kingdom, we can learn to co-create the conditions for a new civilization on Earth. One day, if divine prophecy comes to pass and we fulfill our spiritual potential, we may become part of the Kingdom of Souls. And we may, at some time in the distant future, discover how to turn this long-suffering world into the long-awaited Kingdom of God.

*The Ageless Wisdom is a body of teachings traceable back to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Upanishads. It includes essential teachings of the Buddha and the Christ and was updated, starting in the late 19th century, by Masters of Wisdom in preparation for this turning point in evolution. The Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul, writing through Alice Bailey, stressed the centrality of the awakened soul to the birth of a new era. The Agni Yoga teachings, which came through Helena Roerich, wife of the artist and peacemaker Nicholas Roerich, emphasized the need to shift consciousness to subtler planes of reality.