We’re not talking nukes, tanks, AK-47s or even cyber-attacks. We’re not even talking psy-ops, warships, cruise missiles or any of the other destructive hardware of military action. We’re talking instead about a metaphysical arsenal of tools required to engage in an invisible, almost primordial conflict which has been playing out its endless time-loops on the inner planes for the bulk of human history. And within ourselves.
Our theme is that eternal asymmetric struggle between the forces of good and evil. Definitions are required for these loaded terms. The forces of good are classed as those which promote growth, wisdom and evolution. Their opposite are those ever-present sinister powers which across the centuries have attempted to subvert this agenda and ensure that materialism in thought and deed prevails over all spiritual aspiration.
This aggressive interplay between the forces of light and darkness continues ceaselessly and unseen in the mental and astral realms. In microcosm this battle constantly plays out within each and every one of us as our own conflicted identities wage internal war against one another. And our deep-seated love of conflict always ensures that sooner or later bitter dog-fights erupt on the physical plane as war, conquest or terrorist outrage. It’s nothing new. After all it’s what humanity does best.
Spool back a few hundred millennia and we’re aware that back in Atlantean times humanity polarised into two distinct camps. On one side were the archetypal Hollywood bad guys, the ultra-materialistic Lords of the Dark Face who tried to manipulate nature, man and matter. On the other side were the Lords of the Shining Face whose more spiritual approach didn’t triumph. The result was the accelerated destruction of that continent. But even then, the conflict didn’t go away. It simply slithered underground and has continued to rage on invisibly ever since, fuelled by still hugely powerful thought-forms.
This prolonged exoteric fight on the physical plane has spawned sophisticated technologies of death which cost the world £1.7 trillion annually. Call it a Paranoia Tax costing every man, woman and child on the planet more than £2,000 a year. Inflicting death and injury has always been a popular pastime but never been cheap. The means we’ve devised are so sophisticated that physical extinction is a daily option.
This greater conflict in the wider world and on the inner planes perfectly mirrors our own personal inner struggles. But this is, of course, why we choose to periodically incarnate on this prison planet to engage in prolonged bouts of tough learning.
The spiritual warrior is well aware that difficulties always intensify when we attempt to extricate ourselves from the mass of society and pursue that always lonely trajectory of accelerated psycho-spiritual development. In traditional Eastern religious ideas often adopted by modern esotericism this is frequently referred to as The Path (yes, usually capitalised to underscore its significance).
This fast-track route is more rambling byway than wide super-highway, becoming more razor-edged, steeper, more deserted and more treacherous the further we progress along it. Once on it, there is no turning back. It is an exclusively upward ascent. The only downward motion is reserved for those who stumble and then tumble into some imagined abyss. It is an endless journey with no final destination.
Although we meet the occasional fellow-traveller en route, this is essentially a solitary journey and the key obstacles we have to overcome are loneliness and isolation. Few are equipped to deal with this and virtually no one prevails without a prolonged and bruising inner battle. This is because the spiritual warrior’s chief enemy is their own lower self.
So which particular tools do we require in our armoury to combat the foes within ourselves and the world at large? None of the weapons are physical. Instead, they are based on insight, intuition, imagination and knowledge as well as resilience, persistence and an understanding of the crucial, catalytic and transformative importance of failure. For the spiritual adventurer there is no such thing as ultimate failure – merely an absence yet of tangible success. Compassion, altruism and free-thinking are equally important elements in our arsenal.
But even more fundamental than all these things is a rudimentary understanding of our true identity and make-up as human beings. Not only do we need to know who and where we are. We also need to understand where we’ve come from and have at least some inkling of where we’re going. Without this knowledge we can never wield control over ourselves let alone identify The Path.
We have many other means and methods at our disposal to develop and strengthen the self-belief in our ability to shape our own destinies. These are often hidden in plain sight – often so obvious that they are ignored. High falutin’ philosophies and sophisticated esoteric worldviews are all very well. But they are no substitute for those time-honoured nutrients – common sense and simplicity. Complexity should never disguise clarity, although in the modern world it usually does.
Determination, energy and courage are also the warrior’s key tools. Equally important are open-mindedness and free-thinking – both of which are under sustained attack from the prevailing tentacles of political correctness whose wicked architects seek to homogenise thought and inculcate absolute submission. Espouse such notions and they’ll call you a fascist or some other ludicrous soubriquet.
Innovation, exploration and non-conformity also form a crucial part of the battle plan to preserve and expand each individual’s spiritual potency and power. Sometimes sheer bloody-mindedness coupled with a dogged refusal to give up are also essential attributes.
One of the key problems facing the spiritual warrior-cum-explorer is overcoming the almost pathological and often rather pathetic passivity of many supposedly spiritual people. Those who apologetically tiptoe through life are often frightened to do anything at all, offering anodyne excuses that they don’t want to cause conflict, build up ‘bad’ karma, infringe free will or disrupt some supposed but spurious equilibrium. Others retain a sheep-like mentality and remain risk averse and deeply unwilling to get out of step with the herd – even for a moment.
The simple truth is that a great many people simply can’t be bothered to make that effort which is so essential to all spiritual progress. Some imagine that weekend woodland retreats or seminars with gleaming-toothed celebrity gurus may have the effect of a quick spiritual fix. But this is to deny the fundamental economy of the universe: we can only reap what we have sewn. If we have sewn daisy seeds we can hardly expect mighty oaks to appear.
This lethargy and laziness has had dire repercussions for organisations like the Theosophical Society which has increasingly attracted devotional acolytes rather than those infused with a sense of adventure and discovery. This is mirrored by the organisation’s overwhelming focus on its past rather than on its present or indeed its future.
Another symptom of this ongoing indolence and lack of dynamism can be seen in the antics of the Back-To-Blavatsky brigade, an obsessional, militant and tunnel-visioned hard core of devotees who bizarrely believe that the wisdom died on 8th May 1891 coinciding with HPB’s last breath. Their cock-eyed argument is that all subsequent theosophical insights, revelations, knowledge or wisdom are somehow fraudulent and bogus. And yet as the old lady herself wisely counselled: ‘Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable.’
Reflecting the wider world, perma-conflict has been alive and well in theosophical circles for almost a century and a half. Rarely has there been a time without an outbreak of factional fighting, internecine warfare and other sectarian squabbling. Not to mention regular splits and schisms based on both personality and doctrinal conflicts. Many outsiders smile wryly to themselves at the stark irony of how an organisation whose avowed principal objective is to nurture universal brotherhood has become so adept at discord, alienation and self-harm.
It will slowly begin to dawn on the more open-minded spiritual adventurer that organisations built on traditional and often archaic lines are becoming very cumbersome and unsuitable vehicles for the changing conditions of a new age. A bit like riding a donkey in the fast lane of a motorway. Hierarchical structures demanding unflinching obedience to often dubiously low-grade leaders are no longer effective or desirable. These were the hallmarks of the vanishing Age of Pisces ruled by the Sixth Ray of devotion. The incoming Age of Aquarius – governed by the Seventh Ray of synthesis – demands a less-structured but much more dynamic approach.
The spiritual adventurer, who is nearly always completely out of step with the prevailing ideas of any given age, has to be prepared to be in a minority of one and endure the solitude and ridicule this often entails. This itself requires an inner steeliness, strength and self-discipline.
The potential reward for crossing the precipice is accelerated psycho-spiritual evolution, although nothing is promised or guaranteed. And as with all enterprises fortune favours the brave. The spiritual warrior knows when to be meek and mild – but more crucially, when to tough it out.
Tim Wyatt is a former BBC, ITV and Sky reporter and an award-winning documentary film maker as well as being a co-founder of the esoteric publishing house Nosegay Books. His book ‘Cycles of Eternity’ is a study of the Ageless Wisdom and he runs the School of Applied Wisdom in Leeds. Now a freelance writer he is also founder of the new music label Hummadruz Records.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Editorial The Sunday Tribune.