My new book Earth is a School comes out at the end of the month. Faced with a statement like that in the title the obvious thing to ask is what is the school for? And the short answer is that it is a school for making gods.
When you look around at your friends and neighbours that might seem ridiculous. Indeed, when you look at yourself it might seem positively absurd. Nonetheless, it is true. No doubt most of us are not anywhere near the end of the process but the fact remains that this material environment is the ideal scenario for making self-centred beings into higher forms of life, able to engage with the universe with love and creative energy on its many planes of being. That's what a god is though we give the word a small 'g' to make clear that these gods operate within the parameters of divine creation as laid down by God the Creator. To seek to operate outside these parameters is what makes a devil, basically a being that rejects its Maker and the deepest pattern of its own soul.
We started a long time ago as little different from the animals, fully embedded in nature with no intellectual capacity to speak of and no real sense of an individual self. The forces of evolution worked on us over vast periods of time. The challenges and experiences of the earthly situation moulded us and drove us in a certain direction. Different groups of human beings experienced different challenges but the general direction was similar; to bring out intelligence, creativity and the sense of self. Early man had none of this. He reacted instinctively with unselfconscious awareness, and he was largely one with his environment. But the story of civilisation is the story of becoming more conscious. That is to say, of consciousness contracting and becoming centred on itself so in one way shrinking but in another becoming clearer and sharper. Losing the early spiritual contact with life, using the word spiritual in the loosest of senses, and becoming more focussed on the physical world. Of course, an animal is completely focussed in its physical being and early humans were the same but they retained a connection to the world soul which is a unified field of consciousness encircling the planet and can be regarded as the inner side of Nature. It is, as it were, the outer garment of Spirit, where the forces of Spirit begin to touch matter. It is not Spirit itself.
When the mind is more directed towards the physical world it starts to separate itself from other minds. This leads to the development of individual intelligence. You become a real self and you need a real mind in order to function as a self. We are well into that stage but that is esoterically regarded as the nadir of an arc that stretches from above (the heavens) to below (the earth) and from the esoteric point of view, esoteric here meaning unacknowledged by everyday thought, the process has stalled. Instead of moving on from this stage, back up towards spirit, we are digging ourselves deeper into it. We are solidifying ourselves in matter.
This material entrenchment has been encouraged by anti-spiritual forces, the recognition of which is probably the most important thing we could do right now to get back on track. For if we fail to see these forces, that they exist and what they seek to do which is trap our consciousness eternally in matter, we face spiritual disaster. This is something that has to be done on an individual level as everything must be at this stage in the evolutionary journey. The school applies to each and every soul and though not all have the same lessons at the same time, all need to recognise the reality of spirit to avoid flunking the course.
Five years ago, I wrote a post which has a bearing on this subject and I would like to quote from it here.