AGNI YOGA WEB TV
INTRODUCTION TO AGNI YOGA“
The New World : Form of Government: Hierarchy
Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome; nice to see you again in our Program.
Today we shall be talking about a great, interesting and important subject: How will the New World look like, the human society of the future?
We have already said (Broadcasting 13 "The Path and the Goal of Man"): Our task is to build a new step of evolution. This means creating out of ourselves the New Man and out of the existing material circumstances the New World.
In both cases we are concerned with the rule of the spirit: The divine spirit is to rule our individual thinking and acting as well as the coexistence and cooperation within human society as a whole.
1. Higher Culture
We have emphasized again and again in earlier Broadcastings: The individual human being can and must continue to perfect himself and proceed on his spiritual path independently of the external circumstances.
But it is equally true: You can realize your possibilities to a limited extent only when you are forced to live in a society dominated by materialism and lack of spirit.
In a social order characterized by egotism and greed, by the fight of everyone against everyone, in which the law of the jungle prevails, a spiritual man can only stand aside and is hardly able to make a valuable contribution.
Let us just take today’s order of economy and labour: My father used to say, when he left the house in the morning: "I am going to serve." He meant, of course, the service to the common good. Who can say this today? Are not most of us engaged in their professions (even in the so-called "social professions") to promote selfish, destructive, profit or party interests?
Today’s materialistic order deprives the best we have to give, our work, of its meaning.
You all are experiencing daily how difficult it is to have to live in a community with materialistically minded people: To have an unspiritual boss, to have your children educated the wrong way by unspiritual teachers, to be governed by unspiritual politicians, to purchase products made by unspiritual manufacturers, and to have to take part in the projects of unspiritual people. Everywhere and constantly we are making ourselves guilty.
Therefore we must establish a new social order, a higher culture in which the Will of God reigns. Only there can our higher nature, our Eternal Individuality, live and work meaningfully and in accordance with its mission.
Man must get back under the guidance of the Divine Laws which he feels were really made for his higher evolution. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol 1, Lesson 158 “Truth versus Falsehood”)
All times dream of the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth – that is, of an order which corresponds to the conditions in the Higher World, and in which the cosmic laws apply.
State laws, in order to serve the vital interests, should reflect the cosmic laws. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. II, letter of 10.09.1938)
We humans have a deep longing to restore the paradise conditions that prevail in our true homeland, from which we have been temporarily exiled to this cold earth.
I entreat you to help build My Country. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 265 , 266 )
Establishing the Rule of the Spirit means, as we have already discussed in detail, (Broadcasting 12 "The Mission of Man"): To enforce the reign of higher principles such as truth, justice, beauty and love. If these principles actually govern our life, we have created the highest world we can imagine.
In concrete terms this means: In government has to prevail the hierarchical principle, in the legal system justice, in the media truth, in the arts beauty, etc.
We shall show you now how the consistent application of these principles completely changes human society.
2. The Plan of God
We had already said: Evolution is the Plan of God with man, the earth and cosmos as a whole.
It is of the utmost importance that you understand: When we now begin to create the New World, our aim is to enforce the Will of God on this earth, against the violent resistance of materialism, egotism, ignorance, disbelief and lack of spirit.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6, 10)
If man would take the great seed of the task in his potential, then indeed the world would be a great reflection of the Higher Will. (Fiery World III, 260)
For this, we must first form a clear idea of how the new step looks like in God's Will: Without a construction plan, no building, no New Creation can ever be realized.
He who would truly benefit his kind should endeavor to realize somewhat of the divine plan – "the plan in the mind of God" – and work toward the materialization of that plan. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol 1, Lesson 177 “The Multitude”)
One must acknowledge the goal and devote oneself to the plan of the Teacher. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 205)
We must develop such an idea for every single social institution, according to the example of Plato's great work "The Republic". That is why we shall be talking today and in the next Broadcastings about the government, the economic and labour regulations, the legal system, the health system, science, agriculture, schools, media, army and police, churches, arts and marriage and family.
Let the country of the future be embodied in thought. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 297 )
The mission to build the New World must occupy us every single day. We should strive to contribute at least one stone to the New Creation every day!
Think every day about the tasks that the New World poses. Strive to the New World as if it were something standing right on the other side of the door. Nobody should just leave it to others to take care of the New World, since every one of us has to grasp what it means. (Heart 132)
3. Form of Government of the Future: Hierarchy
The organization of the government must be consistent with the cosmic order, the cosmic laws.
All statecraft and social order can be founded upon cosmic law. Therefore, the state and the social order could apply all the cosmic laws for the perfection of their forms. (Fiery World III, 65)
The law of hierarchy is applicable.
The entire Universe is saturated with the principle of Hierarchy. Therefore, man, being a part of Cosmos, cannot separate himself from this principle. (Agni Yoga 667)
The Hierarchic principle appears as the basis of all constructions. The Guiding Principle, and the principle of fulfilling the Great Will are one Source. (Fiery World III, 100)
The symbol of Hierarchy is the pyramid: All power emanates from the top; each individual intermediate level is orientated upwards; every single little stone has its meaning and function only through its incorporation into the great structure.
The idea of Hierarchy is a cosmic concept, a cosmic law. The whole Universe exists, is nourished, and is supported solely by this principle. Precisely, in Cosmos, the lower principle is subordinated to the higher. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. I, letter of 10.09.1934)
The law of hierarchy demands, firstly: He who stands lower must subordinate himself to those standing higher. This is the only way to arrive at a meaningful order. If those rule who stand down below, chaos will reign.
The subjection of the lower to the higher lies at the foundation of cosmos. The subordination of the lower to the higher leads to purification. Humanity subjects that which should be dominant to the lower. When the higher dominates, then the lower, through transmutation, is regenerated into a quality of a higher order. (Infinity I, 115)
"Hierarchy" means, secondly: Every single social institution, from families, kindergardens and schools, via authorities, courts, associations and business enterprises, to villages, cities and the whole country, must be directed by that person who is spiritually the most qualified, who stands highest on the ladder of Hierarchy. He is placed under his superior, who in turn serves under his superior, and so forth up to the rulers of a country, and to the leaders of the whole earth.
This is the earthly hierarchy. It makes sure that the will of the earth's leaders, the Mahatmas, is transmitted from the top downwards from one level to the next. In the end, at the very bottom, on the spot, in the case of the slightest treatment of a schoolchild, or of a citizen seeking justice or health, with the building of a house, the condemnation of a criminal or even the preparation of a meal – in all cases the Supreme Will is observed and enforced.
The Mahatmas cannot possibly carry out or even supervise themselves all the acts of the daily work. They have to rely on the earthly hierarchy to act according to their instructions and in their spirit in the countless individual cases of everyday life.
We must understand the earthly hierarchy as an unbroken chain, in which each co-worker at his place takes up the Higher Will, carries out some of it himself, and delegates other tasks downwards for execution by subordinates.
Each one striving to Hierarchy can fulfill the Higher Will through a task given from Above. (Hierarchy 101)
According to the law of correspondence, the Higher Will is not revealed to the masses, but to the supreme spirits only, namely the rulers of the earth, the Mahatmas of Shambhala, and their closest collaborators. Only they can lead mankind. They form the peak of the earthly hierarchy.
The peaks of the earthly hierarchy, for their part, are connected to the lowest level of the supermundane Hierarchy. They must make sure that the Divine Will, transmitted from the very top downwards through many intermediate levels, actually arrives down here on our planet.
The Higher Will is transmitted to the closest spirit. (Hierarchy 178)
You now recognize the great importance of the spiritual conversation with a non-incarnated teacher, which we discussed in our Broadcasting about meditation: The Mahatmas, in any case, only have this way of communication when they want to receive instructions from their superiors on how to govern the earth.
Let us summarize: The hierarchical order of the state serves this purpose: The Divine Will has to be transmitted from the top of the pyramid downwards through many intermediate steps from the supermundane Hierarchy to the tops of the earthly hierarchy. From there, it is handed further downwards through an uninterrupted chain of hierarchs. Finally, it is put into practice in the countless small actions of everyday life.
Each link in this chain is active in its place by order of the Hierarchy, and ultimately in the name of God!
4. Democracy unsuitable
The system currently practiced in the Western democracies ensures only in a highly imperfect manner that the most suitable persons in the spiritual sense rule the community and its institutions.
You can see for yourself by means of countless examples: Too often those politicians are elected who make the greatest promises, even though it is obviously impossible to honour them. Or, those who burden the community irresponsibly with debts because they do not get along with what the taxpayers entrust to them, but do not dare to increase taxes. All too often, those who enforce necessary but painful reforms are not re-elected.
From the standpoint of unity, evolution and spiritual reality, the idea of a democracy is inadmissible. How can a democracy, with all power in the hands of a people, the majority of whom are not even evolved to the point where they are capable of perceiving their own natural positions in the scale of life, have the right to pick from their number some person of whose rightful position they are equally ignorant, and place him in a position which they are equally incapable of comprehending, and expect anything but division, discontent and final rebellion as a result? (Teachings of the Temple, Vol 1, Lesson 156 “War”)
Everyone, in particular the so-called ordinary people, is well aware that the courting for the favour of the masses in election campaigns and the relying in vital decisions on opinion polls rather than on iron principles is a disgrace to a civilized society.
I must confess that no other system makes me feel so indignant as the present way a head of a government is elected by ignorant masses! I saw enough of this most abominable and criminal comedy. Bribery, we are told, is illegal, yet, in such a responsible, sacred act as the election of a head of a country, great sums are spent and even the most obvious bribery is practised, to say nothing of other proceedings which are equally disgusting.
Common sense should tell us that the ignorant masses, who are impelled by their lower instincts, cannot be the judges of the highest. The right of electing the head of a government should belong only to a highly moral, therefore cultured and educated people, or representatives of the people of a country. But unfortunately, in an epoch when it is most necessary to have the best and most trustworthy people at the head of affairs, the power of the masses prevails. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. I, letter of 17.08.1934)
However, history shows again and again: It has the most terrible consequences for a community when it entrusts power to adventurers or to impure, crude, unworthy or ignorant leaders.
Above all else I am concerned with the imbalance of the world. Many countries are governed by madmen in the fullest meaning of the word. Never before has this manifestation of mass obsession occurred. (Fiery World II, 223)
Let us finally recognize: The fate of a company, or of a whole nation, is depending almost entirely upon the purity and wisdom of the person who leads it.
The success of a whole nation depends upon the quality of the psychic energy of its leader. (Supermundane 503)
The quality of life depends on the integrity of the leaders. (Supermundane 564)
Furthermore, there is a number of existential questions in the political, economic, medical and technical area which cannot seriously be decided by voting:
Is the participation in a war, abortion, euthanasia, industrial livestock farming, nuclear power, genetic engineering or a specific medical technology admissible, or not? For these and many other questions, the vote of the majority is simply not a suitable criterion for decision.
The modern democracy that approves the leadership which issues from the crowds fails all tests. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. I, letter of 10.09.1934)
Please, do not regard us as extremists who want to overthrow the existing order. Democracy is a necessary stage of development that all nations have to go through and which corresponds to today's level of consciousness.
We are talking about the direction in which progress must be made, the goal which we should aim at in the long run, step by step, without revolutionary or violent revolts. We are asking how our society will be governed in hundreds of years from now, when mankind has reached one step higher and will consist of immortals.
Democracy may be the only acceptable ideal to the masses of the people of the present age, and so be relatively right and wise; but it is not right or wise from the standpoint of the Higher Self, and a democracy could not persist among men who had reached the highest point of development in their individual evolutionary cycles. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol 1, Lesson 156 “War”)
5. Rule of the Sages
The form of government of the future must make sure that in all social institutions on all levels those persons exercise power who are spiritually the most advanced and thus nearest to the Higher World. Only in this way can the Will of God be realized on earth.
The right of leadership belongs to a spirit linked with the Forces of Light. Therefore, according to the Higher Law, there can be no accidental leaders. (Fiery World III, 51)
Only by the reestablishing of the Hierarchal line it may be accomplished to place in positions of power those who are spiritually fitted for the exercise of power. (Teachings of the Temple Vol.1, Lesson 208 “The momentous Question”)
Those will be given responsibility who according their character, education and past life are qualified, and who by the responsibility carried so far have proven, that they are able to serve selflessly the common good and to recognize as well as to enforce on earth the Higher evolutionary Will.
The best executor will be the one closest to Hierarchy. The Hierarchy of Service is but the manifestation of the fulfillment of the Higher Will. (Hierarchy 42, Agni Yoga 659)
Are you not tired of being led by people who do not know any better than you yourself? Do not you, too, long for true leadership?
Nations are realizing that “life is wearisome without a hero.” Everywhere one can see this longing for powerful leadership, in cultural, in social and in governmental life. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. I, letter of 06.06.1935)
Who will decide better and who knows better? Only the Hierarch. (Hierarchy 116)
Plato described this evolutionary aim of a philosopher's kingship, a rule of the sages, more than two thousand years ago in his book “The Republic”:
Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils. (Plato, The Republic, Book 5, XVIII)
This ideal is as valid today as at all times.
The wise man sees that the people must return to the original form, the paternal – the kingly form of government – again and again. (Teachings of the Temple Vol.1, Lesson 128 “The wise Man”)
Those who possess knowledge, the spiritual ones, must exercise or at least control power. Ruler and supreme priest will once again become one – as in ancient Egypt, where, for thousands of years, a hierarchy of initiates directed all the affairs of the community.
And again, as in the most ancient times of priesthood’s prime, but in a popular application, the fire of knowledge will begin to shine. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 296 )
There, the priests named the Pharaoh, who himself was an initiate, or at least their disciple, and ruled the nation by the power of their spirit.
Heads of state formerly combined their work with the highest spiritual duties. (Supermundane 74)
The words we use, the old and the new one, clearly show what we are talking about: From "demo-cracy," the rule of the people, we proceed to "hier-archy," the supremacy of the saints, the initiates. Instead of the ignorant masses, the sages will lead the way.
This implies, on the one hand, that people are prepared to voluntarily subordinate themselves to the Masters. On the other hand, the saints must be ready to exercise power in the material world and to gain such respect that they can be accepted as an authority.
It is right that reverence for the Guru be the firm foundation of an entire people. (AUM 110)
This thinking is unfortunately still unfamiliar to the man of our time. But one day, in the worst case through suffering, he will recognize: His intellectual arrogance, which leads him to believe that he knows everything better than everyone else and that he is qualified to take part in decisions on everything everywhere, is unfounded.
In reality, he is not able to recognize the way out in most cases. The more honest among the citizens know very well that they can be glad when wiser men relieve them of the most vital decisions.
Sandro Botticelli: „St. Augustine“
The social order of the New Age is a theocracy: its head is the brotherhood of Shambhala. The Mahatmas make sure that the Will of God is carried out on earth. Just as, in the Middle Ages, Jesus was appointed spiritual leader of the Order of the Temple Knights, or regarded as the head of the ideal state.
True justice only prevails in that state the founder and ruler of which is Jesus Christ. (St. Augustine)
All people and all institutions are acting in the spirit of the Great Souls who are responsible for this planet. Everywhere is exhibited Their picture. Everywhere They preside, at least in spirit. Everywhere we ask: How would They act? What advice would They give?
All power is entrusted from above and exercised in the name of the Mahatmas. For its use one is held accountable.
People will recognize that they fare best when they submit to the spiritual leadership of the Mahatmas, both as individuals and as a community.
The new teaching of Agni Yoga must imbue all areas of life, both the private (e.g. marriage and family) as well as the public sector (politics, business, society).
The separation of church and state is necessary. But there can be no separation between faith and governance. A faith such as Christianity, as it is taught today, which can no longer give a politician or an entrepreneur any guidance for his actions, is worthless.
7. No Elections
A hierarchy rarely reverts to elections. The bearers of greater responsibility are selected from the outset only from a small, long educated, tried and tested circle. From a circle to which everyone has access; in which, however, he can rise to higher positions solely on account of his character, his proven selflessness, and his often-tested fulfillment of duties.
Such a community of hierarchs fills vacant positions only in exceptional cases through internal elections, but not by popular vote.
Imagine a village, a kindergarden, a school, a lawfirm or a business: The few hierarchs that lead such an institution have long been familiar with each other's strengths and weaknesses. They can therefore judge fairly well who is best suited for which office.
In general, a certain candidate will recommend himself without formal procedure on the basis of his education and talents. Only when, in exceptional cases, several persons equally suitable and equally willing to serve are available, an election might be considered.
The leaders of the future will be selected not by the irresponsible masses but, verily, by the Hierarchy of Light and Knowledge. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. I, letter of 10.09.1934)
This is a most unusual picture for us today. We must remember, however, that a selflessly serving spiritual leader will never press for an office.
When their turn comes, they should take over the toils of politics and become rulers for the public good, not as though they were performing some heroic action, but simply as a matter of duty. (Plato, The Republic, Book 7, XVII)
He does not seek anything for himself. He does not have any ambition or thirst for power. He only notes the burden of responsibility. Only those who think this way are apt to be true leaders.
We accept leadership, not as a distinction, but as an immutable necessity. Such responsibility should be the foundation of all human communities. (Supermundane, 40)
One fitted for true leadership is generally backward about asserting himself. Unless a definite call has been made upon him by others he will avoid everything which tends to push him to the front. His knowledge of his own limitations is so keen that it is actually painful if he be placed in a situation where he appears to stand forth as a superior in the eyes of his fellow men.
(Teachings of the Temple Vol.1, Lesson 186 “Egoism versus Egotism”)
Childish struggles for power as between present-day politicians cannot come up among hierarchs.
In other States men fight with one another about shadows only and are distracted in the struggle for power, which in their eyes is a great good. Whereas the truth is that the State in which the rulers are most reluctant to govern is always the best and most quietly governed, and the State in which they are most eager, the worst. (Plato, The Republic, Book 5, V)
Spiritual leaders serve in common the high goal of the realization of the Divine Will on earth. They recognize without envy the greater capacity of a co-brother. They are actually glad to be able to serve under a greater spirit because this diminishes their own load a little bit.
They know that exercising power is a sacrifice – the higher the position, the more. They do not push themselves into the foreground, on the contrary, take over this burden only when they are called upon to do so.
Contending for precedence cannot exist in Brotherhood. A natural hierarchy flows out of priority of knowledge and preeminence of spirit. Where it is realized that precedence is a great sacrifice, there can be no wrangling about earthly denominations. (Brotherhood 598)
Power, blessed by the highest knowledge and strained by the heart, is the highest sacrifice. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. I, letter of 24.02.1930)
This concept reveals a wonderful picture to us. In order to make this vision it a reality in the course of the next centuries, we must, by strict training and education, breed such a class of sages, initiates and hierarchs. We need rulers who are pure, wise, strong and selfless enough to recognize the Higher Will, to let themselves be guided by it, to convey it to humanity, and to enforce it on earth.
8. No Use of Force
Most important: A hierarchy is not built upon coercion, neither physical nor psychological. It is based on the trust of the so-called "ordinary people" that they fare best in an order in which truth and justice and not the "right" of the stronger prevail. A hierarchy is built upon the conviction of the people that the Mahatmas of the Brotherhood and their representatives are best suited to maintain this kind of an order.
Indispensable is a certain quality on the part of the people themselves — trust in and recognition of the power. Therefore, in different matters I so often reiterate about authority. (Fiery World I, 525)
The hierarchy does not impose itself on anyone, on the contrary: It takes over only when summoned. It withdraws immediately when it should lose the necessary confidence.
9. Ethics Councils
We cannot replace the old by a new form of government from one day to the other.
Life is so complex! It is impossible to bring to Earth immediately all the conditions of the higher worlds. Our Earth and its population are not yet ready to accept higher laws and higher conditions. Therefore, one is obliged to tolerate the present customs and circumstances, striving at the same time to improve and ennoble them as much as possible. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. I, letter of 25.03.1935)
A gradual transition could begin by recognizing how important for ruling a people are submission to the cosmic laws and personal qualities such as purity and wisdom.
We are not shaking the foundations, but are trying to establish a proper worldview. (Supermundane 613)
In this knowledge, Ethics Councils formed of spiritually high standing members of the community might be attached to the authorities in all institutions on all levels.
For a long time, it has become clear that neither professional specialists nor politicians are qualified to decide in matters of ethics. Neither the masses nor the majority, but only the sages can hope to find the right answer to the question of what is permitted to man and what is not. There dawns the realization that mankind hurts itself when it does what is forbidden.
We urgently need wise teachers who – like Islamic religious savants – can deliver a profound judgment (Fatwa) on the ethical issues facing the individual and the society.
However, real sages must be appointed, not, as in today's Ethics Councils, representatives of party interests who decide by majority.
Can there be any judgment concerning peace among those who are full of coarseness and cruelty? No one is concerned with the moral level of those who sit in judgment on the destinies of whole nations. No one will reflect that nothing clean comes out of dirt. (Brotherhood 502)
At the beginning, the Ethics Councils would not even have to exercise any power. They should have such a strong position, because of the moral authority of their members, that the politicians could only with difficulty overrule their opinion.
The Ethics Councils would be the institutionalized conscience of the rulers. At all times, spiritual leaders such as Plato or Gandhi have directed the destinies of whole nations without any external means of power.
A model can in some respects be Islam. Here, for example, special control bodies in companies make sure that business or banking transactions are executed according to the rules of faith and that unethical projects are abstained from (so-called "Islamic Banking").