The Spiritual Work of the United Nations and the Liberation of Humanity
The “sharp shears of sorrow must separate the real from the unreal; the lash of pain must awaken the sleepy soul to exquisite life; the wrenching away of the roots of life from the soil of selfish desire must be undergone, and then the man stands free.” So runs the Old Commentary in one of its more mystical stanzas.
Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul in The Rays and the Initiations, by Alice A. Bailey
Our world is interdependent. It is now clearer than ever before that the fate of one is linked to the fate of all. We have an obligation—individually and collectively—to help the destitute among us based on a profound appreciation of our shared humanity.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Launching UN Humanitarian Appeal 2008,
In one of the threads of dialogue within the UN Discussion Forum that focuses on this meditation initiative, one of the participants refers to a unique abstract wall relief, on the outside East wall of the General Assembly Building, overlooking the rose garden at the United Nations. In researching this sculpture, another participant found that this 50 x 17- foot abstract, created by the American artist, Ezio Martinelli, is also known by the title, “Aspiration.”
The Smithsonian American Art Museum catalog describes this abstract wall relief in the following way: “This piece is in golden aluminum and at its center is the main element, a sunburst of aluminum radiating outward.”
This seems a very fitting symbol for the work of the General Assembly and it is on this main body of the United Nations that we wish to bring focus in this month’s newsletter.
Established in 1945 under the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly was meant to occupy a central position as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations. Today, it is comprised of all 192 Members of the United Nations who use this main body for multilateral discussion on the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter. It is the General Assembly that also plays a significant role in setting international standards and codifying international law.
Over the years, many believe that the work of this main body has been sidelined and its power usurped by the Security Council, who is often perceived by international public opinion to represent the narrow interests of the few, as opposed to working on behalf of the Common Good of all.
As a result, this past Fall 2007 the President of the General Assembly appointed a Working Group whose mandate was to focus on the “Revitalization of the General Assembly.” In the words of Ambassador Eladio Loizaga from Paraquay, one of the Co-Chairs of that Working Group, the General Assembly needs to play the role envisioned for it as described within the Charter of the United Nations.
In announcing this major theme, this year’s General Assembly President, Srgjam Kerim, affirmed that “it is first and foremost by systematically tackling the challenges that we face together and achieving results, that the General Assembly makes itself stronger, more effective and more relevant to the lives of the global public.”
To this end, among its many activities, in December 2007, the General Assembly convened a meeting on “The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” an initiative first adopted in 2006 and to be reviewed again at the upcoming General Assembly meeting in the Fall of 2008.
Attempting to better understand and therefore prevent the scourge of terrorism that stalks humanity and the planet, a joint UN Conference was held in Tunis, Tunisia from 15-17 November 2007. One of the objectives of this conference was to examine the conditions under which this planetary blight flourishes.
Addressing this Conference, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlined the following conditions:
Prolonged unresolved conflicts;
Dehumanization of victims;;
Lack of rule of law and violations of human rights;
Ethnic, national and religious discrimination;
Social and economic marginalization; and,
Lack of good governance.
He went on to say, what we all know: although such conditions may be local in origin, they have consequences for all States and all people.
Summarizing the conference proceedings, the UN News Service echoed Mr. Ban's outline: “Participants agreed that terrorism flourishes in environments where there is discontent, exclusion, humiliation, poverty, political oppression and human rights abuses, as well as in countries engaged in regional conflicts.”
Offering unequivocal solution, Mr. Ban addressed the nearly 200 participants, representing all continents as well as international organizations, research institutes and civil society:
“Let me be clear: when we stand up for human rights, combat poverty and marginalization, when we seek to resolve conflicts, support good governance and the rule of law, we do so because these activities have intrinsic value and should be pursued in their own right. But as we do, we also work to counter terrorism, by addressing the very conditions that can be conducive to it.”
It is within the General Assembly that the people of the world are beginning to see themselves reflected in each other, recognizing the common fate of the one human family. It is within this organ that the spiritual principles of the unfolding Aquarian Age are incipiently noted: compassion, love, unity and cooperation on a planetary scale.
During the actual meditation stage, those of us who work with the meditation outline, “The Spiritual Work of the United Nations and the Liberation of Humanity” focus on the General Assembly, seeing this great international organ as the vehicle through which pour the hopes and aspirations of the people of the world; we see it as the focal point through which flow the spiritual energies of the Masters of the Wisdom and of the Supermundane World. As we do, we contemplate the divine purpose, which seeks to guide the work of the United Nations.
This month we are aided in our work by the energies pouring into our planet from the astrological sign of Pisces. Pisces is the 12th and last sign of the horoscope. We read in that esoteric tome, Esoteric Astrology, that Pisces stands for “the release of the soul from captivity and its return into the task of the world Saviour.” (p. 121)
In this sign we have the opportunity to shift our focus from a devotion to the needs of the separated self into a compassionate response to the needs of the Common Good.
The subtle energies of the inner worlds take much time in producing their effects upon the objective, tangible plane of daily living. However, this process can be enhanced when the power inherent in the light of many minds focuses on similar thoughtforms of Light, Love and Power.
You are thus invited to join in using the meditation outline that informs this meditation initiative, “The Spiritual Work of the United Nations and the Liberation of Humanity,” weekly every Friday (and at additional times of your choosing) and also to join those of us who live in proximity to the United Nations Meditation Room who will there meet for silent meditation on Wednesday, 20 February from Noon until 12:30 p.m. Discussion will follow outside the Meditation Room from 12:30 - 1:15 p.m.
We realize that thought is non-local; it travels through the ethers irrespective of physical plane boundaries and thus, as in the past, we ask those of you who live outside the New York City area to strengthen this work with the power of your Lighted thoughts, remembering the Agni Yoga wisdom, "The law is that two concordant thoughts increase the power seven times." (Leaves of Morya's Garden, Vol. II, Par. 7, Agni Yoga Society, New York)
Copies of the meditation outline are available in English, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Please inquire. A schedule of all forthcoming meeting dates for 2008 can be found at the following address, which also includes an explanation of the benefit of meditating at the time of the monthly Solar Festivals (full moons) in English, Spanish and Portuguese: http://www.aquaac.org/un/medmtgs.html
Also, please let us know if you would like to receive this letter in either Spanish or in the English-language plain-text version.
As always, your responses to this letter, the work of the United Nations as well as your reflective thoughts on your work with the UN meditation outline are welcome. You may share these responses by posting them in the UN Discussion Forum or by using the UN@aquaac.org e-mail address, also listed under the greeting, at the end of this message.
You are invited to ponder the quote of the month and the accompanying cosmic image, which changes on the first of each month.
We leave you with the following thought from the book, Problems of Humanity, which further underscores the spiritual work of the United Nations:
"The true problem of the United Nations is a twofold one: it involves the right distribution of the world's resources so that there may be freedom from want, and it involves also the bringing about of a true equality of opportunity and of education for all people everywhere. The nations, which have a wealth of resources, are not owners; they are custodians of the world's riches and hold them in trust for their fellowmen. The time will inevitably come when in the interest of peace and security—the capitalists in the various nations will be forced to realize this and will also be forced to substitute the principle of sharing for the ancient principle (which has hitherto governed them) of greedy grabbing." (pp. 174-175)
May we remember and find inspiration in the sunburst outside the General Assembly building, recollecting that the sun "draws near and vivifies the earth."
May this be the work of each one of us and of the United Nations' General Assembly,