In one of the ancient belief systems I have read about there is a mandate for living one’s life: “Do no harm. Do good whenever possible. Do not disfigure your soul.” The first two sentences seem straightforward, although the more you ponder them the more difficult they become. But that last sentence is one of the most profound I have read. Do not disfigure your soul. What does that mean? What disfigures one’s soul?

As I was pondering the notion of disfiguring my soul, driftwood came to mind. The best driftwood is twisted and contorted and seems almost impossible. It is branches or a tree that was so buffeted by nature that it grew in bends and turns. It is beautiful because it is strange. It looks anguished. A healthy tree grows straight and reaches toward the sun. Driftwood, on the other hand, appears to reach for anything or nothing. It has grown crooked. It is this that I imagine when I think of a disfigured soul. Twisted and contorted.

How does a soul become disfigured? Right away I can think of several ways that are obvious. Habitual lying, violence to people and beasts who share our earth, greed, arrogance, spite, hatred, all can cause a soul to grow crooked. But there are other things. I remember when I was working with victims of domestic violence. Some said to me, “but I let him hit me and didn’t call the cops because I was turning the other cheek.” “I forgave him like you are supposed to.” I disagree with those notions. When you let someone hit you with no consequence, you let the other person think that is acceptable, and that he or she can do that without paying a price. The truth is, they do pay a price when they develop that attitude, in that it causes their soul to become crooked. And when you contribute to someone’s soul becoming crooked it bends your own soul. You owe it to those around you to insist they treat you properly in order that they do not get disfigured. It is like hitting a baseball. The ball may go sailing out of the park, but the batter feels the hit in his wrists and shoulders and back. You cannot impact another without being impacted yourself. And so, although these victims thought they were being righteous by tolerating the bad behavior, they were in fact harming themselves and the person committing the act. Just as a tree must stand in the face of heavy wind to keep from being disfigured, so we must actively stand up for ourselves in the face of disrespect or violence.

This brings us to the topic I have been pursuing over the couple of months – the national group soul. As an individual’s soul can be disfigured, so can a national soul be disfigured. It can become disfigured when the national psyche is inured to dishonesty or cruelty. It can be disfigured by division and hate or scorn or indifference. It is particularly important today, as the current occupant of the White House has pardoned someone for lying to congress, to our law enforcement, and to our nation. This is disfiguring. I think of the words of Dion Fortune: “Inoculation of the group mind can only take place when members of that group mind receive and act upon the ideas; aliens cannot inoculate it. It will be noted that Hitler has always undermined a country through its own citizens, not through German-born agents….” The current state of our divided country did not happen because of an election four years ago. The seeds of the division have been placed by certain of our own citizens over the past several decades. These citizens did research as to the best way to work their way into the thinking of unwitting people who were too busy living their lives to see what was happening. They used dog whistles and distorted common phrases in ways most would not notice. In the process they created racial and cultural tension and division. As long as we are divided this way, they can swoop in and scoop up the bounty of our country. 

It is this division, this disfigurement of our national soul, that we must now step forward and counteract. This is why we look to discover appropriate and true sacred kings and egregores and engage them in our efforts. We need to work to straighten the national soul. Again, using the words of Dion Fortune, “It is our task, … recognising causation in the Unseen and end results only on the plane of matter, to formulate in our minds the plan and concept of the new order of things that is being brought to birth on the circuit of cosmic time. The process goes through three phases. First, as Leader, I have to obtain the realisations and teachings; then as a group we have to formulate them in meditation; finally, the individual members of the group have got to work them out in their own lives. Thus is the group mind of the race “inoculated” with the new concepts.” We do this by meditating and even mentally connecting with those who have fought this same battle before us. Now is a particularly important time to do this, as we are approaching the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter coming December 21 of this year. The Great Conjunction is a time of great social change, and we have the opportunity to impact that change. As we go into our meditation, with the great souls seated with us at the round table, let us consider the society we wish to have. Let us ponder equality, liberty and the rule of law. Let us see us as a nation of equals, where all types of diversity add to the beauty and vibrancy of our country, where our differences are embraced, resulting in a great richness of spirit.