The transformation of the earthly human culture into a celestial culture is another great Step on the Nine-Fold Path of the Divine Rainbow. Transformation of contemporary human culture is the key to the whole apocalyptic process of renewal of the Earth and humankind on it. This dramatic process was contemplated by St. John and he described it as the greatness and the wealth of all the nations being brought into the Holy City (Revelation 21: 22-27).
In essence the process of transformation of the earthly culture is similar to the blossoming of the human soul and the awakening of the higher Self. Just as a human being first develops a personality and self consciousness within the human culture and later transcends this level of existence to enter into the higher worlds, so human society develops its socio-cultural organism based on the earthly culture and later it has to transform its earthly culture and enter into the ring of cosmic-spiritual civilisations. Then human society ceases its absorption with itself, becomes an organic part of the heavenly civilisations, and starts to blossom in the reality of the Universal Soul and Spirit.
In order to blossom spiritually however the existing culture, which has developed on the basis of 'cosmic illusion' (maya), has to be illuminated and transformed. The substance of contemporary human culture is dense, thick and heavy because egoism, materialism, separation, division and narrow-mindedness are woven into its very fabric. It has developed within the limited confines of such fundamental structures as ego-personality, self-consciousness, material life, and so on. Almost all human relationships and socio-cultural structures, and subsequently the destinies of societies and nations, are functions of these categories.
The ego-based earthly culture has to be illuminated and spiritualised so that a new type of civilisation can be established. The new heavenly culture has to be founded on different archetypal structures such as the higher Self, super-consciousness, spiritual life, holistic society, harmonious relationships with the Earth and Nature, and so forth. In other words, the new human culture has to be built on a different type of individual human being - not egocentric but soul-awakened, living for the whole, with planetary consciousness.
In order to structure the transformation of the human culture we need to view human society as a living socio-cultural organism comprised of various interconnected systems – economic, political, cultural, religious, educational and so on – which will actually become the subject of transformation and spiritualisation. Each society in the history of humankind (whether it be a clan, a tribe, a people, a nation or a group of nations) forms its own socio-cultural organism and enters into one or another type of relationship with Nature and also with other societies. The life of human society as a socio-cultural organism is a vast and very interesting field for culturological analysis. This analysis can disclose a great variety of different types of socio-cultural organisms, each with its own principles of organisation, mechanisms of functioning, specific life-cycles (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, yearly and so on), forms of relationship with Nature, the Earth and other societies.
On this constructive culturological level we have to structure the process of transformation of the human culture into a heavenly culture. In other words, we have to answer constructively some of the main problems of contemporary human society and to point the way towards one integrated human culture in which all nations will find a place of respect and will live in peace, harmony and mutual understanding, developing the limitless possibilities of the human race and fulfilling its Divine mediatory function.
In Step Eight the Mission envisages many important tasks helping the spiritual rebirth of humankind as one great socio-cultural organism. It will shed light on all the main areas of human life on Earth. Here we could give just two examples.
WORK IN THE SPHERE OF RELIGION.
All religions derive their wisdom from the ultimate Source and each one of them has a special and unique contribution to the spiritual treasury of humankind. The spiritual achievements of the religions enrich and compliment each other and altogether form the basis of humankind as a spiritual family. The members of this spiritual family have however to recognise each other and to work together in order to put their house in Divine order. In this regard the Mission will work for the:
A. CREATION OF A COMMON METAPHYSICAL SPACE:
- DEVELOPING an appropriate metaphysical language and a set of metaphysical characteristics for the model of the Universe, the model of the human being, the type of spiritual practice, the understanding of earthly life, etc. introduced by each religion. Thus each religion will reveal its depth and its special contribution to the spiritual treasury of humankind.
- SUBSTANTIATING the principles – unity in diversity and diversity in unity. (The first will guide us towards the common ultimate Source of all religions, the second will help us to develop the bigger picture of the spiritual life of humankind where each religion could find its own unique place)
- PROMOTING metaphysical hospitality: every spiritual tradition is invited not only to enter into dialogue with the others but also to experience the spiritual achievements of the others based on its own spiritual practice. (An inspiring example could be the great Hindu Master Ramakrishna who, remaining a great yogi, achieved Buddhist nirvana, Christian resurrection and Muslim appreciation of Allah).
B. BUILDING THE METAPHYSICAL BRIDGE BETWEEN THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE BY:
- APPRECIATING the past. Reviving, appreciating and welcoming all spiritual traditions in human history originating from the Source of Light. (Some of them may be partly forgotten, others partly unaccepted but humankind has to enter and live in the New Millennium with all its spiritual richness).
- UNDERSTANDING the present. Viewing the picture of our dramatic time from a celestial perspective. (What is the direction of humankind's evolution now and what are the alternatives? Can humankind survive in the long term without spiritual rebirth? Is a new spiritual paradigm emerging? Without clear answers to these and many other related questions, we can't build the bridge from the spiritual past to the future.)
- ENVISAGING the future. Reflection, discussion and attention to any substantial vision presented to the Mission. (The visions have to be translatable into the metaphysical language and offer new spiritual substance. The Mission supports the visionary work but requires precision and clarity.)
C. FORMING THE SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY BY:
- ADOPTING, developing and recommending common spiritual practices in line with the principles of the Mission acceptable to the representatives of all religions. (Examples: The sacred dance Paneurhythmy could bring people from all religions and all ages in contact on a soul level and in link with the forces in Nature; the Mandala Meditation could unite the representatives of all religions in common meditation using their sacred formulas, mantras and sayings; the Ceremony of Light could become a common spiritual experience for people from various traditions dedicated to the cause of the spiritual rebirth of humankind)
- RESOLVING the metaphysical problems arising from the stream of activities of various religions. (Shedding light on actual world events from a metaphysical perspective and providing spiritual expertise and enlightened guidance)
- ENVISAGING and planning common planetary actions (such as multidimensional religious celebrations, solar festivals, Earth days (weeks), dedication of years as the UN has declared the year 2000 "International year of the Culture of Peace", etc.)
- COMMON work for developing the "model of planetary citizens" (i.e. people who work for the safety, happiness and welfare of all; who practice the whole spectrum of human virtues and show ecological awareness; who overcome egocentricity and take care for the whole of humankind and the Earth with all its kingdoms of life).
WORK IN THE SPHERE OF NATIONAL AND CULTURAL IDENTITY.
As discussed, each nation has a three-fold structure similar to that of the human being: body (personality) – soul – spirit. On the earthly or material level, every nation develops its life by forming a socio-cultural organism which consists of various systems such as economic, political, cultural, religious, educational and so forth. These systems are very closely, organically interconnected and, altogether, form the 'organism' of the society which, in order to develop and reproduce itself, enters into relationship with the socio-cultural organisms of other nations and with all kingdoms of life on Earth.
Every nation also has its National Soul, which is like a bouquet of human virtues that the nation develops over centuries and expresses through religion, morality, the arts and science. Each nation has a unique contribution to make to humankind's treasury of virtues. Together the national souls comprise the essence of humanity in the Heart of God – that is, in the reality of the Universal Soul.
Furthermore, every nation has its Divine National Sprit who leads the nation and its destiny according to the Divine Plan. Each nation has a mission which it unfolds over the centuries of its development on Earth, and the National Spirit, an emanation from the Divine Universal Spirit, is the inspirer of this mission. The 'kings of the Earth' referred to by St. John (in the Book of Revelation 21: 24) are the National Spirits who hold the keys to the spiritual wealth gathered by each nation along its historical path. So, when the time comes for humankind to return to the Kingdom of God, its 'kings' will bring forth and manifest the spiritual wealth of the nations.
In our turbulent and dramatic times when we see big national confrontations all over the world the work in this sphere becomes crucial. Here some of the national communities behave as very egotistical collective personalities influenced heavily by the Lucifer, Ahriman and Antichrist energies. Obviously the Mission has to do a lot of work for awakening the National Soul and the National Spirit of many nations in order to help their transformation and spiritual rebirth. Only then the task of the spiritual rebirth of humankind as a whole, where each nation will find its unique place and important contribution to the spiritual treasury of humankind, will become feasible.
Obviously the tasks mentioned in the spheres of national identity and religion are enormous indeed. Equally enormous however are the tasks in all other domains of human life on Earth – i.e. in the spheres of economics, politics, science, education, art, mass media, and so on. The Mission will work in all of them, analysing the four types of energy and their influence in every domain, formulating the main problems and offering appropriate solutions from a spiritual perspective.
The understanding of contemporary human culture from a celestial, macrocosmic perspective requires careful attention and goodwill. We have to be firmly established in the stream of Divine Light in order to have a clear and accurate picture of the processes at work in human culture. In our world of struggling polarities almost every cultural phenomenon is influenced by different types of energy. So, we have to examine the dynamic processes in the contemporary culture without judgement and negative emotion and look for appropriate ways to redirect them to the stream of Divine energy. Thus we will become true collaborators and co-creators with God.
A very important part of our work on Step Eight is to create a clear and constructive vision of the transformation of the earthly culture into a celestial culture, and to discover our own contribution to this process. We could base such a meditative, visionary work on the many inspiring spiritual books in which author-initiates anticipate the future of humankind.
The one-year spiritual school(#) consecrated to the work on Step Eight could be called a School for Celestial Culture on Earth. As in the previous schools the amount of work which has to be done exceeds the scope of a one-year spiritual school . Nevertheless, in one year we could establish the foundations of our individual work for the transformation of contemporary human culture.
It is truly a most exciting task to study the main archetypal structures of contemporary human culture which now has to be transformed and rebuilt. One could easily imagine the richness and depth of the 'theoretical' and 'practical' work that lies ahead. The participants in the school will be encouraged not only to study appropriate books and material but to do their own research and investigation. The process of delving down to the roots and intimate mechanisms of the existing human culture will eventually result in insights and revelations for the participants. On the other hand, the study of contemporary human culture will have a simple goal: the transformation of our own social activities – professional, political, cultural, religious, charitable – in accordance with the main principles of the new celestial culture. Thus we will become apostles and messengers of the new human civilisation on Earth.