The Principle of Reflection is often found manifesting in its most visible and stark form, at the level of Nations, i.e. the collective. Each and every nation on the earth is going through essentially human lessons, and exhibit natures much like human beings do. The physical environments, along with political, economic, social, religious and other structures within a nation are a proper reflection of the individuals of that nation, but greatly amplified because of the very number of individuals that express them through the centuries. Though the current millennia has seen the rise of the individual as being more important than the collective, the chapter 'War' in our book (The God Principle), lays out the case that the collective is just as important as the individual, if not more.
Being tightly ingrained into the collective, individuals are also subject to manifestations of the Principle of Reflection at the level of the collective, and subsequently bear consequences for the actions of the collective. A nation constitutes an effective way for an individual to starkly meet important aspects of his or her reflection, and to explore specific attributes of Being that are enhanced by that nation.
In the following sections we will cover succinctly some important aspects of human life that are explored through contemporary nations. It must be noted that the emotional aspect is something that runs as a thread through each and every nation. Here we will mainly consider other aspects.
We will start with China. The nation of China, in this epoch, is a manifesting arena for those who struggle primarily with the raw physical aspect of existence than any other. While much of her citizenry must cope with physically strenuous and laborious work, or drudgery as it were, they are also well equipped to do so. Part of that ability is imparted to them by their spoken languages, such as the very phonemes used in the naming of individuals. The ringing syllables and nasal tones that are often used help accentuate various energy centers of the physical body. The result has been an extraordinary fascination of her citizens with all endeavors of a highly physical nature, such as gymnastics, athletics, martial arts and war. This focus on the physical also pervades her political, social, economical and spiritual domains. The political philosophy of communism neither recognizes nor tolerates anything non-physical (such as notions of Deity), and has fostered an atheistic, materially focused way of life. Even her spiritual traditions focus either on nature per se (like Taoism), or with atheistic notions that have non-existence as a stated goal (The term 'nirvana' literally means 'to extinguish'). We realize that many readers might take exception to the latter statement, but it should be understood in the proper context of this discussion. China’s main vocation today is manufacturing - again a materially oriented activity that works primarily with the body of the earth. She is a nation of great physical energy which, in the wrong hands, can prove to be highly dangerous - leading to systematic manipulation, oppression and war mongering. These are some of the challenges she must meet squarely in the face in the years to come - which can either result in the resuscitation and revival of her spirit from purely material fascinations, or the complete destruction of the Chinese nation as it exists today. A nation not founded on higher values simply cannot hope to survive into the coming age.
We discussed India and the main reasons for her downfall in our book, The God Principle. While China has been focused on the physical, India in the Piscean age has been focused on the mental aspect of Being, albeit on all of its negative forms. This land of mysticism and spirituality lost her moorings in the high truths of spirit and fell into befuddlement, eventually fostering a nation of literal dreamers. In the process of meeting herself, a heavy apathy came down upon her being, which suppressed creative action and the exercise of human will to change circumstances. Caught up in irrationality and superstition in the name of truth, she created all kinds of social abominations. Her abstruse and diverse religious philosophies did little to awaken her from that dreaming which seeks to escape from the harsher realities of physical existence, and often only encouraged such escape. But times are changing, and a new incisive rationality and logic has begun to seep into her life stream. One of her new and prominent vocations is in software, a highly mental and logic oriented activity that leaves little room for irrationality. As India begins to train herself to find her reason again, awake from her somnolent dreams and destroy the mental shackles that have kept her bound for centuries, she will once again find both the truths of the spirit and the material success that was hers a long time ago. Her destiny is indeed to become a teacher of truth to the nations, but not until she has learnt her own hard lessons. For she still carries a very heavy debt that is yet to be paid in full (see chapter ‘Chaos’ in The God Principle).
Between India and China rises the Himalayas, that great mountain range which has been called the abode of the sages. In the chapter 'Mountain', we discussed the spiritual significance of mountainous formations, and it is no accident that the highest sources of spiritual truth yet available on the Earth are to be found associated with such locations. The Himalayas have been particularly instrumental to this purpose, and the old kingdom of Tibet once used to be its crown jewel of spirituality. However the body of Tibet was sacrificed as a desperate measure, much like the sacrifice of the Master from Galilee, so that China may find, in time, a new life and hopefully a new spirit, and not disintegrate from within like the Soviet Union. A nation founded on higher truths is never extinguished, and Tibet will rise again in the coming age.
If the Himalayas holds the highest land location on the earth and a source of the highest spirituality, we should point to the lowest land location on the earth for its lowest manifestations. We refer to areas around the Dead Sea, where the Israeli-Palestine conflict continues unabated. This land represents spirituality in some of its worst practiced forms, making a mockery of Truth and the name of God. On the shores of the Dead Sea once existed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The fresh waters of the Jordan, flowing through the sea of Galilee on whose shores the Master walked, drain into the lifeless Dead Sea. Such a geographical symbolism is no accident, for the high waters of truth were poured out into this land, only to be defiled, poisoned and transformed into a source of utter death and destruction for millions. This land is a literal barometer of humanity's spiritual state, a stark demonstration of how low the human life stream has fallen in the name of the spirit. Until this land is cleansed and purified there is little hope that human kind as a race can reach higher into the spirit. Scriptural references to 'Armageddon' may be interpreted in this context.
In the area of the Middle East are also to be found manifesting, the so-called Arab peoples, who in their soul histories have always struggled with any concept of authority, law and order, and of yielding to a higher will than theirs. These souls have chosen to manifest in such lands to imbibe these very attributes of Being - which are ingrained into the personality through authoritarian and dictatorial regimes, as well as through the benevolent influence of the religion of the Prophet, which requires submission of will to a higher power many times a day. At this point, we should state that a Nation is truly responsible for her leaders - for the latter represent a reflection of her peoples who have literally called their leaders into manifestation. If the draconian rule of law were to be lifted, many of these nations can descend into anarchy. When the requisite internal changes have been truly made, the authoritarian regimes must topple over to make way for a new Arab order.
Farther east, in the remote mountains of Afghanistan, are to be found manifesting a group of peoples who, in their soul history, have been primarily responsible for pillaging, looting and despoiling weaker nations, tribes and individuals in a relentless quest for glory, power and wealth - with little regard for the death and desolation that followed in their wake. She has become the graveyard of the conquerors, both in being conquered and despoiled repeatedly over the millennia, as well as functioning as a manifesting arena for those one time conquerors who now meet themselves as her raggedy citizens. The heady and potent drug of past victories has been replaced with the mind corrupting drug of opium, and the savagery within has been unleashed on one another in tribal warfare. Afghanistan will continue to function in its primary role of helping war mongering military men in meeting themselves. When this nation finally finds peace, the great plague of war would have been rooted out of the human life stream.
Turning west, we will take a look at the United States of America.
The USA has always been the epicenter of global change in modern times. After much orchestration of events from higher levels, she was given the opportunity to choose, by almost a narrow margin, a black President whose presence and policies further accelerate and bring to light existing divisions and polarities within that nation. America is meeting herself. It must be recognized that a country of the caliber of the US, carrying a constitutional framework that greatly values liberty and freedom of the individual, cannot be given the choice of a President who is also not an evolved soul - for too much is at stake in the evolution of Nations and human ideals. There are many other nations where other types of values and choices are tried and tested.
The current US President (2009) functions as a catalyst in this self-expression and self-discovery in times of upheaval and crisis, for these are opportunities for much soul searching. It is hoped that this nation at large will choose unity rather than divisions; hope and openness rather than fear and isolation - and offer her hand and heart magnanimously to other suffering nations, just as she did during earlier times in history by opening up to the poor and the homeless outside her borders,. They then found shelter, sustenance, freedom, liberty and wealth in her open arms. These acts of America have been responsible for her rise to power, riches and leadership. America in more recent times has moved away from that calling, and this has sounded the beginning of her downfall. In many ways she is an embodiment of paradoxes, for she is more than the land of opportunity and dreams. Because she wrenched that land away from the hearts of the native Indians, a people who had a very sacred connection with their land, she is also the land of broken hearts. And her people are wanderers unable to truly settle down anywhere on the land, or find lasting relationships.
But now she is given another opportunity to make her choices anew and redeem herself, as events and circumstances will continue to materialize throughout the world, while forces and interests on various sides battle for the hearts and minds of her citizens. These forces and interests will be allowed greatly increased access to her citizens like never before, to truly test her discernment. It is in difficult times, when the odds are stacked heavily against, that the heart is truly revealed. This self discovery through Temptation is a very important function of Reality. With Europe rising, those choices will determine whether America will lead other nations into the coming age, or be relegated among many of the has-been nations and civilizations in the annals of history.