Angels and Humans
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Angels and Humans

Frits Evelein

This article was originally published in VKVisie (issues 1 and 2 of 1997), the official magazine of the Dutch Province. It was translated by Joan van Beusekom and edited by Nell Taylor and editorial staff of The Liberal Catholic. It was published in the Easter 1998 issue of The Liberal Catholic.

Angels play an important role in the doctrine of the Liberal Catholic Church. Due to the frequency at which they are mentioned, one might ask: "What are angels", "What tasks do they have in the evolutionary scheme of our earth", "What is the relationship between the evolution of humans and of angels", and "what constitutes the co-operation between humans and angels"?

In the liturgy of the LCC we find many invocations to the angels. Texts such as: "...I pray our heavenly Father that he will send his holy angel to build for us a spiritual temple...", "...we pray that thou wouldst command thy holy angel to bear our oblation to thine altar on high...", "...I pray our heavenly Father that he will send his healing angel...", all are at the heart of the LCC ritual work.

These kinds of invocation play an important role in the co-operation between humans and angels, a co-operation that is essential in ceremonial work. A general term for an angel is deva. This word comes from Sanskrit meaning luminous or shining. Devas are often called Beings of Light, Radiant Beings and Glorious Beings. The name deva is a collective name with which a large number of etheric, spiritual entities are indicated. All these deva forms have their own characteristics of development and activities and are part of the complex associative system of life in the material and super-material worlds.

The One and the Many
Every form of existence is part of the One Life that manifests itself in an unimaginable diversity as the many. The spiritual ocean of space is a dizzying diversity of substance in which a complex richness of forms can be created. Dead matter does not exist, and in everything a gradual process of development from unconscious to conscious existence is occurring, no matter how infinitely small or limited it might seem. All life forms are, in one way or another, vehicles for the development of consciousness. The expansion of consciousness, the universal process in which everything that exists partakes, is often compared with breathing. The Divine exhales -this is seen as involution-, the Divine inhales -this is seen as evolution-. This cosmic inhaling and exhaling is mirrored in everything and is found as a cyclic process in all life. Involution is marked by the development of form from the most high to the lowest material, and evolution is marked by the transforming of that form from coarse to less coarse through the development of consciousness.

Involution is sometimes compared with becoming denser, and evolution with spiritualising and freeing itself from matter. The richness of forms necessary for involution and evolution is co-created by the influence of certain kinds of devas and spiritual builders, who ensure that the One actually can express itself in the many.

Elemental Substance
In our earth system these two tendencies appear simultaneously and are reciprocally dependent on each other. Everything that exists in matter is built up with the help of superfine substance, also called elemental substance. This elemental substance is made of very fine elementary living matter on the mental, astral and etheric levels, which is still in its involutionary process. Our physical, astral and mental bodies are built up of these elementary substances. All these myriad's of elemental-substantive parts of life are held together by pervading elemental consciousness. This is why one often speaks of the physical, the astral and mental elemental, signifying the different levels of consciousness of these different bodies. An important attribute of an elemental is that it has a sort of instinctive consciousness to stay together and to remain healthy, but also has an indescribable need for strong impulses, which stimulate its development to further materialisation. The surprising paradox in the constitution of our physical, astral and mental bodies is, therefore, that they are built up of substances which are on the involutionary path and directed toward denser matter, while our innermost spiritual being, the higher self or the soul, wants to free itself from matter and evolve towards finer matter.

Nature Spirits
Another form of existence of superfine matter is the nature spirit. Nature spirits, in most cases, are beings with an instinctive consciousness who are spurred on by higher devas to build forms and functions in water, earth, air and fire. These are on a path of evolution where they often follow their own lines of evolution next to those of the mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms. The nature spirits of earth, air, fire and water always have an activity that fits in with the kind of matter to which they belong.

Nature spirits are mostly active on the etheric level. Many nature spirits appear in fairy tales. In earlier times mankind could easily become aware on the etheric level and contact with the nature spirits was rather normal. The nature spirits of the earth are the various forms of gnomes: They appear deep in the earth but also show themselves on the earth's surface. The nature spirits of the water are undines, for example, moving in and over it. The image of the water nymph and the mermaid comes from these. The nature spirits of the air are the beings of the wind and the clouds. Many observers see the sylphs of the air as being closest to the human being and capable of contact with them. Their intelligence is greater than that of the etheric kinds of nature spirit and can be compared to that of the average human. Many stories exist of sylphs who incarnate in a human body, who, if that life is successful, remain linked to the human evolutionary path. These cases are extremely rare, however.

There exists also a range of forms, inter-mediate between water and air spirits. Who has not seen the images on the old land maps, where the wind is portrayed as a cloud with a little face and with full-blown cheeks: Surely a human image of the spirits of the air? The spirits of fire are called fire salamanders (lizards). These are concerned with the creation of heat and warmth. Everywhere where there is fire, salamanders are at work. Because these nature spirits are essential for water, fire, air and earth, they work as builders of these four aspects of the physical world and partly carry on the creation of the primary life in these four spheres. Some nature spirits are very large, others are very tiny. It is observed that nature spirits like to take on a human caricature form, whereby, for example, one body part is very large. Stories about trolls, kobolds, gnomes, elves and nymphs, etc. all reveal the enormous diversity of nature spirits.

Angels
Beyond the elemental kingdoms and nature spirits, many kingdoms of angels are active in different kinds of work. In general, the angelic world consists of angels with form, the rupa-angels, and angels without form, the arupa-angels. The rupa-angels belong to the lower regions of our earth, the etheric, astral and mental regions. They are seen as the lower angels, who can take on certain forms, just as thought forms can be distinguished in certain combinations and forms.

Among the arupa angels are those who are active in the highest levels of initiation known to our earth. Sun angels care for the building of a solar system. Angels who have received the seventh initiation are rulers over the five regions of the human evolution. Some angels also have a development equivalent to a Master of Wisdom and have received the fifth initiation. They work consciously together with the Masters of the Occult Hierarchy.

Angels communicate not through language but through music and colour. They are also active at the levels where human beings reside after they have left their physical body at death. Rupa angels are transmitters of energy belonging to their region. They do not have an individuality such as the human has and therefore do not transform energy as we do by our identification and our willpower. Rupa angels are in some way mediums that pass on and execute what is desired of them. But with arupa angels this is different. These angels are formless. They are rather like points or vortices of intense energy. Arupa devas often have large multitudes of lower angels and nature spirits under them. These execute what the arupa deva requests. An arupa deva does have a consciousness, though it is different to that of a human being. Neither does the arupa deva have an individuality, but has a better developed and awakened consciousness.

Angelic and Human co-operation necessary in the Holy Eucharist
A close co-operation between humans and angels is of great value for the spiritual health and advancement on our earth. Angels are always ready to lovingly answer every invocation by humans. By learning how we can tune in to them in a spiritual fashion, a living contact with them becomes increasingly possible. When we let the light of our soul glow in our personality, an important requirement is met to work together with the deva helpers. A great responsibility rests on our church to bring the richness and beauty of insight and knowledge into the field of co-operation between humans and angels and to actualise it in practice.

Humans and Angels
The human evolution and the angelic evolution are in a certain way separate. The human evolution progresses by experiencing contradiction in a physical body. In deva evolution the entity (angel or nature spirit) does not pass through a physical existence. Human evolution is concerned completely with a separated individuality becoming conscious and the development of willpower. The devas develop servitude and activity and the consciousness to execute the divine plan actively. Both lines (and there are many more) are very necessary and in a certain way need each other very much. H.P. Blavatsky tells us that angels, at a certain moment in their evolution, need to come into contact with the world of physical form if they want to evolve further on the ladder of evolution. The specifics of human evolution are therefore indispensable in the progression of cosmic evolution.

In contradistinction, a human, when perfection in human terms has been reached, may step over from the more human lines of evolution to those of the devas. An example of this is Mary, who, it is said, after reaching adeptship chose to proceed further on the line of the angels. She is now a radiant angel, often called the World Mother, and has many kinds of helping and healing angels under Her.

Co-operation with the Devas
Devas do not speak a language but communicate via music, colour and movement on a certain level of consciousness. Therefore a communication between humans and devas is totally different than communication between people. Words we say are not understood by devas, but the inner sound and colour of our thoughts can be understood. Depending on the nature of our thoughts, they can have an effect on different spiritual levels. An intensive, clear thought can create a thought form on the mental level. Such a thought form consists mostly of mental substance and has a certain colour, form and also sound. When our thoughts are directed to devas in such a manner that the colour and sound is recognised by them, communication is possible. A general invocation to devas in a prayer therefore has effect when it has an inner sound. The purity and clarity of the thought is important.

Every sincere thought directed towards devas which is recognisable in any way is answered with a stream of light. One of the most important aspects of ceremonial work is the concentration of power in order to work together with beings of the inner worlds: The concentrated and purified human thought sound as inner music and colour, which is recognised by devas.

Initiation of members is common in diverse mystery schools. These initiations, practised for many centuries and linked to different power reservoirs (which are thought forms filled with spiritual intentions and energy), can give the initiated a link with special angelic orders. Through this, every thought directed to devas becomes a signal for action. The initiate, priest, master, etc. in such an order, due to the initiation into this order, has access to these angels. Such access would not be possible, or exceedingly difficult for outsiders: They simply would not be heard nor recognised. By inner development, however, we people are all able and can learn to communicate with devas more constructively. In this fashion we can invoke their help and their power for the helping and healing of people, or the creation of works of art, philosophy and science. Rituals are sublime examples of the tuning-in of humans with devas. The sound, colour, movement and the rhythm of the ritual all form specific aspects of human action in the language of the devas. When our consciousness also awakens and comes into contact with the light of the soul, the con-sciousness of our higher self, our work becomes a mighty building, which with the assistance of the devas becomes a spiritual power uplifting the world of human and angelic life and thought.

Development of the Light of the Soul
Critical to the co-operation between people and angels is the ability of people to reach them. Our consciousness can be active on many levels where angels exist and by correctly forming our thoughts and intentions, these are recognised by them. It is important to have an impersonal attitude. Our personality is the greatest block in an open co-operation with devas. A good method for tuning in to the devas is by developing spiritual consciousness. The practice of meditation is a very important means to this end. By meditating, we learn to purify our thoughts and to direct them to a central theme. We may do this, for example, by directing our thoughts to a philosophical or mystical theme. We may also develop our spiritual vision: We see with our inner eye the relationship between people and nature and develop a vision about the unity and development of life. These kinds of pure spiritual images are as sound and colour to the devas who can easily react to this.

It is of paramount importance, that we only invoke devas for white ends. The devas do not ask if the intention is good or evil. They only pour out their energy in the measure to which they are invoked. The use of deva forces in a black manner loads us with negative karma, which we will have to neutralise in the future.

The light of the soul is the development of the contact between the higher self and the personality. By it the spiritual nature of our higher self is expressed in our personal life and consciousness. By leading a pure life, practising open-mindedness, meditation, contemplation and focusing on the good, gradually this tuning in develops. Rituals and group meditations can be powerful means of assistance. By development of the light of the soul in our personality, our ability to constructively work together with the angels increases. We see this in church services where the congregation is active, senses and knows how this works and practises it. When a celebrant, by developing his own spiritual nature has learned how the devas can be invoked inwardly, in addition to the automatically created ability of connection due to his ordination, he contributes enormously to the efficacy of the ceremony. From an altar where such a priest works, the light and fire can almost be touched and the congregation is raised in a feeling of transcendent joy and warmth. The light of which we speak is then felt and experienced. It is the light in us and outside of us: The universal light.

It is my view that it is of great importance that we, of The Liberal Catholic Church, act ever more consciously and intelligently in the knowledge of the devas and develop increasing co-operation with them. A great responsibility rests on the shoulders of those who possess such knowledge and insight. Also the clergy must spread the knowledge, the inspiration and insight about the angels as living light in our church, by study, meditation and insight. In this way, what we say is reflected in what we actually do. We actualise in our work and life the profound relationship between people and devas and we jointly build a little bit to the spiritualising and evolution of the world.

Bibliography:

Devas and Man. A Compilation of Theosophical Studies of the Angelic Kingdom (TPH Adyar).

Parisen, M: Angels and Mortals (TPH Wheaton. 1990)

Hodson, G: Light of the Sanctuary (TPI Manilla) and The Kingdom of the Gods (TPH Adyar)

van der Stok JE: Talks and Addresses (St. Michael's, the Netherlands)

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