Make Harmony & Order 
our Barometers for Change

 by Jef Bartow

The Spiritual Path, regardless of what venue you choose, is about change. Growth in evolution is growth through change. Accelerated psychological and spiritual growth through the Initiatory Process is simply consciously accelerated change. Therefore, when we stop seeing change in our life, we're on the crystallizing devolutionary cycle toward death. And this is not just in old-age. It typically kicks in as a natural process after one's first Saturn return at around the age of 29. That should be a pretty disturbing realization.

For many, including myself, knowing when it's time for change is not that easy to determine. This is why I believe that two characteristics of Spirit in Harmony and Order can be of great help. Let's begin by getting to know them better.

Harmony is defined by Webster's as "a combination of parts into a pleasing or orderly whole; agreeable in feeling, action, ideas, interests; peaceable or friendly relations." Synonyms include affinity, unity and euphony. Euphony is a "pleasant combination of agreeable sounds." This is what makes a melodic harmony in music.

Harmony is also related to all of existence, which philosophically has a "pre-established harmony." Psychologically, harmony has been related to the unity of multiplicities. From the chaos of life, harmony is created from a unity of similarities. Metaphysically, harmony is that which brings to perfection all forms that have emanated from the world of Causes. And spiritually, Harmony can be seen as that part of Spirit which conditions all existence to seek growth, unity and perfection.  Therefore, Harmony plays a pivotal role in the manifestation of Spirit.
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At the personality level and in our typical human relations, harmony tends to mean go along to get along; compromise; don't rock the boat; and lack of discord. Somehow these conditions will create a pleasant agreeable environment. Unfortunately, we all know through experience, that that doesn't happen. The pleasant agreeable environment only covers up the reality of a lack of true harmony.

Webster's closely links harmony with order. It might seem easier to understand order than harmony, but not Order as a characteristic of Spirit. Key aspects of Order are symmetry and synchronicity. Symmetry exists when there is a sense of proportion, harmony and balance. From an underlying continuity (Order), the diversities of material manifestation explode from God's creative process. This underlying continuity has been described as synchronicity, an "acausal connecting principle." Acausal means synchronous. Synchronous is defined as "happening at the same time; simultaneous."

C.G. Jung describes synchronicity as "meaningful coincidences." It is the underlying meaning which connects two independent events that make them synchronous. So, Order relates the bringing of meaning to the diversity of life activities and events.

Within God’s creative process, Order is revealed and/or unfolded from the creative interaction of Justice and Faith. From another perspective, by creating Order, all life receives Justice (perfect fitting of like parts) and nurturing healing (Faith) from experiences in the chaos of Matter. Both Order and Harmony are in linear alignment with Integrity and Beauty. All of these involve a form of aligning within Spirit.

Order at the human level, or in the sense of civilization, is characterized by obeying the rules; compliance with structure and authority; everything in its place and a place for everything; fixed or definite system; and finally, neat and tidy. This material orientation to order does help for survival and human progress in the cycle of involution/devolution. But related to growth and change, it becomes an overwhelmingly inhibiting factor. Psychologically, it is the most powerful means of creating a divided and repressed subconscious. And since the subconscious tends to balance our conscious states, it becomes the enemy of spiritual growth in many cases. 

To better understand how Harmony and Order are related, what do the human nature parts of each have in common? They both involve the lack of freedom. Therefore, using Harmony and Order in growth in Spirit is about freeing oneself from conditions which inhibit change and growth. And like most other facets in growth, what in the past has been positive for survival and growth, today is what needs overcoming on the Spiritual Path.

So now that we understand Harmony and Order better including their human counterparts as inhibiting factors to spiritual growth, let's make them our barometers for change and growth. A great place to begin is evaluating how much Harmony we have in our life. First, we can use our meditation time to look within and reflect on how much unity, euphony and perfection we see between our mental and emotional states; our imaginative approach and instinctive approach to life; and how much our physical day-to-day life outpictures our ideals and spiritual commitments. I guarantee it will provide a fertile field for internal change if we approach it with sincere self-reflection.

Next, let’s look at our closest relationship, whether spouse, friend or family member and determine how much positive unity and euphony exists. Once completed, then evaluate what parts of the relationship are based on the human nature reflections of harmony described above. Here is a great opportunity for powerful change and growth in a very important part of life. And from there, it's pretty easy use the same process of evaluation and positive commitment to change regarding work, family, socialization and each and every other important area of our life.

The process is similar for our second barometer of change in Order. Turning within, how much of our Order in life is based on proportion, harmony and balance and the meaningful connection of our day-to-day life activities with our spiritual commitment and orientation. Meditative reflection can also be a great tool in identifying where we are still living with the human survival/ conditioning orientation to order. Determining how much of our life is still about compliance, obedience and following the expectations of others (all opposites of freedom) can reveal many areas where change is needed that will bring growth in Spirit. And like above, apply the same evaluation to each and every important part of our life’s commitments.

This spiritual exercise can become a very powerful spiritual step if not taken lightly, applied enthusiastically, and with love. Since many of the other humans in our life are naturally resistant to change, love is the key ingredient to be applied generously. Once we have completed a systematic application of Harmony and Order to our life, then Harmony and Order can be tools in our spiritual toolbox to be revisited periodically. They can also become an automatic part of the way we orient to and view life’s changing circumstances; all the while maintaining our integrity and commitment to growing in Spirit.