The Golden Sufi Center

The Awakening of the World

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Now bless thyself: thou met’st with things dying,
I with things new-born.

— SHAKESPEARE, The Winter’s Tale

May we be those who shall renew this existence.



At this time of transition when one era is dying and another is being born, we have a choice: we can stay with the images of the past, the ghosts of materialism that have polluted and desecrated our planet. Or we can move into a future that is not yet defined, that is full of possibilities. There are already signs of this future, some visible and some as yet hidden. We can see the seeds of a global consciousness, a deep awareness that we are all one people who are a part of a living, interrelated ecosystem. And within this awareness is an awakening consciousness of oneness, a consciousness that is not based upon duality but upon a primal knowing of the oneness that belongs to life and is a direct expression of the divine. In the Internet and other forms of global communication we have been given some of the tools of this future, forms of interconnectivity that can take us beyond the hierarchical models of the past, into an organic and holistic way of living.

These are the signs of a future that is being born that can free us from the paradigm of duality and separation that has caused so much conflict and division, the conflicts of masculine and feminine, the split between matter and spirit. What is awakening is a more integrated consciousness that can heal and transform many of the wounds of the past era and offer humanity the possibility of living in greater harmony with each other and the planet. This awakening consciousness carries an energy that comes from the source of life, an energy that is dynamically alive, has the joy of creation, and brings with it a more direct experience of the divine that is within everything.

During the last era the many gods and goddesses of polytheism were replaced by the one God of monotheism. The masculine God of monotheism has a primarily transcendent nature—He lives in heaven—and as the gods and goddesses were banished the created world became separated from its divine nature. The split between matter and spirit emphasized the spiritual poverty of the physical world, and much of the natural magic that belongs to creation was also banished, just as the wise women who practiced healing and other natural arts were persecuted. As we become awake to the oneness that embraces all of creation, and is an embodiment of the oneness of God, humanity can reclaim the divinity of matter and the wonder of divine presence. We no longer need to live in a world of separation which has divorced matter and our physical selves from its spiritual nature. Everything is a celebration of divine oneness, everything a unique opportunity to praise and remember God.

Every moment is dynamically alive with His presence. Divine presence is not an isolated occurrence, not a single sighting to be revered and remembered, but an outpouring of love that is a constant stream coming into life. It cannot be captured, held as an icon. It needs to be embodied and fully lived. We are a part of the living substance of God that is in constant motion as It reveals Itself again and again, “never in the same form twice.” Each moment is complete, and each moment is a part of life’s continual outpouring.

Once we awaken to divine presence we will find ourself in a very different world. As we reconnect the physical world with its divine nature it can come alive again in many ways that are hidden or have been repressed. The physical world is not just dead matter, but a spinning organism of light full of magic and hidden potential. There are many forces in creation that are waiting to be activated that can heal and transform ourselves and the world. In the past some of these forces were known to shamans and healers. Much of the healing work of the future will be learning to work with these forces on both an individual and global level. We will learn new techniques that will bring together the wisdom of the shaman and priestess and the knowledge of the physician and scientist.

There are many different levels of reality, different dimensions of consciousness, from the physical world, through the archetypal world of symbols, to the pure consciousness of the Self and beyond into the planes of non-being. In the previous era the journey of spiritual ascent took the seeker from the physical world of the senses to the higher planes of reality. However, in the circle of divine oneness everything is present. There is no above and below, no ascending or descending. These are images of the past millennium. All the levels of reality interpenetrate, and the “highest” is present within each of us. The soul pervades the body from head to toe. Every cell is impregnated with His essence. And between the particles of creation is the infinite emptiness, which recent physics suggests is full of dark energy, and mystics know to carry the secrets of non-being.

The consciousness of oneness does not just embrace the physical world and the interrelationship of the web of life. It will also bring together the different levels of reality that in the last era were primarily kept separate. Our western culture may have its roots in the Pre-Socratic tradition of Parmenides and Empedocles, but we have systematically erased the knowledge that they were mystics and magicians with direct access to other worlds. Similarly we have forgotten how to work with the symbolic world, although as Carl Jung rediscovered, this knowledge was kept alive for many centuries by the alchemical tradition. We need to reclaim the knowing of how to work with the inner worlds, so that the wisdom and energy that is within us can come into the outer world and once again we can be nourished from the source of life and the meaning that comes from the soul.

Relearning the language of the inner world will mean regaining respect for the forces that underlie existence, the primal powers of life that were called gods and goddesses. We will have to realize the pain we have caused them through our neglect and abuse, and how our pursuit of materialism has polluted not just the physical world but also desecrated the inner world of the soul. We have created an inner and outer wasteland and stripped the sacred meaning from life. As we awaken to the new consciousness that is being offered we will have to accept responsibility for our actions and neglect. Consciousness always comes at a price and we will see more fully what we have done.

Then, when the worlds begin to flow together, when the inner and outer unite within our consciousness and our lives, something new can come alive. This is the child of the future, born from this coniunctio. She is both male and female, outer and inner, above and below, spirit and matter. She is within each of us and yet beyond us. She knows the secrets of matter and the majesty of light upon light.


These are hints to what might come into being. But something even more fundamental is taking place, something that needs our attention and participation. The world is coming alive in a way that has not happened for many millennia. A light at the core of creation is awakening and speaking to the light within humanity. Just as we have forgotten that the world belongs to God, we have forgotten that it is a living spiritual being that like an individual can spiritually awaken. There was a time many eras ago when the world was awake and humanity was nourished directly from the Source. It is sometimes called the Golden Age.

What does it mean that the world might awaken, and how can we help in this process? Esoteric knowledge has always known about different levels of consciousness within the human being and developed practices to help us evolve and awaken to a “higher” level. An individual’s awakening to the plane of the Self, a direct awareness of oneness, love, and pure consciousness, is the goal of many spiritual practices. The way the world functions as a living spiritual being is less known—this knowledge traditionally belongs to the spiritual hierarchy, the masters of wisdom (known in the Sufi tradition as the awiliya or friends of God) and their helpers. For millennia their work has been to look after the spiritual well-being of the world, aligning it with forces that can help in its evolution and protect it from negative forces that might be too destructive. “Keeping watch on the world and for the world” they have worked primarily in the inner planes, veiled, hidden, so that they can continue in their work undisturbed.

The work of the spiritual awakening of the world has been prepared for by these masters but this work also requires the participation of individual consciousness. The masters cannot do this work on their own because it is important that human consciousness take responsibility for and participates in this next stage of global evolution. The work of the masters has been to create a network of love and light around the world to act as a container for this shift in global consciousness. They have been linking together individuals and groups who are able and willing to participate in this work. The first stage of their work has been completed and the next stage will be to infuse into the spiritual body of the earth the energy needed to effect this shift. As with the spiritual transformation of the individual, any major shift in consciousness requires grace or energy from a dimension that cannot be directly accessed from within the previous consciousness. On the individual journey this is one of the reasons for the spiritual transmission given from teacher to disciple: the teacher transmits to the individual the energy he or she needs to make a major shift in consciousness. On a global level the masters have access to the energy that is needed for the world’s awakening and their work is to bring it into the world. The network of light they have created around the world can help in this process but it also needs the participation of individuals, those who are receptive to this act of spiritual service.

Part of the blueprint for the future is that its foundations and the energy that is given is in accordance with the essential note of the era. If the next era is about humanity taking responsibility for the planet then humanity must be able to directly participate in this stage of awakening. A work that used to be done in secret—accessible only to initiates—is now made open to anyone who wishes to participate. This is part of the nature of global oneness: everyone is allowed to participate. Of course many people are not interested in spiritual service, and even many sincere seekers are too focused on their own individual spiritual path to be open to this global dimension of service. But any who are sincerely drawn to be in service to the whole at this time of transition have the possibility to be involved, for their light to work with the light of the whole as it comes alive within the world.

How can the individual participate directly with the light of the whole? Through the relationship of microcosm and macroscom. The individual’s pivotal position of microcosm to the whole of creation can be found in alchemy and also in Sufism, as well as in other esoteric traditions. The mystery of this relationship reveals how the individual can relate directly to the whole without need for any intermediary, without organizations or hierarchy. The light and energies within the individual and within the world are directly connected and can resonate with each other—from one to One.

We are not a species separate from life but part of life’s organic wholeness and the light of our consciousness belongs to life—life needs it for its survival and transformation. When we give our light to the light of the world we make a connection of light to light that helps the world in its process of dynamic change. And each of us has a unique part to play, a contribution that only our individual light can make. This is part of the secret of oneness and the dynamics of its unfolding. Everything interrelates and communicates according to its true nature as part of the living web of life.

Through the relationship of individual consciousness and the light of the whole a new organic structure of consciousness can be created that will contain the light of the global consciousness that is needed for the next era. Once we live the truth of oneness we will realize that our consciousness is part of the consciousness of the world and has a determining factor in the world’s evolution. This is the real nature of co-creation, of participating directly with the changing patterns of life. Through the interaction of human consciousness life can create new forms, new ways of being. And with our own light we can welcome the light of the world back into creation. This relationship of the light of the individual to the whole is central to the awakening of the world.

Life has always presented humanity with new challenges to help us evolve and grow. Yet at each stage we are reluctant to “take upon us the mystery of things,” but would rather remain with the attitudes and conditioning that belong to a previous era. But a new way of life is waiting to come into being, and it needs us as midwives. We just need to recognize the simple wonder of being alive, of being a part of life, and say an unconditional “yes” to be fully present at this moment of transition. Through this “yes” we open ourselves to what life needs. Then life can reveal to us how we can work together. Life is a living spiritual presence that knows its divine purpose of which we are a part.

This is the challenge that is confronting those who are drawn to this light, whose souls want to work with this awakening. Here there are no righteous wars or the dramas of good and bad. Here there is no one and nothing to be saved or redeemed. A new birth has no knowledge of such things. It just carries the primal spark of creation, the eternal yes of life coming into being, and the stamp of the real Creator.


What could it mean if the world awakens? This is like the wonder of our own awakening. Over many years we might be given glimpses of the power of the heart, the wisdom and love within. We work to purify ourselves, to contribute in service to life and love. And one day something comes alive within us. Our heart awakens, and we experience a greater power and knowing beyond ourselves. This is the potential of the moment in the world. Our world’s soul can awaken, and all humanity can come to know its true nature.

We know how our awakening frees us from many of the patterns that restrict us and deny us our divine nature: how in the light of our real self many of the problems that consumed our energy fall away, or fade like mist in the morning sun. Although life presents us with difficulties and challenges it is not a problem, but a living spiritual being made in the image of God. When we recognize life’s divine nature, not as a spiritual ideal but a simple presence that is part of our everyday existence, we will find that once again we can experience the simple wonder and joy that belong to life.

When we work together with life as a living divine wholeness we will see the simple answers life has to sustaining itself. And we will be given new energies to work with life, energies that are presently hidden within creation but are also waiting to come alive. And something else will be present, something that we have forgotten for many millennia. In the midst of creation there is a song, a song that belongs to life that tells of its hidden purpose, what the Sufis call the mystery of the word “Kun!” [Be!]. Seeing life through the eyes of the ego we only see a small fraction of what it means to be alive, but in this song of life its true wonder and meaning can be heard. To be the guardians of the planet, to step into our real role of global responsibility, will open us to this song, this mystery made manifest.

An awareness of global oneness has begun to constellate. The idea of the unity of life, that “we are one,” no longer belongs just to a spiritual or ecological fringe, but is becoming part of the mainstream. But this awareness is lacking an essential ingredient—it is still an idea, it is not fully alive. When it becomes alive the heart of the world will open and we will hear the song of the divine oneness of life.

The world has to awaken from its sleep of forgetfulness—it can no longer afford to forget its divinity. More than any pollution it is this forgetfulness that is killing the earth. Collectively we are dying—we have forgotten our purpose and a life-form that has forgotten its purpose cannot survive. Its fundamental reason for existence fades away. The awakening of the heart of the world can redeem what has been desecrated, heal what has been wounded, purify what has been polluted. The song of the world will remind us all why we are here and the whole of life will rejoice.