Creation of an Enlightened Public Opinion


The history of humanity has been that of the apprehension and the use of ideas as applied to human living and as expressing forward-moving concepts. Ideas deal primarily with that which will eventually be, and are those spiritual and creative impulses which will supersede the old and build the "new house," the new civilisation in which humanity will live.

Cycle after cycle and civilisation after civilisation, the fresh stream of inflowing ideas has conditioned the dwelling places of humankind and our mode of life and expression. Through the impact of these ideas, humanity passes on to something better and greater and more appropriate to the life of a slowly manifesting divinity.

There are seven general processes that all true ideas, all ideas of constructive value and spiritual uplift, must undergo before they can effectively bring about changes in human consciousness. These seven methods are:

1. Imposition.

Those who use ideas in this way wield them with powerful impact, emphasising the governing principles which must be assimilated by humanity. These ideas embody great principles and qualify the new age.

These ideas bring about two developments. First, they initiate a period of destruction and of breaking up of that which is old and hindering, and this is later followed by the clear shining forth of the new idea and its subsequent grasping by the minds of intelligent humanity.

2. Deep thought, meditation, assimilation.

Those who work with ideas in this way carry them deeper into the mass of humanity by building a matrix in which the ideas have a chance to grow and develop.

By magnetic, attractive, sympathetic understanding and the wise use of action, based on love, the idea steadily increases in its power to affect and change.

3. Manipulation, adaptation.

As ideas emerge from the elevated consciousness of those who think in terms of principles, they are rendered attractive (magnetic) by the second type of worker; these ideas are then taken by these workers, adapted to the immediate need and rendered vocal by the force of the intellect.

4. Harmonisation.

New ideas must be blended with the old, so that there can be no dangerous gap or break. Those who work with this principle bring about a "righteous compromise" and adapt the new and the old so that the true pattern is preserved. They are engaged in the bridging process for they are true intuitives who have a capacity for the art of synthesis, so that their work can help in bringing forward a true presentation of the divine picture.

5. Investigation.

Some workers investigate form in order to find its hidden idea, its motivating power. Theirs is the art of scientific investigation. By understanding the meaning behind outer events, by recognising the causes which create circumstances, workers are preparing that new world in which humankind will work and live a more deeply conscious spiritual life.

6. Idealism, evoked desire.

The main work of servers along this line is to capitalise on the developed tendency of humanity to recognise ideas and — avoiding fanaticism and superficial desire — train world thinkers to so ardently desire the good, the true and the beautiful, that the idea which should materialise can shift from the plane of the mind and clothe itself in some form on earth.

7. Organised movement.

This work lies naturally on the physical plane and is characterised by potent rhythmic implementation. It is a method now coming into power and increasing use. Translating the ideal into constructive activity, so that it will embody as much of God's purpose as humanity can produce, calls for much skill in action.

The difference between the methods of the old age and those of the new can be seen in the idea of leadership by an individual and leadership by a group. It is the difference between the imposition of an individual's response to an idea upon his fellowmen and the reaction of a group to an idea, producing group idealism and focalising it into definite form, carrying forward the emergence of the idea without the dominance of any one individual.


Public opinion is the growing responsiveness to mass ideas by the rapidly evolving human mentality. This potent force has been much abused. Mass psychology and mob determination have been exploited down the ages, for the unthinking and the emotional are easily swayed in any direction. Previously this has been turned to advantage by those who do not have the best interest of humanity at heart. It has been used for selfish and evil ends far more often than for good.

Focused, determined, enlightened public opinion is the most potent force in the world. No ideology, no nation, no powerful group of human beings is immune to its reality. It has no equal but has been little used.

The problem before us therefore is the creation of enlightened public opinion based upon spiritually sound principles as a force for good within the world. Enlightened public opinion is positive; it does not draw upon negative receptivity for its effects. Its underlying premise is that mass thought and energy can be directed into right lines so that good motives and wise action can dominate human affairs.

At the heart of the responsibility for enlightened public opinion lies the power and the worth of the individual, epitomised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each of us, as an individual, is a definite and integral part of the whole. The values of the individual are surely based on the inherent divinity of the human spirit and on the integrity of the whole. The recognition of the common good, "each for all and all for each," is the basis of enlightened public opinion.

Two spiritual principles are needed as focal points for the creation of an enlightened force within world affairs. These are light upon the way and practical goodwill. Light demonstrates as positivity. Light upon the way is the illumination of human minds so that they can see things as they are, can apprehend right motives and the way to bring about right human relations. The motivating power of goodwill is essential to right action. Light reveals the goal; action, motivated by goodwill, releases the energy needed to achieve the goal.

Through the seven methods of imposition ~ deep thought, adaptation, harmonisation, investigation, evoked desire and organised movement ~ these two formative creative impulses, essential light and love, have the power to re-orient the mass ideas of the entire humanity. Seized upon by many minds, they can bring the idea of right human relations to a point where it becomes the ideal of the masses and will begin taking form in all national, public and community affairs.

We are all capable of adding our share of thought to the resource of an enlightened public opinion. It has been said that "nothing can stop an idea whose time has come." Anyone who has struggled to work with ideas, to think them through into constructive forms, knows well that preceding the emergence of an idea into clear life expression is a long, often arduous process of thought, application and repeated rethinking and relating of the idea to daily circumstance. This holds true within the world body as well.

An idea whose time has come within the public mind has done so because deep, responsible thought by many individuals has prepared the way for its inclusion into the arena of world events.


Excerpt is adapted from World Goodwill's booklet
"Techniques of Goodwill" (p. 27–30)
from Lucis Trust, 120 Wall St., 24th Floor, New York, NY 10005


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