The Crisis of Criticism

First and foremost, criticism is a very virulent poison. It damages in every case the one who criticizes, and hurts still more the one who is criticized. It can be based on many things, but is usually rooted in jealousy, thwarted ambitions, or pride of individual intellect. (1)

Each member of a group ~ whether personal, family, business, community, national, or international ~ is prone to sit in judgment. The problem is that no one person can truly know all the responsibilities that exist, and criticism is, therefore, easy. Far from uniting the group, this criticism can divide it and cause harm, both physically and to the subtler bodies. Whether spoken or thought, these negative energies can weaken, confuse, and dispirit even the strongest of groups.

Although unvoiced criticism is very dangerous because it is powerfully focused and strongly directed, it is when criticism is voiced and strengthened by the cooperation of others that it becomes truly lethal. As such, it is usually directed at the leader of the group ~ as idle gossip, imputation of motives, untrue formulated ideas, frustrated ambitions, jealousies and hatreds. These produce results in the aborted effectiveness of the whole group and also in the actual physical health of the members. Quite often where this negative criticism is evident, there are cases of heart troubles, intestinal problems, cancers, and bone disorders. The emotional body can also be affected by nervous breakdowns, addictions, relationship problems, and the tendency to be overwhelmed.

It is hard for the individual group member to appreciate the dire effects when one or two persons are the target for group criticism. The more highly evolved the person who is targeted, the greater the pain and suffering. Willful people who naturally have a "technique of isolation" suffer less, for they know how to shut off these directed streams of force. People who are not deeply spiritual can even return the energies to their originators and wreak havoc in those lives. Loving, wise people do not and cannot work this way. They are natural absorbers and magnetically attract all that is directed towards them in their environment. That is why such great leaders as the Christ, Ghandi, Lincoln, and King paid the penalty of death. They were killed not only by their enemies but also by their so-called friends.

Then there is the reverse of criticism that must be faced by many group leaders. That is, being "smothered" by the devotion of the group members. It is not as poisonous as criticism because it is along the line of love, but it is nonetheless handicapping and leads to many forms of difficulty, misunderstandings and group reactions. It produces the "crippling of the one who seeks to serve and the binding of their hands and feet." (2) The umbilical cord must be cut between the leader and the group. The major mistake of the groups during 2000-year Piscean age (now coming to a close) was that they remained attached too strongly to the leader, or, when aroused emotionally, violently disrupted or severed the tie between group and leader.

In the Aquarian age the cord will be cut early in the life of the group, but the leader or group of leaders will remain for a long time (as the mother of a child) the guiding inspiration, the loving protective force, and the source of teaching. When this is the case, the group can proceed upon its way and live its life as a self-directing agent, even when the leader passes away or where there is needed a change in leaders.

Groups in the coming age will be held together by a subjective link and not so much by the emotional reactions induced by outer contact. The more frequent the physical contact between group members, the more definite will be the group problems and difficulties. Ponder this carefully for it holds the clue to the successful working of the new groups. In these early stages of true group work, the difficulties which arise from group contact are frequently of a purely physiological nature and are not so deeply seated as those with which we have earlier been dealing. Physical troubles and disease are not of so serious a nature as are psychological. This is a point to be remembered.

What can a leader or group member do in these unfortunately normal and usual circumstances? Nothing but continue in the work, retreat within themself, speak the truth with love, and refuse to become bitter over the pain inflicted. Then wait until the group members learn the lessons of responsibility, cooperation, silence, loving appreciation, and the wise realization and understanding of problems with which all groups are faced in these difficult and individualistic days. That time will come.

In the coming cycle we can know that the true work of spiritually welding the world into a synthesis of a recognized unity of souls will be carried forward only by those who refuse to be separative and whose words are watched, so that no evil is spoken. These are workers who see the divine in all and refuse to think and impute ill. They work with sealed lips and deal not with their brother's affairs, nor reveal that which concerns them. Their lives are colored by understanding and love. Their minds are characterized by a trained spiritual perception and that spiritual awareness which employs a keen intellect as the corollary of a loving spirit.

The importance of this theme is vital and the effects of the work of these groups on the world is immense. Such men and women whose mission is to inaugurate the new world order have learned the secret of silence. They are animated ceaselessly by a spirit of inclusive love, their tongues do not lead them astray into criticism, and they permit no condemnation of others. They are filled with a spirit of protection. To them will be committed the work of fostering the life of the new world order. That time will come.

Teaching adapted and quoted from
Alice A. Bailey's Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II (p. 617 - 620)
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(1) Alice A. Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II (p. 617)
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(2) Alice A. Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II (p. 619)
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