"Traditionally, much of this [work of the conscious circle in the greater cosmic exchange] has been the deep, solitary work of those symbolic 'anonymous thirty-six': the hermits and small communities of religious adepts who quietly, faithfully lift up the world in their intercessory prayer. In a beautiful reflection in her book Old Age Helen Luke explains that the Latin intercedere actually means 'yielded between,' and the hermit in intercessory prayer is literally 'yielded between heaven and earth' -- which is exactly the positioning of the conscious circle of humanity. From there, this solitary work flows out to join all other work at that same vibrational level according to the principle that physicists call 'quantum entanglement,' and Rafe called 'no conscious work is every wasted.' . . .
"Sometimes the assignment becomes more proactive; the invitation is extended to actually create a missing element. This is the alchemy we saw so powerfully unfolding in the movie Babette's Feast. As her own heart looked deep into the hearts of those bickering and dispirited peasants, Babette could see that what they were really starving for was the experience of unconditional abundance; until that hunger had been satisfied in them -- 'pressed down, flowing over' (Luke 6:38) -- they would be unable to actually access the spiritual teaching they professed to believe in. That was the missing imaginal nutrient she set out to generate directly in her lavish, over-the-top banquet. No sermons, no guilting, no 'How could you have forgotten your teacher?' Just a simple, compassionate marking of the missing ingredient, like any good cook, and then an imaginative reshuffling of the ingredients suddenly miraculously at hand (somehow they always are) in order to meet the lack. The work is joyous, and when you begin to see its results, richly satisfying and far more efficient than the constant chiding and moral exhortations that make up so much of the tedium of World 48.
"Often the work goes on sideways; the real missing element emerges almost as a byproduct when one's conscious intention is focused on something else. The ecumenical monastic community at Taize, founded in the immediate aftermath of World War II, set out to establish itself as a center for spiritual reconciliation and harmony, and it has done very good work here. But what Taize will be remembered for long after the political initiatives have been forgotten is the body of song that emerged virtually spontaneously as the community reached out to the world's youth. The songs are of such harmonic purity and healing beauty that they actually put into the atmosphere the elements they invoke: trust, hope, light. I personally believe that Taize chant qualifies as what Gurdjieff would call 'objective art' -- art coming from a higher plane of consciousness for specific cosmic rebalancing purposes -- and that the 'downloading' of it in this remarkably imaginal spiritual community is a vintage example of a conscious-circle tag team at work."