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|The Externalization of the Hierarchy - Section II - The General World Picture|
|SECTION TWO - THE GENERAL WORLD PICTURE
The Causes of the World Difficulty
In giving these Instructions I am anxious for you clearly to comprehend the end I have in view. Sincere students and disciples must hold ever before them the idea of Service; in connection with our present theme this is political service - along the line of world planning and world government. This teaching will carry to the general public some idea of the trend of human destiny where nations and larger groups are concerned, and should give a conviction of hierarchical potency and a sense of illumination. It will, however, do this far more easily if the ideas I attempt to convey are backed by the understanding thought, and the intelligent mental cooperation of a group of people who have pondered deeply on the theme.
What is our theme? A study and an analysis, from the esoteric angle, of the social organization of humanity. I seek to have you grasp some of the universal implications which the signs of the times portray and not be entirely engrossed with the immediate situation or dilemma; too close a perception and too near a point of view does not tend to true understanding. It fails, for one thing, to indicate the particular place in the general world picture which the immediate happenings outline.
It is a platitude and a truism to state that humanity is today passing through a crisis of immense proportions. The causes of this crisis must be sought in many factors. They lie in the past; in the growth, through evolution, of certain  basic tendencies in man; in past mistakes, present opportunities, and the powerful activity of the Hierarchy of Love. The future is of great promise, provided man can learn the lessons of the present which have been closely presented to him; he must accept them and understand clearly the nature of his problem and of the crisis with its many ramifications and various implications.
The seething turmoil in which the masses of the people are now living and the emergence of one or two key people in every nation have a close relationship. These key people make their voices heard and evoke attention; their ideas are followed, rightly or wrongly, with attention, appreciation or distrust. The slow and careful formation of the New Group of World Servers is indicative of the crisis. They are overseeing or ushering in the New Age, and are present at the birthpangs of the new civilization, and the coming into manifestation of a new race, a new culture and a new world outlook. The work is necessarily slow and those of you who are immersed in the problems and the pains, find it hard to view the future with assurance or to interpret the present with clarity.
I have listed some of the reasons for the present world unrest in another book (Education in the New Age, Pages 116-125) reminding you that some of the causes lie in so remote a past that history knows nothing of them. You would find it useful to reread those few pages at this point, for in them I sought to give some insight into the essential situation which confronts mankind due to certain evolutionary developments:
We barely touched upon the fourth point and I am not enlarging at length upon it here either, fascinating as speculation might be, because I am anxious to have its major characteristics - those of unity and synthesis - stand  out with clarity in your minds. It gives the clue to all that is happening today in the world of politics and international governments, and accounts for the trend toward synthesis, amalgamation and affiliation.
The remaining four causes which we will consider later might be enumerated as follows:
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