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CHAPTER FIVE - THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHRIST - Part 1

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CHAPTER FIVE

THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHRIST

The Establishing of Right Human Relations

The Law of Rebirth

Revelation of the Mystery of Initiation

The Dispelling of Glamour

It might be useful to make a few opening remarks upon the general subject of the teaching given (down the ages) by the Sons of God Who have come forth in the hour of humanity's need, in order to present to the consciousness of the men of Their time certain required ideas and concepts of truth. When They come, Their aim is to meet the immediate need in such a fashion that the ideas presented may become ideals to which eventually the life of mankind would later conform and bring about a better civilisation. There has been a great continuity of such teaching down the ages.

There is not the time to write or the time to read a complete analysis or statement as to the progressive revelation of ideas which great and illumined minds, authorised by the spiritual Hierarchy of the planet, have brought to humanity. All the cyclic Teachers (to differentiate Them from the many lesser Teachers) have mastered life for Themselves in the three worlds of human evolution—physical, emotional and mental—have achieved control of the physical level of consciousness, of Their emotional-feeling nature, and have attained mental understanding and finally enlightenment.

The problem of the Hierarchy has been (and still is) how much exact truth humanity can comprehend, and to [103] what extent absolute truth can be presented to their awakening minds; They have to decide which aspect of universal truth will enable man to emerge out of his difficulties and thus move forward on the Path of Return to God; They have to know, therefore, at what point on the ladder of evolution humanity stands at any given period. This in itself presents a field of research to Them.

The method hitherto followed has been to decide what is the major factor lacking in man's perception of reality (at any given time), and what recognised divine truth has in it the seeds of a living activity for a humanity in a particular condition, necessitating a certain type of help. They have also to determine how that help can best be presented, so that its results will be lasting, cultural and effective. Hitherto, the presented concepts have been formulated by the world Teachers of the period, and presented to a picked and chosen few whose task it has been to take the newly presented idea and promulgate it among those men who are enlightened enough to accept it, to spread it, to live it and to make it popular. This they have done for ages with more or less success.

It is also not possible here to give the relatively few truths which guided the development of humanity in old Atlantis; these, however, form the firm foundation of all later teaching. We can study (as a background to our consideration of the teachings which Christ will give after His reappearance) several of the minor concepts which today underlie the teaching of all the world religions, and which modern religious teachers should be presenting to the public mind.

The first such Teacher is of such ancient date that it is not possible to say when He truly lived; even His name is a modernised one, given to an ancient hero-teacher. His name is Hercules. He presented to the world, through [104] the form of a pictorial and world drama (symbolic in nature) the concept of a great objective, only to be reached as the result of struggle and difficulty. He pointed to a goal toward which men must make their way, no matter what the obstacles; these obstacles He portrayed in the Twelve Labours of Hercules which were dramas and not factual occurrences. He thus pictured for those who had eyes to see and hearts to understand the nature of the problem to be solved upon the Path of Return to God; He depicted the Prodigal Son's journey back to the Father's house, and the tests and trials which all disciples, aspirants and initiates have to face and which all Those Who today compose the spiritual Hierarchy have already faced. When this statement is considered, it must include also the Christ Who, we are told, "was in all points tempted like as we are" (Heb. IV.15), but also passed triumphantly the tests and trials.

At some also unknown date Hermes came and, so the records say, was the first to proclaim Himself as "the Light of the World." Later the great Teacher, Vyasa, appeared. He gave one simple and needed message that death is not the end. From His time, the thinking of humanity about the possible immortality of the soul can be seen to stem. Vaguely and instinctively, men had hoped and sensed that the discarding of the physical vehicle was not the final consummation to all human struggle, loving and aspiration; in those early days, feeling dominated and instinct led; thought was not found among the masses of men as it is today. In this period of culmination in which we now live, the work of the spiritualistic movement, in its many forms, is in reality the emergence of that stream of thought-energy and of the idea which Vyasa, thousands of years ago, implanted in the human consciousness. The effort of the intellectuals [105] to prove the scientific possibility of immortality is part also of this great stream, carried onto intellectual levels, thus salvaging Vyasa's work from the mists and glamours and the psychic dishonesty with which it is now surrounded. The fact of immortality is today on the verge of scientific proof; the fact of the survival of some factor has already been proved, though what has been demonstrated as surviving is apparently not in itself intrinsically immortal. The factual nature of the soul, and the fact of soul survival and of its eternal livingness, go hand in hand and have not yet been scientifically proven; they are, however, known and recognised as truths today by such countless millions and by so many intellectuals that—unless mass hysteria and mass deception is posited—their existence is already correctly surmised.

Buddha is the next Teacher to Whom we should refer, though there were many between His time and that of Vyasa. During those centuries wherein history is relatively dim and faint in its outlines, the intelligence of men had been rapidly growing, and the enquiring perception of mankind came into increasingly active use. The asking of questions, to which there seem no apparent or easy answers, focussed itself in a group of thinkers in India and they represented thinking men in every land. They asked the ancient questions as to why there is sorrow and misery in every land and in every life; they asked what caused these things and what must be done to change these circumstances of life; they demanded to know what was the integrating principle in man, and what was the soul and was there a self. The Buddha came forth to give the answer and to lay the foundation for a more enlightened approach to life, giving the teaching which [106] would open the door to the work of the Christ Who would, He knew, follow in His steps.

It is interesting to remember that when the Buddha came, approximately five hundred years before Christ (for the exact date of Christ's birth remains debatable), the first dim influences of the Piscean Age could be felt, impinging upon the powerful quality of the age of Aries, the Scapegoat or the Ram. It was the influence of this age—persisting throughout the Jewish dispensation—which led eventually to the distortion of the simple teaching of the Christ when He came. He was erroneously presented to the world as the living Scapegoat, bearing away the sins of the people, and thus originating the doctrine of the vicarious at-one-ment. It was St. Paul who was responsible for this emphasis. A paralleling instance of a similar distortion was also of Jewish origin and appeared in the early stages of the cycle of Aries, the Ram. We are told that the Children of Israel fell down and worshipped the golden calf, the symbol of Taurus, the Bull; this was the preceding astronomical cycle. These are astronomical cycles and not a presented astrology. In the early stages of Aries, the teaching reverted to that of Taurus and in the early stages of Pisces, it reverted to that of Aries and thus set the seal of retrogression upon the teaching which now controls so many orthodox Christians.

Buddha answered the questions posited in His time by giving out the Four Noble Truths, which satisfactorily and eternally answer man's demand of why. These Truths can be summarised as follows: the Buddha taught that misery and suffering were of man's own making and that the focussing of human desire upon the undesirable, the ephemeral and the material was the cause of all despair, all hatred and competition, and the reason why [107] man found himself living in the realm of death—the realm of physical living, which is the true death of the spirit. He made a unique contribution to the teaching given by Hercules and Vyasa, and added to the structure of truth which They had erected. Thus He prepared the way for Christ. Between the times of these two great Teachers, the Buddha and the Christ, lesser teachers appeared to amplify and add to the already given basic truths; of these Sankaracharya was one of the most important, giving, as He did, deep instruction upon the nature of the Self. Also the teacher in The Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna, must be noted, for many believe Him to be a previous incarnation of the Christ.

Thus the fundamental truths upon which relation to God (and, therefore, relation to our fellowmen) is founded are always given out by the Son of God, Who—in any particular world period—is the teaching Head of the spiritual Hierarchy.

In due time, Christ came and gave out to the world (mainly through His disciples) two major truths: the fact of the existence of the human soul and, secondly, the system of service (this phrase is used advisedly) as a mode of establishing right human relations—to God and to one's fellowmen. He told men that they were all the Sons of God in the same sense that He was; He told them in many symbolic ways who and what He was and assured them that they could do even greater things than He had done, because they were divine as He was. These greater things, humanity has already accomplished upon the physical plane and in its control of nature, as Christ knew men would, because He knew the workings of the Law of Evolution. He taught them that service was the key to the life of liberation, teaching them the technique of service through His own life as He went [108] about doing good, healing the sick, as well as preaching and teaching the things of the Kingdom of God and feeding the hungry, both physically and spiritually. He made the life of every day a divine sphere of spiritual livingness, thus emphasising the teaching of the Buddha, through desiring nothing for the separated self. Thus the Christ taught, loved, and lived, carrying forward the great continuity of revelation and of hierarchical teaching; then He entered for us within the veil, leaving us an example that we should follow His steps (1 Pet. II.21)—follow Him in His belief in divinity, in His service and in ability to penetrate into that area of consciousness and that field of activity which we call the true Church of Christ, the spiritual (at present invisible) Hierarchy of our planet, the true Kingdom of God. The veil that hides that real church from us is now in process of disappearing and Christ is on the verge of reappearing.

In the light of the past, therefore, and of humanity's present need, which Christ and the Hierarchy must meet, what will be the teaching which He will this time give? Such is the question which His disciples are now asking. The probability is that His teaching will fall into four parts; we would do well to consider each of them and do our best to understand and prepare the human mind for the reception of what He has to give.

I. The Establishing of Right Human Relations

The phrase "right human relations" is one that is today being much discussed; it is being increasingly realised that it is a major human need, and the only hope of a peaceful and secure future. Wrong human relations have reached such a stage of difficulty that every phase of human life is in a state of chaotic turmoil; every aspect [109] of daily living is involved—family life, communal living, business relations, religious and political contacts, governmental action and the habitual life of all peoples, including the entire field of international relations. Everywhere there is hate, competition, mal-adjustment, strife between parties, the vilest kind of muck raking and scandal making, deep distrust between men and nations, between capital and labour and among the many sects, churches and religions. The difference between a sect and a church is, after all, only one of degree and historical inception; it is one of interpretation, of fanatical adherence to some pet truth and always—exclusiveness, which is contrary to Christian teaching. Nowhere is there peace today or understanding; only a small minority in relation to the Earth's population are struggling for those conditions which will lead to peaceful and happy relationships.

The strength of this fighting minority, struggling for peace and right relations, consists in the fact that the work they are attempting to do is in line with divine intention and purpose. Into this chaos of conflicting, competitive and fighting interests, Christ plans to reappear. I would ask you to contemplate the very real horror of what He has to face, and the necessity for some measure of order to be brought about in the world, for certain basic principles to be enunciated and partially, at least, accepted, before He can usefully work amongst men. If He were to come immediately, His voice would not be heard, for the noise of men's quarrelling is too great; if He sought to attract human attention, even through the prophesied sound of the trumpet (Matt. XXIV.31), He would be classed simply as one who advertised himself; if He preached and taught, He would attract primarily those who think naturally in unison with His message, or the gullible and the credulous would flock to Him, as they [110] do to all new teachers—no matter what they teach. The bulk of human beings are still too hungry, too devastated psychically, too bewildered and distressed, and too unsure of their future, their freedom and their security to be in any condition to listen to Him.

He will not come, we may be sure, as a conquering hero, as the interpretations of the theological teachers have led man to believe, for that would certainly fail to identify Him and He would be simply classed as another military figure; of them we have had a plethora; He will not come as the Messiah of the Jews to save the so-called Holy Land and the city of Jerusalem for the Jews, because He belongs to the whole world and no Jews nor any other people have special rights or unique privileges or may claim Him as their own; He will not come to convert the "heathen" world for, in the eyes of the Christ and of His true disciples, no such world exists and the so-called heathen have demonstrated historically less of the evil of vicious conflict than has the militant Christian world. The history of the Christian nations and of the Christian church has been one of an aggressive militancy—the last thing desired by the Christ when He sought to establish the church on earth.

When He came before He said (and the words have been sadly misread): "I come not to bring peace but a sword" (Matt. X.34). This will be true especially during the early days of His advent. The sword which He wields is the sword of the Spirit; it is that sword which produces cleavage between a true spirituality and an habitual materialism. The major effect of His appearance will surely be to demonstrate in every land the effects of a spirit of inclusiveness—an inclusiveness which will be channelled or expressed through Him. All who seek right human relations will be gathered automatically to Him, [111] whether they are in one of the great world religions or not; all who see no true or basic difference between religion and religion or between man and man or nation and nation will rally around Him; those who embody the spirit of exclusiveness and separativeness will stand automatically and equally revealed and all men will know them for what they are. The cleaving sword of the spirit will—without wounding—bring revelation and indicate the first needed step towards human regeneration.

Standing as the focal point of the inner Triangle—of the Buddha, of the Spirit of Peace and of the Avatar of Synthesis—the consequent outpouring potency of the Christ will be so great that the distinction between love and hate, between aggression and freedom, and between greed and sharing will be made lucidly clear to the eyes and minds of all men and, therefore, the distinction between good and evil will be made equally clear. The invocative prayer, "From the point of love within the heart of God, let love stream forth into the hearts of men" will meet with fulfilment. Christ will let loose into the world of men the potency and the distinctive energy of intuitive love. The results of the distribution of this energy of love will be twofold:

1. Countless men and women in every land will form themselves into groups for the promotion of goodwill and for the production of right human relations. So great will be their numbers that from being a small and relatively unimportant minority, they will be the largest and the most influential force in the world. Through them, the New Group of World Servers will be able to work successfully.

2. This active energy of loving understanding will mobilise a tremendous reaction against the potency [112] of hate. To hate, to be separate, and to be exclusive will come to be regarded as the only sin, for it will be recognised that all the sins—as listed and now regarded as wrong—only stem from hate or from its product, the anti-social consciousness. Hate and its dependent consequences are the true sin against the Holy Ghost, about which commentators have so long debated, overlooking (in their silliness) the simplicity and the appropriateness of the true definition.

The power of the hierarchical spiritual impact, focussed through Christ and His working disciples, will be so great that the usefulness, the practicality and the naturalness of right human relations will become so evident that world affairs will rapidly be adjusted and the new era of goodwill and of peace on earth will be inaugurated. The new culture and the new civilisation will then be possible.

This is the picture of no optimistic, mystical and impossible event. It is not based upon wishful thinking or upon a blind hope. Already today, the disciples of the Christ are preaching the doctrine of right human relations; men and women of goodwill are endeavouring to show that only through goodwill can true peace be brought about in the arena of international life. In the presentation of true "livingness" which the Christ will demonstrate to the world of thinking men, there is necessarily no room for exclusiveness or for separativeness, because that "life more abundantly" (which He seeks to channel to us) is a free and flowing current, sweeping away obstructions and barriers, and establishing an unimpeded circulation of truth and life itself—the essential quality of both being love.

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All the world religions have posited the fact that God is Love essentially and that God is life essentially as well as intelligence. That life carries within itself the essential quality of the will of God, as well as the love of God. Both are equally important because that will is qualified by love. Hitherto, men have known nothing of the factual nature of the quality of livingness, energised by love and will, except through a vague theoretical conception. The reappearance of Christ will establish the fact of this divine livingness; the work which He will accomplish—with the aid of His disciples—will demonstrate the love and the divine purpose which lie behind all phenomenal experience.

The establishing of right human relations is an aspect of the divine will for humanity and the next facet of the divine expression to manifest itself in human affairs—individual, communal, national, and international. Nothing has ever finally impeded this divine expression, except the time factor, and that time factor is  determined by humanity and is an expression of divine freewill. The intended, divine expression can move rapidly or slowly into manifestation, according as man decides; hitherto, man has decided upon a slow—a very slow—manifestation. It is here that the freedom of the human will shows itself. Because divinity is immanent or present in all forms and, therefore, in all human beings, that will must eventually be fulfilled; because of the tremendously material intention (esoterically speaking) of all forms at present, that Will has hitherto been retarded in its expression; it has not been the will of man to establish right human relations. Hence the discipline of war, the torture of the forms, and the misery in human living today.

These factors are bringing about a great and general transformation; the indications of this is easily to be [114] seen by spiritually minded people. Such people are constantly saying (as Christ did in the Garden of Gethsemane), "Let the will of God be done." (Matt. XXVI.39.) They say it ignorantly and often hopelessly; nevertheless, it indicates a general process of spiritual re-orientation, of submission and of acquiescence. Christ demonstrated this submission when He said, "I came not to do my own will but the will of Him Who sent me." (John VI.38.) He proved His acquiescence when He cried, "Father, not my will but Thine be done."  Submission has in it the elements of conquest by circumstances and of a recognition which may not understand but which submits to that which is imposed. Acquiescence has in it the element of an understanding intelligence, and this marks a great step forward. Both admit the fact of a divine over-shadowing will in the life of mankind today; both are preparatory to a recognition of Christ's work in bringing about right human relations. At present, the submission of mankind to the divine will is a negative submission; the true submission is a positive attitude of spiritual expectancy, leading eventually to a positive acquiescence.

A spiritual expectancy is also to be seen; it is part of the work of the New Group of World Servers to intensify this. They have also to foster spiritual submission and intelligent acquiescence in the masses, who normally divide themselves into the two classes, expressing these two attitudes; these factors of submission, acquiescence and expectancy are latent in every man. It is these three divine potentialities which will enable men to respond to the message of the Christ and, therefore, the selfless sacrifice, the understanding compromise and the comprehension of the many and diverse points of view (necessary [115] to the establishing of right human relations) will be far easier to bring about.

We would all find it helpful to reflect upon what are the factors recognised in submission and acquiescence. In establishing right human relations, relinquishment, renunciation, submission to existent facts, and obedient acquiescence to divine law are all involved. These are the things which Christ earlier demonstrated on Earth, and they are the things which He will help humanity to accept with enthusiasm and understanding. This will produce happiness. Happiness is a difficult lesson to learn; it is for mankind a totally new experience and Christ will have to teach men how to handle happiness correctly, to overcome the ancient habits of misery, and thus to know the meaning of true joy. Christ, however, is not coming simply to teach men the need for right human relations; He is coming to teach them how to establish it successfully themselves.

II. Christ Will Teach the Law of Rebirth

This Law is the major corollary of the Law of Evolution. It has never been grasped or properly understood in the West and, in the East, where it is acknowledged as a governing principle of life, it has not proved useful because it has been soporific in its effect, and a detriment to progress. The Eastern student regards it as giving him plenty of time; this has negated the driving effort to achieve a goal. The average Christian confuses the Law of Rebirth with what he calls "the transmigration of souls" and frequently believes that the Law of Rebirth signifies the passing of human beings into the bodies of animals or of lower forms of life. Such is by no means the case. As the life of God progresses onwards through [116] form after form, that life in the subhuman kingdoms of nature proceeds progressively from mineral forms into vegetable forms, and from these vegetable forms into animal forms; from the animal form stage, the life of God passes into the human kingdom, and becomes subject to the Law of Rebirth and not the law of Transmigration. To those who know something of the Law of Rebirth or of Reincarnation, the mistake seems ridiculous.

The doctrine or theory of reincarnation strikes the orthodox Christian with horror; yet if one asks him the question which the disciples asked Christ about the blind man, "Master, did this man sin or his fathers that he was born blind?" (John IX.2), they refuse the implications; or they express amusement or dismay as the case may be. The presentation to the world of the thought by the average occult or theosophical exponent has been, on the whole, deplorable. It has been deplorable because it has been so unintelligently presented. The best that can be said is that they have familiarised the general public with the theory; had it, however, been more intelligently presented, it might have been more generally accepted in the West.

If the goal of right human relations will be taught universally by the Christ, the emphasis of His teaching must be laid upon the Law of Rebirth. This is inevitably so, because in the recognition of this law will be found the solution of all the problems of humanity, and the answer to much of human questioning.

This doctrine will be one of the keynotes of the new world religion, as well as the clarifying agent for a better understanding of world affairs. When Christ was here, in person, before, He emphasised the fact of the soul and the value of the individual. He told men that they could be saved by the life of the soul, and of the Christ within [117] the human heart. He said also that "except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." (John III.3.) Only souls can function as citizens of that kingdom, and it was this privileged functioning that He held, for the first time, before humanity, thus giving men a vision of a divine possibility and an unalterable conclusion to experience. He told them to "Be ye, therefore, perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect." (Matt. V.48.)

This time, He will teach men the method whereby this possibility can become accomplished fact—through the constant return of the incarnating soul to the school of life on Earth, there to undergo the perfecting process of which He was the outstanding example. That is the meaning and teaching of reincarnation. Dane Rudhyar, in his book New Mansions for New Men, page 123, gives a satisfying definition of this mysterious cosmic and human process. He says that "The individual structure of the new manifestation is necessarily conditioned by the unfulfillment of the past; by the remains, the failures of the past—preserved in the records of nature in the memory of universal substance." The whole story—yours and mine and that of everyone—is covered in those few words.

It should be remembered that practically all the occult groups and writings have foolishly laid the emphasis upon past incarnations and upon their recovery; this recovery is incapable of any reasonable checking—anyone can say and claim anything they like; the teaching has been laid upon imaginary rules, supposed to govern the time equation and the interval between lives, forgetting that time is a faculty of the brain-consciousness and that, divorced from the brain, time is non-existent; the emphasis has always been laid upon a fictional presentation of relationships. The teaching (hitherto given out on reincarnation) [118] has done more harm than good. Only one factor remains of value: the existence of a Law of Rebirth is now discussed by many and accepted by thousands.

Beyond the fact that there is such a law, we know little and those who know from experience the factual nature of this return reject earnestly the foolish and improbable details, given out as fact by the theosophical and occult bodies. The Law exists; of the details of its working we know as yet nothing. Only a few things can be said with accuracy about it and these few warrant no contradiction:

1. The Law of Rebirth is a great natural law upon our planet.

2. It is a process, instituted and carried forward under the Law of Evolution.

3. It is closely related to and conditioned by the Law of Cause and Effect.

4. It is a process of progressive development, enabling men to move forward from the grossest forms of unthinking materialism to a spiritual perfection and an intelligent perception which will enable a man to become a member of the Kingdom of God.

5. It accounts for the differences among men and—in connection with the Law of Cause and Effect (called the Law of Karma in the East)—it accounts for differences in circumstances and attitudes to life.

6. It is the expression of the will aspect of the soul and is not the result of any form decision; it is the soul in all forms which reincarnates, choosing and building suitable physical, emotional and [119] mental vehicles through which to learn the next needed lessons.

7. The Law of Rebirth (as far as humanity is concerned) comes into activity upon the soul plane. Incarnation is motivated and directed from the soul level, upon the mental plane.

8. Souls incarnate in groups, cyclically, under law and in order to achieve right relations with God and with their fellowmen.

9. Progressive unfoldment, under the Law of Rebirth, is largely conditioned by the mental principle for "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." These few brief words need most careful consideration.

10. Under the Law of Rebirth, man slowly develops mind, then mind begins to control the feeling, emotional nature, and finally reveals the soul and its nature and environment to man.

11. At that point in his development, the man begins to tread the Path of Return, and orients himself gradually (after many lives) to the Kingdom of God.

12. When—through a developed mentality, wisdom, practical service and understanding—a man has learnt to ask nothing for the separated self, he then renounces desire for life in the three worlds and is freed from the Law of Rebirth.

13. He is now group conscious, is aware of his soul group and of the soul in all forms and has attained—as Christ had requested—a stage of Christlike perfection reaching unto the "Measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ." (Eph. IV.13.)

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Beyond this generalisation, no intelligent person will attempt to go. When Christ reappears, our knowledge will become more true and realistic; we shall know that we are eternally related to the souls of all men, and that we have a definite relationship to those who reincarnate with us, who are learning with us the same lessons and who are experiencing and experimenting with us. This proven and accepted knowledge will regenerate the very sources of our human living. We shall know that all our difficulties and all our problems are caused by our failure to recognise this fundamental Law, with its responsibilities and obligations; we shall then gradually learn to govern our activities by its just and restraining power. The Law of Rebirth embodies the practical knowledge which men need today to conduct rightly and correctly their religious, political, economic, communal and private lives and thus establish right relations with the divine life in all forms.

III. Revelation of the Mysteries of Initiation

Much that is here written and which is conveyed in these pages is in reality concerned with the appearance of the Kingdom of God—an appearance which can now take place because of three factors:

1. The growth of that Kingdom on Earth, and the thousands of people who recognise its laws and endeavour to live in accordance with its rules and spirit.

2. The fact that the signs of the time and the wide-spread need of humanity have evoked the Christ, and that He has decided to reappear.

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3. The invocative cry of humanity is ascending hourly to "the secret place of the Most High" and the Hierarchy plans to emerge when Christ appears and restores the rule of the Spirit on Earth. The hour for the restoration of the ancient Mysteries has arrived.

These facts have been widely given out, during the past two years, as the result of the cleansing of the Earth through the medium of the world war (1914-1945) and through the suffering to which humanity has been subjected (with an equally potent purifying effect, which will demonstrate later). It will then be possible for the Hierarchy, the Church of Christ hitherto invisible, to externalise itself and to function openly upon the physical plane. This will indicate a return to the situation which existed in Atlantean days when (to use Biblical symbology, Genesis Chaps. 2 and 3) God Himself walked among men; He talked with them and there was no barrier between the Kingdom of men and the Kingdom of God. Divinity was then present in physical form and the Members of the spiritual Hierarchy were openly guiding and directing the affairs of humanity as far as man's innate freedom permitted. Now, in the immediate future, and on a higher turn of the spiral of life, this will again happen. The Masters will walk openly among men; the Christ will reappear in physical Presence. Another thing that will happen will be that the ancient Mysteries will be restored, the ancient landmarks will again be recognised—those landmarks which Masonry has so earnestly preserved and which have been hitherto securely embalmed in the Masonic rituals, waiting the day of restoration and of resurrection.

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These ancient Mysteries were originally given to humanity by the Hierarchy and contain the entire clue to the evolutionary process, hidden in numbers, in ritual, in words and in symbology; these veil the secret of man's origin and destiny, picturing to him, in rite and ritual, the long, long path which he must tread, back into the light. They provide also (when rightly interpreted and correctly represented) the teaching which humanity needs in order to pass from darkness to Light, from the unreal to the Real and from death to Immortality. Any true Mason who understands, even if only to a slight degree, the significance of the three degrees of the Blue Lodge, and the implications of that in which he participates, will recognise the above three phrases for what they are, and will recognise the significance of the three degrees. I mention it here with Masonic purpose because it is closely related to the restoration of the Mysteries and has held the clue (down the ages) to that long awaited restoration, to the platform upon which the required teaching can be based and the structure which can express (when freed of its Jewish names and nomenclature, which are long out of date, though right three thousand years ago) the history of man's moving forward upon the Path of Return.

It is these Mysteries which Christ will restore upon His reappearance, thus reviving the churches in a new form, and restoring the hidden Mystery which they long have lost through their materialism. Masonry has also lost the true livingness it once possessed but, in its forms and rituals, the truth is preserved and can be recovered. This Christ will do. He will also revive these Mysteries in other ways; not all will seek the church or Masonry for the revitalising of their spiritual life. The true Mysteries will also reveal themselves through science and [123] the incentive to search for them there will be given by the Christ. The Mysteries contain, within their formulas and teachings, the key to the science which will unlock the mystery of electricity—the greatest spiritual science and area of divine knowledge in the world, the fringes of which have only just been touched. Only when the Hierarchy is present visibly on Earth and the Mysteries of which the disciples of the Christ are the Custodians are given openly to the world, will the true secret and nature of electrical phenomena be revealed.

The Mysteries are, in the last analysis, the true source of revelation; it can only be when the mind and the will-to-good are closely fused and blended and are thus conditioning human behaviour that the extent of the coming revelation can be safely grasped. There are planetary energies and forces which men as yet cannot and do not control; they know nothing of them and yet upon them the life of the planet is dependent; they are also closely related to the despised psychic powers (today so stupidly approached and ignorantly used), yet these powers (when correctly assessed and used) will prove of enormous usefulness in the sciences which the Mysteries will reveal.

The Mystery of the Ages is, through the reappearance of the Christ, on the verge of revelation. Through the revelation of the soul that Mystery (which soul knowledge veils) will stand revealed. The Scriptures of the world have ever prophesied that, at the end of the age, we shall see the revelation of that which is secret and the emergence of that which has hitherto been concealed, into the light of day. As we know, our present cycle marks the end of the Piscean age; the next two hundred years will see the abolition of death or rather of our misconceptions as to death and the firm establishing of the fact of the soul's existence; the soul will then be [124] known to be an entity and the motivating impulse and the spiritual force behind all manifested forms. The work of the Christ (two thousand years ago) was to proclaim certain great possibilities and the existence of great powers. His work when He reappears will be to prove the fact of these possibilities and to reveal the true nature and potency of man. The proclamation He made that we were all sons of God and own one universal Father will, in the near future, no longer be regarded as a beautiful, mystical and symbolic statement, but will be regarded as a proved scientific pronouncement. Our universal brotherhood and our essential immortality will be proven to be facts in nature.

The ground is being prepared at this time for the great restoration which the Christ will engineer. The world religions (including Christianity) and Masonry are today before the judgment seat of humanity's critical mind; the word has gone forth almost unanimously that both of them have failed in their divinely assigned tasks. It is realised everywhere that new life must be poured in, but this will take a new vision and a new approach to living conditions and this only the appearance of the Christ can teach and help us bring about. As an ancient Scripture says:

"That which has been a mystery shall no longer be so, and that which has been veiled will now be revealed; that which has been withdrawn will emerge into the light and will then enhance that light and all men will see and together will rejoice. The time will come when destruction will have wrought its beneficent work; then men, through suffering, will seek that which they have discarded. In vain pursuit, they sought that which was near at hand and easy of attainment. [125] Possessed, they found that it proved an agency of death. Yet all the time, they sought for life, not death."

And the Christ will bring them life and life abundantly.

There is much talk these days concerning the mysteries of initiation. Every country is full of spurious teachers, teaching the so-called Mysteries, offering spurious initiations (usually at a cost and with a diploma) and misleading the people. Christ Himself taught that just before He came, this state of affairs would be found and that everywhere the false and the spurious would be proclaiming themselves. All this is, however, but indicative of His coming. The counterfeit ever guarantees the true. The talk, the discussions, the silly claim-making, the pseudo-occultism and the futile efforts to "take an initiation" (that undistinguished phrase which ignorant theosophical teachers have coined to express a deep spiritual experience) have been distinctive of the esoteric teaching ever since its modern inception in 1875. Then H.P. Blavatsky brought to the attention of the Western world the fact that great disciples and Masters of the Wisdom were present on the Earth, obedient to the guidance of the Christ. Later she deeply regretted doing this, as some of her papers, issued to her Esoteric Section, proclaimed. Yet what she did was all a part of the great plan and was no mistake. The interpretations and the excited reactions of the theosophists of her time were the mistake—a mistake which they have not yet acknowledged. This stupid reaction was aided and helped by the inquisitive nature of humanity itself, as well as by its aspiration which was undoubtedly aroused thereby. Men also, full of cupidity and commercial greed, exploited the theme and are still doing so.

[126] The total effect of all these stupidities and errors of presentation has nevertheless been good. In all lands, men today are aware of the existence of the Masters and of the possibility offered and the opportunity presented to make scientific spiritual progress and thus become members of the Kingdom of God. This the churches had ignored and had—in the Victorian age particularly—looked upon science as an arch enemy.

All this flood of information about the mysteries of initiation—some of it indicative of a hidden truth, some of it the fabrications of an aspirational imagination and some commercially instigated—has definitely prepared humanity for the teaching it is believed Christ will give when again here with us in physical Presence.

Little as the orthodox Christian may care to admit it, the entire Gospel story in its four forms or presentations, contains little else except symbolic details about the Mysteries which are (as far as humanity is concerned) five in all. These Mysteries indicate, in reality, five important points in the spiritual history of an aspirant; they indicate also five important stages in the progress of human consciousness. This advance will become definite and clear in a manner not understood today, at some point during the Aquarian Age. Humanity, the world disciple (through its various groups all at various stages of unfoldment) will "enter into" new states of awareness and into new realms or spheres of mental and spiritual consciousness, during the next two thousand years.

Each age has left a reflection of a modern fivefold development upon it. Four ages have just passed away, astronomically speaking: Gemini, Taurus, Aries, and Pisces. Today Aquarius, the fifth age, is coming into power. In Gemini, its symbolical sign of the two pillars set its seal upon the Masonic Fraternity of the time [127] and the two pillars of Jachin and Boaz—to give them their Jewish names which are, of course, not their real names—came into being approximately eight thousand years ago. Then came Taurus, the Bull, wherein Mithra came as the world Teacher and instituted the Mysteries of Mithras with an (apparent) worship of the Bull. Next followed Aries the Ram, which saw the start of the Jewish Dispensation which is of importance to the Jews and unfortunately of importance to the Christian religion, but of no importance to the untold millions in the other parts of the world; during this cycle came the Buddha, Shri Krishna and Sankaracharya; finally we have the age of Pisces the Fishes, which brought to us the Christ. The sequence of the Mysteries which each of the signs of the Zodiac embodies will be clarified for us by the Christ, because the public consciousness today demands something more definite and spiritually real than modern astrology, or all the pseudo-occultism so widely extant.

In the era which lies ahead, after the reappearance of the Christ, hundreds of thousands of men and women everywhere will pass through some one or other of the great expansions of consciousness, but the mass reflection will be that of the renunciation (though this does not mean that the masses will by any means take the fourth initiation); they will renounce the materialistic standards which today control in every layer of the human family. One of the lessons to be learnt by humanity at the present time (a time which is the ante-chamber to the new age) is how few material things are really necessary to life and happiness. The lesson is not yet learnt. It is, however, essentially one of the values to be extracted out of this period of appalling deprivations through which men are every day passing. The real tragedy is that the [128] Western Hemisphere, particularly the United States, will not share in this definite spiritual and vitalising process; they are at present too selfish to permit it to happen.

You can see, therefore, that initiation is not a ceremonial procedure, or an accolade, conferred upon a successful aspirant; neither is it a penetration into the Mysteries—of which the mysteries of Masonry are, as yet, only the pictorial presentation—but is simply the result of experiencing "livingness" on all three levels of awareness (physical, emotional and mental) and—through that livingness—bringing into activity those registering and those recording cells within the brain substance which have hitherto not been susceptible to the higher impression. Through this expanding area of registration or, if you prefer it, through the development of a finer recording instrument or responsive apparatus, the mind is enabled to become the transmitter of higher values and of spiritual understanding. Thus the individual becomes aware of areas of divine existence and of states of consciousness which are always eternally present but which the individual man was constitutionally unable to contact or to register; neither the mind, nor its recording agent, the brain, were able to from the angle of their evolutionary development.

When the searchlight of the mind is penetrating slowly into hitherto unrecognised aspects of the divine mind, when the magnetic qualities of the heart are awakening and becoming sensitively responsive to both the other aspects, then the man becomes able to function in the new unfolding realms of light, love and service. He is initiate.

These are the mysteries with which the Christ will deal; His acknowledged Presence with us and the presence of His disciples will make possible a far more rapid development than would otherwise be the case. The stimulation [129] of the objective Hierarchy will be increasingly potent and the Aquarian Age will see so many of the sons of men accepting the great Renunciation that world effort will be on the same scale as the mass education of mankind in the Piscean Age. Materialism as a mass principle will be rejected and the major spiritual values will assume greater control.

The culmination of a civilisation, with its special note, quality and gifts to posterity, is significant of the reflection of the spiritual intent, and (through its massed populations) of one of the initiations. History will some day be based and written upon the record of the initiatory growth of humanity; prior to that, we must have a history which is constructed around the development of humanity under the influences of great and fundamental ideas. That is the next historical presentation.

The production of the culture of any given period is simply the reflection of the creative ability and the precise consciousness of the initiates of the time—those who knew they were initiate and were also conscious of admittance into direct relation with the Hierarchy. At present, we use neither of these two words, civilisation and culture, in their rightful sense or with their true meaning. Civilisation is the reflection in the mass of men of some particular cyclic influence, leading to an initiation. Culture is esoterically related to those within any era of civilisation who specifically, precisely and in full waking consciousness, through self-initiated effort, penetrate into those inner realms of thought activity which we call the creative world. These are the realms which are responsible for the outer civilisation.

The reappearance of the Christ is indicative of a closer relation between the outer and the inner worlds of thought. The world of meaning and the world of experience will

[130] be obviously blended through the stimulation of the advent of the Hierarchy and of its Head, the Christ. A tremendous growth of understanding and of relationships will be the major result.

IV. The Dispelling of Glamour