SECTION FOUR - STAGES IN THE EXTERNALISATION OF THE HIERARCHY - Part 1
- THE RETURN OF THE CHRIST - Part 1
- THE RETURN OF THE CHRIST - Part 2
- THE RETURN OF THE CHRIST - Part 3
- THE RETURN OF THE CHRIST - Part 4
- THE RETURN OF THE CHRIST - Part 5
STAGES IN THE EXTERNALISATION OF THE HIERARCHY
THE SUBJECTIVE BASIS OF THE NEW WORLD RELIGION
Introductory Statements — December 1919
Those thoughtforms which will materialise as the religion of the New Age already exist on the mental plane and are in process of precipitation upon the physical plane. Their lineaments can already be discerned. The wise Guides of the race, working under the Christ and having in view the need of the public for a form, seek at this time to hold just as much as may be of the old form and lineaments, as much, that is, as is consistent with evolution and progress. In the West, what the Great Ones seek to break is not the form of Christianity but the grip of the Churches on the minds of the masses. The old forms of thought and of interpretation are now too restricted and too tightening in their hold upon the imprisoned and struggling life. That life must break forth. It cannot be confined by the ancient restrictions. Yet at this time there does not exist the need for an utterly new venture or for an entirely new presentation of truth. Nature and evolution move with gentle gradations and not with breaks and uncorrelated manifestations in the world of forms. In all the progressing developments, the old outlines can be seen—enlarged, purified and more beautiful, yet recognisable as the old form on a higher turn of the spiral. It is not the freak cults, nor the widely divergent sects, nor the bands of advanced religious revolutionaries who can meet the crying need of the many enquirers today. What is required is the re-vivification of the  old forms, and their infusion with fresh life; the old organisations must be awakened to the hour of opportunity and must change from static organisations to living organisms. The old rituals must be revived and brought up to date (in the esoteric sense of the word) and the religious students of the world must be graduated into a higher school, given the occult interpretations, and taught that, after all, the truth has been present all the time, but hidden and misinterpreted.
It is surely easier to swing the masses into step and give them the newer light of truth if that light is poured on to familiar ground. All must be given the chance to see and hear, and be offered the opportunity to weigh and judge the significance of reality. It is not just the two or three of supreme importance, or who have the nerve to take the needed forward steps, who must receive prime consideration, but the truth must be stepped down and adapted in such a way that the advanced minds, the enquiring minds, and the reactionary masses may have opportunity proffered them, to the measure of their receptivity. Did not the greatest of all the Great Ones do this Himself in the synagogue and with His disciples in Judean days?
The aspirants and disciples of the world must realise that the hour has struck, and that the forces of the Christ are being marshalled for a supreme endeavour. These forces include both the human and the angel evolutions. It might be of use if I were to give you some idea of the scheme of preparation for the transition period between the old age and the new as it is in process of completion in the Council Chamber of the Great Lord. Your acceptance and understanding of it and of its symbolic implications are dependent upon your capacity to assimilate truth, to use your intuition, and thus to assist in the work itself when the right time comes.
One event is already in process of manifesting. The Christ and His disciples, the Masters of Wisdom and the Great Companions, are approaching nearer to the physical plane. The work of mental preparation for that event, and  the construction of the thoughtform of the advent or second Coming, has now been completed. There remains the precipitation of that event, its appearance on astral levels and its materialisation on the physical plane. I would ask all of you who read these words anent the second Coming, to reserve opinion as to the exact nature of that event. Keep the concept impersonal and link not that appearance to a personality or to an individual. If you make the mistake of attaching the meaning to an individual, you will limit your understanding and fail in right recognition of group purpose. The work of pouring out the principle of love (which is the Christ principle) and of lifting the masses in their consciousness to the pitch where they can understand and welcome that love-principle is the main work of the new age, and it will inaugurate the age of brotherhood and mould humanity into the likeness of the Christ. That the oriental peoples may call this great Official by another name than that of "The Christ" has no bearing on reality and alters not the fact of His influence and His esoteric coming.
Certain of the Masters have the work under Their control, and through Their grouped disciples are already actively engaged in the work of preparation. The Master Morya, the Master K.H. and the Master Jesus are the three working at this time in closest cooperation with the Christ. With them work the Master Hilarion, He Whom you call the Master D.K., and another Master Who is specially linked with the work of preparation in the sacred land of India. One of the English Masters is also exceptionally active, and the Master in America is laying His plans toward an active participation in the work. These consecrated Workers form a nucleus around the Christ and direct much of the preparatory work. It is not possible for me to tell you the lines of Their activity; I can but give you evidence which may later he demonstrated as true. These Masters are definitely preparing Themselves for the task of outer activity and are intensifying Their work on the astral plane. To this fact can be traced the interest people are now showing in occultism and in the work of the Masters; more and more people  are becoming sensitive to and conscious of Their presence, and more and more are finding their way into the groups of disciples.
The Master Morya is at this time acting as the inspirer of the great national executives throughout the world. E'en those whose ideals coincide not with yours are being welded into the world plan, and much of their immediate work is organising the individual nations and welding them into an homogeneous whole, preparatory to their entrance into the great international thoughtform. All who work with far vision and all who hold before any seething and bewildered nation an ideal for the whole are under His wide inspiration. Internationalism is the aim of His endeavour. With Him works the great Angel or Deva of the spiritual plane, referred to in the Treatise on Cosmic Fire as the Lord Agni; He seeks to touch with the hidden spiritual fire the head centres of all intuitive statesmen. Three great groups of angels—the gold, the flame coloured and the white and gold—work on mental levels with those lesser angels or devas who vitalise thoughtforms and who keep alive the thoughts of the Guides of the race for the benefit of humanity.
The Master K.H., the Chohan on the teaching ray and He Who will be the next world teacher, is already active in His line of endeavour. He is attempting to transmute the thoughtform of religious dogma, to permeate the churches with the idea of the Coming, and bring to a sorrowing world the vision of the Great Helper, the Christ. He works with the rose devas and with the blue devas on astral levels, with the wise help of the great guardian Angel of that plane, called (in Hindu terminology) the Lord Varuna. The activity of the astral plane is being much intensified and the angels of devotion, in whom the aspect of divine love is pre-eminent, work with the astral bodies of all those who are ready to strengthen and redirect their spiritual aspiration and desire. They are the angels who guard the sanctuaries of all the churches, cathedrals, temples and mosques of the world. They are now increasing the momentum of their vibration for the raising of the consciousness of the attendant  congregations. The Master K.H. works also with the prelates of the great Catholic Churches—Greek, Roman and Anglican—with the leaders of the Protestant communions, with the foremost workers in the field of education, and also through, and with, the dominant demagogues and organisers of the people. His interests lie with all those who, with unselfish intent, strive after the ideal, and who live for the helping of others.
The Master Jesus works especially with the masses of the Christian people who inhabit the occidental countries, and who gather in the churches. He is distinctively a great leader, an organiser, and a wise general executive. A special group of devas work under His command, and His connection with all true church leaders and executives is very close. He acts ceaselessly on the inner esoteric council of the churches, and with Him the groups of violet angels cooperate. In church matters He Himself carries out the behests of the Christ, saving Him much and working as His intermediary. This will seem logical to you, for His destiny is closely interwoven with the Christian Church and it marks the culmination of His work for the West. No one knows or understands so fully and wisely as He the problems of the Western culture, nor the needs of the people who carry forward the destiny of Christianity.
The Master Hilarion is actively occupied in the field of America, stimulating the intuitive perception of its people. He has under observation all those who are true psychics, and who develop their powers for the good of the community. He controls and transmutes the great active movements which endeavour to strip the veil from the world of the unseen. He impresses the minds of those whose vision will justify His effort. And He has much to do with various psychical research movements throughout the world. With the aid of certain groups of angels, He works to open up the world of departed souls to the seeker, and much that has of late convinced the materialistic world of life beyond has emanated from Him.
He Whom you call the Master D.K. works much with  those who heal with pure altruism; He occupies Himself with those who are active in the laboratories of the world, with great philanthropic world movements such as the Red Cross, and with the rapidly developing welfare movements. His work also embraces teaching, and He does much at this time to train the various disciples of the world, taking the disciples of many of the Masters and so relieving Them temporarily, in this hour of crisis, from Their teaching responsibilities. Many of the healing angels, such as those referred to in the Bible, cooperate with Him.
The Master Who works in and for India labours with the minds of the politicians, educators and religious dreamers and idealists. He strengthens the efforts of all those who work for the liberation of the submerged masses, provided their methods are constructive and not destructive, and that the gains desired are not furthered at the expense of any part of the human family. He labours not to exalt one section of the populace at the expense of another, but works towards brotherhood and the right understanding of the requirements of all souls, be they far advanced along the path, or just starting upon their planetary pilgrimage under the Law of Rebirth.
One of the English Masters has in hand the definite guidance of the Anglo-Saxon peoples towards a joint destiny. The future for the Anglo-Saxon is great and not yet has the highest flow of the tide of its civilisation been reached. History holds much glory for England and America when they work together for world good, not supplanting each other or interfering with each other's empire but working in the fullest unison for the preservation of the peace of the world and the right handling of world problems in the field of economics and of education.
As the seventh Ray of Organisation and of ceremonial work is now coming into prominence and manifestation, the work of the Master on that ray is that of synthesising, on the physical plane, all parts of the plan. The Master Rakoczi takes of the general plan as it is outlined in the inner Council Chamber and approximates it to the possible.  He might be regarded as acting as the General Manager for the carrying out of the plans of the executive council of the Christ.
It might be of interest here to point out that when He comes Whom angels and men await, and Whose work it is to inaugurate the new age and so complete the work He began in Palestine two thousand years ago, He will bring with Him some of the great Angels, as well as certain of the Masters. The angels have ever been active in Biblical history, and will again enter into the lives of human beings with more power than has lately been the case. The call has gone out for them again to approach humanity, and with their heightened vibration and superior knowledge unite their forces with those of the Christ and His disciples for the helping of the race. They have, for instance, much to communicate anent colour and sound, and the effect of these two forces on the etheric bodies of men and animals and flowers. When what they have to impart is apprehended by the race, physical ills and sickness will be offset. The group of violet angels or devas who work on the four etheric levels will be especially active and they will work in the four main groups of men who are in incarnation at any given time. Four rays dominate at any period, with one of the four more potent than the other three. You have this idea symbolised in the four castes in India and you will find also that these four castes are found universally throughout the planet.
These four groups of angels are a band of servers, pledged to the service of the Christ, and their work is to contact men and to teach them along certain lines.
a. They will teach humanity to see etherically, and this they will do by heightening human vibration by interaction with their own.
b. They will give instruction in the effect of colour in the healing of disease, and particularly the efficiency of violet light in lessening human ills and in curing those physical plane sicknesses which originate in the etheric body.
c. They will also demonstrate to the materialistic thinkers of the world the fact that the superconscious world exists and that angels and men who are out of incarnation and possess no physical bodies can be contacted and known.
d. They will train human beings in the knowledge of superhuman physics so that weight shall be for them transmuted. Motion will become more rapid, speed will be accompanied by noiselessness and smoothness, and hence fatigue will be eliminated. In the human control of etheric levels lies the overcoming of fatigue and the power to transcend time. Until this prophecy is a fact and recognised as such, the meaning of the above words will remain obscure.
e. They will teach humanity how rightly to nourish the body and to draw from the surrounding ethers the requisite food. Man will concentrate his attention upon the etheric body and the work and health of the physical body will become increasingly automatic.
f. They will also teach human beings as individuals and as a race to expand their consciousness to include the superphysical. In the accomplishment of this, the separating web (the veil of the temple) which divides the physical plane from the unseen world will be recognised as a fact in nature by the scientist. Its purpose will be acknowledged. Eventually it will be destroyed, by man discovering how to penetrate it. The date is imminent.
Through the increasing sensitivity of men and through the steady thinning of the separating veil, more and more during the coming years will the telepathic faculties of men and their power to respond to inner inspiration be developed and demonstrated. By the growth of intuitional telepathy and the increasing comprehension of the power of colour and sound will the work of the Christ and of the Great Ones be contacted and understood, and the peoples released from the thraldom of the past and enabled to enter into the liberty of the Kingdom of God.
Religious Organisations in the New Age
Let us now return to our consideration of the spread of the deepened religious ideals and the growth of the new religious organisms. In the process of transmuting the old form and so releasing the imprisoned life, there are two things which are steadily held in view by the Guides of our evolution:
First, that the general public serves or is dominated by the concrete mind and is unable to grasp abstractions. It is the form which matters to them the most, for they are conservative and cling to the familiar. The church is intended to serve the masses and is not intended to be of use (except as a field of service) to the esotericists of the world, for they heed not the form to the same extent, having contacted somewhat the inner compelling life.
Secondly, the church movement, like all else, is but a temporary expedient and serves but as a transient resting place for the evolving life. Eventually, there will appear the Church Universal, and its definite outlines will appear towards the close of this century. In this connection, forget not the wise prophecy of H.P.B. as touching events at the close of this century. This Church will be nurtured into activity by the Christ and His disciples when the outpouring of the Christ principle, the true second Coming, has been accomplished. No date for the advent do I set, but the time will not be long.
The Christian church in its many branches can serve as a St. John the Baptist, as a voice crying in the wilderness, and as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished. I indicate the hope. I do not assert a fact. Its work is intended to be the holding of a broad platform. The church must show a wide tolerance, and teach no revolutionary doctrines or cling to any reactionary ideas. The  church as a teaching factor should take the great basic doctrines and (shattering the old forms in which they are expressed and held) show their true and inner spiritual significance. The prime work of the church is to teach, and teach ceaselessly, preserving the outer appearance in order to reach the many who are accustomed to church usages. Teachers must be trained; Bible knowledge must be spread; the sacraments must be mystically interpreted, and the power of the church to heal must be demonstrated.
The three main channels through which the preparation for the new age is going on might be regarded as the Church, the Masonic Fraternity and the educational field. All of them are as yet in relatively static condition, and all are as yet failing to meet the need and to respond to the inner pressure. But in all of these three movements, disciples of the Great Ones are to be found and they are steadily gathering momentum and will before long enter upon their designated task.
The Masonic Movement when it can be divorced from politics and social ends and from its present paralysing condition of inertia, will meet the need of those who can, and should, wield power. It is the custodian of the law; it is the home of the Mysteries and the seat of initiation. It holds in its symbolism the ritual of Deity, and the way of salvation is pictorially preserved in its work. The methods of Deity are demonstrated in its Temples, and under the All-seeing Eye the work can go forward. It is a far more occult organisation than can be realised, and is intended to be the training school for the coming advanced occultists. In its ceremonials lies hid the wielding of the forces connected with the growth and life of the kingdoms of nature and the unfoldment of the divine aspects in man. In the comprehension of its symbolism will come the power to cooperate with the divine plan. It meets the need of those who work on the first Ray of Will or Power.
The Church finds its mission in the helping of the devotee, in aiding the great public which is innately religious and of good will. It hides in its heart those who vibrate to  the great love ray, the second Ray of Love-Wisdom. Christ Himself works through it and by its means seeks to contact the vast Christian public. It is the leaven in His hands to leaven the whole lump, and being in a form comprehended by the people, it can touch the great masses of seeking souls.
By means of the educational work of the world, the Great Lord seeks to reach those of the intelligent public who cannot be reached by means of ceremonial and symbolism, as in Masonry, or by religious means and ritual, as in the Church. It touches the masses and those in whom the intelligence aspect predominates to the lessening of the other two aspects. It aids those men who are predominantly on the third Ray of Intelligent Activity.
In all these bodies there are to be found esoteric groups who are the custodians of the inner teaching and whose uniformity in aspiration and in technique is one. These inner groups consist of occult students and of those who are in direct or occasional touch with the Masters and of those whose souls are in sufficient control so that the will of the Hierarchy may be communicated and gradually filter down to the channel of the physical brain. These groups which constitute the true inner esoteric group are many, but their membership is yet small, for the fact that a student may belong to any of the outer esoteric groups so-called is no indication of his true esoteric status. When the few who are the true esoteric students of the world know the difference between etheric and astral forms, between mental clairaudience and clairvoyance and their astral counterparts, between the elementals of thought and the elementals of nature, then will the Christ and His church have a real esoteric group on the physical plane and the outer organisations receive the needed stimulation. That is why it is necessary to work with the students at this time and train them in the nature of true occultism. When we understand better the significance of time in prevision, and of force in movement, and when we comprehend more fully the laws that control the subtler bodies, and through them therefore the laws that function on the planes whereon those bodies express  themselves, then will there be more intelligent and more useful work offered in cooperation with the Occult Hierarchy.
In the esoteric group, which is composed of the true spiritual esotericists found in all exoteric occult groups, in the church, by whatever name it may be called, and in Masonry you have the three paths leading to initiation. As yet they are not used, and one of the things that will eventuate—when the new universal religion has sway and the nature of esotericism is understood—will be the utilisation of the banded esoteric organisms, the Masonic organism and the Church organism as initiating centres. These three groups converge as their inner sanctuaries are approached. There is no dissociation between the One Universal Church, the sacred inner Lodge of all true Masons, and the innermost circles of the esoteric societies. Three types of men have their need met, three major rays are expressed, and the three paths to the Master are trodden, leading all three to the same portal and the same Hierophant.
It must not be forgotten that only those souls who are on the Probationary Path or the Path of Discipleship will form the nucleus of the coming world religion. It exists on the inner planes for the purpose of gathering out of all the churches those who have reached the point in evolution where they can consciously and of their own free will place their feet upon that PATH which leads to the centre of peace; who can in full awareness turn their eyes upon the Great Lord, and transmute the life of worldly endeavour into the life of service. The first detachment gathered into the coming Church will be found to be a part of the present great band of servers. These have, down the ages, been associated with the Christ in His work. Remember always the fact of the work He did in connection with the last advent, and remember likewise that in the turning of the cyclic wheel, in the evolution of the spiral, similar conditions will eventuate, the same needs arise, and the same egos incarnate that were present in the days of old in Palestine. The numbers of those associated with Him will be greatly increased,  for all who knew Him in earlier incarnations in the ancient East, all whom He cured or taught, all who contacted Him or in any way incurred karma with Him or with the Master Jesus, will have the opportunity to cooperate at this time. Each sincere aspirant who is closely connected with the present Church organisations, who feels a close link with the Christ and who loves Him, can be practically sure that in Palestine they saw Him, knew Him and mayhap served and loved Him.
The sacraments, properly understood, serve to strengthen this link and realisation, and such a one as that of Baptism (when entered upon with understanding) will draw forth oft a response from the Great Lord Himself. It is almost as if a golden strand were directed from His heart to the heart of the servant—a strand unbreakable and unfathomable and which, with each administration of any of the holy rites in the succession of lives, becomes stronger, broader and brighter. Eventually these many strands will become reabsorbed into their source when the Body of the Christ—one of the seven Heavenly Men on the second or monadic plane—is completed in full expression, for each one linked to Him becomes, in a vital sense, a cell in His Body. This the initiate Paul truly sensed and knew. Via this strand passes the power to strengthen, to stimulate, to vivify and to bless, and this is the true apostolic succession. All true disciples are priests unto the Lord.
There is no question therefore that the work to be done in familiarising the general public with the nature of the Mysteries is of paramount importance at this time. These Mysteries will be restored to outer expression through the medium of the Church and the Masonic Fraternity, if those groups leave off being organisations with material purpose, and become organisms with living objectives. When the Great One comes with His disciples and initiates we shall have (after a period of intensive work on the physical plane beginning around the year 1940) the restoration of the Mysteries and their exoteric presentation, as a consequence of the first initiation. Why can this be so? Because the Christ,  as you know, is the Hierophant of the first and second initiations and He will, if the preparatory work is faithfully and well done, administer the first initiation in the inner sanctuaries of those two bodies. Many faithful workers will, during His period of work on earth, take this first initiation, and some few will take the second. The race has now reached a point where many souls are on the Probationary Path and need but the heightening of their vibration (made possible by His Presence) to reach the portal of the Path itself.
And now what is it that you all can do? What is the condition surrounding the aspirants of the world today? We have a world full of unrest, a world full of pain, sorrow and strife, a world in which the emotional bodies of humanity are in a condition of tremendous disturbance, a world in which animals, men, women and children suffer, agonise and die; a world in which hunger, sin, sickness, famine, rapine, and murder stalk unarrested; a world in which the forms of religion exist but the life has gone, in which science is prostituted to the ends of money and hate, and in which the produce of the earth is not for the sustenance of the race but for the nourishing of the purses of the few; a world in which faith is oft the subject of scoffing, in which unselfishness is regarded as the attribute of a fool, and in which love is exploited in its lowest expression, sex. Is this the atmosphere in which the Christ and His disciples can breathe? Is this a condition in which They can find harmonious influences? Is this a state of affairs in which They can work and live? Are the vibrations extant upon this planet similar to Theirs and to which They can respond? We know that it is not so and that much must be done to facilitate Their work. What then can we do?
First, teach the law of evolution and its inevitable corollary, perfected men. Men must be taught that such Great Souls exist, and exist entirely to serve Their fellowmen. The public must be familiarised with Their names and attributes, with Their work and purpose, and men must be told that They are coming forth for the salvation of the world.
Secondly, disciples and aspirants must on every hand live harmoniously and love. The violent vibrations of our surroundings must be stilled by a strong counter vibration of love, remembering ever that as we work on the side of evolution, the power of the Godhead itself is with us, available for use. Naught can withstand the steady pressures of love and harmony when they are applied long enough. It is not spasmodic efforts that count. It is the long-sustained, unvarying pressure which eventually breaks down opposition and the walls of separativeness.
Thirdly, esoteric organisations must stand for all that tends to unity. All types of work, all the exterior efforts of the many organisations must meet with loving cooperation and assistance. We stand in a world of endeavour as focal points for love. Our objective is the helping of the Great Ones and the rendering to Them of that intelligent assistance which will make Their plans for humanity materialise. Through us, They choose to work for the uplift of the world, and through the esoteric groups there must be the putting forth of that intensified spiritual effort which will stem the tide of evil and avert the possible difficulties that lurk in the darkness of the present chaos. The living organism of aspirants and disciples can provide a centre of peace, power and love, of practical help and spiritual uplift such as the world has not hitherto seen. Such is the hope. See you to it.
Definite work must also be done in healing, in exorcising, in curing mental and astral diseases, and it must be demonstrated to the world that the ancient power to heal still lies in the hands of those who consistently follow the Christ. Those who use this power only for the sake of the little ones, taking and seeking no personal reward, can manifest the ancient way to heal which has small resemblance to the modern methods of the mental schools.
Preparation too must be given to the developing of the higher psychic powers, and through the trained expression of those powers can proof be given to the scientists of the world of the latent forces in man which can be utilised by those who wisely and sanely follow in the footsteps of the  Christ, the greatest Psychic of all time. Hospitals and schools will appear under the direct guidance of the Masters; Teachers Who can heal will come forth, and others will appear who will train the minds of the pupils to be responsive to direct inspiration from above. The faculty of the intuition must be developed scientifically.
Finally, Church members and members of the Masonic Fraternities must familiarise themselves with the inner significance of the various rites, ceremonies, colours and rituals, and with the work performed upon the floor of the temple. They must know why such and such things are done in due order and the reason for the various precedences, the words, gestures and acts.
Should there be a real and true response to these practical suggestions, it may be possible for the work to go forward more rapidly than at present seems possible. Much trouble and stress may be averted if the aspirants of the world measure up to their proffered opportunity and make due sacrifice and effort. Much preliminary work has to be done. There must be much heavy work, ploughing the soil and weeding out that which is undesirable.
This may take seven years. The work to be done in that period will be silent educational work, and the diligent propaganda that the Church and analogous organisations can do. Classes must be held by the occultists of the world in which the teaching is stepped down to meet the need of the little ones; the broad platform upon which the Church should stand should be proclaimed, and instruction should be given in the meaning of its ceremonies and teachings. Then will follow seven years of germination of the seed sown, a period of growth and developing influences. This brings us to the period of thirteen years from now for the cycle of fourteen began the year before I proffered you these suggestions. Should the work progress as desired, it may mark the time of the near appearing of the Great Lord and the close sound of His feet.
These Servers who watch on the inner side, the disciples and initiates engaged in this work, watch with loving care all  who struggle in the thick of the fray. They are like the Headquarters Staff who follow the battle from a secure eminence. In Their security lies your ultimate success, for They hold in Their hands the solution of many problems, and apply the solution when the battle goes contrary. One thing always I appeal to you to remember, for it is of vital importance. It is the fact that in the destruction of the form lies hid the secret of all evolutionary growth. This is not a truism. You can see it in constant expression. The Masters utilise the form (a form of Church organisation, a Masonic Fraternity, an esoteric group) as much as may be. They seek to work through it, imprisoning the life within the containing walls for just as long as the purpose is served and the race is instructed through that form. Then comes the time when the form may no longer serve the intent, when the structure atrophies, crystallises, and becomes vulnerable and easily destroyed. So it goes, and a new form takes its place. Watch and see if this is not ever so. In the infancy of the race the forms for long endured. Evolution moved more slowly. But now on this upward trend the form has but short duration. It lives vitally for but a brief period; with rapidity it moves through its cycle; with rapidity it disintegrates and is succeeded by another. This rapidity will increase and not decrease as the consciousness, or inner expanding realised life of the race, vibrates to a more rapid rate of rhythm.
This will be tremendously increased during the vital and unusual cycle upon which we entered in 1918, which will be tremendously speeded up in 1925, and will climax in a peculiar sense in 1934. We shall then enter upon three years of excessive endeavour in an effort to hasten the Coming and to prepare mankind for the great day of opportunity. You who know of these times and can interpret them aright in the light of the illumined intuition, must unite together for the rendering of Service and for the helping of the Brotherhood, of which the Christ is the divine Leader, and of which the Masters, the initiates, disciples and aspirants are the working and living organism on the physical plane.
THE EXTERNALISATION OF THE ASHRAMS
In these words I refer to an aspect of the amazing enterprise upon which the Hierarchy is embarked within this cycle: Its appearance, expression and activity upon the physical plane for the first time since it withdrew into the subjective side of life and focussed itself on the mental plane (instead of the physical) during the days of ancient Atlantis and after the war between the Lords of the Shining Countenance and Lords of the Dark Face, as The Secret Doctrine calls it. For millions of years, as a result of the triumph of evil in those days, the Hierarchy has stood in silence behind world events, occupied with the following work—a work which will eventually be carried on exoterically instead of esoterically:
1. The Hierarchy stands as a wall between humanity and excessive evil. Forget not that as humanity is thus protected that protection extends to all the subhuman kingdoms, of which the fourth kingdom, the human, is the Macrocosm. The excessive evil, emanating from cosmic sources, requires the trained skill of the Hierarchy and the fiat of Shamballa to prevent it flooding over disastrously.
2. The Hierarchy works constantly at the task of awakening the consciousness aspect in all forms, so that it is awakened, expanded and intelligently employed.
3. The Hierarchy directs world events, as far as mankind will permit (for the free will and free decision of mankind may not be ignored), so that the unfolding consciousness may express itself through developing and adequate social, political, religious and economic world forms. They give direction; They throw a light; They impress those who are in contact with Them, and through the inflow of ideas and through revelation They definitely influence the tide of human affairs.
4. The Hierarchy directs and controls, more than is realised, the unfolding cyclic cultures and their resultant civilisations. These can then provide adequate forms, temporarily  useful for the emerging soul of humanity. The format of cultures and civilisations receives special attention.
5. The Hierarchy receives and transmits energies and consequent forces from Shamballa, with resultant effects within the Hierarchy itself, and also with effects upon humanity and upon the soul of all things to be found in all kingdoms.
6. The Hierarchy receives that esoteric "Fire of God" which brings to an end cycles, ideologies, organisations and civilisations when the due and right time comes. This They do in order to make place for that which is better and which will prove adequate and not limiting to the awakening consciousness and the emerging life.
7. The Hierarchy prepares men for initiation by:
a. Receiving them into the Ashrams of the Masters.
b. Offering Their disciples opportunity to serve in relation to the emerging Plan.
c. Inaugurating through the means of the disciples of the period those new presentations of the training needed for initiation. Each major cycle receives new forms of the same ancient, yet basic, teaching. This present one is such a cycle, and much of my own work is in connection with this.
All of these activities and functions of the Hierarchy are well known to many of you theoretically, and to some at first hand—which is a good and useful thing to recognise. These activities have all been carried on "behind the veil" and are, of course, only a very small part of the total work of the Hierarchy. Much of it would be entirely incomprehensible to you. However, if the disciples of this modern world, and the initiates, can measure up to their present and presented opportunity, it should be possible for all of this not only to be carried forward in the full light of day, but with the cooperation and the understanding acceptance of the intelligent people everywhere, and also with the devoted acquiescence (though blind acceptance) of the man in the street.
Something of this, something of the new activities which will be brought to the attention of disciples in physical bodies, something of the scope of the undertaking of externalisation, something of what all of you can do to prepare the way for this major change, and something of the tremendous difficulties involved, I am seeking to convey to you, if I can.
One of the things now occupying the attention of the Masters is the externalisation of their ashrams on the outer plane. This is preparatory to later envisioned developments. If this can be done then other developments may be possible. An extension of the ashram is desired. It was with this in view that I inaugurated a new activity in May 1941 and chose so many of my disciples resident in New York. I also began to give out the teaching on the stages of discipleship (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, Section III) and suggested that the group members meet together for one full afternoon around the time of the full moon each month, and to do this in a quiet and unhurried spirit. I desired that they spend the entire afternoon in conference, mutual understanding, discussion of group problems as these affect group service, and—above all—make an attempt (through deep united meditation and the pooling of knowledge) to approach closer to the Hierarchy. This would aid them to work together as a group for world aiding and to do it together. I asked them to study the relation which exists between a Master and His disciples.
These groups, indicated for externalisation, exist on the inner side as part of one inner Group; they must be externalised for service purposes. The fact that this externalisation is possible indicates certain developments which are the result of the past, of the unfoldment of humanity's developing powers to recognise Reality, of the invocative cry of the masses everywhere, plus the directed invocation of the spiritual people of the world, and the effect of the world war (1914-1945). All these factors have wrought a great destruction in the materialistic world and have produced a very real expansion in the human consciousness; also, as one  of the Masters, unknown to you, remarked at a meeting of Members of the Hierarchy a few weeks ago, "One of the gates is open; those who are ready can come in, but we now can go through it also, and can go to them in a new sense and more directly. May Shamballa help us."
It is realised by all in the Hierarchy that the major test connected with a higher initiation confronts Them. Disciples should attempt to realise the tremendous sacrifice involved in this outward move of the Hierarchy into secular existence. The higher the state of initiation, the harder it will be for the initiate concerned. It is, for instance, less of an effort for me to contact you than it would be for some of the Chohans, such as the Masters M. and K.H. I am nearer to you, because I am still utilising the same physical body in which I took the fifth initiation, nearly ninety years ago. Chohans have taken a still higher initiation and are focal points of powerful Ashrams; Their task of adjustment is very much harder. Their invocative appeal to the Lord of the World in His Council Chamber at Shamballa has been mounting for some time. It has been called "The Appeal for Alignment" because the Members of the Hierarchy feel and know that this great return to Earth which has been arranged for the Hierarchy after so long an absence, will call for a fuller expression of the spiritual will than even They realise; They know that it will require the cooperation of Shamballa as well as the cooperation of humanity.
What I have to say about the externalisation of the Hierarchy and its Ashrams could well be divided for the sake of clarity into the following points which will form the basis of the instruction. We shall attempt to follow this outline.
Hierarchical Adjustment and Alignment:
In connection with the Council Chamber of Sanat Kumara. Little can be said about this.
In relation with humanity.
You will note that this involves the three planetary centres.
Hierarchical preparation at the Wesak Festival.
The Mode of Approach towards Externalisation.
Steps in the externalisation process.
Approach via certain Ashrams.
In the consciousness of the disciple in physical expression.
Through dissemination of information of a preparatory nature.
The Externalisation itself. This involves:
The Return of the Christ.
The Ashrams concerned at the Coming.
The organisation of the implicated Ashrams into due form on earth.
The externalisation of the Ashrams.
Adjustment of the Ashrams and the Masters to exoteric living.
It will involve also adjustment by disciples and aspirants to the increased stimulation, and the enunciation of certain basic statements.
The Work of the Externalised Ashrams.
Creating and vitalising the new world religion.
The gradual reorganising of the social order.
The public inauguration of the system of initiation.
The exoteric training of disciples and of humanity in this new cycle.
We can begin on our first point, but only those students who are an integral part of the Hierarchy and in active communication with some Ashram can profit in any measure by information on this subject. For example, those of you who are affiliated with my Ashram (or that of another of the Masters), and going through your preliminary training and functioning on the periphery of the hierarchical centre can get a general idea and develop (if you attempt to do so) an  intuitive perception of the proposed hierarchical integrity and future functioning.
Resent not my words "functioning on the periphery," for they indicate great opportunity for service. The Masters need many such as you on the outskirts of Their Ashrams, to aid in hierarchical endeavour, because you can reach the general public more easily than They can do, and you can step down the teaching far more adequately than could more advanced disciples. You and disciples like you are a definite part of the Hierarchy; as you function in an Ashram you have a most useful place, and I would beg you to have this ever in mind. I will, therefore, give you whatever information I can and which is permissible, but shall of necessity have to leave much unsaid.
Hierarchical Adjustment and Alignment
What do I mean by the use of the word "adjustment" in connection with the Hierarchy? Adjustment to karma, to the personality, to the soul, to circumstances in the three worlds, to the impact of astral forces, or to the thought currents of those not oriented to the Kingdom of God, does not constitute part of the training of Those Who are beyond the third degree of initiation. Initiates on and beyond that level have transcended reaction along these lines, whilst those below the third initiation are in process of rapid adjustment. I use the word `adjustment' here definitely in the sense of reorientation, and in this sense much can be noted.
For aeons and for countless cycles, the Hierarchy has functioned withdrawn into a silence on the higher levels of the mental plane and on the buddhic levels where contact has had to be made with Them by those disciples who have, by discipline, development and service, fitted themselves to establish such a relationship. This reorientation and emergence into physical plane publicity is going to demand much from the Members of the Hierarchy. Just as it has not been easy for me to establish and retain contact with you, even when you have established the right to such a contact,  so—for Them—it is going to be still more difficult to be in touch with those who are not even disciples.
For aeons and for cycles, the Members of the Hierarchy have been submitting Themselves to the needed training in order to react correctly when fuller contact has been established by Shamballa with the Hierarchy. I would have you note the phrasing here. That contact has now been established as a result of the inflow of certain extra-planetary forces and by an "act of determined direction," emanating from the Council Chamber of the Lord of the World. Misunderstand me not. The Hierarchy has always been in touch with the "Place of Purpose" (as it has been called) through the medium of its Chohans and its senior Directors, such as the Christ, the Manu and the Lord of Civilisation. These great Beings have steadily revealed this purpose to the Members of the Hierarchy so that They have been able to grasp and work out the emerging Plan. But even to the Masters the Shamballa force has had to be stepped down, just as the force of the Hierarchy requires modifying for the average disciple and aspirant, if they are to respond constructively to it.
Today, however, things are somewhat changed. New inflowing energies and the partial "sealing" of evil in its own place (a sealing which will be progressively effective) have made a closer relationship possible. The Masters are somewhat freer from certain of the arduous labours of the past cycles. Some of the available inflowing Shamballa forces are being absorbed directly by humanity and by certain of the subhuman kingdoms, particularly the mineral kingdom. This latter absorption will lead eventually, when complete, to those volcanic episodes and those basic earthquakes which will change the face of the earth by the time the sixth rootrace comes into manifestation. It is this direct inflow to the kingdoms functioning exoterically in the three worlds which has relieved and will to some extent relieve the otherwise overpowering pressure upon the Hierarchy, and will also act as a great aligning antahkarana between the three planetary centres. It is to this alignment I refer in this instruction— the alignment of the three centres upon this planet and the adjustments that this necessitates and inevitably enforces.
For the sake of humanity in the first place, and secondarily for the development of the subhuman kingdoms, the Hierarchy has made certain difficult adjustments and alignments between the planetary centres, and these have been compulsory in their effects. Therefore, bear in mind that the adjustments which the Hierarchy may impose upon itself bear small resemblance to the adjustments which you have to make in relation to your personality life. They are all hallmarked by the idea of service to the whole. The Hierarchy in its true sense has no personality through which to express itself, and this greatly complicates the problems which have to be faced as it contemplates exoteric manifestation and work.