SECTION FOUR - STAGES IN THE EXTERNALISATION OF THE HIERARCHY - Part 4
- 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
Approach, via Certain Ashrams
Students must not proceed on the assumption that in the process of externalisation there is a general moving forward of the entire Hierarchy onto the physical plane. Such is not the case. The whole effort is as yet (and will be for some time) experimental, and only a few of the Ashrams and a certain number of the trained disciples and initiates will be involved at first. It still remains to be proved how ready humanity is for this attempt. The Christian concept of the return of a triumphant Christ, coming in the clouds of heaven to Jerusalem, there to reign for a thousand years, is true in one way and utterly false as to design, location and method. Christ will return; the Jerusalem referred to (literally "the place of peace") is not the chief city of a small country called Palestine or the Holy Land; the word is simply symbolic of a peaceful world—a world which, through its own self-initiated efforts, has attained a general quietude and has acquired a certain measure of right human relations. His coming in the air might be interpreted literally to mean that at the right time He will come by plane from the place on earth where He has been for many generations, watching over the sons of men; the words "every  eye shall see Him" might mean that, by the time He comes, television will have been perfected and He will then be seen, by its means, from even the most distant spot on earth. To the orthodox Christian, the above will sound like the rankest blasphemy, but the question immediately arises: Why should it be blasphemy for Him to use modern methods? Whilst on earth before, He conformed to the customs of His time. "Riding on the clouds of Heaven" may sound more picturesque and apparently require a greater expression of divinity, but why use such a means when a plane will equally well fulfil the purpose and carry the prophecy to completion? A great deal of reactionary stupidity will have to be eliminated before He can come, and it will be as the new generation assert their hold over human thinking. But it is not the event or the stage of Christ's appearing with which we are now dealing, but with the preparatory stages and with the task of fitting the world (which means, in this case, preparing the human consciousness) for the presence in physical activity and manifestation of the Hierarchy—in full force and with its esoteric equipment.
In the early stages, the task of preparation is arduous and difficult. Things will be relatively easy for the senior Members of the Hierarchy when They find the right time for Their appearance. In the meantime, the world disciples have to take the world—as it is at this time—and slowly and laboriously instill the new ideas, incite to better methods of human relations, help dissipate the aftermath of war, hold before the eyes of distraught humanity the new vision of hope and of spiritual enlightenment, offset the scheming of reactionary and conservative politicians and churchmen, and teach the youth of the age the new modes of living, indicating to them the better values, and thus slowly and gradually bringing in the new order.
Among the seven major Ashrams and their subsidiary and affiliated Ashrams only a few have undertaken to send their disciples and their initiates at this time to carry out this initiatory task. The three major Ashrams so engaged are:
1. The Ashram of the Master K.H. This is the second ray Ashram and—with that of the Master M.—the most powerful in the Hierarchy; it controls the building forces.
2. The first ray Ashram, that of the Master M. He is the custodian of the principle of synthesis, the work of which is that of organic fusion, and this is ever needed to supplement that of the building agents.
3. The Ashram of a Master on the fifth ray, the custodian, among other things, of science and of that which relates and brings into expression the duality of spirit-matter. This Ashram has an important part to play in the work of preparation, for it is through the scientific use of energy that the world will be rebuilt and the factual nature of the Hierarchy be proved.
Through the pressure of education (second ray energy), through the growth of the concept of synthesis (first ray energy), and through the correct use of energy (fifth ray energy), this world can be brought into a condition of preparedness for the externalisation of the Hierarchy.
The efforts of the disciples coming from the Ashram of K.H. will be largely directed towards the general public, but they will work primarily through educators in all countries and through those concerned with the teaching of religion. Educators touch those preparing for all types of activity. The task will be necessarily slow, particularly at first, but the second ray endowment of these disciples (as that of all disciples on this ray) is a steady persistence which brooks no discouragement, even when discouragement makes its appearance. Such disciples refuse to discontinue their effort or to change the spiritually-ordained plans, even when the obstacles to accomplishment seem insuperable. Disciples will come deliberately into incarnation and will take office in institutions of higher learning and in the churches, and will exert such pressure that old and obsolete methods, ancient outworn theologies and selfish and competitive techniques  will be ended and the sciences of cooperation, of right human relations and of correct adjustment to life through meditation and right vision will supersede the present methods of learning; this will lead to no damage to the acquisition of academic knowledge or the right apprehension of spiritual truth. The vision will be different and the goals of a higher order, but the best that is now taught along the lines of art, religion and science will still be available; they will, however, be presented with a greater enlightenment and a better emphasis. They will meet the people's need. The churches, being today headed towards failure and lacking vision, will eventually and inevitably crash upon the rocks of unwarranted and abused authority, yet out of the wreckage will emerge those true and spiritually enlightened churchmen who—with vision and sure knowledge, free from dogmatism and hating ecclesiastical authority—will develop the new world religion.
Paralleling these activities (and disciples on this ray are already taking the needed steps) will come that of the disciples and initiates who are working under the direction of the Master M. Their work lies in the field of right human relations and in the production of that synthesis of effort which will create a new intuitional consciousness and—consequently—a changing political consciousness and situation in which the family of nations will stand together for certain basic values. These are fundamentally three in number:
1. The freedom of the individual. These freedoms have been voiced for us in the words of that great first ray disciple, Franklin D. Roosevelt. They are the four essential freedoms.
2. Right international interplay, necessitating finally the abolition of war.
3. Clean political regimes, free from graft, selfish ambition and dirty political manoeuvring.
In the achievement of these ends (and only major issues will be considered, leaving the lesser and unimportant effects  to be dealt with later) the disciples of synthesis and the instigators of right political relationships will work in close cooperation with disciples upon the second ray whose task it is to educate the general public in the truer values. A trained and enlightened public, shouldering right responsibility, will elect only those men whose vision is in line with the new ethics, the new science of right human relations, and who recognise as a basic political tenet the equality of all men—an equality founded on a universal and basic divinity.
Allied to the efforts of these two groups of disciples and initiates will be those disciples on the fifth ray, whose task it will be to lead mankind into the benefits of the atomic age. The occultist has ever proclaimed that the field wherein the Hierarchy works is that of energy; they have taught that there is nothing in existence but energy in some form or other, and that all we see, all with which we daily work (including our own material natures, mental, emotional and physical), and all that produces phenomena is energy in relation to forces, or forces as they are directed by energy.
This the emerging group of disciples will incontrovertibly prove; by their efforts the new civilisation will be created, in which humanity will have time for freedom, for the deeper educational considerations and for a political activity of the spiritual kind; science will produce a world wherein labour (as we now know it) will be abolished and every phase of man's life will be implemented by science—not in order to make him more comfortable or more like a robot or more selfish, but as an aspect and outgrowth of true freedom; men will be free to think, to establish new modes of cultural interests, and free also to unfold the higher abstract mind and to interpret its conclusions through the medium of the trained lower concrete mind.
The united work of these three groups of disciples and initiates prepares the way for the externalisation of the Hierarchy; this preparation is already under way and taking definite form, though as yet the efforts are embryonic and the workers very few in numbers. A beginning has nevertheless  been made and great changes will take place during the next twenty-five years; these will indicate the general structure of the new world of culture, will emphasise as normal the higher concepts of the so-called "visionary" world planner and lay the foundation for the work of the other Ashrams, when the time for an expanded effort arrives.
When the three major Ashrams have done their work, and this work—in spite of the difference of ray—is largely educational, then the other Ashrams will slowly send in their representatives to cooperate and to continue with the task. The first Ashram to do so will be that of the third ray; by the time disciples appear from that Ashram the world will be ready for an all-over financial adjustment; the "principle of sharing" will be a recognised motivating concept of the new civilisation. This will not involve beautiful, sweet and humanitarian attitudes. The world will still be full of selfish and self-seeking people, but public opinion will be such that certain fundamental ideals will motivate business, being forced upon business by public opinion; the fact that the new general ideas will in many cases be governed by the expediency of interplay will not basically matter. It is the sharing that is of importance. When the "adjuster of finances" (as an advanced disciple from this Ashram is called in the Hierarchy) appears, he will find conditions greatly changed from those now prevalent, and this to the following extent:
1. The principle of barter and of exchange (to the benefit of all concerned) will control.
2. Owing to the development of atomic energy on behalf of human welfare, national currencies will have been largely superseded, not only by a system of barter but by a universal monetary exchange—representative of the bartered goods when they are relatively small and unimportant—and by a planned scale of related values. National material assets and the needed commodities will all be provided for under an entirely new system.
3. Private enterprise will still exist, but will be regulated; the great public utilities, the major material  resources and the sources of planetary wealth—iron, steel, oil and wheat, for instance—will be owned in the first place by a governing, controlling international group; they will, however, be prepared for international consumption by national groups chosen by the people and under international direction.
Upon this subject I have no time to give, and besides this, anything I could say would be regarded as visionary and impractical in a world which has not yet been subjected to the educational processes of the disciples and initiates on the first, second and fifth rays or to the fundamental changes which the new generation of young people (now growing up) will shortly inaugurate.
Upon this threefold condition of the basic control of the products of the planet, these third ray disciples, working under the senior initiates above mentioned, will build the new structure of material relationships—a most difficult task, owing to the evil "pull" of the substantial assets and the continued control, even though greatly lessened, of human selfishness. This "pull" is regarded esoterically as evil because it embodies the principle of imprisonment and has, for untold aeons, engrossed the attention of the human being, to the exclusion of all true values.
Later, disciples and initiates of the seventh ray and of the sixth ray will come into physical incarnation. The only Ashram which will be then unrepresented—and this for a long time—will be the fourth. As the fourth ray is, however, the constant ray of the human family, its influence is consistently present, and this Ashram is equally constantly aware of and influential in human affairs; it will come into full expression when the intuition of the human being, emanating as an energy from the fourth or buddhic plane, has been evoked by the human soul and is a recognised asset in human consciousness. The fourth ray will come into manifestation before many generations have passed, but only from the angle of its incarnating Monad, and not from the angle of its active Ashram.
Once the contact—in physical manifestation and physical recognition—has been established, a system of "appearances and of abstractions" will be instituted by the Hierarchy, producing what might be regarded as a circulation of its life and representatives between the two major planetary centres, the Hierarchy and Humanity. According to the need upon the physical planet, and upon the acceptance of certain designs, will an Ashram be prominently active or relatively inactive.
The ancient activities of the Hierarchy will still persist—the activities of preparing disciples and initiates for initiation and for participating consciously in hierarchical effort; the Schools of the Mysteries (as outlined by me in Letters on Occult Meditation) will come into being and practice, but this will be temporarily a secondary activity; the full expression of ashramic energy will be directed to practical world affairs and to the education of the general public, and not in the early stages to esoteric matters. In the last analysis, there is for the Master and His disciples no such thing as esotericism, except in so far as Shamballa is concerned. There is only definite and planned work with the consciousness of all forms, and—where humanity is involved—this is regarded as a process of education, leading to an expansion of perception and the changing of acquired academic knowledge into an overshadowing and conditioning wisdom. The implementing of human affairs to bring about this unfoldment in consciousness is in the hands of disciples who are undergoing the process themselves, and it is not in the hands of the Masters, Whose consciousness is fully expanded—a consciousness entering a higher and greatly different phase, connected with Being and Life and the purposes of Shamballa.
Approach Towards Externalisation in the Disciple's Consciousness
I find it necessary here to make one point clear. The disciples sent out from the various ashrams do not arrive on earth conscious of a high mission or knowing well the nature of the task to which they have been subjectively assigned. In  the case of certain disciples who will be of special world prominence and who are of initiate rank, they may attain to a conviction of mission (if I may call it so) in their extreme youth and thus be oriented towards their life task from the very start; that conviction will grow and deepen and clarify as the years go by. But it must be remembered that the majority of disciples will not so react. They will come into incarnation with certain gifts and innate talents and with certain firmly rooted ideas, endowed with irrevocable ideals and a brain which is responsive to a well-developed mind. They will, normally and through natural trends and predilections, find their way into that field of human activity wherein they are intended to work and in which they are to bring about certain basic changes in line with hierarchical intent. This hierarchical intent will usually be unknown to them (though this may not always be the case), but the work to be done will seem to them impelling and necessary and something which they must do at all costs. They will find their way into politics, into the educational movements and into science; they will work as humanitarians, as social workers and in the field of finance, but they will follow these lines of activity through natural inclination and not because they are being "obedient" to instruction from some Master. They will be successful in their endeavour because the potency of the Hierarchy will be behind them, and there is much that the inner Ashram can accomplish for its outer working disciples in the way of opening doors, implementing efforts and arranging contacts, and other facilities; this is ill done, however, without any evidence of the inner impulsion. Recognition of the inner effort will be dependent upon the status in the Ashram of the disciple. When the disciple is a very advanced one, he may become aware of his high mission and know it to be no fanatical and self-initiated intention, but a definite task undertaken in response to ashramic planning. Such cases will usually be the exception and not the rule, particularly in the early stages. Such hierarchical workers will gather around them lesser disciples who will work along the same lines, through community of interest but not  through recognition of similar instructions—a very different thing. In the one case, the consciousness of mission is developed through periods of definite planning with the Ashram and in consultation with the Master or His senior workers. In the more usual case, the disciple reacts and works in response to impression, being at this stage totally unaware from whence the impression comes; he regards it as an activity of his own mind acting as a directing agent in all the planned activities, the life theme and purpose which are his service dynamic.
One major characteristic is, however, present in all these working disciples and aspirants; this is a wide humanitarianism and a determination to aid in the cause of human welfare. One interesting distinction will later emerge and condition the new age in contradistinction to past and present methods. Disciples and aspirants will not be dedicated to purely humanitarian and welfare work. That will be a motive and not an objective in work. They will not give up their days and efforts solely to the relief of human necessity. All phases of human living—politics, finance and science, as well as religion—will be recognised to be their immediate and spectacular task, but the motivation in the future will not be primarily business success or personality ambition but the impulse to subordinate these to the general effort and to aid humanity as a whole, with a long range vision.
It is this growing spirit of humanitarianism which will lie behind all movements towards world socialisation in the various nations. This movement is symptomatic of a change in the orientation of man's thinking, and therein lies its major value. It is not indicative of a new technique of government in reality, and this particular phase of it is ephemeral; it is at the same time foundational to the new world order which will emerge out of all these experiments which human thinking is at this time evolving.
These are the things which will be in the consciousness of disciples commissioned by the Hierarchy to bring about the needed changes and the new orientation, and not any  recognition of Masters and Their orders or of any hierarchical and ashramic background.
Whilst in incarnation such disciples stand free to serve one-pointedly and wholeheartedly that section or phase of human effort in which their lot and life-trend appear to cast them. They may be quite unconscious of any spiritual objective (so-called today) except the recognition that they love their fellowmen; this love will condition all they do and will motivate their every effort.
From the standpoint of the Master, they can be reached, impressed and directed, and most definitely they are so reached; from their own standpoint they are simply busy, energetic people, gifted with a good mind, profoundly interested in their chosen life task and proving themselves capable of effective work along some particular line, able to influence and direct others in similar activity and definitely bringing about changes in the branch of human endeavour with which they are concerned, thus lifting underlying principles on to higher levels. This is straight hierarchical work. It affects on broad lines the consciousness of humanity.
These disciples may be conscious that their effort and their thinking are part of a forward-moving evolutionary endeavour; to that extent they are mission-conscious, but the value of this attitude is that it relates them, in consciousness, to many others, similarly motivated and conscious of a similar vision. It is of course wise to remember that all such disciples are pronounced ray types and are integrated personalities in the highest sense of the word. They will work on earth as high grade personalities, under the impact of strong motives which emanate from the soul in response to impression from the Ashram, but of this, in their physical brains, they know nothing and care less. Part of their effectiveness in service is due to the fact that they are not preoccupied with soul contact and with the idea of academic service. Their eyes are on the job to be done, their hearts are with their fellowmen, and their heads are busy with methods, techniques and practices which will raise the entire  level of endeavour in their chosen field. Hence their inevitable success.
Disciples who are intensely interested in personal responsiveness to the soul, who work diligently at the problem of soul contact, who are busy with the art of serving consciously and who make service a goal, who are keenly alive to the fact of the Ashram and to the Master, will not be asked to do this work of preparing for the externalisation of the Hierarchy. Advanced disciples who are stabilised in the Ashram, and who are so used to the Master that He assumes in their consciousness no undue prominence, can be trusted to work along right lines in the world and do the work of preparation. They cannot be sidetracked or deflected from one-pointed attention to the task in hand by any soul call or urge; hence they are free to do the intended work.
The situation, therefore, in relation to the consciousness of disciples in the intensely difficult, though interesting, period with which humanity is faced could be summed up in the following statements:
1. The disciple is not motivated by any desire to externalise the Hierarchy or to see the Ashram with which he is affiliated functioning physically on the outer plane. He may be totally unaware of this hierarchical intention. If he is aware of this underlying purpose, it is entirely secondary in his consciousness. The good of humanity and a stabilised spiritual future for mankind are his major life incentives.
2. The disciple is strictly humanitarian in his outlook. He works for the One Humanity and though aware possibly that he is affiliated with the Hierarchy, his loyalties, his service and his life intention are directed entirely to the cause of human betterment. In this attitude he is coming to resemble the Masters Whose life directive is not hierarchical possibilities but adherence to the purposes of Shamballa, in action, in relationships and to the Plan for all living units in the three worlds.
3. The intuition of the disciple is alert and active; the new ideas and the vital fresh concepts are foremost in his mind.  He almost automatically repudiates the reactionary and conservative thinking of the past and—without fanaticism and undue emphasis—he lives, talks and instructs along the new lines of right human relations.
4. The disciple, occupied with hierarchical plans for the future, has a completely open mind as regards the growth of true psychic powers. He deplores and represses all negative conditions and forms of thinking as he contacts them in his environment, but he encourages the growth of all forms of higher sensory perception which expand the human consciousness and enrich its content.
5. According to his hierarchical status, he will become increasingly a channel of power in the world. His own ashramic life will deepen as his world service develops. The statement in the Bible (or rather injunction) to "take root downward and bear fruit upward" has for him a deeply occult significance.
I am not here touching upon the growth of a disciple as a disciple, or on his individual progress on the Path; I am considering the type of consciousness with which he faces the task which confronts him. Unless he fulfils within himself the requirements enumerated in this section of our study, he will not be one of the workers in this interlude between the old age and the new.
The Dissemination of Information of a Preparatory Nature
Those who do the work of reaching humanity with the needed information fall into two main groups:
1. Disciples and convinced aspirants who are today working in the field of occultism.
2. Those disciples and initiates who will emerge from the three Ashrams and whose work is largely to act as the vanguard of the Hierarchy and precede it into outer manifestation. This will begin in the year 1975, if the disciples now active will do their work adequately.
Much has already been done in familiarising the general public with the concept of the Hierarchy. Much of it has been done in such a manner as to bring the whole subject into disrepute, as well you know. The groups now occupied with the dissemination of occult teaching would be well-advised to change their methods if—beneath their pronounced ignorance and their love of the spectacular—there lies a true belief and a real humanitarian desire. Information anent the Hierarchy should take the following lines:
1. Emphasis should be laid on the evolution of humanity with peculiar attention to its goal, perfection. This is not the idealistic perfection of the visionary mystic, but the control of the instrument, man in incarnation, by the indwelling and overshadowing soul. The constitution of man should be increasingly taught.
2. The relation of the individual soul to all souls should be taught, and with it the recognition that the long-awaited kingdom of God is simply the appearance of soul-controlled men on earth in everyday life and at all stages of that control.
3. From a recognition of this relationship, the fact of the spiritual Hierarchy can then be deduced and the normality of its existence emphasised. The fact will appear that the Kingdom has always been present but has remained unrecognised, owing to the relatively few people who express, as yet, its quality.
4. When this recognition has become general, the idea (by this time permanently present in the human consciousness everywhere) and good sense also will testify to the fact of the presence of Those Who have achieved the goal; Their demonstration of divinity will be regarded as normal, as constituting a universal objective, and as the guarantee of humanity's future achievement; degrees of this divine expression can then be pointed out, ranging from that of the probationary disciple, through disciples, to Those Who have achieved mastery, and up to and inclusive of the Christ.
5. Thus gradually the idea or concept of the existence, in bodily presence, of the Masters will be inculcated and steadily  accepted; a new attitude to the Christ will be developed which will be inclusive of all the best that the past has given to us but which will integrate men into a more sane and acceptable approach to the entire problem.
6. The time will come when the fact of the presence on earth of the Christ as Head of the Hierarchy and the Director of the Kingdom of God will be accepted; men will also realise the truth of the present revolutionary statement that at no time has He ever left the earth.
7. Emphasis will also increasingly be laid upon the unfolding Plan, and men will be brought to its recognition through a study of the evolution of the human family, through a close consideration of historical processes, and through a comparative analysis of ancient and modern civilisations and cultures. The thread of purpose will be noted and followed through, century after century, integrating not only history into one complete story of the revelation of divine qualities through the medium of humanity, but integrating with it and into it all world philosophies, the central theme of all creative art, the symbolism of architecture and the conclusions of science.
This approach of the central fact of human evolution—the steady growth of divinity and the revelation through man of divine powers—will offset the fanciful, fantastic presentation of the Hierarchy which has coloured all the occult movements and the various Theosophical and Rosicrucian presentations. The subject will be presented in a manner acceptable and reasonable. It will not be a slower process, but the reverse. The results of the old and foolish way of introducing the subject has greatly retarded the intended work. Men, however, in the future, will accept with rapidity and thankfully what is reasonable and which has its roots in the past, can be proven by history, and which presents a true and possible hope for the future.
It can be expected that the orthodox Christian will at first reject the theories about the Christ which occultism presents; at the same time, this same orthodox Christian  will find it increasingly difficult to induce the intelligent masses of people to accept the impossible Deity and the feeble Christ which historical Christianity has endorsed. A Christ Who is present and living, Who is known to those who follow Him, Who is a strong and able executive and not a sweet and sentimental sufferer, Who has never left us but Who has worked for two thousand years through the medium of His disciples, the inspired men and women of all faiths, all religions and all religious persuasions; Who has no use for fanaticism or hysterical devotion but Who loves all men persistently, intelligently and optimistically, Who sees divinity in them all and Who comprehends the techniques of the evolutionary development of the human consciousness (mental, emotional and physical, producing civilisations and cultures appropriate to a particular point in evolution)—these ideas the intelligent public can and will accept.
They will prepare and work for conditions in the world in which Christ can move freely among men, in bodily Presence; He need not then remain in His present retreat in Central Asia. They can and will accept with ease the unity of all faiths when the relationship of the Buddha and the Christ is correctly presented; then the picture of a Christ demanding a unique position, to the exclusion of all other sons of God, will fade out in the wonder of the true apostolic succession, in which many sons of God, on different rays, of differing nationalities and with varying missions, are to be seen historically leading humanity along the path of divine unfoldment and nearer to God, the Source.
Temporarily, the fact of God Immanent will engross the attention of all true spiritual teachers, and the fact of that divine immanence making itself felt in perfection through the Christ and other divine Representatives will for a time relegate the teaching on God Transcendent into the background. Undue emphasis has been placed on this major truth, to the exclusion of the nearer and more practical truth of God in every man and in every form in every kingdom in nature; much evil has eventuated by the failure to lay the emphasis upon God Immanent. Later on, when the  truth of the Christ indwelling every man and revealed in perfection through the historical Christ and His great Brothers down the ages has been accepted, the teaching of God Transcendent, which is the secret mystery in the custody of Shamballa, will be revealed and emphasised. The two halves of a perfect Whole will then be recognised by humanity.
The key to the Hierarchy and Its reappearance on earth in physical form, and the consequent materialisation of the kingdom of God among men, is the simple truth of God Immanent. It is the clue to the evolutionary process, and the eternal hope of all forms in all kingdoms in nature. This is the central truth, the convincing truth, and the revealing truth which will underlie all information anent the Hierarchy, and this the coming generation of disciples will distribute. If this truth is factual and possible of demonstration, then the fact of the Hierarchy is proved and the authenticity of the eternal existence of the kingdom of God on earth is established.