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CHAPTER FOUR - THE WORK OF THE CHRIST TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE - Part 1

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CHAPTER FOUR

THE WORK OF THE CHRIST TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE

We have seen that the doctrine of great Appearances and of the coming of Avatars or World Teachers or Saviours underlies all the world religions. Through Them, the continuity of revelation is implemented and humanity is enabled, each successive age, to take its next step forward along the Path of Evolution closer to God and that divine Centre in which the will of the One "in Whom we live and move and have our being" (as St. Paul expressed it in Acts XVII.28) is focussed, understood and directed. We have touched upon the mission of two of these Avatars—the Buddha, the Messenger of Light for the East, and the Christ, the Messenger of Love for the West—and Their work for the entire world; we have also considered the unique opportunity with which Christ is today faced and the response He made in 1945 when He signified His intention to reappear and gave the great Invocation to us as an aid in the preparatory work with which we are immediately confronted. It would seem appropriate at this point to consider the nature of the work which He will do and also the teaching which He will probably give. The fact of the continuity of the revelation and teaching given down the ages entitles us to a wise consideration and spiritual speculation upon the probable lines which His work will take.

Over the years, much has been given out from many sources, schools of thought and churches about the Christ, [62] the situation which He faces and the probabilities as to His reappearance. Disciples, aspirants, and men of goodwill have done much already to prepare the world for His so-called return. Today, the East and the West stand equally expectant. As we approach the theme of His work, it is essential that we remember that the Eastern Teacher embodied in Himself the Wisdom of God, of which human intelligence (the third aspect of divinity) is an expression; that through Christ, the second divine aspect was revealed in its perfection; and in Him two aspects, therefore, light and love, received full expression. It remains now for the highest of the divine aspects, the Will of God, to receive embodiment and for this the Christ is preparing. The continuity of revelation may not stop; and upon what other expressions of the divine nature may still later be revealed it is needless for us to speculate.

The uniqueness of the impending mission of the Christ and the uniqueness of His opportunity consist in the fact that He is able—in Himself—to give expression to two divine energies: the energy of love and the energy of will, the magnetic potency of love and the dynamic effectiveness of the divine will. Never before, in the long long history of humanity, has such a revelation been possible.

The work and the teaching of the Christ will be hard for the Christian world to accept, though easier of assimilation in the East. Nevertheless, some hard blow or some difficult presentation of the truth is badly needed if the Christian world is to be awakened, and if Christian people are to recognise their place within a worldwide divine revelation and see Christ as representing all the faiths and taking His rightful place as World Teacher. He is the World Teacher and not a Christian teacher. He Himself told us that He had other folds and to them He has meant [63] as much as He has meant to the orthodox Christian. They may not call Him Christ, but they have their own name for Him and follow Him as truly and faithfully as their Western brethren.

Let us look for a moment at the erroneous interpretations given to the Gospel story. The symbolism of that Gospel story—an ancient story-presentation often presented down the ages, prior to the coming of the Christ in Palestine—has been twisted and distorted by theologians until the crystalline purity of the early teaching and the unique simplicity of the Christ have disappeared in a travesty of errors and in a mummery of ritual, money and human ambitions. Christ is pictured today as having been born in an unnatural manner, as having taught and preached for three years and then as having been crucified and eventually resurrected, leaving humanity in order to "sit on the right hand of God," in austere and distant pomp. Likewise, all the other approaches to God by any other people, at any time and in any country, are regarded by the orthodox Christian as wrong approaches, as being practised by so-called "heathen," and as requiring Christian interference. Every possible effort has been made to force orthodox Christianity on those who accept the inspiration and the teachings of the Buddha or of others who have been responsible for preserving the divine continuity of revelation. The emphasis has been, as we all well know, upon the "blood sacrifice of the Christ" upon the Cross and upon a salvation dependent upon the recognition and acceptance of that sacrifice. The vicarious at-one-ment has been substituted for the reliance which Christ Himself enjoined us to place upon our own divinity; the Church of Christ has made itself famous and futile (as the world war proved) for its narrow creed, its wrong emphases, its clerical pomp, its spurious authority, [64] its material riches and its presentation of a dead Christ. His resurrection is accepted, but the major appeal of the churches has been upon His death.

Christ has been for two thousand years a silent, passive Figure, hidden behind a multitude of words written by a multitude of men (commentators and preachers). The church has pointed us to the dying Christ upon the Cross and not to the living, working, active, present Christ Who has been with us in bodily Presence (according to His promise) for twenty centuries.

Let us, therefore, endeavour to get a truer picture of Christ's activities and life and—consequently—of our future hope. Let us try and realise the ever-present yet divine Person, laying His plans for the future helping of humanity, assessing His resources, influencing His disciples and organising the details which will attend His reappearance. We need to awaken faith in the factual nature of divine revelation, and galvanise the church of Christ into a truer appreciation of Him and of His work. It is the living, acting, thinking Christ with whom we must deal, remembering always that the Gospel story is eternally true and only needs re-interpreting in the light of its place in the long succession of divine revelations. His Mission on earth two thousand years ago is a part of that continuity and is not an extraordinary story, having no relation to the past, emphasising a period of only 33 years and presenting no clear hope for the future.

What is the hope held out today by the orthodox and unimaginative theologians?  That at some distant date, known only to the inscrutable will of God the Father, Christ will issue forth from His seat at the right hand of God, and (followed by His angels and by the Church invisible) descending upon the clouds of Heaven, to the sound of a trumpet, He will make an appearance in [65] Jerusalem. The battle raging at that time will then end, and He will enter the city of Jerusalem to rule for one thousand years. During this millennium, Satan or the principle of evil will be bound or imprisoned, and there will be a new heaven and new earth. Further than that, we are told nothing; humanity hopes for so much more that the picture presented does not intrigue them.

Behind this portrayal, if rightly interpreted, stands the human, the loving and the divine Presence of the Christ, embodying divine love and wielding divine power, directing His Church and establishing the Kingdom of God on Earth. What is this church of Christ? It is constituted of the sum total of all those in whom the life of Christ or the Christ-consciousness is to be found or is in process of finding expression; it is the aggregation of all who love their fellowmen, because to love one's fellowmen is the divine faculty which makes us full members of Christ's community. It is not the accepting of any historical fact or theological creed which places us en rapport with Christ. The citizens of the Kingdom of God are all those who are deliberately seeking the light and attempting (through self-imposed discipline) to stand before the One Initiator; this worldwide group (whether in the body or out of it) accepts the teaching that "the sons of men are one"; they know that divine revelation is continuous and ever new, and that the divine Plan is working itself out on Earth.

There are those today on Earth who know that through the instrumentality, the inspiration and the instruction of those sons of men who have wrought out their divinity in the crucible of daily human living the Kingdom of God will come into being; these Knowers now work actively, under the direct impression of the Christ, in leading humanity [66] from darkness to light and from death to immortality.

These are the great underlying truths which are distinctive of the Christ, of the Buddha, and of the Church of God, as it expresses itself in the East and in the West; these are the only truths which matter. In the future, the eyes of humanity will be fixed upon Christ and not upon any such manmade institutions as the Church and its dignitaries; Christ will be seen as He is in reality, working through His disciples, through the Masters of the Wisdom and through His followers who toil unseen (and usually unrecognised) behind world affairs. The sphere of His activity will be known to be the human heart and also the crowded market places of the world, but not some stone edifice and not the pomp and ceremony of any ecclesiastical headquarters.

Our study of the future work of the Christ is necessarily based upon three assumptions:

1. That the reappearance o£ the Christ is inevitable and assured.

2. That He is today and has been actively working—through the medium of the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet, of which He is the Head—for the welfare of humanity.

3. That certain teachings will be given and certain energies will be released by Him in the routine of His work and coming. People are apt to forget that the coming of the Christ necessitates a period of intensive preparation by Him; He, too, works under law and is subject to control from various sources—just as are all human beings, but in a much lesser degree.

His reappearance is conditioned and determined by the reaction of humanity itself; by that reaction He must abide. His work is subject also to certain phases of spiritual [67] and cyclic timing and to impressions from sources to be found on higher levels than those upon which He normally works. Just as human affairs have effects upon His action, so great "determinations" and "profound settlements within the will of God" also have their effects. The human side or nature of the Christ, perfected and sensitive, responds to the invocation and to the appeal of men; His divine side or nature is equally responsive to the impact of energies, issuing from "the centre where the will of God is known." Between these two, He has to make adjustment and bring about right timing. The bringing of good out of human so-called evil is no easy task; the vision of the Christ is so vast and His grasp of the Law of Cause and Effect, of Action and Reaction is such that the arriving at right decision as to activity and time is no simple one. Human beings are apt to look at all that happens, or that could happen, from the purely human and immediate angle; they have little understanding of the problems, decisions and implications with which Christ is today faced. In these, His pledged disciples share. Their task is to develop "the mind that is in Christ" and as they do so, they will help make clear the way for "the coming of His feet," as the Bible puts it (Heb. XII.13). Seeing life and events in the light of the spiritual values, as He does, will facilitate the giving out of the new teaching and will provide the skeleton structure of the new world religion, thus giving us a fresh view of divine intention and a living insight into the minds of Those Who implement the divine will and are the engineers of humanity's future. Let us, therefore, try and appreciate not only the opportunity which Christ has to help us (which is the usual presentation), but let us look also at the crises and problems with which He is confronted as He faces the work which He must do.

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I. The Crises of the Christ

In the life of every disciple, particularly of those who face certain great expansions of consciousness, a point of crisis will come about. In that point of crisis, decisions are voluntarily or involuntarily made; having made them, the disciple then stands at a point of tension, with the decision behind him and the next step to be taken becoming clearer to his mental perception, and influencing his attitude to the future. When the work is done in the period of tension, then there comes what we might call the point of emergence. This is both an emergence from and also an emergence into a field of experience.

The Christ Himself is no exception to this threefold experience and—in order that we may understand more fully—let us apply these three phrases (inappropriate as they basically are) to the actions and the reactions of the Christ.

There is no crisis for Him in the sense that crises exist for us; there is no strain or stress attached to His point of tension; the parallel is, however, good enough to convey something to you of what has transpired within that state of awareness which distinguishes the spiritual Hierarchy; to this state of consciousness we can give the name of "spiritual perception," in contradistinction to the mental perception which is the human counterpart. It must be remembered that the point of crisis, producing the point of tension to which the Christ may be regarded as voluntarily subjecting Himself is a hierarchical matter or event, because the entire Hierarchy is involved in the crisis. The reason for this is simple: the Christ and His workers know only the experience of group consciousness. A separative participation and attitude is unknown to [69] Them, for Their state of awareness is inclusive and in no way exclusive.

Using, therefore, human terminology in order to interpret the divine reactions of the Christ and His disciples, it must be realised that the point of crisis which is responsible for hierarchical tension and for the eventual appearance or the emergence of the Christ, lies behind the Christ; it is in the field of long past experience. The consequent point of tension is now controlling the affairs of the spiritual Hierarchy and its many groups of workers. The "point of decision," as it is called in all hierarchical circles, was reached during the period between the Full Moon of June, 1936, and the Full Moon of June, 1945. The point of decision covered, therefore, nine years (a relatively brief time); it resulted in the decision arrived at by the Christ to re-appear or return to visible Presence on Earth as soon as possible, and considerably earlier than had been planned.

This decision was necessarily made in consultation with the Lord of the World, the "Ancient of Days" of The Old Testament, and the "One in Whom we live and move and have our being" of The New Testament. He is the Custodian of the Will of God. It was also made with the full understanding and cooperation of the Masters and the senior initiates. This was inevitably so, because Their participation and help were imperative. They also necessarily had to be with Him in thought, and cooperating mentally, because His reappearance connotes a great hierarchical approach to humanity and a great spiritual event.

The decision was, nevertheless, the decision of the Christ and marked not only a point of crisis in His experience but a point of climax in His expression of divinity. With all reverence and within the bounds of our human [70] understanding, it must be remembered that there is nothing static in the entire evolutionary process of our planet or of the cosmos; there is naught but process and progress, a moving on, an increasing attainment and a mounting achievement. To this great law of the universe, even the Christ Himself is subject. In all reverence again, let it here be pointed out that He too has moved on in His experience of divinity and is (if it may be so expressed) closer to the Father and to the One Universal Life than ever before. His comprehension and His apprehension of the Will of God is deeper and His fulfilment of that Will is more in line with the divine Purpose than it was in Palestine two thousand years ago. There has necessarily been (on the part of Christ) a growing perception of the intention of the divine Mind, as it is embodied in that Identity to Whom we give the name of God.

No longer need Christ, in agony say "Father, not my will but Thine be done"; He has today no personal will but only the will of His Father animates Him and the ability to make decisions which are a full expression of that divine Will. It is difficult to express His achievement in other words. Commentators have sought to explain away and gloss over the Gethsemane experience of the Christ, and to attribute what appears as weakness to an upsurging of Christ's humanity and, consequently, to a temporary submergence of His divine nature. They have been forced into this position because of the prevalent theological dictum as to Christ's divine perfection—an absolute, sovereign and ultimate perfection to which He Himself never made the slightest claim. He is today nearer that perfection than He ever was when before on Earth. It was this divine unfoldment which made it possible for Him to make right choice, not only for Himself [71] but also for the spiritual Hierarchy, during the years of decision, prior to June, 1945.

Under the divine will, He had to reappear on Earth in visible Presence. He had to preside over the materialisation of the Kingdom of God on Earth, and He had to re-institute the Mysteries of Initiation in such a form that they would prove the basis of the new world religion. Above all, He had to reveal the nature of the will of God. That will is often regarded as a power by means of which things are done, situations are brought about, activities are instituted and plans are worked out, and often ruthlessly worked out. This general definition is the easiest for men to formulate, because it is understood by them in terms of their own self-will, the will to individual self-betterment. This type of will is selfish and misunderstood at first, but tends eventually to selflessness, as evolution carries out its beneficent task. Then the will is interpreted in terms of the hierarchical plan and the effort of the individual man becomes that of negating his original self-will, and seeking then to merge his will with that of the group—the group being itself an aspect of hierarchical effort. This is a great step onward in orientation and will lead eventually to a change in consciousness.

It is at this stage that most aspirants today find themselves. However, the will is in reality something very different to these expressions of it which exist in the human consciousness as men attempt to interpret the divine Will in terms of their present point in evolution. The clue to understanding is to be found in the words, "blotting out all form." When the lure of substance is overcome and desire dies, then the attractive power of the soul becomes dominant, and the emphasis (so long laid upon [72] individual form and individual living and activity) gives place to group form and group purpose. Then the attractive power of the Hierarchy and of the Masters' groups of disciples supersedes the lower attractions and the lesser focal points of interest. When these then assume their rightful place in consciousness, then the dynamic pull of the Will Aspect of divinity can be felt—entirely unrelated to form or forms, or to groups or a group.

In the light of the Will of God, Christ made certain basic decisions and determined to carry them out in the relatively immediate future—the exact date of His coming being known only to Him and a few of His senior workers; yet all of these future events lie hid in a certain fundamental decision of humanity itself. This decision is being arrived at through certain new trends in human thinking, and will be the result of a subjective human reaction to the decision already arrived at by the Christ and the spiritual Hierarchy, the Church invisible.

The motivation for this reappearance is complete and settled. It is clearly perceived by the Christ. The work initiated by Him two thousand years ago must be completed; the new world religion must be inaugurated; the needs of a demanding, invocative humanity cannot be ignored; those steps which precede a stupendous hierarchical initiation in which the Christ is the leading Participant must be taken; the events which are symptomatic of the "time of the end" may not be delayed.

If one may venture to speak in such terms (reverent and symbolical), the reward accorded to the Christ, as He announced His decision as final and irrevocable, was the permission or rather the right to use a certain great Invocation—never before granted—and to use it in two ways:

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1. As a hierarchical invocation, directed towards the "centre where the will of God is known."

2. As a world prayer, expressed in such phraseology that all humanity could intelligently use it.

The right to use certain great Words of Power or "Stanzas of Direction" is never lightly accorded. The decision of Christ to appear again among men, bringing His disciples with Him, drew forth this permission from the Lord of the World, the Ancient of Days.

After this climaxing point of spiritual crisis and its consequent decision, a point of tension was reached and it is in this state of spiritual tension that the Church invisible is now working and planning, swinging the disciples of the Christ, active on Earth, into the same condition of spiritual tension. The success of Christ's return to visible Presence, as well as other factors (related to His reappearance), are dependent upon happenings and contacts which are now taking place within this period of tension. In any point of tension—no matter what the time factor may be—energy is being generated, held for future use, and focussed in such a manner or condition that its force can be directed wherever needed and whenever called for. This is necessarily a statement hard to understand. A point of tension is, symbolically, a storehouse of power. Today the energies which will be uniquely distinctive of the Kingdom of God are gathering momentum and assuming direction through the agency of the Masters of the Wisdom, in cooperation with the will of Christ.

Whilst this energy has been accumulating or mounting in potency ever since the Full Moon of June 1945, three events of great moment in the living experience of Christ (and, therefore, of the Hierarchy) have taken place and [74] their effects are in process of consolidation. I can only make reference to them, for it is not possible to prove the factual nature of what is here said; only possibility, probability and the Law of Correspondences can indicate the rightness of these events. Their effects will be noted, especially after the moment of emergence. These three events can be described as follows:

1. The Spirit of Peace descended upon Christ. The New Testament bears witness to a somewhat similar event when, at the Baptism, we read that "he saw the Spirit of God, descending like a dove and alighting upon Him." (St. Matt. III.16.) This Spirit is a Being of tremendous cosmic potency and is today overshadowing the Christ in much the same manner as Christ (two thousand years ago) overshadowed or worked through the Master Jesus. This Spirit of Peace is not the sum total of an emotional and static calm, bringing to an end the turmoil on the Earth and instituting an era of peace. He is, in a mysterious sense, the Spirit of Equilibrium; He works with the Law of Action and Reaction and the inevitability of His activity will be recognised. His work will demonstrate in two ways—fully when the Christ appears among men and slowly and gradually until that time:

a. The chaos, turmoil, emotional disturbance and mental unbalance found in the world today will be (under this Law) balanced by a corresponding cycle of calm, emotional quiet and mental poise, thus releasing humanity into a new phase and experience of freedom. The adjusted peace will be commensurate to the experienced disturbance.

b. The hate which is so dominant in the world today will—through the life of the Spirit of Peace, working through the Christ, the Embodiment of the [75] love of God—be balanced by an expressed goodwill. The guarantee of the appearance of that goodwill is the excessive expression of hate—a hate which has been slowly mounting in the minds of men since the beginning of the 19th century, and which is reaching a new high at this time. A proportionate measure of the energy of love will demonstrate later as the result of the activity of the Spirit of Peace, working through the Prince of Peace, as Christ has sometimes been called. (Is. IX.6.)

This spiritual Being will not descend from the high place whereon He works and from whence His energy is directed, but the Christ will act and serve as the channel for His directed potency. The inflow of His divine energy (extra-planetary energy) is destined to bring peace eventually upon Earth, through the expression of goodwill. This goodwill will bring about right human relations. Humanity registered (unconsciously, of course) the first impact of this energy in May, 1936, and again in June, 1945.

2. The evolutionary force to which we give the name "the Christ consciousness" (a term largely used by the metaphysical groups in the world today) focussed itself in the person of the Christ in a manner hitherto unknown. This is the potency, latent in every human heart which was described by St. Paul as "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. I.27), and is that which, under evolutionary law, brings a man eventually into the Kingdom of God and "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Eph. IV.13.) Of this potency and glory, Christ has ever been the symbol. During the [76] present period of hierarchical tension and as a result of His decision to reappear, Christ became the Embodiment of this energy and thus entered into a closer relation to humanity. Other great Sons of God are channels for this energy in relation to the subhuman kingdoms, but the Christ holds a unique place in relation to humanity. To express the idea symbolically, this energy creates a living bridge from the human kingdom to the Kingdom of God, from the fourth kingdom in nature to the fifth. The Christ is the custodian of this energy, but only temporarily and for the period of this human crisis. He can, because of this, stimulate the responsive factor in the hearts of men, enabling them to recognise and know Him for Who and what He is, when He reappears. This channelling of energy began at the close of the world war and is still going on; it is responsible for the trend towards betterment everywhere to be sensed, for the growth of the principle of sharing, and for the undeniable soundness of men's hearts and thinking today—the soundness of the masses (when informed), far more than of their leaders.

3. As you are well aware, human history has been essentially the history of great spiritual Messengers Who—from time to time, in the hours of human crisis—have come forth from the secret place of the Most High to aid, inspire, reveal, lead and direct. It is the history of the presentation of ideas, brought to the attention of humanity and gradually developed into civilisations and cultures. Such is the urgency of human need at this time, and such is the opportunity, that one such Son of God is—during this cycle of tension—seeking to cooperate with the Christ. As a result of Christ's decision and His "spiritual fusion" with the Will of God, the Avatar of Synthesis has become, for the time being, His close Associate. [77] This is an event of supreme and planetary importance. His relationship and planned help date from the time of the pronouncing of the great Invocation and its use by men everywhere. Owing to the stupendous task confronting Christ, the Avatar of Synthesis will fortify Him, and He will be buttressed by this "Silent Avatar" Who (to speak symbolically) will "keep His eye upon Him, His hand beneath Him and His heart in unison with His."

This Being is closely related to the Will Aspect of divinity, and His cooperation has been made possible through Christ's Own attainment along the line of the highest, spiritual will. He works under the great natural Law of Synthesis, producing at-one-ment, unification and fusion. His function (in unison with the energy of Christ) is to generate spiritual will in humanity, the will-to-good; His potency works in three fields of activity at this time:

a. Within the spiritual Hierarchy itself, revealing the nature of the divine will-to-good which the Kingdom of God must express, and the nature also of divine Purpose.

b. Within the Assembly of the United Nations, though not within the Security Council; He is there generating a slowly growing will-to-unity.

c. Within the masses of men everywhere, fostering the urge to a general betterment.

His activity is necessarily a mass activity, for He can only channel His energies through the mass consciousness or through a group conscious entity, such as the Hierarchy, the United Nations or Humanity. The focal point of His effort and the Agent through which distribution of His energy can be made is the New Group of World Servers; [78] this group is uniquely related to this Avatar of Synthesis. The bringing together of all the agents of goodwill (who are responsive to the energy of the divine will-to-good) constitutes the major objective of the New Group of World Servers and always has been. Their work can now be constructively and creatively intensified through the association of the Avatar of Synthesis with the Christ. Their task is to usher in the New Age; in that New Age, the five Kingdoms in Nature will begin to function as one creative whole. Their work falls into the following parts, functions or activities:

a. The production of a human synthesis or unity which will lead to an universal recognition of the one humanity, brought about through right human relations.

b. The establishing of right relations with the subhuman kingdoms in nature, leading to the universal recognition that there is One World.

c. The anchoring of the Kingdom of God, the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet, in open expression on Earth, thus leading to the universal recognition that the sons of men are one.

These objectives the Avatar of Synthesis will foster and aid and for this purpose He has associated Himself with the Christ, working through the Hierarchy, under instruction from the "centre where the will of God is known." These three related events and distributing points of energy have all come into activity during the point of tension in which Christ and the Hierarchy are at this time held. They all serve to re-direct and focus energy in relation to humanity, for all are the result of the decision made by Christ after His point of crisis, and are all connected [79] with the hierarchical preparation for Christ's reappearance.

II. Christ as the Forerunner of the Aquarian Age

People are very apt to overlook the fact that though Christ recognised His function as Teacher and spiritual Leader of humanity during the age which is so rapidly drawing to a close, He also recognised the work which He would do when that age came to an end and the new astronomical cycle came into existence.

The average Christian is singularly unaware of the times and cycles through which our planet passes, under influence of solar progression. The at present dubious science of astrology has sidetracked the legitimate interest of humanity in the astronomical teaching and its spiritual interpretation of the passage of the Sun through the signs of the zodiac. Yet, in The New Testament, that recognition is clearly revealed and colours the presentation of the entire Gospel story. It is found also in The Old Testament. What was the sin of the Children of Israel in the desert but a reversion to the old Mithraic worship which distinguished the time when the sun was "in the sign of Taurus, the Bull," as it is technically called. They fell down and worshipped the golden calf and forgot the new teaching of the age of Aries, the Ram, into which they were entering, the teaching of the Scapegoat which colours Jewish history.

The fact that Christ was the Teacher of the new period into which the Sun was entering, the period of Pisces, is forgotten, but is clearly evidenced in the fish symbology which runs consistently through all four Gospels; the symbol of the Fish is the astrological symbol for the sign Pisces, and has been for untold ages. But Christ also [80] looked ahead to the work He would have to do in the Aquarian Age, in the next sign into which the sun would enter. Prior to His "disappearance," He referred to the symbol of the Aquarian Age and to the task He would then perform. With His twelve disciples, He enacted a dramatic episode which epitomises the work which He would later undertake when the two thousand years of the Piscean era would have passed away. He told His disciples to go into the city and that there they would meet a man, carrying a pitcher of water, that they should follow him to the upper room and there make ready the communion feast in which He and they would share. (Luke XXII.10.)  This they did and the Last Supper took place. The ancient symbol for the sign Aquarius (into which our Sun is now entering) is that of the Water-carrier, the man with a pitcher of water. This passing of the Sun into the sign Aquarius is an astronomical fact, as any one can ascertain by writing to any observatory; it is not an astrological prognostication. The great spiritual achievement and evolutionary event of that age will be the communion and human relationships established among all peoples, enabling men everywhere to sit down together in the Presence of the Christ and share the bread and wine (symbols of nourishment). Preparations for that shared feast (symbolically speaking) are on their way, and those preparations are being made by the masses of men themselves, as they fight and struggle and legislate for the economic sustenance of their nations, and as the theme of food occupies the attention of legislators everywhere. This sharing, beginning on the physical plane, will prove equally true of all human relations and this will be the great gift of the Aquarian Age to humanity. This the church has ignored and yet their ecclesiastics cannot explain away the fact that the Jews demonstrated [81] their liking for the Taurian worship of the Bull in the golden calf, that the Jewish dispensation used the symbol of the scapegoat or ram in the age of Aries, the Ram, and that the Christian emphasises the fish in the Piscean era, the Christian era.

Christ came to bring to an end the Jewish dispensation which should have climaxed and passed away as a religion with the movement of the sun out of Aries into Pisces. He, therefore, presented Himself to them as their Messiah, manifesting through the Jewish race. In the rejection of the Christ as the Messiah, the Jewish race has remained symbolically and practically in the sign Aries, the Scapegoat; they have to pass—again speaking symbolically—into the sign, Pisces, the Fishes, and recognise their Messiah when He comes again in the sign Aquarius. Otherwise, they will repeat their ancient sin of non-response to the evolutionary process. They rejected that which was new and spiritual in the desert; they did it again in Palestine two thousand years ago; will they do it again, as opportunity is offered to them? The difficulty with the Jew is that he remains satisfied with the religion of nearly five thousand years ago and shows as yet little desire to change.

The coming in of the Aquarian Age, Christ foresaw and reduced to pictorial form for us, thus preserving for us—down the centuries—a prophetic episode, the interpretation of which is possible of demonstration only in our time and age. Astronomically, we are not yet functioning fully within the influence of Aquarius; we are only just emerging from the Piscean influence, and the full impact of the energies which Aquarius will set loose has not yet been felt. Nevertheless, each year carries us closer to the centre of power, the major effect of which will be to induce recognition of man's essential unity, [82] of the processes of sharing and of cooperation and of the emergence of that new world religion whose keynote will be universality and initiation. If the word "initiation" signifies the processes of "entering into," then it is indeed true today that humanity is undergoing a true initiation as it enters into the new age of Aquarius; it will then be subjected to those energies and forces which will break down the barriers of separation, and which will blend and fuse the consciousness of all men into that unity which is distinctive of the Christ consciousness.

In June, 1945, at the time of the full moon (so significant a day in the spiritual experience of the Christ), He definitely and consciously took over His duties and responsibilities as the Teacher and Leader during the Aquarian solar cycle. He is the first of the great world Teachers to cover two zodiacal cycles—the Piscean and the Aquarian. This is a statement easily made and written down, but again it involves the three modes or techniques of appearance to which I have already referred. His outpouring love and spiritual vitality (augmented by the energies of the Spirit of Peace, the Avatar of Synthesis and the Buddha) were refocussed and channelled into a great stream, pulled through into expression (if I may word it so inadequately) by the words of the Invocation, "Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.... Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth."

In those three words—light, love and power—the energies of His three Associates (the great Triangle of Force which stands in power behind Him) are described: the energy of the Buddha: Light, for the light ever comes from the East; the energy of the Spirit of Peace: Love, establishing right human relations; the energy of the Avatar of Synthesis: Power, implementing both light and love. At the centre of this Triangle the Christ took His [83] stand; from that point His Aquarian work began, and it will continue for two thousand five hundred years. Thus He inaugurated the new era and, upon the inner spiritual planes, the new world religion began to take form. The word "religion" concerns relationship, and the era of right human relations and of a right relation to the Kingdom of God began. Such a statement as this is easily made but its implications are far-reaching and stupendous.

At that time also, the Christ assumed two new functions: one is connected with the second mode of His physical appearance and the other with the mode of over-shadowing. Over the masses, light, love and power are being poured forth and the growth of the Christ-consciousness is, therefore, being constantly stimulated. By His physical Presence, He will become the "Dispenser of the Water of Life"; through the over-shadowing of those sensitive to His impression and of His focussed Mind, He becomes what is technically known as the "Nourisher of the little ones."

As Dispenser of the Water of Life and as Nourisher of the Little Ones, He enters upon His duties in the Aquarian Age, whilst as the centre of the Triangle above mentioned, He influences, enlightens, and produces right relations in the masses of men. In the coming era, He will, therefore, be known as

1. The Point within the Triangle.

2. The Dispenser of the Water of Life.

3. The Nourisher of the Little Ones.

These are descriptive of His threefold duties to mankind, and of the work which will be distinctive of His world service, throughout the Aquarian Age.

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Let us look at these phases of His work and try to understand the significance of the responsibility which He has undertaken. Some understanding is necessary if the New Group of World Servers and the working disciples in the world are to prepare mankind adequately for His appearing. Much can be done if men will apply themselves to comprehension and to the needed subsequent activity.

First, as the Point within the Triangle, Christ becomes the awakener of the hearts of men, and the one who institutes right human relations by being simply what He is and by standing unmoved where He is. This He accomplishes by transmitting the energies from the three points of the surrounding Triangle to humanity. This blended, impersonal energy, triple in nature, will be spread abroad universally, producing evolutionary growth, attracting people and nations magnetically to each other and automatically causing the unfoldment of the sense of synthesis, of provable unity and of a desirable fusion. Just as, during the Piscean Age, there was unfolded in humanity a mass responsiveness to knowledge and to the principle of intelligence, so in the Aquarian Age, a mass response to right relations will equally be evoked, and goodwill (as its expression) will be distinctive of the mass consciousness. It may be difficult to realise and appreciate this possibility but it was equally difficult for the mass of men in the first centuries of the Christian or Piscean era to realise the future growth of the educational systems of the world and the spread of that knowledge which is distinctive of our present civilisation and culture. Past attainment is ever the guarantee of future possibility.

As Dispenser of the Water of Life, His work is most mysterious and not at all easy to comprehend. In His public work, two thousand years ago, He said: "I am come [85]  that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." (John X.10.) The Life Aspect—from the angle of the vision of Christ—expresses itself in three ways:

1. As physical life, nourishing the cells of the body. This life is found within each atom of substance as the central point of living light.

2. As livingness, seen as love and light within the heart. When this livingness is present and expressing itself, the human atom becomes a part of the spiritual Hierarchy.

3. As Life more abundantly. This life can be known as light, love and power within and above the head of the disciple of the Christ. This abundant life enables him to cooperate, not only with humanity and with the spiritual Hierarchy, but also with Shamballa itself—the centre of life in its purest essence.

If we say that life is the livingness which enables, the words are relatively meaningless, are they not? If, however, the livingness is referred to the physical plane life, to the spiritual life of the disciple and to the living purpose of God, then some faint concept may come of the wonder of the work undertaken by the Christ in the past, and foreseen by Him as His future responsibility. Christ can draw upon the energies which are defined by the phrase "life more abundantly," because they will set loose (in the Aquarian Age) in a new and dynamic manner the new energies needed in order to bring about restoration and resurrection. This new energy is the "implementing force of universality"; it concerns the future. This inflow of Aquarian energy is one of the factors which will enable [86] the Christ to complete His task as world Saviour and world Teacher. It was to the definite performance of His duties as Distributor, Nourisher and Dispenser that He pledged Himself in June, 1945, and entered upon His responsibilities as the Forerunner and the Teacher of the Aquarian Age.

As Nourisher of the Little Ones, we are dealing with an aspect of Christ's work which involves the stimulation of the consciousnesses of His disciples as they prepare to undergo initiation or to enter into deeper phases of spiritual awareness. The result of His work in the Triangle with the masses of men will be the presentation of the first initiation—the Birth of the Christ in the cave of the Heart—as the basic ceremony in the new world religion. By means of this ceremony, the masses of men in all lands will be enabled to register consciously the "birth of the Christ" in the heart, and the "being born again" to which He Himself referred (John III.3) when here on Earth before. This new birth is what esotericists mean when they speak of the first initiation. It will not, in the future, be the experience of the occasional disciple but the general experience of countless thousands towards the close of the Aquarian Age. The purifying waters of the Baptism Initiation (the second initiation) will submerge hundreds of aspirants in many lands, and these two initiations (which are preparatory to true service, and the third initiation of the Transfiguration) will set the seal on Christ's mission as the Agent of the great spiritual Triangle which He represents.

The major work of Christ, however, as far as the disciples and the definitely spiritually-minded people of the world are concerned, plus the hundreds of thousands of advanced humanity, is so to "nourish" their spiritual consciousness and life that they will be enabled to take [87] the third and fourth initiations—those of the Transfiguration and the Renunciation (or Crucifixion).

As esotericists know, the term "little ones" refers to those disciples who are "babes in Christ" (as The New Testament terms it) and who have taken the first two initiations of the Birth and the Baptism. They are aware of the spiritual aspiration which is indicative of the Christ life in their hearts, and they have subjected themselves to the processes of purification which culminate in the baptismal waters. Christ must prepare these aspirants for the higher initiations and so nourish and aid them that they can stand before the One Initiator and become pillars in the Temple of God (i.e., agents of the spiritual Hierarchy and, therefore, active, working disciples).

When He was in Palestine, centuries ago, He said, "no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John XIV.6.)  This was a foretelling of the work which He would be called upon to do in the Aquarian era. In the first two initiations, aspirants (trained by senior disciples) find their way to Christ, Who administers the first two initiations; but—in these words—He is referring to still higher states of unfoldment. Through these initiations, administered by the Christ, the disciple becomes an agent of the love of God; the higher initiations enable him, however, to become, stage by stage, an agent of the will of God. The first group knows and understands the second stanza of the Invocation, "From the point of love within the heart of God, let love stream forth into the hearts of men"; the group which (in the Aquarian Age) the Christ Himself will "nourish" and prepare will know the meaning of the third stanza, "From the centre where the will of God is known, let purpose guide the little wills of men."

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The work of Christ, during the Piscean Age, was to relate humanity to the Hierarchy of the planet; in the Aquarian Age, His work will be to relate this rapidly growing group to that higher centre where the Father is contacted, where recognition of sonship is accorded and where the divine purpose can be known. Through the coming work of Christ, the three divine aspects, recognised by all the world religions (including the Christian religion)—Intelligence or the Universal Mind, Love and Will—will be consciously developed in mankind; humanity, the spiritual Hierarchy and the "centre where the will of God is known" will be brought into a more open and general relationship.

The mystical approach to the Kingdom of God will gradually die out as the race achieves increasing intelligence and a more scientific approach will be favoured; the rules for admission into that Kingdom will become objective; the laws governing the highest centre of the divine will will also be revealed to those who are members of the Kingdom of God and all this will come about under the supervision of the Christ after His reappearance among men. The keynote of His mission then will be to evoke from humanity a response to spiritual influence and an unfoldment (on a large scale) of intuitive perception—a faculty which is, at present, rare indeed. When He came before, He evoked from humanity a gradual response to truth and mental understanding. That is why, at the end of the cycle which He inaugurated two thousand years ago, we have formulated doctrines and a widespread mental or intellectual development.

III. Christ as the Releaser of Energy