The churches can serve as one nucleus through which world illumination could be accomplished. By holding a wide platform, by showing real tolerance and by not clinging to reactionary ideas the churches will further the work to be done. Obsolete theologies and the lack of love must go. Emphasis must be put on loving service, not on propaganda about teachings of blood sacrifice, a wrathful god and hell.
The Church must also give up sectarianism and fanaticism, and must develop a loving and universal consciousness. Western churches must realise that God works through many faiths and that all non-essential doctrines must be eliminated.
The need at this time by the masses is for practical guidance and spiritual teachings, not great stone temples, involved theology and ecclesiasticism.
The churches have concentrated on a God outside His Creation, but must now stress the Immanence of God in man, the hope of glory. This will emphasise the innate divinity found in every man, woman and child.
The sacraments must be mystically interpreted and the churches must learn to heal the sick. For within the churches even now are to be found true disciples and initiates of the Hierarchy.
Members of the churches must familiarise themselves with the inner teachings and the esoteric meaning of church ceremonies. These Mystery teachings must be given out, for if the preparatory work is done properly, then, in the inner sanctuaries of the Church, the Christ will administer that great expansion of spiritual consciousness known as the First Initiation. This refers to the "birth of the Christ" in the heart and to the "being born again" which the Bible speaks of, and is the result of a spiritual ceremony at which the Christ officiates.
All Biblical quotes are included for two reasons. Firstly ,to show those who belong to the Christian religion that many of the ideas of the New Age are found in their own Bible. Secondly, because these quotes may be useful for students of the New Age who wish to point out the similarities of these teachings with some of the teachings of the Bible.
"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God."(John,3.3)
From darkness to Light,
"Religion is the name given to the invocative appeal of humanity and evocative response of the greater Life to that cry."
The presentation of divine Truth as given out by the churches and various teachers in the East has not kept pace with the unfolding intellect of the human spirit. A new approach is needed and a true appreciation of the spiritual verities must be realised. The Christ of today is concerned with people, not grand buildings, with simple truths, not the fogs of theology. He is concerned with the spiritual evolution of man, not the pomp and ceremony of elaborate rituals.
Is it not possible that the Christ may regard the separative life of the churches as wrong - dividing the world into believer and unbeliever, into Christian and heathen - contrary to His own words? "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold." (John 10:16) The Christ works for all men irrespective of their faith, and does not belong to the Christian any more than to the Buddhist, the Mohammedan or any other faith.
To be affiliated with Christ means to love your fellow man lead a disciplined life, recognise the divinity in all beings and rule your daily life with love. The Christ and the Spiritual Hierarchy will not come to destroy all that has met spiritual demand of humanity; certain fundamentals will remain, but the non-essentials will disappear. The New World religion will be based upon those truths, which have stood the test of ages as well as some new teachings.
1. The Fact of God (God Transcendent)
This refers to that central Reality that guarantees the Plan for our world and is the Purpose conditioning all lives from the minutest atom up through all the Kingdoms of nature to man.
Today the churches could present a synthesis of God within and without, which is summed up for us in the statement of Shri Krishna in The Bhagavad Gita "Having pervaded this whole universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain." Here we have presented the idea of a God who is outside of and greater than His universe. He is an onlooker who guides and controls His universe.
2. Man's Relationship to God (God Immanent)
The Eastern faiths have emphasised this approach - God found deep within the human heart, "nearer than hands and feet". Inherent in human consciousness is a sense of divinity, for man is fundamentally a divine being and at the core of his nature is a spiritual consciousness. This inner or true Self is known as the "Christ consciousness" and it is the guarantee of his evolutionary progress.
"We are all the Children of God." (Gal.3.26)
"Christ in you the hope of glory." (Col. 1. 27)
"As He is, so are we in this world." (1 John, 4. 17)
"Closer is He than breathing, nearer than hands and feet."
"Having pervaded this whole
universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain."
The spirit of man is undying, endures forever, and progresses through many lives on Earth by the Path of Evolution where it unfolds its divine powers. This truth involves the Law of Rebirth and the Law of Cause and Effect (Karma), for "what we sow, we reap".
"Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Gal.6.7)
"Master, did this man sin or his fathers that he was born blind." (John 9.2)
"Who will render to every man according to his deeds": (Romans 2. 6)
Man has never been alone: never has there been a time, cycle or world period when there was not the giving out of teaching and spiritual help. Always has the Saviour, Avatar or World Teacher brought fresh revelation to suit the time and the people, and they have all come from the same spiritual centre called by Christians the Kingdom of God. Other names for it are The Spiritual Hierarchy, the Great White Lodge, or as the Centre where the Masters of the Wisdom are to be found. Great Ones such as The Christ, Buddha, Shri Krishna and others have appeared on the world scene, set a new truth before mankind and then returned to the same centre of spiritual Life, Love and Power. Today the Spiritual Hierarchy stands ready for the next great Approach and another spiritual revelation is at hand.
"Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you." (James. 4. 8)
5. The Brotherhood of Man (God in Expression)
This refers to our relationship with each other as souls, which is a spiritual fact that will eventually express itself through human fellowship and right human relations.
6.The Existence of the Way to God and the Religion of the Great Approaches.
The history of the human soul is the history of the search for that Way. There is a Path and the world mystics, occultists and saints have preserved the awareness of it for us. This is the Way pointed out by the great Teachers, and in the New Age it will be taught as a spiritual science, leading to great expansions of consciousness.
The new form of the one religion will be the Religion of the Great Approaches. This refers to approaches between mankind and the great spiritual Centres of Energy, which are in operation behind the scenes. The new religion will be one of Invocation and Evocation, of contacting and distributing spiritual energies. Prayer and worship will give way to this new spiritual science which is in reality the intelligent organisation of spiritual energy and of the forces of love which can evoke the response of great spiritual being.
Prayer, meditation and ritual have laid the foundation for the new coming science. This new religious science will train its students to present voiced demand for relationship with spiritual sources and with each other. This will evoke a response, which will change the belief of the masses into the conviction of knowers. Thus humanity will be transformed and spiritualised. By the unified invocative focussed thought of men a great stream of energy will reach those spiritual Beings and Centres of Energy and will evoke a response, sent out as spiritual energy, which will expand the consciousness of mankind.
7. The Demonstrated Existence of a spiritual Hierarchy
These great Teachers and Masters, whose life purpose is the good of humanity, are the Custodians of the Divine Plan. Through their three major departments they aid and guide humanity. In the coming times They will aid the Christ in His great work of revelation and by Their presence demonstrate the existence of the Spiritual Hierarchy.
These are the truths, which the new world religion will be based on. The great theme of it will be the continuity of revelation, including the fact of many divine approaches, and the method employed will be that of Invocation and Evocation.
The establishing of a certain uniformity in the world religions will also eventuate. This will aid men everywhere to strengthen each other's work and enhance powerfully the thought currents directed to the waiting Spiritual Lives. It will bring about a pooling of spiritual resources, a unified spiritual effort, plus a simultaneous spiritual invocation. Three major Festivals each year concentrated in three consecutive months, will lead to a prolonged annual spiritual effort.
1. The Festival of Easter
This is the festival of the risen living Christ who is the expression of Love.
2. The Festival of Wesak
This is the festival of the Buddha who is the expression of Light. This is the festival of the Buddha who is the expression of Light.
3. The Festival of Goodwill
This is the festival of the spirit of humanity at which the spiritual and divine nature of mankind will be recognised. When these three Festivals are kept throughout the world a great spiritual unity will be achieved which will result in a greatly increased flow of spiritual energy, carrying inspiration and revelation.
You may wish to participate in a world-wide movement to invoke the Return of the Christ. The following meditation is set down so that you may lend your energies and endeavours to this end. The reign of Love and the right use of the creative mind of mankind is desperately needed in the world today. The bringing about of Right human relations should be our first priority and this meditation is provided as one way of helping to bring this about.
Reflective Meditation upon Preparation for the Reappearance of the Christ
Stage 1: After achieving a positive and intended personality quietness, formulate clearly to yourself in your own words, the answers to the following questions:
As a member of the New Group of World Servers, what is my specific, fixed intention at this moment of dedicated contact with my soul?
Is my concentrated and expressed personality purpose in line with hierarchical intention as far as I am permitted to know it?
Have I - in my own personal daily life - earned the right (because of definite effort and not so much because of success) to stand with those Servers Who are now undertaking the work of Preparation?
This is the one time in the meditation where you think of yourself, and it is here because it is a method of personality focussed attention and aligns your personality upon the mental plane.
Having answered these three questions in the light of the soul, then say with emphasis:
Forgetting the things which lie behind I will strive towards my higher spiritual possibilities. I dedicate myself anew to the service of the Coming One and will do all I can to prepare men's minds and hearts for that event. I have no other life intention.
l. Visualise the world situation as best you can and in terms of your major world interest and with what knowledge of world affairs you may possess. See the mass of men everywhere glowing with a dim light and, here and there, points of brighter light where members of the New Group of World Servers and men of spiritual intention and of loving hearts are working for their fellowmen.
2. Then visualise (through the creative imagination) the vivid light of the Hierarchy, streaming towards Humanity and slowly merging with the light which is already in men. Then say the first stanza of the Invocation:
From the point of Light within the mind of God
3. Then ponder upon the reappearance of the Christ; realise that no matter by what name He may be called in the many world religions, He is still the same great Identity; reflect and speculate on the possible results of His appearance. Then say the second stanza of the Invocation.
"From the point of Love within the Heart of
4. Endeavour to concentrate your fixed intention to serve and to spread love in your surroundings and realise that in so far as you can do these things you are attempting to blend your personal will with the divine Will. Then say stanza three of the Invocation.
"From the Centre where the Will of God is
5. Consider practically what you can do in the coming week to further the preparations for the coming of the Christ.
P A U S E
Then sound the OM three times, dedicating the threefold
personality to the work of preparation.
The meditation is now concluded.
Suggestions. Do this meditation each Thursday in place of your usual
meditation. On Sunday another meditation can be done. See Discipleship in the New Age
Vol. 11 p.228.
The Mantram of Unification
A Noontime Recollection
The Blessing of the New Group of World Servers
An Affirmation of Love
Books by Alice A. Bailey used in this work
Published by Lucis Publishing, New York and London