Esoteric Science and Philosophy

Esoteric Science and Philosophy

THE NEW WORLD RELIGION

 

It looks to me that we must spend the second half of our lives getting rid of half the things we learned in the first half of our lives. The following was given out by the Tibetan Master in 1943.

All past divine revelations have brought humanity to the point where (spiritually speaking) man's essential divinity is theologically recognised, where the brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God are recognised ideals and where science has demonstrated the fact of an unfolding purpose and the existence of a fundamental, intelligent Agent behind all phenomena. Step by step man has been led through prayer, the voice of desire, through worship, the recognition of deity, through affirmation of the fact of human identity of nature with the divine, to a belief in the divinity of man. Orthodox religion emphasises the divinity of the Christ, and He Himself has told us (and the New Testament in many places emphasises it) that we also are divine, all of us are the Sons of God and that as He is so are we in this world and that we are able to do still greater things than Christ did because He has shown us how. Such is the religious background of the spiritual thinking in the world. Therefore, taking our stand on these truths, acknowledging the fact of our divinity and recognising the glory of all past revelations and the still more glorious promise of the future, we can begin to realise that the time has now come for the presentation of the new step in this unfolding revelation. We can realise that to our past programmes of prayer, worship and affirmation, the new religion of Invocation and Evocation can be added, in which man will begin to use his divine power and come into closer touch with the spiritual sources of all life.

This new form of the one religion will be in fact the Religion of the Great Approaches—approaches between mankind and the great spiritual Centres which operate behind the scenes, between groups of workers on the physical plane and in the three worlds of human evolution and spiritual groups upon the inner planes, such as the Ashrams of the Masters and the egoic groups with which all human beings are in subjective—though usually unknown—relation.

The new religion will be one of Invocation and Evocation, of bringing together great spiritual energies and then stepping them down for the benefiting and the stimulation of the masses. The work of the new religion will be the distribution of spiritual energy and the protecting of humanity from energies and forces which they are not, at the particular time, fitted to receive. A little careful thought will show you how, at the coming Full Moon Festivals, these thoughts are present: the protection and liberation of humanity and the stimulation of mankind through the distribution and the transference of spiritual energy so that the right steps can be taken in any given period, leading mankind out of darkness into light, from death to immortality and from the unreal to the Real.

I would have you, therefore, add to your mental and spiritual activity the recognition that you are participating in the task of anchoring the basic tenets of the new world religion—the flower and fruition of the past and the hope of the future.

More along this line, I may not write at this time. Later I will elaborate for you the greater and the lesser festivals of the spiritual year as they will gradually supersede the festivals of the present world religions in the East and in the West. (See: The Reappearance of the Christ, Chapter VI.) Much that you have learnt and gradually absorbed will then be seen fitting into the general spiritual plan. You will find that the spiritual year is divided into two periods (symbolic of spirit and matter); the period in which the Sun moves northward and the period when it travels on the southern way. You will find that the month divides itself into two periods likewise, that of the waxing and the waning moon and you will find the future emphasis laid throughout the world upon the Easter Festival, the Festival of the Risen Christ; upon the Wesak Festival, the Festival of the Buddha or of Illumination; and the June Full Moon, the Festival of Unification carried forward by the Christ, the Master of all the Masters and the Teacher alike of angels and of men….

 In the first part of my message under this title (see: The Reappearance of the Christ, Chapter VI) I had much to say about the form into which the great world religions in the East and in the West have crystallised and its consequent deterioration. It will be essential, therefore, to look at and appreciate the fundamental truths which that form has preserved, even whilst hiding them. It will be valuable for us to realise that within the churches men of God and disciples of the Christ have ever worked, laboured and suffered. They have seen and agonised over the distortions and the misrepresentations. They have been hindered by the organisation, oft despised by the theologians, and have remained simple in the midst of learning. They have been loving and universal in their individual consciousness, among the separative and fanatical. They are the glory of the church—oft hated when alive and oft canonised after death. Their glory lies in the fact that they testify to the progress of the spiritual man and express in fullness what is in every evolving man; they are the flower of evolution and the tried representatives of God. In the indictment of the churches, given earlier, let us not forget the Christians found within those churches.

I would remind you that I write as one who believes in the great spiritual realities and who regards the unfolding spirit of man as the unshatterable evidence of the existence of "the One in Whom we live and move and have our being." I speak as one who believes in and loves the Christ and who knows Him to be the Master of all the Masters and the Teacher alike of angels and of men. I am one who looks to the Christ as the supreme expression of divinity upon Earth and who knows the extent of His sacrificial work for humanity, the wonder of the revelation which He brought, the imminence of His return and of His coming Assumption of spiritual rule in the hearts of men everywhere. I know that He has no pleasure in the great stone temples which man has built whilst His people are left without practical guidance or reasonable light upon their affairs; and I know too that He feels, with an aching heart, that the simplicity which He taught, and the simple Way to God which He emphasised have disappeared in the fogs of theology and the discussions of churchmen throughout the centuries. I know that He realises that the words He spoke have been lost in the labyrinths of the ecclesiastical minds which have sought to interpret them, and that the simple teaching of the Approach to God which He taught has been superseded by the pomp and ceremony of elaborate rituals.

To sum up: Because of the divergences of the many exoteric faiths, the multiplicity of the sects and cults in both the Orient and Occident, and the quarrels of theologians over words, phrases and interpretations, the sons of God—in process of development—are left without the needed help to contact the Christ and His great group of disciples, the spiritual leaders of humanity; the way to Christ, the living, loving Expression of God, is not made clear to the seeker. Together, the two great Sons of God present to mankind—the One in the East and the Other in the West—a complete and perfect representation of Deity; by Their lives and words They guarantee to man the possibilities always latent in the human spirit.

Today the Christ and the Buddha wait until the hour strikes. Then Their united effort, plus the invocative appeal of all who truly know and truly love, will bring humanity the new revelation for which they wait.

The new world religion must be based upon those truths which have stood the test of the ages. This I said elsewhere and enumerated four of those truths:

1.       The Fact of God

2.       Man's Relationship to God

3.       The Fact of Immortality and Eternal Persistence

4.       The Continuity of Revelation and the Divine Approaches.

These four facts are basic realities and truths which have conditioned the masses of men for aeons. Human unhappiness is founded primarily upon man's inability to live fully in the consciousness of these four fundamental realisations. But they are steadily taking shape in human thinking, and for them the United Nations fights.

Two more great and foundational facts are also part of the human state of awareness.

5.       The fact of our relationship with each other. This is as much a foundational spiritual fact as is God Himself, because it is linked with our knowledge of Him as Father.

This relationship we call "brotherhood" and it expresses itself (or should I say, it will eventually express itself?) through human fellowship and right human relations. For this we work, and humanity is moving towards that relationship—and that in spite of the fact of war.

6.       The fact of the Path to God. Awareness of this has been preserved for us down the ages by those who knew God and whom the world called mystics, occultists and saints. Opening out before aspiring men stretches the Way. The history of the human soul is the history of the search for that Way and its discovery by the persistent.

In every race and nation, in every climate and part of the world, and throughout the endless reaches of time itself, back into the limitless past, men have found the Path to God; they have trodden it and accepted its conditions, endured its disciplines, rested back in confidence upon its realities, received its rewards and found their goal. Arrived there, they have "entered into the joy of the Lord," participated in the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, dwelt in the glory of the divine Presence, and then returned to the ways of men, to serve. The testimony to the existence of this Path is the priceless treasure of all the great religions and its witnesses are those who have transcended all forms and all theologies, and have penetrated into the world of meaning which all symbols veil.

These truths are part of all that the past gives to man. They are our eternal heritage, and connected with them there is no new revelation but only participation and understanding. These are the facts which the World Teachers have brought to us, suited to our need and capacity at any given time. They are the inner structure of the One Truth upon which all the world theologies have been built, including the Christian doctrines and dogmas built around the Person of Christ and His teaching.

Dimly sensed by the evolving human consciousness hovers another emerging truth of a larger nature—larger because related to the Whole and not just to individual man and his personal salvation. It is an extension of the individual approach to truth. Let us call it the truth of the Great Cyclic Approaches of the divine to the human of which all world Teachers and Saviours were the symbol and the guarantee. At certain great moments, down the ages, God drew nearer to His people and humanity (blindly and unconscious of their objective) at the same time made great efforts to draw near to God. On the part of God, this was intentional, conscious and deliberate; on the part of man, it was largely unconscious, forced upon him by the tragedy of circumstance, by desperate need and by the driving urge of the collective soul. These Great Approaches can be traced down the centuries, and each time one took place it meant a clearer understanding of divine purpose, a new and fresh revelation, the institution of some form of a new religion and the sounding of a note which produced a new civilisation and culture, or a fresh recognition of relationship between God and man or man and his brother.

A new definition of God was given us when the Buddha taught that God was Light and showed us the way of illumination, and when Christ revealed to us that God was Love through His life and service on earth. Today the knowledge aspect of illumination is being comprehended, but the inner meaning of love is only now dimly sensed. Yet light and love have been revealed to the world by two great Sons of God in two Approaches. A new Approach is on the Way, bringing us the next needed truth. We ask ourselves: What will it be? For it, the knowers and lovers of God and of their fellowmen are prepared; for it, the masses of men wait.

Some of these Approaches have been of a major nature, affecting humanity as a whole, and some of them are of less importance affecting only a relatively small part of mankind—a nation or a group. Those Who come as the Revealers of the love of God come from that spiritual centre to which the Christ gave the name "the Kingdom of God." Here dwell the "spirits of just men made perfect"; here the spiritual Guides of the race are to be found and here the spiritual Executives of God's plans live and work and oversee human and planetary affairs. It is called by many names by many people. It is spoken of as the Spiritual Hierarchy, as the Abode of Light, as the centre where the Masters of the Wisdom are to be found, as the Great White Lodge. From it come those who act as Messengers of the Wisdom of God, Custodians of the truth as it is in Christ, and Those Whose task it is to save the world, to impart the next revelation and to demonstrate divinity. All the world Scriptures bear witness to the existence of this centre of spiritual energy. This spiritual Hierarchy has been steadily drawing nearer to humanity as men have become more conscious of divinity and more fitted for contact with the divine.

Behind this spiritual centre of Love and Light another centre is to be found, for which the West has no name but which is called in the East by the name Shamballa. Perhaps the Western name is Shangri-Lha—a name which is finding recognition everywhere and which stands for a centre of happiness and purpose. Shamballa or Shangri-Lha is the place where the Will of God is focussed and from which His divine purposes are directed. From it the great political movements and the destiny of races and nations and their progress are determined, just as the religious movements, the cultural unfoldments and spiritual ideas are sent forth from the hierarchical centre of Love and Light. Political and social ideologies and world religions, the Will of God and the Love of God, the Purpose of divinity and the plans whereby that purpose is brought into activity all focus through that centre of which we are each consciously a part, Humanity itself. There are, therefore, three great spiritual centres on the planet: Shamballa, the spiritual Hierarchy, and Humanity.

There is definite Biblical testimony to this highest of all centres, Shamballa. At moments of crisis in the earthly life of Christ we read that a Voice spoke to Him, the Voice of the Father was heard by Him, affirming His Sonship and setting the seal of approval upon His acts and work. At that moment a great fusion of the two spiritual centres—the Hierarchy and Shamballa, the Kingdom of God and the world of Spirit—was brought about, and thus spiritual energy was released on Earth. We need to remember that the work of all World Saviours and Teachers is to act primarily as distributors of divine energy and as channels for spiritual force. This outpouring manifests either as the impulse behind a world religion, the incentive behind some new political ideology, or the principle of some scientific discovery of importance to the growth of the human spirit. Thus do religions, governments and civilisations find their motivation. History has demonstrated that again and again these developments are the results of the appearance and the activity of some great man at an advanced stage of development. Those who come forth as Teachers, Saviours or Founders of a new religion come forth from the Hierarchy and are of the highest order of spiritual perfection. Those who convey to man the purposes of God through new ideological concepts are not as yet of so high an order, because man is not yet ready for the highest presentation. Much has yet to be learnt and mastered by man, and spiritual unfoldment always outpaces the outer expression of human relationships and the social order; hence the world religions come first and produce the conditions which make the work of the rulers possible. Those who come forth from the spiritual centre, Shamballa, are of great power, however, and the thread of Their influence can be traced throughout history in great declarations and pronouncements such as the Magna Charta, the Declaration of Independence and the Atlantic Charter. Those who come forth from Shamballa or the Hierarchy for the release and the guidance of humanity are evoked by human desire and demand, for there is a spiritual interplay existing between Humanity and the Hierarchy, and between both and Shamballa.

Such Messengers embody divine intention. The response of mankind to Their messages is dependent upon the point in evolution which has been attained by man. Back in the early history of the race these Approaches were rare indeed.  Countless ages passed between them. Today, owing to the greatly increased power of the human mind and the growing sensitivity of the human soul to the spiritual values as they express themselves through major world ideologies, these Approaches of the divine to the human can become more frequent and are taking on a new form. Man's inner realisation of his own innate spiritual potency and the unfoldment of his sense of relationship are bringing about an effort on his part—consciously undertaken—to make true progress towards the good, the true and the beautiful, and this in spite of the fact of the war and the misery and suffering present upon our Earth. It has therefore become possible to synchronise the Approach of the divine to the human and to instruct the masses of men in the technique of thus invoking the Approach. This attitude of humanity will lead to a new revelation, to the new world religion and to new attitudes in the relation of man to God (religion) and of man to man (government or social relationships).

Two major Approaches are to be found in the past history of the race, and both are of such significance that it would be well to note them here. They lie so far back in human history that we have only myth and monument to indicate their happening.

The first great Approach of the divine to man caused the appearance of the human soul and the adding of another kingdom in nature to the three (mineral, vegetable and animal) already existing. The kingdom of man appeared on Earth.

Aeons passed away whilst primitive man continued to evolve, and when the second great Approach took place and the Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet drew nearer to humanity; the spiritual Way to God was opened for those who consciously can move forward, who can definitely demonstrate the Christ spirit, and who earnestly seek enlightenment and liberation. The true appeal of Christ's words: "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" urges them to move forward into the light, through the gate of initiation and on to that path which "shineth ever more and more until the perfect day." At the time of the second great Approach, the fact of the existence of the Spiritual Hierarchy, of the open door to initiation and of the Way of Sacrifice first dawned on the human consciousness; from that moment men have found the Way and have moved out of the human kingdom into the spiritual; they have transformed their human consciousness into divine awareness. The kingdom of man and the kingdom of God were brought into relationship. Religion became a factor in the development of the human spirit and God drew nearer to His Own. God Transcendent first conditioned man's concept of Deity. Then God as the national controller took possession of man's mind, and the Jehovah concept (as depicted in the Jewish dispensation) appeared; next God was seen as the perfected human being, and the divine God-man walked the Earth in the person of the Christ. Today, we have a rapidly growing emphasis on God Immanent in every human being. Such have been the results of the second great Approach and such have been the results of the work of the world Saviours and Teachers down the ages, culminating in the work of Christ, Who summed up in Himself the unfoldments of the past and the hope of the future.

A third great Approach is now possible and will take place once the world war is over and man—purified by fire and suffering—has set his house in order and is ready, therefore, for a new revelation. For this coming revelation the work of the Buddha and of the Christ has been preparatory. They embodied in Themselves two lesser Approaches, and through Their united effort, humanity throughout the world has been prepared to play its part in this third Approach.

The Buddha came embodying in Himself a great divine principle or quality. He was the Conveyor of Enlightenment to the world; He was the Lord of Light. As is always the case, He re-enacted in Himself, for the instruction of His disciples, the processes of illumination and became the "Illumined One." We are told in the scriptures of India that He achieved illumination under the tree, just as Christ achieved the liberation of the human spirit upon the tree set up on Golgotha. Light, wisdom, reason, as divine yet human attributes, were focussed in the Buddha. He proved the possibility of all men achieving this illumination and of walking in the light. He challenged the people to tread the Path of Illumination, of which wisdom, mental perception and intuition are the aspects.

Then came the next great Teacher, the Christ. He embodied in Himself a still greater divine principle or aspect, that of Love, whilst at the same time embracing within Himself all that the Buddha had of Light. Christ was the expression of both Light and Love.

Through Their work, therefore, there is now possible a deeper reaction to, and a broader comprehension of the work and influence of those great Lives Who are waiting today to help humanity. The work of these two Sons of God produced among many results the following:

1. They embodied in Themselves certain cosmic principles, and by Their work and sacrifice certain divine potencies poured through and upon the race, stimulating intelligence into wisdom and emotion into love. The Buddha, when He achieved illumination, "let in" a flood of light upon life and world problems. He formulated this revelation into the Four Truths. His group of disciples erected a structure of truth which (by the power of collective thought) has flooded mankind with light.

2. Through the message of the Buddha, man has for the first time grasped the cause of His constant distaste and dissatisfaction and has learnt that the Way of Release is to be found in detachment, dispassion and discrimination. Where these are present, there is rapid release from the wheel of rebirth.

3. Through the message of the Christ, three concepts emerge into the racial consciousness:

a.       The value of the individual and the necessity for tensity of effort on his part.

b.      The opportunity which was to be presented to humanity to take a tremendous step forward and undergo the new birth or the first initiation.

c.       The method whereby this next step could be taken in the new age, voiced for us in the words "love your neighbour as yourself." Individual effort, group opportunity and men's identification with each other—such is the message of the Christ.

In the message of the Buddha we have the three methods whereby the personality can be changed and prepared to be a conscious expression of divinity. Through detachment, the brain consciousness or state of awareness (embodying physical recognition of inner causes) is withdrawn or abstracted from the things of the senses and from the calls of the lower nature. Detachment is in reality the imposition of a new rhythm or habit reaction upon the cells of the brain which renders the brain unaware of the lure of the world of sensory perception. Through dispassion, the emotional nature is rendered immune from the appeal of the senses and desire fails to deter the soul from its rightful task. Through discrimination, the mind learns to select the good, the beautiful and the true, and to substitute these for the sense of "identification with the personality," which is so characteristic of the majority of men. Personality holds so many in thrall. This has to go. These three attitudes, when correctly and sanely held, will organise the personality, bring in the rule of wisdom, and prepare the disciple for initiation.

Then follows the work of the Christ, resulting in an understanding of the value of the individual and his self-initiated effort at release and illumination, with the objective of group goodwill. We learn to perfect ourselves in order to have somewhat to sacrifice to the group, and thus enrich the group with our individual contribution. This is the first result of the activity of the Christ Principle in the life of the individual. Personality fades out in the glory of the soul, which (like the rising sun) blots out the darkness and irradiates the lower nature. This is the second result, and is a group activity. The word goes forth to the initiates of the future: Lose sight of self in group endeavour. Forget the self in group activity. Pass through the portal to initiation in group formation and let the personality life be lost in the group life.

The final result of the work of the Christ is to be found in our identification with the whole: individuality, initiation, and identification—these are the terms in which the message of the Christ can be summarised. He said, when on Earth: "I and my Father are One," and in these words epitomised His entire message. I, the individual, through initiation, am identified with Deity. Therefore we have:

1.       The Buddha . . . the method . . . Detachment, Dispassion, Discrimination.

2.       The Christ . . . the result . . . Individualism, Initiation, Identification.

It is interesting to note that the work of the Buddha is expressed in words all beginning with the fourth letter of the alphabet, the letter D. The sense of personality is achieved; the quaternary is transcended, and the Buddha gave us the reason for this transmutation and the rules. The work of the Christ is expressed for us in words beginning with the ninth letter of the alphabet, the letter I, and this number is the number of initiation. These things happen not idly but all have their underlying purpose.

I have here very briefly and inadequately outlined the nature of two great Approaches and two minor. These have prepared humanity for the third great Approach which will bring the new revelation, with its realised consequences, of a new heaven and a new earth. I would ask the orthodox theologian how he interprets the words "a new heaven"? May it not signify an entirely new conception as to the world of spiritual realities and perhaps of the very nature of God Himself? May it not be possible that our present ideas of God as the Universal Mind, as Love and as Will, may be enriched by a new idea and quality for which we have as yet no name or word and of which we have as yet no faintest understanding? Each of the three present concepts as to the divine nature—the Trinity—have been entirely new when first sequentially presented to humanity.

What this third major Approach will bring to humanity we do not and cannot know. It will bring about as definite results as did the two earlier Approaches. For some years now the spiritual Hierarchy has been drawing nearer to mankind, and this is responsible for the great concepts of freedom which are so close to the hearts of men everywhere today and for which humanity is now fighting. As the Members of the Hierarchy approach closer to us, the dream of brotherhood, of fellowship, of world cooperation and of a peace (based upon right human relations) becomes clearer in our minds. As They draw nearer we vision a new and vital world religion, a universal faith, at-one in its basic idealism with the past but different in its mode of expression.

I have cited earlier the foundational truths upon which the new world religion will rest. I would suggest that the theme of the coming religion will be that of the great Approaches themselves; that it will emphasise anew God's love for man as evidenced in these divine Approaches, and also man's response to God as the word goes forth: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you"; that it will—in its rites and ceremonies—be concerned with the invocative and evocative side of spiritual appeal.

Man invokes the divine Approach in two ways: by means of the inchoate, voiceless appeal or invocative cry of the masses, and also by the planned, defined invocation of the spiritually oriented aspirants, the intelligently convinced worker, disciple and initiate—by all, in fact, who form the New Group of World Servers.

The science of invocation and evocation will take the place of what we now call prayer and worship. Be not disturbed by the use of the word "science." It is not the cold and heartless intellectual thing so oft depicted. It is in reality the intelligent organisation of spiritual energy and of the forces of love, and when effective, will evoke the response of spiritual Beings Who can again walk openly among men and thus establish a close relation and a  constant communication between humanity and the spiritual Hierarchy.

It will be obvious to you that as humanity, through its most advanced units, prepares for this next great Approach it must accept with faith and conviction (faith for the masses, and conviction for the knowers and the New Group of World Servers) the premises stated above:

1.       The fact of God (God Transcendent)

2.       Man's relationship to the divine (God Immanent)

3.       The fact of immortality

4.       The Brotherhood of man (God in expression)

5.       The existence of the Way to God

6.       The historicity of the two great Approaches and the possibility of a third and imminent Approach.

It is here that the churches, if regenerated, can concentrate their efforts, cease perpetuating the outer and visible form, and begin to deal with the reality underlying all dogmas and doctrines. Upon these inner assurances man must take his stand, and a study of them will reveal that the majority of the unthinking masses (an immense majority) do accept them hopefully and with desire, though without any definite understanding, and that a steadily increasing minority also accept them with a full convinced awareness—an awareness that is the result of the transformation of hope into self-proven fact. In between these two extremes is a large group of questioning people; they are not part of the unintelligent mass, nor are they yet either occultists, mystics or even aspirants. They question and seek conviction; they repudiate faith as unintelligent, but long for a substitute; they are constantly emerging out of the mass of men and constantly moving forward in consciousness through the following of spiritual techniques, eventually taking their stand among those who can say with St. Paul: "I know Whom I have believed." It is with these techniques that the true religious teaching should primarily concern itself.

As we look ahead into the world of tomorrow and begin to question what structure the faith of humanity should assume and what building the skill of the knowers will erect to house the religious spirit of man, three more fundamental truths appear to be emerging as necessary adjuncts to the revealed body of truth:

1. The demonstrated existence of a Spiritual Hierarchy, the life-purpose of which is the good of humanity. The Members of the Hierarchy are seen to be the Custodians of the divine Plan and expressions of the Love of God.

2. The development of the Science of Invocation and Evocation as a means and method of approach to divinity. This will grow out of the ancient habits of prayer as used by the masses, and the practice of meditation as developed by the mystics and occultists. Prayer and meditation are the preliminary steps to this emerging science, and what is vaguely called "worship" is the group effort to establish some form of united approach to the spiritual Hierarchy, functioning under the guidance and control of the Christ and related to the highest spiritual centre, Shamballa, through its most advanced individuals, just as humanity is related to the Hierarchy by its spiritually minded people.

3. The realisation that the starry heavens, the solar system and the planetary spheres are all of them the manifestations of great spiritual Lives and that the interrelation between these embodied Lives is as real and effectual as is the relation between members of the human family.

The spiritual Hierarchy of the planet, the ability of mankind to contact its Members and to work in cooperation with Them, and the existence of the greater Hierarchy of spiritual energies of which our tiny planetary sphere is a part—these are the three truths upon which the coming world religion may be based.

Relationship to God, through Christ, has ever been the teaching of the spiritual leaders of the world, no matter by what name they called Him. In the future we shall draw closer and more intelligently to the living substance of Reality and be more definite in our apprehension of this hitherto vaguely sensed relationship. We shall know and see and understand. We shall not just believe, have hope and try to comprehend. We shall speak openly of the Hierarchy and of its Members and Their work. The hierarchical nature of all spiritual Lives, and the fact of the great "chain of hierarchies" stretching all the way up from the mineral kingdom through the human and the kingdom of God to apparently remote spiritual groups, will be emphasised. Then there will open for the spiritual Lives what has been called "the Way of the Higher Evolution." Much along these lines has been given out during the past two centuries. The fact of the existence of the Hierarchy is consciously recognised by hundreds of thousands today, though still denied by the orthodox; the general public are familiar with the idea of the existence of the Masters, and either gullibly accept the mass of futile and idiotic information handed out by many today or fight furiously against the spread of this teaching. Others are open-minded enough to investigate whether the teaching is true and to follow the techniques suggested, in the hope that hypothesis may turn to fact. This last group is steadily increasing in number and upon their accumulating evidence belief can be translated into knowledge. So many know the truth today; so many people of integrity and worth are cooperating consciously with Members of this Hierarchy that the very foundations of the ecclesiastical antagonisms and the belittling comments of the concrete minded are of no avail. What the orthodox theologian and the narrow doctrinaire have to offer no longer satisfies the intelligent seeker or suffices to answer his questions; he is shifting his allegiances into wider and more spiritual areas. He is moving out from under doctrinal authority into direct personal, spiritual experience and coming under the direct authority which contact with Christ and His disciples, the Masters, gives.

In considering our second point, the Science of Invocation and Evocation, we are also moving forward into the area of mental understanding. The grasping nature of many of the prayers of men, based as they are upon desire for something, has long disturbed the intelligent; the vagueness of the meditation taught and practised in the East and in the West, and its emphatically selfish note (personal liberation and personal knowledge) are likewise causing a revolt. The demand today is for group work, group good, group knowledge, group contact with the divine, group salvation, group understanding and group relationship to God and the Spiritual Hierarchy. All this indicates progress.

At this point it should be useful to repeat part of what I said elsewhere concerning future developments along this line. (The Reappearance of the Christ, pages 152-159.)

This new invocative work will be the keynote of the coming world religion and will fall into two parts. There will be the invocative work of the masses of the people, trained by the spiritually minded people of the world (working in the churches, whenever possible, under an enlightened clergy) to accept the fact of the approaching spiritual energies, focussed through the spiritual Hierarchy, and to voice their spiritual demand for light, liberation and understanding. There will also be the trained, scientific work of appeal and invocation as practised by those who have trained their minds through right meditation, who know the uses of sound, of formulas and of invocation, and who can work consciously, focussing the invocative cry of the masses and at the same time using certain great formulas of words which will later be given to the race, as The Lord's Prayer was given by the Christ and The Great Invocation has been given in this day and age.

This new religious science (for which prayer, meditation and ritual have laid the foundation) will train its students to present, at certain stated periods throughout the year, the voiced demand of the people of the world for relationship with God and with each other. This work, when rightly carried forward, will evoke response from the waiting Hierarchy; through this response, the belief of the masses will gradually be changed into the conviction of the knowers. In this way humanity will be transformed and spiritualised. Then will begin, as the ages pass away, the regeneration of material nature, with the two spiritual centres—the Hierarchy and Humanity—working together in full consciousness and understanding. The Kingdom of God will be functioning on Earth.

It will be apparent to you that I can indicate only the broad general outlines of the new world religion. The expansion of the human consciousness which will take place as a result of the coming great Approach will enable man to grasp not only his relation to the spiritual Life of our planet, the "One in Whom we live and move and have our being," but will also give him a glimpse of the relation of our planet to the circle of planetary lives moving within the orbit of the Sun, and the still greater circle of spiritual Influences which contact our solar system as it pursues its orbit in the Heavens (the twelve constellations of the zodiac). Astronomical and astrological investigation has demonstrated this relationship and the influences exerted, but there is still speculation and much foolish claiming and interpretation. Yet the churches have ever recognised this relationship, and the Bible has testified to it. "The stars in their courses fought against Sisera"; "Who can withstand the sweet influences of the Pleiades?"; and many other passages bear out this contention of the Knowers. Many church festivals are fixed by reference to the moon or a zodiacal constellation. Investigation will prove this to be increasingly the case, and when the ritual of the new world religion is universally established this will be one of the important factors considered.

The establishing of certain major festivals in relation to the moon, and in a lesser degree to the zodiac, will bring a strengthening of the spirit of invocation and the resultant inflow of responsive influences. The truth lying behind all invocation is based upon the power of thought, particularly in its telepathic nature, rapport and aspect. The unified invocative thought of the masses and the focussed, directed thought of the New Group of World Servers constitute an outgoing stream of energy. This will reach telepathically those spiritual Beings Who are sensitive and responsive to such impacts. Their evoked response, sent out as spiritual energy, will in turn reach humanity, after having been stepped down into thought energy, and in that form will make its due impact upon the minds of men, convincing them and carrying inspiration and revelation. Thus has it ever been in the history of the spiritual unfoldment of the world and in the procedure followed in writing the world Scriptures.

Secondly, the establishing of a certain uniformity in the world religious rituals will aid men everywhere to strengthen each other's work and enhance powerfully the thought currents directed to the waiting Spiritual Lives. At present, the Christian religion has its great festivals, the Buddhist keeps his different set of spiritual events, and the Hindu has still another list of holy days. In the future world, when organised, all men of spiritual inclination and intention everywhere will keep the same holy days. This will bring about a pooling of spiritual resources and a united spiritual effort, plus a simultaneous spiritual invocation. The potency of this will be apparent.

Let me indicate the possibilities of such spiritual events, and prophesy the nature of the coming world-wide Festivals. There will be three such major Festivals each year, concentrated in three consecutive months, and leading therefore to a prolonged spiritual effort which will affect the remainder of the year. These will be:

1. The Festival of Easter. This is the festival of the risen, living Christ, the Teacher of all men and the Head of the Spiritual Hierarchy. He is the Expression of the Love of God. On this day the Spiritual Hierarchy which He guides and directs will be recognised, and the nature of God's love will be emphasised. This festival is determined always by the date of the first Full Moon of spring, and is the great Western and Christian festival.

2. The Festival of Wesak. This is the festival of the Buddha, the spiritual Intermediary between the highest spiritual centre, Shamballa, and the Hierarchy. The Buddha is the Expression of the Wisdom of God, the Embodiment of Light, and the Indicator of the divine Purpose. This will be fixed annually in relation to the Full Moon of May, as is at present the case. It is the great Eastern festival.

3. The Festival of Goodwill. This will be the festival of the spirit of humanity—aspiring towards God, seeking conformity with the Will of God and dedicated to the expression of right human relation. This will be fixed annually in relation to the Full Moon of June. It will be a day whereon the spiritual and divine nature of mankind will be recognised. On this festival, for two thousand years, the Christ has represented humanity and has stood before the Hierarchy and in the sight of Shamballa as the God-Man, the Leader of His people and "the Eldest in a great family of brothers" (Romans VIII:29). Each year at that time He has preached the last sermon of the Buddha before the assembled Hierarchy. This will therefore be a festival of deep invocation and appeal, of a basic aspiration towards fellowship, of human and spiritual unity, and will represent the effect in the human consciousness of the work of the Buddha and of the Christ.

These three festivals are already being kept throughout the world, though they are not as yet related to each other, and as part of the unified spiritual Approach of humanity. The time is coming when all three festivals will be kept simultaneously throughout the world, and by their means a great spiritual unity will be achieved and the effects of the great Approach so close to us at this time will be stabilised by the united invocation of humanity throughout the planet.

The remaining full moons will constitute lesser festivals, but will be recognised to be also of vital importance. They will establish the divine attributes in the consciousness of man, just as the major festivals establish the three divine aspects. These aspects and qualities will be arrived at and determined by a close study of the nature of a particular constellation or constellations influencing those months. For instance, Capricorn (December) will call attention to the first initiation, the birth of the Christ in the cave of the heart, and indicate the training needed to bring about that great spiritual event in the life of the individual man. I give this one instance to you in order to indicate the possibilities for spiritual unfoldment that could be given through an understanding of these influences, and in order to revivify the ancient faiths by expanding them into their larger undying relationships.

We have, therefore, the following:

·         Shamballa           the Will aspect of God   Wesak  May Full Moon (Taurus)

·         Hierarchy             the Love aspect of God Easter   April Full Moon (Aries)

·         Humanity            divine Intelligence           Goodwill              June Full Moon (Gemini)

The remaining nine Full Moons will be concerned with the divine characteristics and their development in mankind.

Thus the twelve festivals will constitute a revelation of divinity. They will present a means of bringing about relationship, first of all during three months with the three great spiritual centres, the three expressions of the divine Trinity. The minor festivals will emphasise the inter-relation of the Whole, thus lifting the divine presentation out of the individual and the personal into that of the universal divine Purpose; the relationship of the Whole to the part and of the part to that Whole will be thereby fully expressed.

Humanity will therefore invoke the spiritual power of the Kingdom of God, the Hierarchy; the Hierarchy will respond, and God's plans will then be worked out on Earth. The Hierarchy, on a higher turn of the spiral, will invoke the centre of God's Will, Shamballa or Shangri-Lha, thus invoking the Purpose of God. Thus will the Will of God be implemented by Love and manifested intelligently; for this mankind is ready, and for this the Earth waits.

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