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Excerpts on The Reappearance of the Christ

(adapted from Chapter III of the book
The Reappearance of the Christ by Alice A. Bailey)

Throughout the ages the coming of an Avatar, the advent of a Coming One and the reappearance of the Christ have been the keynotes of the prevalent expectancy. The reappearance of the Christ, the Avatar, has long been anticipated by the faithful in both hemispheres--not only by Christians, but by those who look for the Maitreya and for the Bodhisattva as well as those who expect the Imam Mahdi. The doctrine of Mediators, of Messiahs, of Christs and of Avatars runs like a golden thread through all the world faiths and scriptures. When the times are ripe, the invocation of the masses is strident enough and the faith of those who know is keen enough, then always He has come and today will be no exception to this ancient rule, a universal law.

It is the physical Presence upon our planet of such recognised spiritual figures as the Lord of the World, the Ancient of Days; the seven Spirits Who are before the throne of God; the Buddha, the spiritual leader of the East, and the Christ, the spiritual leader of the West—all of Whom are brought at this climaxing time to our attention. The vague belief in Their existence, the dreamy speculations as to Their work and Their interest in human welfare, and the unconvinced, yet hopeful, wishful thinking of believers (and also unbelievers), will soon give place to certain knowledge, to visual recognition, to provable signs of executive work and to the reorganisation (by people of unusual potency) of the political, religious, economic and social life of humanity.

All this will not come as the result of some proclamation or some stupendous planetary event which will force human beings everywhere to say: "Lo: He is there! Lo: Here are the signs of His divinity!" for that would evoke only antagonism and laughter, resistance or fanatical credulity. It will come as a recognition of potency in leadership, through dynamic but logical changes in world affairs, and through action taken by the masses of the people from the depths of their own consciousness.

God Transcendent, greater, vaster and more inclusive than His created world, is universally recognised and has been generally emphasised; all faiths can say with Shri Krishna (speaking as God, the Creator) that "having pervaded the whole universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain." This God Transcendent has dominated the religious thinking of millions of simple and spiritually minded people down the centuries which have elapsed since humanity began to press forward towards divinity.

Slowly, there is dawning upon the awakening consciousness of humanity, the great paralleling truth of God Immanent—divinely "pervading" all forms, conditioning from within all kingdoms in nature, expressing innate divinity through human beings and—two thousand years ago—portraying the nature of that divine Immanence in the Person of the Christ.

Today, as an outcome of this unfolding divine Presence, there is entering into the minds of people everywhere a new concept: that of "Christ in us, the hope of glory." (Col. 1.27.) There is a growing and developing belief that Christ is in us, as He was in the Master Jesus, and this belief will alter world affairs and humanity's entire attitude to life.

Today Christ is nearer to humanity than at any other time in human history; He is closer than the most aspiring and hopeful disciple knows, and can draw closer still if what is here written is understood and brought to the attention of people everywhere. For Christ belongs to humanity, to the world of human beings, and not alone to the churches and religious faiths throughout the world. Today, another recognition is becoming possible. It is the recognition everywhere of the imminent return of Christ (if such a phrase can be true of someone Who has never left us!) and of the new spiritual opportunities which this event will make possible.

The basis for this recognition lies in the deep-seated conviction, innate in the human consciousness, that some great Teacher, some Saviour, Revealer, Lawgiver or divine Representative must come forth from the world of spiritual realities, because of human need and human demand. Always down the centuries, at the hour of humanity's greatest need and in response to its voiced demand, a divine Son of God has come forth and under many different names. Then the Christ came and apparently left us, with His work unfinished and His vision for humanity not yet consummated. For two thousand years it has seemed as if all His work had been blocked, frustrated, and of no avail, for the growth of the churches during the centuries is no guarantee of the spiritual success at which He aimed. It needed more than theological interpretations and the numerical growth of the world religions (including Christianity and Buddhism) to prove His world mission successfully carried forward. It all seemed impossible, necessitating three conditions; under these a test of His work could be attempted; today these three conditions are proven facts. First, as we have seen, a general planetary condition which has unfortunately (owing to men and women's selfishness) proved to be so catastrophic in nature that humanity has been forced to recognise the cause and source of the disaster; secondly, a spiritual awakening which would have its impulse in the deepest depths of human consciousness and such is the case today as a result of the World War (1914-1945); thirdly, a steadily mounting invocative cry, prayer or demand, directed toward high spiritual sources, no matter by what name such sources may be called.

The idea of the return of Christ is a most familiar one, and the concept of the Son of God returning in response to human need has its place in the teaching of the majority of the world faiths. Ever since He apparently departed to the sphere where the faithful have put Him, little groups of these people have reasoned themselves into the belief that on such and such a date He will come back, and ever their prophecies and expectancies have been doomed to failure. He has not come. Such people have been laughed at by the crowd and rebuked by the intelligent. Their eyes have not seen Him and there has been no tangible indication of His Presence. Today, thousands know that He will come; that plans for His coming are already set on foot, but they set no date or hour. The time is known only to the two or three, but "in such an hour as ye think not, He will come." (Matt. XXIV.44.)

A truth hard for the orthodox thinker of any faith to accept is the fact that Christ cannot return because He has always been here upon our Earth, watching over the spiritual destiny of humanity; He has never left us but, in physical body and securely concealed (though not hidden), He has guided the affairs of the Spiritual Hierarchy, of His disciples and workers Who are unitedly pledged with Him to Earth service. He can only re-appear. It is a spiritual fact that those who have passed from the cave of the tomb into the fullness of the resurrection life can be seen and at the same time evade the vision of the believer. Seeing and recognition are two very different things, and one of the great recognitions of mankind in the near future is the recognition that always He has been with us, sharing with us the familiar usefulness and peculiar characteristics of our civilisation and its many gifts to humanity.

The early signs of His approach with His disciples can already be discerned by those who note and rightly interpret the signs of the times. There is (among these signs) the coming together spiritually of those who love their fellow men and women. This is in reality the organising of the outer physical army of the Lord—an army which has no weapons but those of love, of right speech and right human relations. This unknown organisation has proceeded with phenomenal speed during the aftermath of war, because humanity is sick of hate and controversy.

The general staff of the Christ is already active in the form of the New Group of World Servers; they are as potent a body of forerunners as has ever preceded a great world Figure into the arena of human living. Their work and influence is already seen and felt in every land, and nothing can destroy that which they have accomplished. The spiritual and organising effect of expressed and voiced invocation has been also attempted since 1935, and the energy of the invocative cry of humanity has been directed into those channels which reach from Earth to that High Place where dwells the Christ. From there, it has been transmitted to those still higher spheres where the attention of the Lord of the World, the Ancient of Days, the Father of all, plus the Creative Energies and Living Beings Who dwell there with Him, can be focussed on humanity and those steps can be taken which will embody more rapidly the Purposes of God.

For the first time in human history, the demand of the people of the Earth is so potent and so in line with divine direction, in time and space, that the end is inevitably sure; the looked-for spiritual Representative must come forth; this time He will not come alone but will be accompanied by Those Whose lives and words will evoke recognition in every department of human thinking. The symbolic prophecies found in all the world Scriptures anent this imminent event will prove their veracity; their symbolism will nevertheless elicit re-interpretation; circumstances and happenings will not necessarily be exactly as the Scriptures would appear to indicate. For instance, He will come indeed in the "clouds of the air" (Matt. XXVI.64), as the Christian Scriptures say, but of what great interest is that when millions come and go in the clouds, each hour of the day and of the night? I mention this as one of the outstanding prophecies and one of the most familiar; it is, however, one which means little in our modern civilisation. The fact of importance is that He will come.

It is light and—above all else—"life more abundantly" which Christ will bring, and until He brings it we know not what it signifies; we cannot realise the revelation which this will entail and the new possibilities which will open up before us. But through Him, light and life are on their way, to be interpreted and applied in terms of goodwill and of right human relations. For this the Spiritual Hierarchy is preparing. This time the Christ will not come alone for His co-workers will come with Him. His experience and Theirs will be the reverse of the previous one, for this time every eye will see Him, every ear will hear Him and every mind will pass judgment upon Him.

He has been for two thousand years the supreme Head of the Church Invisible, the Spiritual Hierarchy, composed of disciples of all faiths. He recognises and loves those who are not Christian but who retain their allegiance to Their Founders—the Buddha, Mohammed and others. He cares not what the faith is if the objective is love of God and of humanity. If people look for the Christ Who left His disciples centuries ago, they will fail to recognise the Christ Who is in process of returning. The Christ has no religious barriers in His consciousness. It matters not to Him of what faith a person follows.

Today, therefore, we wait for the new Appearing. The Christ is universally expected, and where there is expectancy, where there is uniformity of testimony and of prediction, and where all the indications of "the time of the end" are with us, is it not reasonable to believe that a great event is in process of taking place? If there is to be found a living faith (and there is such a faith everywhere) and a burning zeal which pierces through the darkness to the centre of light, does that not warrant the assumption that this faith and this zeal are founded on a deep intuitive knowledge. May it not be a divine fact that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen?" (Hebrews XI.1.)

The Son of God is on His way and He cometh not alone. His advance guard is already here and the Plan which they must follow is already made and clear. Let recognition be the aim.