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Problems of Humanity - Chapter V - The Problem of the Churches
3. Christ and the Hierarchy

The third great spiritual and essential truth is the fact of Christ, the living Christ, present among His people, fulfiling His promise, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, and increasingly making His presence felt as men approach closer to Him and His group of disciples and world workers. The church emphasis has been (and is today) upon the dead Christ. Men have forgotten that He lives, though they give a tentative recognition to this hope and belief at Easter time, largely because His resurrection guarantees our own "rising again", and "because He lives, we shall live also". The fact of His livingness and of His presence today, here and now, on earth is not emphasized, except through vague and hopeful generalities. Men have forgotten the Christ who lives with us on earth, surrounded by His disciples, the Masters of the Wisdom, accessible to those who make the right approach and saving men by the force of His example and by the expression of the life which is in Him and is - unexpressed and largely undiscovered as yet by the majority - to be found also in every man.

In the coming world religion, the emphasis will be on these truths. Life and not death will be proclaimed; attainment of spiritual status through spiritual living will be taught, and the fact of the existence of those who have thus attained and who work with Christ for the helping and salvaging of humanity will be the goal. The fact of the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet, the ability of mankind to contact its Members and to work in cooperation with Them, and the existence of Those Who [145] know what the will of God is and can work intelligently with that will - these are the truths upon which the future spiritual teaching will be based.

The fact of the existence of this Hierarchy and its supreme Head, the Christ, is consciously recognized by hundreds of thousands today, though still denied by the orthodox. So many know this truth and so many people of integrity and worth are cooperating consciously with the Members of the Hierarchy that ecclesiastical antagonisms and the belittling comments of the concrete minded are of no avail. Men are moving out from under doctrinal authority into direct, personal and spiritual experience; they are coming under the direct authority which contact with Christ and His disciples, the Masters, ever confers.

Christ in every man, the guarantee of our eventual spiritual attainment; Christ as the living example of that attainment, Who has entered for us within the veil, leaving us an example that we should follow His steps; Christ Who ever lives and Who has stayed with us for two thousand years, watching over His people, inspiring His working disciples, the Masters of the Wisdom, those "just men, made perfect" (as the Bible calls them); Christ demonstrating for us the possibility of this unfolding, living, spiritual consciousness (which has been given the somewhat vague name of the "Christ consciousness") bringing every man, eventually - under the Laws of Rebirth and of Cause and Effect - to an ultimate perfection; these are the truths which the church will eventually endorse, teach and express through the lives and words of its exponents. This change in the doctrinal presentation will lead to a very different humanity to that which exists today; it will produce a humanity which will recognize the divine in all men, at varying stages of expression, a humanity which is not only expectant of the return of Christ but is assured of His [146] coming and reappearance - not from some distant Heaven but from that place on earth where He has always been, known and reached by thousands but held at a distance by the theologies and the fear-tactics of the church.

His coming will not be so much a triumphant return to a conquering church (conquering because the churches have done so fine a piece of work) but a recognition of His factual existence by those who have hitherto been blind to His presence with them and to the fact of His office and activities, ceaselessly carried forward on earth. He does not return to rule, for He has never left off ruling, working and loving; but men will come to recognize the signs of His activities and of His presence and will know that it is He Who is overthrowing the churches by the strength of His influence over the hearts and lives of men. Men will then realize that the word "spiritual" has little reference to religion, as was hitherto its major significance, but that it connotes divine activity in every phase of human living and human thinking; they will grasp the stupendous truth that sound economics, clear humanitarianism, effective education (as it fits men for world citizenship) and a science, dedicated to human betterment, are all deeply spiritual and in their aggregated usefulness constitute a body of religious truth; they will discover that organized religion is only one phase of this worldwide experience of divinity.

Christ will, therefore, surely come in three ways. He will come as men recognize that He is truly here as He has been ever since He apparently left the earth; He will come in the sense also that He will over-shadow, inspire and directly guide and personally confer with His advanced disciples as they labor in the field of the world, in the effort to establish right human relations and as they become known as the directing Agents of [147] God's will; He will come also in the hearts of men everywhere, manifesting as the indwelling Christ, struggling towards the light and influencing the lives of men towards conscious recognition of divinity. Men on a large scale will then pass through the Bethlehem experience, the Christ in them will come to the birth and they will become "new men".

It will be for the dissemination of these existing truths that the church of the future will work, bringing a great regeneration to the body of humanity, a resurrection into life, and the restoration of the life of God on earth through a Christ-conscious humanity.

When this has assumed large proportions and the recognition of these truths is worldwide, then we shall have the restoration of the Mysteries, the consequent realization that the Kingdom of God is on earth, and that man is in deed and in truth made in the image of God and must inevitably - through the passing of time and the discipline of life - manifest his essential divinity, as Christ did.

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