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Esoteric Psychology I - Section One - I. Introductory Remarks
4. The Function of Christianity

I have now laid down the basic premise that all that is known to us is a manifesting divine Entity, expressing Itself through three aspects which (for the purposes of this treatise and because they are more in line with the terminology of emerging modern thought) I choose to call Life-Quality-Appearance. These are but other names for the Trinity of all the great religions, and are synonymous with the Christian phrase, Father, Son and Holy Ghost (those old anthropomorphic terms!); with Spirit, Soul and Body, the current phraseology; and with the Life, Consciousness and Form of the Indian philosophy.

May I interpolate here the comment that modern thinkers would do well to bear in mind that the importance of Christianity lies in the realization that it is a bridging religion. This is symbolized for us by the fact that the Master of all the Masters took incarnation in Palestine, that slice of land which is midway between Asia and Europe, and which partakes of the character of both. Christianity is the religion of the transitional period which links the era of self-conscious existence with that of a group-conscious world. It is extant in the age which will see that type of thought prevailing which (when rightly applied) will serve as the connecting link between the worlds of concrete and of abstract mind. The Old Commentary puts it thus:

"When the hour arrives wherein the light of the soul reveals the antahkarana (the bridge between the personality consciousness and the soul consciousness, A.A.B.) then shall men be known by their knowledge, be colored by the despair of desire unappeased, be divided into those who recognize their dharma (meet all implied obligations and duties) and those who only see the working out of karma, and from the very nature of their need find light and peace at last." [29]

Christianity is primarily a religion of cleavage, demonstrating to man his duality and so laying the foundation for future unity. This is a most needed stage and has served humanity well; the purpose and intent of Christianity has been definite and high, and it has done its divine work. Today it is in the process of being superseded, but by what new formulation of truth is not yet revealed. The light is slowly pouring into man's life, and in this lighted radiance he will formulate the new religion and arrive at a fresh enunciation of ancient truth. Through the lens of the illumined mind, he will shortly see aspects of divinity hitherto unknown. Has it ever dawned on you that there may be qualities and characteristics of the divine nature, latent as yet within the form, that have hitherto remained totally unknown and not even dimly sensed, and which, as yet, are literally unprecedented and for which we have neither words nor other adequate medium of expression? So it is. Just as the phrase "group-consciousness" would carry, for early primitive man, no significance whatsoever, and would have been only a meaningless string of alphabetical forms, so (lingering just below the surface of our manifested world) lie divine qualities and a purpose which is as far removed from the consciousness of our present humanity as the idea of collective awareness was from the consciousness of prehistoric humanity. Take courage from this thought. The past guarantees the infinite expansion of the future. [31]

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