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The Externalization of the Hierarchy - Section IV - Stages in the Externalization
First: a general planetary situation which has (unfortunately owing to man's selfishness) proved to be so catastrophic in nature that humanity has been forced to recognize the cause and source of the disaster; secondly: a spiritual awakening which would have its impulse in the deepest depths of man's 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 names such sources may be called.

Today, all these three conditions have been fulfiled and humanity faces renewed opportunity. The disaster which has overtaken mankind is universal and widespread; no one has escaped, and all men are involved in some way or another - physically, economically and socially. The spiritual awakening of men everywhere (within or without the world faiths, and largely outside of them) is general and complete, and a turning to God is to be seen on every hand. Finally, these two causes have aroused - as never before - the invocative cry of humanity; it is clearer, purer and more selfless than at any other time in human history, because it is based on clearer thinking and common distress. True religion is again emerging in the hearts of men in every land; this recognition of a divine hope and background may possibly take people back into the churches and world faiths, but it will most certainly take them back to God.

Religion is the name, surely, which we give to the invocative appeal of humanity which leads to the evocative response [597] of the Spirit of God. This Spirit works in every human heart and in all groups. It works through the spiritual Hierarchy of the planet; it impels the Head of the Hierarchy, the Christ, to take action, and the action which He is taking will lead to His return, with His disciples.

I wonder if you appreciate the import of what I have just said? The idea of the return of Christ is a most familiar one, and the concept of a returning Son of God 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, I tell you that He will come; that plans for His coming are already set on foot, but I 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)

I tell you, first of all, a truth hard for the orthodox thinker of any faith to accept: He 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 reappear. 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 and shared with us the familiar usefulness and peculiar characteristics of our civilization and its many gifts to man. [598]

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 fellowmen. This is in reality the organizing 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 organization has proceeded with phenomenal speed during the aftermath of war, because humanity is sick of hate and of 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 mankind's 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 organizing effect of sound in the form 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 on 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 focused on humanity and those steps can be taken which will embody more rapidly the Purposes of God.

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