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The Reappearance of the Christ - Chapter I - The Doctrine of Avatars
CHAPTER ONE

The Doctrine of the Coming One (Western Teaching)
The Doctrine of Avatars (Eastern Teaching)

Whenever there is a withering of the law and an uprising of lawlessness on all sides, then I manifest Myself.

For the salvation of the righteous and the destruction of such as do evil, for the firm establishing of the Law, I come to birth age after age.

- Bhagavad Gita, Book IV, Sutra 7, 8. [5]

Right down the ages, in many world cycles and in many countries (and today in all) great points of tension have occurred which have been characterized by a hopeful sense of expectancy. Some one is expected and His coming is anticipated. Always in the past, it has been the religious teachers of the period who have fostered and proclaimed this expectancy and the time has always been one of chaos and difficulty, of a climaxing point at the close of a civilization or culture and when the resources of the old religions have seemed inadequate to meet men's difficulties or to solve their problems. The coming of the Avatar, the advent of a Coming One and, in terms of today, the reappearance of the Christ are the keynotes of the prevalent expectancy. 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 or to this universal law. For decades, the reappearance of the Christ, the Avatar, has been anticipated by the faithful in both hemispheres - not only by the Christian faithful, but by those who look for Maitreya and for the Boddhisattva as well as those who expect the Imam Mahdi.

When men feel that they have exhausted all their own resources and have come to an end of all their own innate possibilities and that the problems and conditions confronting them are beyond their solving or handling, they are apt to look for a divine Intermediary and for the [6] Mediator Who will plead their cause with God and bring about a rescue. They look for a Savior. This doctrine of Mediators, of Messiahs, of Christs and of Avatars can be found running like a golden thread through all the world faiths and Scriptures and, relating these world Scriptures to some central source of emanation, they are found in rich abundance everywhere. Even the human soul is regarded as an intermediary between man and God; Christ is believed by countless millions to act as the divine mediator between humanity and divinity.

The whole system of spiritual revelation is based (and has always been based) on this doctrine of interdependence, of a planned and arranged conscious linking and of the transmission of energy from one aspect of divine manifestation to another - from God in the "secret Place of the Most High" to the humblest human being, living and struggling and sorrowing on earth. Everywhere this transmission is to be found; "I am come that they may have life" says the Christ, and the Scriptures of the world are full of the intervention of some Being, originating from some source higher than the strictly human. Always the appropriate mechanism is found through which divinity can reach and communicate with humanity, and it is with this communication and these Instruments of divine energy that the doctrine of Avatars or of divine "Coming Ones" has to do.

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