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The Reappearance of the Christ - Chapter II - The World Today
There is also a unique revival of the ancient teaching of the Buddha and it is penetrating into the Western countries and finding devoted adherents in every land. The Buddha is the symbol of enlightenment and there is everywhere today a unique emphasis upon light. Countless millions down the ages have recognized the Buddha as the Light Bearer from on high. His Four Noble Truths exposed the causes of human trouble and pointed to the cure. He taught: Cease to identify yourselves with material things or with your desires; gain a proper sense of value; cease regarding possessions and earthly existence as of major importance; follow the Noble Eightfold Path which is the Path of right relations - right relations to God, and right relations to your fellow men - and thus be happy. The steps on this Path are: [21]
  • Right Values.
  • Right Speech.
  • Right Modes of Living.
  • Right Thinking.
  • Right Aspiration.
  • Right Conduct.
  • Right Effort.
  • Right Rapture or Happiness.

This message is uniquely needed today in a world in which most of these right steps to happiness have been consistently ignored. It is on the foundation of this teaching that Christ will raise the superstructure of the brotherhood of man, for right human relations are an expression of the love of God; they will constitute man's major and next demonstration of divinity. Today, in the midst of this devastated, chaotic and unhappy world, mankind has a fresh opportunity to reject selfish materialistic living and to begin to tread the Lighted Way. The moment that humanity shows its willingness to do this, then the Christ will come, and there is every evidence at this time that men are learning this lesson and making their first faltering steps along that Lighted Way of right relationships.

The present time is unique in that it is (as never before) a cycle or period of conferences - communal, national and international - and of men getting together. Clubs, forums, committees, conferences, and leagues are forming everywhere for the discussion and study of human welfare and liberation; this phenomenon is one of the strongest indications that the Christ is on His way. He is the embodiment of freedom, and the Messenger of Liberation. He stimulates the group spirit and the group consciousness, and His spiritual energy is the attractive force, binding men together for the common good. His reappearance will knit and bind together all men and women of goodwill throughout the world, irrespective of religion or nationality. His coming will evoke among men a widespread and mutual recognition of the [22] good in all. This is part of the uniqueness of His coming and for it we are already preparing. A study of the daily press will prove this. It is the invocative appeal of the many groups working on behalf of humanity (consciously or unconsciously made) which will bring Him forth. Those who carry out this great act of invocation are the spiritually minded people, the enlightened statesmen, the religious leaders and the men and women whose hearts are full of goodwill. They will evoke Him if they can stand with massed intent, with hope and with expectancy. This preparatory work must be focused through and implemented by the world intelligentsia and leading lovers of humanity, by groups dedicated to human betterment and by representative unselfish people. The success of the effort now being planned by Christ and the spiritual Hierarchy is dependent upon the ability of mankind to use what light it already has in order to establish right relations in their families, their community, in their nation and in the world.

There is, therefore, this unique difference between the expected coming of the Christ and the time when He came before: the world is full of groups working for human welfare. This effort, in the light of past aeons of human history, is a relatively new thing and for it the Christ must prepare and with this trend He will have to work. The "cycle of conferences" which is now swinging into full tide is part of the unique condition with which the Christ is faced.

Before, however, Christ could come with His disciples, our present civilization had to die. During the coming century, we shall begin to learn the meaning of the word "resurrection," and the new age will begin to reveal its deep purpose and intention. The first step will be the emergence of humanity from the death of its civilization, [23] of its old ideas and modes of living, the relinquishing of its materialistic goals and its damning selfishness, and its moving forward into the clear light of the resurrection. These are not symbolical or mystical words but part of the general setting which will surround the period of Christ's reappearance; it is a cycle as real as the cycle of conferences now so busily organizing. Christ taught us when He came before the true meaning of Renunciation or of the Crucifixion; this time His message will be concerned with the resurrection life. The present cycle of conferences is preparing men everywhere for relationships, even though today they may seem widely divergent in nature; the important factor is the general human interest and thought about establishing the need, the objectives involved, the means to be employed. The resurrection period which the Christ will inaugurate and which will constitute His unique work - within which all His other activities will have their place - will be the outcome of the fermentation and the germination going on in the world of men at this time, of which the many conferences are the outer evidence.

It was these various unique conditions which the Christ faced during the years of war when the need of humanity forced Him to decide to hasten His coming. The unhappy state of the world as the result of centuries of selfishness and of the world war, the unique sensitivity which men everywhere were showing (as a result of the evolutionary process) the unique spread of knowledge about the spiritual Hierarchy and the unique development of group consciousness, showing itself on every hand in the multiplicity of conferences, confronted Christ with His unique occasion and presented Him with a decision which He could not avoid. [24]

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