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The Reappearance of the Christ - Chapter V - The Teachings of the Christ
Buddha is the next Teacher to Whom we should refer, though there were many between His time and that of Vyasa. During those centuries wherein history is relatively dim and faint in its outlines, the intelligence of men had been rapidly growing, and the enquiring perception of mankind came into increasingly active use. The asking of questions, to which there seem no apparent or easy answers, focused itself in a group of thinkers in India and they represented thinking men in every land. They asked the ancient questions as to why there is sorrow and misery in every land and in every life; they asked what caused these things and what must be done to change these circumstances of life; they demanded to know what was the integrating principle in man, and what was the soul and was there a self. The Buddha came forth to give the answer and to lay the foundation for a more enlightened approach to life, giving the teaching which [106] would open the door to the work of the Christ Who would, He knew, follow in His steps.

It is interesting to remember that when the Buddha came, approximately five hundred years before Christ (for the exact date of Christ's birth remains debatable), the first dim influences of the Piscean Age could be felt, impinging upon the powerful quality of the age of Aries, the Scapegoat or the Ram. It was the influence of this age - persisting throughout the Jewish dispensation - which led eventually to the distortion of the simple teaching of the Christ when He came. He was erroneously presented to the world as the living Scapegoat, bearing away the sins of the people, and thus originating the doctrine of the vicarious at-one-ment. It was St. Paul who was responsible for this emphasis. A paralleling instance of a similar distortion was also of Jewish origin and appeared in the early stages of the cycle of Aries, the Ram. We are told that the Children of Israel fell down and worshipped the golden calf, the symbol of Taurus, the Bull; this was the preceding astronomical cycle. These are astronomical cycles and not a presented astrology. In the early stages of Aries, the teaching reverted to that of Taurus and in the early stages of Pisces, it reverted to that of Aries and thus set the seal of retrogression upon the teaching which now controls so many orthodox Christians.

Buddha answered the questions posited in His time by giving out the Four Noble Truths, which satisfactorily and eternally answer man's demand of why. These Truths can be summarized as follows: the Buddha taught that misery and suffering were of man's own making and that the focusing of human desire upon the undesirable, the ephemeral and the material was the cause of all despair, all hatred and competition, and the reason why [107] man found himself living in the realm of death - the realm of physical living, which is the true death of the spirit. He made a unique contribution to the teaching given by Hercules and Vyasa, and added to the structure of truth which They had erected. Thus He prepared the way for Christ. Between the times of these two great Teachers, the Buddha and the Christ, lesser teachers appeared to amplify and add to the already given basic truths; of these Sankaracharya was one of the most important, giving, as He did, deep instruction upon the nature of the Self. Also the teacher in The Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna, must be noted, for many believe Him to be a previous incarnation of the Christ.

Thus the fundamental truths upon which relation to God (and, therefore, relation to our fellowmen) is founded are always given out by the Son of God, Who - in any particular world period - is the teaching Head of the spiritual Hierarchy.

In due time, Christ came and gave out to the world (mainly through His disciples) two major truths: the fact of the existence of the human soul and, secondly, the system of service (this phrase is used advisedly) as a mode of establishing right human relations - to God and to one's fellowmen. He told men that they were all the Sons of God in the same sense that He was; He told them in many symbolic ways who and what He was and assured them that they could do even greater things than He had done, because they were divine as He was. These greater things, humanity has already accomplished upon the physical plane and in its control of nature, as Christ knew men would, because He knew the workings of the Law of Evolution. He taught them that service was the key to the life of liberation, teaching them the technique of service through His own life as He went [108] about doing good, healing the sick, as well as preaching and teaching the things of the Kingdom of God and feeding the hungry, both physically and spiritually. He made the life of every day a divine sphere of spiritual livingness, thus emphasizing the teaching of the Buddha, through desiring nothing for the separated self. Thus the Christ taught, loved, and lived, carrying forward the great continuity of revelation and of hierarchical teaching; then He entered for us within the veil, leaving us an example that we should follow His steps (I Pet., II, 21.) - follow Him in His belief in divinity, in His service and in ability to penetrate into that area of consciousness and that field of activity which we call the true Church of Christ, the spiritual (at present invisible) Hierarchy of our planet, the true Kingdom of God. The veil that hides that real church from us is now in process of disappearing and Christ is on the verge of reappearing.

In the light of the past, therefore, and of humanity's present need, which Christ and the Hierarchy must meet, what will be the teaching which He will this time give? Such is the question which His disciples are now asking. The probability is that His teaching will fall into four parts; we would do well to consider each of them and do our best to understand and prepare the human mind for the reception of what He has to give.

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