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The Reappearance of the Christ - Chapter VI - The New World Religion
We are surely not in error if we conclude that this spiritual dismay and this spiritual demand have assumed a paramount place in the consciousness of the Christ. When He reappears and when His Church, hitherto invisible, appears with Him, what can They do to meet this demanding cry and this intensified attitude of spiritual perception with which They will be greeted. They see the picture whole. The cry of the Christian for spiritual help, the cry of the Buddhist for spiritual enlightenment, and the cry of the Hindu for spiritual understanding - along with the cries of all those who have faith or have no faith - must be met. The demands of humanity are rising to Their ears and the Christ and His disciples have no sectarian scruples, of that we may be sure. It is impossible to believe that They are interested in the views of the Fundamentalists or in the theories of the theologians upon the Virgin Birth, the Vicarious At-one-ment or the Infallibility of the Pope. Humanity is in desperate need and that need must be met; only great and [144] fundamental principles of living, covering the past and the present and providing a platform for the future, will really meet that human invocation. The Christ and the spiritual Hierarchy will not come to destroy all that humanity has hitherto found "necessary to salvation," and all that has met its spiritual demand. When the Christ reappears, the non-essentials will surely disappear; the fundamentals of faith will remain, upon which He can build that new world religion for which all men wait. That new world religion must be based upon those truths which have stood the test of ages and which have brought assurance and comfort to men everywhere. These surely are:

1. The Fact of God

First and foremost, there must be recognition of the fact of God. That central Reality can be called by any name that man may choose according to his mental or emotional bent, racial tradition and heritage, for it cannot be defined or conditioned by names. Human beings perforce always use names in order to express that which they sense, feel and know, both of the phenomenal and also of the intangible. Consciously or unconsciously, all men recognize God Transcendent and God Immanent. They sense God to be the Creator and the Inspiration of all that is.

The Eastern faiths have ever emphasized God Immanent, deep within the human heart, "nearer than hands and feet," the Self, the One, the Atma, smaller than the small, yet all-comprehensive. The Western faiths have presented God Transcendent, outside His universe, an Onlooker. God transcendent, first of all, conditioned men's concept of Deity, for the action of this transcendent God appeared in the processes of nature; later, in the Jewish [145] dispensation, God appeared as the tribal Jehovah, as the soul (the rather unpleasant soul) of a nation. Next, God was seen as a perfected man, and the divine God-man walked the Earth in the Person of Christ. Today we have a rapidly growing emphasis upon God immanent in every human being and in every created form. Today, we should have the churches presenting a synthesis of these two ideas which have been summed up for us in the statement of Shri Krishna in The Bhagavad Gita: "Having pervaded this whole Universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain." God, greater than the created whole, yet God present also in the part; God Transcendent guarantees the plan for our world and is the Purpose, conditioning all lives from the minutest atom, up through all the kingdoms of nature, to man.

2. Man's Relationship to God

The second truth to which all give allegiance - no matter what the faith - is that of man's essential relationship to God. Inherent in the human consciousness - inchoate often and undefined - is a sense of divinity. "We are all the children of God" (Gal., III, 26.); "One is our Father, even God," says the Christ and so say all the world Teachers and Avatars down the ages. "As He is, so are we in this world" (I John IV, 17.) is another Biblical statement. "Closer is He than breathing, nearer than hands and feet," chants the Hindu. "Christ in us, the hope of glory" is the triumphant affirmation of St. Paul.

3. The Fact of Immortality and of Eternal Persistence

Third, is the sense of persistence, of eternal life or of immortality. From this recognition, there seems to be [146] no escape; it is as much a part of humanity's reaction as is the instinct of self-preservation. With that inner conviction, we face death and we know that we shall live again, that we come and we go and that we persist because we are divine and the controllers of our own destiny. We know that we have set ourselves a goal and that the goal is "Life more abundantly" - somewhere, here, there, and eventually everywhere.

The spirit in man is undying; it forever endures, progressing from point to point and stage to stage upon the Path of Evolution, unfolding steadily and sequentially the divine attributes and aspects. This truth involves necessarily the recognition of two great natural laws; the Law of Rebirth and the Law of Cause and Effect. The churches in the West have refused officially to recognize the Law of Rebirth and have thereby wandered into a theological impasse and into a cul-de-sac from which there is no possible exit. The churches in the East have over-emphasized these laws so that a negative, acquiescent attitude to life and its processes, based on continuously renewed opportunity, controls the people. Christianity has emphasized immortality but has made eternal happiness dependent upon the acceptance of a theological dogma: Be a true professing Christian and live in a somewhat fatuous heaven or refuse to be an accepting Christian, or a negative professional Christian, and go to an impossible hell - a hell growing out of the theology of The Old Testament and its presentation of a God, full of hate and jealousy. Both concepts are today repudiated by all sane, sincere, thinking people. No one of any true reasoning power or with any true belief in a God of love accepts the heaven of the churchmen or has any desire to go there. Still less do they accept the "lake that burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev., XIX, 20.) or the everlasting [147] torture to which a God of love is supposed to condemn all who do not believe in the theological interpretations of the Middle Ages, of the modern fundamentalists or of the unreasoning churchmen who seek - through doctrine, fear and threat - to keep people in line with the obsolete old teaching. The essential truth lies elsewhere. "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap" (Gal., VI, 7.) is a truth which needs re-emphasizing. In these words, St. Paul phrases for us the ancient and true teaching of the Law of Cause and Effect, called in the Orient the Law of Karma.

The immortality of the human soul, and the innate ability of the spiritual, inner man to work out his own salvation under the Law of Rebirth, in response to the Law of Cause and Effect, are the underlying factors governing all human conduct and all human aspiration. These two laws no man can evade. They condition him at all times until he has achieved the desired and the designed perfection and can manifest on earth as a rightly functioning son of God.

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