The Christ 
"Supreme Head of the Spiritual Hierarchy"

The following is a chapter from Of Life and Other Worlds, by Aart Jurriaanse (World Unity & Service Trust, South Africa)

Most people are well acquainted with the history of Jesus Christ Who was born nearly two thousand years ago in Palestine. There are, however, some aspects of His life that are not so commonly known and which date back to long before the period of His biblical life on Earth. It should be realised that the Entity who made His appearance on Earth two millennia ago, must already have had a long preceding course of development to enable Him to attain such an advanced state of enlightenment. To describe the Christ merely as a Son of God is rather meaningless and inadequate, because we are really all children of God (even though many may not seem to act accordingly). The outstanding difference between the Christ and the other members of the human family was that by His rapid rate of progress He outstripped all His contemporaries on the Path of Life.

In a previous chapter it was described how, many thousands of years ago, the human kingdom developed from the lower kingdoms and how man was 'Individualised' and lifted above the animal level by being endowed with a reasoning and conscious mind, which is the attribute of that spark of Deity which we call the Soul. This is something that must be clearly understood, because it may prevent unnecessary arguments. A clear distinction must be drawn between the personality (which includes the physical body) and the soul, the spiritual Self, or the Christ within. The complex being which is known as the personality and consisting of the physical, astral and mental bodies, is that part of man that has evolved over the ages from the lower forms of life; it is the physical aspect which inherits certain characteristics from its parents and previous generations. This body incorporates the brain and therefore the intellect - which is a product of the brain, and which is also one of the inheritable properties. But I remind you not to confuse the intellect with the mind. The mind is an attribute of the soul and must be seen as an aspect - or an entity - quite separate from the physical body, and influencing it only for the duration of a particular life. The personality is perishable and disintegrates after 'death' whilst the soul is immortal and continues its spiritual existence, having learnt further lessons in its earthly shell. The crucifixion of Jesus the Christ must be regarded in a similar light. The physical body of Jesus was sacrificed but the real Christ, the spiritual aspect, could of course never be physically nailed to the cross.

But to return to the historic consideration. The Christ was one of the very first divine sparks or souls to be incarnated in a human body, we do not know how many millennia ago. He thus commenced His earthly life in precisely the same circumstances as thousands of other souls. He also reincarnated over and over again, enabling Him to experience every phase and aspect of life - the weal and the woe, the ups and downs and every conceivable and inconceivable trial and affliction. He personally had to test the good and the evil; He was subjected to every possible temptation of the flesh; He not only experienced all pains and sorrows but also all the joys and pleasures of life on Earth. And thus His soul was purified by the same procedure undergone by His fellow men, enabling Him to gain that deep love, sympathetic understanding and insight into the human being who is still deeply engulfed in the mires and struggles of physical life. There was one feature, however, by which the Christ distinguished Himself from His fellow souls. From the earliest stages His rate of development far exceeded that of the others and consequently He was the first human being to reach perfection and to pass on to the spiritual kingdom. This rapid progress was also maintained on these higher planes and, although in the course of time He was joined by other enlightened souls who gathered around Him, He remained well in advance of them all. From the earliest times He therefore became the natural Leader, not only of humanity but on the spiritual planes He became the Master of the Masters, or the Leader of the Spiritual Hierarchy.

The Higher Entities who, in the course of ages have been responsible for the guidance of human development, delegated advanced Beings to the Earth from time to time as teachers or prophets, with the special purpose of stimulating the spiritual development of man. Amongst these the name of Buddha should be mentioned, who made His appearance some five hundred years prior to the coming of the Christ and whose teachings had a profound influence on oriental religious concepts.

The fundamental message which the Christ brought was that of Love and Goodwill towards our fellow men. Imagine how different our lives may have been today if these teachings had found a deeper and more general response in the hearts of men. What a wonderful world it could have been to live in if mutual friendship, love, confidence and general helpfulness characterized man, instead of the hate, mistrust and selfishness which still largely form the common pattern today. How marvelous it would be to live in a world where theft, dishonesty and other knavery were unknown; if you could walk out of your house without locking up; if you could leave your car parked in town with your morning's  purchases and go for a cup of tea without any qualms; if you could walk into a shop, serve yourself and just leave the money on the counter.

Picture to yourself what it would be like not to have perpetual squabbles between members of families, friends or neighbors and to live under conditions of good fellowship. There are, sadly, those perverse people who dislike geniality, kindliness and friendship and seem to enjoy nothing better than constant quarrelling and discord. The only solution is to avoid them as far as possible; if it should be impossible to steer clear of them, then pains should be taken not to give them the least excuse for being obnoxious. Above all, see to it that you personally remain calm and unperturbed.

There is a story which illustrates the needed attitude: a certain person used to buy a newspaper every day from a most unfriendly newspaper vendor: the man would regularly greet the seller but there was never any response. One day the man was asked why he continued to greet the seller when he knew full well that there would be no reply. His answer was simple: "Because he chooses to be impolite and rude is no reason for me to be rude and impolite as well!" Yes, one could go on and on with these fantasies of how beautiful life could be if hate and selfishness were to be replaced by generous love, goodwill and mutual service. The tragedy is that all this beauty lies within our reach - it is there just for the taking but, with our short-sightedness, greed, selfishness, or whatever other reasons, we have so far foolishly rejected what has been at our disposal all the time.

But let us forget these idle regrets about the past and rather concentrate on the present and future.

Let each of us contribute our share, whether large or small, each according to his circumstances and environment: in a few decades we could change the world we live in. The infectious influence of such an attitude on others would surprise you! Experiment with this attitude, and you will notice how it will grow on you and become more and more spontaneous. Give and radiate kindness and consideration to those surrounding you and it will not only be returned with interest, but will radiate and be reflected onto other people who, in turn, would then extend this goodwill. Thus will we bring about universal goodwill.

The opposite of course also holds true: should one's attitude be surly, malicious and vengeful, repayment in kind would be the natural reaction - and so will the resulting distressing reaction from others, spreading equally widely. The skeptic is inclined to contend that there has been no general improvement in human relationships over the past centuries but that, on the contrary, there has been a definite deterioration in humanity as a whole. In support of this argument, attention is drawn to the past two world wars, characterized by so many atrocities and cruelties. Since then there has been a continuous succession of other wars all over the world. Furthermore it could be pointed out how crime is everywhere on the increase, indicated by the progressive number of prosecutions in practically every country. Planes are hijacked and the passengers held to ransom; terrorism - with its brutal killings camouflaged under the verbal cloak of  'freedom fighters' - is effectively flaring up all over the world, supported and financed from the most unexpected sources; international blackmail is taking on ever larger proportions. Ordinary abductions of various kinds, torture, rape and murder, are an everyday occurrence. Judging by the daily news, it seems as if the whole human social structure is rapidly heading towards total collapse. All this is certainly not encouraging or indicative of the attainment of higher moral standards by the average human being.

Judging by these appearances, the future of the human race does not look very promising. But let us not be too hasty in drawing final conclusions. What we are observing today are fortunately, however, only the deceptive outer results. What we see are the products of a process of fermentation - the dirty froth is coming to the surface but underneath this scum the liquid is becoming increasingly clearer. Since time immemorial human society has contained a percentage of bad elements, of which a small part could be classed as evil. In the past this evil, although existing to a greater extent, was more localized in its effect owing to the relative lack of communication: it therefore did not receive the same publicity as at present. Today the position has changed radically.

Because of the modern systems of media such as radio, telephone and television, and the rapid physical transport by air, rail and road, the whole world has become an interdependent globe of intercommunication. While this system has wonderful advantages, it also lends itself conveniently for the exploitation by the forces of evil. These forces have been organized into several international pressure groups through which dominating influences are exerted over the rest of humanity. News media as a rule form useful instruments in the hands of these forces, which have availed themselves of the various facilities. The daily papers and the Sunday papers par excellence, vie with each other to supply the most sensational news items to promote circulation: every ugly occurrence is given prominence and splashed in heavy headlines by the press throughout the world, whereas hardly any attention is given to the many acts of kindness, charity, goodwill and other items of news that can be noted daily in every environment in the world. Although goodwill is a fairly common occurrence today, it does not attract the same notice as that which is concentrated on acts of violence and evil.

These are menaces threatening people's lives: they feel they are being exposed to danger. Sensation acts as a stimulus to the emotions - and the negative responses of fear, excitement, distress, anger, etc., become channels for the brooding forces of darkness. It would require laborious research to prove statistically or to substantiate the statement that the average man has today reached a much higher moral level, and that his relations with his fellow men have improved considerably in comparison to what they were perhaps one or two hundred years ago. You would come to the same conclusion if you were to study your environment with an unbiased mind: always look for the good instead of being blinded by all the bad news with which we are daily being bombarded to the exclusion of all man's better qualities and actions. For example, cast a backward glance to the previous century and consider how child labor was rampant. There were hardly any social services; severe punishments were meted out for relatively minor offences; and if the available descriptions of conditions in institutions like prisons and orphanages only come near to reflecting the truth, they must have been cruel and inhumane beyond description - and certainly quite beyond comparison with similar present day institutions.

While existing evil in the world and the corresponding dangers to humanity as a whole should not be minimized, on the other hand we must guard against being too pessimistic by acknowledging only the black side, thus actually giving added weight to the power of these evil forces. What is happening today is that the evil forces throughout the world have taken advantage of the various improvements of communication and the news media. These dark forces, although inferior to the forces of light in numerical strength, have organized their forces, thus enabling them to dominate the trend of world affairs by playing on the emotions. This is our own fault and the position will be maintained as long as the forces striving for good remain unorganized and consequently relatively impotent. And as long as they themselves - the religious and spiritual groups - refuse to work together but remain separate and critical of each other.

This is a serious matter which concerns all humanity and cannot be adequately stressed. If you could be sufficiently convinced of the gravity of the present situation and moved to organized action to throw your weight onto the side of world goodwill, unity and cooperation, you could help to counteract and eventually to break the present hold of evil! It can be done and eventually will be effected: But we must act now and not sit back passively, leaving future generations to take the required initiative. Our objective should not be directly to oppose and actively to fight evil but rather to concentrate on organizing the powers of good. As love and goodwill gain the supremacy to which they are numerically entitled, so the powers of evil will correspondingly dwindle, losing their present dominance and rapidly fading into the background.

But let us return to our consideration of the Christ.

The Christ concept is something purely spiritual, which may be manifested in any individual. The Christ spirit was, however, so closely associated with and reflected in the Entity historically known as 'The Christ' that He has become personally identified with that immanent spirit. There is a very close relationship between the soul and the Christ spirit and these two concepts may be regarded as interchangeable. It can therefore also be said that the divine spark, known as the inner Christ, is present in every individual, of whatever color, nationality or religion, but this spirit in many lies dormant while the purely physical interests predominate. The Christ spirit gradually awakens as the soul takes charge. The Christ spirit may manifest in any individual, even if he has never heard of the existence of 'The Christ'.

Although the Christ in His capacity as Leader of the Hierarchy has been in constant touch with humanity during the past centuries, certain of the Sages have indicated that the time is now rapidly drawing close when He will reappear in a physical body, to walk again with men on Earth. Although we have largely been unconscious of this, humanity has constantly been under His protection and guidance. His help is always at our disposal when sought for altruistic purposes; but many go on their knees in vain when praying for the satisfaction of purely selfish personal desires. People may be disappointed when certain unselfish prayers are not answered and do not come to fruition as visualized, not realizing that the requests might have worked out detrimentally. At other times the help given might have taken on so different a form to that which was requested and expected, that it is unrecognized as a beneficent answer to the prayer. No specific time is known regarding the physical reappearance of the Christ, nor is anything known as to where or in what country this may occur or in what form. According to the Tibetan Sage, the sands are, however, rapidly running out and His return may perhaps be expected towards the end of the present century, or otherwise early in the next. This could therefore mean any time in the course of the next 25-50 years, which would place this memorable event within the lifetime of many of the present generation.

"The early signs of His [the Christ's] 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 fellow men. 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 the war, because humanity is sick of hate and controversy." (8-44) This time He will probably not again avail Himself of a physical body born as a child, but will materialize as a mature individual in a body to suit His special requirements. He will be manifested in an environment and the circumstances which will best serve His purposes. He will not come for any specific group or religious order, nor will He conform to any particular past teaching, but will bring a New Order of Love and Goodwill for the upliftment and unification of humanity. And His teachings impelled by His intrinsic power will, through the mass media, be "shouted from the rooftops."

The following extracts from the Tibetan's writings may also prove to be of interest in this connection:

  • 1. "The advent of the Christ....may be an actual physical coming, as before in Palestine, or it may connote a definite overshadowing of His disciples and lovers by the Great Lord of Life. The overshadowing will call forth a response from all those who are in any way spiritually awakened. Or again, the coming may take the form of a tremendous inflow of the Christ principle, the Christ life and love working out through the human family. Perhaps all three possibilities may be found simultaneously on our planet very shortly." (14-281)
  • 2. "(The Christ) will appear as the supreme Head of the Spiritual Hierarchy, meeting the need of the thirsty nations of the world - thirsty for truth, for right human relations and for loving understanding." (1-61)
  • 3. "He may reappear in a totally unexpected guise; who is to say whether He will come as a politician, an economist, a leader of the people (arising from the midst of them), a scientist or an artist?" (8-17)

It is also prophesied that this time He will not come alone but will be accompanied by Masters and senior disciples who will assist Him with the arduous task of emerging into the midst of humanity. He will indeed need dependable assistance with the many and difficult problems with which He will be faced.

During the Christ's sojourn in Palestine, His movements were relatively restricted owing to the limited transport and communication facilities of those times. With His expected return, no matter in what locality or circumstances He may set foot on Earth, He will definitely not come to serve only a single country or group or nation - but He will come as a World Server and for Humanity as a whole. With the modern system of communications, the tidings of His coming will spread like wildfire throughout the world. By means of radio and television, millions will be able to see and hear Him and with the advantages of air and other transport, tens of thousands will be able to gather to see and hear Him.

To think that many who are now reading these lines may probably experience that never-to-be- forgotten day!

But what an assignment will be awaiting the Christ! To bring order out of the ruling world chaos; to change the present spirit of greed, selfishness, hate and jealousy of individuals and nations to an attitude of mutual love and goodwill -these will definitely require divine qualities and will of course not be accomplished in a short time. It is to be expected that in the beginning there will be several groups, especially those directly influenced by the 'dark forces' who will refuse to accept Him and will no doubt even actively oppose Him and work to bring about His destruction. On the other hand this will be the opportunity that millions throughout the world have been waiting for. The existing forces of love and goodwill occurring in a diffused and disorganized form all over the world, which so far have largely been dormant and ineffective, will then be rapidly drawn together to form a united body able to utilize this dormant power effectively to guide Humanity to its greater destiny in the New Age.

His work will also be alleviated to a considerable extent because He will find groups and individuals in every community and country who will be only too eager to be harnessed in His service on behalf of mankind.

How inspiring to visualize this coming event and to embroider on its possibilities! Nobody knows when this day will dawn - but may it be soon! What a wonderful experience it will be for those who are granted the opportunity to witness and to play an active part in the materialization of these beautiful visions!

This is a chapter from "Of Life and Other Worlds", by Aart Jurriaanse (World Unity & Service Trust, South Africa) (pub date: 1969?)

Aart Jurriaanse, a South African author, has written a number of compilations from the books of Alice A. Bailey. Among these are: Of Life and other worlds; Prophecies; Ponder on this; Serving Humanity; The Soul; The Quality of Life; and he is also the author of Bridges which is a Commentary on these teachings.  

The Master Djwhal Khul on the reappearance of the Christ:

"When He comes at the close of this century and makes His power felt He will come as the Teacher of Love and Unity, and the keynote He will strike will be regeneration through love poured forth on all...

"The work and the teaching of the Christ will be hard for the Christian world to accept, though easier of assimilation in the East. Nevertheless, some hard blow or some difficult presentation of the truth is badly needed if the Christian world is to be awakened, and if Christian people are to recognise their place within a worldwide divine revelation and see the Christ as representing all the faiths and taking His rightful place as World Teacher. He is the World Teacher and not a Christian teacher. (The Master DK in The Reappearance of the Christ)

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