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Darkness Precedes the Light

   The final century before the birth of Jesus saw the civilized world plunged into an indescribable orgy of immorality, treachery, and wickedness. Rome, the greatest world power of that time, was the center of this debauchery and evil intrigue. It had conquered Palestine in 63 B.C. In the next decade came the rapid rise to power of Julius Caesar, and in 49 B.C. occurred the civil war with Pompey, in which the latter was victorious. Pompey appointed Herod as governor of Galilee and Jerusalem. Herod, in 20 B.C. had his wife Marianne put to death, and in 6 B.C., growing suspicious of the ambitions of his sons, he had them both strangled.

   In an attempt to atone for his evil deeds and to conciliate public opinion he erected many beautiful public buildings. These included an amphitheatre in Jericho and a theatre in Jerusalem. He also rebuilt the Temple in the Holy City on a scale of such magnificence that it was considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. Its massive pile of gleaming marble and golden turrets towered over the city like a crown.

   The evil and corruption of Rome in her decline were veiled under the most magnificent display of wealth and luxury that the ancient world had ever known. Cleopatra's beautiful court was an example of this. Anthony and Cleopatra met their tragic end in the year 30 B.C.

   Selfishness, egotism and animalism reigned supreme. Human existence was of little importance. The life of average humanity was so evil that almost the entire period of the after-death state was spent in the purgatorial regions with little or no time for the heaven-world experience. Human evolution had come almost to a standstill.

   Herod the Great died in 4 B.C. and was succeeded by his son Herod Antipas who continued his father's persecutions and attempted extermination of all things that were virtuous and holy. The spiritual light of the world was at low ebb. The time had arrived for "the life that is the light of men" to be concentrated upon the world. Thus, whosoever would might have a new vision to guide them on the way to Eternal Life.

Christ and His Mission

   "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me," said the Christ. These words bear a deep significance for the mystic Christian who knows that it was only by the incarnation of the Christ Spirit in the planetary body of the earth that further spiritual progress was made possible for humanity.

   The Old Testament Dispensation was under the guidance of the Race Spirit, Jehovah. He gave to man the law, the Ten Commandments, and sought to win obedience to those laws through fear of God and the bestowal of rewards and punishments. Throughout the Old Testament, man is admonished to fear God. Under Jehovah's regime crystallization was inevitable but the coming of Christ ushered in a new dispensation wherein man learned to awaken the Christ within himself. Love becomes the motive force of the new day; it becomes the fulfilling of the law, and its chief tenets are contained in the Sermon on the Mount.

   The life of the Cosmic Christ was manifested through Jesus that all might be saved from the results of their own wrongdoing. The cleansing blood that flowed on Calvary, in the phraseology of the orthodox hymnals, bears a deep meaning for esoteric Christians. As the great light of the Cosmic Christ permeated the earth at the time of 'the Crucifixion, a new spiritual impulse began its work at the heart of the planet. It is this new force that is gradually changing the orbital movements of the earth, quickening its vibratory pitch and lightening its leaden body so that conditions will be more favorable for humanity to become sufficiently sensitized to make closer contact with the spirit and power of the Christ. With every annual rebirth of the Christ Life into the earth at Christmas, the veil between the visible and the invisible becomes more transparent, and an ever-increasing number attain to that state of consciousness wherein they are able to proclaim triumphantly that "there is no death."

   In order that the work of the Christ Dispensation may be made perfectly clear, the student of the Christian Mysteries must differentiate between the status and work of the Cosmic Christ, the planetary Christ and the historical Christ. While there are differentiations, yet the Three are in One and the One in Three. Through the combined efforts and sacrifice of this great composite Being, so immeasurably beyond the attainment of earth's most advanced inhabitants, the redemption of the planet and its peoples is made possible.

   The coming of the Christ marks the most important and momentous event in the entire evolution of the human race. Its true meaning and purpose form the very crux of the Christian Mysteries.

   The Cosmic Christ is represented in the Gospel of John as the Word without which was not made anything that was made. A ray from the Cosmic Christ ensouls every planet of the solar system and constitutes the very Life of the planets themselves and all evolving upon them. The Word was made flesh in all humanity. The realization of this truth and the awakening of this latent divinity into active manifestation comprises the principal work of all the Aquarian or New Age religions.

   It was the Planetary Christ, the highest Initiate of the archangelic Hosts, who ensouled the body of the holy Jesus during the three years' ministry which commenced with the Baptism and concluded with the Crucifixion. At that time the Christ entered the earth and became its indwelling Planetary Spirit or Regent. This sacrifice was not enacted once and for all as is taught by the exoteric religionists, but it an annual occurrence and must continue to take place yearly until humanity has awakened the powers of the Christ within and thereby won its own redemption.

   The historical Christ is the Christ of the churches. He represents that power which Christed or anointed (the words are synonymous) the pure and holy Jesus at the time of the Baptism, by virtue of which He became the most perfect of men and the highest Initiate of earth-humanity. After Golgotha, Christ Jesus became Iesous Christos, Theou Uios Sauter (Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour). A combination of the first letters of these five Greek words gives the word ichthus, which is the Greek word for fish, symbol of the Initiate.

   The reason or purpose for the annual sacrifice of the highest Initiate of the Archangels, who became the Planetary Christ and took upon Himself the redemption of man and the earth, is sevenfold.

   1. The cleansing of the desire envelope of the earth which was dark and heavily laden with brutality, animalism, and selfishness. This purification of the Desire World enables man to secure finer and cleaner material as the nucleus for future desire bodies, thus accelerating evolutionary progress tremendously.

   2. The great Christ Spirit belonged to a higher life wave than the human. He had not previously experienced the occupancy of a physical body. The ego functions in the blood and even though the blood of the Master Jesus was the purest and of the highest vibratory rate upon the earth, it was very difficult for the Christ Spirit to function in a physical body at all. A part of the work done during the forty days in the wilderness was devoted to overcoming the blood of Jesus and to accommodating Himself to the limitations of a physical body.

   3. The orthodox church teaches that He came to save that which was lost. This statement, according to mystic Christianity, is true, and applies to the straggling laggards of the human life wave. The accumulation of evil was so great, and evolution had become so retarded that had the Christ not come, it would have been necessary for the earth to expel another portion of itself, a second Moon, in order to care properly for the most backward of her children. The twin laws of Rebirth and Causation take care of the majority; but the stragglers had fallen too far behind to regain their lost position by the unaided operation of these laws. Christ therefore truly came to seek and to save that which was lost, as is taught both in orthodox and esoteric Christianity.

   4. To cleanse the blood of egotism. This is the mystery of the blood that flowed on Golgotha. The blood is the tally sheet of the spirit. One psychically capable of studying the blood of an individual possesses the key to that soul's development. The blood is the channel for the feelings and emotions; it is contaminated through generation and purified by regeneration. The soul body, the "golden wedding garment," in which the pioneers must be clothed who are to meet the Christ when He returns, is the highest and most spiritual product of the blood. With the flowing of the blood of Christ Jesus upon Calvary, a tremendous spiritual power passed into the center of the earth. This power increases each year when the Christ impulse is born anew. Thus each year altruism and brotherhood increases and man finds it easier to die daily to himself and to live increasingly for others.

   5. Evolution is speeded up through the remission of sins. Rebirth and the Law of Consequence have been taught through the ages. According to the Old Dispensation it was an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. With the coming of the Christ, law was superseded by love; through its redeeming power all sin is forgiven. By repentance, restitution, and reform, the karmic sheet is swept clean. "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free." "A new commandment give I unto you, that ye shall love one another as I have loved you."

   6. The veil which hung before the Temple was rent. The call of the Christ is to whosoever wills to come and partake of the waters of life freely. During the earlier dispensations only a chosen few were permitted to enter into the Temples of Initiation. With the establishment of the Christian regime, Initiation was thrown open to all. The truths which it reveals are acquired only by individual worthiness and merit. "Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you."

   7. The coming of the Planetary Christ brought to humanity the higher phases of Initiation known as the four Greater Mysteries. All religions previous to His coming possessed the teachings termed the nine Lesser Mysteries. These have been presented in various ways best suited to the development of the peoples to whom they were given. In some of the Mystery Schools they have been divided into the Lesser and Greater Mysteries, as for instance, in the Eleusinian School of Greece. These Mysteries, however, all dealt with truths belonging only to what we now classify as the Lesser Initiations. The four Greater Mysteries belong entirely to the Christian Dispensation, and those qualifying to receive their powers become supermen possessing attributes far in advance of average humanity. Jesus and Lazarus were the first of the human race to become anointed with their powers. Mary, the disciples, and some others of high spiritual attainment, received the first of these Initiations on the Day of Pentecost. From that time they were no longer mere men and women; they had attained the gifts promised by the Christ when He said: "The things that I do shall ye do also and even greater things than these shall ye do."

   Paul states that the Christ is groaning and travailing, awaiting the day of His liberation. A full understanding of this statement involves the true nature of Christ's redemptive work for humanity. The teaching of the vicarious atonement is but a faint reflection of the real truth. Christ did indeed come to save humanity as the Church teaches, but what the Church does not teach in its currently accepted doctrines is the method of that salvation. This is fully and reasonably explained in esoteric Christianity which declares that faith alone in the redemptive work of the Christ is insufficient; man must still work out his own salvation. His "own right hand" must save him. But this is possible to man even in his present fallen condition because of the cosmic "loan" of spiritual power given him by the Christ who continues to make a sacrifice for us as the indwelling Spirit of the earth, wherein He labors, purifying the psychic atmosphere and impregnating our planetary sphere with His divine radiations. Thus He makes available to humanity better conditions in which to evolve, and reinforces the human impulse to live in accordance with the spiritual nature and in harmony with the Divine Will. This it is which constitutes the redemptive work of the Christ, a work that will continue until humanity has attained to a state wherein it is strong enough spiritually to move safely forward and upward without aid.

   To sum it up briefly, Christ came to aid man to save himself. We are all Christs in the making. Christ's sacrifice upon Golgotha will continue to be an annual occurrence until release is gained through a Christed humanity, able to perform the work which is now done by Him, namely, to guide the planet in its orbit about the Sun and care for the evolution of all life waves upon it. This can be done only through the development of the power of love. For this reason love becomes, as the Bible reiterates again and again, the most important thing in the world.

   The law of attraction, upon which the science of astronomy is based, is but another name for the love power of the Cosmic Christ which permeates and floods the earth. The mystery of the life essence of fruit and grain is the concentrated force of this Christ life. The sacrifice of the Christ does not mean dying for humanity, but living and infusing the entire earth with His Life, Light and Love. He came "that man might have life and have it more abundantly."

   As previously stated, the stars portray an anticipated biography of the life of man. So also do they reveal to the initiated the perfect outline of the life of the Cosmic Man, Christ Jesus.

   The inflow of the Cosmic Christ life into the earth at the Winter Solstice has been celebrated as a Sun Festival. This great force permeates the physical earth and its psychical envelopes, lifting and purifying them, and imbuing all manifestations of life with vitality and energy. At the Spring Equinox this great energy is released and passes into the higher spiritual realms, reaching the highest of these superphysical planes at the time of the Summer Solstice. The downpouring of this Cosmic Life stream turns again toward the earth in the early autumn as the Sun passes into Virgo when the cosmic Immaculate Conception takes place, and at the Autumn Equinox the World Soul is annually crucified upon the cross of matter as this spiritual force is again concentrated in and upon the earth.

   The life of Christ Jesus is in perfect harmony with this cosmic pattern. He was born at the Winter Solstice at the time when all the earth is celebrating the return of the Christed Light. He is resurrected at the Spring Equinox, the gladsome Easter season, when all nature rejoices in the beauty of a new effulgent life and love. He ascends to the throne of God, the Father, at the Summer Solstice, there to begin the preparation of the new Spirit body which He brings into the earth when He is born again for man's salvation at the Winter Solstice, or Christmas season. This body is immaculately conceived in the earth as the Sun passes into Virgo, the sign of the virgin, the symbol of service and chastity.

   The Crucifixion is symbolized by the Autumn Equinox when the earth passes under the sway of darkness and the cold of winter, As we meditate upon this yearly sacrifice of the great Christ Spirit for man, we turn with a renewed reverence and a more devout understanding to Paul's works: "In Him we live and move and have our being."

   This change of season, the alternate reign of heat and cold, of darkness and of light, must continue so long as the earth planet occupies its present orbital position and movement. The position of the earth and the status of its humanity will be altered only through and by the power of love made manifest in the life of man. Until that time the annual sacrifice of the Christ must continue, and not until then will come His liberation. The esoteric schools of the coming Aquarian-Leo cycle will be devoted entirely to the development of love as a power. This love power will manifest in the lives of the pioneers who will assist in the liberation of the Christ.

   Clement of Alexandria in his Stromata states that when Salome asked Christ Jesus when His kingdom would come, He replied thus: "When you shall have trampled under foot the garment of shame. When two shall be one. When that which is without shall be like that which is within. And when the male and the female shall be neither male nor female." This has reference to the Christed powers of the androgynous man of the Capricorn-Cancer cycle, when it is most probable that the Archangel, the Christ, will return unto His own, whom He will receive into the new heaven and new earth which He is preparing for their habitation.

   That most wonderful Textbook of Life, the Bible, contains definite information relative to the second coming of the Christ Spirit and also teaches man how to prepare himself for His arrival. The mystic Christian does not agree with the exoteric religionist in the belief that man must die in the physical sense in order to inherit the kingdom of heaven. At the same time he agrees with Paul that flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom. The mystery to which Paul refers when he says we shall not all sleep (in death) but that we shall be changed, pertains to transformations effected through the powers of Initiation. The crux of the teaching of the New Age centers in the building of the soul body. This physical vesture of the soul is indestructible. Clothed in it, man may serve as an Invisible Helper passing unharmed through fire, air, water and earth on missions of love and mercy. This soul body can be built only through love, purity and service — selfless service to all that lives. The life of the Christ is the supreme ideal given to man. Only those who follow in His steps can become the elect who will meet Him when He comes again.

   In these verses Paul refers definitely to the return of the Christ and declares that those who are ready must meet Him in the air. His new kingdom will be extended into the ethers which cannot be inhabited by those still occupying bodies of flesh and blood. The corruptible must put on incorruption before entrance is gained into the new kingdom.

   Thus the Bible clearly defines the future development of man and the earth. This great transformation from flesh bodies of corruption into celestial bodies of incorruption will require for the masses a vast period of time.

   But a thousand years are with the Lord (law) as one day. And the Christ is calling more insistently each year to whosoever wills, to come and partake freely of the waters of eternal life. One who has built for himself the soul body discovers these waters and partakes of them for he now knows that death is but a dream, that the spirit is immortal and that life is eternal.

   The Kabbala says: "At the coming of the Messiah, from a sacred cubical stone of the Temple, a white light will be rising for forty days. This light will expand until it encloses the whole world. The king Messiah will come through the gate of the Garden of Eden."

   Hermes in his Apocrypha states: "In the middle of the plain He showed me a great white rock which had risen out of the middle of the plain; the rock was higher than the mountains and was able to hold the whole world. The rock was also red, having a gate hewn out of it, but the hewing seemed to be recent."

   The rock is the ancient wisdom which belongs to the ages and has been given to man through many revelations, varied to suit his growing development from the time he first received the link of mind in the Lemurian and Atlantean Epochs.

   All religions have been inspired by the Cosmic Christ, the great unifying Word Principle of God. This accounts for the similarity Of the work and writings of all the great world teachers. The love power of the Cosmic Christ has united them even as pearls are strung on a golden thread into a single chain.

   Every race religion and race teacher has been preparing the way for the coming of the Christ to the earth. This does not mean that the other great religions should now be dispensed with. They still have important work to do for the peoples to whom they were given. Nor does it mean that the Christian religion will ever be universally adopted as it is now understood and practiced: it is as yet but a suggestion of what it will be before the sidereal year of Aries shall have passed over, during which time the Christian religion will steadily grow in beauty, influence and power.

   Christ is the supreme World Saviour. All other teachers, great and noble as they have been, have belonged to our human evolution. This is true also of the high and holy Jesus. But the Christ came from the archangelic Hosts, not to any particular race or people. He came as the Saviour of the world, bringing the light of the Greater Mysteries (the recent gate hewn in the rock) that all might become Christed and, rising above the limitations of race, country and creed, enter into one great loving Brotherhood that would reign with Him in the New Day.

   "At the name of Christ Jesus every knee shall bow and every voice proclaim Him Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

   The nucleus of the New Race will be drawn from no particular nation or clime, but will be formed of peoples of every land who have learned to manifest the Christ within. The Christ power is the unifying principle that lifts above all differences of creed, caste or color.

   "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another."

 — Corinne Heline

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