There are certain fundamental truths which lie behind all revealed religions. They are essential to the spiritual growth and the progressive realizations of divinity by man. All else found under the term “doctrine” and allied phrases are but expansions of these fundamentals, explanatory in nature, expressive of human interpretations, and formulations of evolutionary recognitions. These are mainly additions and are in the nature of adornment, speculation and prediction; they are constantly subject to change, to rejection or development as man’s intellect and spiritual perception unfolds; they are not basic or unalterable. It is the unalterable truths which must be discovered and recognized as the new world religion takes form on Earth and conditions human thought and consciousness in the coming New Age.
The Basic Truths to Date
These basic truths never change because they are related to the nature of Deity Itself and have become apparent to mankind through revelation, as evolution has proceeded and man has developed the needed perceptive faculties and the required persistence of search, plus the unfolding of the inner light of the soul. These truths, inherent in the divine nature, reveal the soul of God. They are:
- The Law of Compassion. This is the truth of right relationship, of loving understanding, of actively expressed Love. It is the foundation of brotherhood and the expression of the inner unity.
- The Fact of God. This is the truth that Being is God Immanent and God Transcendent; it involves the recognition of the great Whole and the related part; it is the knowledge of divinity, ascertained through right relationship and identity of origin. It is the revelation of the life of God, pervading all that is (God Immanent), and of that same life, providing that still greater cosmic relation (God Transcendent) which is the final guarantee of all progress and of progressive revelation. ‘Having pervaded this whole universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain’ is the challenge of Deity and the eternal hope of humanity. This is the answer of Life Itself to the demands of humanity, to the enquiries of science and to the whole world problem. God is here, present among us and in all forms of expression; He includes, pervades and remains beyond. He is greater than all appearance. He reveals Himself progressively and cyclically as man gets ready for further knowledge.
- The Continuity of Revelation. Ever down the ages and at each human crisis, always in the hours of necessity, at the founding of a new race, or in the awakening of a prepared humanity to a new and wider vision, the Heart of God – impelled by the law of compassion – sends forth a Teacher, a World Savior, an Illuminator, an Avatar. He gives the message which will heal, which will indicate the next step to be taken by the race, which will illumine a dark world problem and give to man an expression of a hitherto unrealized aspect of divinity. Upon this fact of the continuity of revelation and upon the sequence of this progressive manifestation of the divine nature is based the doctrine of Avatars, of divine Messengers, divine Appearances, and inspired Prophets. To all these history unmistakably testifies.
- The Inevitable Response of Humanity. I have expressed in these simple words the instinctive spiritual reaction of man and of the undying human spirit to the three above foundational truths. This divine spirit in humanity must ever, and most surely does, respond to the divine Appearance. The witness to this is sure and proved. There is that in mankind which is akin to God and which recognizes its own when it appears. Such is the unshakable reality in the human heart, and recognition is the inevitable reward and result of revelation.
- Progress. The reaction of the individual man and of the masses of men to the continuity of revelation – historically proved – cannot be denied. It is the basic fact of religion. The types of that revelation may vary but each new revelation – given in response to human need and demand – has ever led humanity onward towards a steadily brightening goal and a greater glory. The revelation may come on varying levels of the human consciousness. It may be the revelation of new lands to conquer, terrestrial or mental. Some person pointed the way. It may be the recognition of new laws and facts in nature, scientifically grasped and used; it may be the response of intelligent man to increased knowledge, producing a new type of civilization. Some liberated spirit pointed the way. It may be the response of the human heart to the Heart of God, leading to the mystical beatitude, and to the recognition of spiritual Being. It may be the reaction of man to some new teaching, some further unfoldment, resulting in a new and enriched religious approach to the center of life. Some Messenger pointed the way. But always it has meant progress, a moving forward, a rejection of some existing limitation, a repudiating of the undesirable and the evil. Always it involves the recognition of the possible, the ideal and the divine.
- Transcendence. This means the innate capacity to pass beyond so-called natural law. This surmounting of limitation is ever taking place and this process of transcendence will call forth increasing recognition. It marks the next major phase in the manifestation of divinity in man; it signifies domination over physical law and humanity’s imminent triumph over the forces which have for so long held him to earth. Of this transcendence the present mastery over the air is the symbol. Man is rapidly mastering the four elements. He cultivates the earth; he rides the waters; he controls the electrical fires of the planet, and he flies triumphant through the air. The question now emerges: What, my brothers, next? Another transcendence lies ahead. It is one of the things which the coming Avatar will reveal.
With the lesser leaders, whom the human spirit evokes to its assistance, I shall not deal. I seek to unfold somewhat the Doctrine of Divine Messengers, of Avatars. From whence come They? What is Their nature? Who are They and what is Their relation to humanity, to the Hierarchy and to still greater groups of Lives? These are questions which normally arise and need clear answering.
An Avatar is a Being Who – having first developed His Own nature, human and divine, and then transcended it – is capable of reflecting some cosmic Principle or divine quality and energy which will produce the desired effect upon humanity, evoking a reaction, producing a needed stimulation and, as it is esoterically called, ‘leading to the rending of a veil and the permeation of light.’ This energy may be generated within the human family and focused in a responsive Messenger; it may be generated within the planet itself and produce a planetary Avatar; it may be the expression of the life impulse and energy of the solar system, or of sources outside the solar system and therefore cosmic. But always it is focused through a manifesting Entity, is called forth by a demand or massed appeal, and evokes response and consequent changes in the life activity, the culture and the civilization of mankind.
The response or reaction of humanity to the divine Messenger establishes in due time the recognition of something transcendent, something to be desired and striven for, something which indicates a vision which is first a possibility and later an achievement. This is the historically proven process and testifies eventually to a fact. This new fact, when added to the facts established by other and earlier Avatars, enriches the spiritual content of the human consciousness, enhances the spiritual life of the race, and stimulates man to move a step forward into the world of reality and out of the world of illusion. Each revelation brings him nearer to the world of causes.
At the present time the Avatars most easily recognized and known are the Buddha and the Christ, because Their messages are familiar to all and the fruits of Their lives and words have conditioned the thinking and the civilizations of both hemispheres; because They are divine-human Avatars and represent something which humanity can more easily understand; because They are of like nature to mankind, “flesh of our flesh and spirit of our spirit.” They therefore mean more to us than any other Divine Emergence. They are known, loved and followed by countless millions. I would ask you to ponder on the potency of the nucleus of force which They have set up. The establishing of a nucleus of energy, spiritually positive, is the constant task of an Avatar. He focuses or anchors a dynamic truth, a potent thought-form or a vortex of attractive energy in the three worlds of human living. Then, as the centuries pass, that truth and the effect of Their lives and words begin steadily to condition human thinking; the established thought-form acts increasingly as a transmitter of divine energy as it expresses a divine idea, and this in time produces a civilization, with its accompanying culture, religions, policies, governments and educational processes. Thus is history made. History is but the record of man’s cyclic reaction to some inflowing divine energy, to some Avatar or some inspired Leader.
Excerpted from “The Externalization of the Hierarchy – Section III – Forces behind the Evolutionary Process”
By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl