Sir George Trevelyan: thoughts and writings
The Cosmic Christ in the New Age
A Wrekin Trust lecture, 1977
by Sir George Trevelyan
The coming of the New Age is heralded by a spiritual awakening which is to be distinguished from what has commonly been understood by the phrase "a religious revival". It has not grown out of the churches or conventional religions, though it can bring fresh ardour into every church. Yet this broad movement is truly religious in its nature in that it is a recognition of the stupendous Oneness of all life in its infinite diversity. All life is of God and everything is of Divine origin.
Furthermore, there is the widespread conviction not only that higher worlds of spirit are a reality, but that a 'pressure' from those worlds is breaking into our lives and lifting human consciousness in this very generation. Many great seers have foretold some great spiritual 'crisis' or evolutionary turning point for mankind by the end of the 20th century. This in some way must involve an expansion of consciousness to take in other dimensions of reality, for it becomes very clear that our earth-bound consciousness is by no means the only level that the human mind can experience. We are, it appears in essence, spiritual beings, droplets of the Divine Source, sojourning for a while within the drastic limitations of a physical sense-bound body. The spiritual kernel, the 'I' in each of us, when released from that body, remains very much alive and is capable of progressing into ever wider and more light-filled spheres in its long journey back to the Divine Source to which it truly belongs.
The recognition that life is a Divine Oneness and that mankind is indeed one great family becomes an essential part of our world view. We can at least accept it intellectually and then with the imagination strive to understand the implications. We can recognise that 'Spaceship Earth' is truly a living sentient being or creature of which we men are a part. Man is that point where evolution becomes conscious of itself. In us the planet can think towards God, who can experience Himself reflected in Man. We come to see that not only is the planet alive but that the whole Cosmos is in very truth shot through with creative intelligence and spirit from which all physical substance is derived. To quote R. M. Bucke from Cosmic Consciousness speaking of the experience of mental illumination:
"Like a flash there is presented to his consciousness a clear conception (a vision) in outline at the meaning and drift of the universe. He does not come to believe merely; but he sees and knows that the Cosmos, which to the self conscious mind seems made up of dead matter, is in fact far otherwise - is in truth a living presence... He sees that the life which is in man is eternal, as all life is eternal; that the soul of man is as immortal as God is. He obtains such a conception of the Whole or at least of an immense Whole as dwarfs all conception, imagination or speculation springing from and belonging to ordinary self consciousness, such a conception as makes the old attempts mentally to grasp the universe and its meaning petty and ridiculous."
Commenting on the awakening of our age, the late Tudor Pole, one of the great adepts of our period, wrote in his last book Writing on the Ground:
"It is my belief that the 'Revealer of the Word' (the 'Christos') for the historic times in which we now live, has already descended into the invisible spheres that surround our planet and that those with eyes to see and ears to hear, can begin to discern the Message he is bringing, even if the Messenger may not be clothed in form or outwardly discernible, he will bring with him the inspiration and the spiritual impetus we need in order to lift human consciousness out of its present darkness into the Light of new Day. One thing is certain. If we are to equip ourselves to receive and understand the Revealer, the coming Messenger from God, we must arouse ourselves from sleep and prepare ourselves for this arrival."
Who and What is the Christos? Clearly an exalted Being of Light must overlight all mankind. He must illumine every race, creed and nation. There can be nothing sectarian about Him. Truth and Love must play down on to every man, whether atheist or believer. The great world religions need not merge and indeed should not merge, for each of them carries a tremendous facet of the Truth. But over all a real and all-embracing world religion could begin to appear in recognition of the Lord of Light, overlighting all mankind.
The name 'the Christos' is the Greek for this Exalted Being of the Spiritual Sun. The worship of the Spirit of Light and Truth is common to all the great religions, which acknowledged His approach to the Earth for the redemption of mankind, though there was disagreement and uncertainty concerning the time and nature of this deed of entry. To Christians He is the Christ, but clearly the present vision would lift us far above the sectarian conflicts which have through history caused such bloodshed in the name of the Christian religion. We are dealing with concepts which would renew and widen Christianity so that veritably the coming of the New Age would be seen to include and express the Christ Impulse for all mankind.
Let us look at it from the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. Though very many great teachers have spoken on this theme, Steiner's clarity of perception truly heralded the present awakening. Rudolf Steiner, who was born in 1861 and died in 1925, was a great scientist who also from youth possessed complete clairvoyance, so that the reality of the spiritual worlds was obvious to him. However, as a scientist, he saw that this faculty must be transmuted into thinking, which was consonant with scientific method. If Divine Intelligence was the creative power behind all nature and life, then the human mind must be able so to lift its thinking that it could blend in consciousness with the world process. Then true investigation of higher knowledge by immediate experience would be possible. The Exalted Lord of Light, the Son of God, made the supreme sacrifice of descending to Earth, to enter and live in a prepared human vehicle and so go through human death - a deed never before done by a God. This matchless deed achieved, the descent of man was checked and the impulse given which opened the path of re-ascent, so that he might maintain and re-establish the link with his divine nature. With the flowing of the blood on Golgotha the Living Christ impulse passed into the body of the Earth. After the Resurrection and Ascension the Christ becomes Lord of the Heavenly Forces upon Earth and henceforth, according to Steiner, is to be found throughout the whole etheric field which permeates all forms with life. Thus the redemption of mankind is made possible.
This was the first Coming, 2000 years ago. It has been foreseen by the great adepts that by the end of our century there is to be a great transformation of man. We are on the cusp of the Aquarian Age when the Waters of the Spirit are being poured out into the Earth, bringing new energies which shape human character and destiny. Man is now ripe for an evolutionary change. With his tremendous brain and the power of his analysing intellect, he has plunged into sub-atomic research and has shown that all matter is imprisoned energy. In releasing this in nuclear fission he has taken on a God-like responsibility, since he can now destroy life on the planet. Therefore the planes of higher intelligence can no longer remain indifferent to what happens on Earth, since manmade catastrophe could be damaging and retrograde for the whole Solar System.
The new understanding reveals that Earth is a living organism. One does not find a living organism in the midst of death. All life consists of organisms within greater organisms and thus the whole Solar System can be seen as a spiritual Unity. The planets compare with the endocrine glands within our bodies. If one of these little centres is unhealthy, the whole is damaged. Earth has gone wrong through human greed and egoism - beautiful Earth, the centre through which so many beings and energies must pass. There is a blockage to the flow, a bottleneck which the Higher Powers must needs blow out. Hence the launching of what might be called 'Operation Redemption'. The forces of the Light must overcome the powers of darkness and negativity. Greed, rivalry, fear, egoism and war are opposed to the harmony, compassion and love inherent in the vision of wholeness and the Divine Law. The Earth must now be cleansed but at the same time human free will must be respected, since this is the all-important divine experiment and purpose,
In the Book of Revelation it is described bow the Beast, having made war in Heaven against Michael and his angels, is driven down to earth "having great wrath because he knoweth that he hath but a short time". Earth enters into great tribulation with "wars and rumours of wars... famines and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places" but "after the tribulation they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" and "the trumpeting of the angels". Then comes the Fall of Babylon, City of Abominations, symbol for all that human avarice, lust and egoism has brought about. And after that the descent of New Jerusalem 'like a bride adorned for her husband'. Redeemed Man is united with the higher and Christ-filled Self and enters a new golden age when the beast is chained a thousand years in the abyss.
This great piece of visionary allegory appears to refer to the passage from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age. We are all summoned to take part in this Event. The young who now reach the height of strength and responsibility will carry the great changes and many have surely incarnated for this deliberate purpose. Those who are of advancing years will soon be released from bodily limitation, but since for soul and spirit there is no death, they will still be very much involved from the other side, working for the Coming of the Light and the redemption of the earth and man.
'Who is this King of Glory?'. He is that exalted Being who told Moses I AM THAT I AM. The great religions knew of His coming, calling Him by different names. To the Greeks he was the Christos, to the Persians Ahura Mazdao, the Lord of Light, fighting Ahriman the Lord of Darkness, to the Hindus Vishva Karinan, to the Hebrews the Messiah.
The regent upon Earth is Michael the great Archangel and Time Spirit, variously known as the Wielder of the Sword of Light, the Countenance of the Christ, the Lord of the Cosmic Intelligence. We are grasping the tremendous conception of the Cosmic Christ. The descent of the Eternal I AM into the body of the living Earth is obviously such an advanced esoteric vision that it could not have been taught as Church doctrine when it was decreed that the whole Roman Empire should become Christian. A simpler story was needed to give the great truth to all folk. So there came about a division into the two streams of exoteric and esoteric Christianity, complementary to each other. On the one hand, the orthodox Church doctrine which all could understand and on the other the esoteric knowledge and teaching, running like a secret underground stream, often suppressed as heresy, but reappearing in each age in a form suitable for the time. It is this hidden wisdom that re-emerges to illumine our age and gives the clue to the nature of the Second Coming. As the physical sun lights and warms all men and contains all life, so the Spiritual Sun, the I AM, overlights all mankind of every race and creed. The great religions all present facets of the Divine truth. May it be that we approach a true World Religion, uniting all in the worship of the God of Universal Light?
Now expectation intensifies and the invocation goes up for Christ to return to earth. Of course in one sense He has never left for He is everywhere, working as an impulse of Love and life within the etheric field, the vital forces of earth, and therefore within every form. Thus the Cosmic Christ, Lord of the Solar Logos, is also the energy within the cell and nuclear centre, and yet at the same time He is the personal Saviour who knocks at the door of the heart.
We must indeed stretch our minds to grasp the scale of the picture. But let it be said again and again that this is not a dogma to be forced on people. This is no proselytising religious revival but a spiritual awakening, moving with increasing acceleration through human consciousness. If you find these ideas unacceptable, just let them go. But if you are drawn to them, learn to hold them in your thinking while suspending judgement, neither believing nor disbelieving. Then, as the days go by, you may find an inner certainty of their truth growing in you. For we all have the faculty for apprehending an idea in an intuitive flash of understanding and this may well be a first step towards a spiritual knowledge which can explore into this realm of imponderable truths.
Most of those who can innerly attune to higher levels of intelligence indicate that profoundly important events are imminent. We are on the brink of a very important step forward, apocalyptic perhaps in its nature but a prelude to the Great Coming of the Being of Light, the I AM, Limitless Love and Truth, the Christos. Steiner has said that 'the supreme mystery of the age in which we are living in the second Coming of Christ - that is its true nature.' And Tudor Pole in "Writing on the Ground"; 'It is my belief that the 'Revealer of the Word' (the 'Christos') for the historic times in which we live, has already descended into the invisible spheres that surround our planet and that those with eyes to see and ears to hear can begin to discern the Message he is bringing, even if the Messenger may not be clothed in form or outwardly discernable'.
This exalted Being is the very Life of the great oneness. He is present within the heart that is ready to receive Him, for this is the most immediate way of His Coming. The little 'I am' can unite with the Great I AM. Think of the I AM sayings such as -
'I AM with you always, even to the end of the world epoch.'
(Note that He did not say 'I am resurrected and alive', but I am the Life.)
The whole tradition and technique of Contemplative Meditation is built upon such phrases, spoken silently within the consciousness until it seems that He Himself is speaking them, giving the experience that He is in the very centre of consciousness.
Let us now consider that amazing document, the Gospel of St. Thomas. This consists of some 120 aphorisms or 'Logia' spoken by Christ Jesus on the Oneness theme and it seems to bear out our understanding of the spiritual world-view. Thomas appears to have been the one among the Apostles who really grasped that his Lord was the Living Oneness, the Living One, who could not possibly die. His apparent death puzzled him more than His resurrection. In Logia 13 Thomas tells a delightful story. 'Jesus says to him: "Am I not thy Master, because thou hast drunk, thou hast become drunk from the bubbling spring which I have measured out. And He took him aside and said three words to him. Now when Thomas came to his companions they asked him, What did Jesus say to you? Thomas said to them: 'If I tell you one of the words he said to me, you would take up stones and throw them at me.' We are not told what the words were, but they must in effect have been 'I am you', 'We are One'.
Here are a few examples of the Oneness Thinking numbered for reference as in the Gospel:
Here surely is the Gnosis, the Vision of Wholeness. The last aphorisms suggest the apocalyptic cleansing but, where the Living One is within the aura and heart, there is nothing to fear. And the phrase 'Living One' and 'Living Oneness' are clearly interchangeable. It is not surprising that Thomas found his way to India to carry his Gospel to the culture that really had the Vision of Wholeness.
We know that the soul continues after death and it appears that we are still surprisingly like ourselves, though in a subtler body. But how dull - to be the same old personality! Mere continuity is not the goal, but the entry into life eternal now. If that can be achieved while we are embodied, then we may start the real exploration, up and up. In this lies the transformation of man, through his personal initiative in finding himself in the Whole. We are coming to the awareness that life on all levels is a past unity of which man is a part. Thus the inner point of stillness in the soul, lifted in meditation, is one with the sphere of the Spiritual Sun, the realm of living Spirit. Once he has realised this man can start on the great adventure of raising consciousness. Into and through him can flow the cosmic energies, for he is at that point in evolution which can offer the most effective channel for the creative source.
We may here quote Radhakrishnan: "The oldest wisdom in the world tells us that we can consciously unite with the divine while in this body, for this is man really born. If he misses his destiny, Nature is not in a hurry; she will catch him up someday and compel him to fulfil her secret purpose."
What then may we expect in the time that has now come upon us? Our primary concern must surely be with the awakening of the Living One within the Heart. This could be like a flood of living energy. We are assured that the flow of energies has been stepped up since 1975 to prepare the way for greater events. This mounting flood of the waters of Aquarius will undermine and wash away what is negative. It is like a rising tide. These energies, imbued with Light and Life and Love, are directed to bringing a harmony of all life. They will be furiously resisted by the adversary forces. The present manifestations of violence, cruelty and disorder are the workings of the Beast. But every dying process is, we know, a prelude to renewal, and there can be no real renewal without death. We are watching the beginning of a process that will sweep away that which is geared to the old laws of separation. The New is to be based on co-operation and giving, and service of the Divine Will and the Whole.
The Apocalyptic picture undoubtedly implies a separation into two levels. Those souls attuned sufficiently to receive the Christ power will be lifted into His Body and experience a flooding of heart and mind with a love overflowing to all other beings. What a theme for science fictions Those who are not ready are not lost souls but will be shepherded by Him on some lower planetary level to be given their opportunity at a later round. Thus as the pressure of events reaches its climax, there seems bound to be some such separation. There may well be a building up of tension to breaking point and then in despair and desperation, mankind will call upon God and Christ. Then, as is born out in history by the doctrine of the .Avatars, the Saviour will appear. His power is backed by all the forces of the Light, and His Coming will be supported by the White Brotherhood of the Angelic World and by all those human beings now sojourning on the eternal plane who have found the Christ - a goodly army indeed.
Already, we are told, many have accepted the Christ impulse and teachings into their auras, though not yet into their thinking or active lives, but when the moment comes the seed left in the aura will grow and yield enormously. This implies that the changes need not be as drastic as some have feared. The new consciousness could come as a revelation, 'in the twinkling of an eye'. There could be a collapse and disintegration of negative thought forms. The very drive and initiative now manifesting so powerfully could give way before the unlimited energies of the Light.
It must be quite clear that Christ having once incarnated and gone through human death does not need to repeat that Deed. This does not preclude his appearing again in the resurrection body in all semblance like a man. Steiner has told us that more and more people in the last quarter of the century will have the experience of Paul before Damascus and will then have certain knowledge that Christ is Alive. Already there are many strange stories in moments of desperate suffering, of the appearance of one who by his presence is able to transform the situation. There are communications received by those telepathically attuned that indicate a personal reappearance of the Christ in the near future. Many are convinced He will reveal Himself and be seen, even on television, and known by the quality of His being and teaching. In preparation for this event it appears that the Masters, that group of human beings known as the Hierarchy, so advanced that for some centuries they have worked to help mankind from the invisible planes, are actually now taking on embodiment so as to prepare the way for the Reappearance of the Christ.
Of course we have had the warning to beware of false Christs and those who say 'Lo, here is Christ, or there'. There is no need to take any sort of dogmatic attitude, since this immense event is very complex. There seems to be no reason why the Lord of the Solar Logos, present throughout the etheric field of Earth, could not also, as an aspect of His supernal Being, decide to manifest in a resurrection body, appearing in many places at the same time or, if he willed, in one. We are not called on either to believe or disbelieve that He will personally appear in a visible body. If it happens, we shall know it, so there is no need to argue! If He is to remain invisible but act as a living impulse awakening the heart with a surge and overspill of joy and love for all life, then we shall know and experience that - and rejoice. Jubilates In some sense, of course, He has always been here. If, as Steiner declares, he is present invisibly throughout the whole etheric field of the earth, then He is truly within the etheric body of every form, every tree and flower, every crystal and animal. But with our normal intellectual processes we cannot consciously experience this. If we can raise our thinking and awareness into the etheric field, there we shall find Him. We should then, as far as we are individually concerned, have been responsible for bringing about the Second Coming by lifting a pre-existent condition into consciousness.
Clearly we must stretch our thinking wide. It is a cosmic picture, not a dogmatic and sectarian belief. We speak of the Cosmic Christ, the Universal Being of All Light, who called Himself 'Limitless Love and Truth'. We must grasp the concept of the Christ Impulse working like a leaven within all life and yet in personal relationship to every human being.
This does involve the recognition of the Christos as a vast spiritual principle which narrowed Himself to make entry through the prepared and perfected vehicle of Jesus, 2000 years ago. Thus Jesus and the Christ are not identical. The Master Jesus is now the head of the Hierarchy who work to prepare the way for the Great Coming of the Lord.
This lifting of thinking to the Cosmic Christ helps to clear much confusion about the relation of Christianity to the other great religions. All the great religions, as we have said before, foretold the descent of the Exalted Lord of the Spiritual Sun. None could know precisely when and how the event would happen. Spiritual knowledge reveals that the descent of the I AM took place at the Baptism on Jordan, at the deepest point on the surface of the Earth.
With the flow of blood from the Cross on Golgotha the Great Being entered the Earth, passed through death and resurrection and after pouring out His teachings for 40 days while in the resurrection body, moved back to ~ at the Ascension, permeating the entire field of the vital forces of the Earth.
Each of the great religions presents an aspect of the truth and together they make the complementary picture. The Buddha, with his great teachings of compassion, prepared the way 600 years before Christ. Mohammed teaching the Oneness of God came 600 years after. The Buddha, so we are told by the seers, now is in close co-operation with Christ for the redemption of the planet. Divine Wisdom works with Love. The celebration of the Festival of Wesak at the May Full Moon suggests knowledge of this close relationship between the Buddha and the Christ. It is followed at the June Full Moon by the Festival of Invocation of Christ, and these are moments of great spiritual power when the prayer and meditation of humanity must be raised towards the Higher Worlds.
The great event may happen in many different ways. What matters is that we awaken to the scale of current events and the urgency of present developments. That the Coming, whatever form it may take, is imminent is agreed by all the different teachers and seers who are attuned to the higher planes. 'Look up for thy salvation draweth nigh. It is for us to awaken. All is very well, despite the outward troubles of the time. The transformation of man is taking place and is palpably accelerating. If we can but attune innerly, dedicate ourselves to service of the Divine Will and open the heart to the Christ impulse, then there is no cause for worry. The only real source of anxiety would be that we slept through these events and failed to see what is afoot. So, like the Wise Virgins, let us keep our lamps trimmed! Individual human initiative and invocation is clearly the essential factor, since, as said before, these spiritual impulses will not violate our free will. The inner dedication achieved, then we may move forward boldly into the unknown, certain that we are being guided through apocalyptic days and that beyond tribulation a new society is coming to birth.
We are co-creators of that which truly is the Body of Christ. This is the New Jerusalem. And the change of consciousness could come 'in the twinkling of an eye'.
The Christ Event will obviously concern all mankind. It must have the effect of lifting us above sectarian division. It demonstrates the truth that, despite internal divisions, mankind is one great family.
This picture brings an immense hope, The Higher worlds of spirit know that a cleansing of Earth must be achieved. If men fail to respond and adjust, they must suffer. But we are assured that the Angels of Destiny are concerned to reduce suffering as much as possible in the necessary changes - which will inevitably come and could come rapidly. There is ultimately no need for fear. We could go smoothly into another world condition, for the changes have already taken place on the subtle and invisible levels and only as an end process become manifest on the physical. As we have already said, the Christ Light has been allowed to impregnate the human aura, even if as yet it does not show outwardly in conscious understanding. Thus, when the time comes, very many people may find they are ready to accept and acknowledge the living Christ. His Re-appearance would bring such a surge of creative love and joy that it could veritably inaugurate the true brotherhood of man.
From a lecture by Rudolf Steiner, 1910:
"The supreme mystery of the age in which we are living is the second Coming of Christ - that is its true nature."
"We are now able to grasp quite a different aspect of Spiritual Science. We realise that it is a preparation for the actual event of the new appearance of Christ. Christ will appear again in so far as with their etheric sight men will raise themselves to Him. Spiritual Science is offered as a means of preparing men to recognise the return of Christ, in order that it shall not be their misfortune to overlook this event but that they shall be mature enough to grasp the great happening of the Second Coming. Men will be capable of seeing etheric bodies - and among them also the etheric body of Christ - i. e. they will grow into a world where Christ will be revealed to their newly awakened faculties. It will then be no longer necessary to amass all kinds of documentary evidence to prove the existence of Christ. There will be eye-witnesses of the presence of the Living Christ, men who will know Him in His etheric body. And from this experience they will realise that this is the same Being who at the beginning of our era fulfilled the Mystery of Golgotha - that He is indeed the Christ. Just as Paul at Damascus was convinced at that time: - "This is the Christ" -so there will be men whose experiences in the etheric world will convince them that in very truth Christ lives."
From Teilhard de Chardin 'Le Milieu Divin' (Epilogue):
"Christ will only come soon if we ardently expect Him. It is an accumulation of desires that should cause the Pleroma to burst upon us. We Christians have been charged with keeping the flame of desire ever alive in the world. No doubt our prayers and actions are conscientiously directed to bringing about 'the corning of God's Kingdom'. But in fact bow many of us are genuinely moved in the depths of our hearts by the wild hope that our earth will be recast? Who is there who sets a course in the midst of our darkness towards the first glimmer of a real dawn? ...At all costs we must renew in ourselves the desire and the hope for the great Coming. Let us look at the earth around us. What is happening under our eyes within the mass of peoples? What is the cause of this disorder in society, this uneasy agitation, these swelling waves, these whirling and mingling currents and these turbulent and formidable new impulses? Mankind is visibly passing through a crisis of growth. Mankind is becoming dimly aware of its shortcomings and its capacities. And it sees the universe growing luminous like the horizon just before sunrise. It has a sense of premonition and of expectation... The world can no more have two summits than a circumference can have two centres. The star for which the world is waiting, without yet being able to give it a name, or rigbtly appreciate its true transcendence, or even recognise the most spiritual and divine of its rays, is, necessarily, Christ Himself, in whom we hope. To desire the Parousia, all we have to do is to let the very heart of the earth, as we Christianise it, beat within us."
From the Baghavad Gita:
"Whenever there is a withering of the law and an uprising of lawlessness on all sides, then I manifest Myself.
For the salvation of the righteous and the destruction of such as do evil, for the firm establishing of the Law, I come to birth age after age."
From Alice Bailey's remarkable little book 'The Reappearance of the Christ':
"Right down the ages, in many world cycles and in many countries (and today in all) great points of tension have occurred which have been characterised by a hopeful sense of expectancy. Some one is expected and His coming is anticipated. ... The coming of the Avatar, the advent of a Coming One and, in terms of today, the reappearance of the Christ are the keynotes of the prevalent expectancy. When the times are ripe, the invocation of the masses is strident enough and the faith of those who know is keen enough, then always He has come and today will be no exception to this ancient rule or to this universal law. For decades, the reappearance of the Christ, the Avatar, has been anticipated by the faithful in both hemispheres - not only by the Christian faithful, but by those who look for Maitreya and for the Boddhisattva as well as those who expect the Imam Mahdi."
Here is a poem by Joseph Plunkett which attempts to express the feeling for the Christ in the etheric field everywhere:
"I see his blood upon the rose
I see his face in every flower;
All pathways by his feet are worn,
© Copyright: Wrekin Trust, 1977.