Vril was a force generated within each of the beings of our story; it did not depend upon outside machinery which cost money and could be had by a favored exclusive few but not by the majority; all without exception possessed this power from birth to death.
That is certainly a yet higher ideal than even a central power station. No need for elevators when everybody levitates at will. No need of street-cars or railways when everybody can move swiftly and easily by his own inherent force; no need of ships when man can move through the air without such cumbersome contrivances as those which move upon the surface of earth and water, and see how much less resistance he will have to overcome who flies through the air as the bird does than if forced to depend upon an aeroplane or similar contrivance.
Like all other forces Vril could be used as a means of destruction; it was swift in that also, so exceeding care would naturally be required of one who used it. He must have self-control in highest degree, for if he were to give way to temper dire disaster would surely happen. If ever we are to use such a force as that we can see how absolutely essential it will be that we be good and kind and make no enemies. Our lives would be in the hands of others to an extent undreamt of now.
When we look within ourselves to see if it is possible that an energy of that description be incipiently growing, we cannot look very far before we are forced to recognize the fact that a power having vast possibilities in there--Thought-power. Our ideas take shape as mental pictures which we form with great facility and afterwards crystallize into material things in an exceedingly slow and laborious manner as cities, houses, furniture, etc. All that is made by the hand of man is crystallized thought.
Nor should we regard its present slow mode of manifestation from thought to thing as an indication of its possibilities, or allow the fact that it escapes and eludes us to cause dismay. It has been the same way with the other forces we have already harnessed to our wheels of progress. For countless ages the waves of the ocean have wasted energy in beating upon the seashore, but now inventors are beginning to harness them as they have coupled the waterfall to the electric dynamo. For a like period the winds swept the land and sea before man learned to use them as carriers of the commerce of the world by appropriate sailing vessels. For ages steam escaped into the air from the camp kettles of primitive humanity before they learned to concentrate its power and use it in the various industries. In like manner as the steam escaped uselessly from the kettles of olden time does the radiant energy of thought escape from humanity of today and as the steam was utilized by concentrating it, so may also this subtler but enormously more potent thought-power be concentrated and used to do the work of man with a facility impossible of imagination even by comparison with the present forces, for they are merely utilitarian, working in, with and upon already existing things, but thought-power is a creative force.
We know how dangerous the other forces are when harnessed and concentrated. While the steam is escaping from the camper's kettle it can do no serious hurt. Electricity generated by the friction of a belt or by rubbing a piece of amber is no danger to anyone, but when steam is generated in quantities and confined in a steam boiler it may burst its bonds in the hands of an incompetent workman and so may electricity under pressure in a wire kill the one who ignorantly meddles with it. Similarly we may infer that Thought-power misdirected or ignorantly used would have a far more disastrous effect, because it is a much subtler force. Therefore it is necessary that man should be placed in a school were he may learn to use this enormous force in a safe and efficient manner. and whether we realize it or not, the wise teachers who work unseen but potently with humanity have already placed us in this concrete existence, the Physical World. Whether we know it or not, every day, every hour we are here learning the lesson of right thought and as we learn it, more and more we shall become creatures like our Father in Heaven.
Thus we see what a great mistake it is to despise this concrete existence and live in the clouds of hopes and aspirations which have to do with the higher life and the higher worlds to the neglect of our duties in the present concrete material life.
It should be equally plain, however, that it is also wrong to confine ourselves to the purely material phase of life to the exclusion of the spiritual side of our nature. Extremes are dangerous. If we recognize the two poles of our being, and endeavor to guide our material existence by the light of our spiritual perception we shall learn the lessons so wonderfully provided for us in the school of experience in a far shorter time than required if we go to either of the extremes.
What are the results of the following one or the other of the extremes may be seen by a comparison, from the occult viewpoint, of the Hindus with the Western World.
As stated before, people of a materialistic tendency in order to justify their aloofness from spiritual affairs will point to countries and peoples which are going in that direction, particularly to India, bid us note the backward state of the Hindus, the indolence of the Oriental and attribute it to their religious trend. Others have tried to defend them on the grounds that they are massed together in an arid mountainous country that is unable to feed the millions that populate it and hence disease and famine are inevitable. They point to the scorching sun and the devastating floods of India and contrast them with our own fertile, thinly populated land where abundance is the portion of all, and they almost imply that it is an injustice on the part of God to give to one what he denies to another who is more worthy in the opinion of such critics.
That the condition of the Hindus is such depicted, and even worse than we ever get to know, is a safe assertion. Looking at life from the ordinary Western standpoint of one life only, those people are really to be pitied as victims of the caprice of an unjust God, but when we understand the Laws of Consequence and Rebirth and the activities carried on in the second heaven, we shall readily comprehend the spiritual reason for the different conditions of nations as well as of individuals.
The scorching sun, the arid condition of the soil of India, and the destructive floods are only effects produced in the material world by causes in the spiritual realms as are all other acts of nature and man. There is a spiritual explanation to every phenomenon that goes deeper to the roots than the material facts, there is a spiritual reason for the poverty and the climatic conditions which cause them in India as well as there is a deep purpose in our prosperity. To get at that reason it is necessary to keep clearly in mind the distinction between the body and the Spirit that inhabits it. All Spirits are alike except that some have developed faster than others. The Races are only bodies created by the Spirits and as a class of Spirits evolves it goes from race to race. The most accomplished do the pioneer work and bring the race to its highest perfection. When that is attained they form a new race and the race bodies which they have discarded are taken in turn by less developed Spirits and therefore commence to degenerate. When thus, these become useless to them also, they advance and turn the race bodies over to another and still lower class of Spirits. Under their influence the race degenerates still further and at last, when there is no Spirit so backward that it can gain experience by using the degenerate form any more, the women become sterile and the race does out. It has served its purpose.
We of the Western nations at one time inhabited Hindu bodies; that was the time when India was in its glory, when the race was evolving both physically and spiritually. That was in the so-called Golden Age, when the sacred writings came into existence, when the great temples were built, when the spiritual and material evolution of India was at its height.
But man was destined to master the material world to the full; while he thought of himself as a Spirit principally and had an absolute and unswerving faith in the continuity of life; while he knew positively that birth follows death as surely as death follows birth, he also felt that there was endless time to progress in, and therefore made only indifferent efforts to develop the resources of the material world.
Therefore it was necessary that he should forget for a time the doctrine of rebirth and think of the life he was living as the only one so that he might concentrate all his efforts on making the most of his opportunities for material advancement. The way that was accomplished has been described in the earlier lectures and more fully in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.
Thus we (the Spirits now inhabiting the Western race-bodies) left the Hindu bodies and built in turn the bodies of the succeeding races, gradually attaining higher and higher levels of material development, during Earth-life, and as the life in heaven between incarnations is an outcome of a previous life and a preparation for the next, where we build out future bodies and our future country under the direction of the great Creative Hierarchies as described in Lecture No 6., we have gradually built our present highly organized bodies; our rich and beautiful country with its magnificent natural resources, its propitious climate, etc., and are thus enjoying the fruits of our work in previous existences in heaven and on Earth.
The Hindu race was the first in the Aryan epoch; it has been degenerating ever since we left it, is now inhabited by the most backward Spirits born into Aryan bodies, and as we implanted such strong spiritual tendencies in them, heredity has yet preserved that trait in the Hindu bodies so that they are more amenable to spiritual impacts than the more material bodies of the later races, yet it is not as high an order of spirituality as expressed when we were in the Hindu bodies; the bodies have degenerated and the Spirits are less evolved than we, sot hat the race distinguishes itself more by a highly analytical mind than by true spirituality.
Having retained a full realization of, and an implicit faith in the doctrine of rebirth which the Westerner has lost temporarily, and being backward, the Hindus are naturally indolent and do not seek to improve their physical conditions in Earth-life nor between incarnations. As a consequence the country also has degenerated with the bodies and the resulting suffering has for its purpose to awaken them to the necessity of concentrating on material things that they may learn to conquer the Earth as we are doing; they are to follow in our footsteps and forget for a time their spiritual being, in order to master the important lessons of this material world. Lack of worldly goods is to drive them to abandon the spiritual side of their development and take up the material phase. Our plenitude and material prosperity has the opposite end in view; it is destined to cause in us the nausea of satiety, to drive us to a realization of the worthlessness of material things, to cause us to turn anew to the spiritual, and in the degree that new inventions and better means of distribution make life easier, will the desire for the higher life overrule the desire for worldly success.
Our concentration upon material things, and our consequent worldly success, has gradually given us such an impetus in the material direction than we are forgetting our spiritual nature as a superstitious fallacy exploded by scientific facts.
Our "scientific" ultra-materialistic attitude is the very opposite to the attitude of the Hindus and as extremes meet, the ultra-materialism of Western thought works destructively on Western lands as Oriental indolence has laid waste the East Indies. There is a connection between materialism and seismic and other disturbances.
In The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception a chapter has been devoted to the description of the different layers of the Earth, so far as that is allowed
and possible without initiation, Suffice it here to say that there are nine such layers of different thicknesses and that the core forms a tenth part. This is the seat of the consciousness of the Earth-Spirit.
It is a fact that is patent to the occult investigator that this Earth-Spirit feels all we do. When in the autumn the harvester mows down the ripened grain, there is a feeling of pleasure, of joy in having brought forth, a feeling akin to that felt by the cow when milk is taken from its bursting udders by its offspring. When flowers are plucked it is the same, but when trees or plants are pulled out by the roots the Earth- spirit experiences pain, for the plant kingdom is to it what the hair is to our body.
The Earth-Spirit is not affected by our acts alone, however; it feels our mental attitude as well. There is one particular layer in the Earth that reflects our passions, feelings, and emotions in a most startling manner, and causes them to react upon us as storm, flood, and earthquake.
Materialism causes volcanic eruptions, and the more spiritual conditions prevail, the more such cataclysmic events will cease to startle the World.
That is a statement hard to verify by the ordinary man, and would not have been made, were it not possible to give at least circumstantial evidence of its verity. This evidence is derived from a study of the trend of thought at the times when the eruptions of Vesuvius have occurred. The list of the cataclysms which have taken place in our era begin with the eruption which destroyed Herculaneum and Pompeii, where Pliny the Elder perished A.D. 79; then, 203, 472, 512, 652, 982, 1036, 1158, 1500, 1631, 1737, 1794, 1822, 1855, 1872, 1885, 1891, 1906.
There have been 18 eruptions in 1900 years. The first half (nine) occurred in 1600 years, during the time of the so-called "dark ages," when man was ignorant and superstitious enough to believe in God and even in elves, fairies, and such foolishness.
Since the advent of modern science has brought enlightenment into the Western World, demonstrated the superfluity of God, and taught us that we are the highest intelligence in the cosmos, "that the brain is a gland which secretes thoughts as the liver secretes bile," "that we talk with the same force that we use to think," and much more of the same nature, these cataclysmic reactions have been correspondingly numerous. There have been nine eruptions during the 300 years since modern science has labored for our enlightenment as against the other nine catastrophes which occurred in the "dark ages" in 1600 years. The first six occurred in the first thousand years of our era, the last five within a period of 51 years. If we number the strides taken by science in the last century, and particularly in the last sixty years, the inference is obvious that as materialism increases the volcanic eruptions become more numerous; the more it spreads the more points on the Earth will become affected.
The above is not to be understood to mean that science is detrimental in the eyes of the occultists; it has its legitimate places as an educator of the human race, but where it divorces itself from religion and becomes materialistic, as has been the case in modern times, it becomes a menace to humanity. There was a time when religion, art, and science were united and taught in the mystery-temples, even so late as in Greece, but as this is the plane of separateness and specialization, they have been purposely separated for a time, in order that they might attain a greater perfection than would have been possible if they had remained united. In due time they will all three be united again; and then, and only then, will we get perfect satisfaction through the heart, the intellect, and the senses. The heart will enjoy the religious ceremonial aspect, the intellect will be satisfied by the scientific side, and the esthetic side of man's nature will be catered to by the various arts as they will be employed in the temple-service of the future.
When man has spiritualized his being under the influence of scientific and artistic religion of the future day he will have learned self-control and have become unselfishly helpful to his fellow-being; he will then be a safe guardian of the thought-power, whereby he will be able to form accurate ideas which will be immediately fit to crystallize into useful things. This will be accomplished by means of the larynx, which will speak the creative word.
All things in Nature were spoken into existence by the word which was made flesh (John 1). Sound or spoken Thought will be our next force in manifestation, a force that will make us creative God-men when through our present schooling we have fitted ourselves to use such an enormous power for the good of all, regardless of self-interest.
Onward, Upward, Forever! is the battle cry of the conquering Spirit. Ever since "their eyes opened" the human race has been consciously imbued with that divine discontent which is our means of advancement upon the path of evolution. That is true of the great majority at least; there are some who have lagged and "kicked against the pricks," but continued prodding will and must eventually bring them to the goal of perfection and reunion with God. A "lost soul" is an impossible conception when we consider that we are all a part of God, in whom as an actual fact "we live and move and have our being." We could not exist outside God, in a hell, and if a single soul were lost, that would mean that a part of God would be lost.
But then, it may be asked, what may be the meaning of the number of passages which in the New Testament speak of "everlasting" salvation and condemnation? The passages are easily understood when properly illuminated by a directory and a knowledge of the occult teaching.
In the first place such meaning hinges upon the definition of the word "everlasting." Like all other words in the English Version it is translated from Greek. The original word is "aionian." By referring to Liddel & Scott's Greek dictionary it will be seen that this word has many meanings: "An indefinite period of time," "an age," "a lifetime," as for instance when Paul used it in his letter to hilemon to whom he returned Onesimus, a slave who had become converted, with the words: "For perhaps he therefore departed for a season that thou shouldst receive him forever" (verse 15). The word "forever" is a translation of the very same word aionian, which is rendered "everlasting" in connection with punishment or salvation, and as Onesimus and Philemon were both moral men the word aionian must necessarily mean something different from what we usually have in mind when we say "everlasting." In the case cited it cannot mean a more protracted period than part of a lifetime.
As soon as we understand that this word does not mean eternity, but only an age of indefinite duration, a period of time which has both beginning and end, these passages appear in a vastly different light; instead of everlasting salvation or condemnation -- age-lasting salvation or condemnation. What does it mean?
In previous lectures we have heard how man started his evolution in the present dense condition in the Polarian Epoch where he made the first attempt at the construction of a body of chemical matter. The quality of this body is inertia. In the Bible he is called Adam. The Hebrew word Admah means "firm ground" and Josephus' rendering "red earth" is also illuminating, for that which was then the human body was formed from the same chemical matter which is the firm ground today, but at that time it was not as solid nor as cool as the earth's crust of today. The Earth was just coming out of Chaos then and was in a red glow, later to become brilliantly luminous fire mist. In the Hyperborean Epoch that luminosity was attained and man-in-the-making commenced the construction of his vital body, possessing the power to move the dense body.
In the Lemurian Epoch he evolved a desire body, and desire to give incentive to action. In the Atlantean Epoch the mind was added to act as a brake on impulse. Cunning is its inherent quality, but in our present Aryan Epoch the Ego manifests through the mind, evolving the faculty of reason to supersede cunning.
Thus, in each of the previous ages a vehicle having a certain faculty or quality has been evolved to a certain stage of completion, just as in a school the children pass onwards from grade to grade year after year, evolving the faculty of reading, of writing, etc., to a certain stage in each grade.
But there are some who fail in each class every year, there are some who are "weighed and found wanting" in the requisite attainment of knowledge necessary for promotion to a higher grade. Therefore they are condemned to remain in the same class for another year, to gain the necessary proficiency to enter a new class and obtain more advanced instruction.
Those who have diligently endeavored to master their lessons are saved from that necessity and are told to "enter into" a new class. They have not attained once and for all; in the new class there are new lessons to be learned, and unless each one keeps on in patient and persistent well- doing he will certainly be condemned when the next examination comes.
As in the school for children, so in the school of life, constant endeavor is the price of promotion and in each stage there have been those who have lagged behind .... nevertheless they are all advancing and they will sometime reach our stage of attainment and we shall have gone higher--if we continue to be diligent.
To understand this matter properly it is necessary to differentiate clearly between the race-bodies and the Spirits who inhabit them. The pioneers are always given race-bodies soft, pliable, and flexible, responsive and capable of attaining a certain height in evolution. Under the sway of the pioneer Spirits the race or nation evolves as far as it may, and when it has reached its zenith of attainment the pioneers leave it to the next class of stragglers and then commences the decline of the race as it is taken in turn by class after class of Spirits of increasingly inferior abilities, until at last it has degenerated so low that there are not Spirits belonging to our human life-wave backward enough to progress by birth in such bodies. Then the women cease to be fruitful, for no fertilizing seed-atoms are deposited and the race dies out.
Such is the divine plan of advancement, but here as everywhere man has the equally divine prerogative of bringing disorder in nature for a time, and so attach himself to a race that he may resist for ages the efforts of the Great Leaders to help him progress, as we shall see has been the case with a certain class of Spirits.
Considering the fact that the task of the Aryan races is to evolve reason, and that we of the Western World are the most Advanced, it is not at all surprising that we analyze everything, religion included. Religion like all else is in a state of growth and becoming, and as the present work of the Western World is principally along material lines its religious teachings are not yet so clearly enunciated as in some of the Eastern religions. The result is that some of the investigators scoff at the Christian teachings, and others have been led to foresake the Christian religion and have adopted Eastern systems.
From the occult standpoint that is a retrogression. The Great Recording Angels who have charge of our present evolution give to each nation the religion suited to its stage of growth, and we may rest assured that those Great Intelligences make no mistakes. They have given to us the Bible containing both the Jewish and the Christian Religions. One would not have been enough, both are absolutely necessary to our evolution as we shall see when we consider the matter thoroughly. When we have done that we shall also find that of all the religious systems in the world, this is positively the only one suited to the needs of the Western World, the only one which is capable of making us "wise into salvation" and enable us to "enter into" the "new heaven and the new earth"; the coming age and the coming race.
As previously stated, we evolved a dense, a vital, and a desire body during the Polarian, Hyperborean, and Lemurian Epoch, but the Spirit had not yet drawn into its vehicles, it hovered outside much as the Group Spirits of the animals do, for there was no connecting mind whereby it could link itself with its vehicles.
In the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch there was a small part of this nascent humanity who were sufficiently advanced so that a germinal mind could be given them and the Spirit could commence slowly to draw into its vehicles. On that account these people were different from all the rest of the to-be-human beings of that time, they were the first race, a chosen people, selected from the rest on account of special fitness to receive in germ the mind which was to be evolved during the coming Atlantean Epoch.
There are no sudden processes in Nature, however; the Spirit did not draw into its vehicles in a day. It took ages, and was not fully accomplished until the middle of the Atlantean Epoch. In the meantime the mind had also been growing, and for reasons more clearly given in Lectures No. 13 and 14, it coalesced with the desire body which it ruled, as a sort of animal-soul by cunning, using brain rather than brawn to further its ends.
In the Polarian Epoch the Earth was a dark heated mass, "without (definite) form and void." In the Hyperborean Epoch "God said, Let there be light," and the dark mass became a luminous fire mist. In the Lemurian Epoch the contact of the heated fire mist with the cold of outside space produced moisture, dense water nearest the fiery core which, being heated, rushed outwards as steam to be cooled and fall back to the central source of heat. Thus "God divided the waters from the waters," the dense water from the steam.
In that manner incrustations commenced to form in the latter part of Lemuria and upon such crust islands man lived in an atmosphere of fire-fog.
In the early Atlantean Epoch the Earth become fully incrusted and from this damp Earth "there went up a mist from the ground and watered the whole face of the earth."
This mist grew less and less dense and its extension above the surface of the Earth diminished gradually until at last it ceased to envelop the human beings, who them began to see the clear atmosphere around them at about the same time that the Spirit had drawn fully into its vehicles.
Again there were some who had advanced further than others and were therefore "a chosen people" to become the forbears of a people "multitudinous as the sands upon the seashore" in a "promised land."
At that time the mist had condensed into water which gradually flooded the valley of Atlantis, situated between the present Europe and America, so it became necessary for "God's people" to migrate and they were led out of the doomed Atlantis, as variously related in he stories of Noah who first saw the rainbow (for that phenomenon was impossible in the foggy Atlantean atmosphere), and of Moses who led "the chosen people" through the waters of the Red Sea where Pharaoh or the wicked Atlantean kings perished.
The chosen people were the original Semites, the fifth of the Atlantean Races. There were no races prior to the one spoken of in the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch. In the Atlantean Epoch there were seven; seven more there will have been before our present Aryan Epoch is ended and there will be one in the beginning of the Sixth Epoch, which the Rosicrucians call the "New Galilee," a total of sixteen races.
During Periods, Revolutions, and other Epochs there is such an abundance of time that the Great Leaders manage to get nearly all the spirits in their charge through, but during the periods in which the sixteen races are born and die, conditions are dense and the time of their rise and fall is comparatively very brief so that there is grave danger to the Spirits who may become fettered and crystallized in the dense race-bodies and fail to progress. Salvation is therefore to be striven for more earnestly at this time, for the possibility of condemnation is greater during the Spirits' passage through the sixteen aces than at any other time. Therefore Occultists call these races the sixteen paths to destruction, and they are a very serious concern to the Great Leaders of humanity.
Race pertains to the body, and when a new race is to be bred a Great Leader selects the most likely among the old stock and regulates their marriage relations with a view to produce the right kind of a body for the coming race. When his "chosen people" marry contrary to his directions they frustrate his object. In the earlier epochs before man become endowed with a mind it was easy to lead him, but at the time when the Original Semites were "chosen" they had already become sufficiently evolved to resent a curb on their liberty; besides, that curb must not be too strong, for it was necessary that they should have a certain amount of free will rather than remain God-guided automatons.
Therefore it was hard to guide such a "stiff-necked people," and many of "the sons of God married the daughters of men" and frustrated the designs of their leader. It was therefore necessary to segregate them and their offspring from the faithful who were led away from them and thus became "lost" in the estimation of the rebels who do not realize to this day that in reality they are the "lost" ones and are no longer a chosen people.
The faithful ones were secluded in Central Asia and there become the forbears of the Aryan races which have merged thence and are now inhabiting "the promised land," not insignificant Palestine, but the whole earth as now constituted....
In the coming Sixth Epoch there are to be no races. Universal Brotherhood is to obtain again, and therefore a new "chosen people" must be taken out to usher in the new dispensation; but now man has progressed so far that no outside influence may be exerted to coerce him, and therefore each must choose himself as dictated to from within; and as he is now a reasoning, intellectual being, what better method could be devised than to bring before him the awful example of how a former pioneer-race, a chosen people, had frustrated the designs for their advancement and had become the "lost sheep of Israel"?
Surely, example is a better teacher than precept, and as these people had kept a record of their choosing and of the dealing of their leader with then, what better could be done than to give to the pioneer-race, whence the nucleus for the coming race is to come, that record? It does not matter that these rebels still think themselves "a chosen people," or that their records have been mutilated; the lesson is as valid, the example is an awful one, and it is needful for us, for, as Paul says, "If the word spoken by the angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord?" The Christian religion as popularly expounded suffices for the spiritual needs of the great majority of the Western people who are yet working out the material phase of evolution and for those who desire to be among the pioneer nucleus for the coming race it is but necessary to seek and they shall find the esoteric Christianity which will be the universal religion of the Sixth Epoch, superseding the race-religions of Hinduism, Buddhism. Judaism, etc., as Universal Brotherhood will supersede races and nations....
As the Lemurians evolved desire through the desire body, the Atlanteans evolved cunning through the mind. We are evolving reason by the activity of the Ego which is the threefold Spirit acting solely through its outermost veil, the Human Spirit, and in the Sixth Epoch the Life-Spirit will implant and ripen the faculties of intuition and love. Those who aspire to become the pioneers of the coming race must therefore strive to cultivate these faculties within themselves.
As in former cases, the breeding of a race means generation and at the present time that is performed through passion rather than love. Marriages are made for convenience, a home, or other ulterior considerations. Therefore so many who desire to live the higher life seek to escape marriage and parenthood; which is a great mistake, for of all people these who have become imbued with a higher knowledge are the best fitted for the duty of bringing up children; they can best control passion and perform the generative act from love, as a sacrifice laid upon the altar of humanity.
In the coming race the fellowship and this love will also extend to our younger brothers--the animals. Instead of doing as we are at present, hunting, killing, and often tormenting them, we shall care for them and win their confidence. Thus all the glorious prophecies will come into effect. Men will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks, they will sit each one under his fig tree and eat the fruit thereof, there will then be peace on earth and good will among men.
It is our privilege to help usher in that glorious age. The age is ready when we are. There is no outside force to bring it about, there is not exterior leader to be expected till a sufficient number have commenced to live Brotherhood. It is vain to look for a second Coming of Christ in any other way than by making ourselves ready to receive Him, for it has been truly said of that coming that "the day and the hour knoweth no man." It may be long or it may be short, there is no fixed time. As we live lives of selfishness, indulge in passion or vice, we retard His coming, and vice versa do we hasten it by living lives of love that lighten the burdens and bear the sorrows of others. Only when the Christ has been formed within can He be perceived without, for--