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|The Externalization of the Hierarchy - Section III - Forces behind the Evolutionary Process|
|The Appearance of Avatars
Since the year 1400 (a date to which I referred earlier) there have been constant appearances of lesser avatars, called forth in response to minor crises, to national dilemmas and religious necessity. They have taken the form of those men and women who have championed successfully some truth or some right cause, some human right or correct human demand. All these people have worked actively upon the physical plane and seldom received recognition for what they truly were; only history, at a later date, laid emphasis upon their achievement. But they changed the current of men's thoughts; they pointed a way to a better life; they pioneered into new territories of human achievement. Such a one was Luther; another was Columbus; still others were Shakespeare and Leonardo da Vinci - to mention only four who so lived and thought and acted that they conditioned after events in some field of human living and are still recognized as pioneering souls, as leaders of men. With these disciples I shall not deal. They embodied ideas and made history - not the history of conquest but the history of progress. I seek to consider with you those still greater Appearances Who come forth from some hidden center, remote from or near to humanity, and Who "release from crisis the sons of men." These fall mainly into four relatively minor groups:
1. Racial Avatars. These Appearances are evoked by the genius and destiny of a race, The typical man (in quality and consciousness, not necessarily physically) foreshadows  the nature of some race. Such a man was Abraham Lincoln, coming forth from the very soul of a people, and introducing and transmitting racial quality - a quality to be worked out later as the race unfolds. Coming forth correspondingly from the realm of cosmic evil, and responsible for the focus of materialism upon the planet today was Bismarck. Both men came forth within the same one hundred years, thus demonstrating the balance in nature and the constant interplay of the pairs of opposites. They are both types of the most powerful Avatars which humanity itself has as yet produced. They emerge along the lines of government, of the first ray and in the department of the Manu, and are very sensitive to Shamballa force. Such Avatars frequently emerge at the founding of a nation. This is true of both Bismarck and Lincoln.
2. Teaching Avatars. These Appearances sound a new note in the realm of thought and of consciousness; they reveal the next needed truth; they pronounce those words and formulate those truths which throw light upon the spiritual development of humanity. Such Avatars were Plato, the first Patanjali and Sankaracharya; they emerge upon the second ray line of energy, in the department of the Christ and are expressions of hierarchical force. When I say the department of the Christ, I would remind you that the name "Christ" is that of an office - an office that has always had its Head. I do not mention the Christ or the Buddha as among these Avatars because They are Avatars of another class and of infinitely greater potency.
3. Ray Avatars. These great Beings come forth at relatively long intervals when a ray is coming into manifestation. They embody the quality and the force of a particular ray. Next century, when the seventh ray has achieved complete manifestation and the Piscean influence is entirely removed, the seventh ray Avatar will appear. His work will demonstrate the law, order and rhythm of the creative process as it works out on the physical plane, blending spirit and matter. And as this ray is called the Ray of Ceremonial Order or Ritual,  He will be largely instrumental in producing those conditions which will permit of the reappearance upon Earth of the Mysteries of Initiation, of which the Hierarchy is the custodian. He is necessarily connected with the Great White Lodge on Sirius. This fact does not, however, concern us now, for we await the coming of a still greater Avatar.
4. Transmitting Avatars. These manifestations of divinity appear at those great cyclic moments of revelation when humanity needs the expression of a new truth or the expansion of an old one in order to progress still higher on the evolutionary ladder. These Avatars issue forth in response to demand and are not so much concerned with racial development as They are with the subjective unfoldment of consciousness and with the stimulation of humanity as a whole. Of these Avatars the Buddha and the Christ are outstanding examples. They were not only human-divine Avatars, and hence able to link humanity with the Hierarchy, but They were something far greater and more important. They had reached the point where They could act as Transmitters of certain cosmic principles which - focused in Them in an extra-planetary sense - could stimulate the deeply hidden and latent corresponding principle in humanity. They transmitted and brought something from outside the planetary life - from the very Heart of God to the heart of man. The Buddha, because He achieved illumination, stimulated the light in the world, in humanity and in all forms. He served the soul of man. The Christ, because of His stupendous achievement - along the line of understanding - transmitted to humanity, for the first time in human history, an aspect and a potency of the nature of God Himself, the Love principle of the Deity. Prior to the advent of the Buddha, light, aspiration, and the recognition of God Transcendent had been the flickering expression of the human attitude to God. Then the Buddha came and demonstrated in His Own life the fact of God Immanent as well as God Transcendent; the idea of God in the universe and of God in humanity evolved. The Selfhood of Deity  and the Self in the heart of individual man became a factor in human consciousness. It was a relatively new truth to be grasped by humanity. It had always been known by disciples and initiates.
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