Jesus, the Last Great Initiate, by Edouard Schuré, , at sacred-texts.com
"IN three days I will destroy the temple, and in three days I will build it up again." This was said to his disciples by the Son of Mary, the Essene consecrated as Son of Man, i. e., the spiritual inheritor of the Word of Moses, of Hermes, and of all the former sons of God. Has this bold promise, the word of the initiator and initiate, been realized? Yes, if consideration be taken of the consequences which the teaching of the Christ, confirmed by his death and spiritual resurrection, have had for humanity, and all the consequences his promise hold over a limitless future. His word and sacrifice have la, the foundations of an invisible temple, but it is only continued and brought to completion in proportion as each individual, throughout all time, contributes to the work.
What is this temple? It is of a nature at once moral, social, and physical, the temple of regenerate humanity.
The moral temple is the regeneration of the human soul, the transformation of individuals by the human ideal offered as an example to humanity in the person of Jesus. The wonderful harmony and plenitude of his virtues make it difficult to define; balanced reason, mystic intuition, human sympathy, power of word and action; infinite compassion, love even unto sacrifice, courage unto death; no experience was unknown to him. There was
sufficient soul in every drop of his blood to make a hero, and yet, what divine gentleness was his! The profound union of heroism and love, of will and intelligence, of the Eternal-Masculine with the Eternal-Feminine make of him the flower of the human ideal. His whole moral teaching, whose loftiest expression is unending brotherly love and a universal human alliance, flows naturally from such a mighty personality. The work of the eighteen centuries which have elapsed since his death has resulted in the inculcating of this ideal in the consciousness of all mankind. For there is scarcely a man throughout the civilized world who does not possess a more or less clear notion thereof. Accordingly, it may be affirmed that the moral temple desired by the Christ is, if not finished, at any rate based on an indestructible foundation at the present day.
It is not so with the social temple. This supposes the establishment of the kingdom of God or of the providential law in the organic institutions of humanity; it remains to be constructed from the foundation. For men still live in a state of warfare under the law of Force and Destiny. The law of the Christ, which remains in the moral conscience, has not yet passed into human institutions. I have only incidentally touched upon questions of social and political organization in this book, which is solely intended to throw light on the philosophical and religious question at its base, through some of the essential esoteric truths. In these few concluding words I will not discuss the question any further. It is too vast and complex, and beyond my power to attempt even to define it within the compass of a few words. I will merely say that social warfare exists, as a principle, in all European countries. There are no economic, religious,
or social principles admitted by all classes of society. The nations of Europe, also, have not ceased existing in a state of open war or armed peace with one another. They are united by no common federative principle. Their interests and common aspirations appeal to no recognized authority, they have no sanction before any supreme tribunal. If the law of Christ has penetrated into individual consciousness and, up to a certain point, into social life, it is still the pagan and barbarian law which governs our political institutions. At the present time, political power is everywhere constituted on insufficient foundations. On the one hand it emanates from the so-called divine right of kings, which is none other than military force; on the other from universal suffrage, which is merely the instinct of the masses, or mere average intelligence. A nation is not a number of uniform values or ciphers; it is a living being composed of organs. So long as national representation is not the image of this organization, right from its working to its teaching classes, there will be no organic or intelligent national representation. So long as the delegates of all scientific bodies, and the whole of the Christian churches do not sit together in one upper council, our societies will be governed by instinct, by passion, and by might, and there will be no social temple.
Then how comes it that, rising above the Church which is too small to contain him in his entirety, above politics which deny him, and above Science which only half understands him, the Christ is fuller of life than ever? It is because his sublime morality is the corollary of a science even more sublime. Behind him we perceive, contemporary with and beyond the time of Moses, the whole ancient theosophy of Indian, Egyptian, and Grecian
initiates, of whom he forms a striking confirmation. We are beginning to understand that Jesus, at the very height of his consciousness, the transfigured Christ, is opening his loving arms to his brothers, the other Messiahs who preceded him, beams of the Living Word as he was, that he is opening them wide to Science in its entirety. Art in its divinity, and Life in its completeness. But his promise cannot be fulfilled without the help of all the living forces of humanity. Two main things are necessary nowadays for the continuation of the mighty work: un the one hand, the progressive unfolding of experimental science and intuitive philosophy to facts of psychic order, intellectual principles, and spiritual proofs; on the other, the expansion of Christian dogma in the direction of tradition and esoteric science, and subsequently a reorganization of the Church according to a graduated initiation; this by a free and irresistible movement of all Christian churches, which are also equally daughters of the Christ. Science must become religious and religion scientific. This double evolution, already in preparation, would finally and forcibly bring about a reconciliation of Science and Religion on esoteric grounds. The work will not progress without considerable difficulty at first, but the future of European Society depends on it. The transformation of Christianity, in its esoteric sense would bring with it that of Judaism and Islam, as well as a regeneration of Brahmanism and Buddhism in the same fashion, it would accordingly furnish a religious basis for the reconciliation of Asia and Europe.
This is the spiritual temple to be constructed, the crowning of the word intuitively conceived and desired by Jesus. Can his message of Love form the magnetic
chain of Science and Art, of religions and peoples, and thus become the universal word?
At the present time the Christ is master of the globe, through the two youngest and most vigorous races, still full of faith. By way of Russia he has a foothold in Asia, and through the Anglo-Saxon race he rules the New World. Europe is older than America, but younger than Asia. They slander Europe who believe her destined to an irremediable decadence. Still, if she continues her internal struggles, instead of federating beneath the rule of one capable authority, at once scientific and religious; if, through the extinction of this faith which is only the love-fed light of the spirit, she is continuing the preparation for her moral and social decomposition, her civilization runs the risk of perishing, first by social upheavals, and afterwards by the invasion of younger races, which will seize the torch dropped from her hands.
Surely she has a more glorious part to play, the preservation of the guiding of the world, by finishing the social work of the Christ, formulating his complete and perfected thought, and crowning by the help of Science, Art, and Justice, the spiritual temple of the greatest of the Sons of God.