Taken at face value the aims of the Lucis Trust are very commendable and there is no doubt that many genuine people are involved with the movement. In an undated information brochure they state that
A new and better way of life for everyone in the world can become a reality in our time. Practical techniques in operation today can be learned and applied to the fulfilment of the divine plan for humanity.
In this article we will seek to discover what that ‘divine plan for humanity’ is and whether we could endorse and encourage such a movement.
Their basic aim is to provide the right relationship among human beings. The feeling is that to create the new world order it needs the co-operation of men and woman working together with goodwill. This would defeat the ‘forces of materialism’ and produce a care and responsibility for each other. They usually devote one issue a year of their World Goodwill Newsletter to reporting on the various ‘goodwill initiatives’ taking place. Their 1995 issue no.3 was such an issue and mentions such things as, the Institute of HeartMath, Earth Charter, Network of Peace Museums and the Club of Budapest.
The belief is that the old world order had gone but the new one has yet to emerge and the interval between the two will undoubtedly be one of tension. The four principles on which the new world will be established are, freedom, democracy, unity and sharing.
The shape of the new world order will be determined by the way in which humanity resolves a number of key issues. – World Goodwill Newsletter, 1991, No.3, p.3.
This desire is very commendable but it does leave a number of problems. How does one deal with the central problem of self? Looking at the world situation today even among the work of the so called United Nations we find man – singular and men as a corporate country demanding their own way without thought or consideration for others.
As we have posed this “theological question” it might be good to start here with the belief system of the Lucis Trust as to how we deal with what is wrong with man and co-operate in bringing in this new world order. Indeed what do these men mean by such phrases as the new world order?
Most of their teaching pamphlets of the Lucis Trust are distributed through the World Goodwill. This organisation is an international movement established in 1932 by Alice Bailey to help establish right human relationships. Its aim is to deliver pamphlets and newsletters all over the world in as many languages as possible. World Goodwill is recognised by the Office of Public Information at UN Headquarters and is represented at UN briefing sessions both in New York and Geneva.
Among the writers of “Occasional Papers” reproduced by World Goodwill are Robert Muller, World Core Curriculum, Vaclav Havel, Self Transcendence, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie and His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Talks given at the Global Conference of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival, and H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, an address to the World Conference on “Saving the Ozone Layer”.
The definitions and “theology” of the Lucis Trust is gleaned from their publications. A full list is recorded at the end of the article and any direct quotes are acknowledged in the text. However, as most of these pamphlets are either adaptations of, or the direct work of Alice Bailey we need to say a little about her.
ALICE BAILEY 1880-1949
Bailey came in the tradition of Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society although rejected by many of its “purists”. She started the Arcane School in 1923, which the Lucis Trust now support generally. The information leaflet of the school describes it as,
… a training school for adult men and women in meditation techniques and the development of spiritual potential
The writings quoted by the Lucis Trust are in the strictest sense not Bailey’s; some say they were channelled through her by Djwhal Khul, a Tibetan master and others that they were dictated by him.
This admitted channelling of course does raise a question mark as to where the writings really came from. If a supernatural power is involved, which Bailey admitted, what is the source of this power? There is no proof that it was Djwhal Khul and it could just as easily have been some demonic spirit masquerading as such a person. As such we must look with a very critical eye at the teachings offered and the beliefs of Alice Bailey as shown in the following quotations.
The plan as at present sensed, and for which the Masters are steadily working, might be defined as follows:- It is the production of a subjective synthesis in humanity and of a telepathic interplay which will eventually annihilate time. It will make available to every man all past achievements and knowledges, it will reveal to man the true significance of his mind and brain and make him master of the equipment and will make him therefore omnipresent and eventually open the door to omniscience. – A Treatise on White Magic, p.403, quoted in Time, a selection of quotations from the writings of Alice A Bailey, issued by World Goodwill.
Personal Meditation 1. Relax and focus yourself in the soul. Then sound the O M, breathing it out upon the world of men and saying to yourself inaudibly: “The will of God moves the world.” This is the thought lying behind your use of the O M. 2. Then ponder upon the significance of time … I make the future also by my present knowledge of the past and the beauty of the present. And, therefore, I am that I am. – Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p.210, ibid., p.25.
The teaching of Bailey’s that is recorded in the World Goodwill literature could be summed up as follows:
- There is a Divine Plan for this world.
- World servers are the leaders on earth that fulfil this Plan.
- The reappearance of “the Christ”, the Lord Maitreya is imminent.
World Goodwill put it like this:
It is a well established and accepted fact that there is an intelligent spiritual direction of humanity. Three basic statements comprise the simplest expression of the ancient concept of a divine plan. 1) That there is a great and divine plan. That this universe is not a “fortuitous concurrence of atoms”, but is the working out of a great design or pattern. Race after race of human beings, each civilisation and culture has seen humanity step forward a little further in its manifestation. 2) That a Spiritual Hierarchy guides humanity in the working out of the plan. Down the ages teachers and rishis have come forth from this spiritual centre to enable mankind to take its next evolutionary step. In the West this is known as The Doctrine of the Coming One, and in the Eastern teaching The Doctrine of Avatars. 3) That the head of the Hierarchy in the present world period is the Christ, and the Senior Members are the Masters of the Wisdom. Known as the World Teacher or the Lord Maitreya in the Orient, and under other names in other religious faiths, the Christ provides inspirational guidance for the whole of humanity. – Preparation for the Reappearance of the Christ, p.2.
Interestingly, in her writings, Alice Bailey quotes much Scripture and uses religious phrases but what does she mean by them and how are they interpreted today? Are the teachings of the Lucis Trust biblical and acceptable to evangelical Christians? We will seek to compare some of the major teachings and will start with Scripture. We should mention that the Trust claims to have no specific creed but certain beliefs are written about many times.
No one set of “scriptures” is above another all can be used equally.
This doctrine of Mediators, of Messiahs, of Christs and of Avatars can be found running like a golden thread through all the world faiths and Scriptures and, relating these world Scriptures to some central source of emanation, they are found in rich abundance everywhere. – Preparation for the Reappearance of the Christ, p.3.
We are also able to receive ongoing revelation.
Always the Saviour, the Avatar or the World Teacher issued forth from the secret place of the Most High and brought to man fresh revelation, fresh hope and a fresh incentive towards fuller spiritual living. – The New World Religion, p.7.
What is significant though is that there are more direct quotes from the Bible then from any other “scripture” and yet almost without fail they are taken out of context.
For instance Colossians 1:27 is taken to mean that Christ is in everyone not just those who have deliberately received Him (The Reappearance of Christ, p.2). And Galatians 3:26 to mean we are all children of God and not just those who have come through faith in Jesus (The New World Religion, p.6)
The writings clearly show belief in God but that God can be called by any name that a man chooses. Whether that God is within us or within the universe it does not matter, but Bailey states that there is a greater emphasis today that God is in everyone and we are not to take it to mean a “Person”.
As we have quoted above Bailey’s idea of Christ is “a presence” that is in everyone. Christ also does not refer to the Jesus Christ but any messenger or Avatar.
An Avatar, or a Christ, comes forth for two reasons: one, the inscrutable and unknown Cause prompts Him so to do, and the other is the demand or the invocation of humanity itself. An Avatar is consequently a spiritual event, coming to us to bring about great changes or major restorations, to inaugurate a new civilisation or to restore the “ancient landmarks” and lead men nearer to the divine. – Preparation for the Reappearance of the Christ, p.5.
This means of course that Buddha, Mohammed and others are all manifestations of the Christ.
There is also much talk of the return of Christ being imminent but it is also explained that it is not really a return as we understand the word because he never really left us.
A truth hard for the orthodox thinker of any faith to accept is the fact that Christ cannot return because He has always been here upon our Earth, watching over the spiritual destiny of humanity; He has never left us but, in physical body and securely concealed (though not hidden), He has guided the affairs of the Spiritual Hierarchy. – The Reappearance of Christ, p.6.
Therefore the return is only a reappearance of the Christ.
The announcement that his physical reappearance was imminent came in 1945. But it is apparent that that He will only come when man has accomplished certain things upon the earth. (See below Man and his Responsibility). The two major hindrances that man needs to change are the inertia of the average religious man and the lack of money. A great emphasis is placed on this latter fact with many suggestions of how to overcome the severity of finance.
He will not come as many anticipate him coming. This will also not be the final act because when he has fulfilled his job he will move on to a higher position and someone prepared will take his place.
He comes to correct the mistakes and the misrepresentations of those who have dared to interpret His simple words in terms of their own ignorance, and to recognise those whose faithful service has made His return possible. He too is facing a major test, preparatory to a great initiation and when He has passed the test and fulfilled His task, He will pass to a still more exalted position in the Father’s House or to some distant place of service where only the most exalted can follow Him; His present position will then be taken by the One Whom He has prepared and trained. – The Reappearance of Christ, p.13.
MAN AND HIS RESPONSIBILITY
Bailey’s God and Christ are not omniscient (all-knowing) or omnipotent (all powerful) they cannot act without the co-operation of men. Indeed the return of Christ will not take place until man has fulfilled certain tasks. As Bailey says
Divinity, however, awaits the expression of man’s free will; his intelligence and his growth in goodwill are already being expressed. – Preparation for the Reappearance of Christ, p.5.
Belief in the essential divinity of man will be vital for the fulfilment of the work as is the fact that man is basically in control. This is vital because Christ did not complete His work when he was here 2000 years ago, and humanity alone can enable him to fulfil it now.
The life of a man is governed by Karma, that is the “Law of Cause and Effect.” This eventually will enable him to become a proper functioning son of God.
The immortality of the human soul, and the innate ability of the spiritual, inner man to work out his own salvation under the Law of Rebirth, in response to the Law of Cause and Effect, are the underlying factors governing all human conduct and all human aspiration. These two laws no man can evade. They condition him at all times until he has achieved the desired and the designed perfection and can manifest on earth as a rightly functioning son of God. – The New World Religion, p.7.
The dedication of all true “believers” is essential if the work is to come to fruition. This dedication will include gathering together silently with all others, in all parts of the world, every day at 5 pm. You are invited to learn a few lines and focus on them at this time in your head.
Involvement in “worship” by means of invocation and evocation and attending festivals is also encouraged as will be described later.
THE PLAN AND ITS OUTWORKING
A summary of this Divine plan has already been given above but a few words of explanation of the various terms are probably needed.
The plan is not haphazard and yet it does require the co-operation of the goodwill of humanity. As such we must imagine that the outcome cannot be certain and that the plan may be severely delayed or taken through many different backwaters. There are a few groups mentioned who are fulfilling this plan.
- The World Servers
- The Leaders
both these groups are on earth.
- The Spiritual Hierarchy
- The Leaders of the Spiritual Hierarchy, the Masters of Wisdom
who are not always seen visible on the earth.
The World Server can be anyone from any background any religion anywhere in the world. The key to unity being that they do not emphasise their differences and that they are all fully committed and dedicated to the plan. This dedication presupposes:
1. An inner sensitiveness to the Plan.
2. An ability to recognise principles, governing conduct and administration.
3. A capacity to overlook the non-essentials and to emphasise the essentials.
4. A submergence of personal ambition and interest in the furthering of the group ideals and
5. A steady preservation of the inner contact through meditation and the overlooking and non-emphasis of personality reactions. – The New Group of World Servers, p.4.
The leaders of this new group of world servers will be
…those who initiate and carry forward activities which benefit humanity as a whole. These leaders are known by their harmless, constructive and inclusive qualities. They provide the vision and mould public opinion. – The New Group of World Servers, p.1.
The Spiritual Hierarchy are also called the Enlightened Ones and they watch over and guide the destiny of men. Other names that are given to them are Agents of God and the Hierarchy of Liberated Souls. These ones are not visible to natural men and are on a supernatural plane but from time to time representatives may be recognised walking among men. Most of the time however, they work through their “disciples”.
Until the Hierarchy again moves openly on the physical plane among men, they work through their disciples. The externalisation of the Hierarchy will transcend this limitation but will involve many problems, experiments and some risks. – The Spiritual Hierarchy, p.5.
This Hierarchy is split into three major divisions, each one being responsible for a specific area. The first area is the progress of the Political and Governmental scene. The second area is teaching covering three sub divisions, education, religion and healing. And the third area being the large economic area covering everything from industry to income and capitalism to culture.
When you examine Bailey’s teaching on this Spiritual Hierarchy it is easy to see where the world conspiracy theory doctrine has taken root.
The final group the leaders of this Spiritual Hierarchy called the Masters of Wisdom were proclaimed to the world in 1945. These Masters are not bound by human thinking and are far more “practical and realistic then the most efficient big businesses executive”.
ONENESS OF RELIGION
The World Goodwill Newsletter, 1993, No.4., noted that it was 100 years from the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. They thus called 1993, ‘A Year of Interreligious Understanding and Co-operation’. The call was for an interfaith initiative without exclusivity . They then remarked that such a move would require a mobilising of the ‘Buddha nature’ which lies within each one of us.
There is an extensive quotation from Alice Bailey on p.2. of this Newsletter dealing with World Religion, Revelation, and Recognition. In part it reads,
The day is dawning when all religions will be regarded as emanating from one great spiritual source; all will be seen as unitedly providing the one root out of which the universal world religion will inevitably emerge… they will… seek unitedly to co-operate with the divine Plan, as it is revealed by the spiritual leaders… Such a world religion is no idle dream but something that is definitely forming today.
The 1994, No 1. Issue of the Newsletter reported on the year’s activities under the heading, Towards an Inclusive Religious Spirit.
As with all “spiritual” ways of life, we should expect that the new commitment would bring new ways of worshipping and serving and this is true of the Lucis Trust.
We have already mentioned the daily meditation at 5 pm and next we are invited to three major festivals.
A letter is sent out to all interested parties inviting them to take part in the three major festivals of the year. Easter, Wesak, and Christs Festival and World Invocation Day.
As with Easter the other dates are fixed annually. These are in relation to the Full Moon – Wesak the May Full Moon and Christs Festival or the Festival of Goodwill the June Full Moon. In 1996 Easter was April the 3rd, Wesak was May the 2nd in New York and Geneva and May the 3rd in London. Each festival has a specific significance to its attendees and they are encouraged to be ready to channel and receive the specific energies released.
There are also other ‘Festival Meditation Meetings’ at the full moon of each Zodiac sign. In London they are held at a central hotel.
This is the Festival of the risen living Christ, the Teacher of all men and the Head of the Spiritual Hierarchy. He is the Expression of the love of God. On this day the spiritual Hierarchy, which He guides and directs, will be recognised and the nature of God’s love will be emphasised. – The New World Religion. P.13.
We are told that this is the time of empowering energies of the forces of Restoration.
This is the Festival of the Buddha, the spiritual Intermediary between the highest spiritual centre, Shamballa, and the Hierarchy. The Buddha is the expression of the wisdom of God, the Embodiment of Light and the indicator of the divine purpose. – The New World Religion. P.13.
The inpouring energy here will be of Enlightenment.
This will be the Festival of the spirit of humanity-aspiring towards God, seeking conformity with the will of God and dedicated to the expression of right human relations. – The New World Religion. P.13.
The original name for this Festival was Goodwill but it is also know as Christ and of Humanity. Since 1952 it has been observed as the World Invocation Day. The inpouring energy is of Reconstruction.
For these Festivals the Lucis Trust issued a Meditation, Letting in the Light. This is in seven parts starting with a group affirmation and ending with the sounding of the Great Invocation.
THE GREAT INVOCATION
The following quotation sums up the need for the Invocation.
The Great Invocation voices the basic needs of humanity today; the need for light and love, for understanding of the divine Will and for the end of aggressive selfishness. It has been given us at this time of world need for our use in co-operation with the working out of the divine Plan for humanity. It can be used to increase the flow of creative energy through individuals, groups and organisations known to be in alignment with the Plan and with the principle of synthesis. The regular use of the Great Invocation causes powerful changes in human attitudes and purposes. – The Great Invocation Co-operation with the United Nations
The Invocation used is as follows and then O M is repeated
From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.
From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men-
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
As this is sounded the participants are to visualise an outpouring form the Spiritual Hierarchy of light, love and power. There will come through the five planetary inlets London, Darjeeling, New York, Geneva and Tokyo.
At other times during this meditation the participants are to open themselves to extra-planetary energies and then visualise their energies pouring throughout the Earth.
The Invocation is also printed on a small card and here the word ‘Christ’ has an * with the following explanation on the reverse of the card,
Many religions believe in a World Teacher, knowing him under such names as The Lord Maitreya, the Imam Mahdi and the Messiah, and these terms are used in some of the Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish versions of the Great Invocation.
Invocation and Evocation it is believed will take the place of prayer and worship. The Great Invocation, it is taught, has been given to use at this time by the Hierarchy just as the Lord’s Prayer was given by Jesus to Christians and Psalm 23 to spiritually minded Jews.
The deeper meaning of the Great Invocation, as produced above, is explained in Bailey’s writings. This takes the phrases such as the ‘Mind of God’ and ‘Heart of God’ to show that they don’t really mean what they say. For instance the heart of God is the spiritual Hierarchy.
The words of the Great Invocation are very old but were used for the first time in 1945.
He (Christ) gave to the world (for the use of the “man in the street”) one of the oldest prayers ever known, but one which hitherto had not been permitted to be used except by the most exalted spiritual Beings. He used it Himself for the first time, we are told, at the time of the Full Moon of June, 1945, which is recognised as the Full Moon of the Christ, just as the Full Moon of May is that of the Buddha. It was not easy to translate these ancient phrases (so ancient that they are without date or background of any kind) in to modern words, but it has been done, and the Great Invocation may eventually become the world prayer. – The Great Invocation, p.13.
It is apparent from this brief look at the beliefs of the Lucis Trust that they are at odds with Biblical Christianity. Although there may be many sincere people in the movement because they are opening themselves up to “higher supernatural powers” there is every danger that they are opening up to the evil supernatural. Indeed with the training received at the Arcane School; the Lending Library of the Lucis Trust which advertises “exotic and occult books;” and the Lucis Publishing Companies producing Alice Baileys writings full of references to astrology, occult and channelling, it is almost inevitable that the evil supernatural will effect all those studying and involved with this movement.
Whereas it would be scaremongering to talk of a world conspiracy by the Lucis Trust, it is obvious that they have set themselves to effect as much of the world and its institutions as possible.
Their belief is that they must educate and have set out in detail how they feel they can do this through the current institution and they believe that UNESCO has helped towards this.
When people are educated in the right way they will dedicate themselves to the Plan and seek to make the way clear for the Christ to return. Unfortunately, as I believe we have shown above, this is not the Biblical return of the Jesus Christ evangelical Christians believe in. If, therefore, such a powerful being comes it would appear to be the who is anti-Christ in the sense of being different to and opposite to the true Christ. A counterfeit who might even come as an angel of light but will still lead many away from the truth.
LIST OF TITLES USED IN THIS ARTICLE
All the following are booklets unless otherwise indicated. All are undated.
The New Group of World Servers
Preparation for the Reappearance of the Christ
The Reappearance of the Christ
The Spiritual Hierarchy
The New World Religion
The Great Invocation
Education in the New Age
Time, a selection of quotations from the writings of Alice Bailey.
The New Group of World Servers (leaflet)
World Goodwill Newsletter (various editions)
Various other leaflets and Information Sheets