The Conception of the Golden Age

For it is only as we as individuals accomplish that regeneration, that "second birth," that Humanity as a whole can accomplish it, and the golden age which prophet and seer have foretold can dawn in the world; for it is we, as integral units of Humanity from beginning to end of its great cycle of evolution, who must accomplish it.

How should it be accomplished by the Race if not by us as individuals? We are the Race; and the Race can only progress as the individuals progress through repeated reincarnations. . .

The cosmic aspect of Religion is this--Humanity as a whole is a Unitary Cosmic Entity associated with the cosmic function of this particular globe as a unit in the Solar System: that System being a still larger cosmic unit whose life-history is represented by the Sun; or, spiritually, by the Solar Logos. The great cycle of Man's evolution on this globe is a "fall" and a recovery; an outgoing from Spirit into Matter, and a return to Spirit.

Humanity reaches forward to a spiritual consummation when the whole Earth will be peopled with a Race of men fully conscious of their god-like nature and powers; and sin, sickness, and death will have been banished for the remaining period of the Earth's cosmic cycle.

The Cosmic Process is an outgoing from the One, and a return thereto; and Man--like everything else in the Cosmos must return to his Source. It is the great Cosmic systole and diastole, called in the East the Days and Nights of Brahma. If, then, Religion is for us as individuals the finding of the real spiritual Self--that transcendental Self which is the root and source of all these temporary appearances which are our little temporary personal selves--so also is it with Humanity as a whole; for it is our attainment as individuals which gradually accomplishes the attainment of Humanity in its cosmic aspect.

The return of Man, Humanity, to his spiritual nature is as certain as the outgoing therefrom, however long and bitter the process may seem. Far too much has been made of individual salvation, as if it had no reference to the salvation of the Race as a whole.

In that far distant future when the Earth will be peopled with a god-like Race of men--must not the members of that Race be those who, having gone through the great evolutionary process, have attained to the full knowledge of their spiritual nature and powers? Who else can constitute that Race? That humanity must be this humanity now evolving towards it. In short, it will be ourselves.

The broad outline of Man's nature, history, and destiny according to the Mystery teachings is simply this: that Man--Humanity as a whole--is one of a Hierarchy of Celestial Beings, emanated "in the beginning " from the One. That having to play his part in the great Cosmic Process, Spiritual Man "descends into matter," and becomes the physical race of beings as we now know him--or ourselves. But the whole Cosmic Process being an outgoing from and a return to the One, Man must inevitably return to his Source; he must re-become that spiritual Being or Race which he was "in the beginning," but plus the knowledge gained by his great pilgrimage through the manifested worlds of the Cosmos. . .

But although the Race as a whole has thus "fallen into matter" and physical generation, and has thereby entirely lost sight of its divine origin, nature, and powers, we are taught that certain individuals did not participate in this "fall," but, retaining the full knowledge of their "divine sonship," which they had acquired in previous evolutionary experiences, they became the "divine instructors" of early Humanity, and constituted the highest grade of that Hierarchy of Initiates who have always been the custodians of the supreme knowledge or Gnosis.

From time to time one of these divine Instructors would incarnate, and would give to the world in a form appropriate to the age and the race with whom he had to deal, some of those fundamental principles by an understanding of which the individual might be led to enter the real path of knowledge which would enable him to become an Initiate of the Mysteries, and to realize step by step his own divine nature and powers.

William Kingsland, The Gnosis, 1937