Christ Coming Soon, Says Mrs. Besant

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Christ Coming Soon, Says Mrs. Besant


New York Times article describing a talk given by Annie Besant where she answered questions about Theosophical doctrine including a discussion on the coming Christ, the potential gender of the Christ, and aspects of root races.


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Christ Coming Soon, Says Mrs. Besant

Theosophist Leader Thinks He May Even Appear in the Form of a Woman.

Airships 10,000 Years Ago

Common in India Then, Her Sixth Root Race Sense Tell Us--Lecture to 200 Faithful Here.

Christ is about to enter a new physical body, probably a Western one, and make himself known in this world again, said Mrs. Annie Besant, President of the Theosophical Society, last night at the Carnegie Lyceum. She hoped that when he comes again mankind will suffer him to remain recognizably in sight longer than three years, the term allowed him the last time he was here.

This news the head of the organization founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in New York imparted to the 200 faithful in this sense not including the adherents of the Purple Mother of Point Loma, Cal.--and some newspaper men last night. The general public was not admitted. Many who applied at the door were turned back with the salving information that everybody would be admitted to the lecture on Wednesday night at Masonic Hall.

Mrs. Besant assumed her place on the stage at 8:30 o'clock. She was dressed in a loose-flowing dress of white. Beside her was a vase full of lotus buds, emblematic of the White Lotus Mother herself, reverentially spoken of by the leader and her disciples as H.P.B. Perhaps three-fourths of the audience were women.

When Mrs. Besant had concluded her lecture she asked if there were questioners. There were.

"I notice you speak of the coming Christ always as 'he,'" said a young woman, in acid tones. "Why should the Christ not be a 'she'?

Most indulgently Mrs. Besant explained that she used "he" in a neutral sense; that she could not keep saying all the time "he or she," and that Christ for all she knew, might next time enter the body we call feminine; but that, taking things all around, he would most likely find a body called male more convenient for his good while here. She mentioned that Hermes, Orpheus, Zoroaster, and Christ were all the same, though in different physical bodies.

"Inasmuch," began one young man, "as all souls started from the same soul stuff at the same time, and inasmuch as they all have the same will power, why is it that some have advanced further than others?"

He sat down, seemingly quite satisfied with himself.

"Is Christ in incarnation now?" was the next question.

"He is. He is always in some body. When he comes next to be known He will, I think, choose some new body. It may be that this body will have been already trained for some time by another. Christ will inhabit it. Oh, yes," she hurried to say holding up a hand as a militant suffragette from the Columbia Summer School started to rise, "yes, He may choose a woman's body."

"Will he come in this generation?" Mrs. Besant was asked.

"Ah, that I will not attempt to answer. Ask an astrologer what he thinks."

"Do you think he will come soon?" a woman asked.

"Yes, he will come soon. There are signs that the Supreme Teacher, as He has always been known, will come to earth shortly. Let us hope that He will be allowed to stay among us longer than three years. Maybe some of you think you would not have crucified Him in the old Judean days. Try to place yourself in that environment, and you will see that you most likely would have been as those who did want to kill Him then.

"How shall we know Him, you ask. Some of us, who feel Him now will know Him intuitively. Others who have not reached that level must cultivate themselves. Never try to justify yourself when accused of anything. Make no defense. Bow your head and let the accusations be made. Be patient, be tolerant, and do not argue. And in time you will be able to feel His presence intuitively, maybe by the time He comes next again."

Then a young man with a quivery voice wanted to know if vegetarianism would be universally adapted in the next following sub-race of the coming root-race.

"I know not," answered Mrs. Besant, "but it is growing. I have not eaten flesh in years. I had the gout and banished it."

One of the faithful, a young man, had got tangled in his root-races and sub-races, and so he asked Mrs. Besant just where we are at now anyhow Smiling benignly, she told him that we are now attaining the zenith of the fifth sub-race of the fifth root-race, and were tottering, as it were, upon the brink of the sixth sub-race, which was really very close to the stupendous sweep of the sixth root-race.

"Thank you, so much," murmured the young man.

In the beginning of her lecture Mrs. Besant reviewed swiftly the trillions of years making up the root races. As has been said before, but is repeated for the sake of complete clearness, the world is now in the fifth root race. The fourth included the Greek and Roman days and the spread of the peoples around the basin of the Mediterranean and up into Ireland and Scotland. That was the Celtic age, the emotional age.

Then came the fifth root race, which began with the rise of the Teutons, which is still on us. This is the intellectual age, when the mind controls the emotions. Next will come the sixth root race, in which Mrs. Besant expects spirts to conquer intellect.

But there were some things the world in this root-race has lost since the days of the fourth root-race the speaker went on, and these it must pick up again before it can go on with the sixth root-race. One of these is conquest of the air. In India ten thousand years ago airships were used to fight, whereas now the world is just beginning to learn their use again.

Moreover, Mrs. Besant went on, while we are moving swiftly on to the sixth sub-race, which is a good thing, there is some danger that must be guarded against. One of the evidence of the conquest of spirit in the increased sensitiveness of the present physical body, enabling the possessors of the more sensitive to see things other people can't, for instance.

That is due to a more delicate nervous system. But the physical body, generally speaking, is developing toward the sixth sub-race faster than the environment. Hence, the coming babies must be removed from the noise and the din of the cities, or madhouses will increase a hundredfold, and the race may be destroyed.

Indeed, as the individual rises through the sub-races and root-races, the nervous system becomes more delicate, declared Mrs. Besant, which explained why the Japanese soldiers in the recent war suffered less than the Russians. For Chinamen and Japanese, she said, are not yet out of the fourth root-race, while the Russians are already in the fifth, with all that means as to increase nervousness.

In view, therefore, of the fact that the sixth sub-race is rapidly approaching with a much more delicate nervous system, Mrs. Besant argued, the people now in the physical shape should take pains to make the earth quieter. "For we owe a duty to our egos, as well as to the next sub-race," she declared.

Saying which her secretary seized the lotus buds, and the successor of Mme. Blavatsky rode away in an automobile.

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NYT 8-3-1909 Christ Coming Soon Says Mrs Besant.pdf


“Christ Coming Soon, Says Mrs. Besant,” John L. Crow's Akashic Archive, accessed September 18, 2019,


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