Alice A. Bailey (AAB) had some interesting things to say about what she described as the overshadowing of Jesus Christ. She quotes Helena P. Blavatsky (HPB) to introduce the concept of a human being “overshadowed by a great adept”:
“When a man has reached a certain development and can be of service to the world, cases occur when he is overshadowed by a great adept, or—as in the case of H. P. B. —by One greater than an adept.” -A Treatise on Cosmic Fire , 3. THE SOLAR ANGELS, THE AGNISHVATTAS. – Part 3
Then she goes on to say that this was the case with Jesus
“…a disciple will return into incarnation occasionally so as to fit into the plan of a greater than himself. When a messenger of the Great Lodge needs a vehicle through which to express Himself, and cannot use a physical body Himself, owing to the rarity of its substance, He will utilise the body of a disciple. We have an instance of this in the manner the Christ used the body of the initiate Jesus, taking possession of it at the time of the Baptism. Again when a message has to be given out to the world during some recurring cycle, a disciple of high position in a Master’s group will appear in physical incarnation, and be “overshadowed” or “inspired” (in the technically occult sense) by some teacher greater than he.”
The idea is that Jesus of Nazareth, a human being, was overshadowed by the Christ – a greater being – and together in one body they accomplished the mission that is recorded in the New Testament. Author Joseph J. Dewey (JJD) wrote on this overshadowing that:
“Before we can appreciate the Second Coming of Christ we must understand who He was when He lived His life as the Christ. Many there are who think they understand this, yet are far from reality, for the real truth is so fantastic that the average man could not even keep the thought in his mind for one minute’s consideration; nevertheless, even the truth of this great matter is in the scriptures. It lies in that great statement by Jesus when he said: ‘I and My Father are one… the Father is in me, and I in him.'”
He also described this as a “divine possession”:
“The startling answer is that before Jesus was baptized by John in Jordan, the Son of God was not on the earth, but John was aware of how he was to come and he was awaiting verification of this from God. Jesus was the reincarnation of Joshua from the days of Moses but John and others were awaiting the presence of one far greater than him, and none were positive as to who it was that was going to receive this great entity in what we may want to call a divine possession, a possession that was completely voluntary. Some may refer to it as an overshadowing presence.”
In the Gospels of the New Testament when Jesus speaks of the Father, he is speaking of the overshadowing Christ. Again AAB writes:
“We do not yet know the Father. Christ revealed Him, but the Father Himself remains as yet behind the scenes, inscrutable, unseen and unknown, except as He is revealed through the life of His sons, and by the revelation given peculiarly to the Occident by Jesus Christ.
Behind the manifestation of Jesus Christ lay aeons of experience. God had been expressing Himself through natural processes, through humanity as a whole, and through specific individuals, as the ages slipped away. Then Christ came, and in process of time, as a definite fulfilment of the past and as a guarantee of the future, He synthesized in Himself, in one transcendent Personality, all that had been achieved and all that was immediate in human experience. He was a Personality, as well as a divine Individuality. His life with its quality and its purpose has set its seal upon our civilisation, and His demonstrated synthesis is the inspiration of the present. This consummated Personality, synthesising in Itself all that preceded in human evolution, and expressing all that immediately may be, is God’s great gift to man.
There is quite a bit more about overshadowing in the AAB writings – this is just a small sample. She also predicts that this process will be used again.
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