The Imitation of Christ

From TSL Encyclopedia
Miniature from a manuscript of De imitatione Christi, showing Thomas à Kempis writing

The Imitation of Christ is a classic Christian work traditionally attributed to the fifteenth-century Augustinian monk Thomas à Kempis.

The imitation of Christ is an important aspect of discipleship, which, when faithfully practiced, will lead the pure in heart to the place where they will become the Christ and where they will be able to repeat his triumphant words “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

The messenger has said:

Thomas à Kempis is generally thought to be the author of this text, in reality, we do not know who wrote The Imitation of Christ. I am convinced, however, that it is wholly inspired by Jesus and the ascended hierarchy, for this little book has been a trusted guide for disciples of Christ from the middle ages to the present. All who aspire to be one with the Christ have taken it and pored over it until it has become dog-eared, underscored and stained with the sweat and toil of overcoming that we as disciples face in this world.[1]

The goal of the imitation of Christ

Serapis Bey, the great disciplinarian, teaches this principle to the candidates at Luxor in this wise:

Just as an actor may speak the lines of a play and enter into the identity of a living or an historical figure without ever becoming that individual, so mankind in the outer court of the temple may do homage in honest imitation of Christ-radiant men of past and present ages.

But imitation (unless the imitator becomes the one imitated) is no substitute for the actual vesting of the God-reality of the elect upon the radiant “Light-form” that is man’s blessed gift of opportunity. Descending from the heart of his own Divine Presence, this Light-form is intended to be the magnificent design for his entire world; and so it becomes when the outer consciousness sustains the perfection of God’s energy by vesting it with the impressions of Reality.[2]

It is expected that candidates for the ascension will not only imitate the Christ but that they will also become the Christ by putting on the Light-form, the magnificent design of their identity, and by consciously qualifying it with God’s pure thoughts about man—“the impressions of Reality.”

The imitation of Christ in daily life

Archangel Jophiel and Archeia Hope give us a key to assessing our progress on the path of Christhood:

When you hear yourself saying things that you know your Holy Christ Self would not say, then you know that that Holy Christ Self has ascended far above you and cannot enter in. When you say things with a tone of voice of condescension, with criticism, with burden or depression, sarcasm or the vibration of gossip, then you will know your Holy Christ Self cannot enter; for it is the Law of God.

Therefore, pursue the path of the imitation of Christ. Speak as you know or believe Christ would speak, with love but firmness, sternness where required, mercy when it is due, soft-spoken when needed, in the intensity of the sacred fire when you would awake a soul who will not be awakened. Blessed ones, speak as Christ would speak, and Christ will speak through you....

Think as Christ would think, and Christ will think through you, and the mind of God will become congruent with the physical vessel.... When you think thoughts impure, unkind, critical, intolerant, the mind of Christ is not in you.[3]

And when you catch yourself, make your calls to the violet flame, apologize if necessary, make things right and get right back into communion with God with ever more alertness to see to it that you are in control of thought, feeling and spoken word.

When you have feelings that are not the feelings of the compassionate Christ, then you know Christ is not in you. Hasten, hasten to your altar! Call, then. Affirm. Replace. Practice sweet thoughts, sweet feelings, sweet words and soon they will come naturally....

Finally, beloved, perform deeds that you know Christ would perform and shun those that Christ would not engage in.[4]

Saint Germain has said:

When one truly knows the life and work of Jesus, one’s admiration for the Master knows no bounds. But this admiration must be great enough to inspire the soul to the imitation of Christ. To walk in the illumined footsteps of the Master, to relive his life by working his works, by entering into and participating in his passion and by drinking the whole cup of communion with the Lord—the cup of joys and the cup of sorrows—this is the way of the advancing path of the disciple who first admires and adores his Master and then, as the initiate, emulates his actions and his consciousness.[5]

The ascended masters on The Imitation of Christ

Many ascended masters have spoken about this book, including the following:


The Imitation of Christ attributed to Thomas à Kempis is a handbook whereby the seeker after godliness might become the Christ incarnate in imitation of the life and mission of Jesus Christ.[6]

Cyclopea and Virginia:

To attain this fusing with your Christ, you must seek to be Christlike. It is well to keep with your Bible at your bedside a copy of the book The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. It is well to assimilate that Body and Blood of Christ even by reading a few words and taking in those words as you fall asleep, thereby determining that you shall go forth to be God-taught in the hours of rest.

And your soul shall return infilled with the fervor to realize a practical Christhood of words and works, of kindness and compassion, of upliftment, of understanding, of taking no offense in the untransmuted self of a brother or a sister but always having available the fountain of Light flowing from the very center of being. This is true holy water that pours from the Christ in you to give to that one to drink, to anoint that one’s body that that one might truly imbibe through the chakras the elixir of shafts of Light that come forth from the Sacred Heart of Jesus.[7]

Archangel Michael:

Yes, beloved, The Imitation of Christ is yet the book that you must keep at bedside and read, even a page each night, imitating the ways of Christ until your imitation is become the Divine Reality unmoved, and I say unmoved, beloved![8]

Helios and Vesta:

Walk, first of all, in the imitation of Christ. Read that little book nightly by Thomas à Kempis and understand that every word and every line was overseen by Jesus. When you can fulfill all things written in that little book, you will have gained much strength. Achieving Christhood in the flesh is a most glorious situation, a most glorious, wondrous event.[9]

For more information

Sermon by Elizabeth Clare Prophet on The Imitation of Christ, January 20, 1974, published in Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 44, nos. 15 & 16, April 15 & 22, 2001.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet, lecture to Summit University, September 19, 1973 (unpublished).


Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 32, no. 36, September 3, 1989.

Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Paths of Light and Darkness, chapter 4.

Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Path of the Universal Christ, “The Path of Personal Christhood.”

  1. Elizabeth Clare Prophet, “The Imitation of Christ,” Part 1, Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 44, no. 15, April 15, 2001.
  2. Serapis Bey, “The Eternal Brotherhood,” in Keepers of the Flame Lesson 13, p. 5.
  3. Archangel Jophiel and Archeia Hope, “Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?” Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 32, no. 36, September 3, 1989.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Saint Germain, “Verity,” Keepers of the Flame Lesson 19, pp. 34, 36–37.
  6. Lanello, “A Report on the Earth” II, Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 16, no. 21, May 27, 1973.
  7. Cyclopea and Virginia, “You Must Attain Fusion with Your Holy Christ Self,” Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 33, no. 37, September 23, 1990.
  8. Archangel Michael, “New Beginnings,” Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 34, no. 47, October 6, 1991.
  9. Helios and Vesta, “On the Fate of the Lightbearers and Their Future on Planet Earth,” Part 2, Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 45, no. 25, June 23, 2002.