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From Bethlehem to Calvary - Chapter Four - The Third Initiation - The Transfiguration
However, it is useful to remember that only at a certain stage in human development does the expression of the indwelling Christ life and consciousness become possible. The fact of evolution, with its necessary distinctions and differences, is incontrovertible. All men are not the same. They vary in their presentation of divinity. Some are really subhuman as yet. Others are simply human, and still others are beginning to display qualities and characteristics which are superhuman. The question might justifiably arise: when does the possibility come to man of transcending the human, and becoming divine? Two factors will at that time control. He will have transcended the emotional and physical natures, and, entering the realm of thought, he should be responding in some way to ideals as they are presented to him by the [141] thinkers of the world. There must come a time in the progress of each human being when the development of the triple human nature - physical, emotional and mental - reaches a point of possible synthesis. He then becomes a personality. He thinks. He decides. He determines. He assumes control of his life and becomes not only an originating center of activity but an impressive influence in the world. It is the coming in, with power, of the mind quality, and the capacity to think, which make this possible.

It is this insistence upon thought, and this determination to handle life from the angle of mind and not of emotion, which distinguish a "personality" from the rank and file of human beings. The man who thinks and who acts upon the resolutions and incentives which have their origin in duly considered thought-realities becomes, in time, a "personality," and begins to sway other minds. He exercises a definite influence upon other people. Yet overseeing the personality is the inner spiritual man, which we might call the "individual." It is here again that Christ achieved success, and the second duality, which He so significantly resolved, is that of the personal self and the "individuality." The finite and the infinite must be brought into a close relation. This, Christ demonstrated in the Transfiguration, when, through the medium of a purified and developed personality, He manifested the nature and the quality of God. The finite nature had been transcended and could no longer control His activities. He had passed in His consciousness to the realm of inclusive realization, and the ordinary rules governing the finite individual, with its petty problems and its small reaction to events and persons, could no longer influence Him nor determine His conduct. He had achieved contact with that realm of being in which there is not only understanding, but peace, through unity.

Rules and fixations and considerations Christ had surmounted, and consequently He functioned as an individual and not as a human personality. He was governed by the [142] rules which control in the realm of the spirit, and it was this which the three Apostles recognized at the Transfiguration, and which led to their submission to Him henceforth as the One Who represented to them Divinity. Christ, therefore, at the Transfiguration, unified in Himself God and Man, His developed Personality blending with His Individuality. He stood forth as the perfect expression of the uttermost possibility to which humanity could aspire. The dualities, of which mankind is so distressingly the expression, met in Him, and resulted in a synthesis of such perfection that, for all time, He determined the goal of our race.

There is a still higher synthesis, and this Christ also summarized in Himself - the synthesis of the part with the Whole, of humanity with the ultimate Reality. Man's history has been one of development from the state of mass unconscious reactions to that of a slowly recognized group responsibility. The low-grade human being or the unthinking individual has a collective consciousness. He may regard himself as a person, but he does no clear thinking as to human relations or as to the place of humanity in the scale of being. He is easily swayed by the mass or collective thought, and is regimented and standardized by mass psychology. He moves in rhythm with the mass of men; he thinks as they think (if he thinks at all); he easily feels as the mass feels, and he remains undifferentiated from his kind. Upon this, orators and dictators base their success. Through their golden-tongued oratory or through their magnetic and dominant personalities, they swing the masses to their will because they work with the collective, though undeveloped, consciousness.

From this stage we pass to that of the emerging personality who does his own thinking, makes his own plans and cannot be regimented or beguiled by words. He is a thinking individual, and the collective consciousness and the mass mind cannot hold him in thrall. These are the people who pass on to liberation, and who, from one expansion of awareness [143] to another, gradually become consciously integrated parts of the whole. Eventually, the group and its will (not the mass and its feeling) come to be of supreme importance, because they see the group as God sees it, become custodians of the divine Plan, and conscious, integral, intelligent parts of the whole. They know what they are doing, and why they do it. In Himself Christ blended and fused the part with the whole, and effected an at-one-ment between the will of God, synthetic and comprehensive, and the individual will, which is personal and limited. In a commentary on The Bhagavad Gita, that supreme argument for the life of the whole as fused and blended in divinity, Charles Johnston points out that:

"The truth would seem to be that, at a certain point in spiritual life, the ardent disciple, who has sought in all things to bring his soul into unison with the great Soul, who has striven to bring his will to likeness with the Divine Will, passes through a marked spiritual experience, in which the great Soul draws him upward, the Divine Will raises his consciousness to oneness with the Divine Consciousness; for a time he perceives and feels, no longer as the person, but as the Oversoul, gaining a profound vision of the divine ways of life, and feeling with the infinite Power, which works through life and death alike, through sorrow and joy, through union and separation, through creation, destruction and recreation. The awe and mystery which surround that great unveiling have set their seal on all who have passed through it."
- The Bhagavad Gita, translated by Charles Johnston, p. 128.

This realization is far from the average man, and still further from the undeveloped.

The divine is the Whole, informed and animated by the life and will of God; and in utter self-surrender and with all the power of His purified nature and His divine understanding and wisdom, Christ blended in Himself the collective consciousness, the human realization and the divine Totality. Some day we shall understand this more clearly. It is as yet something which we cannot grasp, unless for us the Transfiguration is a reality and not a goal. [144]

It is interesting to have in mind another at-one-ment which Christ made. He unified in Himself the past and the future, as far as humanity is concerned. This is significantly typified in the appearance with Him upon the Mount of Transfiguration of Moses and Elias, the representatives respectively of the Law and of the Prophets. In the one figure we find symbolized the past of man, with its summation in the Law of Moses, setting the limits beyond which man may not go, defining the injunctions which he must set upon his lower nature (the desire-nature), and emphasizing the restrictions which the race as a whole must set upon its actions. Careful study will reveal that all these laws concern the government and control of the desire-nature, of the emotional, feeling body, to which we have already had need to refer. Curiously enough, the name "Moses," according to Cruden's Concordance, means "taken out of the water." We have already seen that water is the symbol of the fluidic emotional desire-nature in which man habitually dwells. Moses therefore appeared with Christ as typifying man's emotional past, and the technique of its control is to be later superseded when the message of Christ's life is duly understood, pouring through man's consciousness in ever greater fullness. Christ indicated the new synthetic commandment which is "to love one another." This would render needless all the Law and the Prophets, and would relegate the Ten Commandments into the background of life, rendering them superfluous, because the love which will flow out from man to God, and from man to man, will automatically and positively produce that right action which will make the breaking of the commandments impossible. The "shalt not" of God, spoken from Mount Sinai through Moses, with its negative emphasis and its punitive interpretation, will give place to the radiance of love and the understanding of goodwill and light which Christ radiated upon the mount of Transfiguration. The past met in Him and was superseded by a living present.

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