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From Bethlehem to Calvary - Chapter Four - The Third Initiation - The Transfiguration
The life of the indwelling Christ produces the transformation of the physical body, but deeper still, that life operates upon the emotional-feeling nature, and through the process of transmutation converts the desires and feelings, the pains and the pleasures, into their higher correspondences. Transmutation has been defined as "the passage across from one state of being to another, through the agency of fire." (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 476.) It is appropriate in this connection to remember that the threefold lower man, with whom we have been dealing so often in these pages, is a dim reflection of [148] Deity Itself. The physical body is related to the third aspect of divinity, the Holy Ghost aspect, and the truth of this can be realized if we study the Christian concept of the Virgin Mary over-shadowed by the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is that aspect of divinity which is the active principle in matter, and of this the physical body is a correspondence. The emotional, sentient nature is a dim and distorted reflection of the love-nature of God which the cosmic Christ, the second Person in the Trinity, is engaged in revealing; and this aspect (transmuted through the agency of fire, the will or spirit of God) produces the transformation of the physical body. The mind in its turn is therefore the reflection of the highest aspect of deity, the Father, or Spirit, of Whom it is said that our "God is a consuming fire." (Deut., IV, 24.) The releasing activity of this form of God's spirit eventually produces that radiance (as a result of transformation and transmutation) which was the distinguishing characteristic of the Transfiguration initiation. "Radiation is transmutation in process of accomplishment." Transmutation being the liberation of the essence in order that it may seek a new center, the process may be recognized as 'radio activity' as far as humanity is concerned." (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 478.)

It was these processes, carried on in the form nature, which led eventually to the revelation to the Apostles of the essential nature of the Master they loved and followed, and it is this aspect of Christ - the inner radiant reality - to which the mystics of all times bear testimony, not only in connection with Christ, but in lesser degree in connection with each other also. Once the world of the senses has been transcended, and the higher correspondences have become active, revealing the inner world of beauty and truth, there will come to the mystic a realization of a subjective world whose characteristics are light, radiance, beauty and indescribable wonder. All the mystical writings are attempts to describe this world to which the mystics seem to have access, with [149] its forms varying according to the period, race and point of development of the seer. We know only that the divine stands revealed, while the outer form which has veiled and hidden it dissolves, or is so transformed that only the inner reality is registered. The temperament and tendencies of the mystic - his own innate quality - have also much to do with his description of what he sees. However, all are agreed on the essentially transcendent nature of the experience, and convinced of the divine nature of the person concerned.

Great indeed was the power and mystery of divinity which Christ revealed to the astonished gaze of His three friends upon the Mount of Transfiguration. In one of the ancient scriptures of India, quoted by Dr. Otto, there is an attempt to express or reveal that divine essential Spirit manifested at the Transfiguration:

"Finer than the fine yet am I greatest,
I am the All in its complete fullness,
I, the most ancient, the spirit, the Lord God.
The golden-gleaming am I, of form divine.
Without hand and foot, rich in unthinkable might,
Sight without eyes, hearing without ears,
Free from all form, I know. But me
None knows. For I am Spirit, am Being."
- Kaivalya, II, 9. Quoted in Mysticism, East and West, by Rudolph Otto, 98, 99.

The mass of literature that has been written in an attempt to portray the wonder of the transfiguration and the vision of God, is an outstanding phenomenon of the religious life, and one of the strongest testimonies to the fact of the revelations.

The very simplicity of the story as related in the Gospels has a majesty and a convincing power of its own. The Apostles saw a vision and they participated in an experience wherein Christ Jesus stood before them as perfected Man, because fully divine. They had shared with Him His service; they had left their various vocations in order to be with Him; they had gone with Him from place to place and [150] helped Him in His work, and now, as a reward for faithfulness and recognition, they were permitted to see the Transfiguration. "When the mind," says St. Augustine, "hath been imbued with the beginning of faith which worketh by love, it goes on by living well to arrive at sight also, wherein is unspeakable beauty known to high and holy hearts, the full vision of which is the highest happiness."
- Psychology and God, by L. W. Grensted, p. 75.

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