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From Bethlehem to Calvary - Chapter Four - The Third Initiation - The Transfiguration
The second phase of the test lay in His prevision as to His end. He knew He had to die, and He knew how He would die, and yet He went forward undeviatingly upon the course assigned Him, although prevision of disaster was His. Not only had He to demonstrate the power to endure success, but He had also to demonstrate the power to face disaster, balancing the two against each other and seeing in both of them simply opportunities for divine expression and fields for the demonstration of detachment - that outstanding characteristic of the man who has been born again, purified and transfigured. To these tests was added the one which He had before encountered in the desert, the test of utter loneliness. The power to endure success! The power to endure disaster! The power to stand utterly alone! This, Christ had to show the world, and this He did. He stood triumphant before the world, at an intermediate stage on His way to the Cross. The agony of loneliness in the Garden of Gethsemane was probably a far harder moment for Him than the publicity on Mount Golgotha. But in these more subtle tests the quality of God Himself was revealed, and it is God's quality and meaning which save the world - the quality of His life, which is Love and Wisdom and Value and Reality. It was all of this which Christ accomplished.

Immediately, on the descent from the mountain-top, Christ [167] began again to serve. He was met, as well we know, by a person in distress, and He at once responded to the need. One of the outstanding characteristics of each initiation is the increased capacity and ability of the initiate to serve. Christ demonstrated an entirely new and unique way in which to speak and to meet the masses, as well as to teach privately and personally His chosen few. His power to heal still continued, but His work shifted into a field of new values, and He spoke those words and enunciated those truths which have proved the foundation of the belief of those who have had the insight to penetrate the theological presentation of Christianity and there find reality. His service consisted primarily at this time in teaching and speaking. But such is the wisdom and the beauty of His presentation of truth, He couched divinity in forms which the average man could grasp. He bridged the old and the new, and gave out that new truth and that special revelation which Were needed at the time to unite the ancient wisdom and the more modern hope. Keyserling has grasped the wonder of what the World-Savior does, and voices it in words which I quote:

"...the great mind is essentially the Awakener. If such a mind were to utter the entirely new, the unique, this would mean nothing to other men. His social value depends entirely on his ability to utter clearly what all feel in their innermost hearts to be true - for could he otherwise be understood? - and to utter it in so universal a manner, that is, so much in tune with the objective laws in question, that his ideas become organs for the others."
- The Recovery of Truth, by Hermann Keyserling, p. 213.

Christ gave us a great idea. He gave us the new concept that God is Love, no matter what might be happening in the world of immediacy. All great ideas come forth from the world of divinity through the medium of the great Intuitives, and the history of humanity is essentially the history of ideas - their coming forth through the medium of some intuitive thinker, their recognition by the few, their growth [168] in popularity, and their eventual integration in the thought world, the pattern world of the thinkers of the race. Then their fate is determined, and eventually the new and unique idea becomes the popularly and publicly accepted model of human conduct. "To the question, then, whether it is personalities or ideas which decide the fate of an age, the answer is that the age get its ideas from personalities." (The Decay and Restoration of Civilization, by Albert Schweitzer, p. 82.) Christ embodied a great idea, the idea that God is Love, and that love is the motivating power of the universe. This constitutes the illumination which Christ as the Light of the World refracted upon all world events. The majesty of this realization cannot be over-emphasized. We need to realize it far more deeply and potently than we do, for it constitutes the basic, fundamental character and quality of all events, no matter what the outer appearance may be. Christ illumines life. This was one of His most important contributions to life as it is lived today. He said in effect: God loves the world; all that happens is along the line of love. If this is realized as fact and fundamental truth, it illumines all of life and lightens all burdens; cause and effect are brought together, and God's purpose and His method are seen as one. Theologians have often forgotten this as they have struggled over the more technical aspects of Christ's life. What He illumined in His function as the "Light of the World," what He received of divine Light and poured forth for the world, what He refracted, is often overlooked in the struggle to prove such doctrines as the fact that the Virgin Mary was an immaculate virgin, and Christ was therefore born through the medium of an immaculate conception. Today only a few of the younger generation care much about such points of doctrine. Let us state that quite emphatically. But we do care that the love which He expressed should be demonstrated in the world and that the illumination He carried should "lighten our darkness."

Christ sounded with clarity the note which can usher in the new civilization and the new order, and a close study of [169] the ideals and ideas which today, without exception, underlie every one of the great experiments undertaken by the various nations, will show that they are based, in essence, upon some definitely Christ-like concept. That their method of application and the techniques employed are frequently un-Christ-like is sadly true, but the foundational concepts will bear with equanimity the light which Christ can throw upon them. The principal difficulty has been that our intellectual grasp of the concepts runs ahead of our own personal development, and therefore colors disastrously our application of them. When these basic ideas are transmuted into world ideals by the consecrated thinkers of the race, and applied in the spirit in which Christ conceived of them, then we shall indeed inaugurate a new world order.

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