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From Bethlehem to Calvary - Chapter Three - The Second Initiation - The Baptism in Jordan
That paganism knows no goal or purpose is today for many of us a statement which will not bear investigation. All that had transpired in the past had for its goal that which happened when Christ appeared; it prepared humanity for the opportunity then offered, forming the foundation upon which the present is based. Similarly, the imminent revelation of the coming century will constitute the foundation upon which the future will rest, and for this purpose all that is now transpiring is of supreme importance.

Not only did Christ bridge the gap between the East and the West, summing up in Himself all that the East had of worth to contribute, but He gave to our occidental civilization (at that time unborn) those great ideals and that example of sacrifice and of service which today (two thousand years after He walked among men) are becoming the keynote of the best minds of the age. The story of ideas, how they come and how they make their impact upon the human consciousness, thus changing the course of human affairs, is the story of history; but curiously enough, ideas constitute the one unpredictable element of the future. Some individual of outstanding personality steps out from the rank and file of the race, and thinks through into being some great and dynamic idea based on truth. He formulates it into such terms that his fellowmen can grasp it and eventually live by it. New trends, new incentives and new impulses then emerge, and thus history is made. It might be said with truth that without ideas there would be no history. In the enunciation of a cosmic idea, and in the capacity to make that idea an ideal of dynamic force, Christ stands alone. Through His life, He gave to us an idea which became in time the ideal of service, so that today the attention of many rulers and thinkers throughout the world is engrossed with the well-being of nations and men. That the technique employed and the methods used to enforce the sensed and visioned ideal are frequently wrong and undesirable, producing cruel and separative results, in no way alters the fact that behind all these idealistic experiments of the race lies this great ideal, [92] divinely inspired and summarized for us by Christ in His life and teaching.

Christ gave the greatest of all ideas - that God is Love, and that love could manifest in human form, and, thus manifested, could constitute a possibility for all men. His life was the demonstration of a perfection such as the world had never previously seen.

The soul, which is the hidden Christ in all, mediates between the spirit (the Father) and the human being. Christ emphasized this when He called attention to man's essential divinity, speaking of God as "our Father," as He was the Father of Christ. It was the light which He came to show and which He saw also (hidden and veiled) in all, enjoining upon us that we should let that light shine forth. (St. Matt., V, 16.) He challenged us to show, and commanded us to demonstrate the perfection of which He was the embodiment. He proved to us the possible, and called upon us to express it. In this uniqueness of revelation Christ stands alone, because He was the greatest, the highest and the truest that has ever appeared, but not because - dare I say it? - He was the greatest that ever could appear. One dare not so limit God. Under the evolutionary revelation of the nature of divinity it appears that Christ climaxed the past and indicated the future. Is it not possible that there may be aspects and characteristics of the divine Nature of which we cannot as yet have the faintest conception? Is it not probable that our sentient apparatus is still inadequate to grasp the fullness of God? May not our mechanism of perception require further evolutionary unfoldment before still other divine and spiritual characteristics can be safely revealed to us and in us? There may be future revelations of such stupendous wonder and beauty that as yet we can form no faintest idea of their possible outline. Otherwise God would be limited and static, and unable to do more than He has already done. How dare we say that it is possible for us to envisage the limits of the nature of Deity? How can the human intellect arrogantly believe that [93] it can recognize, even through Christ, the ultimate objectives of the divine Will? The history of the unfoldment of the human consciousness proves that truth has been given out progressively, and that the brilliant galaxy of World Teachers gave an ever-widening interpretation of Deity, reaching, as time elapsed, an ever larger number. Christ has given us the highest and the most inclusive revelation to which the human consciousness can respond, up to the present era. But how shall we dare to say that no more is possible to God, when we are ready to receive it? For this we are fast preparing. Even Christ Himself told His disciples that "he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do." (St. John, XIV, 12.) Either these words express a truth, or the whole structure of our belief falls to the ground. There is more still to be revealed, or else past history loses its point; ancient beliefs lose their significance; and we have reached an impasse which God Himself would seem unable to transcend. This we cannot accept.

The cosmic Christ, the mystic Christ, the historical Christ, and the individual Christ, are to all eternity, and the revelation can therefore be progressive. If we can believe that God is inclusive of all forms and of that which the forms reveal, surely as our equipment develops and our mechanism of contact improves, we shall be able to see more of divinity than at present, and be deemed worthy, at a later date, of a greater revelation. It is only our limitations as human beings which prevent our seeing all that there is to be seen.

The new birth brought us to the point where we became aware of a new world of light and of being. Through the process of that initiation we became citizens of the kingdom of God which Christ came to establish as a fact in the consciousness of men; we pass through the new birth into a world which is governed by a higher series of laws, the spiritual laws, and new objectives open up before us, new aspects of our own hidden spiritual nature emerge, and we begin to discover in ourselves the delineation of a new being, with a [94] different set of wishes, desires, ideals, and methods of world activity.

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