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From Bethlehem to Calvary - Chapter Three - The Second Initiation - The Baptism in Jordan
We speak much of the at-one-ment which Christ made within Himself and for man. We recognize the unity He felt with the Father, and that He has called us to a similar divine unity. But is it not possible that He established a synthesis broader than that of the individual and God - the synthesis of the kingdom of God?

What do these words mean? We have talked of the kingdom of Heaven in terms of separation. We are either in that kingdom or out of it. We are told that we must step out of the kingdom of men (controlled by the world, the flesh and the devil) into another kingdom which is pictured as utterly different. Yet is this so? All aspects of the three subhuman kingdoms - animal, vegetable and mineral - are found in man; and their synthesis, plus another factor, the divine intellect, we call the human kingdom. Man unifies in himself the so-called lesser manifestations of deity. In the subhuman kingdoms of nature we find three major types of consciousness: the mineral kingdom, with its subjective discriminating power, its capacity to grow, and its ultimate radioactivity; the vegetable kingdom, with its sensitivity or sentiency, and its developing response apparatus which is sensitive to sunlight, to warmth and cold, and to other environing climatic conditions; the animal kingdom with its greatly increased awareness, its capacity for free movement and for wider contacts, through its instinctive nature. The human kingdom embodies all these types of awareness - consciousness, sentiency, instinct - plus that mysterious human faculty which we call "the mind," and we sum up all these inherited qualities in the word "self-conscious."

There comes, however, in the experience of the intelligent human being, a slowly dawning recognition that there is something still greater and of deeper value outside himself. He is sensitized to a subtler range of contacts and to impressions which he calls spiritual or ideal or mystical. Another type of consciousness begins to germinate in him, and at the [95] birth at Bethlehem this awareness becomes manifested and recognizable. Just as the human being synthesizes in himself all that has been, plus his own peculiar constitution and qualities, so in him can also begin to emerge and demonstrate qualities which are not human.

Members of the kingdom of God will surely embody the heritage of four kingdoms, as man embodies the heritage of three. This higher citizenship involves the expression of the Christ consciousness, which is the consciousness of the group, of the relation of the part to the whole (something which Christ continuously emphasized) and of the human to the divine. The result of this realization must surely be, under the evolutionary scheme, the appearance of another kingdom in nature. This constitutes the great task of Christ. Through the power of His realized divinity He produced the man who blended in Himself the best of all that had been, and revealed also what could be. He brought together into a functioning unity the higher and the lower, and made out of them "one new man." He founded the kingdom of God on earth, and produced a synthesis of all the kingdoms in nature, thus causing the appearance of a fifth kingdom. We might sum up the at-one-ments which He brought about as follows:

  1. He unified in Himself to perfection the physical, emotional and mental aspects of man, and demonstrated therefore the perfect Individual.
  2. He unified in Himself soul and body, the higher and the lower aspects, and therefore produced a divine incarnation.
  3. He unified in Himself the best of all the kingdoms in nature, mineral, vegetable, animal, which means, in their synthesis, the human with the intellect functioning.
  4. Then He blended this synthesis with a higher spiritual factor and brought to the birth another kingdom in nature, the fifth.

Christ, having produced in Himself one unification or at-one-ment after another, for the benefit of humanity, appears before John the Baptist, and passes through the second initiation, that of purification in the waters of Jordan. Through [96] the process of baptism, and through the temptations which followed, He evidenced His maturity, faced His mission, and demonstrated to the world His purity and His power.

The third initiation, that of the Transfiguration, testified to the fact of the at-one-ment which Christ made between soul and body. Integration was complete, and the consequent illumination was made apparent to His disciples. He appeared before them as Son of Man and Son of God, and having proved to them Who He was, He faced the death which lay ahead of Him, and the intervening service.

In the fourth initiation, He demonstrated this integration not only as God-Man, but as the One Who enfolded in His consciousness the entire world of men. He unified Himself with humanity, and portrayed the effectiveness of that divine energy which enabled Him to say in truth, "I, if I be lifted up from the Earth, will draw all men unto Me." (St. John, XII, 32.) He was lifted up between Earth and Heaven, and for two thousand years these words of His have stood unchallenged.

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