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From Bethlehem to Calvary - Chapter Six - The Fifth Initiation - The Resurrection and Ascension
Many may regard these "moral disturbances" as hopeful indications of an emergence from the static condition in all [243] realms of human thought which marked the early part of the last century, and that we are today on the verge of a new era of truer spiritual values. But the newer structures of faith and conduct must have their foundations deep in the best that the past has to give. The ideals which Christ enunciated still remain the highest yet given in the continuity of revelation, and He Himself prepared us for the emergence of those truths which will mark the time of the end and the overcoming of the last enemy, whose name is Death.

This questioning of belief, and this wrestling with an inherent hope must go on until assurance has been gained, belief has become knowledge, and faith, certainty. Man knows incontrovertibly that there is a goal greater than his petty aims, and that a life exists Which will embrace his widest reach, enabling him eventually to attain his highest, though dimly sensed, ideal. A consideration of the Resurrection may provide a greater surety, provided we keep in mind the long continuity of revelation given out by God, and realize that we can know little as yet beyond the fact that Sons of God have died and risen again, and that behind that fact lies a cause which is basic.

The Tibetans speak of the process of death as that of "entering into the clear cold light." (The Tibetan Book of the Dead, by W. Y. Evans-Wentz, p. 29.) It is possible that death can be best regarded as the experience which frees us from the illusion of form; and this brings clearly to our minds the realization that when we speak of death we are referring to a process which concerns the material nature, the body, with its psychical faculties and its mental processes. This therefore can be narrowed down to a query as to whether we are the body and nothing but the body, or whether the ancient scripture of India was right when it pointed out that:

"Certain is the death of what is born, and certain is the birth of what dies; therefore, deign not to grieve in a matter that is inevitable... This lord of the body dwells ever immortal in the body of each."
- The Bhagavad Gita, II, 26, 29. [244]

A modern Christian poet has expressed the same idea in the following beautiful words:

"Death is to life as marble to the sculptor,
Waits for the touch that lets the soul go free;
Death is that moment when the swimmer feels
The swift pain of the plunge into the pool,
Followed by laughter where the bubbles flow
From the divided water and the sun
Turns them to crystal: life and light are one."
- The Modernists, by Robert Norwood, p. 57, Socrates.

It might here be pertinent to enquire what it is that we seek to see endure. An analysis of one's attitude to the whole question of death and immortality can frequently serve to clear one's mind of indefiniteness and vagueness, with their base in fear, in mental inertia, and in confused thinking. The following questions therefore come to one's mind, and warrant consideration.

How do we know that the process of death brings about such definite changes in our consciousness that it proves fatal to us, as sentient beings, and renders futile all previous effort of thought, development and understanding? The wonder of Christ's Resurrection, as far as His Personality was concerned, consisted in the fact that, after having passed through death and risen again, He was essentially the same Person, only with added powers. May it not be the same with ourselves? May not death simply remove limitation in the physical sense, leaving us with enhanced sensibilities and a clearer sense of values? This life has molded us and wrought us into certain definite expressions in form and quality, and these, rightly or wrongly, constitute that which is the Self, that which is the real man, from the angle of human life. There is something in us that refuses final identification with the physical form, in spite of what science and the inexperienced may tell us. An intuitive, substantial inner Self steadily and universally repudiates annihilation, and holds firmly to the belief that the search and the goal, the values [245] perceived and for which we struggle, must somewhere, some time, in some manner, prove themselves worth while. Any other point of view argues for the utter lack of an intelligent plan in existence, and leads to the despair which St. Paul expressed in the words: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor., XV, 19.) We are surely on our way towards something of value and dynamic worth; otherwise life is a futile process of aimless wanderings; of caring for a body and educating a mind which have no worth of any kind, and are of no value to God or men. This, we know, cannot be the case.

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