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From Bethlehem to Calvary - Chapter Six - The Fifth Initiation - The Resurrection and Ascension
Christ died and rose again. He lives. And some people in the world today do not need to have this fact proven to them. They know He is alive, and that because He lives we shall live also. In us is the same germ of essential life which flowered forth to perfection in Him, overcoming the tendency to death inherent in the natural man. Surely, then, we can say that immortality consists for us in three stages:

First, as that livingness which we call the urge to evolution, the impulse to progress, to push forward, to live, and to know that one lives. This is the incentive behind man's determination [252] to know himself an individual, with his own life cycle his own innate purpose and his eternal future.

Secondly, as that dynamic spiritual awareness which manifests in the reorientation to eternity and the eternal values which is the distinguishing feature of the man who is ready to take the necessary steps to demonstrate his spiritual life and to function as an immortal. Then the resurrection which lies ahead of him, and which Christ expressed, is seen to be something different from what had earlier been supposed. The following definition of the true resurrection, as it begin to dawn on the eyes of the man who is awakening to the glory of the Lord within his own heart and immanent in every form, finds place:

"The resurrection is not the rise of the dead from their tombs but the passage from the death of self-absorption to the life of unselfish love, the transition from the darkness of selfish individualism to the light of universal spirit, from falsehood to truth, from the slavery of the world to the liberty of the eternal. Creation 'groaneth and travaileth in pain' 'to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.' "
- The Supreme Spiritual Ideal, by S. Radhakrishnan, Hibbert Journal October, 1936.

The third and final thought which must be emphasized is that we are resurrected to life eternal and become of the company of the immortals when we have fitted ourselves to be co-workers with Christ in the kingdom. It is when we lose the consciousness of the separate individual and become divinely aware of the whole of which we are a part that we have learnt life's final lesson and need "no more return." I is the death of the individual which we fear and dread, and the loss of personal consciousness. We do not realize that when the vision of the kingdom is ours, when the whole of creation shines forth before our eyes, it is that Whole which matters to us, and we lose sight of our personal selves.

The resurrection therefore might be defined as the [253] persistence on into the future of that which is the divine aspect, and which is integrated with the life and consciousness of that sum total which we call God. That life and that consciousness flow through all parts of God's manifestation, the natural world. The kingdoms of nature have one by one evolved, and in so doing have expressed some aspect of His life as it informs and animates His creation. One by one, they have steadily progressed from the inert consciousness and slow, heavy rhythm of the mineral kingdom, and have revealed sequentially more and more of the hidden divine nature, until we come to man whose consciousness is of a much higher order and whose divine expression is that of the self-conscious, self-determined Deity. From automatic forms of consciousness, the life of God has carried the forms of life through sentient consciousness to the instinctive consciousness of the animal; then it has progressed on into the human kingdom, wherein self-consciousness holds sway, until the higher members of that kingdom begin to show a disposition towards divinity. The faint, dim signs of a still higher kingdom can now be seen, in which self-consciousness will give place to group-consciousness, and man will know himself to be identified with the Whole, and not to be simply a self-sufficient individual. Then the life of the whole body of God can flow consciously into and through him, and the life of God becomes his life and he is resurrected into life eternal.

Therefore the trend in human affairs at this time towards synthesis, cooperation, fusion and amalgamation is a sign of the advanced stage humanity has reached. It is a portent of promise, and indicates that the resurrection to life, to which all the Sons of God, down the ages, have testified, is now a general possibility. Humanity today, as a whole, faces towards life because its values are real, its integrity is being steadily assured, and the world indications (as manifested through the nations and groups) are oriented towards synthesis and cooperation. The present world turmoil is simply [254] the result of this process of reorientation, and has its parallel in the process of Christian "conversion" and the adjustments incident to that happening, which usually alter and rearrange a man's entire life program. The world program is thus being readjusted, and the immediate result is chaos. But the new direction is assured, and nothing car arrest the progress of humanity's entrance into life. Hence the world crisis - the readjustments, the tendency to fusion and synthesis. The new race, which is immortal, is coming into being, and yet it is the same race at a new and high point of achievement, The Great Expectation then is that Birth into the Deathless Race may be realized here and now, as it has been realized already by those of humanity who have been made Divine.

The kingdom of God moves on to fulfilment. The purpose of Christ's life, death and resurrection is on the verge of achieving consummation. A new kingdom is coming into being; a fifth kingdom in nature is materializing, and already has a nucleus functioning on earth in physical bodies. Therefore let us welcome the striving and struggling of the present time, for it is a sign of resurrection. Let us understand the upheaval and the chaos, as humanity breaks out of the tom of selfishness and individualism and comes to the place of living light and unity, for it is the resurrection. Let us penetrate into the darkness with what light we have, and see humanity stirring, the dead bones coming to life, and the wrappings and bands being discarded, as spiritual strength and life pour into the race of men, for this is the resurrection.

We are privileged to be present at a moment of great crisis for the race. We are seeing the birth of a new and deathless race - a race in which the germ of immortality will flower and in which divinity can express itself through the transfiguration of mankind. That which is of value is coming to the fore. It has always been there, but today it can be seen, ushering in the consummation of Christ's work, and bringing to realization His vision. [255]

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