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Yet they could not think of it as other than His work, since God, as all their national tradition taught, is One. It interpreted for them, as we might put it in our more cautious way, the creative reality to which they, with all men, had looked with uncertainty and even with fear. Henceforth the central hypothesis which men call God was known as love, and everywhere He was made manifest just in so far as love had passed out from Christ to the fellowship of the Christian community.

Christ had risen, and by His Resurrection proved that humanity had in it the seed of life, and that there was no death for the man who could follow in the steps of the Master.

"A Parenthesis in Eternity" by Joel S. Goldsmith

In the past, being wholly engrossed with consideration of the Crucifixion, we have been apt to forget the fact of the Resurrection. Yet on Easter Day, throughout the world, believers everywhere express their belief in the risen Christ and in the life beyond the grave. They have argued along many lines as to the possibility of His rising, and whether He rose as a human being or as the Son of God. They have been deeply concerned to prove that because He rose again, so shall we rise, provided we believe in Him.

In order to meet the theological need of proving that God is love, we have invented a place of discipline, called by many names, such as purgatory, or the various stages of the different faiths on the road of departed spirits to heaven, because so many millions die, or have died, without ever having heard of Christ.

Therefore belief in Him as an historical figure is not possible for them. We have evolved such doctrines as conditional immortality, and the atonement through the blood of Jesus, in an endeavour to glorify the personality of Jesus and safe-guard Christian believers, and to reconcile human interpretations with the truth in the Gospels.

We have taught the doctrine of hell-fire and eternal punishment, and then tried to fit it in to the general belief that God is love.

Yet the truth is that Christ died and rose again because He was divinity immanent in a human body. Through the processes of evolution and initiation He demonstrated to us the meaning and purpose of the divine life present in Him and in us all. Because Christ was human, He rose again. Because He was also divine, He rose again, and in the enacting of the drama of resurrection He revealed to us that great concept of the continuity of unfoldment which it has ever been the task of the Mysteries of all time to reveal.

Again and again we have found that the three episodes related in the Gospel story are not isolated happenings in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, but that they have been repeatedly undergone in the secret places of the Temples of the Mysteries, from the dawn of time.

The Saviours of the past were all [] subjected to the processes of death in some form or other, but they all rose again or were translated to glory.

In the initiation ceremonies this burial and resurrection at the end of three days was a familiar ceremonial. History tells us of many of these Sons of God who died and rose again, and finally ascended into Heaven. We find, for instance, that "the Obsequies of Adonis were celebrated in Alexandria in Egypt with the utmost display. His image was carried with great solemnity to a tomb, which served the purpose of rendering him the last honours.

Before singing his return to life, there were mournful rites celebrated in honour of his suffering and his death. The large wound which he received was shown, just as the wound was shown which was made to Christ by the thrust of the spear. The feast of his resurrection was fixed at the 25th of March. To the latter, Ovid addressed the following words:. All hail!

The Unofficial Infinite Way - A Parenthesis in Eternity

Shall heal the nations and defraud the tomb. Swift be Thy growth, Thy triumphs unconfined. Make kingdoms thicken and increase mankind. Then shalt Thou die, but from the dark abode.

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These words might have been appropriately addressed to Christ, and they serve to indicate the antiquity of the Mystery Teaching which, with unbroken continuity, has revealed the divinity in Man and shown him the Way of a Saviour. But in ancient times these mysteries were enacted in [] secret, and the rites of initiation were administered only to those who were fitted to pass through the five great experiences from the Birth to the Resurrection. The uniqueness of Christ's work lay in the fact that He was the first to enact the whole of the initiation ceremonial rites and ritual publicly, before the world at large, thus giving to humanity a demonstration of divinity centred in one person, so that all could see, could know, believe and follow in His steps.

The same stories are told of Hercules, of Baldur, of Mithra, of Bacchus, and of Osiris, to mention only a few of a large number.

Initiation Into Eternal Life

One of the early Church Fathers, Firmicus Maternus, tells us that the mysteries of Osiris bear a close resemblance to the Christian teaching, and that after the resurrection of Osiris his friends rejoice together, saying, "We have found him. He was brought into the chamber of Initiation, and was stretched on the ground with his arms extended, sometimes on a cross of wood, sometimes merely on the stone floor, in the posture of a crucified man.

The body was placed in a sarcophagus of stone, and there left, carefully guarded. In that he returned to the body of flesh, to re-animate it. The cross bearing that body, or the entranced and rigid body, if no cross had been used, was lifted out of the sarcophagus and placed on a sloping surface, facing the east, ready for the rising of the sun on the third day.

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At the moment that the rays of the sun touched the face, the Christ, the perfected Initiate or Master, re-entered the body, glorifying it by the bliss body He was wearing, changing the body of flesh by contact with the body of bliss, giving [] it new properties, new powers, new capacities, transmuting it into His own likeness.

That was the Resurrection of the Christ, and thereafter the body of flesh itself was changed, and took on a new nature. Thus we find that the resurrection story is of very ancient date, and that God has always held before humanity, through the Mysteries and through His illumined Sons, the fact of immortality, as before our Christian world, through the death and resurrection of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. This whole problem of death and immortality is engrossing a great deal of public attention at this time.

The World War brought the fact of death before the public consciousness in a new and arresting manner. There was scarcely a family in over twenty nations which had not been bereft by death, in some form or other. The world has passed through a process of dying, and at the present time the mystery of the Resurrection is becoming a theme of major importance in men's minds. The thought of the Resurrection is coming closer, and its significance has been the central idea of the Masonic Fraternity down the ages, forming the focal point of the work of the sublime Third Degree.

In close relation to this Masonic "raising" can be placed a little-known sermon of the Buddha, in which He teaches His disciples the significance of the "five points of Friendship," and thus links up these five points, the five crises in the life of Christ and the five points in the Masonic legend. All these references serve to show the continuity of revelation of which the Resurrection with its subsequent Ascension was the climaxing event for the Occident.

The outstanding need of Christianity today is to emphasise the living, risen Christ. We have argued too long over the death of Christ, seeking to impose a narrow sectarian Christ upon the world. We have fed the fires of separation by our Christian divisions, churches, sects and "isms. Let us now unite on the basis of the risen Christ—Christ alive today, Christ the source of inspiration and the founder of the kingdom of God; Christ, the cosmic Christ, eternally on the Cross, yet eternally alive; Christ, the historical Saviour, the founder of Christianity, watching over His Church; Christ, the mystic, mythic Christ, portraying upon the canvas of the Gospels the episodes of unfoldment so that all who live may know and follow; and Christ, alive today in every human heart, the guarantee of, and the urge towards divinity, which humanity so constantly exhibits.

Because of the presence of Christ in man, the conviction of divinity and of man's consequent immortality seem to be inherent in the human consciousness. It will inevitably occupy more and more of man's attention until it is demonstrated and proven; meanwhile that something apparently persists beyond physical death has been demonstrated.

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The fact of immortality has not been proven as yet, though it constitutes a basic belief in the minds of millions, and where such a belief is universally found, there must indubitably be a basis for it. The entire question of immortality is closely linked with the problem of divinity and of the unseen, subjective world, which seems to underlie the tangible and visible, frequently making its presence felt. Working therefore on the premise of the unseen and invisible, it is probable that we shall eventually penetrate to it and discover that it has always been with us, but that we have been blinded and unable to recognise its presence.

Always some have done so, and their note sounds forth, strengthening our belief, endorsing our hope, and guaranteeing to us the eventual experience. How then shall we recognise truth or reality when we meet it? How shall we know that a doctrine is of God, or not? It is so easy to make mistakes, to believe what we want to believe, and to deceive ourselves in the desire to have our own ideas endorsed by other minds.

The words of Dr.

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Luke XXIV. But this life of power, a power instinct with love and joy and peace, can only with difficulty be lived continuously except in a fellowship, within which mutual challenge, mutual encouragement and mutual confession of failure are easy It takes courage to face the fact of death, and to formulate with definiteness one's beliefs upon the subject. It is a statistical fact that about fifty million people die every year. If this is so, the establishing of the verity of Christ's Resurrection and the truth of immortality are of far greater importance than the individual may deem.

We are too apt to study these problems either from the scientific angle or from a purely selfish individual one. Death is the only event which we can predict with absolute certainty, and yet it is the event about which the majority of human beings refuse to think at all until faced with the imminent and personal issue.