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Planetary resurrection
by Rev. Howard Ray Carey

Easter. What beautiful pictures it paints in our minds ---- what tremendous significance it has for us. Christian churches traditionally celebrate Easter in terms of Jesus' rising from the stone-sealed tomb of death to resurrection glory, victorious, as usually affirmed, over both 'sin' and death.

But many people now are resurrecting the significance of Easter from the tomes of ancient and medieval theology, and applying the symbolism to individual lives today. We picture ourselves rising from the dark, dark caves of doubt, guilt, and fear which we have fashioned for ourselves and inhabited for so very long. And truly, by letting the angel of our higher nature roll away the massive grave-stones which have blocked our way for ages, we can indeed step forth into the glorious sunlight (Soul light) of our real Self ---- resurrection indeed!

Let us inquire: is it not time for the human race ---- the world disciple ---- to emerge from the dark tombs and dungeons of the past? As it seeks to do so, however, it seems that there is not just one stone, but several boulders, blocking the way. Let us consider briefly three of the heaviest of these: namely materialism, nationalism, and sectarian religion.

The Tibetan teacher DK assures us that our age-long love affair with the kinds of things we can see, weigh, and hoard has reached the zenith of its glamorous power over humanity, and perhaps has even passed that point a bit. Yet when we consider the vast inequities and inequalities existing in our world today, with some rolling in 'the fat of the land' and wasting earth's abundance, while so many millions are starving, we get the impression that this stone of materialism still rests too heavily at the door of our self-made tombs.

There was a time in human history when emerging nationalism constituted a boon for man ---- a definite step forward. That was the period when regional, tribal units and small city-states were uniting to form nations. At least in many cases these nations provided multiple advantages in the erasing of trade barriers and the bringing of numerous benefits. 'In union there is strength' was the motto of individual states in America and elsewhere, coming together to form nations.

But the benefits of one age so often become the burdens of a later time. Today humanity has progressed so far toward the realization of its oneness that national boundaries and other barriers between nations present fearsome obstacles to international commerce and co-operation in so many fields. The solution, of course, lies not in the breaking up of nations into smaller units, but rather in the melting down of some of the barriers between nations.

If our eyes are open we can see that there has already been significant movement in this direction. Such associations as the European Common Market and other international trade agreements hold some promise. But the United Nations is perhaps the most important international development ever. We think of it in terms of its political aspects. But of course it has great impact also on educational, economic, social, and cultural levels. Though less than 40 years old the UN has accomplished, and continues to accomplish, so much more than most of us realize. It has been called 'the last best hope of mankind'. Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe it as the best plan to emerge to date. But, since it is still in its infancy, the UN at its present state of development is not the best we can hope for as we move forward. At the very least, however, the heavy stone of nationalism at the door of humanity's tomb is beginning to crack, letting some resurrection light stream through.

In something of the same manner that nationalism proved of definite value in the past, so also did separate religions. We are told, though I never counted them, that in the United States alone we have over 200 Christian sects or denominations, a few of them large, but many so small that they are little noted. Often these divisions are deplored, and perhaps rightly so. But, on the positive side, this opportunity to form new sects at will has served the cause of religious freedom. For example, when blacks in the mostly white Methodist church were treated as second class citizens, and segregated to balcony seats apart from the main body of worshippers, they exercised their freedom to depart and form their own Methodist sects, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church and others.

But in the present century the need for a different kind of freedom in religion has surfaced. Not the privilege of separating, but the freedom to unite across denominational lines, sometimes in spite of theological differences. This has produced local, regional, state, national, and world councils of churches, as well as conferences of Christians and Jews, etc. This movement toward union has provided many opportunities for co-operation: in relief work, social activities, and even at times in united worship services.

So this heavy stone of divisive religions, blocking humanity's progress, is also beginning to show some cracks, letting in a little of the light of universalism. This is to eventuate in the New World Religion, as the Tibetan calls it, of the Aquarian Age.

How grateful we should be that the Christ is now present with us: not only as a growing power within our hearts; not only as an overshadowing presence in the work of some disciples; but also in indestructible physical presence. Waiting in the wings, as has so well been said; ready for mankind's invitation to present himself world-wide with the Plan ---- God's Plan ---- which can roll away or smash to 'smithereens' all obstructing barriers to light, love, and abundant life for all the people of earth. And we must remember that as humanity rises out of its tomb into Easter light and life, that also serves to lift up the lower kingdoms of nature on animal, plant and mineral levels. Thus is planetary resurrection initiated?

This great Being reminds us over and over, however, that He is only the architect of the Plan, and that we must be the willing builders. That being so, let us rededicate ourselves, heart and Soul, mind and strength, to that Plan. Let us identify ourselves more with Soul than with little self; more with Spirit than with form, so that Soul-level service, unselfish sharing, divine love may flow through us and all seekers in the light; flowing out to all our sisters and brothers who have been groping in dire need and darkness. Let us never forget that the part you and I play in this planetary resurrection is vitally important. Thus let us give ourselves gladly and unstintingly to the divine Plan.

This article is a chapter from The Joy of Christ's Coming This book by the late Rev. Howard Ray Carey was published by Share International Foundation in 1988. It is not currently available in hard copy form. Copyright © Share International Foundation.  Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard version unless otherwise indicated. 

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First published April 1999, Last modified: 15-Oct-2005