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The five-fold path to resurrection
by Reverend Howard Ray Carey

Our Western world has long thought of Easter as a symbol of nature rising out of its icy tomb of winter into its color pageant of spring; and of Jesus rising out of His borrowed tomb of death into His resurrection glory, thus bringing not only new hope but a new dimension of life to His disciples. And it is to be remembered that disciples of Christ may be members of any of the world's religions, or of none.

Let us then seek to discover the meaning of this Easter or Aries full moon festival for ourselves, as disciples or aspirants to discipleship, and for humanity, which has been called the world disciple. Alice A. Bailey, in The Rays and the Initiations, has reported for us, from the Tibetan, a rule for disciples and initiates which bids us: ''Know ---- express ---- reveal ---- destroy ---- resurrect.''

This five-fold admonition may seem shocking to us at first, indicating how many steps are necessary before we are ready for our complete resurrection. However (for our encouragement), there is another sense in which, if we are on the spiritual path, and are doing our part, we are in a continuing process of resurrection. That is, we are in the process now of either slowly or rapidly rising out of old habits and old prisons into greater light, love and spiritual power. Let us not forget this truth. Its realization is a needed companion on our journey. And that wondrous journey will be advanced once we come to understand and experience what is involved for us in the four key words: Know ---- express ---- reveal ---- destroy.

What does it mean to know? Fifty years ago, as a young denominational minister, I was involved in and struggling with many beliefs. I was trying desperately to hold on to these beliefs, and feeling very insecure about it all. For instance, I was clinging to the belief that God ---- an awesome Being up there and out there somewhere ---- loved me. Yet I wondered how He possibly could love me, for I felt so unworthy of any real love. In the midst of that tangle of belief and doubt there seemed little, if anything, that I could really know for sure.

Since then, through prayer and meditation, and continuing through faulty attempts to live a life of discipline, dedication and unselfish service, I am grateful that now I have arrived at a place of knowing, at least in some things. This level of consciousness, where we not only believe but know that we are beings of eternity, at one with God, is a precious achievement. Beliefs can be snatched from us either by logic or illusion, and often are. But what we really know cannot be taken from us by any means whatsoever. Such knowing emerges from our intuitive or buddhic level of being and, as DK indicates, eventually becomes ''direct awareness of God.''

When we have progressed to that level of true knowing, then we are in touch with the truth of Christ, which we become ready to express. Lacking this in the Piscean Age: ''In the Christian Church, men have expressed themselves, not Christ; they have imposed their interpretations of truth on truth itself; they have created a massive organization in every land but a living organism is non-existent.'' (Rays and Initiations, p. 296)

But as disciples we eventually rise above such entrapments of the lower self. Now His truth becomes our truth. Now we become ready to express His Plan of sharing, of justice, of brotherhood and love. For now it has become not only His Plan but our own as well; a Plan for the whole of humanity, seeking to find expression through us and through His disciples around the world. Can we not see that the purpose is that the truth and the Plan ---- through us and His disciples everywhere ---- should find acceptance and expression among the masses, the members of the human family everywhere?

As disciples we become aware of the divine life in every blade of grass, every drop of water and every human being. Hitherto this innate glory of God in those blades of grass, those drops of water and in most human beings has been hidden. Now this shining glory becomes revealed in and through these and all other aspects of nature. As disciples, whether we have realized it or not, we become channels for the revelation of this divine reality. Does this fact seem too overwhelming at first, too awesome?

We had best get used to it. For if we were to turn back or slip from the spiritual path, we would be back on the level of revealing our littleness, and expressing our selfish desires, our fears, and perhaps our greed and lust. But whatever aberrations we may slip into, we, as disciples, cannot long escape our 'dharma' (spiritual duty) of revealing through our life and service the wisdom and the Plan of God. For it is, after all, the wisdom and Plan of our real Self, Monad, or divine Spirit. Down here in the personal scramble of life on the physical plane we may have evaded our true Selves for aeons of time, but as disciples we can do so no longer. For us that time of evasion is past. As someone has put it:  ''May the love and light that is in Christ stand revealed in us, that we may renew and increase our service to our fellow men.''

In the past ---- a past which we may or may not remember, and of which we may now feel ashamed ---- we have no doubt been involved in destruction of a harmful kind. That is, a kind of destruction which dashes to bits the hopes, the dreams, the aspirations, and sometimes the lives of others; yes, and some-times of ourselves. But the kind of destruction we are intended to be involved in now is different: namely, the destruction of barriers which separate and divide people on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, nationality or whatever. Such barriers sometimes carry the label of prejudice. But whatever their name or nature they must go! And truly they are in the process of being destroyed. Sometimes that destruction is not as rapid as we would like. But isn't that where we as disciples come in? As we rise to the level where we really know, express and reveal the oneness of all life, our part in the needful and beneficent process of destruction comes more and more into focus.

This participation in destroying the old and limiting walls of separation prepares us to become ''willing builders of the shining temple of humanity.''  This is a radiant goal set for us by the Christ, in one of the Messages He has conveyed to us. How we long to fulfill our part in this glorious task.

The complete resurrection into full citizenship in the spiritual kingdom, or Kingdom of God, may lie far ahead for us. I know it does for me. For that consummation takes place at the fifth initiation. And that constitutes being raised to the position of a Master of the Wisdom in the Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet. But lesser resurrections take place along the way. Through these other steps, as we come to know, express, reveal, destroy and build, we are in the process of rising out of our self-made tombs of darkness and limitation into the light and glory of Easter morning.

Let us realize that we too can experience transforming resurrection, not only symbolically, but in our daily lives. Yes, we can, if we so choose and daily apply ourselves ---- in love, in trust, in joy, and through sharing on many levels.

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