Lesson 11 — The Great Demonstration
Text Reference: Chapters 15 and 16
- SELECTED STUDIES (Shanklin), P. 104
- ATOM SMASHING POWER OF MIND (Fillmore), Chapt. 4, 17
- CHRISTIAN HEALING (Fillmore), p. 58, 59
- TWELVE POWERS OF MAN (Fillmore), P. 22, 23, 161-174
Significant Concepts To Be Covered
- The cross is a story half-told. As a symbol of Christianity, the cross denies the central teaching of Jesus — the Divinity of Man. If we keep the cross through a metaphysical explanation, let us be mighty sure that we do not trap ourselves in the old idea.
- Why defend Judas? Because tradition has obscured Jesus’ demonstration effort by blaming it all on the evil motivations of Judas. We must see Judas, not as the weakest disciple but the strongest, the man with the nerve to play the role. Thus he was “chosen” by Jesus.
- Judas, and all the disciples, was part of the consciousness of Jesus. There was that in Jesus, the human self, the ego, the material centered that had to be crossed out. He had to go to the cross to prove His freedom from the sense man; and Judas, the ego, had to destroy himself that the full demonstration of eternal life could manifest.
- The Easter mystery lies in another dimension. How can we be expected to understand when most of us are still struggling to understand life in a three dimensional world? There are many levels of mystery, and the story has leaning for us on whatever level we nay approach it upon.
- Jesus made the great overcoming not because He could not sin, but because He would not. He was no ordinary man, but He was a man. He was called Master, not because of the manner of His birth, but because of the victorious overcoming through His life. All along the way, even while teaching and healing. He was engaged in His own work of self-mastery. Thus Easter was a commencement Day for Jesus.
- But Easter not only was a demonstration for Jesus — it was that. It was also a discovery of a law — so that it proved the eternity dimension of man. We must not forget the repeatability of the Great Demonstration.
- Like the Prodigal Son, you may have been living in the far country of self-limitation; but you are divine, and when you come to yourself you can demonstrate that of you that is eternal, ageless, deathless, whole and complete. The Great Demonstration of resurrection is not only awakening out of a death sleep — it is also waking up from a sleep of mortal consciousness into a fuller experience of life.
- You do not have to die to be immortal. You are immortal now. Immortality has nothing to do with time. The Divine of you is immortal. This means more than that you will live forever — it does mean that. But it also means that you live in the deep foreverness of the now. It deals not with the horizontal of length of life, but of the vertical of the depth potential of man himself.
- When we think of life in terms of time, we lose the Truth of the greatness of life. Life is not for dying — life is for living, for growing, for unfolding, for evolving that which is involved. Anything you will ever be, you already are. The greatness of the Infinite is already involved in you. Resurrection is a waking up, a new insight into self.
- There is an urgency to the Great Demonstration. The world needs this Truth today, needs to reduce the principles of Truth to the least common denominator and then put them to work. Easter deals with the Divinity of Man, of you and people everywhere.
Additional material that may be helpful:
In the Revised Version of the Bible (Matt. 28:1) we read, “Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week...”” Toward the dawn! This is the symbol of hope and faith. Look toward the East! In all times of crises, curing grim and harrowing experiences, men tend to look toward the west, to indulge in regrets and grief for that which is fading and passing from sight. The disciples were looking toward the West. Jesus had fired them with enthusiasm and hope. But it was all over now. Hadn’t they seen Him die?
Significantly, the word “Easter” contains the word “east”. This is the direction the Wise Men looked for the Star that enabled them to set the course that led to the birthplace of Jesus. In Oriental lore “east” is a symbol of light, of hope, of the within, of God. Looking to the east, means looking away from the appearance, looking to God. Easter should be a time of illumination, a “sunrise service”, when the light of a new day reveals new hope, new promise and new and wonderful potentialities.
In the Upanishads we read, “Lead me to the other side of darkness.” This is the great need of man today. We have been living in the consciousness of the human, the material, the appearance. We have become too “westernized“. We have done great things with the intellect but we are finding that without understanding, we become possessed by our possessions and slaves to our creations. It was said of old, “There is a Spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding.” We must look to the East. We must look within.
We have been living in the consciousness of coming to the close of the day. We think of life as ebbing away, of opportunities missed, of substance and supply as being depleted. Because we are looking into the past and into the darkness of grief and sadness and because life goes on, we find ourselves veritably backing through life. There is much talk about a “final world war,” the horrors of atomic extinction, and the end of the world. We have become almost mesmerized by the westward looking appearances. The Eternal message of Easter proclaims today, “Look toward the dawn. Let Easter happen to you. Turn about and face the sunrise, toward the light of a new day. Let the resurrection principle rise up in you that you might rise triumphant over every trial.
One of the great stories of human accomplishment is that of Marie Curie, who pioneered and conquered in the field of chemistry. In her quest for radium, she overcame obstacles which had halted other scientists and left then baffled and dismayed or skeptical and unbelieving. Who would have oelieved that out of the refuse of a Bohemian class factory an intrepid woman could extract the glowing element of power called radium. She reduced, boiled down, tons and tons of it before at last she captured the elusive thing. Marie Carie conceived the theory, which her experiments proved true, that the vital something she was seeking was not destroyed by going through the furnaces of the factory. The fires had no effect whatever upon the radium. They neither destroyed nor diminished the vital thing. It was there in the same quantity and the same state as in virgin pitchblend from the mines.
How like the imperishable something within the soul of man! All the furnace fires of human discipline, even death itself, cannot obliterate the Christ Spirit, the Divinity of Man, the seed of resurrection within.
Years ago, before the advent of television, there was a story on radio that was called, “Angels with Amnesia.” It was an interesting story of an angel who was on a mission on the earth. He was accidentally struck on the head and was the victim of amnesia. He couldn’t remember who he was. There unfolded an intriguing story situation because obviously, if he didn’t know he was an angel, he had all the involvements and difficulties and temptations of ordinary mortal men. In the end he awakened and realized his angelic nature — just in time to prevent him from entering into a very human “affair.” In a way, Jesus implies that everyone is an angel with amnesia. Everyone is divine. We are not aware of our divinity, our God potential. We are asleep to our deeper selves. We need to wake up.
“And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back.” This is a clue so important that without identifying it, there is no way to understand the “miracle” works of Jesus. When He fed the five thousand hungry people, “... he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and brake and gave the loaves to the disciples ... and they all ate, and were filled.” When He stood before the tomb of His beloved friend, Lazarus, He “lifted up his eyes, and said ... Lazarus, come forth.” And on another instance, Jesus said, “Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white already unto harvest.”
Jesus said, “Judge not according to appearances, but judge righteous judgment.” Man is a whole creature living in a whole universe. However, the physical sight reveals only part of the picture. Jesus knew that He had to be “born anew” if He wanted to see the Kingdom, to see the answer to life’s problems. So he “looked up” from the human to the divine, from the appearances to Infinite Reality. He knew that He did not need to set things right — only to see them rightly. This is a vital aspect of prayer that is emphasized in Emerson’s classic definition of prayer as “the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view.”