The Questions about the Resurrection (Rabel)
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lectures given on May 25 and May 27, 1976
20:27And there came to him certain of the Sadducees, they that say that there is no resurrection; 20:28and they asked him, saying, Teacher, Moses wrote unto us, that if a man's brother die, having a wife, and he be childless, his brother should take the wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 20:29There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died childless; 20:30and the second: 20:31and the third took her; and likewise the seven also left no children, and died. 20:32Afterward the woman also died.20:33In the resurrection therefore whose wife of them shall she be? for the seven had her to wife.
20:34And Jesus said unto them, The sons of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 20:35but they that are accounted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 20:36for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 20:37But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the place concerning the Bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 20:38Now he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. 20:39And certain of the scribes answering said, Teacher, thou hast well said. 20:40For they durst not any more ask him any question.
In the next section, Jesus gives His final discourse on the subject of marriage, on page 166, in the 20th chapter of Luke, verses 27-40. Jesus uses His words entirely in connection with the states He calls "in the resurrection". Now He does not explain exactly what He means by resurrection, but I think we can pretty well figure it out; in the light of the body of His teachings and our Unity teachings, we can be pretty safe in saying that the resurrection as used by Jesus would be the next greater dimension of consciousness to occur in one. In other words, the Christ consciousness, not being raised into a reincarnated body, but attaining the next greater dimension of consciousness to this life. This one is, for the most part, Adamic consciousness; and many people are at different levels of awareness in it with the goal being the next dimension, Christ consciousness. Some have even touched that, but none abide in it except the one we know of. We are learning more and more to spend longer times touching that Christ consciousness, and perhaps when we abide in it, we will know a lot more than we do now.
Q. Can you explain the passage in both Matthew and Mark which says, "For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as angels in heaven."
A. I would say that is consistent with what we are saying, that the angels would represent inhabitants of the heavenly state of consciousness, which is Christ consciousness. Compared to us, they would be angels.
I think what He is driving at here is, that the resurrection is designating the state of consciousness which is completely above or greater than the current human level, even at the highest attainment. On our present level, such things as marriage as a legal, as a social, as a moral status and as a relationship is held as very, very important, very, very crucial and important. Now, in some cases, folks, it is practically a matter of life and death, this business of who marries who, etc. It is very important to the general level of thinking, so Jesus is asked a metaphysical question or a spiritual question involving the marriage relationship on the mundane basis of thought. You see, the question is all based upon the question of marriage on this level, very much on this level; but you see, Jesus' understanding is on a much higher and truer a level that He really couldn't answer that question on that level, on the level of the question itself; and this happens many times during His ministry. He is asked a question, but it is based upon a low and faulty level of perception. Jesus simply cannot bring Himself to give the answer on that same level because it would not a really true answer. So He gives the answer on a Truth level, which sounds to many ears like no answer; yet it is, in the long run, the only correct answer. That is the same thing to do with marriage. We ask so many of our questions about sex and marriage on a very limited, distorted, untrue level, you see; and so we give answers to these sex-marriage questions on that same level. The whole thing is cock-eyed. The whole thing is nothing more than a matter of point of view, opinion.
You will not believe this, but at one of the retreats, the question was asked at a discussion-meeting, "According to the Unity teachings, is a girl sinning if she submits to rape in order to protect her body?" On that level of thinking, any answer given could be right or wrong. It simply is a matter of point of view and of time, place, and of circumstances, you see. So these people's question comes from that very faulty level of thinking, in contrast to Jesus' level of thinking.
He gives His words, which are somewhat difficult for ordinary thinking to grasp. He does not say that she would be the first man's wife or the seventh man's wife; He does not even say she would be any man's wife. He simply talks about the truth behind all this. He indicates that on our next higher dimension of consciousness, in the resurrection, human relationships, such as cause us trouble in figuring out now, such as marital, will no longer be what they now seem to be. There is the solution, that you will not have the problem. It will not be a problem, which is the answer. He does not say so specifically, but these words imply that this same would hold true including all problems in the current category of sex, morals, and other specific types of human intimacies.
Marriage is just the generic symbol of all this, I think; but what we now call human relations and human intimacies will not be at all what they are appearing to be to us now, in our next dimension of evolution. The whole thing will be readjusted. We are going through many unnecessary types of worrying-conjecturing right now, like whose wife will she be. On a dimension where no one needs to get married because no one needs to form biological bodies anymore because no one is going around dying anymore, you do not have the problem.
Let me try to give another view on this topic in another area. Let us say that at some previous dimension of evolution as a human family, one of the very important factors in our existence was the color yilp. There was a color yilp, and it was very important for us on that dimension of evolution, that we live with that color and recognize that color and use it correctly. We grew, we evolved, and we reached the next dimension, which is now, Adam; and we do not need the color yilp in our existence any more. But along comes someone with Akashic memory who says, "Aren't you worried?” You can't see the color yilp anymore. You have a problem, kid. I remember when it was very important to see the color yilp clearly. Now that you can't see it anymore, you are missing something, you are being deprived of something that you should have." What would your answer be? “I don't know what you mean by yilp because I don't need it. If I needed to know the color yilp, I would have a faculty that could recognize it. It isn't here, so I don't have any problem."
The same thing is more than probably true about many of the things we think are life-and-death matters of importance right now, like the color yilp used to be. You will find yourself in a dimension of existence where it is no problem not to have these things anymore because the need has been out-evolved. Although it does not sound very appetizing now, the hints Jesus is throwing is that what we now call marriage might be the color yilp someday.
Q. Jesus' talking about the one flesh has stimulated some thinking in my mind, and I came across the idea that the whole idea of marriage, not just to keep the race going, is to realize that you are one with all people. By living with another person, you begin to think the way they do, sometimes you begin to read their minds, you grow closer together; yet they are different. From what I have learned that we are really one in the body of Christ and by living with one individual, then you come to realize that not only are you one with that person, but you are one with every individual.
A. Right. And your marriage can be instrumental in helping that. You can fulfill all these, what we call social, moral, and legal responsibilities of the marriage-relationship and also the spiritual meaning behind that marriage-relationship. We are doing exactly what Jesus just told us in this previous lesson. We are rendering unto Caesar, Caesar's and unto God, God's. Then we could have there what I would call a perfect marriage.
The three different versions are almost identical. First, we have the Mark version on page 167, where if Jesus is saying that it is legitimate that the Old Testament that has God saying, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob," Jesus says that is okay but immediately that He is not the God of the dead but of the living, what does that automatically tell us? Those souls are living, you see. That may not be their names any more, but those souls that had that name are living beings.
Now, in the Matthew version it says that the multitude were astonished at His teaching. They were so astonished, because they were totally in the habit of ancestor-worship, of worshipping dead people. But there are no dead people, so their worship was in vain. They were worshipping false images. They had an image of dead ancestors, and they were off the beam, of course.
In the Luke version we read that "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto Him." There are no dead in God, and how much "space" does God occupy? All. God occupies all the dimensions of time, past, present, future, eternity.
Remember, friends, historically, literally, speaking, the Hebrew religion, especially of that day, was one vast system of ancestor-worship and nature-worship, materiality and sensuality and moral do's and don'ts were its main characteristics. The very important part of it was ancestor-worship; therefore, it had to contain many distortions and many grotesqueries in the light of metaphysical truth as we may now see it. Jesus in so many places, in His teachings, tries to, without actually ruining or destroying the establishment as it was, to point out for those who were ready for the new dimension of Truth and more valid meanings, etc. Some of the people seemed to have gotten it when He would do these things. Right here we see that certain of the scribes got the message and they accepted it, but in most cases it seems that Jesus' teachings were for posterity, that they simply bounced off the heads of many of the people who had listened.
Now we have here what I think should be a very enlightening and uplifting teaching, which is when He says, "You do greatly err in this respect". I feel that He is talking about the great error of believing that people who go through the transition are dead. But if they are in God, they cannot be dead because there is no God of the dead. God, among other things, is life, you see. God is being, God is truth, and the souls and spirits and bodies of men are creations of God and God cannot create death.
God cannot create sin or evil. God creates only living truth, perfect being, etc. So men greatly err in this respect, believing that there are the dead. There are no dead. There are only the living. A person may die from our point of view, but a person cannot be a dead person; that sentence itself is its own proof. A person cannot be a dead person, because a dead thing cannot be called a person. So there is only living persons, living expressions of God. God is omnipresence, and omnipresence cannot include not-being, and that is what dead means when we think of it in the human connotation. In omnipresence, there is only living. God is a God of living.
One time I said to a retreat during a discussion-period following the lecture. A retreatant asked what Unity believes about dying. What a spot to be in. You are standing up there, and a retreatant wants you to be the voice of Unity on a subject like that. The response to that question came so fast that it was out of my lips before I even thought it over. The retreatants liked it, so I will repeat it: "There is dying, but there is no death." This just came to me right there. In other words, there are people who go through a death experience or a transition, but they do not go into death. Dying is simply the name that we give to the opening and stepping through a door. Death, itself is an unreality, a false concept.
Text of the original transcript at the 3rd paragraph of p.270 through the 2nd paragraph of p.273.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-12-2014