December 07, 2017


The  Way  of  Ascension

Martin Cecil   April 13, 1980

We are concerned with righteousness, with the coming of the kingdom. It's interesting, isn't it, how good Christians have been praying for centuries, “Thy kingdom come,” without anyone realizing that the only way it would come was if they themselves were in position to bring it. We have known about this for some time, but I believe there was a new awareness of the real nature of our responsibility this morning. The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; every location on the face of the earth is His. We need to live with this conscious awareness, so that we always assume the responsibility for the presence of the kingdom. We no longer think of the kingdom merely in terms of material change. This kingdom is not of this world. It is a heavenly kingdom and our representation of it is based in spiritual expression. The preaching of the gospel is the coming of the kingdom. “And this gospel … shall be preached in all the world … and then shall the end come.” Naturally!—the end of the old world because the kingdom has come. And that coming is our responsibility, in company with others who are in agreement. Wherever we may be, moving from here to there, we bring the kingdom with us, a holy place.

All that is present in any particular location is invited into our encompassment, which is in fact the encompassment of the kingdom. Of course we can only do this if we ourselves are there. We're there because we know the reality of that kingdom in our living. This is what we have chosen to know. Hungering and thirsting after righteousness we are filled with righteousness, the right expression of living; we are filled with the kingdom. There is no more unrighteousness present, no more complaint, no more judgment. It should be rather easy to see what there is no more of, but what is the nature of the righteousness with which we are filled?

As I have indicated, an invitation is extended. We have an attitude of encompassment which includes all that is present in the particular environment. There will be response to that invitation. There will also be some reluctance and some resistance, and some outright rejection. This is of no particular concern to us. We do not have to get into a battle about it. We are not in the business of trying to force anyone to respond the way we think they should. If we made this effort it would be proof positive that we were not, ourselves, in the kingdom. No one can be forced to come into the kingdom; no one can force his way into the kingdom. The door is open because there is someone on hand in the kingdom to extend the invitation. We are concerned with response primarily, response to that invitation.

This response comes out of the kingdoms of the world. There is the human kingdom—we extend the encompassment there, and the invitation. There is the animal kingdom, the kingdom of vegetation, the mineral kingdom. We need to have a balanced outlook. It may be that some are naturally in better position to handle one kingdom than another. There are those who have some sort of affinity with animals, there are others who have what is sometimes called a green thumb, and there are those who are chiefly interested in mechanical contrivances. Of course our primary field relates to the human kingdom. In considering all these kingdoms we may be aware that they are all living kingdoms. Presumably we are aware that this is so in the human kingdom and the animal kingdom and the kingdom of vegetation. Perhaps it's not quite so obvious in the mineral kingdom. Time elements tend to be longer in the mineral kingdom; the movement is slower. But there is no kingdom in which life is not moving. There is nothing inanimate in creation.

We have previously taken note of mechanical contrivances of various sorts and the attitude of enfoldment that is necessary. When there is such enfoldment these contrivances become more lively, it might be said. We are bringing life and more abundant life even to the mineral kingdom. A good workman, it is said, takes care of his tools. He loves them, he enfolds them, and the tools respond to his hand—so with mechanical contrivances of all kinds. If one of these contrivances, such as an automobile, is committed to our care and keeping, for whatever period of time, we are responsible for maintaining the life relative to that piece of equipment. There is an attitude of enfoldment, an attitude which extends an invitation to that automobile to share our life. Thereby it becomes an extension of ourselves and usefully conveys us from here to there. We extend the invitation to these mineral contrivances at a certain level. It wouldn't be fitting to try to drive an automobile into this Chapel. There may be occasions when other more discreet tools are brought into the Chapel for various reasons. We have a video camera here and this is a piece of equipment that needs our enfoldment, encompassment. It is indeed invited to share in our service.

We appreciate what all these types of machinery can do for the Lord. From our standpoint that's the only reason they exist. Other people have other concepts about it of course. The only valid reason for the existence of any of these contrivances is their value to the Lord. We have opportunity from time to time to extend our encompassment, to include more at that level; and if we love one another, love what is present in our environment on the right basis, all these things respond. We have a responsibility, all of us, to maintain functional and effective operation because of our enfoldment. Sometimes not too much thought is given to this and yet it is part of our responsibility, part of our world. Of course there are other ways in which the mineral kingdom is enfolded too. Perhaps we could think about it a little. But for the moment maybe that's enough.

Obviously there is a right enfoldment of the kingdom of vegetation. We are concerned to raise a garden, do some farming. We are concerned even with the esthetic value of vegetation. We offer space for vegetation to come into our enfoldment; an invitation is extended. There have been those who thought of the garden as a chore. It might even be considered to be an unnecessary evil—after all, we could go to the supermarket and buy stuff. But it's part of our responsibility here. This is our immediate contact with the vegetation of the earth. It needs to be handled with love and understanding and enfoldment. The seeds should be lovingly placed in the garden, or in the flats in the greenhouse or wherever, so that they have opportunity to germinate. There should be an enfoldment by all concerned. You may be associated with other patterns in which there is opportunity to enfold the kingdom of vegetation, inviting that kingdom to receive the kingdom which we offer. This encourages growth and a goodly harvest. But when we come to the time of harvest, what is the attitude then? That it's a very tiresome labor for the people who are required to go into the garden and reap the harvest? That would hardly be the attitude of one who was bringing the kingdom, would it? We bring a blessing, we bring enfoldment, we bring love.

We might even verbally invite whatever the crop is to share with us in the spirit of ascension. Of course if we ourselves know nothing of that spirit in our own living we have nothing to share with the vegetation, or with anything, or anyone else either. Our own bodies are the Lord's. These individual earths are the Lord's, and the fulness thereof—that includes mind and heart as well. These are being lifted to Him. So anything that is offered and lifted to us is part of the process by which ascension is occurring, and the fruit is being restored to the Lord.

The same thing of course is true in the animal kingdom. Chickens lay eggs for us. Do we bless and enfold the chickens? Do you ever think about the chickens? Those who look after them probably do, but what about the rest of us? Or do we take eggs for granted? Do we ever have a spirit of thankfulness directed toward the chickens? Those who collect the eggs might well, when they pass through the chicken house, give thanks for the chickens and say so. Bring the thankfulness to a point of focus; don't just brush it aside and say, “Oh yes, I'm thankful.” Here are some creatures serving, offering themselves to the Lord through us. Surely we should have an attitude of appreciation, even if we're not present with the chickens.

There are those other creatures who offer themselves as meat. I wonder if any of you who participate in the receiving of that meat from the animal, or the fowl, or whatever, see it in the light of something being offered to the Lord? You know of old, in the days of the Israelites, for instance, there was a good deal of animal and bird sacrifice which was seen as being unto the Lord. The priesthood ate some of the fruits thereof but it was still unto the Lord. And so it is from the standpoint of the way we handle what is being offered by these creatures to the Lord. One might well express thanks for the willingness of the particular creature to allow the substance of the form to ascend to a higher level, to receive a greater blessing. Of course we need to be sure that if it does ascend into our bodies it is receiving a greater blessing and that our attitude is not one of cursing in daily living. But we see our own bodies as a way station, so to speak, in the ascending cycle.

Now we see this even in the human kingdom. I'm not suggesting that we become cannibals; but our concern is with human sacrifice, that all that belongs to the Lord should be returned to Him, whether it's in our own bodies or in the bodies of others. We live in the world the way it is. In human consciousness none of us have any awareness of the way it may have been in the past, we'll say before the human failure—we don't know what that was. Some have made the attempt to reproduce that now but it was only a reproduction according to some human concept; it couldn't possibly be a reproduction of the reality, because the reality now is quite different. Our concern is to live righteously in the world the way it is—it's the only one we have, after all—to bring the kingdom here and therefore to handle everything that is handled in our world rightly. If we handle rightly the state of affairs as it now is, that state of affairs will no doubt change. It's the only way it can change rightly, that's for sure, so that out of what now is may emerge what should be. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard” what it should be. All we can do—and this is enough; I'm sure it will keep us busy—is to handle things the way they now are, righteously.

All the things with which we deal are things with which other human beings all over the earth have to deal. Our concern is to do these same things as they are necessary to do but do them righteously. We can't start to handle something that isn't the present fact! The righteous approach is a very down-to-earth approach. It doesn't require anyone to start floating around in some imaginary never-never land but to deal with things the way they are, to bring the kingdom into whatever is present in one's immediate location of living. This is the way the world is transformed. It is our responsibility to make right use of our worlds and all that is in them. And we find ourselves, individually, handling certain aspects of these worlds. We are cognizant of the fact that countless other human beings are handling these same aspects in their worlds without any awareness of what righteousness in that regard would mean. But we know, and what we don't yet know we will know if we handle what we know in our present environment. Handling that rightly, your environment expands. From the human viewpoint the individual may be inclined to say, “Oh dear, I'm going to have more to do.” That's right! The devil is lazy. A little self-examination will see how closely you are aligned with this particular devilish trait. I suppose it may be said that there is an inclination to be lazy because of orientation downward. The ultimate laziness is being dead.

The question arises as to how effective those who are now present are in handling the work that is necessary. Where there is righteousness, factual righteousness, we find ourselves capable of encompassing undreamt-of fields. This includes physical action too. All this immediately comes within the range of experience once there is alignment with the cycle of ascension. If one is aligned with what is descending, one presumably gets more and more tired, more and more filled with sludge physically, mentally and emotionally, until it becomes scarcely possible to move at all—physically, mentally or emotionally. Our participation in the ascending cycle relates to this matter of preaching the gospel, of bringing the kingdom into one's environment, so that one is inviting all that is in the environment to rise up and share in the ascension with which we ourselves are aligned. When there is a rising up, which there hasn't been heretofore to any adequate extent, then we begin to find ourselves buoyed up. We begin to find that there is burgeoning energy—no energy shortage here. But we have to do it. We can think about it, we can discuss it, and be just as lazy as usual; or we can actually let it happen because our one concern, by reason of our hungering and thirsting after righteousness, is to let the kingdom be present in every circumstance.

We extend the invitation into the human kingdom, of course; and we provide encompassment for those who begin to rise up in response. But let us recognize that at this level, as at the other levels, there is a variety of encompassment required—it's not all the same thing. We do not, for instance, fling open the doors of the holy place and say to the world, “Come in.” It wouldn't stay a holy place for long, would it, if the invitation happened to be accepted! Of course you wouldn't stay in the Holy Place either. So there needs to be a certain amount of discernment. I suppose as illustration we could recall what the state of affairs was with the Israelites long ago, particularly when they were wandering in the wilderness. They were surrounded by many tribes of the earth, many people. But they had their own encampment. As you may recall, in the middle of the encampment was the tabernacle, which included various parts—there was the Outer Court, there was the Holy Place and there was the Holy of Holies. Obviously all those present in the encampment couldn't be fitted into the Outer Court, let alone into the Holy Place. Nevertheless the encampment was a part of the design of things. If we see this in terms of our present experience, there is a level here which includes the most people, into which the tribes of the earth may be invited, to be enfolded in the encampment. Presumably out of the encampment an invitation is extended to those who might be included in the Outer Court and encompassed there. That would certainly not include all the people who are in the encampment. And then, again, from the Outer Court there might be those who could be invited into the Holy Place. Looking at it this way, I suppose you can see three grades. We need to have a certain discernment in our handling of what is present in our human environment, as to the nature of the invitation that is extended to people.

There is a design; there is a way things work; and as we proceed there must be a refining process. From the standpoint of our own physical bodies we're not just a blob of flesh; that would be awkward. We have very specific parts, which enable us to live as human beings. The same specific differentiation is required in the larger body, the body of the Son of God on earth, so that the invitation may be extended to all the tribes of the earth by the Son of God. But that invitation is extended intelligently, not blindly.

Those who belong in the encampment are invited into the encampment. They're not invited into the Outer Court or into the Holy Place. Enfolded in the encampment, they reveal constantly where they belong. Maybe some who come into the encampment don't belong even in the encampment, and out they go again. There is a selective process here, just as there is in our own physical forms. However we have the responsibility of a certain spiritual discernment so that we may recognize what the nature of the invitation should be to those who give indication of response. Remember, the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; and it is all holy.

People need to learn how to keep sacred things sacred. All too often there is too much talk, isn't there?—people talking about things of which they know very little and trouble ensues. Each individual is responsible for bringing the kingdom into his own circumstance. I can't do it for anybody. I have my responsibility. Each other one has his or her responsibility. Let them handle it. Yes, there is a need for a certain amount of training, and it seems to me we have provided facilities for that in various ways. But it takes someone to accept the responsibility, on the basis of hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and then do it and not expect somebody else to take care of one's own responsibilities.

So let us accept the responsibility of righteousness and bring the kingdom into the place where we are, consistently. If we do that we are part of the ascending cycle—we have all the understanding, the energy, whatever is necessary, to do what we're there to do. Just because there has been quite a resistance to participating in this process doesn't mean that the results of nonparticipation should be given any particular consideration. There is a compassionate encompassment; but we're not doing anyone a favor by preventing them from taking their own responsibility. Let's remember that, and live and serve righteously.

© Emissaries of Divine Light