As there are three estates of being, so, too, are there three resurrections. They are named resurrections because they are as the ladder up which man in soul ascends to the etherean realm of being whence his soul came forth. The three resurrections may be named the first resurrection, the second resurrection and the third resurrection.
The first resurrection opens to all men beyond the gate of death. The second resurrection must be worked for. The key to it is faith in the Father, the All Person, the One All Light, above all else, combined with a true desire to rise to higher realms of being, from darkness into light.
The third resurrection admits the soul of man to the etherean realm or state of being. Of many gradations is the ethereal realm, according to the capacity and degree of the soul's growth to reveal the Father, but to all alike entry to ethereal requires absolute purity of being, attained on completion of the path of overcoming, casting no shadow.
Of the first resurrection, consider the magnitude of the harvests of souls which rise upward from the earth as from a field in which they were planted. Each year of the order of a hundred million, more or less. In fifty years, far more than inhabit the mortal earth.
Consider also the diversity of the grades and conditions thus rising from the earth into the heavens of the first resurrection. The wise, and those so ignorant, damaged, or diseased that they scarce know their own names, unstable as water, scarcely able to maintain, without care and assistance, the continuity and integrity of the entity which is theirs.
Consider those whose beings are wholly illumined by faith, and those bound down in the toils of reason and intellect applied to the exclusion of all other senses, believing that there is no life beyond the gate of death. Consider also the millions bound in materiality, desiring only to satisfy and pursue their material needs and desires, to seek their own advancement, and to increase their possessions. And those also, at another extreme of the scale, who are bound in belief to doctrines and to dogmas which lead them astray, having no objective reality in the great universe of being.
Consider also those who have done great damage to others, even to millions of their fellow men, increasing thereby the dark heritage of the earth, and those others whose whole live have been dedicated and spent in working for the elevation of others, sacrificing themselves in love, without thought of self. And then, too, the diversity of talent, and of capacity in talent, running into channels and combinations more than could be counted.
All these enter the first resurrection. Some only to pass through it swiftly to the second resurrection, which they had entered in spirit even while on earth. Others to spend, in terms of mortal time, periods even of hundreds of years; periods in which time as men know it has little meaning, but change and growth upward, readiness to rise, readiness to be aided to rise, are the only valid measures.
For all these multitudes coming in their millions the first resurrection heavens provide places suited to each one, according to their grade and condition. This represents no arbitrary judgment placed upon them by the Father, or by any being higher than they. In this they are, as it were, their own judges. The grade and nature of their being which they had attained and developed while in mortal form is the sole arbiter of the condition and place within the first resurrection heavens in which they find themselves when their consciousness has awakened to the atmospherean state of being following their transition to it.
It is observable as a law of being that all things have their places in which, by their nature, or by their function, they are, as it were, focussed and localized. Even so is it with all the religions now existing among men on earth, and with all other aggregations of thought-forces, which have been given sufficient power, through the creative thought of angels and men, that they have a potent subjective existence. All these have their places, their anchorages, within one or other grade of the first resurrection heavens, such places reflecting subjectively the nature and the grading of the thought-forces of belief and allegiance which brought them into being and have since built and maintained them. To such subjective conditions, according to grade, go those whole beings, during life and at the time of mortal death, are strongly attuned to them.
In this realm of being none in this day are bound save by themselves, by their own incapacity to rise, by their ignorance that it is possible for them to rise, perchance by the absence within them of any desire to rise. Such must be and will be rescued by those in realms above them in the Father's time, the time of All Wisdom, when it is recorded that they are ripe for rescue ready to respond to those who can help them, and to leave, with relief growing into wonder and delight, the conditions in which they have been for so long.
Those others who are capable, by virtue of a greater grade of growth, of becoming dissatisfied with their surroundings, eager and desirous of rising above them, but know not where to turn or how to go--to these also help is available from those constantly watchful to respond to the call of the soul aspiring upward. Thus, to such, the bondage of false belief, the bondage of illusion, has relatively little power to hold them. They become aware that it is not, and cannot be, the highest conception of being, even in the limited capacity of understanding to which their souls have attained. They are as those who, having been taught to believe in a god and in certain doctrines centred upon him, have found that his existence is an illusion, that the claims made are baseless, and that the powers claimed cannot be substantiated. Then are those who have thus attained to freedom ready to respond to those from higher realms who can point the way to the higher conception of being they long for.
It should be understood, therefore, that the first resurrection heavens, so far from being a judgment placed upon any, is a place formed and governed in its provision by the love of the All Father-Mother, who provides it as a second womb for those who, during mortal life, have not attained capacity to enter and dwell in any higher realm of being. That there is great sorrow in the first resurrection heavens is true. That there is great darkness there is true. That there is despair there is true. But these conditions are those of the souls who enter within them, they are imposed upon them by the very nature of their beings; by themselves; by what they have made of themselves; by what they have become, and not by any other judgment whatever upon them.
At the other end of the scale within the first resurrection heavens are places so high in grade, so beautiful, so full of light, that to any mortal who found himself in them they would seem indeed to be places of wonder and delight. So them seem, in fact, to many who dwell in them, whether they have entered them direct after death, or after a period in lower conditions during which they have risen to the one in which they now find themselves. Nonetheless, with all the opportunity of employment found there for talent and invention, and for the souls expression in numberless ways, there comes a time when they who dwell there find they have come to the end of its possibilities. Then they, too, turn their souls upward, calling with their whole soul. Such calls, when they are recorded in realms above, are heard and answered in ways which prove beyond gainsaying that there is indeed a place, a condition, far higher, far more potent, from which roadways of advance lead ever upward without end or limit.
This realm, so spoken, is the realm of the heavens of the second resurrection, known to some as the first state of the Organic realms of being. It reaches, in space, from above the heavens of the first resurrection to the boundary of the earth's atmospherean vortex.
To this realm, the Organic realm within the atmospherean heavens of the earth, it has been said that the requirement of entry is a readiness, a sincere desire which will brook no refusal, to learn to grow in faith in the One Supreme Being, the All Person, the Almighty, Jehovih. Thus it is said: Without an All Person, none have risen, nor can any ever rise beyond the highest limit of the first resurrection, no matter how great their learning or their power within that realm of being.
At this point it may be asked: How is it that faith is accorded such a power? Is not faith, a denial of man's reason and judgment? Is it not, therefore, a step backward on the unfolding path of life-expression? Is not knowledge superior to faith? The answer is that knowledge and faith, faith and knowledge are as twin instruments of man's attainment in spirit. By neither the one nor the other alone does man advance.
It has been said: in darkness faith, in light knowledge. This reveals a truth which man proves for himself, not once and there an end, but time after time, even when he has advanced far in the grades in ethereal realms.
Faith is a talent to the power of which there is no end. When knowledge falters and fails, then faith steps in. From the state of knowledge, faith leads on, crossing the gulf between the former state of knowledge and a higher state of knowledge beyond. Thus faith leads the way to knowledge, and knowledge provides, with each advance, a surer, more inviolable foundation from which faith may carry the soul into fresh knowledge through the challenge of experience.
Is it not evident even on earth that the capacity for faith is one of the greatest of talents? Were man to rely on knowledge alone he would attain nothing. It is faith in himself, in the first stage; faith in his mother or father or some other, that enables him to step forward and conquer the gulf of darkness, the task, the adventure, which is beyond his experience because it has not yet been essayed. Even so, right through mortal life, the capacity of a man to have faith, in himself, in a cause, in a leader, or in some other, is a paramount factor in his achievements.
Faith of this order, leading always to fresh knowledge, leading always to further tests of faith, and thus to further knowledge, is sufficient for man to live a full life in the mortal realm and in the first resurrection heavens of being. Yet faith of this order is by its nature divisive, having many objects, and not least the self of a man himself, which brings him into conflict with others whose faiths have different anchorages of a similar order. The result, then, of faith expressed at this level is to advance man's knowledge and make him proud and powerful, so that he builds organisations of power which are at variance with, and antagonistic to, others built by other individuals and other groups. This is to be seen on earth today, not only in religious groups, but in racialisms and nationalisms and causes of every kind, which men have placed their faith in and have built up, by the power of faith.
Such conditions have no place in the second resurrection heavens, the first Organic realm of being. In that realm there is but one allegiance: to the Father, Jehovih, the I AM, the All Light: under many names, but with one central meaning: The Supreme Being, the Whole Compriser, the Great Whole. All who enter the Organic realm of being do so because of their sincere desire to rise towards the place of everlasting light, and have learned to know that only through faith in the Father, the All One, can the progress in harmony required upon the journey be achieved.
In the Organic realm of being harmony is a ruling condition out of which, upon the base of love, wisdom and power, far beyond mortal conception, are directed to the elevation of all men, both to those within the second resurrection heavens and to those below them in the first resurrection heavens and on the mortal earth.
From this great realm of being comes to mortals all that is instruments in quickening talent, invention, discovery, the advancement of man's knowledge, and with this also the constant inspiration that he may, if he will, use all that he thus gains for the advancement, the emancipation, and the upliftment in terms of real values of himself and of all others. Here is to be found the source of the fountain of man's aspiration, of his desire to do good rather than evil, and his ability to distinguish the one from the other.
Through the line of the soul-light does such inspiration come to the soul of man, for the second resurrection heavens of the earth, the first Organic realm of being, are one in this with the ethereal realms of being which interpenetrate and surround the earth and with which man's soul is linked.
From the second resurrection realm come they who have the elevation, the guardianship and the unfoldment of all below them in their charge. It is a law of being, with which they are one that the higher forever lift up the lower. As those in the ethereal realms of being aid, sustain and direct all in realms below them, in this acting as the Father's instruments by His presence directly within them; as the Father is the mover and sustainer of all within the universe of His being; so, according to their measure, do they in the second resurrection heavens of the earth fulfil their part in raising up the earth's harvest. Forever they lift up those who stumble and fall; direct those who have lost their way; give courage and resolution to those who doubt; seek those who turn aside from the Way, following them even to the very depth of all darkness that they may be lifted up in the time of desperation; sustaining those who are borne down and despairing under the weight of their burdens. Yet more: when the times are ripe, they go to those who are ready for rescue, ready for aid, eager for release, and lifting them up to a place and a condition where the Father's light is as an overpowering presence, they present to them the proofs that each soul has awaited. In such times also are the burdens that are borne by the souls thus brought lifted from them, transmuted by the power of the Father's love, freeing them to go forward with the task of redemption and of overcoming.
In like manner, no less, are helped those who cannot help themselves; those bound in bondage of the darkness which they have gathered about them during mortal life or when within the heavens of the first resurrection; those also, too helpless, too ignorant, to know of the Father or any realm other than that in which they find themselves. To them come they who are of great wisdom and power, and with a love beyond mortal conceptions of love, and they gather them in tenderly, and oft-times by strategy and great cunning that they may be delivered to fresh places, fresh plateaux in the atmospherean heavens, with guardians, physicians and teachers sufficient to unfold them, and heal them, and guide them that they may take their places on the path of overcoming, the path of everlasting resurrection.