YouTube: The Resurrection Principle
Easter is a time when the Christian community turns its attention to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Because of its promise of eternal life, this aspect of the Jesus story is considered the epitome of the Christian message.
As with all religious celebrations, there is an important principle behind this story. It is no accident that Easter occurs in the spring, when we see new life beginning to stir everywhere. We are witness to the passing of the dark days of winter, into the longer, warmer days of spring.
When conditions turn favorable, the life process in, say, a tulip bulb begins to stir and soon the flower appears. The sustaining aspect of this plant, the part that fuels its annual resurrection, is not the flower that we see. It is in the bulb we do not see.
It is not difficult to draw a parallel between the perennial flower and our own incarnation. Our soul is to us what the bulb is to the flower. The body is the flower. The flower experiences birth and death, while the bulb persists through the span of many floral lifetimes. I am convinced that the same is true with us. Our spiritual essence, the soul, serves as the perpetuating foundation for numerous incarnations. Like the flower, the body experiences a birth, a lifespan, and a death. But the soul, like the bulb, continues. When we decide the time is right, we do it again.
Why would we do it again? Is it because we have so much to learn? Does the flower go through these many births and deaths because it has to learn how to be a better flower? I don’t think so. The flower achieves its purpose with every incarnation. And what is this purpose? Is it to please the eye of the one who planted it? No. Its purpose is perfect self-expression. It is not in competition with a neighboring flower. It lets its own light shine.
Speaking of light, this analogy sheds new light on a statement attributed to Jesus.
“For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).
The flower is bearing witness to the truth of its being. This is why it continues to come into the world. It is an already, fully accomplished flower and it bears witness to this truth each time it appears. Its annual resurrection is not a progression through ascending grade levels that will culminate in a fully illumined being. It has always been a fully illumined being that lets its light shine for the joy of it.
The resurrection principle points to purpose. Are we here to learn to be a better flower, or are we here to bear witness to the truth? This is the question I hope Easter stirs in us all.