A Continuation of Jesus Speaks of Meditation: Wisdom from the Aquarian Gospel
In Eastern Christianity, meditation is called Hesychia–a Greek word meaning Silence. A monastery is often called a hesychasterion, a place of silence. Regarding meditation, Jesus tells the magian:
“The Silence is the kingdom of the soul, which is not seen by human eyes. When in the Silence, phantom forms may flit before the mind; but they are all subservient to the will; the master soul may speak and they are gone” (Aquarian Gospel 40:10, 11).
Now this is very important. By saying: “The Silence is the kingdom of the soul,” Jesus indicates that meditation is not really a practice in the sense of a mechanical methodology that is intended to produce a result, such as turning a key in a lock. Rather, meditation is spiritual experience itself. Meditation is experiencing Spirit–not a means or a process that hopefully will produce in time the result we want. No. Right from the beginning we are experiencing God. That experience may be so faint or so subtle that we do not even realize it. We may consider that we are only feeling peaceful, happier, or more clear in our mind, but it is not our mind we are experiencing but our pure spirit which, as it is rooted in God, is also the experiencing of God.
Certainly our perception is limited, like looking at the vast ocean through a tiny porthole, but we are nonetheless “meeting” God, and by continually entering into meditation we enlarge the scope of our perception and “see” more and more of that which, as Jesus says, is beyond the scope of human perception. But we are not human–we are divine, and such experience is natural and normal for us. It is absolutely necessary for us to grasp this. In our yoga practice we need not–must not–be straining and stressing.
Buddha said: “Turn around, and–lo! The other shore!” Jesus continually exhorted people to Turn Around–not “repent” as it is absurdly translated. The Greek word metanoeo, is a compound of two words: meta, which means “around” or “across,” and noieo, which means “to use/exercise the mind.” In other words: “Turn your mind around” or “Transfer your mind across,” mind in this instance being both the instrument of consciousness and our consciousness itself.
Jesus is not speaking of just everything that is called meditation. He has a very specific practice in mind: that which is centered in invocation of the Divine Word (Om). For it is the Divine Word that dispels the “phantom forms” that “may flit before the mind” during meditation.
The expression “master soul” does not mean some rare, skilled meditator, but any intelligent human being/soul that speaks the Word. For we are not weak and helpless mortals, we are gods, made in the image of God. “Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High” (Psalms 82:6). “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him” (Genesis 1:27).
The power of The Word is ours–we need only discover that. We will be looking a great deal at this subject of The Word, but now we need to continue with Jesus’ general observations on meditation itself.
Preparation for meditation
A sure sign of a genuine spiritual aspirant–in contrast with a window-shopping dabbler–is their immediately asking: “What do I have to do?” And they mean this is the sense of wanting to know how they can qualify themselves for spiritual life. They do not just walk up and say: “Gimme,” they know they have to prepare themselves. Meditation especially requires preparation. For although it is the most natural thing, we have so schooled and distorted ourselves to unnatural ways that there must be some undoing before we can take up the real doing.
Only yesterday I downloaded a long book about yoga, which had a great deal about how wrong it was to make people think they had to prepare themselves to be yogis, and how awful it was to believe that Patanjali meant it when he said that moral observances and purificatory disciplines were the first step to being a yogi. That nonsense may sound nice to the pop-yoga crowd, but a really awakened soul knows better. Jesus was speaking to an awakened man, so he continues:
“If you would find this Silence of the soul you must yourself prepare the way. None but the pure in heart may enter here. And you must lay aside all tenseness of the mind, all business cares, all fears, all doubts and troubled thoughts. Your human will must be absorbed by the divine; then you will come into a consciousness of holiness” (Aquarian Gospel 40:12-14).
You must yourself prepare the way. There must be preparation, and it must be done by us–not by God, or “guru’s grace,” or some other factor, such as passively “being ready.” When we first enter into relative existence we do evolve passively, pushed onward from within and without by factors of which we are mostly unconscious, but the time comes when that phase is over and we must consciously, intelligently, and willfully take charge of our further development. Depending on any thing or person other than ourselves must come to an end. All the past foolishness of “surrender” and “letting go” must be cast aside like the soul-killing trash it really is. We must stand up like conscious, responsible beings with a living awareness of the eternal truth, THOU ART THAT, and start manifesting it. No excuse-making, no false humility which is really only evasion of responsibility, and certainly no “God will do it all for me,” or the much worse: “All I need to do is love.” These poisonous, cowardly, and spirit-denying lies must be annihilated from our consciousness forever–by us. In spiritual life we are like God: one, only, and without a second.
None but the pure in heart may enter here. There is no entry into the meditation that is the experience of the Self without purification on all levels of every aspect of our life. In the regular four Gospels, the word for “pure” is katharos. This word has three distinct meanings: clean; clear; and without any admixture. Our life, our total being, must be free from negativity in any form. We must also be absolutely clear–no cloudiness of consciousness, intent, or will. There also cannot be in us even a particle of an atom of that which is not our Self, our spirit. Not a speck of delusion, illusion, or distortion can lodge in our entire being.
In his first epistle, the Beloved Apostle John uses the phrase “as he is” five times. In each instance “he” refers to God–not just Jesus. So the ideal is of the highest. He tells us that we must “walk [live] in the light, as he is in the light” (I John 1:7). If we do so, “we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2). Yet, to do this, we must purify ourselves, “even as he is pure” (I John 3:3). This is necessary, for “he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (I John 3:7). Those who follow this ideal can then say: “As he is, so are we in this world” (I John 4:17). What an ideal! There is no place in this for the “poor miserable sinner” attitude, nor for a “sinner saved by grace” idea. Instead, Saint John says to us: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God” (I John 3:2). Hence he calls upon us with confidence to demonstrate this glorious truth.
You must lay aside…. Indeed we must. We must lay aside everything that is cluttering up our life and blinding us to realities and Reality. As Saint Paul says: “Let us lay aside every weight, and…run…the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). The list of “lay asides” is incredibly long, but Jesus cites five things: “all tenseness of the mind, all business cares, all fears, all doubts and troubled thoughts.” When we do that, we will be well on the way.
Your human will must be absorbed by the divine. Our petty, little egoic will that is nothing more than a bundle of foolish “wants,” must become our true spiritual will, the eternal will of our eternal Self–and thus the Eternal Will of God. This is a very active, a very positive, thing–not a passive giving up or becoming numb and indifferent. We must transform our human will into the divine will–the will of our divine Self.
Then you will come into a consciousness of holiness–the “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). For God is holiness itself. Jesus assures us that when we have prepared ourselves we will enter into the very Consciousness of God. As I said before, we will not be able right away to encompass the fulness, the infinity, of that Consciousness, but It will Itself begin to expand our capacity until we shall do so.
Seeing that such attainments lie before us, why would we even consider remaining any longer running in the cruel hamster-wheel of ordinary life and consciousness? As Swami Vivekananda loved to say to his hearers: “Awake, arise, and stop not until the goal is reached!”
Read How to Meditate for more on inner silence.