The Ten Commandments
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honour thy father and thy mother.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Thou shalt not covet.
(Exodus 20:3-5, 7-8, 12-17)
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.
The right and left hands of God
One of the most misunderstood passages in the New Testament is this: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father,…Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me” (Matthew 25:31-34, 41). This is a description of a process that takes place within the individual spirit each time it spirals up to a higher level of evolutionary existence. But since the ancient principle “as above, so below” holds true in this as in all other things, it also is applicable to the forces of the cosmos.
The right and left hands of God are the two streams of power that manifest as all creation. The left hand of God is the force that flows outward, away from the Supreme Consciousness, and the right hand of God is the force that flows back toward the Godhead. Those entities that are bound in material consciousness and thereby destined for either stagnation or reversal of their evolutionary progress are those that are on the left hand. Those intelligences who have taken charge of their evolution and are, through their wills, steadily advancing to increasingly higher levels of consciousness in the hope of eventually transcending all evolution and returning back into the transcendent realm of eternity, are those upon the right hand.
Lefthand and righthand paths
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14).
In occultism we frequently encounter the terms “righthand path” and “lefthand path” to designate the conscious, deliberate turning of the individual to one side or the other of the evolutionary coin. The lefthand path is the wide way that leads to destruction–i.e., loss of consciousness–and the righthand path is the narrow way that leads to life in God.
The wise do not wait for death or some “mystical” experience to reveal to them whether they are upon the left or the right, but labor to ensure that in every moment of their inner and outer lives they are firmly fixed within the righthand current. To ensure that they do not merely appear to be upon the right hand or are deceiving themselves as to their true position within the cosmic life, they need diagnostic tools that can enable them to see whether or not they have indeed passed from left unto right. The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes are such reliable tools.
Nature and purpose of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes
The Ten Commandments give a complete picture of what is needed to extricate ourselves from the currents of the lefthand path. But merely being out of the lefthand path and in neutral territory is of little value. Nor can escaping the lefthand path and entering into the righthand path be accomplished by the mere understanding of the need to do so or the mere willingness to do so. We must consciously, willfully, enter into the Path of Life, the righthand path, which will polarize us to our Divine Source and lead us back into the Bosom of the Father (John 1:18) from whence we originally emerged into relative existence.
The Beatitudes show the means of entering the righthand path, the path of true blessedness, reminding us that the Lord Jesus told His disciples that the day must come when they hear the heavenly call: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). Consequently those who are established on the right hand are called blessed.
The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes are both the means and the evidence of the requisite repolarization from the left to the right hand. Therefore they merit–even demand–our most intense study. They are a perfect distillation of the “law of liberty” which acts as a mirror to show us our true face within the evolutionary life of the spirit. For “whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:25).
Because of this the pursuit of enlightenment–whatever the aspirant’s personal philosophy or religion may be–is greatly enhanced by study of these two Pillars of Gnosis. For as aspiring travelers upon the Path of Gnosis we must first know where we are at the present, and where we hope to be in the future, before we can intelligently begin our pilgrimage.
It is interesting to note that the righthand path presented in the eight Beatitudes is, as in Buddhism, an Eightfold Path. This is not coincidence, for the Lord Jesus is setting forth what he had learned during the more than half of his life which he spent in India in both Hindu and Buddhist monasteries.
Read the first article in Gnosis of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes: The Basis of the Ten Commandments