The peace of Christ
We constantly hear talk about peace, but what is peace? The Lord Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you” (John 14:27). The world’s peace means nothing more than the absence of armed conflict. But all the ambition, greed, selfishness, and hatred that cause war still remain. For the world does not know real peace–only a non-occurrence of war. And there is no thought at all of the inner peace of mind or heart.
The peace of Christ–which is the peace referred to in this Beatitude–is harmony and balance wherein there is no conflict at all, or even the possibility of conflict. It is the tranquility of perfect unity beyond the ever-shifting dualities of relative existence, even though daily moving through those dualities.
However, the Beatitude does not simply say: “Blessed are those who seek peace,” but: “blessed are the peace makers.” We must create within ourselves this state of peace. We produce this state through doing our best to be in harmony with the laws of spiritual evolution, such as are outlined in the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. But the most effective means of attaining this peace of balance, calm, and silence is meditation. For in meditation alone can we behold the inner mirror of the spirit and therein contemplate the “face” of God.
Peacemaking must also take place within us as we bring all the aspects of our existence into harmony with our spiritual endeavors and resolve all inner conflicts and contradictions, especially in relation to our quest for God.
Peace through “war”?
This is all very good on paper, but what shall we do when we find that part of us simply does not want to bother with higher consciousness and would like to drop the whole endeavor and just romp around and “enjoy”?
The first thing not to do is condemn ourselves. After all, we have lived so many lives heedless of higher obligations that the habit of spiritual indifference will be carried over into this life as a matter of course. That is not negative, or even a problem, actually. Instead, it is an opportunity to counteract our former neglect by consciously facing the inner urge to become a spiritual drop-out and say No as many times as in the past we said Yes. Such self-discipline is good for us and should not be considered either a nuisance or a sign that we are not ready for spiritual life. Of course we are ready–if we were not, the conflict would not be arising, and we would be snoozing another life away.
Most spiritual aspirants do not realize that inner resistance to spiritual life is actually a sign of progress, evidence that we are beginning to move out into uncharted territories, into hitherto unexperienced realms of consciousness. Naturally there will be a resistance, just as we get sore when we begin to develop muscles that before were being unused. It may be uncomfortable, but it is a reliable sign of development. Also, such resistance is giving us a chance to develop our wills–and a strong will is necessary to accomplish anything, mundane or spiritual. So we must be glad for the opposition and go ahead and do what we know is right. As the Bhagavad Gita says: “To everyone there comes the merely pleasant and the good. The wise leave the merely pleasant aside and take the good.” Not that spiritual life produces misery, but we must all reap the effect of the spiritual neglect we have sown in previous lives and in this one, too.
We must be prepared for inner warfare at times as we cultivate the divine life. For how can there be a victory without a battle? How will the seeker prove his worth and sincerity of purpose if he does not face and overcome opposition? Indeed, how will he know what he really desires if he is not called upon to strive for it? The only shame is in surrender.
A book of wisdom
I have made several references to the Bhagavad Gita. What exactly is it? The Bhagavad Gita is the most popular scripture of modern Hindu religion. It is part of the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, which is about a devastating war that took place in north central India about three thousand years ago. The Gita is a conversation between the warrior, Arjuna, and his spiritual mentor, the avatar Krishna. Arjuna does not wish to fight because many of his relatives and friends are on the opposing side. If he wins he will grieve over having killed them, and yet to lose is misery, as well. He expresses his wish to withdraw from the battle and asks Krishna for counsel. In response, Krishna expounds to Arjuna the spiritual understanding he needs to shake off his hesitation and fight to conquer his enemies.
The Gita is valued as an exhortation to spiritual battle. Arjuna is looked upon as the human intellect confused and repelled by the demands and risks of spiritual warfare. Krishna is the immortal spirit which intuits the higher truth of things and urges the individual on to battle and victory.
Meditation and peace
The Bhagavad Gita asks the rhetorical question: “Without meditation, where is peace?” The first thing a would-be peacemaker must do is learn and practice meditation. At the same time he should look at his life to see what is keeping him from attaining “the peace of God which passeth all understanding,” whose purpose, Saint Paul tells us, is to “keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Not on Christ, but in Christ as Christ. Then whatever is hindering our attainment of that peace must be eliminated from our life. Otherwise all our spiritual endeavor is just spinning our wheels, getting us nowhere.
Called of God
“For they shall be called the children of God.” Kaleo does not mean to be classified or labeled in some way, but to be called aloud before others–to hear the words of God: “Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee” (Psalms 2:7).
Only sons of God?
The Greek word uios translated “child[ren]” refers exclusively to male children–to sons and not daughters. What is a son of God? Are there, then, no daughters of God?
The words “Father,” “Son,” or “Mother,” when applied to God within the framework of esoteric Christianity, are symbolic, not literal. God, being pure Spirit beyond all embodiment, cannot possibly have gender–an attribute of physical organisms on the material plane. But God and the spirits within Him do have polarity. “Father” designates God in His transcendental aspect beyond all dualities whatsoever and is neutral. In Hinduism the impersonal pronouns It and That are often utilized. But in Christianity we retain the term Father because it expresses the potentiality within God and also ensures that we never fall into the mistake of looking upon God as a “thing” rather than a conscious Being–i.e., Person.
“Son” and “[Holy Spirit] Mother” express God in His relative, immanent aspect as both Creator and Creation. These are the two poles. The directing Intelligence being positive, a masculine term is used; and the energies of which all things consist being negative, a feminine term is used. Everything within creation can be considered feminine. Therefore, in Christian mysticism all spirits, regardless of bodily gender, are called “brides of God,” the eternal Groom, the Consciousness which rules the emanation and evolution of the creation, yet stands just outside it. This aspect of God is known as the Son of God, these two words reminding us that God the Son also is an emanation from the transcendent Spirit, just as is the Holy Spirit Mother.
Therefore, as long as we are evolving within the worlds of the Mother, we are all daughters and brides. But when we go beyond creation into the realm of the eternal Christ, yet have not passed onward into the transcendent Bosom of the Father, we are called “sons of God.” So a “son” of God is a spirit that has gone beyond the need for more evolution in even the highest planes of relative existence, yet has not taken the final step back into the Bosom of the Father beyond all relativity.
The supreme peace
Since energy, however subtle, is always vibrating and changing, the only perfect peace is beyond it. In the highest sense, then, a peacemaker is one who is busy working at his transcendence of all worlds within the scale of evolution. And when he completes his work, he emerges into the Heart of Christ as a liberated son of God.
Read the next article in Gnosis of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.