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A New Understanding of the Ten Commandments

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 108 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

A new view of the old

“God gave the Ten Commandments unto men; upon the mountain Moses saw the words of God; he wrote them down on solid rock; they cannot be destroyed. These Ten Commandments show the justice side of God; but now the love of God made manifest brings mercy on the wings of Holy Breath” (Aquarian Gospel 96:1,2).

The Ten Commandments are not abrogated by Jesus, but are made new by a better and higher understanding, just as Jesus came to “fulfill” the Law by transforming our understanding of it, rather than by mere conformity to it. When Jesus appeared to “break” the Law it was only if judgment was made according to the old perspective. But when viewed in the new, truer perspective he was actually keeping it and showing us the way to do so as well.

The One God

“Upon the unity of God the law was built. In all the world there is one force; Jehovah is Almighty God. Jehovah wrote upon the heavens and Moses read, I am Almighty God and you shall have no God but me” (Aquarian Gospel 96:3-5).

This commandment is not the demand of a testy autocrat, jealous of his power and therefore insecure, but a statement of absolute non-duality: nothing exists but God. All this multiplicity of our experience is an illusion; behind it all is the Divine Unity. In his confusion and ignorance Poe asked: “Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?” But Emily Bronte, a knower of Reality, wrote:

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven’s glories shine,
And Faith shines equal, arming me from Fear.

O God within my breast,
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life, that in me has rest,
As I, undying Life, have power in Thee!

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men’s hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by Thy infinity,
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of Immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

Though earth and moon were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou–Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

Manifestations of the One

“There is one force, but many phases of that force; these phases men call powers. All powers are of God; and they are manifests of God; they are Spirits of the God” (Aquarian Gospel 96:6,7).

It is certainly true that in religion the various powers or aspects of God are personalized and turned into actual individual beings, but Jesus is reminding us that in many cases these are really only the rays of the Divine Sun, extensions of God’s providence toward us. On the other hand, certain highly evolved intelligences are often assigned to preside over those “rays” and after a while become identified with them. For example, Archangel Raphael supervises the healing powers in the cosmos, but it would be a mistake to say that there is no Archangel, just divine healing power. So it works both ways, and chances are it does not matter much how we see this things, just as long as we keep on working at ascension in consciousness.

Illusions and shadows

“If men could seem to find another force and worship at its shrine, they would but court illusion, vain, a shadow of the One, Jehovah, God, and they who worship shadows are but shadows on the wall; for men are what they court” (Aquarian Gospel 96:8,9).

It cannot be denied that deluded human beings run after everything but God, and even adopt or create substitutes for God. One favorite activity is deifying some part of God’s creation or power and worshipping that rather than the one and only God. Jesus says that people who are themselves illusions (shadows) worship illusions; and further that the worship of illusions increases our own illusory ideas about ourselves.

Being real

“And God would have all men to be the substance, and in mercy he commanded, You shall seek no God but me” (Aquarian Gospel 96:10).

God wishes us all to come to the knowledge of him, for that is eternal life (John 17:3), but first we come come to know the reality of our spirit-self, then we can expand our consciousness to know the Infinite One.

“You shall seek no God but me” is not a stick to beat us into placating the ego of a cosmic dictator, but the loving and merciful warning that we will never really know anything until we know God. And certainly peace and joy can never be ours outside of God. Yes, there are shadows we call peace and joy, but they are only hints of the real things, and themselves are doomed to fade away into the opposites of peace and joy, leaving us worse off than we were before.

More mercy

“And finite men can never comprehend infinite things. Man cannot make an image of the Infinite in force. And when men make a God of stone or wood or clay they make an image of a shade; and they who worship at the shrine of shades are shades. So God in mercy said, You shall not carve out images of wood, or clay, or stone. Such idols are ideals, abased ideals, and men can gain no higher plane than their ideals” (Aquarian Gospel 96:11-14).

It is impossible to depict the invisible God, so any attempts must be foolish. What is missed by many who believe this is the fact that symbols of divine powers or aspects may certainly be made, as can images of holy beings such as great saints, angels, etc. Naturally, these would not be worshipped, but would certainly be kept to remind those who saw them of the ones depicted, because a picture certainly is worth a thousand words. Moreover, there is a subtle connection between a depiction and the one depicted, and their spiritual presence and power can manifest through those images.

In spirit

“The God is Spirit, and in spirit men must worship if they would attain a consciousness of God” (Aquarian Gospel 96:15).

There is no other process of doing this than meditation. Ritual can be helpful, but it only leads to worship; true worship is in the inmost consciousness of the individual.

Holy Breath, Holy Name

“But man can never make a picture or an image of the Holy Breath. The name of God man may not speak with carnal lips; with Holy Breath alone can man pronounce the name. In vanity men think they know the name of God; they speak it lightly and irreverently, and thus they are accursed. If men did know the sacred name and spoke it with unholy lips, they would not live to speak it once again. But God in mercy has not yet unveiled his name to those who cannot speak with Holy Breath. But they who speak the substitute in idle way are guilty in the sight of God, who said, You shall not take the name of God in vain” (Aquarian Gospel 96:16-22).

There is a Divine Name which is a translation into sound of the Consciousness that is God. Perhaps it might be more proper to say that the Divine Name is a sound that leads to and reveals that Consciousness. Whichever we prefer to think, that sound cannot be spoken by the speech apparatus of the human being. Rather, a verbal sound is given to the initiate, and by mentally sounding that Divine Word in the depths of his own awareness, it permutes into its inmost form and works the work of transforming the invoker’s consciousness, preparing him for the Divine Vision and the Divine Union. That is all I want to say about this right now.

Mystic seven

“The number of the Holy Breath is seven, and God holds in his hands the sevens of time. In forming worlds he rested on the seventh day, and every seventh day is set apart as Sabbath day for men. God said, The seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; remember it and keep it wholly set apart for works of holiness; that is, for works not for the selfish self, but for the universal self. Men may do work for self upon the six days of the week; but on the Sabbath of the Lord they must do naught for self. This day is consecrated unto God; but man serves God by serving man” (Aquarian Gospel 96:23-27).

Going right to the heart of this: consciousness possesses seven levels, corresponding to the seven chakras of the yoga system. The book of Revelation in the Bible speaks of these chakras in various symbols. The idea is that necessity for the human being to ascend from level to level until he reaches and is established in the highest level, the Sabbath, the Seventh Day of Eternal Rest. Then he passes beyond that into the Eighth Day of Resurrection which transcends even the Seventh. Then his union with God is complete, and nothing more remains to be done. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out” (Revelation 3:12).

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Aspects of the Higher Law – 1

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

The Aquarian Gospel for Awakening—A Commentary on the Aquarian Gospel
by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri)

  1. The Mother of Jesus
  2. Prophecies of the Births of Saint John the Baptist and Jesus
  3. The Birth of Jesus
  4. Revelations in the Temple
  5. Coming of the Wise Men
  6. Herod’s Reaction
  7. Revelations in Egypt
  8. The Two Selfs
  9. Deliverance From Gods and Demons
  10. About God the Tao
  11. From India to Chaldea
  12. The Wisdom of Buddha
  13. God and Prayer
  14. The Mission of Jesus and John the Baptist
  15. Sin and the Forgiveness of Sin
  16. The Universal Law of Man’s Free Will and the Divine Will For Man
  17. Understanding Death
  18. The True Teacher
  19. The Value of Ritual
  20. The Law Behind All Laws
  21. Opening To The Truth
  22. In the Temple at the Age of Ten
  23. Revelation to the Teachers and People in the Temple
  24. Jerusalem to Nazareth
  25. Nazareth to India
  26. What is Truth?
  27. What Is Man?
  28. What is Power?
  29. Understanding
  30. Wisdom
  31. Faith
  32. Healing and Healers
  33. Conflict Over Caste
  34. The Destiny of All Men
  35. God and Man
  36. The Voice in the Heart
  37. Seeing the Unseeable
  38. To God Through Man
  39. Who Is Jesus?
  40. The Real Versus The Apparent
  41. The Brotherhood of Life
  42. God…and Man
  43. Relating To God
  44. The Worthy Host
  45. Come to the Light
  46. The Kingdom Revealed
  47. The King Revealed
  48. Perspective On Death
  49. Fire and Sword
  50. Evolution: The Path of Glory
  51. The Real Heaven
  52. Getting to the Essence
  53. New Perspective on Religion
  54. In Tibet and Ladakh
  55. Words to the Worthy
  56. The Thirty-Eighth Chapter
  57. The Origin of Evil
  58. The Silence
  59. The Source of Healing
  60. The Fivefold Gospel
  61. Homecoming
  62. In Athens
  63. The Oracle of Delphi
  64. The Real God
  65. Return to Egypt
  66. First Steps to Wisdom
  67. Strong in Will and Intent
  68. Here Comes the Ego
  69. Blessed are the Merciful
  70. Claiming Our Freedom
  71. The Great Test
  72. Comprehending Death
  73. The Christ!
  74. The Asembly of the Masters
  75. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – I
  76. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – II
  77. The Declaration of Jesus
  78. John the Baptist – I
  79. John the Baptist – II
  80. John the Baptist – III
  81. Baptism – Jesus and John
  82. Self-Examination and Temptation
  83. The First Disciples Follow Jesus
  84. Jesus’ First Sermon
  85. The King and the Kingdom
  86. Dealing With Challengers
  87. The First Miracle of Jesus
  88. Kings and Kingdoms
  89. The Temple of God
  90. What Is A Messiah?
  91. The Laws of Healing
  92. Nicodemus Finds The Kingdom
  93. The Prince of Peace
  94. Dealing With Spiritual Opposition
  95. The Opened Gate
  96. John the Baptist Speaks of the Christ
  97. John Speaks Further About Jesus
  98. The Woman at the Well
  99. The Disciples and Samaritans at the Well
  100. Jesus in Sychar
  101. More Wisdom In Samaria
  102. The Imprisonment of John the Baptist
  103. In Jerusalem
  104. The Insights of Jesus
  105. Sabbath Wisdom
  106. Prayer and Good Deeds
  107. Divine Laws and Principles for Seekers of the Divine
  108. A New Understanding of the Ten Commandments
  109. Aspects of the Higher Law – 1
  110. Aspects of the Higher Law – 2
  111. Aspects of the Higher Law – 3
  112. Aspects of the Higher Law – 4
  113. Chapter One Hundred One
  114. Chapter One Hundred Two
  115. Chapter One Hundred Three
  116. Chapter One Hundred Four
  117. Chapter One Hundred Five
  118. Chapter One Hundred Six
  119. Chapter One Hundred Seven
  120. Chapter One Hundred Eight
  121. Chapter One Hundred Nine
  122. Chapter One Hundred Ten
  123. Chapter One Hundred Eleven
  124. Chapter One Hundred Twelve
  125. Chapter One Hundred Thirteen
  126. Chapter One Hundred Fourteen
  127. Chapter One Hundred Fifteen
  128. Chapter One Hundred Sixteen
  129. Chapter One Hundred Seventeen
  130. Chapter One Hundred Eighteen
  131. Chapter One Hundred Nineteen
  132. Chapter One Hundred Twenty
  133. Chapter One Hundred Twenty One
  134. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Two
  135. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Three
  136. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Four
  137. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Five
  138. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Six
  139. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Seven
  140. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Eight
  141. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Nine
  142. Chapter One Hundred Thirty
  143. Chapter One Hundred Thirty One
  144. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Two
  145. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Three
  146. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Four
  147. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Five
  148. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Six
  149. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Seven
  150. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Eight
  151. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Nine
  152. Chapter One Hundred Forty
  153. Chapter One Hundred Forty One
  154. Chapter One Hundred Forty Two
  155. Chapter One Hundred Forty Three
  156. Chapter One Hundred Forty Four
  157. Chapter One Hundred Forty Five
  158. Chapter One Hundred Forty Six
  159. Chapter One Hundred Forty Seven
  160. Chapter One Hundred Forty Eight
  161. Chapter One Hundred Forty Nine
  162. Chapter One Hundred Fifty
  163. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-One
  164. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Two
  165. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Three
  166. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Four
  167. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Five
  168. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Six
  169. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Seven
  170. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Eight
  171. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Nine
  172. Chapter One Hundred Sixty
  173. Chapter One Hundred Sixty One
  174. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Two
  175. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Three
  176. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Four
  177. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Five
  178. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Six
  179. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Seven
  180. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Eight
  181. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Nine
  182. Chapter One Hundred Seventy
  183. Chapter One Hundred Seventy One
  184. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Two
  185. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Three
  186. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Four
  187. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Five
  188. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Six
  189. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Seven
  190. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Eight
  191. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Nine
  192. Chapter One Hundred Eighty
  193. Chapter One Hundred Eighty One
  194. Chapter One Hundred Eighty Two

The Text of the Aquarian Gospel—by Levi Dowling

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