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About God the Tao

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 10 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

Cycles of wisdom

“Salome taught the lesson of the day. She said, All times are not alike. Today the words of man may have the greatest power; tomorrow woman teaches best. In all the ways of life the man and woman should walk hand in hand; the one without the other is but half; each has a work to do.

“But all things teach; each has a time and a season for its own. The sun, the moon have lessons of their own for men; but each one teaches at the appointed time. The lessons of the sun fall down on human hearts like withered leaves upon a stream, if given in the season of the moon and all the stars” (Aquarian Gospel 9:1-4).

Truth is eternal and unchanging, but human beings are. Therefore there will be changes in the manner of teaching and in emphasis on what is taught. When the teachers are centered in Divine Consciousness this is perfectly as it should be. We see in the history of Sanatana Dharma a great fluidity which never contradicts itself, yet which is suited exactly to the psychology of people at a certain point in time. At all times only the truth of the One in All is being presented, but in different manners.

Cycles of human experience and development

“Today one walks in gloom, downhearted and oppressed; tomorrow that same one is filled with joy. Today the heavens seem full of blessedness and hope; tomorrow hope has fled, and every plan and purpose comes to naught. Today one wants to curse the very ground on which he treads; tomorrow he is full of love and praise. Today one hates and scorns and envies and is jealous of the child he loves; tomorrow he has risen above his carnal self, and breathes forth gladness and good will.

“A thousand times men wonder why these heights and depths, these light hearts and these sad, are found in every life. They do not know that there are teachers everywhere, each busy with a God-appointed task, and driving home to human hearts the truth. But this is true, and every one receives the lessons that he needs” (Aquarian Gospel 9:5-11).

Human life, material, intellectual and spiritual, moves in cycles. For most people it is a matter of highs and lows. However, when yoga enters the life things become much steadier. After a while there are no highs and lows at all, but a steady ascent in awareness and experience. Then the cycles are times of new experience and insight and times of assimilation, following one another seamlessly and tranquilly.

The time of divine understanding

“And Mary said, Today I am in exultation great; my thoughts and all my life seem lifted up; why am I thus inspired?

“Salome replied, This is a day of exultation; day of worship and of praise; a day when, in a measure, we may comprehend our Father-God. Then let us study God, the One, the Three, the Seven.

“Before the worlds were formed all things were One; just Spirit, Universal Breath.

“And Spirit breathed, and that which was not manifest became the Fire and Thought of Heaven, the Father-God, the Mother-God. And when the Fire and Thought of heaven in union breathed, their son, their only son, was born. This son is Love whom men have called the Christ. Men call the Thought of heaven the Holy Breath.

“And when the Triune God breathed forth, lo, seven Spirits stood before the throne. These are Elohim, creative spirits of the universe. And these are they who said, Let us make man; and in their image man was made.

“In early ages of the world the dwellers in the farther East said, Tao is the name of Universal Breath; and in the ancient books we read, No manifesting form has Tao Great, and yet he made and keeps the heavens and earth. No passion has our Tao Great, and yet he causes sun and moon and all the stars to rise and set. No name has Tao Great, and yet he makes all things to grow; he brings in season both the seed time and the harvest time.

“And Tao Great was One; the One became the Two; the Two became the Three, the Three evolved the Seven, which filled the universe with manifests. And Tao Great gives unto all, the evil and the good, the rain, the dew, the sunshine and the flowers; from his rich stores he feeds them all.

“And in the same old book we read of man: He has a spirit knit to Tao Great; a soul which lives within the seven Breaths of Tao Great; a body of desires that springs up from the soil of flesh. Now spirit loves the pure, the good, the true; the body of desires extols the selfish self; the soul becomes the battle ground between the two. And blessed is the man whose spirit is triumphant and whose lower self is purified; whose soul is cleansed, becoming fit to be the council chamber of the manifests of Tao Great. Thus closed the lesson of Salome.” (Aquarian Gospel 9:12-30).

Salome, a teacher of the Essenes in Zoan, gave this lesson to Elizabeth and Mary, who were to pass it on to their sons Jesus and John. Its main value lies in the wisdom principles it enunciates, but it is also of value since it shows that the Essenes knew and acknowledged the wisdom of Taoism and actively taught it.

The One, the Three, the Seven.

Though one, God is all these: One, Three, and Seven. Yet, even to say that God is One is an error, for God is not like an egg that we can point at Him and say: “One God” (When we are with God there is no pointing or speaking, either.) However, since we are fragmented we often have to speak of God accordingly just to get the right ideas across to our minds.

The Rig Veda says that in the beginning the One “breathed breathlessly.” This is a play on words, for in Sanskrit the word prana means both “breath” and “life.” The idea is that God’s life and breath were purely internal, perfectly self-contained with no outward movement–with no movement at all. All things were in perfect suspension and balance. The One really was ONE.

And Spirit breathed, and that which was not manifest became the Fire and Thought of Heaven, the Father-God, the Mother-God. Life lived; Breath breathed. If you want to know in detail how all things came about, I recommend The Secret Doctrine by Helen Petrovna Blavatsky. (I am recommending only the original text of The Secret Doctrine, which is available from The Theosophy Company of Los Angeles or The Theosophical University Press of Pasadena.) There you will find a full discussion of the Cosmic Fire known as Fohat that is being referred to here. Fire and Thought–Power and Consciousness–are the Father and Mother of all creation. In Indian philosophy they are termed Purusha and Prakriti–Spirit and Energy. Now it is important to note that God the Father and God the Mother are both manifestations of the One that transcends this Divine Duality. Of course They are the One, but they are also veilings of the One, as is the Trinity.

And when the Fire and Thought of heaven in union breathed, their son, their only son, was born. This son is Love whom men have called the Christ. Love, as used here, is not the emotion of one person for another, but the positive magnetic force that draws us into union with the One. (This is explained in The Holy Science by Swami Yukteswar Giri.) Christ is the essential life of the Father-Mother God. It is Christ-Love that impels all intelligences into higher and higher evolution until their own Christhood is revealed and made permanently manifested, fulfilling the divine dictum: “Ye are gods” (Psalms 82:6). It is in this sense that Christ is the only savior, the mediator between God and man. And Christ manifests in every age through those that have attained to Christhood. These Christs come to the world to show us the way to ascend to Christhood ourselves. They do not come to be worshipped or “believed in;” they come to give us the plain facts of spiritual life. The rest is up to us. We who truly believe their teachings do not accept them as our “personal Lord and Savior”–the idea would be abominable to them. Instead, we get busy and travel the same path they walked and attain the same Goal. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (I John 2:6). “For even hereunto were ye called:…that ye should follow his steps” (I Peter 2:21).

Men call the Thought of heaven the Holy Breath. In this instance, Thought means the dynamic aspect of Divine Will. The Holy Spirit, the Holy Breath, the Mother-God, is the outward-moving flow of consciousness that manifests (fulfills) the intention of the Father-God for us. The duality of relative existence (creation) are the two “breasts” of the Mother from which we draw sustenance for our evolutionary life. Therefore the eighth Ode of Solomon says: “I fashioned their members. My own breasts I prepared for them, that they might drink My holy milk and live thereby.”

And when the Triune God breathed forth, lo, seven Spirits stood before the throne. These are Elohim, creative spirits of the universe. And these are they who said, Let us make man; and in their image man was made. The Seven Spirits are discussed in The Seven Pillars of Aquarian Christianity. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26,27). “God” is a completely dishonest translation of Elohim, for Elohim is plural, and second, it is feminine. As Salome says, they are universal creative spirits, of which our bodies and souls (not our spirits) are images. They are our lesser father-mothers. But we should not lose sight of the Unity, so she returns to that subject, speaking of the Tao.

The Tao
Taoism was not only known to the Essenes, its principles were taught by them to all their members. Here we see that the Formless is the source of all forms, that they are not mutually contradictory. All form proceeds from the Formless and returns to the Formless. No matter how many times the Many proceed from the One, there is always a return to Oneness–for Oneness always is.

The One (Tao) is the basis for the Many, and underlies it as its true being. Nothing could exist if it were not rooted in the One, and an extension of the One. Therefore, like the lower self in relation to the higher self, the Many never really exists at all except as an appearance. The Tao alone is.

It is impossible for the One to have any desire, any yearning for either another besides Himself, or a desire for a change in status. Yet He “causes sun and moon and all the stars to rise and set”–to come into manifestation and to merge back into the Unmanifest. It is not impossible to understand the “why” of creation (see our publication Robe of Light), but it is erroneous to attribute some desire or personal motive on the part of the Tao to its production. The desire and motive is on the part of the individual spirits alone.

The Tao has no existence as an object that He could be “named,” yet He is the source of all objects, indeed has become all objects, yet without any shadow of change whatsoever. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth” (James 1:17,18).

The Tao and human beings

Because of ignorant and manipulative religion it has been supposed that God has likes and dislikes in relation to human beings, that He rewards the good, whom he likes, and punishes the guilty, whom He hates. Both Judaism and Christianity propagate this falsehood even though the Psalmist wrote: “The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalms 145:9), and Jesus taught: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:44-48) in unconditional love. Krishna said: “I am the same to all beings: to Me there is not hateful or dear” in the egoic human sense, “but those who worship Me with devotion are in Me, and I, too, and in them” (Gita 9:29).

When we comprehend that God has no “like” or “dislike” in relation to us we can no longer think that good fortune or misfortune come from God in response to our either pleasing or displeasing Him, but rather they come from ourselves, just as an echo sends back to us the words we spoke beforehand. This is the truth about karma.

And in the same old book we read of man: He has a spirit knit to Tao Great; a soul which lives within the seven Breaths of Tao Great; a body of desires that springs up from the soil of flesh. God (Tao) is the ground of our being, our souls breathe the sevenfold “air” of His Seven Breaths, and our body is the product of our own desires. “God’s will for us” simply does not come into it except for the overshadowing purpose of evolution. We do live in and by Him, but the how, why, and where of our living is determined by us alone. Finally, though, we get some sense and begin to grow upward and out of “the soil of flesh” into the higher life of the soul, and from thence into the consciousness of spirit.

The inner warfare

Now spirit loves the pure, the good, the true; the body of desires extols the selfish self; the soul becomes the battle ground between the two. Although it actually took place, the Great Indian (Mahabharata) War which is the setting for the Bhagavad Gita, was set forth by the sage Vyasa in a manner that was symbolic of the battle ground of the soul and the war that rages there until perfection is attained. In that battle, as in us, the forces of good were outnumbered overwhelmingly by the forces of evil. Not only that, the evil were all related to the good–were shadow-counterparts of the good. For that reason, the destruction of the evil was a painful prospect to the good. Yet the battle had to be waged and the enemy had to be annihilated.

And blessed is the man whose spirit is triumphant and whose lower self is purified; whose soul is cleansed, becoming fit to be the council chamber of the manifests of Tao Great. “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). Within him shall the One, the Two, the Three, and the Seven appear and commune with him and make him their abode, the dwellingplace of the Most High.

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: From India to Chaldea

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

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

  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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