The way of men
“There is a rule that carnal man has made, and which he rigidly observes: Do unto other men as they do unto you. As others judge, they judge; as others give, they give” (Aquarian Gospel 100:1, 2).
There are two types of people in this world: those that live centered in material experience, immersed in the material world and its appearances and values, and those that live centered in spiritual experience, immersed in the spiritual world and its realities and values. Actually, they are the same world in essence, the difference is only in the perspective, the centering of the individual consciousness.
This being so, it is absolutely crucial for us to understand that significant and permanent external change can only be brought about by change in consciousness. Such a change is brought about most efficiently, effectively and lastingly by the practice of meditation. This is why the essence of the Bhagavad Gita is simply: “Become a yogi” (6:46). That being said, let us look at these two verses.
Those who know themselves only as physical (“carnal”) beings, despite any philosop hical or religious convictions to the contrary, will think and act on the premise that physical life alone is real. Such persons believe that any action opens the actor to a response from others, an “equal and opposite reaction” in keeping with material laws. On a certain level this is true, but the laws are not material but karmic, rooted in the consciousness of the actor, not just his actions.
Really what Jesus is implying is the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” assumption that people deserve to be treated as they treat others. According to that, it is perfectly just for human beings to pay back in kind any deed on the part of others: injure those who injure you, help those who help you. “You deserve it” is the justification. “You asked for it, so you are going to get it.” Children are raised on this philosophy, so naturally society through the ages has reflected it.
In chapter ninety-seven Jesus told his disciples:
“The law of carnal man would say, Eye for eye and tooth for tooth; resist encroachment on your rights. But this is not the law of God.…And if a man shall strike you in a fitful, or an angry way, it is not well to smite him in return.…Be merciful unto your foes; bless those who slander you; do good to those who do you harm and pray for those who trample on your rights.…If you do unto other men as they do unto you, you are but slaves, but followers in the way to death. But you, as children of the light, must lead the way” (Aquarian Gospel 97:16, 17, 21, 25, 27, 28).
This is the real divine Law which those who wish to manifest their divine nature will have to follow. There is no way around it.
The way of Christ
“Now, while you walk with men as men, judge not, and you shall not be judged. For as you judge you shall be judged, and as you give it shall be given to you. If you condemn, you are condemned” (Aquarian Gospel 100:3, 4).
I had the incredible blessing of meeting Saint John Maximovitch of the Russian Orthodox Church more than once. One of his cardinal principles throughout his life was observation of Jesus’ teaching given here. Consequently he was often accused of being in collaboration with dishonest people. At one time he was even taken to court based on such accusations. Finally some people figured out the situation and he was exonerated. At the same time he very clearly could tell right from wrong, and would uncompromisingly point it out to those who sought “the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). But those who did not so seek he left alone. He lived in the divine kingdom right here and on earth, and only those who lived in the same awareness, or sought for it, were real to him. We should not be spiritual snobs and think ourselves better than others, but many (most) people should just be ignored. They must go their way and we must go God’s way, which we must make our way. C. S. Lewis wrote that there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says: “Thy will be done.” He has eternity to await our awakening and turning to Him.
The way of the wise
“When you show mercy, men are merciful to you, and if you love in such a way that carnal man can comprehend your love, you will be well beloved. And so the wise man of this world does unto other men as he would have them do to him” (Aquarian Gospel 100:5, 6).
Again, it is a matter of spiritual karma, and I have experienced it in my own life and observed it in those of others. It is the only right and wise way to live.
“The carnal man does good to other men for selfish gain, for he expects to have his blessings multiplied and then returned; he does not stop to note the end” (Aquarian Gospel 100:7).
If we simply act from selfish motives, people will act toward us from selfish motives. In other words, we will be in a contest to mutually loot one another–not to do good or help one another. So we will sink together into the mire of misfortune, blaming each other rather than ourselves. Consequently we will never get the right idea and stop the folly–at least in this life.
The field of sowing and reaping
“Man is himself the field; his deeds are seeds, and what he does to others grows apace; the harvest time is sure. Behold the yield! If he has sown the wind, he reaps the wind; if he has sown the noxious seeds of scandal, theft and hate; of sensuality and crime, the harvest is assured and he must reap what he has sown; yea, more; the seeds produce an hundred fold” (Aquarian Gospel 100:8-10).
“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7, 8).
Can it be put any better? I do not think so. However Jesus adds another dimension to this: “He must reap what he has sown; yea, more; the seeds produce an hundred fold.” This is a sobering fact.
Right sowing and right reaping
“The fruit of righteousness and peace and love and joy can never spring from noxious seeds; the fruit is like the seed. And when you sow, sow seeds of right, because it is the right, and not in the way of trade, expecting rich rewards” (Aquarian Gospel 100:11, 12).
Jesus is returning us to the perspective he set forth in verse seven. We must do the right simply because it is the right–not because it gives good return (which it certainly does). We are neither servants nor employees with God: we are the children of God, part of Infinite Life. And that Life must be expressed here and now in this present life. That is the passing from death to life. As Buddha constantly pointed out, it is our motives and attitudes that determine the ultimate results.
The foolish verses the wise
“The carnal man abhors the spirit law, because it takes away his liberty to live in sin; beneath its light he cannot satisfy his passions and desires. He is at enmity with him who walks in Holy Breath. The carnal man has killed the holy men of old, the prophets and the seers. And he will buffet you; will charge you falsely, scourge you and imprison you, and think he does the will of God to slay you in the streets” (Aquarian Gospel 100:13-15).
Well that is extremely clear and to the point! There is an important principle that seekers of God should know. Certainly the light of spiritual consciousness reveals the shabbiness and folly of wrongdoing and robs the miscreants of their attempts to justify themselves, but there is another fact that is a positive blessing: When the light of God, the light of our own spirit, shines in our hearts and minds we will find that passions and desires with which we formerly tantalized and titillated ourselves can no longer do so, much less satisfy us. Just as an adult is bored with and disinterested in childish toys and pastimes, in the same way we will lose all taste and interest for the lower things that once so attracted and even enslaved us. We will be indifferent to them, uninfluenced by them in any way. Freedom will be ours effortlessly once true consciousness dawns. What a blessed prospect.
However, those who are not fully “on the Lord’s side” may react differently. When they find they no longer respond to their old habits and ways, and are losing interest in them, they may panic and fear losing their identity and what they heretofore thought was life itself. I have known people who vigorously rejected spiritual life (particularly meditation) when they saw their taste for earthly addictions beginning to fade away.
“It is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (II Peter 2:22).
“As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11).
“But you may not prejudge nor censure him who does you wrong. Each one has problems to be solved, and he must solve them for himself. The man who scourges you may have a load of sin to bear; but how about your own? A little sin in one who walks in Holy Breath is greater in the sight of God than monster sins in him who never knew the way” (Aquarian Gospel 100:16-19).
This is a sobering thought. Certainly when there is conflict, karma is producing it on both sides. Our karmas draw to us those who will assist us in working it out. If it is our karma to be stolen from it will bring a thief into our life. It is so easy to complain about those who wrong us, but we ourselves draw them to us. In fact, they are helping us clear away the karmic tangles. So they are our benefactors, even if it is unintentional on their part. Everything is a manifestation of the divine plan for our purification and ultimate release from all bonds.
The last sentence is true: the brighter the light the greater the shadow, and the less sins we have the worse they are in a sense. Sri Ramakrishna said that a single spot on a perfectly clean cloth looks much worse than many spots. The purer we are the stricter we must be with ourselves. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48). It is obvious that those who will succeed in their spiritual quest must revolutionize their perspective on just about everything.
True sight in relation to others
“How can you see the splinter in your brother’s eye while you have chunks within your own? First take the chunks from out your eye and then you may behold the splinter in your brother’s eye and help him take it out, and while your eyes are full of foreign things you cannot see the way, for you are blind, and when the blind lead forth the blind, both lose the way and fall into the slough. If you would lead the way to God you must be clear in sight, as well as pure in heart” (Aquarian Gospel 100:20-24).
This is not an exhortation to leave others alone. Rather, when we see that all of humanity is one family, and we can sincerely consider those around us to be our brothers and sisters, then the openness we feel in our hearts entitles us to at least desire to help them and even to offer help, through we should not coerce anyone at any time. We can freely share what understanding we have, always making sure that we have real understanding, true insight. Then we can help others in various practical aspects of living. In time, having purified our understanding and heart, we may even help others along the way to God, walking with them as children returning to the Father together in peace and joy.