The multitudes were wild with selfish thought; none recognized the rights and needs of any other one. The stronger pushed the weak aside, and trampled on them in their haste to be the first to get a blessing for himself. (Aquarian Gospel 108:1, 2)
You do not need to get into a time machine and go back to the time of Jesus to see this shocking spectacle. Just go to India and find a well-known spiritual figure and you will see it every day.
During my first trip to India I attended the birthday celebrations of Anandamayi Ma in Agarpara, a city about twenty to thirty minutes by train from Calcutta. My host told me that when Ma had come there a little over ten years before the crowds had trampled an elderly woman to death. Ma publicly stated that she considered the people of that area no better than wild animals and since then had consistently refused all invitations to return. Naturally, there was some apprehension as to how the people would behave this time, so an entire division of the Calcutta police was stationed there every day to shield Ma from the surge of the rabid crowd.
One time when Ma came walking toward where I was standing, the people began pushing forward, shoving the police backward and almost into Ma. At one moment, Ma put up her hand and turned away with an expression of intense pain on her face. Obviously the bestial vibrations were striking and hurting her.
When I told about this to a devotee some time later he told me that in previous years the Calcutta area people often came to see Ma carrying scissors with which they cut off pieces of her clothing and even tried to cut some of her hair! What kind of blessing could such people possibly receive? It is like Swami Brahmananda, also of Calcutta, said: “We have jewels to give away, but people only want eggplant and potatoes.” As the Aquarian Gospel makes clear, these people do not have spiritual fervor, but ego fever.
And Jesus said, Behold the cage of beasts untamed; a den of stinging vipers, maddened by their fiendish greed of selfish gain! I tell you, men, the benefits that come to men who see no further than themselves are baubles in the morning light; they are unreal; they pass away. The selfish soul is fed today; the food does not assimilate; the soul grows not, and then it must be fed again, and then again. (Aquarian Gospel 108:3-5)
It has been the fashion from time immemorial for people to blame religion for all the wrongs done in the name of God and religion, but anyone who examines the situations carefully will see that it is not religion but the sociopaths who join those religions with the purpose of exploiting them to their own ends that are to be blamed. Religion does not make people crazy, but crazy people make crazy religion. I have been watching this going on since I was a child.
The people described here were thronging around Jesus. Was he at fault? Of course not. The problem was with the selfishness and greed of the crowd that was based squarely on ego.
It is a terrible fact that today more than ever before religion is touted as Big Benefit for greedy materialists who after a while find out it is Big Business for those who are running it. Wherever there is power and money there the wolves come flocking. I have seen entire religious groups and movements pulled down and ravaged by such wolves.
But Jesus does not just censure them, he gives wisdom for us who want it.
The benefits that come to men who see no further than themselves are baubles in the morning light; they are unreal; they pass away. This is very serious and should be pondered by every aspirant lest they become such hopeless cases or lest they waste their time and expect anything from such people but the dissolution of any good that comes to them. These people are self-condemned, having put themselves in such a virtually hopeless situation.
Certainly there is always hope, but it will take a great deal of inner healing before this kind of person can be benefitted even by the presence of God. In the end it all comes down to the individual’s will, not the will of others. Only those who wish to rise can do so. Furthermore, the apparent progress of this kind of person are just that: appearance only.
The selfish soul is fed today; the food does not assimilate; the soul grows not, and then it must be fed again, and then again. There is a certain type of spiritual sociopath that continually appears to be improving only to suddenly re-emerge in the negative state they were beforehand. They play a kind of game of Gotcha! with those who really do care about them. They fool a great deal of well-meaning people who have their welfare at heart. But being well-meaning does not protect anyone from exploitation. Nor is “nice” in relation to such people real virtue. We are told that Saint John the Baptist “saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 3:7). He had no other words for them, though he had called many to repentance. God through the prophets directed that no one should bother with the intentionally self-destroying. “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone”(Hosea 4:17). “So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels” (Psalms 81:12).
Jesus counseled his disciples regarding religious hypocrites: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind” (Matthew 15:14). When Pilate questioned Jesus, “he answered him never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly” (27:14). In Revelation he says: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Revelation 22:11). It is all up to them, not us. The good and the wise certainly help others, but they never interfere, and they can tell the difference correctly. Compassion is only worthwhile if it does good. If it does nothing, then it is nothing. In summation: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:6).
Behold, a selfish man obsessed by just one spirit of the air; by the Omnific Word the spirit is cast out; it wanders through dry places, seeking rest and finding none. And then it comes again; the selfish man has failed to close and lock the door; the unclean spirit finds the house all swept and cleaned; it enters in and takes with it full seven other spirits more unclean than [it] is itself; and there they dwell. The last state of the man is more than sevenfold more wretched than the first.
And so it is with you who snatch the blessings that belong to other men. (Aquarian Gospel 108:6-11)
One spirit of the air. A spirit of the air is a wandering spirit that should be in the astral world but has somehow gotten into the earth plane either intentionally or unintentionally.
By the Omnific Word the spirit is cast out; it wanders through dry places, seeking rest and finding none. By the sacred Word Om such a spirit can be expelled and made to leave the person it is possessing. So it resumes its wandering in the alien (“dry”) environment of the earth finding no place to settle, because it no longer belongs here, or never did.
And then it comes again; the selfish man has failed to close and lock the door. It is not enough to empty ourselves of evil; we must fill ourselves with good. When we have been freed of any kind of negativity we must immediately begin replacing it with positive thoughts and actions, and especially meditation. Otherwise we are open to evil again occupying our hearts.
The unclean spirit finds the house all swept and cleaned; it enters in and takes with it full seven other spirits more unclean than [it] is itself; and there they dwell. The last state of the man is more than sevenfold more wretched than the first. This is no idle warning; it is law. Sometimes we think people merely revert to their former wrong behavior or thought, but in time we will see that they have become much worse because of their increased susceptibility to negative forces. No one just falls back to where they were before. It may not be manifest right away, but each fall puts us deeper into the morass. No one spends their life moving back and forth between fixed points of good and bad. Rather, it is a steady though subtle sinking ever downward. The descent is slow, but deadly. Evil increases with interest; always be sure of that.
And so it is with you who snatch the blessings that belong to other men. Of course stolen blessings are no longer blessings but curses compounding the miserable state of the thief. Those who push and shove either outwardly or inwardly to get ahead of others and take all they can for themselves become increasingly emptier. As Jesus said of them: “Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).
Through the years, when I was with Anandamayi Ma I would see people (usually Westerners) that apparently thought they had a Mother Meter in their head, and that the more clock time they put in being in her physical presence the more merit they had as devotees and the closer they were to her in spirit. They would actually sit with one another and compare the number of hours they had on their Mother Meters and then sneak around and try to get more time on their own in order to outdo the other. I have seen them try to keep their rivals from knowing when and where Ma would be so they alone would be accumulating the most time. Of course most of them never even met Mother in reality, and the time they spent trying to pull in her vibrations and blessings counted for nothing, if they were lucky and it did not create evil karma. I say this because they would sit and stare at Ma like a wolf at a rabbit or a vampire at a prospective victim. One woman always looked as though at any moment she was going to leap onto Ma. This was all because inside they knew they had no relation to Ma and were missing her completely.
On the other hand there was Yogananda’s great disciple, Sister Gyanamata, who attained total liberation before leaving her body. One time Brother Mokshananda, the last monk to come during the Master’s lifetime, told some of us that just the night before several of the longtime disciples of Yogananda, including Sri Dayamata, were remembering Sister Gyanamata and together they calculated that except for public appearances where there were many other people, Sister Gyanamata had not been with Yogananda physically more than about eight hours in the all years she was a disciple. They concluded that her secret was simple: she had always been with him: he was in her heart and she was in his.
While Jesus spoke a certain woman who stood near exclaimed, Most blessed is the mother of this man of God! And Jesus said, Yes, blest is she; but doubly blest are they who hear, receive and live the word of God. (Aquarian Gospel 108:12, 13)
A similar passage in the eleventh chapter of the Gospel of Saint Luke is often cited a proof that the Virgin Mary should not be called Blessed, but here Jesus says that she is indeed blessed, but then gives the major reason for her blessedness: she heard, accepted and lived the holy will of God for her life. When the archangel Gabriel told her that she was to be the mother of Jesus conceived in a miraculous manner, she answered: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). And so it was. It is still the path to blessedness that we can walk.
A Pharisee of wealth prepared a feast, and Jesus and the twelve, together with the masters from afar, were guests. And Jesus did not wash his hands according to the strictest Pharisaic rules, before he ate; when this the Pharisee observed he marvelled much. And Jesus said, My host, why do you marvel that I did not wash my hands? The Pharisees wash well their hands and feet; they cleanse the body every day when, lo, within is every form of filth. Their hearts are full of wickedness, extortions and deceit. Did not the God who made the outside of the body make the inside, too?. (Aquarian Gospel 108:14-19)
Here we have the problem with exoteric, externalized religion: it leaves out the essence of a person’s life, the immortal spirit, and thereby misses the point entirely and ends up being nothing of consequence and often a hindrance. I well remember reading a letter to an editor some years ago in which the writer called the Bible “God’s Rule Book.” Yet Jesus said: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). As Saint Paul exhorts us, we should “walk in the spirit” (Galatians 5:25) because “God is a spirit” (John 4:24), and we are also spirits. A viable religion is concentrated on the spirit, even considering material existence as subordinate and subservient to the spirit. “Spirit is life” (Romans 8:10).
And then he said, Woe unto you, you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue, and every herb, and pass by judgment and the love of God. Woe unto you, you Pharisees! you love the highest seats in synagogues and courts, and bid for salutations in the market place. Woe unto you, you tinseled gentry of the land! no man would ever think you servants of the Lord of hosts by what you do.
A lawyer sitting near remarked, Rabboni, your words are harsh, and then in what you say you censure us; and why?
And Jesus said, Woe unto you, you masters of the law! you heap great burdens on the sons of men, yea, loads by far too great for them to bear, and you will never help to bear a feather’s weight yourselves. Woe unto you! you build the tombs of prophets and of seers; they whom your fathers killed; and you are parties to the crimes. (Aquarian Gospel 108:20-25)
You tithe mint and rue, and every herb, and pass by judgment and the love of God. Exoteric religion can be very insistent on the smallest observances but completely overlooks (and sometimes avoids) spiritual wisdom and its application to spiritual life, especially in the form of spiritual discipline. But most of all it has no understanding of what the love of God really is, or how to attain it or manifest it in daily life. The idea of knowing and becoming one with God is vigorously rejected and denounced by them as evil and blasphemy.
You love the highest seats in synagogues and courts, and bid for salutations in the market place. Exoteric religion insists upon being respected by the world and boasts of the good will it wins by its earthly endeavors. Often political figures and celebrities are invited to their important functions and telegrams are read from even more politicians and suchlike with no regard to their personal worthiness.
No man would ever think you servants of the Lord of hosts by what you do. Actions do speak louder than words. In the seventh chapter of Saint Mark’s gospel we find another encounter Jesus had with Pharisees of the same type. “Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me” (Mark 7:5-7). That pretty well sums up exoteric religion and religionists.
And now behold, for God has sent again to you his holy men–apostles, prophets, seers; and you are persecuting them. The time is near when you will plead against them in the courts; will spurn them on the streets; will cast them into prison cells, and kill them with a fiend’s delight. I tell you, men, the blood of all the holy men of God that has been shed from righteous Abel down to that of Zacharias, father of holy John, who was struck down beside the altar in the Holy Place; the blood of all these holy men has made more red the hands of this ungodly generation. (Aquarian Gospel 108:26-30)
The hypocrites who so carefully washed their hands in water would in time like wild beasts bathe their hands in the blood of Jesus and his disciples. This is where exoteric religion ultimately leads: persecution, blasphemy, violence and even murder. Just this morning I was thinking of one of the first European Protestant bishops who had formerly been a Catholic bishop. As a Catholic bishop he condemned people to death for denying the doctrine of transubstantiation, but as a Protestant bishop he condemned people to death for believing in transubstantiation! This is where such ignorance leads.
Woe unto you, you masters of the law! you snatch the keys of knowledge from the hands of men; you close the doors; you enter not yourselves, and suffer not the willing ones to enter in.
“His words provoked the Pharisees, the lawyers and the scribes, and they, resenting, poured upon him torrents of abuse. The truths he spoke came like a thunderbolt from heaven; the rulers counseled how they might ensnare him by his words; they sought a legal way to shed his blood. (Aquarian Gospel 108:31-34)
You snatch the keys of knowledge from the hands of men; you close the doors; you enter not yourselves, and suffer not the willing ones to enter in. This is the worst aspect of exoteric religion: it destroys the hearts and souls of those who adhere to it and seek to destroy those who have enough awakening to see that it is false and spiritually dangerous. This is the ultimate indictment against them.
They, resenting, poured upon him torrents of abuse. The truths he spoke came like a thunderbolt from heaven; the rulers counseled how they might ensnare him by his words; they sought a legal way to shed his blood. And they succeeded, to their eternal shame.