And Jesus taught the multitudes; and while he spoke a man stood forth and said, Rabboni, hear my plea: My father died and left a large estate; my brother seized it all, and now refuses me my share. I pray that you will bid him do the right, and give what is mine. And Jesus said, I am not come to be a judge in such affairs; I am no henchman of the court. (Aquarian Gospel 111:1-4)
There is no doubt that ethics which enable us to act in a right way are very important, yet a religion or philosophy that only concentrates on right and wrong activity (and maybe a bit on right and wrong thought) is only of value to those who have not yet awakened inwardly and opened that level of spiritual intuition that includes what we call the conscience. A person perfect in ethics still is subject to illusion, birth and death. What he needs is a higher form of religion: the path to the realization of his own divine Self and God, the Self of his Self.
Christianity has become degraded into a system of Do This; Do Not Do That, and Believe This; Do Not Believe That. Jesus certainly knew what was right, but he did not come to speak in a elementary way that his hearers had already heard, even if they had not heeded it. Jesus came to tell people that they had one problem: ignorance of themselves and God; and that their one problem had one solution: knowledge of themselves and God. This is the Path of the Masters, the pathway to God. There is a lot of talk in some religions about loving God, but how can we love someone we do not know?
In my early teens I saw a remarkable series that was broadcast by an interdenominational church association early on Sunday mornings. In it, Saint Paul suddenly just materialized outside a town and began encountering what people thought was Christianity but was childish superstition. At one point Saint Paul gave a group of people little images that they all cooed and oohed over and caressed like a little girl with her baby doll. They were all feeling so happy and, yes, even fulfilled, when Saint Paul knocked the tiny idols out of their hands and told them: “None of that is God. They are only your ideas of God which you love because you love your egos! Turn to God and leave this all behind!”
So what we need is very simple: the experience of God which includes knowing God. And the way to that is simple: yoga meditation.
God sent me not to force a man to do the right. In every man there is a sense of right; but many men regard it not. The fumes that rise from selfishness have formed a crust about their sense of right that veils their inner light, so that they cannot comprehend nor recognize the rights of other men. This veil you cannot tear away by force of arms, and there is naught that can dissolve this crust but knowledge and love of God. (Aquarian Gospel 111:5-8)
God sent me not to force a man to do the right. Consider how coercive traditional forms of Christianity have been for two thousand years. Hell and damnation is the fuel they run on. But Jesus says he had not come for anything like that. God does not want prisoners or slaves, he wants sons of God that seek him because they want to know him. They do not need to be promised anything else and cajoled or threatened into seeking God. His truly awakened children cannot be stopped from seeking him!
In every man there is a sense of right; but many men regard it not. The essential nature of each person is a divine spirit, and the true heart of each person is like the compass needle that always points north. Every single person knows in a deep inner level what needs to be done. But just as the compass will not point north if it gets clogged or covered over with mud, so each of us must purify himself so our inmost heart can feel and respond to God. Meditation basically is purification and attunement. When the right degree of purification and attunement is attained, then the path to God lies clearly before us. Until then even God does not expect human beings to know and do the right. That is what divine mercy is all about. As Saint Teresa of Avila said, God’s justice is his understanding of us.
The fumes that rise from selfishness have formed a crust about their sense of right that veils their inner light, so that they cannot comprehend nor recognize the rights of other men. This being so, we should not expect people to even care about, much less seek, God.
This veil you cannot tear away by force of arms, and there is naught that can dissolve this crust but knowledge and love of God. And that knowledge and love is realized by each person for himself. No one else can do it for us, nor can anyone adequately motivate us. Spiritual life is totally self-initiated because is really an expression of our nature. Like the sun behind thick clouds, it need only be revealed and permitted to shine.
While men are in the mire, the skies seem far away; when men are on the mountain top, the skies are near, and they can almost touch the stars.
Then Jesus turned and to the twelve he said, Behold the many in the mire of carnal life! The leaven of truth will change the miry clay to solid rock, and men can walk and find the path that leads up to the mountain top. You cannot haste; but you can scatter forth this leaven with a generous hand. When men have learned the truth that bears upon its face the law of right, then they will haste to give every man his dues (Aquarian Gospel 111:9-13)
While men are in the mire, the skies seem far away; when men are on the mountain top, the skies are near, and they can almost touch the stars. Often external things and situations are reflections of our own minds and predispositions. The most obvious is the childish habit of saying that something is objectively and absolutely good merely because we like it. We project our ideas and experience on the object rather than see it in its true nature. So here Jesus is saying that when our consciousness is mired in materiality and ignorance, the heights of heaven, the high levels of consciousness, seem far away and impossible to attain. But when our consciousness has risen and become freed from materiality then we feel that higher consciousness and ascent to the higher evolutionary planes is absolutely possible. We could express it another way: When mired in the mud, faith is weak or absent; when we have ascended in consciousness, faith really is: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Then Jesus turned and to the twelve he said, Behold the many in the mire of carnal life! The leaven of truth will change the miry clay to solid rock, and men can walk and find the path that leads up to the mountain top. This is marvelously optimistic; and best of all it is the truth. In time all will encounter truth, comprehend, accept and apply it. When that is done, what now hinders them will be the stepping stones that take them to the heights of opening consciousness.
You cannot haste; but you can scatter forth this leaven with a generous hand. When men have learned the truth that bears upon its face the law of right, then they will haste to give every man his dues. We cannot force the opening of anyone’s awareness, but we can broadcast the leaven of truth generously and await its fruition. It may be right away or far in the future, but its effect will be inevitable and inescapable.
Then to the people Jesus said, Take heed, and covet not. The wealth of men does not consist in what they seem to have–in lands, in silver and in gold. These things are only borrowed wealth. No man can corner up the gifts of God. The things of nature are the things of God, and what is God’s belongs to every man alike.
The wealth of soul lies in the purity of life, and in the wisdom that descends from heaven (Aquarian Gospel 111:14-17)
The wealth of men does not consist in what they seem to have–in lands, in silver and in gold. These things are only borrowed wealth. No man can corner up the gifts of God. The things of nature are the things of God, and what is God’s belongs to every man alike. Saint Paul expressed it very simply: “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (I Timothy 6:7). So, as Jesus says, everything we think we possess in this world is only borrowed. Nothing in this world or any world is ours but God, who is our essential being. Therefore we possess infinity. Anything else is much less, and a denial of our true nature as part of Infinite Life.
The wealth of soul lies in the purity of life, and in the wisdom that descends from heaven. The acquisition of these two things are all that should be the central focus of our mind. To gain purity of life and divine wisdom is the occupation of a lifetime. Every other pursuit should be both peripheral and minimal. This is not fanaticism, it is simple good sense. Furthermore, it must be realized that yoga is the supreme means of acquiring these two necessary things.
Behold, a rich man’s ground brought forth abundantly; his barns were far too small to hold his grain, and to himself he said, What shall I do? I must not give my grain away; I must not let it go to waste; and then he said, This will I do; I will tear down these little barns and build up larger ones; there I will store away my grain and I will say, My soul take now your ease; you have enough for many years; eat, drink and fill yourself and be content. But God looked down and saw the man; he saw his selfish heart and said, You foolish man, this night your soul will quit its house of flesh; then who will have your garnered wealth? (Aquarian Gospel 111:18-23)
The key to this man’s character is found in the telling words: “ I must not give my grain way.” Sri Ramakrishna said that there are people who will refuse if you ask them to urinate in a particular spot, because they fear you might get some gain from it. Selfishness is the firstborn of ego, so close they are virtually one.
I have known such terrible people. A very wealthy and landed man who lived near my hometown was the owner of a cemetery. He hated selling even an inch of earth, and so every time he sold a cemetery plot (and he sold many) he would sit and weep loudly and curse, saying: “These G–d–n fools are taking over my cemetery!” I knew a man who had a very successful popcorn stand. He used up a great many metal containers of popcorn oil and having no use for them just put them out for trash collection. My father had a use for one such container and asked him if he could have one. Naturally the man agreed and I went with my father to get it. As we were walking away, from inside the house I heard his son who was ten or eleven years old whining: “Go get it back, Dad; go get it back!” He preferred to send it to the dump rather than have someone get use from it. This is truly a spiritual psychosis.
In his greed this man Jesus tells us about made plans to hoard every grain he could. He apparently planned to eat all of it himself! At least his words imply this. As I say: psychosis. And shortsightedness, for he lost it all through death. Foolish, indeed.
You men of Galilee, lay not up treasures in the vaults of earth; accumulated wealth will blight your soul. God does not give men wealth to hoard away in secret vaults. Men are but stewards of God’s wealth, and they must use it for the common good. To every steward who is true to self, to other men, to every thing that is, the Lord will say, Well done. (Aquarian Gospel 111:24-26)
There is nothing wrong with making money, lots of money. What is wrong is holding on to it and not sharing it gladly. It is that kind of accumulated wealth that will blight the soul. Money is essentially life energy, and there is a whole esoteric side to money and the way it is handled. Very few people have the interior strength to possess great wealth. Instead of possessing the wealth, the wealth begins possessing them.
I suppose many of us have met “rich kids” who seemed completely intellectually, morally and socially paralyzed by their parents’ money. Once a friend of mine commented regarding a banker’s son: “If he wasn’t a ‘rich kid’ he would be nothing.” Actually, I think he was wrong. If he had not been a rich kid the money would not have been draining away his life energy. For it does just that. Money possesses a magnetism that can totally overpower a person and drain him of all but minimal energy, physical and mental.
One of the characteristics of the kshatriya ruling class (caste) is the ability to handle tremendous amounts of wealth without being in the least affected by it. I have known several (maha)rajas and (maha)ranis, and without exception they could easily keep above the potential destructive power of money and possessions. And when they turned to spiritual life, especially yoga, they made marked progress. They were natural conquerors and rulers of the conquered.