When they had journeyed through the towns and cities of the land of Galilee, the Lord with his disciples came to Tiberius, and here they met a few who loved the name of Christ. And Jesus told them many things about the inner life; but when the multitudes came up, he spoke a parable; he said (Aquarian Gospel 144:1, 2).
Here we see a plain demarcation between those who love the Gospel as their very lives and those who do not yet so understand. Direct and open instruction regarding the inner life is given to the first group, but the other must first understand how to skillfully live the outer life before the mysteries of the inner life can be revealed to them. It is not a matter of worthy or unworthy, but of capable and incapable. It is a matter of evolution, nothing more. This principle is uppermost in the mind and heart of a worthy teacher and he will never violate it.
A certain man with great possessions had two sons. The youngest son grew tired of life at home and said, My father, pray divide your wealth and give the portion that is mine to me, and I will seek my fortune in another land. The father did as he desired, and with his wealth the young man went into a foreign land.
He was a profligate and soon had squandered all his wealth in ways of sin. When nothing else remained for him to do he found employment in the fields to care for swine. And he was hungry, and no one gave him aught to eat, and so he ate the carob pods that he was feeding to the swine.
And after many days he found himself and said unto himself, My father is a man of wealth; he has a score of servants who are bountifully fed while I, his son, am starving in the fields among the swine. I do not hope to be received again as son, but I will rise and go straight to my father’s house, and I will make confession of my waywardness; and I will say, My father, I am come again; I am profligate, and I have lost my wealth in ways of sin; I am not worthy to be called your son. I do not ask to be received again as son, but let me have a place among your servants, where I may have a shelter from the storms and have enough to eat. (Aquarian Gospel 144:3-12)
And after many days he found himself and said unto himself. Self-forgetfulness is a major factor in earthly life. That is why in the esoteric Mass formulated by Bishops Wedgwood and Leadbeater of the Liberal Catholic Church the Confiteor (Confession) is vastly different from that of any other Mass form: “O Lord, thou hast created man to be immortal and made him to be an image of thine own eternity; yet often we forget the glory of our heritage and wander from the path which leads to righteousness. But thou, O Lord, hast made us for thyself and our hearts are ever restless till they find their rest in thee. Look with the eyes of thy love upon our manifold imperfections and pardon all our shortcomings, that we may be filled with the brightness of the everlasting light and become the unspotted mirror of thy power and the image of thy goodness; through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
This alone is the aspiration worthy of the children of God, immortal spirits rooted in the very being of God. Only when we realize that this is the truth about ourselves can we have any valid perspective on spiritual life and hope to make any progress.
One sign of a person having “come to himself” as the Gospel of Luke puts it is his taking himself in hand and beginning to reason within himself and directing himself to higher life.
I do not hope to be received again as son, but I will rise and go straight to my father’s house, and I will make confession of my waywardness; and I will say, My father, I am come again; I am profligate, and I have lost my wealth in ways of sin; I am not worthy to be called your son. I do not ask to be received again as son, but let me have a place among your servants, where I may have a shelter from the storms and have enough to eat. Buddha said more than once that the sign of spiritual awakening is the ability to feel shame. He did not mean self-loathing or self-condemnation, but the ability to realize when we have done something for which we should feel personal responsibility and regret. There are both spiritually healthy and spiritually unhealthy repentance. Regarding the healthy repentance Saint Paul wrote: “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (II Corinthians 7:9-11).
Therefore acknowledgment of culpability and the desire to not repeat the error is a holy and blessed thing. The desire to be a servant of God is also very healthy, because those who serve God serve humanity which we are told to love next to God. (“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” Luke 10:27.) True humility is a great virtue. Who in the cosmos is as humble as God? Therefore holiness and humility are inseparable, but a positive humility based on love and respect for God and man.
And he arose and sought his father’s house, and as he came his mother saw him while yet a great way off. (A mother’s heart can feel the first faint yearning of a wandering child.) The father came, and hand in hand they walked a-down the way to meet the boy, and there was joy, great joy.
The boy tried hard to plead for mercy and a servant’s place; but love was all too great to listen to the plea. The door was opened wide; he found a welcome in the mother’s heart, and in the father’s heart. (Aquarian Gospel 144:13-17)
A mother’s heart can feel the first faint yearning of a wandering child. The boy tried hard to plead for mercy and a servant’s place; but love was all too great to listen to the plea. The door was opened wide; he found a welcome in the mother’s heart, and in the father’s heart. God is both our Father and our Mother. In God is the love and patience of Mother and the wisdom and order of Father. I once heard a great teacher say: “God is like an expert safecracker. The entire attention of the safecracker is engaged in listening for the sound of the tumblers falling into place. He immediately reacts to the slightest sound. In the same way God is listening with his whole being for even the least response from mankind. And he comes running at the slightest call of our heart.”
Again, true repentance is true love.
The father called the servants in, and bade them bring the finest robe for him; the choicest sandals for his feet; a ring of purest gold for him to wear. And then the father said, My servants, go and kill the fatted calf; prepare a feast, for we are glad; our son we thought was dead is here alive; a treasure that we thought was lost is found.
The feast was soon prepared and all were merry, when the eldest son who had been serving in a distant field and knew not that his brother had returned, came home. And when he learned the cause of all the merriment he was offended, and would not go into the house.
His father and his mother both besought him tearfully to disregard the waywardness and folly of their son; but he would not; he said, Lo, all these years I have remained at home, have served you every day, have never yet transgressed your most severe commands; and yet you never killed for me a kid, nor made for me a simple feast that I might make merry with my friends; but when your son, this profligate, who has gone forth and squandered half your wealth in ways of sin, comes home, because he could do nothing else, you kill for him the fatted calf and make a wondrous feast.
His father said, My son, all that I have is yours and you are ever with us in our joys; and it is well to show our gladness when your brother, who is near and dear to us, and who we thought was dead, returns to us alive. He may have been a profligate; may have consorted with gay courtesans and thieves, yet he is still your brother and our son. (Aquarian Gospel 144:18-29)
He may have been a profligate; may have consorted with gay courtesans and thieves, yet he is still your brother and our son. This must ever be our perspective about ourself and others. No matter what the past, even then and now and for always we and they are divine children of God. For that is our nature. Nothing can change it and nothing can prevent its eventual manifestation. Certainly a foolish past should be regretted but the ever-present potential for spiritual glory should be set in mind and its manifestation striven for.
Then Jesus said so all might hear: He who has ears to hear, and a heart to understand will comprehend the meaning of this parable.
Then Jesus and the twelve came to Capernaum. (Aquarian Gospel 144:30, 31)
The true Gospel of Jesus the Christ in its totality can only be known and understood by those whose hearts have been completely purified and opened to the divine light through the cultivation of spiritual consciousness, especially through meditation.