A royal feast was held in honor of the birthday of the tetrarch in fortified Machaerus, east of the Bitter Sea. The tetrarch, Herod, and his wife, Herodias, together with Salome were there; and all the men and women of the royal court were there. And when the feast was done, lo, all the guests and courtiers were drunk with wine; they danced and leaped about like children in their play. Salome, daughter of Herodias, came in and danced before the king. The beauty of her form, her grace and winning ways entranced the silly Herod, then half drunk with wine. He called the maiden to his side and said, Salome, you have won my heart, and you may ask and I will give you anything you wish.
The maiden ran in childish glee and told her mother what the ruler said. Her mother said, Go back and say, Give me the head of John, the harbinger. The maiden ran and told the ruler what she wished. And Herod called his trusty executioner and said to him, Go to the tower and tell the keeper that by my authority you come to execute the prisoner known as John. The man went forth and in a little while returned and on a platter bore the lifeless head of John, and Herod offered it unto the maiden in the presence of the guests.
The maiden stood aloof; her innocence was outraged when she saw the bloody gift, and she would touch it not.
Her mother, steeped and hardened well in crime, came up and took the head and held it up before the guests and said, This is the fate of every man who dares to scorn, or criticize, the acts of him who reigns.
The drunken rabble gazed upon the gruesome sight with fiendish joy. (Aquarian Gospel 117:1-14)
And when the feast was done, lo, all the guests and courtiers were drunk with wine; they danced and leaped about like children in their play. It is interesting to see that very corrupt people like to pretend they are innocent and even childlike. It is of course an absurdity, and it fools no one because their evil is so blatant. A lot of these people make me think of ravaged old prostitutes out in a field making daisy crowns for one another and dancing around in a circle holding hands and singing some children’s ditty. It is repulsive.
So beware of the “childlike.” They never are; for no normal adult is a child. When Jesus said: “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein” (Mark 10:15), he was speaking of the direct and open attitude of a child, the magical consciousness of the child that readily accepts the supernatural and the reality of the miraculous, and especially the intuition of a child and the continuing echo of the higher astral realms from which he has just descended. An adept yogi one time remarked to me in India: “For the first three years of their lives children are always surrounded by devas.” That is the childlikeness of the holy, not naivité based on ignorance and lack of experience.
Salome, daughter of Herodias, came in and danced before the king. The beauty of her form, her grace and winning ways entranced the silly Herod, then half drunk with wine. He called the maiden to his side and said, Salome, you have won my heart, and you may ask and I will give you anything you wish. Here we see the terrible effects of lust: loss of all good sense and total susceptibility to evil. “Thinking about sense-objects will attach you to sense-objects; grow attached, and you become addicted; thwart your addiction, it turns to anger; be angry, and you confuse your mind; confuse your mind, you forget the lesson of experience; forget experience, you lose discrimination; lose discrimination, and you miss life’s only purpose” (Bhagavad Gita 2:62, 63).
The maiden stood aloof; her innocence was outraged when she saw the bloody gift, and she would touch it not. Here we see that Salome was not some depraved monster as legend has sought to make her. Eugene Sue’s novel, The Wandering Jew, and Wagner’s opera, Parsifal, claim that Salome wanders the earth under a curse because of her evil. But it is not so. Again we see how the Aquarian Gospel alone gives us the true picture.
Her mother, steeped and hardened well in crime, came up and took the head and held it up before the guests and said, This is the fate of every man who dares to scorn, or criticize, the acts of him who reigns. This is the way the foul often justify their moral insanity.
The drunken rabble gazed upon the gruesome sight with fiendish joy. “The evil-doers turn not toward me: these are deluded, sunk low among mortals. Their judgment is lost in the maze of Maya, until the heart is human no longer: changed within to the heart of a devil” (Bhagavad Gita 7:15).
The head was taken back unto the tower. The body had been given unto holy men who had been friends of John; they placed it in a burial case and carried it away. They bore it to the Jordan, which they crossed just at the ford where John first preached the word; and through the passes of the Judean hills they carried it. They reached the sacred grounds near Hebron, where the bodies of the parents of the harbinger lay in their tombs; and there they buried it; and then they went their way.
Now, when the news reached Galilee that John was dead the people met to sing the sonnets of the dead. (Aquarian Gospel 117:15-20)
John’s father, Zachariah, was also a martyr, having been slain by the order of Herod’s father because he would not reveal the whereabouts of the infant John whom he feared was the Messiah who would take over his kingdom.
In every viable religion there are rituals and prayers for the welfare of the dead. It was the custom in Israel for mourners to compose extemporaneous verses in praise and lamentation of the departed. Since poetic skill is not possessed by everyone, it was common to hire professional mourners who would learn about the life of the departed and compose verses regarding them. This is still the practice in certain of the Eastern Christian churches, especially among the Greek Orthodox. On Good (Great) Friday among all the Eastern churches there is a Lamentation Service consisting of many verses relating to Jesus and his death.
And Jesus and the foreign masters and the twelve took ship to cross the sea of Galilee. A scribe, a faithful friend of John, stood by the sea; he called to Jesus and he said, Rabboni, let me follow where you go.
And Jesus said, You seek a safe retreat from evil men. There is no safety for your life with me; for evil men will take my life as they have taken John’s. The foxes of the earth have safe retreats; the birds have nests secure among the hidden rocks, but I have not a place where I may lay my head and rest secure. (Aquarian Gospel 117:21-25)
This is one of those wonderful revolutionary passages in the Aquarian Gospel that give a totally different perspective than that of Churchianity. People usually seek out a religion to give them security, to make them feel safe spiritually. Some want to be sure they will not go to hell, some want to belong to a supportive and reassuring church, some want to be sure that they believe the truth and not any mistaken ideas, some want all their questions answered and some want all their fears and insecurities dispelled. Basically they want stability and confidence.
But Jesus says: “There is no safety for your life with me.” Why? Because “our” life is the life of mortality, bondage and ignorance. That life must be given up–cast aside–if we would enter into the true life of the spirit, our real life. Now we are wandering in the maze of illusion and delusion, literally out of our mind, not having the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). Therefore Jesus says: “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:38 39). “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24, 25). Those who cling to their egoic life will lose the life of the spirit, the Christ-life; but those who let go of that life (“lose” it) will receive the true life in Christ, in their own Christhood.
Those who follow Christ are committed to eternal life beyond all relative existence, therefore here on this world they have no place where they truly rest and feel secure. They enter peace and life by ascending to the highest worlds and becoming one with the Cosmic Christ as did Jesus before them.
Then an apostle said, Lord, suffer me to tarry here a while, that I may take my father, who is dead, and lay him in the tomb. But Jesus said, The dead can care for those who die; the living wait for those who live; come, follow me. (Aquarian Gospel 117:26, 27)
This is the world of the dead-alive, and when we spiritually die to it we will resurrect into the spirit and be truly living in the true world of God-consciousness. Here we move among the spiritually dead, but in the higher worlds the living await our coming that they may receive us “into everlasting habitations” (Luke 16:9).
The evening came; three boats put out to sea and Jesus rested in the foremost boat; he slept. A storm came on; the boats were tossed about like toys upon the sea. The waters swept the decks; the hardy boatmen were afraid lest all be lost.
And Thomas found the master fast asleep; he called, and Jesus woke. And Thomas said, Behold the storm! have you no care for us? The boats are going down.
And Jesus stood; he raised his hand; he talked unto the spirits of the winds and waves as men would talk with men. And, lo, the winds blew not; the waves came tremblingly and kissed his feet; the sea was calm.
And then he said, You men of faith, where is your faith? for you can speak and winds and waves will hear and will obey.
36) And the disciples were amazed. They said, Who is this man that even winds and waves obey his voice? (Aquarian Gospel 117:28-36)
And Jesus stood; he raised his hand; he talked unto the spirits of the winds and waves as men would talk with men. And, lo, the winds blew not; the waves came tremblingly and kissed his feet; the sea was calm. It is considered primitive to believe that everything is alive and even populated by a multitude of spirits. But it is primitive to not so believe. Great masters see spirits of all sorts and on occasion converse with them. Here we see that Jesus did the same.
The water touching the feet of masters is not at all unknown. For example, when the father of Lord Krishna, Vasudeva, was carrying the newborn Krishna in a basket as he waded through the Jumna River, taking him to safety, the waters kept rising higher and higher. Finally Vasudeva realized that the sacred river was trying to touch the feet of the divine child, so he lowered the basket, the water touched his feet and then subsided so Vasudeva could easily bear him across.
When the bearers of the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the waters of the Jordan, they parted and the bearers walked through with dry feet, just as all of Israel had crossed the Red Sea. (See the third chapter of Joshua.)
When Elisha touched the waters of the Jordan with the mantle of Elijah they parted and Elijah went over (II Kings 2:14).
I have been told of incidents like this in India when masters touched the water of streams with their feet during flood time so people could cross to safety.
And then he said, You men of faith, where is your faith? for you can speak and winds and waves will hear and will obey. And the disciples were amazed. They said, Who is this man that even winds and waves obey his voice? How interesting that they marveled at his ability and not at his assertion that they could do the same. This is the mentality of the dedicated follower who has no interest in rising to the level of the great teachers. The purpose of Jesus was to make people Christs, but they preferred to be worshippers and adorers of him as the only Christ. They asked “Who is he?” rather than “who are we?” Self-realization, self-knowledge, did not interest them.
Once there was a great Sufi master who knew he was one with God. The king’s son had died so messengers came and brought him to bring him back to life. Such was their faith, but not their wisdom. He came in and put his hand on the child, and seeing and understanding the mentality of the people standing around, he said: “In the Name of God return to life.” Nothing happened. So he said: “In my name I tell you to live.” The boy instantly came to life. But the master was executed immediately for having blasphemed. There is a lesson there for the wise and wary.
This incident can be interpreted symbolically as well. The Christ-nature lie asleep in the heart of each one of us as the sea of life rages around us the threatens us. But in time we are awakened, arise and master the tides of life and our life becomes tranquil and radiant. Then we realize the divinity within all humanity and share the wondrous news with those so inclined to hear and do likewise. The only savior we can ever have is our innate Christ-nature.