The Christines were in Philip’s home and Peter said to Jesus, Lord, will you explain to us the meaning of the parables you spoke today? The one about the wheat and tares, especially?
And Jesus said, God’s kingdom is a duality; it has an outer and an inner form. As seen by man it is composed of men, of those who make confession of the name of Christ. For various reasons various people crowd this outer kingdom of our God. The inner kingdom is the kingdom of the soul, the kingdom of the pure in heart.
The outer kingdom I may well explain in parables. Behold, for I have seen you cast a great net out into the sea, and when you hauled it in, lo, it was full of every kind of fish, some good, some bad, some great, some small; and I have seen you save the good and throw the bad away. This outer kingdom is the net, and every kind of man is caught; but in the sorting day the bad will all be cast away, the good reserved. (Aquarian Gospel 116:1-8)
God’s kingdom is a duality; it has an outer and an inner form. The kingdom of God also includes the Church of God: Christianity. For some reason people either consider it an external entity or an internal one. Those of exoteric orientation consider it the visible, earthly institution, and those of esoteric bent consider it spiritual, immaterial. It is, of course, both, and those who understand it that way have the fullest view. To have the partial view of the others is to inevitably mistake the nature and purpose of the kingdom and the Church. And the worst of all is to consider that one aspect or segment is all there is to the kingdom and to declare that all outside it cannot be part of the kingdom. “God is one; so his Church is one” they trumpet. But the one God is the source of the many. This is but one of the reasons why only those with an Eastern perspective comprehend both the material and spiritual aspects of the living kingdom of the living God. The East alone has the complete picture on everything. Without it a person is half blind at best.
As seen by man it is composed of men, of those who make confession of the name of Christ. For various reasons various people crowd this outer kingdom of our God. Naturally human beings see the kingdom as composed of other humans. Although they may identify with Jesus and his teachings to a greater or lesser degree, they have a vast range of motives for wishing to be part of the holy kingdom. Some are correct, some are not, and some are a mixture of right and wrong.
The inner kingdom is the kingdom of the soul, the kingdom of the pure in heart. The inner kingdom, however, is populated only by the pure in heart, those in whom spiritual consciousness, and identity with that consciousness, is always dominant. Many can crowd into the earthly institution, including those unfit and insincere and those with selfish motives. But only the pure in heart are in the inner kingdom, not because they pushed their way into it, but because their purity of heart automatically transferred them into it. It was a matter of nature, not intellectual assent or choice.
The miracle-working stigmatist, Teresa Neuman of Bavaria, said to a acquaintance of mine, a monastic disciple of Yogananda: “I am so glad you are a Catholic.” When he protested that he was not, she told him: “You do not understand what I mean. There are people who go to Mass every Sunday, but their hearts are closed to God. They are not Catholics. And there are people in the world who have never even heard the Name of Jesus, but their hearts are open to God. They are Catholics. And you are a Catholic!” She certainly had the perspective of Jesus.
The outer kingdom I may well explain in parables. Behold, for I have seen you cast a great net out into the sea, and when you hauled it in, lo, it was full of every kind of fish, some good, some bad, some great, some small; and I have seen you save the good and throw the bad away. This outer kingdom is the net, and every kind of man is caught; but in the sorting day the bad will all be cast away, the good reserved. Who does the sorting? It is my observation that there are three sorters: 1) the holy angels, 2) those in the Church, both clergy and laity, and 3) the unfit themselves who choose to separate from the Church. As Saint John wrote: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us” (I John 2:19).
Hear, then, the meaning of the parable of the wheat and tares: The sower is the son of man; the field, the world; the good seed are the children of the light; the tares, the children of the dark; the enemy, the carnal self; the harvest day, the closing of the age; the reapers are the messengers of God. The reckoning day will come to every man; then will the tares be gathered up, and cast into the fire and be burned. Then will the good shine forth as suns in the kingdom of the soul. (Aquarian Gospel 116:9-12)
This is very clear, but we must realize that this does not teach the doctrine of hell, but rather the fires of karmic purification that come to all the unpurified: they kindle the fires themselves.
And Philip said, Must men and women suffer in the flames because they have not found the way of life? And Jesus said, The fire purifies. The chemist throws into the fire the ores that hold all kinds of dross. The useless metal seems to be consumed; but not a grain of gold is lost. There is no man that has not in him gold that cannot be destroyed. The evil things of men are all consumed in fire; the gold survives. (Aquarian Gospel 116:13-16)
This is a cardinal principle: goodness is in all, and sometimes the fire of karma is the necessary means to bring that good to the surface. There are such places as astral hells in which the people suffer, not as punishment but as the exact reaction of their actions, physical and mental. In those regions people know why they are there and what their experiences mean, so they learn. The laws of karma and rebirth are manifestations of the love and mercy of God. They may bring us pain, but ultimately they open the way to the blessed kingdom.
The inner kingdom of the soul I may explain in parables:
The son of man goes forth and scatters seeds of truth; God waters well the soil; the seeds show life and grow; first comes the blade, and then the stalk, and then the ear, and then the full wheat in the ear. The harvest comes and, lo, the reapers bear the ripened sheaves into the garner of the Lord.
Again, this kingdom of the soul is like a little seed that men may plant in fertile soil. (A thousand of these seeds would scarcely be a shekel’s weight.) The tiny seed begins to grow; it pushes through the earth, and after years of growth it is a mighty tree and birds rest in its leafy bowers and men find refuge ’neath its sheltering boughs from sun and storm.
Again, the truth, the spirit of the kingdom of the soul, is like a ball of leaven that a woman hid in measures, three, of flour and in a little time the whole was leavened.
Again, the kingdom of the soul is like a treasure hidden in a field which one has found, and straightaway goes his way and sells all that he has and buys the field. (Aquarian Gospel 116:17-24)
Here we have symbols of the inner kingdom, of our own minds and hearts, not the world.
- The great messengers of God such as Jesus sow the seeds of truth in us and God blesses them to come to fruition. It is progress in stages, not a cosmic leap or something that happens overnight. Rather it is methodical. Specifically it is the science of yoga, broadly speaking. Spiritual practices are the reapers that gather the harvest unto God.
- The little seed of spiritual consciousness, of spiritual awakening, has been planted in us by God, is actually inherent in us from eternity, and it grows silently and unobserved, reaching upward from earth to heaven until it manifests as a great force which nourishes and guides our evolution, and in time we may even help others to their awakening.
- Spirit consciousness like leaven, when heated by the practice of spiritual discipline (tapasya) pervades our entire being, leaving nothing untouched or untransformed until our whole consciousness is divine consciousness.
- Our inner glory, our inner divinity, is our ever-present treasure which, when we discover its presence, inspires us to “sell” all that is outside us and turn all our spiritual powers inward to fully possess it and then manifest it both inwardly and outwardly.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).
When Jesus had thus said he went alone into a mountain pass near by to pray. (Aquarian Gospel 116:25)
We may not be able to teach like Jesus, but we can learn to pray like him.