The fruit of unity
“The sacred temple groves were rich in statues, monuments and shrines; here Jesus loved to walk and meditate. And after he had conquered self he talked with nature in these groves for forty days” (Aquarian Gospel 52:1, 2).
The Self is the basis of unity, and the ego is the basis of disunity. As the ego begins to be eliminated, we find the boundaries of our awareness continually expanding to include both sentient and insentient being. When I began attempting yoga sadhana I found myself much more aware of my surroundings. People became much more vivid and comprehensible to me, and so did physical objects, including nature. Actually everything became alive to me. From birth I had intuited the life inherent in all things, but now I perceived it clearly. One afternoon as I was heading homeward off campus, I came across a telephone pole with frost clinging to it. The elements had weathered the wood and momentarily was causing it to take on some amazing colors in very subtle gradations. It was so fragilely beautiful that I stood there quite a while just studying it. It was a real revelation. Day by day doors that had heretofore only been opened slightly opened up fully for me, and many doors unknown before began swinging open. A person who really wants to live–in the sense of being conscious–can do so through yoga; that is my experience.
“And then the guide took chains and bound him hand and foot; and then cast him into a den of hungry beasts, of unclean birds, and creeping things. The den was dark as night; the wild beasts howled; the birds in fury screamed; the reptiles hissed.
“And Jesus said, Who was it that did bind me thus? Why did I meekly sit to be bound down with chains? I tell you, none has power to bind a human soul. Of what are fetters made? And in his might he rose, and what he thought were chains were only worthless cords that parted at his touch.
“And then he laughed and said, The chains that bind men to the carcasses of earth are forged in fancy’s shop; are made of air, and welded in illusion’s fires. If man will stand erect, and use the power of will, his chains will fall, like worthless rags; for will and faith are stronger than the stoutest chains that men have ever made” (Aquarian Gospel 52:3-9).
I have not mentioned it before, but I think that some of the tests described in these chapters did not take place physically, but in dreams induced by the masters who could look into Jesus’ mind and know his reactions to them. There is no way to know, of course, but it explains how some of these things were done as in this test.
And then the guide took chains and bound him hand and foot; and then cast him into a den of hungry beasts, of unclean birds, and creeping things. The den was dark as night; the wild beasts howled; the birds in fury screamed; the reptiles hissed. I cannot think of a more apt description of ordinary human life. People are helpless and hopeless, surrounded by the beasts of the mind and heart, not to speak of the outer beasts that move around us on two feet. Fear and misery are the only possibilities.
When we begin to awaken to the question Who Am I? then there is a chance of escaping the terrible pit of ignorance. For as we begin to discover the answer we early on come to the understanding that it is we ourselves who have bound ourselves through wrong action and thought, that none else can bind us. That being so, we realize that we can free ourselves, that we already possess the power to do so. Again, this is where yoga appears as the way to freedom. The yogi comes to see how paltry and insubstantial were the things he once both feared and desired, how meaningless that which once shaped his whole way of life. The ghosts being revealed for what they are become less than shadows and the yogi can laugh where he once cried, be fearless where he once feared, and joyful where he once suffered. Like Scrooge, he finds himself changed by the phantoms that have now passed away.
Of course, people get used to imprisonment and come to like it. There really are people who do not want to be released from prison, and I have read the accounts of people who did not want to be discharged from mental institutions. Such is the awful power of habit and false security. As a result, a lot of yogis turn back from the open doors into the “comforting” darkness, and that is that for this life.
Will and faith are the two oars that will propel the yogi’s boat toward the farther shore of liberation. Failure is impossible for him it he keeps plying those oars in steadiness of practice.
In the light
“And Jesus stood erect among the hungry beasts, and birds, and said, What is this darkness that envelops me? ’Tis but the absence of the light. And what is light? ’Tis but the breath of God vibrating in the rhythm of rapid thought.
“And then he said, Let there be light; and with a mighty will he stirred the ethers up, and their vibrations reached the plane of light; and there was light. The darkness of that den of night became the brightness of a newborn day. And then he looked to see the beasts, and birds, and creeping things; lo, they were not.
“And Jesus said, Of what are souls afraid? Fear is the chariot in which man rides to death; and when he finds himself within the chamber of the dead, he learns that he has been deceived; his chariot was a myth, and death a fancy child. But some day all man’s lessons will be learned, and from the den of unclean beasts, and birds, and creeping things he will arise to walk in light” (Aquarian Gospel 52:10-17).
This is a perfect picturing of an awakening consciousness, especially one that knows the way of generating light through yoga practice.
“And Jesus saw a ladder made of gold, on which he climbed, and at the top the white-robed priest awaited him.
“Again he stood before the council bar; again no word was said; again the hierophant reached forth his hand to bless. He placed in Jesus’ hand another scroll, and on this one was written, HEROISM.
“The Logos had encountered fear and all his phantom host, and in the conflict he achieved the victory” (Aquarian Gospel 52:18-21).
The Self is the ladder of gold upon which we ascend.
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: The Great Test