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Claiming Our Freedom

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 70 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

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

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

The Aquarian Gospel for Awakening—A Commentary on the Aquarian Gospel
by Swami Nirmalananda Giri (Abbot George Burke)

  1. The Mother of Jesus
  2. Prophecies of the Births of Saint John the Baptist and Jesus
  3. The Birth of Jesus
  4. Revelations in the Temple
  5. Coming of the Wise Men
  6. Herod’s Reaction
  7. Revelations in Egypt
  8. The Two Selfs
  9. Deliverance From Gods and Demons
  10. About God the Tao
  11. From India to Chaldea
  12. The Wisdom of Buddha
  13. God and Prayer
  14. The Mission of Jesus and John the Baptist
  15. Sin and the Forgiveness of Sin
  16. The Universal Law of Man’s Free Will and the Divine Will For Man
  17. Understanding Death
  18. The True Teacher
  19. The Value of Ritual
  20. The Law Behind All Laws
  21. Opening To The Truth
  22. In the Temple at the Age of Ten
  23. Revelation to the Teachers and People in the Temple
  24. Jerusalem to Nazareth
  25. Nazareth to India
  26. What is Truth?
  27. What Is Man?
  28. What is Power?
  29. Understanding
  30. Wisdom
  31. Faith
  32. Healing and Healers
  33. Conflict Over Caste
  34. The Destiny of All Men
  35. God and Man
  36. The Voice in the Heart
  37. Seeing the Unseeable
  38. To God Through Man
  39. Who Is Jesus?
  40. The Real Versus The Apparent
  41. The Brotherhood of Life
  42. God…and Man
  43. Relating To God
  44. The Worthy Host
  45. Come to the Light
  46. The Kingdom Revealed
  47. The King Revealed
  48. Perspective On Death
  49. Fire and Sword
  50. Evolution: The Path of Glory
  51. The Real Heaven
  52. Getting to the Essence
  53. New Perspective on Religion
  54. In Tibet and Ladakh
  55. Words to the Worthy
  56. The Thirty-Eighth Chapter
  57. The Origin of Evil
  58. The Silence
  59. The Source of Healing
  60. The Fivefold Gospel
  61. Homecoming
  62. In Athens
  63. The Oracle of Delphi
  64. The Real God
  65. Return to Egypt
  66. First Steps to Wisdom
  67. Strong in Will and Intent
  68. Here Comes the Ego
  69. Blessed are the Merciful
  70. Claiming Our Freedom
  71. The Great Test
  72. Comprehending Death
  73. The Christ!
  74. The Asembly of the Masters
  75. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – I
  76. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – II
  77. The Declaration of Jesus
  78. John the Baptist – I
  79. John the Baptist – II
  80. John the Baptist – III
  81. Baptism – Jesus and John
  82. Self-Examination and Temptation
  83. The First Disciples Follow Jesus
  84. Jesus’ First Sermon
  85. The King and the Kingdom
  86. Dealing With Challengers
  87. The First Miracle of Jesus
  88. Kings and Kingdoms
  89. The Temple of God
  90. What Is A Messiah?
  91. The Laws of Healing
  92. Nicodemus Finds The Kingdom
  93. The Prince of Peace
  94. Dealing With Spiritual Opposition
  95. The Opened Gate
  96. John the Baptist Speaks of the Christ
  97. John Speaks Further About Jesus
  98. The Woman at the Well
  99. The Disciples and Samaritans at the Well
  100. Jesus in Sychar
  101. More Wisdom In Samaria
  102. The Imprisonment of John the Baptist
  103. In Jerusalem
  104. The Insights of Jesus
  105. Sabbath Wisdom
  106. Prayer and Good Deeds
  107. Divine Laws and Principles for Seekers of the Divine
  108. A New Understanding of the Ten Commandments
  109. Aspects of the Higher Law – 1
  110. Aspects of the Higher Law – 2
  111. Aspects of the Higher Law – 3
  112. Aspects of the Higher Law – 4
  113. Chapter One Hundred One
  114. Chapter One Hundred Two
  115. Chapter One Hundred Three
  116. Chapter One Hundred Four
  117. Chapter One Hundred Five
  118. Chapter One Hundred Six
  119. Chapter One Hundred Seven
  120. Chapter One Hundred Eight
  121. Chapter One Hundred Nine
  122. Chapter One Hundred Ten
  123. Chapter One Hundred Eleven
  124. Chapter One Hundred Twelve
  125. Chapter One Hundred Thirteen
  126. Chapter One Hundred Fourteen
  127. Chapter One Hundred Fifteen
  128. Chapter One Hundred Sixteen
  129. Chapter One Hundred Seventeen
  130. Chapter One Hundred Eighteen
  131. Chapter One Hundred Nineteen
  132. Chapter One Hundred Twenty
  133. Chapter One Hundred Twenty One
  134. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Two
  135. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Three
  136. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Four
  137. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Five
  138. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Six
  139. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Seven
  140. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Eight
  141. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Nine
  142. Chapter One Hundred Thirty
  143. Chapter One Hundred Thirty One
  144. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Two
  145. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Three
  146. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Four
  147. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Five
  148. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Six
  149. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Seven
  150. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Eight
  151. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Nine
  152. Chapter One Hundred Forty
  153. Chapter One Hundred Forty One
  154. Chapter One Hundred Forty Two
  155. Chapter One Hundred Forty Three
  156. Chapter One Hundred Forty Four
  157. Chapter One Hundred Forty Five
  158. Chapter One Hundred Forty Six
  159. Chapter One Hundred Forty Seven
  160. Chapter One Hundred Forty Eight
  161. Chapter One Hundred Forty Nine
  162. Chapter One Hundred Fifty
  163. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-One
  164. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Two
  165. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Three
  166. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Four
  167. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Five
  168. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Six
  169. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Seven
  170. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Eight
  171. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Nine
  172. Chapter One Hundred Sixty
  173. Chapter One Hundred Sixty One
  174. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Two
  175. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Three
  176. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Four
  177. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Five
  178. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Six
  179. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Seven
  180. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Eight
  181. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Nine
  182. Chapter One Hundred Seventy
  183. Chapter One Hundred Seventy One
  184. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Two
  185. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Three
  186. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Four
  187. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Five
  188. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Six
  189. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Seven
  190. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Eight
  191. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Nine
  192. Chapter One Hundred Eighty
  193. Chapter One Hundred Eighty One
  194. Chapter One Hundred Eighty Two

The Text of the Aquarian Gospel—by Levi Dowling

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