An ignoramus challenges Jesus
“Next day as Peter walked about in Nazareth, he met the ruler of the synagogue who asked, Who is this Jesus lately come to Nazareth? And Peter said, This Jesus is the Christ of whom our prophets wrote; he is the king of Israel. His mother, Mary, lives on Marmion Way. The ruler said, Tell him to come up to the synagogue, for I would hear his plea. And Peter ran and told to Jesus what the ruler said; but Jesus answered not; he went not to the synagogue. Then in the evening time the ruler came up Marmion Way, and in the home of Mary found he Jesus and his mother all alone.
“And when the ruler asked for proof of his messiahship, and why he went not to the synagogue when he was bidden, Jesus said, I am not slave to any man; I am not called unto this ministry by priest. It is not mine to answer when men call. I come the Christ of God; I answer unto God alone. Who gave you right to ask for proof of my messiahship? My proof lies in my words and works, and so if you will follow me you will not lack for proof.
“And then the ruler went his way; he asked himself, What manner of a man is this to disregard the ruler of the synagogue?” (Aquarian Gospel 69:1-9).
Jonathan Swift said: “When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.” It has been my observation that when anyone begins to follow a right course of action, whatever area in life it may involve, he is immediately challenged by one or more dunces about it. On the other hand, if he decides to do something completely meaningless or foolish, usually no one has any objection at all. Consequently, by the time I reached my teen years I judged my ideas and actions by who, and how many, disapproved of them. The more opposition I got from the dunces, the more on target I knew I was. This was especially so in regard to spiritual life.
When I became a yogi I was continually amazed at the number of people–mostly strangers who had only heard about my “kookiness”–who felt I was obliged to defend myself against their ignorance and prejudice. They would be outraged when I would explain politely that I had the right to think and do as I thought best and so did they. It did not bother me that they thought yoga was idiotic or “of the devil,” and it need not bother them that I thought otherwise.
My challengers were never people with real principles or purposes, but those who lived in a muddle of discontent and meaninglessness. Intuitively aware that I was going to “ruin the curve” by escaping from the hamster wheel they considered life, they were infuriated by my daring to imply that their way of life was not worth living. They would eventually subside into resentful silence, comforting themselves with the thought that eventually I would realize I was a fool and give up yoga, or go crazy and be locked up, or continue and be damned forever at the Judgement Day. Either way they would enjoy it and be vindicated.
Anyone who embarks on the path to higher consciousness should be prepared for this phenomenon, and secure enough in his decision to not be bothered by it. Especially he must never think that there is any use in responding to these people–there can only be harm. Sri Ramakrishna said: “Worldly people say all kinds of things about the spiritually minded. But look here! When an elephant moves along the street, any number of curs and other small animals may bark and cry after it; but the elephant doesn’t even look back at them.…God dwells in all beings. But you may be intimate only with good people; you must keep away from the evil-minded. God is even in the tiger; but you cannot embrace the tiger on that account.”
Jesus certainly held this philosophy, for: “The people of the town came out in throngs to see the Christ, and hear him speak; but Jesus said, A prophet has no honor in his native town, among his kin. I will not speak in Nazareth until the words I speak, and works I do in other towns, have won the faith of men. Until men know that God has christed me to manifest eternal love. Good will to you, my kin; I bless you with a boundless love, and I bespeak for you abundant joy and happiness. He said no more, and all the people marveled much because he would not speak in Nazareth” (Aquarian Gospel 69:10-15).
Jesus only spoke to members of his family, and we must confine our communications to those who are our spiritual family–those whose hearts are open to the possibilities of attaining Christhood. Jesus refused to speak to those who could not perceive his status as teacher, for if they could not understand what was so evident about him, how could they receive the message that they were sleeping gods who could awaken into their own divinity?
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: The First Miracle of Jesus