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First Steps to Wisdom

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 66 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

The perfect man
The master took down from the wall a scroll on which was written down the number and the name of every attribute and character. He said, The circle is the symbol of the perfect man, and seven is the number of the perfect man” (Aquarian Gospel 48:1, 2).

There is a sacred mathematics, particularly a sacred geometry. Its origin is unknown, but it certainly existed in Egypt, and Pythagoras was deeply involved in the numerological side of it. Since he spent years in India it is not unlikely that he learnt it there. This is not a subject on which I know much, but I do know that the circle has been the symbol of the spirit-self for thousands of years. The Egyptians used the winged circle or orb as a symbol of the soul flying through eternity from birth to birth. The reason the circle was used for the spirit–and in India is also considered a symbol for Spirit (God)–is that fact that the circle does not appear in nature at all. Elipses occur in many forms, but a perfect circle never does. Therefore the ancients considered it an apt representation for the spirit which is ever outside material, relative existence. “You must know that whatever belongs to the states of sattwa, rajas and tamas, proceeds from me. They are contained in me, but I am not in them. The entire world is deluded by the moods and mental states which are the expression of these three gunas. That is why the world fails to recognize me as I really am. I stand apart from them all, supreme and deathless” (Bhagavad Gita 7:12, 13).

Seven is the number of perfection in the sense of all-embracing completeness. It is the number of God and of those who have perfected themselves and become gods within God.

The Logos

“The Logos is the perfect word; that which creates; that which destroys, and that which saves. This Hebrew master is the Logos of the Holy One, the Circle of the human race, the Seven of time. And in the record book the scribe wrote down, The Logos-Circle-Seven; and thus was Jesus known” (Aquarian Gospel 48:3-5).

Logos means “word,” but it also means concept or idea, and can even be a discourse on a particular subject. It was common in early Christianity to say: “Give us a word [logos]”–meaning “Give us instruction on something.” Logos also means the faculty of speech, which the ancient Greeks said was what marked human beings out from other sentient beings. Logos sometimes was used to designate intelligent thought or reason (buddhi). The Greek philosopher Heraclitus first used the term Logos around 600 B.C. to designate the divine reason or plan which brings into existence and guides all creation.

So when Jesus was registered as “The Logos-Circle-Seven” it was a recognition of his fully enlightened and liberated spiritual status. Why then had he entered the brotherhood in Heliopolis? Merely to prove himself, to set the seal on his attainment, and to receive recognition as the/a Christ on earth. We will see this later.

The inner search

“The master said, The Logos will give heed to what I say: No man can enter into light till he has found himself. Go forth and search till you have found your soul and then return.

“The guide led Jesus to a room in which the light was faint and mellow, like the light of early dawn. The chamber walls were marked with mystic signs, with hieroglyphs and sacred texts; and in this chamber Jesus found himself alone where he remained for many days. He read the sacred texts; thought out the meaning of the hieroglyphs and sought the import of the master’s charge to find himself.

“A revelation came; he got acquainted with his soul; he found himself; then he was not alone” (Aquarian Gospel 48:6-10).

The master said, The Logos will give heed to what I say: No man can enter into light till he has found himself. Go forth and search till you have found your soul. This is the message to each one of us. Until we have found–entered into–our Self, we live in darkness, and searching for the light anywhere but within ourselves is fruitless. To look to God outside us is equally pointless, for God is to be found in the core of our Self.

We “go forth” not to search outside ourselves, but to separate ourselves from all distractions in order to more easily engage in the inner search. It is very necessary to order our outer environment in keeping with the principles of spiritual life. There must be a break with our former mode of life. The character of that mode of life will determine how little or how much there needs to be a change. But this I can say: I have never seen a “stay at home” succeed. Eventually a real break must come about. Again, how drastic that needs to be depends on the former status of the seeker. Even in growing up we see the need for people to assert their independence. Many times parents are very disappointed when their children move away from home even though there seems to be no need for it. But the need, though psychological rather than physical, is a very real one. The same thing applies at the beginning of spiritual life.

The search must not end or slack off, but we must press on until we have “found ourselves” in the highest sense. One of the requisites of successful yoga practice according to the sage Patanjali is swadyaya–Self study. Just as Jesus studied the walls of the room of the mysteries, we must study the “room” of our higher, spiritual mind. For the knowledge we seek is within us, and even the lesser aspects of our makeup can teach us valuable lessons. When the vision of the Self arises we will leave behind ignorance and the false sense of separation from the Divine. In finding our Self we also find God, the Self of our Self, the Ground of our Being.

A testing

It is impossible for us to succeed in spiritual life without being tested in many ways. For that reason we must ever be vigilant lest we stumble and fail. I have seen people utterly fall away from spiritual life just because they were not true to their principles in a very small thing. It was never anything big–just something that before they had taken up conscious spiritual life would not have mattered at all. But having set their feet on the path to higher life, that little thing was their total undoing. Over and over aspirants fall over the smallest of obstacles to never rise again. In themselves the thought or deed is hardly anything, but it carries with it the betrayal of their new-found understanding and determination. In nearly all cases it was something they were bullied into by a family member. Not wanting to “make trouble” or “be a fanatic” they did that little thing demanded of them, and darkness engulfed them and threw them back down into the pit they had escaped from–iit literally was their spiritual destruction. And they never recovered from it. As Saint Peter wrote: “It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (II Peter 2:21, 22). Believe me, they really “turn” and “wallow,” and the worst part of it is that they are often totally unaware of it, having become spiritual amnesiacs.

Jesus, too, must face many tests. Here is the first.

“One night he slept and at the midnight hour, a door that he had not observed, was opened, and a priest in somber garb came in and said, My brother, pardon me for coming in at this unseemly hour; but I have come to save your life. You are the victim of a cruel plot. The priests of Heliopolis are jealous of your fame, and they have said that you shall never leave these gloomy crypts alive. The higher priests do not go forth to teach the world, and you are doomed to temple servitude. Now, if you would be free, you must deceive these priests; must tell them you are here to stay for life; and then, when you have gained all that you wish to gain, I will return, and by a secret way will lead you forth that you may go in peace.

“And Jesus said, My brother man, would you come here to teach deceit? Am I within these holy walls to learn the wiles of vile hypocrisy? Nay, man, my Father scorns deceit, and I am here to do his will. Deceive these priests! Not while the sun shall shine. What I have said, that I have said; I will be true to them, to God, and to myself.

“And then the tempter left, and Jesus was again alone; but in a little time a white-robed priest appeared and said, Well done! The Logos has prevailed. This is the trial chamber of hypocrisy.

“And then he led the way, and Jesus stood before the judgment seat. And all the brothers stood; the hierophant came forth and laid his hand on Jesus’ head, and placed within his hands a scroll, on which was written just one word, SINCERITY; and not a word was said.

“The guide again appeared, and led the way, and in a spacious room replete with everything a student craves was Jesus bade to rest and wait” (Aquarian Gospel 48:11-23).

This takes place in every aspirant’s life, taking whatever form is most in keeping with their particular karma and mentality. Usually it includes ravings about “cults” and “brainwashing,” and even “devil worship” and “going crazy.” Sometimes it is only hot air and pathetic posturing, and sometimes it involves very vicious and destructive coercion. Those who stand firm, pass the test; those who weaken and give in have no idea what they have done to themselves. “To thine own self be true” is more relevant in spiritual life than in anything else. There must be unwavering sincerity of purpose and heart. The victory is only for the strong, never the weak and yielding.

The meaning of the final verse is that the reward for passing one test is another test!

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Strong in Will and Intent

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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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