“Where are the goods?”
There are many hindrances to true religion. One is the materialistic approach which thinks that the externals of a religion validate it and make it worth consideration. Foremost is the question of number of adherents, next is its economic assets, and then, of course, the matter of how socially and politically influential it–and its members–may be. Therefore, after Jesus had spoken so exquisitely and movingly on the unifying presence of God in all things…
“A lawyer said, I pray you, Jesus, tell who is this God you speak about; where are his priests, his temples and his shrines?” (Aquarian Gospel 28:11).
Here is the typical attitude: people–in large numbers–validate God, God does not validate people. So he wants to know where are the religious professionals, the theologian-oracles, the impressive places of worship and pilgrimage? In other words: Where is the money, the power, and those to be controlled by them? Without them how could anyone accept the teachings of Jesus or anyone else? As one of my high school teachers asked me: “What class of people belong to your church?”
It is God–not “the goods”
I once travelled with a remarkable yogi whose insight was far beyond the usual, even in India. One thing that impressed me about him was his ability to give intelligent answers to stupid questions. No matter how idiotic the query, he managed to impart profound wisdom in answering–replying to the question that should have been asked. Utilizing the same skill:
“Jesus said, The God I speak about is everywhere; he cannot be compassed with walls, nor hedged about with bounds of any kind” (Aquarian Gospel 28:12).
And, by implication, He cannot be compassed or hedged about within the bounds of the human mind, nor can He become confined without the bounds of any human religion. As long as we are bound up with “here” and “there”–especially philosophically and religiously, there is no possibility of our touching the Omnipresent Consciousness. It is only when we pass beyond all such bounds that the Supreme Reality can be communicated with, known, and entered into.
Until this happy state is reached, humans have to do their best with their present status.
So Jesus continues: “All people worship God, the One; but all the people see him not alike” (Aquarian Gospel 28:13).
The first phrase is one of those astonishing statements to be found in the Aquarian Gospel, in contrast to the obviousness and occasional banality of the four “canonical” gospels. They are usually so brief that it is easy to treat them as a bridge to the next thought and completely miss the marvelous truths they embody. In this case it is the first half of a sentence:
All people worship God, the One. Everyone worships God, but some do so completely unknowingly, as Saint Paul told the Athenians (Acts 17:23). Everyone is seeking God, but most do not know it and so they wander around in bewilderment, continually pierced by the pains of samsara. This includes most religious people, for they do not really seek God, but only strive to please God, obtain His forgiveness or favor, or spread His “word” around the world and bring people to “the truth.” God is reduced to a bystander occasionally lending a hand or taking responsibility for their successes and their failures. They become the gods and He becomes the Servant. And believe me they make sure He stays in His place.
Basically, people want what God has, but care little for God. God is quite a bit like Dickens’ Fagan: people want His assistance and advantages, but no one wants to touch Him, much less associate intimately with Him. Nevertheless, since He is everything, not just inside everything, whatever they seek in life, they are seeking God. “Ah, ’is love, and love alone the world is seeking.” What they fail to do is make the connection: God is Love (I John 4:8, 16); and God is the mystery of life because He IS life.
But all the people see him not alike. And so the mystery goes on until the call is heard: “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:14)–the Christ that is your own inner Self. In the light of that sun, that eye, we shall see clearly and “know what we worship: for…God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:22, 24).
Defining the Indefinable
God is beyond conceptualization, thought, and speech, yet we must have some kind of idea about Him, so Jesus continues:
“This universal God is wisdom, will and love” (Aquarian Gospel 28:14).
Obviously these are both attributes and powers of God, but they most truly reflect the ineffable Nature of God. They also correspond to the concept of the Trinity.
Wisdom. God is not just all-knowing, He is Understanding. Many people know things but cannot figure out their meaning. This is not the situation with God. Thus God is the source of all wisdom, and those who increasingly link their consciousness with Him will increase in wisdom, as did Jesus before them (Luke 2:52). Implied in this is the fact that God is Consciousness Itself. In Him are all the patterns or divine ideas that manifest in creation.
Will. As Wisdom, God is transcendent–beyond creation. As Will he is immanent in creation, guiding the movement of every particle of every atom. He is the sole accomplisher. We only act through His creative power (kriyashakti). In the ultimate sense everything is done by the power of God Who is totally present in all things at all times.
Love. God is the Divine Energy that manifests as creation and draws all the spirits embodied in creation upward to pure Divinity, to perfect freedom in Spirit. In the Trinitarian context, Wisdom is the Father, Will is the Son, and Love is the Holy Spirit. It is interesting that for centuries the official theological definitions of the Roman Catholic Church refer to the Holy Spirits as “the mutual Love of the Father and the Son.” As this Love, the Holy Spirit is the Power that enables our evolution in consciousness and stimulates us to engage in that evolution. The Holy Spirit is the Awakener and Enabler for all sentient beings.
Three ways to see the One
“All men see not the Triune God. One sees him as the God of might; another as the God of thought; another as the God of love” (Aquarian Gospel 28:15).
Not everyone has a complete concept of God. Some see Him simplistically as only one of His aspects. Such an incomplete and unbalanced view produces simplistic and unbalanced religion, which in turn confirms and empowers simplistic and unbalanced thinking. This is not just a matter of “Oh, well, we cannot expect everyone to see everything alike.” It lays the finger on the pulse of destructive and degenerative religion as the manifestation of fundamental wrong-headedness.
Might. Looking upon God as nothing more than “Mighty God,” whose Deity is determined solely by His power to create and destroy, produces real problems. God becomes a cosmic dictator whose sole proof of legitimacy and rightness is the fact that he can do anything he wants and can destroy any thing or person who thwarts his will or incurs his wrath.
Just as dictators produce the worst and most degraded societies in the world, so the view of God as a dictator produces the worst and most degraded of religious outlooks. Adherents of such religions cringe and grovel before God, whining and confessing their sinfulness and hatefulness in God’s sight, declaring that they deserve to be punished and tortured, but because of His mercy (!) God does not annihilate them. (If he did annihilate them, who would he have to punish and torture?) He will, however, some time in the future dish out His just vengeance on those who are his enemies; and in the meantime the believers will do it for him and thereby gain His favor.
Do I need to list those world religions that presently operate on this current? They are the ones that declare good fortune to be proof of God’s approval and misfortune as evidence of His disapproval. Consequently wealth is divine favor and poverty is divine contempt. Some years ago in the Tel Aviv airport a man remarked very loudly so the members of our ashram would hear: “I can’t believe what I am seeing. People from America, the richest country in the world, following the religion of India, the poorest country in the world.” Might is Right. Money is Divinity.
Thought. Those who are enamored with their intellects revel in theologizing, building card houses of theories that need have no relation to any form of reality. Some of these people are satisfied to be ineffectual but clever, while others are as (or more) obsessed with “heresy” as they are with “truth,” and have no hesitation in bullying and coercing others into their orthodoxy. Both are uninterested in practical spiritual results, being content with their dogmatic air castles. They vary in scholarship from minimal to maximally academic. But they are all by-the-book religionists in some form and are ideologically repressive–some being outright oppressive Even the most liberal among them are rigidly insistent on their liberalism being imposed on others, and the same is true of the conservatives. They begin and end in the mind.
Love. Emotion-and-ego-oriented people reduce religion to their idea of love. Their “love” is fundamentally sociopathic, being self-directed and manipulative of others. Their main obsession is with being “loved”–by themselves, by others, and by God. “It is all love” is their favorite truism which, if examined, means absolutely nothing. It is used as a foil to any good sense or questioning of their effusions and manipulations. With this verbal cream puff they halt all discussion that comes dangerously near to actual reality–especially about themselves. “Unconditional love” is a blindfold they liberally tie over the minds and hearts of whoever will accept it, including themselves. Yet they can be viciously denunciative of those who do not fall into step with them or their aims. In fact, their favorite hate bomb is the declaration that someone has no love! At worst these people are effective, and at best ineffective and ignored. They utterly lack either intellectual or genuine emotional content, and are devoid of any moral principles, especially in the realm of sexuality.
Many are seeking the love they feel their parents did not give them, hoping to find it in others and–as a last resort–in God. The problem is, even God becomes nothing more than a mirror for their ego, a supplier of their emotional and material needs. This is no basis for a viable relationship with anybody, including God. The result is an amorphous and directionless mode of life and thought. “Only love” is not enough. And since you truly cannot live on love alone, the “love” churches universally focus on “abundance” and “prosperity consciousness” to an obsessive degree. After all, loving is giving and getting, isn’t it?
The Might, Thought, and Love people are really alike: their egos are the only God they “know, or need to know.”
In seeking God we have to have the whole picture, as Jesus shows. Jesus has shown us the problem and he tells us the only solution: individual (not collective) evolution, saying:
“A man’s ideal is his God, and so, as man unfolds, his God unfolds. Man’s God today, tomorrow is not God” (Aquarian Gospel 28:16).
This idea is not easy to accept, for we have an egocentric attachment to our spiritual concepts and an equally egocentric valuation of them. It is very hard to acknowledge that our concept of God has little or nothing to do with God, but is merely our creation. Our ideas about God arise from many aspects of our life and personality, but none of them are based in reality. People cling to their ideas of and about God the way they once clung to their wooly blanket or their beloved stuffed toy. And with just as infantile motivations.
As a rule our concepts of God are our concepts of the authority figures in our life. On occasion they may be what we think those authority figures should be–what we want them to be. Most people’s concept of God is the image of their parents or early teachers. Naturally, a lot of people’s concept of God is their concept of themselves–only bigger. Sometimes our ideas about God are those which authority figures have implanted in us in the early part of our life. If we reject any of these, we become “atheists,” not really disbelieving in God, but disbelieving in what we do not like. This is why so many people in the West are desperate to believe that Jesus never existed. Although they claim to disbelieve, they are deeply conditioned in the belief that Jesus is going to come back and burn them in hell forever for not doing what he wanted them to. They often foolishly think that if religion is eliminated everything will be all right for them. But the problem is in themselves, and that they must change–not any external factor. They need to really “see” God.
The only lasting way to come out of the darkness into the light is to turn within and discover the truth. Being a part of God we already know everything about divinity, but have forgotten it. Meditation is the way to recover that lost knowing. We should also trigger our subliminal insights by reading the upanishads, the oldest and best of all delineations of the nature of God and us.
As we evolve, so will our concepts of God evolve, until we evolve beyond the need for conceptions and can intuit the spiritual realities that can never be formulated by the intellect or expressed by speech. As God told the psalmist: “Be still, and KNOW” (Psalms 46:10).
What God really is
“The nations of the earth see God from different points of view, and so he does not seem the same to every one. Man names the part of God he sees, and this to him is all of God; and every nation sees a part of God, and every nation has a name for God. You Brahmans call him Parabrahm; in Egypt he is Thoth; and Zeus is his name in Greece; Jehovah is his Hebrew name; but everywhere he is the causeless Cause, the rootless Root from which all things have grown” (Aquarian Gospel 28:17-19).
To say what God really is in the highest sense is simply impossible, but Jesus comes as close as can be by saying that God is the Ground and Mover and Source of all things. Yet He Himself has no ground, mover, or source, being eternally what He IS.
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Relating To God