Diligence and appreciation
“The Logos waited seven days, and then was taken to the Hall of Fame, a chamber rich in furnishings, and lighted up with gold and silver lamps. The colors of its ceilings, decorations, furnishings and walls were blue and gold. Its shelves were filled with books of master minds; the paintings and the statues were the works of highest art.
“And Jesus was entranced with all this elegance and these manifests of thought. He read the sacred books, and sought the meanings of the symbols and the hieroglyphs” (Aquarian Gospel 50:1-4).
Jesus had said that he had no interest in rest, and he proved that by diligently studying the books of wisdom he found there. At the same time, though, he admired the artistic genius in the other objects. This shows us that a fervent seeker after truth does not develop a narrow-minded intellect which rejects anything that is not “practical” and “useful.” Rather, his mental horizons expand and he comes to appreciate creativity and enjoy its creations. Yet he never loses his priorities, and values spiritual wisdom and progress above all.
Appeal to ego
“And when he was absorbed in deepest thought, a priest approached and said, Behold the glory of this place: my brother, you are highly blest. Few men of earth, so young, have reached such heights of fame.
“Now, if you do not waste your life in search for hidden things that men can never comprehend, you may be founder of a school of thought that will insure you endless fame; for your philosophy is deeper far than that of Plato, and your teachings please the common people more than those of Socrates.
“Why seek for mystic light within these antiquated dens? Go forth and walk with men, and think with men, and they will honor you. And, after all, these weird initiations may be myths, and your Messiah hopes but base illusions of the hour. I would advise you to renounce uncertain things and choose the course that leads to certain fame” (Aquarian Gospel 50:5-11).
This assault was on many fronts and they should be examined.
First comes the flattery: how special and privileged you are–even though in a few more sentences Jesus will be told that his admittance to the Hall of Fame was useless. How, then, could it be fortunate and a sign of personal worth? This is often the case when someone wants to rob us of something. They compliment us on its possession and then try to make us disregard it and give it up.
Next he is told that he is wasting his life “in search for hidden things that men can never comprehend.” This implies that he is stupid and deluded. Flatterers always despise those they fawn upon and plot the deprivation of what they have gained.
Then back to flattery with the assurance that if he will give up his mystical orientation and become a “practical philosopher,” helping people live their lives rather than run away from them, he will become a great leader of others. After all, he is already greater than Plato or Socrates, and his teaching will “please the common people” more than theirs. Of course, anyone with good sense knows that only uncommon people attain anything of lasting value. As the poem says:
To every man there openeth
A Way, and Ways, and a Way,
And the High Soul climbs the High Way,
And the Low Soul gropes the Low,
And in between, on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth
A High Way, and a Low.
And every man decideth
The way his soul shall go.
The common people drift around in the misty flats.
There is another aspect to this. For some reason Westerners are especially prone to setting themselves up as teachers when they have really learned and experienced very little. I have personally known people who wrote books on things they had only just learned and had never really assimilated or proved themselves in. (Some asked me to help them in writing the books, and some wanted me to write them for them.) This is very true in religion. One man I knew wrote an “authoritative” book on the Eastern Orthodox Church before he even joined it, having only about four to six month’s experience and study of Eastern Orthodoxy.
Those who wasted their time with the early years of The Mother Earth News will remember the articles and lengthy letters that gave detailed instructions on “how to” ending with: “I have never really done this myself, but it should work.” One article–with photos–was on how to make your own home sawmill, ending with these very words. The next issue had a letter in it explaining that if you followed those directions you might kill yourself!
The West is filled with half-baked teachers and movements who did not resist the temptation Jesus wisely rejected.
“Go forth and walk with men, and think with men, and they will honor you.” This is such hackneyed bilge. I heard it all my life, once from the lips of a supposed yogi I had invited to speak at a yoga seminar I taught in a university in northern California. It was the appeal of a spiritual sellout in hope that others might become like him.
Finally the tempter wants Jesus to doubt the reality of the mystery teachings, and especially to doubt his ability to become the Christ, the Messiah. Don’t be it–just have others think you are it–this is the trap fallen into daily by the ego-blinded.
The struggle and the victory
“And thus the priest, a demon in disguise, sung siren songs of unbelief; and Jesus meditated long and well on what he said. The conflict was a bitter one, for king Ambition is a sturdy foe to fight. For forty days the higher wrestled with the lower self, and then the fight was won. Faith rose triumphant; unbelief was not. Ambition covered up his face and fled away, and Jesus said,
“The wealth, the honor, and the fame of earth are but the baubles of an hour. When this short span of earthly life has all been measured out, man’s bursting baubles will be buried with his bones, yea, what a man does for his selfish self will make no markings on the credit side of life. The good that men for other men shall do becomes a ladder strong on which the soul may climb to wealth, and power and fame of God’s own kind, that cannot pass away. Give me the poverty of men, the consciousness of duty done in love, the approbation of my God, and I will be content.
“And then he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, My Father-God, I thank thee for this hour. I ask not for the glory of myself; I fain would be a keeper of thy temple gates, and serve my brother man.
“Again was Jesus called to stand before the hierophant; again no word was said, but in his hands the master placed a scroll on which was written, FAITH.
“And Jesus bowed his head in humble thanks; then went his way” (Aquarian Gospel 50:12-24).
There is no need for comment, just emulation.
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Blessed are the Merciful