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Perspective On Death

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 48 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

The human being undergoes many forms of suffering, but perhaps the most shattering is death, especially the death of someone that has been known since birth. When that person is a parent who merited love and respect, the sorrow is greatly compounded. It is as though a vital part of us is no more, leaving us incomplete and desolate. The greatest and surest solace at such a time is the truth of the eternal spirit.

“One day as Jesus stood beside the Ganges busy with his work, a caravan, returning from the West, drew near. And one, approaching Jesus, said, We come to you from your native land and bring unwelcome news. Your father is no more on earth; your mother grieves; and none can comfort her. She wonders whether you are still alive or not; she longs to see you once again.

“And Jesus bowed his head in silent thought; and then he wrote. Of what he wrote this is the sum: My mother, noblest of womankind; A man just from my native land has brought me word that father is no more in flesh, and that you grieve, and are disconsolate” (Aquarian Gospel 30:1-5).

Jesus did not respond instantly with glib “spiritual” cliches, but looked deep within and drew out that which his mother truly needed to understand in her sorrow and loneliness–truth that we all need when faced with death or those we love and value. When considering these we must keep in mind that Jesus was writing from his own spiritual realizations, not mere personal ideas or emotion-based hopes. Without such realization his words would have been empty.

I once found in the library of a Christian monastery a small booklet that contained an account of a family’s pilgrimage to see the miracle-worker Saint Seraphim of Sarov, in Russia. At that time a great many Russian soldiers had been killed fighting against Napoleon, and consequently many of those coming to the saint were grieving over the loss of husbands, children, fathers, and friends. Saint Seraphim spoke to them very simply about the fact that their loved ones were not dead, but now lived in a higher world. The woman writing the account said that the words he spoke to them had been heard by all present many times in church. Yet, she said, it was as though they were hearing them for the first time, and their hearts were soothed and lightened by them. The Saint, through his words, had conveyed the power of his own spiritual vision–a knowing beyond all doubt or question. So it is with Jesus’ words to his mother.

All is well

“My mother, all is well; is well for father and is well for you” (Aquarian Gospel 30:6).

One of England’s greatest mystics was the hermitess Juliana of Norwich. In one of her mystic experiences Jesus told her that “All shall be well.” This has caused a flutter ever since among the devotees of everlasting damnation, for its context cannot be mistaken: ALL–including all human beings of all ages–shall be well. And spending eternity in hell is not being “well” by any stretch of the intellect. Nearly one and a half millennia before Jesus told this to the holy Juliana, he told his mother, Noblest of Womankind, the same in reference to death and those left (temporarily) behind.

Saint Joseph was a just man (Matthew 1:19), without blemish. So of him it could be said: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (revelation 14:13). But the truth is that all is well for every sentient being, for nothing happens to them that is not for the furtherance of their evolution. Even the miseries of earthly life and the miseries of the astral worlds we call “hells” are for our benefit. (“Even though it be a cross that raiseth me” is no joke or inane platitude. I know this by experience.) Actually it takes a goodly degree of spiritual development to go to hell rather than just fall asleep like a log and only wake up when our new body gets whacked on the rear end.

Although we tend to look on each incarnation as a prison sentence, that is our miscomprehension. Each life is a gate to progress or regression, according to how we decide to live it. But even the regression helps us along the path to wisdom. When we look in the back of a Bible at the map of the wandering of the Hebrews after leaving Egypt, we see that they meandered in a huge rectangle, taking forty years to do what should have taken only a few years at the most. Yet, they got there, and in the meantime they were learning and progressing. And so are we.

All is well for those who leave this world because the time of potential benefit has ended and they are ready for further education in subtler worlds as well as the astral recharging needed for another session of earth life. It is also well for those left back here, for there are many valuable lessons to be learned from the death of others, not the least being their own mortality. Also, in some instances it is the death of a loved one that impels them to look at life in a more intelligent perspective and begin living better. There are even some who need to be freed from a detrimental dependency or influence. “I can’t live without you” needs to be seen as an illusion, and on occasion it takes death to get this across and make us more independent and self-reliant. As Charles de Gaulle said: “The cemeteries of the world are filled with ‘indispensable’ people.”

The highest perspective regarding this is that in which we realize that all proceeds from God, exists in God, and returns to God; that in an ineffable manner all IS God. So there can be nothing that is not Well.

Work finished; work begun

“His work in this earth-round is done, and it is nobly done. In all the walks of life men cannot charge him with deceit, dishonesty, nor wrong intent. Here in this round he finished many heavy tasks, and he has gone from hence prepared to solve the problems of the round of soul. Our Father-God is with him there, as he was with him here; and there his angel guards his footsteps lest he goes astray” (Aquarian Gospel 30:7-10).

Buddha spoke of seeing with the Divine Eye. Not many of us have developed this Eye, and so we do not see truly regarding our fellow human beings and their lives. We may think a life has been shamefully wasted when in reality it was a pivotal life in which much potential good was gained. So no matter how little we may respect someone’s life-path, valuable work has been done. In the astral world that life will be analyzed by the person’s higher self and learning will take place, learning that will be implanted in the subconscious and manifest in a future earthly life.

Not only is God with the departed in the higher worlds, so also are their spiritual guides that are usually called “guardian angels.” These are beings who are furthering their evolution through assisting and guiding others. Sometimes they are loved ones who have gone higher in evolution and sometimes they are holy souls they have known in previous lives. Whichever it may be, the departed have both infinite and finite help in moving forward toward perfection–a perfection that is already present but which needs a great deal of work to manifest. Of course God and guardians are with those on earth, but in subtler regions they are seen and understood much better than here.

Intelligent perspective

Emotion, being egocentric, has a terrible power to overshadow intelligence and plunge us into a whirlpool of confusion and negativity in the form of despair and self-pity. It may seem callous to say this, but often our grief at the death of someone is only a more intense form of what we experienced as children when a beloved toy was broken or lost. It is all about Me rather than the departed.

“Why should you weep? Tears cannot conquer grief. There is no power in grief to mend a broken heart” (Aquarian Gospel 30:11).

Misery is not a cure for misery, only a compounder of misery. Those who choose to sink into the mire of grief have no future except more grief. Some even precipitate themselves into mental illness. Like Judas, they hang themselves with a poisonous egotism that frustrates any hope of betterment. We may not like to admit that we are ravaging ourselves, that we are deliberately choosing to suffer, but it is so. Until we acknowledge this we are not only miserable, we are foolish and self-destructive. And only we ourselves can halt this absurd cycle.

There is more: “The plane of grief is idleness; the busy soul can never grieve; it has no time for grief” (Aquarian Gospel 30:12).

That is, grief is stagnation, even a form of sloth, of inertia. Thus it is death to the heart.

The remedy

Jesus, like any worthy teacher, does not just say “Don’t do that,” but tells how grief is to be expunged from the heart.

The busy soul can never grieve; it has no time for grief. Jesus is not saying that activity will merely distract the mind and heart, but that when the inner part of us, the soul-mind, is active in an intellectual and spiritual way, it will be free of grief. “It has no time for grief” because it is moving on, whereas grief is sinking into the mire–what John Bunyan called The Slough of Despond.

Our ministry of love

“When grief come trooping through the heart, just lose yourself; plunge deep into the ministry of love, and grief is not. Yours is a ministry of love, and all the world is calling out for love” (Aquarian Gospel 30:13, 14).

“The ministry of love” Jesus speaks about it is mostly an interior matter. We know from early histories of Jesus and Mary that Jesus’ mother lived an extremely withdrawn–even hidden–life, having little interaction with anyone beyond the family circle. How can we engage in a ministry of love through inward activity?

First, by meditating, for everything and everyone in the cosmos are united to one another in the great field of Living Consciousness we call God. Anything we do to ennoble ourselves ennobles others, for whatever we do to ourselves we do to everyone in the universe. This is why no one of us can dare to speak of our life as our exclusive property or to claim that we are not hurting anyone else when we harm ourselves. That is the negative side. The positive side is the fact that when we elevate our consciousness we assist in elevating the consciousness of every sentient being, and help in moving the insentient beings along toward sentience. This is certainly a great benefaction. There is also the spiritual process of blessing others within the context of meditation. All this is a ministry of love because love in essence is the spiritual force that unites us with one another in God, that enables us to see our oneness and truly love God and all as our own self. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God…and thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27).

Though based on interior development, external acts of kindness and mercy are certainly part of our ministry of love. Krishna emphasizes this in the Bhagavad Gita when he describes the perfected yogi, saying:

“His heart is with Brahman, his eye in all things sees only Brahman equally present, knows his own Atman in every creature, and all creation within that Atman. That yogi sees me in all things, and all things within me. He never loses sight of me, nor I of him. He is established in union with me, and worships me devoutly in all beings. That yogi abides in me, no matter what his mode of life. Who burns with the bliss and suffers the sorrow of every creature within his own heart, making his own each bliss and each sorrow: him I hold highest of all the yogis” (Bhagavad Gita 6:29-32).

The form our external ministry of love will take is according to our situation in life and our capabilities. But this is definite: some of it must include direct one-on-one, face-to-face contact and interchange with those we are helping. It is good to give money and moral support to programs and institutions that help people, but we need personal contact. We should see and know–to some degree–those we are doing good to. Love is not abstract; it manifests only between real people. “All the world is calling out for love.”

It is true, “grief comes trooping through the heart.” Its power is strong, much too strong to wrestle with by ourselves. This is why others must come into the equation. It we sit at home by ourself, what can we do but sink into the sorrow that floods our heart? But if we associate with others, especially those who also suffer or are in need, the positive karma created will begin our healing. The love we feel for those we have lost should be shared with those still here on earth, and in the sharing our love for the departed will grow, not diminish. Jesus is not telling us to forget our loved ones. We will not forget them, we will find them in others–for we are all one in essence.

Arise into wider life

“Then let the past go with the past; rise from the cares of carnal things and give your life for those who live. And if you lose your life in serving life you are sure to find in it the morning sun, the evening dews, in song of bird, in flowers, and in the stars of night. In just a little while your problems of this earth-round will be solved; and when your sums are all worked out it will be pleasure unalloyed for you to enter wider fields of usefulness, to solve the greater problems of the soul” (Aquarian Gospel 30:15-17).

The shock of death often makes us feel that time has stood still, as if there will be no future. Many stay frozen in this state for the rest of their life. But we must exert our will and turn from this stagnation. Jesus also points out that our grief comes from physical identification, for the departed are not dead, only physically absent. If we stay immersed in material consciousness they shall continue to be dead for us. But when we elevate our mind to spiritual things we will find they are not lost. We can feel and even see them near. Believe me, the adept yogi is never separated from anyone by death. He can communicate with them and help them along their evolutionary journey. This is my own experience, and I am not unique.

The important thing is our expansion of the scope of our life to include others. Selfishness is the door to hell, for self-centeredness is hell. If we turn toward a wider field of life we will find that the entire creation will come alive for us and we will experience ourselves as a drop of life in the Ocean of Life. When we live in such a broader awareness, we are well on the way to solving the puzzles of this earthly life and being freed for higher life in higher realms where we will be able to live and love much more than we could here. Ever onward we can rise until Infinity is gained and Infinite Life shall be ours.

Even more and greater

“Strive, then, to be content, and I will come to you some day and bring you richer gifts than gold or precious stones.…I am with you all the way, Jehoshua. And by the hand of one, a merchant, going to Jerusalem, he sent this letter on its way” (Aquarian Gospel 30:18-20).

We tend to think that peace and contentment are when there is no striving, no labor, but Jesus points out that tranquillity is a result of intense effort on our part. And he further promises that if we do put forth the effort we will not just be at peace, but in time we shall be visited with “richer gifts than gold or precious stones.” Blessed prospect of a blessed future. And assurance of a blessed present.

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Fire and Sword

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

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

  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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