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Relating To God

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 43 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

Fear-based religion

“When men become afraid of God, and take him for a foe, they dress up other men in fancy garbs and call them priests. And charge them to restrain the wrath of God by prayers; and when they fail to win his favor by their prayers, to buy him off with sacrifice of animal, or bird” (Aquarian Gospel 28:20, 21).

Primitive people–that is, people of primitive minds–are impressed by and admire brute strength. They do not question the idea that the strongest and the most potentially destructive should rule them. It only seems natural to them. This is because they have evolved into the human form from numberless animal incarnations in which these principles prevail and are actually practical from the standpoint of genetics.

It takes a long while in the human form to learn to be human, and development does not go on simultaneously on all levels. Usually the spiritual/intuitive part of us lags way behind. So we may have keen intelligence, a well-developed ethical sense, etc., but still be stone-agers in the spirit. If we are, then God naturally is viewed by us as the biggest and most powerful of beings. And proof of that is in His destructive and coercive powers.

How many times have you heard people speak admiringly of extremely muscular men in terms of the physical dominance or damage they could work on others? “He could break me in two like a matchstick!” “He could knock down a wall with a single fist!” “He could fight a dozen men at a time!” These words come out of the mouths of even the most cultured and well-behaved people. And so it will be with their ideas of God, unless they choose to call themselves atheists to avoid dealing with such a berserk Behemoth. The religion of such people exhorts them to fear God, painting graphic word pictures of God’s great power, of His destruction and punishment of the wicked and His rewarding of the righteous–those who fear and obey Him.

For a while this keeps them happy, but slowly they begin to see God as an adversary, one who demands that they continually prove their worthiness, and who will blast them if they fail to come up to expectations. It is true that in Christianity there is a great deal about how Jesus soothed God’s just anger and that He is merciful toward the believers. Yet in the background there ever lurks the possibility that our frailty will again incur His displeasure. So God is always a potential threat.

In time fear breeds hatred. The less inhibited overtly hate God and His religion, but the fearful mask their hatred by turning it on “sin,” the “wicked,” the “unbelieving,” and the heretical. A great deal of self-loathing compounds this lethal mess.

Protection from God

Although the yogis seek God, they are few in number. (I am classifying anyone who seeks to commune with God for the purpose of becoming godlike as a yogi, whatever their spiritual tradition may be.) Except for them, all religions are protection from God, not paths to God, and those who follow those religions are trying to avoid God–although they avidly want what they can get from God.

Those who have a strong sense of God’s greatness create a priesthood to shield them from God. When the priests approach God they do so in lavish temples wearing splendid ceremonial clothing. Those with a much cheaper sense of God create a horde of “ministers” and “pastors” to ward off God and entertain them with uplifting and inspiring sermons. These function in barren temples that are mostly entertainment centers for “the faithful.” Those with a background in a religion that originally had some validity insist on establishing a bond with some kind of spiritual guide or guru whose “grace” will do everything for them and ensure absolute friendship and favor with God.

These intermediaries are expected to invoke the favor of God and turn away His wrath–and even His pique, so He will not refuse to give them what they want. When they fail to do so (and they will), sacrifice in some form becomes necessary to placate a deity whose material tastes cannot be satisfied by mere prayers and praises. If the people are really bestial (and of course are carnivorous), they sacrifice the lives of innocent animals. If they are more evolved, they offer flowers, food, and suchlike. But if they are greedy for material things they project their greed on to God and give Him money–at least their clergy tell them it goes to God. I was brought up in a church that even took up a collection in the little children’s Sunday School classes. This was often done to the singing of: “Hear the pennies dropping, listen as they fall. Every one for Jesus; He will get them all.” Naiveté or stupidity? “Give till it hurts and then give till it stops hurting”–so our parents were being told at the same time. The practice of the “second tithe” to obtain special benefits was particularly favored by the more fundamentalist churches.

And so it goes, on and on.

A different view of God

Even in the midst of foolishness some wisdom inevitably arises, so Jesus is able to say:

“When man sees God as one with him, as Father-God, he needs no middle man, no priest to intercede; he goes straight up to him and says, My Father-God! and then he lays his hand in God’s own hand, and all is well” (Aquarian Gospel 28:22, 23).

This is blessed to hear, but not so easy to carry out, for family, society, and (especially) religion have conspired to convince us that without them we are nothing, incapable of accomplishing anything significant, and certainly not capable of independent thought and life. We “need” them, and without them are, as I say, nothing. Even the religions that speak of human beings as reflections or even part of Divinity engage in this evil conditioning, eventually reducing their members to nothing, at least functionally speaking. Whether we are called sinners, ignorant, or bound, the result is the same: erosion of our self-worth and spiritual initiative. “And just who are you…?” they bray if we dare to show a spark of independence or confidence. A tremendous act of will and of genuine trust in God and in ourselves–which are both the same, actually–is necessary to take the leap into what we wrongly think is “empty space.” What we will really land in is the Chidakasha, the Consciousness that is the Truth behind everything, including our own Self. But we have to leave our detractors and reducers behind. Far behind.

Notice that Jesus does not say “when man thinks of God as one with him,” or believes in their essential unity, but “when man sees God as one with him.” He is speaking only of the yogi who turns within and experiences the truth of his unity with God.

Also remarkable is the principle implied by Jesus: There are only two views or relationships with God–enemy or Self. Whenever we see God as separate from us, that will eventually degenerate into enmity or conflict. But when we see God as one with us, as essentially inseparable from us, then all is well. This tells us that even a devotional or reverent approach to God will end in opposition if it is based on duality.

The right yoga

The yogi needs to know that yoga which reveals God, which enables him to go directly to God and touch God. In other words, from the first moment of practice, the yogi must be in contact with God and in each subsequent moment draw nearer and nearer to the perfect knowledge of God. If we look at most yoga practices, they are only preparations or purifications that sometime in the undefined future will take us into contact with God. We are told that many years and even many lifetimes will be needed to obtain that ultimate result. In other words, they are not yoga at all, for the very word means “union,” not preparations or promises of future success.

God and his priest

“And this is God. You are, each one, a priest, just for yourself; and sacrifice of blood God does not want” (Aquarian Gospel 28:24).

And this is God. The God that can be directly approached, known, and inwardly touched–none other. Any other “god” propagated by religion is a myth, a moral monster–as is that religion, as well. And so is any practice that does not immediately and directly put us into touch with this one and only God.

You are, each one, a priest. We can enter into communication with God if we only know how, for “he is not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27). Ignorant Christianity (Churchianity) likes to cant a great deal about “God’s salvation plan,” but Saint Paul gives it completely and extremely briefly: “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Just three points cover the entire field:

1) An inner certainty that God exists (which results in:)

2) Seeking God (and)

3) Finding God.

Now that is blessed simplicity.

We are each of us a priest, but just for yourself. For no one else. We cannot think or live for another, though many sociopathic teachers and gurus would like to, or at least have us think they can. No one can search on our behalf for God, “whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another” (Job 19:27). Each one of us does it completely on our own. Naturally we can be inspired and advised by others along the way, but the journeying is ours, step by step. It truly is “the flight of the alone to the Alone.”

Sacrifice of blood God does not want–neither the blood of animals, other humans, or even our own blood. There are deluded persons who think that extreme asceticism in which the body and health are damaged somehow makes them spiritual. This is nonsense, and also a way to fool themselves and others into thinking they have a spiritual life when it is only body-and-ego oriented. Animalistic human beings are very impressed with such things, and a following–especially in India–can be gained by self-torture, although Krishna says such foolish ascetics are demonic in nature. “You may know these men to be of demonic nature who mortify the body excessively, in ways not prescribed by the scriptures. They do this because their lust and attachment to sense-objects has filled them with egotism and vanity. In their foolishness, they weaken all their sense-organs, and outrage me, the dweller within the body” (Bhagavad Gita 17:5, 6). “Austerity is said to have the nature of tamas when it is practiced for some foolish purpose, or for the excitement of self-torture, or in order to harm another person” (Bhagavad Gita 17:19).

The priestly sacrifice

“Just give your life in sacrificial service to the all of life, and God is pleased” (Aquarian Gospel 28:25).

Perhaps the problem in responding to this high call is our understanding of the all of life. We have all known a lot of people to whom the all of life was extremely limited and mundane to the point of degradation. Obviously there is only one All of Life: God–both in His own transcendent nature and in His immanence within all creation and in the hearts of all beings. We must serve God with body, mind, and spirit, both within ourselves and within others. This can entail a great many ways–ways that should be determined, not by others, but by our own meditation-awakened intuition. According to our karma and samskara, so will our ways of divine service be decided–by ourselves and not by any other. This is what caste and caste-duty really are, having nothing to do with the degenerate and hypocritical system that stunted India’s soul for centuries, an oppression worse than that of any foreign invasions and dominance.

Let us, then, seek to please God in the right way–in ourselves, in others, and in Spirit.

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: The Worthy Host

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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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