“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
The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text
The Aquarian Gospel for Yogis—A Commentary on the Aquarian Gospel
by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri)
- The Mother of Jesus
- Prophecies of the Births of Saint John the Baptist and Jesus
- The Birth of Jesus
- Revelations in the Temple
- Coming of the Wise Men
- Herod’s Reaction
- Revelations in Egypt
- The Two Selfs
- Deliverance From Gods and Demons
- About God the Tao
- From India to Chaldea
- The Wisdom of Buddha
- God and Prayer
- The Mission of Jesus and John the Baptist
- Sin and the Forgiveness of Sin
- The Universal Law of Man’s Free Will and the Divine Will For Man
- Understanding Death
- The True Teacher
- The Value of Ritual
- The Law Behind All Laws
- Opening To The Truth
- In the Temple at the Age of Ten
- Revelation to the Teachers and People in the Temple
- Jerusalem to Nazareth
- Nazareth to India
- What is Truth?
- What Is Man?
- What is Power?
- Healing and Healers
- Conflict Over Caste
- The Destiny of All Men
- God and Man
- The Voice in the Heart
- Seeing the Unseeable
- To God Through Man
- Who Is Jesus?
- The Real Versus The Apparent
- The Brotherhood of Life
- God…and Man
- Relating To God
- The Worthy Host
- Come to the Light
- The Kingdom Revealed
- The King Revealed
- Perspective On Death
- Fire and Sword
- Evolution: The Path of Glory
- The Real Heaven
- Getting to the Essence
- New Perspective on Religion
- In Tibet and Ladakh
- Words to the Worthy
- The Thirty-Eighth Chapter
- The Origin of Evil
- The Silence
- The Source of Healing
- The Fivefold Gospel
- In Athens
- The Oracle of Delphi
- The Real God
- Return to Egypt
- First Steps to Wisdom
- Strong in Will and Intent
- Here Comes the Ego
- Blessed are the Merciful
- Claiming Our Freedom
- The Great Test
- Comprehending Death
- The Christ!
- The Asembly of the Masters
- The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – I
- The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – II
- The Declaration of Jesus
- John the Baptist – I
- John the Baptist – II
- John the Baptist – III
- Baptism – Jesus and John
- Self-Examination and Temptation
- The First Disciples Follow Jesus
- Jesus’ First Sermon
- The King and the Kingdom
- Dealing With Challengers
- The First Miracle of Jesus
- Kings and Kingdoms
- The Temple of God
- What Is A Messiah?
- The Laws of Healing
- Nicodemus Finds The Kingdom
- The Prince of Peace
- Dealing With Spiritual Opposition
- The Opened Gate
- John the Baptist Speaks of the Christ
- John Speaks Further About Jesus
- The Woman at the Well
- The Disciples and Samaritans at the Well
- Jesus in Sychar
- More Wisdom In Samaria
- The Imprisonment of John the Baptist
- In Jerusalem
- The Insights of Jesus
- Sabbath Wisdom
- Prayer and Good Deeds
- Divine Laws and Principles for Seekers of the Divine
- A New Understanding of the Ten Commandments
- Aspects of the Higher Law – 1
- Aspects of the Higher Law – 2
- Aspects of the Higher Law – 3
- Aspects of the Higher Law – 4
- Chapter One Hundred One
- Chapter One Hundred Two
- Chapter One Hundred Three
- Chapter One Hundred Four
- Chapter One Hundred Five
- Chapter One Hundred Six
- Chapter One Hundred Seven
- Chapter One Hundred Eight
- Chapter One Hundred Nine
- Chapter One Hundred Ten
- Chapter One Hundred Eleven
- Chapter One Hundred Twelve
- Chapter One Hundred Thirteen
- Chapter One Hundred Fourteen
- Chapter One Hundred Fifteen
- Chapter One Hundred Sixteen
- Chapter One Hundred Seventeen
- Chapter One Hundred Eighteen
- Chapter One Hundred Nineteen
- Chapter One Hundred Twenty
- Chapter One Hundred Twenty One
- Chapter One Hundred Twenty Two
- Chapter One Hundred Twenty Three
- Chapter One Hundred Twenty Four
- Chapter One Hundred Twenty Five
- Chapter One Hundred Twenty Six
- Chapter One Hundred Twenty Seven
- Chapter One Hundred Twenty Eight
- Chapter One Hundred Twenty Nine
- Chapter One Hundred Thirty
- Chapter One Hundred Thirty One
- Chapter One Hundred Thirty Two
- Chapter One Hundred Thirty Three
- Chapter One Hundred Thirty Four
- Chapter One Hundred Thirty Five
- Chapter One Hundred Thirty Six
- Chapter One Hundred Thirty Seven
- Chapter One Hundred Thirty Eight
- Chapter One Hundred Thirty Nine
- Chapter One Hundred Forty
- Chapter One Hundred Forty One
- Chapter One Hundred Forty Two
- Chapter One Hundred Forty Three
- Chapter One Hundred Forty Four
- Chapter One Hundred Forty Five
- Chapter One Hundred Forty Six
- Chapter One Hundred Forty Seven
- Chapter One Hundred Forty Eight
- Chapter One Hundred Forty Nine
- Chapter One Hundred Fifty
- Chapter One Hundred Fifty-One
- Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Two
- Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Three
- Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Four
- Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Five
- Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Six
- Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Seven
- Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Eight
- Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Nine
- Chapter One Hundred Sixty
- Chapter One Hundred Sixty One
- Chapter One Hundred Sixty Two
- Chapter One Hundred Sixty Three
- Chapter One Hundred Sixty Four
- Chapter One Hundred Sixty Five
- Chapter One Hundred Sixty Six
- Chapter One Hundred Sixty Seven
- Chapter One Hundred Sixty Eight
- Chapter One Hundred Sixty Nine
- Chapter One Hundred Seventy
- Chapter One Hundred Seventy One
- Chapter One Hundred Seventy Two
- Chapter One Hundred Seventy Three
- Chapter One Hundred Seventy Four
- Chapter One Hundred Seventy Five
- Chapter One Hundred Seventy Six
- Chapter One Hundred Seventy Seven
- Chapter One Hundred Seventy Eight
- Chapter One Hundred Seventy Nine
- Chapter One Hundred Eighty
- Chapter One Hundred Eighty One
- Chapter One Hundred Eighty Two
The Text of the Aquarian Gospel—by Levi Dowling
- Part 1 of the Aquarian Gospel: Birth and Early Life of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and Birth and Infancy of the Harbinger, and of Jesus
- Part 2 of the Aquarian Gospel: Education of Mary and Elizabeth
- Part 3 of the Aquarian Gospel: Childhood and Early Education of John the Harbinger, and Childhood and Early Education of Jesus
- Part 4 of the Aquarian Gospel: Life and Works of Jesus in India
- Part 5 of the Aquarian Gospel: Life and Works of Jesus in Western India, Tibet, Persia, Assyria, and Greece
- Part 6 of the Aquarian Gospel: Life and Works of Jesus in Egypt
- Part 7 of the Aquarian Gospel: The Council of the Seven Sages; The Ministry of John the Harbinger
- Part 8 of the Aquarian Gospel: The Christine Ministry of Jesus–The First Annual Epoch
- Part 9 of the Aquarian Gospel: The Christine Ministry of Jesus–The Second Annual Epoch
- Part 10 of the Aquarian Gospel: The Christine Ministry of Jesus–The Third Annual Epoch
- Part 11 of the Aquarian Gospel: The Betrayal, Arrest, Trial, and Execution of Jesus
- Part 12 of the Aquarian Gospel: The Resurrection and Appearances of Jesus–Establishment of the Christine Church