“The son of Herod, Archelaus, reigned in Jerusalem. He was a selfish, cruel king; he put to death all those who did not honor him. He called in council all the wisest men and asked about the infant claimant to his throne. The council said that John and Jesus both were dead; then he was satisfied” (Aquarian Gospel 7:1-3).
“Now Joseph, Mary and their son were down in Egypt in Zoan, and John was with his mother in the Judean Hills. Elihu and Salome sent messengers in haste to find Elizabeth and John. They found them and they brought them to Zoan” (Aquarian Gospel 7:4, 5).
Since their two sons were to be the key figures in the spiritual transformation of the Mediterranean world and beyond, Mary and Elizabeth, the mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist, were asked to live for some time in an Essene community in Zoan, Egypt. There they were taught by two master teachers, Elihu and Salome. As was traditional with the Essenes, they were instructed in the wisdom of various spiritual traditions, including Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. In the twentieth century Paramhansa Yogananda founded the Self-Realization Fellowship Church of all Religions, but thousands of years before, the Essenes were actively a “Religion of All Religions.”
The law of life
“Now, Mary and Elizabeth were marveling much because of their deliverance. Elihu said, It is not strange; there are no (random) happenings; law governs all events. From olden times it was ordained that you should be with us, and in this sacred school be taught” (Aquarian Gospel 7:6-8).
We can hardly wonder that throughout the ages men and women have rebelled against what seemed the random nature of life, of blind “luck” or “fate,” and have even focussed their exasperation on God, gods, planets, or other human beings. The seemingly arbitrary nature of life that reduced man to a bit of litter floating on the stormy bosom of matter was tormenting to them. And even more tormenting was their total helplessness amid the incomprehensible changes of life. They felt themselves to be worse than nothing.
The foolish simply raved at the uncertainties and caprices of life, becoming progressively embittered. The wise, on the other hand, did not submit to the apparent chaos and unreasonableness of things. Intuiting that more lay beyond the eye than was seen by it, they looked inward rather than outward, guided by those angelic intelligences set over the destiny of the human race. With the opening of the inner eye they clearly saw the pattern and purpose behind that which hitherto had only confused and frustrated them. And even beyond the pattern and purpose they saw the Creator and Ordainer of both.
But did they not then see themselves as much a slave of Law as others saw themselves slaves of chaos? No; for they saw that they were the creators and ordainers of their personal law, albeit on a level of which they were usually unaware. And seeing this they set themselves to become permanently aware of that creative level on which they and God were at one. In this way the first Christs arose among the children of Adam.
Even unwittingly we “work” the law; and because it is unwitting we usually turn ourselves into the paths of pain and sorrow. But if we can, like the first Christs, open our spiritual hearts, we shall be completely masters of our lives in even the slightest thing. Meditation opens this mastery unto us. Today is the result of yesterday and tomorrow is the creation of today. And our eternal nature transcends both.
“Elihu and Salome took Mary and Elizabeth out to the sacred grove nearby where they were wont to teach. Elihu said to Mary and Elizabeth, You may esteem yourselves thrice blest, for you are chosen mothers of long promised sons, who are ordained to lay in solid rock a sure foundation stone on which the temple of the perfect man shall rest–a temple that shall never be destroyed” (Aquarian Gospel 7:9-11).
Mary and Elizabeth are thrice blest–blessed by the Triune God Who chose them to be the mothers of the Messiah and His forerunner who had long ago been promised to mankind. Upon the rock of divine revelation, upon the rock of Christhood they were to erect the Temple of the Perfect Man–not another temple of a deific tyrant before whom all should bow and whose will all should fear to contravene, but the temple in which all should neither bow nor fear, but who should rise into that perfect love that casts out all fear (I John 4:18). In that temple every worshipper is transmuted into deity.
That temple can never be destroyed for it is inherent in each one of us and in creation itself–inherent in God. Outside factors such as Churchianity may slow down its revelation, but nothing can hold it back forever. Because many had evolved to the place where they could enter that temple of holy transfiguration, in response God was sending Jesus and John, once Elisha and Elijah, to raise up the structure–the means by which man could ascend to divinity–and call those who were ready to enter.
A new age was come, and Elihu explained its advent.
“We measure time by cycle ages, and the gate to every age we deem a milestone in the journey of the (human) race” (Aquarian Gospel 7:12).
The best thing in considering this subject is to look at what Eva Dowling, Levi Dowling’s scribe, wrote on the subject: “What is an Age? Astronomers tell us that our sun and his family of planets revolve around a central sun, which is millions of miles distant, and that it requires something less than 26,000 years to make one revolution. His orbit is called the Zodiac, which is divided into twelve signs, familiarly known as Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. It requires our Solar System a little more than 2,100 years to pass through one of these signs, and this time is the measurement of an Age or Dispensation. Because of what Astronomers call “the precession of the Equinoxes” the movement of the sun through the signs of the Zodiac is in order reverse from that given above.…It is conceded by all critical students that the sun entered the zodiacal sign Taurus in the days of our historic Adam when the Taurian Age began; that Abraham lived not far from the beginning of the Arian Age, when the sun entered the sign Aries. About the time of the rise of the Roman empire the sun entered the sign Pisces, the Fishes, and the Piscean Age began, so that early in this Age Jesus of Nazareth lived…The Piscean Age is identical with the Christian Dispensation.”
The Piscean Age
Elihu speaks further of the Piscean Era, saying:
“An age has passed; the gate unto another age flies open at the touch of time. This is the preparation age of soul, the kingdom of Immanuel, of God in man; and these, your sons, will be the first to tell the news, and preach the gospel of good will to men, and peace on earth” (Aquarian Gospel 7:13, 14).
The Piscean Age is a time of preparation for the Aquarian Age. Yet, as John the Harbinger was Messianic though not the Messiah, in the same way the Piscean age partook of the Aquarian character for those who were ready. In that age too, in the temple of Piscean Christianity, many became revelations of the divine in humanity, many remaining incorrupt after death as a testimony to their immortal consciousness, while a few others simply dissolved into light upon their death, having achieved perfect transmutation of matter into spirit. Millions remained in ignorance and obscurity, not comprehending the truth of “Christ in you the hope of glory,” (Colossians 1:27) yet tens of thousands followed the footsteps of Jesus their master unto the same mastery that He possessed. Some of them became so identified with their Lord that His wounds, the stigmata, appeared upon their bodies. The multitudes lagged behind, or did not even start the journey, but these pressed on, passing from glory to glory, until they arrived “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” ((II Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 4:13). The glory of the Piscean Age was those who did indeed become Christians–other Christs. We ignore and forget the failures and mediocrities, remembering only the greats of art, science, and history. Why will we not do the same in relation to the Christianity of the Piscean Age? I write this because many who have not yet reached its level dare to speak contemptuously of that Age, demonstrating that they are not yet ready for the Aquarian Age and its fuller vistas. They still need to live “the gospel of good will to men, and peace on earth” before reaching toward divine matters.
A thankless task
“A mighty work is theirs; for carnal men want not the light, they love the dark, and when the light shines in the dark they comprehend it not” (Aquarian Gospel 7:15).
The work of John and Jesus was not an easy one–they were both killed by those they sought to save. For those whose consciousness is confined to the body and material things want to keep playing with the mudpies of earth and are annoyed at the suggestion there is something higher, and infuriated at the attempt to rouse them to seek the higher. They love the dark, for it gives full scope to their egos and does not reveal the futility and pettiness of their lives and hearts. The light, however, reveals their folly, and since they wish to cling to it they need the dark to hide their shame. They may not comprehend the light, but they certainly hate it and the lightbearers.
Mothers of the light
Mary and Elizabeth were Messiahs in their own right, for Elihu told them:
“We call these sons Revealers of the Light; but they must have the light before they can reveal the light. And you must teach your sons, and set their souls on fire with love and holy zeal, and make them conscious of their missions to the sons of men.” (Aquarian Gospel 7:16, 17).
It takes a flame to kindle another flame; if these two women were not Christs how could they awaken their children to Christhood? How could they “set their souls on fire with love and holy zeal, and make them conscious of their missions to the sons of men” if they were not already themselves living flames of divine wisdom and love? Only those who possess the light can show the light to others. If only the self-appointed spiritual teachers of the world would acknowledge and follow that!
It is easy to become lost and overwhelmed in the swamps of theology and philosophy, so Elihu comes directly to the heart of the teaching needed by Jesus and John.
“Teach them that God and man are one; but that through carnal thoughts and words and deeds, man tore himself away from God; debased himself. Teach that the Holy Breath would make them one again, restoring harmony and peace; that naught can make them one but Love; that God so loved the world that he has clothed his son in flesh that man may comprehend”(Aquarian Gospel 7:18-20).
These five principles are to be the basis of the spiritual education of Jesus and John:
1) God and man are one. This is an eternal fact and must ever be uppermost in our mind. No matter how efficient human beings are in making it seem that they are the antithesis of God, and that the tangle they have created for themselves is completely unseverable, that bondage is natural to them and freedom is unattainable, it is not so. The opposite is true. The “nature of things” is really an illusion; the sole nature is God, who is the Supreme Nature, not “supernatural.” Perfection is natural; imperfection is unnatural. But:
2) Through carnal thoughts and words and deeds, man tore himself away from God; debased himself. “Carnal” means fleshly–bodily-oriented–sarkikos in Greek. It also means temporal, as opposed to eternal. By implication it means human “nature,” which is really unnatural, even anti-natural. Interestingly, one of its roots is sarao, which means something which drags, draws, or sweeps something along against its will. The idea is that the body drags us helplessly into birth after birth, deeper and deeper into physical-material consciousness. Another root means to seize something for oneself–to steal. And certainly our body and human nature does that: it seizes our consciousness, our intelligence, and our wills and appropriates them to itself, eventually itself seeming to be the person, and we only a helpless appendage-witness. The willing slaves of carnality preach the evil of suppression or repression of the flesh, assuring us that it will get us into trouble–when the opposite is true. Discipline and mastery leads to freedom. In Hebrew the word is nasa, which means to lift up and carry something. Its Greek equivalent, airo, means the same. The connotation is that the body is lifted up and carried along by the spirit. But in the distortion and degradation of human beings things are reversed, and the body picks up and runs away with the spirit.
Just as the state of embodiment is unnatural, so an unnatural entity has arisen in rivalry to the spirit: the ego; and when we speak of “fleshy” it also implies egoic. Carnal thoughts, words, and deeds have a two-pronged wounding: they tie us deeper into material consciousness and dependency, and they put us further under the domination and delusion of the ego. The world has become our prison and the ego is the warden. To be free of one but not the other is to remain bound; both must be shed by the questing soul. The two have come between us and God, blinding us to Reality and therefore certainly degrading us.
If we carefully read the third chapter of Genesis we will see that the transgression of Adam and Eve was not disobedience, but indulgence of their matter-turned desire and will; of mistaking outer appearance for reality. The “subtle serpent” was not the mythical devil, but the Satan of their own egos. No doubt some warped and negative entity did speak to Eve, but it was her own ego-devil that really led her astray, beguiling her with cunning half-truths that therefore were lies practically speaking.
3) The Holy Breath will make them one again, restoring harmony and peace. God and man need not be made one–they are one from eternity. Yet the bodies (physical, astral, and causal) and the ego stand between them and divide them. (Not really; it is a deception, but by believing in it we “make it so.”) No activity of the bodies or the ego can reunite our consciousness with God. As Ramana Maharshi put it, to make such an attempt is like making a thief a policeman and telling him to catch himself. Thoughts, words, and deeds have separated us from God, but they cannot unite us–they separate us by their innate nature.
The only unifying power is the Holy Breath, the Holy Spirit. By baptizing ourselves in the consciousness of the Holy Spirit–the Holy Breath–through Baptism, Eucharist, and Divine Word Meditation (most especially this latter), She looses us from the bonds of body and ego and restores us to the bosom of the Father, restoring to us the status of the sons of God. She is the divine oil which Chrisms (Christs) us. “God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (I John 4:12,13). Harmony and peace follow naturally upon our reunion.
4) Naught can make them one but Love, for the Holy Breath is the active Love of God working through us to effect our return to the Father. She is the infinite Love of God; but also necessary is our finite love, the effusion of our Godward-turning spirits. We must keep our hearts increasingly open to God. Then “deep shall call unto deep” (Psalms 42:7). and become one again.
All this is extremely inspiring, but it is also extremely abstract. We, however, are definitely concrete. Hence:
5) God so loved the world that he has clothed his son in flesh that man may comprehend. Certainly Jesus is Teacher, Master, Redeemer, and Savior, but pre-eminently He is LOVER. Having ascended to perfect union and been declared a Son of God, though freed from all bonds of body and ego, by the will of the Father-God Jesus was clothed in flesh–not flesh born of ignorance and karma, but miraculous flesh created by divine intervention in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Every breath and step He took in this world was a teaching and an opening. Having seen, heard, and even touched Him as The Word Made Flesh, Immanuel, human beings were enabled to comprehend the Way. And enabled to say to future generations: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.…And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (I John 1:1-3; 4:14).
A generation before Saint John wrote those words Elihu told his pupils:
“The only Savior of the world is love, and Jesus, son of Mary, comes to manifest that love to men” (Aquarian Gospel 7:21).
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:2,3). This also the Beloved Disciple wrote about the Incarnate Love that was Jesus. And Elihu (whom it is very likely was known to Saint John) anticipated him decades before when he told Mary and Elizabeth:
“Now, love cannot manifest until its way has been prepared, and naught can rend the rocks and bring down lofty hills and fill the valleys up, and thus prepare the way, but purity. But purity in life men do not comprehend; and so, it too, must come in flesh. And you, Elizabeth, are blest because your son is purity made flesh, and he shall pave the way for love” (Aquarian Gospel 7:22-24).
We should not fool ourselves, sentimentality and “liking” (fileo) are not love (agape).
“Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17).
This conversation is confusing to us who read it in English translation. Surely Jesus was not hassling Saint Peter, so what is the purpose? In Aramaic, the language of Jesus and Saint Peter, only a single word was used for “love.” But when Saint John wrote his Gospel in Greek he used two very different words. When Jesus says “love,” Saint John uses the word agapao (the verb from of agape). Agapao means to love deeply from the spirit–it is exclusively spirit-to-spirit. When Saint Peter says “love,” Saint John uses the word fileo, which means to feel great affection and friendship (philos is the Greek word for friend) for someone. “Kindly-affectioned” was the Elizabethan way of translating it. It carries the connotation of a personal (egoic) sentimental feeling. Better than indifference or hostility, it is still not love in the truest sense. Agape is an intelligent, consciously willful loving, having nothing to do with “I don’t know why, but I love you,” or “I can’t help myself; I just love you” that is only fileo. Fileo comes and goes at the whimsy of ego. Agape remains forever rooted in the spirit. This what Jesus desired from Saint Peter.
Only the pure are capable of agape; the impure manage only fileo. Many impure people have a sense of the spiritual and therefore appreciate and “love” (really only like) spiritual ideas, things, and people. But they view them from afar, and their “love” is really of little significance in their lives. Every time this subject comes up I think of two people that I mentioned Yogananda to. Now Yogananda is called “Incarnation of Love” (Premavatar) by his devotees, and rightly so. To experience even the slightest touch of his greatness is to respond with openness toward him. He was one of the Christs of the twentieth century, and his presence continues even now and shall do so far into the future. It was their goodness and reaching out for spirit that caused them to say upon hearing his name: “Oh! I just love Yogananda!” But they did not; they only liked him a lot. One was a disgrace to her family, having linked up with a man the age of one of her sons and embarked on a life of open and unabashed immorality. The other nearly blew me over with the alcohol fumes on her breath as she professed her love and swayed a bit from inebriation. Why do I say they did not love Yogananda? Because if they had, their spirits would have responded and they would have turned from sex and booze and started seeking God through meditation. This was his message and mission. Instead their emotions reacted with affection for him. That is not to be mocked or despised. It is good. But it is not love. Only the pure can love; therefore “blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Only love for God and His saints enables us to respond in a life-changing manner. It is not a matter of “good” or “bad” but of capable and incapable. Those two people had the same goodness in them as do others, but their impurity held them back. To such persons Jesus said: “Where I am, thither ye cannot come” (John 7:34,36). That is why, speaking of the unveiling of our inner Christ, Saint John wrote: “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:3).
If we want to know what purity is like, let us look at Elizabeth’s son. What do we know about him? 1) He lived apart from “men” (As Master of the Essenes he spent a great deal of time with the Essene initiates, so he was not averse to human beings. But he associated only with the wise.) 2) He never touched alcohol. 3) He was an absolute vegetarian. 4) He was a lifelong celibate. This should give us the idea. He was not an exaggeration; he was an example.
The uncomprehending age
“This age will comprehend but little of the works of Purity and Love; but not a word is lost, for in the Book of God’s Remembrance a registry is made of every thought, and word, and deed” (Aquarian Gospel 7:25).
Devout as the Piscean Age Christians certainly were, they just as certainly comprehended “but little of the works of Purity and Love,” as is reflected in their versions of the scriptures and their expositions of them. For the texts have been altered to suit their theological ideas that were rooted in the limited concepts of degenerate Greek and Roman philosophy. In the West Aristotle became far more an authority than any Father of the Church. Why outline the awful distortions of Jesus and His teachings? Just go into any church or walk into any Christian bookstore. They have a name that they live, but are dead (Revelation 3:1). Jesus’ words: “Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17), apply exactly to contemporary Christianity as it stands on the cusp of the Aquarian Age. This is not a criticism but a critique.
However, every word and act of Jesus was impressed in the akasha, the etheric substance of the cosmos, so nothing was lost. The divine seed was planted in the very fiber of creation. Various saints through the centuries “read” those akashic records and told of what they perceived. In the early nineteenth century Anna Catharine Emmerich relayed the most information, though it was but a fragment of what she saw in divine vision. In the twentieth century Teresa Neuman relayed much of her visions to others. (Both she and Anna Catharine Emmerich were stigmatists.) But the most spiritually complete record was that of Levi Dowling, who had dedicated forty years of his life to reading the etheric records of Jesus. About him Elihu prophesied:
“And when the world is ready to receive, lo, God will send a messenger to open up the book and copy from its sacred pages all the messages of Purity and Love. Then every man of earth will read the words of life in language of his native land, and men will see the light, walk in the light and be the light. And man again will be at one with God” (Aquarian Gospel 7:26-28).
This is really nothing new. As I say, many Christian saints viewed the akashic records and relayed a bit of what they saw. Anna Catherine Emmerich, for example, even though she was a Roman Catholic Augustinian nun, told that Jesus had lived in India, which was the only place where His teaching was understood, and that He often explained the basis and value of astrology to his hearers. Before the Christian era, in India the sage Valmiki wrote the first verse-epic in Sanskrit, the Ramayana, which was a retelling of the life of the avatar Rama which he had seen in vision centuries after Rama had lived in north-central India. Some time later the saint Tulsidas did the same. The most influential scripture of India is the Bhagavad Gita, which records the conversation between the avatar Krishna and His disciple Arjuna. Vyasa was one of the greatest sages of India, commentator on the Yoga Sutras, author of the Mahabharata (which includes the Bhagavad Gita) and the Brahma Sutras, and codifier of the Vedas. The entire Gita was spoken by the yogi Sanjaya as he had seen it in vision, and was written down by the sage Vyasa as he perceived Sanjaya’s description psychically. Most of the Mahayana Buddhist sutras were set down in the same way.
The Aquarian Age
Levi H. Dowling relayed the Aquarian Gospel at the beginning of the twentieth century. Each age is prefaced by a century of preparation, usually embodying great change. Such was the twentieth century, the door to the twenty-first century, the exact beginning of the Aquarian Age. (The twentieth century can be thought of as part of the Aquarian Age in the same way a vestibule is part of a house.) The Aquarian Gospel was immediately popular, and in less than a hundred years went through more than sixty printings. Now its message will be fully realized, for this is the age for which it was intended. (It is interesting to note Blavatsky’s statement that her masterwork, The Secret Doctrine, would not be fully understood until the twenty-first century.).
Here are Eva Dowling’s words on the Aquarian Age.
“What is the Aquarian Age? The human race is to-day standing upon the cusp of the Piscean-Aquarian Ages. Aquarius is an air sign and the New Age is already noted for remarkable inventions for the use of air, electricity, magnetism, etc. Men navigate the air as fish do the sea, and send their thoughts spinning around the world with the speed of lightning.
“The word Aquarius is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water. Aquarius is however, the water bearer, and the symbol of the sign, which is the eleventh sign of the Zodiac, is a man carrying in his right hand a pitcher of water. Jesus referred to the beginning of the Aquarian Age in these words: ‘And then the man who bears the pitcher will walk forth across an arc of heaven; the sign and signet of the Son of Man will stand forth in the eastern sky. The wise will then lift up their heads and know that the redemption of the earth is near.’ (Aquarian Gospel 157: 29, 30.).
“The Aquarian Age is pre-eminently a spiritual age, and the spiritual side of the great lessons that Jesus gave to the world may now be comprehended by multitudes of people, for the many are now coming into an advanced stage of spiritual consciousness; so with much propriety this book is called ‘The Aquarian (or Spiritual) Gospel of Jesus, the Christ.’”
Not everything will be perfect in this era, but we will find that the great opening of consciousness that preceded it in the twentieth century will continue. Naturally there will be many mistakes in expressing and living out that awakening, and a great deal of missteps will be made. Since duality is a fundamental necessity for relative existence, there will also be resistance to this opening, sometimes intense and vicious reaction to it. Even violence will occur, and we can expect entire nations to dedicate themselves to the annihilation of the emerging wisdom. Just as the dinosaurs died out, but not without great resistance, so also the dinosaurs of human society will do the same. We are at present engaged in a fearful struggle against the evil and oppression that dominates most of the Middle East, and a great deal more confrontation will be necessary before the way is cleared for the Aquarian enlightenment. Both armed conflict and moral challenging of governments will surely occur. Yet, just as no one can hold back the dawning of day, neither can the spiritual dawning of the Aquarian Age be prevented.
The major factor of the Aquarian Age will be the reappearance on the earth of Him Who was Jesus the Christ, Who Himself said at the age of twelve:
“The time will come when God will bring again the captive hosts; for Israel shall return and dwell in peace. And after many years our temple shall be built again, and one whom God will honor, one in whom the pure in heart delights will come and glorify the house of God, and reign in righteousness” (Aquarian Gospel 19:32-33).
That advent is the real focus of this Age, and the Aquarian Gospel is a major factor in the preparation for the actual Second Coming of Jesus the Christ.
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: The Two Selfs