The seven sages
“In every age since time began have seven sages lived. At first of every age these sages meet to note the course of nations, peoples, tribes and tongues; to note how far toward justice, love and righteousness the race has gone; to formulate the code of laws, religious postulates and plans of rule best suited to the coming age” (Aquarian Gospel 56:1-4).
There has been a long-standing tradition that the destiny of the world is supervised by a group of enlightened sages. It has also been said that there are other groups of the wise that vary in the scope of their influence, that there is a kind of “supreme council” whose oversight is the whole world, and then there are others whose scope is narrower according to geographic boundaries. There are also esoteric groups that work with one another at times of crisis. Many great masters who influence history do so in absolute secrecy. It is also true that powerful figures of history have on occasion been actual masters shaping the destiny of nations.
We are now going to be told about the assembly of great masters that was held at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
The gathering of the sages
“An age had passed, and lo, another age had come; the sages must convene. Now, Alexandria was the center of the world’s best thought, and here in Philo’s home the sages met. From China came Meng-ste; from India Vidyapati came; from Persia Kaspar came; and from Assyria Ashbina came; from Greece Apollo; Matheno was the Egyptian sage, and Philo was the chief of Hebrew thought. The time was due; the council met and sat in silence seven days” (Aquarian Gospel 56:5-8).
The great Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria hosted the gathering of representatives of the major religious currents of the time. (Philo’s works have survived and been translated into English.) One of the ways we know the seven were masters of wisdom is the fact that they sat together in meditation for seven days before beginning their conference, for meditation is the basis of all spiritual insight and knowledge.
Now the sages shall each speak in turn and give their diagnosis of the spiritual situation of their lands.
“And then Meng-ste arose and said, The wheel of time has turned once more; the race is on a higher plane of thought. The garments that our fathers wove have given out; the cherubim have woven a celestial cloth; have placed it in our hands and we must make for men new garbs. The sons of men are looking up for greater light. No longer do they care for gods hewn out of wood, or made of clay. They seek a God not made with hands. They see the beams of coming day, and yet they comprehend them not. The time is ripe, and we must fashion well these garments for the race. And let us make for men new garbs of justice, mercy, righteousness and love, that they may hide their nakedness when shines the light of coming day” (Aquarian Gospel 56:9-14).
The race is on a higher plane of thought. The human race is not an ant colony, but has endless diversity, and that includes levels of consciousness. Although in this part of the Aquarian Gospel there is talk about “the race” or “humanity” we must realize that they have not lost sight of the ever-present scale of human potential. When a new age dawns and proceeds, not everyone is living on that new, higher level. Certainly the majority are able to express that potential, but not all of them do. We all know people who live beneath themselves. Jesus prayed, saying: “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine” (John 17:9). In the same way the masters take into consideration only those who are going to rise to the new potential.
The cherubim have woven a celestial cloth; have placed it in our hands and we must make for men new garbs. The understanding of the new age does not come from the masters themselves, however great they may be. Rather, the highest beings in relative existence, the Cherubim, have communicated to them the full picture of humanity’s present situation. It is, though, for the masters to formulate the way in which the potential is to be actualized and to determine the ways in which people are to be taught to ascend to the new level of consciousness. Yogananda wrote about this in the thirty-third chapter of his autobiography.
The sons of men are looking up for greater light. No longer do they care for gods hewn out of wood, or made of clay. They seek a God not made with hands. Even more, they seek a God not made with the limited intellects of human beings, a God that is nothing more than a projection of themselves without limitations, a God that possesses human motives, human reactions, and even human passions, one that can be influenced by human behavior just as another human would be. If we analyze carefully we will see that the God(s) of most religion is just a cosmically powerful human being. It is natural for children to view God in this limited way, but adults certainly should not. Frankly, Western religion is utterly erroneous and even childish in its concepts of God and its attempts to relate to God. The religion of the West has done more than any other force to darken and distort the minds and hearts of human beings, often creating monsters rather than men and women, and in many instances calling raving psychotics “prophets” and “saints.” This appeals to many people, though it appalls those for whose benefit the masters had assembled. Those of the new age seek a truly transcendent Deity, one whose contact will establish them in their own eternal transcendental reality.
They see the beams of coming day, and yet they comprehend them not. All “new age” citizens intuit that there is something more to be known, and this causes in them a divine discontent, a healthy restlessness, that impels them to seek for “something” outside/beyond their present sphere of consciousness. This causes them to keep alert and ready for the fulfilling of their inner urge. The fulfillment comes in many forms and situations, but come it certainly does to those who “watch and wait.”
A friend of mine, whom everyone called “Momsy,” was a disciple of Yogananda. Knowing she had been born a Texas Pentecostal who married a Pentecostal preacher, I wondered how she had become a yogi. So one day I asked her how it had come about.
“Well, one day I was washin’ off the refrigerator in the kitchen,” she began, “and all of a sudden just from nowhere I began to sing this song….” And to my surprise and delight she proceeded to sing a very lengthy song in standard Protestant hymn style that had just come out of her mouth spontaneously those years ago. I no longer remember the words, but the theme of the song was the soul’s aspiration to draw near to God–and even more, to become transformed into the divine likeness. Therefore, each verse of the song ended with the same refrain: “O might it be that I could be like Thee?”
She continued: “I just knew that something was going to happen–and sure enough that night we all went to a talk by Master, and it wasn’t long until we moved to Mount Washington and lived there.” (Mount Washington in Pasadena was the site of Yogananda’s ashram-residence.)
The fruits of Momsy’s encounter and subsequent living with her guru were very evident to all that knew her. Hers was the sanctity of quietness, the steady light that shines in the darkness needing no announcement or fanfare. Having been lit by the master, Momsy just shone.
Let us make for men new garbs of justice, mercy, righteousness and love, that they may hide their nakedness when shines the light of coming day. In previous ages, religion had been a matter of behavior–and for the unevolved would continue to be so–but now a religion of the spirit was to be brought forth that could embrace the spiritual traditions of the world. As we read the Aquarian Gospel we see that Jesus united all the viable spiritual traditions of the known world. He did not create a new tradition, but brought a renewal of the authentic religions that had become obscured by the passing of ages. Instead of external involvement, Jesus opened the door for conscious life in spirit, a life in which justice, mercy, righteousness, and love would be inner realities and not just outer actions. Previously it was thought that if a person did good he would be good, but now it was going to be possible for a person to become good and then be able to really do good. It was going to be a complete revolution in consciousness.
“And Vidyapati said, Our priests have all gone mad; they saw a demon in the wilds and at him cast their lamps and they are broken up, and not a gleam of light has any priest for men. The night is dark; the heart of India calls for light. The priesthood cannot be reformed; it is already dead; its greatest needs are graves and funeral chants. The new age calls for liberty; the kind that makes each man a priest, enables him to go alone, and lay his offerings on the shrine of God” (Aquarian Gospel 56:15-18).
Our priests…saw a demon in the wilds and at him cast their lamps and they are broken up, and not a gleam of light has any priest for men. Even the highest wisdom can be turned into abject superstition by the passage of time and the erosion of knowledge by ignorance. One of the ways this happens is the shifting of focus from good to evil, from virtue to vice. When spirituality weakens, so does the strength of the individual, and in time he becomes vulnerable to negativity and finally comes to fear evil rather than love the good. Defense against evil becomes a priority, but since real knowledge has been lost there is no sensible way of defense. Consequently all kinds of superstitions are taken up for protection. And since evil becomes the focus, an affinity with evil is developed which makes the individual even more susceptible. Finally the religion becomes more a preaching of evil than of good.
Only a few days ago I was listening to a sermon in which the speaker said with great force that it was the consensus of Christian theologians throughout the centuries that the vast majority of human beings are going to be damned to eternal hell. Terrible! These same people believe (or say they believe) that Jesus said: “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:28), so what are they doing to people by teaching them this superstition? What kind of faith are they giving them?
People who have heard a superficial speech of a modern super-guru and maybe read part of a couple of paperbacks on yoga or Indian philosophy, confidently talk about how Indian religion is free from the fear of hell and eternal damnation. Certainly, except for the sect of Madhavacharya, Hindus do not believe in eternal hell, but they do believe in hell–in much more horrific forms than Christians. Not only that, the later scriptures such as the puranas threaten hell far more more than the Bible, and for the most absurd things. For example, one purana says that if a person spills the sacred water (tirtha) from worship of an image–even accidentally–he will go to hell for ten thousand years for each single drop. It is amazing how everything in modern, degenerate Hinduism carries some dire threat of prolonged torment in hell.
Fear is a dominant factor in all human life, and Hindus are human. Karma is a huge bugbear for many. There is a whole list of “offenses” for which people are supposedly going to be punished in this life and the future life. Some Hindu sects (especially the Vaishnavas) even declare that worship and chanting of divine names can be “offensive” if their particular whims are not being followed. Cultish fear is very prevalent in many groups, and of course everyone is constantly badgered about “sins” against the guru.
Fear and anxiety torment many “devotees” of East and West, because unworthy spiritual authorities in India have cast their lamps of wisdom at imagined demons and thereby destroyed the light. Most priests have “not a gleam of light” for anyone, but they certainly know how to pressure people for money, and one of their threats is putting a curse on them if they do not give them what they want. This is not theory, I have witnessed it.
One time a brahmin priest was following us out of a Vishnu temple, screaming that he was going to put a curse on one of our friends if he did not give him money–for having done nothing. “I am a brahmin!” he yelled in English, “and I shall curse you and your whole family for insulting me!” Our friend laughed and said: “I, too, am a Brahmin and know your curse is worth nothing. So go ahead and make a fool of yourself!” Another time a “sadhu” got in our taxi and began demanding money. When nothing was forthcoming, he raised his right hand and began yelling: “I will curse you! I will curse you!” I pointed out that the nearby policeman would not bother to curse him but would lock him up–especially for harassing Western tourists. So out he got and sped away. Travelers in India are impressed when they see how respectful the people are to monks and how they feed them and even provide train and bus tickets for them. What they do not know is that the majority are doing so because they are afraid of their curse.
The night is dark; the heart of India calls for light. India is filled with true wisdom, but professional religionists are drawing people away from it and substituting a fake dharma based on ignorance. Light can be found by casting aside the barnacles that have obscured Sanatana Dharma and turning back to the true teachings of the great sages of India found in the authentic upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as in the great masters which India has never lacked, such as Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Sivananda, and Ramana Maharshi. In the West we have access to the unparalleled wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda.
The priesthood cannot be reformed; it is already dead; its greatest needs are graves and funeral chants. That is certainly the truth. What is needed is laying aside of a pointless situation. In authentic Sanatana Dharma every single person–including a child–can perform worship for themselves. The only thing needed is good instruction in the way to worship, and that is what books are for.
The new age calls for liberty; the kind that makes each man a priest, enables him to go alone, and lay his offerings on the shrine of God. Actually, that has always been so–not just in a “new age.” Real Sanatana Dharma has always been a purely individual matter and always will be.
“And Kaspar said, In Persia people walk in fear; they do the good for fear to do the wrong. The devil is the greatest power in our land, and though a myth, he dandles on his knee both youth and age. Our land is dark, and evil prospers in the dark. Fear rides on every passing breeze, and lurks in every form of life. The fear of evil is a myth, is an illusion and a snare; but it will live until some mighty power shall come to raise the ethers to the plane of light. When this shall come to pass the magian land will glory in the light. The soul of Persia calls for light” (Aquarian Gospel 56:19-24).
People do the good for fear to do the wrong. This is not virtue, only self-serving fear. Good becomes effective only when done for the right motives. Doing good in a rote manner because we fear some negative consequence otherwise is not true goodness. Good must be done because it is good and because we wish to do what is right. Certainly there is nothing wrong in being aware that good benefits us, but good must be its own motivation. Throughout history noble people have died because they did the good thing rather than go along with evil.
The devil is the greatest power in our land, and though a myth, he dandles on his knee both youth and age. This is certainly the truth wherever the myth of dualism prevails. True religion (including original Christianity) teaches that evil does not exist–only the subversion or misapplication of good. All is good for it proceeds from The Good. But a good thing can be misused by ignorant people. Automobiles are for beneficial transport, but irresponsible and deluded people have used them to kill others, either intentionally or unintentionally. What we call “gunpowder” was originally invented for entertainment through fireworks, but distorted minds figured out how to use it to kill others. Ordinary, beneficial objects can be misused to harm others. As I say, evil is a corruption of good. Evil must prevail as long as ignorance prevails.
The fear of evil is a myth, is an illusion and a snare. Nevertheless, billions are caught in its trap.
It will live until some mighty power shall come to raise the ethers to the plane of light. That is the way things work–mostly on the individual level. “Movements” in human society rarely accomplish much, and it never lasts long. Evolution is a totally personal thing, and the wise know it to be so. Therefore each of us should be hoping and looking for that “mighty power” which comes into the life of every one of us in the form most needed when after long ages we are ready to consciously take up the work of self-development. Sometimes it is a chance word overheard, a meeting with someone, the reading of a book, or an incident that awakens our inner awareness. Of itself that is not enough, for we must carry on the momentum if any significant benefit is to come to us. What is needed is our passage from darkness into light and our permanent establishment in the light.
“Ashbina said, Assyria is the land of doubt; the chariot of my people, that in which they mostly ride, is labeled Doubt. Once Faith walked forth in Babylon; and she was bright and fair; but she was clothed in such white robes that men became afraid of her. And every wheel began to turn, and Doubt made war on her, and drove her from the land; and she came back no more. In form men worship God, the One; in heart they are not sure that God exists. Faith worships at the shrine of one not seen; but Doubt must see her God. The greatest need of all Assyria is faith–a faith that seasons every thing that is, with certainty” (Aquarian Gospel 57:1-6).
Assyria is the land of doubt; the chariot of my people, that in which they mostly ride, is labeled Doubt. There is honest belief and honest unbelief–both of which can be found in people of intellectual integrity. But Ashbina is speaking about a kind of snide pose of fake intellectuality, a kind of genteel denial that is not even real skepticism but a reflexive rejection of anything that would widen the horizons of the individual, increase his personal responsibility, and perhaps even change his life. It is really no more than irresponsible, even cowardly, evasion of living consciously and nobly. It is the determined mental provincialism of the self-centered child that refuses to grow up and stop being the center of its universe. It particularly has no place in its life sphere for spiritual consciousness and spiritual values. Just the opposite: its only watchword is Me. If others can be found of similar ego-centeredness they gather together in tittering sessions about the ways of lesser humanity, each trying to outdo the other in sarcasm, satire, and often vulgar mockery of “the masses.” This moral disease pervaded the Roman Empire, was a marked trait of the Renaissance and especially the Enlightenment, and continues today in the halls of the intellectually unadventurous and the spiritually timorous, including self-styled religious liberals that are neither religious nor liberal. Being fundamentally weak and sterile, it hides behind “reason” and “science,” never showing its real face. This is the moral curse which Ashbina refers to as “doubt.”
Once Faith walked forth in Babylon; and she was bright and fair; but she was clothed in such white robes that men became afraid of her. Ashbina is talking of real faith, not mere intellectual belief or “hoping so.” Faith arises from spiritual intuition and is a mark of spiritual evolution, it is a knowing, not a believing. The hallmark of faith is conformity of life to belief–in other words: change. The unevolved detest change in general, especially change that moves the individual upward and involves the taking on of increased personal responsibility. Change is sacrifice, a leaving of something behind to move onward, to gain something better. Those who seek God must commit themselves to change from the very first step. That is, they must be willing to change at every advance in their insight and understanding. This means that they will not run with the herd around them, but will deliberately put themselves out of step with their own situations and ideas when they gain a wider, higher, and deeper insight. The truly alive human being changes perpetually. This often entails speaking and acting absolutely contrary to former speech and action. By the lazy and inadventurous this is condemned as inconsistency and instability–not knowing one’s own mind, being untrustworthy, and so forth. Such people not only do not want to pay the price for spiritual growth, they have nothing to pay with.
When people sense spiritual reality drawing near, they often bolt and run. Let me give you an example from the words of a dear friend of mine, an Indian devotee of Anandamayi Ma.
“For quite some time I had been feeling discontented with my spiritual life. Something was missing, I knew, and I began to worry that I might never find God, however much I might be doing in the way of meditation, worship, and so on. This became very intense and obsessed my mind day and night. I had to gain the vision of God!
“Then word came by telephone that Mataji was passing through Delhi on her way to another place, that she would be stopping over for an hour or so in the Delhi railway station. When I learned this I rushed to the station, determined to demand of Mataji how I could see God. As I came on to the platform from which her train was to depart, I saw her walking up and down, back and forth, in silence. For a while I stood there hoping to catch her eye, but I could not. So great was my impatience that when she passed opposite me I just called out: ‘Ma!” She stopped and looked directly at me. ‘What is it?’ she asked. ‘Ma, I want to see God!’ Mataji looked at me very intently for a few moments. Then she leaned Her head to one side, and began to smile. ‘Do you really want to see God?’ she asked me, very forcefully. In that split second I knew that if I answered ‘yes,’ she would tell me to become a monk! So I put my hands together in salutation and answered: ‘No, Ma! I do not want to see God!’ Mataji laughed and continued walking.”
And every wheel began to turn, and Doubt made war on her, and drove her from the land; and she came back no more. What people choose, that they get, for human beings are at all times completely responsible for the situations in which they find themselves. Even Jesus was amazed at the power of human unbelief. When he was in the country of the Gadarenes: “He could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:5, 6).
In form men worship God, the One; in heart they are not sure that God exists. We see this all the time. Let me give two examples of Catholics who rejected the changes of the Second Vatican Council and held to their traditional ways. You would expect them to be traditional believers. The first was a woman who walked out the first time the New Mass was celebrated, even though she was the music director of several parishes. She was bitten by what she felt sure was a rabid dog. Immediately she called some people I knew, declaring that she was going to die. When they said to her that she was an immortal being, that only her body would die, she said that she believed that when you died it was the end, that you just ceased to exist. Every Sunday and major holiday she led choirs in singing: “I believe…in the life of the age to come.” But she did not, and had not. The second was the president of a traditional Catholic parish who wrote voluminous denunciations of “modernism” and “unbelief.” Once he saw a very traditional painting of Jesus, walked (swaggered, actually) up to it, flicked it with his finger, and asked: “Who is this fellow?”
Faith worships at the shrine of one not seen; but Doubt must see her God. Faith worships the Unseen because its inner eye does see. But those who do not see in the spirit demand to see with the eyes of flesh–something that is an impossibility. Miracles may awe or scare or cow them for a while, but it will not be long before they lapse back into their spiritual vacuum, for they have within them the “evil heart of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:12).
The greatest need of all Assyria is faith–a faith that seasons every thing that is, with certainty. “A faith that seasons every thing that is, with certainty.” That is itself a marvelous definition of faith.
“And then Apollo said, The greatest needs of Greece are true concepts of God. Theogony in Greece is rudderless, for every thought may be a god, and worshipped as a god. The plane of thought is broad, and full of sharp antagonists; and so the circle of the gods is filled with enmity, with wars and base intrigues. Greece needs a master mind to stand above the gods; to raise the thoughts of men away from many gods to God the One. We know that light is coming o’er the hills. God speed the light” (Aquarian Gospel 57:7-11).
The greatest needs of Greece are true concepts of God. Although God is inconceivable, since we are incapable of dealing with anything but concepts and impressions, it is good for us to have some ideas about God–just as long as we remain aware that they are only tools to work with and are not themselves “the truth” to be clung to forever. For example, we can say that God is Consciousness since we are conscious and have experience of that. Since we know things, we can say that God is Omniscient; we can do things, so we can say that God is Omnipotent; and since we are “somewhere” at all times we can say that God is Omnipresent. In other words, remove all our limitations and we get a hint of the Divine Nature. At the same time we must realize that God is beyond our limitations, that God does not become happy or sad, pleased or displeased, angry, satisfied, etc. Those are our defects, and unlike the attributes first described they are absolutely absent from God. We must also understand that although God is a Person, God is not–and does not possess–a “personality.” God does not like or dislike. Furthermore, even though we can somewhat relate or interact with God, our real purpose is to unite with God completely. Anything else is just a warmup exercise.
Theogony in Greece is rudderless, for every thought may be a god, and worshipped as a god. The plane of thought is broad, and full of sharp antagonists; and so the circle of the gods is filled with enmity, with wars and base intrigues. Extremes are never good. In other parts of the world there was much narrowness and few ideas were even considered, much less considered to be true. But in Greece the “thinkers” were like baby birds in a nest–always calling for new ideas. When the Athenians brought Saint Paul to the Areopagus and asked him to expound his religion, it was not because they sought any kind of truth, but because, as Saint Luke observes: “All the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). Yogananda spoke of people who were so enamored of seeking that they had no interest in finding.
As Apollo said, ideas were the gods of the Greeks and they loved to bandy them about, becoming very antagonistic to one another, even engaging in intellectual and social war with one another. Prizing ideas above all, they forgot their worth as human beings–and the equal worth of others, as well,
Greece needs a master mind to stand above the gods; to raise the thoughts of men away from many gods to God the One. Unity on all fronts was needed, but only a master could so illumine and uplift the people that it could be achieved.
We know that light is coming o’er the hills. God speed the light. The Greek oracles, along with the Sybils, had long before prophesied the coming of a Great Teacher who would dispel confusion and bring understanding by the mere force of his greatness.
“Matheno said, Behold this land of mystery! this Egypt of the dead! Our temples long have been the tombs of all the hidden things of time; our temples, crypts and caves are dark. In light there are no secret things. The sun reveals all hidden truth. There are no mysteries in God. Behold the rising sun! His beams are entering every door; yea, every crevice of the mystic crypt of Mizraim. We hail the light! All Egypt craves the light” (Aquarian Gospel 57:12-16).
Behold this land of mystery! This Egypt of the dead! It can be tiresome and frustrating to live in a culture whose motto is: “If I can’t see it I don’t believe it.” The culture I was born into just before the Second World War would not put the copy of Autobiography of Yogi on the shelves of the local library I donated it to in 1961. No book store in my part of the country would even carry a book on ESP. After all, it might be devil worship. And even now the embittered and frightened mediocrities that write hate mail on every possible subject will still attack anyone who believes in psychic phenomena or indicates that the dead can be seen after death (even though they are usually hysterical proponents of the immortality of the soul in the context of their religion). Some friends of mine were on a national news spot that included the fact that they used pyramids in some aspects of animal husbandry. Tapes and letters followed immediately, denouncing their “satanic” involvement and warning of impending possession by evil spirits. Oh, well, you get the idea. It is not just airplanes that pass over “flyover country”–so does intelligence and culture.
On the other hand, since humans can ruin even the best of things, it can be even worse to live in a culture based on mystery/mysticism that sees, explains, and reacts to everything in a superstitious manner. For example, in one European country the government spends large sums of money either building roads around a group of rocks or in moving the rocks because some local “sensitive” reports that they are the domiciles of “the little people.” I do not exaggerate–I saw the fatuous documentary. In a major city there is a Hilton hotel that is sitting falling to pieces, uninhabited even by squatters, because the culture’s shamans were not called in to dictate how it was to be built and where the doors were to be put. The “seers” put out the edict that the building was “wrong” and no one would agree to work in it. So it sits in decay and abandonment. And look at the unquestioning and slavish acceptance of Feng Shui throughout America. As I once heard a feisty old lady say to the officials of a monastery she was visiting: “May God give you BRAINS!”
Egypt was just such a “land of mystery” after degenerating for centuries from a very authentic and practical understanding of psychic realities into a fear-filled and absurd superstition masquerading as religion. Its focus was on death and the dead, including the incredible belief that immortality depended on the condition of the dead body. Even today, every Friday large numbers of people go to their family tombs (built just like ordinary houses) in the necropolis of Cairo and have lunch with the dead. It does not take a great deal of thought to figure out the social and moral problems such an obsession will create in a society.
Our temples long have been the tombs of all the hidden things of time; our temples, crypts and caves are dark. One effect of death-obsession will be a continual looking back to the past–the dead past. The past will be preserved–embalmed–and stifle life in the present. Life will be overshadowed at all times by death. This is darkness, indeed. It makes for a society that appears to be stable when it is really stagnant.
In light there are no secret things. The sun reveals all hidden truth. There is a principle that should be kept in mind at all times regarding religion, esoteric practices–including yoga and meditation, politics, and even health-related issues: WHEREVER THERE IS SECRECY THERE IS CHARLATANRY. This includes all coy avoidance of giving exact details of anything–even prices of advertised products. We are used to “mysteries” in religion (“higher” teachings and initiations, secret ceremonies, etc.), mystical and theatrical secrecy regarding yoga meditation techniques such as mantras and pranayama (I have met a few who even kept the identity of their guru a secret), behind-the-doors cabals and deals in Congress, and refusal to reveal facts about “alternative” health therapies if you have not slapped down your money and gotten “on the program.” (The most shameless was a “doctor” and his paying clients who would not let out a peep about a supposedly successful nutritional cancer cure. I personally knew cancer sufferers who begged information from those who shamelessly let them know that since they had had to lay down the money (several hundred dollars), so would everybody else. The hard-heartedness was more incredible than the greed. The simple chemical and herbal formulas for the Hoxey Cancer Cure and Essiac were not revealed for decades under the excuse that if they were the medical establishment would deny and debunk them–something which they did anyway.)
Jesus, a master teacher and yogi, said this: “There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:26, 27). There we have it.
There are no mysteries in God. That is the final nail in the coffin of sacred secrecy.
Behold the rising sun! His beams are entering every door; yea, every crevice of the mystic crypt of Mizraim. We hail the light! All Egypt craves the light. And so do all worthy seekers of truth.
“And Philo said, The need of Hebrew thought and life is liberty. The Hebrew prophets, seers, and givers of the law, were men of power, men of holy thought, and they bequeathed to us a system of philosophy that is ideal; one strong enough and good enough to lead our people to the goal of perfectness. But carnal minds repudiated holiness; a priesthood filled with selfishness arose, and purity in heart became a myth; the people were enslaved. The priesthood is the curse of Israel; but when he comes, who is to come, he will proclaim emancipation for the slaves; my people will be free. Behold, for God has made incarnate wisdom, love and light, which he has called Immanuel. To him is given the keys to open up the dawn; and here, as man, he walks with us” (Aquarian Gospel 57:17-22).
The need of Hebrew thought and life is liberty. Philo was a Jewish philosopher whose writings have been preserved for us and which show an illumined side of Judaism at the time of Jesus with which nearly everyone is unacquainted, especially the thoroughly symbolic interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures. His writings show that the Judaism known to Jesus was not confined to the ignorance, materialism, superstition, and hypocrisy embodied in the Scribes and Pharisees. In fact, his writings show us that the picture of Judaism found in the four Gospels is extremely partial and extremely partisan.
It is not Hebrew thought and life alone that needs liberty. All human thought and life require it. Freedom is an essential need for intellectual and spiritual growth. However, freedom does not exclude discipline–freedom degenerates into anarchy and chaos without discipline. But it must be a voluntary discipline taken up wisely and gladly. Freedom of mind and spirit require discipline of body and mind. Nevertheless, there must be a fearless and continuous investigation of inner and outer realities that will embrace all that is true and worthy. There must be a continuous expansion, a movement that is simultaneously outer and inner. Life must be lived as a journey of perpetual discovery until the All is attained. The smallness and dullness of “normal” worldly life and mentality must be ruthlessly cast aside as imprisonment. Again, fearlessness and optimism must be the dominant traits of the questing individual, a fearlessness and optimism based upon spiritual intuition, the conviction that Infinity awaits our discovery. To Know God is the motto of hope and courage.
The Hebrew prophets, seers, and givers of the law, were men of power, men of holy thought, and they bequeathed to us a system of philosophy that is ideal; one strong enough and good enough to lead our people to the goal of perfectness. This is certainly a Judaism vastly different from that of today–as different as original Christianity was different from contemporary Christianity, a Christianity that was progressively debilitated during the passage of the first three centuries, and which suffered a death-blow when Constantine made it the state religion of the Roman Empire. This was no triumph of truth, but a capitulation and surrender to organized ignorance, the selling of an already enfeebled soul. That is why Jesus said so plainly: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23).
The word “knew” is a translation of ginosko, which means both to know and to perceive. So Jesus is saying that practically speaking he does not even know of the existence of most Christianity and Christians–they just do not exist for him since they live in the realm of death and darkness. As in all religions, Christians consider that miracles are a sign of God’s favor, but Jesus said that miracles, spiritual teaching, and even exorcism of evil spirits mean nothing, that most (if not all) are workers of iniquity–anomia, which means unrighteousness and active transgression of spiritual law. It also implies a contempt for the law being violated. So that is how Jesus views the situation. Philo’s next words apply to Judaism and Christianity–and to most religion throughout the world, including India.
But carnal minds repudiated holiness; a priesthood filled with selfishness arose, and purity in heart became a myth; the people were enslaved. This covers a lot of territory in a very few words–and all true. Turning from the Real to the unreal, nothing else could take place. All valid religions start with the teachings of those who have entered into total union with God, who walk upon the earth as embodiments of Divine Consciousness. But once they leave this world (and sometimes before), those remaining begin to distort the wisdom given to them. Some do this because of inner negativity and for personal gain, but most do so just because they are not evolved enough to grasp the full import of the original teachings, and interpret and modify them in conformity with their level of understanding. Whatever the cause, the result is the same: degeneration and loss of knowledge and access to higher consciousness. Already enslaved by the world in the form of social and political structures, they now add religious enslavement to their roster. Things become increasingly hopeless as the avenues to freedom are closed against them.
The priesthood is the curse of Israel; but when he comes, who is to come, he will proclaim emancipation for the slaves; my people will be free. The situation described in the preceding section is not hopeless, for it is the nature of the human being and the cosmos itself to evolve into freedom. This results in the appearance of higher understanding in the form of both external master teachers and the spontaneous arising of intuitive spiritual understanding in the consciousness of individuals. Nothing can prevent this, since upward movement is inherent in the very fabric of creation. The only thing we have to be concerned about is how to recognize the advent of these opportunities and how to take advantage of them. I have met people who completely missed the benefits of being with great saints. Some of them just met them once or twice and wandered on by without knowing they have met a great being, and others lived with masters for years and did nothing about it. They sat at the table and never even nibbled at the banquet. It is truly necessary for us at all times to be Awake and Ready as Yogananda emphasized.
When the messengers of God come we will know them by the fact that their message will be Freedom, not philosophy, personality cult, “faith,” codes of behavior, or God’s Latest Revelation to the World. In other words, they will be yogis showing us the path to Liberation. Those who take it will be freed.
Behold, for God has made incarnate wisdom, love and light, which he has called Immanuel. Immanuel–God With Us–is not a single person, but anyone who embodies the Consciousness that is God. Such a one truly is Wisdom, Love, and Light. I saw this in Swami Sivananda to the perfect degree, and those who are attuned to Jesus see the same in Him even now.
To him is given the keys to open up the dawn; and here, as man, he walks with us. Indeed a liberated being possesses the keys to open up the dawning of higher consciousness, and as we walk with him he continues to reveal the ever-opening way.
The right response
“And then the council chamber door was opened and the Logos stood among the sages of the world. Again the sages sat in silence seven days” (Aquarian Gospel 57:23, 24).
When Jesus entered the assembly of sages there was no fanfare or adulation. Rather, all present entered into the Silence for seven days. In the same way, those who truly glimpse or contact God turn within and make the Silence their temple. For “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – I