For most of the world’s population caste is no problem as it does not exist among them. But the problem of spiritual bondage is common to all, so we should look at Jesus’ words of hope to the lower castes, for they apply to every one of us.
A parable of caste and contempt
“When Jesus saw the sudras and the farmers in such multitudes draw near to hear his words, he spoke a parable to them; he said:
“A nobleman possessed a great estate; he had four sons, and he would have them all grow strong by standing forth and making use of all the talents they possess. And so he gave to each a share of his great wealth, and bade them go their way.
“The eldest son was full of self; he was ambitious, shrewd and quick of thought.) He said within himself, I am the oldest son, and these, my brothers, must be servants at my feet. And then he called his brothers forth; and one he made a puppet king; gave him a sword and charged him to defend the whole estate.
“To one he gave the use of lands and flowing wells, and flocks and herds, and bade him till the soil, and tend the flocks and herds and bring to him the choicest of his gains. And to the other one he said, You are the youngest son; the broad estate has been assigned; you have no part nor lot in anything that is. And he took a chain and bound his brother to a naked rock upon a desert plain, and said to him, You have been born a slave; you have no rights, and you must be contented with your lot, for there is no release for you until you die and go from hence.
“Now, after certain years the day of reckoning came; the nobleman called up his sons to render their accounts. And when he knew that one, his eldest son, had seized the whole estate and made his brothers slaves, he seized him, tore his priestly robes away and put him in a prison cell, where he was forced to stay until he had atoned for all the wrongs that he had done. And then, as though they were but toys, he threw in air the throne and armor of the puppet king; he broke his sword, and put him in a prison cell.
“And then he called his farmer son and asked him why he had not rescued from his galling chains his brother on the desert plains. And when the son made answer not, the father took unto himself the flocks and herds, the fields and flowing wells, and sent his farmer son to live out on the desert sands, until he had atoned for all the wrongs that he had done.
“And then the father went and found his youngest son in cruel chains; with his own hands he broke the chains and bade his son to go in peace.
“Now, when the sons had all paid up their debts they came again and stood before the bar of right. They all had learned their lessons, learned them well; and then the father once again divided the estate. He gave to each a share, and bade them recognize the law of equity and right, and live in peace” (Aquarian Gospel 25:1-21).
This parable is very easy to understand; the law of cause and effect will eventually work toward the right order of things. As the esoteric creed formulated by Bishop Leadbeater of the Liberal Catholic Church says: “We believe that God is Love, and Power, and Truth, and Light; that perfect justice rules the world; that all His sons shall one day reach His feet, however far they stray. We hold the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of man; we know that we do serve Him best when best we serve our brother man. So shall His blessing rest on us and peace for evermore. Amen.” The perfect justice that rules the world eventually corrects all things and liberates all people. This is the message of Christ.
Hope of freedom
“And one, a sudras, spoke and said, May we who are but slaves, who are cut down like beasts to satisfy the whims of priests–may we have hope that one will come to break our chains and set us free?
“And Jesus said, The Holy One has said, that all his children shall be free; and every soul is child of God. The sudras shall be free as priest; the farmer shall walk hand in hand with king; for all the world will own the brotherhood of man.
“O men, arise! be conscious of your powers, for he who wills need not remain a slave. Just live as you would have your brother live; unfold each day as does the flower; for earth is yours, and heaven is yours, and God will bring you to your own.
“And all the people cried, Show us the way that like the flower we may unfold and come unto our own” (Aquarian Gospel 25:22-27).
The two ineradicables
No matter how deeply human beings may delve into ignorance, and no matter how distorted and degraded their minds and wills may become, there are two things that they cannot change, distort, or weaken in the least: 1) all the children of God are destined for perfect freedom; and 2) every single human being is a child of God–and therefore partakers of divinity. We should ever keep in mind these two ineradicable truths about ourselves. Levi Dowling, the seer of the Aquarian Gospel, wrote in Biopneuma that every day those who seek illumination should say the following, which they should commit to memory:
“Wisdom! Wisdom! It must be mine; Light! Light! I will see the True Light; Illumination! Illumination! I will attain unto Divine Illumination, through Jesus Christ, My Lord.”
Saint Peter wrote: “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (II Peter 1:3,4). And Saint Paul: “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). And finally, Saint John the 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” (I John 3:2). This is the true Gospel of Christ–of “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Accept no substitutes!
These are beautiful words, and they certainly inspire us, but what shall we do to realize their truth for ourselves? Jesus continues:
O men, arise! be conscious of your powers, for he who wills need not remain a slave. Become conscious! This is the call. Consciousness is the nature of spirit, not just an attribute. Therefore if we will open our consciousness, enter into it fully, and dwell in it completely, the first step has been taken. And it cannot be taken by looking here and there outside of us. We must penetrate into the essence of ourselves, into our immortal spirit. Meditation is the only way to do this. Everything else is busywork if meditation is not the basis of our life.
When we are really conscious we will be aware of the divine potencies within us, especially our will. Usually we only manifest our whims and petty desires. Many people who seem to have strong wills are only being driven by their egoic desires and aversions and have no operative will. Only the awakened person can exercise his will, for the will of the spirit is vastly different from the artificial force of our emotional and intellectual “wills.” But once that true will comes alive we can arise and cast off our bonds and be free from slavery of any form. Until then we languish in the prison of ignorance, slaves of birth, death, and all in between.
From childhood we hear the Golden Rule–that we should do to others as we would have them do to us. But that is only part of human life, only social interaction. Jesus gives a more comprehensive rule when He says: “Live as you would have your brother live.” It is easy to look at others and know what they should be thinking, saying, and doing. So we should do ourselves exactly what we think others should do! In religion particularly we like to have “special” people, such as priests, monastics, and spiritual teachers, who are living according to divine principles in every way and whose presence is a benefit to all. And how furious we get when they do not live up to our ideals! Sometimes we even turn from religion and belief in God. How foolish. The failure or success of anyone else means absolutely zero. We are the ones that must be living out the truths revealed by God to mankind. Even if everyone else fails to do so, that is no reason for our neglect. If we were in a group of people and learned that everyone but us was going to die in some catastrophe, would we object and say: “If they are not going to live, then I am not going to live, either!”? Hardly. Just because others fail–or never even try–is no reason for us to fail or not try. Saint Paul wrote: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain” (I Corinthians 9:24). If we are the only one in this entire creation cycle to attain Christhood, let it be so. But it will not be so. Elijah told God that he was the only one in Israel to not worship Baal, but God answered that there were seven thousand others who had not done so either. We will find ourselves in a large company. So let us get Christing. Live as you would have a saint live, and you will become a saint.
Two errors of Churchianity
We are confronted by two serious errors of Churchianity. One is the doctrine that we just do something to “get saved” and BANG! it is all done. Now we need only sit and wait to go to heaven. The other is the idea that as long as we are in this world, burdened with the body, we can have no illumination beyond a few glimpses that inspire us to “yearn for heaven” and long for death–preferably slow martyrdom with a sizeable audience. (Few Churchian aspirants to sainthood wish their sanctity to be unobserved.) But Jesus says: “Unfold each day as does the flower; for earth is yours, and heaven is yours, and God will bring you to your own.”
Evolution is the word, not instant salvation or enlightenment. A doctor once assured me that drastic change in the body is always pathological, and he concluded by saying that the same was true in spiritual life–there may be an instant shaking up or coming into awareness of the reality of spiritual life, but from then on it is a steady process of movement toward the divine. Spiritual growth does not go in fits or spurts, but is a matter of “each day.” The hare ran fast, then dawdled and even slept; but the tortoise kept at it and proved that “slow but sure” is the way.
The likening of our development to the unfolding of a flower underscores the truth that not only is spiritual life one of steady continuous progress, it is also a movement from within outward, the expression of our eternal nature. A flower does not become a flower, it reveals its flower-nature. We do not attain Christhood, we unfold it, for it is always within us in potential form, just as the tree is in the seed.
Part of the second error of Western religious thinking is that things earthly are hindering our spiritual vision and that we must turn from earth to heaven–that the body is a curse which we must separate from before the spirit can be free. That we are not “this” but are “that.” This creates all kinds of problems and conflicts for those who seek God within that context. But Jesus assures us that “earth is yours, and heaven is yours, and God will bring you to your own,” saying: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). Earth and heaven are the manifestation of our Father-God, so they are ours, as well. Moreover, our attunement to God gives us mastery of both earth and heaven, uniting them in us, ending the dichotomy and duality that plagues us now. Jesus was referring to this condition when at the end of His time with them He told His disciples: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18. “The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine” Psalms 89:11). He meant that earth and heaven were His inheritance from the Father.
The final clause of Jesus’s words say it all: “And God will bring you to your own.”
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: God and Man