Setting the stage
“Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Paraca and of Galilee, was dissipated, selfish and tyrannical. He drove his wife away from home that he might take as wife Herodias, the wife of one, a near of kin, a woman, like himself, immoral and unjust. The city of Tiberius, upon the shores of Galilee, was Herod’s home. Now John, the harbinger, had left the Salim Springs to teach the people by the sea of Galilee; and he rebuked the wicked ruler and his stolen wife for all their sins. Herodias was enraged because the preacher dared accuse her and her husband of their crimes; and she prevailed on Herod to arrest the harbinger and cast him in a dungeon in the castle of Machaerus that stood beside the Bitter Sea. And Herod did as she required; then she lived in peace in all her sins, for none were bold enough to censure her again. The followers of John were warned to speak not of the trial and imprisonment of John. By order of the court, they were restrained from teaching in the public halls. They could not talk about this better life that Herod called the Heresy of John” (Aquarian Gospel 85:1-10).
This is basically a business-as usual-picture of life in this world.
First, Herodias is the type of guilt-ridden person who denies his inner misery and insists, hysterically and even violently, that he is not guilty. These are the types that continually say: “I have never done anything of which I am ashamed.” This is of course absurd, unless they are psychotic narcissists and sociopaths of the worst sort, because every normal person has done something which they regret and know was a mistake and even wrong. But they do not stop there. They hate anyone who believes that their actions were wrong, insisting that those people are “harsh,” “hate-filled,” “bigoted,” “judgmental,” “oppressive,” and “repressive.” Religion is their pet hate in this diatribe, especially “Judeo-Christian morality” which they sometimes try to escape by joining or identifying themselves with some other religion, especially Hinduism and Buddhism. Their delusion is that what they are doing is not wrong if no one says or even thinks that it is. So the only way to not be guilty is to silence or destroy anyone who says or thinks their actions are wrong. As we read in the gospel: “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:20). There we have it.
Second, religious people dare not speak the truth about the evils and foibles of government, especially wrongs that are committed against them. This was classically so in the Soviet Union, but is common today throughout the world, including covert interference in religious affairs.
Third, religious people are denied freedom of expression by the types I have just described. This is especially true in politics where the morally degraded insist on “separation of church and state” unless the churches are speaking or keeping silence in their favor.
“When it was known that John had been imprisoned by the tetrarch court, the friends of Jesus thought it best that he should not remain in Galilee. But Jesus said, I have no need of fear; my time has not yet come; no man can stay me till my work is done” (Aquarian Gospel 85:11, 12).
In the Bible we find this: “They sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come” (John 7:30). “Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above” (John 19:11). “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).
These citations are very dramatic, but this is true of us, as well–at least the first two are. All things in the universe operate by precise laws. Until the law of karma, of cause and effect, so directs, nothing whatsoever can happen, not even the dropping of a pin. This is why there are “freak accidents” that kill people and “freak survivals” in which people live that normally would have died. Here are two interesting examples. A man shot at a tree, and the bullet was embedded deep in it. Years later lightning struck the tree and the bullet flew out and struck and killed the man. Even stranger is this following incident. During the Civil War a hospital tent had been set up on a battleground. During an operation, a bullet from the Confederate side pierced a side of the tent, passed through the testicle of the doctor doing the operation, and penetrated into the ovary of the assisting nurse. The nurse conceived and gave birth to a child. Obviously a soul needed her and the doctor as its parents and this was only way to manage it at that time. There is perfect order in the universe, even when it produces seeming chaos.
The lesson here is for us to be fearless, as well. As the creed says: “We believe in the law of good which rules the world,” so only good can happen to us, whatever the outer appearance may be. Even misfortune is an impelling toward good fortune. Without this understanding the world is ever unstable and human society a madhouse. The twin laws of karma and rebirth alone make things clear. Those who do not know and accept these laws can have no reliable ideas about their life and themselves. A religion that does not teach them is incompetent in practical matters, and usually in spiritual ones, as well. Telling people that God is doing everything to them because He wills it, is not only untrue, it is a defamation of God and a denigration of man.
The why and wherefore
“And when they asked why God permitted Herod to imprison John, he said, Behold yon stalk of wheat! When it has brought the grain to perfectness, it is of no more worth; it falls, becoming part of earth again from which it came. John is a stalk of golden wheat; he brought unto maturity the richest grain of all the earth; his work is done. If he had said another word it might have marred the symmetry of what is now a noble life. And when my work is done the rulers will do unto me what they have done to John, and more. All these events are part of God’s own plan. The innocent will suffer while the wicked are in power; but woe to them who cause the suffering of the innocents” (Aquarian Gospel 85:13-18).
This continues the previous subject: all is according to Divine Law–not Divine Whimsy, but Divine Order in we are all participating, for we and we alone create our karma.
The death of holy people naturally causes us pain as does the death of those we hold dear. But our pain is purely ego-based, therefore we speak of “our loss.” The ancient monks of Egypt used to say: “Grieve for them when they are born and rejoice for them when they die” because what we think is birth is really entry into the realm of perpetual death, and what we call death is really re-entry into the realm of everlasting life. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalms 116:15). “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13). The festivals of Christian saints, East and West, are usually observed on the day of their passing from this world. But they are called their “birth days” because they were born into a higher world than this.
No one suffers if it is not a result of his own will and the karma it created for him. So no one is really innocent absolutely, but the wicked oppress them even though there is no rational justification for it externally, and in this way create for themselves the same karma those they oppress are now reaping. It all moves on in a perpetual cycle. That is why Solomon said: “That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15). When we pair this with Saint Paul’s assertion: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7), we have karma in a nutshell. So karma is a part of authentic Jewish and Christian doctrine, as is reincarnation. (See May a Christian Believe in Reincarnation?.)
“All these events are part of God’s own plan.”
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: In Jerusalem