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The Law Behind All Laws

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 20 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

“Now, Rabbi Barachia of the synagogue of Nazareth, was aid to Mary in the teaching of her son. One morning after service in the synagogue the rabbi said to Jesus as he sat in silent thought, Which is the greatest of the Ten Commands?

“And Jesus said, I do not see a greatest of the Ten Commands. I see a golden cord that runs through all the Ten Commands that binds them fast and makes them one. This cord is love, and it belongs to every word of all the Ten Commands.

“If one is full of love he can do nothing else than worship God; for God is love. If one is full of love, he cannot kill; he cannot falsely testify; he cannot covet; can do naught but honor God and man. If one is full of love he does not need commands of any kind” (Aquarian Gospel 17:1-7).

A fragmented mind

It is a peculiarity of the Western mind to split things up and classify them, the invention of the pie chart being the pinnacle of such a mind’s achievement. This insistence on fragmentation of all things runs through every level of Western man’s life and experience, joined with the insistence that things should be looked at in a series, only one link at a time, going along in a linear movement. Even an overview is considered to be a collage of its parts and not a unity, only a means to look at disparate parts in relation to one another. This is particularly evident in Western religious thought (including Eastern Christianity) where delineation and separation are looked upon as absolutes. Uncrossable lines are drawn between God and all spirit-intelligences, as well as between every individual object or person in existence. Division and dissimilarity are fundamental to this way of viewing things. Hence, the unity of God, man, and creation is viewed as an absurdity and pantheism as a base heresy. Reconciliation is considered perhaps possible, but oneness is deemed impossible. Western politics, religion, economics, and social structures are manifestations of this disbelief. “Celebration of diversity” is the best it gets, an upbeat, positive insistence on division and difference as the real mode of being.

Naturally, such an outlook manifests in questions as to what single thing is the most important, necessary, or essential. This is a backhanded way of seeking unity, but a unity that denies the viability of everything but that one factor, rather than a reaching out to embrace and unify them all. This also leads to a listing of “bare minimums” (“what is the least…what is the essential”), a dogged insistence on mere subsistence–especially in the realm of religion, even though those who insist on stark and unadorned houses of worship and simple, minimalist theology live in luxurious houses and drive luxury cars (usually more than one per family) and dress in elaborate styles. Denying themselves nothing, they usually deny God everything. This is the way of “simple” religion.

Rabbi Barachia’s question: “Which is the greatest of the Ten Commands?” reflects the mentality just outlined. But Jesus’ answer mirrors the vision of Unity. (Jesus answers the same question again in Chapter 155.).

Seeing the unity

Jesus said, I do not see a greatest of the Ten Commands. I see a golden cord that runs through all the Ten Commands that binds them fast and makes them one.

Originally there was the One Which became the Many. Yet this fundamental unity remains unimpaired–and imperative, since it shall in time reunite the Many which shall merge back into the One. Jesus, having come to earth to open the way from diversity to unity, looks at all things from that perspective and sees not a theoretical unity but the dynamic which produces unity.

This cord is love, and it belongs to every word of all the Ten Commands. Love, as spoken of by Jesus, is not the emotion of attraction and attachment, firmly based in the ego-mind, that ordinary people mean when they speak of love. Rather, He means the drawing power of God, the One, into original Unity. (This is definitively discussed by Swami Yukteswar Giri, the guru of Paramhansa Yogananda, in his book The Holy Science.) Furthermore, He sees the Ten Commandments as manifestation of God’s love, not tyrannical mandates as they are usually thought to be. (See The Gnosis of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes.).

But love is neither a commandment nor a fulfilling of a commandment; rather it is a deep inward movement toward the Divine. Consequently Jesus said: “If one is full of love he can do nothing else than worship God; for God is love. If one is full of love, he cannot kill; he cannot falsely testify; he cannot covet; can do naught but honor God and man.”

A lot of people think they are “loving” or claim to be–for a multitude of reasons, but all of them ego-based and selfish and therefore love-abrogating. Jesus gives us a profile of those who truly love.


If one is full of love he can do nothing else than worship God; for God is love. According to Jesus a loving person first of all worships God; “for God is love” and it is His nature to love and be loved in return, just as it is our nature as His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26; see Genesis 1:27, 5:3, 9:6) to do the same. Those who love, worship, but what is worship? Our English word comes from “worthship,” which means to acknowledge someone’s value or worth and to respect it. Worship, then, is a disposition of the heart, not a lot of outer action or inner emotion. In Hebrew the word is shachah, which means to bow down in reverence. In Greek the word is proskuneo, which means the same, but also carries the idea of adoration and service. Some believe that it is derived from kuon, which means to kiss as an expression of love. It also implies drawing very close to the object of worship, even entering into union with it.


If one is full of love, he cannot kill. Surely there is no sensible person who would deny that loving and killing are opposites. Yet people kill all the time–even though they do it through commercial agents–when they eat meat or use animal products of any kind. “’Tis cruelty that makes the world awry. When men have learned that when they harm a living thing they harm themselves, they surely will not kill, nor cause a thing that God has made to suffer pain” (Aquarian Gospel 28:10). It takes a great violation of conscience to kill another human being, but how easily and thoughtlessly we support the killing industry when we eat meat or use “animal by-products.” As an Essene, Jesus never did either of these things, nor had His ancestors.

Later He will make it clear that vengefulness and hatred are also a form of murder committed in the heart, and none the less evil:

“The letter of the law commands; you shall not kill; and he who kills must stand before the judgement seat. A person may desire to kill, yet if he does not kill he is not judged by law. The spirit of the law avers that he who shall desire to kill, or seeks revenge, is angry with a man without sufficient cause, must answer to the judge” (Aquarian Gospel 97:5-7).


He cannot falsely testify. We lie for one purpose: to deceive; and no one will deceive those he loves. Oh, yes, we think up all kinds of reasons for lying to those we claim to love, such as we are “protecting” them–or ourselves–or that it does no harm. The most shameless lies are those told by adults–especially parents–to children. Children, being intuitive, almost always know they are being lied to, unless they so much want what is told them to be true that they lie to themselves and make themselves believe what they are told, or just cannot believe that their parents would lie to them. This is markedly true in the matter of the Santa Claus myth. Victimizing children by this lie so their deluded behavior will be “cute” and amusing to parents and grandparents is indefensible to any sense of truth or reality–the very things the ego completely lacks. Lies of any kind are manifestations of dishonesty and disrespect. Malicious lies in the form of character assassination really are metaphysical murder. Lying because people “deserve” to be deceived is a double lie. This manifests constantly in deceiving insurance companies, the IRS, and other government agencies. Even if it is true that a lie does not hurt the person lied to, it does hurt the liar by weakening his moral strength and integrity. Yes; we should love ourselves as well as others.


He cannot covet. This does not mean that we cannot admire something another person has and wish to have one like it–and work toward getting it. “Covet” in the Bible is translated from three different words, one Hebrew and two Greek. Chamad means to intensely long after the possession of a specific thing owned by another which can be obtained only by taking (not purchasing) it from him. Epithumeo means the same thing. Zeloo means to “burn” with both desire for someone else’s property and intense jealousy and resentment of that person because he possesses it. (This latter is the basis for most Socialism, however it may be masked.) Obviously no one can feel this way toward someone they love; love prevents such egoic feelings and desires. This is why Saint Paul says that love “envieth not” (I Corinthians 13:4). For love is absence of egotism. Finally, love lifts us above material greed that is the basis for covetousness.

Honoring God and man

[He] can do naught but honor God and man. The Hebrew word kabad, translated “honor,” is very interesting, for it literally means to be heavy or weighty. The idea is that to honor someone is to consider them significant and meaningful. The Greek word is timao, which means to value or esteem something, even to look upon it as precious and dear to oneself. It also means to think highly of something and consider it has innate dignity. A peripheral meaning is to render what is due to someone. (This is because timao has several roots.).

We have just said that love lifts us above the material. Even more, it focuses us on the spiritual. Thus, those who love see the divine spirit in all human beings, however reprehensible their behavior and words may be, and value them accordingly though they repudiate their deeds and words. The ultimate expression of this was Jesus’ prayer for those who had crucified Him. Love is not approval or acceptance of wrongdoing, but it looks past the doing to the doer–and loves.

It is easy to love God, Who is all perfection and Love itself, but “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also” (I John 4:20,21).

The crux of the whole matter

Jesus has told us that those who love will fulfill the Ten Commandments (and much more), but He caps His discourse on this subject by stating: “If one is full of love he does not need commands of any kind.” This is because love centers our conscious in spirit so that we automatically live according to the Divine Pattern. For “the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance” (Galatians 5:22,23). Therefore, “if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25,26) in love. “For God is love” (Aquarian Gospel 17:5; I John 4:8,16).

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Opening To The Truth

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

The Aquarian Gospel for Awakening—A Commentary on the Aquarian Gospel
by Swami Nirmalananda Giri (Abbot George Burke)

  1. The Mother of Jesus
  2. Prophecies of the Births of Saint John the Baptist and Jesus
  3. The Birth of Jesus
  4. Revelations in the Temple
  5. Coming of the Wise Men
  6. Herod’s Reaction
  7. Revelations in Egypt
  8. The Two Selfs
  9. Deliverance From Gods and Demons
  10. About God the Tao
  11. From India to Chaldea
  12. The Wisdom of Buddha
  13. God and Prayer
  14. The Mission of Jesus and John the Baptist
  15. Sin and the Forgiveness of Sin
  16. The Universal Law of Man’s Free Will and the Divine Will For Man
  17. Understanding Death
  18. The True Teacher
  19. The Value of Ritual
  20. The Law Behind All Laws
  21. Opening To The Truth
  22. In the Temple at the Age of Ten
  23. Revelation to the Teachers and People in the Temple
  24. Jerusalem to Nazareth
  25. Nazareth to India
  26. What is Truth?
  27. What Is Man?
  28. What is Power?
  29. Understanding
  30. Wisdom
  31. Faith
  32. Healing and Healers
  33. Conflict Over Caste
  34. The Destiny of All Men
  35. God and Man
  36. The Voice in the Heart
  37. Seeing the Unseeable
  38. To God Through Man
  39. Who Is Jesus?
  40. The Real Versus The Apparent
  41. The Brotherhood of Life
  42. God…and Man
  43. Relating To God
  44. The Worthy Host
  45. Come to the Light
  46. The Kingdom Revealed
  47. The King Revealed
  48. Perspective On Death
  49. Fire and Sword
  50. Evolution: The Path of Glory
  51. The Real Heaven
  52. Getting to the Essence
  53. New Perspective on Religion
  54. In Tibet and Ladakh
  55. Words to the Worthy
  56. The Thirty-Eighth Chapter
  57. The Origin of Evil
  58. The Silence
  59. The Source of Healing
  60. The Fivefold Gospel
  61. Homecoming
  62. In Athens
  63. The Oracle of Delphi
  64. The Real God
  65. Return to Egypt
  66. First Steps to Wisdom
  67. Strong in Will and Intent
  68. Here Comes the Ego
  69. Blessed are the Merciful
  70. Claiming Our Freedom
  71. The Great Test
  72. Comprehending Death
  73. The Christ!
  74. The Asembly of the Masters
  75. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – I
  76. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – II
  77. The Declaration of Jesus
  78. John the Baptist – I
  79. John the Baptist – II
  80. John the Baptist – III
  81. Baptism – Jesus and John
  82. Self-Examination and Temptation
  83. The First Disciples Follow Jesus
  84. Jesus’ First Sermon
  85. The King and the Kingdom
  86. Dealing With Challengers
  87. The First Miracle of Jesus
  88. Kings and Kingdoms
  89. The Temple of God
  90. What Is A Messiah?
  91. The Laws of Healing
  92. Nicodemus Finds The Kingdom
  93. The Prince of Peace
  94. Dealing With Spiritual Opposition
  95. The Opened Gate
  96. John the Baptist Speaks of the Christ
  97. John Speaks Further About Jesus
  98. The Woman at the Well
  99. The Disciples and Samaritans at the Well
  100. Jesus in Sychar
  101. More Wisdom In Samaria
  102. The Imprisonment of John the Baptist
  103. In Jerusalem
  104. The Insights of Jesus
  105. Sabbath Wisdom
  106. Prayer and Good Deeds
  107. Divine Laws and Principles for Seekers of the Divine
  108. A New Understanding of the Ten Commandments
  109. Aspects of the Higher Law – 1
  110. Aspects of the Higher Law – 2
  111. Aspects of the Higher Law – 3
  112. Aspects of the Higher Law – 4
  113. Chapter One Hundred One
  114. Chapter One Hundred Two
  115. Chapter One Hundred Three
  116. Chapter One Hundred Four
  117. Chapter One Hundred Five
  118. Chapter One Hundred Six
  119. Chapter One Hundred Seven
  120. Chapter One Hundred Eight
  121. Chapter One Hundred Nine
  122. Chapter One Hundred Ten
  123. Chapter One Hundred Eleven
  124. Chapter One Hundred Twelve
  125. Chapter One Hundred Thirteen
  126. Chapter One Hundred Fourteen
  127. Chapter One Hundred Fifteen
  128. Chapter One Hundred Sixteen
  129. Chapter One Hundred Seventeen
  130. Chapter One Hundred Eighteen
  131. Chapter One Hundred Nineteen
  132. Chapter One Hundred Twenty
  133. Chapter One Hundred Twenty One
  134. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Two
  135. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Three
  136. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Four
  137. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Five
  138. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Six
  139. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Seven
  140. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Eight
  141. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Nine
  142. Chapter One Hundred Thirty
  143. Chapter One Hundred Thirty One
  144. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Two
  145. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Three
  146. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Four
  147. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Five
  148. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Six
  149. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Seven
  150. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Eight
  151. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Nine
  152. Chapter One Hundred Forty
  153. Chapter One Hundred Forty One
  154. Chapter One Hundred Forty Two
  155. Chapter One Hundred Forty Three
  156. Chapter One Hundred Forty Four
  157. Chapter One Hundred Forty Five
  158. Chapter One Hundred Forty Six
  159. Chapter One Hundred Forty Seven
  160. Chapter One Hundred Forty Eight
  161. Chapter One Hundred Forty Nine
  162. Chapter One Hundred Fifty
  163. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-One
  164. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Two
  165. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Three
  166. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Four
  167. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Five
  168. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Six
  169. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Seven
  170. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Eight
  171. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Nine
  172. Chapter One Hundred Sixty
  173. Chapter One Hundred Sixty One
  174. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Two
  175. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Three
  176. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Four
  177. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Five
  178. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Six
  179. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Seven
  180. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Eight
  181. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Nine
  182. Chapter One Hundred Seventy
  183. Chapter One Hundred Seventy One
  184. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Two
  185. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Three
  186. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Four
  187. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Five
  188. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Six
  189. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Seven
  190. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Eight
  191. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Nine
  192. Chapter One Hundred Eighty
  193. Chapter One Hundred Eighty One
  194. Chapter One Hundred Eighty Two

The Text of the Aquarian Gospel—by Levi Dowling

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