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The Universal Law of Man’s Free Will and the Divine Will For Man

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 16 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

“Matheno and his pupil, John, were talking of the sacred books of olden times, and of the golden precepts they contained, and John exclaimed, These golden precepts are sublime; what need have we of other sacred books?

“Matheno said, The Spirits of the Holy One cause every thing to come and go in proper time. The sun has his own time to set, the moon to rise, to wax and wane, the stars to come and go, the rain to fall, the winds to blow; The seed times and the harvest times to come; man to be born and man to die.

“These mighty Spirits cause the nations to be born; they rock them in their cradles, nurture them to greatest power, and when their tasks are done they wrap them in their winding sheets and lay them in their tombs. Events are many in a nation’s life, and in the life of man, that are not pleasant for the time; but in the end the truth appears: whatever comes is for the best.

“Man was created for a noble part; but he could not be made a free man filled with wisdom, truth and might, If he were hedged about, confined in straits from which he could not pass, then he would be a toy, a mere machine. Creative spirits gave to man a will; and so he has the power to choose. He may attain the greatest heights, or sink to deepest depths; for what he wills to gain he has the power to gain. If he desires strength he has the power to gain that strength; but he must overcome resistances to reach the goal; no strength is ever gained in idleness.

“So, in the whirl of many-sided conflicts man is placed where he must strive to extricate himself. In every conflict man gains strength; with every conquest he attains to greater heights. With every day he finds new duties and new cares. Man is not carried over dangerous pits, nor helped to overcome his foes. He is himself his army, and his sword and shield; and he is captain of his hosts” (Aquarian Gospel 14:1-15).

Free and bound

When we were children we yearned to grow up so we would not be under the control of anyone; but now that we are adults we are controlled by many more people and things than we could even have imagined as children. That is life. We have free will, but only in a limited scope. In India they say that free will is like a rope with one end tied around the neck of a cow and the other around a tree. The cow is perfectly free to move within the circumference of the area permitted by the rope. Like the cow we are both free and bound; and we are a lot more bound than free. So we need to comprehend our freedom and its boundaries.

God and His administrators

The Spirits of the Holy One cause every thing to come and go in proper time. A mechanistic view of the cosmos is mistaken, including the idea of “natural laws” that are simply mechanical functions of the cosmic machine. Rather, everything is under the aegis of Cosmic Consciousness functioning through various highly evolved beings. These “spirits of the Holy One” are responsible for all that occur. There are no blind or automatic “forces” but divinely-directed intelligences wielding the powers of God. This is their way of creating and working out their karmas. They are bigger versions of us.

The sun, moon, and the planets are not just lumps of matter, but are the living bodies of indwelling spirits (angels) whose psychic influences flow from those planets and influence all the living creatures within the “circle of the sun,” the solar system. This is the basis of the science of astrology–and it is a science. The same is true of the stars, which are an important part of Indian astrology. Like human beings, these entities have their allotted lifespan or time of embodiment, and both planets and suns go out of existence according to precise timings.

Rain, wind, and all other “natural forces” are directed by intelligences that are their angels or “gods.” Hence they can be invoked to both cause or stop the forces they direct, and the planetary and solar angels can be invoked to strengthen or mitigate the influences of their “bodies.” The cycles of plant, animal, and human life are all under the administration of these great spirits; even our birth and death are in their hands. Since they are all faithful servants of God, it is the divine will that is worked by them, never their own.

Nations, small and great arise and decline according to the acting of their guardian or patron spirits. Nothing is capricious or a matter of “history” as a kind of blind ricocheting power.

All is good

Although certain epochs and events in a country’s history may be unpleasant, in the end it will be seen that all works to it benefit. And the same is true of the life of human beings.

Free will

God intends us to be gods walking the earth, healing and blessing. But this can only come about if we are free–free to harm or heal, free to curse or bless. If we did not have this freedom we would be mere biological machines running on a preordained track. We were not created for God’s amusement, but for our deification. “O Lord, Thou hast created man to be immortal and made him to be an image of Thine own eternity” (These are the opening words of the Confiteor of the Liberal Catholic Mass.) Yet, possessing free will, “he may attain the greatest heights, or sink to deepest depths; for what he wills to gain he has the power to gain. If he desires strength he has the power to gain that strength.” We are truly the masters of our fate, the creators of our destiny. We are the “god” in the center of our lives, as God is the center of the cosmic (including our) life. There is nothing we cannot attain, so we must be careful what we want; the getting can be disappointing, painful, or even self-destructive.

But he must overcome resistances to reach the goal; no strength is ever gained in idleness. So, in the whirl of many-sided conflicts man is placed where he must strive to extricate himself. In every conflict man gains strength; with every conquest he attains to greater heights. With every day he finds new duties and new cares. Man is not carried over dangerous pits, nor helped to overcome his foes. He is himself his army, and his sword and shield; and he is captain of his hosts. There is no short or easy path–there is only The Path. Regarding this there is an instructive story told in India about the immortal sage Narada. Once Narada accidentally stepped on an ant. Feeling sorry for this, Narada prayed and then blessed the ant to immediately attain liberation. To Narada’s amazement, in a moment the ant experienced birth, life, and death in millions of forms, evolving through each one and finally attaining liberation as a human being. As Narada watched, he saw it all happening in an eye-wink, but he realized that to the ant untold ages and untold lives had been experienced–that his blessing had not eliminated a single pain or struggle in the path to perfection. This is the truth. We have to traverse every bit of the way, and by our own free will.

Why more scriptures?

Now Matheno comes to the answer of John’s question about why there should ever be any more scriptures than those of ancient times.

“The Holy Ones just light his way. Man never has been left without a beacon light to guide. And he has ever had a lighted lamp in hand that he may see the dangerous rocks, the turbid streams and treacherous pits.

“And so the Holy Ones have judged; when men have needed added light a master soul has come to earth to give the light. Before the Vedic days the world had many sacred books to light the way; and when man needed greater light the Vedas, the Avesta and the books of Tao Great appeared to show the way to greater heights. And in the proper place the Hebrew Bible, with its Law, its Prophets and its Psalms, appeared for man’s enlightenment.

“But years have passed and men have need of greater light. And now the Day Star from on high begins to shine; and Jesus is the flesh-made messenger to show that light to men.

“And you, my pupil, you have been ordained to harbinger the coming day. But you must keep that purity of heart you now possess; and you must light your lamp directly from the coals that burn upon the altar of the Holy Ones. And then your lamp will be transmuted to a boundless flame, and you will be a living torch whose light will shine wherever man abides.

“But in the ages yet to come, man will attain to greater heights, and lights still more intense will come. And then, at last, a mighty master soul will come to earth to light the way up to the throne of perfect man” (Aquarian Gospel 14:16-27).

The perilous way

The way we all must tread is said to be filled with “the dangerous rocks, the turbid streams and treacherous pits” of ignorance and delusion. Certainly the Path to Life is not smooth and one to be blithely skipped down humming a cheery tune. It is of the utmost gravity, for we can be crushed, broken, drowned and trapped by contact with the rocks, streams and pits. It is darkness of mind and heart that renders them deadly to us, and so we need the light to survive.

Never in the dark

Matheno says that human beings ever have a lighted lamp in their hand so see the way. That is the lamp of their own spirit-consciousness. But since the lamp burns within, those absorbed in outer unrealities stumble on in their self-induced darkness. Even so, human beings have never been left in the dark–it is the closing of their eyes to the light that creates such an illusion. From age to age God has sent great souls into the world to light the way. There are cycles for this, too. In the Introduction to the Aquarian Gospel we read:

“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 human race is to-day standing upon the cusp of the Piscean-Aquarian Ages.…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.’”

At the beginning of each age a world-teacher appears whose influence extends far beyond the place of his birth and lasts even beyond the age of which he was the master-teacher. Throughout an age other teachers come as well, but their mission is confined to a smaller sphere of influence, and usually within the context of the world-teacher.

Ancient traditions

It is a distinct trait of the three Mediterranean religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to insist either that never before them has anyone known the truth, or that everyone before them knew much less than they. Whichever is set forth, the conclusion is the same: to be on God’s side everyone must join their religion. Judaism, having is roots in the mystery religion of Egypt, of which Moses was an illumined adept, can hardly have held this view originally. And in its beginnings Christianity cannot possibly have had such an attitude since the first Christians–including Jesus–were Essenes; and in Elihu, Salome, and Matheno we find the Essene attitude which embraced all prior traditions as of equal value.

As far as can be determined, Vedic religion (dharma) seems to be the oldest known (recorded) spiritual tradition. But Matheno tells us that there were many sacred scriptures before the setting down of the Vedas. This was the position of Madame Blavatsky, who said that before the Vedas there were many holy texts written in a pre-Sanskritic language known as Senzar. As a point of honor (i.e., bigotry), “scholars” of East and West derided her assertion, but Swami Dayananda Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj and Hindu reformer of vast Vedic scholarship who was committed to the principles of Vedic religion, supported Blavatsky’s statements, saying that he had seen entire libraries of Senzar texts hidden away in caves, and that they definitely were pre-Vedic. In each age teachings and scriptures are produced that reflect the characteristics of the prevailing consciousness of the people to whom they are addressed–not to conform to the common mind, but to elevate it to a higher plane, starting from the point where it presently stands. And so in their respective eras the Vedic, Zoroastrian, Taoist, and Hebrews texts were given to the world. Their message was identical–it was only the mode of presentation and the emphases that differed. By studying them, a person could be fitted to communicate the universal truths (Sanatana Dharma) to all types of individuals. “And Jesus greatly loved the Vedic hymns and the Avesta; but more than all he loved to read the Psalms of David and the pungent words of Solomon. The Jewish books of prophecy were his delight; and when he reached his seventh year he needed not the books to read, for he had fixed in memory every word” (Aquarian Gospel 16:2,3). So Jesus and John had been instructed in them all.

Jesus was not to only convey the wisdom-approaches of the past; He was to establish a new religion for a new age–for the waves of souls that would be coming into earthly incarnation for the next four millennia, since His mission was to span two ages, the Piscean and the Aquarian. For it was written in the esoteric texts of Judaism that the Messiah should appear twice on the earth: once as Son of Joseph and be rejected, and again as Son of David and be accepted. The real “second coming” of Jesus is His re-incarnation in the Aquarian Age to complete His salvific task.

An age of two thousand years is preceded by a century of preparation and transition. This was the twentieth century. In the twenty-first century we stand upon the threshold of the Aquarian Age and, like John, are called “to harbinger the coming day.” To us, as well as to John, these words may be applied: “But you must keep that purity of heart you now possess; and you must light your lamp directly from the coals that burn upon the altar of the Holy Ones. And then your lamp will be transmuted to a boundless flame, and you will be a living torch whose light will shine wherever man abides.” It is incumbent on us to preserve the Piscean wisdom and to study the ancient traditions to make it more comprehensible to us. Then our vision will be transmuted into the Aquarian light in preparation for the second advent of the Christ, when “a mighty master soul will come to earth to light the way up to the throne of perfect man.”

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Understanding Death

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

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

  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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