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What is Power?

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 28 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

“Again Lamaas asked, What do you say of power? And Jesus said, It is a manifest; is the result of force; it is but naught; it is illusion, nothing more. Force changes not, but power changes as the ethers change.

“Force is the will of God and is omnipotent, and power is that will in manifest, directed by the Breath. There is power in the winds, a power in the waves, a power in the lightning’s stroke, a power in the human arm, a power in the eye.

“The ethers cause these powers to be, and thought of Elohim, of angel, man, or other thinking thing, directs the force; when it has done its work the power is no more” (Aquarian Gospel 22:14-18).

Force and Power

Just as there is the silent word in the depths of the mind that precedes the spoken word from the mouth, so Jesus–following the Essene tradition as presented by Elihu in the tenth chapter of the Aquarian Gospel–makes the distinction by using the terms Force and Power. Force is the symbolic expression Jesus uses for the Father-God, indicating that, even though the Father is transcendent and has given all things (relativity) into the hands of the Son, He should not be thought of as passive or inactive. All things are done by the Father, but “done” in the sense that He is the Will, the Unmoving Mover through the agency of the Son and the Holy Breath.

In the body, the brain seemingly does nothing; but without its impulse not a single muscle moves. The brain is the actor, though only through the agency of the nerves and muscles. The same is true of the Father, Who therefore is Force, though not Power. It is Power that carries out the intentions of Force. I know this sounds like a lot of word-juggling, but it is important, as it is tied up with the statement of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita: “He who sees the inaction that is in action, and the action that is in inaction, is wise indeed” (Bhagavad Gita 4:18). In contemporary Indian thought it is usually considered that Brahman is absolutely inactive and uninvolved in the evolving universe. Some even believe that Brahman is so absolutely transcendent that He may not even know the universe exists! Jesus wanted to explain to Lamaas, as they walked in the plaza of the great temple of Jagannath (Krishna) in Puri, the correct perspective on these things. For even at the time of Jesus the vision of the Vedic sages had become eroded through the philosophizing and interpretation of the ignorant and needed a refurbishing and restoration (which was no more palatable to the religious authorities in India than their equivalents in Israel–both reacted murderously).


Power is a manifestation of Force, a result of the Divine Will; yet “it is but naught; it is illusion, nothing more.” This concept is current in Indian thought today: the dynamic power (Mahashakti, Prakriti) Jesus calls the Holy Breath is the substance of which all “things” are made; yet it is ultimately illusory. A common misperception regarding the state of illumined teachers such as Shankara when they say that creation–and Power Itself–is “unreal” is that it is non-existent. This is erroneous. A hallucination is unreal, but it truly exists in the mind of the hallucinator. Even a thought exists, even if it is confined to the mind. It is an impulse in the energy field that is the mind. A misperception exists in the same way. So to say a thing is unreal is the not the same as saying it does not exist. An artificial flower is unreal, but it exists. As Krishna also says, it is great wisdom to know the meaning of “is” and “is not.”


What is real, and what is unreal? Jesus presents the way to distinguish them when He says: “Force changes not, but power changes as the ethers change.” God in His essential nature as the Father is unchanging, but the Holy Breath constantly changes in its manifestations as the ethers–the building blocks of matter such as the atomic particles–join and disjoin in ever-changing and ever-varying recombinations.

Will and manifestation

Force is the will of God and is omnipotent, and power is that will in manifest, directed by the Breath. Divine Intelligence and Divine Energy bring about creation and its evolution. By the will of the Father, the illumination of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit, all things consist. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

Whatever we experience outwardly are rays of the Power of God, the Holy Breath. There is power in the winds, a power in the waves, a power in the lightning’s stroke, a power in the human arm, a power in the eye.

A hierarchy of energies

Just as electricity passes through a series of transformers that step down the force of the current so it can power a light bulb without exploding it or burning it out, in the same way there is a chain of ever-lessening energies behind all that appears in the material world. “The ethers cause these powers to be, and thought of Elohim, of angel, man, or other thinking thing, directs the force.” Here we have four steps: 1) will, 2) thought, 3) power, and 4) ethers. Although God is at the top of the chain, the seven Elohim, angels, and even human beings participate in the movings of the ethers and the powers. This is what psychosomatic disease–and its reverse, psychosomatic health–are about; why when we see attractive food the digestive juices start to flow, and when we encounter fear-inspiring or unpleasant situations the glands start excreting appropriate hormones.
“Thinking makes it so” is a reality for those who have opened the inner potencies of their minds. Mastery is the lesson we learn as we pass from form to form (See Robe of Light). And thought is the instrument of our mastery–not random mind chatter, but real Thought: extensions of our will empowered by our spiritual evolution.

The end of power

When it has done its work the power is no more. We climb a stair until we get to the top. Then we get off and leave it behind. The same is true of power, but with a difference: the stair remains when we abandon it, but in the case of our personal evolution, the power “is no more” because it becomes transmuted and resolved back into Force–into Divine Consciousness.

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

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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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