- Original Christianity - The Odes of Solomon for Awakening - The Odes of Solomon: 28

The Odes of Solomon: 28

Virgin OransA continuation of the Commentary on the Odes of Solomon for Awakening.

As the wings of doves over their nestlings, and the mouths of their nestlings towards their mouths, so also are the wings of the Spirit over my heart.
My heart is delighted and leaps up, like the babe who leaps up in the womb of his mother.
I believed and because of this I was at rest, for faithful is he in whom I have believed.
Blessing he has blessed me, and my head is with him.
And the sword shall not divide me from him, nor the scimitar.
For I was ready before destruction came, and I have been set on his immortal wings.
And deathless life embraced me, and kissed me.
And from that (life) is the Spirit within me, and it cannot die because it is life.
Those who saw me were amazed, because I was persecuted.
And they thought that I had been swallowed up, for I seemed to them as one of the lost.
But my oppression became my salvation.
And I was their scorn, because there was no jealousy in me.
Because I did good to every man I was hated.
And they surrounded me like mad dogs, who ignorantly attack their masters.
For their thought is corrupt, and their mind devious.
But I was carrying water in my right hand, and their bitterness I endured by my sweetness.
And I did not perish for I was not their brother, nor was my birth like theirs.
And they sought for my death and could not (accomplish it), for I was older than their memory, and vainly did they cast lots against me.
And those who came after me, sought in vain to destroy the memorial of him who was before them.
For the mind of the Most High cannot be anticipated, and his heart is superior to all wisdom. Alleluia.

As the wings of doves over their nestlings, and the mouths of their nestlings towards their mouths, so also are the wings of the Spirit over my heart.

This is expressing the intense attention of God for the devotee and of the devotee for God. God the Infinite is completely intent on us, and if we are wise, we the finite will be completely intent on him. That is why David sang: “Deep calls unto deep” (Psalms 42:7). “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God” (Psalms 123:2). “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek” (Psalms 27:8). And his son, Solomon wrote: “my beloved is mine, and I am his” (Song of Solomon 2:16).

Total absorption in God is the secret of the saints and angels.

My heart is delighted and leaps up, like the babe who leaps up in the womb of his mother.

Obviously the odist is thinking of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary: “Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:39-44).

Rejoicing in the thought of God, in the awareness of his presence, we are the sons of God striving upward in the womb of the Cosmic Mother, the Holy Spirit, seeking for total union with him as our very Life. And the remembrance is not bitter medicine, but our joy. Outside of God there is no joy, no peace and no real meaning.

I believed and because of this I was at rest, for faithful is he in whom I have believed.

True faith is an intuition of the reality of God as our life. When this arises in us we have peace, for God alone is unchanging and ever-abiding. As Saint James wrote, God is “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:17-18). God intends that we should attain the fullest level of evolution within this cosmos, so we may then pass upward to a higher world and then an even higher, until we reach the eternal heart of God and merge with him forever.

Blessing he has blessed me, and my head is with him.

Through the blessing of God our minds should be ever with him. In fact, it is impossible without the blessing of God. So this should ever be our aspiration and our prayer with Isaiah: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

And the sword shall not divide me from him, nor the scimitar.

Neither persecution nor death itself can separate us from God. Separation from God is an illusion based on ignorance, but when we have spiritual experience through spiritual practice, especially meditation, then we will know our perpetual union with God.

For I was ready before destruction came, and I have been set on his immortal wings.

We often do not call upon God until troubles come, but the wise are well acquainted with God and link their consciousness with his before trouble comes. And then usually trouble will not come at all. For when we are established in divine awareness we will rest in him and will be lifted up and carried onward by means of his own power and light. With his wings we will fly to him.

And deathless life embraced me, and kissed me.

In the Song of Solomon, a purely mystical and symbolic writing, the first verse is: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” (Song of Solomon 1:2). What is the “mouth” of God? It is the divine power of communication between God and man; and the “kisses” of his mouth are the communications of his love for us: his blessing and imparting to us of his own Life and Light. So the odist tells us that he was enwrapped in the very Presence of God and his finite heart entered into communion with the infinite heart of God.

Jesus said: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The devotee of God lives on every communication which God bestows on him in direct heart-to-heart, spirit-to-spirit experience. God is love, therefore love for God is the life-cord that binds us to him, just as his love for us binds him to us. These are mystical matters and transcend the merely human experience. They are precursors of the experience of non-duality in which all such anthropomorphic thought and experience are dissolved.

Many insist that personal concepts of God are mistaken, but they are actually steps which the aspirant uses while still conditioned by relativity. They lead to higher and higher insights until the seeker’s own divinity is revealed and he experiences being one with the One Life. Then of course much that was essential to him in his journey to the Infinite is no longer relevant, but that does not mean it was not at one time completely legitimate. The mockers of a personal approach to God as a Person are spiritually childish and by their words betray that they are hardly on the way to Oneness with the All. Paramhansa Yogananda often spoke of such people as having philosophical indigestion: they have “swallowed” philosophical principles which they are not evolved enough to understand. So they choke and gag on them, and that comes out in the form of falsely sophisticated denials of basic truths.

And from that (life) is the Spirit within me, and it cannot die because it is life.

God is Life and Existence Itself; and being part of God, we are immortal just as is he. In fact, we are living spirits because he is Life and Spirit. God will never cease to exist or live, and neither shall we. For we are one.

Those who saw me were amazed, because I was persecuted.

There are those who insist that enlightened people cannot undergo suffering, oppression or persecution; that they should be able to defend themselves or wise enough to avoid those things. For example, on his second visit to England Swami Vivekananda was told that some people who were his most fervent admirers during his first visit had actually fled London so they would not have to meet him. The reason? They had heard that he had been seriously ill in India, and they declared that a Master could never become sick, therefore Vivekananda was a fraud. There are many variations on this theme, but it all distills down to the fact that such “seekers” are seeking someone to end all their troubles and vulnerabilities, so a person who undergoes such things himself cannot do that for them, so he cannot be a Master.

In the same way observers condemned Jesus when he was arrested, imprisoned and executed. Such things could not happen to a Son of God, they insisted, because they expected God to make sure it could never happen to them. Ego is always at the center.

And they thought that I had been swallowed up, for I seemed to them as one of the lost.

At the crucifixion, “they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God” (Matthew 27:39-43).

But my oppression became my salvation.

For through his persecutions Jesus conquered death and rose from the dead, Master of Life and Death, having turned death into life.

And I was their scorn, because there was no jealousy in me. Because I did good to every man I was hated.

Because he was not ruled by ego as they were, and because his only thought was to do good to as many as he possibly could, thinking not of himself but of others, he was despised and hated because his example revealed his enemies for what they were: irreligious, selfish and vicious.

And they surrounded me like mad dogs, who ignorantly attack their masters. For their thought is corrupt, and their mind devious.

Their own actions proved the truth of these words.

But I was carrying water in my right hand, and their bitterness I endured by my sweetness.

But Jesus possessed the water of life. “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Revelation 21:6). Furthermore, he was “carrying” it in his “right hand” in order to give it to others so they, too, could live forever. For he had promised: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his inmost being shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). This loving-kindness was the sweetness by which he endured and overturned their machinations.

And I did not perish for I was not their brother, nor was my birth like theirs.

“And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:23-29).

And they sought for my death and could not (accomplish it), for I was older than their memory, and vainly did they cast lots against me.

Jesus said to his enemies: “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

“They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father.

“Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

“Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

“Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

“Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

“Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:37-59).

And those who came after me, sought in vain to destroy the memorial of him who was before them.

The resurrection of Jesus and his departure from Israel (see The Christ of India) did not end the matter. For two thousand years continuously there have been those desperate to prove either that Jesus was a false prophet or that he never even existed. Either way they intend to destroy his memory. They and their successors never succeed, but they continue doing the work of their father, the devil. The Greek word translated “devil” is diabolos, which means “false accuser” and “slanderer.” Yet there are many who gladly hear them and adopt their lies for their own.

For the mind of the Most High cannot be anticipated, and his heart is superior to all wisdom.

Only those who have begun to rise in their spiritual evolution can begin to comprehend the ways and plans of God, because his ways and intentions are far beyond those of earthly consciousness. Therefore God counsels us:

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:6-12).

Read the next article in The Odes of Solomon for Awakening: The Odes of Solomon: 29

(Visited 7 time, 1 visit today)

The Odes of Solomon for Awakening links:

Notes on the Odes of Solomon by the translator

The text of the Odes of Solomon

The Odes of Solomon for Awakening:

(Visited 7 time, 1 visit today)