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The Odes of Solomon: 29

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

The Lord is my hope, I shall not be confused in him.
For according to his praise he made me, and according to his goodness even so he gave unto me.
And according to his mercies he exalted me, and according to his excellent beauty he lifted me up.
And he brought me up out of the depths of Sheol, and from the mouth of death he drew me.
And I laid my enemies low, and he justified me by his grace.
For I believed in the Lord’s Messiah, and it appeared to me that he is the Lord.
And he showed me his sign, and led me in his light,
And he gave me the rod of his power, that I might subdue the thoughts of the Gentiles, and humble the power of the mighty.
To make war by his Word, and to take victory by his power.
And the Lord overthrew my enemy by his Word, and he became like the stubble which the wind carries away.
And I gave praise to the Most High, because he exalted his servant and the son of his handmaid. Alleluia.

The Lord is my hope, I shall not be confused in him. For according to his praise he made me, and according to his goodness even so he gave unto me. And according to his mercies he exalted me, and according to his excellent beauty he lifted me up.

Certainly the most direct means of self-evolution is the practice of yoga meditation, yet there are certain psychological elements that purify and align the intelligence (buddhi) and bring about ascent in consciousness. According to the odist they are:

Praise of God.

This really means two things: the awareness of the praiseworthiness of God and the actual praising of God. If a person will fix his mind on the wondrous actions of God in relation to mankind in general and himself in particular he cannot help but react with wonder and love. Then if he praises God in his heart, either in words or in a movement of consciousness reaching upward though wordlessly toward God, if it is not an emotion, but an authentic elevation of consciousness, divine contact will be made to some degree. This is why in the eucharistic liturgies of East and West as one point the priest calls out: “Lift up your hearts!” and the people answer: “We have, unto the Lord!” Ultimately we give glory and praise to God by our life which is so ordered that we will the more quickly attain realization.

Goodness of God.

Realization of the abundant providence of God in our life evokes a response of loving gratitude and awareness of a blessed debt: the obligation to seek God above all else.

Mercy of God.

The mercy of God is the proof of the love of God for us, especially by his aspect as Divine Mother. This produces in us a keen awareness of being a son of God, and inspires us to turn the potential into an actuality.

Exaltation by God.

Certainly anyone with a significant degree of spiritual awakening will be aware that God has been drawing us upward to him through countless births, that he is transmuting us through the process of rebirth. “I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither” (Revelation 4:1).

Beauty of God.

In the Gloria we sing: “We give thanks to thee for thy great glory.” All creation and the process of universal evolution is a manifestation of the divine glory. The inner side of things is even more glorious than the outer. Therefore we are stimulated to turn inward and experience that inner glory. This is true “orthodoxy,” for the word is derived from orthodoxia, which means “right glory.” To be orthodox is not to subscribe to formulated verbal dogmas or even pious practices. Rather, orthodoxy is manifesting the glory of God in our lives, a revelation of the truth that “the Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings” (Bhagavad Gita 18:61). Some Eastern Christians translate orthodox as “right praising.” This is not literally accurate, but certainly spiritually correct.

All these qualities listed will be inspired and developed in us as the divine image and likeness that is part of our essential being from eternity is evoked by our dedicated search for God: by our immersion in yoga and the yoga life.

And he brought me up out of the depths of Sheol, and from the mouth of death he drew me.

Sheol is a Hebrew word that means grave, pit and the lower or underworld. It is the realm of the dead. Here the odist uses Sheol to represent the realm of spiritual death, the realm of ignorance. “The mouth of death” is the state of being unconscious of both our own spirit and the infinite spirit, God. Unaware of it though we may have been, God has been drawing us up from the pit, from the spiritual grave, from the realm of unconsciousness that is spiritual death, into the realm of consciousness, of life in the dawning light of God’s revelation to us.

And I laid my enemies low, and he justified me by his grace.

When life truly manifests in us we become aware of that which darkens us and that which enlightens us. Choosing light over darkness, we then banish from our life and thought all that is inimical to our theosis or deification, to our life in Christ as a Christ. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God” (I John 3:2).

For I believed in the Lord’s Messiah, and it appeared to me that he is the Lord.

This means that when we have faith in the Messiah, in our Lord Jesus, we will be aware that he spoke the truth when he said: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). “He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.” (John 12:44-45).

Those who are one with God are God in an ineffable sense that only they can comprehend. They are not infinite God, but they are finite god. When we see them we see the One of whom they are a part.

And he showed me his sign, and led me in his light, and he gave me the rod of his power, that I might subdue the thoughts of the Gentiles, and humble the power of the mighty. To make war by his Word, and to take victory by his power.

Here we have a picture of the process of spiritual victory every much in the style of the Bhagavad Gita in that it shows the sequence of steps in the process.

He showed me his sign.

In Ode Twenty-Seven we saw that “the expansion of my hands, is his sign.” In Ode Forty-Two it is plainer: “I stretched out my hands and approached my Lord, for the stretching out of my hands is his sign. And my expansion is the upright Cross, that was lifted up on the way of the Righteous One.” So the sign is both the extension of our minds (“hands”) to God and the Cross. The Cross is both the visual form and the gesture of power known as the Sign of the Cross.

And led me in his light.

“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek…. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light” (Psalms 27:8; 36:9). Our eyes are opened and we walk in the inner light that is the Light of Spirit. We live unto and through God.

And he gave me the rod of his power, that I might subdue the thoughts of the Gentiles, and humble the power of the mighty. To make war by his Word, and to take victory by his power.

The Divine Word is the vehicle, the rod of God’s power. Those who use it rightly will subdue all foolish, negative and destructive thoughts arising from the unruly part of their nature, “the Gentiles.” No matter how powerful our opponents, the Word will vanquish and humble them. For we must engage in spiritual combat, in spiritual warfare with the Word as our invincible weapon. When by the Word we seize the mastery of all that opposes us and the will of God for us, we shall have taken to ourselves the victory. What is that Word? Soham. (That is why I keep referring you to Soham Yoga!)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).

In the two oldest Upanishads, the Brihadaranyaka and the Isha Upanishad, we find this: “In the beginning this (world) was only the Self [Atman], in the shape of a person [purusha]. Looking around he saw nothing else than the Self. He first said, I am Soham” (Brihadaranyaka Upanisahd 1:4:1). And in the Isha Upanishad, verse sixteen, the Self says: “I am Soham.”

Thus, Soham is the “first speaking” of the Absolute Itself: the expression of the knowledge and knowing of the Self. We, too, are Soham. (Again, see Soham Yoga, the Yoga of the Self.)

Those who invoke that Word will find that its inmost essence is Life and Light in which they will ascend to infinite Life and Light, to union with God.

And the Lord overthrew my enemy by his Word, and he became like the stubble which the wind carries away.

By putting forth our will in invoking the Word we conquer all that hinders us from ascending in the Light. Yet, since it is the Word and Power that are God, it is really God as the Word who overthrows our enemies, consumes all that is not God and sweeps it away from us. It is through God as Word that we are freed and transformed.

And I gave praise to the Most High, because he exalted his servant and the son of his handmaid.

Therefore we praise God and his manifestation as the Word through which we will have been lifted up and crowned with divine sonship, with Christhood.

Read the next article in The Odes of Solomon for Awakening: The Odes of Solomon: 30

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