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The Odes of Solomon: 9

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

Open your ears, and I will speak to you.
Give me your souls, that I may also give you my soul.
The Word of the Lord and his good pleasures, the holy thought that he has thought concerning his Messiah.
For in the will of the Lord is your life, and his intention is everlasting life, and your perfection is incorruptible.
Be enriched in God the Father, and receive the intention of the Most High, be strong and redeemed by his grace.
For I proclaim peace to you his holy ones, so that none of those who hear may fall in battle.
And that also those who have known him may not perish, and that those who receive him may not be ashamed.
An everlasting crown is Truth, blessed are they who set it on their head.
A stone of great price it is, and the wars were on account of the crown.
And righteousness hath taken it, and hath given it to you.
Put on the crown in the true covenant of the Lord, and all those who have conquered shall be inscribed in his book.
For their book is the victory which is yours, and she sees you before her and wills that you shall be saved. Alleluia.

The prevailing view in nearly all religion is that human beings are helpless, pathetic messes, if not outright evil, and that unless there is an intervention through the advent of a “savior,” whether God, god, prophet, avatar, guru, astral master or astrological configuration, there is simply no hope for them whatever unless they accept and follow said savior. Modern Christianity is a major advocate of this doctrine, but it was not always so, as this and other Odes demonstrate. Having spent over half of his life in India, Jesus brought back to his homeland the eternal verities of Eternal (Sanatana) Dharma.

One of the main principles of Eternal Dharma is the total responsibility of the individual for his present status and condition in this world: karma. We are not really helpless, but we think we are and so we continue in that illusory state. Jesus, like the primeval sages of India, sounded the call of the spirit to awakening and freedom.

Open your ears, and I will speak to you.

How is it we have the power to open our deaf ears? Because we used the same power to close them. No one else did this to us; it all lies at our door. This fact was not unknown to Jesus even in previous lives. For example, as Isaiah, “the Messianic Prophet,” he relayed the words of God: “Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver?” (Isaiah 50:2). Then he explained their meaning to his hearers: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you” (Isaiah 59:1-2). God has not turned from us or hidden his face; we have separated our consciousness from God and blinded our inner eyes to his omnipresence. Lady Macbeth was quite wrong when she said: “What’s done cannot be undone.” Duality being a fundamental condition of all relative existence, what comes will most certainly go and what has been done will indeed be undone: we alone decide whether it will be sooner or later. We did it and we can undo it.

Every aspect of our existence in this world is according to our will. We can say, “Oh, why doesn’t God take me now like Elijah?” But the reason lies in our will, not God’s. Two friends of mine had some truly precocious grandchildren, and at the beginning of December one year Anne said to Elwood: “I told them you would write a Christmas play for them and we would record it and send it to them.” Elwood was amazed and chagrined, but he put his mind to it and wrote a two-person play about the birth of Jesus. Elwood was one of the shepherds the angel told about Jesus’ birth, and Anne was an angel who helped him go into Bethlehem and find where the Child was. At the end, the angel tells the shepherd she must return to heaven, and he says: “How I wish I could go to heaven!” She asks: “Do you really want to go to heaven?” He says, “Of course,” and there comes a great whooshing sound and that is the end of the play. He really wanted it, so he went there. Only intensity of desire had been lacking, and once he had it… whoosh!!!

Usually we need to be shown the way to open our ears, and that is what yoga is all about.

Give me your souls, that I may also give you my soul.

James Charlesworth translates: “Give me yourself, so that I may also give you myself.” Just this morning I was reading in Hilton’s Ladder of Perfection this very thing: that if we give ourselves to God, God will give himself to us. Long before either the Odes or the Ladder were written, Patanjali said that the method to attain supreme consciousness was Ishwarapranidhana, the giving of our life to God. Again, we have the power to do so because ages ago we “separated” ourselves from God and claimed that our life really was our life, and no one else’s. So, trying desperately to live out such a colossal folly, we have been miserable and subject to continual birth and dying with all their attendant suffering, and it will stay that way until we stop the charade and reunite our consciousness (spirit) with God.

A fully liberated (perfected) being is one with God in full awareness and capacity. Jesus not only said: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30), he further said: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). Nor did he intend to claim for himself a unique status, for in the closing hours of his life he prayed: “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21).

The Word of the Lord and his good pleasures, the holy thought that he has thought concerning his Messiah. For in the will of the Lord is your life, and his intention is everlasting life, and your perfection is incorruptible.

This is a very literal translation and sounds like it just got put in here at random, but in Aramaic it is perfectly all right. It is a statement regarding the previous two sentences about the opening of our ears by us and the giving of ourselves to God.

“Word” in ancient usage commonly meant intention, purpose and will to accomplish that intention or purpose. So our spiritual awareness and dedication to God is the fundament intention and will of God. That is why the universe exists: for our spiritual perfection. God delights in our progress toward total, conscious union with him. The Messiah, the Christ, is the Only-Begotten Son of God: God within all creation as the guiding Intelligence that brings it to fruition in the revelation of the sons of God such as Jesus, who is a Christ, not the Christ. “For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.… Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:19, 21). “For in the will of the Lord is your life, and his intention is everlasting life, and your perfection is incorruptible.” What a glorious vision God has of man’s eternal destiny. May we always keep that in mind.

Be enriched in God the Father, and receive the intention of the Most High, be strong and redeemed by his grace. For I proclaim peace to you his holy ones, so that none of those who hear may fall in battle.

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). Saint Paul speaks of the necessity of “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,… That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.… unto me,… is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.… that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 1:18; 2:7; 3:8, 16). For we, too, are intended to be Christs, revelations of God, just as was Jesus.

“For I proclaim peace to you his holy ones, so that none of those who hear may fall in battle. And that also those who have known him may not perish, and that those who receive him may not be ashamed.” Since it is the express will and purpose of God, what hinders our attainment of Christhood? Only our lack of understanding and will.

An everlasting crown is Truth, blessed are they who set it on their head.

The greatest philosopher of India, Shankaracharya, was one asked: “What is truth [satya],” and he replied: “There is no such thing as truth; there is only the True [Sat],” meaning that God is the only absolute Truth. It is not a philosophy or dogmatic system that is the crown of spirit, but God himself. That is why the very first Ode of Solomon is:

The Lord is on my head like a crown, and I shall not be without him.
They wove for me a crown of truth, and it caused Thy branches to bud in me.
For it is not like a withered crown which buddeth not.
But Thou livest upon my head, and Thou hast blossomed upon me.
Thy fruits are full-grown and perfect; they are full of Thy salvation. Alleluia.

A stone of great price it is, and the wars were on account of the crown.

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46). All the struggles and spiritual warfare of the saints against ignorance and sin were to win the crown of God Consciousness which is Divinity Itself.

And righteousness hath taken it, and hath given it to you.

True righteousness (“rightness”) is perfect conformity to God, the erasure of all in us that is not of God. Union with God is its “gift” to us. Therefore: “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:3).

Put on the crown in the true covenant of the Lord, and all those who have conquered shall be inscribed in his book.

The true covenant of the Lord is revealed in the previous verses of this Ode. It is not simple: it requires conquering and banishing all that conflicts with God Consciousness, but its reward is inscription in the Book of Life. (See Philippians 4:3 and Revelation 21:27.)

For their book is the victory which is yours, and she sees you before her and wills that you shall be saved.

Because God wills it we can say that victory is ours even now, we need only put forth our entire strength and will to “lay hold on eternal life” (I Timothy 6:12).

“She” is the Holy Spirit, the deifying Power of God, the Mother that brings all her children, all the sons of God, to birth in the heavenly Kingdom. This is salvation in God, the Eternal Kingdom.

Read the next article in The Odes of Solomon for Awakening: The Odes of Solomon: 10

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Notes on the Odes of Solomon by the translator

The text of the Odes of Solomon

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