Here beginneth the book of the Birth of the Blessed Mary and the Infancy of the Saviour. Written in Hebrew by the Blessed Evangelist Matthew, and translated into Latin by the Blessed Presbyter Jerome.
Saint Jerome was an extremely scrupulous scholar, so if he considered the original to have been written by Saint Matthew the Evangelist, then it very likely was.
In those days there was a man in Jerusalem, Joachim by name, of the tribe of Judah. He was the shepherd of his own sheep, fearing the Lord in integrity and singleness of heart. He had no other care than that of his herds, from the produce of which he supplied with food all that feared God, offering double gifts in the fear of God to all who laboured in doctrine, and who ministered unto Him. Therefore his lambs, and his sheep, and his wool, and all things whatsoever he possessed, he used to divide into three portions: one he gave to the orphans, the widows, the strangers, and the poor; the second to those that worshipped God; and the third he kept for himself and all his house.
Saint Joachims generosity to God and man is certainly a key to his character and the major factor in his being chosen to be the father of the Virgin and the grandfather of Christ. The positive karma he created for himself by his generosity was tremendous. Being an Essene, he lived very simply. An interesting trait of the Essenes was their custom of wearing their clothes and patching them until they were beyond all repair. Such was their frugality.
In considering the ways of Saint Joachim I am reminded of Jagannath Roy, a man I met in India. Mister Roy was from one of the richest families in India. All of his relatives were charitable, and his family had set up the largest charitable trust in the subcontinent. Mister Roy had only two changes of clothes of the most simple kind. He always traveled third class on the train. Once when a friend of mine asked him: Mister Roy, why dont you spend any of your money on yourself? he answered: If I spend it on myself, how will I give it to others? And his humility was as great as his charity. Saint Joachim was of this kind. He would have to be, considering his destiny as the ancestor of Christ. Again: like begets like.
And as he did so, the Lord multiplied to him his herds, so that there was no man like him in the people of Israel.
This now he began to do when he was fifteen years old.
From thisand other sourceswe know that not only was the Virgin Mary famous throughout all of Israel for Her spiritual status, She was from one of the richest families in Israel.
And at the age of twenty he took to wife Anna, the daughter of Achar, of his own tribe, that is, of the tribe of Judah, of the family of David. And though they had lived together for twenty years, he had by her neither sons nor daughters. Only they vowed that, if God should give them offspring, they would devote it to the service of the temple; and because of this, they were wont to go to the temple of the Lord at each of the yearly festivals.
According to visionary-stigmatist Catherine Emmerich the Temple they usually went to was the Temple of the Essenes on Mount Carmel, not the Temple in Jerusalem. But this incident took place in Jerusalem.
And it happened that, in the time of the feast, among those who were offering incense to the Lord, Joachim stood getting ready his gifts in the sight of the Lord. And the priest, Ruben by name, coming to him, said: It is not lawful for thee to stand among those who are doing sacrifice to God, because God has not blessed thee so as to give thee seed in Israel.
Being therefore put to shame in the sight of the people, he retired from the temple of the Lord weeping, and did not return to his house, but went to his flocks, taking with him his shepherds into the mountains to a far country, so that for five months his wife Anna could hear no tidings of him. And she prayed with tears, saying: O Lord, most mighty God of Israel, why hast Thou, seeing that already Thou hast not given me children, taken from me my husband also? Behold, now five months that I have not seen my husband; and I know not where he is tarrying; nor, if I knew him to be dead, could I bury him. And while she wept excessively, she entered into the court of His house; and she fell on her face in prayer, and poured out her supplications before the Lord.
After this, rising from her prayer, and lifting her eyes to God, she saw a sparrows nest in a laurel tree, and uttered her voice to the Lord.
This account makes it more clear why the other narrative we have considered said that Anna lamented her widowhood and her barrenness.
After this, rising from her prayer, and lifting her eyes to God, she saw a sparrows nest in a laurel tree, and uttered her voice to the Lord with groaning and said: Lord God Almighty, who hast given offspring to every creature, to beasts wild and tame, to serpents, and birds, and fishes, and they all rejoice over their young ones, Thou hast shut out me alone from the gift of Thy benignity. For Thou, O God, knowest my heart, that from the beginning of my married life I have vowed that, if Thou, O God, shouldst give me son or daughter, I would offer them to Thee in Thy holy temple.
And while she was thus speaking, suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared before her, saying: Be not afraid, Anna, for there is seed for thee in the decree of God; and all generations even to the end shall wonder at that which shall be born of thee.
Despite the prophets of its doom and its own foolish ways, it does appear that Christianity shall endure as long as the human race. Of course there are indications in various prophecies that humanity may not last as long as the earth. But that is not a subject for consideration now.
And when he had thus spoken, he vanished out of her sight. But she, in fear and dread because she had seen such a sight, and heard such words, at length went into her bed-chamber, and threw herself on the bed as if dead. And for a whole day and night she remained in great trembling and in prayer. And after these things she called to her servant, and said to her: Dost thou see me deceived in my widowhood and in great perplexity, and hast thou been unwilling to come in to me? Then she, with a slight murmur, thus answered and said: If God hath shut up thy womb, and hath taken away thy husband from thee, what can I do for thee? And when Anna heard this, she lifted up her voice, and wept aloud.
At the same time there appeared [an angel in the guise of] a young man on the mountains to Joachim while he was feeding his flocks, and said to him: Why dost thou not return to thy wife? And Joachim said: I have had her for twenty years, and it has not been the will of God to give me children by her. I have been driven with shame and reproach from the temple of the Lord: why should I go back to her, when I have been once cast off and utterly despised? Here then will I remain with my sheep; and so long as in this life God is willing to grant me light, I shall willingly, by the hands of my servants, bestow their portions upon the poor, and the orphans, and those that fear God. And when he had thus spoken, the young man said to him: I am an angel of the Lord, and I have today appeared to thy wife when she was weeping and praying, and have consoled her; and know that she has conceived a daughter from thy seed, and thou in thy ignorance of this hast left her.
The correct translation should be: She shall conceive, for the conception came later. Later on we will learn a much different meaning for the term seed in this particular conception.
She will be in the temple of God, and the Holy Spirit shall abide in her; and her blessedness shall be greater than that of all the holy women, so that no one can say that any before her has been like her, or that any after her in this world will be so.
The Holy Spirit abode in Mary because She was one with the Holy Spirit Motherbeing an incarnation of Her.
At that time the Holy Spirit only rested upon the holy ones. They were incapable of being infused with the Divine Spirit. Therefore Jesus said to the Apostles that the Holy Spirit was with them but would after Pentecost be in them.1 But from birth the Virgin was the living vessel of the Holy Spirit. She is not to be considered only a saint, but an incarnation of the Power that makes the saints what they are. So great is Her holiness that the Byzantine Orthodox Christians sing to Her every day: It is truly meet and right to bless Thee, the ever-blessed and all pure Virgin and Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the SeraphimThou Who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, Thee the true Theotokos we magnify. She is not as glorious as a million times a million Seraphimthe highest and most glorious of all relative beingsShe is beyond comparison more glorious than they. For She is not a relative being but a partaker of the Divine Absolute, having ascended to and received that status before being born as Mary. In Her, as in Her Son, heaven and earth are united.
Therefore go down from the mountains and return to thy wife, whom thou wilt find with child. For God hath raised up seed in her, and for this thou wilt give God thanks; and her seed shall be blessed, and she herself shall be blessed, and shall be made the mother of eternal blessing.
Then Joachim adored the angel, and said to him: If I have found favour in thy sight, sit for a little in my tent, and bless thy servant.
It was considered that those who accepted any charity, including food or drink, were blessing the giver, for by accepting the charity they were helping in the creation of good karma for the donor. Thus even beggars were considered important people. Only the Reformation with its work ethic taught Christians to despise the poor. Once in India (which is very like the Christian world before the Protestant Deformation) I was present at the feeding of a great number of beggars. At the end they all came in a line and were given clothing and money. The donor stood and saluted each one, saying Thank you as they passed by. This is the psychology of the true Christian as well as a true Hindu, Buddhist, Moslem, or Jew.
And the angel said to him: Do not say servant, but fellow-servant; for we are the servants of one Master. But my food is invisible, and my drink cannot be seen by a mortal.
Here we see the humility of the angels, which is remarkable when we consider their evolutionary status as compared with that of human beings.
That the angels do eat and drink is indicated here, though their food is astral in nature.2 Every form of relative existence is nourished from an outside source in some way.
Therefore thou oughtest not to ask me to enter thy tent; but if thou wast about to give me anything, offer it as a burnt-offering to the Lord. Then Joachim took a lamb without spot, and said to the angel: I should not have dared to offer a burnt-offering to the Lord, unless thy command had given me the priests right of offering.
Not being of the tribe of Levi, Saint Joachim could not function as a priest. But at the command of an angel he could, for the word of an angel is the word of God.
Since Essenes would not kill animals and abhorred animal sacrifice, how could Joachim offer a lamb as a burnt offering? By original radionics. He took frankincense, flour, and oil and formed a small replica of the lamb and put some of the lambs hair and spittle on it. (Yes, just like the legendary Voodoo doll!) Then he burned the effigy and either set the lamb free to roam or else sent it to Jerusalem to live in the service of the Temple.
And the angel said to him: I should not have invited thee to offer unless I had known the will of the Lord. And when Joachim was offering the sacrifice to God, the angel and the odor of the sacrifice went together straight up to heaven with the smoke.
Fire is a potent occult force, for much of what it consumes is transferred in the form of energy to the astral plane. Fire is a living gate to astral worlds, which is one of the reasons we keep lamps burning before holy images and on altars. Wherever a flame exists, there the visible and invisible worlds meetthough most people do not know how to use the flame for communication between the two.
Incense is another form of fire offering, and when the smoke of the frankincense that was in the lamb-figure arose, the angel used the smoke as a bridge to pass over into the angelic worldas angels can use the smoke of consecrated incense to pass into this world as an active and not a merely spiritual presence. Thus incense is a major part of effective worshipwhich in its essence is communication and interchange with the higher worlds.
In the Holy Eucharist of the Coptic Orthodox Church water is offered to the Angel of Oblation as he rises back to stand before the Throne of God. How much we modern sophisticateswho are really ignoramuseshave to learn about the nature and reality of things!
Then Joachim, throwing himself on his face, lay in prayer from the sixth hour of the day even until evening.
That is, from noon till sunset he was in a state of divine absorptionperhaps even himself having passed in mind for some time into the subtler regions.
And his lads and hired servants who were with him saw him, and not knowing why he was lying down, thought that he was dead; and they came to him, and with difficulty raised him from the ground. And when he recounted to them the vision of the angel, they were struck with great fear and wonder, and advised him to accomplish the vision of the angel without delay, and to go back with all haste to his wife.
And when Joachim was turning over in his mind whether he should go back or not, it happened that he was overpowered by a deep sleep.
Our minds are capable of shifting into an infinite variety of states of awareness, much as a radio can be tuned to many different frequencies. Some of these states, however, are so rarefied that only those with a high degree of mastery can function in them while remaining physically conscious. For others, at the onset of those states the physical consciousness is phased out and they fall asleep, thus releasing their subtle mental mechanisms for the ascent into the heights of consciousness. Although Saint Joachim was a mystic and able to see angelic apparitions when they descended to the earth plane, he was not able to maintain normal consciousness and at the same time ascend to the angelic realm. So he was overpowered by a deep sleep.
This is why in meditation, and even sometimes in worship, we become drowsy and may even fall asleep. Another manifestation is to remain awake but feel disoriented or spaced out. Usually we feel disgusted with ourselves when these things happen, but it is actually a positive sign. Of course we need to work on acclimatizing ourselves to those states our minds are reaching up to so eventually we will not become sleepy or disoriented at such times.
A related subject should be mentioned here. Be sure to immediately record any significant dreams upon awakening. (Do the same with results of divination, as well.) This is because your mind is not at all in a usual state, and no matter how vivid your memory may be upon awakening so that you feel you could not possibly forget it, you will, eventually. When doing divination we do not feel at all a shift in consciousness, but still the shift does occur, and it is possible to forget the results of divination in a matter of minutes. Also, it is not good to spend long periods of time in divination unless we are very seasoned to it, for afterwards we can experience marked disorientation that is quite unpleasant and can last for some time. This is because we have stayed too long in the rarefied psychic atmosphere. No harm is done, but it can be both annoying and worrisome.
And behold, the angel who had already appeared to him when awake, appeared to him in his sleep, saying: I am the angel appointed by God as thy guardian: go down with confidence, and return to Anna, because the deeds of mercy which thou and thy wife Anna have done have been told in the presence of the Most High; and to you will God give such fruit as no prophet or saint has ever had from the beginning, or ever will have.
As already discussed, the charity of Joachim and Anna was the major factor in the shaping of their spiritual destiny. It was their mercifulness and their generosity which won them the capacity to be the parents of the Virgin Mary.
The angel says that their child shall be such as has never been born or ever will be. Considering that the child was Eve, this would be true from that standpoint alone, but it is a spiritual statement, as well.
And when Joachim awoke out of his sleep, he called all his herdsmen to him, and told them his dream. And they worshipped the Lord, and said to him: See that thou no further despise the words of the angel. But rise and let us go hence, and return at a quiet pace, feeding our flocks.
And when, after thirty days occupied in going back, they were now near at hand, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Anna, who was standing and praying, and said: Go to the gate which is called Golden, and meet thy husband in the way, for today he will come to thee.
Saint Anna had gone up to Jerusalem at the direction of the angel, and was waiting there. The gate which is called Golden is that which was usually called the Beautiful Gate. It is mentioned in Acts 3:2.
She therefore went towards him in haste with her maidens, and praying to the Lord, she stood a long time in the gate waiting for him.
And when she was wearied with long waiting, she lifted up her eyes and saw Joachim afar off coming with his flocks; and she ran to him and hung on his neck, giving thanks to God, and saying: I was a widow, and behold now I am not so; I was barren, and behold I have now conceived. And so they worshipped the Lord, and went into their own house. And when this was heard of, there was great joy among all their neighbors and acquaintances, so that the whole land of Israel congratulated them.
After these things, her nine months being fulfilled, Anna brought forth a daughter, and called her Mary. And having weaned her in her third year, Joachim, and Anna his wife, went together to the temple of the Lord to offer sacrifices to God, and placed the infant, Mary by name, in the community of virgins, in which the virgins remained day and night praising God. And when she was put down before the doors of the temple, she went up the fifteen steps so swiftly, that she did not look back at all; nor did she, as children are wont to do, seek for her parents. Whereupon her parents, each of them anxiously seeking for the child, were both alike astonished, until they found her in the temple.
The fifteen steps were fifteen flights of stairs by which Mount Zion was approached. As each flight was ascended, a special Psalm was sung or recited. These are the Songs of Degrees, Psalms 120-134. It would be remarkable for a child of three to climb them naturally, unaided. But the Virgin simply went from the bottom step to the top in an instant, annihilating space. Her parents were naturally bewildered at Her disappearance, and were even more so when they found Her already in the Temple when they came to the top of the steps. This event was a manifestation of Her perfect mastery over creationnot through a mere psychic ability but from being established in the divine consciousness which transcends time and space. I am reminded of the words of a great Master who, when asked if he believed in astrology, replied: I play soccer with the stars!
And the priests of the temple themselves wondered.
Then Anna, filled with the Holy Spirit, said before them all: The Lord Almighty, the God of Hosts, being mindful of His word, hath visited His people with a good and holy visitation, to bring down the hearts of the Gentiles who were rising against us, and turn them to Himself. He hath opened His ears to our prayers: He hath kept away from us the exulting of all our enemies. The barren hath become a mother, and hath brought forth exultation and gladness to Israel. Behold the gifts which I have brought to offer to my Lord, and mine enemies have not been able to hinder me. For God hath turned their hearts to me, and Himself hath given me everlasting joy.
Whatever the rest of the Hebrews may have thought about it, among the Essenes the women were prophetesses and spoke their revelations openly. This practice was carried over into the first Christian communities of the Mediterranean world where at least one prophetess was perpetually on call.
And Mary was held in admiration by all the people of Israel; and when she was three years old, she walked with a step so mature, she spoke so perfectly, and spent her time so assiduously in the praises of God, that all were astonished at her, and wondered; and she was not reckoned a young infant, but as it were a grown-up person of thirty years old.
And Mary was held in admiration by all the people of Israel. What more need be said? She and Her Son were renowned when He appeared at the Jordan to be baptized by John.
The Virgins walk and speech were completely adult because She was in possession of total consciousnessnot mere human adult awareness. In icons of the Virgin as a child She is painted as a tiny adult to convey this fact. She was fully conscious and fully in control from the moment of conception, what to speak of birth. So She did not go through the limitations of childhood as others would. Many times we read in the lives of saints that as children they were more like adults and did not care for childish things. This is because of their developed consciousness from previous lives which they had brought over with them.
She was so constant in prayer, and her appearance was so beautiful and glorious, that scarcely any one could look into her face. And she occupied herself constantly with her wool-work, so that she in her tender years could do all that old women were not able to do. And this was the order that she had set for herself: From the morning to the third hour she remained in prayer.
From the third to the ninth she was occupied with her weaving.
And from the ninth she again applied herself to prayer. She did not retire from praying until there appeared to her the angel of the Lord, from whose hand she used to received food.
She did not eat until after the third hour in the afternoon, which was going to be the hour of the birth of Christ and also of His crucifixion.
And thus she became more and more perfect in the work of God.
As She ate more and more of the food of Paradise the whole complex of Her bodieswhich She had inherited from Joachim and Annawas changed.
Then, when the older virgins rested from the praises of God, she did not rest at all; so that in the praises and vigils of God none were found before her, no one more learned in the wisdom of the law of God, more lowly in humility, more elegant in singing, more perfect in all virtue. She was indeed steadfast, immovable, unchangeable, and daily advancing to perfection. No one saw her angry, nor heard her speaking evil. All her speech was so full of grace, that her God was acknowledged to be in her tongue. She was always engaged in prayer and in searching the law, and she was anxious lest by any word of hers she should sin with regard to her companions. Then she was afraid lest in her laughter, or the sound of her beautiful voice, she should commit any fault, or lest, being elated, she should display any wrong-doing or haughtiness to one of her equals.
How different has Eves psychology become! It is nothing like that which She revealed in Paradise to Herand ourdetriment. Another manuscript says: She was anxious about her companions, lest any of them should sin even in one word, lest any of them should raise her voice in laughing, lest any of them should be in the wrong or proud to her father or her mother. Obviously the lesson of humility has been well learned by her. She does not want to even act as though She feels She is more important than those who surround Her.
She blessed God without intermission; and lest perchance, even in her salutation, she might cease from praising God, if anyone saluted her, she used to answer by way of salutation: Glory to God. And from her the custom first began of men saying, Glory be to God, when they saluted each other.
Because of Her love of silence and interior prayer the Virgin is called the first Hesychast (keeper of silence).
She refreshed herself only with the food which she daily received from the hand of the angel; but the food which she obtained from the priests she divided among the poor. The angels of God were often seen speaking with her, and they most diligently obeyed her.
As Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri wrote: Mary does not ask, she commands. The angels obeyed Her, for from before Her birth the Virgin Mary was the Queen of Angels. This is an important point, for those who do not understand Her divinity are wont to say that after Her conceiving of Christ She was exalted to Her present status. But this is inaccurate. Mary is what She is by Her own virtue, not by anothers. This is why after Her first births Her incarnations did not even occur at the same time period as those of Adam. We must not think that She has any Master or Savior other than God Himself.
If anyone who was unwell touched her, the same hour he went home cured.
Being perfect, no imperfection could persist in Her presence or at Her touch. She is Herself a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, the perfecting power of the universe, the Fountain of Life. Also, being the Nourisher of All, She would naturally be a source of healing.
All healing comes from the Mother, the Holy Spirit. Healing, therefore is the natural province of women. If medicine had always been in the hands of women it would be a totally different science today. I have never yet met a hospital nurse who did not have to continually battle the male doctors to keep them from killing or maiming the patients.
Men have not been the hunters because they are strong, but because they can be insensitive enough to killan act that is absolutely antithetical to a woman, unless she is unbalanced. Women hate baiting fishhooks because of their fundamental nature, not because they are weak or squeamish. So if women were providing the food throughout history the human race would be vegetarians. If women had the say in political matters war would not exist. Only the most degraded of women can engage in violence and war.
What is really wrong with the world is the fact that motherhood is not seen or applied as the world-shaping force it should be. Women must mold the character of their childrenand often of their husbands. Their time should be completely dedicated to the upbringing of their childrennot to housework and cooking. That is why sensible societies have domestic servants, even when the people in general are poor.
Children should be educated at home by their mothers, as well.
In Dickens Christmas Carol, Marley says to Scrooge: Mankind was my business. That is true of women. A woman who is true to her nature is the mother of all sentient beings. What about men? They must be the father of all in perfect unselfishness and guidance, though that will not come very naturally to them.
Then Abiathar the priest offered gifts without end to the high priests, in order that he might obtain her as wife to his son. But Mary forbade them saying: It cannot be that I should know a man, or that a man should me. For all the priests and all her relations kept saying to her: God is worshipped in children and adored in posterity, as has always happened among the sons of Israel. But Mary answered and said to them: God is worshipped in chastity, as is proved first of all.
Another reading of that last phrase is: as is proved by the first of all, meaning that in Paradise Adam and Eve would have had children by the amalgamation of their energies, not by an astral form of sexual intercourse, which reflects the animal creation. The higher idea is that God is single in being, having no other half. The Fatherhood and Motherhood of God exist only in the lesser realms of duality. To worship God in the sense of drawing near to God, the worshipper should be as much like God as possible. So the Virgin says that God is worshipped in virginity. There is also an implication here that the preservation of virginity is itself an act of homage to God.
For before Abel there was none righteous among men, and he by his offerings pleased God, and was without mercy slain by him who displeased Him.
There is an ancient tradition that Abels offerings pleased God because he was a virgin, whereas Cain, though not married, was engaging in sexual relations. Apparently this was known to the Virgin and believed by Her. Or, considering that She had been Eve in Her first human incarnation, perhaps She knew this by having remembered it. Abel is honored in the Christian esoteric tradition not only as a martyr for righteousness, but as a virgin martyr. It is held that Cain not only hated Abel because his sacrifice was accepted, but also because he refused to participate with Cain in sexual activities.
Two crowns therefore he receivedof oblation and of virginity, because in his flesh there was no pollution.
Whether the Virgin uses the term pollution in reference to the mingling of personal energies that come through sexual intercourse, or in reference to the negative effects of fornication, is not clear. One of the worst effects of sexual relations outside marriage is the confusion of polarities and energies. A person ceases to be fully himself and becomes a mixture instead. This can be very harmful, especially psychologically.
Elias also, when he was in the flesh, was taken up in the flesh, because he because he kept his flesh unspotted. Now I, from my infancy in the temple of God, have learned that virginity can be sufficiently dear to God. And so, because I can offer what is dear to God, I have resolved in my heart that I should not know a man at all.
The reference to Elijah (Elias) is made not only as an historical example, but also because he was the spiritual master of Elisha to whom Mary is going to give birth as Jesus the Christ.
The Virgin does not just value physical virginity for itself. She looks upon bodily virginity as a sign of mental and spiritual virginity. Obviously Mary saw virginity as an external sign of Her spiritual dedication to God alone. As men at that time usually refused to marry a woman who was not a virgin, so in Marys mind virginity was a preface to spiritual marriage with God. Solomon had set the precedent in Judaism for what is often known as bridal mysticism in which the individual is looked upon as betrothed to God.
It is important to realize that the Virgin was not a neurotic prude afraid of losing her physical virginity. Her motivations were far beyond such considerations. Love of God was her sole incentive. She was thinking of God, not of Herself.
Now it came to pass, when she was fourteen years old, and on this account there was occasion for the Pharisees saying that it was now a custom that no woman of that age should abide in the temple of God, they fell upon the plan of sending a herald through all the tribes of Israel, that on the third day all should come together into the temple of the Lord.
And when all the people had come together, Abiathar the high priest rose, and mounted on a higher step, that he might be seen and heard by all the people; and when great silence had been obtained, he said: Hear me, O sons of Israel, and receive my words into your ears. Ever since this temple was built by Solomon, there have been in it virgins, the daughters of kings and the daughters of prophets, and of high priests and priests; and they were great, and worthy of admiration. But when they came to the proper age they were given in marriage, and followed the course of their mothers before them, and were pleasing to God. But a new order of life has been found out by Mary alone, who promises that she will remain a virgin to God.
Although the Essenes had male and female monastics, the priests of the Jerusalem Temple preferred to ignore what they considered an eccentricity, and said as a matter of course that all women were to be married without exception. Again, this was because marriage was considered a duty to the Messiah. Even if he would not be born in your particular family line, you would be the progenitors of his followers. So marriage was a spiritual duty in Israel, not just a social act.
The Temple virgins had all without exception gotten married, and it was a tremendous honor to become the husband of a Temple virgin. For Mary to run counter to this tradition was no light thing.
Wherefore it seems to me, that through our inquiry and the answer of God, we should try to ascertain to whose keeping she ought to be entrusted. Then these words found favor with all the synagogue. And the lot was cast by the priest upon the twelve tribes, and the lot fell upon the tribe of Judah.
Even if Mary was not to be married, She must at least be betrothed to a guardian. This may seem strange to us, but it should not be. In my own home town at the turn of the century an elderly man married a young girl just in order to finance her musical career. In our own time Maria Callas had just such an arrangement with her husband-manager, Meneghini.
Again we see that divination was looked upon as the voice of God.
And the priest said: Tomorrow let every one who has no wife come, and bring his rod in his hand. Whence it happened that Joseph brought his rod along with the young men.
There is one manuscript that adds that Joseph, seeing that he had not a wife, and not wishing to slight the order of the high priest, brought his rod, but did not at all want to be included in the lottery.
And the rods having been handed over to the high priest, he offered a sacrifice to the Lord God, and inquired of the Lord. And the Lord said to him: Put all their rods into the Holy of Holies of God, and let them remain there, and order them to come to thee on the morrow to get back their rods; and the man from the point of whose rod a dove shall come forth, and fly towards heaven, and in whose hand the rod, when given back, shall exhibit this sign, to him let Mary be delivered to be kept.
Whether the divine communication came by direct voice or by divination, nevertheless it did come. Notice that God did not say Mary was to be married, but only to be kept.
On the following day, then, all having assembled early, and an incense-offering having been made, the high priest went into the holy of holies, and brought forth the rods. And when he had distributed the rods, and the dove came forth out of none of them, the high priest put on the twelve bells and the sacerdotal robe; and entering into the holy of holies, he there made a burnt-offering, and poured forth a prayer.
And the angel of the Lord appeared to him, saying: There is here the shortest rod, of which thou hast made no account: thou didst bring it in with the rest, but didst not take it out with them.
When thou hast taken it out, and hast given it him whose it is, in it will appear the sign of which I spoke to thee.
Now that was Josephs rod; and because he was an old man, he had been cast off, as it were, that he might not receive her, but neither did he himself wish to ask back his rod.
The language here is difficult. Another reading is:
And this was Josephs rod: and he was of an abject appearance, seeing that he was old, and he would not ask back his rod, lest perchance he might be forced to receive her.
Some accounts say that at first Saint Joseph even refused to bring his rod, and then later on did not come to get it back. Whichever is correct, his basic attitude gets across. Many times those who want to do something are not capable, whereas those who are not interested are very capable. In the university I noticed that many students were in the very fields of study in which they had the least capability. My conclusion was that they had a subconscious knowledge of their lack and were trying to compensate for it in this undesirable way. One of my best friends, who studied voice, had a very poor voice indeed, and not much of an ear. She had no interest in mathematics whatsoever, yet within ten minutes of seeing a slide rule she had figured out an entirely new way to use it.
In spiritual matters it is especially true that those who boldly think themselves ready are the most unready, whereas those who are truly progressing do not look upon themselves as qualified. It is not a matter of false humility but one of higher perspective in which the aspirant sees how much further he still has to go, and therefore does not congratulate himself on how far he has already come.
Also, Saint Joseph certainly was not wanting to be included in the divination because he had vowedas had the Virginnot to be married.
And when he was humbly standing last of all, the high priest cried out to him with a loud voice, saying: Come, Joseph, and receive thy rod; for we are waiting for thee. And Joseph came up trembling, because the high priest had called him with a very loud voice. But as soon as he stretched forth his hand and laid hold of his rod, immediately from the top of it came forth a dove whiter than snow, beautiful exceedingly, which, after long flying about the roofs of the temple, at length flew towards the heavens.
The dove is a sign of virginity. In this situation it represents the virginity of both Joseph and Mary, in which they are to continue, as well as Her virginal birthgiving. The dove coming out of his rod proved that Saint Joseph matched the Virgin Mary in his absolute purity of life and mind. A lily, another symbol of virginity, blossomed from his rod, as well.
Then all the people congratulated the old man, saying: Thou hast been made blessed in thine old age, O father Joseph, seeing that God hath shown thee to be fit to receive Mary.
And the priest having said to him, Take her, because of all the tribe of Juda thou alone hast been chosen by God; Joseph began bashfully to address them, saying: I am an old man, and have children; why do you hand over to me this infant, who is younger than my grandsons?
Then Abiathar the high priest said to him: Remember, Joseph, how Dathan and Abiron and Core perished, because they despised the will of God. So will it happen to thee, if thou despise this which is commanded thee by God. Joseph answered him: I indeed do not despise the will of God; but I shall be her guardian until I can ascertain concerning the will of God, as to which of my sons can have her as his wife.
Sons refers to his nephews, just as brothers and sisters still refers to cousins in Eastern countries.
Let some virgins of her companions, with whom she may meanwhile spend her time, be given for a consolation to her. Abiathar the high priest answered and said: Five virgins indeed shall be given her for consolation, until the appointed day come in which thou mayest receive her; for to no other can she be joined in marriage.
The high priest will accept no avoidance on Saint Josephs partto him alone can the Virgin be entrusted. The other Temple virgins would in time be witnesses to the fact that there had been no sexual contact between Joseph and the Virgin when they were living in the same house, nor had the Virgin committed fornication with another.
Then Joseph received Mary, with the other five virgins who were to be with her in Josephs house. These virgins were Rebecca, Sephora, Susanna, Abigea, and Cael; to whom the high priest gave the silk, and the blue, and the fine linen, and the scarlet, and the purple, and the fine flax. For they cast lots among themselves what each virgin should do, and the purple for the veil of the temple of the Lord fell to the lot of Mary.
This verdict of the lots was not new. Whenever the new veil for the Holy of Holies was to be made, the purple had always been assigned by lot to Mary.
And when she had got it, those virgins said to her: Since thou art the last, and humble, and younger than all, thou hast deserved to receive and obtain the purple.
Purple, being the color of royalty, was indeed appropriate to the Virgin Queen Who was intended to give birth to the Virgin King. But the virgins were speaking in sarcastic pique, each having wanted the honor for herself.
And thus saying, as it were in words of annoyance, they began to call her queen of virgins.
Just as later on the high priest would speak prophetically of the death of Her Son,3 so now Her companions prophesy of Her, albeit in derision and anger.
This incident reminds me of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk. He came from a very poor family. When in school, his companions used to take a shoe and swing it toward him like a censer and sing the hymns that are sung by the Byzantine Orthodox at the entrance of a bishop into a church. Many years later he did become their bishop, much to his and their surprise, and he reminded them of their prophetic teasing.
While however they were so doing, the angel of the Lord appeared in the midst of them, saying: These words shall not have been uttered by way of annoyance, but prophesied as a prophecy most true.
They trembled, therefore, at the sight of the angel, and at his words, and asked her to pardon them, and pray for them.
The angel came to them in kindness to prevent their creating a negative karma by mocking the Virgin, for even a slight action in relation to a Master or an avatar has an effect a thousandfold more than the same action in relation to an ordinary person.
And on the second day, while Mary was at the fountain to fill her pitcher, the angel of the Lord appeared to her, saying: Blessed art thou Mary; for in thy womb thou hast prepared an habitation for the Lord. For, lo, the light from heaven shall come and dwell in thee, and by means of thee will shine over the whole world.
Like Mary we, too, should be preparing ourselves to be an habitation of the Lord.
The angel has spoken truly: it is by means of Mary that the Light of Christ shines into the world. Those who desire that Light must seek Her favor. All others shall look for It in vain. As the Syriac verse says: Let us always remember on Whose lap our Lord is seen. With the Queen of Creation shall be found creations King.
Again, on the third day, while she was working at the purple with her fingers, there entered a young man of ineffable beauty. And when Mary saw him, she exceedingly feared and trembled.
It is not easy to recognize an angel. They usually appear as young menand not with wings. Angels will be mistaken for human beings unless those who encounter them are sensitive to their vibrations, which are much higher than those of humans. Only those who themselves are approaching the level of angelic evolution can easily recognize angels unless the angels manifest in some unusually dramatic mannerwhich they often do.
Mary was fearful because She remembered Her long-past encounter with a fallen Archangel in Paradise, and was apprehensive lest She again be beguiledsuch is the humility and prudence of one who has truly attained unto godhood!
And he said to her: Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And when she heard these words, she trembled and was exceedingly afraid.
Demons always lie. Therefore when they (and their human servant-tools) accuse, defame, curse, and threaten us we can feel safe. But when they flatter us it usually means the opposite. And when their words are true, they have an evil motive for so speaking. Therefore the Virgin feared this flattery, this high speaking, because she and the human race had been ruined by the fine-sounding words: Ye shall be as gods.4 Evil spirits try to get to our ego by using compliments and praise. Angels, on the other hand, are very straightforward. They speak the will of the Lord with no strokes for the egos of those they are addressing. They speak very economically and without personal reference or comment. Their minds are intent on God and His will. Nothing else. Being so single-minded, they lack what we call the social graces. But evil spirits can be very obsequious and ingratiating, full of words of personal praise.
No matter how great Her attainment, Mary still feared lest She fall again. Unlike us, She was not over-confident, but feared lest Her ego take spark and Sheafter all the intervening agesbe drawn again into delusion and folly.
Then the angel of the Lord added: Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God: Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a King, who fills not only the earth, but the heaven, and who reigns from generation to generation.
The Son of Mary is not to be one who has only escaped the bonds of earth and ascended to Paradisiacal existence, but one who has ascended to the supreme heights and now fills all the worlds by His union with the all-pervading Lord. His reign is not for a limited time, but is eternal.
While these things were doing, Joseph was occupied with his work, house-building, in the districts by the sea-shore; for he was a carpenter. And after nine months he came back to his house, and found Mary pregnant.
Some accounts say Joseph returned after six or seven months.
Wherefore being in the utmost distress, he trembled and cried out, saying: O Lord God, receive my spirit; for it is better for me to die than to live any longer.
And the virgins who were with Mary said to him: Joseph, what art thou saying? We know that no man has touched her; we can testify that she is still a virgin, and untouched. We have watched over her; always has she continued with us in prayer; daily do the angels of God speak with her; daily does she receive food from the hand of the Lord. We know not how it is possible that there can be any sin in her. But if thou wishest us to tell thee what we suspect, nobody but the angel of the Lord has made her pregnant.
Here again we find the belief that angels could father childrenwhich implies that at least some angels are male.
Then said Joseph: Why do you mislead me, to believe that an angel of the Lord has made her pregnant? But it is possible that some one has pretended to be an angel of the Lord, and has beguiled her.
Joseph had a better knowledge of angelic nature than the young girls, so he knew that Marys child could not be from an angel. Believing in the purity of Marys mind he thought that She might have been deceived by a man pretending to be an angel.
And thus speaking, he wept, and said: With what face shall I look at the temple of the Lord, or with what face shall I see the priests of God? What am I to do? And thus saying, he thought that he would flee, and send her away.
We know from the Bible that Saint Joseph considered quietly putting Mary out of public view,5 but from this we know that he was considering disappearing himself with Her lest She be punished with death as an adulteress.
And when he was thinking of rising up and hiding himself, and dwelling in secret, behold, on that very night, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in sleep, saying: Joseph, thou son of David, fear not; receive Mary as thy wife: for that which is in her womb is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a son, and His name shall be called Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.
And Joseph, rising from his sleep, gave thanks to God, and spoke to Mary and the virgins who were with her, and told them his vision. And he was comforted about Mary saying: I have sinned in that I suspected thee at all.
Saint Joseph knew what angels were like, and he could distinguish between true and false visions. He was a mystic possessed of esoteric knowledge.
After these things there arose a great report that Mary was with child.
And Joseph was seized by the officers of the temple, and brought along with Mary to the high priest.
And he with the priests began to reproach him, and to say: Why hast thou beguiled so great and so glorious a virgin, who was fed like a dove in the temple by the angels of God, who never wished either to see or to have a man, who had the most excellent knowledge of the law of God?
Looking through the Bible we see that when people are really going to be servants of God they always fall into disgrace in the eyes of human beings. This may be as a test of their fidelity, but it is certainly evidence that they have moved into the current that runs counter to that of the world. This is a necessity, and we should be prepared for it. Jesus says to us: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.6 No one can be numbered among the saints and Masters without paying the same price that was exacted of them. The world of cosmic evolution is like a theateryou only get the kind of seat you pay for. Those who buy a cheap ticket should not complain when they are not seated with those who paid top price. The law of sowing and reaping has many aspects.
How faithful Saint Joseph had been, and how perfect was his reputation among his people. What, then must it have been for him to endure this disgrace? Remember what God said to Saint Teresa of Avila: I always treat My friends so. And her answer was equally true: No wonder You have so few! Only love will pay the price. Where love rules, ego cannot find a voice. Loving God, the Saints have faced everything, unmoved. As with Job, God glorifies them in this way.
If thou hadst not done violence to her, she would still have remained in her virginity. And Joseph vowed, and swore that he had never touched her at all. And Abiathar the high priest answered him: As the Lord liveth, I will give thee to drink of the water of drinking of the Lord, and immediately thy sin will appear.
Then was assembled a multitude of people which could not be numbered, and Mary was brought to the temple. And the priests, and her relatives, and her parents wept, and said to Mary: Confess to the priests thy sin, thou that wast like a dove in the temple of God, and didst receive food from the hands of an angel.
After years of admiring the Virgin and speaking highly of Her, in one moment everyone is ready to doubt and accuse Herincluding Her parents. Thirty three years later those that a few days before had shouted Hosanna to the King in praise of Her Son were crying out Crucify him!
If the Scriptures show us anything it is the unreliability of human nature.7 Therefore we must be sure that our spiritual life is based in the spirit, not in our egoic minds and will. In seeing the instability of human beings as portrayed in the Bible, and especially the New Testament, we should realize the dangers of our own human failings and strive to establish ourselves in spiritual consciousness through meditation.
And again Joseph was summoned to the altar, and the water of drinking of the Lord was given him to drink.
And when any one that had lied drank this water, and walked seven times round the altar, God used to show some sign in his face.
When, therefore, Joseph had drunk in safety, and had walked round the altar seven times, no sign of sin appeared in him.
Then all the priests, and the officers, and the people justified him, saying: Blessed art thou, seeing that no charge has been found good against thee.
And they summoned Mary, and said: And what excuse canst thou have? or what greater sign can appear in thee than the conception of thy womb, which betrays thee? This only we require of thee, that since Joseph is pure regarding thee, thou confess who it is that has beguiled thee. For it is better that thy confession should betray thee, than that the wrath of God should set a mark on thy face, and expose thee in the midst of the people.
Then Mary said, steadfastly and without trembling: O Lord God, King over all, who knowest all secrets, if there be any pollution in me, or any sin, or any evil desires, or unchastity, expose me in the sight of all the people, and make me an example of punishment to all. Thus saying, she went up to the altar of the Lord boldly, and drank the water of drinking, and walked round the altar seven times, and no spot was found in her.
In this way God was showing all of Israel the truth of the Virgin Birth. For the way news travelled in those days, there was no one in the land that did not come to know of this.
And when all the people were in the utmost astonishment, seeing that she was with child, and that no sign had appeared in her face, they began to be disturbed among themselves by conflicting statements: some said that she was holy and unspotted, others that she was wicked and defiled.
There will always be those for whom a myriad of miracles will mean nothing. Such persons, because of the low vibratory rate of their mental energies, just cannot grasp the things of God. Being willfully on the lefthand path they are just as willfully blind.
It is important for us to realize that no one can ever be convinced of anything through outer means. Either the inner consciousness responds or it does not. This is why those of true knowledge never engage in argument or debate with those of differing views or try to persuade others to their viewpoint. It just cannot be done. All that such activities produce are hypocrites or poor pitiful souls with spiritual indigestion, having taken into their minds concepts and principles that they really cannot deal with. The Bible speaks of the way that spiritual infants must be fed infants food.8
There are times when we should leave people alone and not disturb their spiritual sleep. Often when we are asked about our ideas we should be careful lest we overburden the minds of our inquirers. This is not a matter of intelligence but of mental vibration or evolution. For example, when I am asked by persons with no metaphysical background why I am a vegetarian I simply say that I believe it is better for my personal health and that it is also more economical, and let it go. The concepts of animal life as part of evolution and the more esoteric aspects regarding subtle energies, karma, and such like is completely beyond them. I am not saying that we should be patronizing to inquirers, but we should speak to them on their own level of thinking if it is at all possible. And to those who do not think at all we should not speak at all.
Then Mary, seeing that she was still suspected by the people, and that on that account she did not seem to them to be wholly cleared, said in the hearing of all, with a loud voice, As the Lord Adonai liveth, the Lord of Hosts before whom I stand, I have not known man; but I am known by Him to whom from my earliest years I have devoted myself. And this vow I made to my God from my infancy, that I should remain unspotted in Him who created me, and I trust that I shall so live to Him alone, and serve Him alone; and in Him, as long as I shall live, will I remain unpolluted. Then they all began to kiss her feet and to embrace her knees, asking her to pardon them for their wicked suspicions.
Great power must have been conveyed through Marys words, that the minds of Her hearers were opened and illumined by their vibration. For it was not a matter of intellection we can be sure. Great Masters and Incarnations can indeed impart truth directly to others minds by their words, but they rarely do so. There is an account of Saint Seraphim of Sarov speaking to a group of people about immortality. The writer says: It was as though we had never heard of it before, so real was immortality made by Saint Seraphims words. Again, it was not a matter of Saint Seraphim speaking logically or in such a way that his ideas were easy to understand, but it was the conveying of his spiritual vision to them in some measure. Therefore the Bible says: out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.9
And she was led down to her house with exultation and joy by the people, and the priests, and all the virgins.
And they cried out, and said: Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever, because He hath manifested thy holiness to all His people Israel.
Here we see that all Israel came to know of this great sign. The Virgin Mary Herself is often referred to as The Sign of Salvation in Christian writings.
And it came to pass some little time after, that an enrollment was made according to the edict of Caesar Augustus, that all the world was to be enrolled, each man in his native place. This enrollment was made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.
It was necessary, therefore, that Joseph should enroll with the blessed Mary in Bethlehem, because to it they belonged, being of the tribe of Judah, and of the house and family of David.
When, therefore, Joseph and the blessed Mary were going along the road which leads to Bethlehem, Mary said to Joseph: I see two peoples before me, the one weeping, and the other rejoicing. And Joseph answered: Sit still on thy beast, and do not speak superfluous words.
Saint Joseph did not doubt that the Virgin was seeing something with Her psychic eye. But his attitude was the wise one of prudence in relation to psychic perceptions. It is better to keep our minds on God and let the psychic scenery alone. Psychic experiences are often a great distraction to seekers, and even can become an occasion of egoic delusion. Since the ego loves to think it is a seer and a prophet, some people exaggerate every little psychic incident into a monument of self-glorification.
I well remember one yogi I knew that entertained a most exalted view of himself. On two or three occasions someone in a group of people said to him: Tell us about your enlightenment, Charlie. Instantly he would close his eyes, become grave of countenance, and begin in a measured and hushed voice to recount his marvellous experiences of illumination. I seemed to be the sole unbeliever, albeit a polite one that said nothing of my thoughts. But my boredom was exceeded only by my amazement that such simple and fleeting phenomena as he recounted could be considered of profound significance. Every one of his experiences was something that I had gone through many times before I was five years oldand so far I had not perceived that I was enlightened thereby! A few years later I read a commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in which there was a nicely laid-out table describing the states of consciousness that an individual went through on the path to divine realization. Again, there was not a thing that I had not experienced by the time I was nine years old. And I knew that I was surely no god walking the earth.
Sri Ramakrishna frequently told His disciples that they were all amazed at the simplest psychic experience, whereas He lived continually in visions and was completely unaffected by them. As Swami Yukteswar Giri used to say: Small fish make loud splashings in small ponds, but mighty whales move through the ocean without causing a ripple.
One day Trailanga Swami,10 the nineteenth century Master who lived in Benares, India, was speaking with a disciple. The stone image of the Goddess Kali in the ashram temple came alive and walked into the room and held a conversation with Trailanga Swami, then walked back into the temple and became stone again. The disciple was awestruck, but Trailanga Swami quietly asked him: So now what do you have? Of course the answer was: nothing. When there is no change in inner consciousness, then no experience is of any worth.
Let us stay on this subject a bit more. People often ask: How do you know if an experience is real? First of all, it does not matter if it is real at all if it produces no significant change in our level of consciousness. If it does produce such a change then we can know that it is real. Babies and little children are entertained by almost anything. In the same way the spiritually immature are fascinated with the slightest experiences and end up doing no more than playing with their psychic toes throughout their life.
Saint Joseph was a greatly developed Essene and understood these things well. Therefore, even though the Virgin was miraculous and conversed continually with angels he did not take that as necessarily being an indication of spiritual wisdom. So he did not hesitate to admonish Her regarding Her visions.
Then there appeared before them a beautiful boy, clothed in white raiment, who said to Joseph: Why didst thou say that the words which Mary spoke about the two peoples were superfluous? For she saw the people of the Jews weeping, because they have departed from their God; and people of the Gentiles rejoicing, because they have now been added and made near to the Lord, according to that which He promised to our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:
Although angels usually appear as young men, they may on occasion appear as children.
Because of the coming rejection of Christ, the guardian angels of the Jews did indeed weep and the guardian angels of the Gentiles did indeed rejoice.
Is it a small thing that the angel calls Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob our fathers? He did so because heand all other angelswere at one time human beings before evolving to the angelic kingdom. The angels saw human beings as brothers, not as lesser beings.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is not just Master of human beings, but of the angels and higher powers, as well. He is in truth the Lord of all and serves as intermediary between all the worlds and the Divine. He lives at the center of every world (aeon) in the form proper to it. He is in truth not only a Savior of mankind but of all kinds.
For the time is at hand when in the seed of Abraham all nations shall be blessed.
The angel is referring to the promise given unto Abraham when he proved his perfect obedience unto God by being willing to offer Isaac as a sacrifice:
And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.11
And when he had thus said, the angel ordered the beast to stand, for the time when she should bring forth was at hand; and he commanded the blessed Mary to come down off the animal, and go into a recess under a cavern, in which there never was light, but always darkness, because the light of day could not reach it.
This cave is still preserved, the Church of the Nativity having been built over it in Bethlehem many centuries ago. There are two caves that every Christian should endeavor to visit at least once: the cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the cave of the Resurrection in Jerusalem.12 They are mighty centers of spiritual force, each distinctive in its character.
The cave is also a symbol of the heart in which the inner Christ is born. The choosing of a cave in which the light of earthly day never shown is emblematic of a heart in which no other light but that of God is admitted.
And when the blessed Mary had gone into it, it began to shine with as much brightness as if it were the sixth hour of the day [noon]. The light from God so shone in the cave, that neither by day nor night was light wanting as long as the blessed Mary was there.
Mary, the Dove of Light, was the source of the divine light within the cave, as evidence of Her nature as a daughter of the Holy Spirit, the Light spokenbreathed forthby God in the beginning.13 The light of Mary is also an aspect of the Holy Spirit. The cave is the heart of the aspiring individual which, being illumined by the divine power, is fitted to bring forth Christ in the depths of the earth that is the human body.
And there she brought forth a son, and the angels surrounded Him when He was being born. And as soon as He was born, He stood upon His feet.
The Child stood, as did His Mother and the Buddha at Their births, to demonstrate His mastery over birth and His freedom from the limitations of the human form and status.
And the angels adored Him, saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.
Now, when the birth of the Lord was at hand, Joseph had gone away to seek midwives. And when he had found them, he returned to the cave, and found with Mary the infant which she had brought forth.
And Joseph said to the blessed Mary: I have brought thee two midwivesZelomi and Salome; and they are standing outside before the entrance to the cave, not daring to come in hither, because of the exceeding brightness.
And when the blessed Mary heard this, she smiled; and Joseph said to her: Do not smile; but prudently allow them to visit thee, in case thou shouldest require them for thy cure. Then she ordered them to enter.
And when Zelomi had come in, Salome having stayed without, Zelomi said to Mary: Allow me to touch thee. And when she had permitted her to make an examination, the midwife cried out with a loud voice and said: Lord, Lord Almighty, mercy upon us! It has never been heard or thought of that any one could have her breasts full of milk, and that the birth of a son should show his mother to be a virgin. But there has been no spilling of blood in his birth, no pain in bringing him forth.
A virgin has conceived, a virgin has brought forth, and a virgin she remains.
As already pointed out, until the day of Her passing from this earth the Virgin was living proof of Her Sons supernatural birth.
The last sentence of the quotation is significant, since in every icon of the Virgin She is depicted with three stars on Her clothing to indicate that She was a virgin in Her conceiving, a virgin in Her birthgiving, and a virgin after giving birth.
And hearing these words, Salome said: Allow me to handle thee, and prove whether Zelomi has spoken the truth. And the blessed Mary allowed her to handle her. And when she had withdrawn her hand from the handling her, it dried up, and through excess of pain she began to weep bitterly, and to be in great distress crying out and saying: O Lord God, Thou knowest that I have always feared Thee and without recompense I have cared for all the poor; I have taken nothing from the widow and the orphan, and the needy have I not sent empty away. And behold, I am made wretched because of mine unbelief, since without a cause I wished to try Thy Virgin.
The needy have I not sent empty away, was a common figure of speech to which the Virgin was referring when She said: the rich he hath sent empty away.14 Salome attributed this to herself, but the Virgin attributed it to God. Such was the difference in their perspectives as to whoor Whowas the doer.
And while she was thus speaking, there stood by her a young man in shining garments, saying: Go to the child, and adore Him, and touch Him with thy hand, and He will heal thee, because He is the Savior of the world, and of all that hope in Him.
And she went to the child with haste, and adored Him, and touched the fringe of the cloths in which He was wrapped, and instantly her hand was cured.
Here we have a foreshadowing of the healing of Veronica (Berenice) when she touched the hem of the Lords clothing.15
And going forth, she began to cry aloud, and to tell the wonderful things which she had seen, and which she had suffered, and how she had been cured; so that many through her statements believed.
Once more we see that these things did not happen in a chimney corner, as the expression goes. All happened very publicly for people to know. There was no excuse for all of Israel not to believe in Jesus. This is why He said: Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.16 If these beginning incidents had taken place in India, Jesus would have been known throughout the subcontinent before becoming an adult. More important, He would have been believed in as a living God upon earth. Later we will be looking at the records of His years in India and the affinity He had for the people of India such as He never had for the Israelites.
And some shepherds also affirmed that they had seen angels singing a hymn at midnight, praising and blessing the God of heaven, and saying: There has been born the Savior of all, who is Christ the Lord, in whom salvation shall be brought back to Israel.
Moreover, a great star, larger than any that had been seen since the beginning of the world, shone over the cave from the evening till the morning. And the prophets who were in Jerusalem said that this star pointed out the birth of Christ, who would restore the promise not only to Israel, but to all nations.
The signs of Christ were thus known to the leaders of the Hebrew religion, not just to simple people and shepherds.
And on the third day after the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the most blessed Mary went forth out of the cave, and entering a stable, placed the child in the stall, and the ox and the ass adored Him. Then was fulfilled that which was said by Isaiah the prophet, saying: The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his masters crib.17
The very animals, therefore, the ox and the ass, having Him in their midst, incessantly adored Him. Then was fulfilled that which was said by Abacue the prophet, saying: Between two animals thou art made manifest.
The quotation is from Habakkuk in the Septuagint Greek text. It is different in the Masoretic Hebrew text, for as Christianity began spreading, the Biblical texts were altered in some prophecies. In the Dialogues of Saint Justin the Martyr with the Jewish philosopher Trypho, he urges him to look in the oldest scrolls in the synagogue and see for himself the prophetic texts that were being either omitted or altered in the attempt to discredit Christianity.
In the same place Joseph remained with Mary three days. And on the sixth day they entered Bethlehem, where they spent the seventh day. And on the eighth day they circumcised the child, and called His name Jesus; for so He was called by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. Now, after the days of the purification of Mary were fulfilled according to the law of Moses, then Joseph took the infant to the temple of the Lord. And when the infant had received parhithomus [circumcision] they offered for Him a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons.
Now there was in the temple a man of God, perfect and just, whose name was Symeon, a hundred and twelve [?] years old.
He had received the answer from the Lord, that he should not taste of death till he had seen Christ, the Son of God, living in the flesh. And having seen the child, he cried out with a loud voice, saying: God hath visited His people, and the Lord hath fulfilled His promise. And he made haste, and adored Him. And after this he took Him up into his cloak and kissed His feet.
It was the custom in the presence of rulers to keep the hands covered, and Saint Symeon observed this protocol in relation to Christ, covering his hands with his cloak. It was also a gesture of reverence not to touch the Child with his bare hands. Strong magnetism flows from the feet, so in the East it is common to touch the feet of holy people or at least to bow to the ground so the subtle energies will flow from the feet of the saint into the psychic centers of the head. It sounds bizarre, but those who have touched the feet of saints and Masters, or bowed before them, can testify that a marked upliftment of consciousness is produced.
And he said: Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.
There was also in the temple of the Lord, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, who had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity; and she had now been a widow eighty-four years. And she never left the temple of the Lord, but spent her time in fasting and prayer. She also likewise adored the child, saying: In Him is the redemption of the world.
Here again we find that the proclamation of Christ was very public right from the beginning.
And when the second year was past, wise men [rishis] came from the east to Jerusalem, bringing great gifts.
The nativity sets we see at Christmas with the wise men there are not correct. Jesus was between two and three years old when they came to Bethlehem. In the icons of the Nativity the wise men are shown journeying, but not actually at the cave.
And they made strict inquiry of the Jews, saying: Where is the king who has been born to you? for we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him.
And word of this came to King Herod, and so alarmed him that he called together the scribes and the Pharisees, and the teachers of the people, asking of them where the prophets had foretold that Christ should be born.
And they said: In Bethlehem of Judah. For it is written: And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art by no means the least among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall come forth a Leader who shall rule my people Israel.
Then King Herod summoned the wise men to him, and strictly inquired of them when the star appeared to them. Then, sending them to Bethlehem, he said: Go and make strict inquiry about the child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
And while the wise men were going on their way, there appeared to them the star, which was, as it were, a guide to them, going before them until they came to where the child was.
And when the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced with great joy; and going into the house, they saw the child Jesus sitting in His mothers lap. Then they opened their treasures, and presented great gifts to the blessed Mary and Joseph. And to the child Himself they offered each of them a piece of gold. And likewise one gave gold, another frankincense, and the third myrrh.
Other texts say just one gave gold, one gave frankincense, one gave myrrh. These were the three most precious elements of India which were used there in the worship of God. The frankincense (Sanskrit: guggul) tree grows in India, as does the myrrh plant. Gold is plentiful in India. These were the special treasures of South India.
And when they were going to return to King Herod, they were warned by an angel in their sleep not to go back to Herod; and they returned to their own country by another road.
One version of this text says that one year later Herod came back from Rome. Whether this means that the rishis remained a year in Bethlehem, or that Herod left right after their coming and returned a year laterin which case Jesus would have been more than three years of ageis not clear.
Herod was a close friend of the imperial family of Rome. He was a Hebrew in name only, being completely Greco-Roman in his thinking and way of life. He continually endeavored to impose Greek and Roman culture on Israel. He built cities in Israel in the Greek style and even corrupted the Temple, building it according to a mixture of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman styles, disregarding the pattern given in the Torah for the Tabernacle. His son Herod was a worthy successor to him, being exactly of the same mentality and alienation from his people.
And when Herod saw that he had been made sport of by the wise men, his heart swelled with rage, and he sent through all the roads, wishing to seize them and put them to death. But when he could not find them at all, he sent anew to Bethlehem and all its borders and slew all the male children whom he found of two years old [one account says three years old] and under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.
Now the day before this was done Joseph was warned in his sleep by the angel of the Lord, who said to him: Take Mary and the child, and go into Egypt by the way of the desert. And Joseph went according to the saying of the angel.
[One manuscript has: Then Joseph put the blessed virgin and the boy upon a beast, and himself mounted another, and took the road through the hill country and the desert, that he might get safe to Egypt; for they did not want to go by the shore, for fear of being waylaid.]
And having come to a certain cave, and wishing to rest in it, the blessed Mary dismounted from her beast, and sat down with the child Jesus in her bosom. And there were with Joseph three boys, and with Mary a girl, going on the journey along with them.
It is said that Saint James was one of those accompanying the Holy Family.
And, lo, suddenly there came forth from the cave many dragons [drakontas, serpents]; and when the children saw them, they cried out in great terror.
Then Jesus went down from the bosom of His mother, and stood on his feet before the dragons; and they adored Jesus, and thereafter retired. Then was fulfilled that which was said by David the prophet, saying: Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons; ye dragons and all ye deeps. And the young child Jesus, walking before them, commanded them to hurt no man. But Mary and Joseph were very much afraid lest the child should be hurt by the dragons. And Jesus said to them: Do not be afraid, and do not consider me to be a little child; for I am and always have been perfect; and all the beasts of the forest must needs be tame before me.
Lions and panthers adored Him likewise, and accompanied them in the desert.
We must not forget that as Adam Jesus had been given charge over all the animals to care for themnot to eat them or cruelly use themand to foster their evolution.18
Patanjalis Yoga Sutras state that violence cannot arise in the presence of a person who is perfect in non-violence. In the lives of the saints we often find that wild beasts are tame in their presence. This is because of their intense vibrations of peace and love as well as the presence of Christ Who is living within them. Their auras completely dispel those negative patterns which have been imposed upon the animals as the earth has become distorted. Originally the animals were vegetarians19 and never harmed one another.
Wherever Joseph and the blessed Mary went, they went before them showing them the way, and bowing their heads; and showing their submission by wagging their tails, they adored Him with great reverence. Now at first, when Mary saw the lions and the panthers, and various kinds of wild beasts, coming about them, she was very much afraid.
The contemporary saint of the Egyptian desert, Abdul Messia, had this same kind of relationship with the wild animals. When he slept at night in the desert he would draw a circle around himself and no animal would venture in. Many centuries before in the same place there was another hermit who used to go, accompanied by the animals, to a place where there was water. He would dip up water in his hands and give it to his animal companions to drink. Such persons are living proof that Jesus lived and did the same things, and that His life is present upon earth today.
But the child Jesus looked into her face with a joyful countenance, and said: Be not afraid, mother; for they come not to do thee harm, but they make haste to serve both thee and me.
It is Adam and Eve, their King and Queen, that the wild beasts have come to serve, not their companions. This incident demonstrates the equal spiritual status of Jesus and Mary.
With these words He drove all fear from her heart. And the lions kept walking with them, and with the oxen, and the asses, and the beasts of burden which carried their baggage, and did not hurt a single one of them, though they kept beside them; but they were tame among the sheep and the rams which they had brought with them from Judaea, and which they had with them.
They walked among wolves, and feared nothing; and no one of them was hurt by another. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet: Wolves shall feed with lambs; the lion and the ox shall eat straw together. There were together two oxen drawing a wagon with provision for the journey, and the lions directed them in their path.
What a remarkable caravan was this! Neither Egypt nor any place on earth had ever seen such thing.
And it came to pass on the third day of their journey, while they were walking, that the blessed Mary was fatigued by the excessive heat of the sun in the desert; and seeing a palm tree, she said to Joseph: let me rest a little under the shade of this tree. Joseph therefore made haste, and led her to the palm, and made her come down from her beast.
And as the blessed Mary was sitting there, she looked up to the foliage of the palm, and saw it full of fruit, and said to Joseph: I wish it were possible to get some of the fruit of this palm. And Joseph said to her: I wonder that thou sayest this, when thou seest how high the palm tree is; and that thou thinkest of eating of its fruit. I am thinking more of the want of water, because the skins are now empty, and we have none wherewith to refresh ourselves and our cattle.
Then the child Jesus, with a joyful countenance, reposing in the bosom of His mother, said to the palm: O tree, bend thy branches, and refresh my mother with thy fruit. And immediately at these words the palm bent its top down to the very feet of the blessed Mary; and they gathered from it fruit, with which they were all refreshed. And after they had gathered all its fruit, it remained bent down, waiting the order to rise from Him who had commanded it to stoop.
Then Jesus said to it: Raise thyself, O palm tree, and be strong, and be the companion of my trees, which are in the paradise of my Father; and open from thy roots a vein of water which has been hid in the earth, and let the waters flow, so that we may be satisfied from thee.
And it rose up immediately, and at its root there began to come forth a spring of water exceedingly clear and cool and sparkling. And when they saw the spring of water, they rejoiced with great joy, and were satisfied, themselves and all their cattle and their beasts.Wherefore they gave thanks to God.
And on the day after, when they were setting out thence, and in the hour in which they began their journey, Jesus turned to the palm, and said: This privilege I give thee, O palm tree, that one of thy branches be carried away by my angels, and planted in the paradise of my Father. And this blessing I will confer upon thee, that it shall be said of all who conquer in any contest, You have attained the palm of victory.
And while He was thus speaking, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and stood upon the palm tree; and taking off one of its branches, flew to heaven with the branch in his hand. And when they saw this, they fell on their faces, and became as it were dead.
Paradise is so near to our earth plane that such things as the transfer of the palm tree branch can happen. The Virgin had been fed by fruit from Paradise, and many saints have been given fruit from Paradise. Saint Ephrosynus the Cook once had an entire branch of fruit from Paradise. Saint Irene Chrysovalantou of Greece experienced some fear of her approaching death, and Saint John the Apostle send her fruit from Paradise. Upon eating the fruit her fear vanished permanently. This shows us that the eating of the fruit of that astral world affects the eater psychologicallythat it is not for the nourishment of the outer body, but serves for the shaping and transmuting of the inner body of the mind and intellect.
And Jesus said to them: Why are your hearts possessed with fear? Do you know that this palm, which I have caused to be transferred to paradise, shall be prepared for all the saints in the place of delights, as it has been prepared for us in this place of the wilderness? And they were filled with joy; and being strengthened, they all rose up.
After this, while they were going on their journey, Joseph said to Jesus: Lord, it is a boiling heat; if it please Thee, let us go by the sea-shore, that we may be able to rest in the cities on the coast.
Saint Joseph well knew the divine status of Jesus, therefore he called Him Lord.
Jesus said to him: Fear not, Joseph; I will shorten the way for you, so that what you would have taken thirty days to go over, you shall accomplish in this one day. And while they were thus speaking, behold, they looked forward, and began to see the mountains and cities of Egypt.
We should not consider this a fable. In the lives of the saints we find such things occurring, although it certainly is not common. For example, there was no food in the monastery of Saint Sergius of Radonez, so the monks prayed in the chapel for aid from God. Even while they were praying they heard loud knocking at their gate. Upon opening the gate they found an entire caravan of food and other things that had been sent them by a prince who lived several days journey away. Yet the bread was still warm when they unpacked it. Astonished they asked the men of the caravan how long they had been travelling, and were further amazed when they were told that they had only been on the road for a few hours when they found themselves at the monastery gate. Some of the men had made the trip before and knew how long it normally took. Investigation proved that their words were indeed true. In The Way of a Pilgrim there is another incident in which a small child travelled hundreds of miles in a fraction of the time needed by normal means. Once Paramhansa Yogananda had a speaking engagement and was more than an hour late in leaving the ashram. By the time the car got to the freeway there was only about ten minutes or so left before the talk was to begin, and the place of the talk was more than an hours drive away. When one of the disciples pointed this out to Yogananda, he told everyoneincluding the driver!to close their eyes. (Remember, they were on the busy freeway.) They did so, and in just a matter of moments Yogananda told them to open their eyes, and they found themselves in front of the place where they were supposed to be.
We must remember that space, like time, is not an absolute for those whose consciousness is centered in higher levels. When the disciples were in the midst of the Sea of Galilee and saw Jesus walking on the water, we are told that as soon as He entered the boat they found themselves at the other side of the sea.20
And rejoicing and exulting, they came into the regions of Hermopolis, and entered into a certain city of Egypt which is called Sotinen (or, Sotrina); and because they knew no one there from whom they could ask hospitality, they went into a temple which was called the Capitol of Egypt.
As in India today, pilgrim-travellers could find accommodation in temples or in guest houses attached to them. And it should be pointed out that if the Holy Family had looked upon the Egyptians as demon-worshipping heathen they would not have stayed in a temple.
Other accounts say this city was called Heliopolis, the City of the Sun, which does seem logical. Heliopolis is now a suburb of Cairo and is perhaps the only Europeanized and really wealthy city in all of Egypt. The people living there are of a distinctive character, as well. (Most of them are Coptic Orthodox Christians, which means that they are not Arabs but pure Egyptians, descendants of the Pharaohs.) Certainly the sacred vibrations still manifest there.
And in this temple there had been set up three hundred and sixty-five idols, to each of which on its own day divine honors and sacred rites were paid.
For the Egyptians belonging to the same city entered the Capitol, in which the priests told them how many sacrifices were offered each day, according to the honor in which the god was held.
Since there are three hundred and sixty-five days in the year, the images represented the presiding deity (angel) of each day. Or they may have been considered symbolic images of the character of the energies conveyed by the Sun on each day. In that case they would have been the faces of the one Sun rather than many deities or presiding spirits.
And it came to pass, when the most blessed Mary went into the temple with the little child, that all the idols prostrated themselves on the ground, so that all of them were lying on their faces shattered and broken to pieces. And thus they plainly showed that they were nothing.
Another account says that the images became alive and bowed down before Jesus and Mary, rather than that they broke. If that is true, then the gods were not nothing, but proved themselves servants of God and quite real.
However in some instances when the Holy Ones came near or entered a temple the image did fall and shatter because the worship had become corrupt and negative entities had invaded the temple and were being worshipped there.21
Then was fulfilled that which was said by the prophet Isaiah: Behold, the Lord will come upon a swift cloud, and will enter Egypt, and all the handiwork of the Egyptians shall be moved at His presence.22
Then Affrodosius, that governor of the city, when news of this was brought to him, went to the temple with all his army.
And the priests of the temple, when they saw Affrodosius with all his army coming into the temple, thought that he was making haste only to see vengeance taken on those on whose account the gods had fallen down.
But when he came into the temple, and saw all the gods lying prostrate on their faces, he went up to the blessed Mary, who was carrying the Lord in her bosom, and adored Him, and said to all his army and all his friends: Unless this were the God of our gods, our gods would not have fallen on their faces before Him, nor would they be lying prostrate in His presence: wherefore they silently confess that He is their Lord.
The Egyptians believed in one God, but they understood that there are lesser entities we can call gods that preside over various forces of nature as well as places. Furthermore, there are symbolic forms of God that are sometimes referred to as gods. But it is significant that the governor does not say that the gods are lies or evil spirits and that now they can worship the one true God. Just the opposite. He considers that the gods have born witness to Christ because they are loving servants of God.
Unless we, therefore, take care to do what we have seen our gods doing, we may run the risk of His anger, and all come to destruction, even as it happened to Pharaoh king of the Egyptians, who, not believing in powers so mighty, was drowned in the sea, with all his army.
Interesting, is it not, that the Egyptians had not forgotten what had occurred so many centuries before in relation to the Hebrews. The miracle of the Septuagint was also remembered by them, which would by implication be a demonstration of the truth of the account of the drowning of Pharaoh and his army.
Then all the people of that same city believed in the Lord God through Jesus Christ.
[One of the manuscripts here has: And Joseph and Mary went to live in the house of a certain widow, and spent a year there.]
After no long time, the angel said to Joseph: Return to the land of Judah, for they are dead who sought the childs life.
In the Gospel of Thomas (the narrativenot the compilation of Jesus sayings) the events of that year will be described.
How long, actually, did the Holy Family stay in Egypt? We know that they stayed about six months in the very middle of Egypt in a place today called Al Muharraq. Their total time in Egypt is hard to estimate, but it was at least a year, for it took them about three months to reach Al Muharraq and it would have taken at least that much to return. Also, Jesus had miraculously reduced the travelling time to Egypt by a month. Let us look at the following passage.
And it came to pass, after Jesus had returned out of Egypt, when He was in Galilee, and entering on the fourth year of His age, that on a Sabbath-day He was playing with some children at the bed of the Jordan.
If Jesus was in the beginning of his fourth year when this incident took place, he would have been three when He came back into Israel.
And as He sat there, Jesus made to Himself seven pools of clay, and to each of them He made passages, through which at His command He brought water from the torrent into the pool, and took it back again.
This is not just childish play. Not only does it show remarkable ingenuity, it shows His esoteric knowledge. In certain secret places of the Essenes there were seven baptismal pools, and each one went through seven washings in the pools, each pool representing one of the seven stages of consciousness. As the Essene advanced from degree to degree he was baptized in the pool corresponding to his inner status, eventually being baptized seven times. In later degenerate times a person simply went from one to another all at the same time, and it was a mere symbolic rite without inner correspondence.
Then one of those children, a son of the devil, moved with envy, shut the passages which supplied the pools with water, and overthrew what Jesus had built up.
Then said Jesus to him: Woe unto thee, thou son of death, thou son of Satan! Dost thou destroy the works which I have wrought?
And immediately he who had done this died.
Jesus evidently needed to learn control over His power of speech. Even though He did not specifically mention death to the boy, the vibration of His rebuke was so sharp that it killed him by the force of its strength. In a sense Jesus threw a verbal energy grenade at the child and it destroyed him.
Then with great uproar the parents of the dead boy cried out against Mary and Joseph, saying to them: Your son has cursed our son, and he is dead.
Certainly the Israelites believed that a person could be killed with a curse. The subject of psychic attack and psychic self defense is a crucial one and has been covered somewhat already.
And when Joseph and Mary heard this, they came forthwith to Jesus, on account of the outcry of the parents of the boy, and the gathering together of the Jews.
But Joseph said privately to Mary: I dare not speak to Him; but do thou admonish Him, and say: Why hast Thou raised against us the hatred of the people; and why must the troublesome hatred of men be borne by us?
Belief in the Divine Feminine is traditional in Judaism, but in contrast to our modern Western way of looking at things, the Mother aspect of God is considered the aspect of Law and Righteousness. In other words, it is the Mother Who disciplines, even though in contemporary times the earthly threat wait till your father comes home has shaped our theology more than we would like to admit.
We see from the words of Saint Joseph that discipline was definitely the task of the Virgin for this reason. In the Eastern Church this is still understood, and so the Virgin is shown in our iconography as a noble Queen, not some sappy, prissy, simpering over-pious little girl as the Western Church has often preferred. One amusing fact is that in Greece (an Eastern Christian country) when a woman appears demure and untouchable while being in reality deeply immoral, she is called a French Madonna. Enough said.
Well, maybe not. One of the continual untheological reasons given in the Roman Catholic Church for seeking the intercession of the Virgin Mary is the assertion that Jesus would never refuse His Mother anything. Apparently Jesus is looked upon as a good Italian boy who in his obsession with his mother thinks he must give her everything she wants. This is not reliable theology. Various historical and mystical accounts of the Virgin indicate that She is the last to indulge such sentimentalism, and, while it is true that Jesus would refuse Her nothing, the reason is that She would never ask for anything contrary to the laws of righteousness. When dealing with the Mother we have to be very careful.
The family should reflect the Trinity. The will of the Father is conveyed by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Mother. So Saint Joseph tells the Virgin what She should say to Jesus.
And His mother having come to Him, asked Him, saying: My Lord, what was it that he did to bring about his death?
Although His equal, the Virgin addresses Jesus with reverence. Even more interesting, She asks what the boy did to bring about his deathan indication that She assumes he deserved it and that Jesus acted justly. Saint Joseph wanted Her to fuss at Jesus and give the age-old complaint of how could you do this to your father and mother? but that is not the Virgins style at all. Being the administrator of justice, She inquires what the boys transgression might have been.
And He said: He deserved death, because he scattered the works that I had made.
Then His mother asked Him, saying: Do not so, my Lord, because all men rise up against us.
This reason does not take hold with the Virgin, so She then relays the message of Saint Joseph (calling Jesus Lord).
But He, not wishing to grieve His mother, with His right foot kicked the hinder parts of the dead boy, and said to him: Rise, thou son of iniquity; for thou art not worthy to enter into the rest of my Father, because thou didst destroy the works which I had made.
Westerners tend to swing in their religion between the two poles of viewing God as a spiteful and implacable tyrant or as a mentally backward sugar daddy on whom any outrageous hype can be pulled. Obviously He is neither. Instead, God is embarrassingly just. Here we see an example of this. The boy should stay dead, but out of love for His Mother Jesus agrees to revive him. So He kicks him in the rear end and brings him back to life! His actions and words are singularly devoid of any hypocrisy. Such are the ways of God, Who is not mocked.23
The words thou art not worthy to enter into the rest of my Father, are most interesting. The boy is a son of iniquity, yet Jesus indicates that he would have entered into the rest of [the] Father discussed by Saint Paul in the third and fourth chapters of Hebrews. This rest is the transcendence of earthly karmas and the entering back into Paradise. How, then, could this evil boy attain such a state? Evidently as a result of being killed by the words of Jesuswords that must have also dissolved his lesser bodies in which his evil karmas and disposition resided. Thus drastically cleansed, he could have risen to Paradise. In Hinduism it is believed that a person who is killed by a Divine IncarnationAvataris thereby liberated from the cycle of birth and death. This incident bears that out, the reason being the destruction of the lower bodies, as has been said.
We also see here that the karmic intensity of our actions is determined by the state of consciousness of the person involved as their target. It is also definite that the intensity of a persons karma increases commensurate with his evolutionary status. That is, a murder committed by an evolved person results in a more severe reaction than one committed by a person of low evolutionary degree. Thus karmic force varies from individual to individual. Negative actions on the part of those who are somewhat spiritually awakened produce a more powerful reaction than do actions by those who are spiritually asleep.
There is another aspect to this incident. Jesus is not being merciful by resurrecting the boyjust the opposite. If he had not restored him to life the boy would have been set free from rebirth. As it is, chances are he is still even now under the sway of birth and deathand very likely in a negative state compounded since the birth in which he encountered Jesus. This boy was definitely one of those for whom the advent of Jesus was a fall.24
Then he who had been dead rose up, and went away.
And Jesus, by the word of His power, brought water into the pools by the aqueduct.
At the beginning of this incident it was said: And as He sat there, Jesus made to Himself seven pools of clay, and to each of them He made passages, through which at His command He brought water from the torrent into the pool, and took it back again. I have waited until this point to comment on the latter part of this passage. The flowing of the water was not just a matter of clever construction, but was done by the power of Jesus word.
The primal creative power of God is His Word. And so it is with us who are His images or reflections. Because we are out of touch with our true nature this is not usually manifested. But for the saints and the Incarnations, speaking is doing. In the one thousand years since His incarnation as Isaiah, Jesus had attained to Christhood, so this was the first life in which He was experiencing His full powers. However, as Elisha He had also lacked patienceand therefore control over the power of His words. And he [Elisha] went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.25 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.26 Both these incidents show His need to realize His powers and learn responsible control of them.
Jesus spoke and the water flowed. He spoke and the body died. He spoke and the boy lived. He spoke and the barriers the boy had made disappeared and the water flowed again. This same power is ours, awaiting our recovery of it.
We also cannot deny an element of humor in this miracle in the form of bringing a person back to life by kicking him in the rear. (Of course it also showed that Jesus was in no way penitent for what He had done to the boy.) We have records of miracles in which a divine sense of humor is evident.
Before its destruction by the Moslems, there was a gigantic church shrine of the martyr Saint Menas south of Alexandria, Egypt. Multitudes of people with various difficulties came to the church and remained there until they were helped. (This had been the custom in the Greek temples of healing before Christianity, and is still the practice is some places in India.) A paralyzed man who was sleeping in the church had a dream in which he was told that he would be cured if he would crawl over to the womens area and grab hold of a certain mute woman and squeeze her as hard as he could. Upon awakening (in the dead of night) he proceeded to do so. The woman awoke and began to scream for help. Terrified, the man leapt to his feet and ran out of the church and across the desert until he realized that he was no longer paralyzed and that the woman had been able to speak. So he returned to the church and told everyone about his dream. The miracle was recorded in the church annals.
In the last century a Greek Orthodox man had a severe hernia. He prayed to Saint Artemios for relief. Saint Artemios had been martyred by the Romans, who had crushed his abdomen between two rocks. As is often the case (perhaps also out of a sense of humor), God has given him special efficacy in curing cases of abdominal troubles. After praying for some time, the man saw Saint Artemios in a dream. The Saint told him to have the local blacksmith heat a mallet until it was red hot. Then he should lie back over the anvil and the blacksmith should strike him with the hot mallet as hard as possible right on the hernia. When he awoke he did not delay but went to the blacksmith and told him about the dream. They did as Saint Artemios had directed. But when the blacksmith raised the red hot mallet and was about to bring it down, the man was so terrified that he involuntarily breathed in violently and pulled back his abdomen. The force of his reaction pulled the hernia back in and he was cured.
Around thirty years ago a monk on Mount Athos slid on ice and fell down a ravine and permanently crippled his leg. He offered many prayers in petition for his healing. The next winter, as he walked along the path, he slipped in exactly the same place, fell down the ravine, and landed on the crippled leg. He got up and walked away healed.
Doubtless, God is telling us not to take ourselves and our problems so seriously.
And it came to pass, after these things, that in the sight of all Jesus took clay from the pools which He had made, and of it made twelve sparrows.
And it was the Sabbath when Jesus did this, and there were very many children with Him.
When, therefore, one of the Jews had seen Him doing this, he said to Joseph: Joseph, dost thou not see the child Jesus working on the Sabbath at what it is not lawful for him to do? for he has made twelve sparrows of clay.
And when Joseph heard this, he reproved him, saying: Wherefore doest thou on the Sabbath such things as are not lawful for us to do?
And when Jesus heard Joseph, He struck His hands together, and said to His sparrows: Fly!
And at the voice of His command they began to fly.
And in the sight and hearing of all that stood by, He said to the birds: Go and fly through the earth, and through all the world, and live.
Talk about being Lord of the Sabbath!27 There is also here a demonstration that life is inherent in all things, including so-called dead matter. All that exists is spirit appearing as many things. Knowing this through His divine consciousness (not merely intellectually), Jesus could demonstrate this truth by turning mud into birds and water into wine.
And when those that were there saw such miracles, they were filled with astonishment.
And some praised and admired Him, but others reviled Him.
Our reactions have little to do with what we experience, but rather are based on our internal disposition. Thus our response to divine things is an indication of where we are on the evolutionary scale, and whether we are polarized to the right or the left hand.
And certain of them went away to the chief priests and the heads of the Pharisees, and reported to them that Jesus the son of Joseph had done great signs and miracles in the sight of all the people of Israel.
And this was reported in the twelve tribes of Israel.
So again, Jesus was not unknown. He did not appear out of nowhere when He was thirty years of age. Everybody knew of His wondrous birth and life. Why did they reject Him, then? Because they were unevolved and negatively polarized.
And again the son of Annas, a priest of the temple, who had come with Joseph, holding his rod in his hand in the sight of all, with great fury broke down the dams which Jesus had made with His own hands, and let out the water which He had collected in them from the torrent. Moreover, he shut the aqueduct by which the water came in, and then broke it down.
And when Jesus saw this, He said to that boy who had destroyed His dams: O most wicked seed of iniquity! O son of death! O workshop of Satan! verily the fruit of thy seed shall be without strength, and thy roots without moisture, and thy branches withered, bearing no fruit. And immediately, in the sight of all, the boy withered away, and died.
Whether Jesus made a new set of pools on the Sabbath or whether the son of Annas was angry because he learned that the original ones had been so made is not clear. But everything else is!
In the other incident the boy is called son of the devil, son of death, son of Satan, and son of iniquity. This boy (or man?) is called son of death and workshop of Satan. In the Gospels Jesus says just as bad things to evil people. Does He do so out of petulance or personal dislike of these people? Not at all. Being Truth, He speaks truth.
It does not matter that in our essential nature we are immutable spirit, integral parts of the perfect Life and Consciousness that is God. Once we enter into relative existence we become conditioned. And the only way to escape that conditioning and return to the Bosom of the Father is to understand it thoroughly and master it. Simply repeating over and over that we are perfect and sinless accomplishes absolutely nothing except our self-deception and stagnation. This is why positive thinking can be truly negative in its effect on us. Mere speaking, even with conviction, accomplishes nothing. So we need to be realistic about our status within the realms of manifestation.
The Apostles wrote a document of spiritual instruction when they were gathered in Jerusalem. Known as The Instructions of the Twelve Apostles, it begins: There are two ways, one of life and one of death; but there is a great difference between the two ways. The two ways are the right-and-left-hand paths. When Jesus said that no one can serve two masters,28 He meant that no one can tread both paths simultaneously. He who tries will be literally torn apart psychically. The sixteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is devoted to a study of the two kinds of people who make up the world. Krishna tells His disciple, Arjuna: There are two types of beings manifested in the worldthe divine and the demonic. The word translated divine literally means shining, whereas the word translated demonic means dark in the sense of actively avoiding the light.
The wise will analyze themselves to make sure that the light that is in them in not darkness.29 Also they will discriminate wisely as to those with whom they daily come into contact, aware that they are either of the light or of the dark. One of the most clever covers of the dark is the appearance of neutralitynot too bad and not too good.30 Spiritual ignorance is the cover for this deception. How many times do we excuse ourselves and others by pleading lack of understanding or knowledge? Yet, is not ignorance itself a result of negative karma? Ignorance is not innocence, however conditioned we may be to consider it so.
There are no fence-sitters in relation to God. Pilate is the prime example of this truth. By trying to be non-committal in relation to Christ he actually condemned Him to death. This is why in the Creed we say that Jesus suffered under Pilatenot the Sanhedrin or Rome.31 By neglecting or ignoring their spiritual life people are automatically enlisting themselves in the ranks of darkness. Remember: indifference is the opposite of love, therefore those who do not think of God or religion or do not get involved in spiritual life are farther from God than those who actively and consciously hate God and religion. In other words, a demon is closer to God than are they. Let us not mistake this! And our casual forgetfulness of God or lack of commitment to Him and to the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment pushes us dangerously close to their ranks. There is no such thing as merely tipping our hat to God, although this is the absolute ideal of exoteric religion, including exoteric Christianity (Churchianity).
There is another side to this matter. Since everything is dual, whenever light descends into the world there is a corresponding wave of reaction from the darkness, ormore precisely, since darkness is not an entity unto itselffrom those forces that work to extinguish the light. There is an evil hierarchy on the inner planes just as there is a hierarchy of angelic light. Whenever there is a Divine Incarnation, the evil power sends its servants to try to counteract the divine power of the Incarnation as much as possible. Jesus had to endure them even as a child.
Then Joseph trembled, and took hold of Jesus, and went with Him to his own house, and His mother with Him. And, behold, suddenly from the opposite direction a boy, also a worker of iniquity, ran up and came against the shoulder of Jesus, wishing to make sport of Him, or to hurt Him, if he could.
See what I mean?
And Jesus said to him: Thou shalt not go back safe and sound from the way that thou goest. And immediately he fell down, and died.
The boy was fortunate, because he reaped his evil karma immediately and was released from it. Also, he died thinking of Jesus, and the absolutely final and last thought of a dying person has great force in determining both the after-death state and the quality of the next incarnation for that person.
And the parents of the dead boy, who had seen what happened, cried out saying: Where does this child come from? It is manifest that every word that he says is true; and it is often accomplished before he speaks.
And the parents of the dead boy came to Joseph, and said to him: Take away that Jesus from this place, for he cannot live with us in this town; or at least teach him to bless, and not to curse.
And Joseph came up to Jesus, and admonished Him, saying: Why doest Thou such things? For already many are in grief and against Thee, and hate us on Thy account, and we endure the reproaches of men because of Thee.
And Jesus answered and said unto Joseph: No one is a wise son but he whom his father hath taught, according to the knowledge of this time; and a fathers curse can hurt none but evil-doers.
The power of speech is dual. It may heal or it may injure. Thus a spiritual aspirant must carefully guard every word he speaks. On the other hand, the curse of fools and evildoers cannot affect him. Negative force directed at a person must find a corresponding negative energy within its target before it can penetrate the aura and work harm. Therefore the best psychic defense is self-purification.
The inner meaning here is that one such as Jesus is as a father to humanity, none of which are worthy or wise if they have not been taught by Him or one like Him. Further He indicates that even His curse could not touch such worthy sons. (Sons here applies to the inner nature, not to physical gender.)
In short: Jesus has no apologies to make, for by His deeds He is also teaching.
Then they came together against Jesus, and accused him to Joseph. When Joseph saw this, he was in great terror, fearing the violence and uproar of the people of Israel.
And the same hour Jesus seized the dead boy by the ear, and lifted him up from the earth in the sight of all: and they saw Jesus speaking to him like a father to his son. And his spirit came back to him, and he revived. And all of them wondered.
Here we see that Jesus certainly showed what He thought of people, even if He was raising them from the dead! Also, He spoke to the boy like a father to his son, affirming what I have just said about His nature as father in relation to human beings.
Note that only the second boy was resurrected. The son of Annas, because of his disposition and the attitude of his parents, stayed dead.
Now a certain Jewish schoolmaster named Zachyas heard Jesus thus speaking; and seeing that He could not be overcome, from knowing the power that was in Him [or: seeing that there was in him an insuperable knowledge of virtue], he became angry, and began rudely and foolishly, and without fear, to speak against Joseph.
And he said: dost thou not wish to entrust me with thy son, that he may be instructed in human learning and in reverence? But I see that Mary and thyself have more regard for your son than for what the elders of the people of Israel say against him. You should have given more honor to us, the elders of the whole congregation of Israel, both that he might be on terms of mutual affection with the children, and that among us he might be instructed in Jewish learning.
Joseph, on the other hand, said to him: And is there any one who can keep this child, and teach him? But if thou canst keep him and teach him, we by no means hinder him from being taught by thee those things which are learned by all.
And Jesus, having heard what Zachyas had said, answered and said unto him: The precepts of the law which thou hast just spoken of, and all the things that thou hast named, must be kept by those who are instructed in human learning; but I am a stranger to your law-courts, because I have no father after the flesh.
Thou who readest the law, and art learned in it, abidest in the law; but I was before the law. But since thou thinkest that no one is equal to thee in learning, thou shalt be taught by me, that no other can teach anything but those things which thou hast named. But he alone can who is worthy. [Tischendorf assumes it says that basically the idea is: you do not know what you are teaching, therefore you teach ideas alone. But then he who knows fully, he is the one whom can teach.] For when I shall be exalted on earth, I will cause to cease all mention of your genealogy. For thou knowest not when thou wast born: I alone know when you were born, and how long your life on earth will be.
Then all who heard these words were struck with astonishment, and cried out: Oh! oh! oh! this marvelously great and wonderful mystery. Never have we heard the like! Never has it been heard from any one else, nor has it been said or at any time heard by the prophets, or the Pharisees, or the scribes. We know whence he is sprung, and he is scarcely five years old; and whence does he speak these words?
The Pharisees answered: We have never heard such words spoken by any other child so young. And Jesus answered and said unto them: At this do ye wonder, that such things are said by a child? Why, then, do ye not believe me in those things which I have said to you? And you all wonder because I said to you that I know when you were born. I will tell you greater things, that you may wonder more. I have seen Abraham, whom you call your father, and have spoken with him; and he has seen me.
Later on as an adult Jesus will reveal that He was Abraham in a previous birth,32 but for now He speaks of His reincarnational lineage in an oblique manner to let His adversaries know that this is certainly not His first time upon earth or the first time He has dealt with men in this way.
And when they heard this they held their tongues, nor did any of them dare to speak.
And Jesus said to them: I have been among you with children, and you have not know me; I have spoken to you as to wise men, and you have not understood my words; because you are younger than I am [literally: lesser than I], and of little faith.
In metaphysical terminology age refers to the degree of evolutionary maturation possessed by the soul. Thus we have the expression old soul. A soul can be incarnating for ages and still be a child because of lack of growth, whereas another soul may be old from gaining wisdom in a (relatively) small number of incarnations. Jesus attained perfection in only a few incarnations. His birth as Jesus of Nazareth being only His ninth incarnation on the earth.
A second time the master Zachyas, doctor of the law, said to Joseph and Mary: Give me the boy, and I shall hand him over to master Levi, who shall teach him his letters and instruct him.
Then Joseph and Mary, soothing Jesus, took Him to the schools, that He might be taught His letters by old Levi.
And as soon as He went in He held His tongue.
And the master Levi said one letter to Jesus, and beginning from the first letter Aleph, said to Him: Answer. But Jesus was silent, and answered nothing.
Wherefore the preceptor Levi was angry, and sized his storax-tree rod, and struck Him on the head.
And Jesus said to the teacher Levi: Why dost thou strike me? Thou shalt know in truth, that He who is struck can teach him who strikes Him more than He can be taught by him. For I can teach you those very things that you are saying. But all these are blind who speak and hear, like sounding brass or tinkling cymbal, in which there is no perception of those things which are meant by their sound.
When Saint Paul used the expression sounding brass and tinkling cymbal,33 he was quoting Jesus.
And Jesus in addition said to Zachyas: Every letter from Aleph even to Tau is known by its arrangement. Say thou first, therefore, what Tau is, and I will tell thee what Aleph is.
He is also hinting here about certain things that are done regarding letters of the alphabet and the use of sounds and words of power involving both consonants and vowels. Jesus was showing that all esoteric knowledge was Hiswhat to speak of mundane knowledge?
And again Jesus said to them: Those who do not know Aleph, how can they say Tau, the hypocrites? Tell me what the first one, Aleph, is; and I shall then believe you when you have said Beth.
And Jesus began to ask the names of the letters one by one, and said: Let the master of the law tell us what the first letter is, or why it has many triangles, gradate, subacute, mediate, obduced, produced, erect, prostrate, curvistrate.
Hebrew was not always written in the script that is used nowadays. The original Hebrew alphabet was a magical alphabet composed of geometric figures. Knowing the power of those ideographs, the Jews decided to stop using them lest harm be done inadvertently by the ignorant or careless. So Jesus is here asking about the shapes of the original characters and their esoteric meaning. Reading and writing were originally sacred skills, but that was long ago indeed. He who could read and write understood the mysteries that were veiled by words and their symbols.
And when Levi heard this, he was thunderstruck at such an arrangement of the names of the letters. Then he began in the hearing of all to cry out, and say: Ought such a one to live on the earth?
Levi may not have the fulness of esoteric knowledge, but he is not so ignorant that he does not know about reincarnation and how those that grow in wisdom pass beyond the earth plane.34 Therefore he questions that such a One as Jesus should be on the earth instead of in the higher worlds that are more proper to such a state of development.
Yea, he ought to be hung on the great cross.
No, Levi is not trying to crucify Jesus before the time! He is referring to the esoteric symbol of the cosmos as an equal-bar cross and the universal consciousness, the Cosmic Man, Adam Kadmon, superimposed upon it. The crucifix is an ancient symbol, greatly antedating the advent of Jesus. But Jesus is crucified on an elongated crossi.e., a cosmos that is out of balance. The Christian Cross, therefore, is also an esoteric symbol. A crucifix should not be viewed as only a depiction of a dead or dying man of history, but as a symbol of humanity in bondage (nailed) to material consciousness, and thus dead or dying.
Levi is saying that Jesus is more properly the Soul of the Cosmos than confined to a human bodyand a child-body at that.
For he can put out fire, and make sport of other modes of punishment.
I think that he lived before the flood, and was born before the deluge.
Levi is right: Jesus was born as Noah before the flood. But Levi no doubt wonders if Jesus might not be one of the giants in the earth, or one of the Sons of God that came down and were enmeshed in matter, thus becoming progenitors of such giants.
For what womb bore him? or what mother brought him forth? or what breasts gave him suck?
Indeed! Who would not stand in awe of the woman that could give birth to such a One? Levi wonders if Jesus could even have been born. But He was, to the eternal glory of His Mother, Eve. The Eastern Christian Church sings a hymn that fittingly says: What shall we call Thee, O Thou Who art full of grace? Heaven, for from Thee shone forth the Sun of Righteousness; Paradise, for Thou hast budded forth the Flower of Immortality; Virgin, for Thou hast remained undefiled: Pure Mother, for Thou hast held in Thy holy embrace Thy Son, Who is Lord of all.
I flee before him; I am not able to withstand the words from his mouth, but my heart is astounded to hear such words.
Levi may not understand all that Jesus says, but his intuition tells him that every word is truth from an infinite Source, and he is awed by it.
I do not think that any man can understand what he says, except God were with him.
How right he is! No amount of study or intellectual cogitation can reveal the meaning of Christs words. They are a sealed book that is open to none but the seeker after Christhood. This is why those who read the Bible without having an inner life come up with little more than foolishness for their trouble. This is also why true disciples of Christ are not Bibliolators and never mistake the Bible for Christ, the true Word of God. The Bible is a tool for the Christian, not the other way around. The Bible is based on the Divine Vision. It is not the truth, but a reflection of the truth which cannot be comprehended without the supernatural sight conferred by meditation.
Now I, unfortunate wretch, have given myself up to be a laughing-stock to him. For when I thought I had a scholar, I, not knowing him, have found my master. What shall I say? I cannot withstand the words of this child:
Good sense should say that since this Child is really an Ancient One, a Master, I shall learn from Him. But good sense does not reside in this man, only intellectual pride. Therefore he says:
I shall now flee from this town, because I cannot understand them.
In other words, having met one who had true wisdom, rather than receive that wisdom he preferred to go away to preserve his egoand his ignorance. This is not at all an uncommon reaction. Many times I have seen people flee from the truth they claimed to be seeking. I cannot count the number of people I have seen encounter something that is real, only to rush away in panic. Others I have seen become angry at having their bluff called by being offered what they professed to desire. This is continually happening in spiritual life.
There are professional wanderers who vociferously proclaim their grief at not finding anything or anyone they can trust, or not being able to find an authentic spiritual tradition or teacher. But the moment they encounter a genuinely spiritual person or institution that cannot be rejected by them on the grounds of inauthenticity, etc., they become desperate and react with vicious negativity and rejection. They are like the lady I heard a Broadway producer tell about. This woman had auditioned for parts in every Broadway musical for more than twenty years. Her act was whistling Listen to the Mockingbird. Feeling sorry for her, and having no idea how he would use her, he said that she could have a part in one of his shows. Erupting into fury, she grabbed her music and snapped at him: I never accept partsI only audition! and walked out. Are we that way? Do we really want to know the truth, or do we only audition? The Hebrews complained to Moses that they did not hear the voice of God. But when they did, they begged to never more have such an experience!35 Nor could they endure to see the divine light that shone from Moses countenance after he had communed with God.36
An old man like me has been beaten by a boy, because I can find neither beginning nor end of what he says. For it is no easy matter to find a beginning of himself. I tell you of a certainty, I am not lying, that to my eyes the proceedings of this boy, and commencement of his conversation, and the upshot of his intention, seem to have nothing in common with mortal man. Here then I do not know whether he be a wizard or a god; or at least an angel of God speaks in him. Whence he is, or where he comes from, or who he will turn out to be, I know not.
The teachers speculation as to the nature of Jesus reveals that the Hebrews believed in the existence of magicians, gods, and angelic communications. Moreover, since the knowledge of Jesus is sacred, it is also evident that the Hebrews knew that magicians, gods, and angelic communications could be goodthat is, of God. For no evil is being imputed or implied by the application of these concepts to Jesus.
If you will take a concordance and look up the words god and gods in the Bible you will find that the authors of the various books definitely believed in the existence of gods within the hierarchy of creation. Just as in Hinduism, Judaism and Christianity realize that there is one unique Being: God. But there are lesser powers who assist in the projection and regulation of creation. These are gods. The saints and angels, as well as the Powers beyond the angelic realms, may be referred to as gods, although the beings we usually refer to with that term are the supervisors of creation, as I have said.
From the material already covered in these apocryphal gospels, we have seen that angelic communication with human beings is possible and actual.
Then Jesus, smiling at him with a joyful countenance, said in a commanding voice to all the sons of Israel standing by and hearing: Let the unfruitful bring forth fruit, and the blind see, and the lame walk right, and the poor enjoy the good things of this life, and the dead live, that each may return to his original state, and abide in him who is the root of life and of perpetual sweetness.
The unfruitful, the blind, the lame, and the poor are human beings without the inner connection. And without that we cannot develop and evolve: bear fruit. Without that we cannot perceive higher things with the inner faculties, although it is possible to perceive the lower levels of the astral world naturally. Without that we cannot walkthat is, move and functionin the higher worlds of light beyond this material plane. Without that we lack the means to obtain the higher knowledge and intuition that is essential for our genuine spiritual progress. Without that we are dead to higher life, indeed we are totally unconscious of it. Conversely, with that we do bear fruit, we do see, we do walk, we become rich, and we become alive. Not that that is guaranteed, however, since we must apply our awakened will before any effect can be gained. In the spiritual life we are working our way to mastership, therefore nothing is automatic, but all must be done through the activation of our will that has been expanded and empowered through meditation.
The basic purpose of meditation is openly stated by Jesus: that each may return to his original state, and abide in him who is the root of life and of perpetual sweetness. The return to the Bosom of the Father is the ultimate fruition of meditation.
This statement by Jesus also refutes the ignorant Christian idea that we have all been created out of nothing. Instead He indicates the truth that our originaland eternalcondition was in God, Who is the root of our life. We allwithout exceptionbegan with God and we shall end in God. There is no place here for either heaven or hell, although both do exist in the lower levels of creation and must be passed beyond.
And when the child Jesus had said this, forthwith all who had fallen under malignant diseases were restored.
And they did not dare to say anything more to Him, or to hear anything from Him.
When Moses came down from the mountain and his face shone with light from speaking with God, what did the people say? Cover up your face, you scare us. When they challenged Moses and said: How do we know God speaks to you? God said, Then I will speak in the hearing of all. And instead of rejoicing at being privileged to hear the voice of God, they said the same thing to Moses: Now, you talk to God from now on. We dont want to hear His voice any more. It scares us. Evil always has that same reaction: I am afraid. Afraid of healing! Instead of taking refuge in Jesus they run from Him. So it has always been, and so shall it always be for those who wilfully tread the lefthand path. For seeming fear is often covert hatred. But one day they, too, shall turn and be healed. Let us not wait for them, however, but keep on moving upward, letting them come along in their own time.
And let us be sure we are not like them, for we all have the experience sometimes of finding truth unpleasant and burdensome. We must be careful that we always follow truth, and not seek to ignore or have it covered up from our sight so things will be easier for us. For if we sow such an evil and rebellious seed, it will bear fruit in spiritual blindness. We must remember that it is only the ego that shrinks from the obligations of truth. If we will grit our teeth and take the medicine we will find that our souls will be healed and freed. Here, too, the principle shown in Revelation applies: that which is sweet and easy will become bitter and burdensome, whereas that which is bitter and hard will become sweet and light.37 As the Bhagavad Gita counsels, let us ignore the merely pleasant and pleasing, and seek the good alone.
After these things, Joseph and Mary departed thence with Jesus into the city of Nazareth; and He remained there with His parents.
And on the first of the week, when Jesus was playing with the children on the roof of a certain house, it happened that one of the children pushed another down from the roof to the ground, and he was killed.
And the parents of the dead boy, who had not seen this, cried out against Joseph and Mary, saying: Your son has thrown our son down to the ground, and he is dead.
But Jesus was silent, and answered them nothing.
Why did Jesus not answer them? Because they did not ask about what happened, but made an accusation. The mind of the higher powers, including Incarnations of God, are obviously not like ours. One aspect is their very direct literalness and absence of egoic convolution. Thus they often speak telegraphically and even cryptically. But their seeming obscurity comes from our own minds since we are not used to very literal and straightforward speaking. Simplicity eludes us and seems obscure. We are used to interpreting everything we hear rather than simply taking it in. This is because most people either lie or do not know what they really want to say or mean. But this is not the case with God or His holy ones.
Also, Jesus does not answer these people because they want Him to be guilty. And if they want to play with that illusion He leaves them free to do so. I well remember some people I knew going to Mother Anandamayi and accusing Her of various wrongs. When their recital was finished, they waited for Her to apologize or attempt to justify Herself so they could wrangle with Her. Instead, She quietly said: Since you have chosen to see things this waythen that is how they are. Finished. Fortunately, this shocked them out of their foolishness and they saw the truth of Her reply. Jesus was also silent before Pilate38 because Pilate already knew that Jesus was not guilty. The Samaritan woman, Saint Photina, tried to evade the truth of things by engaging Jesus in religious controversy, but He would have none of it and spoke the relevant truth to her about her life.39 If we would come to know the True, then we must become scrupulously truthful, which includes accuracy in our words.
And Joseph and Mary came in haste to Jesus; and His mother asked Him, saying: My lord, tell me if thou didst throw him down.
And immediately Jesus went down from the roof to the ground, and called the boy by his name, Zeno. And he answered Him: My lord.
And Jesus said to him: Was it I that threw thee down from the roof to the ground? And he said: No, my lord.
And the parents of the boy who had been dead wondered, and honored Jesus for the miracle that had been wrought.
And Joseph and Mary departed thence with Jesus to Jericho.
Jesus answers His Mother for She not only inquires, She calls Him Lord, just as She had done in their incarnations as Sara and Abraham.40
Later on Jesus will say that He does not bear witness of Himself41and He follows the same principle here. Instead of speaking on His own He calls upon the dead boy to tell the truth. From the context, it would seem that Jesus raised the boy from the dead rather than momentarily reviving hima miracle that many saints have performed.
Would not such a person as Jesus be considered the most precious of treasures? In our own time the citizens of San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy militantly resisted any attempts to move Padre Pio from them. They defied both civil and ecclesiastical authorities, even threatening with death anyone who would take their beloved spiritual father from them. But not so with the citizens of Nazareth. Instead, at their entreaties the Holy Family departs to Jericho.
Now Jesus was six years old, and His mother sent Him with a pitcher to the fountain to draw water with the children.
And it came to pass, after He had drawn the water, that one of the children came against Him, and struck the pitcher, and broke it.
But Jesus stretched out the cloak which He had on, and took up in His cloak as much water as there had been in the pitcher, and carried it to His mother.
And when she saw it she wondered, and reflected within herself, and laid up all these things in her heart.
Since this child did not die we can assume that what happened was an accidentwhich tells us that the death of the others did not come from pique on the part of Jesus but from justice. Fortunately for othersincluding usin time He came to manifest mercy instead of justice.
From this incident we see that physical laws had no sway over Him nor over that which He put His mind upon. Thus the thief prayed: Lord, remember me.42 For those upon whom the Lord God fixes His mind cannot but be transformed.
Jesus is also showing us that things are not what they seem, but are purely ideational and subject to alteration at thought and will. Our minds and wills have become diluted and eroded, but when they are restored to their rightful status we shall do the same as He. I have seen Marcel Vogel show people how to take metal spoons and bend them as though they were butter. He told them this very thing: Lightly rub the spoon with your fingers while thinking that it is becoming soft like warm butter. And when you feel that it is the right moment, just take it and twist it around. Following his instruction, little children were able to twist stainless steel spoons into corkscrew shape. Adults did it too, at his direction, but children did it the easiest because they still had the consciousness carried over from the astral world where the manipulation of matter by thought power is the norm.
Jesus continually showed by His miracles that nothing really has a nature of its own, but that a certain pattern is imposed upon it; and if a person has a mind as strong as that which imposed the original pattern, then a whole other pattern can be impressed upon it and it will seem to change into something else or act contrary to its supposed nature.
When Yogananda went to visit Sister Gyanamata and her husband the first time, there were some little round salt shakers on the table with mercury in their bottoms so they would not fall over. In reaching out for something he knocked one and grabbed at it to set it uprightbut it righted itself! He was amazed. He pushed it and let goand it went upright. He did this several times. Sister Gyanamata and her husband were amused at seeing the simple Indian man who did not understand the clever American gadget. Then he looked at them very seriously and pushed the shaker over onto its side. It remained there. Then they did not laugh, but realized that they were in the presence of Someone who had mastered physical force. Later on he told them that a voice had spoken to him and said: Make it stay down for Sisters sake, and he had done so.
Again, on a certain day, He went forth into the field, and took a little wheat from His mothers barn, and sowed it Himself. And it sprang up, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly. And at last it came to pass that He himself reaped it, and gathered as the produce of it three kors, and gave it to His numerous acquaintances.
The Virgin was from the wealthiest family in Israel and had much land and other properties, so Saint Matthew tells us that the barn was Hers, not Saint Josephs.
Jesus is demonstrating that plant life, like inert matter, is also shaped by thought alone. Today we are hearing of the genetic engineering of plants, but Jesus had no need of such crude methods.
Once a friend of our monastery gave us a small wooden frame with clear plastic sides containing some bees so we could watch the way bees live and produce wax and honey. We blessed the little hive, and in two or three weeks it was filled with honey. When we called our friend and told him to come get it, since the bees no longer had room to live in, he could not believe it, and told us that it should have taken some months to fill the frame. But because of the blessing the bees had been able to make many times more honey than normal. Seeds will produce more if blessed before being planted. So will the ground in which they are planted if it is blessed as well. This is because God is the supreme creative power. Anything magnetized with the divine creative consciousness will manifest it accordingly.
There is a road going out of Jericho and leading to the river Jordan, to the place where the children of Israel crossed: and there the ark of the covenant is said to have rested.
And Jesus was eight years old, and He went out of Jericho, and went towards the Jordan.
And there was beside the road, near the bank of the Jordan, a cave where a lioness was nursing her cubs; and no one was safe to walk that way.
Jesus then, coming from Jericho, and knowing that in that cave the lioness had brought forth her young, went into it in the sight of all.
And when the lions saw Jesus, they ran to meet Him, and adored Him.
And Jesus was sitting in the cavern, and the lions cubs ran hither and thither round His feet, fawning upon Him, and sporting.
And the older lions, with their heads bowed down, stood at a distance, and adored Him, and fawned upon Him with their tails.
Now we see that animal life is also subject to the illumined consciousness of Jesus. However, in this case He did not cause them to act contrary to their nature, but rather according to it. For originally all animals had been peaceful and vegetarian, never injuring or killing and eating one another. Violence and death had entered into the world through the agency of Lucifer and his evil angels. It is natural for humans to love animals and for animals to love them in return. We see from the lives of the saints that this is the natural order. World peace and brotherhood can never come from political or philosophical forces, but only from spiritual realization. Those who truly want world peace must gain peace within themselves first.
Then the people who were standing afar off, not seeing Jesus, said: Unless he or his parents had committed grievous sins, he would not of his own accord have offered himself up to the lions.
We see from this that the common people of the Hebrews certainly believed in karma and reincarnation.
And when the people were thus reflecting within themselves, and were lying under great sorrow, behold, on a sudden, in the sight of the people, Jesus came out of the cave, and the lions went before him, and the lions cubs played with each other before his feet.
How is it that the wild beasts could be affected by Jesus, and so many human beings could not? Self-consciousness and free willalong with the great enemy, egohas developed in the human being. We have chosen to attune our minds away from God, and so it is. Jesus could tame lions, but humans had the freedom to reject Him as well as accept Him. Animals only act in accordance with their nature, but we have the powerand the dispositionto act against our nature, and thus against God and His messengers.
And the parents of Jesus stood afar off, with their heads bowed down, and watched; likewise also the people stood at a distance, on account of the lions; for they did not dare to come close to them.
Then Jesus began to say to the people: How much better are the beasts than you, seeing that they recognize their Lord, and glorify Him; while you men, who have been made after the image and likeness of God, do not know Him!
Beasts know me, and are tame; men see me, and do not acknowledge me.
He could have justifiably said: Wild beasts see Me and become tame, whereas men see Me and become wild, for ultimately men did destroy Him. (Or attempted to.)
After these things Jesus crossed the Jordan, in the sight of them all, with the lions; and the water of the Jordan was divided on the right hand and on the left.
Then He said to the lions, in the hearing of all: Go in peace, and hurt no one; but neither let man injure you, until you return to the place whence you have come forth.
Such is the care of Jesus for the animals. He knew that eventually some party of soldiers or other armed men would come to kill the lions to remove the supposed danger to human beings. Also He knew how cats of all types hate water, so He divided the waters for them, just as in His incarnation as Moses He had parted the water for the Hebrews. This shows that God values animals as highly as he does human beings.43 They are all His evolving children, sleeping godsjust as are we.
Although Jesus exhorts the lions to harm no one, He also tells them to not allow anyone to harm theman interesting aside to the ideal of non-violence.
In India there is the story of a yogi who encountered a ferocious cobra that was terrorizing the people where he lived, biting and killing them. The yogi reprimanded the cobra and told him to quit harming people. Some time later he came by that way again and found the cobra nearly dead from the stones hurled at him by children who were chasing him. The yogi made the children leave, and then asked the cobra what was the matter. Ever since you told me to stop biting people everyone in the area has been running after me and trying to kill me. Listen, said the yogi, I only told you to stop biting people, but I did not tell you that you couldnt hiss at them if they needed it. So from now on hiss at them and they will let you alone.
And they, bidding him farewell, not only with their gestures but with their voices, went to their own place. But Jesus returned to His mother.
The only reason animals do not speak human language is their lack of vocal apparatus. Some rare animals do speak like humans, however, and some primates can use sign language. So in them also there is the power of Logos, of Word in the sense of intelligent conceptualization, but they cannot speak it out. No one can have any contact with animals and not realize that, unless they are themselves subhuman despite their human form. Some animals have used various means of spelling out words and have proven to be both brilliant and psychic. Some dogs have been mathematical geniuses. We do not hear much about them except in books on curiosities because of the implications in relation to the exploitation and killing (what to say of eating) of animals.
Now Joseph was a carpenter, and used to make nothing else of wood but ox-yokes, and ploughs, and implements of husbandry, and wooden beds.
And it came to pass that a certain young man ordered him to make for him a couch six cubits long.
And Joseph commanded his servant to cut the wood with an iron saw, according to the measure which he had sent. But he did not keep to the prescribed measure, but made one piece of wood shorter than the other.
And Joseph was in perplexity, and began to consider what he was to do about this.
And when Jesus saw him in this state of cogitation, seeing that it was a matter of impossibility to him, He addressed him with words of comfort, saying: Come, let us take hold of the ends of the pieces of wood, and let us put them together, end to end, and let us fit them exactly to each other, and draw to us, for we shall be able to make them equal.
Then Joseph did what he was bid, for he knew that He could do whatever He wished.
And Joseph took hold of the ends of the pieces of wood, and brought them together against the wall next himself, and Jesus took hold of the other ends of the pieces of wood, and drew the shorter piece to Him, and made it of the same length as the longer one. And He said to Joseph: Go and work, and do what thou hast promised to do. And Joseph did what he had promised.
There was an Irish Saint named Cuthman. He was not very intelligent, but he was holy. Once he decided to build a church. The roof began to collapse, so he seized a log to prop it up. But the log was longer than the roof was high. The other workers ran away to save their lives and went to tell Saint Cuthmans mother that he was surely dead. In a short while, though, Saint Cuthman came along. When asked how he had survived, he told them that as he was trying to hoist the log into place a great light blazed forth at the doorway, and out of the light stepped a Man Who touched the log and it became the right size, fitting perfectly. When Saint Cuthman asked the Stranger how He had done that, the Man smiled and answered: Oh, I was once a carpenter long ago. Reentering the light He vanished.
And when Jesus was with other children He repeatedly went up and sat down upon a balcony, and many of them began to do likewise, and they fell down and broke their legs and arms. And the Lord Jesus healed them all.
Here we see that Jesus was a child and had a childs sense of daring and fun. He could sit and balance Himself on the balcony railing because He controlled gravity, but the others could not do the same.
One of Yoganandas secretaries told me that a day or so after beginning to work for him she meditated with him in his room and saw him become weightless and begin to float outward off the chair until he was barely touching the front of the seat. Jesus could do the same.
And it came to pass a second time, that Joseph and Mary were asked by the people that Jesus should be taught His letters in school.
Then, as now, there was no end to busybodies. Further, they hated the manifestation of the supernatural knowledge of Jesus and wanted Him to somehow be jammed into the mold of normalcy and to deny His nature. As spiritual aspirants we will encounter the same type of persons who would move heaven and earth to get us to pretend to be like themand thus in time actually become like them.44
They did not refuse to do so; and according to the commandment of the elders, they took him to a master to be instructed in human learning.
Then the master began to teach Him in an imperious tone, saying: Say Alpha. [Although the Greek words for the letters are used, the Hebrew letters are meant.]
And Jesus said to him: Do thou tell me first what Beta is, and I will tell thee what Alpha is. And upon this the master got angry and struck Jesus; and no sooner had he struck Him, than he fell down dead.
Why do the good suffer? Because when a person develops his consciousness he starts reaping his karma more rapidly so he can get rid of it and go on to God. A lot of heavy things fall upon people who are cultivating their spiritual life so they can work through them. Another thing that begins to take place is instantaneous karmic reaction. I have known of people practicing intense spiritual discipline who the moment they swatted a bee or a wasp would be stung by another bee or a wasp. Whatever such a person does rebounds on him in a matter of minutes or hours. This is because his whole energy system vibrates so rapidly and has become so responsive that karma comes back to him very quickly.
Another point to be understood from this is that there really is not such a thing as purely mechanical karma. The strength of karma has a great deal to do with the person by whom it was created and with whom it was created. The more evolved the person, the stronger is the karma. Kicking an ordinary person and kicking a saint produces karmic reactions of very different intensities. The kicking of the saint produces a far more severe reaction, not because the kicker is being punished, but because of the intensity of the saints life force. It is the difference between putting your finger in a light socket that has only a few volts and putting your finger in one that has hundreds of volts. In one sense the action is the same, and the nature of the reaction is the same, but the difference in degree is dramatic.
A young man with a club foot came to visit Yogananda. When he left, one of the disciples remarked that he felt sorry for him. I dont feel sorry for him, responded Yogananda. He has that club foot because in his past life he kicked his mother. We have all kicked people, but kicking our mother is a wholly different story from kicking the neighbor kids.
The karma incurred in relation to Christ, then, was of supreme effectgood and bad. As Noah He had preached righteousness for a hundred and twenty years. The people who would not listen to him were not allowed to return to the earth plane after death and were given no chance for spiritual evolution, but were kept locked in Hades, the world of the invisibles, until Christs death on the Cross. Then He descended into the nether regions, to what Saint Peter calls the prison, and delivered those who had been waiting there since the days of the Flood.45 His spiritual magnetism, even as Noah, had been so mighty that those who mocked Him and turned away from what He had to say suffered a far, far greater effect than if they had been rejective of an ordinary person speaking the truth. So we can be assured that very many of those who rejected Him in His advent as Jesus are in a similar condition, waiting for deliverance in His future incarnation.
And Jesus went home again to His mother.
Remember, the house of the Holy Family was divided, with Saint Joseph living in one side and Jesus and the Virgin in the other. Saint Joseph was in awe of the Virgin and Her Son, as he should have been, and knew his place as Their guardian. He loved Them, and They loved him, but with the correct perspective. The Holy Family did not live a normal family life. Or rather, they alone did live normally.
And Joseph, being afraid, called Mary to him, and said to her: Know of a surety that my soul is sorrowful even unto death on account of this child. For it is very likely that at some time or other some one will strike him in malice, and he will die.
Saint Joseph was afraid that someone would take vengeance on Jesus because of some miracleespecially the killing of those who did Him injuryand murder Him.
But Mary answered and said: O man of God! Do not believe that this is possible. You may believe to a certainty that He who has sent him to be born among men will Himself guard him from all mischief, and will in His own name preserve him from evil.
As already cited: Jesus answered [Pilate], Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above. And: Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?46
Again the Jews asked Mary and Joseph a third time to coax Him to go to another master to learn.
And Joseph and Mary, fearing the people, and the overbearing of the princes, and the threats of the priests, led Him again to school, knowing that He could learn nothing from man, because He had perfect knowledge from God only.
There is a real lesson in these words. If we want perfect knowledge we must not look to imperfect man, but to the perfect God. Also, human knowledge must by its source and nature be imperfect. Only divine knowledge can be perfect.
And when Jesus had entered the school, led by the Holy Spirit, He took the book out of the hand of the master who was teaching the law, and in the sight and hearing of all the people began to read, not indeed what was written in their book; but He spoke in the Spirit of the living God, as if a stream of water were gushing forth from a living fountain, and the fountain remained always full.
The Bible is a collection of books of Inner Mystery, therefore behind the words on the page is the inspiration, the vision, of the Masters who wrote them. Those without inner consciousness will either see them as books of stories or will produce a hopeless botch if they try to interpret them in a spiritual way, for it will be the blind leading the blind.47 In early Church history we read that Christians would be tortured to death rather than allow outsiders to see their scriptures. How different it is today when Bible societies splatter translations of the Bible over the globe. And the result? Confusion.
In the book of Acts we are told of the Ethiopian who was reading the book of Isaiah, but told Saint Philip that he could not understand it since he had no teacher48 to open his consciousness to know the meaning of the inspired words.
In the histories of the Protestant Reformation written by Protestants there is a constant harping on the fact that priests seldom preached sermons and that the Bible was not in the vernacular. Today we have sermons galore and Bibles in every language. Again, the result is confusionungodly confusionbecause the churches cannot make their members Other Christs and Knowers of the Mysteries.
There was a holy Rabbi in Europe who was known for his interpretations of the Jerusalem Talmud. When someone asked him where he got his knowledge, he answered: From the same source as the writers of the Jerusalem Talmud. We, too, must tap that infinite source if we would comprehend even the most elementary principles of mystical religion.
Jesus demonstrated that there was a Scripture behind all scriptures, a Law behind all laws, a Wisdom behind all wisdom, a Truth behind all truths: God. By becoming one with God we shall then not only know all these things, we shall embody them. Jesus did not tell his Apostles that they were only to be illumined, He told them that they were to themselves become luminaries, sources of light.49 By centering their consciousness in the Spirit they would come to know all things. Jesus told them that the purpose of the Holy Spirit was to teach them all truth.50 But the teaching of the Holy Spirit is in unutterable words.51
Jesus taught in parables so the ignorant could not comprehend the mysteries.52 So it is with the Bible. Those who attempt a literal interpretation will come up with just the mess we have today under the label of Christianity. The ignoramuses boast that they believe what the Bible says, but the illumined Christian believes what it means. There is a difference!
This passage also shows that the inner meanings of divinely-inspired writings are inexhaustible. That is, they are capable of a multitude of interpretations, all of which are correct. In our study of scriptures we must not just seek for a single meaning, but examine all the facets. There is no one single interpretation intended, but each statement is meant to be a seed that through meditation will yield an infinity of insights. For this reason there should not be disputation on interpretation of scriptures. All views should be heard and appreciated. Even the exoterics sometimes come up with very good insights. Of course there are some interpretations that are completely absurd, especially the prophecy lines and the fantasies about the end of the world, the resurrection of the body, etc.
And with such power He taught the people the great things of the living God, that the master himself fell to the ground and adored Him.
And the heart of the people who sat and heard Him saying such things was turned into astonishment.
And when Joseph heard of this, he came running to Jesus, fearing that the master himself was dead.
And when the master saw him, he said to him: Thou hast given me not a scholar, but a master; and who can withstand His words?
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the Psalmist: The river of God is full of water: Thou hast prepared them corn, for so is the provision for it.
So not all teachers were fools. But note that this teacher was a teacher of religion, whereas the previous ones were teachers of secular knowledge.
How beautiful the preceding passage is, and yet behold the following one:
After these things Joseph departed thence with Mary and Jesus to go into Capernaum by the sea-shore, on account of the malice of His adversaries.
Let us not mistake these peoples motivations. They do not hate Jesus despite of His wonders, they hate Him because of them. The light has shown upon their diseased eyes and they are tormented by it. The Healer has come, and the sick have rejected Him. The disciple is not above his master,53 and so shall it be with us. The more real we are seen to be, the more we will be disliked. If we work a few miracles we will really be in danger.
An acquaintance of mine was once standing with another boy outside a pig pen at a university experimental farm. The pigs inside were of an astonishing size and very ferocious. One of the workers came along and asked if they would like to go in the pen. My friend said no, but his companion said yes. So the man opened the gate, and in the two went. As soon as they were inside, the worker reached down and scooped up a handful of mud and pig excrement and rubbed it all over his face and hands, then did the same to the boy. And the pigs paid no attention to them at all. I think you get the idea.
And when Jesus was living in Capernaum, there was in the city a man named Joseph, exceedingly rich. But he had wasted away under his infirmity, and died, and was laying dead on his couch.
And when Jesus heard them in the city mourning, and weeping, and lamenting over the dead man, He said to Joseph: Why dost thou not afford the benefit of thy favor to this man, seeing that he is called by thy name?
And Joseph answered him: How have I any power or ability to afford him a benefit?
Here we see something that is all too commona spiritual seeker that does not realize his capabilities. Saint Joseph was not just a nice man who was a mediocre carpenter. He was an Essene initiate. But he did not know his power.
And Jesus said to him: Take the handkerchief which is upon thy head, and go and put it on the face of the dead man, and say to him: Christ heal thee; and immediately the dead man will be healed, and will rise from his couch.
And when Joseph heard this, he went away at the command of Jesus and ran, and entered the house of the dead man, and put the handkerchief which he was wearing on his head upon the face of him who was lying on the couch, and said: Jesus heal thee.
And forthwith the dead man rose from his bed, and asked who Jesus was.
Because the cloth had been on Saint Josephs head, where there are many centers of high energies, it was powerfully magnetized with his inner consciousness. Two other things also raised the man from the dead: obedience and the invocation of Jesus. It was Saint Josephs spiritual status and his humble obedience that rendered the words so effective in his mouth.
Let us never doubt the efficacy of holy objectsespecially the relics of the saints (fortunately the Church still possesses the robe of Saint Joseph). Nor should we doubt the efficacy of invoking the saints, the perfected disciples of Christ and fellow-workers with Him.
The man asked who Jesus was because he had heard the words of Saint Joseph in the astral world and they had called him back. This also reveals an important truth: it was the inner power behind Saint Josephs speaking that made his words operative.
And they went away from Capernaum into the city which is called Bethlehem; and Joseph lived with Mary in his own house, and Jesus with them.
And on a certain day Joseph called to him his first-born son James, and sent him into the vegetable garden to gather vegetables for the purpose of making broth.
Saint James, being the oldest of Saint Josephs nephews, the expression first born is used here. Perhaps he was his mothers first child, as well.
And Jesus followed His brother James into the garden; but Joseph and Mary did not know this.
And while James was collecting the vegetables, a viper suddenly came out of a hole and struck his hand, and he began to cry out from excessive pain.
And, becoming exhausted, he said, with a bitter cry: Alas! alas! an accursed viper has struck my hand.
And Jesus, who was standing opposite to him, at the bitter cry ran up to James, and took hold of his hand; and all that He did was to blow on the hand of James, and cool it: and immediately James was healed, and the serpent died.
Blowing on the hand is a common form of biomagnetic healing. Everyone puts their hand or finger to their mouth when they are injuredit is a manifestation of subliminal knowledge, although we do not know how to use it. (We also yell or moan because sound really does lessen the pain or help us to endure it.) However, the dying of the serpent is another matter. That is higher magic, and is known in India even now. I have met one such person with this and other miraculous abilities in relation to poisonous snakes, particularly cobras.
And Joseph and Mary did not know what had been done; but at the cry of James, and the command of Jesus, they ran to the garden, and found the serpent already dead, and James quite cured.
The death of the serpent indicates that God does not just cure us of our problems, He also eliminates the cause of them so they will not recur. We would be wise to study our problems and do the same.
And Joseph having come to feast with his sons, James, Joseph, and Judah, and Simeon and his two daughters, Jesus met them, with Mary His mother, along with her sister Mary of Cleophas, whom the Lord God had given to her father Cleophas and her mother Anna, because they had offered Mary the mother of Jesus to the Lord. And she was called by the same name, Mary, for the consolation of her parents.
And when they had come together, Jesus sanctified and blessed them, and He was the first to begin to eat and drink; for none of them dared to eat or drink, or to sit at table, or to break bread, until He had sanctified them, and first done so.
And if He happened to be absent, they used to wait until He should do this. And when He did not wish to come for refreshment, neither Joseph nor Mary, nor the sons of Joseph, His brothers, came.
And, indeed, these brothers, keeping His life as a lamp before their eyes, observed him, and feared [that is, revered] Him.
And when Jesus slept, whether by day or by night, the brightness of God shone upon Him. To whom be all praise and glory for ever and ever. Amen, amen.
We see by this that the family of Jesusat that time, anywayshowed Him great reverence.
One manuscript adds:
And when Joseph, worn out with old age, died and was buried with his parents, the blessed Mary lived with her nephews, or with the children of her sisters; for Anna and Emerina were sisters.
Of Emerina was born Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist.
And as Anna, the mother of the blessed Mary, was very beautiful, when Joachim was dead she was married to Cleophas, by whom she had a second daughter. She called her Mary, and gave her to Alphaeus to wife; and of her was born James the Son of Alphaeus, and Philip his brother.
And her second husband having died, Anna was married to a third husband named Salome, by whom she had a third daughter. She called her Mary likewise, and gave her to Zebedee to wife; and of her were born James the son of Zebedee, and John the Evangelist.
So four of the Apostles were Jesus own cousins, including the Beloved Disciple, regarding whom another manuscript says:
The holy Apostle and Evangelist John with his own hand wrote this little book in Hebrew, and the learned doctor Jerome rendered it from Hebrew into Latin.
Whichever attribution is correctMatthew or Johnwe have certainly learned a great deal from this little Gospel.
Now we are ready for another Gospel which will repeat much of what we have already covered, yet will serve as an affirmation of that which has gone before.
Next: Chapter Three–The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary
1) John 14:17 [Go back]
2) According to David, the manna given the Hebrews in the wilderness was an objectification of the angelic astral food. [God had] opened the doors of heaven, and had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels food. (Psalms 78:23-25) [Go back]
3) Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. (John 11:47-52) [Go back]
4) Genesis 3:5 [Go back]
5) Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. (Matthew 1:19) [Go back]
6) Matthew 5:12 [Go back]
7) Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. (John 2:23-25) [Go back]
8) I Corinthians 3:2; 9:7; Hebrews 5:12,13; I Peter 2:2 [Go back]
9) Matthew 12:34 [Go back]
10) More about Trailanga Swami can be found in Paramhansa Yoganandas Autobiography of a Yogi. [Go back]
11) Genesis 22:15-18 [Go back]
12) I am referring to the cave in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, not the Protestant garden tomb. [Go back]
13) God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:3) [Go back]
14) He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. (Luke 1:53) [Go back]
15) And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. (Matthew 9:20-22) [Go back]
16) John 14:11 [Go back]
17) The reference is to Isaiah 1:3. [Go back]
18) And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field. (Genesis 2:19,20) [Go back]
19) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (Genesis 1:29,30) [Go back]
20) And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, and entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. (John 6:16-21) [Go back]
21) For a remarkable and valuable account of how this had taken place in some of the Egyptian temples, see The Idyll of the White Lotus by Mabel Collins. This book is a record of Miss Collins previous life in which she had been forced to act as a medium for an evil spirit that had invaded a temple of Isis because of the corruption of the priests. [Go back]
22) Isaiah 19:1, Septuagint reading. [Go back]
23) Galatians 6:7 [Go back]
24) And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel. (Luke 2:34) [Go back]
25) This was a mocking reference to the ascension of his teacher, Elijah, and therefore it enraged him as it would not had they only been ridiculing him. [Go back]
26) II Kings 2:23,24 [Go back]
27) The Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. (Matthew 12:8) [Go back]
28) Matthew 6:24 [Go back]
29) If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:23) [Go back]
30) In the book of Revelation Jesus says: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15,16) [Go back]
31) See The Gnosis of the Creed. [Go back]
32) Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:58) The more correct translation is: I say unto you, before this [incarnation] I was Abraham. [Go back]
33) I Corinthians 13:1 [Go back]
34) See May a Christian Believe in Reincarnation? for citations of Jewish authorities on reincarnation. [Go back]
35) And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. (Exodus 19:16-19) [Go back]
36) And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him. (Exodus 34:29-35) [Go back]
37) And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angels hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. (Revelation 10:9,10) [Go back]
38) John 19:9 [Go back]
39) See the fourth chapter of Saint Johns Gospel. [Go back]
40) Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. (I Peter 3:6) [Go back]
41) If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. (John 5:31) [Go back]
42) And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (Luke 23:42) [Go back]
43) Should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? (Jonah 4:11) [Go back]
44) But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13) [Go back]
45) For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (I Peter 3:18-20) [Go back]
46) Matthew 26:53 [Go back]
47) If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:14) [Go back]
48) And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? (Acts 8:26-31) [Go back]
49) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men. (Matthew 5:14-16) And Saint Paul wrote: Ye shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15) [Go back]
50) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth (John 16:13). [Go back]
51) The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26). [Go back]
52) And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. (Matthew 13:10,11,34,35) [Go back]
53) Matthew 1:24; Luke 6:40 [Go back]