We will begin our investigations with the book known as the Protoevangelium of Saint James. Whether the James who authored it is Saint James the Greater, Saint James the Less, or another James is not known. Protoevangelium means First Gospel, so we can assume that it was the first written record of Christ and His Mother, though it could also simply mean that as history it contains only the beginning of the history of Jesus. It opens very simply:
The birth of Mary, the holy Mother of God and very glorious Mother of Jesus Christ.
Right away we are encountering profound significance. This first sentence does not just say Mother of God or Mother of Jesus Christ, but: Mary, the holy Mother of God and very glorious Mother of Jesus Christ. This is because in the Incarnation of Jesus we have the individual consciousness whose first incarnation in this creation cycle was as Adam, but who as Jesus was manifested as God. By nature He was a part, but by evolution He had attained the consciousness of the Whole. He began as Adam, but by the time He was born as Jesus in Nazareth He had ascended and become one in consciousness with God, and therefore a Son of God, a perfect Logos or Word spoken by God. Having become a Son of God, He returned to earth for the work of redemption.1
Jesus the Christ was a single Person, yet His nature was dual. His consciousness was both relative and absolutethe former by eternal nature and the latter by evolution and divine grace. Though by nature finite, through the uniting of His consciousness with God He was sharing in the infinity of God. In this way he was both man and God.
What matters, though, is not the definition of Christs nature(s) but the truth that He was exactly what we are to become.
Let us move a bit ahead of ourselves and ask: Who was Mary? She, too, was God and woman, being at first Eve and now one with God the Holy Spirit,2 the Divine Mother aspect of Godtruly holy and very glorious. Mary was the counterpart of Jesusa feminine manifestation of Divine Consciousness. For this reason She is the Mother of all Christians. In Jesus and in us Mary is Mother of God and man. For this reason we are beginning our study of Jesus with Mary.
In the records of the twelve tribes of Israel was Joachim, a man rich exceedingly; and he brought his offerings double, saying: There shall be of my superabundance to all the people, and there shall be the offering for my forgiveness to the Lord for a propitiation for me.
There is another reading of Saint Joachims words:
What I offer over and above what the law requires is for the benefit of the whole people; but the offering I make for my own forgiveness (according to the laws requirements) shall be to the Lord, that He may be rendered merciful to me.
Saint Joachim was both compassionate and wise. He not only had sympathy for the poor who could not make offerings for themselves, he also knew that no one lives unto himself but is an integral part of all humanity, especially those in the immediate orbit of his life. That is why in esoteric study we speak of family karmas, national karmas, and even race karmas. It is an essential part of self-knowledge to look at ourselves in the connotation of the family, country, and race into which we have taken incarnation, for unless we had a deep affinityat least within our inner minds if not consciouslywe could not have taken birth among those groups. Many times we meet metaphysically-inclined people who consider themselves far more advanced than their family or culture, but they are mistaken. If they were not rooted in the same psychic soil they could not have become part of them.
This being so, Saint Joachim realized that the sins of the people were also his sins, and that the purification of the people was his purification. The spiritual aspirant is keenly aware that an integral part of his personal upliftment must be the upliftment of othersthy neighbor as thyself.3 Possessing this awareness, Saint Joachim brought double of the offerings so that half of it would be for propitiation of all the people. (These offerings were not blood sacrifices, as will be discussed later.)
For the great day of the Lord was at hand, and the sons of Israel were bringing their offerings. And there stood over against him Rubim saying: It is not meet for you first to bring your offerings, because you have not made seed in Israel.
It was considered everyones duty to increase the ranks of the people of Israel by having children, and it was hoped that the first child would be a male, since by the Law he would be considered a spiritual Levite and able to serve in the temple as a priest.4 The most important reason Israelites wished to have children was the possibility that one of them might be the Messiahor if not the Messiah, perhaps an ancestor of the Messiah or one who would follow the Messiah in his mission. Because of this it was considered a shame to have no children and thereby be denied a part in the destiny of Israel. Since the Hebrews believed in reincarnation,5 childlessness was not considered an arbitrary act or punishment by God, but a sign that the barren were unworthy to partake of Israels destiny, perhaps having in a previous life proved unworthy as Jews, or having been Gentiles scornful of the Jews who were born into Israel to suffer retribution in this form. Childlessness was a virtual means of being expelled from Israel even in life. Since Saint Joachim was considered to be cursed and an outcast from Israel because of childlessness, it was but natural that Rubim might consider that he was not qualified to make offerings in the temple.
And Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and went away to the registers of the twelve tribes of the people, saying, I shall see the registers of the twelve tribes of Israel, as to whether I alone have not made seed in Israel. And he searched, and found that all the righteous had raised up seed in Israel.
Does this mean that in all the history of the Hebrews there had been no one without children? No, but the custom was that if a couple had no children they would adopt a child (usually of a relative) and raise it as their own, in this way contributing a child to the nation. But Saints Joachim and Anna had not done this, for they wanted to offer a child their own unto Israeland God. Something within themselves impelled them to thisno doubt a subliminal knowledge of their destiny and that of the Child they would offer.
From the Bible we know that when Eve, who was called mother of all the living6 by Adam, was reincarnated as Sarah and Hannah she had to suffer for a long time the reproach of barrenness before miraculously giving birth to sons. Then as Mary She gave birth miraculously, in virginity, to the Messiah.
And he called to mind the patriarch Abraham, that in the last day God gave him a son Isaac. And Joachim was exceedingly grieved and did not come into the presence of his wife; but he retired into the hill country, and there pitched his tent and fasted forty days and forty nights, saying in himself: I will not go down either for food or for drink until the Lord my God shall look upon me, and prayer shall be my food and drink.
Forty days and nights are a cycle of inner tides that we find over and over again in the Scriptures and which it is good for us to observe, as well. Instead of getting impatient when some prayers or esoteric work does not bear effect, we should keep it up for forty days to get a result. Forty days and nights are a natural cycle even in the body. This is why a forty-days fast is considered efficacious for health. Saint Joachim was an Essene ascetic and capable of such a prolonged abstinence even from water.
And his wife Anna mourned in two mournings, and lamented in two lamentations, saying: I shall bewail my widowhood; I shall bewail my childlessness.
Anna believed that Joachim had wandered off into the wilderness and died there in sorrow. This is why she speaks of her widowhood.
And the great day of the Lord [the Passover] was at hand; and Judith her maidservant said: How long do you humiliate your soul? Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand, and it is unlawful for you to mourn. But take this head-band, which the woman that made it gave to me; for it is not proper that I should wear it, because I am a maidservant, and it has a royal appearance.
And Anna said: Depart from me; for I have not done such things, and the Lord has brought me very low. I fear that some wicked person has given it to you and you have come to make me a sharer in your sin.
This second paragraph sets forth an extremely important principle which we as seekers for higher consciousness must take exceedingly seriously, although in modern times it is looked upon as abject superstition. The principle is quite simple: physical objects can be infused with negative or positive energies which will then be conveyed to wherever they are kept or to whoever touches or wears them. Those who regard this idea as superstition are themselves still living in the Middle Ages of Europe when it was believed that matter was solid, that wood was wood and stone was stoneand nothing more. In modern times we know quite well that everything is vibrating energy, that the only difference between wood and stone is the arrangement of the basic energy components or the pattern, in the sense of the arrangement of the energies or atomic particles. The enlightened have known this for time beyond calculation although the scientists have only recently come to realize it. Also, the substance of an object is much less than the amount of space within it.
Esotericists know that an object can be overlaid or infused with other energy patterns. That is, subtler energy fields can be introduced into the basic energy field of an object. These subtler energy fields will irradiate the space around it and may even be absorbed by other objectsincluding living beingsthat come near or touch them. Sometimes these energy implants are exhausted by absorption into other objects or into the space around them, or they may continually flow a seemingly inexhaustible current of the infused energies.
Saint Anna was aware that the infusion of energies can be accomplished at will by those who know how. This does, indeed, fall into the category of magic, if we consider magic as the ability to produce change by an act of will that is usually manifested through some type of ritual action or intense mental declaration. In this way it is truly possible to put a curse on an object so that whoever comes in contact with it will be affected by its destructive energies. We must not over-romanticize this idea and only think of such destructive infusion being done by malevolent magicians in elaborate regalia like the witch in Disneys Snow White. Objects can be infused with negative energies in other ways.
When we read in the Bible that sometimes the Israelites would destroy the possessions and cattle of those they conquered,7 we are shocked. But they did so because the group vibration of those people was so corrupted that anything they owned was magnetized with evil energies. This would extend to animals, as well. We are all familiar with the way pets become like their owners. Many of those nations that surrounded Israel had worshipped evil entities for generations, and the effect had entered into their psychic levels as a kind of evil psychic gene. They in turn polluted everything they owned. When Israel conquered an area they were not to eat any fruit from the treeseven newly-planted onesfor four years.8 So evil were the previous inhabitants, they had even perverted the vibrations of the earth in which the tress were growing. This may seem extreme, but only to those who have not applied themselves to observation of such phenomena.
Jewelry is often a conveyer of unwholesome energies. The legends of diamonds carrying a curse can be believed. Food, too, carries the vibrations of whoever prepares or serves it, which is why we must be careful to bless everything we eat. And we can see from all this how careful we have to be regarding anything in our environment.
Saint Anna told her maid: I fear that some wicked person has given it to you and you have come to make me a sharer in your sin. To state it bluntly, Saint Anna thought that her maid had perhaps prostituted herself and the headband was her payment. Having come to the maid because of a negative action, the object would vibrate with negative energies. Even those who do not believe in these things often use the term dirty money without understanding it. Money is especially potent, for it is the manifestation of concentrated life energies. Money from an evil source or gotten by evil action will enter into the life of those who receive it like poison into a bloodstream. The entire life of the recipient will become infected by it.
A century or so ago one of the monasteries on Mount Athos9 had became so dilapidated that some of the monks left the Holy Mountain to raise money for renovation. At that time the king of Romania was a very evil man. When the monks came to solicit money from him, he asked them outright: If I give you enough money for all the repairs you need and even more, will you agree that the monks will take on my sins? Eager for the money, and not really believing such a thing could be done, the monks foolishly agreed and the king gave them a fortune. Immediately they returned to Athos and both renovated the existing structures and built new ones, including a new, lavishly adorned church. They did not tell anyone, however, of their agreement with the king. At the dedication of the church they had a long vigil, during which one of the monks fell asleep. In his sleep he saw that everything in the church was covered with disgusting filth. As he looked around in amazement, angels descended into the church and began pouring water over everything, washing off the filth and collecting it into a large basin. When all had been washed, the angels then began going from monk to monk, making each one drink of the muck. When they came to him, he refused, but they grabbed him, and started to force him to drink, saying: You agreed to take the sins of the Romanian king, so fulfil your promise. The monk began shouting that he had never agreed to such a thing, and woke up, shouting his words aloud. Then he told everyone what he had seen. Upon being questioned, the monks responsible admitted to their agreement with the king. Horrified, most of the monks left and went to other monasteries so as not to partake of the sins of their benefactor.
We must be very careful to accept money or other gifts only from those of upright character. And we must never work for negative individuals or organizations, for we will in time become imbued with their polluted energies. This is why the seeker for higher consciousness must be very careful regarding his employment. For this reason it is good to be self-employed.
Saint Anna, being a prophetess among the Essenes, was aware of the hidden side of thingsespecially in this area.
And Judith said: Why should I curse you, seeing that the Lord has shut your womb, so as not to give you fruit in Israel?
The maid took it to mean that the object was a cursing object, though Saint Anna had not meant it that way. She then said, as did all others, that Saints Joachim and Anna were under a curse already, since they had no children.
And Anna was grieved exceedingly and put off her garments of mourning, and cleaned her head, and put on her wedding garments, and about the ninth hour went down to the garden to walk.
The subject of objects and their effect on us through their vibrations is being continued. Although advanced in years, Saint Anna still had her wedding garments, and she put them on in preparation for her intense storming of heaven. She did this because at her wedding she had been blessed to have childrenyet this had not been accomplished. By wearing her wedding clothing she was attempting to evoke the power of the ritual, to re-enter the thought form of the event, and thus to trigger the blessing into being effective. We may think this childish or naive, but our mind is the greatest force in our life, and our thoughts can have even physical effects, as psychosomatic disease demonstrates. There is a tribe in South America that has no idea what produces conception. A woman of that tribe never conceives until the shaman impregnates her by pouring an herbal extract into her ear! Such is the power of both thought and magic on our physical constitution. Being aware of this power, Saint Anna put on her wedding garments to empower the deeper aspects of her mind. In a sense she was praying with action instead of words when she put them on.
Clothes are thoughtforms that have a profound effect on us, which is why various professions wear distinctive uniforms. The moment the uniform is donned, the wearers state of mind is affected by it and energized to manifest the qualities of that profession. Throughout the recorded history of mankind, a distinctive mode of dress has always characterized those who specialized in religion. In many spiritual institutions a specific form of ritual dress is used. Many Buddhists have temple clothes which they wear in their worship at home and in the temple.
Since our clothes are thoughtforms, we should be very careful as to what we wear. The Bible counsels women not to wear mens clothing because it will hinder their feminine development. (The same counsel is given to men regarding womens clothing.10) It is sad to see women attuning themselves to opposing polarity by adopting mannish styles in clothing and hair. The same is true of men wearing feminine clothing. But what determines masculine and feminine in these matters? Only custom, but that is a powerful force, because it comes from the collective mind of a culture. It is interesting to note that both traditional American Indians and Gypsies are extremely strict in this matter. Having ancient esoteric knowledge, they are careful to affirm the polarity they have been born to manifest in this life.
A woman who wears the clothing of a man begins to negate her own fundamental vibration, and infuses a male vibration into her aura. This can be very harmful. Dressing according to every whim of current fashion is also detrimental to those who are cultivating their personal evolution, because the ever-shifting fashions are the products of utterly material and constantly-changing minds, and convey the vibrations of their creators. It is those designers who have coined the phrase: Clothing makes the woman. A terrible thought, indeed, but one which contains truthfor men as well. Whatever the style of clothing, the moment we put it on, it begins affecting and even reshaping our mind.
Unless we absolutely must, we should not wear other peoples clothing, including used clothing, for it will be permeated with the vibrations of their thoughts and emotions, as well as their state of physical health. The Duchess of Windsor only wore a dress once, and then she sold it to wealthy women of her acquaintance. Why did they buy the dresses, since they could afford to buy their own? Because they were buying part of her life, taking on her vibration which they considered glamorous, especially since she was married to a (former) king. It is doubtful that they were consciously aware of this, but that was their real motivation. They felt the vibration of power and glamor that went along with the clothes. They wanted that force, just as the Hawaiians knew that the power they called mana flowed from royalty to the people who came in contact with them.
All we have said about clothing is also true of hair style, cosmetics, and anything that alters or affects our appearance. It is true as well of anything that alters or affects the appearance of our environment, since the sense of sight influences us to a high degree.
Saint Anna prayed at the ninth hourthat is, about three in the afternoon. There are certain times more conducive to prayer and meditation than others, and the hours from three to sixboth morning and afternoonare especially so.
And she saw a laurel, and sat under it
Plants, like people, have vibrations, and there are such things as sacred plantsthat is, plants whose vibrations or emanations are purifying and conducive to calmness, higher consciousness, and spiritual practice. This is why in India the yogis plant five kinds of trees in a certain pattern known as a Panchavati which produces a magnetic atmosphere that is very conducive for meditation.
Laurel trees were considered extremely auspicious by both Jews and Gentiles. Roman victors were crowned with laurel leaves. The laurel tree is sacred to Christians also, and new Christians were often crowned with laurel leaves.
The basil plant is also sacred to Christians because it grew spontaneously over the place where the Cross was buried. It often grows spontaneously without seeds from ground where water from the washing of sacred vessels is poured.
and prayed to the Lord, saying: O God of our fathers, bless me and hear my prayer, as Thou didst bless the womb of Sarah, and didst give her a son Isaac.
And gazing towards the heaven, she saw a sparrows nest in the laurel, and made a lamentation in herself saying: Alas! who begot me? and what womb produced me? because I have become a curse in the presence of the sons of Israel, and I have been reproached, and they have driven me in derision out of the temple of the Lord.
Remembering that in the divine plan Sarah had been barren for many years, Saint Anna pleads that her destiny will be the same. But the interesting aspect of her prayer is the idea that her fate is a reflection of her ancestry. After all, we only get apples out of apple trees or pears out of pear trees, so it can be speculated that like gives birth to like. This is why you can judge the parents by the children, and you can usually predict the children by the parents.
There is an esoteric science to bloodline, to genetics. The principle as above so below applies here. There are astral and causal levels to heredity as well as physical levels. We are a living part of humanity, and specifically of that small part that is our family. We are in our family, and our family is in us. Whatever is in our ancestry has been born in us. However different we may seem to be, the unity is still there affecting us. It does not matter if we have told the truth all our life, if everybody else in our family lies from morning till night we can know that some type of karmic affinity with the lying trait is within us, otherwise it would not have been possible for us to be born into a family of liars. Of course our birth will have been for us to consciously reject the habit of untruth, so we need not think we must lie like them. Part of self-knowledge is knowledge of our antecedentsthough not in the superficial ways of mechanical genealogy. This is why in the East the biographer of a saint always begins with the grandparents, or even further back, for spiritual life must begin in our ancestors long before we are born, to prepare for our advent in that family. In conscious spiritual life we have to see ourselves as part of a whole, and we have to work on the whole as we work out our own evolution, our own purification and perfection.
Jesus stated that married people are one, not two,11 and we find this implied here when Saint Anna laments: I have become a curse in the presence of the sons of Israel, and I have been reproached, and they have driven me in derision out of the temple of the Lord. She is describing the experience of Joachim, but she attributes it to herself because of her inner unity with her husband.
Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like the fowls of the heaven, because even the fowls of the heaven are productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like the beasts of the earth, because even the beasts of the earth are productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like these waters, because even these waters are productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like this earth, because even the earth bringeth forth its fruits in season, and blesseth Thee, O Lord.
There is a deeper side to Saint Annas grief. She knew well the principle stated later on by Saint Paul: For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.12 The entire creation is a living organism whose sole purpose is the manifestation of enlightened, fully self-conscious beings who have entered into unity with the Supreme Consciousness. To this end, the individual spirits pass from form to form, up the ladder of evolution,13 and the key to it all is the giving of birth to those evolving spirits. Motherhood is the cornerstone of evolution, and the giving of birth is a truly divine act. Without a mother, even the Sons of God could not manifest upon the earth as saviors. Therefore motherhood is a cosmic act, not the (often) selfish or burdensome state human beings have turned it into by their ignorance.
So Saint Anna is lamenting that although the beings of lesser evolution are participating in the divine process of giving spirits entry into manifestation for their progress upward, she is barred from this. To be barren had, then, a more esoteric character and seemed an indication that the individual was unworthy to participate in the universal betterment. This would be a cutting off from life in a much greater sense than is realized at first consideration.
Here we see set before us the fact that to be a seeker after Christhood brings far greater knowledge than can possibly be comprehended in the beginning, but that knowledge can also become a means of profound suffering, as well.
And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by, saying: Anna, Anna, the Lord hath heard thy prayer, and thou shalt conceive, and shalt bring forth; and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world.
The first significant point here is what is not in the text. That is, there is no questioning by Saint Anna as to what is the nature of the divine messenger. She knew he was an angelbut how did she know this, since the Bible is very clear in stating that angels appear exactly like young (that is, beardless) men.14 They do not have wings to let us know they are not human beings. How, then, did Saint Anna know what kind of entity was addressing her? Through two things: intuition (mystical insight) and experience. Her inner faculties had been enlivened, and she had developed them through her spiritual practice. Hence she saw far more than the surface appearance of things. Therefore when she saw the angel, although her physical eyes registered only the form of a young human male, her awakened inner eye perceived the distinctive light body of an angelic being. Also, she was used to witnessing angelic apparitions. The Essenes were especially interested in the angels, and the Dead Seas scrolls contain some of their ritual texts for the invocation of angels. Saint Anna was used to observing their continual coming and going, even if she did not usually speak with them.
Knowing that she was receiving a visitation from a divine messenger, Saint Anna doubted not for a moment, but responded with complete assurance in the words of the angel.
And Anna said: As the Lord my God liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life.
Essentially this was the same vow that Hannah had made regarding the prophet Samuel.15 It also shows her worthiness; for she did not want the child for selfish reasons, but for the service of God. Otherwise she could not have brought herself to make such a vow. It is much too common for people to want children for their amusement and then to not want them once they have been born and proven to be a responsibility instead of dolls to be played with and put on the shelf when interest fades. In former days people wanted children to help them in their work and to care for them in their old age. But the motivation of Saint Anna is quite different. It was not the reproach of others that she wished to have removed by childbearing, but the implied unworthiness to be an active part in the divine plan of evolution. That is, she wanted to be fruitful unto God, not man.
The Essenes held the doctrine of rebirth, so Saint Anna knew that any child would not be hers, but would be a pilgrim16 on the evolutionary path to God. Like herself, the child would belong only to God. Her giving birth to it would be a divine trust. Since the child would come from God, she would give it back to God. This is the right perspective.
Behold, two angels came, saying to her: Behold, Joachim thy husband is coming with his flocks. For an angel of the Lord went down to him, saying: Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God hath heard thy prayer. Go down hence; for, behold, thy wife Anna shall conceive.
Why did not the first angel tell her about the coming of Saint Joachim? Because it was of a different order of angel altogether. To develop their powers of will and concentration, those who are working out their evolution in the angelic level are extremely specialized. They only do one kind of work. If they are helping someone in the lower worlds (animal, human-embodied, or human-discarnate) who needs work done for them in an area that is not their specialty, they (the angels) call for assistance from the type of angels that do work in that area. Whatever the need, there are angels to supply it. There are empowering and strengthening angels, intelligence-developing angels, healing angels, spiritualizing angels, wisdom-bearing angels, angels of inspiration-intuition, and angels of peaceto name only a fraction of the types. Whatever we may need, there is an angel to help in its attainment. There are other angels that do the works of creation, as well. There are guarding and guiding angels, too. Some look after our physical life, some our psychic life, and others our spiritual life.
In this incident we see there are angels that bear messages from God and there are angels that reveal things to people. Regarding the latter, it is recorded that Saint Anthony the Great once sent a disciple to meet two men who were coming into the Egyptian desert to see him, but who for lack of water did not have the strength to manage. They were amazed when the disciple came to them with water and food. When they got to Saint Anthony they asked him how he had known of their coming, and he told them that their guardian angels had come and told him of them and their need.
Whether we can hear the voice of our guardian angels or not, they can hear our messages to them, and we should ask them for their assistance and guidance. This brings up a vital subject in relation to angels. This world is the world of human beings, not angels, therefore angels often cannot help human beings unless they are asked to do so. This being so, we should cultivate the practice of asking for angelic assistance. On the other hand, angels do not do that which we can do for ourselves, or which we can get other human beings to do. For example, angels will not teach those who are too proud to learn from other human beings. Nor will they clear up problems that a human being could take care of himself. Not being lazy themselves, they will not foster laziness in us.
And Joachim went down and called his shepherds, saying: Bring me hither ten she-lambs without spot or blemish, and they shall be for the Lord my God; and bring me twelve calves, and they shall be for the priests and the elders; and a hundred goats for all the people.
Joachim was going to send the lambs, calves, and goats as presents for the priests, elders, and people, but not for sacrifice or to be killed and eaten. The Essenes never permitted animal sacrifice at any time. They did not believe that God had commanded animal sacrifice, but interpreted the Torah symbolically. They considered that those who offered animal sacrifice were corrupting the Law, not fulfilling it. If we look in the Psalms and the words of the prophets we will find animal sacrifice spoken of with disapproval.17 This is because the prophets were all Essenes.
Whenever the Essenes sent animals to the Temple it was understood that they would be kept alive and used for the work of the Temple. Female cows were kept for milk, and the males were used for carrying things and for plowing the Temple gardens. The sheep and goats were used for their wool and hair (goat hair makes indestructible rugs, curtains, and such) as well as their milk (the Israelites drank both sheeps and goats milk and made cheese from them also). Any animals given by the Essenes were allowed to live out their full span of life. This was agreed to by the priests because the Essenes also gave them a lot of money, and they did not want to offend them.
As should be obvious, the Essenes were strict vegetarians. They never ate meatnot even on Passover. Instead of the Paschal lamb they would put a bone of a lamb that had died naturally (or by accident) on the table, or a representation of a bone. In modern times Jewish vegetarians do the same thing. Some of them use a stalk of celery to represent a bone. I mention this here because there are some people who assume that, being a Jew, Jesus must have eaten meat at least on Passover, but this is incorrect.18 Being an Essene, Jesus never ate meat or fish in His entire life.
And, behold, Joachim came with his flocks; and Anna stood by the gate and saw Joachim coming, and she ran and hung upon his neck, saying: Now I know that the Lord God hath blessed me exceedingly; for, behold, the widow no longer a widow, and I the childless shall conceive. And Joachim rested the first day in his house.
This took place in Jerusalem as the other accounts we will be considering make clear. The meeting of Joachim and Anna took place at the gate called the Beautiful Gate or the Golden Gate.
And on the following day he brought his offerings, saying in himself: If the Lord God has been rendered gracious to me, the plate on the priests forehead will make it manifest to me.
Just as the breastplate of the high priest was used for divination, so also was the plate worn on the forehead of an offering priest. One function of this plate was to indicate if the person who made the offering, or the offering itself, was worthy. Just how this was done is not known but is hinted at in the next portion.
And Joachim brought his offerings, and observed attentively the priests plate when he went up to the altar of the Lord, and he saw no sin in himself. And Joachim said: Now I know that the Lord has been gracious unto me, and has remitted all my sins.
And he went down from the Temple of the Lord justified, and departed to his own house.
From this it is evident that something would appear in the plate on the priests forehead when he approached the altar. We do know that the way the high priests breastplate reflected the lights of the menorah was interpreted in a divinatory sense, so perhaps the same thing was observed in relation to the plate on the priests forehead.
An important point here is the lawfulness of divination. Ignorant Christians quote the Bible to show that divination is prohibited, but their position is based on a defect in translation. The words incorrectly translated divination in the Old Testament prohibitions mean the attempt to foretell the future by slaughtering animals and looking at their entrails for divinatory signs (this was very popular with the Greeks and Romans), or the foretelling of the future by observing the flight patterns of birds. One is disgusting and the other is silly. But correct divination was a regular practice among the Jews. When Gideon put out a fleece to observe whether it would be wetted by the dew or not, he was not asking God to work a miracle, but was practicing divination.19
We can also see from this that the ritualistic worship of God in correct form is not some pious folderol, but is a means of communication with higher realms of knowledge. Mystic knowledge and ritual complement each other. When a religion loses its mysticism, as in the Protestant Reformation, it loses its ritual as well, and usually actively rejects ritual. Mystic experience and ritual complement one another. Jung has written a valuable essay on this in Modern Man in Search of a Soul.
And her months were fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anna brought forth. And she said to the midwife: What have I brought forth? and she said: a girl. And said Anna: My soul has been magnified this day. And she laid Her down. And the days having been fulfilled, Anna was purified, and gave the breast to the child, and called Her name Mary.
Saint Anna gave her daughter the name of Miriam [Mary] for two reasons. First, that had been Her name in Her incarnation as Miriam the Prophetess, the sister of Moses. Secondly, the name means bitterness and rebellion or disobedience, and is a reference to Her life as Eve in which She had disobeyed and brought bitterness to Herself and Her children. In the present incarnation it would be Her obedience and humility that would reverse Her ancient transgression and bring the sweetness of deliverance to Herlong-wandering children.
And the child grew strong day by day; and when She was six months old, Her mother set Her on the ground to try whether She could stand, and She walked seven steps and came into her bosom; and she snatched Her up, saying: As the Lord my God liveth, Thou shalt not walk on this earth until I bring Thee into the Temple of the Lord.
This incident shows that Mary was born with perfect consciousness and mastery, that She did not need to mature as do those who are forced into embodiment by their karma. She had come to birth by Her divine will, and therefore at no time was bound by the limitations common to those under the bondage of birth and death and karma. When Gotama Buddha was born, He also walked seven steps for the same purpose. In one record we will be studying, it is related that Jesus spoke as soon as He was born. The meaning is the same. The seven steps are also emblematic of their perfect mastery of the seven planes of existence and consciousness.
In case these incidents might seem impossible, we should remember that some years ago in South America a new-born child spoke to the staff in the delivery room of a hospital, telling them who she had been in a previous life (actually, she spoke of it as her present life because she did not realize she had been reborn), and asked for their help. She spoke clearly in a high thin voice for nearly twenty minutes, then her speaking began to alternate with the normal crying of an infant, and before the hour had passed she had lapsed completely into the limited state of a new-born human being.
Saint Annas vow: Thou shalt not walk on this earth until I bring Thee into the Temple of the Lord, was not uncommon at the time, and is observed by some primitive people even now. At the time of Christ many royal or aristocratic families brought their children to adulthood without ever letting their feet touch the earth. Saint Barbara was raised in a tower and was never allowed to go out. (This was somewhat the same as the Emperor of China never cutting his fingernails.) Such was often the practice with female children until their marriagenot unlike the eighteenth and nineteenth century feeling that girls brought up in convents were somehow more desirable as wives, having been sheltered and kept innocent of the corrupt ways of the world. In Marys case, though, this was a sign that She was to walk only in the realms of spirit and not of earth, and also an indication that She was specially consecrated to divine service. Rolling out a carpet for important people to walk on is a modern vestige of this idea.
And she made a sanctuary in her bed-chamber, and allowed nothing common or unclean to pass through it.
Whether Saint Anna merely did not allow all and sundry to enter the bed-chamber, or whether she built a elevated floor as well (which was done at that time), it is not clear. The ceremonial observances of purity were scrupulously observed as well, showing that they were taken very seriously by the Essenes. To understand these rules we must remember that they have their roots in India, where the terms shud and ashud are employed for clean and unclean. These words have another dimension besides simple absence of dirt. They have a connotation of purity in the sense of perfect absence of anything alien. Today in India, for example, the word shud will be used to designate that something is unadulterated. Shuddha-shraddha, for example, means pure faith in the sense that it is one hundred percent faith unmixed with not an atom of doubt. Shud ghee means clarified butter that is not mixed with any other material. So these terms are dealing with the vibrations, the life force (prana), of objects or people, not just with the ideas of physical dirtiness or cleanlinessthough that is there, too.
One of the cardinal rules of intensive spiritual life is the necessity of maintaining the integrity of our own life energiesthat is, in full strength without dissipation, and unmingled with the life energies or vibrations of others. This is because such a mixture can bring confusion into the psychic processes and mind, and even produce a lowering of consciousness. Yogananda often said: Company is greater than will power. When a group of people are together for more than a few minutes their auras begin to intermingle and produce a group aura which will vibrate to a common vibratory level. Unless a person is inwardly established, his consciousness will sink to that common levelhe will not be able to help himself. He will have to consciously apply himself to maintaining his usual state of consciousness, and if he is wise he will go from that place as soon as he can. We are not speaking of crowds of evil peoplejust of people with material consciousness dominating their lives. This is another reason why meditation must be practiced, because greater is he that is in you, then he that is in the world.20 But even then, we must not tempt God by putting ourselves in danger.21
The word common in the text is a translation of the Greek word koinos, which means common to all, and has two implications: that of being common in the sense of ordinary consciousness as opposed to higher consciousness, and that of being mixed in character rather than pure. The other term, unclean, is a translation of the Greek akaqartos, which means impure or defiled. Common is applied to good things which have become confused or mixed, whereas unclean designates an object that is negative, of polluted or defiled vibrations. One confuses or pulls down by its presence, and the other actually dirties what it touches. That which is common is of mixed vibrations and that which is unclean is of negative, destructive vibrations. (However, in using these terms we must not lose sight of the fact that all that exists is inherently good, evil being a distortion or a misapplication of the good.)
The major objection to things common or unclean was their ability to communicate their confusion or negativity to those who came in contact with them. It was because of contagion that lepers were called unclean. Long before the discovery of germs, Hindus would not eat from common vessels or plates.
Not only were common and unclean things barred from the Virgins room, only blessed or magnetized objects were permitted there. The rules regarding physical objects were applied to people, as well. So the Virgin lived in a very specially purified atmosphere. This was because of Her unique physical constitution which will be revealed in another document.
And when She was a year old, Joachim made a great feast and invited the priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and all the people of Israel. And Joachim brought the child to the priests; and they blessed Her, saying: O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give Her an everlasting name to be named in all generations. And all the people said: So be it, so be it, amen. And he brought her to the chief priests; and they blessed Her saying: O God most high, look upon this child, and bless Her with the utmost blessing, which shall be for ever.
The priests and elders of Israel referred to here were Essenes who through their intuitional development understood the remarkable character and destiny of this child. In the Gospel of Luke we read that Mary Herself said that all generations would call Her blessed.22 Here we see that long before then She had been blessed to possess an everlasting name to be named in all generations. At least glimmers of Her eternal destiny were known to many.
It is interesting to see all this interest in a female child. When we are conversant with the ways of exoteric Israel, this seems unheard of. But among the Essenes women were considered of equal spiritual status with men, so among them a girl child was not ignored or lamented as in the rest of Israel.
And Her mother snatched Her up, and took Her into the sanctuary of Her bed-chamber, and gave Her the breast. And Anna made a song to the Lord God, saying: I will sing a song to the Lord my God, for He hath looked upon me, and hath taken away the reproach of mine enemies; and the Lord hath given me the fruit of His righteousness, singular in its kind, and richly endowed before Him.
Anna, too, understood the singular nature of the Child, that She was uniquesingular in its kind. This expression calls to mind the words of the Song of Solomon in which the beloved is said to be the only one of her mother.23 The child also was known to be richly endowed before Him. That is, Anna realized this child was not a tabula rasa, here on earth for the first time, but one who had attained divine greatness. She was aware that she had given birth to a supremely evolved being.
Who will tell the sons of Rubim that Anna gives suck? Hear, hear, ye twelve tribes of Israel, that Anna gives suck. And she laid her to rest in the bed-chamber of her sanctuary, and went out and ministered unto them. And when the supper was ended, they went down rejoicing, and glorifying the God of Israel.
And her months were added to the child. And the child was two years old, and Joachim said: Let us take Her up to the Temple of the Lord, that we may pay the vow that we have vowed, lest perchance the Lord send to us,24 and our offering be not received.
And Anna said: Let us wait for the third year, in order that the child may not seek for father or mother. And Joachim said: So let us wait.
And the child was three years old, and Joachim said: Invite the daughters of the Hebrews that are undefiled, and let them take each a lamp, and let them stand with the lamps burning, that the child may not turn back, and Her heart be captivated from the Temple of the Lord.
The Essenes certainly had a different idea about child development! We think children become independent of their parents in their late teens, but Anna sets it at age three. Of course she was looking at things from an esoteric standpoint, but we can wonder what kind of a world we would have if parents understood that their children were not possessions but independent entities, and treated them so from an early age. We also see how unselfish the Virgins parents were. However much they loved Mary, Joachim and Annaworthy children of Abrahamdid not want Her distracted from Her life in the Temple of the Lord. This is because they truly loved God above all. So strong was their love of God that it cancelled out all egoic attachment and desire for reciprocated attachment on the part of their child. They wisely wanted Mary to love God above all else, including them. Is it any wonder, then, that the Co-Redemptress was born to these virtuous two? Parents should learn from their example, especially in relation to their childrens early spiritual training.
And they did so until they went up into the Temple of the Lord. And the priest received Her and kissed Her, and blessed Her, saying: The Lord has magnified Thy name in all generations. In Thee, on the last of the days, the Lord will manifest His redemption to the sons of Israel.
Zachariah, the future father of John the Baptist, was the high priest who received the Virgin. Being a prophet of God, he was aware of Her messianic destiny. Remembering that Israel was a small country and that whatever took place in one end was echoed to the other, we can realize that Mary was renowned among the Jews even at this early age. Therefore when Her Son appeared it was not out of the blue, for as we shall see, He Himself was known to all Israel as a child of miraculous nature, born of an equally miraculous Mother. In this context, the non-acceptance of Jesus as Messiah is revealed as far more spiritually serious than we normally consider it to be. That is, the people were totally responsible for not accepting Himfar more than those who had refused the exhortations of Noah and remained imprisoned in the astral world without rebirth until as Jesus He descended to deliver them when he died on the Cross.25
And he set Her down upon the third step of the altar, and the Lord God sent grace upon Her; and She danced with Her feet and all the house of Israel loved Her.
None but the priests ever came near the altar, much less went up on to the steps. By doing this Zachariah was affirming the divine priesthood (mediatorship) of the Virgin. Even now She remains in that position. The Virgin was placed on the third (top) step of the altar to show the supreme character of Her priesthood. Inspired by God, She danced before God, as had David.26 This also showed the adult status of her mind.
Instead of being shocked at what would have normally been considered a defilement of the Temple, the people present rejoiced at the sight, and love for Her arose in the hearts of the onlookers who had followed Her into the Holy Place from which they, too, were usually barred. This incident foreshadows the Virgins mission to break all barriers and lead Her children into the depths of holiness, making them priests and anointed of God.
All who saw Her that day were captivated by the sight of Her, because deep in their minds, in their inner consciousness, they knew Who She wasthat She was their Mother Eve come to deliver Her children.
And Her parents went down marvelling, and praising the Lord God, because the child had not turned back. And Mary was in the Temple of the Lord as if She were a dove that dwelt there, and She received food from the hand of an angel.
All the ancient accounts agree that except for the breast milk of Anna, the Virgin never took any material food into Her body. This was because the physical and psychic vehicles of the Virgin had to be prepared and refined in their energies until She could be capable of bearing the infinite powers that Jesus was going to bring into Her womb at His incarnation within Her. Without this preparation the advent of Jesus into Her bodies would have dissolved them on the spot, vaporizing them much like an atomic blast. Moreover, She was going to be imparting some of the lesser bodies to Him, and their energies had to be perfect for that. This being so, She did not draw Her life energies from the food of earth, but fed on the pure astral energies of Paradise that were brought to Her by angels. The food of Paradise was essential to build and nourish the Paradise Body which was going to be assumed by Christ in His incarnation from Her.
Part of the reversal of Her error as Eve was being fed upon the very food that She had sinned in eating so long before.27
And when She was fourteen years old, there was held a council of the priests saying: Behold, Mary has reached the age of fourteen years in the Temple of the Lord. What then shall we do with Her, lest perchance She defile the sanctuary of the Lord?
Because of the abnormal meat diet eaten in modern America, girls usually begin having monthly periods at the age of twelve. But in societies where a more correct diet is eaten, girls do not begin having their monthly cycles until the ages of fourteen, fifteen, or later. (In modern Chinaas a direct result of very little meat in the diet, according to medical studiesyoung girls begin having menstrual periods between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. This was true of Japan as well until under Western influence the Japanese began eating beef.) Such was also the situation in Israel at that time.
The nature of the monthly period is misunderstood in both contemporary Hinduism and Judaism. Although it is a time of purification, it is considered a time of uncleanness. This is not altogether without a basis, for the purification takes the form of the casting off of toxic materialsof which the menstrual blood is but a part. Through every pore of her body a woman exudes poisons at this time. Unpleasant as it may be for her, it is supremely beneficial. Since nothing is purely physical, but has also a psychic basis, the same type of purification goes on in the subtler bodies, as well. During this time a womans inner and outer constitution is in a state of continual flux, therefore she should do only the lightest and simplest of tasks, and mostly rest. Frequent bathing is advisable to remove the buildup of toxins. It is not good for a woman to cook food at this time, as the unbalanced energies will enter into it along with the physical exudations that are also poisonous. It is true that the touch of a woman in her menstrual cycle is physically and psychically toxic, but it is not because she is uncleanjust the opposite, she is being purified.
One of the major researchers of blood type and chemistry was Doctor Abrams of Chicago. Doctor Abrams discovered that there are exactly as many human blood groups as there are castes and subcastes listed by the Hindu scriptures! But one of his most interesting researches involved the physical state of women during their monthly periods. One day he asked a cleaning woman in his office to pick him some daffodils that were blooming in the garden behind the building. She brought him a handful of wilted blooms. Disgusted with her lack of discrimination in gathering the flowers, he sent her for some more. Again, they were wilted. After the third time he demanded of her as to why she could not pick the good flowers instead of the wilted ones. He was astonished at her answer: Oh, they are all right when I pick them, but I am in my period, and flowers always wilt immediately when I touch them at that time. He could not believe her, so went with her to the garden and watched her pick more flowers. Sure enough, in a matter of minutes they wilted in her hands. This led him to further study that confirmed the regulations of his religion, Judaism, regarding women during their monthly time.
Since Mary was fourteen and liable to begin having menstrual periods at any time, the priests of the Temple were concerned that She might begin Her monthly period while working with the sacred vessels or vestments of the Temple and thus they would have to be laboriously and ceremonially purified. For it is true that whatever a woman touches at that monthly time is profoundly affected.
And they said to the high priest, Thou standest by the altar of the Lord; go in, and pray concerning her; and whatever the Lord shall manifest unto thee, that also will we do.
The communication from God would be manifested through the methods of divination prescribed by Moses. Once again we see how important divination is in a valid and vital religion.
And the high priest went in, taking the robe with the twelve bells into the holy of holies; and he prayed concerning Her.
And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him, saying unto him: Zacharias, Zacharias, go out and assemble the widowers of the people, and let them bring each his rod; and to whomsoever the Lord shall show a sign, his wife shall She be.
Again, divination of some sort is indicateda physical manifestation of the divine will rather than the vague feelings which may come to us from just about any and every source except God.
And the heralds went out through all the circuit of Judea, and the trumpet of the Lord sounded, and all ran.
And Joseph, throwing away his axe, went out to meet them; and when they had assembled, they went away to the high priest, taking with them their rods.
And he, taking the rods of all of them, entered into the Temple, and prayed; and having ended his prayer, he took the rods and came out, and gave them to them: but there was no sign in them, and Joseph took his rod last.
This account is very sketchy, but it will be filled out by other texts we will be looking at later.
And behold, a dove came out of the rod, and flew upon Josephs head.
Was it a physical dove, or an angelic apparition of the type seen in Zeitoun, Egypt, when the Virgin Mary appeared more than three hundred times over a period of three years? What appeared to be flights of doves of shining light were continually seen within and outside the church. Whatever it may have been, all saw the sign.
And the priest said to Joseph, Thou hast been chosen by lot to take into thy keeping the Virgin of the Lord.
But Joseph refused, saying: I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl. I am afraid lest I become a laughing-stock to the sons of Israel.
To marry a Temple virgin was considered a great honorhow much more would it be to become the husband of a unique one such as Mary? Joseph himself had never married, his children having been adopted upon the death of a sister. As an Essene, Saint Joseph had aspired to live in one of their monastic communities, but because his nieces and nephews had no one to care for them, he had sacrificed his desire and been as a father, working as a carpenter to support them. Wishing to hide his vow of celibacy, he made the objection that he would look foolish as an old man married to a young girlwhich he would not since everyone knew that he had been chosen by divine manifestation to marry Her. But he wished to make some objection.
And the priest said to Joseph: Fear the Lord thy God, and remember what the Lord did to Dathan, and Abiram, and Korah; how the earth opened, and they were swallowed up on account of the contradiction.28 And now fear, O Joseph, lest the same things happen in thy house. And Joseph was afraid, and took Her into his keeping.
And Joseph said to Mary: Behold, I have received thee from the Temple of the Lord; and now I leave thee in my house, and go away to build my buildings, and I shall come to thee. The Lord will protect thee.
Notice that Saint Joseph did not marry the Virgin, but took Her into his keeping. Later we shall see from other documents that they were formally betrothed, but never married. In this way Saint Joseph bore witness to the miraculous conception and birth of Christ. Saint Joseph made an interesting arrangement in his house for the accommodation of the Virgin, but that will be covered in another text.
And there was a council of the priests, saying: Let us make a veil for the Temple of the Lord.
The veil referred to is the veil which hung before the Holy of Holies. The weaving of it was considered a supreme honor and was entrusted only to the Temple virgins that were indicated by the drawing of lots.
However little it may be appreciated in contemporary times, in every authentic religion we find the definite understanding that virgins possess a unique spiritual character. This is because the energy systems of a virginmale or femaleare intact and to a great degree unconditioned, thereby increasing the virgins potential in all matters psychic and spiritual to a remarkable degree. Despite the widespread sexual immorality of the Romans, their regard for the Vestal Virgins was genuine, and they believed strongly in the necessity for the maintenance of that status, punishing a Vestal Virgin with death if she violated her vows. Virginity is desirable from a physical level, as well, but it is particularly an occult virtue.
Why is the word undefiled used here in seeming implication that non-virgins are defiled? It is used in reference to unmarried girls, those who had engaged in sexual relations outside marriage being defiled by their misuse of sexuality. But again we are encountering through such terminology a mistaking of energy confusion for ceremonial purity. Still the principle behind the misunderstanding is soundand authentically Christian.
And the priest said: Call to me the undefiled virgins of the family of David. And the officers went away, and sought, and found seven virgins. And the priest remembered the child Mary, that she was of the family of David, and undefiled before God. And the officers went away and brought her.
The Virgin being the eighth weaver is significant, because the universe is considered to consist of seven levels, the eighth being the state of perfect transcendence. In the book of Hebrews the Apostle speaks of there being seven days and beyond that an eighth day of eternity. Mary is the eighth weaver because She had evolved beyond all relativity, beyond all states of creation. In Hindu cosmology the Mother Goddess has eight companions.
And they brought them into the Temple of the Lord. And the priest said: Choose for me by lot who shall spin the gold, and the white, and the fine linen, and the silk, and the blue, and the scarlet, and the true purple. And the true purple and the scarlet fell to the lot of Mary, and she took them, and went away to her house.
Again, divination is used here to determine who shall spin the colors. So we see how in every detail of Hebrew spiritual life divination was a major factor.
The scarlet and the purple were the most important colors because the Jews had knowledge of color vibration and their effects on consciousness. Symbolically, red is the blood that is shed. Purple is the blood that is not shed. Both colors thus represent the life force that is expended and that which is potential. Red and purple also represent the highest planes of consciousness. To spin and weave them was considered a special honor, particularly since it was decided by divination, which was considered the voice of God.
And at that time Zacharias was mute,29 and Samuel was in his place until the time that Zacharias spoke. And Mary took the scarlet, and spun it.
We know from this that Saint John the Baptist had already been conceived, though not yet born.
And she took the pitcher, and went out to fill it with water. And, behold, a voice saying: Hail, thou who hast received grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women! And she looked round, on the right hand and on the left, to see whence this voice came. And she went away, trembling, to her house, and put down the pitcher.
Every day for the last eleven years the Virgin had been fed by angels. Besides that, She was in constant communication with them according to eyewitnesses. Why, then, was She agitated by this particular angelic encounter? Because it is not the way of angels to convey flattering messages. They simply let us know what to do or what is the truth of a certain matter. They do not flatter, cajole, or threaten us, because those things relate to egotism, not to spiritual life (and never to God). This is very important to know, because most people who are deceived by their own egoic minds, by astral tramps, or by outright evil spirits fall into the trap because the words from on high are flattering or pleasing to them in some way. Psychotic nuns who believe they are married to Jesus have for centuries been having visions in which He tells them that He loves them more than anyone else upon the earth, that they love Him more than anyone else, too, and how simply too, too wonderful they are. In India the gods or departed Masters appear and tell many deranged egotists how marvellous and special they are, and what a great attainment is in store for them. In America and Europe the space brothers, inner plane adepts and masters and such like communicate through voices and automatic writing, flattering the foolish with lavish praises and assurances that they are special messengers meant to usher in the New Age, and so on. Usually those so deceived are given some kind of Message For The World along with promises of boundless good things for those who heed the message and predictions of dire catastrophe for those who do not. And all of these consider themselves infinitely superior to the Fundamentalist Protestants who have been dealing from the very same deck for nearly five hundred years.
Flattery was the strategy of Lucifer in Paradise, and is still the main tool of deception, human or astral. As Eve, Mary had been flattered and spoken to very sweetly in Paradise, and She had been beguiled by it much to Her eventual sorrow.30 There She was confident and bold in Her confidence. But now all is changed, and in Her divine humility She knows to be wary of such ego-inflating words. Since She is now reversing Her ancient deed, She must be approached by an Archangel as She was then; but now through obedience She is to atone for Her past rebellion. So now, as She should have done then, She flees from the voice that speaks such complimentary things.
We who are cultivating higher consciousness must also exercise such caution and not come to think that we have made great progress and become something, but must faithfully press on to higher things, always discontented with less than the Infinite. Correct spiritual practice shows us how much farther we need to go, whereas deceptive practices make us think we are already there and perfect. Our egos do not like the truth revealed by valid meditation, but it is the only way to freedom in the spirit. Mary was also aware that when you are doing well, usually the angels do not come and tell youinstead, they tell you when you are not doing well, because that is what helps in making progress.
And taking the purple, she sat down on her seat, and drew it out.
Mary knew that it is good to ground ourselves through physical activity, that inactivity can open us to negative influences on the psychic level. Idleness truly is the devils playground, and the Fathers of the Church have insisted that manual labor is a good defense against spiritual deception from either internal or external sources. Thus Saint Benedict is usually shown with a book that says: Ora et laboraPray and work.
Also, true divine contact does not incapacitate us for practical mattersjust the opposite. The saints and Masters are the most capable and practical of all people. But those who are led astray into spiritual delusion become correspondingly inept. Sri Ramakrishna frequently told His disciples: If you can weigh salt you can weigh sugar, meaning that if you are competent in spiritual life you will be competent in outer life. This does not mean that we need become business tycoons or renowned successes, but it does mean that we should be able to function well in the sphere in which our karma has placed us. Good sense is a basic requisite for success in spiritual life. The feather-headedness that is popularly considered a mark of mystical consciousness is actually a symptom of evil and deception. Therefore it is wise to observe those who lay claim to high spiritual status (keeping in mind that such a claim proves them ignorant and false). If they cannot even thread a needle it is unlikely that they are capable of laying hold on the tenuous states of subtle spiritual perceptions.
Let us say a little here about another modern fantasy in relation to spiritual life. It is popular in the West to picture holy people as childlikenaive and simple-minded like children. This is erroneous. Saints have found out every trick of their ancient enemy, the ego, and have conquered them all. Pure, they are, but innocent in the sense of ignorant they are not.
Unworthy disciples often try to convince themselves that their spiritual guides are childlike because they hope they will be able to fool them into thinking they are spiritually capable when they are actually unfit and untrustworthy. False spiritual teachers play along with them and pretend to know nothing of the disciples true character. But a real spiritual teacher knows well all the games of the ego and its deceptions, and does not countenance them in his disciples any more than he does in himself. An indulgent spiritual mentor is the worst enemy a human being can have.
When the Archangel tells the Virgin that She is to conceive, She outright demands to know how it can be since She has hadand shall haveno sexual relations with a man. Many women have come to their marriage bed with no knowledge of sexual intercourse or that it is the way children are conceived. But Mary was not that kind. Though fourteen years old and raised from the age of three in the Temple She is fully cognizant of the facts of life. Innocence is not ignorance, and purity is not lack of awareness.
And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood before her, saying: Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found grace before the Lord of all, and thou shalt conceive, according to His word. And She, hearing, reasoned with herself, saying: Shall I conceive by the Lord, the living God? and shall I bring forth as every woman brings forth? And the angel of the Lord said: Not so, Mary; for the power of the Lord shall overshadow Thee: wherefore also that holy thing which shall be born of Thee shall be called the Son of the Most High.
The God Who said Let there be light and there was light31 shall cause Mary to conceive by His creative Word. The Voice of God, the cosmic vibratory power of the Lord, the Holy Spirit, will overshadow Her and bring about a divine conception.
The conception of Christ by Mary is not merely historical, it is an eternal process that is an archetype of the Christian Mysteries. Mary represents the individual consciousness within which in an ineffable way the infinite consciousness of God is implanted as a seed-point from which it shall expand and develop until the full scope of divine consciousness is contained within the individual consciousness.32 This is the essential nature of theosis, deification, wherein the Holy Spirit literally becomes infused into the individual spirit, interpenetrating it completely in a mysterious unionas a result of which the consciousness that dwelt in and manifested through Christ Jesus begins its perfect unfoldment.33 The overshadowing and infusion of the Holy Spirit is not a temporary state, but continues throughout the aspirants life.
All evolutionary actions are overshadowings of the Holy Spirit, the Mother, Who is the sole evolutionary force. The entire creation, gross and subtle, is her divine womb in which we are formed in preparation for birth back into the realm of pure spirit as gods with God.34 All growth without exception comes by the operation of the Mother upon our bodies. This is why Christians aspiring to theosis have always been deeply involved in establishing a living working relationship with the Mother. All the great cathedrals of Europe arose in Her praise. Those who have lost the inner power of Christ while retaining an external appearance of Christianity have often complained that mystical Christians seem to place more emphasis on the Virgin Mary than on Jesus. Practically speaking this is true, because it is through the Mother that we can evolve to communion with the Son. To effect our union with Christ the Virgin must first give us birth and guide our growth unto the fulness of the measure of the stature of Christ.35 Mary is the Mother of Christians. Her appellations Mother of Christ and Mother of God are not poetic exaggerations but metaphysical facts. To Jesus through Mary is the law. Mary representsand actually embodiesthe power of Christian Life.
And Thou shalt call His Name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.
The Name Jesus means Savior. It is not enough to be an admirer of Christ or a devotee. To attain Christhood we must be followers of Christ, being baptized with the baptism with which He was baptized, and drinking of the cup of which He drank.36 Being a fan of Jesus is not enough, we must be born of water and of the Spirit37 in the manner He intended. Only then can we begin to share in the abundant life of the spirit.
And Mary said: Behold, the servant of the Lord before His face: let it be unto me according to Thy word.
She says that She is a servant of the Lord, but She also affirms that She is before the face of Godthat is, in the supreme status of evolution beyond all relativity. So there is no false modesty in Her. In Paradise She disobeyed, enticed by the promise of being as God.38 Now She agrees to a childbearing which shall cause Her to be looked upon as immoral, blasphemous, lying, or insane throughout the subsequent history of the world. Even many of those who shall in time unworthily bear the name of Christian will snicker at the fable of Her divine conception and conceiving. It is disgrace She accepts in obedience, and by means of this She becomes the new Tree of Life, bearing the divine fruit of Christ Who shall forever after be the Food of Life to all who will eat and live.
And she made the purple and the scarlet, and took them to the priest. And the priest blessed Her, and said: Mary, the Lord God hath magnified thy name and thou shalt be blessed in all the generations of the earth.
And Mary, with great joy, went away to Elizabeth her kinswoman, and knocked at the door. And when Elizabeth heard her, she threw away the wool that she had in her hand, and ran to the door, and opened it; and seeing Mary, blessed her, and said: Whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? for, behold, that which is in me leaped and blessed thee.
Elizabeth was a prophetess in her own right, and was carrying the reincarnation of Elijah39 who, though only in her womb for six months, was fully conscious. When he heard the voice of Mary he recognized Her and communicated to his mother the nature of her visitor. This tells us that the fetus is a fully conscious being in the womb, and until birth it retains full memory of its past lives. Moreover, it demonstrates that a psychically sensitive mother can communicate with her child before its birth.
But Mary had forgotten the mysteries of which the archangel Gabriel had spoken, and gazed up into heaven and said: Who am I, O Lord, that all the generations of the earth should bless me? And she remained three months with Elizabeth; and day by day she grew bigger.
The eulogies of Gabriel had completely vanished from Marys mind. Angels speak only facts, and She knew that, but it was no longer in Her nature to think flatteringly of Herself. This does not mean that She despised Herselfwhich would be as egoic as pridebut that Her consciousness was ever absorbed in contemplation of the Supreme Reality: upon Her infinite consciousness, rather than upon the temporal appearance that was Mary of Nazareth. Of course She remembered that She was to conceive and that the Most High was to be born from Her, but the words of praise She had forgotten. This gives us a good idea as to the character of Her deified state of consciousness.
And Mary being afraid, went away to her own house, and hid herself from the sons of Israel. And she was sixteen years old when these mysteries happened.
The penalty for adultery was death.40 Knowing that She would be accused of adultery by whoever saw that She was pregnant, Mary kept Herself from public view.
And she was in Her sixth month; and, behold, Joseph came back from his building, and, entering into his house, he discovered that she was big with child. And he smote his face, and threw himself on the ground upon the sackcloth, and wept bitterly, saying: With what face shall I look upon the Lord my God? and what prayer shall I make about this maiden? because I received Her a virgin out of the Temple of the Lord, and I have not watched over her. Who is it that has hunted me down? Who has done this evil thing in my house, and defiled the virgin?
Has not the history of Adam been repeated in me? For just as Adam was in the hour of his singing praise, and the serpent came, and found Eve alone, and completely deceived her, so it has happened to me also.
In the astral world where Paradise is located, time does not exist. Since there is no sun or rotation of planets, the phenomenon of dawn, noon, and sunset does not occur. Yet, being the next step up from the earth plane, there are certain tides of which those time periods are the manifestation. The tradition of offering prayers at dawn, noon, and sunset has been established from the beginning of creation, for at those times the angelic beings withdraw from their charges and duties and for a brief period appear before the face of God to contemplate the Divine Light. This is not a matter of spatial withdrawal, but rather one of their focus of attention. (If there was a complete withdrawal or even cessation of angelic activity the entire creation would vanish in a moment.)
Those aspiring to rise to the level of angelic evolution align themselves with angelic consciousness by also engaging in worship or contemplation at those times. Although Adam was new in Paradise, his angelic mentors were already assisting him in directing his awareness into the next higher plane. Therefore at regular intervals they came into Paradise for Adam to join with them in their praising of God.
It is essential for us to realize that neither angels nor (wise) men praise God in order to flatter or please Him. Rather, the praising of God is a means of attuning our consciousness to His. Also, since union with God is by its nature a union of love, this attunement takes the form of loving colloquy. Real praise is not a recitation of how powerful or all-possessing God is, but rather a meditation on the wonder of Gods ineffable being. It is a rejoicing at a wonder in which we can participatein which we already do live, but without knowing it. By bringing the attributes of God to mind, those attributes begin to manifest in the consciousness of the worshipper. For this reason, in Hinduism a potent mode of worship is that of reciting the descriptive titles of God which are considered His Names. Thus there are the Sahashranamavalisthe Praises of One Thousand Namesaddressed to the various forms of God. The supreme form of praise, however, is to faithfully meditate so our life becomes one uninterrupted attunement to Him.
And Joseph stood up from the sackcloth, and called Mary, and said to her: O thou who hast been cared for by God, why hast thou done this, and forgotten the Lord thy God? Why hast thou brought low thy soul, thou that wast brought up in the holy of holies, and that didst receive food from the hand of an angel? And she wept bitterly, saying: I am innocent, and have known no man. And Joseph said to her: Whence then is that which is in thy womb? And she said: As the Lord my God liveth, I do not know whence it is to me.
The Virgin meant that She could give no rational explanation of Her pregnancy to Saint Joseph. As to the esoteric explanation, She apparently felt at this time that She should remain silent, for silence regarding divine communications is a cardinal rule of authentic esoteric life and practice. This is why the saints of the Eastern tradition, Christian and non-Christian, rarely reveal their mystical experiences. Many of the greatest Masters have not spoken a word about any visions or revelations they may have had. For example, Saint Nectarios of Aegina, a twentieth century Greek saint whose miraclesincluding continual materializationsafter his death are without number, never recounted his spiritual experiences. Nor did his Russian predecessor, Saint John of Kronstadt, who no doubt worked more miracles than any saint in the history of Christianity. Imitating the Virgin Mary,the saints keep these things in their hearts.41 In contrast, those who are deluded by their own egos or by astral wanderers write volumes expounding their hallucinations and keep detailed diaries of every psychic aberration that comes their way. There is no end to their revelations and raptures. The dictum He who knows tells it not; he who tells knows it not, is especially true in the realm of mystical experience. Examination of the writings or words of the saints shows that they never speak of their interior experiences except by way of illustrating a teaching. And then, like Saint Paul, they may attribute it to someone else rather than to themselves.42
And Joseph was greatly afraid, and retired from her, and considered what he should do in regard to her. And Joseph said: If I conceal her sin, I find myself fighting against the law of the Lord; and if I expose her to the sons of Israel, I am afraid lest that which is in her be from an angel, and I shall be found giving up innocent blood to the doom of death.
Saint Joseph was a stranger to the modern attitude that positive people never point out evil or expose its presence. Only the corrupt cover corruption in themselves or in others.
In the Old Testament it is said that the sons of God came down and begat children of the daughters of men, producing giants in the earth.43 The Alexandrian Jewish tradition explains this as the descendants of Noah intermarrying with those who were not destroyed by the Flood (which was local, not worldwide). Another tradition, though, is that the lower rank of angels took on semi-material bodies and married human wives. Their children were literal giants because of their non-human parentage. Saint Joseph evidently accepted this second tradition and, knowing that the Virgin had daily contact with angels, thought that She might have conceived from an angel and would thus be innocent. But he knew well that only death could be Her fate if She was guilty of fornication. So for Her safety he resolves:
What then shall I do with her? I will put her away from me secretly.
And night came upon him; and, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying: Be not afraid for this maiden, for that which is in her is of the Holy Spirit; and she will bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.
And night came upon him, means that Joseph lost outward consciousness, that his bodily senses were darkened and his internal perceptions came into play in a dream that was actually an astral experience. It has always been the custom of mystical religions to speak of esoteric experiences in this way in a kind of code regarding the life of the inwardly-illumined. In this way the ignorant can assure themselves that there is a natural explanation for the continually supernatural life of the mystic. Here, again, we see that angelic communication was considered quite a normal phenomenonindeed a necessary thing for the life of the seeker.
And Joseph arose from sleep, and glorified the God of Israel, who had given him this grace; and he kept her.
Saint Joseph kept the Virgin, but he never married Her although he was betrothed to Her.
And Annas the scribe came to him, and said: Why hast thou not appeared in our assembly? And Joseph said to him: Because I was weary from my journey, and rested the first day.
And he turned, and saw that Mary was with child.
And he ran away to the priest, and said to him: Joseph, whom thou didst vouch for, has committed a grievous crime. And the priest said: How so? And he said: He has defiled the virgin whom he received out of the Temple of the Lord, and has married her by stealth, and has not revealed it to the sons of Israel.
It is a testimonial to the upright character of Saint Joseph that the elders did not at all think that he would have had sexual relations with the Virgin outside of marriage. We also see from this accusation of a secret marriage that it was known to the elders that Saint Joseph was not going to marry Her, and that this had their approval. Saint Joseph was to be Her guardian, never Her husband. Because of Her obviously unique nature this was acceptable to the elders even though usually it was insisted that women should marry and have children. (One of the reasons the rest of Israel did not much like the Essenes was the large number of unmarried Essenes, both within and outside of their monastic communities. Unmarried women were especially disliked by the Hebrews. Today in India male monastics are very respected, but women monastics are looked upon with disapproval. The equal status the Essenes granted to their women members did little to ingratiate them with their fellow-Israelites.)
And the priest answering said: Has Joseph done this? Then said Annas the scribe: Send officers, and thou wilt find the virgin with child.
And the officers went away, and found it as he had said; and they brought her along with Joseph to the tribunal. And the priest said: Mary, why has thou done this? and why hast thou brought thy soul low, and forgotten the Lord thy God? Thou that was reared in the holy of holies, and that didst receive food from the hand of an angel and didst hear the hymns, and didst dance before Him, why hast thou done this? And she wept bitterly, saying: As the Lord my God liveth, I am pure before Him, and know not a man.
And the priest said to Joseph: Why hast thou done this? And Joseph said: As the Lord liveth, I am pure concerning her. Then said the priest: Bear not false witness, but speak the truth. Thou hast married her by stealth, and hast not revealed it to the sons of Israel, and hast not bowed thy head under the strong hand, that thy seed might be blessed. And Joseph was silent.
And the priest said: Give up the virgin whom thou didst receive out of the Temple of the Lord. And Joseph burst into tears.
And the priest said: I will give you to drink of the water of the ordeal of the Lord and He shall make manifest your sins in your eyes.
The priest is referring to the following passage from the book of Numbers: And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any mans wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him, and a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner; and the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled: Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance. And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord: And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water: And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the womans head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband: Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; and this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water: And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter. Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the womans hand, and shall wave the offering before the Lord, and offer it upon the altar: And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water. And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled; or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law. Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.44
Talk about divination! And it worked, we may be sure, although we may not know just how. It is amazing how Christians forget about the tremendous power manifested by the priests in the Old Testament. And even more amazing is their assumption that after the advent of Jesus His Church has no ability to do such things. If that were true we would have been better off if Jesus had not been born.
And the priest took the water, and gave Joseph to drink, and sent him away to the hill-country; and he returned unhurt. And he gave to Mary also to drink, and sent her away to the hill-country; and she returned unhurt. And all the people wondered that sin did not appear in them. And the priest said: If the Lord God has not made manifest your sins, neither do I judge you.
Notice, he does not say that he believes they are innocent. It just seems too incredible to him that they would be. Yet the divinatory testimony of God can not be lightly disregarded.
And he sent them away. And Joseph took Mary, and went away to his own house rejoicing and glorifying the God of Israel.
Everyone else was certainly not rejoicing, but Joseph, as a man of spiritual experience, had confidence both in the words of the angel and the divination.
And there was an order from the Emperor Augustus, that all in Bethlehem of Judea should be enrolled.
This was the great census of the entire Roman Empire made at the command of Augustus for the purposes of levying taxes.
And Joseph said: I shall enroll my sons, but what shall I do with this maiden? How shall I enroll her? As my wife? I am ashamed. As my daughter then? But all the sons of Israel know that she is not my daughter. The day of the Lord shall itself bring it to pass as the Lord wills.
The sons of Joseph were his nephews. And his resolution of his confusion is a foreshadowing of Jesus words: Take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.45
And he saddled the ass, and set her upon it; and his son, and Joseph followed.
And when they had come within three miles, Joseph turned and saw her sorrowful; and he said to himself: Likely that which is in her distresses her. And again Joseph turned and saw her laughing. And he said to her: Mary, how is it that I see in thy face at one time laughter, at another sorrow? And Mary said to Joseph: Because I see two people with my eyes; the one weeping and lamenting, and the other rejoicing and exulting.
This will be fully explained in another text, so here it need only be said that Mary was alternately sorrowful and laughing because She was perceiving the duality of all things.
There is a more important lesson here, though. All our perceptions are internal. The original stimuli may be outside us, but what we really perceive is the shaping of our mental energies into a response-image that we assume is a correct translation-reflection of the external object. This is why we must be careful about what we look atespecially television and motion pictures. For whatever we see is actually within us. Theatrical violence and evil do not just affect children, it affects us all, since it takes place within the depths of our minds. That is, our minds take on the character of whatever we see. A remarkable experiment was done in which people watched certain types of exercises. Testing revealed that their bodies were affected exactly as if they had done the exercises physically. A major baseball team participated in an experiment in which they visualized themselves practicing rather than doing any physical practice. And the results were the same as when they had physically practiced. In other words, seeing is doingand being.
Those of completely unconditioned and pure minds take on the qualities of whatever they see. Mary, being this type of being, laughed when She saw laughter and grieved when She saw sorrow. We who strive to attain the same state must then be careful, saying with David: I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.46
And they came into the middle of the road, and Mary said to him: Take me down from off the ass, for that which is in me presses to come forth. And he took her down from off the ass, and said to her: Whither shall I lead thee, and cover thy disgrace? for the place is desert. And he found a cave there, and led her into it; and leaving his two sons beside her, he went out to seek a midwife in the district of Bethlehem.
It is an interesting characteristic that the mother of an Incarnation of God experiences no pain at giving birth. How is this? One explanation is that the incarnation is never really born in the normal waythat is, the body does not come into the world through the birth canal, but instead is instantly transported outside the mothers body. This was definitely the situation with Jesus, and seemingly with Mary, as well. The Virgin felt a kind of pressure only, and thus knew the time for His birth had come. In Jesus case this was done so His Mother would physically remain a virgo intacta as evidence of His supernatural conception. That is, until the day of Her passing the Virgin was physical proof of Jesus supraphysical nature. Buddhas mother also experienced no labor pains. While she was standing up holding on to the branch of a tree, the infant Buddha was suddenly there, standing upright. Sri Ramakrishnas mother also had no pain but just a warning urge, and He, too, was suddenly discovered across the room from where His mother was lying.
Another reason given is that the body of the Incarnation is different from the normal body of a human being and therefore cannot be derived from human elements. A further reason put forth is that the birth of the human being comes from karmic bondage and is productive of suffering. Thus it begins in sufferingthe suffering of the mother. But the birth of an avatar comes through divine love and grace, and by its nature removes pain rather than causes it.
Now there is a change in the narrative from third to second person as though it is a quotation from Saint Josephwhich it well may be, Saint James writing what he had heard Saint Joseph himself say.
And I Joseph was walking, and was not walking.
Eternity impinged on time and space, momentarily suspending them. Whenever an Incarnation is born, strange things like this take place in nature because heaven is truly touching earth. Also a more true experience of things is taking place. Since time and space are illusions, Saint Joseph realized that moving he did not really move. In Wagners Parsifal, Gurnemanz says: Here time and space are one, in response to Parsifals statement that although he is walking he does not seem to be moving.
Saint Joseph entered into an eternal moment and, standing in eternity, truly saw a frame of the cosmic motion picture. So he continues:
And I looked up into the sky, and saw the sky astonished; and I looked up at the pole of the heavens, and saw it standing, and the birds of the air keeping still.
And I looked down upon the earth, and saw a trough lying, and work-people reclining: and their hands were in the trough. And those that were eating did not eat, and those that were rising did not carry it up, and those that were conveying anything to their mouths did not convey it; but the faces of all were looking upwards.
And I saw the sheep walking, and the sheep stood still; and the shepherd raised his hand to strike them, and his hand remained up. And I looked upon the current of the river, and I saw the mouths of the kids resting on the water and not drinking, and all things in a moment were driven from their course.
This occurred at the very moment of Jesus advent into the world, for His purpose in being born was to transfer His disciples from time into eternity. A seeker will find that as he develops spiritually his time sense will markedly differ from that of non-seekers. For example, time will seem to stretch out and expand so he can accomplish far more than others in a short space of time. When I worked in a factory, if I put my mind in the right state I could do eight hours work in four hours or less. I was much in demand by departments that had fallen behind in their production. Once I was put on a job where no one had ever managed to produce more than a quarter of the needed work. The first day I produced the full quota for eight hoursin eight hours. This was considered a wonder. But by the time the week was out I could produce the eight hours quota in six to five hours. Then they took me off that job and put me on another. Many wondered what my secret was, but I knew they could not understand if I told them it was meditation. The most dramatic time-shifting I experienced was in December and January of 1962-1963 when I was living in an obscure village of West Bengal, India. I would begin meditating at four in the morning. After a while my watch would show that it was about six. Some time later it would show that it was two a.m. Then it would be five. Then it would shift back an hour or so. This took place every day for a little over a week. At first I thought my watch had gone mad or my eyes were playing tricks on me, but eventually I just had to accept it as real.
It says in the book of Revelation47 that when the seventh seal of the Book was opened, there was silencewhereas at the opening of the previous six there were sounds and sights. The seventh seal represents the level of pure spirit where there is No Thing. Jesus, being a manifestation of that supreme consciousness, momentarily produced that state on earth. But only one like Saint Joseph experienced it consciously. In that moment of eternity the world and its destiny was permanently changed.
Then that moment was over and things began to proceed as usual.
And I saw a woman coming down from the hill-country, and she said to me: O man, whither art thou going? And I said: I am seeking an Hebrew midwife. And she answered and said to me: Are you of Israel? And I said to her: Yes.
Because of the snobbish conduct and attitude of the Judeans toward the rest of the Hebrews, it was often asked: Are you of Judea or of Israel? implying that the two were not one. This question would be put by the non-Judeans who did not like the Judeans because of their high-handed manner and their collaboration with the Roman oppressors.48 In Saint Johns Gospel he continually points out that the persecution of Jesus which led up to His death at the hands of the Romans was the deed of the Judeans. It is unfortunate that modern translations say the Jews, when it should be the Judeans. To the Mediterranean world, everyone from Israel was called a Judean, a Jew, in the same way Europeans and Asiatics call us from the United States Yankees, even though that term is properly applied only to New Englanders.
Saint Joseph determines that the woman is not a Judean, and assures her that he is not one, either.
And she said: And who is it that is to bring forth in the cave? And I said: A woman betrothed to me. And she said to me: Is she not thy wife? And I said to her: It is Mary that was reared in the Temple of the Lord, and I obtained her by lot as my wife. And yet she is not my wife, but has conceived of the Holy Spirit.
The Virgin Mary was famous throughout Israel because of Her time spent in the Temple. Israel was not that large a country or with that many people. Everyone knew of this Virgin Who had lived in the Temple, communed daily with angels, and ate no food of earth. Because of the search through all the country for a man to whom She should be given, they all knew a great deal about Her.
Notice that Saint Joseph uses the expression Holy Spirit. It is a mistake to believe that the concept of the Holy Spirit is only Christian. Long before Christ the Holy Breath (Ruach) was a part of esoteric Jewish belief. So also was the Trinitarian concept, though it was not as developed as it was later on in Christianity. (The technical term TrinityTriadi in Greekwas coined by Origen in the second century after Christ.)
And the midwife said to him: Is this true? And Joseph said to her: Come and see. And the midwife went away with him. And they stood in the place of the cave, and behold a luminous cloud overshadowed the cave.
Throughout the Old Testament whenever God descended to communicate with man, a cloud of light appeared.49 The Israelites used to know by the presence of this cloud that Moses was speaking with God. At the ascension of Jesus we are told that a cloud received him out of their sight.50 When the apostles were with Jesus on Mount Tabor, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.51 Of course the term cloud is just an approximate description of the field or aura of light that can sometimes be perceived around sacred places, objects, or persons. Many times hundreds of people saw this light shining around the physical form of Saint John Maximovitch of San Francisco. God is light, and in him is no darkness,52 is the principle objectified by the saints. At the time I am writing this, the Coptic Orthodox church in Shobra, a suburb of Cairo, Egypt, is often seen shining at night as though powerful spotlights are being trained on it. The Virgin Mary and many saints appear at various times in this church, and videotapes have been made of some of the phenomena. Several Bishops have described to me their investigations of the light, in which it was established that it has no possible natural source. (As if God is not the most natural force of all!)
This appearance of light occurs when the energy focus of an object shifts from the material to the psychic level. Then, just as the object casts a shadow when the material-atomic aspect of its being is dominant, the opposite takes place and the astral imprint becomes visible as light. This is an impingement of the astral plane upon the materiala much lesser form of the eternal moment. This is why we may see light around the heads of people who are meditating or concentrating on high spiritual things. Such a light can be seen around holy objects. What we are seeing is the astral body as it is being energized and activated more than usual. This occurs when the veil between the invisible world and the visible begins to be lifted or to dissipate. It is very common, actually, and is to be expected. In Eastern Christian worship the temple is often filled with incense smoke so the refracted light will produce a facsimile of this.
And the mid-wife said: My soul has been magnified this day, because mine eyes have seen strange thingsbecause salvation has been brought forth to Israel. And immediately the cloud disappeared out of the cave, and a great light shone in the cave, so that the eyes could not bear it.
This is the same divine lightnot psychicthat appeared to Saints Peter, James, and John at the Transfiguration of Christ. As Jesus said: Lo, a greater is here!53
And in a little that light gradually decreased, until the infant appeared, and went and took the breast from His mother Mary.
There is a tradition that when the light faded the infant Jesus was seen suspended in the airas happened at the birth of the Virgin. Then He descended on to the breast of the Virgin, Who nursed Him. This is considered another evidence that Jesus was not born in the usual way, but came forth from His mothers womb just as He would one day come forth from the tomb in the glory of resurrection.54 In one sense Jesus was born without being born. Nor was He born at that moment, but the light had persisted until the coming of Saint Joseph and the midwifedoubtless so they could witness it.
And the midwife cried out, and said: This is a great day to me, because I have seen this strange sight.
And the midwife went forth out of the cave, and Salome met her. And she said to her: Salome, Salome, I have a strange sight to relate to thee: a virgin has brought fortha thing which her nature admits not of.
In another text we will see that the midwife had examined the Virgin and found Her to be just thata Virgin.
Then said Salome: As the Lord my God liveth, unless I thrust in my finger, and search the parts, I will not believe that a virgin has brought forth.
Salome was not the first to disbelieve in the possibility of a virgin giving birth. It is moving somewhat ahead of ourselves, but here it might be good to record the history of Saint Simeon the prophet who bore witness to Jesus as Messiah when He was brought to the Temple forty days after His birth.55
About 250 B.C., the Greek Pharaoh of Egypt, Ptolemy, was determined to make the library of Alexandria a repository for all the knowledge of the Mediterranean world. To accomplish this he sent to every country for books. He also commissioned translations of many books into Greek, for at that time Greek was the language of learning. Through such translations scholars of many nationalities could come to Alexandria and find all the books of wisdom accessiblesuch was his aspiration.
Representatives of Ptolemy wrote to Jerusalem, to the Temple, requesting a copy of the Hebrew sacred books. A reply was sent immediately, stating that the scriptures of the Israelites were for them alonenot for perusal by Gentiles. Ptolemy then requested a translation of the scriptures, if the Hebrew originals were to be refused him. Again the answer came that such things were for the people of the Covenant alone. This displeased Ptolemy greatly, but he set about figuring a way to get the Hebrew holy writings. At that time there were more than twenty thousand Jewish slaves in Egypt, so Ptolemy sent word to Jerusalem that he would have all of them set free in exchange for a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. After consultation the Jewish elders decided that for the sake of the enslaved Hebrews they would assent to Ptolemys request for a translation.
Upon receiving word of this agreement, Ptolemy was elated. But his advisors expressed the opinion that since the Jews were so reluctant to give out their scriptures they might produce a concocted fraud instead of a translation of the real scriptures. Ptolemy saw the logic of this, so he sent to Jerusalem asking that a team of translators be sent to Egypt to produce the translation under his supervision. The Jewish elders chose seventy-two scholars (six from each of the twelve tribes) and sent them to Alexandria. There Ptolemy had constructed a small city for their accommodation across the Nile from his palace. (Until the Moslem invasion of Egypt, the ruins of this city were still in existence.) To make sure that there could be no collaboration in either producing a false text or a collusion to leave out any parts of the holy books, Ptolemy arranged that the translators should live in separate housestwo in a house, working together. Nor were the teams of translators permitted to communicate with one another.
Every evening the translators were brought across the Nile to present their days work. Thus thirty-six translations were presented. Upon examination it was found that all of them were identical word-for-word! Each day this phenomenon was repeated. The Egyptians considered this a miraculous proof of the divine character of the Hebrew scriptures, and as a result many of them converted to Judaism. (Even today the Christians of the Eastern church use that very translation, called the Septuagint, for the Old Testament. In time the Septuagint came to be used by all the diaspora Jews who could not read Hebrew. At the time of Christ there were several synagogues in Jerusalem that used it, as well. The Gospel authors quote the Septuagint in their references to the Old Testament.)
Although the translators were kept separated on the days of translation, on the Sabbath they were allowed to be together. When the time came for the translation of the book of Isaiah, one of the translatorsSimeontold the others that he felt the part about a virgin conceiving and giving birth should be omitted or changed. (So Ptolemys advisors were right.) The Egyptians would only laugh at the Jewish religion if they knew such a thing was written in their scriptures. Moreover, he himself could not believe such a thing as Isaiah had written. His colleagues, however, were offended at his suggestion and expressed their disapproval of his words. That night when he was alone, an angel appeared to him and told him that because of his unbelief he would not die until he saw the virgin and her child of whom Isaiah had prophesied. At that time Simeon was already nearly one hundred years old.
On the next Sabbath Simeon told his follow translators of this angelic visitation, and when they returned to Israel upon completion of the Septuagint, this was made known. Since the child of the virgin was to be the Messiah, all the people came to believe that Simeon would not die until the Messiah was born. Every year at Passover inquiry would be made as to whether Simeon was alive. As the years passed it became evident that Simeons longevity was an undisputed miracle.
At the time of Jesus presentation in the Temple, Simeon was three hundred and fifty years old. A great sign indeed. After declaring to all present that Jesus was the fulfillment of the angels prophecy, he peacefully died soon after. So once again we see that all Israel knew of this Child and His destiny.
And the midwife went in, and said to Mary: Show thyself; for no small controversy has arisen about thee. And Salome put in her finger, and cried out, and said: Woe is me for mine iniquity and mine unbelief, because I have tempted the living God; and, behold, my hand is dropping off as if burned with fire.
Salome was not being punished. Rather, the magnetism of the Virgin was both too intense and too high for her to endure. It was a matter of the evolutionary level of her physical and psychic vehicles. There have been other incidents in which persons being touched by saints have experienced burning sensations. Some have even speculated that the fires of hell are really the experience of persons of low consciousness when death impels them closer to inner realities and higher vibrations. In other words, the realms of light which bring rejoicing to the saints bring torment to the evil. We can see this now by observing peoples reactions to holy places and holy objects. Some become physically ill from contact with sacred (high) vibrations, they are so attuned to the lefthand path.
The first time I spoke with an Eastern Orthodox priest I noticed he was holding a type of rosary I had not seen before. When I asked to see it, he handed it to me. To my amazement it burned with an inner fire that did not harm me or make me feel pain, but a sensation of psychic heat was definitely there. I have been touched with sacred objects that did the same. In these cases the burning was a blessingdoubtless a purificatory experience.
And she bent her knees before the Lord, saying: O God of my fathers, remember that I am the seed of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; do not make a show of me to the sons of Israel, but restore me to the poor; for thou knowest, O Lord, that in Thy Name I have performed my services, and that I have received my reward at Thy hand.
And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by her, saying to her: Salome, Salome, the Lord hath heard thee. Put thy hand to the infant, and carry It, and thou wilt have safety and joy.
We must remember that the Mother is power, whereas the Father is consciousness. When Salome touched the Virgin she was zapped with power that she could not handle. But when she touched the Child her consciousness was raised and the energy that had been transferred into her from the Virgins body was no longer incompatible with hers. This transformation of consciousness is the truest and highest mode of healing.
And Salome went and carried It, saying: I will worship Him, because a great King has been born to Israel.
That Jesus was the Messiah Salome had no idea. But that He was a king she did believe because of her healing. In all cultures it has been believed that kings have the power to heal. In England until the Protestant takeover the king blessed metal rings every year which were then worn by the sick for healing. There was a particular disease known as the Kings Evil because it could be cured by the monarchs touch. A liturgical healing ritual was drawn up for use by the king in his curing of the sick.
And, behold, Salome was immediately cured, and she went forth out of the cave justified. And behold a voice saying: Salome, Salome, tell not the strange things thou hast seen, until the child has come into Jerusalem.
The next three years are omitted in this account. I say three years because the tradition is that Jesus was three years oldor nearlywhen the sages came from the East to Bethlehem. Nativity sets and Christmas hymns involving the wise men are not historically accurate.
And, behold Joseph was ready to go into Judea.
There was a great commotion in Bethlehem of Judea, for Magi came, saying: Where is He that is born king of the Jews?
Magi is the translators word for wise men. They were not Persian Magi at all, but Rishis (seers) from India. The following is taken from An Eagles Flight.
It was the bounty of India, their home, which was offered unto the child Christ by those Rishis of the East, the seers of the Divine. (Rishi, the Sanskrit word which means one who sees, is used to designate those who have attained the Vision of Godall others in this world being by implication blind.)
The mistaken identification of the wise men with Zoroastrians from Iran arose from perusal in later times of the ancient accounts which say that the wise men of the East worshipped fire and had convinced their fellow countrymen of the supernatural character of the child Jesus by putting His swaddling clothes, which had been given them by the Virgin Mother, into the sacred fire and bringing them out again intact.
Several centuries after the birth of Christ the only contemporary religion which worshipped fire exclusively was that of the Parsis (Zoroastrians). But at the time of the Lord Jesus, temples and images were unknown to the Hindus. Rather, the heart of all Hindu religious practice was the yajnasthala, a roofless structure usually without sides wherein the sacred fire burned perpetually. Therein was performed the main Hindu rite, the yajna or havan, which was the offering into the fire of oblations of clarified butter and various other objectsusually fruits and seeds which represented the forces of karma.
The worship of the Hindu deities was done solely without the use of objective imagesthough sacred stones in their natural forms were looked upon by the Hindus as manifestations of the gods and goddesses and honored accordingly. Although they lost the struggle, the Brahmins greatly opposed the introduction of images into Hindu worship which was a result of Greek influence during the Christian era. Even now the Hindus of Java and Indonesia refuse to use images in their rituals, insisting that the worthy pujari or worshipper must be one who can see the deities with his inner sight.
For we have seen His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.
Although every so often someone claims to have discovered the Star of Bethlehem as an astronomical phenomenon, the Church of the East has always taught that the guiding light of the wise men was an angelic manifestation that did really lead them to Israel and Bethlehem.
And when Herod heard, he was much disturbed, and sent officers to the Magi.
And he sent for the priests, and examined them, saying: How is it written about the Christ? where is He to be born? And they said: In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written. And he sent them away.
And he examined the Magi, saying to them: What sign have you seen in reference to the King that has been born? And the Magi said: We have seen a star of great size shining among these stars, and obscuring their light, so that the stars did not appear; and we thus knew that a King has been born to Israel, and we have come to worship Him.
Though we usually think of it in a religious context, worship means to render reverence and homage to someonenot necessarily a deity.
And Herod said: Go and seek Him; and if you find Him, let me know, in order that I also may go and worship Him. And the Magi went out. And behold, the star which they had seen in the east went before them until they came to the cave, and it stood over the top of the cave.
And the Magi saw the infant with His mother Mary; and they brought forth from the bag gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned by the angel not to go into Judea, they went into their own country by another road.
And when Herod knew that he had been mocked by the Magi, in a rage he sent murderers, saying to them: Slay the children from two years old and under.
Apparently by Herods calculation he thought Jesus was two years old. Perhaps the Rishis had seen the angelic light only two years before and had told him so.
And Mary, having heard that the children were being killed, was afraid, and took the infant and swaddled Him, and put Him into an ox-stall.
And Elizabeth, having heard that they were searching for John, took him and went up into the hill-country, and kept looking where to conceal him.
And there was no place of concealment. And Elizabeth, groaning with loud voice, said: O mountain of God, receive mother and child. And immediately the mountain was cleft, and received her. And a light shone about them, for an angel of the Lord was with them, watching over them.
And Herod searched for John, and sent officers to Zacharias saying: Where hast thou hid thy son? And he, answering, said to them: I am the servant of God in holy things, and I sit constantly in the Temple of the Lord: I do not know where my son is.
And the officers went away, and reported all these things to Herod. And Herod was enraged, and said: His son is destined to be king over Israel.
Because of the signs surrounding his birth, many thought that Saint John might be the Messiah. Having heard of this, Herod apparently decided to eliminate the possibility of his becoming King of the Jews as well.
And he sent to him again, saying: Tell the truth; where is thy son? for thou knowest that thy life is in my hand. And Zacharias said: I am Gods martyr, if thou sheddest my blood; for the Lord will receive my spirit, because thou sheddest innocent blood at the vestibule of the Temple of the Lord. And Zacharias was murdered about daybreak. And the sons of Israel did not know that he had been murdered.
Jesus refers to the murder of Zachariah when He refers to: Zacharias son of Barachias, who ye slew between the temple and the altar.56 Although Herods men had done the actual killing, some of the priests of the Temple were in collusion with them, having hated Zachariah from the day he received the Virgin Mary into the Temple and took Her into the Most Holy Place, thusin their eyesdefiling the Temple. They had relayed the accounts of Saint John to Herod in hope that he would react as he did.
But at the hour of the salutation the priests went away, and Zacharias did not come forth to meet them with a blessing, according to his custom. And the priests stood waiting for Zacharias to salute him at the hour of prayer, and to glorify the Most High. And he still delaying, they were all afraid. But one of them ventured to go in, and he saw clotted blood beside the altar; and he heard a voice saying: Zacharias has been murdered, and his blood shall not be wiped up until his avenger come. And hearing this saying, he was afraid, and went out and told it to the priests. And they ventured in, and saw what had happened; and the fretwork of the Temple made a wailing noise, and they rent their clothes from the top even to the bottom. And they found not his body, but they found his blood turned into stone.
Jesus said that the stones would cry out if those who praised Him on the first Palm Sunday were silenced.57 This is because matter is inherently conscious, and also because, being energy, matter can be affected by intense vibrationsespecially thought vibrations. Thus the stones of the Temple mourned the death of the righteous Zachariah, whose body was taken by the angels as was the body of Mosesand later on, Saint Catherine of Alexandria.
And they were afraid, and went out and reported to the people that Zacharias had been murdered. And all the tribes of the people heard, and mourned, and lamented for him three days and three nights.
And after the three days, the priests consulted as to whom they should put in his place; and the lot fell upon Simeon. For it was he who had been warned by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death until he should see the Christ in the flesh.
We see here that determining priestly position by divination was well established among the Jews before the Apostles used it to choose a replacement for Judas.58
And I James that wrote this history in Jerusalem, a commotion having arisen when Herod died, withdrew myself to the wilderness until the commotion in Jerusalem ceased, glorifying the Lord God, who had given me the gift and the wisdom to write this history. And grace shall be with them that fear [that is, reverence] our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory to ages of ages. Amen.
Next: Chapter Two–The Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus and Mary
1) For a complete exposition of this, see Robe of Light. [Go back]
2) A study of the nature of the Trinity and the Divine Fatherhood and Motherhood is found in The Gnosis of the Creed. [Go back]
3) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Galatians 5:14) [Go back]
4) It is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord. (Luke 2:23) [Go back]
5) See May a Christian Believe in Reincarnation? [Go back]
6) Adam called his wifes name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. (Genesis 3:20) [Go back]
7) Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. (Deuteronomy 13:15) [Go back]
8) When ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for three years it shall not be eaten of. But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the Lord withal. And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof. (Leviticus 19:23-25) [Go back]
9) Mount Athos is the monastic and spiritual center of the Eastern (Byzantine) Orthodox Church. [Go back]
10) The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a womans garment (Deuteronomy 22:5) [Go back]
11) The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:3-5) [Go back]
12) Romans 8:19,22 [Go back]
13) See Robe of Light. [Go back]
14) Mark 16:5 [Go back]
15) See the first chapter of I Samuel. [Go back]
16) Hebrews 11:13, I Peter 2:11 [Go back]
17) Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? (Psalms 50:13) To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. (Isaiah 1:11) [Go back]
18) I have celebrated Passover with vegetarian Jewish friends. [Go back]
19) And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. (Judges 6:36-40) [Go back]
20) I John 4:4 [Go back]
21) Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Matthew 4:5-7) [Go back]
22) Luke 1:48 [Go back]
23) Song of Solomon 6:9 [Go back]
24) That is, send to us a reproach for not fulfilling their vow. [Go back]
25) For Christ 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]
26) And David danced before the Lord with all his might. (II Samuel 6:14) [Go back]
27) And when the woman saw that the tree was] good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked. (Genesis 3:6,7) [Go back]
28) See the sixteenth chapter of Numbers. [Go back]
29) There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priests office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priests office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mothers womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. Luke 1:5-20) [Go back]
30) And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. (Genesis 3:13) [Go back]
31) Genesis 1:3 [Go back]
32) Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Matthew 13:33 ) [Go back]
33) [Go back]
The rate of unfoldment depends upon the responsiveness of the energies that surround the individual consciousness, which is why abstinence from meat, fish, eggs, alcohol, tobacco, and mind-altering drugs (legal as well as illegal) is a fundamental requisite.
34) I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you[are children of the most High. (Psalms 82:6) For in him we live, and move, and have our being; For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:28) [Go back]
35) Ephesians 4:13 [Go back]
36) Matthew 20:22 [Go back]
37) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5) [Go back]
38) Your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5) [Go back]
39) Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: And if ye will receive it, this is Elias [Elijah], which was for to come. (Matthew 11:14) [Go back]
40) The adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10) [Go back]
41) But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19) [Go back]
42) II Corinthians 12:2-4 [Go back]
43) Genesis 6:4 [Go back]
44) Numbers 5:12-31 [Go back]
45) Matthew 10:19 [Go back]
46) Psalms 101:3 [Go back]
47) Revelation 8:1 [Go back]
48) All of Israel hated and despised the Judeans. Through their bribing of the Romans they controlled the Temple, making the Temple money which they dispensed at a shameful rate of exchange, turning the House of God into a den of thievesas Jesus accused them. The Hebrews of the diaspora especially hated the Judeans, and those who became Christians considered it was significant that the one who betrayed Jesus was named Judas. They interpreted the passion and death of Christ to symbolize the betrayal of Israel by the Judeans. [Go back]
49) And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. (Exodus 16:10) And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud. (Exodus 19:9) And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him. (Numbers 11:25) And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle. (Numbers 12:5) And the Lord appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud. (Deuteronomy 31:15) [Go back]
50) Acts 1:9 [Go back]
51) Matthew 17:5 [Go back]
52) I John 1:5 [Go back]
53) Matthew 12:41,42 [Go back]
54) Although Jesus is often depicted coming forth from the tomb, through the opened door, this is not accurate. When the stone was taken away the tomb was found to be empty. This is because the resurrected body of Jesus simply passed through the solid stone of the cave. [Go back]
55) And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lords Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and 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 people; alight to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 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; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (Luke 2:25-35) [Go back]
56) Matthew 23:35 [Go back]
57) Luke 19:40 [Go back]
58) Acts 1:26 [Go back]