Glimpses of Esoteric Christianity Part 6
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48)
The Nazarene Master uttered the above verse to the masses, who for centuries have overlooked the significance and importance of the mandate. Even the priesthood do not seem to stress this commandment, teaching instead the erroneous concept of the original sinful nature of man, and his redemption by an external saviour. Supposedly we were born in sin, live in sin, and die in sin; and that there is no way that we will be saved from eternal damnation in hell unless we develop a blind faith in the divinity and the sole sonship of God of a certain individual. This belief contradicts various esoteric precepts of Jesus, including the statement in Genesis, that God created man--gods, in fact, according to Psalms--and saw that his creation was good. Why do we see something as bad when God saw it as good? Certainly, we see imperfectly--cause we see only the form, not the spirit.
It is apparent to the progressive mind that the quotation above hints at the law of evolution, and to one's effort in accelerating one's spiritual development. Perfection is the destiny and purpose of life within the form of each life-unit. "Father" in the opening verse of this chapter represents the archetype of man, the Adam Kadmon, the spiritual image in which each human consciousness is to grow into. Man came forth as a spark of God, with a blueprint of perfection as his spiritual identity. Man is to manifest that perfection in the world of form by reflecting the identity and qualities of the macrocosm within his lower being. Because of the impossibility of attaining perfection in a single embodiment, Nature has designed a system whereby the opportunity to mature into perfection can take place. This system is the cycle of reincarnation. Since we have already dealt with certain fundamentals of reincarnation in a previous topic, we will not repeat them here.
We have all heard the cliche that "nobody's perfect." Every lie that contains a little truth is readily accepted by the unthinking mind, and this cliche constitutes a lie which was wrought by the serpentine mind of the fallen angels, the adversary of mankind--to stall, to retard, and to prevent man's reintegration with his Source; to immobilize his spiritual movement upward in the evolutionary spiral. The reiteration of such "heinous" words acts as a suggestion to the subconscious levels of the minds of men compelling them to believe that such a goal whose mark was set by Life, by God, is unattainable by man. We should free ourselves from such a false notion; for to believe in it, is to cease to think, to act, and to speak righteously and divinely. Human perfection, in the sense of manifesting divine qualities, is attainable, and there are men and women who have secured this exalted state. They are the masters of destiny; and the fundamental difference between them--the masters and immature human souls, is their personal vibratory rate, their soul-frequency--the frequency of consciousness and its manifestations.
Though perfection be relative, man may attain human perfection--this is godhood; and on the scale of divinity, this is but an imperfect state of godliness.
Perfection is attained gradually by personal labor, by ego-effacement and SELF-placement. The attainment of perfection in stages rather than on a particular day of resurrection at the last trumpet call was one of the profound teachings of Origen. Another writer on Christian principles, Thomas a Kempis, declared in his literary work, "the Imitation of Christ" that,
"If every year we rooted out one vice, we should soon become perfect man."
Perfection is Christhood, the universal destiny of all children of the light. True Christians are those who manifest Christ in their daily lives--this is true worship. This state of being is the "Second-Coming" of the Gnostics, of those who interpret the precepts of the Nazarene Master in an esoteric manner. The Christ savior is man's reality, man's Real Self, man's cosmic blueprint with which he will ultimately out-picture in his waking consciousness, not in some future time in heavenly worlds, but right here and now. Everything that is expected to be attained in Heaven in the afterlife is to be attained now. St. Paul understood this teaching, and he conveyed it to others who were ready and prepared to receive it. He said that the Christ within is our "hope and glory" (Col 1:27), and that we should form this Son of God within us (Gal 4:19).
Jesus, the man, became the Christ and therefore showed us the way, the method to which Christhood is to be attained. "I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6), exclaimed Jesus, thus indicating to us his role as an exemplar, a model with which we should emulate in attaining our own Christhood, our own Sonship of the Godhead. It is, therefore, evident that we attain salvation not by believing, in depending on another being to save us from our own human faults, weaknesses, and sins, but by replacing the human-ness of our being with the virtues of our own Christ Reality through our own personal effort in manifesting Christ in our daily consciousness, by eliminating the sense of a false ego, "the beast that was, and is not, and yet is" (Rev 17:11,18). There is much necessary repetition in this work--our paper is designed to awaken the slumbering soul.
The false ego and ignorance, as the roots of all vices veils the individual from his divinity. Spirituality is the state of identification and manifestation of the true Self of man; this also entails the non-identification of the Self with the flesh, emotions, and mind. This is one of the first and, paradoxically, last vital step that the aspirant has to undertake along the Path of Ascension. It is imperative that the heart be awakened, that bodhicitta, or compassion and the awareness of the true nature of things be developed. It is said that Love is blind. This is an erroneous notion. Lust is blind, Love is super-sight. Be being possessed by Love man's consciousness and senses expand to encompass the other expressions of Nature. The lower self should be effaced and decentralized. By non-clinging to the false-ego, the greater life is attained. The man who lives for sensual pleasures alone is a man who is in a state of death. St. Paul puts it this way:
" . . . to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." (Romans 8:6)
No matter what religion, sect, or belief system we follow or do not follow, our task is clearly before us, the task of attaining perfection. Reintegrating with the Father in an imperfect state benefits not the Omniversal Collective. We initially emerged in such a state--we should courageously return being something more. If the concept were true, that one is "saved" by merely having faith in a saviour, then imperfect men would find their way to Heaven--these men would soon turn Paradise into a living Hell because of their vices and negative expressions. Death does not transform an individual into an angel of Light, nor does mere beliefs or faith. Our own level of consciousness determines where we will be in the cosmic scheme of things.
Liberation from mortal limitations and finitude is acquired when one's will is aligned with God-will, when one's consciousness is one with God-consciousness. This mystical condition was the consciousness-level acquired by Saints and Sages of all ages. For instance, there was Enoch, who walked with God, and then lost his identity in the Light of his divinity, his ego was "not," being displaced by the expression of his true spiritual SELF (Gen 5:24). What one man has done, another man can do; all that is required is sincerity, perseverance, effort, discipline and practice--"practice makes perfect."
The union of our soul with the Godhead is preceded by our living the Christ life. The virtues of Christ should be our daily expression. They are like beads that we strand with the string of love and adorn ourselves with. The only beings privileged to be denizens of God's kingdom are beings who have acquired perfection. To reiterate our message above, imagine, if you will, those who are spiritually immature allowed entry into the "Kingdom of God," they would turn the place upside down--pandemonium is the result. There is order in the universe--especially so in the celestial spheres; even the primeval chaos is order when seen from divine perspectives. That only perfection exists in the kingdom of God ought to spur us to reconsider the message of Jesus: did he in any way tell us to worship him, or did he tell us to imitate his life, his way of living, and thus become perfect? The answer should be clear enough when considered in the light of natural laws and cross-referenced with other religions.
By acquiring a virtue at a time, we are most certain to reach the goal of human life. The slothful ones await for their salvation by another, the wise ones are captain of their souls, and they take command of the helm of life by giving their Christ presence full control of their ship sailing through the turbulent, and sometimes calm sea of life. The events which occurred to Jesus's life is the story of each soul sojourning in the physical world. Each person will sooner or later undergo the birth of Christ within the consciousness and struggle against the temptations of the carnal mind at the mountain top; each will experience the transfiguration, the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the ascension--all of which are related to certain initiations conferred by Life.
To be spiritual, to be holy, one has to constantly focus on one's inherent divinity. Our thinking, acting, and speaking should be spiritually oriented. In the Gospel of Thomas, the Piscean avatar declares that,
"If you will not fast from the world, you will not find the kingdom."
From another literary source, the Pistis Sophia, we find this same precept expressed a little differently:
". . . renounce the world and the whole matter therein."
To be more exact, we should live in the world and not be a part of it; to live as a renunciate amidst the turmoils of life; or in other words, to live as a karma yogi. It is by living the Christ life that we honour and worship the Great One, call it Tao, Allah, Parabrahm, the Absolute, I AM Presence, or what you will; terminology will not change Truth, for Truth is immutable; it may, however, cause schisms and bigotry in the minds of immature souls who are unable to see beyond the form, beyond the letter of the law, and into the Spirit. Unity within apparent diversity should be discerned, for Oneness is Reality, diversity is but an illusion.
Life is leading us to perfection. It offers us opportunities to develop, to unfold, and to manifest the blueprint of our reality, the God-Image that we were so lovingly endowed with. Let us not think that human perfection is the highest goal, for even though a being be humanly perfect, he is still but an imperfect god. There are always higher peaks to be climbed. The subsequent struggle and strivings to be a perfect god is just another step, another cosmic phase of work that would eventually let us rule over even greater things that the mind of man is as yet unable to comprehend. Evolution is the law underlying man's progress, and it is a wise individual who goes with the current and not against it. Please note that when we speak of evolution we refer to the soul or consciousness aspect of the microcosm and not to the physical form itself.
Conquering the resistance of matter, and the carnal mind, is not without its pain, nor paradoxically, its pleasure; however, the sincere alchemist who wishes to transmute his being into God's glorious expression will soon discern the so-called sacrifices that he makes from a spiritual viewpoint. He will consider sacrifices as sacraments offered to the Godhead, and he will offer them with divine reverence and love. Earthly voices will no longer deter him from his obedience to his Holy Christ Self. Such an individual who is close and united with God and his higher spiritual aspects are often regarded as mad by his fellow men. Mass-consciousness will never be able to comprehend the mystical attainment and the sacredness of the spiritual initiate--the little ones of the kingdom. They would stone such a person.
"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." (Matt18:10)
Life is short and uncertain. It is a pity to pass out of this physical octave without knowing the meaning of life, or to know one's real identity. Going to the beyond through the change of death does not transform us into something that we are not, it does not expand our consciousness, nor does it naturally unfold the light within us; it is a fallacy of orthodox Christianity to maintain that by going to churches or temples, or by professing one's faith to this or that saviour, or dogma, that one would earn a place in the celestial realms, that one would automatically be perfect on the day of reckoning; and this philosophy is preached with a strong fanaticism that blinds its followers of the existence of spiritual beautitides and eternal truths to be found in other mystico-religions. This is Churchianity at its worst--the expression of primitive reasoning and maudlin emotionalism as regards to the false sense of superiority of their beliefs. Orthodox Christianity is not the only religion with such an attitude, however, it is to be found among the followers of most religious system. As said before, perfection requires labour, it needs our personal participation. Leave the work to others and we will be indoctrinated to believe that the world is flat and that it was created in 4004 BC; we would be mobilized and coerced to kill and torture in the name of Religion, Love and God. There is enough evidence of this in profane history. The writer's soul still feel the pangs of these past historical occurrences.
The avoidance of entry into a fiery furnace called "Hell" for all eternity is a hopeful goal for exoteric Christians--this they call "salvation." For some it would be better to be in Hell with God than to be in Heaven without His presence. From the esoteric point of view, this belief in Hell as a place created by God is an absurdity. Hell, like heaven, is a state of mind, a state of consciousness, a disposition, and an attitude. Every aggregate, every expression of matter, every phenomenon, is in a state of becoming. There is no permanency in Nature, therefore, such a place as a "lake of fire" to exist eternally is an impossibility. The merciful Father would not be so cruel as to create such a thing and to exile his children therein "forever and ever." God does not punish, but consumes that which is lowly within man so that he would be acceptable in the Spirit's sight.
Creations are transient; emanations of God are eternal in a sense, although they exist according to the cycles of Activity and Rest. To think that a God of Love would create Hell to punish wrong-doers for all eternity is blasphemy. The devil-mind portrays God as one to be feared, one full of wrath, and one who eagerly casts sinful men into a burning ring for His own divine amusement. The devil-mind does not wish the children of Light to approach the Divine Throne and be united with the Supreme Being. This they will stop at all costs.
A false theology is responsible for the perpetration of the concept that man in his inherent nature is a sinful being. To attain the condition called salvation we are indoctrinated to believe that the instrument of spiritual survival is through having faith in another, in a man whom they consider to be the sole son of God--which is really a mask for what they really want us to believe. The truth, as we analyze it, is that the priesthood, with their egoistic nature desire the poor man on the street to consider them and their institution, rather than on self-reliance, as the tool of salvation, and as intermediaries of God. This belief is misleading. It misleads man to byways that go nowhere, but leave him stranded in a labyrinth of delusion. Man, himself, should learn to become his own High Priest without any one to mediate between him and God. This is how Nature would have it; it is what God, and the higher intelligences, the celestial hierarchies would want man to realize. The "sole" son of God is the Christ within, the secret mystery inculcated to disciples by the Gurus of the Esoteric Christian tradition. In Christian mysticism, the growth of the Christ child within is effected by exercises pertaining to the invoked presence and development of divinity. Some of these are given as follows:
Constantly dwelling on the awareness of the presence of God, within and without.
Constantly contemplating the nature of God and God's attributes.
Visualizing and feeding daily God's threefold flame within the heart.
Manifesting in daily life the qualities and nature of God.
Invoking God's concentrated presence (the Shekinah) in one's consciousness
Constantly listening to the "still, small voice," the "Voice of Silence," the reverberating Word of the Supreme.