"What superiority may we attain to without stirring enmity in others? Has it not been written on the face of nature? Wisdom counsels us to seem inferior, in secret gathering our spiritual strength, since enmity is aimed at virtue, seeking to reduce us to a common level with the human herd; whereas we should rise to an equal level with the gods."
Once we push the gate of the mind slightly ajar and let the
in, the meaning of life becomes silently revealed to us.
This is a question frequently put by those who have been approached by Theosophical propagandists. The man on the street, who rarely goes to church save on some high festival, often has more latent loyalty to the Nazarene than the professing church-goer. He senses something wrong with church teaching, he does not know what, and he is no student or scholar with ability to put things right. But reverence for Jesus comes natural to him, and he feels he can trust Jesus whatever the preachers may say, or threaten him with.
Whenever he opens his New Testament the first thing he reads is: "His name shall be called Immanuel," which, the church says, means God is with us, when it obviously means God is in us. There is the first difference between church doctrine and the teaching of Jesus . . . Jesus taught that the kingdom of Ouranos (the Greek word) is within you. The church translates Ouranos as Heaven and places it up in the sky or off somewhere in space. Somewhere, at any rate, not accessible by ordinary earthly means of communication. That jars the man on the street, for he dislikes second-hand methods of doing business. The preacher tells him to pray for what he wants and his prayer will be answered. This does not stand experiment. The unanswered prayers are so far ahead of the answered ones that an answered prayer is always given publicity in the newspapers, like a testimonial for Soap.
Moreover, the man in the street believes in fair play, and agrees that if he is to pray it ought to be as Jesus stipulates. So he turns to The Lord's Prayer, and finds that there are only two things to be prayed for that have to do with earthly life, and on inquiry he learns from a friend that daily bread is a mistranslation and that the petition is for "the bread of the Coming Day," or as some preachers would say, "for the heavenly manna." As for daily bread and butter, he remembers that Jesus said that "your heavenly father knoweth that ye have need of these things" and it is needless to remind him. Never-the-less, the man on the street has often heard the preachers reminding God of his duties and giving him explicit instructions how he should act under the most complicated circumstances. The congregation always feels that with such a preacher God is in safe hands. The man in the street notes, however, that Jesus never attempts to advise God, but says, "NOT my will but thine be done, O Lord." The man in the street sees that Jesus is a positive and not a negative character, and must busy himself trying to find out what the will of God is, and concludes that Jesus expects him to do the same. That is what prayer is meant to do and why it should be done in secret, and not on the street corners like the Pharisees.
Another thing about Jesus that pleases the man in the street is that Jesus is no accuser. He leaves that to the Adversary. Decent men do not need to be accused. They will readily acknowledge their faults and make good any damage they may have done. Jesus only found fault with one class of men - the Hypocrites. Woe unto them, he said. They deceive themselves more than others, and the truth is not in them. To be lacking in truth, so that one cannot trust one's own judgment, is to be in a sorry case. Jesus was all truth, and the man in the street, in his weakness, swears by him.
The other thing in the Lord's Prayer, which was a request of a personal kind was "Deliver us from evil." He found on inquiry, that there were two Greek words used for evil or sin. One meant failure or missing the mark and implies that a man has at least been trying. No blame attaches to the man who honestly tries. The other word is the one used in the Lord's prayer - Deliver us from uselessness or worthlessness. That is a prayer indeed and few honest men fail to have it in mind at all times. The man in the street likes fair play and has no objection to the other petition with a condition bound to it - Forgive us our transgressions as we forgive those who transgress against us. This is a prayer for war times and for all who engage in war, there is no other way to wipe the slate clean. A fair bargain, thinks the man in the street.
All the rest is easy if we can fulfill these few rules. We need to do so before we can hear the Hallowed Name, or expect the Kingdom to come or the Will of the Father to govern the earth. The man in the street had yet one more problem about God and Jesus who had said that "I and my Father are one." That must mean one in mind and heart, for it was not in things one could see that such unity could be possible. Then he read what Paul had written to the Corinthians: "Know ye not that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you be reprobate?" That settled it. He read again: "Let that mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus." It was all a matter of mind and heart. They being right, the body would obey. So it is all in man himself, whether he enshrines the Divine man in himself or not. God is love. Love is not outside us but in our hearts. God is light. Light is not outside us for Light is Wisdom and Knowledge and enlightens the mind within us. God is spirit, and spirit is Breath and Life and is our very Being within us. None of the high and glorious things of life are outside us. God is in us. That is the precious secret that priests and soothsayers have tried to hide from us for centuries. So it may be that the man in the street, a toil-worn pilgrim like Jesus himself, may become perfect even as the Father in the inner kingdom is perfect. For his is the power and the glory.
A dervish was sitting by the roadside when a haughty courtier with his retinue, riding past in the opposite direction, struck him with a cane, shouting: ‘Out of the way, you miserable wretch!’
When they had swept past, the dervish rose and called after them: ‘May you attain all that you desire in the world, even up to its highest ranks!’
A bystander, much impressed by this scene, approached the devout man and said to him: ‘Please tell me whether your words were motivated by generosity of spirit, or because the desires of the world will undoubtedly corrupt that man even more?’‘O man of bright countenance,’ said the dervish, ‘has it not occurred to you that I said what I did because people who attain their real desires would not need to ride around striking dervishes?’
Previous issues of Lucifer7 can be found at the online index of Lucifer7
If you appreciate the content of this newsletter, please consider donating to Katinka Hesselink