Part 4 out of 4
the true occult teachings and this erroneous and degenerate perversion
in the doctrines of transmigration into animal bodies. This conflict
caused a vigorous denunciation of the teachings of the Pythagorean and
Platonic schools, which held to the perverted doctrine that a human
soul could degenerate into the state of the animal.
Among other passages quoted by Origen and Jerome to prove the
pre-existence of the soul was that from Jeremiah (1:5): "Before thou
comest from the womb I sanctified thee and I ordained thee a prophet."
The early writers held that this passage confirmed their particular
views regarding the pre-existence of the soul and the possession of
certain characteristics and qualities acquired during previous birth,
for, they argued, it would be injustice that a man, before birth, be
endowed with uncarnal qualities; and that such qualities and ability
could justly be the result only of best work and action. They also
dwelt upon the prophecy of the return of Elijah, in Malachi 4:5. And
also upon the (uncanonical) book "The Wisdom of Solomon," in which
Solomon says: "I was a witty child, and had a good Spirit. Yea,
rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled."
They also quoted from Josephus, in his book styled "De Bello Judico,"
in which the eminent Jewish writer says: "They say that all souls are
incorruptible; but that the souls of good men are only removed into
other bodies--but that the souls of bad men are subject to eternal
punishment." They also quoted from Josephus, regarding the Jewish
belief in Rebirth as evidenced by the recital of the instance in
which, at the siege of the fortress of Jotapota, he sought the shelter
of a cave in which were a number of soldiers, who discussed the
advisability of committing suicide for the purpose of avoiding being
taken prisoners by the Romans. Josephus remonstrated with them as
"Do ye not remember that all pure spirits who are in
conformity with the divine dispensation live on in the
loveliest of heavenly places, and in the course of time they
are sent down to inhabit sinless bodies; but the souls of
those who have committed self-destruction are doomed to a
region in the darkness of the underworld?"
Recent writers hold that this shows that he accepted the doctrine of
Re-birth himself, and also as showing that it must have been familiar
to the Jewish soldiery.
There seems to be no doubt regarding the familiarity of the Jewish
people of that time with the general teachings regarding
Metempsychosis. Philo positively states the doctrine as forming part
of the teachings of the Jewish Alexandrian school. And again the
question asked Jesus regarding the "sin of the man born blind" shows
how familiar the people were with the general doctrine.
And so, the teachings of Jesus on that point did not need to be
particularly emphasized to the common people, He reserving this
instruction on the inner teachings regarding the details of Re-birth
for his chosen disciples. But still the subject is mentioned in a
number of places in the New Testament, as we shall see.
Jesus stated positively that John the Baptist was "Elias," whose
return had been predicted by Malachi (4:5). Jesus stated this twice,
positively, i.e., "This is Elijah that is to come" (_Matt. 11:14_);
and again, "But I say unto you that Elijah is come already, but they
knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they would.... Then
understood the disciples that he spoke unto them of John the Baptist."
(_Matt. 17:12-13._) The Mystics point out that Jesus saw clearly the
fact that John was Elijah re-incarnated, although John had denied this
fact, owing to his lack of memory of his past incarnation. Jesus the
Master saw clearly that which John the Forerunner had failed to
perceive concerning himself. The plainly perceptible characteristics
of Elijah reappearing in John bear out the twice-repeated, positive
assertion of the Master that John the Baptist was the re-incarnated
And this surely is sufficient authority for Christians to accept the
doctrine of Re-birth as having a place in the Church Teachings. But
still, the orthodox churchmen murmur "He meant _something else_!"
There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.
Another notable instance of the recognition of the doctrine by Jesus
and His disciples occurs in the case of "the man born blind." It may
be well to quote the story.
"And as he passed by he saw a man blind from his birth. And
his disciples asked him, saying, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this
man or his parents, that he should be born blind?' Jesus
answered, 'Neither did this man sin nor his parents.'"
Surely there can be no mistake about the meaning of this question,
"Who did sin, this man or his parents?"--for how could a man sin
before his birth, unless he had lived in a previous incarnation? And
the answer of Jesus simply states that the man was born blind neither
from the sins of a past life, nor from those of his parents, but from
a third cause. Had the idea of re-incarnation been repugnant to the
teachings, would not He have denounced it to His disciples? Does not
the fact that His disciples asked Him the question show that they were
in the habit of discoursing the problems of Re-birth and Karma with
Him, and receiving instructions and answers to questions propounded to
Him along these lines?
There are many other passages of the New Testament which go to prove
the familiarity of the disciples and followers of Jesus with the
doctrine of Re-birth, but we prefer to pass on to a consideration of
the writings of the Early Christian Fathers in order to show what they
thought and taught regarding the matter of Re-birth and Karma.
Among the great authorities and writers in the Early Church, Origen
stands out pre-eminently as a great light. Let us quote from a leading
writer, regarding this man and his teachings:
"In Origen's writings we have a mine of information as to
the teachings of the early Christians. Origen held a
splendid and grandiose view of the whole of the evolution of
our system. I put it to you briefly. You can read it in all
its carefully, logically-worked-out arguments, if you will
have the patience to read his treatise for yourselves. His
view, then, was the evolutionary view. He taught that forth
from God came all Spirits that exist, all being dowered with
free-will; that some of these refused to turn aside from the
path of righteousness, and, as a reward, took the place
which we speak of as that of the angels; that then there
came others who, in the exercise of their free-will, turned
aside from the path of deity, and then passed into the human
race to recover, by righteous and noble living, the angel
condition which they had not been able to preserve; that
others, still in the exercise of their free-will, descended
still deeper into evil and became evil spirits or devils. So
that all these Spirits were originally good; but good by
innocence, not by knowledge. And he points out also that
angels may become men, and even the evil ones themselves may
climb up once more, and become men and angels again. Some of
you will remember that one of the doctrines condemned in
Origen in later days was that glorious doctrine that, even
for the worst of men, redemption and restoration were
possible, and that there was no such thing as an eternity of
evil in a universe that came from the Eternal Goodness, and
would return whence it came."
And from the writings of this great man we shall now quote.
In his great work "De Principiis," Origen begins with the statement
that only God Himself is fundamentally and by virtue of His essential
nature, Good. God is the only Good--the absolute perfect Good. When we
consider the lesser stages of Good, we find that the Goodness is
derived and acquired, instead of being fundamental and essential.
Origen then says that God bestows free-will upon all spirits alike,
and that if they do not use the same in the direction of
righteousness, then they fall to lower estates "one more rapidly,
another more slowly, one in a greater, another in a less degree, each
being the cause of his own downfall."
He refers to John the Baptist being filled with the Holy Ghost in his
mother's womb and says that it is a false notion to imagine "that God
fills individuals with His Holy Spirit, and bestows upon them
sanctification, not on the grounds of justice and according to their
deserts, but undeservedly. And how shall we escape the declaration,
'Is there respect of persons with God?' God forbid. Or this, 'Is there
unrighteousness with God?' God forbid this also. For such is the
defense of those who maintain that souls come into existence with
bodies." He then shows his belief in re-birth by arguing that John had
earned the Divine favor by reason of right-living in a previous
Then he considers the important question of the apparent injustice
displayed in the matter of the inequalities existing among men. He
says, "Some are barbarians, others Greeks, and of the barbarians some
are savage and fierce and others of a milder disposition, and certain
of them live under laws that have been thoroughly approved, others,
again, under laws of a more common or severe kind; while, some, again,
possess customs of an inhumane and savage character rather than laws;
and certain of them, from the hour of their birth, are reduced to
humiliation and subjection, and brought up as slaves, being placed
under the dominion either of masters, or princes, or tyrants. Some
with sound bodies, some with bodies diseased from their early years,
some defective in vision, others in bearing and speech; some born in
that condition, others deprived of the use of their senses immediately
after birth. But why should I repeat and enumerate all the horrors of
human misery? Why should this be?"
Origen then goes on to combat the ideas advanced by some thinkers of
his times, that the differences were caused by some essential
difference in the nature and quality of the souls of individuals. He
states emphatically that all souls are essentially equal in nature and
quality and that the differences arise from the various exercise of
their power of free-will. He says of his opponents:
"Their argument accordingly is this: If there be this great
diversity of circumstances, and this diverse and varying
condition by birth, in which the faculty of free-will has no
scope (for no one chooses for himself either where, or with
whom, or in what condition he is born); if, then, this is
not caused by the difference in the nature of souls, i.e.,
that a soul of an evil nature is destined for a wicked
nation and a good soul for a righteous nation, what other
conclusion remains than that these things must be supposed
to be regulated by accident or chance? And, if that be
admitted, then it will be no longer believed that the world
was made by God, or administered by His providence."
"God who deemed it just to arrange His creatures according
to their merit, brought down these different understandings
into the harmony of one world, that He might adorn, as it
were, one dwelling, in which there ought to be not only
vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay (and
some, indeed, to honor, and others to dishonor) with their
different vessels, or souls, or understandings. On which
account the Creator will neither appear to be unjust in
distributing (for the causes already mentioned) to every one
according to his wants, nor will the happiness or
unhappiness of each one's birth, or whatever be the
condition that falls to his lot, be accidental."
He then asserts that the condition of each man is the result of his
He then considers the case of Jacob and Esau, which a certain set of
thinkers had used to illustrate the unjust and cruel discrimination of
the Creator toward His creatures. Origen contended that in this case
it would be most unjust for God to love Jacob and hate Esau before the
children were born, and that the only true interpretation of the
matter was the theory that Jacob was being rewarded for the good deeds
of past lives, while Esau was being punished for his misdeeds in past
And not only Origen takes this stand, but Jerome also, for the latter
says: "If we examine the case of Esau we may find he was condemned
because of his ancient sins in a worse course of life." (_Jerome's
letter to Avitus_.) Origen says:
"It is found not to be unrighteous that even in womb Jacob
supplanted his brother, if we feel that he was worthily
beloved by God, according to the deserts of his previous
life, so as to deserve to be preferred before his brother."
Origen adds, "This must be carefully applied to the case of all other
creatures, because, as we formerly remarked, the righteousness of the
Creator ought to appear in everything." And again, "The inequality of
circumstances preserves the justice of a retribution according to
Annie Besant (to whom we are indebted for a number of these
quotations), says, concerning this position of Origen:
"Thus we find this doctrine made the defense of the justice
of God. If a soul can be made good, then to make a soul evil
is to a God of justice and love impossible. It cannot be
done. There is no justification for it, and the moment you
recognize that men are born criminal, you are either forced
into the blasphemous position that a perfect and loving God
creates a ruined soul and then punishes it for being what He
has made it, or else that He is dealing with growing,
developing creatures whom He is training for ultimate
blessedness, and if in any life a man is born wicked and
evil, it is because he has done amiss and must reap in
sorrow the results of evil in order that he may learn wisdom
and turn to good."
Origen also considers the story of Pharaoh, of whom the Biblical
writers say that "his heart was hardened by God." Origen declares that
the hardening of the heart was caused by God so that Pharaoh would
more readily learn the effect of evil, so that in his future
incarnations he might profit by his bitter experience. He says:
"Sometimes it does not lead to good results for a man to be
cured too quickly, especially if the disease, being shut up
in the inner parts of the body, rage with greater
fierceness. The growth of the soul must be understood as
being brought about not suddenly, but slowly and gradually,
seeing that the process of amendment and correction will
take place imperceptibly in the individual instances, during
the lapse of countless and unmeasured ages, some
outstripping others, and tending by a swifter course towards
perfection, while others, again, follow close at hand, and
some, again, a long way behind."
He also says: "Those who, departing this life in virtue of that death
which is common to all, are arranged in conformity with their actions
and deserts--according as they shall be deemed worthy--some in the
place called the 'infernus,' others in the bosom of Abraham, and in
different localities or mansions. So also from these places, as if
dying there, if the expression can be used, they come down from the
'upper world' to this 'hell.' For that 'hell' to which the souls of
the dead are conducted from this world is, I believe, on account of
this destruction, called 'the lower hell.' Everyone accordingly of
those who descend to the earth is, according to his deserts, or
agreeably to the position that he occupied there, ordained to be born
in this world in a different country, or among a different nation, or
in a different mode of life, or surrounded by infirmities of a
different kind, or to be descended from religious parents, or parents
who are not religious; so that it may sometimes happen that an
Israelite descends among the Scythians, and a poor Egyptian is brought
down to Judea." (_Origen against Celsus_.)
Can you doubt, after reading the above quotation that Metempsychosis,
Re-incarnation or Re-birth and Karma was held and taught as a true
doctrine by the Fathers of the Early Christian Church? Can you not see
that imbedded in the very bosom of the Early Church were the
twin-doctrine of Re-incarnation and Karma. Then why persist in
treating it as a thing imported from India, Egypt or Persia to disturb
the peaceful slumber of the Christian Church? It is but the return
home of a part of the original Inner Doctrine--so long an outcast from
the home of its childhood.
The Teaching was rendered an outlaw by certain influences in the
Church in the Sixth Century. The Second Council of Constantinople
(A.D. 553) condemned it as a heresy, and from that time official
Christianity frowned upon it, and drove it out by sword, stake and
prison cell. The light was kept burning for many years, however, by
that sect so persecuted by the Church--the Albigenses--who furnished
hundreds of martyrs to the tyranny of the Church authorities, by
reason of their clinging faith to the Inner Teachings of the Church
concerning Reincarnation and Karma.
Smothered by the pall of superstition that descended like a dense
cloud over Europe in the Middle Ages, the Truth has nevertheless
survived, and, after many fitful attempts to again burst out into
flame, has at last, in this glorious Twentieth Century, managed to
again show forth its light and heat to the world, bringing back
Christianity to the original conceptions of those glorious minds of
the Early Church. Once more returned to its own, the Truth will move
forward, brushing from its path all the petty objections and obstacles
that held it captive for so many centuries.
Let us conclude this lesson with those inspiring words of the poet
Wordsworth, whose soul rose to a perception of the Truth, in spite of
the conventional restrictions placed upon him by his age and land.
"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath elsewhere had its setting,
And cometh from afar.
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home."
THE TWELFTH LESSON.
THE MESSAGE OF THE MASTER.
Running throughout nearly all of the teachings and messages of Jesus,
is to be found the constant Mystic Message regarding the existence of
the Spirit within the soul of each individual--that Something Within
to which all can turn in time of pain and trouble--that Guide and
Monitor which stands ever ready to counsel, advise and direct if one
opens himself to the Voice.
"Seek ye first the Kingdom, and all things shall be added unto you."
And, again, as if to explain: "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you."
This is the Mystic Message which gives one a key to the Mysteries of
the Inner Teachings.
Let us take up a few of His sayings and endeavor to interpret them by
the light of these teachings. But before doing so we must call the
attention of the student to the fact that, in order to understand
intelligently what we are saying, he must carefully re-read the
"Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy" wherein the details of the
teachings are set forth--that is the fundamental truths are explained.
In the "Advanced Course" and in "Gnani Yoga" the higher phases of the
teachings are presented. And, although in the said works there is
little or no reference made to Christianity, yet the teachings are so
fundamental that the Inner Teachings of all religions--including
Christianity--may be understood by one who has acquainted himself with
these fundamental truths.
There is but one real Occult Philosophy, and we find it in evidence
everywhere--once the Truth is grasped, it is found to be the Master
Key with which to unlock the various doors leading to the esoteric
phase of any and all religions or philosophies. The Yogi Fathers,
centuries and centuries ago, solved the Riddle of the Universe, and
the highest efforts of the human mind since that time have but
corroborated, proven and exemplified the original Truth as voiced by
these Venerable Sages.
Let us read the words of Jesus in the light of this Ancient Wisdom.
Let us consider the Sermon on the Mount as given in Matthew (_Chapters
5; 6; 7_).
"Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of
Heaven." (_Matt. 5:3._)
By these words Jesus indicated the occult teachings that those who
renounced the vain glory and petty ambitions of this world would be on
the road to the realization of the Real Self--the Something
Within--the Spirit. For is it not written that "the Kingdom of Heaven
is within you"?
"Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted." (_Matt.
By these words Jesus pointed out the occult teachings that those who
had so far advanced that they could see the folly of human ambition,
and who consequently felt the pain that comes to all who stand above
the crowd, and who mourned by reason of their realization of the folly
and uselessness of all for which men strive so hard? would, in the
end, be comforted by that "peace which passeth all understanding"
which comes only to those who enter into a realization of the Kingdom
of Heaven which is within them.
"Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth." (_Matt.
By these words Jesus sought to teach that those who had acquired the
attitude of obedience to the Power of the Spirit Within them would
become as Masters of the things of earth. This message is frequently
misunderstood by reason of the lack of perception of the Mystic
meaning contained in the words. The word "meek" does not mean that
"I'm so meek and humble" attitude and expression of the hypocritical
followers of form. Jesus never taught this--and never acted it. He was
always the Master, and never sought to make of his followers cringing
creatures and whining and sniveling supplicants. He asserted His
Mastery in many ways and accepted the respect due him--as for instance
when the vial of precious ointment was poured upon Him. His use of the
word, which has been poorly translated as "meek," was in the sense of
a calm, dignified bearing toward the Power of the Spirit, and a
reverent submission to its guidance--not a hypocritical and cowardly
"meekness" toward other men. The assurance that such should "inherit
the earth" means that they should become masters of things
temporal--that is, that they should be able to rise above them--should
become lords of the earth by reason of their "entering into the
Kingdom of Heaven" within them.
"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness; for
they shall be filled." (_Matt. 5:6._)
This is the promise of the Master that they who sought the Kingdom of
Heaven (within them) should find it--that their spiritual hunger and
thirst should be satisfied in the only way possible.
"Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy." (_Matt.
Here is taught the blessing for forbearance, kindness, tolerance and
absence of bigotry, and the reward that comes as a natural consequence
of such a mental attitude.
"Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God." (_Matt.
Here is the assurance that "to those who are pure all things are
pure"--that the purity of one's own heart, and the recognition of the
God Within, leads to a perception of the God within everything. "He
who sees God within himself, sees Him in everything," says an old
Persian writer. And verily such a one "sees God" where He abides--and
that is _Everywhere_.
"Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called sons of God."
Here is the call to the disciple to use his wisdom and power in the
direction of remedying the strife that arises from the differing
conceptions of Deity and Truth prevailing among men. He who is able to
point out the Truth underlying all religions and beliefs indeed
becomes as a beloved son of God. He who is able to show that under all
forms and ceremonies, under various names and titles, behind various
creeds and dogmas, there is but one God, to whom all worship
ascends--he is a Peacemaker and a Son of God.
"Blessed are they that have been persecuted for
righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute
you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my
sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your
reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets that
were before you." (_Matt. 5:10-12._)
In these words Jesus sought to comfort and encourage those who would
be called upon to carry the Message in the centuries to follow. And
one has but to look over the list of names of the courageous souls who
have sought to keep the flame alight--to preserve the teachings in
their original purity--to protect them from the cant, hypocrisy,
self-seeking and formalism of those who sought and obtained places of
power in the Church. The gibbet; the stake; the dungeon;--was their
reward. But the Faith that was called into manifestation during the
persecutions served to bring them to the realization of the Spirit,
and thus indeed "theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
"But ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost its
savor wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing,
but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men." (_Matt. 5:13._)
Here Jesus warned against the failure of the Illumined to serve as the
yeast which should leaven the mass of men by their thoughts and
actions. The use of the term "salt" in this connection is familiar to
all students of ancient mysticism. Food without salt was deemed
unpalatable and undesirable. The Few were the salt of the earth,
designed to render it worthy and perfect as a whole. But where a grain
of salt had parted with its savor, there was naught else that could
impart saltiness to it, and it became worthless and fit only for the
refuse heap. The duty of the "salt" is to impart savor--the duty of
the Elect is to impart savor to the race of men.
"Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot
be hid. Neither do men light a lamp and put it under a
bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are
in the house. Even so let your light shine before men; that
they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is
in heaven." (_Matt. 5:14-16._)
These words, like those preceding it, teach the Elect to shed abroad
the light which has come to them. They are warned against concealing
it beneath the cover of conventional conduct, but are urged to live
and act so that men may perceive the light that is within them--the
Light of the Spirit--and may see the right road by means of its rays.
A man having the Light of the Spirit shining bright within him is able
to rouse the lamps of understanding in the minds of other men, to
become kindled and alight. That is the experience of the majority of
those who read these words--they have had their lamps of knowledge
kindled by the rays of the Spirit emanating from some soul, either by
word of mouth, writings, or by personal contact. Spirituality is
contagious! Therefore spread it! This is the meaning of this passage.
"Think not that I came to destroy the law of the prophets:
I came not to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto
you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle
shall in no wise pass away from the law till all things be
accomplished." (_Matt. 5:17-18._)
In this passage Jesus asserted positively the fact that He was not
teaching a new doctrine, but had come simply to carry on the work of
those who had preceded Him. He asserted the validity of the Ancient
Wisdom, and told that the Law that had been in force would so continue
until heaven and earth should pass away--that is, until the end of
this great World Cycle. In these words Jesus proclaimed His allegiance
to the Occult Teachings. To those who would claim that He referred to
the current Jewish teachings we would point out the fact that these he
_did_ come to destroy, for Christianity is opposed to the Jewish
formalism and outer teachings. Jesus referred to the Inner Teachings,
not to the outer religious creeds or forms. He came not to destroy the
old Teachings, but merely to "fulfill," that is, to give a new impetus
to the Ancient Wisdom.
"Whoever therefore shall break one of these least
commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least
in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach
them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For
I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed
the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in
no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." (_Matt.
Here Jesus cautions against violating the fundamental occult
teachings, or of teaching false doctrines. He also again bids men to
do and preach the truth. Note the reference to the "kingdom of
heaven." Again He points out that the "righteousness" required to gain
the "kingdom of heaven" is a far different thing from the formalism,
ceremonialism and "churchism" of the scribes and pharisees--people
who, in that day, stood for that which the "churchy" preachers and
their bigoted, narrow flock of sheep-like parishioners stand for
today. It requires more than "faithful performance of church duties"
to enter into the real "kingdom of heaven." Jesus was ever a foe of
the narrow formalism which clings close to the empty forms and words,
and which ignores the Spirit. Were He to return today, He would drive
from the temples the horde of money-making preachers and hypocritical
followers who make a mock of sacred things.
"Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou
shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger
of the judgment: but I say unto you that every one who is
angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment;
and whosoever shall say to his brother 'Raca,' shall be in
danger of the council; and whosoever shall say 'Thou fool'
shall be in danger of the hell of fire. If therefore thou
art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest
that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy
gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled
to thy brother and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with
thine adversary quickly, while thou art with him; lest haply
thine adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge
deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out
thence till thou hast paid the last farthing." (_Matt.
These verses emphasize the teachings that sin consists not only of
deeds and actions performed, but equally of _thoughts and desires
entertained and encouraged in the mind_. The desire and thought, made
welcome in the mind of a person, is the seed and germ of the sin or
crime, even though they may never be manifested in action. To wish to
kill is a sin, just as is the deed of killing. This is an old occult
teaching, imparted to all candidates for Initiation.
"Ye have heard that it was said Thou shalt not commit
adultery, but I say unto you that every one that looketh on
a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her
already in his heart. And if thy right eye causeth thee to
stumble pluck it out and cast it from thee; for it is
profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish
and not thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right
hand causeth thee to offend, cut it off and cast it from
thee, for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members
should perish and not thy whole body go into hell. It was
said also, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give
her a writing of divorcement, but I say unto you that every
one that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of
fornication, maketh her an adulteress, and whosoever shall
marry her when she is put away committeth adultery."
In this passage, Jesus expressed the abhorrence of all advanced
occultists for the abuse of the functions of sex. Not only the act,
but the thought behind the act was condemned by him. The advanced
occult teaching is that the function of the sex organization is
entirely that of procreation--aught else is a perversion of nature.
Jesus speaks in strong words to men and women, in this passage,
regarding this great question. The concluding portion of the passage
is a condemnation of the abuse of the marriage relation, and the
privilege of divorce, which was being strongly agitated in His time.
He aimed a blow at the careless contracting of marriages, and the
consequent careless dissolution of the tie. Jesus believed in the
sacredness of the home life, and the welfare of the family. His
utterance on this subject is unmistakably clear and forcible.
"Again, ye have heard that it was said to them of old time,
Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the
Lord thine oaths: but I say unto you, Swear not at all;
neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by
the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; nor by
Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King; neither
shall thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not make one
hair white or black. But let your speech be Yea, yea, Nay,
nay: for whatever is more than these is of the evil one."
Here Jesus attacks the custom of swearing, which was so prevalent in
His time among the Jews and other Oriental peoples. He urges
simplicity and moderation of speech. In this He is true to the Occult
traditions, which teach the value of simple thought and simple speech
to all the Initiates and the Neophytes.
"Ye have heard that it was said an eye for an eye and a
tooth for a tooth, but I say unto you, Resist not him that
is evil, but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn
to him the other also, and if any man would go to law with
thee and take away thy coat, let him have. And whosoever
shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two. Give to
him that asketh thee and from him that would borrow of thee
turn not away." (_Matt. 5:38-42._)
In this passage Jesus alludes to the Law of Non-Resistance, which in
its esoteric aspect is fully understood by all Initiates. This law is
for application on the Mental Plane, and those who understand it, know
that the precepts refer to the Mental Attitude of the Initiates toward
others, which attitude is in itself a defense against imposition. Love
turneth away Hate and Anger. The high thought neutralizes the evil
designs of others.
"Ye have heard that it was said Thou shall love thy
neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your
enemies and pray for them that persecute you, that ye may be
sons of your Father who is in heaven, for he maketh his sun
to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the
just and the unjust. For if ye love them that love you, what
reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if
ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?
Do not even the Gentiles the same? Ye therefore shall be
perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." (_Matt.
Here is taught that broad tolerance, charity and love that form such
an important part of all of the mystic teachings. It is a doctrine
entirely at variance with the orthodox idea of tolerance only to those
who agree with one, or who may live in accordance with one's own views
of life and conduct. It is the great broad doctrine of Human
Brotherhood. Jesus teaches that God's love is bestowed upon all--the
just and the unjust--and that this perfect love is the aim and goal of
all who desire to attain to "the kingdom" of Spirit.
"Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to
be seen of them; else ye have no reward with your Father who
is in heaven. When, therefore, thou doest alms sound not a
trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues
and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily
I say unto you They have received their reward. But when
thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right
hand doeth, that thine alms may be in secret and thy Father,
who seeth in secret, shall recompense thee." (_Matt.
This is another denunciation of ostentatious "churchiness" and
"goodness," and religious posing. It is a lesson needed as much today
as in the time of Jesus.
"And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites, for
they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the
corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily
I say unto you, They have received their reward. But thou,
when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and
having shut thy door, pray to thy Father, who is in secret,
and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall recompense thee.
And in praying use not vain repetitions as the Gentiles do,
for they think that they shall be heard for their much
speaking. Be not therefore like unto them, for your Father
knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him. After
this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, as
in heaven, so on earth. Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our
debtors; And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us
from the evil one. For if ye forgive men their trespasses,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye
forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father
forgive your trespasses." (_Matt. 6:5-15._)
Here are the words of Jesus regarding the subject of Prayer. He
cautions against the ostentatious exhibition of "piety," so prevalent
in all churches, in all lands, in all times. He bids one approach the
Father in a reverent spirit, devoid of all public notice. Then He
gives to his disciples the famous "Lord's Prayer," in which is
condensed a wealth of true religious instruction and precept. This
glorious prayer needs no special interpretation. _Let all students
read the words themselves, filled with the realisation of the Spirit;
and each will receive a message fitted to his requirements and
development. The Lord's Prayer is a very Arcanum of the Mystic
"Moreover, when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a
sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they
may be seen of men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have
received their reward. But, thou, when thou fastest, anoint
thy head and wash thy face, that thou be not seen of men to
fast, but of thy Father, who is in secret, and thy Father,
who seeth in secret, shall recompense thee." (_Matt.
This is a caution against the "sanctimonious" attitude and pose
assumed by certain "good" people of the churches, who would make a
display of their adherence to and observance of forms. Jesus, as a
true mystic, detested all religious posing and neglected no
opportunities to condemn the same.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where
moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and
steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where
neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not
break through and steal: for where thy treasure is there
will thy heart be also. The lamp of the body is the eye; if
therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full
of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be
full of darkness! No man can serve two masters; for either
he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will
hold to one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and
Mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Be not anxious for your
life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for
your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than
the food, and the body than the raiment? Behold the birds of
the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor
gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are not ye of much more value than they? And which of you by
being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his
life? And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider
the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not,
neither do they spin, yet I say unto you that even Solomon
in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if
God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and
tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more
clothe you, ye of little faith? Be not therefore anxious,
saying, What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or
wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things
do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that
ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first then his
kingdom, and his righteousness, and all these things shall
be added unto you. Be not therefore anxious for the morrow;
for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto
the day is the evil thereof." (_Matt. 6:19-34._)
This is the most remarkable passage in the New Testament. It is the
most remarkable saying of Jesus of Nazareth. In it is condensed the
whole of the occult teachings regarding the Conduct of Life. It
condenses, in a few lines the entire doctrine of Karma Yoga--that
branch of the Yogi Philosophy. It forms a veritable epitome of that
which has been styled "The New Thought" as taught and expounded by its
various cults and schools. There is no need of one reading and
studying the various Metaphysical "Sciences" which have sprung into
such favor of late years, if one will but read, ponder, study and
practice the precepts of this wonderful passage of the Sermon on the
Mount. Every sentence is a gem--a crystal of the highest mystic and
occult philosophy. Book after book could be written on this one
passage, and even then the subject would be but merely approached. The
doctrine of single-mindedness toward the Spirit and the things of the
Spirit, is taught. The folly of being tied to material things is
pointed out. The lesson of non-attachment is forcibly put. But the
great Truth expounded in this passage is the Power of FAITH. Faith is
the Great Secret of all Occult Teachings and is the Key to its Inner
Mysteries. Faith is the Master-Key that unlocks the doors of the
Castle of Attainment. We trust that all students of these lessons will
take this single passage from the Sermon on the Mount and memorize it.
Make it a part of yourself--make it a part of your life--make it your
rule of action and living. The life taught by this passage is the true
life of the Spirit. Here is the true Light on the Path, for the
guidance of the feet of all Mystics and Occultists!
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment
ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete
it shall be measured unto you. And why beholdest thou the
mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the
beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy
brother, Let me cast out the mote out of thine eye, and lo,
the beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first
the beam out of thine own eye and then shalt thou see
clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
Here Jesus deals another powerful blow to the self-righteousness of
the Pharisaical "good" people of the sects, creeds and cults of all
lands, time and religions. He warns against that "Thank God! I am
holier than thou" attitude that so many vain formalists affect in
their dealings with other men. In these immortal words Jesus has sent
ringing down the aeons of time a scathing rebuke to the hypocritical
judges of other men--those men who wish to "reform" others to conform
to their own standards. Out of the mouth of their Master are many
so-called followers rebuked.
"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls
before the swine, lest haply they trample them under their feet and
turn and rend you." (_Matt. 7:6._)
Here is the warning to Initiates not to spread out a feast of their
highest teachings to the mob, who with swinish instincts would defile
the Divine Feast, and tear to pieces those who had spread it for them.
The truth of this warning has been attested by the fate of those
glorious souls who, disregarding it, attempted to give the Truth to
the animal minds of the mob and were done to death for their folly.
Even Jesus Himself met His fate from neglecting this very rule,--for
allowing His sympathy to overcome His judgment.
"Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find;
knock and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that
asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him
that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of
you who if his son ask him for a loaf will give him a stone,
or if he shall ask for a fish will give him a serpent? If ye
then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your
children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven
give good things to them that ask him? All things therefore
whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do
ye also unto them, for this is the law and the prophecy."
Here is another burning message to men to live by the light of Faith
in the Spirit. And a warning that unless one would act toward other
men rightly, he could not expect to be dealt with rightly. It is the
lesson of sowing and reaping--the lesson of the Law of Karma. Jesus is
most emphatic in these statements. He does not alone say "Do this! Do
that!" He states emphatically: "This is _the Law_!" And so it is--men
are punished by their wrong deeds, not _for_ them.
"Enter ye in by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and
broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many are
they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate and
straitened the way that leadeth unto life, and few are they
that find it." (_Matt. 7:13-14._)
This is the highest occult teaching. How few are they who find their
way to the Realization of their own Divinity? Narrow indeed is the
gate and straitened the way that leadeth to the goal. The masses
follow the broad path, like fools--but few even see the narrow
entrance to The Path.
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's
clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits
ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs
of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good
fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A
good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that
bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the
fire. Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not
every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into
the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of the
Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day,
Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name
cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And
then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from
me, ye that work iniquity." (_Matt. 7:15-23._)
Here is the notable warning against the perverted use of the occult
powers--the prostitution of the Gifts of the Spirit--Black Magic, in
short. For, as all well know, the occult forces may be applied to base
as well as worthy uses. By their fruits shall ye know the good from
the evil. He whose teachings render men weak, sheeplike and cringing,
credulous leaners upon leaders, is a tree that bringeth forth evil
fruit. Such are wolves in sheep's clothing, who fatten upon the
bodies, substance and souls of their dupes. But those who lead men to
be Men--yea, Super-Men--bring forth the good fruit of the Spirit. Be
ye not deceived by names, words, creeds nor claims--nay, not even by
miracles. Look always at the effect produced--the fruits of the
tree--and govern yourself accordingly.
"Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine and
doeth them shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his
house upon the rock, and the rain descended and the floods
came and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it
fell not, for it was founded upon the rock. And every one
that heareth these words of mine and doeth them not shall be
likened unto a foolish man who built his house upon the
sand, and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the
winds blew and smote upon that house and it fell, and great
was the fall thereof." (_Matt. 7:24-27._)
In these parting words of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gave a Message
to all who would hear, or read His words, and profess to be His
followers. He bade such build upon the eternal rock of the Truth--the
rock of ages, that had its foundations in the very basic principles of
Being. He warned them against building upon the shifting sands of
theology and dogmatism, which would be surely swept away by the storms
of Time. Upon the eternal Mystic Truths is Mystic Christianity
founded. And it is still standing untouched by the storms of
criticism, opposition and knowledge that have swept away many
theological edifices in the past, and which are now beating with
renewed vigor upon the remaining frail structures, which are even this
day quivering under the strain. Mystic Christianity invites the "New
Theology," the "Higher Criticism," the "Criticism of Science"; for
these will only tend to prove the truths of its fundamental
principles. In Mystic Christianity, Religion, Philosophy and Science
are known to be one and the same thing. There is no conflict between
Science and Religion; Philosophy and Religion; or Philosophy and
Science. They are all but names for the One Truth. There be but one
Truth--there cannot be more than one. And so call it by the name of
Religion--the name of Science, the name of Philosophy--it matters not,
for the same thing is meant. There is naught but Truth--nothing else
really exists. All that is not Truth is Illusion, _Maya_, Nothing. And
Mystic Christianity is based upon the Rock of Truth, fearing not the
winds nor the storms that try out the stability of all structures of
thought. Like its founder, it has always existed--always will
exist--from the Beginningless Beginning to the Endless Ending. The
same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
A SERIES OF LESSONS IN GNANI YOGA (THE YOGA OF WISDOM)
By YOGI RAMACHARAKA
This course gives the highest Yogi teachings regarding the Absolute
and its Manifestations--the relations between the One and the
Many--the Secret of the One Life--the Mystery of the Evolution of the
Soul--the Law of Spiritual Cause and Effect--the Group-Soul--the Birth
of the Ego--the Unfoldment of the Self--the Cycles of the Race--the
Chain of Worlds--the Truth about Nirvana--the Divine Paradox--the
Problem of Consciousness--the Reality and the Illusory--the offices of
Will and Desire--the Future of the Race--the Past History of Man and
the Races--the Adepts and Masters--the Brotherhoods--the Problems of
Life--the Riddle of Existence. These and many other subjects of equal
importance are taken up, explained and the dark corners illuminated.
Some of the teachings to be given are entirely new to the general
Western public, and partake of the nature of the Inner Teachings of
Bound in Blue Silk Cloth, 302 Pages.
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JESUS THE LAST GREAT INITIATE
By EDOUARD SCHURE
Mr. Schure in this volume, has done much to strengthen the belief that
Jesus was an Essene, in whom a Messianic consciousness was awakened by
A remarkable full account is given of his experiences among the
Essenes and how his early life, (about which the Bible is so reticent)
was spent studying with the advanced Occult masters.
The problem of how Jesus became the Messiah, he holds to be not
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KRISHNA AND ORPHEUS
THE GREAT INITIATES OF THE EAST AND WEST
By EDOUARD SCHURE
The lives and teachings of these two great Masters who preceded Jesus
are very much like the latter's. You cannot help noting the remarkable
resemblance they bear to each other.
Krishna's Virgin Birth, His Youth, Initiation, The Doctrine of the
Initiates, Triumph and Death, are all told in a fashion that shows
that Mr. Schure has devoted much time to thought and research work.
The mighty religious of India, Egypt and Greece are passed in rapid
review and the author declares that while from the outside they
present nothing but chaos, the root idea of their founders and
prophets presents a key to them all.
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