Over the centuries since Jesus walked the earth, many have believed there existed a secret teaching, meant for only the few. Like many ancient secrets it was hidden in plain sight, available to the few who knew how to decode that secret.
The Sermon on the Mount is the first major presentation of the teachings of Jesus. The Sermon presents, in a condensed, encoded form, the basic principles of the entire spiritual program Jesus was teaching to the people of his time. This was not a new teaching or a revolutionary new religion. What Jesus was presenting had already been practiced for close to 200 years in the Gnostic and Essene communities. The word Gnostic comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means to know, usually through direct experience. The Essenes were a spiritual community associated with the Mystery School System on the shores of the Dead Sea and were responsible for creating the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The secret teachings of Jesus come directly from the Mystery School System, which was founded in Egypt in 2750 BCE. The spiritual communities in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea, which appear as the seven churches in Asia in the opening to the Book of Revelation, are examples of the communities founded on the Mystery School System and are described within this work.
These spiritual communities, ecclesia in Greek, were the forerunners of our modern-day churches. The purpose of the communities was to bring people through a system of theology and practice that culminated in spiritual enlightenment; full 100% conscious contact with God.
The sermon will be presented in two sections; the Beatitudes, and then the more general teachings. The Beatitudes are given in a heavily encoded form because it is being presented to the general public. Jesus reserved specific explanations for small groups composed of people desiring a deeper understanding of spiritual things.
The encoding takes the form of words that have symbolic or hidden meanings. Knowing the symbols used allows us to decode the sayings and get a much deeper understanding of the secret teachings of Jesus. The same symbols are used in the Sermon on the Mount, the Parables, and the general teachings of Jesus, so once we understand the symbolic language, the entire secret teaching of Jesus opens to us.
The first symbol used is the location for the sermon – on a mount or mountain. Higher locations represent higher states of consciousness. Statements made from higher locations represent higher principles and higher levels of teaching. Jesus is inviting the people listening to his sermon to come up to a higher level of understanding and consciousness by joining one of the Mystery School System spiritual communities.
Blessed are the Poor
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:3 (KJV)
The poor in spirit has a specific historical reference. The Essene community was part of a network of religious groups throughout the Middle East and Egypt. Individual groups adopted different names, but the communities shared a large amount of principles and practices in common. One of those practices was the pooling of resources as community property. Private ownership of tools, property and money was not allowed. The purpose of this practice was to help the individual focus on spiritual work instead of being focused on material things.
While some people were born into some of these communities, others joined as a result of missionaries promoting the community in public places. When a person joined one of these communities their personal property was held separate for a period of one year. During that time the person was housed, clothed and fed from the community resources. The person was also expected to work in the community in exchange for the basic needs of life the community provided.
During the first year the basic spiritual theology was taught, but a great number of details were withheld as to how the theology was actually implemented in more advanced study and practice. At the end of the first year the person was asked to make a decision to stay or leave. If community life was not a good match for the person they could leave and their property was returned to them. If they decided to stay, their property was added to the community stores. This practice is reflected in Christianity today through a vow of poverty taken by priests and a number of other clergy in the faith. The poor in spirit refers specifically to members of these communities who renounced the possession of personal property in their quest for spiritual enlightenment.
The first phase was the initiate level and consisted of general theology presented during the first four years of residence in the community. After this time initiates were sent out on missionary work to spread the theology to the general public. Most of them were not knowledgeable about the advanced information taught later in the process, so they could not reveal restricted information to people outside of the organization. Missionary work lasted about two years during which time the initiates were observed to see if they were strictly upholding the theology and practices of the community. Upon completion of the missionary work, if they had performed well and kept to the teaching, they were invited into the second phase of spiritual work known as the Discipleship phase. Jesus’s closest followers were students of the Discipleship phase.
Discipleship lasted for an indefinite period of time and progress beyond that level was dependent on demonstrating a high level of mental and emotional purity. The final level was the Apostleship phase and resulted in full spiritual enlightenment and living in the presence of God.
The goal of living in these communities was to attain Apostleship, the state of living in the presence of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, in this lifetime. The Kingdom of Heaven is a state of consciousness defined by living in the oneness and the presence of God. This is an inner state of experience and has nothing to do with a place people believe they go to when they die. The teaching, practices and support provided by the community were all geared to bring about this experience within the individual. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven is the coded statement of what the communities offered to any who joined them and followed the theology and practices being taught.
Blessed are they that Mourn
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (KJV)
Mourn is not used in its usual sense as mourning the death of a loved one. Here mourn means the regret and sorrow felt for the things in life we have done, or should have done and didn’t do.
The heart of the Discipleship phase is the work of inner purification of our thoughts and emotions. No one among us goes through life free of regrets and guilt. The discipleship phase is also the inner journey of self-discovery. During this process a detailed, ruthless examination of our inner thoughts and feelings is required. This will, at some time, bring us to the darkest point of our lives. Many refer to this time as the long dark night of the soul. This is one of those moments in life when we are moved completely to tears. We mourn for what we have done and the pain and injury we have caused to others. We also mourn for the things we should have done and did not do. The pain we have caused others comes back to us strongly and clearly at this time. Where we can, we need to make amends to the people we have hurt as long as doing so will not cause further harm. Where we cannot, the inner forgiveness process will complete the task. In either case the peace of God will come to us and we will be comforted.
Just this process alone will bring us closer to God. The deep abiding peace we experience from going through this process will be with us for the rest of our lives. If this is all we accomplished it would be well worth the effort we put into it. But there is so much more we can enter into and experience.
Blessed are the Meek
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 (KJV)
The meek is another term, like the poor in spirit, used to describe these spiritual communities in the time of Jesus. We have to keep in mind that this was an area under military occupation. Tribute in the form of taxes was being extracted from the people. The land that was theirs in previous generations had been taken from them. The people were no longer free, but were subjected to foreign rule. They paid rent on land they should have owned. Because of the intimidating force of the Roman army, there were a multitude of people who sought favor with the authorities by providing information on other individuals. It was not safe to speak openly about many things. This is another reason why Jesus spoke in parables to the general public.
The foundation of freedom is control of the land and natural resources. When individuals or groups of individuals like the spiritual communities own the land and the natural resources on the land, they are free of outside control. The people become self-sufficient and can stand on their own. Take away control of the land and resources and you take away their self-sufficiency and their freedom. You make them dependent. This is how an army of occupation maintains control: by controlling the land and the natural resources on the land.
People of Jesus’ time had memories of freedom and the struggle involved to gain that freedom. The Maccabee rebellion was still in their minds, just as the revolutionary war and the civil war is still in the minds of Americans. It had only been about 200 years since the time of Judas Maccabee and the stunning victories over the armies of the Seleucid kings placed in control of the area by Alexander the Great. Inspired by this history, some of the communities were in favor of military action against the Romans. (In fact, the Dead Sea Scrolls include the War Scroll depicting an armed battle against the Kittim, the Roman army of occupation.) Others did not advocate violence but sought peaceful means to gain control of their land back from Rome. Either way, return of the land to the people was a hot topic of discussion.
In essence, the meek shall inherit the earth is Jesus promising the spiritual communities that they will eventually get control of their land back. Jesus does not advocate violence, but he is clearly indicating that through the spiritual communities control of the land can be returned to them. We have a modern day story of just such a struggle. The non-violent movement of Gandhi in India resulted in the removal of British occupation. The power of people unified in a spiritual base can accomplish amazing things.
Blessed are they which Hunger
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6 (KJV)
Righteousness can be described as right thinking, right feeling and right action. Righteousness embodies a strong sense of ethics and morality. Righteousness is also the experience of the presence of God, the Kingdom of Heaven. In this state everything is right – the way it should be. Even if things in our personal life are not ideal, there is a feeling of acceptance in the rightness of God’s plan for our life.
This author recently spoke with a lady who had just been fired from her job. She was experiencing the presence of God in her life and being fired did not disrupt that experience. Quite the contrary, she saw being fired as part of God’s plan for her life. There was a sense that everything was right in her life. She was aware that she needed to find another job, but the experience of being fired did not weigh her down. (She subsequently found a temporary job that was “right” for her based on her experience and interests. The job also unexpectedly became permanent.) Even though she had been fired, she remained connected to God. In fact, the desire to move deeper into the Kingdom was stronger than ever. This deep desire for more of the Kingdom is the hunger and thirst for righteousness.
The underlying drive for spiritual growth is often a feeling of emptiness, like something is missing. We wonder if there is something more to us than we have come to believe in the past. We begin to believe that we too can experience the gifts of the spirit on a spiritual journey. This is the hunger and thirst for righteousness, but it is too early in the process to clearly identify what it is and where it is leading us. As we progress on our spiritual path, the hunger and thirst become stronger and easier to recognize. Once we are experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven on a more regular basis, we recognize the hunger and thirst as our desire for this closeness to God, this 100 percent full conscious contact that Jesus was experiencing. In the end, the hunger and thirst for righteousness is our desire to go home – back to the love and security of God from which we were created.
In the Gospel of Thomas (saying #28), Jesus said, “I take my place in the midst of the world, and I appeared to them in the flesh. I found them all intoxicated; I found none of them thirsty. And my soul became afflicted for the sons of men, because they are blind in their hearts and do not have sight. For empty they came into the world, and empty too they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent.”
None of them have this thirst and hunger for righteousness. They are intoxicated by the ego. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent. Jesus clearly sees that when people have shaken off the intoxicating effect of the ego, they will repent. The word repent comes from the Greek word metanoia, which is spiritually related to the word metamorphosis, meaning reformation, transformation and transfiguration. To repent is to change our mind, but to do so in a way in which we are reformed, transformed and transfigured. The spiritual implications are clear.
This emptiness we feel in life cannot be filled with possessions. No amount of wealth can fill the emptiness within the soul. The ego tells us the answer is out there in the world, so we go out in search of happiness and fulfillment. In the end we come back to ourselves and ask, “Is this all there is to life, just more things?” The answer is yes, and no. Yes, this is all the ego has to offer; more things. And no, there is more, much more, but only the spirit within can bring us into the more, into the presence of God. By changing our awareness and consciousness from being ego centered to being spirit centered, we have reformed our thinking and entered upon the path of transformation that leads to transfiguration. In this process, the emptiness of the soul is filled with righteousness; the presence of God. The spirit within experiences its fulfillment; we become whole and complete. We awaken and come into our own as a spiritual being, standing fully and completely in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are the Merciful
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (KJV)
In the ancient Egyptian ceremony following the death of a pharaoh, the pharaoh’s heart is symbolically placed on the plate of a balance and a feather is placed on the other plate. If the pharaoh’s heart is lighter than a feather (free from guilt, anger and resentment) then pharaoh is entitled to enter the afterlife. If pharaoh’s heart is heavy then he cannot enter into paradise.
This ceremony is the outer representation of a basic spiritual principle. Jesus tells us (Luke 6:45) that it is what is in our heart that is important. An evil man brings forth evil from his warehouse, which is his heart, and a good man brings forth good from his heart. As a man is in his heart, so is he. The heart represents our inner emotional nature.
In the outer expression of religion the battle is between God and Satan. The inner expression is the same battle, just between the inner spirit and the ego.
If our heart is filled with the lower, fear-based emotions, then our ego is being fed and is in control of our life. The ego seeks control, power, manipulation and separation. If our heart is filled with the higher, love-based emotions, then our spirit is being fed and is in control of our life. The spirit seeks freedom, empowerment of the individual, support of others, oneness with God and the unity of all of mankind.
The currency of the ego is judgment. Judgment is what the ego deals in every minute of every day. Nothing is exempt from the judgment of the ego; nothing is sacred. When the ego is in control, constant comparisons are being made and judgments are being rendered. We are better than some and not as good as others. This is why the ego wants possessions. Possessions are the outward showing of a higher status and position in the world. A collection of high value possessions demonstrates an important ego, separated from all the other lesser egos in the world. Is this why kings and queens have the finest things? To demonstrate that they really are superior to everyone else?
Wealth and power are not the only things to which the ego is attracted. Anything exclusive will do. This is why we have private country clubs and all the other things that are for members only. Many outward expressions of religion have adopted this same mentality of exclusiveness. Being saved and going to heaven while the unsaved are going to hell is very attractive to the ego. It maintains the elite status in the mind of the holder. Going out and saving more souls only intensifies the feelings of importance and accentuates the separation among people. It’s always us versus them, good versus evil. The overriding hallmark of the ego is separation, and it is this separation from everyone else that separates us from God as well. This is the judgment; that we are separate from God, and as such really are in need of salvation.
The currency of the spirit is mercy. Mercy is what the spirit deals in every minute of every day. Nothing is exempt from the mercy of the spirit. It is freely given to all. No qualifications, no conditions and no judgments are ever attached to real mercy. It is the extension of God’s love, which is unconditional. Mercy heals the wounds to the soul and spirit, restores sanity to the mind and calms the raging storm of our emotions. Mercy heals the separation between ourselves and other people, just as it heals the separation between ourselves and God. Mercy unifies us; it gathers our common strengths and overcomes our common weaknesses. Mercy fills the gaps in our needs and frees us from the judgment of our own ego. Mercy is the hallmark of the spirit within and the evidence of God’s love flowing through us into the world. Our mercy is the demonstration of our salvation and our connection to God.
Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. We receive exactly what we give. If what we give is judgment, then judgment is what we will receive. If, on the other hand, what we give is mercy then mercy is what we will receive. Blessed are the merciful: for the love that comes from God has replaced judgment, and they are free at last.
Blessed are the Pure in Heart / the Christ Consciousness
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 (KJV)
This was the dividing line between the Discipleship phase and the Apostleship phase in the time of Jesus.
Our emotional nature, not what we believe, is the key to our spirituality. The goal of the discipleship phase was to cleanse the mind and heart, to become pure in heart. This is a condition that takes different amounts of time with different individuals.
There are indicators which can be used to estimate the level of progress toward this purified state. A person becomes more loving, merciful, gentle and kind. The concept of a self, of me and mine, subsides and ceases its activity. A person becomes less concerned with himself or herself and more involved in supporting others and their quest for truth and God.
In the Gospels, John the Baptist represents the highest level the ego can attain: the recognition of God’s laws. This is the focus of John the Baptist – the insistence on obeying the laws of God and baptism; the symbolic cleansing in preparation of the coming presence of God. In John 3:28-30 (RSV), John states, “You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
This is the real relationship between the ego and the spirit: the ego comes first and prepares the way, then the spirit increases and the ego decreases. In the Gospels, John the Baptist dies before any of the major miracles of Jesus take place. This represents the need for the ego to die, leaving only the spirit in control of our life.
In the ancient Mystery School System this purified state of mind and emotions where the ego has been eliminated is described as virginity. It is a state that applied to both men and women and really had nothing to do with a person’s state of sexual experience. The teaching of Jesus is esoteric, meaning inner. His teachings always refer to inner things and processes, not the body or outer conditions. Attaining this virginal state was required before the ceremony or initiation into the Apostleship phase, the third and highest level of spiritual development.
The initiation into the Apostleship phase consisted of a forty-day fast during which time large amounts of the white powder of gold were consumed. Jesus went through his Apostleship phase in Egypt, not in Judea. When Jesus appears before John the Baptist at the river Jordan his status as a master spiritual teacher is recognized. But before Jesus can teach others in Judea and establish disciples, he must demonstrate his true spiritual level.
That demonstration was a repeat of the initiation into the Apostleship phase: the forty-day fast and consumption of large amounts of the white powder of gold, represented by the image of the white dove. The fast took place at the Essene spiritual community in Qumran on the shore of the Dead Sea, code-named the wilderness.
One of the elders of the Essene community would periodically challenge Jesus. This individual, in his role of challenger, or opposer, was operating under the title of Satan, which simply means opposer, or one who opposes. We use the same process today when someone plays the devil’s advocate for the purpose of drawing out opposing views and clarifying the discussion. In the outer form of religion, Satan, or the devil, challenges or temps Jesus, the Son of God. In reality, the Essene elder was checking to determine if Jesus was truly pure in heart and had no remnants of greed or lust for power left in his consciousness.
The ceremony or initiation into the Apostleship phase was referred to as the mystical marriage. A man becomes the bridegroom with God as the bride. A woman becomes the bride with God as the bridegroom. During this process the Holy Spirit enters and joins with the person’s spirit. Following initiation is a nine month process of spiritual transformation where the merged spirits of the person and the Holy Spirit bring forth a new level of spiritual being. This is the Christ, the fully awakened and empowered Spirit within. This bringing forth of the new spiritual being within is referred to as being born again, or being born from above. The process is described as the birth of Christ and is presented as the birth of Jesus in the Bible.
Matthew 1:18 (RSV) reads, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.” Following this line is a footnote that explains, “Other ancient authorities read ‘of the Christ.’” When the substitution of ‘Jesus Christ’ for ‘of the Christ’ is changed back, we have “Now the birth of the Christ took place in this way.” Now we are talking about the raised up and empowered spirit within, not a physical person. Christ is a title, the recognition of a highly elevated state of consciousness, which we now refer to as the Christ Consciousness. The communities described as the poor in spirit were in the business of bringing about the Kingdom of Heaven in the individual members and creating Christed beings as an end product. Jesus was not the one and only Christ. Every graduate of the Apostleship program had the same 100 percent full conscious contact with God that Jesus was experiencing.
Mary, the wife of Joseph, is an example of this process: “When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.” This refers to the awakened and empowered spirit coming forth in her, and not a physical baby. This is a child of the Holy Spirit, a Christed spiritual being, not a body. The early Christian church, with their perspective of male supremacy, can only understand a physical child as it relates to a woman. To admit that women were equal spiritually with men and could become Christed beings would have been absolutely abhorrent to the early Christian Church.
Remember, these communities were specifically created to bring about this high spiritual state in as many people as possible. So we need to take a closer look at Joseph and Mary. In Laurence Gardner’s book Bloodline of the Holy Grail (35), the concept of Joseph as a carpenter is explained,
“The word translated into English as ‘carpenter’ represents the much wider sense of the ancient Greek ho tekton, which is in turn a rendition of the Semitic word naggar. As pointed out by the Semitic scholar Dr. Geza Vermes, this descriptive word could perhaps be applied to a trade craftsman, but could equally well define a scholar or teacher. It certainly did not identify Jesus and Joseph as woodworkers. More precisely it identifies them as men with skills, learned men, who were masters of what they did. Indeed, one translation of the Greek, ho tekton, relates to ‘a master of the craft’, as may be applied to modern Freemasonry.”
Jesus was constantly referred to as ‘Teacher’ or ‘Rabbi’. Could his father have also been a teacher, a spiritual teacher? In the outer form of religion we are led to believe that the spiritual nature of the teaching of Jesus is a result of his being the only Son of God, or in some cases, God himself. But what if Jesus grew up in a family of spiritual teachers, a family highly placed in one of these special communities, a family of Christed beings? Would this change our perception of who Jesus was? If Joseph were a graduate of one of these communities, it would only make sense that Mary, his betrothed, would also be a graduate. And what do we have? Mary was with child of the Holy Spirit. Mary had gone through the entire process of Discipleship, on to Apostleship, and was becoming a Christed being herself.
The apostleship phase was where the full 100 percent conscious contact with God was perfected. This is where we see God. This is the level of experience where Jesus tells us “The Father and I are one.” Jesus is not the only one to have this experience, it was open to anyone who went through the same process he went through, which is why he told people to follow him and did not ask them to worship him. He wanted us to follow him through this process and become a Christed being, just as he had done. This option is still in place. We can still follow the teaching of Jesus, cleanse ourselves of the ego, become pure in heart, and see God for ourselves.
Blessed are the Peacemakers
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9 (KJV)
Who are the peacemakers? Is someone a peacemaker if they stop two people or two countries from fighting? A peacekeeper is a better description of someone who stops others from fighting. They are keeping things peaceful, at least on the surface. But the underlying anger and hatred is still there. The people are not really experiencing peace. A peacemaker makes peace within himself or herself.
We have control over three things in our life; our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions. We have control over nothing else. We cannot create peace within another person, only within ourselves. Creating peace within ourselves is a process of resolving the inner conflicts, something over which only we have control.
This is the work of Discipleship: resolving the inner conflicts in our mind and heart. As we do this, we experience the peace that comes from God. This is different from the peace we experience in the world. This is deep abiding peace that passes all understanding.
There are different stages of this peace. In the early stages it comes and goes. The more of the inner conflicts we resolve, the longer the peace stays and the deeper it becomes. Then we come to the stage in our development where the peace never leaves us. We become firmly rooted in the peace and serenity of God, unshaken by the events of the world.
During this same peacemaking process we become closer to God. We begin to realize that we are intimately connected to God and that the spirit within us is the same as the substance of God. We begin to associate ourselves with the spirit within and with God, not with the ego and the world. We see ourselves as being in the world, but not of the world. We become born of God, not born in sin. God becomes the parent figure in our lives and we become the children of God. In this same process we come to see everyone else as we see ourselves. We are all children of God.
Blessed are they which are Persecuted
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:10 (KJV)
There is no question that Christians have been persecuted for their beliefs. The practitioners of every religion have been subjected to some level of persecution at some time, so this is not an unusual statement from the outer perspective. But since the teaching of Jesus is esoteric, an inner teaching, what does this persecution have to do with our mind and heart? And why is this persecution done for righteousness sake if righteousness is the presence of God, the Kingdom of Heaven?
This persecution appears in two different forms in the Discipleship process, which is also why it appears in two of the beatitudes. The first persecution, which appears in this verse, is an inner process. The ego stands in the place where the presence of God should be. We persecute the ego within ourselves to diminish and eventually eliminate it from our consciousness. As we do this, the presence of God takes its place.
Our intention is the guiding light in this process. If we simply empty out the ego, anything can take its place. In Matthew 12:43-45 (RSV) Jesus tells us “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest, but he finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and brings with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.” By emptying out the ego for the sake of righteousness, for the sake of the presence of God, we are inviting God to come in and fill us with His presence, peace and love. This way the house is occupied when the unclean spirit returns and there is no place for it to enter and dwell.
This emptying out process is critically important in the cleansing of the mind and heart. Imagine purchasing a house, and when moving day arrives you find the house full of someone else’s furniture and belongings. How can you move your things in and make it your home when it is already full? The same principle applies to consciousness. How can we bring the presence of God into our lives when our mind and heart are already filled with the things of the ego? We cannot. Just as in the example of a house full of furniture and someone else’s belongings, as we clear out a closet, the space can be filled with the new belongings, and once a room is cleared out, it too can be filled with the new furniture. Step-by-step the old can be removed and replaced with the new.
This is how the persecution of the ego proceeds. One issue at a time is addressed and resolved. The space occupied by that issue in our consciousness is then filled with the presence of God. One by one, the tools and weapons are taken away from the ego until nothing remains. The ego has been persecuted out of existence; it has nothing and it is reduced to nothing. When the ego no longer exists and we have filled ourselves with the peace, love and joy which come from God, we have entered into the Kingdom of Heaven and have become one with God. We have transcended the world and graduated as a mature spiritual being ready to take our place in the spiritual fabric of the universe which is God.
Blessed are the Persecuted
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile 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 which were before you.” Matthew 5:11 (KJV)
How do we know when the ego has been emptied out and the Kingdom of Heaven has taken its place? If we live in a protected and supportive environment like a monastery, convent or temple, the ego can remain undetected, acting covertly within the individual. In the outer world, we are hassled, challenged, conned and manipulated in countless ways. All of these things trigger a response from the ego. In a protected environment most of the things that trigger the ego are reduced or eliminated, so the functioning of the ego is much less obvious. This was also the problem facing the spiritual communities 2,000 years ago. How do we know when the inner process of transformation is complete?
A test was devised to make that determination. By this time the individual had spent many years in the community growing, maturing and moving deeper into the Kingdom of Heaven. This was their life now; nothing of their previous life remained. The person was brought into a private room without notice or preparation. They are then accused of all kinds of things falsely, told they are being expelled from the community and that they are a disgrace to everyone around them. Having spent a large portion of their life dedicated to this community, you can imagine the stress and confusion the person would be going through, being accused of evil and disgusting things which they have not done. That would be the ultimate injustice. If there were any fear, anger, guilt or resentment left in the person, it would be shown in that moment.
That, in fact, was the whole purpose of the test; to see if there were any lower, negative emotions left inside the person. If the person responded only from love, with gentleness, kindness and respect, they were deemed to be pure in heart and were immediately taken into the Apostleship phase. They would not return again to the community until the initiation and transformation process was complete. Failing the test would mean remaining at the disciple level from that point on. This was a time-honored process used for centuries. All prophets of God in the Old Testament went through the same training, the same emptying out, and the same test of persecution. All were pure in heart and had become one with God.
Jesus is telling his disciples to rejoice when this happens to them; the leaders of the community are recognizing the disciple’s spiritual growth and are doing this because they believe the disciple is ready for the Apostleship phase. Great is their reward in Heaven for they are moving on to the perfection of the spiritual state, the full 100 percent conscious contact with God. When Jesus says in Matthew 5:48, (RSV) “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” this is what he is talking about; the perfection of the spiritual state in the Apostleship phase, becoming one with God.
The General Teachings
Ye are the Salt of the Earth
“Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matthew 5:13 (KJV)
Salt and salt of the earth have some interesting meanings. Salt, in addition to the obvious meaning, also means that which purifies, preserves or corrects. “Not worth one’s salt” means “not worth one’s wages or sustenance”. Salt is the Latin root for salary or monetary compensation. Salt of the earth refers to a person or persons regarded as the finest, and noblest. Salt of the earth people are honest, moral, responsible and dependable.
Jesus recognizes the common people as being basically honest, moral, responsible and dependable. In the eyes of Jesus, these are people suitable for spiritual growth. Jesus generally avoids the wealthy and powerful and speaks to the common people. He has a history of teaching spiritual truths to people of lesser social standing and is accused of teaching tax collectors and prostitutes. Jesus has recognized that the wealthy and powerful are well convinced their lives are working and are not in need of change or correction. Many people like tax collectors and prostitutes are convinced their lives are not working and are open to change and correction. These are the people Jesus is seeking.
You are the salt of the earth recognizes the basic honesty, moral strength and dependability of the people wanting to learn more about true spiritual growth. “But if the salt have lost his savor” refers to people who have lost their honesty, integrity and dependability. Wherewith shall it be salted? questions how a person’s integrity can be restored once it has been squandered or lost to the world. “It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Means that once a person loses their integrity and morality it is very difficult to engage in spiritual growth. In most cases there is no desire for spiritual things, only more of the worldly things, which have cost that person their integrity and morality in the first place.
Our salt of the earth nature can be re-established, but it usually comes only after hitting bottom and coming to the realization of how much damage and injury we have caused to ourselves and to others. This hitting bottom can be compared to being trodden under foot of men. This is the story of the prodigal son and is the foundation of twelve-step programs across the globe.
In the parable, the prodigal son comes to his father and demands his share of his father’s estate. The father grants his son’s demand and divides up his estate and gives his son his share. The prodigal son goes into a far land and lives a riotous life filled with parties and easy friends.
This is what we have done as we come into physical existence. We have taken our spiritual substance and gone into a far land. We have used our subconscious mind to create a separation between us and God. Once in the physical world, we use our spiritual energy to learn life’s lessons. We party, we become drunk, we engage with easy friends. We pursue worldly goals of power, money and influence. We may seek fame and fortune and receive a great collection of items and property. But the time comes when we ask, is this all there is? Ultimately, we discover that more things are never enough. There is a hunger within us that no amount of things can ever satisfy.
This is the point in the story where the prodigal son runs out of money. His easy friends abandon him. He finds himself without shelter or food. He takes a job slopping the hogs, sharing what they eat to keep him alive. This is the lowest point in his life. He has hit bottom. This is where he realizes that the servants in his father’s house live better than he does.
This is also the point of spiritual transformation we seek within our own self. The inner spiritual journey of self-discovery is how we come to our self. This is the Discipleship phase: self-examination and forgiveness; eliminating the lower emotions that feed the ego and moving into love-based thoughts and emotions rather than fear-based thoughts and emotions. As we do this, we become more concerned with others and less concerned about ourselves. We make the shift from service to self into service to others.
This is exactly the choice the prodigal son makes: he chooses to become a servant in his father’s house rather than trying to be in service to himself. He begins the long journey home. When we forgive others and most importantly forgive ourselves, we are ready to begin our long journey home to the presence of God – to the Kingdom of Heaven. A journey highlighted by service to others, not to self.
With the transformation from a fear-based consciousness to a love-based consciousness, we naturally focus on service to others, not service to self. As we do so, something very special happens, just as it did to the prodigal son. God sees us from a great distance and comes out to meet us. This is the symbolic image of the prodigal son’s father coming out to greet him. The father embraces his son, puts a ring on his finger and wraps him in a cloak. The father orders the fatted calf to be killed and a celebration to take place. This is also what God does. God greets us before we have returned all the way home. We are embraced in the unconditional love that flows from God and we are made one with God. This is where we receive the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The story of the prodigal son is our story of incarnating into physical reality, experiencing our separation from God and, when we have hit bottom, our re-examination of our life, thoughts, feelings and actions. The spiritual journey is coming to our self and realizing that being of service is better than the selfish activities we have pursued in the past. We overcome the ego, move from fear-based consciousness to love-based consciousness, and return into the presence of God.
Spiritual growth requires an honest assessment of the issues within us and necessitates becoming responsible for our thoughts, feelings and actions. No excuses or rationalizations can be tolerated, for any defect in our integrity will deny us the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven.
We can restore all we have lost through the process of inner transformation. The salt can regain its savor, and we can become whole again.
Ye are the Light of the World
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:14 (KJV)
The most common interpretation of John chapter three is that Jesus is the light which has entered the world. In the outer form of religion, the difference between Jesus and ordinary people is accentuated. In that view, Jesus, as the only Son of God, is the only light of the world. Ordinary people cannot be the light. Yet Jesus is telling the assembled crowd that they are the light of the world. How can this be?
The light is not an individual person, but rather the living spirit within each and every one of us. The light is the God substance from which our spirit is made. The light is the source of everything that lives, and nothing lives without it. Plants, animals and people all have this light of God within them. For those who are sensitive and can see auras, even rocks have a small amount of this light in them. The light of God is in and of everything. From this perspective there is nothing that is separate from God.
You are the light of the world calls attention to the light within each of us, and challenges us to change our perspective regarding our perception of ourselves and our place in the world. As children, we grow up in an essentially adult world. Our skills as children are inadequate compared to the adults in our lives. With all of the comparisons and judgments the emerging ego makes in our childhood the vast majority of us have come to accept that we are of little value in the world.
But if the light of God resides within us, how does that change our view of whom and what we are? How can we be of so little value when the single most important thing in the world, the substance of God, resides within us?
In Matthew 10:29-31 (RSV) Jesus tells us, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” In this and many more verses, Jesus is trying to get us to see that we are of greater importance than we have believed. Our value is not determined by the opinions of other people; God, who has created us and placed within us His very substance, His own Spirit and nature, determines our value.
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. As we grow spiritually the light of spirit shines brighter within us. This is something that we cannot hide. It shows in our face, in our actions and in our character. Just as a city on a hill cannot be hid, so too is our spirituality there for all to see. The light of spirit is not something of which we need be ashamed. This is the substance of God; it is your real self, who and what you really are: not some fake person other people may want you to be. You are a personalized creation of God, a child of the divine. The spirit within you was perfectly conceived and perfectly created. You were not born in sin, you were born of God; the living light of spirit, the God substance within, is proof that it is so. Any imperfection we may see is in our bodies, in our thoughts, feelings or our actions. This is not who we are. We are not our bodies, our thoughts, feelings or our actions. We are divine spirit and we must let our true nature, the loving nature of God, shine through.
Spirit manifests not only in our thoughts and feelings, but also in our actions. As the emerging spirit transforms our thoughts and feelings, we must have the courage to allow the spirit within to transform our actions as well. This will be uncomfortable in the beginning. We are not accustomed to doing loving things for others. What will they think of us? How will they react? People expect us to be the way we have always been. Whenever we change, some people don’t like what is happening, even if the change is for the better. Changing our thoughts and feelings is relatively safe; we are not confronting other people. But changing our actions disrupts relationships. The balance we have established with others is upset and we feel pressured to return to our old ways. But the power and light of spirit is so important that we cannot afford to keep it hidden. If we do not have the courage to change our actions, the Kingdom of Heaven cannot be fully established within us.
Jesus speaks again of this light within in John 3:19-21 (RSV). “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.”
Here again, the saying is cast in outer terms but applies to inner things. The light has come into the world means that we, as the light of the world, as the spiritual beings we are, have come into the world through the process of reincarnation. And this is the judgment, refers to the judgment of the ego, and the ego loves the darkness, which is another description for the subconscious mind. The light and the spirit are one and the same. The ego can only experience separation, and as such, the ego’s domain is the realm of the subconscious mind, the veil that separates us from the presence of God. The ego hates the spirit because somewhere within the knowledge of the ego, it realizes that only the spirit is real; the ego is not. But he who does what is true refers to awakening and raising up the spirit within, and this indeed brings us into the light.
In John 3:13-14 (RSV) Jesus tells Nicodemus, “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so too must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
The light within each of us is the Son; the substance of God that we all are. This is what God sent into the world. The early Christian church tried to convince people that Jesus was God’s only Son by adding the word “only” in John 3:16, but that is inconsistent with the totality of the teachings of Jesus. In John 3:16-18 Jesus is speaking, and he is speaking in third person, thus referring to something other than himself. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
The substance of God that is our true nature, the spiritual light within each of us, is the Son that God sent into the world. We have come into the world, not to condemn the world as the ego wants to do, but that the world might be saved, as the spirit within us wants to do. It’s not about Jesus, it’s about each of us. Jesus said, “He who believes in him is not condemned.” If we believe that the substance of God resides within each of us then we are not condemned. We have the opportunity to grow into the spiritual adults that God created us to become. But if we do not believe that the substance of God resides within each of us, then there is nothing to work with from a spiritual perspective; we are lost and condemned already. It’s not about believing in Jesus, it’s about believing that we are the light and that the substance of God resides within each of us. The word “name” means nature. Believing in the name of the only Son means that we believe that the nature of God exists within each of us.
Jesus told Nicodemus “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.” The conventional teaching is that as God’s only son, Jesus descended from heaven and thus can ascend back up into heaven. The awakened spirit within each of us has descended from the higher consciousness, and it is the enlightened spirit that ascends back up into the higher consciousness that is heaven.
Jesus also told Nicodemus “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so too must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believes in him may have eternal life.” The serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness represents the Mystery School System, which is where Jesus learned these teachings. The whole point of the teachings of Jesus is to raise the spiritual consciousness of people to allow them to become spiritually enlightened. Believing in the spirit within, the substance of God within, allows us to lift up our consciousness into eternal life and eternal consciousness.
Think not that I am come to destroy
“Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, ‘Till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.’ Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whosoever shall do and teach them, the same 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 case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20 (KJV)
The ancient form of Hebrew was a written language of consonants only. The “jot” and “tittle” were small marks introduced into the written Hebrew language shortly before the time of Jesus to clarify which vowels were to be used.
The Christian church tries to present Jesus as the fulfillment of certain prophesies, and as such is fulfilling the Law of Moses in the Old Testament. But consider that Jesus and his disciples were accused of not washing their hands before eating and of working on the Sabbath. Both of these were relatively serious violations of the 613 Laws of Moses. How can Jesus be fulfilling of the Law of Moses if He is not following that Law? It becomes clear to us that the law Jesus has come to fulfill is not the Law of Moses, but some other law. If that is the case, what is this other law? Looking at the life of Jesus, and taking His teaching as a whole integrated system, the concept that emerges is the perfection of the spiritual state. Based on His teaching, the law Jesus came to fulfill is the Law of Spiritual Perfection, which originated within the Mystery School System. This law can be stated in the following terms:
- Each person has the light within him or her, and this light is the substance of God.
- The light, or spirit within, is in a general state of deep sleep, or hibernation, similar to death.
- Through love, the spirit can be awakened and raised up to a position of power and authority within each person. This awakening and raising process is referred to as the resurrection.
- Each person is responsible for awakening and raising the spirit within through love.
- Each person is responsible for cleansing and purifying the thoughts and feelings within, transforming all fear based emotions into love.
- Each person is responsible for overcoming his or her own ego and shifting his or her consciousness from the ego to the awakened spirit.
- By cleansing and purifying his or her thoughts and feelings, and overcoming the ego through love, each person will enter into a higher state of consciousness referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven.
- By following the Law of Spiritual Perfection, each person becomes one with God and experiences his or her salvation.
- In this oneness with God, each person is born again.
- In Spiritual Perfection, death is overcome and each person enters into eternal life.
This is the same process all of the prophets have used and it is the basis for all of the spiritual communities that were spread out over most of the known world at that time. The fulfillment of the Law of Spiritual Perfection is what brings us into the higher consciousness known as the Kingdom of Heaven. The process of spiritual perfection is a gradual one. The Kingdom does not wait for the last vestige of the process to become complete before manifesting itself. Rather, the Kingdom comes in small increments as we grow spiritually. Each step is rewarded with a little more of the Kingdom. The important part is to keep working on the whole process, so when the process is complete, total oneness with God is achieved. If a part of the process is not taught, or followed, then total oneness with God will not result.
Whoever does not teach the complete process will be considered the least in this higher state of consciousness (the Kingdom of Heaven). Whoever teaches the complete process, and practices the whole of it, will rise to the highest level in oneness with God, and will be regarded as the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The scribes and Pharisees were very practiced in the Laws of Moses, and yet this did not bring them into this experience of the Kingdom of Heaven. A person’s righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the strict following of the Laws of Moses; otherwise, he or she will not experience the Kingdom. The Law of Spiritual Perfection leads us into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Thou Shalt not Kill
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, ‘Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment, and whosoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca’ [fool], shall be in danger of the council. But whosoever shall say, ‘Thou fool’, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought 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.” Matthew 5:21-24 (KJV)
Anger is one of the stronger emotions used by the ego. Anger feeds emotional-based energy to the ego and produces nothing usable by the spirit. The spirit within cannot grow or function in an environment of anger. Through anger, the ego becomes stronger and more firmly in control of our life. This is one of the choices we face when we embark on our spiritual journey: we must choose love over anger; we cannot have both. By allowing anger into our life, we lock our self out of the Kingdom of Heaven and condemn ourselves to the tyranny of an out-of-control ego.
There are some conditions where a demonstration of anger is appropriate. This is why Jesus included the qualification “without a cause” in this statement. There is a difference between living in anger and a demonstration of anger. When Jesus chased the moneychangers out of the temple, this was a demonstration of anger. Jesus is not allowing the anger itself to become part of Him or His consciousness, but He is using it for the effect it has on other people. Jesus does not hold on to the anger. It is just a demonstration, a performance, which is put on to create an end result. There is no real anger within Jesus, only love. As such, the demonstration of anger does not disrupt the experience of the Kingdom of Heaven, whereas real anger will quickly destroy any semblance of peace, love and joy within, and the experience of the presence of God will stop immediately. We have been given free will and it is up to us to choose what will be in our heart: anger or love.
Raca or Thou fool are representative of all denigrating comments that are made about people. Like everything else, this is not about specific comments, but the thoughts, and more importantly, the feelings we have about others or ourselves. This type of comment is demonstrating what is in our heart. As Jesus tells us, “it is not what goes into our mouth which defiles us, but that which comes out of it; for what comes out of our mouth proceeds from our heart.” If we make these comments, or even think the thoughts, we are not seeing everyone as part of the oneness, but seeing them as separate from us and from God. When we have the love that comes from God in our heart, we see everyone as a child of God, fully connected to us, God, and all of creation. Jesus mentions these comments because they demonstrate the lack of God’s love in our heart.
Notice that Jesus instructs “first be reconciled to thy brother” before presenting ourselves to God. This is an important aspect of spiritual growth. The general focus is on changing our thoughts and feelings, but if these changes do not become reflected in our actions, then it is not a real change, but an act that is put on for the benefit of others. We want the love within us to be real and the anger to be an act, not the other way around. There is no real benefit to living in anger and pretending to love. The love must be real for the Kingdom to be real.
Agree with Thine Adversary
“Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way [on the way to court] with him; lest at any time the 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 uttermost farthing.’” Matthew 5:25-26 (KJV)
Spiritual growth represents a fundamental shift in our thinking, feelings and actions. The ego and the spirit within function from two diametrically opposed positions: the ego functions from the position of conflict, challenge and judgment, while the spirit operates from the position of understanding, compassion, gentleness and kindness. Even if we do not create a dispute, someone else’s anger and judgment may bring us into conflict with them. How we respond to that conflict is critical to our spiritual well-being.
During the process of spiritual growth, conflict resolution is both an inner and an outer process. The existence of outer conflicts is representative of holding on to inner conflicts. These inner conflicts are issues we hold against others and are used by the ego to manipulate and control us. These inner issues are taking the place of the presence of God in our lives, and must be removed for the full presence of God to be experienced. The peace, love and joy that come from God is restricted or blocked by any form of conflict, resentment or bitterness. Only by removing every last remnant of the conflict are we free from its effects. Until then we are held captive by our own thoughts and feelings related to the conflict. We are imprisoned by our own resentment and bitterness, and will not be set free until all of it is resolved (“till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.”)
So the primary goal is to establish an inner state of mind free of conflict, and then to extend that inner peace into our outer world to resolve the conflicts that come to us there. What this often means is that we will take more responsibility in conflicts in order to get them resolved. Many people enter into conflict with others because of a belief that they are right and the other person is wrong. From a spiritual perspective, arguing over who is right and who is wrong is much less important than establishing a state of peace both within and in our outer world. Experiencing the Peace of God is much more important than trying to show someone else the error of their ways. The desire to be right will usurp the Peace of God within us and deny us the Presence of God. The underlying question becomes; would I rather be right, or would I rather live in the Presence of God and experience God’s Peace?
Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shall not commit adultery: but I say to unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:27-30 (KJV)
These are sayings that are difficult for people to understand when viewed from the commonly held perspective. Thou shall not commit adultery: but I say to unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. What difference should it make what our thoughts or feelings are if we don’t act on them? Our entire code of social and legal behavior is based not on what we think, but on what we actually do. Why is this different?
Jesus is teaching us about the Kingdom of Heaven, living in the presence of God in our everyday life. In order to accomplish this, we have to live and function from a higher set of standards. If we want to stay in the experience of the world, the standard of the world will serve us well, but if we want a higher experience, the Kingdom of Heaven, then we must adopt a higher standard.
For a man to look upon a woman and lust after her is standard for the world. In order for these thoughts and feelings to take place, the man generally has to see her as something that is separate from him, a sexual object rather than a person. This is exactly what Jesus is pointing out: all of the things Jesus is mentioning require us to view another person as being separate from us. The thought and feeling involved is not the cause of the problem; the concept and the point of view of separation is the real issue. As long as we are viewing others as being separate from us, we cannot live in the Kingdom.
Perceiving others as being separate from us is also the root of the discrimination against others based on sex, race, religion, culture, language, disabilities and every other source of anger, hatred and violence in the world. All of the conflicts and wars in the world are only possible when we view others as being separate from us. The presence of God is about oneness, the interconnected nature of everything in creation. To see anything as being separate is to deny the Kingdom and the presence of God.
There is another aspect to this that is worth considering: thoughts give us direction and emotions create movement. If we think a great deal about someone and harbor lustful or even loving feelings for that person, our desire to be with that person grows accordingly. We may not act on our desires, but the thoughts and feelings we express within our own being draw us in that direction. That inner desire can also move us out of the Kingdom of Heaven and back into the separation from which we are trying to escape.
While Jesus is referring to body parts (and if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee), we must remember that spiritual teachers often use outer images for inner processes. The right eye connects with the left hemisphere of our brain and represents how we see things — our inner perception. If we perceive others in the world as being separate, we need to pluck that perception out of our consciousness and cast it from us. The left hand represents ego-related actions, while the right hand represents spirit-related actions. If thy right hand offend thee refers to our spiritual or religious related actions that are offensive to the Spirit and presence of God. While many actions are considered normal in the world, they are not compatible with the presence of God within and need to be changed. Only actions which are compatible with the love that flows from God, can remain with us if we are to fully experience God’s presence in our life. The greater the degree of compatibility, the greater the presence of God will be.
Our incompatible perceptions and actions are part of the whole body in the world. The world, in turn, is full of pain, suffering and distress. The world can therefore be considered a form of Hell. In essence, we do not enter the Kingdom of Heaven as a whole body, for this would include the ego, and the ego is not compatible with the presence of God. We enter the Kingdom egoless, and missing the attributes of the world. In the view of the world we are no longer a whole body. In the view of God we have cut away the limiting factors of the world and made ourselves compatible with the presence of God, and through our union with God have become “whole” spiritually. There is a correlation between whole, in a spiritual sense, and Holy. To become one with God is to validate our divinity and the true nature of the spirit within. We are born of God, created out of God substance, and are destined to overcome the world. Our divine nature will not be suppressed forever.
Writing of Divorcement
“It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32 (KJV)
In the Middle East during the time of Jesus, women were considered little more than personal property. A man could divorce his wife by publicly declaring “I divorce you” three times. But without a written divorce decree, the woman was socially considered to still be married, but without a home or any means of support. She could not legally remarry or have a new relationship without risking being stoned to death for adultery. This situation forced many women into lives of prostitution, abuse, disease and early death. Jesus was dedicated to changing the social structure and improving the lives of women. Jesus taught the higher spiritual principles and practices to women as well as men, so anyone who would do the inner work could enter into, and experience, the Kingdom of Heaven.
The point Jesus is making is that we are all children of God. Women are no exception. The spirit resides in all people, male and female alike, all creeds and all races. Every living person is a child of God, created out of God substance, loved and cherished by God for all of eternity. No social situation or personal opinion will ever change that fact. As long as we hold any other person in lower esteem than we hold ourselves, or anyone else, we have blocked the Kingdom of Heaven from our lives. We cannot fully enter into the Kingdom of Heaven as long as we hold anyone as being separate from us or from God. The Kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom of oneness; there is no place for separation.
Thou Shalt not Swear
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shall perform unto the lord thine oaths: but I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is His footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great king. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” Matthew 5:33-37 (KJV)
In the time of Jesus swearing referred to making a promise, rather than cursing as it does today. People make all kinds of promises. We grow up making promises. It used to be “cross my heart and hope to die”, now it’s “pinky promise”, linking pinky fingers. In the time of Jesus it was “I swear by heaven above,” or “I swear by Holy Jerusalem” or “by the hair on my head”. Swearing on your mother’s grave was also popular. All of these things are efforts by the ego to manipulate others. The making of a promise is an inducement for someone to do something for us that they may not otherwise do. Many promises are an integral part of the agreements that we enter into each day. Most of the time we expect to honor our agreements and promises and we think no further than that. But sometimes promises are made with the explicit purpose of deceiving someone else and getting them to do what they ordinarily would not do. This clearly becomes a form of manipulation and is an element in fraud. Rather than making agreements with promises, the simple use of yes, I agree, or no, I don’t agree should be used. When used in this context, a promise becomes a form of exaggeration used to manipulate the other person. It is best to let the agreement stand on a simple yes or no.
Spiritual growth is a process of self-discovery and inner unification. During this process we sort out all of the things of the ego and discard them, leaving only the things of the spirit within. Manipulation and control of other people is gradually abandoned, along with the promises. The spirit deals only with “yes” or “no”. Either it is, or it isn’t. It’s a true or false decision.
It may take many years for the transformation to become complete. The key to success is persistence: if you persist, you will succeed. Spiritual growth seems like some wild and exotic process, and in many ways it is, but the root of real spiritual growth is getting to know our true self. What we find are true things and false things, and things that are a mixture of truth and falsehood, all thrown together. A great deal of the process of self-discovery and inner unification is really sorting out the true from the false, keeping the true and discarding the false. At first it seems like an easy task, but over the years we have accumulated so much information, opinions, conclusions and personal theories that the task can feel overwhelming. Add to this the emotional investment we have in certain things and it really is a difficult task. It will help if we keep in mind that the most important things in our life are the things that have taken the most work. Spiritual growth will take more work than anything else in life, but it will become the single most important and valuable activity of your entire existence. Everything the world has to offer pales in comparison to living in the presence of God, becoming one with God and all of creation. The process hinges not on promises, but on “yes” and “no”.
An Eye for an Eye
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee — turn not thou away.” Matthew 38-42 (KJV)
“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” is a reference to Hammurabi’s Code. Around 1780 BCE the King of Babylon set down a Code of Conduct, carved in a large stone near the center of the city. It was the first publicly written code and was quite extensive in nature. The code is recognized by the principle of whatever you do to someone else will be done to you. Rabbi Hillel, one of the great Jewish teachers who lived just before the time of Jesus, states the premise in a slightly different wording: “Don’t do to someone what you don’t want done to you.”
Scholars believe that Jesus restates the same principle in positive terms in the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Hammurabi’s Code is reactive, and is characteristic of the world of the ego. An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth is reactive because it depends on what someone else does to you first. It is a brutal form of retribution. Rabbi Hillel’s form is restrictive in that he encourages people not to do hurtful things to others in the first place. The form Jesus uses is proactive because he is encouraging people to do kind and helpful things without anything having happening to them first.
When taken in context with the rest of the sayings of Jesus the Golden Rule is firmly placed within the world of spirit-based thought, feeling and action. The first example Jesus uses is whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. The Code of Conduct of the time allowed you to do to someone else what he or she had done to you. But Jesus is advocating something remarkably different. He is advocating to stop the cycle of aggression and violence, to make ourselves love-based, doing good to others first. Jesus recognized that great changes in society begin with small changes in the actions of individual people. The only reliable way of changing the world is to change it one person at a time.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain refers to the Roman custom of conscripting people to carry the supplies of the Roman Army for the soldiers for a distance of one mile. Jesus recognizes that this is the limit of what can be forced on a person, but says that if we are to become love-based, we need to go the extra mile. This simple act transforms what is required of us into an act of love and not an obligation. This is what going the extra mile means to us today: go beyond what is required of us and give something extra of ourselves, something that was not expected.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee — turn not thou away is also part of the teaching of Rabbi Hillel. At the time the Torah required that all debts be forgiven at the celebration of the seventh year. Consequently when the seventh year approached money-lenders were reluctant to loan money, knowing in a short time the debt had to be forgiven. Rabbi Hillel instituted a type of arrangement where a debt would not be cancelled or forgiven during the seventh year, so that people who needed to borrow money could obtain it. Here Jesus continues the same tradition.
Love thy Neighbor
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your bretheren only, what do ye more than the others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 (KJV)
To love our neighbors and hate our enemies is to keep us divided. It always comes down to an “us-versus-them” mentality. Anything that keeps us separated from each other also keeps us separated from God.
I was working with a gentleman on an engineering project and he came to a point where our differences in religion were no longer tolerable to him. I was unceremoniously thrown out of his work place and told repeatedly that I was going to hell. I could not in good conscience abandon him. He needed things I was in a position to provide and he had no other assistance for his project. We lived out in the country where services and resources are limited.
There were parts that were still needed so I volunteered to get them in. Slowly he accepted the help he needed, mostly because he had no other real options. At all times I treated him with the respect, kindness and gentleness that all children of God deserve. Gradually his attitude changed. It took about a year and a half, but the relationship changed significantly. In place of an adversary, I now have an ally. In place of an enemy, I have a friend. Where there was anger in his heart, at least some love now resides. Not everyone will respond this way, but some will.
Jesus understood that this was an inner process. It was designed to create change within the individual. Jesus also knew that an act of love is contagious — it can be passed from one person to another and in doing so, love can reach out and touch the heart of another person, transforming them in the process. However, loving your enemies, blessing those who curse you, and doing good to those who despise you is not really intended to change them. The point is to remain within the flow of God’s love, for in that flow we are not only blessed, but also transformed.
If we pay attention, we will recognize that God treats all of His children equally. The sun shines on all, both good and evil, and the rain falls on all as well. It does not matter what religion we follow, what race we are, or what the color of our skin might be; we are all held equally in God’s loving arms. God’s love is the standard. As we work toward the perfection of the spiritual state, we must adopt God’s standard as our own. We must love all children of God as He does. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” This is the Law of Spiritual Perfection. It is the perfection of the spiritual state within, and the perfection of the love for all of God’s children.
Give Alms Privately
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen by them: otherwise ye have no reward of your father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doist thine alms, do not sound 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 their reward. But when thou doist alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:1-4 (KJV)
When we need to advertise our spirituality to others, it is only a show of the ego, meant to impress others. When our spirituality is for show, it is not real, and we derive no real benefit from it. We can appear to be spiritual, or we can be spiritual. When our spirituality is real we do not need to make a show of it. Our loving actions, our kind and gentle attitude, and our respect for others are the demonstrations of our spirituality. Without these, there is no spirituality. Either we are love-based or we are fear-based. Being love-based is of the spirit, and comes from God. Being fear-based is of the ego and comes from separation from God. Our thoughts, feelings and actions demonstrate, moment-by-moment where we are based: in God and God’s love, or in fear and the ego.
Our spiritual growth is done in private, not in public. Most of our friends will not be aware of the inner work and transformation going on inside of us. If we are advertising what we are doing, we are defeating the purpose of our spiritual growth. This is a personal thing, between you and God. We do our work in private, in secret, and the results, our spirituality, will be demonstrated in the world openly through who we have become: a loving, kind and gentle person.
Pray in Private
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:5-6 (KJV)
There is a still quiet place, deep within the center of our being. Rather than a physical place, this is a place in our consciousness, a state of being. This is the place referred to as thy closet. This state functions as a bridge between the outer world of ego, with all its hassle and turmoil, and the inner world of spirit, with its peace and serenity. From this place we can see both worlds. This is the place attained through meditation and prayer. Here we can relate to the things of the world, but we also have a channel to God at the same time. In this place we can access both the problems we face in life and the guidance of Spirit which we can turn into solutions to resolve our problems.
When ye Pray
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” Matthew 6:7-8 (KJV)
Prayer can take many different forms, mostly dependent on how we perceive God. When we perceive God as being separate from us, prayer is seen as the process of asking God for something. Like a child, we repeat our request over and over hoping that the repeated requests will result in the granting of our desire. God is often perceived as an authority figure, someone we must please in order to have our prayers granted.
When we perceive God as the source of everything in the universe, the repeated prayer is simply a means of focusing the mind on a single end result, thus channeling the energy of God into that specific form. Jesus is trying to get us to see our relationship with God as something very different from the perception of conventional religion. He is trying to get us to see that we are part of a much larger family, the family of mankind, and that we are all connected. He is teaching us that there are techniques and perspectives that can break down the barriers between us, bringing us into this experience of oneness, which is the kingdom.
As our perception shifts into recognizing God as Universal Consciousness and the source of all life, the form of our prayer changes into a more personal relationship, where we become co-creators with God, not only in our life, but in the universe as well. God, as Universal Consciousness, knows exactly what we need, usually before we know it ourselves. As we grow spiritually, our prayer thus becomes a process of co-creation with God rather than a verbal or mental asking and persuading God to provide something for us.
Prayer also takes the form of listening to the guidance that comes to us from God. Meditation is the practice of listening for that guidance and the inspiration that comes from God. In its highest form, prayer is a shared consciousness with God, which is exactly what Jesus was experiencing, and exactly what He wanted us to experience as well.
The Lord’s Prayer
“After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our father which art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
It may help us to get a different view of what this prayer means by starting at the end and working our way back to the beginning. There are two different states set forth; the last one presented For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever is the Kingdom of Heaven, which we have been discussing. This is the end we seek: oneness with God.
The other state, represented by Lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil, is the state of the world, where suffering, death and destruction come to each of us. No one is exempt. Every physical body will suffer, die and be destroyed. These are the two worlds: spiritual and physical, eternal and temporal, spirit-centered and ego-centered.
What we seek is not the duality and separation of the lower level of the Lord’s Prayer, but the oneness and unification of the upper, or higher, part of the prayer: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. This is the state of grace, of oneness with God, which we all seek. The will of the ego is a reflection of what is in the world: the desire for possessions, power, control and influence. The will of the inner spirit is a reflection of the will of God. What stands between, and acts either as a barrier or as a bridge, is forgiveness. And forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors is the act, and practice, of forgiveness.
The practice of forgiveness is the key to entering the Kingdom of Heaven. It unifies the inner fractured nature of the ego-based personality, centering it on the foundation of the spirit within. As this practice progresses, everything ego-based is dismantled and discarded, so in the end, only the spirit remains. All of our consciousness becomes spirit-centered. This is the end effect of Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.
As we enter into the oneness our thinking and perception become transformed. We align our consciousness with that of God, or Universal Consciousness, and in the process the oneness becomes an integral part of our perception of earthly things as well as spiritual things. In fact, the two merge: we realize that all of the earthly things we thought were separate from God are in reality simply the manifestation of spiritual thoughts, energies, and activities. We begin to recognize the spirit and presence of God in other people, animals, plants, rocks and the street signs around us. The air and the water are there because of the presence of the Spirit of God within them. Nothing exists without the spirit and presence of God within it.
Through the process of forgiveness, what emerges is our true personality, not the false personality of the ego. In this new personality there is no anger, hatred, fear, jealousy, envy, resentment, bitterness, guilt, pride or greed. We emerge into love, kindness, gentleness, politeness, understanding, respect and compassion. As we clear out the workings and tools of the ego, we are making room for the presence of God in our lives, which enters and fills each and every place we have emptied out. In this way we are gradually filled with the presence, peace, love and joy that come from God. Through these experiences, we fully and completely enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Forgive men their Trespasses
“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.” Matthew 6:14-15 (KJV)
This is the single most important statement in the Sermon on the Mount. It is also the most ignored. The outer form of religion may focus on the sacrifice of Jesus as the means of removing sin and being forgiven by God, but here, in Jesus’ own words is the clear, unequivocal statement of how we gain God’s forgiveness. Let’s place it in context with its related segment from the Lord’s Prayer, changing debtor to the trespass version for consistency.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. 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. This is the same principle in leaving our offering by the altar if we have anything against another person. Forgiveness of everyone and everything leads us to a pure heart, and the presence of God. Every little bit we hold back is a place within us where we cannot hold the presence of God. Complete forgiveness of others and of ourselves results in the complete presence of God within. It’s that simple, and that powerful.
When Ye Fast
“Moreover when ye fast, be not; as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:16-18 (KJV)
Periodic fasting was a part of the religious practices in the Middle East. Fasting helped people move their dependence from the body to God. Periodic fasting is still a part of Judaism, Islam and Christianity today. Organized religion gradually become an outer show of piety to impress other people. If our focus is on the outer form, we will miss the blessings of the inner experiences and connection to God. We will trade the Kingdom of Heaven for the approval of other people, giving away the eternal for a fleeting and tenuous boost to our ego. Once we understand what is really at stake, supporting and feeding the ego becomes extremely foolish at best, and totally self-destructive and depraved at the worst.
The inner form, which we can identify as spirituality, is private and not intended to impress other people. Spirituality becomes a process of inner transformation and self-unification. Fasting also needs to be a practice of the mind and the emotions. We must fast from the destructive and limiting thoughts and feelings. By disciplining ourselves to focus on love-based thoughts and emotions we move our consciousness closer to God and the Kingdom of Heaven. Fasting from, or avoiding the fear-based thoughts and emotions allows us to move further away from the controlling interest of our ego.
By focusing on the inner path and supporting the spirit within with love, the peace, love and joy of God begins to flow through us, transforming us in the process. In time, the inner transformation becomes obvious to others around us, and the reward we have received from God is clearly seen.
Treasures in Heaven
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)
In the course of everyday life we become so focused on the ways of the world that we forget, or do not perceive, that it all must come to an end. There is nothing in this world that will not be taken from us. Moths will consume all of our fine clothes; the metal things will rust, and our jewels and gold will be carried away. Nothing will remain. We are all familiar with the treasures of the world, but what are the treasures of heaven?
We can begin to get a feel for what these treasures are by talking to an elderly person and asking them what they treasure most in their life. There may be some things of the world that are important to them, but many times what is treasured the most is the love they share with someone special. The memories of good times, the intimate sharing of thoughts and feelings, the trust and faithfulness of the ones we love are the most valued of life’s experiences. Also highly valued are the humorous events that remind us of our humility, and the “humanness” of those around us.
The body is a temporary manifestation. It is a vehicle for our spirit and our consciousness. Once its usefulness is concluded, it is set aside, and all of the things we thought were so important to the body lose their value. Only the spirit within is eternal. The lessons we learn, the love we share and the peace we experience will all remain because it is part of our consciousness. We will carry those with us forever.
The closer we become to God, the more our consciousness expands. God, as Universal Consciousness, is the source of everything and the closer we come to the consciousness of God the more our individual consciousness experiences and retains. The love, the joy and the appreciation of just being human are as much a part of God as they are of life. It makes sense: if God is the source of life then the inner things of life which we value the most become more abundant the closer we come to God. As the love that comes from God flows through us, we generate more of the loving memories, more of the intimate connections with other people and more of the humor and humility that we will value above the rest of the things in life. Above all else, it is the connectedness we value the most. The Kingdom of Heaven is pure connectedness: oneness with God and all of creation.
If Thine Eye be Single
“The light 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. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23 (KJV)
As with many of the sayings of Jesus, this is not about our physical eyes, but rather about our perception. If our perception is spirit-based and the ego has been dismantled and discarded, then our eye is single. In other words, our perception has become unified. We are not divided between the spirit and the ego. We have moved out of duality and fragmentation, and into oneness and unification.
But if the eye is evil, if we are still locked into the ego – subject to the lower emotions of anger, hatred, fear, jealousy, envy, greed and guilt – then we are not filled with the light and love which comes from God, but rather we are filled with the darkness of the lower emotions.
Each of us has experienced enough of other peoples’ anger and hatred to know the dark reality of what the lower emotions bring. The pain and suffering of the world is a direct result of the expression of these emotions. The wars, the murders, the inhumane treatment of people all over the globe are the direct result of peoples’ anger, hatred, greed and envy. To believe the ego is not the source of evil in this world is to perpetuate the pain, suffering and injury that damage us all. In assigning the source of evil to an external entity, we attempt to remove ourselves from the responsibility, which is rightfully ours. We are responsible for our thoughts, feelings and actions. We are responsible for the pain, suffering and injury to others, and we have the duty, and the ability, to stop it. By taking responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions, we naturally acquire the authority to change them.
As we move deeper into the presence of God, we become more and more connected to the oneness. We also experience more of the pain and suffering of the world. We experience an increase in sensitivity, which allows us to experience the presence of God, but that sensitivity, combined with the increased connectivity, connects us with the suffering of others in the world. When the Love that flows through us from God comes in contact with the suffering of others, compassion is created. Compassion is the hallmark of our spirituality. It is a type of bittersweet experience. Finally, we come to know what the Love that flows from God is for: to heal the suffering we find in the world.
What good is light if it cannot dispel the darkness? What good is love if it cannot heal the soul? Indeed, this is what God has brought: the light does dispel the darkness, and love does heal the soul. We are saved from the darkness by the light, and we are healed and brought into oneness through God’s unconditional love.
No Man can Serve Two Masters
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24 (KJV)
Mammon refers to a social, or worldly, nature; figuratively that of wealth, personified (The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – 1990); the deification of greed or avarice. It is power and social position, pride in one’s standing in the social order, or the driving desire to gain or accomplish the acquisition of power and control over others. This is the ultimate goal of the ego. Mammon is the realm of the ego and all it desires.
When we serve the ego, the respect, kindness, and gentleness of spirit are seen as weakness. It is hated and despised. We also despise people who appear weak. Strength and power are the standard by which we judge the people of the world. It is no accident that the predators among us are often the most respected because they appear strong and powerful.
So what does this portend for the future of the world? Is it really a hard and competitive world, or is it that way simply because we have imposed that standard? One of the things we learn along the spiritual path is that the world is interactive. It responds to our attitude and beliefs. When we are angry, the world brings us things to be angry about. When we are aggressive, it brings us opportunities and reasons to be aggressive. But the opposite is also true. When we become loving, the world brings us opportunities and situations of a loving nature. We think that our attitudes are the result of the way the world is, and yet it may be the other way around; our experience in the world may be the result of our attitude.
When we shift our consciousness from ego-based to spirit-based (from mammon to God), our entire experience of the world shifts along with it. The problem is that as long as we are sending out mixed messages, trying to serve both mammon and God, we will get mixed results in our life. We will feel even more confused and divided. It is necessary for us to choose. We can live in the world of the ego, separated from one another and from God, or we can live in oneness with God and the rest of creation; the choice is ours to make.
We have grown up in a system controlled by the ego. If we are going to change that system, we are going to encounter a great deal of resistance. It will take persistence to overcome the effects of a lifetime of ego based thinking, feeling and acting. It is not an easy task. But it is the only one that leads to something real: living in the presence of God, with its attendant peace, love and joy. This is not an overnight process, but if we persist, we will succeed.
Lilies of the Field
“Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?”
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them… And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow… and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these… Therefore take no thought, 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 of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you…” Matthew 6:25-34 (KJV)
Historically, the function of the spiritual communities was: to provide the food, shelter and clothing which we all need, and at the same time provide the teaching and guidance for their spiritual growth. These communities, and others similar to them, were spread out over most of the known world in the time of Jesus. They covered northern Africa, the Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan. In different faiths they appeared in Great Britain, India, China, and most of Europe. All had the same purpose: to provide for the material needs of the people so they could grow spiritually in a supportive community.
People have a long history of equating clothing with social status. Expensive clothes are used as a symbol of the value of the person and reflect on the self-worth and self-esteem of the individual. Jesus indicates that the value God places on us is far more important than the clothing we wear and the opinion of others in our world. The reality is that other people don’t know us and are a poor source of evaluating our worthiness and value. Only God truly knows us and that is the only measure we should be using to determine our self-worth.
Some organizations try to convince us that we are poor worthless sinners and only our belief in a savior figure can redeem us from sin. None of that is true. As Jesus clearly demonstrates, we are born of God, not in sin. We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. The spirit within us is the source of our value and worthiness and is the substance of God. There can be nothing in the world that exceeds that value.
But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you, was Jesus’ invitation to join one of these spiritual communities. We do not have any spiritual communities today that fulfill everything that was offered in the time of Jesus, but we can still dedicate a portion of our lives to seeking the Kingdom of God.
“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 to you again.” Matthew 7:1-2 (KJV)
Understanding this principle is the key to initiating the inner transformation and awakening the spirit within. The currency of the ego is judgment, and the currency of the spirit is mercy. The ego may put on a show of judging others, but the final victim of the ego’s judgment is ourselves. All of the comparisons made by the ego are judgments. “I’m better than you” or “I’m not as good as you are” are all judgments. Ultimately, the ego judges us, and in the ego’s final judgment, we will be found defective and judged harshly.
Some outer forms of religion have incorporated the judgment of the ego and projected it onto God, making God the ultimate judge of mankind. This is not what Jesus was trying to teach us. He taught that His God is a God of love and forgiveness, not a God of judgment and destruction. Many people believe that the New Testament replaced the Old Testament, but what they miss is mercy, was also intended to replace the God of the Old Testament, the God of war, judgment and destruction.
Paul tried to explain what this really means in Corinthians 12-13 (RSV).
“And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
“Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Love is not provoked. Love does not judge. Love does not condemn. If God is a God of love, then God is not provoked, God does not judge, and God does not condemn. This is the message of Jesus: God is love.
We live in an interactive universe. All of our thoughts and feelings are reflected back to us in the conditions of our life. I have a friend that I worked with many years ago. He was angry and the universe brought a constant stream of conditions where he could experience and express his anger. Traveling home from doing some field service work he was pulled over for speeding by a lady state trooper. After receiving a ticket he angrily pulled back onto the highway spewing gravel over the front of the state patrol car. She pulled him over again and issued him another ticket. That was how his life worked.
We talked about the power of forgiveness and how changing our attitude can change the patterns in our life. He listened, but I didn’t know whether he would actually change anything or not. I met him again six years later. He thanked me for the information I had shared with him about forgiveness and attitude. He had changed his attitude and forgiven the things that had made him so angry in the past. His life had been transformed. He was now happy and his life was much more rewarding. The anger was gone and an attitude of gratitude had taken its place. He explained that it took some time, but after he began changing his thoughts and feelings the conditions that prompted him to be angry gradually stopped coming into his life. Now he was experiencing peace and he was teaching others how they too could stop the anger and bitterness in their lives and come into the peace and serenity that waits for each of us.
Everything we judge, even if it’s only in our mind, gets reflected back to us in the conditions of our life. When we let go of all forms of judgment and begin to view the world through the perspective of unconditional love, the interactive universe responds in kind. It takes time for the things we have sent out into the universe to work their way back to us, but as they do and we respond from a position of love everything gradually changes and our life becomes transformed.
All judgment is of the ego, not of God, and not of the spirit within, which is the substance of God. If we are to change our consciousness from the ego over to the spirit within, then we must abandon all forms of judgment.
Mote in the Eye
“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 pull out the mote out of thine eye’; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5 (KJV)
Other people’s faults are so much easier to identify than our own. We have a natural resistance to examining ourselves in any kind of depth or detail, yet self-examination is exactly what is required on our spiritual journey.
After going through school, where everything is a matter of repeating information back on tests, we have come to expect the same process for everything in life. And yet, if we will pay attention, life gradually teaches us that an intellectual understanding is not sufficient. More is required of us in life. The same holds true of our spiritual growth.
The work of dismantling and eliminating the ego must be done first. Only after the ego is gone can the spirit within rise to its position of authority, and only then will our perception clear. We really don’t realize how badly the ego clouds and colors our perception until it has cleared through the perception of the spirit within.
The knowledge we gain about our spiritual path is not the objective. These are just tools. A good analogy is learning how to use a hammer to drive nails, a measuring tape to determine and mark distances, and a saw to cut wood. We think we have learned a lot when we master these tools, and may be anxious to show our new skills off to others. But when the objective is to build a house, the tools are clearly seen as a means to an end.
This is what we are trying to accomplish: gain enough skill with the tools of forgiveness that we can empty out the ego, have a series of spiritual experiences, and enter fully into the presence of God. It is the repeated experience of God’s love flowing through us that creates the transformation within. Spirituality is not a thing of the mind; it is a thing of the heart. A certain amount of understanding will come with the spiritual experiences, but the objective is not the understanding but rather the inner transformation of spirit and heart.
We must go through the entire process before we will see clearly. Until then, our perception is faulty. We will see our own issues imprinted on the actions of others, and will fail to clearly perceive and recognize what is in the other person’s heart. Only the clarity of the spirit, without the interference of the ego, will perceive the truth.
Pearls before Swine
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Matthew 7:6 (KJV)
Spiritual truths and principles are holy things and are not suitable for every person or situation. Most of us have been told not to discuss religion or politics in social gatherings. The reason is that very few subjects will create higher levels of antagonistic emotional reactions than religion and politics.
Spiritual truths are generally not well received. It is necessary to determine if the other person is open to new information before providing it. The process of spiritual instruction is not a debate, nor is it a process of convincing another of the validity of what is being offered. Spiritual instruction is the process of teaching the use of basic tools, and allowing the student to work with the tools and see what they accomplish. As the student progresses, more questions will come to the surface. In asking questions, the person is demonstrating their openness and desire to learn.
The teacher must resist the temptation to flood the student with too much information. The flood of information is like trying to eat a month’s worth of food at one meal. It takes time to digest information, just as it does food. The best way is a process of planting seeds, or ideas, and waiting for the person to come back and ask for more. During this process, the student will become prepared to accept and comprehend the higher spiritual principles and truths. Lacking this process of feeding an inner hunger for more information, we are much more likely to start an argument, where not only will our wisdom be rejected, but we may become the object of personal attack.
The Gnostic path is not a process of convincing others of what we believe to be right. It is a process of feeding those who are seeking a closer relationship with God, without the fear and guilt associated with orthodox religion. Gnosis is about freedom, not about control.
Ask, and it Shall be Given
“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.” Matthew 7:7-8 (KJV)
Many times this verse is used in reference to material things when the original intent is about spiritual experiences and spiritual understanding.
The idea is not to go out and spread a new teaching, but to respond to the inquiry of others. This is a system that is totally driven by the student, not the teacher. The student must ask for the teacher to give. The student must seek for the teacher to assist in finding. The student must knock; in other words the student must be persistent in gaining the inner experiences, which result in inner transformation before the Kingdom of Heaven is opened.
The Gospel of Thomas states in saying #2, Jesus said, “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the all.” The true spiritual student must continue to seek until he or she finds, and once he or she finds the inner truth, he or she will become troubled or disturbed. This is because the true spiritual path is not what the orthodox religions have been teaching people. It is different, and overcoming that difference by altering our beliefs to accommodate a new set of experiences is not easy.
The new system is not based on belief, but rather on a series of inner experiences where God reveals the true nature of our own spirit and the true nature of God as well. The resulting inner transformation ultimately empowers us, but it first strips away the falsehoods and misperceptions. This is the refiner’s fire, which burns away all of the impurities, leaving only truth and oneness with God and all of creation. Nothing else will remain, for nothing else is real.
Stone for Bread
“Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask for bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7:9-11 (KJV)
Jesus is using some interesting interplay with words. From the perspective of the world, we would certainly give our children bread and not a stone, a fish in place of a serpent. But as usual, Jesus alludes to other things. This is where the core of the Mystery School System comes together with the synthesis of the concept of light, bread and the stone.
Bread has a number of meanings and connotations. Manna, which comes from heaven, is also referred to as bread. There is also the bread of the presence of God and our daily bread. Plain bread feeds the physical body, but in its other forms bread also feeds the spirit within.
In Matthew 12:3-4 (RSV), “He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?’” The bread of the presence of God has a long history within the Mystery School tradition.
The Mystery School used a substance known as the white powder of gold. This is a pure, non-metallic form of gold. In this state, it cannot be dissolved by normal chemical means, which is why it was referred to as a “stone” and not a metal. This is the white stone, the hidden manna. In the letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation 2:17 (RSV), Jesus says, “To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it.” Here is our connection between bread and stone.
The word name means nature. Jesus is saying to him who conquers, or overcomes the ego, I will give the hidden manna and a white stone with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it. This is the apostleship program. Once the ego is overcome and a person’s heart is pure, they were given large amounts of the white powder of gold and the spiritual personality emerges – their new nature, for which they were given a new name in recognition of the transformation that has taken place.
There were two primary means of ingesting the white powder of gold. The first was to mix it with flour and make bread. This was no longer regular bread, but was referred to as the bread of the presence of God. For 150 years before the time of Jesus, the Essene community at Qumran, on the shore of the Dead Sea, was making the white powder of gold and mixing it in the unleavened bread. Each day the leaders of the Essene community were eating not just bread, but the bread of the presence of God. This is the other meaning of “give us this day, our daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer. On the worldly level, the level of ego, daily bread refers to the basic substances we need for our survival. But on the heavenly level, the level of spirit, daily bread refers to the bread of the presence of God, that which feeds the spirit, not just the body.
Communities locate in certain places for specific reasons. Fishing communities locate in places where there are natural harbors, providing protection from storms and deep-water access to the sea. Commercial communities locate at the crossing of trade routes, where the transportation of goods is easily accomplished. Farming communities form where the land is generally flat and the soil is good for crops. So why did the Essenes locate their community on the shore of the Dead Sea, where there are no fish, no trade routes, and little or no flat land with poor soil for growing crops? Almost everything the Essenes needed had to be carried in from someplace else. Why there?
The single answer is the Dead Sea has the world’s highest concentration of the white powder of gold in its water. The Essenes dug a three-foot wide canal from the Dead Sea into their community. You can’t drink the water; the concentration of magnesium sulfate is much too high. They also constructed a series of carved out “pools” with the means for letting fresh water into the carved out places. Why would they do that?
There is a simple pH swing method using lye (produced from draining fresh water through wood ash) and vinegar (produced from the fermentation of grapes or apples), which will extract the white powder of gold from the Dead Sea water or salt. Archeologists have assumed the pools were for some sort of ritualistic bathing practice. But could they have been for the specific purpose of processing the white powder of gold?
Once the white powder of gold is mixed into the bread, why is this bread then referred to as the bread of the presence of God? For the answer we need to go back into ancient Egypt, to the formation of the Mystery School.
In the ancient Mystery School founded in Egypt, the white powder of gold was mixed with flour and baked into a cone-shaped cake. This mixture was used to feed the ‘light-body’, which is how the spirit within was perceived. The light-body, or spirit, was considered to be the consciousness. So here we also have our connection to the spirit within. The Mystery School’s fascination with the white powder of gold earned them the name of the Great White Brotherhood.
What we now know about the white powder of gold is that it does several things within the physical body. Small amounts can gradually increase our perception and expand our awareness. We now also know that the Essenes were mixing the white powder of gold into the bread they made every day. The highest-ranking members of the community were receiving much larger amounts than the rest of the people, but it appears that everybody was getting at least some of this material. The loaves of bread had numbers placed onto them so each person got the loaf designated to them. This is how the dosage of the white powder of gold was distributed.
During the initiation into the Apostleship program the white powder of gold was not mixed with food, it was taken directly as a powder during a forty-day fast. This is the second method of ingesting the white powder of gold. The white powder of gold absorbs into the digestive system slowly, so the extended fast allows a majority of the powder to be absorbed because during a fast nothing is eliminated from the bowel.
Larger amounts of the white powder of gold have a very different effect. This larger amount acts as an amplifier. If a person still has an active ego, then the ego is amplified and the person is further away from the spiritual than before. This is why there was so much emphasis on becoming pure in heart. The large amounts of the white powder of gold were not administered until the person demonstrated that their ego was gone. Only then was it safe to use the larger amounts of the white powder of gold. This initiation with the white powder of gold marked the transformation of the person from a disciple to an apostle. It took approximately 9 months for the transformation to become complete. This relationship with the 9 months of gestation for a baby may be one of the conditions that prompted the concept of being born again.
The white powder of gold migrates through the body system during the nine-month period following initiation. The white powder of gold collects and settles into the brain and forms a Meissner Field which is a room-temperature superconducting energy field. Light is the essential component of this Meissner Field and is identical to the light of the spirit within. The energy from a fully charged Meissner Field within and around the brain can be seen around the head and is usually perceived as a halo. The Meissner Field can also be charged and discharged.
In Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 8:43-48 is the story of a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years and it was getting worse. She believed that if she could only touch his garments that she would be healed. As Jesus came by the crowd was pressing up against him. She reached out, and touching his garment, was healed. Jesus felt the power flow from him – the Meissner Field discharging. Jesus stops and asks, “Who touched me?” The disciples are confused because of the nature of the crowd, but the woman comes forward and explains that she was the one who touched him and she was healed. He tells her, “Your faith has made you well.”
The healings and the miracles of Jesus were done through the use of the energy of the Meissner Field. Jesus spent 8 hours a night in meditation recharging the Meissner Field that formed around the white powder of gold within him. All of the graduates of the Mystery School could do what Jesus did. In the Greek language they were called Therapeutae; healers.
The 40 day fast of Jesus closely approximates the initiation into apostleship within the Essene community. Jesus received his training and apostleship initiation within the Mystery School System before he came to the Essene community. A demonstration of his master level was needed for him to be accepted as a master teacher in the Essene community. The initiation of the 40-day fast with large amounts of the white powder of gold was that demonstration. During the fast, Jesus was tested for his purity and strength of character. Scripture identifies the opponent of Jesus as Satan, upon which the outer form of religion has based the concept of an evil entity that competes with God. What the Hebrew word Satan really means is simply someone who opposes. We take the same reference when we become the devil’s advocate simply to challenge what someone says in order to draw out more understanding or a deeper meaning in a discussion. It doesn’t mean anything more than that. Following the initiation, Jesus was accepted as a master teacher.
Properly used, the white powder of gold enhances our perception and awareness and amplifies the effect of the spirit within, significantly increasing our natural abilities. It also clarifies our connection with God, intensifying the oneness and conscious contact with God. Understanding the process, it is no wonder Jesus said in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.”
The serpent has been the symbol of the Mystery School System from the beginning. To be gentle as doves and wise as serpents (Matthew 10:16) is a direct reference to the Mystery School System. The Mystery School was the equivalent of today’s universities, teaching different languages, mathematics, and sciences such as basic chemistry, physics, astronomy/astrology, plus the healing arts. Advanced spiritual studies were included along with studies in psychology, politics, history and human relations.
The symbol of the fish can be equated to the education needed for basic trades and commerce. The serpent equates to an advanced education, far above the level generally available in most of the world. From the perspective of the world, we should give our children the bread and the fish, but from the perspective of the Mystery School System, the wise parent should give their children the consciousness and awareness of the white stone and the wisdom of the serpent. These are gifts much more valuable than gold.
The Golden Rule
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (KJV)
The Golden Rule is the rewording of an older saying of Rabbi Hillel; who taught his people not to do anything that they would not want done to them. But rather than acting as a prohibition, Jesus put the saying into a proactive mode, instructing his followers to do good things for other people if they want good things to come to them, “for this is the law.”
Many people wait for their good to come to them without sending any good out. Think of your life as a harbor and your thoughts, feelings and actions as ships. “Someday, when my ship comes in,” is an expression of waiting for our good. But how many ships have we sent out? And how many of those ships have been good? If we haven’t sent any good ships out, how many of them can come in?
With the popular positive thinking movement, we are at least beginning to see that there is a connection between the interactive universe and us. The assumption is that if we can straighten out our thinking, the rest will follow. This is not necessarily true. For we all harbor ill will within our heart, in one form or another, and until we change the contents of our heart, what we send out into life will only partially change. The law Jesus spoke of is the interaction between our thoughts, feelings and actions and the interactive universe. We don’t have control over the universe, but our thoughts, feelings and especially our actions do have an influence, and we are the primary recipients of that influence. In this way we can experience the direct results of our connection to God and the interactive universe. How else are we to learn, but through experiencing the consequences of our choices and our actions?
Once we “get” the connection, we can alter our thoughts, feelings and actions, paying particular attention to the changes in our experience of life as it comes to us. The conditions of our life right now are the result of our past thoughts, feelings and actions being reflected back to us by the interactive universe. Until now, we didn’t want to recognize we were receiving what we were sending out. But now that we recognize how the interactive universe works, we are free to create a new life and establish new conditions and experiences. The more good we do for others, the more good ships we will be sending out and the more good experiences will return to us.
Enter at the Straight Gate
“Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV)
A true spiritual path is not easy. It requires the development of discipline: not the discipline imposed on us by an outside source, but the much more difficult practice of inner, self-imposed discipline, cultivated by the spirit within. This involves doing what is beneficial for our own mind, heart, body and soul.
World religions are built upon millions of believers, because believing is easy. This is the wide gate that leads to destruction because believing is a function of the ego, and not of the spirit within. Believing places the responsibility for our salvation in the hands of someone, or something else. We may claim that salvation is ours, but words do not make it so. The narrow way, the straight gate, is the way of inner truth, inner transformation, and inner purification of mind, heart and body that leads to living in the presence of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.
Once the experiences of the presence of God begin coming, there will be little doubt that this really is the way to true salvation. Belief is not required. The direct experience of the presence of God and the love that flows from God through the heart will teach us everything else we need to know about God. When gnosis comes, belief is dropped because we see with the eyes of experience how worthless belief really is. Belief is intended as a beginning, a place to start. If we cannot believe there is a spirit, a living light, the substance of God within, how can we begin the process of transformation? How can we enter into that which we cannot see without the belief that it is actually there?
The main purpose of this book is to offer the initial belief that each of us can enter fully and completely into the presence of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, just as Jesus described it. Without that belief, no one would invest the time and energy in the inner work and inner discipline necessary to enter into the Kingdom. Faith replaces belief, which comes not from more believing, but from actual experience in the presence of God. Without that actual experience, without the knowing of gnosis, there can be no faith, and there will be no inner transformation.
Beware of False Prophets
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a 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. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:15-20 (KJV)
People are easily distracted and misled by the words of others. What we have as a reliable indicator of the true character of a person is not their words, but what they actually do. Jesus describes what a person does as their fruit. “A good tree brings forth good fruit…” is the statement of the inner relationship between our belief system (the tree) and our actions (the fruit). The actions we take are the best reflection of what is in our heart, for we will not vary from that which we truly feel within. A good person brings forth good deeds, for there is love in their heart, and their actions are created out of that love. An evil person brings forth evil deeds, for there is anger, envy and greed in their heart, and their actions are driven by those emotions. Once we come to know a person they cannot hide what is inside their heart; over time the primary emotions within a person make their appearance, and we discover what really drives them.
Jesus said, Beware of false profits, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Religion and politics are prime examples of areas that offer rich opportunities for a predatory individual to gain control over a large number of people. Just because a person becomes a leader of a religious group does not automatically elevate them to being a good person. Sometimes the opposite is true: a person of a predatory nature is attracted to religion or politics for the power over people it provides, and the access to large amounts of money, provided by their followers. We have had some interesting revelations about the character of some of our more popular televangelists in recent years. Jim Bakker was sentenced to five years in prison for fraud. Jimmy Swaggart was disgraced with multiple sex scandals. ABC’s Primetime Live broadcast on November 21, 1991, that Robert Tilton’s organization threw away prayer requests without reading them, keeping the money and valuables sent in by viewers to the tune of $80 million a year. And this is just the tip of a huge list which includes sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church.
We need to be mindful of the real character of the people in general, and especially those in positions of leadership. Trust is not something we should give easily. Trust needs to be earned, not by rhetoric, but by deeds. This is one of the reasons James speaks so intently about doing good deeds; the deeds of a person demonstrate their inner character. In The Letter of James, 2:14-17 (RSV) he states, “What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has no works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”
This is also the primary problem with just believing; belief is an expression of words, which can be used to deceive. Actions are an expression of inner conviction, feelings and faith.
Both words and short-term actions can be used to deceive. Words are more often used because it’s easier to speak than to do. Short-term actions can also be used to deceive. When we look at actions over a longer period of time we get to see more of the real character of the person emerge. This is why trust needs to be earned. By getting to know a person over an extended period of time we can determine their true character. What a person does reflects who that person is within.
Do the Will of my Father
“Not everyone that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord.’ shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’” Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)
We have learned that flattery and adulation can be effective tools for getting ahead in the world. This is where the desire to worship Jesus comes from. The desire to call upon His name for all the things we do in the outer form of religion is little more than flattery and contrived adulation. This is not what Jesus asked us to do. Jesus asked us to follow Him, to do what He has done, not to worship Him.
In Matthew 19:17 (Oxford), Jesus says, “Why callest thou me good. There is none good but one, that is, God.” Jesus states that only God is good and worthy of our worship. This is a clear statement on the part of Jesus that He does not want to be worshipped. What Jesus wants us to do is to follow His teachings, use the forgiveness process, become pure in heart and enter into the presence of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, just as He had done. This is how He comes to know us – through our spiritual growth and our entrance into the same level of consciousness He has. Isn’t this how we know our best friends: through a shared consciousness? And isn’t this how we “know” the author of a book: through shared ideas, concepts, points of view, and a shared consciousness? Similarly, Jesus comes to know us as we bring our consciousness in line with His.
If all we do is flatter and use adulation and worship, we are attempting to manipulate and impress Him. This is hypocrisy. It is insincere and is iniquity in the eyes of Jesus. No wonder He says He doesn’t know us! How could He?
House upon a Rock
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a 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 a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27 (KJV)
Building our house upon the rock is building our consciousness upon the spirit within. The spirit has eternal life, and can be compared to bedrock, which is solid and will not be destroyed. Building our house upon the sand is building our consciousness upon the ego. The ego can be compared to sand, which is ever shifting, changing and easily destroyed.
The ultimate storm we face is the process of death. In that process, the physical body is removed and the ego loses its source of energy. Any consciousness attached to the ego will fade and be lost forever. Only the consciousness built upon the spirit will survive. This is the primary choice we have: to build our consciousness on the rock of the spirit within, or on the sand of the ego.
The Sermon on the Mount represents the complete outline of a program for spiritual growth. The Beatitudes show us the general structure of the religious communities and the expected course of progress through the teaching. Following are the spiritual concepts taught by the communities.
Prime among those concepts is that each of us is the light of the world, and that the spirit of God resides within each and every one of us. Even if we fail according to worldly standards, and lose our self-respect, we can recover and regain our spiritual value.
The temptation in life is to try to elevate ourselves above others. Many religious organizations support the idea of being God’s chosen or elite, either by right of birth, religious conviction, or by being saved. As Jesus points out, none of that has any importance whatsoever. What is important is treating all people with respect, dignity and kindness.
The importance of spirituality is the inner transformation it creates within our mind and our heart. This is where the real salvation takes place. In the end, we are not being saved from eternal damnation by a savior figure, we are saving our spirits from ourselves and the worldly consciousness we have ignorantly adopted and perfected. The spiritual system Jesus taught was designed to move us out of the consciousness of the world and into the consciousness of God, and to transform us into what He had become: a Christed Being.
Apostleship was the advanced degree program of the Gnostic Communities and included a 40-day fast while ingesting large amounts of the White Powder of Gold. The result was a nine-month transformation during which the true spiritual personality emerged and a person was considered to have been born again.
Bread of the Presence
Bread of the Presence of God is a mixture of bread and the white powder of gold. The bread feeds the physical body while the white powder of gold feeds the light body or the spirit within.
The Christ Consciousness is another term for spiritual enlightenment and represents the conscious union with God or Universal Consciousness.
Discipleship was a training system in the Gnostic Communities and included a more in-depth teaching of spiritual principles and meditation. The key quality of discipleship was the practice of forgiveness in order to attain a purified state of mind and emotions referred to as being pure in heart.
The Essenes were a mixture of traditional Judaism and Gnostic and formed a Community on the shore of the Dead Sea. The Essenes were the creators of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their Community came to an end with the invasion of Roman troops in approximately 74 AD.
God is defined as Pure Spirit, the source of everything, present everywhere. God is not a person or a physical body. The physical manifestation of God is the Universe. God can also be considered to be Universal Mind or Universal Consciousness.
Gnostic comes from the Greek word gnosis, meaning, to know. The Gnostics, as a formal group, were centered in Alexandria, Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea and taught out of the Temple of Serapis which was connected to the Great Library in Alexandria. The Gnostic era ran from 150 BCE to approximately 400 AD and was driven underground as a result of persecution from the Roman Christian Church.
The Gnostic writings have re-emerged through the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Scrolls and include The Gospel of Thomas, The Secret Gospel of John, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and a number of others.
Mystery School System
The Mystery School System was founded in 2750 BCE in Egypt and was dedicated to finding the brightest students from around the known world and training them in the Spiritual and Healing Arts. The Mystery School System was also known as The Great White Brotherhood and The Therapeutae.
Kingdom of Heaven
The Kingdom of Heaven is not a physical place; it is a state of consciousness characterized by a deep sense of peace, love and joy. The primary characteristics of this state of consciousness are a profound sense of connectedness to all of life and compassion for others.
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God is also a state of consciousness characterized by an in-depth understanding of higher spiritual truths and principles. The Kingdom of God is synonymous with spiritual enlightenment.
Righteousness was the term used to describe the purified spiritual state experienced in the Apostleship program. Righteousness is also another term for spiritual enlightenment.
Satan is a Hebrew term that means one who opposes. In spiritual terms, Satan is the ego, which opposes the Spirit within.
The Son, as presented by Jesus, is the living light of spirit within each of us. The Son has eternal life because it is the substance of God, pure spirit, which can never die. The Son is the spiritual being we are, which descends from heaven and ascends back up into heaven.
Universal Consciousness is a description of God, indicating that everything that exists does so in a field of Consciousness. Everything has its own level of Consciousness, from rocks, to water, to plants and animals. Once we raise our level of personal consciousness to where we can connect to Universal Consciousness, we become aware that everything is alive and interconnected. There is no separation and there is no death.
Universal Mind is another aspect of God. As we are learning about God and Universal Consciousness, we can connect with God through the use of our mind. All inspiration and inventions come through Universal Mind. Meditation is the primary exercise used to connect with Universal Mind.
White Powder of Gold
The white powder of gold is a non-metallic form of the element Gold. All Platinum Group elements form, or can be formed into, the non-metallic state and have different properties from their metallic counterparts. All Platinum Group elements in their non-metallic state can, and have been used to enhance the physical and spiritual qualities of people. These non-metallic elements can have profound effects on our body, mind and consciousness and should only be used by those who have been through an extensive program of forgiveness and introspection. Improper use of these substances can result in insanity and suicide.