ON LOVE; PART MCCCXVI
FIRST IS THE GREAT COMMANDMENTS: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
WHAT THEN IS LOVE? In a general sense love is benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men. While this IS from an older definition of Charity, which IS rendered in the King James Bible from the same Greek word agape which IS generally rendered as Love, we should amend our own definition here to include the idea that in the reality of Love a man will accord to ALL men ALL things that he would accord to himself and to say that Love IS our thoughts and attitude of the equality of ALL men regardless of their outward nature or appearance…that ALL ARE equally children of Our One God.
PLUS THE EVER IMPORTANT AND HIGH IDEAL TAUGHT TO US BY THE CHRIST: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
We ended the last essay off on a tangent as we discussed the nature of the Trinity that IS our God as this applies to our Universal view of Life. Our view of Life here in this Earth IS a on different level as would be the Life of any of the billions of other planets in this Universe. We touched on the idea of time and space as these relate to eternity and infinity which while incomprehensible ideas from a cosmic viewpoint, can be understood as one as we measure distance in space according to the speed of Light, the time it takes for such Light to travel. Here on this Earth and likely on every similar planetary body time and space ARE concrete terms used by physical beings and we should try to see here that this IS ONLY a physical phenomenon; from the perspective of the mind time has a very different effect on our lives and, could we but see it clearly, such calculations of time have little or NO effect upon the Life of the True man, the Soul. From a Universal view, a view of the Universe as we can understand it, we should see the ‘body of God’ in which ARE contained ALL other Life forms both subtle and concrete. This ‘body of God’ IS infinite and it IS eternal according to our understanding of these ideas and if we were to conflate our view of infinite and eternal with the most ancient Hindu teachings on the nature of God we could ONLY but imagine the emergence, the expansion and the apparent dissolution of this Universe, a small part of which IS scientifically covered by the ‘big bang theory‘. The ancient Hindu and Buddhist teachings can show us a long history of both our Universe and our planet through ideas that can ONLY come from the mind of God, the same mind through which every Soul DOES “know all things” (1 John 2:20) according to the Apostle John. This unction IS for us the Soul and the Christ Principle which we should try to see both cosmically and individually.
If we can see the Universe in its immensity as the Father and understand that in the idea of infinity, in its never ending time and space, there IS also the idea of a singular Point of Truth, we can then perhaps see past the idea of man as this form in this world and KNOW him as part and parcel of both the infinitely large and the infinitely small. ALL of this IS part of the greater mystery that IS Life, a mystery that men DO NOT often ponder and one that IS made acceptable by religious doctrines through their view of God as a person who IS Transcendent, who IS outside of and over ALL. Showing God as the “One Boundless Immutable Principle; one Absolute Reality which, antecedes all manifested conditioned Being. It is beyond the range and reach of any human thought or expression“** can Truly enhance the idea of God in the minds of men who reject the personality(s) offered in the religious views of God around the world and these include both the new visions and the old. We should try to see the multiplicity of ideas regarding gods NOT as the ignorance of men nor the products of their creative imaginations but rather as pictures of the Potencies of the Godhead as understood according the cultures that produced such ideas. While the Christian doctrines deride the many gods of the Hindu religion; speak ill the the ideas of God expressed by the Greeks and the the Romans; and call the Norse ideas of God mythology, the greater reality IS that such ideas of God ARE but the way that He IS viewed by the barbarous and superstitious people of the time. Their value of the Godhead IS NO less than the view of God expressed by the Jews who also speak of Him as a man dictating the actions of men and rewarding and punishing such. When we can understand that God IS NOT a man, that He has NO specific personality nor prejudice for or against any particular group at any point in time, perhaps we can come to see how that the ONLY difference between other religious views and those the sparked the Jew’s religion ARE found in the way that the Jew’s ideas ARE in regard to the singularity of the Godhead and the accumulation of His potencies into a single expression of Truth….a singular point of Truth if you will. Alexander Maclaren, known as an English non-conformist minister of Scottish origin, reminds us of the greater intent of the creation story of Genesis saying:
We are not to look to Genesis for a scientific cosmogony, and are not to be disturbed by physicists’ criticisms on it as such. Its purpose is quite another, and far more important; namely, to imprint deep and ineffaceable the conviction that the one God created all things. Nor must it be forgotten that this vision of creation was given to people ignorant of natural science, and prone to fall back into surrounding idolatry 12.
Through his ideas we should try to see here how that the entire Old Testament historical account has this same objective….to show One God to the Jews who continually fall back into surrounding idolatry and are pulled back again and again by the prophets and a select few of the kings. And while there ARE many differences between the Jews’ religion and other world religions in regard to their teaching, we should try to see that each IS offered in a particular time and place and according to the culture into which each particular view of God IS revealed. It IS in the combined Truths of ALL world religious teachings, Truths which ARE summarized in the parabolic words of the Master, that the ultimate Truth, the One Truth, IS found. In the end there IS NO difference in the non-doctrinal Hindu teaching that one must overcome his passions and devotions to worldly Life; or in the Buddhist non-doctrinal teaching that one must overcome desire for worldly thoughts, ideas and things; and the teachings of the Master on such ideas as treasure, the single eye and of course His resulting words saying that men should “Take no thought for your life” (Matthew 6:25). In ALL of the deeper teachings of the World’s religions the singular point IS that men should ever choose God over mammon and it IS this that that Jesus the Christ most clearly enunciates. There are however two sides to the Master’s message; on the one side we have His instruction that IS encapsulated for us in the first of the Great Commandments where the singular Truth IS that the things of God must be held above ALL things worldly. The depth of this IS clearly shown to us in saying that our Love for God, our sense of agape toward the Godhead to be more clear, IS to be “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength“. It IS ONLY when we can understand the True implications of agape however that we can Truly understand this message; it IS ONLY when we can understand that this word agape IS NOT so related to the human ideas of Love as has been painted for us over the centuries. There IS little relationship between agape and the carnal ideas of Love, ideas that involve the emotional and mental attraction and attachment that we have toward those things which we hold dear and those things which we desire; the Truth of agape IS born out of a sense of Unity, of the unifying ideas of Oneness that ARE at play in every realm of existence. Here in the physical we ARE essentially One with ALL humanity; it IS only in the vanity of Life that we see and measure our differences. In the realm of the Soul our Unity IS ever more pronounced as there IS NO vanity to cause division and separation; we ARE, ALL of us regardless of external appearances, One in the Christ Principle, indivisible from each other and from God. The Life of the Soul IS a formless one as we understand forms; a Soul IS the essence of Truth and of the Truth of agape that binds ALL into a singular unit when viewed from without if such a view IS even possible. The correspondence between these two factors IS ever in the idea of agape which shows us that we CAN NOT be separated from the human family nor can we be separated as Souls from the Mind of God in which we abide. The purpose, the True purpose, of ALL True religions IS to allow the carnal mind to see this sense of agape which IS KNOWN by the Soul and, through revelation and realization, to bring that same sense to bear on the seemingly individual lives of men in this world. It IS in these ideas that we can see the True nature of the “Holy Spirt” which we should try to understand as the activity of the Godhead in this world of men, an activity of agape.
This sense of activity IS missing in the lives of men whose focus IS NOT on the Godhead and we should remember here that the most faithful doctrinal adherent IS NOT necessarily focused upon the Truth of God but rather the tenets of his chosen doctrinal approach to the Lord. Perhaps in this we can see a logic in the Apostle John’s commentary that we discussed in the last essay as he says “the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:39) and understand what John sees in writing this idea which IS contrary to many other sayings regarding the “Holy Spirit“. In the fullness of John’s words we can find a greater meaning than we previously discussed; we read that: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified)” (John 7:37, 38-39). We should note here that the idea of given in this saying IS NOT in the text which reads only that the Spirit was “not yet“. We should try to see that the apostle IS speaking ONLY regarding those to whom the Master IS speaking and understand that they have NOT “come unto me, and drink” NOR have they “believeth on me” as this idea IS Truly intended. We should note here that it IS unclear that His disciples ARE with Him as he had previously dispatched them to go to the festival and this IS later as He goes Himself. We read this in John’s narrative as Jesus tells them “Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come” and then John reports that “When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret” (John 7:8-10). If we can see that it IS in regard to those that Jesus addresses that John comments that “the Holy Ghost was not yet given“, we can then perhaps reconcile this with the many other words from the Master and His apostles regarding the Holy Spirit and better understand Jesus saying to His disciples that “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:17). Again there ARE those who DO NOT render this into the future with shall but rather in the present and when we see the idea of dwelleth as abide and see this together with Jesus’ other references to this abiding found in this same chapter, we can then perhaps sense the Truth and this particularly from the third part of our trifecta which we read again saying:
- “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
- “Not every one 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” (Matthew 7:21).
- “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me” (John 14:21-24).
This ALL presents itself into the idea of “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27) and if we can see this idea in terms of the Soul, the Christ Within and the unction, we can then see the relationship between the Soul and the activity of the Soul in the Life of the man cited by the Master’s saying “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him“. The idea here IS that the “Holy Spirit” IS the activity of the Godhead in this world and we should try to understand that such activity IS shown through the lives of those who ARE so focused upon the Lord, those that Love Him and keep His words. In the Father we have the Spirt which encompasses ALL else; within this spiritual essence that we call God exists ALL that IS. In the Son we have the Christ Principle, the Soul of ALL things which IS a manifestation of the Spirit in a sense of time and space that revolves around the mysteries of eternity and infinity. This IS the ‘mind of God’ if you will, this IS the impetus for ALL of creation, and this IS the nature of God that IS ‘visible’ to the man in this world and while still “beyond the range and reach of any human thought or expression“, it IS this Aspect that can be revealed and realized. In this sense of revelation and realization it IS NO longer “human thought or expression“, it IS rather the thought and the expression of the Soul flowing through the human form. The third Aspect of the Godhead both universally and individually IS the “Holy Spirit” which, from our little perspective, IS the activity of God as that activity works out in this world. We should remember here the Apostle James words which we were discussing and which led us into this discussion regarding the Aspects of God. We should remember that there IS a fundamental incompatibility between the world and God, between worlds spiritual and carnal, which idea CAN NOT be True based in the doctrinal view of the “Holy Spirit“. Jesus shows us this incompatibility in His words on treasure, on mammon and on the single eye and James encapsulates this for us saying “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:1). The reality of the “Holy Spirit” must however fit into this incompatibility and DOES so in a clear and a ‘biblical’ manner. When we can understand that there IS NO activity of God in this world of men, neither positive nor negative, we can then begin to grasp the deeper mysteries that ARE revealed by the New Testament and then obnubilated by the doctrines of men. Here again we should try to see the primary mystery that Paul shows us saying “the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26-27). The key ideas of mystery here ARE found in the combination of the idea of “his saints” and the reality that it IS for them to KNOW the mystery that IS “Christ in you“. When we can see this idea through the Master’s words from our trifecta, His words that define for us the reality of “Christ in you” as well as the very nature of the saint, perhaps we can see the overall Truth of His teaching. Jesus says “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him“. We should understand there as well that the we in His words saying “we will come unto him” IS the reality of the “Holy Spirit” the activity of the Father and the Son in the Life of the man who DOES keep His words.
While the doctrinal thinkers believe themselves to be saints and to have the “Holy Spirit” in their lives offering instructions and Truth, there IS NO scriptural basis for this belief. And when we can understand that the activity of the Godhead in this world IS ONLY through the activity of the Soul in one’s Life we can then perhaps understand the difference between simply having or being a Soul in form and the spiritual effect of that Soul through the revelation and realization of Truth that comes to the man whose focus IS Truly upon God….the man who will keep His words. We should note how that Jesus emphasizes this point that it IS ONLY the man who keeps His words that can have such realization as He offers us the negative view saying “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me“. Here the Master shows us the fallacy of most basic doctrinal ideas of salvation: He says that to Truly Love the Lord one must keep His words. This idea IS soundly rejected by the doctrinal church which sees the ‘salvation‘ of men in their interpretations of the words of the apostles; they discount such ideas as ARE Jesus’ words based upon their varied doctrinal formulations as many relegate Jesus’ Truths to an old covenant which IS for them passed away. Most rely instead upon the scriptural machinations of men which grasp and hold onto ideas of atonement and “the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7) based upon out of context and misapplied verses from the apostles. When speaking about sin IS it NOT important to have a clear understanding of just what sin IS? The lexicons describe sin according to these two words which ARE used by Paul in the same context; paraptoma which IS used in the saying above and hamartia which IS used in identical words saying “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (1 Colossians 1:14). In hamartia we have the ideas of: to be without a share in; to miss the mark; to err, be mistaken; to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong; to wander from the law of God, violate God’s law, sin 2. This IS a far reaching idea of sin that transcends the common ideas which have been shown us over the centuries by the church. If however we should look at these ideas spiritually, we can then see how that ALL that IS NOT focused upon the things of God IS essentially sin which IS NOT just those gross human behaviors. In paraptoma we have similar ideas; the same lexicon tells us that this word means: to fall beside or near something; a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness; a sin, misdeed 2. Neither of these defining ideas shows us ONLY the ideas that are prescribed as sin by the doctrines of men and, at the same time, neither goes so far as to embody the words of James who speaks in terms of agape and says “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors“. The apostle goes on to tell us that this sin IS the same as ARE ALL ways of missing the mark; he tells us that “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:8-9, 10). We should note that these words from James ARE completely ignored as men have chosen the ideas that they glean from the words of their favorite apostle, Paul. We should note here that this sense of gleaning, while perhaps innocently done, IS the selection of ideas and themes that meet the psychic needs of those who originate them and then, through indoctrination, become the tenets of a particular religious effort, a denomination or a sect. As we have discussed in previous essays the meaning of both sin and evil ARE applied ONLY to the gross behaviors which most men would detest and here we should try to see the sexual bent offered by the church which at the same time makes allowances for those ideas that they DO NOT detest. Of course this IS contrary to James’ words on sin that tell us that “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all“. James goes on to further explain his point so that there IS NO doubt as to his intent but his explanations ARE also ignored by the mainstream of religion. James tells us that “he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:11) and when we add into this equation the original idea of agape expressed without “respect to persons” we should be able to see the complexity of sin as this idea IS intended to be understood.
Jesus shows us similar ideas without explanation, ideas that rely upon the imagination of the reader to interpret. In John’s Gospel the Master tells the man that He healed at Bethesda, the man who had his infirmity for thirty years, to “sin no more” without ever identifying what his sin may have been. Most presume that this man did some evil thing and was punished with his infirmity but, without KNOWING the man’s age, how can we KNOW that he had NOT been this way since he was a child. The reported Life expectancy in Jesus’ day IS estimated at 35 years but this can be misleading for several reasons; our point here however IS that this man with an infirmity 30 years likely had NO opportunity to sin as the Christian understands this idea. Can it be that the Master’s message to this man was simply that he should cease thinking of himself and to think in terms of God? Another point here with this particular man IS Jesus’ continuing words as He says “sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14); this IS interpreted by most as His saying that: God could send a worse disease, or a sorer affliction, than he had yet done; an heavier punishment, either in this world, or that to come 8 as John Gill writes in his commentary on this verse. Similarly we have His words to the “woman taken in adultery“; to her He says “go, and sin no more” (John 8:3, 11). Here while we have a possible cause in adultery as a carnal event, we also have the idea of adultery as a spiritual event as this woman’s attention IS centered in her carnal Life. The point here IS the arbitrary ideas of doctrine, ideas that paint these people as sinners according to the ideas of men and their doctrines. In the story of the woman that “touched the border of his garment” we have a different dynamic. There IS NO mention of sin but only of faith and here we can perhaps see how that such infirmities DO happen in the lives of ALL even in the absence of any ideas of sin. Jesus DOES NOT tell this woman to “sin no more” but that “thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace” (Luke 8:44, 48) and while we CAN NOT presume to KNOW the Life of this woman, we can KNOW the level of pistis at the time when she approached the Master….she KNOWS that she will be healed. We can presume ONLY that this KNOWING IS NOT a sudden thing but the culmination of a Life focused toward God. While the doctrines of men DO inject carnal ideas into ALL of these healing events by the Master, one should NOT simply see the idea of sin according to a doctrinal interpretation but rather as a complex idea that reflects upon the focus of a man. Here again we should note the whole idea of focus upon the self and the things of the self IS in itself sin as such focus IS contrary to the first of the Great Commandments saying “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength“; in this commandment IS the reality of ALL sin. We ARE brought back to James’ words on sin through the second Great Commandment which, while rather self-explanatory, IS further explained by the apostle as he relates to us the idea that to Truly “love thy neighbour as thyself” requires that one have NO “respect to persons“. If we should look at these ideas from a purely spiritual perspective we can then perhaps see how that it IS men’s failure at expressing the Truth of agape that IS the essence of ALL sin.
Returning then to our discussion on the “Holy Spirit” as the activity of the Godhead in this world, an activity that IS ONLY possible through the lives of men whose focus IS Truly upon the things of God, we should be able to understand the nature of sin and the relevance of James’ teaching on the world. While it IS True that ALL that exists IS God and that naught can exist outside of this “One Boundless Immutable Principle“, it IS at the same time True that the influence that God has upon this created Universe IS, from our minuscule perspective, through those self-conscious entities that we call Spirit manifest as Soul. We should understand as well that the manifest Souls ARE NOT ALL found in the realm of man in this world, that there ARE Souls whose sense of realization, as we understand this word, have NOT yet garnered the wherewithal to live through a human form, Souls that ARE at the beginnings of such an experience and Souls that ARE beyond the need to perfect their expression in human form. If we take this concept outward to the KNOWN Universe we can perhaps glimpse the complexity that IS the purview of the very few and understand that it IS this few that ARE the activity of the Godhead in this world. It IS the few who can be as the Master and ALL that in some way strive toward that sense of perfection that ARE the True expression of the Godhead in this Earth, that ARE the activity that IS the “Holy Spirit“. The simple Truth here IS that whensoever one IS Truly in Christ, whensoever one Truly has the Spirit active in his Life, there IS NO choice for him but to “Walk in the Spirit” which Paul tells us IS the the Way to “not fulfil the lust of the flesh“(Galatians 5:16). If we conflate this idea with the Apostle Peter’s words saying “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4), we can then see how that to “Walk in the Spirit” and to “be partakers of the divine nature” ARE synonymous ideas and that both ARE contrary to the ways of men in this world, the ways of vanity. We should also be able to better understand James point that tells us of the incompatibility of the things of God with the things of the self and the self in this world, the incompatibility of the spiritual and the carnal. To be “a friend of the world” IS essentially to “fulfil the lust of the flesh” and to be held captive by “the corruption that is in the world through lust“; in most ALL biblical uses this idea of lust IS NOT limited to the gross carnal sexual cravings of men but rather it IS ALL carnal desires, ALL desires for the self, which desires ARE themselves contrary to both of the Great Commandments. Peter tells us that it IS from this that we must escape while Paul shows us that this is the destiny of every Soul and we should try to see here that in the complexity of Universal Life there have been and will be many more opportunities to accomplish what the Master tells us saying “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The destiny that Paul shows us IS clear but grossly misunderstood; the apostle tells us that “the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in
hope, Because expectation that the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21).
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
- 2 New Testament Greek Lexicon on BibleStudyTools.com
- 8 Bible commentaries on BibleStudyTools.com
- ** A Treatise on Cosmic Fire by Alice A Bailey © 1951 by Lucis Trust
- 12 Expositions of Holy Scripture–Project Gutenberg’s and Baker Book House’ Expositions of Holy Scripture, by Alexander Maclaren–(1826-1910)
Those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Voltaire, Writer and Philosopher