Once again I reiterate: The purpose of this message is to enable us seize the opportunity of the COVID-19 pandemic to remember with deep and better understanding, HE who has gracefully granted us life so that we don’t continue to take for granted the boon of human life, in the manner we don’t spare time in remembrance of our Creator as the animals wouldn’t. By the time the lockdown is over, definitely not few will return to the worldly way of shadow chasing, of occupying ourselves with what wouldn’t ultimately belong to us. Therefore, I hope to forward few messages more before drawing the curtain.
This week I am beginning with the drift that nothing is wrong with any religion. Furthermore, I will be emphasising that all religions have two features. They are the exoteric and esoteric. The readers have the choice to search deep into whatever religions they belong to, with a view to raising their devotion beyond the exoteric to esoteric.
The truth however is that both the exoteric and esoteric aspects of religion are mutually inclusive. The latter is dependent on the former. In fact, exoteric feature of religion is a precondition for its esoteric feature. I will try and make this matter devoid of any ambiguity.
Exoteric is that of the external aspect of religion. It puts us in good stead for a true devotion that takes us to God. This aspect of religion is about doing good to others and essentially loving our neighbours as we do to ourselves.
The irony is that people generally, and this include the Priestly class, often deem this external aspect of religion as the be-all-and-end-all of the worship of God.
Chiefly among the requirements of the external worship is what is known in Christianity as Baptism. In other sects, it is regarded as initiation. Initiation is a corrupt word that sends jitters down the spine of the people because the word is used by the cultists. Therefore, let us stick with the word: Baptism.
Baptism is being erroneously termed as an all-purpose insurance policy. It is believed as redemption of the soul and once we are baptised, we are adorned with a garment of “Born Again” Christian. How wonderful it would have been if by mere baptism one will make paradise, irrespective of how badly we behave as often witnessed among some born again Christians.
Baptism per se is an admission into the way of God, in the same manner we are admitted into the University to study and qualify for a degree certificate. Without presenting ourselves for serious class study and passing the qualifying test, it would be wool-gathering to expect to be awarded a University degree. So it is with having ourselves baptised without the readiness to carry out the spiritual task for which purpose we were baptised. What a world of utopia that would be!
Without the actual spiritual duties as laid down by the Messiah and all Spiritual Teachers, we will continue to rely on our emotion, whereas mere emotion or feeling that religion relies upon could be blind. It may take us the right way or lead us astray. If people consider emotion and feeling to be a great help in the realisation of God, it is the same emotion and impulse of worldly love and attachment that keep many away from seeking the true worship. Worse still, emotion is not exclusive to any religion. The traditional worshipers and those without any religion all bask in their emotions. If our emotion is wrongly premised, we have had it.
We therefore need to rise above emotion by going for higher knowledge, aided by some sort of transcendent intuition, to guide our emotion into proper channel, for us to be sure of our way.
Nonetheless, it is of essence to explain the necessity of baptism and all kinds of external observance and particularly, the practice of Love to fellow beings which are conditions-precedent to the true worship.
True worship is all about seeking the grace of God because living as we do in a world of strife, of sins and particularly in a world of duality, where life thrives on life id est. For a life to survive, it requires another life. It is impossible to reach back to the bosom of the Lord without His grace.
We may call it grace, but the grace has to be merited because the Lord wouldn’t cast His pearls before the swines. The value of such will be lost to whoever has not worked for or earned the grace.
Christ hinted on the esoteric worship when He said to the woman by the well and captured in John 4 vs 20 on quote: “OUR FATHER WORSHIPPED IN THIS MOUNTAIN, YE THINK JERUSALEM IS WHERE TO WORSHIP. WOMAN BELIEVE ME, THE HOUR COMETH, WHEN YOU SHALL NEITHER IN THIS MOUNTAIN NOR JERUSALEM WORSHIP THE FATHER.”
Plainly, Christ was telling the woman that you were being misled in trying to find the Father in the mountains and Jerusalem. The Father is not hiding Himself in Jerusalem and not in any mountain. He lives within you and your time has come now when you will know how to worship the Father.
Then in verse 21 He says: “YE WORSHIP YE KNOW NOT WHAT; WE KNOW WHAT WE WORSHIP.”
Jesus was admonishing: People think they worship the Father but they do not know the Father, how can they worship Him? How can they love Him? They have their own mental concept of the Father and they are only happy with that.
Vs 22: “BUT THE HOUR COMETH, AND NOW IS, WHEN THE TRUE WORSHIPERS SHALL WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. FOR THE FATHER SEEKETH SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM.”
That is: The true worshipers must always worship the Father in Spirit. Unless you worship the Father in Spirit, you are not worshiping the Father at all. You are merely living in your own mental concept of the Father and this mental concept will not lead you anywhere, except to the darkness of illusion.
Vs 23: “FOR THE FATHER SEEKETH SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM.”
Emphatically, Jesus says: Your Father wants to be worshipped in Spirit. If you do not worship the Father in Spirit, then you are not worshiping Him. You are simply worshipping a mirage of your own mental image of the Father.
Then he added in Vs 24: “GOD IS SPIRIT AND THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.”
Why should we worship the Father in Spirit? Jesus says: Because God is Spirit. There is no difference between the Spirit, the Word and the Father. In John 1 vs 1-4, He had explained to us that the Word, the Creative Energy and Father are one and the same. If we are in touch with this Word of God within us, we are actually in touch with the Father. In effect, the worship of the Spirit is the true worship of God. Anything different is superficial.
There is no ritual or ceremony required in worshiping the Father in Spirit. We do not have to go to any holy places to find the Lord. This, the priestly class wouldn’t want you to know because it will affect their income. It is the income of the Priestly class that is making them to induce you to Church this period, notwithstanding the coronavirus. How heartless they are. It is actually the “freely you have received, freely you shall give teaching” that brought Jesus into conflict with the Priestly class, especially the Sanhedrin.
It goes without saying that as long as we have not learnt and practiced how we can make our eye single, the Light of God cannot shine in us. We will be full of darkness. We may search the Father in mountains, in all crevices, in holy places, holy baths, all kind of rituals, in a temple, in synagogues, in scriptures and all that, but all our searches will not avail.
We are thus compared to the musk dear that is intoxicated with its own fragrance, but keep roaming about in search of this fragrance.
Only when we are able to withdraw our consciousness from the earthly cravings and make it single at the eye centre that we will become one with the Voice of God within, and only then we are worshiping the Father in Spirit.
Before proceeding further on this esoteric worship, we need to come to terms with the sine-qua-non of the love of our fellow beings without which we cannot truly worship God. The reason is very obvious. Whenever we want something from fellow beings who can give us only perishable things, we try to be nice to his family members, his wife, children as well as his pet.
We can imagine what will be our fate if we want favours from someone and we despise his wife and children, or even kick his pet. How impossible it would be for the man to grant our request, irrespective of how munificent the man is.
By the same token, how impossible would it be for us to seek favours from the Ocean of Mercy – our One God that fathers us all, if we loathe his creatures, particularly fellow beings whom the Lord has fashioned in His own image, and the same Lord who dwells in us dwells in them also.
For correlation we quote the Messiah in Matthew 25 vs 34-50: “WHEN I WAS HUNGRY YOU FED ME, WHEN I WAS IN PRISON YOU VISITED ME,WHEN I WAS NAKED YOU GAVE ME CLOTH TO WEAR.WHEN JESUS WAS ASKED WHEN DID ALL THESE HAPPEN,HIS ANSWER WAS WHEN YOU DID SO TO FELLOW BEINGS,YOU WERE DOING THEM TO ME AND BY EXTENSION TO THE LORD WHO HAS CREATED US ALL.”
It therefore stands to reason that our love to fellow beings is love to the Lord Himself. Similarly, our hatred is also hating the same Supreme Lord. How can the Lord make our heart His abode if it is full of anger, hatred, animosity, malice and other vices, when even dog doesn’t sit in a filthy place.
Sadly for man, the Lord sees our very thoughts because He is omniscient within and without. But how many humans believe in the omnipresence of the Lord? If we are constantly aware of His presence and before Whom nothing is hidden, all those sordid things that we cannot even do before children, we wouldn’t be practicing in the presence of God Who knows our very thought and action. This is coined in the criminal law as mens rea and actus reus.
I hope to dwell on the issue of born again at length in future. For now, it is meet we remain ever conscious of the necessity of the external feature of our religions. True living consists in conducting our lives in a sensible way. We are to enjoy the world and its objects but while doing so, we mustn’t give anything in this world the value it doesn’t have.
We should live in the world in a most unconcerned and detached manner, never to be elated by the acquisition of anything nor be depressed by the loss of it. Whatever it is or the worth, we must leave it behind. So why the hassle?
Till I have the privilege to come your way again, please let us give few minutes daily to introspection and close-self-examination. Carefully scrutinize each day before retiring at night. Thank the Lord for the good deeds and repent for your shortcomings with a strong resolve never to do the wrong ones again.
Only by doing these we depict we truly deserve the boon of a human birth because inherently, man is half angel and half devil. If he overcomes lust and other beastly tendencies, he rises even higher than the angels. But if lust overwhelms him, he falls to the abysmal state of the lower species.
It is thus open to us in this human form to be godlike or captive of the negative power. The karmic law is inviolable. We will get what we deserve richly.