Posts Tagged ‘Pharisees’


What blocks you in your false life from living truly free and within/through the Holy Mystery?

What holds you in the past, and not being able to step fully into the glory of the present?

leaving-the-church

Aquarian Gospel chapter 138

Brother Jesus discourses on ancient laws that were designed to limit harm to others. To bring more a balance to a situation of reprisal (eye for and eye, instead of massacring your whole tribe for the loss of my eye). It was pointing to the pain that existed within or that selfishness that holds one in blindness of what truly can happen in your life. This story uses an existence that the ancient world could understand to show this juxtaposition. A blind man.

What is the blindness you exist in today? It is not a physical impediment. Are you in the wrong job? The wrong life? Can you not connect to that holy work (vocation) that fills you up? The soul flow that energizes you and aids you in being deeply rooted into the cosmic dust we are formed from?

This is the story of blindness.  The blindness kept the man out of true community, for he was isolated. In the 21st century our isolation is created through giving ourselves fully into the wrong work, the wrong life, the selfishness we mistake for holy love, that is true self hatred and destructive.

As this story unfolds, it shows that this is where the unjust, the oppressors, those that seek power and control over others want us to exist in.  Just look to the Pharisees response, not seeing the celebration of a holy family member becoming whole. Rather it is to challenge that it can’t be holy because it happened contrary to the control mechanisms, it happened on a day of rest. But whomever stated that the work of loving neighbour as self, was the work we are to rest from on the Sabbath?

The man’s own parents even though celebratory, bowed to the oppressors and lived into the injustice towards their son out of fear of being cast out themselves. But the man stood his ground, even though now whole, awakened, he was still once more cast out because he shook the foundation of the oppression (perhaps the first Marxist calling out the cabal creating the opiates of the masses?).

Move into this story yourself. Each of us have had moments of needing to willingly or being forced out of those situations where we need to make the moral over money or belonging or safety choice. Where we needed to walk in the Holy Mystery and trust blindly. For let’s be honest, the Holy Mystery is well, a mystery that is meant to be lived.

Take time to centre yourself with a candle or light imaging prayer. Feel your body relax before you come back to the words of the text with a fresh heart.

The Christines in Jerusalem. They meet a man blind from birth. Jesus teaches a lesson on the cause of disease and disasters. He heals the blind man.

1. The Lord with Peter, James and John were in Jerusalem; it was the Sabbath day.
2. And as they walked along the way they saw a man who could not see; he had been blind from birth.
3. And Peter said, Lord, if disease and imperfections all are caused by sin, who was the sinner in this case? the parents or the man himself?
4. And Jesus said, Afflictions all are partial payments on a debt, or debts, that have been made.
5. There is a law of recompense that never fails, and it is summarised in that true rule of life:
6. Whatsoever man shall do to any other man some other man will do to him.
7. In this we find the meaning of the Jewish law, expressed concisely in the words, Tooth for a tooth; life for a life.
8. He who shall injure any one in thought, or word, or deed, is judged a debtor to the law, and some one else shall, likewise, injure him in thought, or word or deed.
9. And he who shed the blood of any man will come upon the time when his blood shall be shed by man.
10. Affliction is a prison cell in which a man must stay until he pays his debts unless a master sets him free that he may have a better chance to pay his debts.
11. Affliction is a certain sign that one has debts to pay.
12. Behold this man! Once in another life he was a cruel man, and in a cruel way destroyed the eyes of one, a fellow man.
13. The parents of this man once turned their faces on a blind and helpless man, and drove him from their door.
14. Then Peter asked, Do we pay off the debts of other men when by the Word we heal them, drive the unclean spirits out, or rescue them from any form of sore distress?
15. And Jesus said, We cannot pay the debts of any man, but by the Word we may release a man from his afflictions and distress,
16. And make him free, that he may pay the debts he owes, by giving up his life in willing sacrifice for men, or other living things.
17. Behold, we may make free this man that he may better serve the race and pay his debts.
18. Then Jesus called the man and said, Would you be free? would you receive your sight?
19. The man replied, All that I have would I most freely give if I could see.
20. And Jesus took saliva and a bit of clay and make a salve, and put it on the blind man’s eyes.
21. He spoke the Word and then he said, Go to Siloam and wash, and as you wash say, Jahhevahe. This do for seven times and you shall see.
22. The man was led unto Siloam; he washed his eyes and spoke the word, and instantly his eyes were opened and he saw.
23. The people who had seen the man for many years sit by the way and beg, were much surprised to see him see.
24. They said, Is not this man the Job that was born blind, who sat beside the way and begged?
25. He heard them talk among themselves; he said, Yes I am he.
26. The people asked, How were you healed? who opened up your eyes?
27. He said, A man whom men call Jesus, made a salve of clay and put it on my eyes, and bade me say a word and wash in Siloam seven times; I did as he commanded me, and now I see.
28. A certain scribe was passing, and he saw the man and heard him say that Jesus, by the Word, had opened up his eyes.
29. He therefore took the man up to the synagogue, and told the story to the priests, who asked the man about the miracle.
30. The man replied, I never saw the light until to-day, for I was blind from birth.
31. This morning as I sat beside Siloam, a man I never knew put on my eyes a salve that people say he made of clay; he bade me say a word and bathe my eyes in water seven times; I did as he commanded and I saw.
32. A lawyer asked the man, Who was it opened up your eyes?
33. The man replied, Some people say, His name is Jesus and that he came from Galilee; but others say, He is the son of God.
34. A Pharisee came up and said, This is the Sabbath day; a man who does a work like this, regarding not the Sabbath day, is not from God.
35. Some of the priests were much amazed and said, A wicked man could never do a miracle like this; he must possess the power of God. And so they strove among themselves.
36. They asked the man, What do you think about this man from Galilee?
37. He said, He is a prophet sent from God.
38. Now, many of the Jews did not believe the man was blind from birth; they said, There is no power to open up the eyes of one born blind.
39. And then they brought the parents of the man before the Pharisees that they might testify.
40. They said, This is our son who was born blind; we do not know how he received his sight; he is of age and he can tell; ask him.
41. They were afraid to say what they believed, that Jesus is the Christ who came to manifest the power of God, lest they offend the priests and be cast from the synagogue.
42. Again the rulers said, This Jesus is a wicked man. The man who had been healed stood forth again and said,
43. This Jesus may be sinner or be saint, I do not know; but this one thing I know; I once was blind, but now I see.
44. And then the scribes and Pharisees reviled the man and said, You are a follower of this man from Galilee. We follow Moses, but this man, we know him not, and know not whence he is.
45. The man replied, It is a marvel that you know not whence he is, and yet he opened up my eyes.
46. You know that nothing but the power of God can do such things.
47. God hears not sinners pray, and you must know that he is not a wicked man who can employ the power of God.
48. The Pharisees replied, You wretch! you were begotten and were born in sin, and now you try to teach the law to us. And then they cast him from the synagogue.

-Aquarian Gospel 138

When ready, have your journal ready. Seek where the Holy Mystery is guiding you in life at this moment. Which role in the story speaks to your current situation?

  1. Peter/James/John
  2. Blind Man
  3. The parents
  4. The Pharisee

Take time to re-write the story from that point of view. Remember during the re-write to include insights and emotions as the character.

Spend time each day for about a week re-reading your story, asking where it is speaking into to your life now.

How does this ancient wisdom speak to your modern life?

Ready to step from story to life-story?

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Since there have been institutions, whether it is service clubs, political parties, businesses, government, religions or even capitalism there has been those who are “in” and those who are “out”. These are dependent on pre-set rules by the in-group (or in the case of religion, the righteous) to the stratification of the other. This is the challenge when hearing the ancient stories of Brother Jesus.  For in the last 100 years we have been taught to take a literal reading of the biblical text. It ignores context, or history or anthropology or sociology of the time. But it goes beyond that, it also strips the hearing of the story as the literature it is. A Gospel is a political manifesto woven into a life narrative.

Pause and think about that. By sharing this story each hearer, speaker and recorder was putting their very life on the line. Why? Well treason is a big thing today, and it was a bigger thing back in the day when certain folks weren’t even seen as people. But I digress.

Whether it is the Gnostic texts, synoptics, Johannine, other gospels or this Aquarian it is written in such a way to percolate contemplation, discussion and questioning of the societal norms of the era it is from, but also within the era of today.

Simply take today’s text, Aquarian Gospel 119:

The people of Capernaum welcome Jesus. Matthew gives a feast. The Pharisees rebuke Jesus for eating with sinners. He tells them that he is sent to save sinners. He gives lessons on fasting and on the philosophy of good and evil.

1. The news soon spread through all the land that Jesus was at home and then the people came in throngs to welcome him.
2. And Matthew, one of the twelve, a man of wealth, whose home was in Capernaum, spread forth a sumptuous feast, and Jesus and the foreign masters and the twelve, and people of all shades of thought, were guests.
3. And when the Pharisees observed that Jesus sat and ate with publicans and those of ill repute they said,
4. For shame! This man who claims to be man of God, consorts with publicans and courtesans and with the common herd of men. For shame!
5. When Jesus knew their thoughts he said, They who are well cannot be healed; the pure need not be saved.
6. They who are well are whole; they who are pure are saved.
7. They who love justice and do right need not repent; I came not unto them, but to the sinner I am come.
8. A band of John’s disciples who had heard that John was dead were wearing badges for their dead;
9. Were fasting and were praying in their hearts, which when the Pharisees observed they came to Jesus and they said,
10. Why fast the followers of John and your disciples do not fast?
11. And Jesus said, Lo, you are masters of the law; you ought to know; perhaps you will make known your knowledge to these men.
12. What are the benefits derived from fasts? The Pharisees were mute; they answered not.
13. Then Jesus said, The vital force of men depends on what they eat and drink.
14. Is spirit-life the stronger when the vital force is weak? Is sainthood reached by starving, self imposed?
15. A glutton is a sinner in the sight of God, and he is not a saint who makes himself a weakling and unfitted for the heavy tasks of life by scorning to make use of God’s own means of strength.
16. Lo, John is dead, and his devoted followers are fasting in their grief.
17. Their love for him impels them on to show respect, for they have thought, and have been taught that it is sin to lightly treat the memory of the dead.
18. To them it is a sin, and it is well that they should fast.
19. When men defy their consciences and listen not to what they say, the heart is grieved and they become unfitted for the work of life; and thus they sin.
20. The conscience may be taught. One man may do in conscience what another cannot do.
21. What is a sin for me to do may not be sin for you to do. The place you occupy upon the way of life determines what is sin.
22. There is no changeless law of good; for good and evil both are judged by other things.
23. One man may fast and in his deep sincerity of heart is blest.
24. Another man may fast and in the faithlessness of such a task imposed is cursed.
25. You cannot make a bed to fit the form of every man. If you can make a bed to fit yourself you have done well.
26. Why should these men who follow me resort to fasting, or to anything that would impair their strength? They need it all to serve the race.
27. The time will come when God will let you have your way, and you will do to me what Herod did to John;
28. And in the awfulness of that sad hour these men will fast.
29. They who have ears to hear may hear; they who have hearts to feel may understand.

Stories like this have been preached on out of the canonical gospels for centuries. They are used to show how the most heavenly minded can be of no earthly good as the cliché goes. Yet the point of the cliché itself is missed. Or, as I have found easy to do in my teaching, show how religion can be the opiate of the people by those in power creating oppressive rules that literally convince groups of people unless there is radical change, or purchase they will never be in paradise.

Yet there is more depth to this, as you take in the idea of literature and begin to unpack the characters. A few spiritual practice challenges for you:

  • Re-write the story from the perspective of the Pharisee. What have you learned of them? More personally what of them exists within you?
  • Re-write the story from who the religious then and today would save is the “sick/sinner”. What have you learned of them? More personally what of them exists within you?
  • If you are creative minded, take time to mindfully contemplate the story, then create a dream mandala using images from newspapers and magazines to illustrate the feast with today’s labels. What have you learned of this dichotomy within you?

Within each community, we have crisis. We have those who want to create false dichotomies based around being saintlier than others. I am sure in each of your neighbourhoods you can think of an issue where labels are reigning over the greatest commandment:

37Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment.39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’…

-Matthew 22:37-39

For that is the essence of the passage above with the feast. It is Brother Jesus listening to the Pharisee postulating all these rules and divisions of life, while sitting there eating with those who are spat upon and living love.

Quite a political statement on who gets life? Who is connected to the source. Who lives into and out of the Holy Mystery’s love incarnate in the Cosmic Christ. Brother Jesus who was so heavenly minded he actively worked to destroy the hierarchal system and oppressive structures of his day. He lived a life so scandalous because of the all-embracing love. A simple labourer who lived into and out of the love of the Holy Mystery that he could see each and every person as those crafted at the beginning and called blessed and very good.

So, with your spiritual interior soul work. Coupled with reflection on your own community. Where are you needed to tear down some walls, build some bridges, and simply do as Brother Jesus and feast?

Who is at your table today?