THINKING AND DESTINY
Harold W. Percival
GODS AND THEIR RELIGIONS
Benefits of a belief in a God. Seeking God. Prayer. Outside teachings and the inner life. Inner teachings. Twelve types of teachings. Jehovah worship. The Hebrew letters. Christianity. St. Paul. The story of Jesus. Symbolic events. The Kingdom of Heaven, and the Kingdom of God. The Christian Trinity.
The results which come to the human from a belief in one of these Gods may be of great benefit. They make up the higher life of human beings. In their troubles and trials men look to their God for help and protection. They believe him to be unchangeable among the changes of life. They think he is the source of their mind, that he speaks to them through their conscience, that he will give them peace. Belief in his love and presence gives them strength to live through their hardships. But more. A belief in God is an incentive to a virtuous life in the hope of thereby coming nearer to God and becoming more conscious of him. These are some of the interior results.
But men must seek God and forget about themselves. If they do think about themselves it should be with humility. They must not think of what they are entitled to have or to be. They must think not of their wishes and their rights, but of their obligations for what they have received and of their duties. If they do not think about themselves they can seek God. They are not free to seek God until they abandon themselves. They cannot find God while thinking of personal self persists. There is no place for both.
The exterior results are the building of places of worship, the maintenance of a hierarchy of priestly officers, almsgiving and philanthropy, persecution, war, hypocrisy and occasional excesses.
People are not aware that they are believing in two different Gods, whom they call by one name and whom they believe to be one. They look for him and see his works in the vast expanse and in the fearful power of nature outside. They believe he gives and takes things away. They believe that he gives them understanding and speaks through conscience. Thus they confuse two different beings. The being from whom they receive understanding, conscience and identity and because of whom they can feel and think, is that of which they are a part. It is their unknown noetic part, their knower. How to know and worship one’s knower is taught in no historical religion. But through the worship paid to the God of a religion, by a pure and noble life, worship is paid, seemingly to the God without, but really to one’s individual knower.
The run of human beings is sense-bound. They live and think in externals. Their feeling and thinking go out into nature. The grandeur and terror of nature and the force of destiny make deep impressions on the breath-form, and feeling and thinking follow these impressions. The knower makes no such impression. It is merely a witness. Because of its presence there is in man the feeling of “I” or identity. This is not valued, as it is always present; its meaning is not appreciated. This feeling is changeless and eternal and cannot be lost. Upon this identity depends the existence of the human. Yet it is not even noticed.
Man’s idea of God comes from his thinker and knower. That is the mystery of God. His ignorance about his thinker and knower and about himself as only a portion of the doer, compels him to account in some way for the “divinity” felt within. His ignorance concerning the “divinity” within and the compulsion to explain it, cause him to look outside himself. The doer is affected by this noetic presence. Man seeks to personalize, portray and deify the feeling of identity which he feels but cannot grasp. He is a slave of nature, and forced to picture the idea of God in terms of nature. When the nature God is built up outside, the human attributes to him the power and knowledge which he sees displayed in the universe. The attribution is wrong. The outside God cannot reveal himself, because he can tell the human only what he already knows and contributes to that God. The only explanation given is, that God is a mystery. The mystery is within. When a human knows of his thinker and his knower, he will not worship a nature God. But while a human does not understand this it is fitting and the best thing for him, to worship the God of the religion into which he was born or of that of his choice.
The results of belief in God are usually good. The belief is uplifting, stimulating, comforting. It supplies what nothing else in life can give. Such a belief is necessary and answers one of the strongest yearnings of the human heart. If that God is powerless to change destiny and even helpless to answer prayer, yet strength and consolation may come from some other source.
Sincere prayer for enlightenment, for strength to withstand temptation, for light to see one’s duty, is answered by one’s own thinker, who is his judge, even though the prayer is addressed to the God without.
Prayer that is one-pointed, unconditioned and without reservation, is the only kind that will reach one’s thinker. The thinker will not give Light or help or comfort in sorrow or in trouble where the prayer is simply to satisfy a selfish want.
The belief itself, that there is a God, even if he be a God of straw, gives strength. It allows the believer to feel that he does not stand alone, that he is not forsaken, that he can depend on God. The belief itself gives strength. Worship of a God of a religion is a help, because the underlying idea is that it is concerned with something superior, something beyond the material, and because it is a lifting of the voice to what is supposed to be a being of justice and power. Again, it is the strength of the belief that brings benefit. But men do not usually worship their God honestly; they worship with their lips and not with their hearts; they say what they do not feel or believe; they are dishonest with their God; they promise more than they are willing to do.
Because of the many benefits which come from belief in a God, religions which teach his worship are necessary. They form one of the closest bonds between humans believing in the protection and fatherhood of a God who is the source of their being. Every religion is a brotherhood and has in it the germ of a brotherhood of humanity. A religion is a social circle in which marriage is made and a family developed. A religion encourages self-denial, self-control. It teaches a method of life which is clean, wholesome, moral. Religion based on a belief in God tells of the way to God.
Most of the great nature religions have these outer teachings. Within the religions are developed sects which search for and try to attain to an inner life, The Way, which leads to the Light within. With Brahminism developed the Yoga schools. Buddhism grew out of Brahminism and teaches about The Way. Into Mohammedanism came the Sufi sects with their inner teachings. From the outer Greek religions developed sects which looked for the inner Gnosis. In Judaism arose the inner teachings called Cabala. Into it also came the inner teachings of St. Paul. But these were not able to change the Jewish nature religion, which still survives in Christianity.
Too much secrecy of these inner teachings usually has caused the possessors to lose their knowledge of them. If men have knowledge and keep it for themselves because they are too selfish to share it, they retain some of the forms without the knowledge. The keys, omissions, blinds, ciphers and similar preservatives debase the teaching, until it is altered so as to be unintelligible to the would-be guardians themselves. Instances can be seen in the lost knowledge of the Brahmins, of the Cabalists and of the earliest Christians.
One who understands that he, as feeling-and-desire in the physical body, is the agent, the conscious doer portion of his own thinker and knower in the Eternal, will not, he cannot, depend on the god or gods of a nature religion. Understanding this he becomes independent and responsible; he will not require or want a nature religion. He will also understand that the worship of nature gods is observed by people because such attributes as ever-presence, all-powerfulness and omniscience, with which the gods are endowed, are due to promptings from their own thinkers and knowers, whom they will then recognize and give service to. Without such understanding human beings have created thoughts which became the nature gods. Thus the nature religions have been perpetuated.
There are cycles of six types of nature religions and six types of information about the thinker and knower,—one about every 2,000 years. So far, whenever this information has been offered, the priests of religions have changed it, and it has been turned into nature religions. There is evidence of this in some of the nature religions. Whenever the six opportunities for the acceptance of information about the thinker and knower are rejected, a cycle of six nature religions swings in and holds sway for the next 12,000 years, approximately. Then a new opportunity is given.
The Christian teachings belong to the cycle dealing with the thinker and knower. Brahminism belongs to a former cycle, and is a remnant turned into a nature religion. Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and Mohammedanism, though millions adhere to them, do not belong to the cycle.
With Jehovah worship ends the last cycle of the six nature religions. This worship was from a former teaching which was given to a different race and which was to enable people to build a permanent body, (Fig. VI-D). The Jehovah of that original religion, whose name is now ineffable, stands behind the Jewish Jehovah. Judaism is based on the five books of Moses, on what Jehovah says about himself and on what his people say about him. The first of the Ten Commandments is that they shall have no other Gods before him. The Commandments make for a proper life and a safe community in which to live on earth. The Jews have made a god, whom they worship as Adonai, which is the symbol of the physical body, as A O M is the symbol of the Triune Self. Adonai is the name of the physical body as it is, in place of the Jehovah body, which would be a sexless body. Adonai is the name that the race can pronounce. They cannot pronounce the name of the Jehovah or Jaweh who stands behind, because his name can be pronounced only by a two-columned sexless body. At present it takes two, a man and a woman, to invoke the name. The original nature religion which underlies the Jewish version was aided by the Intelligences and Triune Selves to aid human beings in producing a permanent body, in which the entire Triune Self could be embodied.
The present Jehovah religion shows that the Jewish Jehovah is a sexual nature God, a spirit of the physical earth and its subsidiary earths, water, air and fire. The Hebrew letters are elemental forms, magical figures, through which nature elementals may be used. The vowels are the breaths and the consonants are the forms through which they work.
There was a class among the Jews who could use these letters to produce magical results with the aid of nature spirits. They knew a great deal about the workings of the body, and so could build up strong, healthy bodies for the worship of their God. Their time was before Christianity.
After Christianity a class among the Jews developed a system, the remains of which are known as Cabala. They claimed that this Cabala was the secret knowledge of their sacred books. Each of the twenty-two letters represents a particular organ or part of the body and is an opening to reach elementals and for elementals to come into the body. The elementals build the body, change it and destroy it. By knowing the use of each letter a Cabalist acquired psychic powers. He could evoke and use these elementals through the letters and thereby bring about changes in his body. He could in the same way learn about the structure of physical nature and so bring about changes in it. These may be magical phenomena. The Cabalists had an opportunity of raising the Jewish religion. Because they guarded this knowledge too selfishly and would not give it out, they lost it. Only fragments, which are ineffective, remain to them.
The religion which was the last in the cycle of nature religions and which became the Jehovah religion, was a link religion. It could have been used to link the cycle of nature religions with information about the thinker and knower, which is not a religion. The new information was turned into religions and became Christianity. The first opportunity given about 2000 years ago was lost. Five more opportunities will be offered during the cycle. Should the world, of human beings now on earth, take advantage of this second opportunity, they will learn and practice what Jesus the Christ came to teach mankind. He was the “Forerunner” and “First Fruits” of his teaching: to conquer death by regenerating and restoring his physical body to everlasting life in the kingdom of God; that is, the Realm of Permanence. If the opportunity is also lost, four more opportunities will be offered during the cycle of 12,000 years.
Christianity is not one religion, but includes many. These have a common origin in a religion supposed to have been founded by Jesus, in a belief in Jesus as the Savior, in central ceremonies in Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and common teachings taken from the New Testament, and so are held together by the name of Jesus, the Christ.
Christianity had its origin in the Jehovah and in the Greek nature religions. Inside of these arose Gnostic sects. Perhaps out of one of these, in combination with Greek philosophy and the Jewish religion, came Christianity.
The founder of Christianity was St. Paul. His teachings are teachings of the inner life. He pointed to The Way. True Christianity would be the seeking and the finding of The Way. Christianity has turned out to be nothing of the kind. Instead, the Jehovah religion has multiplied itself into many nature religions, each under a different God, which are united by the name of Jesus Christ. The Christian Gods, however, do not demand the food and sex regulations which the Jehovah worship imposed. The stories about the Savior’s birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension have become the basis of additional nature worship which unites the various Christian nature religions.
Christianity may have resulted from the attainment to a state of perfection by a doer all of whose twelve portions were together embodied in an immortal body, and the Triune Self would be ready to become an Intelligence. Such an event would cause a stir in the atmospheres of human beings, and some would feel called to follow and to teach more emphatically an inner life. The development of the doer in a human into what in the eyes of the world would be a divinity, and his telling of “the way, the truth and the life,” and of the “Kingdom of God,” is the basis of the story of Jesus.
Of his carnal body nothing is known. It is likely that he had retired from the world, else he could not have developed his immortal physical body. Jesus was the name given to the body of the doer, here called the form being, which he had developed; Christ was the name given to the life being of the thinker; the light being of the knower is his Father, of whom tradition has him speak and with whom he attained union.
As this development of the doer could not be understood, the stories soon came to be on a level with everyday life, made attractive by miracles. The supernatural in these stories was to hold the attention of the run of human beings.
Nothing is known of the physical existence of Jesus; and of course nothing is known of the doer that inhabited this unknown body. The names Jesus and Christ were names given by the people who attempted to publish the story of his attainment and of his teaching, now lost, of The Way. The New Testament version of the person of Jesus and of his teachings is most likely the result of ignorance, compromise, tradition and editing.
Some of the events narrated are symbolic. The divine conception stands for the union of the solar and lunar germs in a purified or virgin body. The birth in a stable is the beginning of the life of the form being in the pelvic region, where the animals were. The baptism stands for a later event on The Way, where the advancing traveler is led into a pool under a fountain, where the new form being draws from and is quickened by the water of life, expands into the ocean and becomes that ocean throughout nature, and the doer feels itself throughout humanity. Jesus is said to have been a carpenter. He might have been called a bridge builder, a mason or an architect, because he had to build a bridge or a temple between the nature-cord and the spinal-cord for the Triune Self.
The cross is also symbolic. A human body has both a male and a female nature, and these two natures are tied together, crossed in it. This is symbolized by the cross made by a female horizontal and a male vertical line. The story of the crucifixion is symbolic of the doer embodied in and fastened to the cross of its body. Living in a body means a suffering for the doer.
His life of about thirty years in a physical body is mythological. If he had disciples they were advanced doers, not of the characters bestowed upon his apostles, and not picked up as the Bible tells. But the twelve disciples are symbolical of the twelve portions of the doer.
As for his depicted suffering, that is impossible. The physical body of a doer such as was Jesus, could not suffer as human beings can, because the physical body was not of flesh such as humans know it. It would have been impossible to capture it, to hold it, to injure it. Even if he had had an ordinary human body, he would not have suffered. A moment’s thinking would have disconnected the involuntary from the voluntary nervous system. Even with martyrs, dervishes, sorcerers, feeling is taken away from things of the flesh when a thought connects it with worship, ideals, principles, glory; and Jesus was beyond the state of a martyr.
The story of the Roman penalty of the cross stands for any manner of slowly dying. The body in which such a one as Jesus was, went through the process of transformation from the human physical body to the perfect, deathless body. Jesus, the psychic part of the Triune Self, was immune to suffering any process of death. The story of the death of his body as the result of slowly dying is a natural misconception, due to the fact that ordinary human bodies die and there is nothing left when their particles return to the four elements. This did not apply to the body of Jesus, which went through the process of transformation during which it was recreated and, instead of ending by death, it conquered death and became immortal. Evidence of this is given by Paul, in his fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians.
The stories of the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension are remnants of great truths, distorted and turned into gross flesh tales. The story of the resurrection of Jesus represents the raising of the physical body from the stage of death through which it had passed, to a life eternal. His ascension is a distorted picture of a doer going through a white fire which burns away the last vestiges of illusion, going into the light world and becoming a being of the three worlds in the Light of the Intelligence, in the presence of the knower, standing in the presence of the Supreme Triune Self of the worlds through which the Supreme Intelligence acts, and seeing into the Light of his Intelligence and through that Light seeing into the Light of the Supreme Intelligence.
What is called the “Kingdom of Heaven” is the purified psychic atmosphere. The “Kingdom of Heaven” is within. It can be experienced by one who isolates feeling from his body and is thereby in his psychic atmosphere, untouched by the changes of pain and pleasure which come through the body. He is not then conscious of the body.
“The Kingdom of God” refers to what in this book is called the Realm of Permanence, and was evidently intended to designate the earth or physical world of permanence, which does not change, (Fig. V-B, a); it exists throughout all changes and civilizations of the crust. “First” Civilization means the highest in degree, and the “Fourth” means the lowest degree of the Civilizations of the matter and beings. They are not “created,” or “destroyed” in the sense that they cease to exist. The “Kingdom of God” is within, that is, within the body. The body is in it, when that body has been raised to immortality and permanence. This kingdom extends throughout the permanent earth. One who has not regenerated his body into a state of perfection cannot see it; and one who has not perfected his body cannot inherit that kingdom.
The doctrine of a Trinity, as presented in the Christian and other religions, has been a stumbling block, a subject of perplexity, which may be surmounted and solved by an understanding of the Triune Self.
One of the problems of the Christian Trinity was to understand how three persons are only one. The Trinity can be seen to correspond to or mean the three parts of the Triune Self—which is one unit. The three parts constitute one whole unit, which is indivisible.
The trouble may have been that in changing the information about the Triune Self into the teachings of a nature religion, those that promulgated the Christian doctrines failed to understand the Triune Self and were confronted with the difficulty of presenting one God as three individual persons, as a Trinity, which they called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, or God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. In nature there are threefold gods, who create, maintain, and destroy. This threefold nature aspect is the cause of Trinities in religions. The nature god is presented under three aspects as: creator, preserver, and destroyer or regenerator.
If made to correspond with the Triune Self, God corresponds to the Triune Self, as the unit; the Father is the noetic part, the knower; the Holy Ghost is the mental part, the thinker; the Son is the psychic part, the doer. The doer then is to be the Savior of the physical body, from death, by making of it a perfected, immortal physical body. The doer is the real “Creator” in nature, who stands behind the nature gods and, by thinking, causes them to create, maintain, and destroy. In doing this, the Son, the doer, suffers until he controls his feeling-and-desire and is willing to be guided by the Light of the Intelligence, through his thinker, and until he perfects his physical body.
Christianity has apparently retained only the Father, the “Creator” conception, and has turned the “Preserver” and the “Destroyer” or Regenerator ideas into the Holy Ghost and the Son, or the Mother and the Son.
The teaching which became what is now Christianity was evidently not intended to be a religion at all. It was intended to be a teaching of The Way. This appears from some of the statements attributed to Jesus, among them the one that he was the way, the truth and the life, and his references to his connections with his inner God. It appears especially in the teachings of St. Paul. This teaching of The Way was, however, turned into many nature religions and was lost to Christendom, the whole of the believers, as a teaching of The Way. The Greek Catholic Church is a nature religion. The Roman Catholic Church preaches nature religions; the majority of the sects that came through the Reformation are nature religions. But some like the Quakers and the mystics seek for The Way. Whatever the form of the Christian or any other religion may be, and irrespective of the few who are seeking The Way, it is true that even nature religions give to their followers a little preparation for The Way.
Copyright 1974 by The Word Foundation, Inc.