I have the great pleasure to address you on the evening of this day which is considered most sacred among the Christians. Today we are celebrating in sweet remembrance the Christ Who appeared at the pole of Jesus.
Thousands of other men are born daily, in all countries, in all towns, but not very many remember their births and deaths; yet the lives of the Masters, so few in number, can never be forgotten.
Christ was born as Jesus. Jesus was the human pole at which the Christ-Power manifested Itself, and the Christ-Power never dies. Once that Power takes possession of us or takes us under His care, He does not leave us. Christ said, "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
When I came here on my last visit in 1955, people asked me: "When is Christ returning?" I asked them: "Has He ever left you?" I quoted to them the very words: "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." If He has not left us, then where does the question of coming back arise? The reason we ask these things is because, perhaps, we have not gone far enough into the mystery of Christ.
What was Christ? God-Power appears from time to time at the human pole to guide the child-humanity and give it the Way Back to God. The question is: Who can give us the Way Back to God? No son of man can do it; God alone can lead us to God or give us a contact with Him. He has no equal; no brother, no father, no mother; and that God resides in every heart.
Thus, have you ever considered who is the one who points the way back to God and who at times refers to himself as - "I and my Father are One." "I am the Light." "I am the Way."
All Masters tell us that the Incarnated Masters are all Children of Light. They are all Sons of God, and whoever follows Them, meets God, for he is given contact with God. Masters have been coming from time to time; and to all intents and purposes, outwardly, They appear to be men. They were born the same way and Their bodies are constructed the same way. What then is the difference between such a Personality and the average man? It is in His being a conscious co-worker of the Divine Plan, for He sees it is the Father working through Him.
Jesus asked His disciples: "What say you that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "Thou art the Son of the Living God." Jesus told Peter: "No earthly power has revealed this to you, but my Father Which is in heaven." Then again a disciple said: "It would suffice if they would be shown the Father." What did Jesus reply? He grew indignant and asked: "Have I been so long with you and yet you never saw that it was the Father working through me?" Then he went so far as to say: "whoever has seen Me has seen the Father." And, "No one comes to the Father except by Me." These statements are paraphrased from the Bible to make the purpose of them clear.
Christ is the God-Power or so-called Guru-Power Which appeared as the son of man who was called 'Jesus'. During a talk I gave last month at the Unity Temple in Los Angeles, I expressed these thoughts and then asked the minister for his opinion, which I wanted to hear--not because I was doubtful, but because men are evolving and awakening to the truth.
He answered: "Who is Jesus Christ? God's Son made manifest to man to teach him and to show him the Way and the Truth and the Light. He came to show man how the Father would live if He were a man. He was God in Man." Then he explained: "Jesus was the transcendent Incarnation of God." And continued: "What is the difference between Jesus and the Christ? Christ existed long before Jesus. Jesus is the born man who perfectly manifested the Christ in Himself, and Christ is the Divine Nature of this God-Man. Thus Christ, the Spiritual Human, existed long before His earthly birth."
Do you comprehend ? The Christ-Power or God-Power or Guru-Power is the same, and manifests Itself at the human pole to meet the demands of His children: those who feel hungry for Him, those who feel thirsty for Him. There is food for the hungry and water for the thirsty; demand and supply is the law of nature, and where fire burns, oxygen comes to help. When man has hunger for God in his heart, God manifests Himself at some human pole to guide the child-humanity. "No man knows the Father except through the Son and he to whom the Son reveals Him."
As I told you, this Christ-Power existed ever since the world began and has manifested Itself from time to time at the human pole of the various Masters. We can recognize this fact through the study of comparative religions, where we shall find the same teachings given by the Masters of all religions and the same assertions made by Them.
Someone told me on my last visit here that Christ is the highest since He had said: "I and my Father are One." "That's all right," I said, "but if other Masters also uttered the same words, how would you consider them?" I then quoted what other Masters had said in their own languages in their own times.
The fifth Guru of the Sikhs said: "The Son and the Father are dyed in the same color and the Father and the Son have taken up the same business."
The tenth Guru of the Sikhs said: "God ordered me, 'Go, I make you my Son to guide the child-humanity. '"
Many others as well spoke the same. This is only to evidence that Christ lived even before He entered the sinless body of the mother. We have regard for that perpetual Christ-Power which existed before birth and continues after it, and for the Sonship that is perpetual. That power lies in every heart and is revealed when a human pole at which the Power is manifest, meets us and gives us a contact with God. No son of man, no human, can do it, except the manifested God-Power in some human pole.
When we meet Them, these human poles are competent to raise our souls from the bondage of mind and the outgoing faculties and to grant us contact within. Thus, we have regard for all human poles which give that Christ-Power Its birth from time to time. We are, then, fortunate that we are gathered here on this blessed Christmas day.
What is the purpose of the celebration of such birthdays? The aim is to understand the teachings of the Masters, to revive those teachings and to see if we are following them. Blessed be all Masters. We are proud of Them; but the question arises: Are They proud of us ? The true celebration of a great man's birthday is to understand his teachings and live up to them.
Christ said, "Because I live, you shall live also." Christ was able to give everlasting Life. He referred to Himself in our recorded Scriptures as: "I am the Bread of Life... This is the Bread which cometh down from heaven... If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever." God is Light; God is Life; God is Love. What was this Bread of Life He gave ?
In another instance, Jesus went to a well to have a drop of water. He requested a Samaritan woman at the well, who was carrying a pitcher of water on her head, to give Him some water to drink. Out of an inferiority complex, she said, "You people have no dealings with us; why then are you asking me for water?" Jesus answered: "If you knew Who was asking for water, you would have asked for, and I would have given you the Living Water of Life. This water which you carry quenches thirst for a while, yet one is again thirsty; but whoever drinks of the Living Water which I give, will never thirst."
Let us go a little farther into it. Who was Christ? (Blessed is the human pole at which Christ appears. ) He behaved like a man; He behaved also like God. He behaved like an average man and His greatness lies in this fact. In His Grace, He behaved both ways--as a man and as God. St. John describes Jesus as, "The Word made flesh and dwelt amongst us."
What is Word? Word is definable as the Word which has made all heavens. St. John said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." That is the Cause of all Creation. In the Psalms, we find, "Thy Word is settled in heaven." This is what Jesus referred to as the Bread of Life which is come from heaven.
What is that Word and what is the outer manifestation of the Word which was personified and made flesh in the human pole of Jesus? The Psalmist said: "The Word is a Lamp unto my feet, and a Light unto my path." Jesus expressly said: "I am the Light of the World."
Do you follow now, how great He was ? He was God-Power manifested in the human pole, and He had great regard for that human pole at which He was manifested, but He always differentiated between the son of man and the God-Father in Him. This is no peculiar distinction in the case of Christ, because all other Masters, among Them Guru Nanak and Kabir, expounded this same Truth in Their own languages.
Because we are not aware of the teaehings of the other Masters, we think perhaps that the teaching of Jesus is the only truth. Truth, however, is One. Truth is clothed in Light. Truth is the Harmony--the Music of all harmonies. All Masters Who came in the past referred to It. The Sikh Scriptures contain the same assertion: "The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.", that I quoted to you. They said that the Word was personified in human form Which guided the embodied souls and gave them contact back to God. I have respect for all human poles at which that Christ-Power dwells from time to time.
You will find very specific teachings from the Masters. They taught first of all that the highest aim of a man's life is God first, and the world next. We live, however, for the world first and God next, and we have faith in God only insofar as we get worldly things from Him. If sometimes for some reason or other we do not receive those things, then our faith is broken.
Jesus said: "Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God... The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation... The Kingdom of God is within you." By observation is meant--ways which are related to the outgoing faculties. God is Spirit and we must pray to God in Spirit alone. God does not reside in temples made by man, but in the God-made temple of the Man-body. Within that Man-body temple, Jesus said: "Because I live, ye shall live also." He did not refer to the outer son of man, the perceptible body, but to the Inner, which gave Light and was the Way back to God through Love.
God made man after His own Image. God is All-consciousness and Light, and we are also Children of Light. We are conscious entities, environed by mind and matter, and we are kept in the body by the God-Power controlling us. So long as that Power is in the body, we are functioning in it; when that Power is withdrawn, we have to leave it. Similarly, that very Power is controlling the whole universe and when It is withdrawn, dissolution and grand dissolution set in.
There is a Maker of this universe; it did not just come about by itself. But the Maker Himself is unchangeable, permanent, and the world created by Him, being made of matter, is changing and impermanent.
I would say that the best way to celebrate Christmas day is to celebrate the lives of these great Lights daily, with every breath. We do not miss or forget the lessons and the teachings They gave us and we should live up to them daily. We should see the same Christ-Power in ourselves. It is in everyone and It is to be developed through the help given wherever It manifests--call It by any name you like.
Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God could be had only by entering within the Man-body or the true temple of God. (God is the controlling Power sustaining us in the body. ) The import of these teachings is that so long as we are in the body, we are identified with the body and outside things, causing us to forget our inner selves and fall under a grand delusion. How can we be liberated from this delusion?
The attention, which is the outward expression of our soul, is diffused in the world through the outgoing faculties. First we have to withdraw that attention within, and then rise above body-consciousness, above the senses. Only then can we be extricated from the grand delusion that we are the man-body instead of being the Indweller of the man-body. Only then can we emerge from our ignorance of some higher Power keeping us in the body.
What happens at the time of death? Life withdraws from the feet and rises to the back of the eyes and then darkness appears. While living, you can learn how to rise above the senses, withdraw from the outside to the back of the eyes, which is the seat of the soul in the body, and have your Inner Eye opened. You can see the Light of God, that Light of God Which was personified and called Christ-Power, Guru-Power, or Master-Power.
Jesus told Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Nicodemus then said, "Lord, I am an old man. How can I enter the womb of the mother and be reborn? Jesus replied: "Flesh is born of the flesh and Spirit of the Spirit."
Our first birth is in the man-body; the second birth is that of being born anew into the Beyond when we learn to die while living. This birth is called the Birth in Christ. Birth in Guru-Power or Birth in God-Power.
You must live and die in God-Power. You must be born in Christ, in the Guru-Power or God-Power. Simple wearing of the outer badges of certain schools of thought or performing specific rites and rituals does not make you be born in Christ. Such practices or beliefs may be the preparation of the ground for being born in Christ, but this Birth can be had only if you take up the cross daily. Man-body is the cross.
I was very happy to learn from the newspapers today that Pope Paul is making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. We know that Jerusalem is a place of pilgrimage for all Christians, and perhaps Pope Paul is the first man to go into Jerusalem to revive that memory. I read that he will go down to Jerusalem, take a wooden cross over his shoulders and walk on the ground where Christ walked one day. These things serve to remind us of the great Personalities Who came in the world to guide us. Only because Prophet Mohammed was born in Mecca does each Mohammedan yearn to perform his Hajj or pilgrimage to it. Similarly, we have respect for the birthplaces of all other Masters as reminders to us of Their having come. We bow our heads in respect to Them and try to learn the lessons these Masters taught. Unfortunately, these tributes later become conventional and stereotyped social functions, and we forget that the true way to celebrate any great man's life is to understand what he was and taught, to derive the lesson and try to live up to it.
Jesus clearly says that no man knows the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son reveals Him. That Son is the Light of God Which exists forever. Son-ship continues. The sum of all that I have to convey to you is that Christ lived as the Man-body of Jesus, at whose pole He appeared, and that He resides in every heart. Yet He cannot be realized by mere feelings, by mere emotions, by merely drawing inferences, or by intellectual wrestling to arrive at a conclusion. It is a matter of seeing God - Who He Is. Christ said, "I am the Light of the World." Can you see this Light? Jesus said, "The Light of the body is the eye: If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of Light."
How can the two eyes be single? This is a practical question and one that can be answered practicably, for this occurs when the Inner Eye which is within each man is opened. Even a blind man without eyes to see the physical has that single Eye but it is closed. We can only see Him, the God-in-action Power, Which is the Light called Christ, when we shut the doors of the temple of our body and our eye becomes single. Our attention has become diffused upon the outside world through the bodily doors of the two eyes, the two nostrils, the two ears, the mouth, the excretory and genital organs, and it has identified itself with them. We have to withdraw our attention from the outside, enter within the laboratory of the Man-body which is the true temple of God and rise to the back of the eyes, where the seat of the soul is located in the body. There lies the tenth door where the eyes become single and where we find the Light of God. There we see the Christ in expression.
This is an example of what I mean by true celebration through the understanding of the Personality of the Master and His teachings, and living up to them.
Jesus said that we must have the Bread of Life and the Water of Life. That Bread of Life and Water of Life lie in the actual contact with the God-into-Expression Power of Light and "music of the spheres." At any human pole at which the God-Power is made manifest, that manifested God-Power is competent to raise our souls--bound under mind and outgoing faculties, and identified with them -- and open the Inner Eye to see the Light of God and open the Inner Ear to hear the Voice of God.
This is what is meant by coming into contact with the God-into-Expression Power of the Light and Sound principle; that is, the true Bread and the true Water of Life. Thus, any human pole at which that God-Power has manifested Itself, can give you contact with the Bread and Water of Life.
This is referred to by Guru Nanak and the other Masters Who say that we are fortunate to have the Man-body and that the purpose of having it is to obtain the Bread of Life and the Water of Life -- the True Elixir of Life Everlasting, for whoever drinks of It shall never die.
Remain in any religion you like, but for the Bread and Water of Life, go to a Master who is the human pole of the God-Power or Christ-Power, for no son of man can give you everlasting Life. The greatness of the Master lies not in His advising you how to say prayers or perform certain rites and rituals -- any man can give lectures after a little training -- but in the fact that He is able to give you a sitting in which your soul is first with drawn from the outside and then raised above the senses; your Inner Eye is opened and you see the Light of God and your Inner Ear is opened and you hear the Voice of God; you testify yourself that it is so.
Through the parallel study of religions you will find the same truth imparted by almost all Masters, in Their own languages, of course. In the Christian literature, you will find that St. Paul says, "I die daily." Other Masters say: Learn to die a hundred times a day. That death is the withdrawal of the soul from the physical body and rising above it into the Beyond; that is, into the Kingdom of God where you are reborn. "Marvel not that I say unto you, ye must be born again."
These are the teachings given by all Masters from time to time. The difficulty in truly experiencing them, however, lies in the way that our souls are under the command of mind, and mind is under the command of the outgoing faculties. We have abandoned ourselves to the pleasures of the outside world so completely that we have identified ourselves with them, and we remain awake on the outside but asleep from within. You must know that the God-Power is keeping us in the body and, if you are to find this Power, you have to invert and withdraw behind the eyes, and gaze into the dark expanse before you. When you are able to see within that expanse, you will also see the actual God-Power everywhere.
Here is how we can find the Christ already within us. First enter the laboratory of the Man-body, the true temple of God, then rise above it until we leave all else behind and enter the Kingdom of God. There are so many mansions in the House of our Father; the macrocosm is in the microcosm of the Man-body, and consists of physical, astral, causal, and super-causal planes, and beyond all these are the pure spiritual planes, the true Home of our Father.
The first step thus starts when we rise and are reborn above the Iron Curtain of this physical body. If anyone can rise above by himself, blessed is he; but if not... consider that even in outward occupations a person needs someone proficient and expert in that particular line... how much more is it necessary to have someone competent where the world's philosophies and outward faculties do not work! Do you not need someone to help you there? You will decide this for yourselves.
In the true terminology of the Saints or Masters, a blind man is defined, not as one who has no eyes in his head, but as one whose Inner Eye is closed. Those who do not see the Light of God are all, excuse me, blind.
When they come to a Master and He gives them a sitting, the Inner Eye is opened and they see the Light of God. When they return, they are men with the Inner Eye opened. Similarly, before going to a Master, a man is deaf. When the Master gives him a sitting, he begins to hear the Music of the Spheres and he becomes aware.
These are the Gifts of God. The greatness of the Master lies in His competency to give you the Bread and the Water of Life and to help you to be reborn -- to open the Inner Eye to see the Light of God and to open the Inner Ear to hear the Voice of God.
There were few such Personalities in the past, and even now there are few; but the world is not without Them. All humanity are the children of these Masters. The same God-Power, Christ-Power, has worked ever since the world began and continues for those children who are hungry and seek the Truth. When that hunger and thirst arises in anyone, God Who resides in every heart makes arrangements to bring him to wherever he can be duly contacted with his own Self. Can any son of man do it. No. Only the God manifested in Him has that Power. Such a person is called a Master.
"Blessed are ye who see things that the old prophets and righteous men could not see, who hear things which the old prophets and righteous men could not hear." These are references in the Scriptures that our Eyes are sealed and our Ears are sealed, and that unless these seals are broken, we cannot see the Light of God and hear the Voice of God.
Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Master, was asked: "God resides in every heart, but who can see Him?" He answered: "Those eyes are different, and are other than the eyes of flesh and bone, which can see the Light of God."
Another Saint, Shames Tabriz, said, "We must be able to see God with our own Eyes and we must be able to hear the Voice of God with our own Ears."
The true definition of a Master is given by all Masters as One Who can make audible for you the Music of the Spheres within and Who can remove the veil of darkness you see when you close your eyes, and reveal the Light of God. Such a person is called a Master.
A life of continence and control over the outgoing senses is enjoined by all Masters as the qualification that enables one to follow their teachings. Jesus, in the Sermon of the Mount, said: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." All other Masters, or those who have realized themselves, have said the same thing; for God is One and Truth is One. (If there are any differences among us, these are all man-made and are due to our lack of personal experience of the Truth. Christ and other Masters have grieved that although They have seen, that They can bear testimony to It, yet the people have not believed Them. Masters see and then not only say but are competent to give us an actual specific experience.)
Purity of life is required. You will find that chastity is life and sexuality is death. This body is born of corruptible seed and we are born into the Beyond by the incorruptible seed. We should examine these scriptural references to find their truth. The Man-body is the highest in all creation and blessed are we that we have the Man-body. The highest aim before us is to know God. God resides in us; there is nothing that we need to introduce within from the outside.
The various scriptures extant contain a fine record of the experiences of the Masters; yet we need Someone Who has had this experience and is competent to give us the same: tasting the Bread and drinking the Water of Life -- bringing Them into existence. Guru Nanak said: "Do not be deluded because you have taken one form of religion or the other. You must follow the teachings to their original intention."
All religious teachings are based on the spiritual experiences of the Masters Who came from time to time, and the right import or understanding of these experiences can be had only from those who have had these same experiences. We have due deference for all Masters Who came in the past, and great respect for all scriptures for they are worth tons of gold and emeralds; but we do need Someone Who knows the Way and can open our Inner Eye to see the Light of God.
The lives of Christ and all Masters are examples of putting God first. The Kingdom of God is within you. You cannot have It by observation. You can have It only by learning to die while alive, for you enter the Kingdom of God only when you are reborn. In the East they say you have to be twice-born, but reborn or twice-born amounts to the same thing. The first birth is in the physical body and the second is into the Beyond. The Masters were competent to give an experience of how to rise above body-consciousness, and disclosed the mantra meaning to rise above the physical, astral, and causal bodies, to see the Son of Light -- the Light of the Sun -- already ablaze within you.
As I said before, purity is a stepping stone to Him, and, in addition, is Love of God. Misdirected love, called attachments, is keeping us in the body and is the cause of our coming again and again. We go where we are attached, for that is the nature of attachment. True Love, called Charity, is already engrained in our souls and, when directed towards God, is truly Loving. God is Love, and our Soul is Love personified, and the Way Back to God is also Love. All Masters say: Love God with all thy heart, with all thy strength, and love thy neighbor and all creation. On the wings of Love we can fly to heaven, but with the chastity of life.
It is recorded of Christ that He was chaste-born, sinless born. Similarly, in the East, the Masters were the embodiment of chastity and pure lives.
Married life is no bar to spirituality, if conducted according to the Scriptures. It means taking a companion in life who will be with you in this earthly sojourn through weal and woe; the husband and wife should help each other to know God and to fulfill the highest aim of man's life. One duty may be that of begetting children, but, bear in mind, that is not 100% of our duties. The Scriptures say that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church.
In the lives of all Masters, we find two great things: They have contact with God and are the mouthpieces of God. They speak as inspired from God rather than from the level of the intellect, feelings, emotions, or by drawing inferences. They see and say and ask you to become. They say: Be still, physically and intellectually, and know that you are God.
We have great respect for all Masters, all sons of men or human poles at which that God-Power, Guru-Power, or Christ-Power worked, and continues to work, to guide the child-humanity. We are blessed.
I wish you Happy Christmas, but in the way that I have advocated to be the true celebration of Christmas Day. Understand who the Masters were, their teachings of how to learn to die, how to be reborn, how to open the Inner Eye and see the Light of God. Christ was the Light and the Way.
I have had the great pleasure to present to you for your consideration this Christmas Night, truths which I have come to know through experience and by study of comparative religion.
As I said previously, remain in any religion you like. Unless you sit at the feet of some human pole at which the God-Power has manifested Itself, the purpose of your joining various schools of thought has not been served, because you want to see God.
The Masters do not destroy any religion or introduce new ones. When They come, They come for the whole world. They consider all humans alike and want us to unravel this mystery of the Man-body. Great is man. He lives in this body in which God controls him; and within the microcosm of it, exists the macrocosm. We know so much about the outer subjects but, for want of practical people, we know little or nothing about ourselves, the great boon, the great blessing that we have in the form of the Man-body -- the Golden Opportunity.
Blessed are you. Remain in whatever religion you are, there is no need to change it--but be true to it. And being true to your own religion is, to the best of my knowledge of the Scriptures, to sit at the Feet of Someone Who knows the Way.
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