In this present essay we continue our study on how the esoteric interpretations to religious texts, prayers, and rituals points man towards the awareness and direct experience of his inner divine realm.
Permit me for a moment to briefly reiterate the overriding premise of these essays: every major religion, from the Egyptian through the Islamic was created by a School of esoteric wisdom.
The aims of each of these religions were the same; to teach man about the presence of the divine within himself, and to provide a spiritual path that was conducive and relevant for the era and environment in which he flourished that allowed him to practice what the Wisdom School taught.
The Ten Commandments, created by the Mosaic Wisdom School, are an ideal illustration of this aim. (Note: nearly all of the commandments may be found in the Egyptian papyrus text ‘Going Forth by Day,’ more commonly known as ‘The Egyptian Book of the Dead.’)
Taken literally, at face value, the Commandments serve as a civilizing influence for an emerging society and for man to have an embryonic concept of the existence of a higher being.
When the esoteric meaning is understood, however, they enable man to penetrate to the very core of the reality of existence.
As an example, let us take the commandment ‘Thou shall have no other gods before me.’
Understood literally, this is the basic premise for a monotheistic society.
Esoterically, the word ‘gods’ is not a reference to deities that are outside of us. Rather, this commandment teaches us to not place a greater value on thoughts or emotions that distract us – and thereby prevent us — from experiencing our own divine presence.
The commandments ‘Thou shall not steal,’ and ‘Thou shall not murder’ again, taken literally they are useful for maintaining a stable society.
The esoteric meaning of these commandments is to not allow the desires and attachments of the lower self to steal or destroy the spiritual life of being in the moment.
Mysticism teaches that it is only the soul that has the capacity to be present. The lower self neither wishes nor has the ability to perform this most vital step in awakening.
The twentieth century mystic G.I. Gurdjieff encouraged his students to remember themselves always and everywhere.
For the mystic, prayer, rituals and ceremonies are not an end in themselves. Rather, they are merely directional signs, pointing to the divine realm.
The visible forms (or rituals) of a religion are never to be considered greater than their aim: to promote presence.
None of these forms are real. Yet, the ineffable divine presence that they promote is.
When religion is reduced to the mere observance of form, then the followers of these religions, regardless of whether they consider themselves orthodox, liberal or fundamentalist, are living in spiritual sleep.
Religion remains a vibrant, fluid path for the mystic who continuously transforms the form into refreshing his efforts of being here and now.
Let those who have ears to hear, hear.
In our next essay we will illustrate how the rosary, the sibha, the japa, or the donning of phylacteries, are Wisdom Schools creations for sustaining the kingdom of God – that is, prolonging the state of divine presence.
We will also continue presenting the esoteric keys to many of the world’s great religious texts.
“Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.” ~ The Bible
“If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom of heaven is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom of heaven is inside of you.” ~ The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas