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Chapter Eight: Jesus and the Animals

Gorman, Max Aeon Books ePub

It is often alleged or assumed that there is no clear reference to the way man should relate to the animals in the teaching of Jesus, beyond the well-known saying about sparrows at Luke 12.6: ‘Not one of them is forgotten before God.’ Even if that were true, not only does this statement contain profound implications for the matter in itself—but surely his whole message of compassion must be taken to include compassion for all our fellow creatures. I suspect that many who call themselves Christians have not yet really reflected on this question, leaving it to others to articulate the ethics involved. Sadly, the Church has shown little concern in the matter.

But if we take into account all the evidence that is available, Jesus’ message is clear. It is that to be human is to be human to animals. Which surely should come as no surprise!

In 1881 an ancient Aramaic Gospel was discovered by the scholar and explorer the Reverend J.G.R. Ousley in a Tibetan gompa (monastery). The text describes, among other things, how one day Jesus entered a small village where he found a kitten which was not cared for. Jesus picked her up and put her inside his garment. He gave food and drink to the little cat, who was hungry. Some of the villagers expressed surprise that he should show such care for so insignificant a creature. Jesus said:

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Chapter Ten: Jesus the Individual

Gorman, Max Aeon Books ePub

Whatever ‘son of God’ means, and it clearly means a special relationship,1 a close and constant connection with the Almighty, it does not and can not mean, as some mystics suppose, such absorption in God that the individual self is extinguished. This curious notion—the result of a premature and overwhelming experience, wrongly interpreted—is the same kind of delusion as that of those gurus who wander wild-eyed through India proclaiming they are ‘God’!

For, surely the most striking and obvious thing about the world around us is that it is a world of individuals—whether humans, animals, plants or even the very pebbles on the shore.

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;

As tumbled over rim in roundy wells

Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's

Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;

Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:

Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;

Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,

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Appendix: The Hymn of the Pearl

Gorman, Max Aeon Books ePub

Here is the great ‘Hymn of the Pearl’, sometimes called ‘Hymn of the Soul’, to be found in the Acts of Thomas in the New Testament Apocrypha, where it is attributed to the disciple Thomas during his teaching-journey in India.

When I was a child

in my Father's palace

in the East,

my parents decided

to send me down

to the land of

Egypt.

They gave me food

and other things

for a long sojourn,

and armed me with adamant.

They took off my golden robe,

and gave me ordinary clothes.

And they made a covenant with me,

a covenant they made,

inscribed on my heart

that I should not forget it.

‘If thou go down into Egypt

and bring back

the one pearl

which is there

in the midst of the sea,

girt about by the serpent,

the loud-breathing serpent,

thou shalt again put on

thy golden garment,

thy royal robe

and become heir to us

in our kingdom.’

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Chapter Nine: The Miracles

Gorman, Max Aeon Books ePub

If one accepts that there is a higher world, and that certain beings are capable of simultaneously inhabiting that realm and this, then it is possible to see that some of their actions, perhaps all, bestride and traverse both planes of existence. Such interventions probably occur more often than we realise. The supernormal usually disguises itself as the normal, the inexplicable as the explicable. But when such actions are made obvious, and thus dramatic, they are called ‘miracles’.

Sufi teachers, however, including Jesus, employ miracles as teaching instruments, or teaching actions. They are an organic aspect of their whole teaching operation. They are not done to dazzle, but to develop. They are always designed to deliver a particular inner effect on the recipient or recipients, in an appropriate context. Their purpose is not marvel but travel.

It is reported of the Sufi Emir Hamza (died 1710) that he could ‘slip into invisibility just by taking a sideways step, when his feet were at right angles to one another’. When asked about this or about other wonders he said: ‘I forbid you to relate any wonder of mine without adding that the performance of wonders is for a purpose of self-improvement or passing power, not amazement or faith to others.’

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CHAPTER FIVE: The inner circle of humanity

Gorman, Max Aeon Books ePub

It is clear that esotericism implies and requires the existence of higher human beings, an esoteric community, a guiding inner circle of humanity who produce, direct and sustain the education of the race. The inner teaching requires inner teachers. With them it is organically connected. For such knowledge depends on being, higher being, for its very existence. It is thus being-knowledge. It originates with, and is sustained by, beings of a certain nature, who project it downwards through a descending sequence of other beings until it reaches the recipient level of ordinary humanity. This is Jacob’s Ladder. From the inner community comes the inner help by which we can ascend it. The way is indeed a living way. And cannot be otherwise.

The necessity for such help from intermediaries between man and God in the spiritual ascent from Earth to Heaven is well expressed by René Daumal, the narrator of the extraordinary expedition which attempted the climb of that Mountain of mountains ‘whose solitary summit reaches the sphere of eternity, yet whose base spreads out in manifold foothills into the world of mortals’—the colossal Mount Analogue*:

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