Our recent visit to the Sonoma County region of California (after the events of September 11th), has been an enlightening one, in more than one way. While walking through the town of Guerneville, situated along the deep, lush, forested banks of the Russian River, we did not only come to realize that in some metaphorical way, if the history of the present age is coming to its fulness (to its own End), on the East Coast, in the events that have now begun to come to pass in places such as New York City and Washington D.C., the New Age seems to be being born out there in the West. There seems to be a different concentration of energy there, of new ways of thinking, and of forming relationships, to ideas, to the environment and to each other. And then again, perhaps it only seems that way, maybe it's just the atmosphere, or those majestic Redwoods.
On our walk, however, we came across the Winter 2001/2002 edition of Common Ground. In it are two articles that speak clearly to what could become a spiritual crisis between the two (an interruption in the Force), if it is not addressed soon: the inability, or disinclination if you will, of many in the New Age movement to make the necessary mental leap backwards from the emerging, post-biblical state of consciousness to the very words of the Hebrew prophets upon which the end of this Western epoch and the birth of the New depend. Those coming to the New seem, in some very critical (but also understandable) way, to be disdainful. or neglectful of the old paradigm, what with its emphasis on war, its homage to the God of War, and its very complicated discourse on the duality between good and evil, Light and Darkness. While we know full well that the mind coming to a state of spiritual perfection must be able to transcend every element of duality, we, at the same time, and in this same interest, would invite everyone to please click on the television, open the daily papers, enter the conversation, accept the present reality, and (with that one quantum leap of the imagination) see God risen up everywhere in the earth, preparing in all of these events, in these same unfolding divisions between the Light and Darkness, to bring this entire age to its just and timely conclusion. An understanding of these things requires recourse to the words of the Hebrew prophets. They can not be neglected. It requires a realization that the God of Heaven and Earth, who has hidden Themselves (They are ONE) throughout all of these millennia, in all of the subjective realities of the Eastern world as it is, is now appearing in all of the objective realities of the West, to the mind of the West itself. They are appearing to bring the entire Divine epic, the Great Circle of History, the history of this Adamic age, to its foreordained and created end...or rather, to its New beginning:
A Descent to the Light
In Virginia Lee's interview of Surya Das, On Finding the Inner Light, we are drawn into that part of the conversation that speaks in the most eloquent way--from what appears to be an almost wholly Buddhist point of view--of those most excellent precepts of personal transformation and self-realization that inform the soul, but which are, in fact, the underlying basis, not only of Buddhist thought but of Judeo-Christian thought as well. The living reality is, and it is evident once we find our way into the secret, higher meaning of the Christian Solar/Lunar Mystery, that the first Christians (that school of Essenes and Merkabah mystics who also gave us the Gospels), were also Buddhists in the most Western sense of the term. They were awakened. But it is all concealed in the structure of the Mystery itself. For those mystics, the precepts of Buddhism were an unspoken pathway into the higher dimensions of the Universal World Tree that span the Earth from one end to the other. These precepts lent an essential spiritual dimension to the Mystery of the Cross, to the ultimate meaning of life and death, which is itself central to the structure of the World Tree. There was no need to expound on it: The wise would understand. Besides, it was all being sealed up again (Revelation 5:1), so that when all the books were opened in the last days and the seals unsealed, it would be the sons and daughters of Light, and all who yield to them for enlightenment, who would understand...while the great sons of Darkness went on to reveal themselves in the earth in their most darkly-glorious and powerful ways. This is the reality that is unfolding in the earth, and it is here where Surya Das and Virginia Lee's conversation cannot carry the day. It falls instead, and with a terrible weight, on those who can expound on these matters from a wholly developed, Western, prophetic frame of mind.
"These sacred scrolls which the Jews received from God...are the only hope of the world. If they are lost to mankind, it would be worse than putting out the Sun, Moon, and all the Stars of night, for this would be a loss of sacred Light to the souls of men...
And this I fear, is going to be the trouble with our nation...To avoid this Israel must be taught that the prophecy of Isaiah does not stop with the Babylonian captivity...and that Ezekiel's wheels do not whirl politically or spiritually in heaven, but upon Earth and have reference to revolutions or changes, and show the bringing to pass of great events." (From a work called Jonathan's Interview).
(One should not associate the term "Jews" in the above text with the things that are unfolding at this moment in the Middle East, or with those who espouse the cause of Zionism, just as one should not immediately think of the Catholic or Protestant churches when they hear the word Christianity. Judaism and Christianity transcend these).
Ms. Lee asks Surya Das: "How does one live peacefully in such a violent world?" His response speaks to all of those who, in the absence of Divine revelation, and for all practical purposes, are trying to live peacefully in the midst of a violent world--and now more particularly, in the midst of the post September 11 world. But the great psychological reality is, that even the sons of Darkness, those against whom God is now rising up everywhere in the earth, are also trying to figure out how to live in peace in the midst of a violent world, one, however, which they themselves have done much to create, and which they themselves are presently going to great, violent extremes to preserve. And as a result of the subtle regards with which they hold themselves--the newspeak terms in which they now define themselves, the light in which they see themselves (as peacemakers and peacekeepers)--they see no contradiction between Surya Das's sentiments and their own. Except for them, the only immediate way to the peaceful world that they, and every one else seems to desire, is through the institution and commission of war. And in the absence of Divine revelation everyone seems to be in some full, or at least halfhearted accord with them. The flags and the slogans are flying everywhere on their side of the divide, and on this side there is quiet and bewildered approbation. (There is, of course, a growing antiwar movement in this country, but it is not seeing the picture either). In the midst of it all we continue to express our spiritual ideals and our hopes for a peaceful world, while the powers that be, in their own grossly darkened states of mind, continue, determined as ever, to recreate it in their own social, economic and wholly militaristic image. (1 Thessalonians 5. KJV).
When asked how he would spend a half hour with the President, and if he would even try to persuade him to choose the non-violent path, Surya Das replied: "No, I don't think so...I probably wouldn't even try." This, of course, is in keeping with the higher reality. These great leaders are incapable of the non-violent path--the very path that will determine the children of Light in these times from the children of Darkness, and which will determine who can, and cannot, inherit the age to come and the world to come. I set before you life and death, Moses wrote. Choose Life! These great men, and all who follow them, have chosen the ways of Death. They have chosen war in a time of war; but not only that, in the name of Christ they have risen up in the earth in violation of all the teachings of Christ. This is the spirit of antichrist in the world. (1 John 2:15-19). Surya Das said: "I think I would (instead) try to listen and learn." Well this is a very ethical approach, but ethical to a fault, because, again, in the absence of the full implications of the Hebrew revelation, it lapses naively against those words which say: And have no fellowship with the Unfruitful Works of Darkness, but rather reprove them.
In response to the question: "Is there such a thing as a holy war?" Surya Das is correct when he says: "It does seem like a contradiction in terms." We agree, but please let us apply this contradiction in terms, not to those who are self-proclaimed slaves of Allah, and who blindly and obediently do Allah's will, but directly to the leaders of America--to those, that is, who claim to be freemen, who claim throughout all of these affairs to be true Christians, as if one could, indeed, Sit at two tables, drink from two cups and swing two swords. "The word jihad," Surya Das says, "actually means struggle. Words like jihad and crusade have been misused to mean holy war. A crusade doesn't mean going to kill infidels, it means making a big effort in a certain direction." And he is also correct, but in a very spiritually naive way, when he goes on to say: "The prophet Mohammed himself said that the real jihad is to overcome the evil in yourself, the inner enemies of hatred, intolerance and ignorance." He is naive, because in his attempt to explain the meaning of jihad he unwittingly applies to God those precepts that are only applicable to men. The Hebrew prophets are explicit in their description of God. He is a Man of War, and a Consuming Fire, which is why God sent the Christ-spirit into the world, to teach all of us how to behave in a time of war. The commandment is explicit:
Follow peace with all men, (at all times, and in every situation), and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord...(Hebrews 12:14).
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless...(2 Peter 3:14).
Surya Das, sainted soul that he is, is nevertheless naive and childlike in his neglect of the Hebrew scriptures (as are almost everyone else), thus in his inability to realize that God (who dwells in the sum of Reality Itself) has been rising to this occasion in history since the very beginning of the time of Adam, about six thousand years ago, when the very first commandment to non-violence appeared in the earth. It came with the revelation to Adam/Manu in the garden of Eden. It might be said to be a wholly Western thing (not the idea of non-violence, but the first commandment to it), one to which we--all of us together--are now returned. It gave rise in its earliest forms to Vedic consciousness, it predates Buddhism, and it is from this point in history alone, with the world's first revelation of God's Singular Presence in the world--in the sum of all unfolding realities (in all of the elements of the Day and the Night, in the Good as well as the Evil)--that man first became capable of violating the sublime implications of that revelation. For where there is no law (no Veda, no Torah, no teaching), there is no transgression.
History had to unfold as it has, in order for us to be fully created in the image of God. And it was from that point of history--when it is said that Cain (a figure now of the newly-emerging, and newly-collective lower consciousness in Western man), rose up to slay his brother Abel, (who now represented the newly emerging, and newly informed spirit of non-violence in the earth), one that is being brought to its perfection in the Universal Christ Mystery in our time)--that we must begin to interpret the things that are now transpiring in the world. It is this spirit of Cain (the one that was marked in those ancient times because of his violence against his brother, his continuous warring ways, thus his disdain for the revelations and teachings of his spiritual parents), that has now risen up powerful in the earth. And it is this same spirit of Cain that God is now rising up against in the earth. How? By bringing the spirit of Cain in the earth up against itself, and then up against Himself. Thus the extreme, fundamentalist spirit of Islam has been set loose against the violent ones of Judaeo-Christianity, so that both, but particularly these latter ones, can finally be brought to justice in the world. Dark answers to Dark...
It is Muslims against Jews, Jews against Muslims; Muslims against Christians, Christians against Muslims; Muslims against Hindus, Hindus against Muslims; Catholics against Protestants; Orthodox against Catholics against Muslims against Jews. It is the spirit of Cain, the Dark one, risen up everywhere in the earth against himself, and against God. But it is more than just this. In the final battle it is angels against men. It is the spirit of Cain now risen up in the earth in stout defiance of those other principalities and powers in the earth that God has reserved to Himself against the great day of battle and war. It all seems like geopolitics to the unaided eye, and facts on the ground, but this is the great delusion, or illusion if you will, Maya. It is nothing less than the unfolding of Divine Will. No! It is more than that. It is the very Presence of the Divine itself. There is nothing in the universe as Terrible as God. There is nothing in the universe but God).
In the corresponding article, The September 11 Crisis: Responding With Our Spiritual Ideals, Dr. Todd Pressman, after trying to walk a tightrope between these two worlds, the Spiritual and the Mundane, rationalizing all of his own uncertainties about these great unfolding realities, falls right down on the side of Darkness. He empowers the spirit of antichrist when he says: "Neither is it a call to pacifism," when this is exactly what it is. He gets it all twisted when he says: "To set the stage in which healing can take place may require the use of force." On whose part? God's or man's? He says that "Jesus was (also) quite forceful in his attack on the Pharisees..." His attack? Was this like an American attack on Afghanistan or Iraq? And who were these Pharisees that the Scriptures make use of in these texts? They were those who, though they knew there was a mystery, did not know it. Though they knew there was a higher world, they instead rationalized their place in the lower world. They lived in both worlds, and, in moments of indecision, would fight and die, and kill others, in the unguided interest of the one against the other. Jesus did not attack the pharisees, he attacked their theology. Likewise, Pressman, in his capitulation to the Dark side, says: "Too often, pacifism disguises a fear of taking needed action...When force is used to stop further violence, it can be seen as a prerequisite in the process of healing and forgiveness. Without it, we may never feel safe enough to begin the work of transforming our fear." The opposite, however, will finally prove to be true. The continued use of force, and the present ongoing exertion of Western self-will in the face of these Divine realities, will only serve to enflame the further wrath of God, in violation of that epic precept which says: Ye shall kindle no Fire on the Sabbath days. Pressman, of course, has also disregarded the precepts of the Hebrew prophets.
Surya Das, in response to the question: "Do you see an endgame to what's going on now?" says: "No..." Of course he says more than that, but herein lies the crux, the difference that exists between the present, New Age application of Eastern ideas and the words and long-range visions of the Hebrew prophets. The Hebrew prophets were able to see into the oracles of Time and Space, across the vortex separating human consciousness from Divine, into the events of our times. Gutauma saw the same. He saw into all times, however, into the fabric of space and time itself, but not into the events of our time. The Hebrew prophets were able to see Nature (the Great Angel of Divine Presence) rising up in all of its Terrible Glory to bring an end at last to the age of violence and oppression, an end to injustice, ignorance, and warfare in the earth. How? By bringing all of these things into the glaring Light of Day. By revealing them to the mind of Light, and by bringing the whole world to its present moment of decision, and to the only possible set of conditions out of which the Child of Revelation (the next Age) could be born--thus to the words: Come out from among them and be ye separate. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Revelation, chapter 18).
We are all experiencing the birth pains and contractions of this great coming event. These, of course, are the labors of the Divine Mother Herself. She is appearing out of the invisible dimensions of Her own created order where She has been hiding Herself and all of the mysteries of the Divine Feminine Principle all of these centuries. Just as She gave birth two thousand years ago, to the age in which we now reside (a Mystery that was sealed up with Seven seals), She is descending again (or revealing Herself again, She has never left), in the midst of all these unfolding cosmic events to give birth to the Age to come. Only the mind of Light can be born into the Light of that already-present reality. There is, however, another equally-present reality--the age of Darkness is not complete. The rulers of this Darkness will make their final attempts now at creating and ordering the world in their own godlike image. How is it written? And the dragon, (the great spirit of antichrist in the earth, the collective lower consciousness of Western man), stood before the Woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour Her child as soon as it was born. Be born.