The True Religion of Christ VII
The True Religion of Christ VII
You have all seen the two triangles in the lecture hall at the Bonfin; the red one with the apex pointing up and the blue one pointing down. I have often talked to you about the symbolism of these two triangles, but today I want to speak about them again, for I want you to understand the extraordinary depth and wealth of meaning in them.
As I have already told you, these two triangles symbolize the masculine and feminine principles, spirit and matter. For this is what the universe is: spirit and matter, the work of spirit and matter. Or - for the sake of materialists who do not like us to talk about the spirit - energy and matter. For the spirit is energy. The only trouble is that by speaking of 'energy' rather than 'spirit' we are failing to attribute to energy all the other properties of the spirit: intelligence, consciousness and love. Energy is a force that is blind and without consciousness. But however you look at it, no one can deny that the universe is held together by these two realities; spirit and matter, energy and matter, the masculine and feminine principles.
Science has focused principally on the evolutionary process that has led forms and species to become progressively more highly organized, subtler and more intelligent. In other words it has restricted itself to a study of the red triangle which points upwards. And as scientists are not instructed in initiatic science they have failed to see that the evolutionary movement was preseded by a movement of involution. They have not seen this because involution takes place in the subtle world, but it is this gap in their knowledge that falsifies their whole philosophy. Initiatic science teaches that every evolution is preceded by an involution, the involution of spirit descending into matter.
Once the spirit has reached a certain degree of materialization, it endeavours to return to its source, and this is evolution: the return journey, the striving for perfection, the ascent through the denser layers of matter toward the highest point of development. And evolution cannot occur without the participation of the spirit. Only the spirit can raise matter, forms and creatures to perfection, because only the spirit possesses life, consciousness and intelligence. It is important to understand, therefore, that there can be no evolution without involution. Nothing can take place here on earth unless something has first descended from above. To imagine that forms have been capable of evolving, while denying that this evolution had to be preceded by the involution of a divine form, a descent of the spirit, is to reveal an abysmal ignorance. So there you have it, the two triangles represent involution and evolution.
The triangle pointing downwards represents the spirit that descends into matter in order to animate and breathe life into it, and the triangle pointing upwards represents matter as it evolves toward reunion with the spirit. When these two triangles are combined they form the Seal of Solomon.
Esoteric books have much to say about the Seal of Solomon, but very few show any real understanding of the profundity and the magical power of this symbol that comes from the meeting and interpenetration of the two triangles, the two principles. An initiate in whom the two principles are united is called an androgyne. Whereas most human beings, those who represent only one of the two triangles - that of man or of woman - are maimed, mutilated beings, and this is why they continually seek their missing half, the other triangle, so as to form the Seal of Solomon. All human beings have only one desire, to be a Seal of Solomon. This is why men and women need each other. Men need woman and women need men, because they have this unconscious desire to become Seals of Solomon.
These two triangles exist in many different forms. In the temples of India, for instance, we frequently see a symbol that is known as the Lingam, consisting of a horizontal base (representing the masculine principle) surmounted by a vertical element (representing the masculine principle).
When I was in India I talked to many priests and gurus, and I would often tell them that they did not understand the meaning of this symbol. 'How can you say we do not understand it?' they would protest, 'It is an integral part of our tradition.' 'That is true, but I still say that you do not understand it. If you did you would not have married. The feminine principle should be within you, but as it is not, you have to find it elsewhere.' Of course, they were not exactly overjoyed to hear this, particularly as it came from such an unexpected quarter, from a Westerner who was a Christian into the bargain. If a man, who represents the masculine qualities of energy, strength and will-power, also possesses the feminine qualities of delicacy, tenderness, purity and love, he is a complete being and has no need of a wife. Equally, if a woman possesses both the feminine and the masculine qualities, she does not need to look for a husband. As long as you are still looking for a husband or wife, it means that you do not yet possess these two tendencies that alone can bring you fulfilment.
You will say, 'But men have always looked for wives, and women for husbands.' I know, and that simply proves that human beings have always been dominated by separateness, weakness and divisiveness. The philosophy of the initiates is perhaps difficult to accept, but it is the truth. The things I say in my talks to you are not intended to please the masses. If I were obliged to say only what would please human beings, I should have to accept all their weaknesses and vices; they would even expect me to encourage them in those vices. Ordinary people might do this, but a master, whose only desire is to lead his disciples towards perfection, is obliged to tell people the truth, even it it is not pleasant to hear.
And now let us look at what these two triangles mean in the spiritual life. In the past, religions such as Buddhism and even Christianity urged human beings to detach themselves from the physical world and seek to approach God and become one with him. The earth was nothing but a 'vale of tears' and life an illusion from which man was advised to detach himself as quickly as possible so as to return to heaven or nirvana. Each individual was encouraged to think only about saving his own soul so as to enjoy the splendours of heaven. Now I am not saying that this point of view is bad, but it is imperfect. It is a point of view that has enabled men to discover a great deal about the inner life, but is is no longer appropriate to our times.
To adopt the philosophy of the feminine triangle is to reject matter and all the activities and duties attached to it, and this leads to certain anomalies. Today we must work with the triangle of the spirit, which is the triangle of realization, of manifestation in the world, in our physical bodies, in matter. We must no longer concentrate on elevating ourselves above the world; on the contrary, we need to descend. I am sure that there will be a few 'mystics' who will object in horror: 'But that is terrible. That is the way of perdition. Religion has never taught us to descend; on the contrary, we must elevate ourselves and rise above the world.' Well, have it your own way, but such an attitude will never bring about the kingdom of God and His Righteousness on earth. The few who seek to save their own wouls will simply leave the rest of mankind sunk in disorder and misery, because this philosophy of flight is incapable of transforming the world. We need another philosophy today, the new philosophy that is coming with the Aquarian age. This new philosophy is water from above, a fountain of life flowing from the heavenly regions, and it will transform the earth and cause the seeds of the kingdom of God to germinate with new life. Heaven, of course, is a perfect world, a world of blessings and splendour in which we may find freedom and happiness, but if everyone abandons the earth for heaven, the earth will continue to be a wilderness.
In the Lord's Prayer Jesus said, 'Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, 'but men have never understood that Jesus wanted to transform, perfect and embellish the earth so that it would resemble heaven. Everybody flees the world, because flight suits those timid souls that are so anxious to save themselves. But today, instead of trying to save our souls, we must throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the glorious work of bringing heaven down to earth. You will protest, 'But how could we ever do that? It is quite impossible. 'Not at all, the triangle of the spirit shows us how to do it. A disciple must still seek heaven, that is true, but once he has found it he must bring down to earth all the light of heaven, and introduce them into his own physical body, into his brain, his lungs, his stomach, his whole being.
In this way, after years of striving, he brings spirit and matter together again within himself and attains the fullness of perfection symbolized by the Seal of Solomon.
Many extreme tendencies are surfacing in the world today. There are countries that are technically, economically and socially advanced; they have done everything possible to improve their material conditions, but they have done away with religion. And then there are others such as India (altough, even in India, things have changed to a certain extent) that have such a strong spiritual tradition that the material dimension is almost totally neglected, and millions and millions of their people live in filth, poverty and disease. Naturally, I cannot say that either solution by itself is the right one; both are necessary. We must always be linked to heaven, but we must also work on earth.
This then is what the new religion teaches: we must work to bring something of the divine into the world. You will protest, 'But what about heaven? We want to work for heaven.' Yes, but heaven does not need you; it already has everything. What could you possibly add to all the wealth that heaven possesses? It is here on earth that you are needed, and this means that you must revise your tactics. I am not saying that you should turn your backs on heaven. On the contrary, you must continue to maintain close ties with heaven so as to be in a position to give to others. For after all, if you cut yourself off from heaven you will never be rich and never have anything to give to others.
Remember the advice I have already given you in this respect. Just as in some of the poorer countries the fathers of families have to go and look for work abroad, so you too must go 'abroad' to earn the money you need to feed your family. I am speaking symbolically of course. By 'abroad' I mean heaven, for it is to heaven that you must go every day through prayer, meditation and contemplation. This is what I do: every day I leave you and go abroad to look for gold so that I can bring it back and give it to you. Why do you have to stay glued to your family and friends all the time? Because you love them? No, you do not love them, or rather you love them in the wrong way. You allow them to starve to death because you are incapable of giving their hearts and souls the food they need. And that is not a proof of love.
Let me illustrate what I am saying. Suppose you have a wonderful idea; you feel that it is really good, and the thought of it makes you happy. This means that your idea has moved down from your intellect and reached the level of your feelings. Yes, but it is still incomplete; it is only when you express it in words and actions that the normal process will be complete. Are painters, musicians, or poets content to keep their creations in their heads? No, they give them concrete expression. Then why should we be content to leave spiritual things on the level of thought or feeling? Why should we not give them concrete expression also? Yes, spirirtual and religious ideas must also be implimented. The religion of many people never gets any further than their hearts or minds, and their behaviour contradicts everything they think and believe. This is all wrong, and it means that they do not understand the point of view of cosmic intelligence. First we think of something, then we wish for it to happen, and finally we have to work to implement it.
When a boy falls in love with a girl, what does he do? It is not long before he tries to kiss her. Why is he not satisfied to keep his relationship on the level of thought and feeling? Ah, in this arean men and women behave just as cosmic intelligence planned that they should. But we must remember that the things of the spirit also have to be given concrete expression in our actions, our attitude, and our work. Otherwise they are as worthless as a letter or an official document without a signature. The signature represents the concrete expression, the realization. Or take another example: a general prepares a brilliant plan of attack that he is sure will bring him victory, and he has set his heart on that victory. But what use will his battle plan be if he never gives the order to attack? The 'signature' that validates his plan is the order to attack, which implements it on the physical plane.
Some of you will probably think that I am contradicting myself. You will say, 'You are always criticizing materialists for being concerned only about their worldly interests. You say that they are working for the benefit of thieves, because they will not be allowed to take any of their acquired wealth with them. They will arrive in the next world naked and destitute, and no one will welcome them.' But there is no contradiction here, for it is one thing to care about nothing but money and possessions, and quite another to strive to manifest heaven, goodness, and light on the physical plane. When what you achieve here on earth is true, luminous and divine, you will be allowed to take it with you, and in this way you create your own future. But if you are content to think and wish and never actually achieve anything, you will be naked when you leave this world because you will not have left your signature on anything.
Yes, I am bringing you a new philosophy, a new way of behaving, a new way of thinking, acting and manifesting. This new way is very different from all that other poeple have taught about religion, but I cannot help that. I have been given the task of bringing you these new notions. The old notions were valid for the individual but useless for the collectivity. The time has come to stop working only for our own individual salvation. Today we must work for the whole world, for the whole of mankind, and the only way we can do so is by putting this new philosophy into effect and rising mentally to heaven so as to bring the light, love, peace and eternity of heaven down to physical plane. This process of bringing heaven down to earth has to begin with our own physical bodies; the life of heaven must impregnate and radiate from our physical bodies. When human beings achieve this, the kingdom of God will truly come about, and each individual will be a light, a sun, a living spring. The great thing is to accept the teaching of the triangle that points downwards, the triangle of the spirit, and no longer cling exclusively to the philosophy of the triangle of matter.
The tendency of matter is to ascend; that of the spirit to descend. This same pattern is reproduced by a man and woman who unite in the act of love: the man faces down and the woman up. In this, human beings are simply behaving in conformity with principles established from all eternity by cosmic intelligence, according to which matter - which needs to be spiritualized - and the spirit - which needs to be materialized - meet and are joined in space. And it is in this union that the spirit fertilizes matter. As you see, there is symbolism, eloquence and philosophy in every human action, but human beings themselves see and understand none of it. Our task is to bring the spirit down to earth. This is why you must use your meditations and prayers to beg for this light and visualize it, visualize this spirit, this divine force, descending into you and impregnating every cell of your being. One day, when you have worked at this for years and years, you will sense that heaven is within you, that light is within you, that love is within you. When this day comes you will find that it is much easier to help other people and awaken them to this reality. But if, through a false understanding of spirituality, you remain barren - a blank page - you will be no good to anyone. The spirit must be allowed to descend.
It is when the spirit descends into matter that the child - that is to say, the kingdom of God and all the beauty of God - will be born in the world. This is the new dawn, the new work that is before us: to bring all the splendour, all the blessings, all the light and peace of heaven down to earth - down, first and foremost, to our own earth, our own physical bodies, and then to the whole world, to all human beings. We must tread a new path, for it is sheer selfishness to want to flee the earth on the pretext of spirituality or religion. Blessed are those who are capable of understanding me.
If anything is sacred to me, it is what I have been saying today. I must admit that I hesitated before deciding to talk about it, for it is too sacred. In talking about it I feel as though I were tearing something from my heart in order to give it to you. I finally decided to do so in the hope that you would understand and make up your minds to follow this path.
There, I hope that this is quite clear now: instead of losing yourselves in nirvana, instead of wishing to eat and drink and rejoice forever in the company of the elect, think that you are bringing heaven down to earth. that its light shines through you to the world, that you are a light in the world. What glorious work lies ahead of you.
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov