25 QUESTION: I would like to ask whether the Christ spirit is an all-pervading spirit like God or an individual spirit?
ANSWER: It is exactly the same as with God. The substance of Christ is the same as God’s substance; it is all the divine substance. It is the same substance you have in yourself. Whether you call it the divine substance, God’s substance, or Christ’s substance makes no difference. God has given most of this substance to his first creation, the spirit of Jesus Christ. All other beings have received some of this substance, and it is up to them to unfold it and enlarge it with the power given to them.
If you develop yourself, you make your higher self free of the shadows and layers of the lower self. That is the presence you have constantly in you if you can develop it. And this divine spark or higher self is the substance to which we are referring. The presence of God or that of Jesus Christ as a person is something else again.
Christ can be felt in person as a presence, in his personification, but that is something altogether different from the divine substance in you. The presence of your own divine substance inside you can only be unfolded by following this very Path onto which I am now leading you.
To feel the presence of God in his personification – which is almost never the case with a human being, but it is possible for spirits – or to feel the presence of Jesus Christ as a person is an occasional grace that can come unexpectedly, without any knowing or understanding why. These are two entirely different things.
63 QUESTION: Here we are taught that salvation comes through work, through self-search, through effort and through the finding of images to be cast off. Today, a man who calls himself a “twice-born Christian” asked me whether I accepted Jesus as my personal savior, and that unless I did, I would not find salvation.
My question is: how are we to reconcile this Church-proclaimed doctrine of faith in salvation through another, with our work on the Path? And further, is this faith in a heavenly being who had become man sufficient for a mortal to share, through mysterious rites, in his divine life? Is this faith plus the sacraments sufficient to redeem us from the bonds of earthly guilt and earthly death and to awaken us to a new life which would mean eternal existence and blessedness?
ANSWER: First of all, let me emphasize that it is a complete misunderstanding on the part of many human beings to think that any act, even the greatest act of love, could be sufficient for them to be liberated from their inner bonds. Those who like to believe that often do so because it would be very comfortable, indeed. Of course it is not so and Jesus’ words were never meant that way.
I explained at length in what way the act of Jesus Christ constituted salvation for all the fallen beings, what his contribution was and how it opened the door and showed the way [Lectures #19-22]. I do not have to repeat that now, for it is all on record and it is useless to take the available time for repetition. By rereading it, you will see that it was never implied or stated that the coming of Christ exempted the individual from personal work and effort. Quite the contrary is true.
It is very possible that people reach salvation, inner freedom, liberation from untruth, even though they do not accept Christ. This does not change the facts, however. The facts are that Jesus Christ is the highest of all created beings, that he came to Earth, and that his coming was the turning point in the general development of the fallen spirits.
When personal development reaches the optimum point, one is open for the truth in every respect, one is capable of freeing oneself of prejudices and preconceived ideas, and nothing will stand in the way of experiencing truth on all levels.
In other words, a person can start on the path of self-development and still harbor certain ideas which are not in accord with truth, whether it concerns this subject or any other. At one time, however, truth will penetrate as the result of an inner experience, and not by any outward acceptance of a doctrine or a belief. And it is equally possible that people believe and accept this truth – or any other – and still retain in their souls the very obstructions that will not let them liberate themselves.
People hold on to certain prejudices according to their upbringing, environment, and their personal inner misconceptions or images. Inner resistance blocks the way to truth. Also, one may have very distorted emotions and embrace a truth by coincidence, so to speak. This truth, then, will be ineffective because the motives are wrong, the underlying feelings are unhealthy.
One may even resist an untruth out of inner blocks and subjectivity rather than out of freedom and objectivity. In short, you can resist an untruth out of unhealthy emotions, as well as accept a truth out of unhealthy emotions. The requirement always and foremost should be the purification of the emotions. The right intent is what matters, and not what one outwardly accepts and believes. Why and how a belief has come about, on what inner motives it is based – that is what matters in the final analysis.
This Path you are taking is bound to bring to the fore all distorted motives, no matter how deeply hidden and unconscious. Thereby, your soul will become healthy and free. This, in turn, will enable you to experience the truth you need to have and to know, rather than accepting it with your intellect only.
The truth of Jesus Christ will eventually be part of the inner experience for all people who develop their souls. With some, this truth comes sooner and other truths come later. With other people it is the other way round. But to say, “You have to accept Jesus Christ,” is just as wrong as saying, “You have to believe in God.” It only creates harmful reactions, such as compulsion, guilt, resistance or rebellion.
All “musts” create situations which set up resistance to truth. Truth is abused by making it a tool for the rulership principle in man. The other person senses it and then projects his or her resistance on the divine instead of the person. Often the resistance is as wrong as that against which one resists. Both alternatives are wrong.
Faith in God, faith in Christ, faith as such is, of course, a major key. But it cannot be commanded. Faith comes naturally when obstructions are removed. All human beings possess an inner storehouse of faith, love, truth, wisdom – but these are locked away by the obstructions and deviations. All these divine attributes are automatically released in the measure that the inner deviations straighten themselves out through the work on the Path.
This comes always as an effect. It is a natural growth that can never be forced directly. When your earthly religious teachers drum into you that you must have faith, they do not accomplish anything. At best, it will be a superimposed faith. And the stronger the superimposition, the stronger the inner, unconscious rebellion against one’s own superimposed faith – adopted merely because it was expected and demanded.
It is the same with love. You cannot command yourself to love, but in this in-depth work, you eventually learn and understand why you have no faith or no love, and what the inner wrong conclusions are that make you close the door to your inner wells of faith and love – unconsciously in most cases. However, before you get to this point, you often have to become aware of the fact that you have no faith and no love under superimposed levels of pseudo-faith and pseudo-love.
Only after fully understanding the inner causes, misconceptions and deviations with all their ramifications and chain reactions, will real faith, real love, real truth, real wisdom, and whatever all the other divine attributes are, become part of your being.
Of course, faith is a key, just as love is a key, as truth is a key. Each of them, in its undiluted essence, contains all the other attributes. One is all, and all is one. The question is not whether or not you should have it. There can be no doubt about this. The question is how you can get it, why you lack it, what in you blocks the way. Then the divine in you will be able to unfold. Then it is a key – the key to life, the key to the universe.
QUESTION: There still is the one portion of my question which is unanswered, which has to do with whether or not a person can be saved through the medium of a Savior or through a person’s own efforts?
ANSWER: I answered that. I said it cannot be. You have to do the work yourself.
QUESTION: You said that when the obstructions are removed, faith follows. But I know people who have faith and still have a lot of obstructions.
ANSWER: In the first place, as far as any divine attributes are concerned, it is always a question of degree for any human being. It cannot be said of any human being that he or she has complete faith or complete love. The lack is often hidden in the unconscious.
On the conscious level, the greater part of the personality may indeed be healthy, while the missing portion remains in the unconscious. On this Path, the hidden lacks as well as the wrong conclusions are always brought to the fore.
One person may have a quite healthy faith, but other divine attributes are afflicted and affect the personality predominantly. One can never oversimplify. Sometimes it is complicated because of the possibility that someone’s faith is compulsive or escapist, and then it is not real faith, but pseudo-faith. It may be a mixture of partly healthy faith, partly unconscious lack of faith, and pseudo-faith. All that has to be found out, investigated and honestly understood. Only then can you put order into your soul.
82 QUESTION: I would like to ask you about the emphasis the church places on the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. What is your comment on that?
ANSWER: There are two aspects involved, one of which I have commented on in the past. About the first aspect, I repeat, briefly, that it is a misconception that stems from the inherent fear of physical death. People want to believe in a physical continuation of life. Therefore, they need to interpret Jesus Christ’s reappearance as a physical resurrection.
The other aspect has a much deeper and wider significance. It contains the deepest wisdom and truth, but in symbolic form. This symbolism I explained extensively in the previous lecture [Lecture #82 The Conquest of Duality Symbolized in the Life and Death of Jesus]. Jesus Christ’s resurrection teaches symbolically that if you do not flee from your fear of death, suffering and the unknown, but go through it, you will truly have life in its deepest sense, while you are still in the body.
Pure, unadulterated life can be had only if death is met squarely. In using the word “pure,” I do not suggest what is generally understood by purity: an insipid state that rejects the body. The body is part of the spirit, and the spirit part of the body. Both form one whole. That is why Jesus Christ appeared as a human body, to show that the body is not to be rejected or denied. If you accept death, you will be resurrected in life – in the body – by the flowing life force, which will truly make you experience pleasure and joy on all levels of your being, including the physical level. Is that clear?
QUESTION: Yes, but your statement as to the error of this thinking would lead one to conclude that the parts of the Gospel which describe the disciples’ arrival at the tomb as a story of promise are entirely false, and not a factual account.
ANSWER: No, not at all. When Jesus appeared to his disciples, his dear ones, a phenomenon occurred that has always been known and will continue to be known, if certain circumstances prevail. In your time and age it is called, I believe, a materialization of spirit substance. It is condensation of spirit matter, as all physical life is. But the fact that this happened contains a deep philosophical and psychological meaning, which is generally ignored.
The meaning is, as I have explained, that if you meet both life and death, you cannot die. You will then live in the true sense of the word. Therefore, what the disciples saw was real, although most of them did not understand the meaning and purpose of the event, even though Jesus tried to explain it then, as he had often done before. There were a few who understood, but not all of them. Those who did not, took it simply as a phenomenon, which in itself was not unique.
110 QUESTION: In the psychic readings given by Edgar Cayce, it was said that the spirit of Christ manifested in several incarnations on Earth, before he was born as Jesus the Christ. Do you confirm that?
ANSWER: Not quite in that sense, but there is so much misunderstanding due to terminology and interpretation. As you know, in many religious concepts, the divine spark, or the higher self, is also called the Christ within. The purer a being is, the more does this Christ spirit manifest in each created being. It is the aim of evolution to liberate the higher self – or the so-called Christ within – from all the encrustations.
There have been some great spirits on Earth of whom one can say that the Christ within was free to govern them. Some who came were pure spirits to begin with. They came to fulfill a mission. Others, through past development, were already very much freed.
Whether you call this liberation of the higher self, the divine self, or the Christ within, is a question of terminology. It all amounts to the same, the words do not matter. But I cannot confirm that the spirit of Jesus was incarnated before or after. And Jesus was not the only one of the pure spirits who came only once.