Return Path to Eden
“He Who Restrains Himself Is Free.” This is The Greatest Paradox. Yes, he who restrains himself is free indeed; the truth has set him free. The following literary portrait explains this paradox.
A Portrait of Christ, The Messiah
Interpreted by Michael F. O’Keeffe
We are eternal! Yes, we all are eternal spirit-beings, and we all live many physical lives. At the end of each physical span of life, most of us experience death, which is an illusion. Yes, death is an illusion! There is no death! God, our Father, is eternal; and we, His children, are eternal; but every God-child, who has not yet surpassed certain important milestones on the path to soul-maturity, experiences that unpleasant illusion: death – at the end of each physical span of life.
A man who has attained a very high level of soul maturity, and knows how to conquer death, comes to Earth at the beginning of every age (an age is a little longer than 2,000 years). This man is Christ. Because of His maturity, He has been given His threefold inheritance – divine strength, wisdom and love.
Christ comes to Earth to teach men and women The Way – the way to maturity. He teaches by example. He teaches and demonstrates maturity simply by living a life of maturity.
When it is time for men and women to learn about conquering death, Christ demonstrates victory over death. As He approaches the day of His demonstration, He says, "Follow me, I am the way. I am merely your elder brother, come to show you The Way. All of you can attain maturity, as I have. All of you can learn to do all that I can do.”
We can learn to overcome any illusion, and escape its effects, but to conquer that strongest foe of man – the illusion called death – requires great strength. In order that we may acquire enough strength, each of us is given a task to do, a very difficult task, and when we have achieved it, we have attained the strength to conquer death. This attainment is “the crown of eternal life.”
Only then, can we know and experience our true nature as God's children. As His children, we are gods (youthful gods) and when full-grown, we possess the three divine attributes: strength, wisdom and love, and thus, there is nothing a mature child of god cannot do in the name of Christ. Indeed, he (or she) can instantly heal the sick and injured, as well as raise the dead (even if the dead person being raised is himself).
Jesus, a mature soul, came to Earth 2,000 years ago – at the beginning of the Piscean Age (now coming to a close). He taught us, by word and by example, how to accomplish our most difficult task – so that we may surpass those important milestones, grow and mature, and thereby awaken unto the consciousness of our divine lineage.
After awakening, we can gain access to our inborn deific powers, and receive all the rest of our inheritance. Jesus’ life was a demonstration of that which every person can accomplish – and eventually will accomplish. This is our destiny.
If you have difficulty believing this, just think about this. We are called “God’s children” in scripture. So, when God’s children mature, what else can they become but beings with miraculous powers.
(This essay is based on 20 years of studying The Aquarian Gospel)
What is this “very difficult task” that we all must accomplish before we can learn to overcome death? The great and difficult task we must perform is to conquer one’s self; that is, to reside within a physical body, and overcome all its appetites, passions and desires – to defeat every one of the body’s strong impulses. This is called attaining The Victory.
It takes many incarnations to acquire the strength and knowledge to achieve this. It is extremely difficult. Thus, we incarnate countless times before we achieve it, yet all men and women eventually do. All become capable.
The Victory is the ultimate human goal. It is the only goal worth achieving – the only mountain worth climbing! (All other goals that men and women pursue offer only temporary satisfaction, and fall short on fulfillment.) The Victory brings permanent satisfaction and complete fulfillment (and much more). Any person who knows this to be true has discovered the field containing a gold mine, which, "when a man finds it, he goes straight away and sells all he has and buys the field.”
Jesus proclaimed that "anyone (man or woman) who has acquired the deed to this mine is never sad, and never lacks for anything in this world, and has gained the crown of eternal life. When this person's assigned earthly tasks are done, he or she does not experience death. Rather, his or her soul merely departs from the physical body, in a painless, pleasant manner (even if such a person is nailed to a cross!! ...by foolish, jealous, juvenile foes.)”
Furthermore, after one experiences this joyful transition, he or she is granted a lengthy and rewarding stay in the heavenly regions of the ethereal realm – called the realm of soul. And in future physical incarnations, such persons are blessed, and become prophets and seers (many times) helping lost souls find the way (helping “sleeping” souls to awaken unto consciousness of their own divine lineage). And finally, like Jesus (and Miriam) these blessed persons achieve total perfection by living a perfect life – the life of Christ, the Messiah – on some world, somewhere in God’s unbounded space. Everyone eventually becomes a Messiah! (Like Jesus and Miriam.)
Jesus and Miriam lived “the perfect life,” and they brought Messiah (and the message of Christ) to this world, as they became One with God (our Father-Mother God). Their lifetime (2,000 years ago) was their final incarnation; and it is also our example of that which we all shall become.
(The lives of Jesus and Miriam are well documented in The Aquarian Gospel)
Judgment Day (very near) will be the harvest time of souls; that is, the time when all souls who are prepared to become “Son of Man” will be shown how to do so. The rest will have to wait until the next harvest. (When the ages roll again!)
Yes, we all eventually attain the crown of eternal life, and this treasure belongs to everyone! This inheritance awaits all human beings. The first important step is to acquire the deed to the field with a goldmine. (The entire history of the world – until now – has been one grand human learning experience to prepare us to take this first step.)
Anyone may acquire the deed. As payment, he or she must attain The Victory. This conquest of self is achieved by purging and cleansing the mind of all selfish and evil thoughts, and by purifying the mortal form; that is, one must circumscribe all of one’s carnal passions and desires, and stay within the bounds. One must restrain one’s self. As Jesus put it, “ …Christ is king. (and)…He who will cleanse his mortal form and make it pure, so pure that love and righteousness may dwell unsullied side by side within its walls, is king.” (Ch 71.)
In order to eventually attain The Victory, we are called upon to achieve many lesser victories, in ascending levels of difficulty. For example, our very survival depends on our willingness to overcome laziness and slothfulness, and we must constantly do battle with the inclination to consume excess food and beverage. We experience, many times a day, the thoughts and impulses that tempt us toward illicit physical relations; and we know all too well that we must defeat the attractions of alcohol and many other alluring things.
Our Father would have us do battle with all these carnal things (and the physical impulses associated with them) and win victory after victory, until we have conquered every one, and become as perfect as He (as every child of the Divine must). Each God-child is required to grow and learn, and attain soul-maturity (and Jesus, a mature soul, showed us the way).
When He said, "You must eat my body and drink my blood," many abandoned following Him. They did not comprehend the metaphor. He meant that we must “become Him;” by emulating Him fully and completely. When Jesus asked the Apostles if they too were going to abandon discipleship, Peter responded with a profound Truth. He said, "We have no place else to go."
A fortunate person is one who has won many small victories, and has been shown how to advance to higher levels of difficulty; he knows he is on the path that leads to The Victory.
Two impulses from the selfish ego (very difficult to defeat) are: the inclination to resent (or hate) those who violate our rights, and the urge to punish (or retaliate). A person striving for The Victory controls these two desires; he bridles them, as well as all vain ambitions and physical appetites.
Our Father would have us mature and become just like Him, all-loving. Therefore, His prophets and seers (and all men and women of enlightenment) teach us to overcome resentment and the desire for vengeance; to love without demanding love in return, and to make no protest when others trample on our rights; to just pray for them, and silently tolerate and forgive (as elders tolerate mischievous, playful children - unaware of their own foolishness). This requires the will-power of gods, and as God's children, we are capable.
As the New Age commences, men and
can now know how to attain maturity of soul.
We simply follow in the footsteps of Christ,
now plainly visible,
revealed in The Aquarian Gospel!
A soul advances toward maturity by striving to overcome one's lower self, conquering the corporal and psychological cravings. Each of us must eventually attain mastery over the physical body and the selfish ego. Each must gain complete self-control. Every person is called upon to tame the animal within himself, to overcome all the appetites, passions and desires.
This is called conquering your self (your lower self); it is the Pearl of Greatest Price. He who attains this has won The Victory; he has consumed the body and blood of Christ!! His higher self prevails. He is called Master. (Throughout History, a small number of people, each generation, achieved this.)
After one has attained The Victory, tolerance and forgiveness flow naturally and easily. A Master (one who has attained) is a person (man or woman) who has advanced toward soul-maturity, and has advanced to the highest levels of difficulty. His higher, god-like self prevails, and He is granted access to many inborn deific powers.
Divine love resides in this person's heart, and He or She can demonstrate the characteristics of the trinity - power, wisdom and love. This person can instantly heal any infirmity, drive out evil spirits, call the soul back to the body of one recently deceased, and command a storm to cease its fury. This is Christ.
Christ is any person who has conquered his or her lower self. Very few of us at a time achieve this, but eventually, as the eons pass, everyone does.
The strongest and the ultimate physical impulse is the desire to remain alive, and sometimes Christ is asked to achieve the ultimate victory - to sacrifice Himself - to love and forgive even those who would take his life. That is, He is asked to live a completely good, unselfish and holy life (among less mature souls); and, after His earthly tasks are done, to willingly hand Himself over to dishonest, selfish, immature brutes who, without just cause, have hated Him, and have vigorously contrived a plan to vent their jealous anger upon Him in the ultimate way, by brutally taking His life.
After He hands Himself over to these youthful, brutal souls, they gleefully and fiendishly mock the Lord as they behold His physical body succumb to their torture; yet He prays for these mischievous juveniles (unaware of their own foolishness): "My Father-God!, forgive these men; they know not what they do!"
This prayer is the ultimate example of self-restraint; it is the self-restraint of Christ. Several hours before He gave His life at Calvary, Jesus achieved the ultimate human victory - victory over fear of death at the hands of angry brutes. In the orchard called Gethsemane, He looked forward in time (as prophets can do) and experienced beforehand, the ordeal He was about to willingly undergo.
Fully aware that a mob of angry men was approaching, intent on giving him a swift “trial” before brutally executing Him, Jesus chose to use none of His miraculous powers for escape, and He courageously and confidently walked toward them, handing them His life. As He went before the judgment bar of foolish men, He had already forgiven those who were about to condemn Him to death, as well as those who would carry out the sentence.
Only a Master - one who has conquered himself - is capable of this; and when He accomplishes this (this mighty and, seemingly, super-human task) He achieves the absolute pinnacle of human potential: total perfection - the zenith of human maturity. He becomes One with God, our Father; He is given access to all divine power. He can self-resurrect.
This is the destiny of every God-Child!
Peter was certainly correct when he said,
"We have now place else to go."
We all are heirs to the throne.
God and Man are one! Jesus' mission was to teach this. His entire life was a demonstration of this. Before He allowed Himself to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men, who, in a jealous rage, plotted to take His life, He explained that every person, as a God-descendant, lives many, many physical lives, and eventually matures, and finally achieves the zenith of human maturity. The will-power of a fully mature God-child is so strong, He is willing and able to hand over His life - to sacrifice Himself - for the purpose of demonstrating and teaching this silent and holy truth: God and Man are one!
A fully mature God-child is one who has developed the three divine attributes to their fullest potential; that is, this person has become all-powerful, all-wise and all-loving – just like Our Father. He truly is a Son of God, and the power of God freely flows through Him. His spirit has merged with the Divine. Retaining His individual, personal human identity, He can rightfully say, "The Father and I are One." This is Christ, the Messiah - Our Lord and Master!
As a mature master soul (and our elder brother) Jesus accomplished His destiny, and He demonstrated how all men and women can, and will, achieve theirs - to become Christ (who is God in Man).
Saying, "follow me," He leads The Way !
Even though we all have lived many physical (and ethereal) spans of life throughout History, very few of us have conquered ourselves (just a few each generation). However, a major transformation will usher in the coming new age, the Age of Aquarius. Vast multitudes are now prepared to learn the way; to attain The Victory. When the new age soon commences, Jesus and many other masters will reveal themselves and teach us. All the peoples, nations, tribes and tongues of Earth will learn (under the tutelage of masters) and we will attain the life which Masters call the perfect life - a life without sin.
Consequently, we will no longer be bound to illusions; all illusions will fade away - the true perception of reality (which we lost when we first bit into the apple of physical pleasure) will finally be restored; therefore, all misery and sadness (and death itself)... will fade away! We will remember that which we forgot a very, very long time ago: we all are eternal spirit beings! - and we are One with Our Father - who is God.
We will have learned the simple, but bitter, lesson (that all God's children must learn): to indulge in physical pleasure is to lose sight of reality; when men indulge, they fall (and thus they are banished from Paradise - a state of mind). They slip into a world of illusions - and this is the fall of man! It takes eons to regain the truth; to regain that state of mind, which was lost – Paradise.
We will have finally regained entry to the garden! We will have found Nirvana! Through Christ (and by the power of His sacrifice on the cross) we will return to our natural home. This is a description of the Age of Aquarius! ...long known, in scripture, by another name: Heaven!
Christ's self-sacrifice on the cross 2,000 years ago accomplished two things: it enabled Him and other masters to acquire the power and knowledge necessary to teach vast multitudes all about the perfect life and how to attain it, and it empowered them to guide us through the last 2,000 years (the Piscean Age, now coming to a close) so that we may be prepared (when the Aquarian Age commences) to learn that which they are now about to teach. (An age is a little longer than 2,000 years.)
We, God's little children, are about to graduate from "pre-school," and enter "kindergarten." The Principal of this school is none other than Jesus, Christ Himself, and many of the other teachers have familiar names: Abraham, Miriam, Abel, Daniel, Elijah, Peter, Rachel, Zarathustra, Salome, Nicodemus, Mary, Meng-tse, Kaspar, James, ...and so on.
The Judgment Day approaches; we must make ready - only those prepared can be admitted. Only those who clothe themselves in robes of righteousness can pass the entrance exam. Let us prepare to meet our King! The mighty trumpet gives a silent blast; they who understand the greatest paradox hear it! Classes are about to commence.
"Two men may be asleep; one will be called, the other left; two women may be working side by side; one will be snatched away, the other left."
[This, and the other essays of this publication, provide a comprehensive explanation of The Return Path to Eden and The Greatest Paradox. All these essays are synopses of The Aquarian Gospel, from different viewpoints.]
The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus, the Christ – the book that reunites Judaism and Christianity.
Introduction to this website.
Table of Contents of this website.
Part 1 - first essay - "The Profound and Simple Truth"
A word to the wise:
Even though everyone is eventually exalted to the high position of Son of God, or Daughter of God, no one is ever exalted except he who has become wise enough to humble himself before God and men; before God, in meditation and prayer, and before men, in thought, word and deed.