three ships

Three Ships on the River of Truth, Wisdom, and Eternity

“Jesus Dug a River Jesus dug a river in the cosmos. He dug a river, even he of the sweet name. He dug it with a spade of truth. He dredged it with a basket of wisdom. The stones he dredged from it are drops of incense from Lebanon. All the waters in it are roots of light. Three ships sail. They voyage in the river, testing. One is full, one half freighted. The third is empty. The full ship sails fearlessly. One half full. The empty one comes empty and leaves nothing behind. It will suffer at the customs. It has nothing to give, nothing on board. They will tear it apart wickedly and send it back to the port. The ship will suffer what corpses suffer. Empty. They called it and it heard nothing.” ~The Manichaean Songbook

Jesus Dug a River

It should be obvious that this song from the Manichaean Songbook is pure allegory. Allegory doesn’t mean it is a fairy tale. It means it is something real told in a cryptic way so it’s truth won’t be revealed to the unworthy or the uninitiated. Jesus didn’t literally dig a river through the cosmos. What he did is make a path of truth, spirit, and light through the darkness and ignorance of the material universe. It is a river in the sense that it is flowing, moving. It is living light carrying the truth of God into the places where it has long been forgotten. He digs the river with a basket of wisdom and a spade of truth. More allegorical symbols.

Jesus, of course, brings the truth and wisdom of God with him. The ace of spades is a symbol of ancient mysteries and the mystery schools. A shovel of any kind is a symbol of clearing one’s path for wisdom and enlightenment. It also symbolizes digging to uncover hidden truths. The basket symbolizes carrying spiritual wisdom and truth. It can also mean, according to some dream dictionaries, overcoming difficulties. Also, a full basket can symbolize joy. What could bring more joy than a basket full of wisdom?

Three Ships

Trilogies are so common in spiritual symbology, I don’t think they need to be explained hear with and detail. The best-known examples of a trilogy are Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of most Christians, and Father, Mother, and Child in others. It can also represent matter, thought, and spirit. In this case, the contents of the ships help us understand their symbolism.

A Full Ship

The full ship sails down the river fearlessly. It is true to its course and sails on to the end of the river without difficulty. This ship is full of truth, wisdom, and spiritual light. It may have difficulties, but it cannot fail. It is the best of the three ships to be on.

A Half-Full Ship

The half-full ship represents those who are halfheartedly involved in spiritual things. They go through the motions, but with little conviction. They are spiritual in public, materialistic in private. This ship will wander aimlessly, never knowing exactly where it is heading, never knowing exactly how to get there. As a result, it’s chance of reaching the goal of true enlightenment is probably worse than one in a million. This is probably the most frustrating of the three ships for those who sail them generally thing they are on their way to heaven when they are just going in circles.

An Empty Ship

To send an empty ship out into the river doesn’t make much sense. It is unlikely to reach the final destination. If it does, it won’t matter. The ship is empty. It has nothing to unload. It will be turned away and sent elsewhere.

Sadly, the empty ship probably represents the vast majority of people today. Those who have no religious or spiritual beliefs at all are definitely sailing empty ships down the river of truth. But so are the Christians who follow a man-made, materialistic version of Christianity rather than that which Jesus actually taught. Joining them in more empty ships will be those who practice some superficial form of spiritual development. That includes those who think that simply rejecting religion is all there is to being spiritual. Those who think spirituality is nothing more than meditation, followed by meditation, than even more meditation, which in real spiritual schools is just the first grade of many grades, will also be on such ships. And perhaps the emptiest ships of all are those who think they can wait until they are physically dead to concern themselves with the spirit and soul. That is too late and they are leaving ports in empty ships. A cargo ship with no cargo is the saddest of the three ships.

Jumping Ship

The good news is that this is something that can change. We can all start serious spiritual development with a real spiritual school—the inheritors of the ancient mystery schools—and fill our empty or half full ships. But when the city is on fire, you don’t want to leave your ship anchored in the port where it is likely to burn up. Yes, I’m using allegory, too.

In a spiritual sense, our world is on fire now, and we can’t just sit back and hope it misses us. We all have to get our ships full of truth and wisdom and sail that sacred river as quickly as possible. I look forward to a time when the river is covered with ships that are all full of truth and wisdom rather than the three ships.

understanding evil

Understanding Evil to Control it and Avoid it

“Is permanent happiness, secure prosperity, and abiding peace a foolish dream? No, there is a way, and I speak it with gladness, by which evil can be slain for ever; there is a process by which disease, poverty, or any adverse condition or circumstance can be put on one side never to return; there is a method by which a permanent prosperity can be secured, free from all fear of the return of adversity, and there is a practice by which unbroken and unending peace and bliss can be partaken of and realized. And the beginning of the way which leads to this glorious realization is the acquirement of a right understanding of the nature of evil. It is not sufficient to deny or ignore evil; it must be understood. It is not enough to pray to God to remove the evil; you must find out why it is there, and what lesson it has for you. It is of no avail to fret and fume and chafe at the chains which bind you; you must know why and how you are bound. Therefore, reader, you must get outside yourself, and must begin to examine and understand yourself.” ~James Allen

Permanent Happiness

I’m not sure Mr. Allen is correct in saying it is possible to have permanent happiness. After all, even the happiest of people suffer grief at the loss of a loved one, pain from illness, and so on. So we can’t be happy all of the time, but we can have happiness most of the time. Of course, life isn’t all about happiness. Life is about learning and growing. In order to do that, we have to face some hardships. So happiness shouldn’t really be the primary goal of one seeking spiritual enlightenment.

Secure Prosperity

On this one, I can agree with Allen. One can be financially secure all the time. But I have learned from one very successful business person that financial security isn’t primarily about having huge amounts of money. It is having the knowledge that if some disaster causes you to lose what you have, you have the necessary skills to get it back. With that attitude, you don’t have to be ridiculously greedy to be financially secure. And even spiritual people can have financial security. The well-known Psychic Edgar Casey is reported to have said that he didn’t worry about money. He knew that when he needed it, God would find a way to get it to him. And for him, that seemed to work.

Understanding Evil

Yes, Allen is correct. The secret to a generally happy, prosperous, and peaceful life is understanding evil. He is also correct in saying the solution is not to deny that evil exists, or to acknowledge it’s existence, but simply ignore it. If we ignore gravity, we still have to deal with it. If we pretend gravity doesn’t exist, we don’t start floating away like a weightless balloon. Gravity exists so we have to deal with it. The same is true of evil. Pretending we are in a fantasy land where there is no evil doesn’t help us or anyone else. And it doesn’t stop evil from having an effect on us. As an old saying goes, the devils greatest power lies in making you believe that he doesn’t exist. That makes it so much easier for him to manipulate you.

Mr. Allen also says praying to God to keep the evil away from you isn’t a solution. Again, he is correct. If God was willing to do that, evil would long ago have ceased to exist. Yet as everyone with an actual brain knows, evil is real and very active these days. In fact, evil seems to be getting stronger. That, however, may be due to it being the End Times, which means, among other things, that evil truly will cease to exist sometime soon.

We have to deal with evil as it is, just as we deal with wind, rain, and gravity just as they are. Pretending they are not there doesn’t help. You can deal with rain by using an umbrella. But an umbrella doesn’t help at all with gravity. You have to use the right tools for the specific problem. You start to deal with evil by looking at yourself. Are you truly good, or do you sometimes give in to evil? If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that you have done some evil in your lifetime, even if only of the very minor kind. Understanding evil means understanding yourself. Not that you are evil, but evil works through all of us.

The most important thing is to learn to know the difference between your own divine intuition talking to you, and an emissary of evil doing the same. This is not easy and takes much practice. It helps quite a lot to awaken your spiritual faculties: your spirit and soul. When you awaken them using the light of the spiritual sun, you have available to you a source of absolute good and absolute truth. The soul may sometimes find it difficult to directly communicate with your brain-mind, but it never tells you lies. It is never evil. You have to understand evil and deny it the right to control you. Understanding evil, and avoiding it, is a large part of being a good person.

practice look at the light

Practice Love, Wisdom, Truth, and Doing Good

“Put in practice Love, Wisdom, Good, and Truth. The remainder of your life on Earth is not limitless. Your capitol in Heaven is the quantity of good you have made on Earth. How can one set his life right? Simple, remove the elements that spoil it.

“It is natural to be good; it is unnatural to be bad, It is wise to manifest good and foolish to manifest badness. … People don’t want to understand the good because they have to pay for it. They even do not suspect that it is the best thing they can buy.

“The great thing is Love, but greater than that is God’s spirit. Love is a fruit of spirit. Without love, one lacks a strong mind, a good heart, and strength. Without love, one has no good life and no vital strength.

“To love is eternal dawn for you. The sunset comes when you throw out the good thoughts from your mind, the good feelings from your heart. …

“Do this: Be glad when you see some virtue in somebody. … The meaning of life is locked in manifesting Love.” ~Beinsa Douno

Practice Good

It is easy to say that we should all practice good. The problem is that different people have different ideas of what is good and what isn’t. Some think that killing a bad person is doing the highest good. The wise person knows that killing is never good. Some think that hating people for their race, religion, or nationality is good. Wise people know better.

But Douno doesn’t just advise us to practice good. He also tells us to practice Love, Wisdom, and Truth. That seems strange to some. Yes, we can practice love, but how do you practice wisdom and truth?

Practice Truth and Wisdom

You practice truth by being honest as must as possible. If you know the truth of the situation, say it. If you don’t know the truth, say that also. Don’t just make up answers because you don’t want to admit you don’t know. This does mean, of course, that you have to actually know the truth and not just opinions. But that doesn’t mean you tell all of the truth all of the time.

One way of practicing wisdom is knowing when you should speak up and say the truth and when you should not. If a woman asks you what you think of her new dress, you find a way to say something complimentary, even if you don’t like the dress. This is not lying because the woman isn’t seeking the truth, she’s seeking compliments. So give her one, no harm done. Another case where the wise person doesn’t tell the complete truth is a spiritual one. Giving certain spiritual knowledge to those who might use it to harm themselves or others isn’t wise. Wisdom says just because you know how to make bombs with readily-available ingredients doesn’t mean you should share that knowledge with everyone. Likewise, you don’t share potentially dangerous spiritual knowledge with those who are likely to misuse it. Continue reading “Practice Love, Wisdom, Truth, and Doing Good”


Regenerated Man of Spirit and Light

“The regimen of the stars makes not a holy man; and although men may converse under a holy show, yet they are but hypocrites, and desire to get honor and esteem, their mind sticks nevertheless in covetousness and pride, and in fleshly pleasure, in mere base lechery and lust, and they are in the sight of God (according to the Desire of this world)no other than mere knaves proud, willful, self-conceited thieves, robbers, and murderers. … We are altogether children of deceit and falsehood; and according to this image (which we have received from the spirit of this world) we belong to eternal Death, but not to Paradise; except it be, that we become regenerated anew out of the center of the precious virgin, who with her Rays averts the mind from the ungodly ways of sin and wickedness.” ~Jacob Boehme

Regimen of Stars

It is true that the stars do not make one holy. The night doesn’t make one holy. Nothing material can make one holy. This is especially true of dark places where God’s light is kept out as much as possible.

Boehme had to be careful what he said in public writings. He could have been charged with heresy and imprisoned if he wasn’t. So he, like many before him, had to express many things allegorically to stay out of trouble. I think this is one of those cases. While praying under the stars in a literal sense won’t make one holy, I think he meant is also in a figurative sense. Specifically, praying in a dark church with its windows stained to block out God’s light is not a path to enlightenment. The ancient mystics knew this. The Pythagoreans, the Essenes, and others did their praying, or spiritual techniques, outdoors facing the rising sun. While there are cases where mystery schools held ceremonies in caves, they inevitably had an opening through which they could watch the sun.

Honor and Esteem

It is unfortunate that there are those who see religion or spiritual development as a path for turning themselves into celebrities. As a result, we have many false teachers, preachers, and gurus today. Many teach things they know to be false, but it is what people want to hear. Others have picked up a few teachings from ancient books and real mystics and turned it into a simplified system that accomplishes almost nothing. It is unfortunate because some of those who join these false schools have great potential that doesn’t get developed. And when they realize the school they are in, or the spiritual writer they follow is a fraud, they often give up instead of seeking a real teacher.

As Boehme correctly notes, those who seek honors and fame through their spiritual books or classes are not being spiritual at all and should be checked carefully. Most such individuals are fakes. Continue reading “Regenerated Man of Spirit and Light”