earnest disciple

Earnest Disciple Learns and Grows

An Earnest Disciple

“Herein is described the manner of passing the Gulf which divides the two principles of states of Heaven and Hell. …

“The disciple being very earnest to be more fully instructed how he might arrive at the Supersensual life, … came again to the master … and thus brake forth:

“Disciple: O my Master! My Master! I have endeavored to recollect my Soul in the presence of God, and to cast myself into that Deep where no creature does, nor can dwell; that I might hear the voice of the Lord speaking in me, and be initiated into that high Life. … But alas! I neither nor see as I should; there is still such a partition wall in me which beats back the Heavenly Sounds in their passage, and obstructs the entrance of that Light by which all Divine Objects are discoverable. … Wherefore be so kind as to inform me what is required on my part, that this partition may be broken or removed.

“Master: This partition is the creaturely will in thee; and this can be broken by nothing but by the Grace of Self-Denial, which is the entrance into the true following of Christ, and totally removed by nothing but a perfect conformity with the Divine Will.

“Disciple: But how shall I be able to break this creaturely will? …

“Master: This is not to be done by thyself; but by the Light and Grace of God received into thy Soul; which will, if thou gainsay not, break the darkness that is in thee, and melt down thine own will.” ~Jacob Boehme

Heaven and Hell

It is worthwhile to note that Boehme does not refer to Heaven and hell as places but as principles or states. This makes sense since, in his time, the concept of a universe of many dimensions was probably unknown, or known only to a limited number of scientific researchers. So he calls these dimensions, principles. Today, we understand the concept of dimensions, and that is what Heaven and Hell are. I won’t go through them all, but we live in the third dimension, Hell is the second dimension, and Heaven is the eighth. Some people think that the fifth dimension Heaven, but it isn’t. It is the lowest of the dimensions of spirit, not the highest. Heaven is the highest, except for the ninth which is the Godhead. For more on dimensions, click here to read an older post. The earnest disciple needs to learn and understand this.

Earnest Disciple

It is an important aspect of these tales from Jacob Boehme that in these dialogs, the disciple is eager to learn from his master. It is only because the disciple is earnest in his desire to learn and become spiritual that the master tolerates his constant questions and answers them. If the master thought this disciple was just a pest for whom there was little hope for any real spiritual development, he would probably tell him to go sit in a corner and meditate on the subject. But the master answers the questions as much as is possible given the student’s level of awareness and ability to understand.

This should be a lesson to all of us. Approach spiritual learning with a strong desire to learn, but with an open mind to new knowledge that may very well shatter beliefs you have held for most of your life. Be eager to learn for your benefit and for the benefit of all humanity. In other words, approach spiritual development with some humility rather than the idea of learning a way to lord over others or feel superior to them. Only the earnest disciple succeeds.

Recollect My Soul in the Presence of God

Here the earnest disciple is saying that he has tried to remember when his Divine Soul resided in Heaven with God and the Angels of Light, but without success. This is not surprising and the master is probably smiling at the statement. He knows that the disciple cannot remember spiritual things with the mind. He must first awaken his soul. Only the awakened soul can remember and understand its time in the presence of God.

Partitioning Will

The personal will can act as a veil or partition between the material plane and the spiritual. In fact, it does that in most of us. The master advises the disciple to suppress this personal will, and develop a desire to serve the il of God, by “ the Grace of Self-Denial.” That doesn’t mean, as some think, that the disciple must deny himself food and fast for weeks at a time, or deny herself comfortable clothing, or a warm coat in cold weather. He isn’t talking about that kind of self-denial. What he means is more direct. He wants the disciple to deny his self or ego. Not to destroy the ego, but also not allow it to rule over him. This is not an easy thing to do but can be done in time with regular practice.

It seems like a catch-22 to say that the best way to suppress the personal will is to awaken and develop our spiritual faculties, but we need to suppress the personal will in order to awaken those faculties. It isn’t a catch-22 though. What it means is that in most of us, the two things must happen gradually and together. We manage to suppress the will a little bit, and the Soul becomes a little bit more aware, more conscious. Now the more conscious soul can better control the ego so even more spiritual development is possible. And on and on the cycle goes until we are fully awakened and aware of our spiritual self and our oneness with God. The earnest disciple is patient with himself and lets these cycles happen.

master of a feast

Master of a Feast, Physical or Spiritual

“If thou be made the master of a feast, lift not thyself up, but be among them as one of the rest; take diligent care for them, and so sit down. And when thou hast done all thy office, take thy place, that thou mayest be merry with them, and receive a crown for thy well ordering of the feast. Speak, thou that art the elder, for it becometh thee, but with sound judgment; and hinder not musick. Pour not out words where there is a musician, and shew not forth wisdom out of time. A concert of musick in a banquet of wine is as a signet of carbuncle set in gold. As a signet of an emerald set in a work of gold, so is the melody of musick with pleasant wine. Speak, young man, if there be need of thee: and yet scarcely when thou art twice asked. Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in few words; be as one that knoweth and yet holdeth his tongue. If thou be among great men, make not thyself equal with them; and when ancient men are in place, use not many words. Before the thunder goeth lightning; and before a shamefaced man shall go favour. Rise up betimes, and be not the last; but get thee home without delay. There take thy pastime, and do what thou wilt: but sin not by proud speech. And for these things bless him that made thee, and hath replenished thee with his good things.” ~Ecclesiasticus

Master of a Feast

Ecclesiasticus is saying that simply because you have been made the master of a feast, doesn’t mean you are the master of those attending the feast. You should not act as if you are superior to the other, but be one with them. Sit down and enjoy the feast and the company. Be careful of being rude or arrogant towards someone at the feast, for he may turn out to be someone rather important and teach you to regret such arrogance. Even if the person is not someone really important, he may one day be the master of a feast that you are attending, so treat him as you wish to be treated when the shoe is on the other foot.

We must also understand that these rules that Ecclesiasticus has given for behavior as the master of a feast applies to other events as well. Whether it is a concert, a play, a pool party, whatever, the master of the event should be one with the people attending the event. And you will probably enjoy the event more if you are. Continue reading “Master of a Feast, Physical or Spiritual”

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Spiritual Masters, Profound and Subtle

“The ancient masters were profound and subtle. Their wisdom was unfathomable. There is no way to describe it all we can describe is their appearance. They were careful as someone crossing an iced-over stream. Alert as a warrior in enemy territory. Courteous as a guest. Fluid as melting ice. Shapable as a block of wood. Receptive as a valley. Clear as a glass of water.
“Do you have the patience to wait till the mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself? The master doesn’t seek fulfillment. Not seeking, not expecting, she is present, and can welcome all things.” ~Tao Te Ching

Spiritual Masters

The ancient masters were great. Modern masters are just as great. We all have the potential to become a spiritual master. But it won’t happen just because we want it to. It also won’t happen if we do nothing. The spiritual masters are hard-working and sacrifice much that others hold dear. But in sacrificing much, they gain a lot more.

The Wisdom of Spiritual Masters

The wisdom of the masters is unfathomable because it is not earthly wisdom, material wisdom. Being spiritual in nature, it is wisdom that the brain-mind cannot really understand. Only the soul can understand it. That is why the first task of the spiritual student is to awaken the spirit and soul using the light of the spiritual sun.

Attributes of the Spiritual Masters

The Tao Te Ching is correct in saying the attributes and wisdom of the masters can only be described allegorically. That is because we have no words to describe that level of truth and wisdom.

So allegorically speaking, a spiritual master is as careful as someone walking on ice. His means that she makes no move without thinking about it first. Not only does a master consider the immediate effects of his thoughts and action, but also long-term effects. Few of us do that, but it is a wise habit to develop.

The master is alert. He doesn’t have “accidents” because he pays attention to what is going on around him on all levels. The master isn’t surprised because he understands cause and effect. He is spontaneous, yet also a planner because he knows what effect actions will have. Continue reading “Spiritual Masters, Profound and Subtle”

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Highest State of Spiritual Development

“If the highest state of spiritual development is attained, the spirit, endowed with the highest spiritual activity of the soul, attracts the truth, and perceives and knows at once the conditions, causes, and effects of all external and internal, natural and divine things. It sees them within the eternal truth like a mirror of Eternity. By this process Man, while he remains in eternal nature, may know all that exists in the internal and external world, and see all things, not merely those which are, but also those which have been, or which will exist in in the future, and, moreover, by being and identified with the divine power (the Logos), he obtains the power to change things buy the power of his (spiritual) word.” ~Franz Hartmann

Highest State of Spiritual Development

At the highest state of spiritual development, the soul doesn’t just “attract” the truth, it knows the truth. We may have the truth around us right now, but we often can’t distinguish it from the clever lies of the manipulators. The fully developed spirit and soul have no such problem.

See all Things

Not only do those who have reached the highest state of spiritual development now truth, they see all things. What Mr. Hartmann means is that even if something is happening in a distant land, or in hidden chambers, they know. Of course, they can’t really know everything, but they can know anything they need to know. They will know anything that will aid them in their continued spiritual growth. Anything that doesn’t contribute to that growth is of little concern to them.

Seeing Past and Future

Not only do those who have achieved the highest state of spiritual development know everything that is happening now, they are capable of knowing the past and the present just as easily. I knew a person who was like that: Gene Savoy, founder of Cosolargy. Sometimes when he was giving a lecture and he would talk about some spiritual illuminary from the past, he would talk as if he was present at the event. Whether he was Talking about poet Kalil Gibran a few decades earlier, or Moses many centuries ago made no difference to him. All time to him was the present.

The same is true for seeing the future, although not to the same level of detail and certainty. That is because the future is rarely set in stone. There are often several possible futures. The person at the highest state of spiritual growth can see these possibilities, but not necessarily which one will actually happen. She can, however, see causes, and understand that if a certain thing is done today, certain future paths will become more probable, and others less. By knowing that, and acting on it, they can help to make the future better for all of us. Continue reading “Highest State of Spiritual Development”