53. I Am The Lord Thy God!

Where are those who really obey this first and most important commandment? Where is the priest who teaches it in all its truth, purity and simplicity?

"I am the Lord Thy God, Thou shalt have no other Gods but Me." These words are spoken so plainly and unequivocally that it would seem impossible to take them in any other sense. Christ also repeatedly pointed to this commandment and laid special stress on it. The more deplorable it is that millions heedlessly overlook it and give themselves up to other cults diametrically opposed to it. And the worst is that they disobey this commandment of their God and their Lord in the fervent belief and delusion that they are honouring and pleasing him.

This great delusion can only originate and endure in blind faith, a faith wholly destitute of criticism. Blind faith is nothing but thoughtlessness and spiritual sloth. Such is the sluggard: he will neither awake nor arise, for he would evade the performance of the duties which await him. He looks with horror at the necessity of making any sort of effort. It is much more agreeable to let others work and think for us.

He, however, who lets others think for him puts himself in their power; he debases himself to be a slave and he fetters himself. God gave man freedom of will to decide, and the ability to think and to feel, so he will also make man responsible for all his actions. He wants free men and not bondmen. It is indeed sad, when a man from sheer sloth becomes a slave in the material sense — but the consequences are fearful, when he debases himself spiritually so far as to become an adherent of teaching that is in direct opposition to the Law of God. If now and then misgivings assail him, it avails him nothing to try to drive them away by thinking that the greater responsibility attaches to those who have introduced the false teaching. It is true that they also are responsible, but so is every one for what he thinks and does. Nothing will be remitted to any man.

He who does not practise the ability to think and to perceive with which he has been amply provided, incurs a debt. It is not doing wrong but the duty of every man who has come to maturity (and is thus a responsible being) to begin to consider what he has been taught up till then. If he cannot agree with any part of the teaching he must not blindly accept it for the truth. To do so would be harming himself. He would be making a bad bargain. What does not convince him, let him put aside, otherwise his thoughts and actions would be hypocritical.

He who declines or rejects teaching which is really sound, is not so despicable as he who adheres to a cult that he does not quite understand. All activity, whether mental or moral, resulting from this want of right comprehension is unsound and without life and cannot bring forth good fruit.

A sound superstructure cannot be raised on a rotten foundation.

To make a pretence of something non-existent would be hypocrisy and blasphemy in the sight of God. Here true intuition is missing. He who does so is truly despicable and will be rejected.

Millions, who from thoughtlessness do homage to things in direct opposition to God's Divine commandment, fetter themselves to matter, and although they may be devout and fervent, they are thus totally cut off from spiritual uplifting and progress. It is only unbiased conviction,
convinced faith, that has life in it and can animate. Genuine conviction can only result from honest investigation and intuitive perception. Where there is the slightest misunderstanding or the shade of a doubt, conviction is out of the question.

It is only where the subject has been fully and completely grasped, that conviction, which alone has spiritual value, can be arrived at. It is painful to observe how thoughtlessly the congregation automatically makes the sign of the Cross, bows down and kneels in church. Such automatons do not deserve to be numbered among thinking men. The sign of the Cross is the sign of Truth, a sign of Divinity. Unless his whole being is tuned to harmonise with the Truth, he who uses this sacred sign, is guilty of a crime. It would be a hundred times better for people to refrain from crossing themselves till a moment comes in which their whole soul is attuned to the Truth, that is to say in perfect harmony with the Almighty and His holy purpose, for He, their Lord, is Truth itself.

t is idolatry, disobedience to the first and holiest of Divine Commandments if they do homage to a mere symbol instead of doing homage to God, to whom homage is due.

"I am the Lord Thy God, thou shalt have no other Gods but Me." This has been expressly said in brief, distinct unequivocal terms. Christ also specially pointed to the necessity of keeping this law. He designedly called it the
first and foremost law in speaking to the Pharisees, i. e. the law that must not be broken or perverted under any circumstances. It follows that no manner of faith or of righteousness has full value unless this law be strictly obeyed. Indeed everything depends on its being strictly kept. Let us, for example, consider without prejudice the homage paid to the monstrance. Here we find most men acting in direct opposition to God's first commandment. Does man expect that the Almighty will descend and enter into the consecrated wafer which can be replaced at will? Is that his explanation for its claim to the adoration due to Divinity? Or does man believe that the Almighty is compelled to enter the host because it is consecrated? One hypothesis is as unthinkable as the other. Neither is it possible to bring about any relation whatever to God by means of such consecration. Indeed the way to God is not so simple nor so easy; neither can man hope that the human spirit can ever unite with God. If one man prostrates himself before a carven image, another before the sun and a third before the monstrance, each of them seeing the living God, Divinity itself in these symbols, each expecting direct grace and blessing in so doing, they are offending against God's first commandment. The disobedience and open idolatry lie in the taking for granted that their conduct will have the desired effect, in their expecting the blessing and in their faith that they will receive it. This kind of idolatry is constantly practised by fervent worshippers in different forms and in many religious communities.

Every man who makes use of his thinking faculties, as it is his duty to do, will soon find himself the victim of clashing opinions which can only be forcibly silenced at times by clinging to blind faith, like the sluggard who silences the call of his daily duties by sleep. The earnest man will certainly feel that it is his first duty to make all that is to be
holy to him perfectly explicit. How often Christ admonished his followers to live his precepts so as to derive profit from them, i. e. to make spiritual progress and attain everlasting life. The words alone everlasting life imply spiritual life, not spiritual sloth. When He spoke of living His teaching, He specially warned His disciples against lukewarmness and indifference in accepting His teaching, and said such acquiescence would be useless.

One can only
live a doctrine when one is convinced of this truth, and then conviction must result from right understanding, and right understanding presupposes deep thinking and examination. The doctrine must be weighed and considered by the brain and by the heart. From this it follows that blind faith is utterly wrong. All error leads on the downward path to destruction and can never lead on to the upward path to the Light. To ascend means to liberate the soul from all burdens. Where there is a burden there can be no question of liberation. What is not understood burdens the soul, and this burden cannot be lifted till what is not understood has been explained and made fully clear.

Blind faith is synonymous with ignorance, it can, therefore, never be coordinate with conviction, can never liberate and redeem. Those who are content with a narrow and blind faith have no spiritual life. They are dead and worthless. If a man will think logically, and attentively weigh and consider all happenings, he will of himself come to the conclusion that God in His Divine purity in obedience to His own laws
cannot descend to earth. The purity and perfection of Divinity excludes the possibility of its uniting directly with physical matter. The difference is too great for union to be possible unless the different intervening stages be traversed. This is what happened when our Lord, the Son of God, incarnated and became man. As our Lord has returned to the Father, i. e. to the sphere from which he came, he is again Divine and thus separated from all that is terrestrial.

If in this an exception were made, it would be a perversion of the Will of the Creator, it would mean imperfection.

As the attribute of perfection belongs to the conception of Divinity, God's Will must be perfect and His laws unalterable. Were man perfect, all men would be walking in the same direction on the same path — there would naturally be no exception.

It is only imperfection which allows of exceptions. After the Son of God returned to the Father, Divine law would make it as impossible for Him to manifest Himself in physical matter as it would be for the Father Himself to do so, unless indeed he were reincarnated according to the law.

For this reason all adoration of any object that is of physical substance means disregarding the first commandment of God.

Divine adoration is due to God alone, to Him who cannot be manifest on earth for the very reason of His Divinity. Likewise the physical body of the Son of God was purely material in obedience to God's Divine laws as laid down in all Creation and thus may not be called
Divine or considered Divine.* He who would gainsay this proves that he doubts the perfect consistency of the Almighty. He would, in so doing, give an unfailing test of how far off he was from the true belief in God.

It is quite a different thing with symbolism. Every symbol is useful and does good service as long as it is really only regarded as a symbol. It will help many when they look on it to greater and deeper concentration. Many will find it easier to collect their thoughts and direct them to their Creator (no matter by what name they have learnt to call Him) when they gaze on the symbols their creeds have provided for that purpose. It would therefore be quite wrong to underrate the great value of religious ceremonies and symbolism, so long as the respect paid to them does not degenerate into adoration of the symbol itself in its material form. As Almighty God cannot descend into matter, it is the part of the human soul to find its way up to that region of spirituality from which it came, in which it originated. It was to
show the way, that Divinity was incarnated on earth, for in Divinity alone lies that primordial power from which the living word can flow. But man must not think that Divinity dwelt on earth in order that whosoever might happen to wish for it, should immediately be accorded grace and redemption. Such indeed is not the case, for it is only by absolutely obeying the Divine and immutable laws that the soul of man can soar to the eternal Light.

The Almighty who is perfect, can never be compared to a king of this earth, who can arbitrarily repeal a sentence passed by an equally arbitrary judge in his dominions. The perfect consistency of Almighty God's Will would never allow of this. The human soul must accustom itself to the thought, that it must act personally and indeed work most energetically to obtain forgiveness and grace to do its duty; duty it has hitherto slothfully neglected. It must awake and work at its salvation, if it would not fall a prey to the Powers of Darkness and be destroyed.

To depend on our Saviour and trust in Him means to trust to His words and make them living by deeds. Nothing less will do. Mere empty faith will not avail. To
believe in Him, simply means to believe Him, nothing more. Irretrievably lost is he who does not assiduously climb up by the rope tendered him in in the holy words of the Son of God.

If a man really longs for his Saviour he must pull himself together and set actively to work, both mentally and spiritually, not only to attain to worldly possessions and advantages but also to climb upwards to Him. He must not presume to expect God to descend. He has his directions given to him in the Holy Word.

If humanity insists on going astray on wrong paths owing to the untrue picture of God they have in their imagination, he will not run after them begging to be heard; although many may think so, he does not make it quite so easy for man. And because this absurd error is general, man must first learn to fear the Lord, and the repercussion which must result from his comfortable, blind and lifeless faith will teach him that God's Divine Will in its perfect consistency can never be turned aside.

He who will not conform to Divine Law, not only
injures himself seriously, he may even destroy his very soul. Those who practise idolatry must perish. Man must learn to understand and know that his Saviour is waiting for him but will not come to fetch him.

It was inevitable that the faith or rather insane delusion of the man of the present day should fail him and indeed bring about his distress and downfall, because it is as dead; it has no real life in it. As Christ once drove out the money-changers who were defiling the temple, so must his lethargy in thinking and feeling towards his God be driven out of man. But let him who will not be roused sleep on: the comfortable sleep of self-delusion, fully assured that his faith is unquestionably right and that it would only be sinful to seek further. A terrible awakening awaits him sooner than he expects. Then he will have to pay the penalty for his slothfulness.

How can a man, who believes in God, who has considered His nature and His greatness, and above all who knows how His Divine Will and intention works automatically in His Divine laws, expect that he can be released from his sins by a penalty imposed by man when that would be in direct opposition and contrary to the inevitable and never failing working of reciprocal action. Such a proceeding would not even be possible to God Himself, for His laws automatically develop man and provide for just reward or punishment by the ripening and harvesting of the good or bad seed sown by the human spirit.

Every fresh manifestation of God's Divine Will must be perfect and can, therefore, in no way deviate in the slightest degree from the previous manifestations, but must in every way agree with them. The perfect harmony of Divine Work requires perfect consistency in every case. Thus every human soul who seeks to be forgiven, that he may enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, must absolutely submit himself to the working of the Divine laws. Strict obedience to these is the only way to obtain forgiveness. How can it be expected that exceptions should be made? It would be taking from the Perfection of the Deity.

On one or two occasions during Christ's life on earth, He said to a sinner who came to Him: "Thy sins be forgiven thee", this was in cases where the sinner by his earnest prayer and faith showed that henceforth he would lead a new life according to Christ's precepts, thus putting himself in harmony with and no longer remaining in opposition to Divine Law.

A man who arbitrarily dictates penances to another, after which he declares the other's sins are remitted, deceives himself as well as the man who came to seek help, whether he knows it or not, for he presumptuously ranks himself above God. If men would but be more natural and simple towards their God whose Divine Will created nature! In their blindness and distorted imaginations, they have fashioned a phantom which has no resemblance whatever to God. God's very being is absolute natural perfection, that is the essence of all life, and therein lies the magnitude of the Almighty which the mind of man cannot grasp.

We meet with so much incredible, nay wilful distortion in religious teaching, that pure and simple faith is subverted and made unnecessarily hard for man, and thus many do not believe because they cannot find the natural and simple faith they could understand. Those who are not merely superficial observers must see that such teaching detracts from the idea of the perfection of God Almighty.

It also follows quite naturally, that if men consider themselves justified and arrogate to themselves the right to forgive sins and introduce this custom generally, it would lead to shameful abuse. How much longer will man go on foolishly deceiving himself with the idea that he can make a bargain with his God, who is Justice personified?

When Jesus of Nazareth once said to His disciples: "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted and whosesoever sins ye retain they are retained", His words were not meant in a general sense and never justified the system of arbitrary forgiveness of sins being established, as has been done. It would be upsetting the decrees of Heaven and opposing the working of Divine laws which automatically deal out reward and punishment in justice.

Jesus would never sanction this, as He had come into the world to fulfil, not to upset the laws.

The Divine ordinance only means that one man can forgive another for a
personal injury that he has suffered at the other's hands. The victim has the right and the power to do this. Sincere forgiveness will turn aside and cut off the avenging Karma which would otherwise infallibly overtake the culprit. This forgiveness can only come from the person who suffered the offence, none other can forgive the offender. Sincere forgiveness will bring absolution and disencumbrance to the offender and a great blessing to the offended. No other person can have any influence in such a matter, for the threads which connect cause and effect do not touch him; thus having no direct contact he cannot actively interfere, all he can do is to offer up a prayer of intercession, the effect of which again depends on the spiritual condition of the persons immediately concerned. Not being concerned himself he cannot forgive. Forgiveness lies alone in God's Will as laid down in His laws, against which there is no repeal. Divine justice has ordained that only he who has suffered injury can forgive, either in this world or in the next. If he does not forgive the offender, the full weight of Karma will fall on the latter, it will wipe out the debt and at the same time in some way, bring the forgiveness of the offended person. Either the forgiveness or the sufferer himself are interwoven into the working of Karma. This must be so, as up till then the threads linking offender and sufferer are still unbroken. This is a blessing for both, for the sufferer could not enter the Light without having forgiven. He would inevitably be retained. Thus no man can forgive another an offence unless he has personally been the sufferer, Karma could only be influenced by a living intermediary factor. Reformation alone is the way to forgiveness.**

"I am the Lord Thy God, thou shalt have none other gods but me" should be written in words of flame in every man's soul as a natural protection against all idolatry.

He who has the knowledge of God in all his magnitude must abhor all idolatrous practices as sacrilege.

A man can and should go to a priest to receive instruction, provided the latter is one capable of giving him real help. If, however, the priest expects and presumes to detract from the perfection of the Almighty prescribing some course of thought or action one must turn away from him, for a servant of God is not at the same time a plenipotentiary who has a right to demand and to grant in his name.

This matter can also be quite simply and naturally explained:
a plenipotentiary of God can naturally never be a man unless the same came directly from God's Divine kingdom, who thus bears the attribute of Divinity in himself. Only as such can he be a plenipotentiary. As a man, however, is not Divine, it follows that it is impossible for him to be an accredited messenger or representative of God. The power of the Almighty cannot be conferred on a man, because Divine power lies only in Divinity itself. The logical fact precludes, in its very simplicity, the possibility that man can appoint a human vice-regent to govern for God, or that he can proclaim a Christ. Whatever effort be made in such a direction must from the first be doomed to failure. In such things neither vote nor proclamation coming from man is of the least consequence or effect, for here the envoy must come from God Himself.

Man's opinion is worthless and need not be taken into consideration, for hitherto his views have mostly proved that they rested on misconception of the truth and were not in harmony with God's purpose. Thinking people stand amazed at the preposterous value man in his infatuation sets on himself. He who, when he has arrived at the highest possible spiritual perfection, has after all only attained to the lowest state of consciousness in the region of spirituality. Whereas a very great number of human beings of the present day, differ but little (except for their more powerful intellects) in what they feel, think and strive for, from the most highly developed animals. Thus they bustle about, alert and vigilant like insects, as if it were a question of racing to reach the highest goal. Closer examination, however, will expose the hollowness, the utter insignificance and worthlessness of the object of their feverish pursuit. And this chaotic medley, in its insane imaginings, has the effrontery to claim the right to appoint, to accept or to reject an envoy from God!

In so doing they are passing judgment on what they can neither understand nor appreciate, unless the Supreme Being graciously inclined to them and made himself known. At the same time the most glaring incongruities in vogue in the opinions at the present day are accepted, in spite of constant appeals to science, reason and logic.

In the case of thousands it were a pity to waste any further arguments on the question. These words are only addressed to those who have still common sense enough left, to form a sound opinion on a matter propounded to them, and not to those who accept every new teaching that comes into fashion, and who reject it again promptly, as soon as they hear a doubt expressed by some ignorant critic. A little quiet thought surely suffices to make it plain that the soul or inner being of one species cannot become the soul or inner being of another species to which it in no way belongs. As the natural laws issued from the ever-existing wisdom of God, it is evident that they continue to operate in the same logical consistency in all the spheres in which they rule, becoming clearer and more explicit the nearer they approach the region of their origin.

It is just as impossible to infuse a human spirit into an animal's body, thus turning the animal into a man, as it is to infuse Divinity into a human body and make it God-like. Nothing but what was originally implanted can develop.

Experience has proved that the most astonishing varieties can be produced by the blending of components in the breeding of plants; and in the same way breeding and development have produced great differences of types in man, but the original essential components remain unchanged.

A cross between man and beast can be produced as far as their
physical bodies are concerned, because the physical matter in both is of the same origin. Not so with the soul, for these have a different origin and the gulf between them cannot be bridged over.*** Nothing can be taken away from components belonging to the original and nothing can be added. The same is the case with the difference between the spiritual origin of the soul of man and Divine origin.****

Christ as the Son of God came from unsubstantiate Divinity. He bore Divinity in Himself from all time. But it was impossible for Him to transmit this Divine attribute to another being, to one who issued from the sphere of the spirit; neither could He, for this reason,
invest any one with Divine power enabling him, for example, to forgive sins.

Forgiveness of sins can only be attained by the automatic action of the eternal laws carrying out God's Divine purpose in Creation, the justice and perfection of which must ever be beyond the comprehension of a human being.

What authority the Son of God could, therefore, invest man with, merely related to things human, corresponding to man's human spirit and never to anything Divine.

It is true, it can be argued that man's origin can be logically traced back to God, but the origin
did not lie in God Himself, but outside of Divinity, thus the source was but indirect and in this lies the great difference.

The authority vested in a vice-regent's office can only be wielded by one coming from the same sphere as the one from which his authority proceeds. Every one can readily understand that a plenipotentiary must possess all the qualifications of his Chief in order to represent or substitute him in his office. The plenipotentiary must necessarily come from the region of Divine unsubstantiality as Christ did.

If a man, in all good faith, undertakes this office, it naturally follows that his directions and precepts can only be valid and have authority in purely human concerns. Those, however, who see
more in him are under a delusion which they will only perceive, after death, to have prevented all the progress that could have been made during a lifetime. Lost sheep led astray by a false shepherd!

In the same way as this, the first commandment "I am the Lord Thy God, thou shalt have no other Gods but Me" — is often disregarded and not kept, not being understood, it is with the other commandments. And yet the commandments are nothing but the affirmation of the Almighty's Divine Will on which, from the beginning, all Creation is based and that cannot be circumvented a hair's-breadth.

Looking at it from this point of view, how foolish is that maxim of so many: "The end justifies the means."

What mad confusion would result in Divine laws if they could be shifted about in such a way. Anyone having the slightest idea what
perfection means, must from the very first refuse to consider such impossible conditions. As soon as a man tries to picture to himself the fulness of Divine perfection, he will find this serve him as guide and staff to a quicker understanding of all things in Creation. To know full well the perfection of God and to possess this knowledge is the key to understanding God's work, of which man himself is a part.

Then he will recognise the compelling power, the serious warning that lies in the Scripture: "God is not mocked." In other words, His laws act with unfailing regularity. He lets the wheels He has set in motion run on: a manikin will alter nothing in this. Should he try to, all he would accomplish would be that he and all those who followed him would be torn to pieces. It is of no consequence whether he
believes this or not.

A blessing can only come to him who fully submits to God's Will as it is manifested in His Divine laws. But only he who knows and rightly understands them can do this.

Those teachings which require blind faith are to be discarded as
dead and pernicious. Only that teaching that, like Christ's, prompts man to realise, to consider and to test so that conviction may result from real understanding, can bring freedom and redemption.

Only the most reprehensible thoughtlessness and levity could think that the aim and object of a human being's existence was to toil in the first place for the necessities and delectation of the body, and then quietly to free itself from any responsibility for the consequences of his spiritual negligence and indolence on earth by some external ceremonies and well-sounding words. The passage through life and the step into the other world is not the same as an ordinary journey for which one can take a ticket at the last moment. To entertain such an idea is to
double the gravity of sin; for every doubt in the perfect or impartial justice of the Almighty is a sacrilege, and to believe in arbitrary, easy forgiveness of sins is a proof of doubt in God's just laws, and, even more, it implies and confirms the belief that God is arbitrary, which again means believing He is deficient and imperfect. Poor wretched pitiable "Believers"!

It were better you were still unbelievers. You would then be unhindered and it would be easier for you to find the way on which you think you are. The only remedy here is not anxiously to suppress thoughts that come and doubts that arise on many questions, for this is the natural outcome of the longing for the truth. To wrestle with doubt is the testing and verifying process which must necessarily follow after dogmas are cast aside. Only he whose mind is no longer perplexed can rejoice in the firm convinced faith necessary to free his spirit and enable it to climb up to Paradise.

* Lecture No. 58: The Resurrection of Christ's physical Body
** Lecture No. 6: Fate
*** Lecture No. 49: The Difference between Man and Beast
****Lecture No. 51: Spirit