This chapter is about initiation. In this chapter Jesus explains clearly the basics of the path: his role, his relationship with the Father, what it means to be initiated and what the path actually involves in simple terms.
“Rise, take up thy bed and walk” “Afterwards Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said upon him. Behold, though are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”
As Beas explains it “Upon initiation we become whole again, we are made to remember that we are of Spirit, we are reminded of our wholesomeness in God. … ‘Becoming whole’ is the same as ‘knowing thyself’, because the real self is Soul.
“Sin no more”, once again, reminded me of the gruesome twisted misinterpretation of the word ‘sin’ conveyed by the Church. We all suddenly became wicked, horrible people, sinners, who sent Jesus on the cross, who died so our sins 9our wickedness) would be washed away by his martyrdom. What nonsense! How manipulative!
Sin itself is the simple and sad act of ‘turning away’, the forgetting where we originally belong. That is all. It is not a some horrible deed, though, it feels that way. The deeds we commit because we forget who we are is the result of our turning away, not the initiator.
“lest the worse thing come unto thee” is another sentence that can be easily misinterpreted and used to control or manipulate others. The Catholic Church has suggested for decades that we are bad people, wrong-doers and sinner who will burn in Hell if do not accept Christ as our saviour. Sadly some of us was indeed burnt on the bonfire because of having been accused of witchcraft and mayhem by the Church at the time. But Jesus was a true man of God, not an impostor, who would never assume anything else but godliness (God like nature) of a person, regardless of their behaviour or beliefs. He taught us that sin is but a turning away from God and getting lost in the world. Upon initiation, the man of Bethesda was told not to sin again, start turning towards God, otherwise he would keep on experiencing the ultimate punishment of the soul: the cycle of life and death (re-embodiment).
Later the Jews wanted to slay him because he healed a man on the Sabbath. In my personal experience, we often misjudge situations and respond with fear or contempt. In case of Jesus, most of his contemporaries thought of him as a dangerous man with super powers who needed to be slayed so humanity could be saved from his madness. Little did they know then! It is understandable, however: we fight and eliminate what we do not understand and are afraid of.
When I was a child I was considered weird and many people were kind of afraid of me. I am not sure who was more scared! I very well remember being afraid of people who I considered ‘evil’, not because the way they looked, rather because of their harsh and brutal ways. I grew up during an era when it was OK to be cruel and patronizing. Spreading fear was a main source of power. Similar to the early Church, I suppose. It was very clear to me how very scared people tried to control other very scared people by making them believe in silly, scary things. I am also aware that the more undereducated and ignorant someone is of the world and of him/herself, the more s/he is prone to buy into ideas that are only there to limit him and keep him trapped.
In comfort of those fearful of him, Jesus talks about his deeds as being guided by God. ”For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them: even so the Son quickeneth whom he will” . ‘Being dead’ does not mean physical death. In a spiritual sense, we are all dead until we are linked back into Spirit via initiation or baptism as it was called in his day.
Here we also learn about the Holy Spirit who is sent by God to lead us all Home someday. He sends the embodiment of the Holy Spirit because God does not come to our level to help us feel worthy of Him. We become clean (worthy) by following the Holy Spirit Home and taking our journeys’ twists and turns with faith and submission until we get there. It actually amazes me when I learn that becoming worthy is nothing but inner purification, the process of letting go of all that we wrongly assume of ourselves, what divide us from God, like shading an old skin. As a result we become vulnerable in our nakedness at the Light of Spirit.
Sadly, it reminded me another misconception of the Church: purification. In the name of God and Love, the Church sent many people, mostly women, into the fire, so they would be purified of their sins. How sad!
Later Jesus talks about faith and honour in relation to the Father and himself. “He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him”
Here we are suggested again that the Son and the Father are One.
Then we learn about the meaning of judgement which has nothing to do with being submissive to some man-made set of rules but to becoming worthy of eternal life. In my understanding, being judged is being allowed to return Home for good. When we are separate from God we are condemned and then we have to face life and death again and again. These two terms have been misused over and over again in history by various Churches and humanity in large implying that one is judged and condemned upon rules made by the world.
Then Jesus talks about the voice of the Son of God, the Word that offers redemption by saying “They that hear shall live” “Those who are able to hear the Voice of God within themselves and are filled with the love and devotion for the Father through me, will not die.” Here Jesus describes the Sound Current that is only audible for the ‘chosen ones’.
Then he continues talking about what initiation and being on the path means saying that those initiated, having given the World are not the victims of birth and death any more. He claims that “My Father has given me the privilege, the authority, to pass the same eternal life on to whomsoever I wish.” (I personally love the way it is put.) Then he promises to those who follow him: “When you live in my teachings, you will automatically rise above this grave. You will not remain below the eye centre.” Here it is very explicitly said what it means to be an initiate and to be on the path.
Many times in this chapter Jesus claims that he acts on behalf of God whom he is one with, just like his predecessors, in his case John the Baptist. Then he also clarifies that a Mystic or a Teacher can only initiate (baptise) as long as he is in the flesh. “But once a Master has initiated a person, he never leaves him and is always with his disciple, whether he is still I this world or not.”
I am personally aware of the above, in my meditations, I often encounter Jesus and I am truly grateful for his guidance and support.
Jesus also reveals that without being initiated one cannot reach God. One must be put on the path by a Teacher. “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.” He also states that the scriptures that contain the – mostly misinterpreted – words of previous prophets have nothing to do with eternal life. “Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” It is kind of funny reading this sentence taken from the Bible because in some way it proves that the Bible itself does not contain what it takes to gain eternal life. The Bible is only a reference book, a collection of teachings by offered by teachers (Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus) that would only has relevance to you if you were on the Path, initiated by a present teacher in the flesh. Otherwise, you can only vaguely guess what they refer to. Even for initiates it is hard sometimes to understand old teachings because of the many aged references in them.
“How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?”
Finally Jesus minds us of our ignorance about the truth of God. He reveals how much energy we invest in worshipping worldly creatures that we fear and mistakenly believe that our well-being depends on them. We offer our respect in many ways to these people/symbols who only seek honour for themselves but the Mystics come only for us, seeking nothing but our upliftment.
On a personal note, this chapter offered me a great deal of clarification on words misused and misinterpreted by human race over ions of time. It was sad to see how the twisted meaning of the original teachings were used to keep people in the loop of fear and to hurt them instead of uplifting them.
I wish to stay mindful of the fact that a minister’s job is to guide and uplift others not to judge their behaviour or condemn them for their deeds.