"THE BLOOD OF CHRIST"
First Epistle to the Corinthians
The New Testament
I awoke with a keen sense of having had an adventure in learning during the night but with no definite recollections. It was as though some subject which troubled me and caused mental conflicts had been cleared up for me and this had brought a release. I looked forward to having Rama Sandlob's insight into what had taken place.
After carefully making all the prescribed preparations for personal cleanliness and donning my meditation robe, I lit the incense burners and took my place on the low table in the center of the Meditation Dome. The heavy gold objects I now realized were a scientific method to aid my spiritual organs to function more as they normally should. To me the word `normal' had an altered meaning. With regard to consciousness, it now referred to a vastly superior awareness which I had not experienced but had been informed should be the norm for human beings.
The diet and exercise had improved my sense of well-being. The promised increase in alertness and psychic sensitivity was plainly evident to me. This was to be my last day in the Meditation Dome with Rama Sandlob. Dr. Karoll and his family would arrive just after meditation.
As I sounded the last note of the meditation chant, the inner silence flowed through me. The awareness of myself as vibrations like pure music grew in this silence. I found myself conscious of different tones reverberating within all parts of my body. I was free of physical sensation, but felt like I was a sphere of intermingling vibrations, an infinitely complex symphonic chord. Through all was a pulsing sensation with changing minor beats reminding me of the rhythm of music from India. Arising through me, like an upward breeze moving in from below and funnelling out the top of my head, was a pleasant sensation which I cannot think how to describe.
I directed my attention toward the breath while I inhaled slowly and deeply. What took place I can only give a hint toward describing but I am sure that anyone who has had the same experience will recognize it. As the air entered into my lungs, it seemed that the physical breath was only a small part of the real breathing process. My whole body was breathing, or rather I should say every atom of it was drawing in and sending out energy. It seemed to me that I was in the center of the universe and that every atom of my body had a counterpart which was represented by a star in the sky. A strand, perhaps made up by a single line of linked atoms, connected each minute element of my body to its particular counterpart in the starry heavens. The process of breathing seemed to be an alternate taking in and sending forth of energy by each atom of my body through its connecting strand to its coinciding star. I saw myself to be a tiny unit but was momentarily lifted in awareness to be conscious of my place in the Grand Scheme and of my body as a functioning miniature of the universe. My relationship to The Universe I knew was shared by every member of the human race. All humans were truly equal, each uniquely individual, indispensable to its functioning, equally precious to the Creator, and our individual welfare inextricably intertwined with that of each member. We all were parts of the Whole and, collectively, we made up the body of Christ, The Church.
"Now you know, David." It was Rama Sandlob projecting words into my consciousness. "Never can anyone take from you the peace that you may possess by being true to the vision you now have."
"Ah...sir, thank you for those words," I said. "Surely, this experience must be a constant influence upon my thinking."
In response to my thoughts Rama Sandlob was silent and waited until I allowed the experience I had just had to reverberate through my whole being. I wanted every detail of it to be etched into my consciousness for all time. At length, I spoke of my deep gratitude to Rama Sandlob for his part in creating the conditions which had enabled me to have such an experience.
Again we fell silent as we sat there facing each other in the Meditation Dome. An hour passed slowly while I continued to listen to the music-like vibrations from within. Eventually, I thought about the sensation that I had when I awoke that morning and my desire to question Rama Sandlob about it. Before I could frame the question he responded.
"You had an inner awakening during the night to truths that long posed a stumbling block to you, David."
"Can you tell me about this, sir?"
"No, David, but we can help you to go back through it consciously right now, if you will direct yourself to remember it in detail."
I half closed my eyes letting in enough light to prevent images and faces from distracting me as they often did when I closed them. I fixed my attention upon my sleep experience, restraining my thoughts and confining my mind into a point between my eyes. I began to breathe slowly and evenly, while listening with rapt attention to the Silence.
Soon I began to be aware of the content of my dream. I could not say how the information came, or when, but felt that I understood what the dream had done for me. The release was from an intellectual and emotional block I had with Christianity over the teaching that "the Blood of Christ washes away all sin."
"It may help to fix it firmly in your mind if you will try to explain to me what you learned," said Rama Sandlob, taking advantage of his free access to my thoughts.
"It is so simple and beautiful," I said, "and it now makes sense to me. It is no wonder that I felt relieved, since my mind has been long troubled over these points."
"Be specific, David, and do not assume that I know what you are trying to say," spoke Sandlob.
"The intellectual impasse which I had with Christianity, sir, concerned such sayings as, `the Blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin,' or `Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,' or `There is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.' My mind rebelled at a concept of God which required me to embrace these sayings as the Gospel Truth."
"What do you think of them now, David?"
"They are simple Gospel Truth but the words mean something altogether different than their literal meaning."
"What do they mean?"
"First, I think that I should explain my former views upon them."
"By all means."
"All right," I replied. "The idea that a man could consider himself freed from obligation to correct the wrongs he had committed by saying he believed that the `Blood of Christ' washed his sins away seemed irrational and this disgusted me."
"Next, the idea that the Protestant Christian faith was the only true religion seemed infantile. That all others would lead their followers into a state of eternal damnation was irreconcilable with my insistence that the God I would worship must appear to be perfectly just in dealing with all humans. Consequently, the God of the Christians appeared to me to be a figment of the imagination of a narrow minded and vindictive people."
"Strong words, David," said Rama.
"The idea of worshipping a God Whose Own Son had to be crucified in order to satisfy His demand that sins of the men He created in His Own image be punished was ridiculous."
"You are making the Christian God sound unGodly," commented Rama.
"Beside this, the idea of doing good to obtain a reward or avoiding evil to keep from being punished is childish. No man of character cares a whit for either reward or punishment."
"Now your coup de grace, David," said Rama with humor.
"Human beings come into the world in widely varied circumstances of birth. The extent to which one's birth determines the religious belief of an individual makes the injustice of an exclusive salvation for Christians incompatible with the simplest concept of fairness, much less of perfect justice."
"You sounded like a `God is dead' advocate to your Christian friends, I suppose, David." I imagined there was a twinkle in his eye when he said that.
"Well, I think it would be correct to say that they felt me to be strongly opposed to Christianity. However, few of them could make intelligent conversation about the Christian faith because they knew almost nothing of what the Bible said. It was rare to find a church-going-Christian who had read it through once, much more rare to find one who read it through several times and pondered upon it as I had done myself."
"It is easy to see that you did have an intellectual impasse with Christian teachings. How has this been changed?"
"I have found that everything about the Christian faith is not only compatible with my intellect but deeply satisfying to it. The idioms which were such stumbling blocks now seem lucid and beautiful in meaning."
"How does the Blood of the Lamb take away the sin of the world, David?"
"Let me first tell what the dream experience last night seemed to show about the meaning of the terms."
"This seemed to me to be a personal experience lifted from a memory of when I was a member of the Tribe of Israel. It was a time when the Children of Israel were keepers of animals, lived in tents and moved from place to place to graze the flocks. The language I found myself speaking had many idioms associated with our way of life. They can only be understood when their source is adequately described. The key word `blood' referred to the `will.' This idiom lingers still in our language, for we refer to it by phrases such as `hot blooded' or `cold blooded.'" The term arose from the way an animal acted when it was about to be killed."
"How did that come about?"
"When a lamb was brought to be slaughtered, it sensed what was to take place and submissively knelt before the man who was to strike off its head. Under the same circumstances the hog is enraged and tries to kill its executioner."
"What does the `Blood of the Lamb' mean?"
"In those times, the idiom for the `will in the individual to follow the highest monitions of conscience,' was simply the `blood of the lamb.' You might say that the phrases `the will to do the will of God,' `the Blood of the Lamb,' and conscience all mean the same thing. When a man decides to violate his conscience, it does not resist him but submits to his will."
"What kind of a personal experience gave you this interpretation?" asked Rama Sandlob.
"In my dream I found myself discussing an Israelite neighbor with a fellow Israelite and mutual friend. We were both concerned over his conduct in a situation involving a woman who was not his wife. I found myself shaking my head sadly and saying, `old Zeb surely is shedding the blood of the lamb.' Now, I knew exactly what I was trying to express even though I used terms that would literally translate just as I said them. In plain language, I had simply said that old Zeb was certainly going against his good conscience."
"How did Jesus get His title `The Lamb of God?'"
"The whole series of idioms related to the Blood of the Lamb opened up through this dream of the past. I found that we Israelites expected a superior Man to be reincarnated among us from time to time, who was the World Teacher. This Man had overcome human weaknesses and no longer shed the Blood of the Lamb like the rest of us. Because of this He was called the Lamb of God."
"How does this relate to the saying that `without the shedding of blood is no remission?'" asked Rama.
"Very reasonably," I said. "In order for anyone to mature, he must have the opportunity to learn through meeting his own mistakes. In other words, he must have an opportunity to violate his conscience...shed the Blood of the Lamb...and have his errors come back to him as destiny from one life to the next. Thus, he will eventually accomplish the remission of his own sins; for every latent human weakness must be expressed, recognized, and the correction sent back, that is, remitted."
"Excellent, David," said Rama. "Now tell my why it was necessary to shed the Blood of Christ?"
"This is the beautiful part above all else. Truly every last soul has been saved from endless confusion and error...hell...whether in the body or out, by the death of the Christ Jesus."
"How can this be and how can you speak of it as though it were already accomplished, David?"
"He showed the Way each soul may overcome the errors of its past. Jesus was the first man that re-established his own relationship with his Oversoul, the Christ in Himself, and thus became the first begotten of the Father. He showed the relationship that each soul bears to his God-Self. He proved that all mankind could do what he had done and made His Own Consciousness available to each of us as our Guide, showing all the Way."
"You will have to clarify that, David. You sound almost like a preacher talking from his pulpit on Sunday morning. Surely, you can do better than that," Rama spoke thus with a tinge of humor. "Now just how does one get his sins washed away by the Blood of the Lamb?"
I was silent for a moment as I tried to coordinate these words with the concepts they expressed. Then I said slowly, "The Blood of the Lamb is the will within the individual to serve the good of the whole race. When a man allows the Blood of the Lamb to dominate his life, he actively seeks to serve all mankind. He seeks nothing for himself. He will have nothing at the expense of his brother's welfare."
"How does that wash away his sins, David?"
"All must balance the score they have with the Universe. When a man fully allows himself to be guided by the higher monitions of his conscience, then he creates no more indebtedness. At the same time, he is doing acts of service not required of him by any law, but the law of Love. The old law of Moses defined how one creates imbalances or indebtedness. With the Law of Moses approach, only one error in a lifetime would return one to a flesh body to meet his error. Mankind needed to recognize a more constructive approach and to be shown that it could be successful. Balancing the score, washing away the sin by practicing virtue, is accomplished by giving more than one receives from the society in which he lives. Jesus' Life was a demonstration of The Way. He showed how to overcome the negative aspect of the Law of Moses by practicing virtue, by doing good that was not required of Him, and by accepting injury without so much as a thought of giving injury in return. Instead, He blessed those who despitefully used Him. This was a perfect demonstration of the practice of the Law of Grace."
"Now hold everything a minute, David," said Rama Sandlob. "You have just made it sound like a man has to work at getting saved. What are you going to do with the words of Apostle Paul `By grace are ye saved through faith...not of yourselves...not of works?'"
It stopped me short to have this scripture quoted. I was silent as I waited for the inner guidance to show me how to answer this contradiction. We had shifted to a different century when we spoke about Paul. The idioms of another period of time and a different way of life for the Jewish people entered into the writings of Apostle Paul. He had been given an opportunity to acquire the finest education available and studied in Jerusalem under an outstanding leader among the Pharisees. Finally, I replied, "I'm afraid I can't give a good answer to that question. All that I can say is that I'm satisfied that I know the way things actually are."
"You'll have to do better than that, David, or you will not hold the attention of my intellect. Why not take a few minutes more for meditation?"
Placing Rama Sandlob's question before my mind, I restrained myself from thinking and listened intently for the `Still Small Voice.'"
"Well," I said at length, "we seem to have an especially confusing set of idioms here combined with a word that is almost universally misunderstood. The meaning of the word `grace' has been distorted beyond recognition."
"Can you explain what you mean by that, David?"
"I think so, sir. In the usage of the times of Paul, doing works meant keeping both the letter of the Law of Moses and a whole series of conventions. And so, this term referred also to following rituals and making sacrifices outlined by Jewish Law. As used in the scripture you quoted, the term `works' referred to effort toward becoming perfect in God's sight by keeping the Law of Moses and all the conventions that became attached to it."
"Then what did he mean in saying `by grace are ye saved, through faith?'" asked Rama.
"The fuller way of translating this would have been thus: By putting into operation the Law of Grace, having the incentive provided by faith that God will uphold from one appearance in the earth to the next the Law of Cause and Effect, each soul may gradually release itself from its bondage to flesh. You might say, drop by drop `the Blood of the Lamb,' the choice to serve rather than be served, washes away each soul's debts to the race."
"What is the Law of Grace, David? Are you saying people don't get a free ride into heaven by the Grace of God? Sounds like heresy to me."
I had to smile at having Rama Sandlob take the position of a so-called fundamentalist Christian. However, his question stumped me and I became thoughtfully silent. When I did not answer, Sandlob began to elaborate on the question of the Law of Grace.
"What had been fundamentalism was rather anti-intellectualism. Since Paul was a keen intellect, these intellectually insecure `fundamentalists' did not comprehend what was the basic fundamental of Paul's teaching. According to Paul, every individual soul must turn to Christ within and not lean on outer sources of guidance, including the Holy Scriptures. The impact on his thinking from his personal experience with Christ was such that Paul did not feel that he should confer with the Apostles or ask their opinions about it. Instead, he went off to be by himself for three years. Always, he insisted that his personal contact with Christ was the Source of the Gospel he preached and that everyone must accept no authority except that of the Christ within."
"But Paul's writings are full of Old Testament quotations as well as the teachings of Jesus," I objected.
"Yes, David, that is true. He came to recognize the truth in the scriptures he learned so well as a Pharisee. But the essence of the Gospel preached by Paul was that through the contemplation of the Christ, His birth, Life, death by crucifixion, His resurrection and appearances to the disciples, any man could re-awaken in himself a conscious relationship with the Christ within. Such an awakened individual recognizes that his relationship with his fellowman is his relationship with his Maker, that `inasmuch as ye do it unto the least of these, ye do it unto Me.'"
"The Pharisees believed in reincarnation and in cause and effect, Karma, from one life to the next. Paul was very familiar with this. Jesus, Himself, said He was bringing nothing new. But Jesus never spoke harshly or critically to any person or group, no matter how the New Testament may read. What Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees, in His gentle and compassionate way, was that they were not putting into practice what they taught. He did not call them hypocrites but in kindness explained to them that they were deceiving themselves. He told them that they could not draw closer to God by being served but only by serving others, no matter how carefully they followed the letter of the Law of Moses."
"Hmmm!" I said. "He did say He came to fulfill not abolish the Law. But you would say then that He added the concept that it was necessary to do more than just keep it?"
"The Law of Grace, David, is simply the good side of the Law of Karma, `Whatsoever a man shall sow, that shall he also reap.' The true meaning of charity is to practice the Law of Grace. Eventually, each of us must choose to lose ourselves in service to others. This choice puts us in harmony with the whole race and thus with the Mind of the race, the Christ Mind. As you experienced, each of us is a cell in a vast body, the Body of Christ. Each of us will attain to the state of consciousness that was demonstrated by the Christ Jesus."
"Thank you, sir," I said. "I think I understand what you have said because of my dream, much more even but cannot put it into words very well."
"Try, if you will, David, to tell me what purpose was served by the Virgin Birth?"
"This historical event translated into terms able to be comprehended by the five senses a very important spiritual reality that had become submerged in the consciousness of the race. It presented the pattern of how each individual must give birth within himself and by himself of the Christ Child. Each must give birth and nurture the Babe within his own soul until it grows and matures so that self will is altogether replaced by the will of Christ."
"Now, David, you can see why the story of the Christ Child is so important to children. Their intuition grasps the meaning of the historical event while the adult mind has closed out the intuition and embraces an intellectual concept based on the material aspects of it."
We were silent again for a time, until Rama Sandlob asked me to explain how mankind could be saved once and for all by the drama enacted at Golgotha.
"Of course, this is a concept that I once rejected vigorously. Without an understanding of reincarnation it was impossible to make sense of such an idea," I said.
"Then tell me how you see it now, David. How can this one event awaken or `save' every last soul?"
"Well," I began thoughtfully, "all the phenomena of the Universe may be just a projection of my imagination, so knowing what I know is an individual state of mind. I am conscious of Infinite Love surrounding me and protecting my consciousness from any influence within or without that would harm it. I know that every soul shall become conscious of having this same relationship with the Source of Life. The birth, the death, and resurrection of Christ has been imprinted on the Universal Mind of Man to show each of us his relationship with his Maker."
"You will have to clarify that, David," said Rama Sandlob. "How could the life of one man have this power?"
"This, sir, I now see as a great mystery that confounded my intellect because I was learned in the laws of the material world. As you have said, in small children we find the intuitive faculties naturally taking precedence over the intellect. So, in this sense, one must become as a little child to understand. Upon maturing, the intellect is given first place in the life of an individual, and then the story of Jesus becomes an incomprehensible mystery."
"Can you explain this mystery, David?"
"The once for all power of the Christ life to `save' the race hinges upon the existence of a Collective Unconscious Mind. Like a great river flowing down through time, the Unconscious Mind of the race contains all the information that exists or has ever existed in the minds of men. Each individual has the latent faculties to draw upon this vast storehouse of information. When a human being is in a physical body, information must enter his consciousness through the senses or be interpreted to the mind in terms of the sense world if it concerns data coming from other levels of consciousness."
"What has that to do with Christ being the Saviour of the world, David?"
"His life provided the means for the conscious mind of each soul entity to comprehend its personal relationship with the Maker. Without such means, the intellect, which deals in data derived from sense experience, stood as a stumbling block between the world and its Creator. Now the relationship between each individual soul and its Maker can be understood, for it was portrayed symbolically by the drama of the Christ Life. Once this relationship was implanted accurately in the minds of people on earth in terms of the senses, then the act of redemption was complete. As more and more members of the human race are awakened by contemplating upon His Life, the pattern is growing stronger and clearer in the Collective Unconscious Mind of Man. All religions that teach the oneness of the race were founded by the Christ and all merge in the Life of Jesus of Nazareth. He said, `If I be lifted up before the race, I will draw all men unto Me.'"
Suddenly the room was filled with radiant figures in robes of white and I experienced a sense of being surrounded with dearly beloved companions from out of the past. I felt myself to be the object of good will and blessings from them all. The experience was overwhelming in sweetness and beyond my powers to describe.
In another moment there was only Rama Sandlob before me again and our final parting time had arrived.
"We have successfully awakened your recollection of former knowledge, David. We have all gained through the opportunity given us to serve your need. Our consciousness and yours are forever knit together by our common goal to elevate the Christ in the Earth. Hold fast to what you have and build upon it." After a brief pause, he spoke aloud for the first time in a deep ringing Voice.
"God bless you, David."
"God bless you, sir, and all who have been with you. My deepest gratitude will always be with you."