Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East
By Baird T. Spalding
“This day is to you the beginning of a new year, the old having passed out as it were, from your life, never to return, except possibly in thought, as the memory of its pleasures, its sorrows and cares, and the more engrossing thoughts of business come flooding back. Aside from that, it is forgotten, gone; to you a page torn from the yearbook of your life. We look upon it as a period of attainment and added triumph, an ongoing, a span carrying us on to a more glorious development and achievement; a time of greater promise and enlightenment; a time when we can be of greater service; when we can be younger, stronger, and more loving from each succeeding experience.
Your thoughts is, `Why?’ Our answer is, `to draw your own conclusion, choose your own life.’ Our chief said, without any thought of intruding, “We wish to see and know.”
Our friend resumed, “From this time on, there are definite lessons for those who do not see and know or grasp the full meaning of the goal of life well lived. This does not mean a life of asceticism and austerity, and aloofness or sadness. This means a life of accomplishment in joy and gladness, where all sorrows, all pain, are banished forever.”
Then, in a lighter and more whimsical mood he said, “You have expressed a desire to see and know. The desire is no sooner expressed than it is fulfilled. The thought expressed in a verse in your Bible comes to me as I look over this assembly, `Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there will I be also.’ How often that verse has been looked upon as a mere play upon words, instead of being applied and made really true. The great error you have made with Jesus’ teachings is, you have consigned them to the dim and misty past, looking upon them as mythical and mystical, pointing to something that may be gained after death, instead of knowing that they can be applied in the daily lives of all, right here and now, if you only will.
“We wish it to be understood that we are not putting forth the claim that Jesus, as the Christ, represented a plane or condition of life in his own realization that had not been brought forth to a greater or lesser degree by a great many seers and prophets of other times and peoples. We wish to emphasize his life because that life is the one you can understand more fully. The specific reference to his own life can have but one purpose and meaning and that was the faith-inspiring fact that his life and experience was the living demonstration of his teachings. The speculative dogma of vicarious atonement, which has biased Christian thought for centuries, can not be charged to the author of the Sermon on the Mount or the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
“The leaders of Christian thought have diverted the followers of Jesus and his teachings from their practical application and the study of the God power. They have taught them to look upon his teachings as the experiences of the Apostles after his time, instead of teaching them that the law upon which those teachings were based was an exact science which could be understood and experienced in the lives of all.
“The Orientals have made the scientific phase of their religion the supreme object of their study and attainment. In this they have gone to the other extreme. In this way both have consigned their religion to the realm of the miraculous and supernatural. The one has become absorbed in the wholly ethical, while the other has become absorbed in the scientific side only. Thus both have shut out true spirituality.
“The monastic life of retirement, asceticism, and seclusion from the world, whether in Buddhistic or Christian monasteries, is neither a necessity nor is it the true method of attaining spiritual enlightenment nor the realization of the perfect life of wisdom and power as brought forth by Jesus.
“These monastic systems have been in existence for many thousands of years, yet they have in no wise accomplished as much for the uplift of the common people as did the teachings of Jesus in the few short years of his time here on earth.
“It is very well known that he embraced all their teachings, going through the initiations and studying the so-called sacred mysteries, the ritualistic forms and ceremonies, until he came to the teachings of Osiris. These were interpreted to him by a priest who had held himself aloof from all the ritualistic, monastic, and materialistic forms of worship.
“This priest was a follower of King Thoth, of the First Dynasty of the Egyptian Kings. When King Thoth declared Egypt an empire, he did it under the power of a dictator and usurper of the people’s rights. Centuries before these people had built up and maintained a glorious civilization of unity and brotherhood under the guidance and direction of Osiris and his followers. These people were the pure white race and were always known as the Israelites, of whom the Hebrew race is a division.
Thoth ruled wisely and attempted to maintain the Osirian teachings but, after his day, the dark and material concept crept in, as the Egyptian or dark hordes from the south, who had swept him into power, gained sway. The succeeding dynasties fell away from Osirian teachings, gradually took up the dark concept of the dark race, and finally practiced black magic entirely. Their kingdom soon fell, as all such kingdoms must fall.
“After Jesus had listened attentively to this priest and his teachings, he recognized their deep, inner meaning. He also saw, through the insight which he had received from Buddhistic teachings, that there was a great similarity underlying the two. He then determined to go to India, over the old caravan route maintained at that time.
“There he studied the Buddhistic teachings which had been preserved with a reasonable degree of purity. He saw that, in spite of the ritualistic forms and dogmas that had been imposed by man, religion had but one source and that was the God within, Whom he designated as his Father and the Father of all. Then he threw all forms to the winds, as it were, and went directly to God, went straight to the heart of this loving attainment. He soon found that this did not take long years of weary plodding through dogmas, rituals, creeds, formulas, and initiations which the priesthood were foisting upon the people in order to hold them in ignorance and, therefore, in subjection. He realized that that for which he was seeking was right within himself. He knew that in order to be the Christ he must declare that he was the Christ. Then with pure motive of life, thought, word, and deed he must live the life he sought, in order to incorporate it within his physical body. Then, after perceiving this, he had the courage to go out and declare it to all the world.
“It did not matter from whom or where he got his realization. It was the work that counted, not what someone else had done but what he did, that counted. The common people, whose cause he sponsored, heard him gladly. He did not borrow his precepts from India, Persia, or Egypt. Their teachings were but the outer that brought him to see his own Godhead and the Christ, the representation of it, that was in every one; not in a few but in all.
“Osiris was born in Atlantis more than thirty-five thousand years ago. The chroniclers of his life, long after his time, called him a god because of his wonderful works. He was direct descendant of those of higher thought who had kept their concepts clear in the Motherland of Man.
“It was so of the great portion of all the mythological characters that have been brought down to us. Their works and characters have been distorted by repetition and translation of the stories concerning them. Their works and attainments were looked upon as supernatural by those who would not give the time and thought to go into the deeper meaning and find that they were divinely natural to man in his true dominion.
“The chroniclers deified Osiris, then they began making images of him. These images only represented what he stood for, at first. Then, gradually the images became fixed in the mind, the ideal was forgotten, and the empty idol remained.
“Buddha was another who was deified by the chroniclers long after his time. Note the images of him that have been set up, with the result that the image is worshipped instead of the ideal. Again the empty idol. It is the same with signs and symbols.
“The teachings that Buddha received came from the same source as did those of Osiris but in a different way. The teachings that Buddha contacted came from the Motherland direct to Burma, brought there by the Naacals. Osiris’ teachings came direct to him, as his forefathers lived in the Motherland and when he was a young man he had gone to the Motherland to study. After finishing his studies he returned home, became the leader of the Atlanteans and brought the people back to the worship of the God within, as they were gradually slipping back to the dark concept, influenced by the dark races about them.
“Moses was another leader whose followers and chroniclers deified him after his time. He was an Israelite and contacted the records of the Babylonians, receiving his teachings from them. These records form a part of our Bible. What Moses saw and learned from these records was written by him in the exact form and words. The facts which he put down were badly distorted by translators. I could go on and recall many more.
“Jesus saw and contacted all their teachings, then, in his characteristic manner, went to the heart of all these. He went one step further than any of them did, by glorifying his body to the point where he could allow it to be crucified; yet he brought it forth in a triumphant resurrection.
“Studying the teachings of Osiris, Buddha, and Jesus, you will find many similarities; in fact, at times you will find the same words used. Yet did any of them copy? The teachings showed them the way from the outer to the inner. Then they must have dropped all teaching, all copying, and must have gone beyond it all. Had any of them just copied and studied what they saw and were taught and then had not been able to see that all was from the God right within themselves, they would have been studying yet and their lives and experiences would never have been recorded.
“They all went through the same experience in that their followers wanted to crown them kings of temporal kingdoms; but to this they would not listen, each expressing the same thought in almost the same words, `My kingdom is not of the material, it is spiritual.’ With Osiris it went so far that the later chroniclers placed him as an Egyptian king.”
Here the talk ended and we all walked to the temple. As we arrived in the lower room, our friend began, “In ascending from room to room of this temple, please remember that no man can confer any rights upon another. By developing your understanding you will find that you are the equal of any man and he who attempts to confer his rights or what he has upon you is not consistent, as he is attempting to give what he cannot. One may point the way to his brother, that he may extend his vision to incorporate the good, but he cannot confer that good which he himself has, upon him.”
By this time we had arrived in the second room, where four of our friends from the village had preceded us. After a few moments of general talk, all were seated and our teacher resumed. “There is not a character in all your history that stands out as Jesus does. You count your time before and after his birth. He is idolized by a majority of your people and that is where they err. Instead of the idol, he should be the ideal; instead of being made into a graven image, he should be real and living to you, for he actually lives today in the same body in which he was crucified. He lives and can talk to you just as he could before that event. The great error with so many is that they see his life ending in sorrow and death upon the cross, forgetting entirely that the greater portion of his life is that portion after the resurrection. He is able to teach and heal, today, far more than he ever did before. You can come into His presence at any time, if you will. If you seek, you will find him. He is not a king who can intrude his presence upon you but a mighty brother who stands ready always to help you and to help the world. When he lived upon the mortal, earthly plane, he was able to reach but a few. Today he is able to reach all who will look to him.
“Did he not say: `Where I am, there you are also’? Does that mean that he is away in a place called heaven that you must die to attain? He is where you are and he is able to walk and talk with you. Lift your sight a little higher and let it extend to a wider horizon; and if your heart and thought are sincerely with him, you will see him. You may walk and talk with him. If you look closely you will find the scars of the cross, the spear and the thorns, all healed, all gone, and the radiant love and happiness about him will tell you that they are all forgotten, forgiven.”
Our friend stopped talking and all was deep silence for the space of about five minutes. Then the room lighted up with a brilliance that we had not seen before. We heard a voice. At first it seemed a long way off and indistinct. After our attention was attracted to it and our thoughts directed to it, the voice became very distinct and rang out in clear bell-like tones.
One of our party asked, “Who is speaking?” Our Chief said, “Please be silent. Our dear Master, Jesus, is speaking.” Then one of our friends said, “You are right, Jesus speaks.”
Then the voice went on, “When I said `I am the way, the truth and the life,’ I did not intend to convey the thought to mankind that I, Myself, was the only true light. `As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are Sons of God.’ When I said, `I am the perfect Son, the only begotten Son of God in whom the Father is well pleased,’ I fully intended to convey the thought to all mankind that one of God’s children saw, understood, and claimed his divinity; saw that he lived, moved, and had his being in God, the great Father-Mother Principle of all things; that seeing this, he then spoke forth the word that he was the Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and with true heart and steadfast purpose lived the life, becoming what he claimed to be. With his eyes fixed upon that idea, he filled his whole body with that ideal, and the end sought was fulfilled.
“The reason so many have not seen me is that they have put me upon a shrine and placed me in the unapproachable. They have surrounded me with miracles and mystery; and again, they have placed me far from the common people, whom I love dearly. I love them with a love that is unspeakable. I have not withdrawn from them. They have withdrawn from me. They have set up veils, walls and partitions, mediators, and images of myself and those so near and dear to me. They have surrounded us with myth and mystery until we seem so far removed from these dear ones that they do not know how to approach. They pray and supplicate my dear mother and those that surround me, and thus they hold us all in mortal thought. When truly, if they would know us as we are, they would and could shake our hands. If they would drop all superstition and creed and know us as we are, they could talk with us as you do. We are no different at any time than as you see us. How we would love to have the whole world know this. Then what an awakening, what a reunion, what a feast!
“You have surrounded us so long in mystery, it is no wonder that doubt and disbelief have become dominant. The more you build images and idols and surround us with death and make us unapproachable, save through some other than ourselves, the deeper the doubt and shadow will be cast and the chasm of superstition grow wider and more difficult to cross. If you would boldly shake our hands and say, `I know you,’ then all could see and know us as we are. There is no mystery surrounding us or those we love, for we love the whole world.
“So many see only that part of my life which ended on the cross, forgetting that the greater part is as I am now; forgetting entirely that man still lives, even after what seems a violent death. Life cannot be destroyed. It goes on and on and life well lived never degenerates nor passes. Even the flesh may be immortalized so that it never changes.
“Dear Pilate, when he washed his hands and said, `Away with him and crucify him yourselves, I find no fault in him,’ how little he knew of the history he was making or of the prophecy he was fulfilling. He, with the multitude, has suffered far more than I have suffered. That is all passed and forgotten, forgiven as you will see by our all standing here in one place together.”
Two figures came forth and were embraced by Jesus. As they stood with his hand on the shoulder of one, he said, “This dear brother has come all the way with me. While this one,” pointing to the second one, “saw many more trials before his eyes were opened. But after they were fully opened, he came quickly. He is just as true and we love him with the same love we do all others.”
Then another advanced slowly and stood for a moment. Jesus turned and with outstretched arms said, “Dear Pilate.” There was no mistaking the comradeship of the embrace.
Then Pilate spoke and said, “I labored and suffered many weary years after the verdict which I pronounced that day so lightly when I cast from myself the burden. How few of us while in the material realize the needless burdens we heap upon others in the attempt to shift the responsibility from ourselves. It is only when our eyes are opened that we realize the more we attempt to shirk and shift our burdens upon others, the greater the burden bears down upon us. It took many weary years before my eyes were opened to this fact; but since the day they were opened, how I have rejoiced.”
Then the invisible choir burst into full song and the melody beggars all description. After a few bars, Jesus stepped forward and said, “Do you wonder that I have long ago forgiven those that nailed me to the cross? Then why have not all forgiven, as I have? With me the forgiveness was complete when I said, `It is finished.’ Why do you not see me as I am, not nailed to the cross, but risen above all mortality?”
This was not a far-off, hazy, nearly invisible scene. Neither was it set on a stage far away from us. All were actually present in the room, for we talked with them, shook hands with them, and photographed them. The only difference that we could see between them and ourselves was the peculiar light about them and this appeared to be the source of the light in the room. There were no shadows anywhere. To us there seemed to be a peculiar translucent quality about the flesh, for when we touched them or clasped their hands, the flesh seemed like alabaster. Still, it had a warm, friendly glow and that same warmth pervaded everything about them. Even after they had walked out, the room we were in retained the same warmth and light. Every time we entered the room afterward, some of the party would remark about it.
Our party waited while the others filed from the room. As Pilate started to leave, he motioned our Chief to join him and together all descended the stairs, down to the lower room through the passageway to the crevasse and down the ladders, one by one, until all had descended. Then all dispersed in the usual manner, as if the meeting were a common occurrence.