What Christ? What Peace?
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
“What Christ? What Peace?,” like its predecessor, “The Day of the Lord Cometh,” was written during the Second World War. Once again, we are given a perspective on the world struggle which far transcends the events of that time. For in 1942, during one of the darkest times of the war, Murshid, speaking throughout in the voice of Christ, addresses himself to the problems facing the people of the world after the war has been won. Similarly, the theme of the spiritual hierarchy returns as in the previous poem. We hear Christ telling us,
“And now the world must face its Armageddon.
But he who holds the standard which I raised,
Even though he be a minority of one,
Finding another one who is like himself,
Can save the world—they and Me together;
For even a few so gathered in My name,
Can bring about the greatest of miracles,
That is, if I be really Lord of Heaven,
That is, if I am an example to the world.”
The tone of this poem, which asks the nations of the world the question, “What Christ? What Peace?” is challenging to the very core. It takes as its basis not a verbal Christ but the example of Christ himself. And if one faces the issues confronting the world from the standpoint of the actual teachings of Christ, one is forced to ask some uncomfortable questions. These questions are raised with great depth and power in the course of the poem: Is the earth the Lord’s and the fullness thereof? Is it more blessed to give than to receive? Will you forgive the debts of those who owe you, as mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer? Will you love your neighbors as yourselves?
In his unpublished book The Bestowing of Blessing, Murshid puts it this way:
The words of Jesus Christ have not always been understood by the discriminating mind of the generality. The words are simple yet in their depths most profound. The Christian Scriptures themselves say, “Put ye on the mind of Jesus,” which is to say, “get into the buddhi.”
By the mind of Jesus only can the words of Jesus be fully comprehended.
And what was and is that spirit which was in Christ Jesus? What is this mind of Jesus? It is to seek perfection, to seek God, to rise above limitation unto the unlimited. Even all morals, all principles, all doctrines, all distinctions shall go and only Baraka [blessing] remain.
As Christ says, “I am the vine and ye are the branches thereof.” Thus we are all parts of each other. And it is not enough to believe in a hypothetical brotherhood of man. So Christ, speaking in this poem, tells his would-be worshippers such things as, “Look not to Me upon the cross, Look to the Hospitals filled with the lame….” He denies the claims to authority of any that would use Him to speak for a vested interest. To quote from a lecture of Murshid’s that he gave on First Corinthians, “My poem that Christ gave to me, He made it very clear. He was not of the left nor the right nor the center, and He was not against any of them … because they belong to Him, not He to them. They are wrong when they claim He is on their side; He is on all sides, and all sides are on Him. God made all mankind in His image, All. And while ethically there may be a right and a wrong, spiritually this has nothing to do with it. As long as we have breath and as long as we have blood, we give evidence of the spirit which is in us, no matter what ideas we may have or what our behavior may be. “Though our sins be red as scarlet, they can be made white as snow.’ This is the difference between ethics and philosophy on the one hand, and spirituality on the other. As long as we are alive we have spirituality in us.”
This theme of God making mankind in His image is developed in “What Christ? What Peace?” as a profound system of Yoga. Saint Paul has said, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you which you have of God, and you are not your own?” This yoga system is based on the spirit, or breath, and on the circulation of the blood with every heartbeat. As Murshid says, “I have told in my poem, Christ is the purified blood in our body and Adam is the unpurified blood in our body. By one we live and by one we die with every breath, every pulsation in our whole life. The outward pulse, Adam, the inward, Christ—every heartbeat—Adam, Christ, Adam, Christ, pollution, purification, going on perpetually.” This yoga takes into account the actual teachings of both Hebrew and Christian mysticism—that the Holy Spirit is in truth the Divine Breath. So, when Christ says in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” he is actually giving an instruction to those who have ears to hear: to make the breath gentle and refined.
This practice of looking deeply into the Holy Scriptures is one which characterizes Murshid’s life and work. He often complained, however, about mistranslations of the Bible which came about as a result of the translators not having had the experiences which were being described in the text. This is a subject into which he goes in great detail in his lectures on First Corinthians, where he points out many ambivalent and even contradictory translations of terms. In the case of the quotes from the Beatitudes which appear within the text and the quotation from First Corinthians which appears in the footnote, Murshid’s own translations are used. The First Corinthians translation is taken directly from the Greek text, which has been mistranslated in The New Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures. The quotation from the Epistle of John which appears in the text is from this latter source. Murshid describes his point of view on the Bible when he says, “The whole teaching I was given is this: the Bible is the unfoldment of your own being. It is. It isn’t what you believe; it’s what you become. Jesus didn’t get up and say, ‘I believe;’ he said, ‘You shall be transformed.’ ‘You shall be born anew.’” And this is possible with every breath.
Murshid understood Christ’s words, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another, as I have loved you,” to involve taking the suffering of humanity as one’s own. The words of the risen Christ, “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep” prompted him to undertake the solution of world food problems. And he said that it was the manifestation of Christ which brought to him the original message and plan for peace in the Holy Land. He relates that when he presented this plan to Gunnar Jarring many years ago, Jarring’s response was that it was the best plan he’d ever heard. Murshid said he didn’t dare tell him that it came directly from Jesus Christ. While this plan was never given any consideration by the competing factions in Palestine, he took to heart the phrase, “Every valley shall be exalted and every hill laid low.” And thus the machinations of power politics could not in the long run interfere with the ultimate vision of peace.
Returning specifically to the poem before us, one notes the interesting prediction concerning the controversy over the prayer which would be said at the meeting of all the victorious nations at the conclusion of the war. It points out how the seeds of Hit1erism would remain, predominantly in their own inability to agree to anything transcending their own limited national aims. An irony of history was that this meeting and this argument over the prayer actually took place a number of years later in Murshid’s home town of San Francisco at the Organizational Meeting of the United Nations.
In this poem one meets a Christ who has not been emasculated by the various divisive groups purporting to act in His name, a Christ who is not interested in the abrogation of His teachings in the name of something called Christianity. In The Bestowing of Blessing we find the following description of this problem:
Jesus has been made the authority for the way of passivism, quietism, ascetism and all manner of incomplete living, as if avoiding sin were the purpose of life. According to the mysteries, ancient and modern, purgation is one part of life; it is needed in the beginning. When purgation becomes the goal, the way of affirmation becomes impossible and the way of affirmation is the way of the abundance of life….
People who practice non-resistance may be good people, but they do not increase life or 1ivingness, they do not see God, the Ever-Living. The initiate makes God the center of his universe and of his being and does not eschew any portion of life, as all come from God. The evils that he avoids may be those of wasteful living, of needless dissipation of vital energy, of misuse of the love and power and magnetism that God has given him—these things he always guards against. For the rest he has the spiritual freedom, so he treads as far as possible the path of affirmation, and removes himself from the path of negation except when in the silence.
It is on the note of the Beatitudes that the poem culminates. For the Beatitudes are invocations not only of blessings, but of joy. And blessed and joyful above all are the makers of peace.
The version of “What Christ? What Peace?” printed here was slightly edited for style by Murshid in 1952, but no changes of any substantive nature were made at that time.
—Wali Ali Meyer
The Lord Speaks:
Why does mankind ascribe divinity to Me,
Address Me in exalted terms, then leave to Me
To carry the burdens of the race?
O man that worships Me, and man that doubts,
Listen to My voice, hearken to My plea!
Were I to visit earth where would I go?
Were I to visit earth how would I pray?
These have become subjects for deliberation—
For argument, dispute and general debate—
Whence clashing of minds that foment disturbance,
And every disturbance filled with seeds of war.
God is love, from love the world became,
And back to love does everything return;
Love binds the different atoms into forms,
Love holds the cells of bodies as a unity,
Makes possible the marvels of growing life,
Turns man into a miniature universe,
And congregates all people in brotherhood;
From love, the complete panorama of life—
Its absence leads to death, to war, to fratricide.
This is no mystery to the awakened heart;
Peace on earth to men of universal will,
Who rise above their selfish limitations
And see the world as God would have them see.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow, it is ever the same—
Each mind presumes its own supremacy,
Each mind fails to appreciate another
Unless there is a mutual communion,
Yet minds are changing from one hour to the next.
Tell Me, how can these imperfect mechanisms
Become the instruments of that perfection
Which can bring to man the desired goal of peace?
Do Baptist, Catholic and Unitarian worship together?
Each calls on Me, acclaims Me in his way;
How can I be bound by them if I am divine?
How can any man or church or institution
Proclaim its mastery over the universe,
Without some proof of such pretensions;
Without the binding of the course of things;
So if war comes, are they not to blame
For failure to uphold their grandiose claims?
Forgive them, Father, for their deep shortcomings,
Bring them closer to Me, that they might learn.
Learn, O man, the mystery of heart-blood,
That Adam in Hebrew means “he-of-the-red-blood,”
The blood which circulates life within the body,
The blood which evidences love within the body.
The original blood connotes the sinner Adam;
It leaves the heart and works throughout the flesh,
It partakes of worldly things, becoming defiled,
By the flesh it is defiled, by lust and appetite.
This is the psychic blood mentioned in the Scriptures,1
For every spurt of the blood brings psychic power
Used by the body and mind in every action,
Stirring the material life with every spurt,
Sustaining the intellect and thought of man.
Though sins be red as scarlet they can be made white,
For the blood is purified after defilement;
The blood so tinged with earth returns to heaven,
It goes into the lung-mesh to be cleansed there,
Cleansed by the Divine Spirit in every breath,
For the breath is from the Lord and is the Lord—
This is proclaimed by the Scriptures and can be proven,
For every experience testifies of its truth.
Water and breath and blood embody great mysteries,
Water and breath and blood testify unto Christ.
Let Me repeat the Law of the Living Blood,
Let Me repeat the Message of Infinite Love:
With every outward pulse is psychic force aroused,
With every inward beat is it purified.
This shows the principle of Adam within the body,
This gives the evidence of the Living Christ;
Outward Adam, inward Christ, pulse beating pulse,
Not in the past, not in the future, eternally now
Am I the resurrection and the life.
Let Me repeat the Law of the Living Blood:
The outward pulse enhances the psychic life
And builds around the self an accommodation
So that man says “I” and thinks much of himself;
The inward pulse enhances the spiritual urge
And brings man ever closer to My place,
So perceiving Me in love, his heart says “Thou,”
The former sway gives scope to reciprocity,
And as man sows, thus also will he reap;
The latter leads straightway to renunciation,
The latter leads to the ever living Christ,
For I am ever the resurrection and the life.
Thus every beat of heart many be a communion,
The outward psychic functions revealing Adam,
The inner spiritual functions evidencing Christ,
The resurrected Adam through purification.
Whenever man attains this blessed communion,
He never will grow old, though long in the flesh;
He will attain to the proclaimed kingdom of Heaven,
Becoming perfect, even as God is perfect.
Were I to visit earth? Why not reverse
And invite the earth to come to Me,
Follow Me to My heavenly habitation,
Take of the cup and table spread before Me?
Then, verily, could I minister unto the world,
Then could I teach the mysteries of the heart,
Then could I spread the blessings of that peace
Which hearts and minds and bodies are now seeking.
Mankind must rise above binding mentality,
Learn more about the nature of true love,
That bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit,
And in your flesh you surely may see God
Who is your very being and your life.
As with the flow of blood within the body,
So is the course of love throughout the world.
The psychic blood is purified by breath,
And as such is the overtonal nature of the blood.
That it also can be healed by the Divine Breath,
By the Holy Spirit which permeates the world,
Which is the common breath for all mankind,
The nexus of the union of God and man,
Obtained through Christ, the Universal Saviour.
What is the way in which to govern the earth?
The laws which govern the flesh of your very bodies
Apply not only to things below on earth,
But reveal the way by which God operates
Through all the various branches of the cosmos.
In ancient times the Christians held loves feasts,
Not feasts in the name of love but love in the name of feasts—
And this was love and not the thought-of-love,
A callous and brutal substitution.
Millenniums have passed with only a memory,
Millenniums have gone with only a tradition;
And now catastrophes embroil the world,
When blood, unpurified by the Holy Spirit,
Pours into the earth in countless streams
As if the globe itself were crucified,
Yet by some magic expected a resurrection.
Aye, this resurrection shall surely come
When the flesh of Christ is shared in the spirit of love,
When the blood of Christ is drunk in holy communion.
From imperfection to divine perfection,
From veniality to joy and peace—
This is the course of love when we awaken.
What does it profit a man to gain the world,
Without the faculty of psychic control,
Who cannot transmute his life-force into love,
Who cannot transcend his limited ego,
Who has not merged with Christ in holy marriage?
Greater than church is life, Greater than sect is love;
The very idea of heresy precludes peace,
The very idea of strangeness foments war;
God would unite, man would divide—
Come unto Me ye heavy laden and I will give you rest:
I do not ask a bitter price,
I do not want a special creed,
I seek, rather, the open heart,
I greatly prize the noble deed.
I offer to you all My love,
Again present My healing power,
And I would save the world once more
From its great peril at this hour.
When man in his great effort fails,
When earth it swallowed in holocaust,
Come to Me, children, for I am near,
And in God’s Light nothing can be lost.
The Gospel offers all the truth,
Teachings can not be bound by time,
Eternal salvation for the world,
God’s love is infinite and sublime.
I am not of the party of those who claim authority,
I am not of the band of those who would revolt;
They really are of Me, not I of them.
When I am sought to plea for some special group,
This is not peace, this scorns divinity.
When it is assumed I hold to some narrow way,
This is not peace, this mocks divinity.
God is not of a faction nor Christ of a selfish cause:
When the hearts of men open themselves to Me,
When the hearts of men are open to each other,
Then, at last, shall true peace be forthcoming,
And then shall you sit with Me at the table of Christ.
Abraham offered his son to his Beloved,
God offered His Son to His beloved;
But, the selfishness in man has dominated,
And now the world must face its Armageddon.
But he who holds the standard which I raised,
Even though he be a minority of one,
Finding another one who is like himself,
Can save the world—they and Me together;
For even a few so gathered in My Name
Can bring about the greatest of miracles,
That is, if I be really Lord of Heaven
That is, if I am an example to the world.
(Let Me explain the mystery of Name,
The usual translation of the Hebrew Shem:
Interpreted thus My prayer will read:
“Our Father Who art in all realms of Shem,
Most Holy is Thy Shem,”
Which is to say, God is eternal Light;
That Light includes His many attributes,
His Beauty and Beneficence and Love,
His Glory and His Mercy and His Life
Which extend from everlasting to everlasting;
So when we pray our prayer becomes a ladder
To take us to the presence of our Father,
To share in all the blessings which He offers,
From earth below to the highest of heavens.
How pitiable are they called “anti-Semites,”
Yet most appropriate is that term for them,
Meaning “These who stand against the Holy Light,”
Those who antagonize Shem and the scions of Shem,
They are not just anti-Jews or anti-Hebrews,
But enemies of all the children of the Light,
Who set themselves forthwith against My Gospel.
Let the name of “anti-Semite” remain with them,
Who prepare their places in the outer darkness;
Let them be cast thence forthwith and turn to Me,
Gather in My Shem, beloved ones,
And share with Me the blessings of the Father.)
When Moses brought the Sabbath hour,
He brought the Sabbath day,
He also brought the Sabbath year
And taught the Jubilee.
When Christ held forth communion cup,
It was not for one short minute,
For the cup held the gift of holy love
For him quaffing all within it.
Who would partake of bitter pain,
Who would withstand life’s woes,
Who would willingly suffer on the cross,
Follow Christ wherever He goes,
Who would search for God’s salvation,
Let his heart be filled with light;
Such a one would dwell eternally
In a realm that knows no night.
And that is the real Sabbath day,
That is the real Sabbath year,
That is the final Jubilee,
Where I welcome every one, for to Me you all are dear.
He That Believeth in Me, the Things That I Do, Shall He Also Do.
Has it ever been? Can it ever Be?
And if man cannot follow Me,
How can the nations rest at peace,
How can they gain security?
Will factious fighting ever cease?
Or must man go and judge his brother,
Forget My “Love ye one another,”
Create a thought and call it “God,”
Condemn whole races at a nod,
And think I shall accept his soul
For whom Hell-fire becomes the goal?
For Hell is nothing but the end
For all who hate and scoff and rend
Any of God’s beloved ones,
Any of His blessed daughters and sons.
I did not offer you a selfish peace;
I came to bring a challenging sword,
To drive the evil from your selfish minds,
To close the evil from your selfish tongues,
To bring you joy and life and peace—
The same with men, the same with nations of men.
How many times have legates met?
How many parliaments convened?
Their sessions opened by a prayer
And God invoked to give His aid,
Until the first speech has been made.
Then ranters rise to plead their cause,
To cast all vileness on the enemy,
As if the strong were righteous men,
Or goodness came by just defying evil.
If what has been is still to be,
The parliament will exclude Me,
And though they gather in My name;
They only add to their own shame.
Many sheep have I which are not of your fold,
Call yourself Christian or Muslim or Jew;
You are mad if you consider Me divine,
Then limit Me to your own point of view.
If I be God, all men are Mine,
All hearts are Mine, if I be divine;
And those who exclude from the fold
Are the very ones I can not hold
If I be God, if I be divine.
Beloved ones, will you now yield to Me
And heed the Message that I must repeat:
That love alone can point the path to peace,
That love alone can save the universe.
So when your mighty rise to state their aims,
Forgetting the teachings that I gave of yore,
They cast themselves from Me and can’t partake
Of My communion at the unseen Table,
Which my disciples share with Me in heaven,
To which all men on earth have been invited.
Let the parliament of the world forthwith assemble;
Let them begin their sessions with a prayer.
But who will pray? What prayer will all accept?
If the sway of man is roused at the beginning,
Where is your God, and where shall your Christ enter?
For the believers of many folds shall be collecting,
And with them, too, many who do not believe;
And when you force your own creed upon another,
Already is there strife, the door of peace is closed.
“See what lovingkindness the Father has given, so that we should be called
children of God,
On account of this the world knows us not, because it knew not Him.”
—First Epistle of John 3:1.
The moment a person speaks without divine authority,
That moment the cause of peace is straightway lost,
Lost has it been, lost shall it be because of this.
Then one shall rise and state his nation’s aims,
And another arise and state his country’s cause,
And another evoke complete attention,
And another arouse lengthy applause,
And on the beaten enemy shall be thrown the blame—
Emotions dominate the scene, and the thoughts of men
Overshadow the efforts of inner love,
For even between the victors will be no union,
Because between themselves is no holy communion.
When will man listen to the stirring in his heart?
When will he look to Christ within his breast?
There is no race that I shall represent,
There is no cause for which I bring a plea,
For peace is mightier than the best of causes
And brotherhood grander than the tinge of race.
Look not to Me upon the cross—
Look to the hospitals filled with the lamed,
The broken in spirit, the totally maimed,
The silent old houses whose youth have all left,
The widows and orphans and many bereft,
The millions of valiant returned to the dust,
While powerful editors lead on in lust
To stir up more madness, cast some new spell
To egg on the remnants to a still madder Hell,
That their private portions may be unaffected
And all who oppose them remain unprotected,
Permitted in churches to bend their vile knees,
Using My Name in their devilish pleas,
Producing more trouble and bringing damnation
To those who would uphold their proud civilization.
Look not to Me upon the cross—
I died in vain, I died in vain indeed
If for selfish gain, if for lust and greed.
I lived and died to help the human race,
And in God’s heaven have prepared a place
For all of you—Christian, Hindu,
Muslim, Parsi, Buddhist or Jew—
For the Heavenly Father loves each one of you.
And yet the cause of peace is not assured,
For though all Hitlers be removed from earth,
Yet Hitlerism has so smeared many souls
That their very words are hollow mockeries,
And though the devil die and tyrants flee,
The tyrannous disease stays on to crucify Me;
For by every selfish thought am I crucified,
By every selfish word am I crucified,
By every selfish deed am I crucified.
Is the Earth the Lord’s and the Fullness Thereof?
This question must be faced upon the morrow,
For if evaded shall only rise again.
“Praise Thee, Lord Christ, but this is economics;
Praise Thee, Lord Christ, but this is politics;
Praise Thee, Lord Christ, but this, of course, is business;
Praise Thee, Lord Christ, but this is philosophy.”
If I be God, wherefore your economics?
If I be God, what avail your politics?
If I be God, why such stress on business?
Mercury was the ancient God of business—
Why don’t you go and build some temples for him,
For I shall not consign to Hell-fire
The one who worships Mercury in full faith.
But I am not Mercury; and if you use My name
As the supreme business man, you speak in vain,
And by yourself are you confined to Hell,
Not in the afterworld, but here and now.
Your Many Wars Attest, This One Above All.
O economist, look upon the dying;
O politician, look upon the dead;
O business-pleader, look upon the impoverished
And tell Me, is this the goal of life?
I came to bring Life, you take it away;
That ephemeral fortune lasts but a day,
Is borrowed from Nature and must be returned,
This was the Gospel, but you have not learned
That to gain great riches and lose your soul
Makes Hell-fire the only possible goal:
Your Many Wars Attest, This One Above All.
And if philosophy becomes your aim,
Why not open temples to Pallas Athene,
Remembering also, if you are so minded,
She was not only goddess of the intellect,
She was also goddess of war and worshipped so;
For thought encountering thought results in war.
You who worship logic, whereupon do you agree
Other than in your adherence to this logic?
When thought lashes thought, what hopes for peace?
Marx and Mammon and Minerva Will Contradict,
Marx and Mammon and Minerva Will Then Conflict,
In the Name of Peace Will it Be When Hitler Is Gone;
What Price Glory? What Price Peace?
Is the earth the Lord’s and the fullness thereof?
Do you accept this or prefer the Hell-fire,
Not in the future, but here, before your eyes;
For the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding forth,
With a greater power than a few years back,
And the next scourge will, be worse, far worse—
When will you return to Me, beloved ones?
Is It More Blessed to Give Than to Receive?
After the holy prayer is offered before them,
What nations will exemplify these principles?
They will look askance at the fallen enemy,
And men in hate will excoriate the villains,
Themselves the victims of the very disease,
As if an epidemic can be cured
By merely ending the lives of its sorry victims
Without removing the death-germ of the disease.
When Hitler is gone, yet Hitlerism will remain
Not because of Hindu or Buddhist or Muslim
But the very Christians gathering at the conference,
Adhering more to economics than to Me,
Striving to be steadfast in their politics,
Become successors of those erstwhile devils
Who sowed disunion and trampled on the just.
For if injustice is followed by injustice,
If you cast out Satan to follow Beelzebub,
What hope have I, have you and has the world?
Will you receive My love or gain the world,
Losing your psychic power and inner light?
Better build temples instead to lame old Vulcan
Who was the god of all mechanical arts,
With warped mind and body as is your world
With all its mighty monuments of power,
Yet wherein recently no Gothic temple
Or such as David built has been erected,
Because the heart is lost within the meshes
Of materialism, folly and decay.
And if you worship Vulcan you shall not be lost,
For those who worship, though of a different faith,
Can still attain admission to their God.
But if you use My name and Vulcan’s deeds,
Or call upon Me, holding Mercury’s aims,
Or bow before Me, wrapped in Minerva’s thoughts,
Go, cast yourselves into the outer darkness,
You are the Tojos of the future world;
Not those who call Me Lord are thereby saved,
If they do not do the Will of My Father in Heaven.
The same with man, the same with nations of men:
The Pharaohs, hard of heart, are turned from God,
Though they may whisper or shout a Holy Name.
When nations starve are you willing that they starve?
When ships go down, will you succor the survivors?
When life is at stake, how important is your money?
Is it really more blessed to give than to receive?
I hear the call of altruistic reformers
Who feel that Christ can somehow save the world,
That I am not limited by man’s religions,
That perhaps, in all things man can follow Me.
If that be so, God’s blessing will abound.
I do not say: “Do it this particular way,”
I am not come to plead a special cause;
When the spirit of man awakens, him shall I trust,
For the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
And all things has He placed before man’s feet.
The day of lovely words shall turn to night
If the deeds of lovely words come not to day.
The loveliness of thought is sanctified
When the deeds of lovely thoughts are exemplified.
Will You Forgive the Debts of Those Who Owe You?
Or repeat a million times My sacred prayer,
Holding fast to the words, neglecting the spirit
And sending a curse again across the world?
You cannot follow both Satan and Me,
Nor worship Mammon and Me in the same edifice.
Shall I come? I come with your every prayer,
With the communion cup and the wafer;
I shared the communion cup, the loaves and fishes,
The food of the ground, the food withdrawn from water.
I gave to all and ever invite all to Me.
But when you demand just payments of your debts,
Meaning by “justice” that your aims are requited
Regardless of involving circumstances,
My words become religious mockery.
What use is there to dethrone physical Hitlers,
Excoriate their names and damn their deeds
Nor set a path more worthy of My name,
While summoning Me to claim Me for your cause?
I am not troubled over the impious devils
Whose very darkness casts a curse upon them.
But those who claim to battle in My name,
Who repeat My prayers and doubly swear allegiance,
They are followers of that unworthy son
Who said to his father, “I will,” but did not go.
Christ or the banker? Christ or the worldly rich?
How can you serve God and Mammon? Christ and Mercury?
I came not to destroy but to fulfill;
Yet in the many centuries since My coming,
The ancient laws of Moses have been removed,
Any property rights stand first in your societies,
And excuse upon excuse has been presented
To lay aside the teachings which I upheld.
I do not blame humanity for this;
I only say again, Go, and sin no more;
I further add, Come, and sin no more.
For once the Divine Light shines within your bosoms,
Then is your love for Me made manifest,
Your living silence shall speak more than your prayers,
Your shining light shall plead more than your voice,
You will become, in truth, my fellow-workers,
And nothing more is asked of any man.
Whatever the past has been, let the past be;
Come, children of men, and hearken now to Me:
The conqueror, who keeps His word to the end,
Him shall I give authority over the nations,
I shall make him a pillar in the temple of God,
And him shall I clothe in white and holy garments,
And him shall I give to sit down on My throne.
Will You Love the Lord Your God With All Your Heart,
With All Your Soul, With All Your Might,
And Love Your Neighbors as Yourselves?
If so, it will be well with all the world;
If so, already you are acting in My name;
If so, you need not offer further prayer;
For you have become your very highest prayers,
Which God the Father in Heaven will receive;
If so, even churches may be dispossessed;
If so, you have become true channels of holiness;
If so, you already you are co-workers in My cause;
If so, the kingdom of Heaven is open within you;
If so, that kingdom will manifest without.
If not, what care I for further protestations?
If not, what use are vain supplications?
If I condemned the Pharisees for their manners,
Should I not condemn my followers even more
Who hold that Christ stood far above the Pharisees,
Yet act as if the Pharisees were better than they.
For by your words and your hearts shall you be judged.
By your works and by your hearts produce Heaven or Hell
And determine your future status through the ages—
Thus for men, thus for the collectivity, for the nations.
If you have mighty weapons and do not love,
Build magnificent structures and marvelous cities,
Have all earthly comforts and material ease,
And find some satisfaction for every passion,
What is the whole of life? What is its aim?
But if you have love, though only in a cottage,
And by loving find your happiness,
You are the vessels of the living God,
And you shall be My brethren at the Table.
For you shall I break bread and offer wine,
For you shall I appear in heavenly glory,
And prepare fine mansions in My Father’s House.
I would gather you as the mother-hen gathers her
I would give you My blessing and ask only a pittance;
But it is not your kneeling and calling Me “Lord,”
It is not your many praises that I need—
You gain by your praise and benefit thereby.
I am willing to carry your burdens and share your lot,
If you knock at My door, I shall straightway open it,
By subjugating your agitating egos
And opening the heart of love within you,
You shall be fulfilling the purpose of your life.
When the essence of words means more than the
When the essence of thought means more than the thought,
When action is proven by the action alone,
When brotherhood sets the path for society,
Love will appear and religion be affirmed,
Then Christ shall be truly king.
When prayers are uplifted, with no selfishness
Fixed on the heart of the pious at worship,
When claims are not made with an eye to publicity,
When the lowly and meek are properly treated,
When the mountains of pride are laid at My feet
And the valley of humility raised high aloft,
Then indeed will Christ be king.
When you go to worship for the worship alone,
Nor heed if your neighbor’s creed be different,
When all churches are recognized as sacred,
And My words have become the basis for actions,
Then am I crowned King of the world.
When there is no hatred, then there is love,
When there is no gossip or back-biting talk,
When people strive to help one another,
When the light within is opened to man
That the Father in Heaven can see his good works,
Then is your Christ crowned King of all.
When the life is understood as being within,
When the Kingdom of Heaven is sought from within,
When men look deeper down into themselves
To find that God Who is every soul’s seeking,
And men follow Me truly in all that they do,
Rest assured, you are blessed and I sit on My throne.
When I sit on My throne I shall radiate peace,
Peace to the world, joy and thanksgiving,
For the Lord then is come, the Lord then is come.
Blessed and happy are they who serve the Lord,
Blessed and happy are they who are humble of spirit,
Blessed and happy who mourn over others,
Blessed and happy the meek and self-denying,
Blessed and happy who yearn after righteousness,
Blessed and happy those who purify their hearts;
But blessed and happy above all the makers of
Who extend the sway of blessing on their earth,
And by their becoming channels of blessing,
They serve both Me and God the Father.
Such are the very lights of manifestation—
Will they become the leaders of the nations,
Or continue to be prosecuted in My name?
This is the question that stands before humanity.
This is the question that stands before humanity:
Christ, or the verbal worship of His memory?
Christ, or an institution condemning others?
Christ, or conflicting opinions as to His nature?
Christ, while ignoring even His simplest teachings?
Christ, that thereby all become children of God.
This Is the Problem That Now Stands Before the Nations;
This Is the Question Facing Every Soul.
Now may the peace that passeth understanding,
By the awakening of your inner self,
Show its light and wisdom straight before you
And make My vision be a reality.
O God, O God, enlighten the hearts of mankind;
Awake, thou that sleepest, arise from the dead!
I Come! I Bring Thee Light!
1. “But now Christ has been raised from the Dead, a first fruit of those having fallen asleep. For since through a man, there is death, through a man, also, there is resurrection of the dead. For, as by Adam all die, so by the Anointed also, will all be restored to life…. And thus is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in corruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a psychic body, it is raised a spiritual body. And so it has been written, ‘The first Adam became a living Soul [psyche].’ The last Adam, a life-giving Spirit (breath). The spiritual, however, was not the first, but the psychic; afterwards the spiritual. The first Man was from the Ground, earthy [the first Adam from the Adamah]; the second Man is from Heaven.” (I Cor.15:20-22, 42-47)
The above is Murshid Samuel Lewis’ translation of these passages; these subjects are taken up in depth in his ten lectures on First Corinthians published under the title This is the New Age, In Person.
Adam—(Hebrew) “He-of-blood” or “He-of-Heart-Essence.” The first man, created in God’s image. Universal mankind, composite of all humanity. So long as he dwelt in Eden (or “Bliss”), his state was heavenly. But he was attracted to the knowledge of duality and, having tasted of it, became covered by the impressions of good and evil. This led to his temporary separation from his true nature, the original pure sense of unity.
Apocalypse, Horsemen of the—In the revelation granted to St. John, four riders on horseback who bring God’s judgment upon the persecutors of men. (Rev.6:1-8) They represent calamities which have appeared again and again in history: war or conquest, international or civil strife, famine, and pestilence and death.
Armageddon—(Hebrew) “Hill of Megiddo.” Historically, the city of Megiddo was a famous battlefield in Israel’s history and the scene of violent conflicts between Israel and her enemies. It has come to symbolize the battleground where the conflict between the forces of good and evil is decided. In the Book of Revelation it is described as the place where terrible retribution is wrought upon the wrongdoer.
Beelzebub—(probably a Hebrew pun on the name of the Philistine idol, Baalzebul, “Lord of the Flies,” In its punned sense it may mean “lord of dung” or “prince of false gods.” His name appears in the Gospels where he is identified with Satan or the prince of demons.
blessing—(berachah in Hebrew, baraka in Arabic) That living vibration which comes from God and can flow through man when he is immersed in Perfection. It causes an increase of exaltation, bliss, love and peace in the hearts of those who receive it. This magnetism can also be felt in the atmosphere of certain physical objects as, for example, healing springs of water.
blood—Heart Essence. “It is the homogeneous substance common to all…. The life that touches one heart touches all hearts.” (S.L.L.) The blood, through the action of the heart, brings food and air to every cell in the body; in man this fluid may, through effort and Grace, accommodate the etheric element and thus carry the Divine Qualities, which work both through and beyond simple physical sustenance: “for the heart contains its own medicine.” (S.L.L.)
breath—The Latin spiritus, Hebrew ruach and Greek pneuma all have in common that their original meaning is breath; but, in most cases, they are incompletely translated as “spirit.” “Man, in his ignorance, has created a difference between spirit and breath, between life and breath, and between God and breath. When we bring these all together, it means the beginning of the awakening or reawakening of life’s currents in us, and the transformation which transforms and is not a mere mental operation culminates in the spiritual rebirth of every devotee…. Christ is born when God’s breath enters man’s nostrils, and he is crucified when man’s thought enters his mind…. It is breath which invigorates each and all men and breath or spirit which unites men…. Not only do we all breathe the same atmosphere, but we all receive from the same Spirit, or take communion with God, when we breathe.” (S.L.L.) In accordance with original meanings, therefore, “spiritual realization” may then mean that one has realized the identity of his being with the Divine Breath. Thus the Brotherhood of Man in the Holy Spirit.
brotherhood—Brotherhood is experienced whenever people are gathered in the Parenthood of God, or Love. “It cannot be sustained on earth or in heaven without this feeling of integrated oneness.” (S.L.L.) In First Corinthians the brotherhood of the members of the church is compared to the relationship of the different parts to the single body, which mystically speaking is the body of Christ.
Buddhist—One who walks in the footsteps of the enlightened sage of India, Gautama Shakyamuni; especially one who follows his exhortation to “Seek out thy salvation with diligence.”
channels—As the channel of a river is the place of the greatest and deepest flow of the river’s course, so a human being becomes a channel when he or she surrenders to God and allows the stream of blessing to flow through.
Christ—(from the Greek, meaning “Anointed One,” recalling the ancient Hebrew custom of anointing a person in recognition of his having been endowed with the qualification for exalted office) “Jesus, of the Beni Israel, tried to restore and purify the teachings that had been given to His people, and also to add one more lesson for which the world was being prepared: this was the brotherhood of humanity. Christ added the doctrine of universal brotherhood to that of the Unity of God which had been given out by Moses. He also taught the supreme value of love and explained its preeminence over morality and mentality…. Moses had given the people God as a Creator and God of Law which He is; the next step was to proclaim Him as God of Love, which He is. After that it would be possible to teach that God was within man and that we were within Him—the esoteric teaching of the early followers of Christ.” (S.L.L.) “There are some who cannot conceive the idea of Christ’s divinity. The truth is that the soul of man is divine, and that divine spark deserves to be called really divine when with the enfoldment of the soul it reaches the point of culmination.” (Hazrat Inayat Khan)
Christ, blood of—The Wine of the Sacrament, signifying the Presence of God; the love element, the intoxication of which is a bliss. The two elements of the Sacrament, bread and wine, are symbolic of Christ’s flesh and blood and represent the soul’s sustenance and ecstasy. Christ’s injunction to His followers to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood may be said to mean: “The being in which I am living is God’s being; take this as the food to nourish your finer being; drink this to stimulate your spiritual being.” (Hazrat Inayat Khan)
Christ, flesh of—The Wafer or Bread of the Sacrament. The Communion, or Sacrament itself, is realized when man dies in God and God lives in man.
Christian—One who practices the Beatitudes, really.
communion—(from the Latin comunis, “union” “In all men I see myself.” (Walt Whitman) The Christian ritual, which is the central feature of the Mass, was inaugurated by Christ when he shared the Last Supper with his disciples. In the words of St. Paul, the communion celebrates the fact that “we, being many, are one bread and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” (I Cor.10:17 A.V.)
crucifixion—“This is a double act of surrender, surrender to a process which symbolizes the giving up of self in the highest sense.” (S.L.L.)
David—The Psalmist-King of Israel whose story is related in First Samuel in the Old Testament. “God gave David the plan for the temple, as he had previously given Moses the plan for the tabernacle. This plan David communicated to his son, Solomon, directing him to erect the building.” (S.L.L.)
disciples—The most immediate pupils and companions of Christ; those to whom the secrets of the kingdom of Heaven were openly revealed. A disciple of Christ may be said to be anyone who accepts Christ’s teachings fully.
Divine Light—The actual All-Pervading-Light which comes to man through the kindling of his heart. When reflected in our beings, it causes us to awaken to spiritual liberty. This Light is symbolized in Christian art by the halo.
Divine Spirit—Divine Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost and Divine Breath are synonymous. The Divine Spirit might be called the Soul of God which is everywhere Present succoring mankind and offering Guidance to all.
Father—Father and Heavenly Father are one and the same. Father is He Whose bosom contains the Universe in boundless Love. Father is Peace.
Glory—(from the Hebrew Kevod, “weight,” the everywhere-present splendor of God) The Divine Light which shines forth through Masters, Saints and Prophets and is inseparable from constant and selfless praise to God. Glory may also be an effect of direct identification with God.
Heaven—The Illuminated Heart. The abode of the Divine Qualities.
Heaven, kingdom of—This reality is deeply rooted in the teachings of the Old Testament and constitutes a central theme in the teaching of Christ: “Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven, and all else shall be added unto you.” (Matt.6:33) “Behold, the kingdom of Heaven is within you.” (Luke 17:21) Its meaning is similar to the Sanskrit words alaya and akasha and to the English words “ether” and “space.” There is an infinite accommodation in the universe, an emptiness capable of creatively containing all, which manifests in and through the Illuminated Heart. “The world stands out on every side, no wider than the heart is Wide.” (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
Hebrews—(from the Semitic root habar, “beyond”; the Hebraic derivative is habri, a “Hebrew” and the Arabic derivative is harbi, an “Arab”) An early name for the Jews; first applied to Abraham by the Canaanites because he had crossed the Euphrates.
Hell-fire—However distant one is from one’s Inner Peace, so deeply is one in Hell-fire, and the pain of this separation is like burning.
Hindu—A practitioner of the Dharma (religion) as presented by the Avatars, Rishis, Saints and Sages of India.
Hitler—(1889-1945) Dictator of Germany and founder of the Nazi Party. His “new order” for Europe called for the discriminate extermination of whole peoples; the Jews of Europe were the most numerous among his victims. He was ultimately defeated, but the poem suggests that his ideas have contaminated the minds of others in the form of extreme selfishness and apathy, if not outright cruelty.
Holy Name—Any phrase which is intended to directly convey the being of God to the one who recites it. According to the traditions of the esoteric schools, a sacred phrase is given by the Teacher to a disciple for him to repeat until such time as he has the experience of awakening into God-realization. In Sanskrit such phrases are called mantra, in Arabic they are called Zikr or Wazifa. However, when words are repeated without a sense of Divinity and devotion this practice can degenerate into what Jesus called “vain repetitions.” Thus he gave his followers the Lord’s Prayer to repeat.
Holy Spirit—[See Divine Spirit]
house—The greater Kingdom of Heaven in which God has prepared many special abodes, or “mansions,” to accommodate the evolving soul in her journey.
Jews—(from the Hebrew Yahudim originally signifying those who repeated Ya Hu, “O, He,” calling on God in His transcendence.) A branch of the descendents of the Patriarch Abraham who founded the religion of monotheism, the realization of the unity of God. Historically, a central feature of Judaism was the tradition of the Prophets who spoke to mankind in God’s name.
Jubilee—One of the laws of Moses, honored by Jesus. It is explained in depth in “The Day of the Lord Cometh” glossary.
love—This word and the word “Heaven” appear most often in the poem. To define it is to lose it. To say it is the purpose for which we are born is too little, and too much. Without demonstration it has no meaning whatever.
love-feasts—A gathering of friends presumably to eat together, but actually to commune with one another in the spirit of Christ who said: “I am the Vine and ye are the branches thereof.”
Mammon—(Aramaic) “Riches.” Wealth, personified as a god.
mansions—The older meaning of this word is simply “abode” or “dwelling place.” [See house]
Marx—(1818-1883) A political economist who formulated a system of thought that gives class struggle a primary role in leading society from bourgeois control to a socialist society and ultimately to communism.
Mercury—(from the Latin merx, “wares”) The god of merchandise and business worshipped by the ancient Romans. Even the planet seems to have a role associated with “busy-ness.”
Minerva—(from the Latin mens, “mind”) In Roman mythology, the goddess of intellect and warfare. She was associated with warlike prowess and skill in the arts of life.
Moses—(from the Hebrew mosheh, “water-born”) One of the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets. To him is attributed the Pentateuch, first five books of the Bible, which contains a definite code for a religious society as well as for human behavior in general. His face was said to be illuminated with the Light of God so much so that men could not face him at times.
Muslim—(Arabic) “One who surrenders to Allah (God).” Muslims are associated with the religion of Islam which the Prophet Mohammed founded. But, consistent with the definition above, all the messengers of God from Adam on are referred to as Muslims in the Qur’an.
Pallas Athene—The Greek counterpart to the Roman goddess Minerva. [See Minerva]
Parsi—A follower of the Zoroastrian religion, descended from Persian refugees who settled in India. Zoroastrianism, founded by the Divine Messenger Zarathustra, celebrates the victory of light over darkness. The magi, whom tradition refers to as the “wise men” who visited the infant Jesus, were the holy men of this faith.
Pharaohs—Honorary title of the kings of ancient Egypt. Pharaoh, as used in the poem, refers to any ruler who substitutes his will for the Divine Will, stemming from the Pharaoh who stood against Moses.
Pharisees—(from the Hebrew parash “separate”) Members of a religious sect among the Jews who, at the time of Christ, exercised great political authority; and, because of their exaggerated zeal for the law and its accurate observance, held themselves separate from those they considered unclean. They were denounced by Jesus as hypocrites (“for they say, and do not”), for making differences and distinctions among men. Their whole tendency was toward analysis, and their conformity with the “letter” of the law and not the Spirit marked them as directly opposed to the real mission of Jesus.
psychic—Man has three bodies, as taught in Christianity (I Corinthians) and all the world religions: the physical, psychic (also called astral or subtle) and the spiritual (also called causal). The psychic body corresponds to the world of jinns (from which our word “genius” comes) and fairies; it is a world of emotions, powers and faculties of mind. The spiritual body corresponds to the world of angels; it refers more to faculties of the heart and Divine Breath.
resurrection—Rebirth. This refers to the rising of Christ from death to eternal life and the example he held forth to the world of the possibility of this victory of life over death to all men and in all times. “The acme of self-effacement in Jesus comes in the resurrection. . . . The spiritual rebirth or resurrection comes after the self-effacement or Crucifixion.” (S.L.L.)
Sabbath Hour—The Sabbath, which comes from the root word in Hebrew signifying “completion” or “perfection,” refers to that period of time when one turns away from worldly preoccupations and, in an attitude of self-surrender, contemplates Perfection. “It is our work to restore this sanctity in ourselves and in our fellow man…. It is our attunement to and our union with God which enables us to experience life on all planes and not be pulled down by a troublesome world,” (S.L.L.) The use of the term “Sabbath Hour” in the poem indicates that man need not limit his observance of the Sabbath to one day of the week.
Satan—(Hebrew) “Adversary.” Although we use the term “Devil” to refer to Satan, he is perhaps better understood as the false ego which causes all the agitation that prevents mankind from appreciating love, joy and peace.
Shem—(Hebrew) “Light.” The all-pervading clear Light of the Absolute which is replete with all qualities and is everlasting. The scions of Shem are the real Shemites or Semites, i.e., the descendants of Noah’s eldest son, Shem, “meaning the pure, the holy, the upright, the heavenly.” (S.L.L.)
Table, unseen—The place of communion; even on earth this occurs where “heart speaks to heart, and soul to soul.” (Hazrat Inayat Khan)
Tojo—Tojo Kideki (1884-1948), the Japanese general who served as minister of war and premier at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was tried by the International Military Tribunal of the Far East and executed for war crimes in 1948.
transmute—Refine, transform into a more subtle state.
universal will—“In unison with the Will of God we will to have peace.” (Hazrat Inayat Khan)
Vulcan—In Roman mythology, the god of the mechanical arts and fire, particularly in its destructive aspects, such as volcanoes and conflagrations.
wafer—The disk of unleavened bread used in the Mass to represent the body of Christ, which is ingested by the communicant during the Communion. It symbolizes the consecration of the bread and wine used by Christ at the Last Supper. [See Christ, Flesh of]
water—The symbol of “spirit.” “As water gives life to the
earth, so the nature of the spirit is to give life to the body. Without water
the earth is dead; so is the body without the soul.”
(S.L.L.) It is one of the three mysteries mentioned in the poem: water, breath and blood. The Christian Bible teaches that these are “three witnesses on earth … and these three are as one.” Water as a witness to Divinity, as a medium of purification and blessing is common to the rituals of Christianity, Judaism and Islam: in Judaism and Islam through the ritual baths and ablutions, in Christianity through the rite of baptism.
wine—“The juice of the grape … symbolical of the life of non-ego … of the unrestricted life of soul…. Ego of grapes disappears in the production wine.” (S.L.L.) The Blood of Christ, Ecstasy. The Divine Presence.