~ The Sevenfold Peace ~
Their Tree of Life and the Communions taught man his relationship with the fourteen forces of the visible and invisible worlds. The Sevenfold Peace explains his relationship to the parts of his own being and to his fellow men, showing how to create peace and harmony in the seven categories of his life.
Harmony to the Essenes meant peace.
They considered that human life can be divided into seven departments, physical, mental, emotional, social, cultural, its relationship with nature and its relationship with the entire cosmos.
Man, it was held, has three bodies that function in each of these departments, an acting body, a feeling body and a thinking body. The thinking body's highest power is wisdom. The feeling body's highest power is love. The acting body's function is to translate the wisdom of the thinking body and the love of the feeling body into action in an individual's social and cultural worlds and in his utilization of the terrestrial and heavenly forces.
The Sevenfold Peace explains the utilization of these powers and forces with the utmost clarity. Every noon a Peace Contemplation was held with one aspect of Peace; and every Sabbath was collectively dedicated to one, the entire cycle covering all phases of man's life being completed in seven weeks' time.
I - Peace With the Body
The word used by the Essenes to indicate the physical body, both in Aramaic and in Hebrew, signified the body's function, to act, to move.
This differs greatly from other concepts. The Greeks, for instance, exalted the body for its esthetic qualities, its proportions and beauty, and were unaware of any deeper purpose. The Romans looked tipon the body simply as an instrument of strength and power for conquering nations, planting the Roman eagle in far lands. The medieval Christians disdained the body, considering it the source of all man's troubles, a barrier between man and God.
The Essenes had a much deeper understanding than any of these. They knew that in the acting body, evolving through hundreds of thousands of years, are manifested all the laws of life and the cosmos; in it is to be found the key to the whole universe.
They studied it in relation to man's whole role in the universe, and their concept of that role was greater than any other which has ever been held. They considered man has three roles: one of individual evolution; second, a function in regard to the planet on which he lives; and third, a purpose as a unit of the cosmos.
The acting body has its part to play in all three of these roles. It is a Divine product, created by the law for the purpose of the Creator, in no way inferior to any other instrument of man, nor to anything else in the universe. It is waiting for man to make conscious use of its terrestrial and spiritual energies.
The Essenes knew that man is not an isolated being alone in the universe, but one among other beings on earth and on other planets, all of whom have acting bodies which are evolving even as is man's own. All of these acting bodies are therefore related to each other and affect each other. Every individual's bodily health and vitality is consequently of the utmost importance both to himself and to all other beings on earth and on all other planets.
The daily practices of the Essenes were derived from this dynamic all-sided concept of the acting body as an integral part of the whole universe and their extraordinary health and vitality was a result of it.
Those who joined their Brotherhoods were trained to perfect the acting body in all three of its roles, and were taught how to adapt it to the constantly changing field of forces in which it lives and moves.
They were taught the effects on the organism of different foods and the different natural forces of earth, the sun, air and water. They were required to follow certain rituals utilizing these forces, such as starting each day with a cold water ablution and exposing the body once every day to the solar rays. Through practical experience they learned the vitalizing power of working in the fields and orchards and gardens.
They learned how disease is created by deviations from the law and how to heal the diseases that result from the deviations. They were taught the qualities and curative powers of different herbs and plants, of heliotherapy and hydrotherapy, and the proper diet for every ailment. They were instructed in right breathing and in the power which thought holds over the acting body.
They learned the material and spiritual value of moderation in all things, and that fasting was a way to regenerate the body and to develop the will and in this way to increase spiritual power.
These practices brought peace and harmony to the acting body. But undue importance was never attached to it. The consideration and care they gave it was solely to keep it in good health as an instrument through which they could perform acts of wisdom and love for their fellowman. In this way the acting body participated in the evolution of the individual, of the planet and the cosmos, thus enabling the individual to become a co-creator with the law and with God.
This was the first peace practiced by the Essenes, peace with the body.
II - Peace With the Mind
The quintessence of the teaching in the Sevenfold Peace was concentrated around peace with the mind, mind, in the Essene terminology, being the creator of thought.
The Essenes considered thought to be a superior force, more powerful than the force of either feeling or action, because it is the instigator of both.
The totality of an individual's thoughts was called his thinking body. The totality of the thoughts in all the hundreds of millions of thinking bodies around the surface of the earth forms the planetary thinking body; and the totality of all superior thoughts in the universe forms a cosmic thinking body, or a cosmic ocean of thought.
The Essenes considered an individual's thinking body, like his acting body, has three functions, an individual, a planetary and a cosmic function.
It's individual function is to utilize the power of thought to guide and direct the currents of feeling in the individual's feeling body, and the actions of his acting body. The thinking body can do this because it penetrates through and though the feeling and acting bodies.
The planetary function is to contribute noble and uplifting thoughts to the planetary thinking body. An individual's thoughts form a force field around him comparable to the magnetic field surrounding a magnetic pole. Into this force field the individual's thoughts are constantly pouring and being sent out, and it is also receiving currents of thought from the planetary thinking body of which it is a part. Every individual thus lives, moves, thinks, feels and acts in this surrounding planetary atmosphere of thought, to which he himself is constantly contributing. He is responsible for the thoughts he contributes, for all the thoughts he sends out.
The third function of the thinking body, its cosmic function, is not readily fulfilled. The cosmic ocean of thought, of which the planetary thought atmosphere surrounding the earth is only an infinitesimal part, consists of all the thoughts in the universe superior enough to have become freed of the planetary forces attaching them to their particular planet. Only those highest thought currents which have overcome the planetary gravitation of their planetary atmosphere become united with the infinite cosmic ocean of thought.
This cosmic ocean of thought represents the perfection of the law, the omnipotence of the law and the omnipresence of the law. It has always existed and it always will exist. It is more ancient than any of the existing planets in the solar system, more ancient than the existing solar system itself, or than the galactic or ultragalactic systems. Eternal and infinite it directs all the steps of the cosmic and planetary evolution in the infinite cosmic ocean of life.
The cosmic function of each individual's thinking body is to create thoughts of so superior a quality that they can unite with this cosmic ocean of thought.
The Essenes considered that the thinking body is man's highest gift from his Creator. For it, and it alone, gives him the capacity to become conscious of the Law, to understand it, to work in harmony with it, to perceive its manifestations in all his surroundings, in himself, in every cell and molecule of his physical body, in everything that is, and to realize its omnipresence and omnipotence. By becoming conscious of the Law, by understanding it, by acting in harmony with it, man becomes a co-creator with God; there is no greater or higher Value in the universe.
Through this most powerful force of thought, this greatest of treasures possessed by man, and his title to nobility, man has the ability and freedom to accomplish whatever he truly wants, to achieve anything to which he aspires that is in harmony with the Law, and thereby to live in the eternal perfection that is the Law.
If man.thinks in harmony with the Law he can remedy whatever inharmony he has created in the past; he can recreate his thinking body, his feeling body and his acting body. He can heal all diseases in his physical body and create complete harmony in his environment and world.
But if the currents of thought in the thinking body are not in accord with the Law, nothing else can create harmony in the individual's world.
The Essenes knew that only a small minority of mankind make use of the great capacity of the thinking body. They knew that the majority use their thinking bodies quite haphazardly, unaware their thoughts can be used to build or to destroy. An almost automatic succession of thoughts, ideas and association of ideas passes through their minds without conscious direction. Yet even these drifting elements of thought can create powerful forces that go through and through the feeling body and the acting body, interpenetrating every atom and cell, throwing every particle of them into vibration. From these vibrations radiations go out that are harmonious or inharmonious according to the nature of the thought.
If man fails to become consciously aware of the Law, he deviates from it unknowingly for he is surrounded by fields of inharmonious forces prompting him to deviations. These deviations create all the imperfections in his world, all the limitations and negations in his thoughts and feelings and physical well-being, in his environment, in society and the entire planet. Every time man creates or accepts an inferior thought, he is accepting an inferior force into his world.
The inferior force, according to the strength of the thought, reacts on his feeling body. This sets up an emotional disequilibrium in his feeling body, which in tum reacts on his physical body.
This disequilibrium automatically causes further deviations, further inharmonies, further diseases in the feeling and acting bodies. And these inharmonies, these diseases, create an inharmonious atmosphere around the individual which affects the thinking, feeling and acting bodies of all othcrs who are not conscious of the Law and do not know how to protect themselves from receiving all those inferior thoughts created by the individual's single deviation in thought.
So every individual who has an inferior thought, a limiting, negative or inharmonious thought, starts a chain reaction of deviations which spreads throughout the planet and the planetary worlds, causing even further deviations, negations, limitations and inharmonies.
This inharmony is contagious ' just as many diseases are contagious. But the great Essene masters taught man how to prevent these waves of inharmony, riglit at their source, before the first inharmonious thought is created. They taught man the right way of thinking, the way of never deviating from the Law, never receiving or accepting into the consciousness any thought less than perfection.
These great masters also taught that man is free to work with the Law if he so desires, creating ever increasing harmony and perfection in his world and in the world outside of himself.
Man continually tries to evolve ways to better the conditions in which he lives. But he does this too often without regard for the Law. He seeks peace and harmony by material means, technical evolution, economic systems, not knowing that the conditions of inharmony which he himself has brought into being can never be remedied by material means. The ocean of suffering and inharmony humanity has created can only be destroyed when mankind sets into motion the law of harmony in his thinking body. Only through complete cooperation with the Law can peace and harmony be brought to the planet.
This is the teaching of the ancient Essenes in regard to peace with the mind.
III - Peace With the Family
The third peace of the Essenes, peace with the family, concerns harmony in the feeling body, harmony in the emotions.
By the term family the Essenes meant those in the individual's immediate environment, the people he contacts in his daily life and thought, his family, relatives, friends and associates. According to the Essene tradition harmony with these people depends upon the feeling body.
The natural function of the feeling body is to express love. Mankind has been told this over and over again by the great Masters, Jesus, Buddha, Zoroaster, Moses and the Prophets. He has been given the law that he should love his Creator with all his thinking, feeling and acting bodies. Life in all its spheres, aspects and manifestations is the demonstration of creative love.
Divine love is a great cosmic power, a cosmic function. It is the law of all man's bodies, but it is expressed most powerfully through the feeling body.
The feeling body consists of all the currents of feeling and emotions an individual experiences and sends out into the atmosphere about him.
just as the thinking bodies of all the individuals on the planet create a thought atmosphere around it, so all the feeling bodies create a planetary feeling atmosphere, invisible and imponderable, but having enormous influence and power. Every feeling and emotion created by an individual becomes a part of the feeling atmosphere of earth, setting up a resonance of co-vibration with all similar feelings in the earth's atmosphere.
If an inferior feeling is sent out, its creator is immediately tuned in to all the similar inferior feelings in the earth's feeling body. He thus opens the gate to a flood of destructive power which rushes in and seizes control of his feelings, and often of his mind, amplifying his own low feelings just as a loud speaker amplifies or intensifies sound.
This destructive force directly affects the individual's physical body. It affects the functioning of the endocrine glands and the whole glandular system. It produces disease cells that lower vitality, shorten life and result in unlimited suffering. It is thus not surprising that statistics of nervous disorders and other diseases are so appalling in spite of all the hospitals, sanitariums, medical organizations, laboratories and the progress of hygiene and medicine.
Through his feeling body man has become an autointoxicating automaton, because of his deviation from the law, his acting without knowledge of the law, against it instead of with it.
The Essenes knew that there is a great deal of inharmony in the feeling body of almost everyone. By studying the feeling bodies of babies and primitive man they learned why.
The feeling body of a baby first registers the manisfestations of the infant's primitive instinct of self-preservation. This instinct arouses three fundamental emotions: fear, anger and love. Fear arises from a sudden movement or noise; anger from Interference with the baby's freedom; love from the satisfaction of its hunger and needs. Fear and anger are inferior feelings; the love feeling, while superior, in the baby is rudimentary. The baby's feeling body is a volcano of emotions, most of which are inferior. Its thinking body has not begun to function.
A primitive man has a similar feeling body. His emotions, likewise centered around the instinct of self preservation, are a powerful force completely dominating his embryonic thinking body.
In both child and primitive man the feeling body develops long before the thinking body. This is necessary to protect the physical body from danger and so preserve its life. The instinct of self-preservation is a law of nature. Acting under it is in entire harmony with the law until man has evolved the power to think and reason his way out of danger.
But because feeling has functioned for so much longer a period of time than thinking, it tends to dominate thought even after the child is grown and the primitive man has become civilized. In the mass of mankind today the feeling body rules the thinking body.
This is the cause of man's first deviation from the law.
Through the power of thought man can handle every situation in his life more adequately than through unthinking emotion. But the actions of most people are far more often the expression of impulses in the feeling body than of reasoned thought. This results in a tremendous imbalance in his bodies. Because adult civilized man has evolved to the point where he has the ability to think, thought should govern his actions. When he permits them to be controlled by emotion and feeling, as they were dominated in infancy, he throws all his powers out of rhythm, out of harmony.
This creates a regressive psychological condition in his whole existence. His deeds and actions as a consequence remain self-centered and egoistic like those of a child or primitive man. But when he is no longer a savage or a child, he deviates from the law if he acts as a child or primitive man. His instinctive impulses can only serve evolutionary progress when controlled by the thinking faculties.There are further consequences from this deviation from the law.
Nature has given man the capacity to think so he may be able to understand its laws and direct his life in harmony with them. Man can reach a far higher degree of evolution through thinking than through living by instinct. So when he continues to let his feeling body be the dominating power in his actions, he not only retards his own evolution but that of the planet.
If he makes no effort to understand the law but neglects it and consequently lacks knowledge of it, he has to create his own laws, small artificial laws, of self-centeredness and egoism; and these cause walls of separation between himself and the rest of the human family, between himself and nature and between himself and the Great Law, the Creator.
Man's first deviation from the law through the feeling body starts the long chain of deviations which cause all human inharmony and suffering on earth.
All the great teachers of humanity through thousands of years have warned man of the consequences of deviation from the law of the feeling body. Buddha pointed out how it results in suffering, suffering for the individual and suffering for humanity.
The Essenes showed that the feeling body can be the most powerful instrument for the production of health, vitality and happiness, and that through its right functioning in expressing love, man can create the kingdom of heaven in and around himself and the whole human family.
The Essene peace with the family is the Great Law in its expression of men's love toward one another, a law revealed to little children but often hidden from the minds of men.
IV - Peace With Humanity
The fourth peace of the Essenes referred to harmony between groups of people, to social and economic peace.
Mankind has never enjoyed social peace in any age in history. Man has always exploited man economically, oppressed him politically, suppressed him by military force. The Essenes knew these injustices were caused by deviations from the law. The very same deviations that produce inharmony in man's personal life, in his acting, thinking and feeling bodies, produce wealth and poverty, masters and slaves, social unrest.
The Essenes regarded both riches and poverty to be the result of deviations from the law.
Great wealth, they considered, is concentrated into the hands of the few because of man's exploitation of man, in one way or another. This has caused misery for both suppressor and suppressed. The many feel hatred and its kindred destructive emotions. This produces fear in the hearts of the exploiters, fear of revolt, fear of losing their possessions, even their lives.
Poverty was held to be an equal deviation from the law. A man is poor because of wrong attitudes of thinking, feeling and acting. He is ignorant of the law and fails to work with the law. The Essenes showed that there is an abundance for everyone of all that a man needs for his use and happiness.
Limitations and over-abundance are both artificial states, deviations from the law. They produce the vicious circle of fear and revolt, a permanent atmosphere of inharmony, affecting the thinking, feeling and acting bodies of both rich and poor, continually creating a state of unrest, war and chaos. This has been the condition throughout recorded history.
The rich and the poor alike suffer the consequences of their deviations.
The Essenes knew there was no escape from this circle of oppression, hatreds and violence, wars and revolutions, except through changing the ignorance of the individuals in the world. They knew it takes a long time for an individual to change his ideas, thinking and habits and learn to cooperate with the law. The individual himself has to do the changing; nobody else can do it for him.
But a higher and higher understanding of the law can be brought about gradually, the Essenes believed, through teaching and example. They taught a quite opposite way of existence from either poverty or great wealth. They demonstrated in their daily lives that if man lives according to the law, seeks to understand the law and consciously cooperates with it, he will know no lack. He will be able to maintain an all-sided harmony in every act and thought and feeling, and he will find his every need fulfilled.
The solution which the Essenes offered for economic and social harmony can be applied in every age, the present as well as the past. It contained four factors:
- Separating from the chaotic conditions of the mass of mankind which refuses to obey natural and cosmic law.
- Demonstrating a practical social system based on natural and cosmic law.
- Communicating these ideas to the outside world through teaching, healing and helping others according to their needs.
- Attracting to their communities other individuals who are sufficiently evolved to be willing to cooperate with the law.
The Essenes withdrew from the inharmony of cities and towns and formed brotherhoods on the shores of lakes and rivers where they could live and work in obedience to the law. They established there economic and social systems based wholly on the law. No rich and no poor were in their brotherhoods. No one had need of anything he did not have; and no one had an excess of things he could not use. They considered one condition as deteriorating as the other.
They demonstrated to humanity that man's daily bread, his food and all his material needs can be acquired without struggle through the knowledge of the law.
Strict rules and regulations were unnecessary for all lived in accord with the law. Order, efficiency and individual freedom existed side by side. The Essenes were extremely practical as well as highly spiritual and intellectual.
They took no part in politics and adhered to no political factions, knowing that neither political or military means could change man's chaotic condition. They showed by concrete example that exploitation and oppression of others were completely unnecessary. Many economic and social historians have considered the Essenes the world's first social reformers on a comprehensive scale.
Their brotherhoods were partly cooperative. Each member of the group had his own small house and a garden large enough for him to grow whatever he especially desired. But he also took part in communal activities wherever his service might be needed, such as in the pasturing of animals, planting and harvesting of crops most economically grown on an extensive basis.
They had great agricultural proficiency, a thorough knowledge of plant life, soil and climatic conditions. In comparatively desert areas they produced a large variety of fruits and vegetables of the highest quality and in such abundance they periodically had a surplus to distribute to the needy. Their scientific knowledge was such that they could do all of this in a comparatively few hours each day, leaving ample time for their studies and spiritual practices.
Nature was their Bible. They considered gardening educational, a key to the understanding of the entire universe, revealing all its laws, even as does the acting body. They read and studied the great book of nature throughout their lives, in all their brotherhoods, as an inexhaustible source of knowledge, as well as of energy and harmony. When they dug in their gardens and tended their plantings they held communion with the growing things, the trees, sun, soil, rain. From all of these forces they received their education, their pleasure and their recreation.
One of the reasons for their great success was this attitude toward their work. They did not consider it as work but as a means of studying the forces and laws of nature. It was in this that their economic system differed from all others. The vegetables and fruits they produced were only the incidental results of their activities; their real reward was in the knowledge, harmony and vitality they gained to enrich their lives. Gardening was a ritual with them; a great and impressive silence reigned as they worked in harmony with nature creating veritable kingdoms of heaven in their brotherhoods.
Their economic and social organization was only one phase of their whole system of life and teaching. It was considered a means to an end, not an end in itself. There was thus a dynamic unity and harmony in all their activity, their thoughts and feelings and deeds. All gave freely of their time and energy with no mathematical measuring of one another's contributions. Through this harmony within each individual, the individual's evolution progressed steadily.
The Essenes knew it takes many generations to effect changes in people or in mankind as a whole, but they sent out teachers and healers from their brotherhoods whose lives and accomplishments would manifest the truths they taught and little by little increase mankind's understanding and desire to live in accord with the law. The Essene Brotherhood at the Dead Sea for many centuries sent out such teachers as John the Baptist, Jesus and John the Beloved. They warned again and again of the consequences of man's social and economic deviations from the law. Prophet after prophet was sent forth to warn of the dangers incurred by the social injustices that existed then even as they exist today. Not only were individuals and groups warned but it was shown that all who aided or in any way collaborated with the deviators were also in danger.
The mass of mankind failed to listen, ailed to gain any understanding of social and economic peace. Only the few more evolved individuals heeded. Of these some were selected to work in the brotherhoods as examples of peace and harmony in all aspects of existence.
The Essenes knew that through the cumulative effect of example and teaching the minority who understand and obey the law will someday grow through the generations to become, finally, the majority of mankind.
Then and then only will mankind know this fourth peace of the Essenes, peace with humanity.
V - Peace With Culture
Peace with culture refers to the utilization of the masterpieces of wisdom from all ages, including the present.
The Essenes held that man can take his rightful place in the universe only by absorbing all possible knowledge 'from the great teachings which have been given forth by masters of wisdom.
According to the Essene traditions these masterpieces represented one-third of all knowledge. They considered there are three pathways to the finding of truth. One is the path of intuition which was followed by the mystics and prophets. Another is the pathway of nature, that of the scientist. The third is the pathway of culture, that of great masterpieces of literature and the arts.
The Essenes preserved many precious manuscripts in their brotherhoods which they constantly studied by a method found in no other school of thought in antiquity. They studied them by following the first two pathways to truth: intuition and nature.
Through intuition they endeavored to apprehend the original higher intuition of the master and so awaken their own higher consciousness. Through nature, from which the great masters drew comparisons to express their intuitive knowledge to the masses, the Essenes correlated their own intuitive observations with the teachings of the masters. By this continual comparison between nature, their own intuitions and the great masterpieces of culture, their own individual evolution was advanced.
It was also considered to be every man's duty to acquire the wisdom from these masterpieces so that the experience, knowledge and wisdom already attained by previous generations could be utilized. Without these teachings the progress and evolution of mankind would be much slower than it is, for every generation would have to start all over again from the beginning. In universal culture man has added something new to the planet and so has become a creator, a co-creator with God. Thus he performs his function on the planet by continuing the work of creation.
Universal culture is of great value to humanity from two other standpoints. First, it represents the highest ideals which mankind has held. Second, it represents an all-sided synthesis of knowledge of the problems of life and their right solution.
This knowledge was brought forth by highly evolved individuals, masters who had the power to contact the universal sources of knowledge, energy and harmony which exist in the cosmic ocean of thought. Evidence of this contact was their conscious directing of the forces of nature in ways the world today terms miracles. These manifestations of their powers drew about them a limited number of followers who were advanced enough in their own evolution to understand the deeper meaning of the master's teaching. These disciples endeavored to preserve the truths taught by writing down the master's words. This was the origin of all the great masterpieces of universal literature.
The truths in these masterpieces are eternal. They are valid for all time. They come from the one eternal unchanging source of all knowledge. The cosmic and natural laws, nature, man's inner consciousness are the same today as two or ten thousand years ago. Such teachings belong to no one school of thought or religion. The Essenes believed man should study all the great sacred books of humanity, all the great contributions to culture, for they knew all teach the same ageless wisdom and any seeming contradictions come through the onesidedness of the followers who have attempted to interpret them.
The object of study, they held, is not to add a few additional facts to the store of knowledge an individual already may have. It is to open to him sources of universal truth. They considered that when a man reads a great sacred book 6f humanity, the symbols of letters and words themselves create in the thinking body powerful vibrations and currents of thought. These vibrations and currents put the individual in touch with the thinking body of the great master who gave forth the truth.
This opens up for the individual a source of knowledge, harmony and power obtainable in no other way. This is the great value, the inner meaning, of the fifth peace of the Essenes. These great masterpieces have been brought forth in periods of history when humanity was in great chaos. Mankind's constant deviations from the law seem to culminate at certain times in mass confusion and disruption, threatening or completely bringing about the disintegration of the existing social order and way of life. At such periods the great masters have appeared as way showers to the people. Masters such as Zoroaster, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, brought new horizons and new hope to humanity.
They gave forth their teachings in two forms. One was in parables from nature which could be understood by the masses of the people. The other, given to the small minority of evolved followers, was transmitted direct from the master's consciousness to the consciousness of the disciple. The former are called the exoteric books and were referred to by historians as the written traditions. The other teaching was termed the unwritten tradition, and these were the esoteric teaching written down by the disciples for themselves, not for the people. But even the disciples did not always understand the master's wisdom and interpret it correctly.
A few, although only a very few, contemporary books contain the same teachings which the masters gave forth. Thousands of people write books today and thousands upon thousands of books are published each year. With such a mass production of printed matter it is inevitable that the vast majority of it must be of an inferior quality even the best of which proclaims shallow pseudo-truths. Yet what little time modern man allots to reading tends to be spent on this ephemeral and generally worthless printed matter, while the masterpieces of the ages gather dust on the library shelves.
Before printing was invented only those manuscripts which had real value were ever preserved. Only extraordinary books were produced. The average man was not able to read or write. The difficulties of acquiring knowledge were enormous. Traveling to the few centers of learning entailed great danger due to unsettled conditions in various countries and the primitive methods of transportation. The student moreover had to serve years of apprenticeship to be considered worthy of acquiring wisdom, and further long years in acquiring it. The material difficulties in producing a manuscript were also great. Because of these obstacles only works of true genius were transmitted to future generations and the few that have survived represent wisdom of the highest order.
This third part of all wisdom, represented by the culture of humanity, was held by the Essenes to be necessary for man's evolution. In no other way could he gain an all-sided understanding of the laws of life through contact with the cosmic ocean of thought.
This contact, through the eternal thinking body of a great master, is the sacred purpose and the priceless privilege of peace and harmony with culture.
VI - Peace With the Kingdom of the Earthly Mother
The sixth peace teaches harmony with the laws of terrestrial nature, the kingdom of the Earthly Mother. The unity of man and nature is a basic principle of the Essene science of life.
Man is an integral part of nature. He is governed by all the laws and forces of nature. His health, vitality and well-being depend upon his degree of harmony with earth forces; and that of every individual, every nation and the whole of humanity will always be in direct proportion to man's observance of terrestrial laws.
Universal history shows that every nation reached its greatest splendor by following the great law of unity between man and nature. Its vitality and prosperity flourished when the people lived a simple natural life of cooperation with nature. But when the nation or civilization deviates from unity, it inevitably disintegrates and disappears.
This unity of man and nature has never been so heavily transgressed as in the present day. Modern man's building of cities is in entire variance with nature. The city's stone and concrete walls are the symbols of man's separation from nature, of his aggressive way of life with its urges to subjugation of others and to constant competition, one with another. His present centralized, technical and mechanized life creates a chasm separating him from nature, a chasm which never was wider or deeper.
Unity with nature is the foundation of man's existence on the planet. It is the foundation of all economic systems, of all social relationships between groups of people. Without it, the present civilization like those of the past will move toward decline and decay.
This law of unity was held by the Essenes to be the guiding norm for the daily life of man in the material universe.
Humanity has had knowledge of this great law from a time preceding the Pleistocene cataclysm. According to traditions based on the hieroglyphics of the Sumerians made some ten thousand years ago the life of antediluvian man was preponderantly a forest life, inseparable from that of the forest. Science has named this man homo sapiens sylvanus.
The giant trees of that age, several hundred feet in height, not only provided shelter but regulated the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere. Trees produced man's food with an abundance of different fruits. Man's basic occupation was with trees. He not only cultivated and cared for them, he created new varieties producing new kinds of fruits. He was a great arboriculturist, living in harmony with all the forces of nature. He collaborated with her in every way, both extending the forests and abstaining from harming trees.
This antediluvian man of the forest ages, without technical development of any kind, was an almost perfect demonstration of the great law of unity and harmony between man and nature. In the philosophy of all ancient teachings man's unity with the forests was a basic characteristic. The idea of unity between man and nature has inspired great thinkers, philosophers and whole systems of thought.
Zoroaster based much of his teaching in the Zend Avesta upon it. He sought to renew the earlier traditions by leading man back into this harmonious way of life, collaboration with terrestrial nature. He taught his followers that it was their duty to maintain the topsoil, to study gardening and all the laws of nature and to collaborate with its forces to improve the whole vegetable kingdom and extend it over the surface of the whole earth. He urged his followers to take an active part in developing every aspect of terrestrial nature, plants, trees and all their products.
To encourage this he directed all fathers to plant a fruit tree on every birthday of each of his sons, and on the twenty-first birthday to give the youth the twenty one fruit trees together with the land on which they grew. This was to be the son's heritage and the father was also commanded to teach the boy all the laws of practical gardening and collaboration with nature so that he could provide for all his own future needs.
The ideal existence for man, Zoroaster taught, is that of the gardener whose work with the soil, air, sunshine and rain keeps him constantly contacting the forces of nature and studying their laws. Study of this greatest book, the book of nature, Zoroaster considered the first step in creating peace and harmony in the kingdom of the Earthly Mother.
The teaching of this same great unity between man and nature appeared in India immediately after the Zend Avesta, in the Vedic philosophy of Brahmanism, in the Upanishads, and later in the teaching of Buddha. The Brahmanic Law of the One, "Thou Art That," (Tat Tvam Asi) expressed the unity of everything, the universe, man, nature. The sages of India were men of the forest, living in complete harmony with all creation.
Berosus, the Chaldean priest, pictured this natural forest way of living.
But the unity between man and nature has been given its most complete and poetic expression in the second chapter of the Essene Gospel of John in which Jesus borrowed his whole terminology from nature to show that man is an integral part of it. Jesus gave a last warning regarding this unity and the necessity of returning to it.
Antediluvian man, the Zoroastrian, the Brahman, the Buddhist, the Essene, all consider the forest and nature to be man's friend and protector, the mother providing all his earthly needs. They never looked upon her as an alien force which had to be fought and conquered as does modern man. The two symbols, the forest and the stone wall, epitomize the vast difference between ancient and modern concepts of nature, between harmonious peacefulness and cooperation and the stone walls of cities, the destruction of plant life, soil, and climate.
Man needs today to learn harmony and peace with nature more than in any other age in history. There are enormous regions over the earth where he is letting the topsoil deteriorate and disappear. Never before has there been such wholesale destruction of forests, not only in one or two countries but all over the five continents. As a consequence of this lack of cooperation with nature the desert areas of the world are increasing, drought is more and more frequent, floods periodically inundate the land. There is an unmistakable deterioration of climate; excessive cold, excessive heat and increasing hordes of insect pests damage crops throughout the world. Instead of following the noble tradition of the Essenes contemporary man fails to recognize the great law of unity and cooperation with nature, and seems bent on deteriorating his heritage, refusing to read the great open book of nature which reveals all the laws of life and shows the way to ever increasing happiness for man.
The Essene teaching shows the only way of organizing man's life on this planet, the only foundation for a healthy humanity, peace with the kingdom of the Earthly Mother.
VII - Peace With the Kingdom of the Heavenly Father
This, the seventh peace, includes all other aspects of peace. The kingdom of the Heavenly Father is the universe, the entire cosmos. It is ruled by the One Law, the totality of all laws. The Heavenly Father is the Law.
Law is everywhere present. It is behind all that is manifest and all that is unmanifest. A stone falls, a mountain forms, seas flow according to law. In accord with law solar systems arise, evolve and disappear. Ideas, sensations, intuitions come and go in man's consciousness according to law. All that is, concrete or abstract, material or immaterial, visible or invisible, is ruled by law, the One Law.
The Law is formless as a mathematical equation is formless. Yet it contains all knowledge, all love, all power. It eternally manifests all truth and all reality. It is man's teacher and friend, showing him all he must do, and know, and be to evolve to the being which he will someday become. The Law guides man in every problem, through every obstacle, telling him always the perfect solution.
Peace with the Law means peace and harmony with the cosmic ocean of all the cosmic forces in the universe. Through this peace, man makes contact with all the superior currents and radiations from all the planets in cosmic space. Through it he is able to attain realization of his unity with all the forces in the universe, those of earth and those from all other planets in the solar system and all galactic systems.
Through this peace he can become united with all the highest values in the universe. Through this peace is awakened the inner intuition which was followed by the mystics and prophets of all ages. Through this peace man contacts his Creator.
This peace completes man's evolution. It brings him total happiness. It is his final goal.
Man is a part of the totality of the universe. He forms an undivided unity with the whole. He thinks himself apart from it because he has become aware of himself as an individual. He has become self-conscious and selfcentered beyond the point where self-centeredness is necessary to preserve his life.
This feeling of separation gives rise to his consciousness of lack, of limitation. In thought he has separated himself from the abundance of the universe, shut himself away from the Source of all supply. Supply is material and immaterial, the tangible visible needs for daily life and universal supply of energy, vitality and power, the greatest of which is love.
The Essene considered that man lives in the midst of a field of forces, both terrestrial and planetary, and that his individual evolution progresses to the degree in which he cooperates with these forces. But there are other forces of a superior order with which it is even more important that he is in harmony. These are the spiritual currents in the cosmic ocean of cosmic consciousness. These higher currents do not mingle with the terrestrial and planetary currents. Man by his own efforts, his own will, has to ascend to this cosmic ocean of universal life. Then and then only can he realize his oneness with the Law.
To understand this clearly it is necessary to look at the universe as a whole and to comprehend that it is a totality which includes all its parts, all love, all life, all knowledge, all power, all substance. It is the sum of all substances for out of it all things are formed. It is the sum of all love which is everywhere present, for love is the supreme source and the cohesive force which binds the universe together, in all its parts. Man can no more be apart from this totality than a cell in his body can be apart from his body.
The Essenes spoke of the three parts of man: the material body, the feeling body and the thinking body. But they were always aware that these three parts were not a division in reality for they are all parts of the v. And this spiritual one higher body, the spiritual body is one with and part of all else in the universe.
A Man's failure to understand this causes an infinite complexity of false limitations. He not only limits himself in regard to the supply of his material needs, but in regard to his capacities, his abilities, and powers of thinking, feeling and acting. He lives a life of mediocrity because of these false ideas of limitations which he fastens upon himself. Modern science concurs in this, reporting that man has capacities he seldom or never uses. The Essene teaching shows that this condition is caused by his sense of separateness, his self-imposed limitations in which he has become enmeshed by his deviations from the law.
Peace with the kingdom of the Heavenly Father is therefore only possible as man eliminates these deviations and learns to cooperate with the Law, establishing peace and harmony with each of the aspects of the Sevenfold Peace, the acting, thinking and feeling bodies, the family, humanity, culture and nature. Only then can he know the seventh peace, total peace.
The Essenes taught this peace to humanity so that they could overcome all limitations and contact their universal Source, the same Source with which the great masters throughout the ages have united their consciousness when they gave forth their intuitive teachings showing man how to become conscious of the law, understand it, work with it, and manifest it in action.
All history is a record of the self-imposed limitations of man and his efforts to overcome them. These efforts have been made individually, by groups or nations, and in a planetary sense. But they have almost always been made negatively, inharmoniously, through struggle and further deviations from the law. Thus they have bound man in further limitations, further inharmony and further separation in thought from his Source.
The kingdom of the Heavenly Father is always open to him. His return to the universal consciousness, universal supply, is always possible. Once he makes the decision to return and puts forth the persistent effort, he can always go back to the Source, his Heavenly Father, from whom he came and from whom he has never in reality been away.
The great peace of the Essenes teaches man how to go back, how to take the final step that unites him with the cosmic ocean of superior radiations of the whole universe and reach complete union with the Heavenly Father, the totality of all law, the One Law.
This was the ultimate aim of all Essenes and governed their every thought, feeling and action. It is the final aim which all mankind will one day achieve.
From: The Teachings of the Essenes
by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely
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