THE SEVENFOLD PEACE
"Peace be with you," spoke the Elder in greeting to the Brothers who had gathered for the teachings
"Peace be with you," they answered; and they walked together along the bank of the river, for so was their custom when an Elder taught the Brothers, that they might share the teachings with the angels of the Earthly Mother: of air, of sun, of water, of earth, of life, and of joy.
And the Elder saicl to the Brothers: "I would speak to you of peace, for of all the angels of the Heavenly Father, peace is that for which the world most yearns, as a tired babe longs to put his head on his mother's breast. It is the lack of peace that troubles the kingdoms, even when they are not at war. For violence and warfare may reign in a kingdom even when the sounds of clashing swords are not heard. Though no armies march one against the other, still there is no peace when the Sons of Men walk not with the angels of God. I tell you truly, many are those who do not know peace; for they are at war with their own body; they are at war with their thoughts; they have no peace with their fathers, their mothers, their children; they have no peace with their friends and neighbors; they know not the beauty of the Holy Scrolls; they labor not through the day in the kingdom of their Earthly Mother; nor do they sleep at night in the arms of their Heavenly Father. Peace r eigns not within them, for ever do they thirst for that which in the end brings only misery and pain, even those trappings of riches and fame which Satan uses to tempt the Sons of Men; and they live in ignorance of the Law, even that Holy Law by which we live: the path of the angels of the Earthly Mother and the Heavenly Father."
"How, then, may we bring peace to our brothers, Master?" asked some of the Elder, "for we would that all the Sons of Men share in the blessings of the angel of Peace."
And he answered: "Truly, only he who is at peace with all the angels can shed the light of peace on others. Therefore, first be at peace with all the angels of the Earthly Mother and the Heavenly Father. For the winds of a storm stir and trouble the waters of the river, and only the stillness that follows can calm them once again. Take care when your brother asks you for bread, that you give him not stones. Live first in peace with all the angels, for then your peace will be as a fountain that does replenish itself with the giving, and the more you give, so the more you will be given, for such is the Law.
"Three arc the dwellings of the Son of Man, and no one may come before the face of God who knows not the angel of Peace in each of the three. These are his body, his thoughts, and his feelings. When the angel of Wisdom guides his thoughts, when the angel of Love purifies his feelings, and when the deeds of his body reflect both love and wisdom, then does the angel of Peace guide him unfailingly to the throne of his Heavenly Father. And he should pray without ceasing that the power of Satan with all his diseases and uncleannesses may be cast out of all of his three dwellings; that Power and Wisdom and Love rnay reign in his body, his thoughts, and his feelings.
"First shall the Son of Man seek peace with his own body; for his body is as a mountain pond that reflects the sun when it is still and clear; but when it is full of mud and stones, it reflects nothing. First must Satan be cast out of the body, that the angels of God may enter again and dweh therein. Truly, no peace can reign in the body unless it is as a temple of the Holy Law. Therefore, when he who suffers with pains and grievous plagues asks for your help, tell him to renew himself with fasting and with prayer. Tell him to invoke the angel of sun, the angel of water, and the angel of air, that they may enter his body and cast out of it the power of Satan. Show him the baptism within, and the baptism without. Tell him always to eat of the table of our Earthly Mother, spread with her gifts: the fruits of the trees, the grasses of the fields, the milk of beasts good for eating, and the honey of bees. He shall not invoke the power of Satan by eating the flesh of bea sts, for he who kills, kills his brother, and whoso eats the flesh of slain beasts, eats the body of death. Tell him to prepare his food with the fire of life, not the fire of death, for the living angels of the living God serve only living men.
"And though he sees them not, and hears them not, and touches them not, still is he every moment surrounded by the power of God's angels. While his eyes and ears are closed by ignorance of the Law and thirst for the pleasures of Satan, he will not see them, nor hear them, nor touch them. But when he fasts and prays to the living God to cast out all the diseases and uncleannesses of Satan, then will his eyes and ears be opened, and he will find peace.
"For not only he suffers who harbors the diseases of Satan within him, but his mother, his father, his wife, his children, his companions, these suffer also, for no man is an island unto himself, and the powers that flow through him, whether they be of the angels or of Satan, truly these powers do unto others for good or for evfl.
"After this manner, therefore, pray to your Heavenly Father, when the sun is high at midday: 'Our Father who art in heaven, send to all the Sons of Men your angel of Peace; and send to our body the angel of Life to dwell therein for ever.'
"Then shall the Son of Man seek peace with his own thoughts; that the angel of Wisdom may guide him. For I tell you truly, there is no greater power in heaven and earth than the thoughts of the Son of Man. Though unseen by the eyes of the body, yet each thought has mighty strength, even such strength as can shake the heavens.
"For to no other creature in the kingdom of the Ear I thly Mother is it given the power of thought, for all beasts that crawl and birds that fly, live not of their own thinking but of the one Law that governs all. Only to the Sons of Men is it given the power of thought, even that thought that can break the bonds of death. Do not think because it cannot be seen, that thought has no power. I tell you truly, the lightning that cleaves the mighty oak, or the quaking that opens up cracks in the earth, these are as the play of children compared with the power of thought. Truly each thought of darkness, whether it be of malice, or anger, or vengeance, these wreak destruction like that of fire sweeping through dry kindling under a windless sky. But man does not see the carnage, nor does he hear the piteous cries of his victims, for he is blind to the world of the spirit.
"But when this power is guided by holy Wisdom, then the thoughts of the Son of Man lead him to the heavenly kingdoms and thus is paradise buflt on earth; then it is that your thoughts uplift the souls of men, as the cold waters of a rushing stream revive your body in the summer heat.
"When first a fledgling bird tries to fly, his wings cannot support him, and he falls again and again to earth. But he tries again and one day he soars aloft, leaving earth and his nest far behind. So is it with the thoughts of the Sons of Men. The longer he walks with the angels and keeps their Law, so do the stronger his thoughts become in holy Wisdom. And I tell you truly, that day will come when his thoughts will overcome even the kingdom of death and soar to everlasting life in the heavenly kingdoms; for with their thoughts guided by holy Wisdom do the Sons of Men bufld a bridge of light thereby to reach God.
"After this manner, therefore, pray to your Heavenly Father, when the sun is high at midday: 'Our Father who art in heaven, send to all the Sons of Men your angel of Peace; and send to our thoughts the angel of Power, that we may break the bonds of death.
"Then shall the Son of Man seek peace with his own feelings; that his family may delight in his loving kindness, even his father, his mother, his wife, his children, and his children's children. For the Heavenly Father is a hundred times greater than all fathers by seed and by blood, and the Earthly Mother is a hundred times greater than all mothers by the body, and your true brothers are all those who do the wal of your Heavenly Father and of your Earthly Mother, and not your brothers by blood. Even so, shall you see the Heavenly Father in your father by seed, and your Earthly Mother in your mother by the body, for are not these also children of the Heavenly Father and the Earthly Mother? Even so shall you love your brothers by blood as you love all your true brothers who walk with the angels, for are not these also children of the Heavenly Father and the Earthly Mother? I tell you truly, it is easier to love those newly met, than those of our own house, who have k nown our weaknesses, and heard our words of anger, and seen us in our nakedness, for they know us as we know ourselves, and we are ashamed. Then shall we call on the angel of Love to enter into our feelings, that they be purifiers And all that was before impatience and discord, will turn to harmony and peace, as the parched ground drinks in the gentle rain and becomes green and soft, tender with new life.
"For many and grievous are the sufferings of the Sons of Men when they cleave not to the angel of Love. Truly, a man without love casts a dark shadow on everyone he meets, most of all those with whom he lives; his harsh and angry words fall on his brothers like fetid air rising from a stagnant pool. And he suffers most who speaks them, for the darkness that encloses him invites Satan and his devas.
"But when he calls on the angel of Love, then is the darkness
dispersed, and the light of sunshine streams from him, and the colors of the
rainbow swirl about his head, and gentle rain falls from his fingers, and he
brings peace and strength to all those who draw near to him.
"After this manner, therefore, pray to your Heavenly Father, when the sun is high at midday: 'Our Father who art in heaven, send to all the Sons of Men your angel of Peace; and send to those of our seed and of our blood the angel of Love, that peace and harmony may dwell in our house for ever.'
"Then shall the Son of Man seek peace with other Sons of Men, even with the Pharisees and priests, even with beggars and the homeless, even with kings and governors. For all are Sons of Men, whatever be their station, whatever be their calling, whether their eyes have been opened to see the heavenly kingdoms, or whether they yet walk in darkness and ignorance.
"For the justice of men may reward the undeserving and punish the innocent, but Holy Law is the same for all, whether beggar or king, whether shepherd or priest.
"Seek peace with all the Sons of Men, and let it be known of the Brothers of Light, that we have lived according to the Holy Law since the time of Enoch of old, and before. For we are not rich, neither are we poor. And we do share all things, even our garments and the tools we use to till the soil. And together we work in the fields with all the angels, bringing forth the gifts of the Earthly Mother for all to eat.
"For the strongest of the angels of the Heavenly Father, the angel of Work, blesses each man who works in the way best for him, for then shall he know neither want nor excess. Truly is there abundance for all men in the kingdoms of the Earthly Mother and the Heavenly Father when each man works at his task; for when a man shirks his task, then another must take it up, for we are given afl things in the kingdoms of heaven and earth at the price of labor.
"Always have the Brothers of Light lived where rejoice the angels of the Earthly Mother: near rivers, near trees, near flowers, near the music of birds; where sun and rain may embrace the body, which is the temple of the spirit. Nor do we have ought to do with the edicts of rulers; neither do we uphold them, as our law is the Law of the Heavenly Father and the Earthly Mother; neither do we oppose them, for no one rules save by the will of God. Rather do we strive to live according to the Holy Law and strengthen always that which is good in all things; then will the kingdom of darkness be changed to the kingdom of light; for where there is light, how then can darkness remain?
"After this manner, therefore, pray to your Heavenly Father, when the sun is high at midday: 'Our Father who art in heaven, send to all the Sons of Men your angel of Peace; and send to all humankind the angel of Work, that having a holy task we should not ask for any other blessing.'
"Then shall the Son of Man seek peace with the knowledge of the ages past; for I tell you truly, in the Holy Scrolls is a treasure a hundred times greater than any of jewels and gold in the richest of kingdoms, and more precious, for surely they contain all the wisdom revealed by God to the Sons of Light, even those traditions which came to us through Enoch of old, and before him on an endless path into the past, the teachings of the Great Ones. And these are our inheritance, even as the son inherits all the possessions of his father when he shows himself to be worthy of his father's blessing. Truly, by studying the teachings of ageless wisdom do we come to know God, for I tell you truly, the Great Ones saw God face to face; even so, when we read the Holy Scrolls do we touch the feet of God.
"And when once we see with the eyes of wisdom and hear with the cars of understanding the ageless truths of the Holy Scrolls, then must we go among the Sons of Men and teach them, for if we jealously hide the holy knowledge, pretending that it belongs only to us, then we are as one who finds a spring high in the mountains, and rather than let it flow into the valley to quench the thirst of man and beast, buries it under rocks and dirt, thereby robbing himself of water, as well. Go among the Sons of Men and tell them of the Holy Law, that they may thereby save themselves and enter the heavenly kingdoms. But tell them in words they may understand, in parables from nature that speak to the heart, for the deed must first live as desire in the awakened heart.
"After this manner, therefore, pray to your Heavenly Father, when the sun is high at midday: 'Our Father who art in heaven, send to all the Sons of Men your angel of Peace; and send to our knowledge the angel of Wisdom, that we may walk in the paths of the Great Ones who have seen the face of God.
"Then shall the Son of Man seek peace with the kingdom of his Earthly Mother, for none can live long, neither be happy, but he who honors his Earthly Mother and does her laws. For your breath is her breath; your blood her blood; your bone her bone; your flesh her flesh; your bowels her bowels; your eyes and your ears are her eyes and her ears.
"I tell you truly, you are one with the Earthly Mother; she is in you, and you in her. Of her were you born, in her do you live, and to her shall you return again. it is the blood of our Earthly Mother which falls from the clouds and flows in the rivers; it is the breath of our Earthly Mother which, whispers in the leaves of the forest and blows with a mighty wind from the mountains; sweet and firm is the flesh of our Earthly Mother in the fruits of the trees; strong and unflinching are the bones of our Earthly Mother in the giant rocks and stones which stand as sentinels of the lost times; truly, we are one with our Earthly Mother, and he who clings to the laws of his Mother, to him shall his Mother cling also.
"But there will come a day when the Son of Man wfll turn his face from his Earthly Mother and betray her, even denying his Mother and his birthright. Then shall he sell her into slavery, and her flesh shall be ravaged, her blood polluted, and her breath smothered; he will bring the fire of death into all the parts of her kingdom, and his hunger will devour all her gifts and leave in their place only a desert.
"All these things will he do out of ignorance of the Law, and as a man dying slowly cannot smell his own stench, so wfll the Son of Man be blind to the truth: that as he plunders and ravages and destroys his Earthly Mother, so does he plunder and ravage and destroy himself. For he was born of his Earthly Mother, and he is one with her, and all that he does to his Mother9 even so does he do to himself.
"Long ago, before the Great Flood, the Great Ones walked the earth, and the giant trees, even those which now are no more than legend, were their home and their kingdom. They lived many score of generations, for they ate from the table of the Earthly Mother, and slept in the arms of the Heavenly Father, and they knew not disease, old age, nor death. To the Sons of Men did they bequeath all the glory of their kingdoms, even the hidden knowledge of the Tree of Life which stands in the middle of the Eternal Sea. But the eyes of the Sons of Men were blinded by the visions of Satan, and by promises of power, even that power which conquers by might and by blood. And then did the Son of Man sever the golden threads that bound him to his Earthly Mother and his Heavenly Father; he stepped from the Holy Stream of Life where his body, his thoughts, and his feelings were one with the Law, and began to use only his own thoughts, his own feelings, and his own deeds, making hundre ds of laws, where before there was only One.
"And so did the Sons of Men exile themselves from their home, and ever since have they huddled behind their stone walls, hearing not the sighing of the wind in the tall trees of the forests beyond their towns.
"I tell you truly, the Book of Nature is a Holy Scroll, and if you would have the Sons of Men save themselves and find everlasting life, teach them how once again to read from the living pages of the Earthly Mother. For in everything that is life is the law written. It is written in the grass, in the trees, in rivers, mountains, birds of the sky and fishes of the sea; and most of all within the Son of Man. Only when he returns to the bosom of his Earthly Mother will he find everlasting life and the Stream of Life which leads to his Heavenly Father; only then may the dark vision of the future come not to pass.
"After this manner, therefore, pray to your Heavenly Father, when the sun is high at midday: 'Our Father who art in heaven, send to all the Sons of Men your angel of Peace; and send to the kingdom of our Earthly Mother the angel of joy, that our hearts may be full of singing and gladness as we nestle in the arms of our Mother.
4 'At last, shall the Son of Man seek peace with the kingdom of his Heavenly Father; for truly, the Son of Man is only born of his father by seed and of his mother by the body, that he may find his true inheritance and know at last that he is the Son of the King.
"The Heavenly Father is the One Law, who fashioned the stars, the sun, the light and the darkness, and the Holy Law within our souls. Everywhere is he, and there is nowhere he is not. All in our understanding, and all we know not, all is governed by the Law. The falling of leaves, the flow of rivers, the music of insects at night, all these are ruled by the Law.
"In our Heavenly Father's realm there are many mansions, and many are the hidden things you cannot know of yet. I tell you truly, the kingdom of our Heavenly Father is vast, so vast that no man can know its limits, for there are none. Yet the whole of his kingdom may be found in the smallest drop of dew on a wild flower, or in the scent of newly-cut grass in the fields under the summer sun. Truly, there are no words to describe the kingdom of the Heavenly Father.
"Glorious, indeed, is the inheritance of the Son of Man, for to hirn only is it given to enter the Stream of Life which leads him to the kingdom of his Heavenly Father. But first he must seek and find peace with his body, with his thoughts, with his feelings, with the Sons of Men, with holy knowledge, and with the kingdom of the Earthly Mother. For I tell you truly, this is the vessel which will carry the Son of Man on the Stream of Life to his Heavenly Father. He must have peace that is sevenfold before he can know the one peace which surpasses understanding, even that of his Heavenly Father.
"After this manner, therefore, pray to your Heavenly Father, when the sun is high at midday: 'Our Father who art in heaven, send to all the Sons of Men your angel of Peace; and send to your kingdom, our Heavenly Father, your angel of Eternal Life, that we may soar beyond the stars and live for ever."
And then the Elder was quiet, and a great stillness stole over the Brothers, and no one wished to speak. The shadows of late afternoon played on the river, still and silvery as glass, and in the darkening sky could faintly be seen the filigree crescent moon of peace. And the great peace of the Heavenly Father wrapt them all in deathless love.
The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
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