April 3, 1996

Aaron: Good evening, and my love to you all. I am Aaron. It is a pleasure to be back amongst you, and to feel this instrument's strength and vibrancy. She was not aware of how much both the discomfort and the discordancy of the physical body's vibration were affecting her whole being.

I am going to deviate from our normal track of teaching tonight in commemoration of two special occasions. Tonight is the beginning of the celebration of Passover and I want to speak to you a bit about the meaning of that holiday, which I have enjoyed as a human of the Jewish faith and as some of you also have. And I also want to speak to you about Easter—I promised you some Easter stories. Different from our Christmas stories, of course, but I hope no less meaningful.

Since tonight is Passover, let us begin there. I find this a beautiful holiday. This instrument used to have some difficulties with it, because the meaning had never been properly explained. She understood it as a celebration of freedom, but it seemed to her to be a celebration at the cost of others who had been enslaving the Jews. This is not to condone their keeping of slaves, but it had seemed to Barbara that the suffering of the Egyptians was ignored.

Let me offer some background for those of you who are unfamiliar with this holiday. The Jewish people were slaves in Egypt, suffering the fate of slaves everywhere: beaten, coerced, families separated; they were simply “owned,” and not considered people but animals. The leader of these people said to the Pharaoh of Egypt, so the story goes, “Let my people go; “ in other words, end the slavery. I'm not saying that's exactly how it happened. We have a myth here, and we're more concerned with symbols than with history. The Pharaoh would not end the policy of slavery. This was both a human plea—”My brother is suffering, my child is suffering, my parent is suffering, let us go!” and it was a plea on a higher level, “Come to that level of understanding where you acknowledge that you may not harm any sentient being, regardless of whether you consider us human as yourself, or animal. What right have you to rape, to beat, to separate parent and child? What right have you to create pain for another sentient being?”

The myth has it that the Pharaoh kept saying no, the Egyptians clung to their slavery. Then God then brought a series of plagues to the Egyptians, each one harsher than the last. Each time they had a choice: to relent and say yes, they will stop slavery, or to hold to it. What makes one being enslave another? It's not just custom, there must also be greed. “Here is somebody who will do my work while I can be lazy, someone who will grow my food, who will make and care for my clothes, who will clean my house. I can have all that I want and I need not concern myself with his welfare because he is not human.” What kind of denial is this? Even if they did not recognize the humanity, what attitude of heart allows one to eat in front of any being who is starving without offering them food?

So these plagues became harsher and harsher until the final plague, until the first-born son of each Egyptian household was taken, was killed. The Hebrews were commanded to mark their doors with blood from the sacrificial lamb, and the Angel of Death passed over those houses that were thus marked, taking the firstborn son, then, only from those homes that were not marked. This story bothered this instrument very much. She said, “I do not believe in a judgmental God; I believe in a loving God. And I also do not believe that God claims the power to strike down this one or that one.”

At the Passover Seder there is a ceremony in which these plagues are read off and one dips one's finger in a glass of wine and drips that wine on the plate, one drip for each plague. This one had refused to participate in that, saying, “I will not celebrate another's trials.”

I read this whole story differently. First, although I do acknowledge with reverence that which I call God, I do not find this God to be that which says, “Locusts or hail will fall on you,” and makes it so. There is karma here, group karma. The Hebrews and Egyptians were interacting together to learn about greed, selfishness, and fear. The Hebrews, perhaps because of their own past karma, their own greed, had agreed to balance that karma by becoming the foil for the Egyptians' learning. At any point in this process, the Egyptians could have stopped it by taking a look at what made them retain the process of slavery. They refused to do so.

Why these specific plagues—hail, locusts, death of the firstborn? I find them symbolic. I am not going to run through all of them, and I repeat, I do not say that this happened or did not happen as it is reported to have happened. They're attacked by the natural elements, which is a statement “You cannot control the natural elements.” Look at the sense of power you believe you have, and find a deeper truth of your place in the universe. Boils—you cannot control the health of your body. Locusts, you cannot control the coming and going of other creatures, . Each one was offered as a specific form of lesson. Look into yourself and in each of you, your greed, your grasping, your fear, your domination over others, and open your heart with compassion to the suffering around you, or you call that suffering back upon yourself. I think the statement that God pointed a finger and said, “Now this plague, now that one,” is symbolic rather than real. Remember, we're dealing with a culture that did not believe in or have a word for karma. In the Aramaic in which the Bible was originally written there was no word for karma.

So these people brought these plagues upon themselves until they finally learned what they needed to learn. This ceremony that appalled Barbara, of dipping the finger the glass and taking out wine, actually I find a very beautiful part of the Seder. Because of the pain of others which we recall with this ceremony, by that much is our own cup of joy diminished. We cannot drink the whole cup, we must take some out for each memory of the pain suffered by others. It is a great teaching of compassion. Here are those who have been enslaved, brutalized, and yet they are asked not to celebrate the pain of their oppressors, but to open their hearts in compassion to their oppressors.

Finally, it is not only the Jews who found freedom. The Jews found freedom from slavery and the Egyptians found freedom from very distorted and egotistic mind states which allowed them to enslave another. Sometimes a learning carries great pain. It did so in the case of the Egyptians. They simply were not willing to listen until the pain reached that great a size that it captured their attention. This then is the celebration of Passover. We are not celebrating the death of the firstborn son of our oppressors, we are not celebrating the Egyptians drowned in the red Sea, we're weeping that the oppressors could not learn until confronted by death to look at their actions. Certainly all Egyptians did not change overnight and repent; they repented more out of fear than out of love, but there were many who did begin to look at their choices.

This instrument did not like this story because she said “ do not believe in a judgmental God.” Many of these Egyptians were strongly mired in negativity. The world revolved, the culture revolved around power, and who was the most powerful—very structured society with slaves at the bottom. It raises an interesting question. One can speak kindness to cruelty, in fact must do so. The Jews did not fight back in terms of rebelling and trying to kill their oppressors. They simply trusted God, or phrase that, “Trusted the universe, and the energy of the universe.” Those that oppress will eventually be confronted with their actions.

It is important that the punishment did not come directly from the Jews, but was a result of their own choices. This fact is what led them to begin to consider those choices, reluctantly at first, of course. Because they were so mired in negativity, and understood only power and had not yet opened their hearts to love, it took power to call their attention to the cruelty of their choices. It took the loss of those they loved to open their hearts. Their own choices provided the energy for their rewards. A cruel sort of karma, it may seem. When you are killing the sons and daughters, the parents and babies of another race, what better way to have your own heart opened to the suffering of those you have oppressed than to lose your own beloved child. This is not a case of “they asked for it.” There is not punishment involved so much as awakening to truth. It's important to understand that the Hebrews were not punishing the Egyptians, and that God was not punishing the Egyptians. The Egyptians were creating an increasingly painful learning situation for themselves until they had had enough of it.

It is the story of oppressed and oppressor, wherein those who are oppressed do not smite the oppressor but allow the oppressor's own negativity to become the foil for change. Because of the power of that catalyst, many Egyptians also did find freedom from old patterns.

A few brief memories. Yes, I have been a Jew in a number of lifetimes. I have a particular memory of a lifetime in which I was very, very poor and had traveled from my home to another city to try to find work. I traveled with my oldest son, at that point an adolescent, in that particular culture considered nearly an adult. We had hoped to accumulate enough of the coin of that particular culture to bring home and allow our family the purchase of food in the months in which home-grown food was less available.

I had a farm, but drought had killed most of what grew. So we left the one who was the wife, the mother of my children, and many younger children, and a few sheep that were sickly for lack of water and feed. And this son and I traveled several days distant to a city where we might do manual labor, and there found work. The holiday came. We finished the day's work and it was the eve of Passover. On this holiday Jews choose not to eat bread which rises in memory of their passage in the desert in Egypt; they eat unleavened bread. We had very little food and could not be choosy about whether it had leavening in it or not.

We passed through a section of town in which people were congregating for Passover. Many of the Jewish families lived in the same part of town but it was not a poor ghetto but a place where they were respected. People were coming on foot and on cart to a home and bearing dishes, different foods. I remember that my son and I stood and looked longingly. There was a servant at the door who saw us. We just stood outside for a minute, enjoying what little taste we could get of the Passover. The one who was the master of the house, not the one who saw us, but the master, came out, and asked did we wish to come in and celebrate the holiday with them. Places were laid at the table. These were wealthy people and we were poor and in rags. Yet, we were treated as equals. This particular memory is important to me because it so deeply relates to that core message of this holiday for me. We are all equal under God. We are all manifestations or expressions of God, so there cannot be any oppressor or oppressed. Under God there is not even servant and master. We are all servants. We are all equal.

That night remains a very beautiful memory to me, even now on the astral plane. One does not forget kindness and generosity. It is very different when one extends a hand to another, as if they were sinking and needing to be pulled up, and you the puller, the one who has already arrived, and when one extends a hand of equality to another. The true teacher, the true master, speaks to the highest in you, and treats you as a peer and not a lesser, inferior being. He invites you to become what you already are, to express your truth.


I make no effort to link these two parts of tonight's talk, but simply, we'll move on to speak of Easter.

Again we have the question, what is the truth of this story? Do we take it literally, that Jesus was crucified and then arose from the dead? What does that mean? What was the crucifixion itself about, and what was the resurrection?

Again my choice is to take it symbolically rather than literally. This does not mean that I deny the literal story, but the deeper meaning of that story is much more important than the way the events transpired, and whether they are precisely accurate as told in the Bible.

To begin with, you must recognize that Jesus was both man and Divine, as all of you are. The difference for him was that he knew who he was. It is one thing to be Divine in your nature with the attachments of the world clinging to you, like bits of dirt and dust, with mud on your shoes, and it is another to be Divine in your nature with nothing to obscure your Divinity. This is the nature of this man. There was nothing to obscure his Divinity.

He was not one who became realized during his lifetime, but one who came into incarnation already realized, with absolute clarity about the reasons of his incarnation.

In Tibetan teaching there is considerable record of highly realized beings achieving what they call a body of light. The one who is dying will ask to be closed into a room for a certain number of days and left undisturbed after death. Light is seen emanating from that room. When people come in after a period of days, the body is gone. All that is left are some hair and nails, which are the bit of impurities which could not dissolve themselves. This is not a myth but recorded historical fact. I verify its truth from my own personal experience.

Matter is energy, light. Your physical body is a manifestation of the mental body. They each have a vibrational frequency. At a certain point, the matter of your body is so clear, there's nothing there. There's nothing to adhere it together. The body processes stop, and because the karmic stream has stopped, the body simply dissolves into this rainbow light.

It is my understanding that this is the literal explanation of the story told about Jesus' death and resurrection. He was in the vault and then he wasn't in the vault, and then he appeared again to his disciples. Well, of course! Where else would he go? One who can create the rainbow body also has the power to allow that body to be seen again. However, this explanation in no way contradicts anything fundamental about the teachings of Jesus' death and resurrection. It offers some kind of explanation of the phenomena but in no way lessens it, but simply puts it on a different, more symbolic level.

This was a man, divine, absolutely clear, but still a man. I find very beautiful the words he is purported in the Bible to have said. Looking at the upcoming crucifixion, “Take this cup from me; but if it cannot be that way, Thy will be done.” This one knew from the time of his birth that the human that he was becoming might face very real pain, and he knew that Divine or not, the human would feel that pain and it was almost too much to bear. And yet he knew it had to be that way.

I've said this before. This one with all the power he had could have used that power to become a ruler of some sort, to have amassed armies. He could have used the power not for ego self but to become a great and acclaimed master who was unconquerable. But he came to teach love and forgiveness. It is through his suffering and his forgiveness of those who caused the human suffering that we all may find that heart of forgiveness in ourselves. This is what he came to change. For a world that said “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth,” he came to change that view and allow deep consideration of others' experience.

So he had to die. He knew that. And yet, he had to teach the wholeness of the spirit, that death is the door to everlasting life. It is not physical death that is the door to eternal life, it is death of the ego self. The shining being who came back, the radiant one, this is the one I have spoken of as being completely transparent, nothing attached, just the God-self. His reappearance is a very clear statement to all who are ready to listen: “This is what you are. You think you are limited, you think you are broken, you think you are filled with greed and rage and so on, and on the relative plane that may be true. But look at the truth of yourself. Come to recognize the truth of yourself. Begin to manifest that truth in your everyday life. And eventually you will be so completely that truth that you also will be reborn into perfect clarity and light.”

This is the promise of his death, and it is an exquisite statement of truth brought into manifest form so that all beings who tremble in the erratic nature of the physical body may be reminded of their deepest truth. And the fact that he did exhibit this rainbow light body, and the body did literally disappear, this reminds us not to despise the physical, emotional or mental, body, and see the spirit alone as worthy. Divinity resides in the physical body is no less than the spirit. Physical is manifestation of the spirit. It is all perfect!

You have all heard from my Christmas stories that I was alive at the time and place of this being and had much love for him. I was not immediately present at the time that he was crucified, but the story quickly spread. Yes, he was crucified; yes, the basic facts are true. There was strong reaction to his death. So powerful was he that many who opposed him feared him. It happened not long after his death that I brought some of my sheep into a town where I would sell them. One who was a government official confronted me. He recognized me because of a previous confrontation at a time when Jesus had been teaching and I had been present. At that time this one had said something rude to me and i had tried to listen courteously, which discomforted him still further.. So he came up to me and he asked if I were not a follower of Jesus? I had heard tales that some of Jesus' followers had been imprisoned and even executed. With fear's prompting, I said, “No, no.” He said, “Ah, but I saw you!” “Yes, I came out of curiosity but I was not a follower,” I replied.

I excused myself for the lie on the grounds that I had a wife and children and responsibility, and that it would be wrong to put myself in jeopardy. But as I walked away I felt so ashamed. I sold my sheep and sent home my son who was with me—a young man, now an adolescent, with the message that I might be away for several weeks. I went into the wilderness. I needed to be alone, to pray and to hear my own heart. It became clear to me that out of that love, the reverence, the respect I afforded this holy being, I must dedicate the rest of my life to furthering his teachings in whatever way I could. Now, I was a simple shepherd, not a teacher, at least not a formal teacher, and yet we are all teachers in the way we live our lives in front of others, in the expressions of ourselves.

As I walked the countryside, I found others whom I had known, who were also his followers, and most had come to the same conclusion that I had, that we would come together and be heard, without fear, without trying to create confrontation to those who feared him, but also without trying to avoid such confrontation, that his Truth would not die. We began to meet in small groups just to talk about it what his life and his death had meant, and the hope that it gave a world which was weary of the violence and the pain and the hatred which besieged it.

It was in just such humble ways as this that the Christian church was born. Yes, his disciples went out and preached, some of them. And this was a perhaps more forceful part of the starting of the church. What is a church? He himself is the only church. When you find a great master, whatever your faith, and live in the footsteps of that master, asking yourself at every turn, “What would he have done? What would she have said?” then you are creating a church in your own body and mind. I shudder when I see the distortions into which this church has moved, for it was begun simply by people who had been given a great master who taught them how to love, people who wished nothing more than to widen the expression of that love in the ways that he taught it.

This has been a long talk and yet I find it still incomplete, so if you will bear with me, I wish to tell you one more story. This of the last time that I saw him.

It was known that he could do miracles, although he rarely did so. It was evening, and we were sitting in a field. The weather was mild and the group of us would sleep there that night. A man from the village came hurrying down the road. His wife was giving birth and having great difficulty; would the Master come and see if he could help?

We walked, a group of us, to the small house. When we arrived, we found the woman had died quite a time before. It was about a half an hour's walk so it had taken her husband an hour to reach us and bring us back. The infant had not been delivered and the mother was dead. The mid-wife was there. She said the infant's head had just been visible, but the woman could not push any more and at that point had died.

This is the only real miracle that I ever saw him perform. And I cannot say quite what he did. Perhaps even with that time elapsed, the fetus was still alive. He reached out his hands and there was a golden light coming from them. He reached actually inside her womb and pulled this child out. It was motionless and blue in color. He held its mouth to his and blew gently into it. And suddenly it began to cry and move. He stood and handed it to the father and then departed and we followed.

I will never forget the expression of love, of compassion, and also utter sadness on his face.  As for the man, he had just lost his wife and his firstborn child, and now he was handed back the child, and he openly wept with grief and joy.

I wondered afterward could Jesus not have revived the woman as well. I'm sure he could have. In his wisdom he did not do so. I cannot tell you why. I have learned that it is not useful to raise such questions but to trust that the universe functions as it needs to, and life and death occur as they need to.

So I wish to share with you this beautiful image I have: written in his face the joy, almost wonder, and also infinite sadness as he kissed this now squalling infant and handed him to the father. Mother and child; I wonder for which he wept, for which he rejoiced?

Life is a miracle regardless of how it occurs. There was such sadness as he looked at the woman, the woman who would never nurse her child, would never see him grow into a man. And yet, now she had gone home.

I think his greatest gift to us was that he did not try to take away our suffering in order to feel comfortable in himself, but was willing himself to suffer and watch us deal with our pains and learn from our pains. His compassion was infinite as was his wisdom, and together they are a powerful combination.

As you think of him this Easter, those of you who celebrate this occasion, please think of him kissing this child whom he has just assisted into life, into a path of both infinite joy and infinite pain. I thank you all for your kind attention. I will close here and give you a much needed opportunity to stretch yourselves, and then I will be glad to answer questions. That is all.

(Q&A not yet reviewed)