by Paramahansa Yogananda
Excerpts from Discourse 62 from The Second Coming of Christ
Jesus Speaks of Soul Union
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?"
And he answered and said unto them, "Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh'? "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder".
They say unto him, " Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?"
He saith unto them, "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery" (Matthew 19:3-9)
"Have you not read that from the beginning of creation, God created soul mates among males and females and signified that due to the divine soul attraction between a man and his mate, he will leave father and mother and cling to his wife? When a man and wife are united as true soul mates they will be one flesh, they will act in harmony and unison in body, mind, and soul; their souls will not act with different ideals, but as two bodies, two minds, two souls, with one ideal".
"Therefore, when a true male soul mate is united to his true female soul companion as the mundane way of liberation by spiritual union that perfects the expression of the complete Spirit-nature of each soul, then according to divine decree, let that law be not desecrated and nullified by an ignorant man's mistaken interpretation of the law of divorcement given by Moses. Because you have lost the pure love and feeling God placed in your heart and your soul, Moses gave you a bill of divorcement. He found that you no longer possessed the divine magnetism required to draw your soul mates unto yourselves and instead found your impure hearts attracting wrong companions, resulting in matrimonial troubles; so he gave you the law of divorcement lest you maltreat your mismated wives".
Divine Law of Marriage
"Anyone who puts away his or her properly mated spouse, except it be for sex transgression, and marries another, commits adultery; that is, such a person breaks the law of love in soul union for the sake of sexual stimulation by a new mismated physical marriage. Likewise, anyone who marries someone who was divorced because of infidelity, being attracted to that licentious person for the satisfaction of lust, instead of trying to find and marry one's own soul mate, is also guilty of adultery." [p.1197]
In these verses, Jesus cites the original divine law that marriage should be the union between soul mates who are attracted to each other by divine magnetism and not by the animal magnetism of sex. To understand rightly the meaning of his words about marriage, divorce, and adultery, one must know the profound metaphysical truths concerning the creation and divine purpose of man. These were enunciated by the Vedic rishis and also encapsulated in the Book of Genesis, whose verses Jesus himself referred to in replying to the Pharisees.
As explained in the commentary on the opening verses of Saint John's Gospel—"Genesis According to Saint John"—before the beginning of creation the Spirit was One: ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss. But He thought within Himself: "Verily, I am Joy; but there is none to enjoy Me." As He thought this. He became divided into Creator and created. Transcendent Spirit and Cosmic Vibratory Nature. By cloaking a portion of His unmanifested consciousness with the illusion of difference, or particulars, Spirit manifested finite objects, using the law of duality and relativity to differentiate His One Consciousness and Cosmic Energy into countless pairs of polarized forces and forms: positive and negative elements, male and female, man and woman.
The universal everything is made of the singular consciousness of God. When a spark of that consciousness is individualized by God, it becomes a soul, capable of ultimately expressing the God-image in which it is made. In essence, the soul is perfect and complete, an exact reflection of God's ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss. But when incarnate, it takes on the dualistic nature of creation, outwardly expressing primarily either a masculine or feminine, positive or negative, half of its essence.
This is why it is said in Oriental scriptures that when God reflected His consciousness in created forms, they became "half-souls" by taking on through identification the qualities of the manifested units of creation—positive or negative, reason- or feeling-impregnated, male or female. These dual qualities are "soul mates" of each other to be eventually reunited—"they twain shall be one flesh" in order for the fully expressing soul to find liberation in Spirit. [p.1198]
God's creative manifestation is Omnipotent Force (God's Bliss stirred by the will to create) and Consciousness (Omniscient Feeling). These produce the Intelligent Cosmic Energy from the womb of which is born all manifestation. The souls of man and woman are made of these divine potentials, perfect individualized reflections of this three-fold essence. The incarnate being experiences these as reason (discriminative will), feeling (that which makes man conscious and able to enjoy), and energy (the substance that creates and activates the bodily instrument).
Feeling and Reason
When God divided Himself as man and woman, both dualities expressed the same unified consciousness, rather than the differentiation or polarity necessary to sustain the illusion of individuality in the manifested world. So He conceived a clever plan, a trick to keep man and woman different from each other and separate from Himself: He created superficial distinctions in their bodies and minds. When He made man. He used reason and feeling and cosmic energy, keeping reason uppermost and feeling hidden; that is why man's features manifest dispassionate reason. God made woman by using feeling, reason, and cosmic energy, keeping feeling uppermost and reason hidden; that is why her features express softness and call forth feeling. Reason, being aggressive, made man positive with positive sexual processes; and woman, with deep feeling, was negative and thus formed deep sexual recesses.
The ideal spiritual union between man and woman was ordained that man might bring out the hidden reason in woman, and that the woman might help man uncover his hidden feeling.
By so aiding each other to develop a perfect balance of these pure divine soul qualities, they would transcend their delusive differentiation as man and woman and realize their true nature as inviolate souls. Liberation was to be accomplished by their becoming united first to each other in divine friendship, the purest expression of God's love shared between two individuals; and then, thus perfected, ready for the ultimate union with God. [p.1199]
It is clear from Jesus' references to Genesis in these verses that he was citing the law of true soul mates, the immutable law of spiritual love, which should motivate all marriages. This was, as Jesus emphasized, the divine law "at the beginning": that for every true man there was a true woman, and each one who lived rightly on earth would automatically be drawn together in soul-companionship with a mate by the operation and decree of this law. True marriage serves as a spiritual device for perfecting the full expression of souls and freeing them into God by proper union—a process of evolution through which souls projected away from God into creation would be brought back through restoration, realization, of their divine nature assisted by the companionship of the ideal helpmate.
The concept of soul mates is entirely misleading without knowledge of the basic truth that it is only on the plane of creation, where the law of relativity prevails, that a soul identified with a form (jivatman) may be considered as being a male or female "half-soul." The true nature of the Self (the pure atman) as a reflection of Transcendent Spirit beyond the delusive requisites of the created worlds is free from sex and duality.
Thus man and woman are the two natures of God—reason (knowledge) and feeling (consciousness, emotional reaction)—expressed on the material plane in differentiated bodies. God gave the first human beings the power to commune with Him in spite of this delusion-imposed dual consciousness. He placed them in paradise—the unified consciousness of the soul manifesting in the awakened spiritual eye and the pure divine expression of the causal-astral body. In the original plan of creation, man and woman, ideal soul mates, were to lead a heavenly life by keeping their minds in the divine region of Bliss-Will in the forehead. Spiritual marriage consisted in the feminine force or feeling uniting with the masculine force or reason and thus becoming whole in oneness with God. The souls that went out of God were to be brought back to God by the process of harmony in body, mind, and soul.
The harmonious balance of reason and feeling leads to intuitive perception and the ability to know what is Truth. Achieving this balance, men and women become gods.
In the unbalanced human consciousness, the feminine quality, or feeling, loses its calm intuitive powers under the influence of the restlessness of body consciousness and emotional excitation; and the masculine attribute, or reason, loses its calm intuitive powers when it succumbs to the restlessness of body consciousness and egotistical self-sufficiency. The original man and woman fell from the awareness of their divine state by physical misuse of the sex force, forfeiting the heavenly union of reason and feeling and becoming identified with their material body rather than their heavenly causal-astral consciousness with its faculty of intuitive perception of God and knowledge of their souls as one with Him.
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