Charles Fillmore Mysteries of John 8
METAPHYSICAL INTERPRETATION OF JOHN CHAPTER 8
8:1but Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 8:2And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 8:3And the scribes and the Pharisees bring a woman taken in adultery; and having set her in the midst, 8:4they say unto him, Teacher, this woman hath been taken in adultery, in the very act. 8:5Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such: what then sayest thou of her? 8:6And this they said, trying him, that they might have whereof to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground. 8:7But when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8:8And again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground. 8:9And they, when they heard it, went out one by one, beginning from the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst. 8:10And Jesus lifted up himself, and said unto her, Woman, where are they? did no man condemn thee? 8:11And she said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn thee: go thy way; from henceforth sin no more.
JESUS' GOING UP into the Mount of Olives means the soul's ascending to the state of consciousness where absolute Truth is manifest and from this high vantage point teaching a lesson in brotherly love to the intellectual faculties. Sometimes the intellectual faculties imagine they are in supreme authority, as in this case, where the woman caught in adultery is presented as an example. "Now, spiritual man, what are you going to do about that?
Under the law, we are told, we must stone her." Jesus, here symbolizing the indwelling Christ, writes on the ground and says, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." The intellectual faculties, thus trapped in their own conceit, slink away.
The Christ questions this adulterous state of consciousness: "Woman, where are they? did no man condemn thee?" The reply is "No man, Lord." The final injunction is "Neither do I condemn thee: go thy way; from henceforward sin no more." Thus the overcoming power of the Christ Mind is doing its perfect work.
8:12Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life. 8:13The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest witness of thyself; thy witness is not true. 8:14Jesus answered and said unto them, Even if I bear witness of myself, my witness is true; for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye know not whence I come, or whither I go. 8:15Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 8:16Yea and if I judge, my judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 8:17Yea and in your law it is written, that the witness of two men is true. 8:18I am he that beareth witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 8:19They said therefore unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye know neither me, nor my Father: if ye knew me, ye would know my Father also. 8:20These words spake he in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man took him; because his hour was not yet come.
The Christ within is always declaring, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." The first lesson in spiritual development to be learned is that everyone has within him the light of divine understanding. Those who do not recognize that they have this inner light are thinking intellectually instead of spiritually. The Christ light comes forth from God and under all circumstances is aware of its source. It places all judgment in the Father, knowing that its light is from that source alone. The intellectual man has no conception of this truth but depends more on man-made judgment.
Jesus (symbolizing the Christ) was working in the substance consciousness and under the light of Spirit and was master of the situation. Therefore no man took Him, because His hour was not yet come. He put all protection under God, who was ever-present as His witness and defense.
8:21He said therefore again unto them, I go away, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sin: whither I go, ye cannot come. 8:22The Jews therefore said, Will he kill himself, that he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come? 8:23And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 8:24I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. 8:25They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? Jesus said unto them, Even that which I have also spoken unto you from the beginning. 8:26I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you: howbeit he that sent me is true; and the things which I heard from him, these speak I unto the world. 8:27They perceived not that he spake to them of the Father. 8:28Jesus therefore said, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these things. 8:29And he that sent me is with me; he hath not left me alone; for I do always the things that are pleasing to him. 8:30As he spake these things, many believed on him.
Jesus, symbolizing the I AM, the Christ, again is proclaiming Truth from the absolute standpoint. As He persists the light of Christ eventually does filter into consciousness. Through self-righteous adherence to outer forms man resists his true unfoldment or evolution. The egotistical personality assumes that its world of phenomena is real and that all talk about disappearing into spirit is illusion. Sanctimoniousness develops from the belief that intellect can be spiritually sanctified. The spiritual mind (the I AM) is the Saviour and is working to come into evidence. It is working to redeem the self-righteous, Pharisaical, intellectual man. When this man has been lifted up, "then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me. I speak these things."
8:31Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; 8:32and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 8:33They answered unto him, We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 8:34Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin. 8:35And the bondservant abideth not in the house for ever: the son abideth for ever. 8:36If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
An understanding of Truth comes only to those who abide faithfully in the teachings of Jesus. They alone are free who persist in holding to the true view of life, regardless of preaccepted theories, and who obey only the voice of the higher self, which holds them to an unswerving performance of the right, both mental and outer, instead of following the voice of their own desires.
The subject of freedom is inexhaustible. The quest of freedom is endless and is unfulfilled save in the Christ consciousness. The Jews did not understand the teachings of Jesus on this subject. As the chosen people, they were in bondage to racial pride, and their intemperance in this regard was difficult to uproot.
The "house" is man's body. No one who allows intemperate desires to rule his life and to gain expression through his thought and conduct can hope to remain long in the body or to experience in it any measure of true satisfaction. Only the "Son," the self-forgetting, loving, helpful concentration of all the powers on the gaining of a higher understanding of the forces that control mankind, can bring full and complete freedom. Once this power of concentration is gained and practiced, perfect freedom is indeed assured. But concentration does not spring, perfect and full-fledged, from beneath the fleeting wing of the random resolve; it requires the faithful giving of oneself to the practice of the presence
of God. "Abideth" entails a continuing in the Christ state of mind and heart.
Jesus in effect said, "If you live in the spirit of My teachings, you will become truly My disciples, and you will be freed from all your limitations through the understanding of Truth that comes to you as the result of your steadfastness."
8:37I know that ye are Abraham's seed: yet ye seek to kill me, because my word hath not free course in you.8:38I speak the things which I have seen with my Father: and ye also do the things which ye heard from your father. 8:39They answered and said unto him, Our father is Abraham. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 8:40But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I heard from God: this did not Abraham. 8:41Ye do the works of your father. They said unto him, We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
Those who think of themselves as descended from human ancestors are in bondage to all the limitations of those ancestors, regardless of their claims to the contrary. It is a falling short of the full stature of man to regard himself as descended from the human family. This is a sin that keeps the majority of men in bondage to sense consciousness. The Jews were proud of their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who did things that in our day would make them candidates for the penitentiary. Polygamy might be mentioned as an example.
The worship of ancestors is observed in our own day by those who eagerly search the records of royalty
for a family coat of arms or trace their ancestry back to William the Conqueror. The one and only way to get free of this burden of race heredity is to proclaim your divine sonship. If you believe that God is your Father, acknowledge Him, and He will acknowledge you.
A short definition of sin is ignorance. If you knew your spiritual origin and all the purity and power that it includes, you would not be subject to the race tendencies that sway the mind of the flesh. This is the freedom of the Son of God; the shackles of false thoughts are loosed, and there is the open light of heaven instead of the darkness of sense consciousness.
It seems incredible that men should seek to destroy and kill out of their thoughts this super-conscious mind, but such is the self-sufficiency of ignorance identified with human lineage. Mortality has failed generation after generation, yet men cling to it as the summum bonum of existence, and antagonize the Spirit.
8:42Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I came forth and am come from God; for neither have I come of myself, but he sent me. 8:43Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. 8:44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and standeth not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. 8:45But because I say the truth, ye believe me not. 8:46Which of you convicteth me of sin? If I say truth, why do ye not believe me? 8:47He that is of God heareth the words of God: for this cause ye hear them not, because ye are not of God. 8:48The Jews answered and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a demon? 8:49Jesus answered, I have not a demon; but I honor my Father, and ye dishonor me. 8:50But I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.
It is hard for the intellect to realize the spiritual "I AM THAT I AM." It always argues back and forth, endeavoring to prove that the intellect itself is the highest authority.
Jesus condemned the sins of the intellect, of which self-righteousness is the greatest, as worse than moral sins. Compare this scathing arraignment of the arrogant Jews with the ready forgiveness for the adulteress. The pompous ecclesiastical dignitary is much harder to reach with Truth than the repentant moral sinner.
Any thought that does not have its origin in the one divine source is a liar and the father of all lies.
8:51Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my word, he shall never see death. 8:52The Jews said unto him, Now we know that thou hast a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my word, he shall never taste of death. 8:53Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who died? and the prophets died: whom makest thou thyself? 8:54Jesus answered, If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing: it is my Father that glorifieth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God; 8:55and ye have not known him: but I know him; and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be like unto you, a liar: but I know him, and keep his word. 8:56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad. 8:57The Jews therefore said unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 8:58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am. 8:59They took up stones therefore to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my word, he shall never see death. The Jews said unto him, Now we know that thou hast a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my word, he shall never taste of death."
If the would-be overcomer will diligently meditate on these words, the light of Truth will gradually break in. Then he will know that the Christ, the I AM THAT I AM, was before Abraham and also that the old "church father" Abraham was spiritually quickened to the degree that he was constantly seeking the light. "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad."
It was the Christ in Jesus who exclaimed, "Before Abraham was born, I am." Christ, the spiritual man, spoke often through Jesus, the natural man. We know that Christ, the spiritual man, could not have experienced death, burial, and resurrection. The experiences were possible only to the mortal man, who was passing from the natural to the spiritual plane of consciousness.
The word of God is the word that conveys to the world the ideas of the Most High. It is not the Most High in His wholeness, but it carries with it
the power behind the throne, because "the three agree in one," the Father (principle), the Son (the ideal), and the Holy Ghost, (the formative word).
Jesus said, "If a man keep my word, he shall never see death." The "word" here referred to is not comprehended by the spoken or written word of Jesus but rather the original creative Word of God, the Logos. This is the Logos or God Word that the Gospel of John states "became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father)." According to the Bible, the words of Jesus were more powerful than those of any other man who ever lived. He infused the divine-life idea into His words until they made direct union with the creative Word of the Father.
When man in faith makes this intimate connection between his mind and the Father's, he enters into what may be termed the "river of life," and he has ability to take others with him into the waters that cleanse, purify, and vitalize so perfectly that death is swallowed up in life and man lives right on without the tragedy of death. Such a man was, and is, Jesus the Christ, and the promise is that all who incorporate in mind and body the living creative Word, as He did, will with Him escape death. This promise of the overcoming power of the Word has been interpreted to mean death of the soul after physical death, but there is no foundation for this assumption. Jesus overcame death of the body. His followers are expected to do the same.