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The Path Back to the Garden

Our task in the New Age is to return to the Garden of Eden within us and to restore the Garden of Eden planet around us.

The Fall in the Garden of Eden that precipitated the creation of the illusory Self, dominated by body, ego and emotional and mental attachments, is responsible for the tragic state of today's world, engulfed in pain and suffering.

stock photo

The tragic fall in the Garden was also part of God's plan. This mystery is known among Christians as the “felix culpa”, which means the “fortunate fall”. Fortunate according to theologians because only this fall could trigger the decision on the part of God to send Jesus Christ into the world, to redeem human beings and put them on the path back to the Garden. Christ's sacrifice would enable human beings to rise to a new level of consciousness, Christ consciousness, and earn them entry into heaven.

 The esoteric meaning of the “felix culpa” is this. God's original intent for human beings was that we learn, as individuals exercising free will, to choose co-operation with the Divine plan. Through the fall and humanity's subsequent countless reincarnations men and women were to learn to consciously attune their individual wills to the Divine will. 

Then human beings were to re-enter the Garden of Eden. This return can only be accomplished by surrendering the ego's control of our being, connecting to the Higher Self, attaining Christ Consciousness, and thus demonstrating unconditional love and expressing Divine wisdom.

According to spiritual science, to re-enter the Garden of Eden, human beings must raise their common level of consciousness from the third chakra, in the stomach, which governs fear and power relations to the fourth chakra, which is the heart center governing love, and unite that heart center with the fifth chakra center in the throat governing peace and bliss and the sixth chakra center where the third eye is located, between the eyebrows, which governs wisdom and is the seat of Christ Consciousness. Finally, we are challenged to reconnect with the crown chakra at the top of the head, where the Divine Lovers, Shiva and Shakti unite in blissful liberation.

In this way, humans connect the lower physical, etheric, astral and mental bodies, and the ego, to Higher Self, Higher Mind and Higher Purpose, and through the Higher Self, to the Divine Father-Mother Source. This is the ascension practice for the New Age.

For most human beings now alive on planet Earth, the primary task this lifetime is to elevate their life force energy, chi, or prana, from the third to the fourth chakra, from the belly to the heart, and to open the heart. The heart chakra is the seat of transpersonal consciousness, the doorway to inner knowledge of the web of life and the seat of compassion for others and for all life.

This state of mystical unity does not necessarily represent a total loss of individual identity, as that paragon of yogic wisdom, Paramahansa Yogananda, points out in his commentaries on The Baghavad Gita: Royal Science of God-Realization.

". . .An accomplished yogi is not only one with the Absolute, merging his identity in God; he can also separate himself, recapturing his individuality with no loss of God-perception, and in this state, with his heart full of supreme devotion, enjoy the bliss of Brahman," explains Yogananda, in his discourse on Chapter XVIII, verse 54 of the Gita. "To paraphrase a well-known allegory, he is then comparable to an idol made of sugar that sought to measure the depth of the Ocean of Divine Nectar. On entering the Sea, it found itself melting. The idol retreated hurriedly to the shore, thinking: 'Why lose my identity in order to determine the depth of divine sweetness? I already know that the Ocean is indeed very deep, and Its nectar exceedingly sweet.' Thus the sugar idol chose to perceive the Ocean of Sweetness through the isolated consciousness of individuality. Similarly, a devotee may love to be one with the Infinite, yet love even more the enjoyment of God experienced by retaining his individual existence. The latter is the state of supreme devotion." 

According to the Divine Plan, once they have re-entered the Garden within them, once they have achieved this state of supreme devotion, human beings would restore the Garden of Eden physically on Earth by restoring an ecological balance and bringing peace to the world.

On a spiritual level, human beings would become conscious instruments of the Divine plan for evolution of all the beings on the planet, and further the evolution of Mother Earth as well. By uniting love and wisdom within themselves and bringing the energy of spiritual realms into the physical plane, human beings would engage in compassionate activities to spiritualize this physical, material world, infusing every sentient and non-sentient being and all the elements of planet Earth with the energy of Christ Consciousness.

Photo by Jane Sherry

Doing this would further Mother Earth's spiritual evolution. Earth would then truly be the planet of Loving Wisdom, radiating the energy of Christ Consciousness throughout the Universe. Earth would, in a sense, become a new Sun, a vibrant spiritual Star shining in the firmament, and contributing a new energy of individualized God consciousness to the great mosaic of creation.

Most other planetary civilizations that have evolved into the light have done so on the path of collective consciousness, not individualized consciousness, and that is what will make Earth unique.

In this way, human beings would prove that even individualized life forms, cut off mentally from Divine Source, willingly choose to evolve according to God's plan, and to further the evolution of other greater and lesser life forms as part of their own evolution.

This would be an unprecedented occurrence in Creation, and indeed would arguably render human beings greater than the angelic beings inhabiting spiritual worlds.

Thus would the Divine plan of love and light and wisdom work out. Then the Fall in the Garden would be a fortunate Fall indeed.

Divine Lovers in the New Age

Conscious intent is very important in all spiritual undertakings for very specific energetic reasons. In terms of partnerships, it is necessary for both partners to have a conscious alignment at the levels of the astral and mental bodies. Shared dreams, aspirations and spiritual beliefs provide the container for love shared between you. Without this energetic container, you have no fuel with which to create a shared future, and you cannot create a shared store of vitality in the form of loving energies that will help your relationship to grow and flower over time.

For more information on the seven energy bodies and how to know if you are compatible with your lover on all seven levels of being, read our article entitled Love Partners: How to Know When Your Seven Bodies are in Alignment.

Photo by Jane Sherry

Subtle energy is the creator of the forms that are used as templates of future creations, and thus it is these subtle energy templates that govern the evolution and growth of living beings on Earth. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake calls these energy templates morphogenetic fields. The embryo's morphogenetic field contains the template for the adult. The seed's morphogenetic field 

The treasures of the Earth, such as gems found deep in caves, are created by beings such as gnomes and other nature spirits, who fashion the energetic forms for these marvelous crystalline beings to grow into their mature splendor. Before any form can be manifested in the material world, the energetic or subtle form must be created first in the spiritual world.

Love is not a thing; love is the energetic circumscription of sacred space. Lovers circumscribe sacred space through conscious shared intent, and this space then can be filled with energies of love and light from the Divine Source, activating these energetic forms, which eventually crystallize into the physical, material world. In this way lovers co-create new ways of living, new types of relationships, new myths and archetypes for a New Aeon.

During this traumatic time of transition on planet Earth, it is vitally important that each and every one of us, individually, and in concert with our lovers, family, friends, and other soulmates, maintain our faith in the future. Only in this way can we keep our hearts open in the face of a flood tide of fear, paranoia, accelerating climate change and simmering global warfare that is presently unleashed upon the world.

Know first that such difficulties are quite common in times of transition. Our present time is at the cusp between two long historical cycles, the 2,000 year cycle of the Piscean Age and the 2,000 year cycle of the Aquarian Age. Humanity is evolving spiritually, the archetypes and myths that motivate us are shifting and changing, and the planet itself is undergoing a set of dramatic Earth changes, earthquakes, climate changes, and more.

For more information about the transition between the Age of Pisces and the Age of Aquarius, read our articles entitled The Dark Night of the Planetary Soul  and Travelling Between Two Worlds.

Yet the major lesson of this time is that people can change. This is a lesson that contradicts the biological behavioralists, the rational materialists, and the simplistic fundamentalist moralists who see human behavior as hard-wired by genetics, chemistry, tribe, bloodline, ideology, or religious beliefs.

Most of those who see human behavior as basically fixed share an assumption that human nature is intrinsically flawed, evil, as a result of genetic defects, our animal origins, or original sin of one kind or another. They believe in iron discipline for the masses, exercised by political, religious and economic elites whose privileged position exempts them from the need to behave in a compassionate manner.

This behavior cannot and will not endure. It is rooted in dominator culture, egoistic thinking and patriarchal attitudes characteristic of the dying Piscean Age.

One of the primary spiritual revolutions characteristic of the Aquarian Age is the revolution in relationships between the sexes. Much has been written and discussed concerning this matter, especially among Theosophists, Anthroposophists, feminists, and New Age thinkers of all kinds.

Photo by Jane Sherry

Two basic concepts emerge. First, that the male has dominated the female during the Piscean Age and this will change. Second that the patriarchal, dominator culture of the Piscean Age will give way to a more egalitarian culture.

To obtain a more detailed picture of the most fundamental images that construct and motivate human behavior in the Piscean Age and in the emerging Aquarian Age, it is helpful to connect with the observations of those who are both experts in mythology and proven clairvoyant seers.

Among the Theosophists at the turn of the Twentieth Century, was a gifted Irish writer and clairvoyant named George William Russell. The Theosophists were instrumental in bringing many of the Wisdom Teachings of the East into Western society, and their teachings, however flawed, set the tone for much of what we now call New Age teachings.

Russell wrote a remarkable novel called The Avatars, published in 1933, under the pseudonym A.E. In this novel, a young boy and a young girl from different families in rural Ireland appear among the folk, bringing to them a remarkable spiritual energy. Those around them soon see the two young people as the personification of the Divine Lovers. They transform everyone around them. They bring to their communities a renewed vitality, and revivify the ancient values of nature worship, and an animistic view of nature that sees the whole world as filled with spirit and with spiritual beings. They stand in opposition to the overly technological, materialistic culture of the cities, and they quickly grow so strong in their love for one another, for their communities, and for all of nature, that they come into conflict with the authorities. It's a beautiful story, beautifully written, but too long to go into here. The point is that from this Theosophical clairvoyant's point of view, the New Age would be ushered in by the Divine Lovers.

Jesus, Mary Magdalen and World Peace

This same grand insight can be found in the work of a remarkable scholar and clairvoyant named William Irwin Thompson. He combines in one person the mythological scholarship of Joseph Campbell and the clairvoyant abilities of an advanced yogi. Thompson's scholarship focuses on cultures of partnership, and his work totally transcends the patriarchal views of Campbell.

In Thompson's remarkable book The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light, he discusses the crucial archetypal images of the most recent ages of Earth development and the emerging Aquarian Age.

from Venus Unbound by J.Sherry

Thompson says, “Myth, as a history of the soul, is still a history, and each stage of the evolution of consciousness generates its appropriate story. As the spiral of history turns, one archetypal story becomes the recapitulation of the old, the performance of the new, and the overture to what is to come.

“As a story, the myth of Isis and Osiris is a recapitulation of the myth of the Neolithic Mother Goddess and the dying adolescent son-lover, but in the case of Isis and Osiris, where the lovers are brother and sister, the relationship between the masculine and feminine is becoming more equal. In the early stages of evolution, nature dominates the human being, the planet dwarfs the tiny human species, but as civilization emerges, the masculine grows to a new level, and so the feminine responds to meet it at that level. The Great Goddess becomes Isis. The story grows from Lascaux to Catal Huyuk to Abydos, but it does not end there."

“The story of Isis and Osiris is an overture to the story of Mary and Jesus. The dead son in the arms of his mother pictured in the famous Pieta of Michelangelo is a recapitulation of the ancient theme of the dying male god and the Paleolithic goddess. But the finishing of a story is also its consummation. In giving his mother away to John while he is dying on the cross, Jesus is preparing to effect his own resurrection. This time it is not the Goddess Isis who raises up the phallus of the dead Osiris to conceive the divine child; the resurrection is not merely the god becoming the Lord of the Dead on the astral plane."

“This time an integral being incarnates on the physical plane, takes on the entire mystery of death in the mortal physical body, and rises from the dead on the physical plane. Osiris expresses initiatic mastery of the astral plane, but Jesus expresses initiatic mastery of the physical plane through the mystery of a conscious death."

“Mary Magdalen is the first to see the resurrected body of Jesus, and in that coupled image of the avatar and the whore is the overture to what is to come in the next world epoch. As the whore, Mary Magdalen expresses the presence and consummation of the archaic feminine heritage and its transmutation into the archetypal androgyne of the future. Peter, the orthodox and conventional Jew, would exclude Mary Magdalen from the mysteries, but Jesus sees sexuality in a totally different light."

“Simon Peter said to them, ‘Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of Life.’ Jesus said, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.’ Jesus did not mean that women should become like men, but that, in the process of initiation, each sex must take on the character of the opposite, before wholeness can be achieved.”

“Jesus said to them,

‘When you make two into one
And what is within like what is without,
And what is without like what is within.
And what is above like what is below,
And when you unite male and female in one
So that the male is no longer male,
And the female no longer female,
… Then you shall enter the Kingdom.’

“Mary Magdalen, the surviving form of the temple prostitute, became the initiate of Jesus. . .It is Mary Magdalen who first sees the resurrected Jesus. . .John and Mary Magdalen stand at the foot of the cross, for in the next turn of the spiral their story is to become the historical performance of the eternal myth.”

“. . .Isis and Osiris are the avatars of one Platonic Month, Jesus and Mary of another. . .If in the practice of Tantric yoga, one looks into the collective unconscious now, one will see a triptych, something like Grunsward's Isenheim altarpiece, vibrating in the air of the astral plane. In one panel we see a painting of the feminine lamenting the fall of the masculine into time; it is a painting of Isis crying above the coffin of Osiris. In the second panel, we see the dead masculine in the arms of the feminine, Jesus in the arms of Mary. In the third panel we see neither the Fall nor the Crucifixion, but the sacred copulation (hieros gamos) of the reunited young lovers. Once it was physical death and crucifixion which nailed consciousness down into matter; then it was a sacrament of Thanatos [Death]; but in the world-epoch about to begin it is a sacrament of Eros, a physical sexuality in which the lovers of eternity give birth to the world on the physical plane.”

The energetic form for the New Age has been set in the astral plane, and the energy of the Divine Lovers is available to us all. This is an energy of unconditional love and balanced sexual affinity, an energy Unified with the Source of Creation.

This new marriage of male and female energies is based upon co-operation, balance and co-creation, rather than hierarchical relations between the sexes. 

Photo by Jane Sherry

Bringing today's war between the sexes to an end and establishing right relations between male and female has never been more important than it is today. A species at war with itself cannot heal the wounds inflicted by mind-body duality, cannot end war, cannot live in harmony with Mother Earth and the sentient and non-sentient beings with whom we share our lovely blue-green home in this universe.

Those who choose to follow the path of the Divine Lovers back to the Garden choose the difficult but important task of creating a new, conscious form of human love, which has not existed before on this planet.

They are assured of help and blessings from all quarters of the spiritual world. And in following this arduous but rewarding path, they obtain their release from the bondage of this ancient struggle between the sexes, which creates suffering in so many hearts and homes today.

At this critical time in history, the ability of lovers to establish a co-operative spiritual practice, a balanced state of sexual affinity, and an unconditional love sends a healing radiance throughout the collective consciousness of humanity.

by J. Sherry Published in Artforum 1980

Lovers who work together to co-create a shared reality of compassionate service based upon loving wisdom are helping to lay the foundations for a new human culture of co-operation and unity with Mother Earth where individuals, communities and nations live in peace and harmony.

Let us all take heart in this time of great turmoil on the planet. Lovers always live with a joyful heart, confident of the future, for lovers are in touch with the stream of loving energy that comes to us from the future, when the Divine Lovers will reign supreme in human consciousness, cultivating a restored Garden of Eden.

As clairvoyant, mystic spiritual teacher, and father of biodynamic agriculture Rudolf Steiner said,“We must eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes toward human beings out of the future. We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future. We must look forward with absolute equanimity to everything that may come. And we must think only that whatever comes is given to us by a world-directive full of Wisdom. It is part of what we must learn in this age, namely to live out of pure trust, without any security in existence. Trust in the ever present help of the spiritual world. Truly, nothing else will do if our courage is not to fail us.”

When men and women come to see the image of the Divine Lovers in one another's eyes, and to understand that the Divine Lovers dwell within them, life on Earth will change. Equilibrium will return to human love relations, to relations between husband and wife, relations between families, between communities, between religions and nations.

Equilibrium will return humanity's relationship with nature, with Mother Earth, and all sentient and non-sentient beings, visible and invisible, with whom we share our precious yet momentary Earth existence.

Of that I am sure.

(all pictures in this chapter of Back to the Garden are from stock photos unless otherwise noted)