Blessed are the peacemakers – The mystery of the Beatitudes, J. van Rijckenborgh

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‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God’.

In reflecting upon this Beatitude, we must again free ourselves from all tendencies of habit. For is it not true that in hearing the word ‘peace’, our thoughts relate to the aspects of peace and peacefulness as they are known, loved and sought after in this world? Are peace and peacefulness not very desirable in a distressing world such as ours? Do we not look forward to lasting peace? And wouldn’t such a peace, with its results, be a state of blessedness for all in many respects? Aren’t our hearts burning with prayers for the conclusion of the ever present and ever menacing violence?

‘O God, give us peace’. What a blessing that would be. Thus, with a third world conflagration threatening, this Beatitude is very close to our hearts: “Blessed are the
peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God’. Naturally. If there is one Bible quotation we understand, certainly it is this one. Yet, we must remove this assurance from you, for this Beatitude is not related to our horizontal plane.

It speaks of a peace which is as yet unknown to you, which you do not as yet possess, which mankind as a whole has never yet possessed. Nor could you conceive of it, even though the brute force and the dreadful threat of violence were to give way to more normal conditions; unless you travel a long and profound way. The peace referred to here is not dialectical; he who possesses it will lose it never-more and will never-more violate it. This peace is the peace of God. It is the peace that Paul describes with the words, ‘And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ’.

There is a peace of God which surpasses all understanding and it is to this peace, which we cannot fathom with our biological consciousness, that the attention of the pupils is directed in the Sermon on the Mount. It is a peace which, when the pupil possesses it, remains in spite of every dialectical circumstance, a peace which is embraced and experienced even in face of the most brutal force and the greatest affliction.

When the ancients and the initiates met they saluted one another with, ‘Peace be unto you’. By this salutation they did not mean, ‘Cease wrangling and let peace reign’, but with all the soul magic at their disposal they connected one another with that peace of God which surpasses all understanding. ‘God is our peace’, the initiate pupil professes. Think especially of the words of Christ transmitted to us in John 14, ‘Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do Igive it to you’.

In these words we find the confirmation of our insistence that the peace referred to in the Christian mysteries has nothing in common with a peace which antagonistic forces may one day bring about, however glorious, however desirable such an earthly peace may be. Therefore, we will dissociate ourselves from all earthly matters and rise above them, that we may understand the peace which surpasses all understanding.

How can such a thing be, for isn’t this a paradox? Is it, after all, possible for a man to comprehend something that surpasses his understanding? It is indeed possible and it is necessary that the pupil should rise above his intellectual brain consciousness if once he is to be called a child of God. That which we are prone to call our comprehension is the faculty of understanding, the mental grasp of the biological consciousness, of the popular I-consciousness. This comprehension, seen in the light of earthly norms, may be very cultured and capable of achieving great things, but it is in no way liberating and is definitely a drawback to truly spiritual development. Do not think that we are trying to disparage the biological consciousness. However, you should know that the common intellect is a link in a chain of

three. Man actually possesses three mental focal points, of which two are wholly latent in the vast majority of people. There is an intellect of spirit, an intellect of soul and a physical intellect. In stating that man must learn to think with his heart the ancient mystics were refer- ring to the intellect of the soul; when the Lord says to his disciples that they must knowa peace that surpasses all understanding to be called true children of God, he draws their attention to the spiritual intellect.

The spiritual intellect experiences the idea; the soul intellect illumines the idea; the biological intellect puts the idea into action. To be a good master builder in service of the great architect we must rise above the biological intellect, not by discarding it as unusable, but in order to use it in the right manner.

If the three intellectual foci can be active in one chain in the right way, the pupil fulfils three functions united in one piece of work. He is an architect, which means that he is the creator of an idea; he is a supervisor, which makes him the animator and radiator of the idea; and he is a work-man, or the executor of the idea. As soon as the work- man, or pupil, rises above his biological intellect and he has laid the foundation for his construction in the correct manner, and erected it according to the great super-mental plan, this action simultaneously becomes soul manifestation and via this act the idea comes forth in all its beauty.

The creator has then proved himself through his creation. Thus, it becomes clear that when the pupil is in possession of the three active focal points of conscious- ness, he can descend from the idea which is in God to action, and that through his liberating action he can rise again to the idea which is God Himself.

Taken in the abstract sense, man is and remains in his fallen state a child of God, although he is a prodigal son who has strayed and has severed his direct relationship with the Father. But when he lives, experiences and works through the three focal points of consciousness, the lost son has returned to the House of the Father and again becomes a child of God in a very special sense. The direct relationship with the Father has then been re-established. Then, he not only sees God, as implied in the Beatitude, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart’, but he is in God; he has again become a child of God; he has returned Home. His spirit has met the Spirit of God. This meeting and the nature of this state of being may best be defined by the concept ‘peace’.

The peace that is with God is perfect harmony, eternal beauty and dynamic repose. That peace is a state of equilibrium between the divine idea and the human being who lives in accordance with this idea. There is no opposition anymore, because the child of God experi- ences in the harmony of values, powers and thoughts that all things work together for the good. Now, it is to those who possess this peace, to those who are striving to obtain this peace that the words spoken on the Mount, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God’, are addressed.

It may happen that the pupil on the Path will come to hear the brotherly greeting, ‘Peace be unto you’, as if from a more elevated plane. He will then know that this is a token of friendship and love and that, enfolded in this love, the hope is expressed that the pupil may rise above his lower intellectual limitation unto the path of spiritual consciousness.

At the same time the pupil experiences the power of a mantram in this greeting. With the ‘Peace be unto you’, the true spirit is kindled into a flash of light in the ordinary sense centres of the candidate and it is as if the walls recede for a moment and the veils fall away for an instant. For a short time the pupil beholds, beyond space and time, the true peace which is in God and to which he is being called with inexpressible love.

The greatness of this dominion of peace shall have no end; it is eternal and imperishable. Can you see the majesty of this beatific feeling which will become yours when you rise above the common intellect? The pupil who sees this path to which he has been chosen, experiences very personally the thought of Isaiah 9, which refers not only to the historical Messiah, but also to the birth of Christ within man:

‘The man that walks in darkness shall see a great Light; he that dwells in the land of the shadow of death, to him a Light will appear. Yes, people are multiplied in this sunkenness, but joy has not been made great. But now he shall rejoice before your face. For you have broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, and the rod of his oppressor’.

‘In the midst of the battle and with garments steeped in blood, the pupil has been elevated to a new sonship of God; he has been chosen as a Son, and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’.‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God’.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ’. Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think about these things’, so speaks Paul.

How shall the pupil learn to master all these qualities and how shall we know what really is just, pure and gracious? He shall learn and know from what he has experienced, received, heard and seen, because all this is contained in the universal doctrine which was given to mankind and which descended with mankind into the depth of its fallen state, in order to show the way back to the Light. The Christian Spiritual School possesses as a usable power the spiritual law of Jesus Christ, as well as the philosophy of the Law, with the aid of which you will be able to operate the spiritual law of liberation. All that you learn, receive, hear and see in this way — apply. The peace of God shall then be with you.

Thus, we have come to the end of our reflection on the seven Beatitudes, progressing from poverty in spirit to the sonship of God, to the peace that surpasses all understanding; from the caves of nature we have ascended again to the harmony of the spheres. The one poor in spirit has become a rich man. A sevenfold blessedness becomes his. In God he is risen from nature. He has returned home.

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