Sacrament of Marriage
Philosophy of Sacramental Initiation by Holy Order of MANS
The truth that God must be first in any real marriage is what Paul was indicating in his Epistles when he gave his famous advice on marriage. He knew well the level of the mass mind of the time was low. He was not saying that marriage was only second best, but he was saying that if you can't keep God first in a marriage it would be better not to marry. He had a realization of the true state of marriage, the reality of which was much too lofty for the time.
The marriage institution has both a biological and social function in society. It insures the preservation of the species, and it also reflects and strengthens the form of society in which it exits. It is, further, a reflection of the mass mind or consciousness of a society and what that society as a whole deems important. This is revealed in the fact that although there are a great variety and diversity of types of marriage patterns in the various cultures that exist today, yet no culture or society exists without its own type of marriage institution with all of its rules and regulations about sexual behavior and property.
One function of the marriage institution is the continuity of the human social system through time. The perpetuation of the species calls for the orderly relation of sexual activity and the creation of a domestic environment in which young children can be reared until they are old enough to care for themselves. The perpetuation of society requires a system of rules governing the transmission of rights and property and rights in politics, individual rights and responsibilities and other rules. Marriage brings these dimensions of biological and social continuity as well as continuity of consciousness together at the level of the individual.
It is because the marriage institution is at the crux of both individual and social consciousness that the divine Hierarchy has often intervened in human affairs by creating new societal and marital laws designed to affect the growth of consciousness of greater reality in man and to further his evolution.
The Israelites were chosen by the Christos to become a field of Mind on earth for the Host to infuse with more perfect patterns. The laws of Moses although religious in nature are entirely social in effect. These laws came to him by revelation for the purpose of preparing this mass mind to be the field for the Christed One to be born.
Jewish society of Mosaic times was based on the
dominance of kinship groups, headed by patriarchal chiefs --
the twelve tribes of
Every person, male or female, belonged to a tribe or clan headed by the chief. The line of descent was normally traced from the male side of the family. By marrying, a woman left the clan into which she was born and entered that to which her husband belonged.
No female member of clan could be parted from her tribe without the full cooperation of her chief and no male member of the tribe could take a wife without the cooperation of his chief. Marriage thus was a transaction not between the two partners immediately concerned, but between their respective tribal chiefs.
Furthermore, under this system, the idea that a marriage by definition was indissoluble was unknown, since the chief also had absolute power to expel any member of the tribe. He could expel his own wife as well as the wife of his son or any other member.
Marriage could thus be terminated by the head of the clan or the tribe, but the termination always involved the woman. If the woman had been discovered in unfaithfulness or simply if she was barren, or had failed to bear a male heir; she could be expelled, or divorced. These requirements were grounds for social approval for a chief, or later a husband, to exercise his power of expulsion or divorce.
Among the Jews of post-exilic times, the clans or the tribes no longer regulated marriage, because marriage had, since Moses, become part of the divine law. Therefore the social laws of marriage had been incorporated into the body of the divine rules and regulations, which could only be administered and controlled by the rabbis.
Still the idea that a wife could be divorced or expelled for a variety of reasons was not only kept alive, but had become part of the divine law and thus unalterable. The husband in a marriage had the same authority as the chief of the tribe used to have.
At the time of the Master Jesus, the authority to interpret the unalterable divine law had passed to such groups as the Pharisees and the Sadducees. It was generally under temple or rabbinical control. At that time, a marriage could at any time be terminated arbitrarily by the husband while no corresponding power would have ever existed for the wife.
The prevailing conventions of the Graeco-Roman world of the Roman empire were far looser and far freer as far as marriage is concerned, in fact, much like our own time. Two people could begin a marriage by the simple act of living together. It was unquestionably possible to initiate a marriage without any ceremony or at least without any ceremony that was prescribed or defined by law. Families could have marriage feasts or celebrations if they wanted to, but it was a personal decision of the family. This free union, moreover, could be terminated by either party as freely as it could be entered.
This was the prevailing situation in the Graeco-Roman Judeo-Oriental world when the Master Jesus was born. Another great Revelation appeared to change the ways of men so that men as individuals and as societies could live more in harmony with the ways of the heavenly Kingdom.
The Christ impulse spread rapidly throughout the world and profoundly changed the social values and the conventions of the ancient world, especially regarding marriage. Christian teachers began to see marriage through the teachings of Jesus. "For the hardness of your heart, he (Moses) wrote you this precept (of divorcement). But, from the beginning of the Creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh. So then the are no more twain, but one flesh. What, therefore, God has joined together, let not man put asunder." (Mark 10: 5-9)
The Master also taught something that was equally revolutionary, when he said further, "Whosoever should put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband and be married to another, she committeth adultery." (Mark 10: 11-12)
With that teaching, Jesus elevated institution of marriage from a ritualized social convention to a divine sacrament. From being no more than a terminable civil contract, marriage became a mystical union of souls and bodies in the sight of God, never to be divided by the hand of man.
Marriage was exalted into a vehicle for divine grace. Male and Female were seen as equally of divine origin and co-existent from the beginning of creation.
The union of male and female was to be the rejoining of the separated natures into one flesh. This cleaving of a man and a wife into one flesh is blessed and beautiful in the sight of God, and the hand of man shall not defile it.
Man and woman were for the first time seen as equal partners in marriage. Each had equal responsibilities though different functions.
This implicit recognition of the equality of woman, coupled with the veneration of the apostles and other Christians for Mary, the mother of Jesus, plus the practice of Jesus himself of including women into his inner teachings all gave the status of woman a great boost. This led directly in later times to the age of chivalry and further a recognition of woman, and finally to the realization of woman's complete though unique equality with man in the mind of God and the laws of the universe.
Marriage was thus endowed with the highest possible responsibility of the mates to God, to each other, and to their offspring. Since marriage was now an instrument of divine grace, and not to be broken by man, it was seen to be indissoluble in any way. Divorce was unthinkable in a union so holy in the sight of God.
This sublime and noble ideal, based upon the highest Divine principles, was actually far in advance of the level of consciousness of the world during the last age. Even though it became church doctrine, canon law, and even civil law, it was difficult to live up to and many social compromises were accepted.
The lack of understanding of the true nature of man and of marriage has led to much confusion and suffering among the peoples of the world as they groped blindly through the welter of confusing and conflicting ideas and dogmas and opinions in an attempt to find a life of peace and of love and of mutual satisfaction with one another.
The world today is in a state of transition as the Christ is returning in glory and power and the new heaven and the new earth are being formed. The energy and power of the world has increased and the atmosphere around the earth has increased in energy and light-holding power, and the bodies of man have lightened in their density.
The old forms and rules and social conventions can no longer apply in the same old way in this new age. Therefore, the regulations that control marriage in this age cannot exactly be the same as they were in the past and still be able to function and work in the new environment.
Once again, the Master Jesus Christ and the Host bend their intelligence to the problems of earth and reveal the new ways for man through revelation, this time through the instrument of the Holy Order of Mans.
The patterns of the Order, the ways of life of the Order, even the sacraments and initiations of the Order are simply for the members of the Order themselves, but these patterns and vibrations and higher modes of understanding will reflect into the society in which we are working and living. The mass mind will then pick up these patterns and this will help to form a new society based on the principles that are embodied in our sacraments and our rituals and the rules and regulations in which we live.
Marriage especially is one of the keys, because you can't change the rules of marriage without changing the society and its consciousness and how it functions. As we develop forms of marriage according to the pattern of the evolving life of this orb, these forms are going to become also part of the future life of man.
Through the revelations given us we receive rules and laws based upon the principles of the future. And we are building now through our work in the Order, through our work in marriage, a new sacrament of marriage, a new and more real foundation for how people will live together as man and wife, and how society will persevere and how people will find their way back to God in the future.
Here are some quotes from the Book of Activity:
"For he who lives alone, unless he be divinely called to do so, manifests the unwillingness to share life and thus isolates himself from the life force of his Father." This teaching gives the lie to the old concept that marriage was inferior to the celibate single life as a way to attain sanctity of holiness. This is saying that unless a person is divinely called to celibacy, by determinedly remaining single, he is refusing to share life and is going to cut himself off from the life force, because he will not be in harmony with the living symbolism of the Father's Creation.
"I say unto you man and wife, look ye both to the Creator and ye will see truly one another. Thy days will be long and full of joyousness whether thy work be hard or thy burden light." This is self-explanatory.
"Man and woman are only married when their love for one another stands the test of freedom on both sides and there is no personal desire on either part to share their love with another." Here we see the reality that it is not the priest who performs the marriage, but rather it is the man and the woman themselves that perform the marriage. The priest performs the ritual but the marriage tie is actually created by the male and female themselves by their desire and their love for one another and their willingness to set one another free.
The marriage contract, the binding factor, is the tie that is created between the vital bodies of the male and female and the subsequent field of consciousness, attitude and vibration set up between them. It is this that must stand the test of freedom on both sides. Male and female have to be able to work with others of the opposite sex and be able to function with them without the breaking of this tie which they have established with their mates.
"In this day marriage should be a contract between man and woman, and a contract between woman and man, for this is spoken of in the letters of Paul, and it shall be arranged and agreed to on the basis on which this contract is made before the marriage takes place." This is a further assertion of the equality of both the man and the woman, of the equal responsibility that each must have in the building of a happy and holy marriage.
"For woman shall have her equality in choice and male and female may meet but never shall they be really the same. They shall be one, but not one. One, but both shall know their way and know my face in this work and in this day. But unto them, who know one another in holy matrimony and follow My way, unto them the reward shall be great. Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all its glory shall be added unto you."
The male and female are equal in divinity, but separate in function and so it shall always be. They cleave to one another, and they shall be one flesh, but they shall also have separate patterns which cannot be changed and both shall know of the way that each must travel to seek the Creator first and to adore God -- each in his own way, for man approaches God in a different way than woman approaches God. But both ways are equal in power and equal in the ability to be channels for the glory of God to be manifest on earth.
"The home where man and woman live together with the principles of activity is the foundation of the new Christ age." This quote needs no explaining.
In revelation received from the Master on March 16, 1973 concerning marriage, the Master said, "For as thou writes a contract of marriage, ordination, or any holy rite thou can only be bound with it in accordance with the word which thou has given and understand."
This tells us that in any holy ritual or sacrament, no matter how sacred, the individual participator can only be responsible for it at the level of his conscious understanding of it. In no way does this statement take away the authority and power of the sacraments, but it will alleviate the past mistake of trying to bind and seal the average individual with a responsibility and function that he was not equipped to cope with, such as the sublime ideal of the true sacrament of marriage.
This does not deny the previous teaching of the Master, "What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder, " but it says if a man is living in darkness, don't bind him to the responsibilities of the light and expect him to live up to them. First bring him to the light and to God-realization, then expose him to the joys and duties of Divine service. And the Master confirms this by saying further in the revelation, "When thou marries one who is not of the elite and lives in ignorance, have you a writ for that purpose. Write this writ so that man's law may dissolve it without offense to any church."
This means that the Order has been authorized to use
two distinct rituals for marriage. There is one for those
who live in the knowledge of the light and are aware of the
prerogatives and responsibilities of the
The other is a rite to be used for those of the world who seek to have their marriage union consecrated by the priesthood of the Order, but who are not of God's elite and live ignorance and, therefore, cannot be expected to behave under the same standards.
It is obvious that the Hierarchy is allowing for the growth cycle of the evolution of humanity. They realize that man in the past had not been taught the holy mysteries and in consequence he now "sees through a glass darkly" with respect to sex and marriage and the functions of his body and mind.
Rather than discard the high sacrament of marriage as too lofty for man, they are providing the ways and means for the mass mind to be truly educated in accord with the creation's laws and to be brought gradually to a real understanding of life, marriage, and the functions of their minds and bodies.
In the light of this understanding we can finally resolve the problem of marriage and divorce and see it for what it is.
We have said that the marriage tie is actually made by the two individuals themselves through the vital body. This is an actual vibrational field bond between the male and the female created by their desire for one another, their love for one another and their conscious declaration of will to share life with one another.
In the average person this tie coupled with the natural magnetism of the two polarized bodies causes physical desire and creates an emotional tie between them as well, because desire is the seat of the emotions. This emotional tie is not identical with the tie between the two vital bodies, although one usually accompanies the other in the average marriage.
However, in a marriage between two dedicated servants of God, such as two priests, this emotional tie is cut, because it often acts to hamper the completely selfless service required of a priest or brother.
The act of sexual intercourse is accomplished not by the physical body, contrary to the popular view, but through the vital body. The physical body merely acts in obedience to the mental contact already flowing. Without this mental union there can be no physical union.
Prolonged sexual intercourse between two people will automatically build a tie between them in the vital body and they will virtually be married, even if they have not gone through a ceremony, because they have accepted one another as partners and accepted this pattern in mind.
Remember the key word, activity. Your actions are your prayers. In this age of activity it will be harder to keep sin within you because your bodies are not so dense. The vibration which you have created within you through negation and negative thinking will be thrown out. Therefore, if you had relations with one person, and you did not persist in that relation, and you went to another a few months later, that vibration would have left your body and you would not be tied to the first person. But steady and prolonged interaction over time will build such a vibrational tie.
This tie between the vital bodies of man and woman is the real marriage contract, and it is holy in the sight of God, for through it man and woman share in the divine act of creation and new life is formed. But it is also a part of nature and is subject to nature's laws. It can be broken as well as built.
Prolonged sexual infidelity to your mate will break the tie, or prolonged absence will also dissolve it. In other words, just as it takes mental action or prayer to create a vibrational bond between man and wife so a mental action of prayer can just as easily dissolve the marriage bond.
When we keep these things in mind we can understand both the teachings of Paul on marriage and the recent revelation from our Master regarding marriage regulations for the Order.
Paul admonished the early Christians in I Corinthian 7: 10-15, "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, let not the wife depart from her husband; and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife and she believeth not and she be pleased to dwell with him let him not put her away. And a woman that has a husband that believeth not and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sancified by the wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband, else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God hath called us to peace."
Paul is simply saying that for a marriage between a man and a woman to be real it must stand the test of time and freedom on both sides and there must be no desire on either part to share their love with another, even if one of the partners departs for a time.
So also says the Master in the revelation of March 16, 1973, when He says, "If thou givest thy mate the freedom of seeking his holy being within the curtains of the inner court, thou shalt give him this opportunity and receive him back with full warmth and understanding as thy husband or wife."
There is a place in our marriage ceremony where the husband and the wife both say that as each legally accepts the other as the legal husband or wife that they also set each other free, that each may follow the God within.
Now the following the God within is an open phrase. It may mean that the person has to have a three or four year sabbatical in order for him to find himself. It may mean that he has to undergo certain experiences without his mate. This may mean a long separation. It may not even be in accord with the laws of the Order.
Still the Master declares that each must give the other this freedom and that, once given, each must accept the other back if the partner returns with full desire to come together with his mate.
But the Master also tells us that there are limits to this freedom, the limits being the natural laws of creation that maintain the marriage contract or vibrational tie.
The time limit is set by the Master for the length of time that married people can be separated without dissolving their marriage tie is four years.
For the Master says: "If one party voluntarily leaves and there is no communication between the two for a period of four years, then let man's law set it aside for that tie is broken." As Paul said, a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases.
If one partner in a marriage leaves his mate and has a child by another person, this automatically breaks the original marriage tie, no matter what the time factor is. In order for a child to be conceived there must of necessity be formed a spiritual-physical tie between the two people involved that will supercede or break any existing tie. For so says the Master, "But if he or she beareth a child by another being, he or she is not thy mate any longer, and has automatically dissolved his holy contract with thee. Thou art free to remarry."
As we said earlier, in modern society it is man's law that regulates the marital status of individuals. Thus we have marriage license bureaus and divorce courts. Man's law only has authority over the legal status of a marriage. In a divorce court the marriages that are legally dissolved have usually been spiritually and functionally dissolved long before. In other words, a legal divorce only acknowledges on earth a spiritual action that has already taken place.
But what of the Order? What is our stand on divorce? Actually the Order takes no stand on divorce. We stand instead on the laws of creation and the revelations of our Master and the functional requirements of the new age.
One of the brilliant insights of early Christianity that was lost in later times was the concept that marriage was not simply a private concern of two people, but rather marriage was a way of life that involved the man and his wife into the great hierarchical spiritual community of heaven and earth.
They saw that by a true marriage a man and a wife became one flesh in the Body of Christ and they lived the higher life of Christ here on earth. This is why they thought divorce unthinkable. They saw divorce as a blemish or disorder in the Body of Christ.
But here again the Master has shown us the way to proceed in this age for He says, "If in holy union a child is born by a wife who is a priest of the Most High Lord and wife of another holy servant and one of these turns his head away from the summons of the Holy Council, and pays no heed to their advice, he has turned his head away from Me, and I consider him not in my world. So let man's laws sever his contract."
It is clear by the words of our Master that if a person who is a member of His elite and vowed in service to the Body of Christ in holy matrimony, if such a one turns his head away from the Master and deserts his mate, he has literally removed himself from the Body of Christ.
Therefore, he has willfully broken the sacred marriage tie which united him not only with his mate, but also with the Holy Family. By his own action he is cast into outer darkness. All that is left for the mate who remains faithful is only the legal tie, which can then be severed by man's law.
This in no way recognizes divorce as equal in status to the Holy Sacrament of marriage. The disorder of divorce has no place in the Body of Christ. If, however, someone willfully dares to set asunder what God has joined together, he also by his own action willfully sets himself beyond the pale, so to speak, of Christ's world. He has separated himself from the Body of Christ and thus it is acceptable that the earthly law of man set aside the legal remains because a faithful brother and sister are not bound in such cases.
The Holy Contract of the marriage sacrament performed in the Holy Sanctuary is preserved in this day in the Order. If through marriage the brother and sister achieve a higher state than they normally would and reap the grace of it, they must also bear the responsibility of it.
When two realized beings, be they brothers or sisters or priests, enter the Holy Sanctuary and vow themselves in holy matrimony to one another, they are creating the holy triangle of creation.
They have become by their word the living symbol of the Divine Trinity and have opened themselves up to a great influx of grace.
With this gift, however, comes the responsibility to uphold it, to maintain it and to uphold themselves in conduct and behavior and consciousness to the highest level, to the level of Mary and of Jesus, for they have tied themselves into the Holy Family.
Because of the sacred nature of this ritual we have also been told that only when people have reached the age of 28, then later, if they continued faithfully together and grew in knowledge and wisdom in Christ, and they wanted their marriage blessed and sanctified in the Holy Sanctuary, they could then apply and receive the high Sacrament of marriage.
This approach acknowledges the sacredness and the divinity of the sacrament of marriage. In no way does it compromise the nobility and dignity of married life. It also provides a way for people to prepare themselves to attain to this state.
The world has a very low opinion of the marriage state. For most people it is nothing special, just "something that everyone does." It is a social contract for the male and female to live together, a legal justification for engaging in sexual relations, a socially accepted way to raise a family. It is a way of life that is the butt of a thousand jokes, a junkyard of abandoned dreams, an arena of frustration and quiet desperation.
Yet marriage is the very foundation of society itself, the first and most important stage of the growth and development of every soul incarnating on earth. It is the master key to the unfolding mass consciousness of man.
In accord with this has the Master said, "Likewise shall thou now write those things which shall open the doors of man for the future, not denying the New Testament, but working new and proper ways that man might fulfill the glory of the Father in this new age, without denying either the Commandments, my Beatitudes, the Psalms, or those things which were taught by my Apostles. For as the Old Law was set according to man's needs, the New Law as a guide shall be set for both man and woman's needs."
Man has to be taught that the marriage state in its true form is a sacred participation in the Divine creation, a holy union of man, woman and God that cannot be fully realized without real preparation and effort.
Marriage is a school where man and woman learn the lessons of life. For a marriage to succeed the two partners must constantly be growing in consciousness and love and understanding one for the other and both with God. Egotism and selfishness will destroy any marriage, but humility, charity, and total givingness will make it fruitful.
Marriage, in other words, will be a wonderful vehicle of grace and fulfillment when man and woman learn to live according to the principles that Jesus has taught us.
What then does Jesus think of marriage? Here is what He says: "Let the yoke of marriage be an important one, a heavy one, but a light one."