When we come to Jesus Christ, it was pure mysticism, a mysticism of love: to judge no one, to forgive everyone, to develop that quality in oneself that all without being commanded come to you; to get above what one calls the worldly knowledge and come to that knowledge which instead of making you clever makes you innocent. The master was not only innocent in his thought and word and in his atmosphere, but those inspired by him also reached that stage of innocence which is the sign of the saintly spirit.
Self-sacrifice was the central theme. And if you read the Beatitudes from beginning to end and you begin to practice any of them or all of them, you will find it is nothing but self-sacrifice, self-denial, erasing the self, while cultivating the thought of gentleness, the thought of meekness, the thought of mildness. All this shows to us that his mission was to melt the hearts from grossness, from denseness, from hardness, to soften them, to make them refined, to have them enlightened, to liberate them. His coming and going was the example that a soul is brought here to do something and then is called back. His lesson was not the lesson of mystery, yet in his lesson there was every mystery, all mystery.
The lesson which he gave was, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all will be added unto you.”
This shows that by studying this, and by studying that, and by striving for this, and by striving for that, you get nowhere. There is only one thing and that is the first thing, the principal thing, and the last thing, and that is God.
And in his simple statement he has said the final word, and that was, “Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
That is the last word. Nothing more can be said in metaphysics or philosophy than this: that the aim is perfection and that you can reach that perfection which is the perfection of the Father in heaven if you attempt it, if you try for it.
Jesus Christ taught the theory of dependence on God by giving the example of the lilies. Make God living and depend upon Him for all you need and He will provide your needs. Mankind has forgotten that lesson in its earthly strife. But at the same time, whenever man comes to that lesson he will begin to find the phenomena of life: that no sooner do we give over our responsibility to God than God begins to feel responsible for us.
It is this hint of the master that Sa’adi has interpreted in The Rose Garden, where he says, “Karsaze kare man man“, (“The Creator is busy doing what I wish, but my anxiety about it is my natural illness, I cannot help it”).
Sa’adi was humorous, and he has interpreted most of the wonderful sayings of the master in a most beautiful language.
“Yes,” people very often ask, “What Jesus Christ has taught leads one to spirituality no doubt, but how can we follow it and live it in this material world?” There is a natural leaning one has towards the world, it should not be taught. We should not be taught how to be practical, we are already practical. We need not be told how to be clever, we are already clever. We need not be instructed or advised to fight with our enemy, we are already inclined to it. If Jesus Christ did not teach it, it was only in order to make a balance. We should hear something else, think of something else, feel something else than what we are naturally inclined to, in order to provide a balance.