Information: We can read in the above mentioned book, Great Recoveries, that the address reproduced here is part of the posthumous writings of the Rev. John Todd Ferrier. It was given in the Sanctuary at the Headquarters of the Order of the Cross on 29th July, 1928. The book can be bought from its publishers: The Order of the Cross. The texts are reproduced to the Internet public by permission of the copyright owners, the Trustees of the Order of the Cross. We thank the Trustees for this kind permission. Below you have the complete Html texts:
THE PARABLE OF THE NET (*)
The Master spake this parable unto the disciples concerning the process by which the Divine Wisdom was acquired.
“The Kingdom of the Heavens is like a net let down into a great sea.
Those who be fishermen upon the waters, let down their nets to catch what may come to them; and when they land their nets, they separate the fish, the good from the bad, taking the good fish into their vessel, but throwing away the bad.
In like manner is it with those in whom the Kingdom of the Heavens cometh.
The power of the Kingdom within them causeth them to let down their nets into the sea whence knowledge and experience come; and they bring up fish good and bad.
And being true fishers, knowing the good from the bad, they separate them, taking the good into their vessel with them, but throwing away the bad.”
And those who were present when He spake the parable asked Him if He would further unfold to them its meaning. And He said unto them:
“The Kingdom of the Heavens is the Life of the Lord of Glory within a Soul.
As that Life grows, so does it become realization.
In its growth and becoming, it lets down its net into the deeper waters, for it seeks the deeper reaches of experience, and the more profound knowledges.
But in its experience the life gathers bad as well as good; for the fish of hidden knowledges are not all of the same quality; and some are bad.
But those who are fishers indeed, those in whom the Kingdom has gained power, are full of discernment and come to know the good, and they gather these into their vessel. For these are high knowledges to be made use of by the Soul.
The bad they put away, those knowledges which are not good for the inner life; for they cannot make use of them.”
DEEP SEA FISHERIES
THE Mystery of Life is a great Deep. It is a mighty Sea, and it doth seem boundless. All men and women are within the Mystery of that Sea. Every Soul is a seeker and, as such, a fisher within the mighty Deep. All life is in motion, even though on the outer planes at times it might seem as if there were cessation. Yet, where there is life there is activity; where there is consciousness of Being there is no cessation. All the world is in action, and everywhere men and women are seeking. Their activities are unto the finding of something. Though all do not seek alike, yet are all seeking to find that something.
The Law of motion is of the Eternal. And for any individual life to be cast beyond the great Sea of that Law’s motion would be for it to cease to have individuate consciousness and realization in any degree of life. Thus the cause of all motion is related to the Mystery of the Being. That which lies behind the motion of the world is of GOD. It is of GOD in the individuate life. So greatly does it partake of His nature that the motion of the Soul in its seeking, by means of its fishing, finds no abiding joy or peace or conscious Soul satisfaction until it finds that unto which the motion tends, that for which the motion testifies of in the seeking.
The cause of all seeking and consequently of all motion, and therefore of all fishing, even in shallow water, [as well as] in the deeps, is the Divine motion within a Soul. It is GOD’s Mystery seeking to express itself. For [that Mystery] must express itself; it is of the eternal motion, partaker of the qualities of the Eternal Deep, one with HIM. Though in the Soul it may seem insignificant, yet [it has] the qualities of HIS nature, the likeness of HIS Mystery. This is
the secret of all [true] motion. It is not the secret of all the wrong motion in the world. The wrong motion in the world is the result of the misdirection of that Law of motion within the Being.
Men and women are fishing in the
This being so, we would look intimately at some of the things suggested by this [parable concerning] Deep Sea Fishery, the motion of which is a Divine direction in the Soul revealing the quality of the Soul’s own Life, and the necessity for it to obey the Law of motion, Divine motion, and to find that unto which the motion tends. In the parable (*) it is set forth as a motion of the Kingdom of the Heavens, the motion of that Kingdom within a Soul.
What is the
Principle up into which all your potencies are gathered, and from which they
proceed as magnetic streams, having been polarized in that exquisite centre of
Being we name the ARCHE, or Heavenly Principle within us. And then the Kingdom is the motion of
that Heavenly Principle expressing the Mystery. The
not [yet] the vision through realization of the Regnant ONE Whose Regality within the Being gives to that Being in consciousness the dignity of the Son of GOD.
Now when it is said that the Kingdom of the Heavens is like one who lets down a net into the great deep, you will understand that it is this Divine motion within you seeking unto the fulness of realization of the Eternal Mystery, the great deep of Life. [The Soul seeks unto the realization of] what Life is, what our life is, Who GOD is, What GOD is, the Likeness of HIM, the knowing of HIM; and this not only in the breaths that proceed from HIM; not [only] in drinking the magnetic Streams which flow out from the Fountain of His Being; not [only] in looking upon some [aspects] of HIS Radiance as that Radiance is magnetically reflected through the superfine elements into which the Soul peers; but [the Soul seeks also] to know HIM through looking into HIS Countenance; to know HIM, to understand HIM, through that knowing. The Soul seeks unto such a realization. As we shall see, this [seeking] is related to the Deep Sea Fisheries. So all the motion in you to find [the realization], is the motion of the qualities of GOD within you to get back to their Source, the touching of which alone can polarize them, balance them, satisfy them.
Now we will look at the Fisheries.
At the outset we said that all men and women are fishing – fishing within the great Deep, though mostly without a consciousness of what they are really seeking for. [They are] frequently deluded by things that are, in a betraying sense, mere phosphoresence of the surface, wherein the Soul is oft-times betrayed.
Many seek in shallow waters. Many seek, in the sense of fishing, [merely] for pleasure; they are accounted on the outer as sportsmen and women. There are many who seek for pleasure in spiritual things, it is a sport to them – it is not the inner pleasure and the divine sport that is unto the finding through realization, but unto such it is a pleasure to seek for the Mysteries, it is a sport to them to gather knowledges, [even] knowledges that they may never make use of, at least so far as their intent is concerned. They just love to touch those things and know that they know something about them. There are many who have such sport in shallow waters, and all their fishing is without the incentive of the deep yearning of the Being unto the finding of that which will give satisfaction to the mind, to the heart, to the spirit.
There are some remarkable illustrations of this set forth in the New Testament stories, some of which are not included in The Logia or Sayings of the Master for purposes we may not now explain.
There were those who were attracted in their seeking to one [interpretation], and [others] to another. There were some who were attracted to the teaching of John, it is said, and they listened to him, and some followed him, but they would not follow Jesus. It is set forth that there were some who followed John who even got into conflict with those who sought to follow Jesus. John, as we have said to you, represented the purified life, the life of reformation, the life of the chastening of the attributes, the life of the restoration of the ways unto purity, goodness and truth, even in relation to eating and drinking. There were those who could endure the baptism of John, and in so far, the way was beautiful for them, but they could not endure the baptism of Jesus.
Now you will remember the instance where it is
said that the Master spake such words as these: “What went ye out for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?” Here He was relating [His questioning] to the ministry of John the Baptist. And it is reported that He said, “Of all born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist. Nevertheless, he who is least in the Kingdom is greater than he”. Why did He challenge anyone concerning the teachings of John? Was He not Himself John? Was He not the Teacher, for the Great Love, of the pure way of living? Was not His voice as the voice of one calling in the wilderness for a return unto the beautiful life? Why is it represented that He so spake to them?
What went they out to see? A reed shaken with the wind? To receive teaching that
could be modified and shaken from its foundations to suit those who could not
receive it? Nay, verily, it was Truth that must be applied to life, Truth with
sure foundations to make the life pure and beautiful, Truth that would heal
custom and abolish false tradition, Truth that would illumine the mind and
baptize the life with a new power. Yet though that life is the most beautiful on
the outer planes that could come to all Souls, nevertheless those who be in that
life are less in their state, estate, their stature, their consciousness, their
realization, than the least in the Kingdom; that is, than those who have
realized even in the least degree the Kingdom within them. There are many living
the pure and beautiful life, but they are just seeking happiness through it. So
far it is good; they can stand the baptism of John, but they cannot follow
Jesus. As fishers they have found that which will be most helpful to them in
life. But there are greater things in the
There were those who sought to fish in deeper waters, and they would follow Jesus. It is said the Greeks enquired whether they could see Jesus. Even those who became disciples, desired to see Jesus. Was it to see a man? A man could be called Jesus, and many have borne that name in Jewish history and in Old Testament history as well as in later times. But to see a man who is called Jesus is not necessarily to see Jesus at all. For Jesus is GOD’s Man in manifestation. HE is the ARCHE in motion on the outer planes. HE is the resultant of that motion. HE is GOD’s artistic exposition of the Divine Idea and Ideal. The Jesus exposition touches not only the circumference of life and [shows forth] the beauty and the joy of a purified outer life; but it [expresses] the inheritance of such a degree of Love that the motion of the ARCHE within the Being leads that one who is in Jesushood to love all and forget none.
Now you will understand how some found it difficult to follow Jesus – not the man. And you can understand easily how the world has not followed Jesus, though it has believed in HIM, or professed to do so; because to follow HIM is to learn how to love, to become embodiments of Love; [and] it is to purify the outer [life]. Oh yes, [that] must be done. But the inner [life] too must be purified. Not only that, but [it must be] exalted into the state wherein it can express the motion of the Divine Mystery in the ARCHE of Being, that it may be the vehicle for the Streams that flow from that Divine Centre to express themselves in embodiment [as] GOD’s Man, [that which] the Divine meant [and which] the Divine ever means for every Soul in manifestation upon these planes, and upon all such worlds.
“We would see Jesus.” Well, see HIM as the embodiment of Love. You cannot see Jesus without seeing that embodiment. Some phosphorescent display
might attract you and deceive you, but if you would see Jesus, you must see Love in embodiment. You will therefore understand also what it means when it is affirmed that some said “We would follow Jesus”. To do so means to be children embodying GOD’s Man, children of Love, the expositions of HIS glorious Art, the living sculpture revealing the beauty of HIS Glory in embodiment, the human symphony, the whole Being in motion, the symphony of Love, the Being in the motion of Love.
You have to fish in deeper waters for Jesus than for John, the life that John
represented; that is, the baptism of John, the purification. For Jesus is not
only the purified Life, but the radiating Life. HE is baptised until
becomes clothed with the dignity of Heavenly Kingship, so that HE can
reign for GOD; the
There are yet greater things to find, and the Christhood is one.
It is represented that the Master asked His intimate ones what they thought of Christ – Whose Son HE was. In the New Testament it is presented as if the Master [had] applied [the question] to Himself. Oh far, far be it from any of you ever [to think] such a thing of Him! It was not His way. It is not the way of the Heavens at all. A Messenger
of GOD does not say, even to His intimate ones, “Who do ye think I am?” He does say to them, “What think ye of the Message I have been honoured to bring to you?” It is the Message that testifies of the FATHER-MOTHER, though the Servant must be as one who has passed through the baptism of John, if need be. Certainly the life of purity and goodness must be there, and he must have known the baptism of Jesus and become GOD’s Man, GOD’s manifestor through embodiment.
When the Master asked the question of the intimate ones – “What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?” – He was probing them to the deeps to express the inner motion of their own Being, to make concrete the questionings which He had witnessed within them.
Some went back from Him at that period. He had to probe them to the deeps. What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is HE? HE is no man, but the Son of GOD in the Heavens – in the Heavens even when realized by the Soul. Whose Son is HE? HE is GOD’s Man, not only in the manifestation, but in the realization. For Christ is for the Soul a state wherein GOD HIMSELF in great degree is realized in consciousness. So that that Soul is henceforth ever one with GOD’s Eternal CHRIST, the Son of GOD Who is ever in the Bosom of the FATHER, and [the Soul] is never out of [that consciousness.]
The Master was leading them into the deeper waters as fishers of the great Mysteries. It is a glorious thing to be as Jesus. Oh, that all the world [were] as Jesus – that is, back into the Jesus-life and the Jesus-embodiment and the Jesus-manifestation! For when they are there, they are on the threshold of Christhood, GOD’s Son, as a state of transcendent realization within themselves, wherein they not only become as GOD’s Man for the manifestation of HIS Divine Idea as to what life should be, but GOD’s Son
for the realization of all that the FATHER-MOTHER hath purposed through HIS Heavenly ARCHE within the Being, and the motion of the Lifestream which HE doth cause to operate continuously upon that Heavenly Principle so that it sends forth its streams and potencies through the Being.
What think ye of CHRIST? If you look to a man to find CHRIST you will never find HIM; any more than you would find Jesus, though you may find manifestations of Jesus – as it should be in all the children – and you may behold the Glory of CHRIST radiating through a Soul. But to find CHRIST you must find HIM within in the deeps of your Being. You must lean on GOD there. Yes, there, where HE is in the Divine Principle of your Being. If you would come at the Mystery of GOD, as a fisher upon the great sea of the Mystery of Life, then you must seek there unto the finding. And you will find if you seek.
CHRIST is no man, but HE is in man. HE is not within the confines of a human embodiment, but HE can fill that embodiment because a Soul’s embodiment is not to be measured by the measure of the outward stature of the vehicle through which the Jesus embodiment is made manifest. For the stature of CHRIST is a stature of potency, of power, of consciousness, so that the Being in whom CHRIST is, is related ultimately in consciousness to all the worlds, to all the realms, to the Universal and the Absolute, and comes into high realization of the Mystery at the heart of the Absolute and the Universal manifested in all the realms.
There were those in the days of the Manifestation who were specially attracted to the innermost things. They were those who went on to know the LORD. Philip-like they often questioned where they could not see with the understanding, nor perceive with their intuition, yet [they] somehow sensed with the
Spirit in them, through its motion through them, the Mystery. Thus the question – “Show us the Father-Mother that we may be sufficed” – cannot HE be demonstrated in some other way calculable [by] our imagination, measurable in our heart’s emotion? Yet it could not be, except by realization. “Have I been so long time with you, and yet dost thou not understand, Philip? The FATHER is not seen after the manner in which you suggest. HE is realized, realized. And ye have known HIM, and ye shall know HIM again. And ye now know HIM in some degree; ye are coming to know HIM in greater degree. The FATHER-MOTHER dwelleth within you in the Heavenly Principle of your Being in its dual mode of motion, in its inward and upward motion, in its outward and downward motion.”
So if ye be fishers on the great Sea – and surely you are, each one – here are great Fish for you. They are not easily landed, no. Many find it difficult to land even that which would be represented by the teaching of John – to live the beautiful life. How much more that of Jesus? And remember, many who desire to love beautifully, to live beautifully, because of the bondage which tradition, custom, habit and acquired tastes and desires impose upon them, find it difficult even to fish for such glorious things, though they profess to be deeply interested.
In the story it is represented that when the net was brought up there were good fish and bad fish [in it]. The term “fish” means Mystery; it is so in Hebrew, it is so in Greek: it is used mystically. True, the term has often been misused and a wrong meaning given to the teachings, a misdirection to the thought, and consequently, misinterpretation of the meaning. It is beautiful to think of the Soul as
sharing in the great Deep of GOD’s Mystery and being a fisher in its vessel upon that Deep, partaker of the Divine motion of the waters of that mighty Deep, having within itself the qualities that enable it to respond to the Divine motion. Bad fish represent misinterpretation of the Mysteries, since the term fish means mystery. You can misinterpret, you see, what is good in itself.
In this fallen world how great has been the misdirection, and how terrible the misinterpretations of the most sacred Mysteries of GOD and the Soul. When you look out upon the world you understand its interpretation of the ways of life [which] follow custom. Custom breeds habit, and habit desire, and as a resultant desire [seems] something that is quite natural and should be satisfied by eating and drinking in the ordinary ways of enjoyment. When you think of the world to-day, you can see how sadly the beautiful life has been misinterpreted, how far the children fell from the Edenic state wherein purity in [all the ways] of life was a natural part of the exposition of GOD’s Mystery within and through the Soul. Think how difficult it is to sort out the bad interpretations from the good. For the moment you begin to do that, people think that you are a crank, that you are deluded, or the ultra-orthodox would think you a heretic and label you such, and heresy is thought of as of Satan himself.
It is a remarkable thing that, in the development of the world’s thought during great ages covering thousands of years, the heresy of to-day has become the orthodoxy of the morrow; that is, the world’s thought is accommodated [to] its beliefs, so long as the beliefs do not affect the life; so long as they do not touch the tastes and the desires, so long as they do not upset customs, and smite unto the overthrowing of traditions. Men and women do not mind so much about beliefs, though some would
contend over those; but it is where you touch the life that they raise the difficulties. How hard it is for the Children of the Kingdom to-day to gather in [expositions of] the true, beautiful life, the pure life, the way of right living and feeling and thinking, right eating and drinking. Yet do not despise such fish, such sacred parts of the great Mystery in exposition. Beautiful and noble living is a part of GOD’s Truth expounded in embodiment.
And because, even in the Records, sad to relate, there were associated with the Master the habits and customs of society, where He was portrayed as one who ate and drank and was a winebibber, can you wonder that (this, of course, is metaphorically stated,) on one side of the Church that represents His Kingdom upon the earth, there should be the abattoir and the shambles, and on the other that which represents the distillery and the brewery? Where is Jesus, even in the Records, except in name, in statement? He is [found] in the belief that He was compassionate, all-pitiful and beautiful, yet they have made Him a victim of tradition, custom and habit. Is it any wonder the world has not seen Jesus unto the understanding of Jesushood and the embodying of Jesushood, when even the Church itself that professes to teach the Kingdom which He came to reveal, follows the [false] traditions, customs and habits, and condemns those who dare to change [those] habits and purify the customs and blot out the militating traditions of the ages?
Bear with me. It fills my Being with exceeding sorrow to think that He could have been so betrayed, and that the lie could be believed as it is even unto this day.
Thus it comes to pass that in the ingathering of all who were fishers upon the great Deep, it is difficult to land the Jesus-life, for the play of forces against such embodiment is so great. Theoretically
every true man and woman loves the thought of Love, and would praise the thought of a life embodying Love. But theory is only an intellectual vision and statement of the vision. The concrete is the reality. Do the theorists believe the concrete? If one tells them that they must learn to love everybody if they would be like Jesus, if they would follow Jesus, on hearing this they are aghast. They say: “What! Must I love everybody? I could name many I could not possibly love.”
Now if you made an adventure into the Unseen World, and were carried up to the gates of the Angelic Spheres, you would hear the nature of the reception there to such [Souls]. They would be informed that no one could enter into the Angelic World and abide there who had not learned to love everyone. No, you must learn to love everybody, whatever their idiosyncrasies. Just as you see other people’s idiosyncrasies and think you cannot love them because of such, so do they look at yours and wonder how they can love you. You forget whilst you are looking at theirs, that they are meantime looking at yours. Oh, abolish [such an attitude!] It is all a part of the betrayal. You must learn to love Souls, and penetrate their idiosyncrasies.
We do not want all Souls to make manifest their qualities in the same way. There is no monotony in GOD’s Christ. Even in a tree there are no two leaves alike, though every leaf bears the impress of the tree. There are no two flowers alike. Would you have two Souls alike? If so you would want that which would be out of harmony with the Divine Purpose. Recognise each other’s attributes; not blaming any because they have not your attributes, any more than you would have them blame you because you do not seem to have theirs, or in the same degree. You must learn to love everybody. There is no other way of knowing Jesus, or of
finding Him. To find Jesus is not to find any man or woman or system or church. It is to find the Life, the Life; the Life that can love beyond all tradition, all customs; that can love beyond all limitations. [It is to find] Love that looks through everything into the heart of the Being; Love that can command those qualities that seem to be idiosyncrasies, and cause them to come forth into beautiful bloom in life, making manifest their inherent spiritual, divine [origins.] That is Jesushood.
And ye have been seeking here, seeking as fishers upon the great Deep, seeking in these Teachings for the Divine Mystery. If you would find Jesus and would have such a fish, such a Mystery, you must find this Life, and nothing less than this Life. Jesus Himself was called Ichthus, the Mystery; that is, the Master was called that, but it is in the Jesus Christ the LORD manifestation [that Ichthus, the Mystery, is found.] If you would find this Mystery of Jesus, then it must be through Love. It is the finding of Love. Find GOD in yourself as Love, and you will find Jesus. For these are terms to express glorious states of consciousness, realization and embodiment.
Yet we would have you find CHRIST, and even the LORD; those greater, still greater Mysteries of experience wherein you become one, not only in your Love and in the motion of Love and the service of Love, but one in the motion of your Divine Streams Godward so that you touch all the realms at last, and through your contacting of those realms, you become one with CHRIST. HE is in you. HE is over you. HIS realm is within you in the Principle of your Being. It relates, you see, to the realm of the Eternal CHRIST. Ultimately, you are ever with HIM, never away from HIM, unless it has to be for ministry; but in consciousness always with HIM.
See what the religious world has missed in its fishing in shallow waters. See what it has lost
through misdirection. See the night into which it has plunged itself through making religion a sport instead of the great purpose of life. See the real Jesus it is seeking for and does not find; the real Christ it believes in but does not understand; the Living LORD it hopes some day to know, yet of Whose Reality it has not the faintest glimmer within its consciousness, nor of the nature of the splendour of HIS Love, and the far-flung glory of HIS Wisdom. It thinks of HIM, as it does of Jesus and of Christ, personally.
If ye have found that which all the world is seeking for, there is no rest to the Soul because of the Divine Principle that causes the motion within, until it finds GOD’s Man, GOD’s Christ, GOD’s LORD. If ye have found, even in some beautiful degree, these great Fish, these sacred Mysteries, what a Wealth has been gathered into your net! As you have put away the wrong views of life, the misinterpretations, the misunderstandings, as you empty your net, too, of these things which you cannot make use of, as you put off also from your life every false adornment, so that you become natural and beautiful before HIM; [so] you [must] put away every quality that cannot take the lustre of HIS glory, cannot be of HIM, and therefore must be put away, laid aside and emptied out of the net of your thought, your mind, your heart. If ye have found these great things, rejoice, rejoice! With them there is that in the finding which should be to you the testimony of the unwearying of the Divine Purpose and the Glory of the Divine Love.
And though I may not dwell upon it now, having kept you so long, yet I will name it. For over eighteen hundred years the Church, that has professed to be the Kingdom of GOD upon the earth, has been fishing upon the great Deep and seeking for that Mystery through which human redemption
was to be effected – the Mystery of the Oblation. The Church is where it was in the early Christian days knowing nought of that exposition of the Divine Love, that Mystery of Divine Travail, that embodiment of Divine Passion as is revealed in the Oblation; knowing nought of such a redemption as the Oblation interprets, such a world burden-bearing as it embodied, such a healing of the Planetary Heavens as it accomplished.
But ye have gathered something of the Mystery into your nets. It is a great
find. There is no greater Mystery, for the very Passion of GOD is in it. Have ye
not cause to rejoice? Have ye not reason to be glad before the LORD? Think
of it! Ye have come through the baptism of John unto the finding in some degree
of Jesus. Ye have glimpsed the Glory of GOD’s Christ as well
as seen the meaning of GOD’s
O Children of the FATHER-MOTHER, think what HE has given to you! And HE will give you yet more if you will cast your net on the right side, on the right side; that is, seek truly, seek rightly, seek humbly, seek lowlily, seek lovingly, seek divinely.
And ye will yet see more and more beauty in the ministry of John in the days of the Manifestation as He interpreted the LORD’s Man Jesus, and GOD’s Holy CHRIST and Only Begotten CHRIST, and revealed the beauty of the LORD Presence as something within the Sanctuary of Being to be come at by each one. And having found so much, bless HIM!
With the motion of Being praise HIM! Let the service of life worship HIM! And let every part of you adore HIM! Thus will ye bring Glory unto HIM – the only Glory HE seeks; the splendour of HIS Love filling HIS children, and pouring itself through them to turn the night of this world into the splendour of day, its bitterness into a life full of sweetness, its conflict into most harmonious conditions, and all the striving and the travailing into the life that is GOD’s Man.
(41:*) From The Logia or Sayings of the Master, p. 64.
(43:*) Vide: The Logia or Sayings of the
Master, “The Parable
of the Net”, p. 64, and reprinted p. 41 of this volume.