Late Middle English: from Old French beatitude or Latin beatitudo, from beatus ‘blessed.’

Supreme blessedness.
Synonyms: blessedness, benediction, grace

The blessings listed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3–11).

In Biblical tradition, Beatitude means “blessings and great happiness.” The New Testament Book of Matthew relates: “Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.”

In what we now call the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3–11), Jesus taught the Eight Beatitudes, or lessons for achieving blessings and great happiness. He spoke the Beatitudes in the peoples’ language of Aramaic. However, Aramaic has proven difficult to translate accurately because, as a predominantly oral language, it contained much slang and nuance. The King James translation (and more modern translations that have followed) have perplexed many diligent spiritual students.

In one of my favourite books, Love Without End, by Glenda Green, Jesus clarifies these lessons for us. Here is a summary of explanations directly from Chapter 9 of the book:

The Beatitudes
I. Simplicity
King James Version Translation:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

More accurate translation from Aramaic:
Blessed are those who live in simplicity,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Love is the simplicity of your power.

Avoid Unnecessary Complexities, Hierarchies and Structure

Refrain from introducing complexities and hierarchies into spiritual pursuits or life in general. Don’t empower belief systems that limit and control your approach to God.

Hierarchies are a part of worldly elitism. Structure belongs to the earth. As you ascend to a higher, more loving relationship with your fellow man and your Creator, the dominance of structure will fall away. In love and spirit there are neither hierarchies nor structure. Love is the source of your life.

Do not take anything from the spirit. Spirit is in all things, of all things, and with all things. Where spirit is concerned there are no prerequisites and no hierarchies. The spirit is one.

Accepting and honouring the one spirit from the simplicity of your own place in life is the key to heaven. Accept it where you are, as you are. Be yourself.

Avoid Unnecessary Mental Complexities and Hierarchies, Which Generate More Structure

Maintain simplicity in your thoughts as well. Thoughts generate performance. So, guard your thoughts and instruct them well. Mental activity invariably results in complexities, which must be implemented by structure. Within hierarchies of mental structure, ideas ascend in levels of sophistication. Such complicated standards will always establish some persons or situations as superior to others. Love, on the other hand, is simple and so is the spirit. Stay with simplicity and avoid the pitfalls of complicated living.

You must put love behind your thoughts to make them work. If your love is the archer, then your mind is the bow, and your thoughts are the arrows. Without careful direction of thoughts, you will not hit the target. Without love to pull the bow string, your motivation will be weak or misdirected. Love is the simplicity of your power.

II. Release
King James Version Translation:
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted. 

More accurate translation from Aramaic:
Blessed are they who release and purge grief,
for they shall be comforted. 

Grieving is clinging to that which has been lost—mourning is the act of letting go.

There are two parts to love—attaching and letting go. Only through living and understanding both phases of love is a being complete.

When a person first recognizes and experiences grief, it comes as an affliction. As the process completes itself in the latter stages of surrender, there is mourning.

Mourning is the free flowing of tears as acceptance and releasing are experienced. In this state, the heart can perceive a continuity of life even though certain attachments have been lost. In letting go of that which cannot be retained, one heals. It is through releasing that one is blessed.

III. Moderation

King James Version Translation:
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth. 

More accurate translation from Aramaic:
Blessed are those who live in moderation,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Moderation is balance. In balance, we find wholeness, fulfillment, and blessing.

Only the properties of your heart can bring fulfillment and nourishment to your life. In practicing moderation, you will know this.

Moderation is the economy of God, and the economy of blessing. When you live in moderation, you are in balance. When you live in balance, you are whole. When you are whole, you inherit the earth.

Moderation is not an invocation of limits or conformity, but rather moderation is an invocation of the rationality that a person is more complete when in balance. What a person requires is governed by what he or she can love! Through moderation, under the command of love, everything is provided.

Moderation is a relative concept that derives its power from equilibrium and balance. It cannot be enforced with identical value or limitation on all people. This must be learned through discernment.

Moderation is equilibrium, but it is not static inert balance, which has no inner life or variance. There is a certain progressive attainment that maintains itself by growth, fluctuation, conservation, and sharing. ‘Well being’ is the true feeling of moderation.

Pursue moderation in all things—not only in material accumulation or in our physical comforts, but also in the food you eat, and in mental pursuits, habits, and work. As heaven comes to earth, the standard of economy will be that of moderation. It will no longer be the norm for some to hoard while others starve. Sharing will become a joy as you learn that everything you share will be multiplied and then become the basis of your own receiving.

IV. Righteousness
King James Version Translation:
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be filled. 

Righteousness is you being the love that you are.

This blessing is directly linked to the Sacred Heart, for when a person hungers and thirsts for righteousness, the basic purity and innocence of his heart will be awakened.

Righteousness means that you are right with yourself, right with your fellow man, right with God, and right with the one spirit. Simply be the love that you are. That is discovered and developed through a right relationship with the heart.

The heart is a powerful magnetic center that generates life energy for the body and the soul and draws to you all the needs and requirements of your life. Within the Sacred Chamber of the heart you will feel the presence of your Creator and be anointed with His righteousness. From these holy communions, higher principles of intelligence (unity, love, life, respect, honesty, justice, and kindness) will be revealed to you, and through them rightness will come to your life.

V. Mercy
King James Version Translation:
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Those who extend mercy, receive mercy. In forgiving, we are forgiven. Only the heart can understand forgiveness.

Practice forgiveness everyday. It liberates the soul from bondage, and beyond that, forgiveness is an action that your mind can never understand. Whenever you are merciful, you grow. As you grow you become more blessed, and the very things that might harm you or cause you resistance will be given no power. Mercy is the flower of growth. Those who are restrained in mercy will have limited influence in life.

VI. Purity of Heart
King James Version Translation:
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God. 

In the eyes of God, who knows nothing of sin, you are nothing less than perfect. Which is why the very act of sin separates you from your Source. In the purity of your heart you are one with your Creator.

Until you see yourself as pure, perfect and innocent, you will not enter the Sacred Chamber of the heart. As long as you try to carry all of your unworthiness and mistakes in with you, you will stay on the threshold of your heart and not enter.

In the sacred chamber you are one with the Father, and in that oneness your Source knows everything you need, and beholds no imperfection. When you enter the sacred heart, you are restored in your life and you are made whole again.

Through innocent perception, you may also perceive the presence of God in all of existence. This is purity of perception. Everything was created in innocence. Behold this, if you would see the face of God.

Most conflict is self-generated by rejections of life and denial of existence as it really is.

Although the mind strives to understand, it will invent what it cannot understand—or worse still, it will judge. The mind will invent realities that lead you away from who you are and the true purposes of your life. When you surrender to the fact that existence does not require invention—that it simply is—you will be on the threshold of actually looking into the face of God.

Judgment will separate you from this sacred space. Judgement is actually the only sin of which a pure and perfect child of God is capable. Judgment was the original sin, and continual pursuit of it will keep you from the presence of your Creator.

(The Hebrew word for judgement, which is ‘mishpat’ actually refers to redemption and vindication—not to accusation and condemnation. The ancient Hebrew meaning of judgement is protection of personal rights in the face of accusation.)

VII. Peace
King James Version Translation:
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God. 

Seek to perceive wholeness in all things.

There are many ways to make peace in life. Its power comes from the grace of ending duality. You will be blessed with wholeness as you end duality.

You are a peacemaker when you rise above the concept that life must be viewed as a conflict between polar opposites. A dualistic approach to living is no longer useful. Our oneness of spirit needs to be recognized and implemented through acceptance.

The conceptual model of duality is a simplistic frame of reference created by the mind to satisfy its dependency upon structure and symmetry. The mind seeks to explain rather than understand. Once the full scope of understanding is attained, duality fades away.

Higher intelligence is manifested through integrated perceptions of wholeness, which restore your recognition of the one spirit. The sons of God are those who do not explain life or manage it with dualistic concepts. The sons of God are those who seek to perceive wholeness in all things.

VIII. Transcendence of Suffering through Love
King James Version Translation:
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

More accurate translation from Aramaic:
Blessed are they who transcend suffering through love,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Righteousness is you being the love that you are. Only when you love beyond all of the external conditions that logically tell you not to do so, can you discover the deeper wellspring of love that you are.

In English, persecution implies an intentional harassment or punishment. In Aramaic, persecution typically meant ‘suffering’.

The vanishing of illusion: Whenever you stand firmly in the midst of a hardship, holding and expressing the love that you are, you will witness illusions falling away. Through being the love that you are, you are empowered to transcend your sufferings.

Through love you have the power over any situation. Only, you will never truly know this until you have surmounted adversity. This last beatitude is the greatest of all blessings. For in learning it, you are free forever from the illusions that would attempt to conquer you and misdirect your life.

Our Creator never afflicts or badgers His children, although it is his greatest yearning to be known by them in the fullness of existence. It is through challenge and the survival of suffering that a person grows beyond his protective bubble to experience the love of God in a greater way.

One who has known God only in a state of well-being has just known the smallest portion of the Creator. One who must place conditions on how to receive God cannot receive God. One who can only know God in blissful and abundant experiences has no power in the rest of life. What is the Kingdom of Heaven except the wholeness of everything?

To learn that love is a power that comes from within, love your enemies.

The power of this blessing resides in the fact that the Creator of all things is present with all things and in all things. There is no place where God is not. There is no experience in which God is not. There is no dimension of understanding or awareness where God is not.

From: Love Without End, Chapter 9: The Blessed Life