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Jesus in Samaria (Rabel)

(Back) Nicodemus and Jesus Rabbi, Eat (Next)

This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Part of Lecture 7 given on January 26, 1976

John 4:5-30

Now we come to the second great conversation, this time with a woman, and this could be Spiritual Awareness and its communication with the aspect of our feeling nature. We are told that Jesus comes to the Jacob's well in Samaria and he sat at the well and,

4:7There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 4:8For his disciples were gone away into the city to buy food. 4:9The Samaritan woman therefore saith unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, who am a Samaritan woman? (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 4:10Jesus answered and said unto unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

This is, of course, another example of Jesus speaking in this conversation on the esoteric level while the character to whom he is speaking, who probably does not realize the symbolic role she is taking, keeps the conversation strictly on the literal, on the completely mundane level of conversation, so, there seems to be a great disparity between the two sides of the conversation. There could be many explanations but I think that one of the most logical being that Jesus could see the symbolism before and while the conversation was going on, while the other character, perhaps, was not.

There are cases, however, later on, where there are indications that somehow the character involved was turning also and followed along right into an esoteric level of conversation, but many like this woman keep it strictly on the literal level, so we have to kind of switch as we follow and, interpret. This woman, being a Samaritan woman, would mean a mixed up state of emotions, mixed up feelings, in this case encountering Jesus would be a mixed up emotional reaction to our own Spiritual Awareness. They are not always speaking the same language, haven't you found this? When your emotional states were not speaking the same language, or in the same level as your Spiritual Awareness, you knew one thing and felt other things, and there is there some what of a dilemma, and, in this case, when Jesus asks the woman for a drink, she is only worrying about the social propriety involved here and she, of course, does not see Jesus as a living symbol, as a cosmic figure, so this is all she is concerned about.

But Jesus in his words is indicating that she should have another kind of concern, and I believe here Jesus was thinking more of us, more of posterity; Jesus knew the woman's limitations but he was thinking of us who were going to read about this and calls our attention toward a very important fact through these words to the human: "If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that is speaking to you ..." you would realize that you have for the asking accessibility to the living water, but it all hinges on what point first? "If thou knewst the gift of God, first. This strongly indicates that there is a Truth principle that we must help people to learn before all else, before we teach them techniques of how-to, how to get, how to go about, what to do until the ice man comes, all these how-to's we are going to be involved in teaching, but before any of that we should teach the gift of God, and help the person know the gift of God so that all the how-to's will become more than how-to's, they will be its own type of doing what needs to be done regarding this gift of God. We have many names, many words, which refer to this gift of God: Christ is probably the most commonly used in our teaching, we have presence, Spirit, I AM, but my favorite in connection with this particular instance and the way Jesus puts it here, always goes back to that one word that I favor above all else: SOURCE.

God has given us his offspring, his image and likeness, a very unique, almost unexplainable gift, which is the gift of himself as the Source. Now, remember we are talking about a particular aspect of God here which constitutes this gift, I don't want to think in terms of the allness of God in this case, but that aspect of God which becomes the living Source of all we could ever need, want, and ask for in the way of our highest good, of our real good. We can't be separated from this gift, wherever we go it is there with us, it demands of us only that we know it, that we acknowledge it and that we ask of it, and according to Jesus words, God is the giver and the gift, the substance of God becomes the form, the usable form of the gift that proceeds from the gift. But, according to Jesus words, the thing that the indwelling gift of God as Source is most willing to give us, if we ask him, is living water! Water in the Bible is most often used as a symbol for potential, for the formless, as yet formless, of that which is to become, which is to be: wine from water, discernible energy, usable energy brought forth out of potential energy. You cannot burn up potential energy, you can only burn up formed energy, discernible energy, usable energy. In other words, God as Source does not necessarily give you a house, out of the Source comes the house, or out of the Source comes a prepackaged job for you, out of the Source does not come, "a husband" but out of the Source comes living water, the living potential, the living idea, the animated, vivified substance and ideas upon which your mind and heart work and then this will draw unto you that house, that job, that husband; see? houses don't come out of God; substance, and ideas, and living intelligence, and energy come from God and enter into the mind of man, and the mind of man forms thoughts and through the law of mind action "like attracts like and like begets like" and then situations are formed, relationships are formed, objects are bought and sold and all of these, and that is the secondary creation so to speak. The first creation which is straight from God to man's consciousness is living water, living, intelligent, energized substance, life, love and intelligence from which all divine ideas come.

Another interpretation for this, an extension of it is that the gift of living water would also refer to the gift of conscious eternal life, the eternal life consciousness. It is strange but I have taken a survey among the Unity students one time to find out just how many actually made the request for an eternal life consciousness part of their prayer times, and you know how many out of about 12? No one. Some said, "Oh, I am not ready to ask for that." Well, when is one ready? When he is ready to ask, because, you see, stalling on this things will lead to stalling. Stalling is just as catching as enthusiasm is.

Q. I know this may sound ridiculous, but, when are we going to get there? A. Ed: Well, yes after a lot of trial and error, but don't you think that the sooner the better? I mean, the sooner we get the eternal life consciousness, the sooner we are going to develop the perfect healing consciousness.

Q. I did not realize this is something that we get, I thought it was something that was, eternal life. A. Ed: Eternal life consciousness, the consciousness of eternal life. Perhaps eternal is not the right word, let's change that word, let's say, the perfect life and then that will include awareness of the eternality, it would include awareness of Being, whole, perfect, and eternal. Now, do you see the advantage of developing a consciousness of perfect life including its eternality? It will relieve you greatly almost right away of what kind of anxiety that bedevils most persons? The time anxiety. We are burden with so many unnecessary anxieties because we do not have the correct consciousness of the divine idea behind so many things and one of the anxieties that bedevils so many persons is the time factor anxiety because somehow, in someway, we are still thinking of life as a temporary arrangement, we are thinking of life and existence cycle as the same thing, so the time anxiety gets in there and spoils so much of our enjoyment in life, but if the person rises above the temporary existence equation of life and gets more and more into the awareness of the Truth life, the perfect life consciousness, he sees where time, such as we know it, is nothing to be anxiety bedeviled about. We become more relaxed, he lets it flow more freely and enters into all of the divine ideas with a greater and greater ease.

Q. Doesn't this also tie to the idea of us being so often got caught up with the thought that, when I graduate, then I will have it made; or when I get my car paid off; or the house paid off; or the children have grown, or this type of thing, etc. This consciousness of the eternal life, or the eternal now helps us understand that this is the point where I have it made. A. Ed: You see? it is thinking on things like this and making actual prayer requests of good things are consciousness conditioners primarily, they are not total answers to things, total solutions, but think of these things as consciousness conditioners helping to make us more and more of the Truth and reality of all. And since all, all is in its Truth and reality good, then we have a greater and greater sense of cooperation and relaxation and gratitude and zeal concerning the good rather than so many anxieties.

Q. Ed, I think I am probably as guilty of this time anxiety as anybody and I realize there is a happy medium, still we have to exercise a certain discipline in time, for example, if you did not get your bus on time you might not have come to class. A. Ed: That is a very good question and it has a good answer. The anxiety about time is not the way to accomplish this practicality and punctuality, anxiety about time won't do that but the divine order faculty will. Affirm divine order, get to know your twelve powers and integrate the order faculty with your life habits and situations, in other words, develop a discipline in divine order which is a very painless and uncritical way of doing it rather than getting anxious about time. Divine order, you speak this word and divine order will be established in the affair. (Ed recommends listening to his cassette on the Order Faculty from his album of the Twelve Powers of Man). Divine order is that faculty which in the substance, in the invisible, in the ethers establishes right connections and proper sequences for you and these express then through your thinking, through your feeling and through your physical acts and it is a beautiful way to attain that.

Now, the lady in question keeps trying to get Jesus to bring his conversation down to what we might call from her point of view, practical level: Take me to this water that I don't have to run down this hill and do all this carrying on and Jesus still is trying to help her bring her understanding to a more metaphysical level. Of course, she doesn't do it but nevertheless she fulfills her role as an illustrative symbol here and so Jesus says, "Go, call thy husband and come here." and she says "I have no husband," and Jesus says to her, "Thou saidst well, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: this hast thou said truly." Well, this also happens to be Bible statistically correct as far as this woman is concerned, that is, this was true of her personal life and this fact, this clairvoyance on the part of Jesus, not what the clairvoyant vision meant metaphysically but just the fact of his clairvoyance knocked her out and she just run around the place praising him for the wrong thing, you see? praising him for being clairvoyant, so what? But she did not of course praise the meaning, the symbolic meaning of what this clairvoyance declared which was that the feeling nature of any man or any person who has been able to come into contact with an awareness of Spiritual Awareness has to be a soul that has undergone the five marriage failures which are now in the past of that soul's life. In other words, to get or to evolve to the place where you are able to have dealings with your own Spiritual Awareness or to realize the greatness of Spiritual Awareness, even if for the wrong reason at the present time, because she saw Jesus as a great man, didn't she? but not for the right reasons but his greatness was still there in her understanding, (I correct what I said, "not for the right reasons" I should say, "Not for the highest reasons) which means she was worthy to converse with Him to become a character in his drama of the Gospels and one of the things that qualified her for this was (now I have to go into metaphysics). Each of Us have learned the disillusionment which comes from sense consciousness marriages, in other words, to wed your feeling nature to each and all of the sense appetites has been a disillusioning experience for you and you have come through this, you have learned it, you have learned that you cannot depend upon the permanency of anything formed in sense consciousness and those experiences are now a part of your past development just as her five failed marriages were part of her past experiences. So you and I have grown through the disillusionment of trying to make anything permanent on sense appetites, sense consciousness. We have learned to not place our expectancies for true happiness, satisfaction, permanency and security on that level, those were failed marriages. "And he whom thou now hast is not thy husband." In other words, her current mode of thought was still not her right husband or the right controlling or dominating factor for her because she could not see metaphysically, she could see strictly literal, materialistic things. Now, a person who is in that state, who says, "seeing is believing," as his criteria doesn't have the right husband.

(Ed refers now to the use of the word "wrong.") I have been using the word "wrong" and in doing so I have utterly contradicted something I said two classes ago, I am good at that. Maybe you recall: I said, "everything, regardless of how it may appear to us from our current point of view, good, bad, and indifferent, has its validity in someway, in some dimension within the grand purpose of life, so let's cancel out that word "wrong", let's just say, "on her level of capability," so that her encounter with Jesus whether or not it meant to her what it means to us now with our "living in the future" in comparison with when she lived, it had its impact on her in a beneficial way, which even if it were no more than her delight at having met such a man could have colored the rest of her existence and since "like attracts like and like begets like", if she was delighted about meeting an extraordinary man, if that was in her mind, then what will the future hold for her? That which corresponded to her mental state, perhaps a new happier marriage.

Q. What does our sense nature have to do in the analogy of the five husbands? A. Ed: The senses are never to be husbands of anything, they are to be servants of the natural man, this is their function, the five senses are basically spiritual. In origin they are spiritual, in character they are spiritual and in purpose they are spiritual but at their present level of development and awareness of them, their main function right now is to be obedient and willing servants for the wellbeing of the natural man. The senses, as you know, will be redeemed from the level they are now limited to. Mostly now they are pretty much having to do with pleasure bringing and pain bringing, that is a very narrow limit to them, but they will not always be limited to that they will be redeemed, they will have a higher function, they will not need to do this job anymore, but at the present time this is the role they are playing and we must control this, they must be the willing and obedient servants for the wellbeing of the natural man level of us. To put them into the position of husband or controlling and deciding factor for our feelings is to put them in a false position, it is to be unfair to them and they are not capable of handling that position and when they are placed to that position, it always leads to disillusionment in us, divorce. But it is not their fault, it is simply a misunderstanding on our part. Jesus in no way blames this woman, he just states a few facts and gives her a great deal of pleasure and excitement.

In summary, the metaphysical meaning here, the thing we want to take for ourselves is that the gift of God is something we all need to know first and help others to get to know it and then to begin to practice that which the Source wants us to do, is waiting for us to do, willing for us to do. Ask of it for all needful good, stop, don't run hither and yon, and low here and low there, turn within to the Source, let it reveal its own gift to you. It is the giver and the gift but please remember that its giving consists primarily of living water or divine ideas or living potential, accept that first and then you will be guided and as "like attracts: like", things of a good nature you will also achieve.

It is also in this incident where Jesus makes one of his unforgettable statements which Unity has latched on to very strongly , "God is Spirit."

Q. Isn't it here where some of the translations of the Bible read, "God is a Spirit?" A. Ed: Yes, Mr. Fillmore takes the easy way out, he says, it is a mistake because metaphysically, cosmically or in any other way, this doesn't, hold water because God is spirituality itself, He is not a spirit, He is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and Truth.

Now, the woman says, "I know that Messiah cometh (which is called Christ): when he is come, he will declare unto us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He." Here is the first direct declaration on the part of Jesus that he is the conscious spokesman for the Christ. But remember, dear ones, that in us, in us, the Christ speaks but it has a spokesman which is Spiritual Awareness; The Christ can speak to you only through your own particular kind of Spiritual Awareness. So, you see, the Catholic church's dogma of Jesus as mediator isn't so far out as we once thought it was; in a sense, in a metaphysical sense, Jesus is the mediator, but not in the literal, hard-boiled sense. In other words, the Christ Mind does not directly speak to your conscious level of mind, point blank.

Following Jesus conversation with the woman at the well, which I am sure you realize from what you have been able to gather from our classes concerning it that each conversation, especially in the Gospel of John, has multidimensional meanings. This is something if you can reconcile yourself to, now, it will save you a lot of the unnecessary bother and bewilderness about which is right and which is wrong. Think in terms of multidimentional meaning in which there is plenty of room for rightness, even though differences. There is always room for another right meaning because Truth meanings are multidimentional. Another way of stating this is that everything, no matter how insignificant or undesirable from our current point of view has its validity, somewhere on some level within the grand overall purpose of things. We are all entitled to our point of view, aren't we? But we are not entitled to judge something as non-valid because that is simply not Truth. Everything, though it may appear wrong or incorrect from my current point of view, must have a level in which it has validity or it could not have existence. Either God is or God isn't, but, nevertheless, we do reserve our right to describe a thing as it appears from our current point of view and from the point of view of other who are in the same "boat" so to speak as we are. We deal with the relative and practicality but we do not loose our altruism and our commitment to the absolute which is Spirit.

Q. Ed, would this apply also to human behavior? A. Ed: Regardless of approval or disapproval, or acceptance or non-acceptance of a person's particular mode of expression or what he has brought himself to through his attitude and thinking, nevertheless, we must not loose sight of the validity of that particular undesirable thing on its own level or its own reason within the grandeur purpose which is always at work. God's plan is another word we use for that purpose.

Q. Would that mean that we shouldn't use the word "wrong" in any instance? A. Ed: When you use the word "wrong" be sure that you understand the basis from which you are using it. Don't use the word "wrong" as an absolute jar as, a finality, "wrong" from my current point of perspective, then you keep yourself safe.

Q. I think you could call these things "impropriate in this situation" instead of "wrong." A. Ed: And I think we could go a little further: "wrong from my point of view," from where I am sitting at the moment, but remember, you are such a fast growing person that where you are sitting at one moment is not where you will be sitting at another moment, you are quickened, you are not lethargic and so you have to be prepared for changes of attitude and shifting of emphasis in your judgements, in other words, stay on toes, don't fall asleep and you will be O.K.

Text of the original transcript from paragraph 2 on page 40 through paragraph 4 on page 46.
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on August 8, 2013