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Nicodemus and Jesus (Rabel)

(Back) Cleansing the Temple Jesus in Samaria (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 Lectures 6 and 7 given on January 23 and 26, 1976

Now, we go on. Our next instance is a conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus. This is the first of the great conversations, the esoteric conversations. These conversations in general represent communications between our spiritual awareness, sometimes the Christ, not spiritual awareness, the Christ Mind and other factors of our being. Male characters are factors of the thinking nature, and female characters of the feeling nature. Our first factor is a male, and he is a Pharisee, a Jew and is very respectful toward Jesus, but he does not show any great comprehension of Jesus' responses. We have to think of him as a mental attitude of interest and curiosity and respect toward the Truth, but yet not a complete capacity to understand from spiritual awareness. There is an attempt at rapport here, at communication; but it never is quite achieved but, nevertheless, Nicodemus still can be viewed as a positive charcter-symbol, since he gives Jesus the opportunity to make some pretty important statements. He begins the conversation with a compliment saying, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do these signs that thou doest, except God be with him."

That is often the attitude or the approach our tentative intellectual interest and curiosity has for whatever spiritual awareness we may have developed. I know it is a good thing. I know it is of God, but I do not quite know. Do you understand what I mean? I think so, but I am not sure. I do not know. I have to have more proof, more evidence and so forth. So, Jesus does not answer his compliment, but He immediately launches into some Truth, which is an opportunity for Nicodemus to see where he stands. So Jesus gives His very famous statement', "I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit." And so, Nicodemus asks, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus repeats, "verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water (born of water refers to the actual birth process of the physical organism) and of Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Then this very significant conclusion to that idea, "That which is born of flesh is flesh." Now, which birth was that? The water birth, the physical incarnation birth. "But that which is born of Spirit is Spirit."

In other words, you and I have had two births. Our true origin in a Being, born of Spirit as an idea in the Mind of God. Our second birth was the current or any incarnation, the birth of water, which is the flesh, flesh producing flesh. We need another birth, you see? And Nicodemus' question almost sounds like he was conniving with Jesus, cooperating with Him into making the point, because his question is, "Well, how can a man be born again? He has already been born twice, first of the Spirit and then of the flesh. Can he go back into his mother's womb and be born again or is that the way you go about this new birth?" And Jesus says, "Verily, verily" (which means truly, truly). Of course, there is one way in which a person can go back into his mother's womb and re-enact the birth process, which is in his mind, in his imagination. You can, through your mind, imagine yourself back to your mother's womb and then in your imagination re-enact the physical birth process; but in your mind, would you view that as your real birth, the birth of you, of the real you? You have to see it from your vantage point now, and with the hindsight that your mind can give you into that event. What it really is, what is true significance is, the parents say such things as, "Well, I gave you the body which gave you life." Ah, did that body give you life? Who gave who what? You, you gave that body that they gave you; you gave it life, because you are the life, you see? And you are born, your real origin, your true birth, which was spiritual, was the birth of your life, the life which you are. And into these physical incarnations, these flesh-produced vehicles that our beloved parents provide for us, we as life entered into them. So the body does not give us life. We animate the body with the life which is us, that gave life to the body, and we express the life which we are through that provided organism. When I say that our beloved parents provide those bodies for us, that is correct; but we still have something to do here. It was not one hundred percent totally subjective. We were there somewhere along the line giving it our consent and choice, too. But we are all one; we are all one family; you are my mother; I am your father; we are your brother and sister and what have you. How many times do you think we have provided bodies for each other right in this room? There would be no way of counting it, and that is all beautiful, that is all wonderful, "honor thy father and thy mother." That is perfectly valid, but the thing is, the new kind of birth we must have now is a new awareness in our minds, of what our true nature is, or what our real origin is, or who or what our real father-mother is in Spirit, rather than limit it to just the flesh-producing earthly parents.

Do you think, as one student in Toronto voiced her alarm about this, that if we begin to take this kind of a view toward real birth and reincarnation of flesh organism birth, her fear was that we will begin then to disparage parenthood of the earthly level. How do you feel about that? I did not go along with it. I felt no. Rather than that, what it will help us do, if we get the true perspective of the real birth and the incarnation of the organism, we will begin to not place such heavy demands on parents and children who are involved in the birth relationship. We will acknowledge our gratitude and our love and our oneness with other members of our human family on both parent and child current relationships but that we will not be placing unbearable demands on those who take those roles in our current existence. We will be more tolerant and free with each other and place the real burden of parenthood on the only one who can bear the real burden of parenthood, the true parent, God.

Q. It reminds me of Jesus and his earthly parent, Joseph.

A. Yes, I am quite sure that Jesus raised no fuss when people referred to Joseph as that. You just have to know that Jesus would be that kind of a person. In the absolute, in the true state of being, He knew that there is just one parent for each person, but that in our earthly relationships, it is mom and dad, and He was subject to them. I think this example on all levels is worthy of taking heed of.

Jesus elaborates a little bit on this. He makes His point, but Nicodemus, evidentally, does not get the ramifications. But that is O.K. Jesus then says, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, 'Ye must be born anew. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou nearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh and wither it goeth. So is everyone born of the Spirit."

Here is Jesus, for the first time, referring to what later would be the Holy Spirit, and He compares it to the activity of the wind. Where personal man stands in regard to this business of the wind, the most the personal self man can do as far as the wind is concerned, is to bear witness to it. You cannot give orders to it or decide whither it must come from, whither it must go to. When you are in personal consciousness, all you can do is hear the voice of it and cooperate with it. But, he that is born of the Spirit, when he begins to know the Holy Spirit, which is the activity of God, the movement of the principle of good in perceivable form, he learns not to try to dictate to it but to trust it. It comes from any direction he chooses to come from and to take any course in his life that fits this best because it comes from God; it is the Holy Spirit, it is the activity of God in a person's life, in his mind, in his body, in his affairs, and since it is of Spirit, and in man individually it is from Christ, it knows from whence it should go and it knows whither it should go and man himself learning to trust the activity of God or the Holy Spirit will get it only one thing, ... resistance? opposition? ... No. cooperation. Jesus says, so is everyone born of the Spirit. He who is in Spiritual awareness, spiritual consciousness, knows that the Holy Spirit or the movement or activity of God in him, in his life, can be trusted.

Q. Would this be why Charles Fillmore writes that Jesus recognized only one authority and that it was the Holy Spirit? What about the Father? The Holy Spirit is the Father in action. If the Father remains static and he is just Father, period, but it isn't, it is Father, Principle, Son, Christ within, and Holy Spirit, activity of God in your life and affairs.

(Start of Lecture 7, January 26, 1976. Lecture on Nicodemus and Jesus continues)

I am in the midst of outlining and making teaching notes for Christian Healing. It is a fantastic book. This is about my sixth go-round with it and it is so full of hidden subtle treasures of metaphysical insight and analysis that a superficial reading of it, a hurried reading of it, is really unfair to it; it is rich, it is tremendous, it is a gold mine. Our Minister Committee has diagramed it and has prepared this new teaching guide of it and I am kind of overwhelmed with the responsibility of writing the Annotations for the questions. I haven't received the questions yet but even if my questions aren't good, aren't acceptable, just the priviledge of going through that book again will make it more than worthwhile from my point of view. I am on the chapter on imagination (Christian Healing 96) now and it is so tremendous that I can't get over it.

We were dealing with Nicodemus and we've come to that sort of after-talk, that little discourse that Jesus makes concerning ... "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that Whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16) Then, I went into Mr. Fillmore's two approaches to that idea. In Christian Healing Mr. Fillmore has two approaches to the meaning of Only Begotten Son. One very early in the book and another later in the book. The first point of view, according to Mr. Fillmore, is our uniqueness, it is, what we have done with our relating and combining of divine ideas, which Is unique to us and only us. There are not two of us exactly alike in that respect, in exactly what we have done with divine ideas to form our own particular, unique individuality. The Only Begotten Son is you and me. In the fact of our uniqueness, there is only one of a kind like us, in that respect; that which we are as a result of what we have done with divine ideas as we perceive them. That is the Only Begotten Son in the approach of uniqueness and distinctiveness. But then, a little later in the book, Mr. Fillmore approaches the idea from what seems to be just the opposite point of view, which is the one and only one idea of perfect man that is in the Mind of God, that God did not ideate a selection of perfect men but only one which is full, complete, and totally perfect as man, and that we also are, in that respect we are all exactly alike, Only Begotten Son. But in the other point of view we are all different as the Only Begotten Son in our individuality, there is only one like us in that respect but we are the same, exactly the same in the other respect, which is our innate divine idea of perfection. And I am so glad Mr. Fillmore took both points of view because both have validity and both can be very helpful. You can speak to your people, there is only one person like you and in the world you are necessary because your uniqueness is part of the wholeness and if you took your uniqueness out of it, it wouldn't be whole any more, so, you are divine and necessary. Make people feel good, they won't believe you but you are telling them the Truth, they will gradually come to the understanding because, in this case, it is the belief itself which is the proof of it, here you don't have the proof first, then you believe it; you believe it and your own belief in it will be the proof. And then, the other approach will make people feel good, too. In reality and in Truth you are one with me, I know everything that is going on in you because I know: we are one, and you are one with everybody else as the perfect idea of God's Son in God's mind. Why do both approaches make the person feel good? Because they both have validity, they both are the Truth. Mr. Fillmore has helpad us a great deal with that in his book.

(John 3:30) John makes this statement, "He must increase, but I must decrease." Now, notice that John is only using the words increase and decrease, not disappear . A pernicious notion has crept into this and we often hear people speak in a manner as if John had said, "He must increase and I must be annihilated; no, intellectualism is not to be annihilated but it is to be decreased in the sense that, at one time it was king in us, at one time, even historically, which of the two was the only ministering? There was a period here when Jesus was not ministering, it was only John, indicating that there is a phase in all of our unfoldment as human being a where only the intellect is the authority. But when Spiritual Awareness is born into us and is given the leadership, then the intellect as leader, as minister, must decrease but not, annihilated; even the beheading of John the Baptist does not symbolize the annihilation of the intellect in a person, it just means the curtailment of that particular kind of development and it is replaced by another kind of intellectual activity. So we want to keep our proper perspective concerning the intellect and not let it become inflated, not annihilated. It is the servant of the Christ just as is everything else, but it is not the Christ.

Text of the original transcript from paragraph 6 on page 31 through paragraph 1 on page 40.
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on August 8, 2013