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Repent or Perish (Rabel)

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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 32 given on March 26, 1976

Luke 13:1-5, pp. 199-199 of transcript.

13:1Now there were some present at that very season who told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 13:2And he answered and said unto them, Think ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they have suffered these things? 13:3I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish. 13:4Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, think ye that they were offenders above all the men that dwell in Jerusalem? 13:5I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

The next discourse that we will look at is somewhat disturbing to some persons. Reading Luke 13:1-5, page 128 in HG, these pilgrims were observing one of their religious rites when they were attacked and slaughtered by King Herod's soldiers. Do you see Jesus' strategy here? He is reading their minds, as He so often does, and He sees that they are concerned about two recent tragedies in which a number of so called, apparently innocent victims were killed. He is not concerned about the incidents or the fate of the victims, but He is very much concerned those who were thinking about this, his immediate followers, because of what He was reading in their minds and what He was reading in their minds typifies what goes on in the mind of almost all people when we receive news of a catastrophe, accident or tragedy, in which a number of persons were victimized or lost their lives, say in an airline crash or tornado or a flood.

The response in the minds of the observer at this kind of an event almost inevitably will begin pondering on the fate of the victim and why it happened. Those who are somewhat indoctrinated in the laws of consciousness would, then, start to surmise that something was in their consciousness that drew them to that place when that event occurred. What was it bad or wrong in their consciousness that caused them to be part of that? Jesus could see the futility of that kind of response or attitude, so that all His words are addressed to those who have that kind of concern.

This is very much the way He handles a more intimate situation, where He similarly treats the question of who did sin, in connection with physical exploitation. He indicates that the question really is not why some persons and not other persons. He saw that that kind of thinking was pernicious and led to nowhere, because you can see where you would go if you follow that train of thought: why those persons instead of eighteen other persons? Here we go; the dog chases its tail with that kind of thinking, and yet that kind of thinking is so easy to justify, but it is not justifiable. It is error. It is pernicious, so rather than "why those persons and not other persons", the real question should be, "why any person? Do these things have to happen?" If your answer is, "Yes, they have to happen because they always have happened", then you, too, will have it happen. So, Jesus says, "Repent". Change your way of thinking about why tragedies, accidents, happen, and why, this, that, when, those are involved. We need a whole new approach in our thinking, which is what repentance is, folks.

Repentance means taking a whole new approach to your way of thinking about something, and when Jesus indicates that a certain problem or dilemma needs repentance, it means there is need for a whole new approach in our reactions to such a thing. Accidents and catastrophes, whether they be man-made, of nature, or of mechanical devices, does not really matter. They are all in the same category. Accident or catastrophes are products of negative factors in earthbound or race consciousness. This is what they are; nothing more, nothing less. They are products or results of negative factors in earthbound or race consciousness. Each man has collective responsibility.

Even though I may be the direct cause of an automobile accident, every one of my fellow human beings also has a collective responsibility. The same thing is true when anything real good is produced by a person. The actual person who is the channel for the bringing forth of the discovery, the idea, has the direct credit, but every fellow human being enters collectively into the credit also, to a degree, according to your involvement in consciousness. This is true of that crazy realm of manifestation called accidents and catastrophes. The solution is not found by analyzing the so-called chosen victim. That will lead nowhere. It never has, and it never will; all it does is produce further like incidents, so if a solution is not in analyzing or the choosing of victims, so called, or even in justifying the happening - there is such a cop-out when we say, "well, they got what was coming to them". The Jews always expected persecution, so they got it. That's no solution; that's no help, you see. It is justifying a negative fact, which is a dilemma that does not need justifying. It needs solving, it needs help; and so it goes with anything.

Jesus' solution to the dilemma, folks, is so simple and so personal and so direct that nobody in the whole world trusts Him, including me, but I know what it is. Even though I do not trust Him yet, that is my problem, but since I know what it is, I must share it. Perhaps, then, my trust in it will follow when you accept it too. I warned you, you are not going to be satisfied with this. It is too simple, it is too direct, it is too personal; but it is this: to repent. You, who are thinking about this, must repent, not build safer airplanes, although we will do that. That does not solve the dilemma that we are talking about. It does not mean kill Hitler, but you who are thinking about this dilemma, must repent. You must change your whole approach to the way you used to think about it.

Now, it is very significant, folks, that Jesus does not say how to repent. In other words, He does not tell you what new approach to take. He just says repent. In other words, take a new one. It does not matter whether the new approach you take is a right one or not. It is the taking of the new approach itself which counts. It does not mean just changing our approach of thinking about accidents. We are simply being told to take a new approach, any new approach, as long as it is a new one; because it is in the effort of taking the new approach where the miracle is, not in finding the right answer as your new approach. So, this has to be done totally personally, individually. It is not a matter of me telling you what your approach should be, or me knowing the secret and telling you that we must all take this new approach. That is not it. The thing is that each individual who has concern must make this personal, secret effort to take a whole new approach.

In my case, the only way I have been able to do this is to first honestly determine what has been my approach, be clear on that. What has been my approach when I read that an airliner has crashed into the Grand Canyon? This has happened to me. I was scheduled on a flight to California from Unity School before we had the jets. About three days before I was to leave for California, this occurred. What was my reaction? I have only to recognize within myself what it is; then I have to decide what would be a whole new approach in my reaction? I must find something I have never tried before. The important thing is making the new approach, not what it is.

By making this kind of effort, that energy, that substance, that commitment that went into a conscious repentance will accumulate or will be conserved or registered somewhere in the race consciousness, which will become a part of that which will eventually be the consciousness that will remove that kind of phenomena of our human earthly experience. Each must do his part; each will share in the results. When Jesus very grimly said that if you don't repent; if you don't make this kind of an effort, you will join your turn in line for the next time. If not the next one, then one somewhere along the line. If you make no effort whatsoever to repent about your thoughts on these things, you will simply be vulnerable, able to participate in the same kind of happening.

You know a teaching like this, folks, is not one of these cut and dried “how to and you will get" formulistic type of things. Really, when you come right down to it, it is a teaching that we are not entirely ready for. We are more ready for it now, probably, than we were a year ago; but for the most part, this kind of teaching from Jesus seems to be a little bit too intangible, problematic, etc. and yet it is precisely these kinds of teachings of Jesus which are really of most value to us, even of more value than one like love your enemies. There is a teaching which is challenging, but you are going to get results right away, even past results will change; but this kind of teaching, first of all, is such an intimate, personal thing in its first stage. Then it is a collective thing in its other stages, and many students tend to shun this kind of teaching. Do not shun it. Take it quite seriously. Enter into it. Let's be practical. The next time we read, hear, or are in any way affected by anything in the nature of an accident, catastrophe (understand we are not treasure mapping, decreeing, or drawing this to us), watch and pray, watch your reaction to it; and if it never happens, you have still done the work, because you were prepared. Even if you do not have to do the repenting, by your willingness to do it if you are called upon, it is the same thing. You are contributing in your individual way to the overcoming of this kind of misfortune in the human race on our planet.

Q. I had to reach the realization that I was willing to grow and I could grow in a pleasurable situation without having to be forced by my soul in a painful situation.

A. Right. You have agreed, you have asserted your willingness to be able to grow through pleasurable experiences. A lot of people have not learned that. They have only learned how to be forced. This is something different. This is an accomplishment, and repentance will bring that too. Most of us only learn through the kicks and punches. Let's learn through the kisses and strokes too, because there are valid lessons to be learned in everything that happens.

Q. Would you comment, perhaps, on learning through the experiences of others in the way that we relate to them; in other words, when our reactions can be compassionate?

A. Absolutely. How do you and I mostly learn from each other or from people we have never even met? In the case of those we have never met, we learn from them in the way we react to what happens to them. In the case of people we are associated with, it is how we react to what they say. You do not learn from what I say but strictly from your own reaction and decisions and choices concerning what I say. Passing on information is not a learning process, but making choices based on your reaction to what is said is a learning process. Learning, in the true sense, is when you have made a conscious choice concerning something.

Text of the original transcript of the last sentence on p.199 through the middle of p.202.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-07-2014