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 27 given on March 15, 1976
Preparatory thoughts: One of the things that the sooner we begin doing, the better off we will be is always think of your life as an eternal purpose. No matter what direction circumstances seem to be going toward or whether it is an upsea or a downsea in your mood; try to view the whole pattern of your life as progressing. Don't just judge an upsea and judge a downsea and call things by names because other people call them by the same name. Take a more liberal view of the whole pattern of your life and get into the habit of thinking of it in its over-allness as an eternal progress because that is what it is, even a setback is a disguised progress. You and I are now in that stage of our eternal progress called "earthly existence." A lot of people make the mistake of calling earthly existence the whole picture show but it isn't it, it is only one scene in the eternal picture show.
Our earthly existence stage of our progress has a very specific purpose which is to develop consciousness of God and Truth. This stage of the eternal life that we are now going through, this school that we are now attending called "earthly existence" could be called, in a sense, the getting-back-to-God phase or episode. Obviously somewhere along the line we have gotten separated in consciousness from God and we are now going through a corrective school called earthly existence which is really a getting back to God. Every experience we have on this plain of life has really one reason for being, one real purpose behind it which is to help get us back to God in consciousness. Why did this happen to us, why do we have to go through a thing like this? When all else is said and done there is still only one completely legitimate answer to that question, there are many opinions about it but there is only one legitimate answer which is because somehow we needed to get closer to God in consciousness. Everything is for that purpose. Jesus knew this so well and time after time he gives us lessons which illustrate this truth for us, our life really is and always should be thought of and eternal journey, an eternal progress into greater and greater awareness of God. Along these lines possibly one of the most frustrating earthly experiences in our current field of life is that of being opposed or rejected by others. Right? Others are on the same path and that is what makes it more frustrating, so there is a doable insult when you are opposed or rejected, especially when our hopes are high and our intentions are good. To be let down or disappointed when we feel we don't deserve such treatment, can be a very bitter low and at such times we must be careful because we will often be tempted to feel in our depressed reaction to it that sometimes this journey of life simply isn't worthy. We might wonder if God is good and God is our help in every need because we may think, then why does He allow so many disappointments and oppositions to occur to me. Now we want to look at the Gospel text to see how Jesus is conveying some instructions to us here along these lines.
(Read Luke version).
9:51And it came to pass, when the days were well-nigh come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 9:52and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 9:53And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he were going to Jerusalem. 9:54And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we bid fire to come down from heaven, and consume them? 9:55But he turned, and rebuked them. 9:56And they went to another village.
Reread verse 51, "...the days were well-nigh come that he should be received up,..." Notice the way he says that, he doesn't say, "it was getting near crucifixion time..," "he should be received up." This is a forecast on the resurrection and ascension. "... He steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem," Jesus’ goal here was Jerusalem. The word Jerusalem means, habitation of peace. So when he says that he symbolically states what you and I are really always trying to do in our lives. Why do you pray, why do you study Truth? You do these things because you do have an aim, a goal which is spiritual, you are progressing toward your goal and you are achieving your aim which is to gain an ever expanding consciousness of God and Truth. This is what Jerusalem symbolizes in the Bible until finally it is expanded into a completely glorified symbol of the New Jerusalem which descends from heaven.
In the New Jerusalem symbol it is no longer a goal which man is working toward. In the New Jerusalem symbology it is the goal come down to meet man, something to look forward to and it is going to happen; it is the spiritualized consciousness but in this case it is not spiritualized consciousness but simply greater awareness of, that is what we are working toward now.
Your pathway is an ascending path leading you to higher and higher levels of awareness and greater understanding in a spiral sort of way, not purely spiral but generally. This fact is illustrated in the Gospel through the words, "that he should be received up." While an upward direction does always indicate progress and expansion, it also indicates that effort is required.
You cannot spiral upward, you need to exert some effort. Time and time again in his teaching Jesus reiterates the fact that life is an upward journey, not a downward drifting. We are told that Jesus sent messengers before his face. This should also be true of us. In one way or another it is always true of us but we must learn to carefully select our messengers, many times we don't do that. We, in some way or another send our messengers before us on all the important steps we take on our pathway of life. Our messengers, for the most part, would consist of exploratory thoughts and anticipatory feelings and expectations. What do we want to get out of this, why are you going in this particular direction? What are you anticipating?
Our desires for success, satisfaction, all of these are what we would call God's messengers acting on our behalf. These precede us in our forward movement and they can work for us in very marvelous ways. The messengers that you send before you in your journey of life can do marvelous groundwork for you which you personally might had to do if you had no messengers going on for you. Our prayer affirmations, for instance, are beautiful examples of this. Without these messengers our way might be incomparably more difficult than you find it now. For example, if you had no anticipation whatsoever of changes for the good occurring in your life circumstances, you then might be totally unprepared for any changes for the better which might occur; thereby you would miss the opportunity, you wouldn't see the opportunity for what it really is, you had done no preparatory work. If you had no exploratory thoughts radiating from your mind in your study of Truth, you will quickly lose your interest concerning your study of Truth, but you are not losing interest because you are never just content for having it made for what you have already learned, and bottled it up and labeled it "my know-how" but you always allow your exploratory thoughts always to go a little ahead of your current know-how. Don't you? That is what makes you good students, good learners. You do not only have a mind which has learned, but you have these exploratory thoughts going ahead of what you already know are preparing the way for new knowledge and new insights. Because you do have these messengers that you are sending forth from you your efforts continue, your progress proceeds. Now, Jesus had to face the inhospitality of the village called Samaria. We are told they would not receive him and I find the reason given here on the text undecipherable, I am sure it contains a clue.
Student participation: I think that... we know that the Samaritans were resentful against the Jews especially those extremely devout who would set their face toward Jerusalem and I think this is true of ourselves if we are passing through a place or experiences with people and "they know where we are going; they resent that and they would offer the inhospitable attitude.
Ed: You can equate that then with certain experiences or a set of circumstances in your life which don't want to really contribute to your progress but want to claim you as its own. In that kind of a journey, anything less than the goal itself will always contain opposite, antagonistic factors.
O.K. Then we see that this inhospitable village of Samaria symbolizes the fact that you and I, in our unfoldment, has to face inhospitable personalities and circumstances which are along the pathway of our progress, but also in the way of our pathway of progress but we still have to go on and we still have to somehow enter them. Many times in your life you have had an involvement with something that you didn't know it belonged there but it was in the way of something greater so your stay there would be temporary but no matter how idealistic we are and optimistic we are, we do find there are times and places where we are not treated as we would like to be treated.
We might find ourselves somehow being ignored, that is the worst kind of handling me that you can give me, ignoring me if I am not in the mood to be ignored. You will find that when you are in the mood to be ignored, how welcomed it is, but when you are not, it is terrible to be rejected or to be misunderstood. When this happens, when we find ourselves in an inhospitable situation where we feel we are not been treated or handled right let's ask ourselves a question, "must I think that this is really so unusual or terrible?" Often we get an exaggerated reaction just because it happens that it is happening to us, but we feel that we have a right to think that it is very unusual, or very terrible; evidently the disciples John and James thought so. They thought it was so terrible, so unusual, that they actually wanted permission from Jesus to punish and destroy the whole village. "Would you want us to call fire and brimstone from heaven to consume them for their inhospitality?" And all we are told is that Jesus rebuked them for this and the wonderful solution to the dilemma is almost hidden in the closing words, it is hidden unless you have eyes to see it there in this very simple statement, "And they went to another village."
There is a great lesson in this deceptively simple symbolism: no matter how clever, how well built, how attractive or how right he may be, nobody can reasonably expect his pathway of life to always be smooth sailing with welcome mats laid out on both sides. It simply is not intelligent to demand this of life. If anyone deserved for this to be the case, truly it was Jesus but even he did not get it. He did not expect it, he realized that the nature of life on earth, being what it is, opposition, contradiction, rejection, were all valid parts of the give and take of life experiences and human relations and he was prepared for them, he made allowances for them and when they did occur, they did not throw him into a panic.
Now look at James and John and see what they wanted to do. Metaphysically James and John represent judgment and love, but in this case they represent judgment and love gone astray. Their anger and their desire for vengeance typify what can happen to the best of intentions suddenly called upon to cope with opposition and hostility in others. It wasn't just by accident that these faculties were chosen by Jesus to take the form of ordinary men, chosen from the community and from all walks of life. This was very well planned that the faculties should be represented in very human personalities and here we have one of the illustrations of this, love and judgment gone away under the pressure of the reaction to rejection and inhospitality. It is not the Christ who says, "I am not being understood properly. I am not being treated right." It is self who says this. So John and James were reacting not to what was best for the Christ but what they thought belonged to self and, of course, here we get into this hassle; when we are letting self to declare, "I am not being treated right, I am not being understood properly," then our judgment and love are replaced by indignation and hatred, at least in our awareness and we want to strive that or even destroy it; we may, as James and John did, convince ourselves that calling fire and brimstone from heaven is the only way to deal with someone or something that is clearly in the wrong here while we ourselves are not being treated right.
Jesus stands for, more and more, the Christ, spiritual awareness but closer and closer to the pure Christ consciousness. He sets James and John straight right away. Before anything else he sets them straight. We too, we must let Truth bring out judgment and love back into order again when they have gone wild. Their negatives will blow over and pass away when we use words of Truth on them or as our Gospel puts it, "Jesus rebuked them."
You have heard me saying many times that correct denial and affirmation are primarily consciousness conditioning and when you feel that any of the twelve powers have become distorted, let your Christ self rebuke them, in a benign way. That is, let denial and affirmation get them back in line again and then you will do O.K. Then, after our judgment and love are back to normal again, we are no longer going to give vent to anger or vengeance for our opposition. The Gospel passage states it simply, "and they went to another village." Significantly we are not told which one of the villages, just another village.
This tells us something metaphysical. God always provides alternatives for us in life, always. Remember this if possible. Anytime that you face what you consider crisis or a dead end, it is never true, we are judging by false appearances. God always provides the answer. There are times when we feel we are stuck in our good intentions but this is never the case, we may be stuck in one particular instance but this is never the whole picture. The truth is that if we can avoid becoming overly negative and violent about our difficulties, then we will always find that God has provided an even better alternative for us. There was another village, not named, but obviously it was there for Jesus and the disciples and we may assume that this time it was a hospitable one. So, there will always be another village and it too will be a hospitable one.
Student's participation: Also we can count on the grace of God. No matter what we have done, God always provides a new opportunity to start.
Ed: Absolutely, and if that is not a clear illustration of grace, then I have never heard any.
Another point. To try to call down punishment on any of any of our opposition or in any way harm persons or things which reject us, this is time wasting in a very malevolent way. We must get away from this. If something or someone says "no" to us we won't fret. A dozen other things will be on hand saying "yes", but not if we are fretful. You and I don't usually say "yes" to fretful people, do we? We say, good bye to that person. Remember that whatever person who seems to try to injure you, if you will forgive him, this will be transmuted into many others who will be wanting to help you. There is never any necessity for vindictiveness or vengeance because your life is an eternal progress into more and more consciousness of God. The messengers have already gone before you to prepare the way for the next stage of the journey and all is well, it really is, all is well and all will be even better if you let it.
Please remember one thing about this business of progress or next stages or greater dimensions and so forth. Do not equate this with becoming busier or piling on more activities, progress doesn't necessarily consist of this. Progress consists of increase of consciousness, not necessarily increase of activities or things. If these are the legitimate products of your increase of consciousness then, so it will be, but I find folks that many times in contemplating this business of growth and progress and unfoldment, people are too prone to think of it in terms of things or materialistic activities, possessions and involvements and we forget that many times a person's greatest progress is occurring when the person is simplifying his life, when he is pruning certain excesses and so forth. Do not be alarmed if when you are supposed to be progressing, you may be curtailing many of the outer things and involvements in your life. Progress must be judged by one standard only: where my thoughts of God and Truth and Christ and awareness are. This is the criteria, not how much is going on out here in life. On the other hand, don't seek to avoid things going on out here because they very well may be an outpicturing of your progress.
Student participation: After a spiritual experience there is always a demonstration.
Ed: Yes, your progress makes you qualify for the demonstration and many times the demonstration will appear to the person to be so very normal and natural that he will not see it as a demonstration of a great spiritual accomplishment within. The accomplishment, the progress has increased your capacity, your suitability for something greater.
Student participation: On page 133, and 134 of “Twelve Powers of Man” there is a beautiful illustration of the thunder that occurs in the case of opposition. It goes very well with the lesson today.
Student participation: The way I relate to what you have been teaching today is that until we learn to respond to conditions in our life with love and non-resistance, we are going to have the circumstances again until we learn the lesson of not reacting to this type of stimulus.
Ed: We usually react and so duplicate what they did to us. This is simply a symbolic description of the state of your soul at that particular moment. If you are in a prayer consciousness you are filled with light and it radiates through you; whether it be an actual luminosity of spectacular character. In Jesus’ case it was an actual perceivable condition of luminosity but many times your most radiant states do not appear as a luminosity condition of phenomena because it is you illumined, enlightened and that is good enough but then we have the two other characters conversing with him. When you are in spiritual awareness and on a high state of illumination, the same thing is duplicated in you, the Moses dimension of your being, and the Elijah dimension of your being are in full rapport with your spiritual awareness, which is the Jesus Christ dimension of your being. The three are in alignment and in rapport and are producing a very very harmonious outcome for you.
Text of the original transcript of p.164-167.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-03-2014