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. Lecture 39 given on April 15, 1976
19:1And it came to pass when Jesus had finished these words, he departed from Galilee, and came into the borders of Judaea beyond the Jordan; 19:2and great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. 19:3And there came unto him Pharisees, trying him, and saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 19:4And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 19:5and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh? 19:6So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 19:7They say unto him, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put her away? 19:8He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so. 19:9And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery. 19:10The disciples say unto him, If the case of the man is so with his wife, it is not expedient to marry. 19:11But he said unto them, Not all men can receive this saying, but they to whom it is given. 19:12For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
Now, we come to Jesus' teachings concerning divorce. Okay, what version shall we read? Let's try the modern version, No, let's try Matthew 19:3-10.
If a person reading this is in a very literal state of mind, especially if he or she has a lot of marital or sexual or romantic hang-ups or longings at the moment, the chances are pretty certain that nothing will be learned from this. You might as well skip it, but if one can approach this realizing that Jesus is always speaking on multi-dimensional levels of meaning, and in this case He is so obviously speaking about the male and female natures of every individual and the marriage made in heaven, and the divorce which leads to mental and emotional imbalance. The Pharisees were talking about men and women, copulation, and divorce; so Jesus realized He could not talk to them on that level. The only unteachable mind there is, is the know-it-all, the old wineskin filled with old knowledge, the closed door, the dead end. You cannot teach those people, and Jesus knew this. So He is not trying to tell these Pharisees anything. He is trying to tell future Truth students something, you and me, and all of us.
Of course the Pharisees in no way get His point. Jesus keeps zeroing in to the people, the listeners. He says that Moses had no choice, they were going to do it anyway, so it might as well be legal. You can't put everybody in jail. You can't excommunicate everybody - no more tithes!
He says there is nothing divine about any divorce laws or marriage customs. These are man-made expediencies and choices, sociological choices, instinctive reactions that have nothing to do with in-the-beginningness, the God plan, the divine means.
Please remember that the term "commit adultery" is not as bad as it sounds. It is not some kind of unpardonable, shameful thing. It is a metaphysical term, a generic term, referring to mixing some error in. That is all it means, mixing some error into consciousness.
Matthew 19:10-12 is a very mysterious ending, which I don't believe has ever been figured out, at least I have never heard it to my satisfaction. The word eunuchs, of course, is the stumbling block, because there is a possibility of meaning for it, and there is no use looking it up in the dictionary. That would not tell us how Jesus is applying it here. Literally, you know that a eunuch is a castrated male. Evidently such a mutilation is supposed to remove the libido as a function of that particular psyche. Whether it does or not is open to question, but we do know one thing. Even if it does not remove the libido, it would at least severely impair any sexual expression, you see; so Jesus is obviously using this word as a symbol of any human being, not necessarily male, but any human being, who for different reasons has either curtailed or suppressed or become free from the need for sexual expression. Did you notice I said "the need for", the drive for.
Jesus indicates that there are three ways this might happen. It might be that your current incarnation will be in the body expression of one who has, for evolutionary reasons, chosen not to go into sexual expression, from the mother's womb. But we know that all things that have come from the mother's womb are soul choices of that individual. Don't think that the baby just comes loaded with heredity, that is, inflicted heredity. That baby also comes with a soul with some pre-ordained soul choices, and a soul choice might be, in any given incarnation, not to be of a libidness person. Another way it can happen is, of course, infliction. The other reason can be for the kingdom of heaven’s sake, and I am not completely sure on this, but I think He means that you have a soul who has grown above that libidness need. It is no longer part of the evolutionary necessity, but I am not sure about that; however, let's go back further into this marriage and divorce thing.
There, again, it is multi-dimensional. First, let us take it at its lowest level. Any person who is still libidness-driven, either legit or illegit, just the fact of being libidness-driven, that is much controlled by the libido appetite, and in of itself, there is nothing wrong with this; but when the libido causes anyone to start playing the marriage, divorce, marriage, divorce, promiscuity, homosexuality, frigidity, battle-of-the-sexes type of thing, in all of this myriad complications, just mere involvement in this, no matter who is right or wrong, is adultery. Sorry, but mere involvement or participation, the fact that you are in it playing any part of the game is committing adultery. Adultery is just mixing error into the stream of consciousness, remember. Why do we do this? There is no guilt involved. If you do not believe this, I won’t say another word. There is no guilt, no wickedness, no abnormality involved in any sense; but the thing involved is that we do not really understand our own female and male yet. This is it.
We are still thinking in terms of bodies with either sex genital organs, and marriage in the term of romance and living together and taking care of each other, etc. This is all fine, but this is not expressing the divine purpose of male and female. Human nature and biology, etc. has capitalized on man's ignorance of male and female and caused separation of sexes who become involved in the biological processes to produce bodies, to have babies, and to express love on the sensual plane. All this is good, except when it leads to hanky-panky such as marriages, divorces, quarrels, sexual hang-ups, sexual obsessions of any sort, even the obsession of always being a sexual respectable person. That is an obsession, and it is adultery. In other words, it is not the pure truth in a person’s consciousness. It is adulterated and that is all. That is all Jesus says.
What do you do about it? What did Jesus do? You forgive it until you know better, that is all. As long as we need this form of expression we will continue it, and all the preaching in the world is not going to stop it. People are still going to fall in love. People are still going to express sexually because people still have libido drives: so people will still be involved in this marriage, divorce merry-go-round. That does not make you pure. It is still a form of adultery, which the race will outgrow. A few persons seem to have outgrown it, but are they to be envied? Not really. Most of those who have outgrown this have a kind of left-out-of-it feeling, very often. They often think, “I wonder it was a big advantage to have ‘outgrown it’? Have I really outgrown it? Maybe I have only disqualified myself.” That could be a mistake, too. Maybe that is adultery. Who knows?
So, let us come to a Truth conclusion about this. You know, you are going to be very much involved in this marriage, divorce, love-affair-on-the-side kind of business in your congregations. We cannot condone everything, but the spiritual, Truth attitude is understand it and forgive. There is no other sensible conclusion to come to. You know the book, "The Game of Life and How To Play It"? That lovely author left out the most important part of that game, which is what we are talking about now.
Let me read some of my old notes on marriage, divorce, sex, etc.
"These sections are similar to Jesus' statements in Sermon on the Mount with some additional observations."
Remember, now these are very old notes.
"My feeling about these statements is that Jesus realized that almost all of His listeners and, later, readers would tend to think of marriage, divorce, sex, etc. on strictly, literal, humanistic behavioristic terms. Mankind, in general, is not yet capable of thinking and feeling these things on metaphysical terms, because they are too important, intimate, and personal as literal things in our human life, and as functions of the sense-bound physical mortals. Obviously Jesus did see these things as symbols of certain metaphysical factors, so His words concerning them have a puzzling, ambiguous effect on most persons. Most people wish that Jesus had taken a clear, unmistakable, literal and moral stand on marriage, divorce, and sex and said exactly what was right and what was wrong with no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But such is not the case. It seems that Jesus' words mean one thing, from one point of view, and another thing from another point of view; and so they do, if we think of marriage, divorce, sex, etc. on strictly literal, humanistic, behavioral terms. But in the light of metaphysics, marriage and divorce, etc. have much deeper and more flexible meanings. This should be kept in mind when attempting to use Jesus' words to fit into some fixed point of view about the rightness or wrongness of things in any area of intimate human relations, especially marital or sexual.
P.S. This applies to so-called homosexuality, promiscuity, celibacy, impotence, nymphomania, etc.
Text of the original transcript of 2nd paragraph of p.238 through p.240.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-10-2014