(Back) Jesus and the Temple Tax Long Parable on Forgiveness (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 25 given on March 8, 1976
(Read Matthew version).
18:6But whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea. 18:7Woe unto the world because of occasions of stumbling! for it must needs be that the occasions come; but woe to that man through whom the occasion cometh!
Emphasis on “…for it needs be that the occasion come; but woe to that man through whom the occasion cometh." Then he repeats something he has said before about cutting off hands and foot and so forth.
In other versions of the same passage, occasions of stumbling is translated as occasions for offenses, and in another translation, just offenses. Jesus is saying something here that is still very distasteful to many people's minds or inclinations and yet, when you really examine it as impersonally as possible, you see he is right. What he is saying is that in this dimension of existence such as it now is, you have to have trials, problems, there is just no way out of it in this dimension of existence because this dimension of existence is primarily a school, a great and very exacting kind of school. Every event that happens in this dimension of existence is an opportunity to learn a lesson.
The character of the event or the happening doesn't change this. Even the most perfect and enjoyable experiences and events are still lessons we are taught. Although often the pleasant ones we don't look at them like that, we just subject ourselves to them and go along for the ride, then we miss the point. Pleasure and enjoyment, if we miss the point of the lesson they are teaching, then that lesson will come back again, but this time not as enjoyment. Pleasure, just for pleasure's sake is not learning a lesson, it is becoming totally subjective to instinct and that is not growth. It is fun while it lasts but it has not accomplished its purposes, it misses the point, it does not teach the lesson; therefore the lesson has to come back just like in a school, only this time it will come, with pain.
But, on the other hand, many of the typical pleasant and desirable things that come to us, they also contain lessons to learn and if we learn the lesson from them the chances are that the next lesson to learn would be as pleasurable and enjoyable; these run in cycles. Pleasure and enjoyment are always offered first and if they, if they don't accomplish the teaching purpose, then they degenerate in the type of experience until we come to the flunk out completely which is called hell or useless, unnecessary suffering. Then we have to start a whole new round of experiences.
Everything that happens on this dimension offers an opportunity for learning, and by that I mean, a greater realization of the Truth of Being in all of its countless ramifications and variations. One of the lessons that we may learn from pleasurable experiences could be to appreciate the wonder of. For example, conscious companionship, or maybe to realize how great nature can be in providing the flavor and taste of food, but it is not just having the pleasure, it is having the pleasure and increase in consciousness and this keeps all pleasure then in what we would call "legitimate" instead of just gratification of sensation. Keep reminding yourself of this. Everything that happens is bringing to you opportunity for choice and a lesson to be learned, the more aware of this you become the more harmonious and kind your attitude in general toward life will be and you will then, very very quickly, become more and more a magnet to those experiences you need to come in the best possible form. Now, they won't always be shear pleasure and enjoyment but there is this sort of a magical thing, even the rather taught lessons that you still need to learn will come to you in form and under circumstances which will "be as good as possible, less and less of the "harsh kick-in-the-pants" type of lessons and more and more of the more desirable sets of circumstances.
Why occasions of stumbling and offenses must come? It is because of this habitual alienation on our relationship to the Father. Everything seems to boil down to it. The more that sense of alienation be removed, the less and less need for the harsh experiences.
Why must we be grateful in regard to the "kick-in-the pants" experiences? We are not really grateful for the "kick-in-the-pants" itself but we are grateful for the opportunity for choice that is offered and that is always there, never, never sell yourself short by saying, "I have no choice." You have a choice. The tax collectors didn't come to Peter and demand the payment, they said, "Wilt thou...?" or its equivalent.
Remember folks, existence on this dimension is to learn, this dimension is a school. Every decision we make as our reaction to an event is our homework. Every decision to react in a true way is a test passed. Every decision to react to an event in a negative or uncreative way is a test flunked, you are going to have to take it again. Coming into greater and greater dimensions of spiritual awareness correspond to the school promotions. What would your diploma to graduate out of this school be? The Christ consciousness. And remember, nobody up there writes out the test questions for you, you write down your own test questions. You and I each decide the manner in which our experiences will come and the funny thing is that we know the right answers, but sometimes we go insane metaphysically and play around given the wrong answers, we know we are wrong but we want to see what is going to happen. Well, you will find out what is going to happen. "Woe to that man through whom the occasion cometh."
Further down in the passage Jesus teaches us not to resent the experiences that come to you, you have the spiritual resources to handle any experience successfully and the more we become aware of our true oneness with the Father, the greater and greater life becomes; it is really what all boils down to, it is that simple.
Also within the body of this discourse Jesus talks about certain factors which he equates with parts of the body. Jesus is always speaking symbolically, parts of the body refer to the factors that go to make up the body of your existence at any given time, the factors within your life. And Jesus clearly indicates that you do not have to put up with all the factors that enter into your existence just because they are there. A lot of people forget even though every factor that is a part of my existence is a result of my choice somewhere along the line it doesn't mean that I have to put up with them. We can make new choices concerning the old choices because (and this is from the Seth books but it is one of the truest statements that I have ever come across in my life). Now is your point of all power. Example: I have in my existence now some results of prior choices I have made which are here and are factors but they are like eyes that are causing me to stumble and right arms that offend me. In other words, they are no longer desirable factors on our experience. It is not good to say, Karma dims it such because this is the result of choices that I have made or actions I have performed. That is not necessary, NOW IS ALWAYS OUR POINT OF ALL POWER. So what can you and I do in the now? Cut it off, get rid of it, dispose of it, sever our connection with it by making a new choice now. We call this making a choice to sever our connection with an undesirable factor. This is denial. It severs your connections; it changes your beliefs; it changes your choices. Remember, choices consciously made in the now reach into the past and future. This is the grace of God, this is the Truth of Jesus Christ. So you do not have to put up with undesirable factors in your current existence just because you called them forth with your past choice. You are in the present where you are one with all power and your point of oneness with all power can only be now.
Text of the original transcript of p.151-154.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-04-2014