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The Parable of the Rich Fool (Rabel)

(Back) Jesus and Beelzebul Repent or Perish (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 32 given on March 26, 1976

Luke 12:13-21, pp. 198-199 of transcript.

12:13And one out of the multitude said unto him, Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me. 12:14But he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 12:15And he said unto them, Take heed, and keep yourselves from all covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 12:16And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:12:17and he reasoned within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have not where to bestow my fruits? 12:18And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my grain and my goods. 12:19And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry. 12:20But God said unto him, Thou foolish one, this night is thy soul required of thee; and the things which thou hast prepared, whose shall they be? 12:21So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

One of His most potent statements are contained in this discourse where He says to us, "Take heed and keep yourselves from all covetousness, for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."

One of the meanings for covetousness is unnecessary desire, unwise desire.

Then He gives a rather long parable of a man who devotes his life to the accumulation of possessions. Then Jesus concludes that parable with these significant words, "But God said unto him, 'Thou foolish one. This night is thy soul required of thee and the things which thou hast prepared, whose shall they be? So is he that layeth up treasures for himself and is not rich for of God.'"

Right here in a negative approach, we are given a wonderful prosperity lesson; a prosperity lesson not on how to acquire things but how to realize the true value, where your treasures really are and, most importantly, what you can take with you.

One of the greatest obstacles to spiritual unfoldment and to a realization of true security is material acquisitiveness. Now, please understand, I am quite aware that within the framework of the Unity teachings on prosperity, we do give emphasis to "how to get". I know this, and I agree with it, so we are not talking about the know-all, how-to-get techniques within the framework of the whole prosperity idea. We are talking, now, about a case where the how-to-get and what-I-have become the be-all and end-all of a person's existence, based upon this pernicious habit of acquisitiveness, the pernicious belief that acquisitiveness and know-how in acquisitiveness are somehow virtues in and of themselves; and they are not. They are manipulative skills and nothing more. Acquisitiveness, when practiced for its own sake, becomes a very harmful, dangerous habit. To become possessed by your possessions is a thing which can happen even to the best intentioned Truth people if they aren't careful, if they do not watch and pray.

Now, the only possession really worth doing everything to acquire is a higher consciousness of God, that is the only possession worth doing everything in the world to gain, selling all else to gain it; but that is the only one: greater consciousness of God and Truth, of course. All else is clutter. It may not look like clutter for a lot, but it all eventually turns into clutter.

If you do not believe me, take a bus ride up Ward Parkway on some nice sunny day, and you will pass some of the most gorgeous homes ever built in North America. If you could go into those homes, you don't see any people, just homes, homes, homes, lawns, lawns, lawns - every one of them needing mowed - bushes, trees, houses, luxury, luxury, luxury - no people, nobody having any fun, nobody getting any sign of enjoying and sharing all that lavish luxury. Those houses were all built in an era when acquiring a profit and lavish displaying of your skills, amassing profits, was the "in" thing. There they are; mile after mile of gorgeous clutter, but at one time, remember, those mansions were not considered clutter. They were considered homes, prestige symbols.

So, if all else is clutter, then we must ask ourselves, "What am I really? So much money, so much property, such and such a position in life?" At any moment I ask that question, the answer will always be this, and it never varies, "I am worth only as much as I have consciousness of God and Truth." That's it, whether you are young, whether you are old, beautiful, etc., there is still only one answer to that question, "What am I worth?"

When a person makes a transition, when a person changes from being young and vivacious to an old has-been, that person can only take his consciousness along. How important do you think it is to worry about such things as these: who shall I leave my acquisitions to? You would be surprised at how many people really are in a quandary by that: who shall I leave it to, how much, and who deserves what and what will he or she do with it? Imagine, this person, in many cases, has spent his whole incarnation amassing this material, and now all that he has worked so hard to gain and put first place for so long, becomes a source of torment and anxiety to him. It very often destroys the honesty of his relationship with others, with his own loved ones: again, clutter.

Looking at this predicament in the light of Truth, does it really make any difference, about who I shall leave it to? What do you think of the very real concern that there must be "someone to carry on my name in the world"? Whose name? What is your name? I AM is your name. That kid is going to carry on the name of I AM, because that is who he is. He is not going to carry on the name of I AM because that is your image, but you would be surprised at how many men are very worried about who will carry on their name in the world, and how the child is going to represent it, not realizing that when the son or daughter is in that phase of unfoldment, you are going to have business elsewhere and not worry about what is going to be done by the one who is carrying "my name".

In the book “Talks on Truth”, Charles Fillmore has some very wonderful, provocative things to say about the fallacy of ancestor-worship, some great thought-provoking insights on this human world-wide fallacy of ancestor-worship. I wish he had gone a little further with it and done equally well in exposing the fallacy of progeny-worship, carrying on "my name". We have food for thought there.

Q. There is a little confusion on my part as to what is the place of “how to get" techniques in our real message of prosperity in relation to the things that we just talked about: our consciousness and our looking to the kingdom of heaven. In a sense, as soon as we start to think about how to get something and have a technique built up, we have gone away from the original idea of the kingdom of heaven.

A. There is a challenge there, but it is not a difficult one. Any time you are presenting any aspect of the Unity teachings, which could be overbalanced into the realm of some materialistic gimmick or fad, and prosperity is particularly prone to take on that wrong emphasis; first, being aware of the danger is fifty percent of the solution. Since you are aware of it, you will make an effort to be sure that you always follow through on any of that technique-type of teaching with a return to basic principle. Remind the students at all times of the spiritual verities that make these technique-things possible, always emphasizing, the law of giving and receiving, of the infallible source for all needed good, which are the divine ideas and spiritual substance of God.

Keep the spiritual tone uppermost in your presentation. This way you will not have to preclude the actual "getting rich" aspects of prosperity, because they are valid. You will realize their validity more, I think, friends, when you are in your own center and people who have need for supply come to you, come to your church and ask for help on that aspect. This is when you will more clearly see the usefulness and validity of that dimension of prosperity. With the training you are receiving now, I think that you will also sense every opportunity to present the divine idea aspect of it also, on the altruistic aspect of prosperity. Never leave that out. One of the greatest usages of prosperity is that it gives constant opportunity for altruism also. Drop the altruism and you are also dropping the true meaning of prosperity; so there is no real danger there if you are aware.

Text of the original transcript of p.198 through the next to last sentence on p.199.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-07-2014