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The Rich Ruler (Rabel)

(Back) Teaching About Divorce The Laborers in the Vineyard (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. Lecture 40 given on May 6, 1976

Luke 18:18-30, pp. 241-247 of transcript.

18:18And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 18:19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, even God. 18:20Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and mother. 18:21And he said, All these things have I observed from my youth up. 18:22And when Jesus heard it, he said unto him, One thing thou lackest yet: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 18:23But when he heard these things, he became exceeding sorrowful; for he was very rich. 18:24And Jesus seeing him said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 18:25For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 18:26And they that heard it said, Then who can be saved? 18:27But he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. 18:28And Peter said, Lo, we have left our own, and followed thee. 18:29And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or wife, or brethren, or parents, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, 18:30who shall not receive manifold more in this time, and in the world to come eternal life.

There are some further points we should bring out. I want you to notice the fact that Jesus' response to this man is based upon the man's request, the original request, which was to inherit eternal life. Now Jesus knew, and we are learning and we all believe that we have already inherited eternal life.

In the teaching guide to “Lessons in Truth”, one of the key questions is, "What is man's divine inheritance and how does he claim this inheritance?" The answer is "His divine inheritance is all the availability of all the ideas in God-Mind." One of these divine ideas is life, so man already has inherited eternal life. Life is eternal, but no state of existence is eternal. Here is the point, to know the difference between the truth of eternal life, which never changes, and states of existence, which change constantly. Existence, itself, is a changeability. It is a state, and many persons confuse their desire to know eternal life with their desire to prolong their current state of existence, and we can't have that because if it was possible and you succeeded in prolonging your current state of existence, you would be bored. Really you would be destroyed. You could not take it. Jesus realized, obviously, that many persons made this mistake. They think that because their current state of existence is pleasant that they want it extended into eternity, and Jesus, in His understanding, realized that that is not what you want at all. In fact, if you could have it, you would curse the day you gained it. What you really want is what you already have, eternal life, and you want a true consciousness of this; so, therefore, Jesus realized that anything at all, no matter how good or pleasant or desirable, which causes you to want your present state prolonged, is dangerous.

Q. Then how do you correlate this with Mr. Fillmore's feeling and teaching that we could have eternal life in this body, which, to me, would be the state of existence?

A. Now, that is not really what he taught. You are putting it too succinctly there, and it is not fair to Mr. Fillmore's idea. His idea was that you can have eternal life, you can express eternal life without destroying your body, not keeping it as it now is into infinity. That was never his teaching, but to simply dispense with the need to have it deteriorate and die. He taught regeneration, not body prolongation. Read “Jesus Christ Heals” and “Atom Smashing Power of Mind”, in certain sections he talks about bring forth the inner splendor, the truth, the substance, the energy, the reality of the divine body, which will transcend the current, limited, flesh-organism-manifestation; but you do it without destroying this. You simply transform this into something more of the truth. Jesus said that He could lay it down or pick it up, but never did He talk about abandoning the body, destroying it, you see, and then having to replace it with a new incarnation. That is not necessary anymore. It is always available, but it is not really necessary. So, to make the choice to have consciousness of eternal life, would include control over the type of body manifestation you are guided to function in. If you are guided to maintain the primate pattern, flesh organism, you can do so. If you are guided to bring forth a different form of body expressions, you can do so. It does not always have to be primate, flesh-organism-type. We do not know. We have talked about a possible egg-shape, and if that is the right vehicle for that environment, that is what you can manifest; but Mr. Fillmore taught that there is no divine necessity for body degeneration and destruction and then the pattern of reincarnation, which is getting to be a rather messy business anyway. A lot of people are tired of it, and so we have an option, regeneration instead of reincarnation.

Remember that Jesus knew what was in all men. Otherwise, if we do not keep his important point in mind, some of His encounters with people and some of His strange statements to people will not sound polite or make sense. Until you remember that Jesus knew what was in all men, which means He knew in advance what kind of a response His word would draw forth from that person. Notice in the case of the mother, the Canaanite woman, whose daughter had been very, very sick and she pestered the disciples until they grew tired of her. Then she went after Jesus, and He looked at her and saw what was in her; so He said something to her, which shocks us today. But what effect did it have on her? It brought something forth from her which she needed. She said, "Yea, Lord, even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from the Master's table." He said, "Oh, woman, great is thy faith." You see, that's all she needed to bring forth that wonderful quality right there, and she had developed the full healing consciousness.

Jesus said, "Go thy way. You have healed thy daughter." I am paraphrasing His words, which were, "Be it done unto thee even as thou will." In other words, you have done it. In the case of the father of the little boy, again the disciples were not able to heal him, and Jesus comes and the father appeals to Him: "For if thou canst, have mercy on us and help us." Jesus replied in a way that He brought forth from that father what that father needed to complete his healing consciousness. He said, "If thou canst, have mercy on us and help us."

Jesus knew that in this case, He did not have to do the healing but the father could do it, and why not let the father do it? So He said, "If thou canst, all things are possible to him that believeth." He knew what that father had in him, so the father comes right out with one of the most honest responses found in the Gospels, "Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief." That is all that was needed; there was the healing consciousness, in the father. Here He does a similar thing but in a different way. This does not have the happy ending that the other two had, but the lesson is taught. Jesus says to this man, "One thing thou lackest. Go sell all that thou hast and give to the poor."

Observe the two parts of that statement. Jesus said one thing he lacks. Then He goes ahead and tells the man to do something that the man can't do, but Jesus says in advance that he can't do this. When Jesus says "One thing thou lackest", He means that here is something you don’t lack the capacity for. Then He tells him what it is, that is all. He was not instructing that man to do something. Why do I dare say that? He knew the man could not do it, and Jesus was not the kind of person who would tell you to do something that He had already told you, you could not do. He is only telling the man what it is that he cannot do. He is not, telling the man to do it. Now, the logic of that is very clear, because if the man could have done it, it still would not have changed anything.

Suppose it would have been possible for that man to sell all he had and give to the poor. That act in and of itself would in no way increase his consciousness of eternal life. Jesus knew he was not going to do it anyway, and Jesus is teaching a universal lesson to all mankind. He is saying that there is something we still cannot do, and that is to give up your attachment to the good things of your current state of existence. He goes on and names more of those things, and there is nobody that you and I know who could give up those things. Jesus knew we couldn't; therefore, He knew that none of us are yet ready for that eternal life consciousness. We have it only in principle, in potential, full, perfect potential. It is there, but nobody in this human family yet can attain that. We can only know there is such a thing and keep working in the development of consciousness until we come to that point where we then can claim our divine inheritance of freedom. Nobody wants his freedom, yet, more than he wants the good thing in his life which are part of his current existence. Now don't con me and say, "I do! I'm ready for the freedom. I give up father, mother, brother, sister, child, job, ministry." HA! HA!

If I were to say to you, "Okay, kid, you give up ordination, and I'll give you freedom," you'd say "Shove the freedom. I want the ordination. I've been suffering here for two years serving my time, and I want that ordination. Then we'll talk about freedom." But you see what you're doing? You're not going to get that freedom because you and I are attached - May Rowland is, Charles Fillmore was. Don't look so doubtful! Folks, if you were really free, if you had really accepted your divine inheritance of that idea of freedom, you would not be here. You would not be in this state of existence. You would not have loved ones. You would have love. You would not have healings. You would have health, you would have perfection. You would not have opinions. You would know Truth.

I'm not scolding or criticizing our current state. I'm only trying to teach what Jesus was pointing out. He is saying, "Don't ask for the impossible, because when you are not ready for it, the impossible would only be a burden to you." If you could have an eternal life consciousness but had to give up all the things Jesus lists here, you would not do it because you cannot. Jesus said, "One thing thou lackest.” And that is qualification or true freedom from attachment to the good things in existence.

This is a tough teaching, really it is. It is one of those "teachings that caused people to walk away from Him, back in those days, when they realized what He was getting at. But there is nothing difficult about this. It really should be a comfort to you. You know, a lot of people say to me and to you, "Well, if Mr. Fillmore was such a great teacher and if he knew this Truth that he writes about, then why didn't he...." You know darn well why he didn't! For the same reason he said none of us are. We are still too much attached to the good things comprising our current state of existence, and that is why he did not make it, you see; and that is why nobody is making it. We lack this one thing: readiness, willingness, to do this. Folks, I want it this way. I, personally, want it this way. I want to be so well attached and surrounded by the good things in my current state of existence, and if it means I must have a sense of attachment to them; I will pay the price, because I happen to love my current state of existence with all of its panicking dogs outside and students who do not seem to think I'm in my right mind. I still love it, and I love all people who are a part of my current state of existence. I just don't want to give it up at this time, until I guess I get so tired of it that I will give it up. But not until I am willing to or ready to.

You see, it's a wonderful thing to know that God is not going to lose patience with us. The divine idea will always be there, and if we stall and stall and stall, we are stubbing our own toes; and we have a right to. When we get ready for the higher dimension, the welcome mat will be out. There is no such thing as a sign saying "Too late, you should have done it in 1976." No. It will say, "Welcome. Enter." And you will find that the more divine ideas become more important to you than the manifestations, the divine ideas will give you dominion and mastery over the realm of manifestations. You find that your fear of doing without is a false fear, as all fears are false. Jesus had to do without nothing. Jesus was attached to nothing on earth. Jesus had mastery and dominion on and over everything on this earth. “All authority has been given to me on heaven and in earth.” But had Jesus permitted a personal-consciousness-attachment, He would have had that much less freedom. So He would be our example.

Q. Although I know these principles, there is still a fear.

A. Right, and one of the healthiest things in the world is to honestly admit that; not to deny that you have that reluctance, that mistrust. The father of the boy didn't stall, did he? He said, "I believe. Help thou mine unbelief." He didn't say, "Oh, I have belief because that is what we're taught in our Unity center." No. He faced the fact of his state of consciousness honestly. The spiritual law does not react or function for a person according to his skill, according to his knowhow or to his success. It reacts and functions through and for a person according to his genuineness, to his sincerity, you see; and if you feel mistrust of God, you do not hurt God's feelings by admitting it honestly. By admitting it, you are actually asking, as the father of the boy did. When he admitted his unbelief, his admission was an asking. So he got it. He got a healed boy. That's not bad.

Q. Doesn't this attachment relate to what we have discussed before in the way of polarity, whereas the divine ideas are the absolute. Then here we come into a polarized atmosphere, and we've got an attachment to the negative part of the atmosphere. Then we are not going to go all that far ahead until everybody is also equally letting go of the negative.

A. Right. I'm glad you brought that up, because I almost passed it. That would have been sad. Please remember that if this man had done what Jesus said he could not do, the man would have accomplished nothing. Selling all you have to give to the poor accomplishes nothing, so it will do you no good to work on letting go of attachments. As I said in the last class, it is just as futile as working on personality improvement. You defeat the very purpose by doing such a thing.

It is just like swearing, vowing never to tell a lie again and working at never telling a lie again. This makes you a living lie. “If I knew what was making me sick, I would stop doing it." You've heard that before, “If you’ll just tell me what I’m doing wrong in consciousness, I’ll stop doing it, because it makes me sick.” So, I tell you what you’re doing wrong. I tell you that you worry too much. You promised me that if I tell you what you’re doing wrong, you will stop doing it, so I have just told you. Ha. Ha. Do you think for one second that you’re going to cut down on your worrying? No. You will find ten more things to start worrying about, based on that information. So, what is dilemma?

Here we are told we cannot grow into an eternal life process simply because we are still engrossed in our attachments to the good things of our states of existence. I have told you, and I know what I'm talking about, you will not alter this by working at letting go of attachments, divorcing all your husbands, quitting all your jobs, moving out of your nice home and living in a cave - or any of that stuff. Giving up attachments will not qualify you to give up attachments. It will only cause some kinds of damage and imbalance in your consciousness. What is the solution? If I am right, and I am, then the solution is in divine ideas. Divine ideas are the answer to any human dilemma. Write it down, memorize it, tell it to your L&O Committee. It is true! Divine ideas are the answer to any human dilemma. If my dilemma is my lousy personality, I must not work on personality, but on the divine idea of the individuality.

Q. I think you skipped by something. I feel that you don't immediately come into a divine idea by simply wanting to. I think you have to work and prepare your consciousness towards it, and if that requires selling all that you have and giving it to the poor, that is a first in achieving it because you are preparing yourself and you will receive it. I don't think you just say, "Well, I'm ready for a divine idea", and immediately transcend that state of consciousness that you are doing battle with.

A. You are right, and I hope I did not give that impression, that you, by knowing what the divine idea is, are immediately going to solve your problem; but that is where the solution comes from. There is no other place any solution to any human dilemma can come from, except the divine idea that embodies the truth behind the dilemma.

Now, in the case of what we are talking about now, the divine idea, for one thing, would be substance, rather than form, things; also the divine idea of freedom and eternal life. Everything resolves back to the divine idea pattern. Now, selling things and giving to the poor as a step to the divine idea, is reversing it. You will get the divine idea first, then you will be able to sell and give to the poor, because you know the truth of eternal supply, eternal substance.

Q. If it is true, that you can't just get a divine idea, then what about Jesus' statement, "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you"? I believe that that is true, and all I need to do is ask for awareness of something, ask that something be revealed to me and then hold to the desire that it be revealed to me, and it will be.

A. Yes. You will notice, folks, when you do a lot of counseling, unless you are already doing a lot of it, that many persons who will counsel just waste time, they talk and talk and go around and around in circles, not because they are stupid or dumb, but they really have not yet found what they really want or need. They will talk about husband's misbehavior, but they do not get around to the divine idea that their heart and soul and mind and body is longing to have manifest in their life. I have watched in my own counseling sessions, that if the counselee gives me the opportunity to show him what the divine idea is, that is what they are really seeking. That is really the answer to their problem. If I can in some way get them to talking and thinking about that, the whole tone of the consultation changes. All the vibrations, the whole rapport changes, and everything starts making sense; whereas, up until then, it was dog-chasing-negative-tail-type of thing. Please never make the mistake of underestimating the supreme importance and validity of divine ideas. They are the realest things in your existence.

Q. I thought that everything starts as a divine idea and filters through consciousness.

A. Absolutely.

Q. So I think that all that selling is just conditioning consciousness to make us a little more aware of what that divine idea is really saying, what it really means, so that we are better equipped to follow through and to do what the divine idea is telling us to.

A. Yes. Now, remember that divine ideas also impart their own guidance to the person who has accepted or believed in it. If the divine idea that I have accepted, imparts to me the guidance to sell what I have and give to the poor, it also imparts the ability to follow the guidance. Then I will do it. But I cannot tell the divine idea, "I am going to sell all that I have and give to so I can grab you and get your benefit." That won’t work. That is putting the cart before the horse. I obey the divine idea first, then the ability to do anything that will complement this or enhance it or condition me further will be imparted, and then I will sell or do whatever.

Freedom would be one divine idea behind your ability to sell what you have and give to the poor; another one that would make that not a painful, sacrificial, consciousness-conditioning discipline but actually a spontaneous and normal expression of the way I feel, the way I am, would be love.

Q. I hear you saying that if I must give up my riches, then I am attached to them; if I do not have to give them up, there is no attachment. I am already free from it. Are you saying that if there is this need within me, this drive, that I must give up my riches, that I put a value on this and a connection, with me, that i must sever this then I am attached to them. But if I don't feel the need, if I don't feel the urge, the drive to do this, I can take it or leave it, then I am already free from it.

A. Yes. There is a divine idea of freedom, freedom of choice. We have freedom, but there is more than just freedom. Love would be another, of course. Love would almost enter into any right action, wouldn't it? How about substance? God as unfailing source, and that the law is giving and receiving, sowing and reaping, and the more giving that is done, the more receiving is made possible. How about the idea of dominion and authority over the realm of manifestation? There are so many of these divine ideas, and they intermingle and overlap; but the thing is that the more clearly an individual can discern the divine idea applicable to his situation, the more in charge he is, the freer he is as to his decisions and his following of guidance. If a person is still hazy and doubtful about divine ideas, or as in the case of many counselees, do not even know what divine idea they are seeking, then they need a lot of help. Merely by pointing out to them in a more definite way what it really is that we are seeking here and talking about and making it something spiritual and therefore available. It is no good if we talk about a divine idea that is not available to that person, but how many divine ideas are available to every person? All of them.

Q. You have been talking about not wanting to give up the good things, but isn't it also true that we are often attached to the bad things? Particularly in counseling, the problem of drinking, for instance, is the last thing they want to give up.

A. You see, we look at it from one angle, and we say, "Oh, that's not good for you. You should give it up, but from the person's point of view, he may have a different twist on it, even if it really is an obviously bad habit. It is a matter of opinion. This is a very personal and very individual thing.

You see how a lesson like this touched you in certain sensitive points, and you felt compelled to respond to it. We are being told something right there. We are talking metaphysics, and when you talk metaphysics, folks, guess whose ears pop open! Almost any listener and he will respond, if you are aware of what you are doing.

Text of the original transcript p.241 through the middle of p.247.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-10-2014