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. All of Lecture 14 given on February 10, 1976
The living Truth of Jesus Christ refers to the body of teachings, the body of Truth analysis and revelations which he spoke or acted out during his brief incarnation which is in our Gospels and the Truth that He taught. The content of the whole body of His teachings followed three general, categories, and Bill Fischer is the first person that I have heard who presented these categories. I don't know if they were actually original with him or if he got them from somewhere. That is, Jesus was always dealing with, talking about, explaining, or illustrating through symbolism, either, the nature of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and Healing. I have researched this very thoroughly and put it to every kind of a test I was capable of and it comes Truth. You can take any place in the teachings of Jesus just at random and you will find that in each and every case He is talking about, dealing with, and demonstrating in some manner one or more or all of these three categories of Truth which are available to the human mind. Do you notice how all three of these categories are directly aimed at helping man NOW, exactly as he now is and has nothing to do with how he should be three millennia from now, or where he was five millennia or eons of evolution prior to now. It is all dealing with, where do we go from here and not how did we get here, or what we are going to do after we get there, time enough for that. He indicates when He says, "I have other things to tell you besides the nature of God, the kingdom of heaven or healing, but you wouldn't have any use for that kind of stuff yet; "but you cannot bear it now," which is another way of saying, you wouldn't know what to do with it. It is just like if you are given a great big amount of super-valuable ore, that could you do with it, but if you could extract out of it that which you are able to utilize now, you would appreciate it.
Most students don't have any problem understanding the first and the third of these three subjects because they are quite unmistakable, the things Jesus has to say concerning the nature of God are so clear and so definite that they can't be missed. He calls God, Father, and anybody knows what that is. He says, my Father, and our Father, and your Father, this is the relationship of each human being to God, the relation of oneness in the sense of Father and Son, and Jesus designates the nature of God as Spirit, "God is Spirit." Period. And He says, and I think the most important designation of all is the one Jesus uses least, in connection with God. He only says it once and anyone who doesn't get the message is outside the kingdom. He says that God is good. "Why callest thou me good, there is none good but ONE," which is God. Does that mean people aren't good? No. He doesn't mean that. He means that what we call good is the ONENESS which is God, that is the only good, all the forms or expressions of good are subsidiary of the ONE which is Good, the Principle of Good. Therefore Jesus' teachings on the nature of God present no problem for most Truth students except those who still like to argue about it.
Very similar comment can be made about the third category: healing. Healing works abound in the Gospels, and so much has been said and written about this healing ministry of Jesus that it is not necessary at this time to go into it, except that it is quite clear that healing is a spiritual activity, that it is a type of carrying out of God's work among men as he now is, and not as he ought to be; healing is a legitimate spiritual form of ministering and, if anybody is willing, he can develop a healing consciousness.
But the second subject, the kingdom of heaven presents a problem for many students, because it is in this area that Jesus is not literal. His teachings on this subject are not obvious and they are not self-explanatory because Jesus gives his teachings on the kingdom of heaven entirely in parables. He does not use parables when He speaks about the nature of God, He goes right to the point! He is Father, He is Spirit, He is good, and when He comes to healings, he gets right down to business, "Wilt thou made whole," "All things are possible to him that believeth," "Thy faith has made thee whole," "Arise, take up thy bed and walk." You see? It is all very clear; but in the kingdom of heaven teachings, He takes a different approach, He resorts to parables.
I think that possibly the most representative of Jesus' parables on the kingdom of heaven are the little group of short ones He gives in a series that begin in our Harmony on page 67, Mark 4:26 "So is the kingdom of God," (right away before we go ahead, I see something, either it is a misprint or a mistranslation or an editorial slip-out but the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are not used synonymously by Jesus. They are not the same things, but here in this parable something happened and I don't think Jesus said it. I think somebody came after and said it, I should say, the kingdom of heaven but it says, the kingdom of God. You see, the kingdom of God is absolute: it is Omnipresence itself. It is a term which refers to the container of all that is which is Omnipresence, while the kingdom of heaven has to do mainly with man and it is relative – it changes, it varies, it grows, and it is not the same as the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is within you, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and that is a relative, not an absolute.
(Read indicated scripture.) As you read these parables, do you see something which you can detect which is a common denominator that runs through each of them? Each parable is different and yet each has basic similarities, and if you can detect them, you have then the clue, the key which would lead to an understanding of the kingdom of heaven: Growth, the value increases, expansion. Are these characteristics of the absolute realm? No, that is the kingdom of God which doesn't change one iota; all change occurs within it but it never changes, it is allness, Omnipresence. There is nothing relative about it, but within it something relative is going on related to it which is the kingdom of heaven.
- The grain of corn: Growth is in quantity
- The mustard seed: Growth is in quantity and size
- The bit of leaven: Growth is in effectiveness
- The hidden treasure: Growth is in value
- The one pearl: Growth is in meaning
What do all five of these have in common to start out with? It doesn't have to be exactly the same, but there is a similarity that they share in common. It is this: each one start out as something small and alone. The other thing they have in common is a little more complex: each in some manner grows, either in its size, its quantity, its value or its meaning. Another thing that they have in common is: each one, in its own way, blesses and enriches whoever owns it, or whoever touches it, or whoever it touches.
- Grain of corn blesses and enriches the harvesters
- Mustard seed blesses and enriches birds which nest in its branches
- Bit of leaven blesses and enriches the batch of bread
- The hidden treasure blesses and enriches the purchaser of the field
- The one pearl blesses and enriches the life of the man who sold the others to buy it.
If we see all these points, then we are ready to go ahead and see if we can determine what Jesus had in mind when He designates all this as the kingdom of heaven. First of all, everything that Jesus talks about is always something which is a part of man; he may use outer things as objects and possessions and illustrations but no matter what he talks about, it is always something which is within every human being or he doesn’t talk about it. We have to look into our own nature and see what equates with all this. We have to parallel the parables' of Jesus with what we can find is comparable within ourselves, because only there can we make the right comparisons. Let's ask some questions of ourselves: What is that within me which started out as something very small and alone? What is there within me which is growing and expanding, and adding more and more value to myself and to my life every day, every moment it becomes more valuable and makes me and my life more valuable? What is there within me which was once buried or hidden even from myself but I discovered it and when I discovered it.it became a treasure which all the world can see? And then, what is there within me which I have learned to value above all else and I'll be willing to sell all else that I have in order to be sure I continue to possess it? Friends, I know you guessed it already, there is only one thing Jesus could be talking about here which fits all those descriptions and answers all these questions. It is YOUR PURE, PERSONAL, INDIVIDUAL, GROWING CONSCIOUSNESS OF GOD AND TRUTH. This is the essence of the kingdom of heaven; this is the kingdom in us which fits each and every description that Jesus gives. If you have any doubt about this let me suggest you try this little experiment; it worked, and it convinced me, and I think it will work for you. Take your Gospels, turn to any section within those Gospels where Jesus is teaching parables concerning the kingdom of heaven then, as you read, try this: each time Jesus uses the words, Kingdom of Heaven, you simply substitute these words: "my individual growing consciousness of God and Truth.” That is all. It is that simple. This is not static, there is no such thing within the kingdom of heaven which is a "have it made" thing; it is an ever-becoming, ever-increasing, ever-enlarging its value and meaning within you; and the thing that we have to do with this kingdom of heaven is to protect it with our very life. We have to help it grow. We must always give it enough room in our thinking. Don't crowd it out with too much materialistic concern. Did I say. "don't have any materialistic concerns?" No. What I am saying is, even if you do have materialistic concerns, be sure you are leaving room in your thinking for this kingdom of heaven process. Remember we are speaking of people as we now are. You and I cannot sacrifice materialistic concerns in total, only theoretically we can do it, but I don't like to put that burden on a class to say, "give up all materialistic concerns and think only about the kingdom of heaven." When they are ready to be able to do that, it will be a pleasure and you won't need to tell them to do that.
One other thing you will want to do with this kingdom of heaven and it is touch everything you do with it, or if you prefer, the other way around - let everything you do in your life touch it. Every life activity, every acquaintance you make, every involvement you find yourself in, take time to be sure that you touch it with the kingdom of heaven because whatever it touches, it blesses, it enriches. While washing dishes, touch them with your growing consciousness of God and Truth. If you are conducting Sunday services, give it a strong touch with the kingdom of heaven because it purifies and blesses and rightly relates everything it touches. The kingdom of heaven is the one thing which can be yours forever because it is your growth within the kingdom of God that is yours forever. Only these two things are yours forever, everything else will go through the process of coming and going, give and take. But if you remain in possession of your kingdom of heaven, that is in consciousness, if you lose all else but still have it, then you will have all that you ever really need or want because it contains all that can be made manifest. If you lose all other things but retain it, you haven't lost a thing, because that is the producer, the container or the source of the process which will manifest as any good thing you may ever need.
We have also said we should help this kingdom within us to grow. But how can we help it grow? Doesn't it grow us? Doesn't it grow by itself? Well, no, it won't really. We do know that effort is required; commitment and effort is always required of our individuality. So we have, of course, the very famous methods that we practice in Unity and they all work beautifully. They are meditation and prayer, study of Truth ideas, loving and giving thanks. These are very powerful kingdom-conditioning or kingdom of heaven growth-conditioners.
Ed speaks here about flattery; Folks, do you realize how dangerous flattery can be to your consciousness? To be flattered, and especially when the flattery contains comparison with your predecessor’s honest efforts. Watch out if this happens. Where is the danger in this? The danger is not in the praise itself but in the comparison business. Study of Truth ideas mostly will consist of what other people have said prior to you and then the growth is what you do with those ideas that they have shared with you. If you produce then, a further elaboration of those ideas, it is simply that you got there later. They got there first which gave them the advantage for a while, then you, got there later which gives you an advantage for a while; but guess what, the other will come and have the advantage after us. Then you rejoice in all our joint labors. Then we have loving and giving thanks.
Remember that if your individual growing consciousness of God and Truth does not grow as a straight line but multidirectional. This is where a lot of people get entangled, they think of their progress as a straight line evaluation sequence and so they say, oh, things were going so well, then detour required, they think that is not growth anymore; it is not even a detour, it is a branching of, and may be a branching of which is expansion, it is still growth even though the direction is not in vertical line. The growth is not in the direction but in the movement itself, so while you may seem to be retrogressing in a certain area of growth, another area of growth will be there. You are multidimensional, you extend, and please don't ask me to explain this but take it and work with it. You extend in all directions including past, present and future – you are still growing in your past, you are growing now in your future, and the growing that you are aware of as now, is only one dimension of your growth.
A very useful practice is to every once in a while stop whatever you do. and do this unexpectedly, sneak up on yourself, surprise yourself and ask yourself, "what is the most valuable thing about me in this moment. Is it my position, my property, my personality, my beauty?" and say, "No. It is the same thing that always has and always will be the most valuable thing about me. It is my individual growing consciousness of God and Truth, my kingdom of heaven, this comes first and all else comes second."
Now, Truth can be categorized into three main areas of human concern: health, prosperity and human relations; but it is quite obvious that Jesus considered the subdivision of Truth called health so important for our human race, as we now are, that he made that a major category. He did not make prosperity nor even human relations the major category but a subcategory within his general approach to human needs about the kingdom of heaven. We have to admit that actual physical healing of physical conditions was strongly emphasized and spotlighted by Jesus. I don't know why but there is a tendency in our metaphysical movements to somehow say that it isn't so, that healing of physical conditions is not that important; it is healing of this or healing of that and I cannot be convinced. When a person hurts in the body I think my first job is to do what I can to relieve that person of that hurting body; then I will get in there and reform his character for him, as I am so expert at doing! First things first, let's get ourselves into a state of wellbeing, freedom from useless, unnecessary suffering and then our minds and hearts blossom with what we call our highest teachings, the great consciousness purifying, the great evolutionary accelerators, these are the great profound teachings of a consciousness conditioning and soul purifying and these certainly are the substance, these are the real ideals of Truth teachings. We must not, in our commitment to them, overlook the more mundane experiences available to us, among which I definitely classify physical ailment, healing here and now; and then removal of the cause will follow.
Text of the original transcript from the second paragraph of page 85 through the second paragraph of page 90.
Transcribed by Jill Andrews on September 10, 2013