Text Reference: Chapter 8
- WHAT ARE YOU (Shanklin), p. 142
- SERMON ON THE MOUNT (Fox), p. 70
- KEEP A TRUE LENT (Fillmore), p. 30
Significant Concepts To Be Covered
- "The thorn in the side" that we resist so strenuously may be more important than we know in the accomplishments we make or the success we achieve. Lincoln's story of brushing off the fly is a great lesson.
- You may feel at times that you have a right to be upset and angry, but why pay the price? "Cut off your hand." In other words "cut it out" before you are led "to stumble".
- The tendency to run away from problems is symbolized by marriage and the "easy" way of divorce. Experiences in life are opportunities to grow. When we know this we say with Jacob to the angel, "I will not let thee go until thou bless me." We insist on growing through, instead of finding the easiest way to go through the experiences.
- Note how many times we "mortgage our future" by making some kind of vow or oath, usually in a fit of emotion. Keep the mind open. Be receptive to the continuous unfoldment of the Truth in and through you. Give seme thought to the "marriage vow", and consider ways to upgrade marriage by a new ideal of consecration instead of legal restraints.
- Consider at length the idea that the only way to get even with someone who has wronged you is to love him. You turn from the consciousness that is perturbable to the Divinity of you that is imperturbable — thus you "turn the other cheek."
- The miracle of the second mile. On the first mile you do all that you are required to do, but you are enslaved in servitude. On the second mil you do what you want to do beyond what you must do, you express love and kindness, you get enthused about what you are doing and give added thought and effort, and for the first time you are really free,
- In the commentary on Jesus words, "Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away" — there is an important concept relative to today's social problem of poverty. Maybe we have been failing our needy by "flicking off the fly."
- Take time to consider in depth the idea that love is a divine energy that begins in God and has no end. Love your enemy — not because he deserved your love, but because when he causes you resistance, you are not acting the part of your divinity. And the power that goes with your divinity is only yours when you act the part.
- Give serious thought to the idea of love as a protecting power. When there is conflict, danger, harassment — insteqd of turning off love and reacting in fear and hostility — turn on more love. "Let your light (of love) shine."
Added Commentary Relevant to Chapter 6:
A kite was soaring gracefully in the skies, but it was very unhappy. “If I just didn’t have this heavy tail pulling against me all the time, I just know I could rise high up into the sky. O, I hope someday I can shake the tail loose.” But try as it may, it could not got free from the tail. So it continued to fly ... and to complain. However, one day the tail fell off. That a wonderful sensation! Free at last! The kite soared for a few moments to a great height. And then ... it plunged downward and crashed into the ground. Poor kite! It did not know that without the combination of the upward pull of the wind in the sails and the downward pressure of the tail, it could not fly at all.
Remember this parable when next you are tempted to cry out, “O why do I have to have this burden constantly harassing me? Why can I not be free?” This burden may be more of a blessing than a curse. Stop resisting it. Bless it and give thanks that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loves us.”
Jesus teaching of non-resistance is a phase of Christianity that is not heard much in these days. A generation ago a new trend of liberalism swept through much of the Christian movement. It was touched off by intellectuals who wanted their religion to conform more to the realistic needs of their lives. They could not understand such things as “non-resistance,” which they felt to be fit only for the unfit, a practice suited only for those who are incapable of self-defense. This trend led away from involvement with religious principles to preoccupation with politics and social action. During this age, Christian ministers often were the most articulate voices in the land; but rarely were they voicing Christian ideals, and almost never did they espouse the simple teachings of Jesus. Today there is a return to fundamentals in Christianity, along with a sweeping re-evaluation of the whole institution of the Christian church. How important it is at this time that we turn to the religion of Jesus, and pay heed to what He really taught. Jesus had a message for our time. A timeless message that could solve the problems of the world today.
A little boy once blurted out to his father who was haranguing him to do something, “Daddy, don’t say must to me. It makes me feel won’t all over.”
Jessie B. Rittenhouse:
"I walked a mile along life’s way
With someone I knew, the other day.
The path was dreary and rough and steep;
Thorns by the way, crevices deep.
For I walked with him against my will.
And grudged the time I could spare so ill.
(For I had other places to go,
I had other things to do;
I had books to read, a garden to weed,
A thousand things which cried a need;
I was busy and hurried too.)
Then — I went another mile, for he,
I somehow felt, had need of me.
And the path grew smoother, less steep the hill
For now I walked of my own free will.
Thank God, I walked that second mile.
For I learned to love my friend the while."
Dr. Pitirim Sorokin of Harvard University: “The unforgettable lesson given by the catastrophes of this century convincingly shows that without increased production, accumulation, and circulation of the energy of unselfish love, none of the other means can prevent future suicidal wars. The mysterious forces of history seem to have given man an ultimatum; perish by your own hands or rise to a higher moral level through the grace of creative love.”
Dane Rudhyar, in a pamphlet entitled, “The Test of Mutuality” — in commenting upon Jesus continued emphasis on the ideal “love one another” — “Jesus offered to humanity as a gift the antidote to the sickness of isolation in self: mutuality — which means interchange, reciprocity, the ’one another’ in all deeds. The first great test of the spiritual life is isolation. Birth is isolation. All great things begin in isolation. But they can only nature through mutuality. Selfhood is singleness; love is cooperative sharing ... That which begins in self must understand and realize itself in mutuality and in love.”
Henry Drummond: “Life is full of opportunities for learning love. The world is not a play-ground, it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday but an education, and the one eternal lesson for all of us is how better to love.”
Erich Fromm, “The Art of Loving” — “Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one ’object’ of love. If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism. Yet most people believe that love is constituted by the object and not by the faculty. Because one does not see that love is an activity, a power of “the soul, one believes that all that is necessary to find is the right object — and that everything goes by itself afterward ... This attitude can be compared to that of a man who wants to paint, but who, instead of learning the art, claims that he has just to wait for the right object and that he will paint beautifully when he finds it. If I truly love one person, I love all persons, I love the world, I love life. If I can say to somebody else, ‘I love you’, I must be able to say, ‘I Love you in everybody, I love through you the world, I love in you also myself.’”