The Childhood of Jesus (Rabel)
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 3 given on January 16, 1976
Mary and Joseph thought that the boy Jesus was lost, and all of us have gone through this, when our thinking and feeling nature, Mary and Joseph, thought that the boy Jesus was lost. All of us have gone through this when our thinking and feeling nature, Mary and Joseph, thought that they had lost their spiritual awareness, but it is not lost. We can lose sight of it, but even when spiritual awareness is not working or functioning through us on the level of conscious awareness, it is in the temple about our Father's business, nevertheless; so do not ever think you can lose your spiritual awareness. You can lose sight of it temporarily, but even when your conscious level of it has lost sight of it, be assured that it is in the temple, deeper levels, doing one thing, our Father's business. I do not know what your Father's business is, but my Father's business is three-fold: loving, healing, perfecting; that is my Father's business and my spiritual awareness is always doing that kind of work somewhere within my being. I can allow that activity which my spiritual awareness is doing for me to be projected through prayer and affirmation and meditation to other human beings, and we help each other that way. We allow our own spiritual awareness to become one with that of others and to do many mighty works. It is a very wonderful thing, folks, to meditate on this idea of oneness, yet individuality within our oneness and our individuality in no way interferes with the essential oneness, it only adds a different aspect to the oneness. That is all. Just as one cell of your body wants very much to do its own thing but also wants to help its neighbor cell in the body, that is why we have this marvelous thing that can work the way it does. So in the body of humanity, God's children are cosmic God's children; human beings have the ability to do their own thing actually and literally work for others, work in others, work for others in countless ways.
Q. Would you please expand a little the idea that awareness is not always conscious awareness?
A. Awareness is one of the attributes of consciousness. Consciousnes has more to it than just awareness; there is a level of your mind which would be called awareness. That means you know what is going on there. You are, to a very great extent, in charge there. You can change it; it is the "I think this and I know that I think this because I am aware of thinking this." That is awareness, but there are indescribable other levels of you. There is a level of you that knows but does not know that it knows. There is a level of you which has the power to forget, has the power to forget what you really want to forget. There are all kinds of other activities which are part of this indescribable something called consciousness; but for our purposes and with our vocabulary, we almost exclusively zero in and talk about and deal with that aspect of consciousness called conscious awareness. Then we take a risk and we admit that there is subconscious; that took a time to finally accept. Then we get a little bolder and we say, "Well, there is such a thing as unconscious," and that was a giant step; and lo and behold, we really took the plunge when we decided to believe there really is Superconsciousness. For the most part, we are talking about that which you are aware of in your day by day living, working, learning which is awareness, consciousness.
Mr. Fillmore points this out. He says, "Spiritualized at that moment, when that occurs, there is a tremendous cosmic reaction to that event as it happens for each person. It shakes the very cosmos in a good way, in a very positive way and..."
We will talk now about the part of the Gospels which disappoints most of the students, which is the boyhood and young manhood of Jesus.
Many students are disappointed because this phase of Jesus' life is presented in such a brief and very matter of fact manner; there is nothing the least bit esoteric about it. All we learn is in Luke, Second Chapter: "And the child grew and waxed strong, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him." Then in John, 7th Chapter we read, "And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and He was subject unto them," (that is His parents) "and His mother kept all these sayings in her heart and Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man."
Now, you can guess the reason why many students are disappointed that this is all our Gospels contain, because it does not explain certain things that many people feel need explanation. Now, just because certain people feel something needs explaining, does not mean it does need explaining. I feel that we should not be disappointed that the Gospels dipict this phase of His life as so ordinary, and it will not disappoint you if you keep in mind the metaphysical meaning of Jesus, especially the younger Jesus; the Jesus not yet embarked in the Christ ministry stands for spiritual awareness in a human being. So the question comes now, how does our spiritual awareness really grow? It does not grow by leaps and bounds or spectacular ways, because we have discovered grandiose techniques and out-of-this-world activities (I am thinking of Tibet especially right now, this cave in Tibet business. It is not the way spiritual awareness grows, not in us, not in ordinary human beings; it does not depend upon individuals being lucky enough to get into Tibet and sit at the feet of masters. It does not any longer depend upon going through secret cult instruction and initiations; maybe it did at one time, I do not know, but it does not need that now. It does not depend upon diets or anything out of the ordinary, the way we are now in this particular evolutionary plane. Our spiritual awareness grows only in one way, and that is our living day by day. Please do not think that I am unaware that there are other possibilities concerning the actual person Jesus. I am only saying that since we are dealing with the Gospels, that is what we deal with. That is what we stay with, and the meaning is there, whether or not the actual entity or person of Jesus went through all kinds of wild and exotic training adventures does not change the meaning of what the Gospels are saying. I have no way of knowing the accuracy or validity of these other possibilities. Although they do not contain any other kinds of adventures of Jesus in those formative years, they may have happened, but that is not relevant to this. What is relevant is what is the meaning contained in our Gospels, and they are containing a symbolic description of a very mundane kind of unfoldment or upbringing of the human Jesus; however, there is one vivid exception to what is happening in these years of His life. That is that very famous incident of his seeming to be lost and remaining behind at the temple confounding or astounding the wise priests and elders of the temple, and the fact that His mother and father are alarmed about this and seek Him and find Him. He reassures them that He will always be about His Father's business.
Many times a person's current degree of spiritual awareness will temporarily exhibit a startling kind of precosity which does not fit the normal pattern. You have all gone through this, I am sure, where at a certain time in your life your spiritual awareness will go far beyond what it ought to at that moment. It will break the limitations of normality for the moment, and you find that it is capable of what, according to the known rules, it should not yet be capable of; and you get some wonderful results from this. But this is not the norm; this is the exception, but it does occur.
One of the reasonable reasons why it probably occurs is that it comes for the purpose of encouragement and reassurance, you get a sort of preview of things to come, what will happen if you stick with the work needed to be done at that time. You get a taste of what you are going to obtain in due time.
Perhaps if I give a personal illustration it will help explain what I am driving at; then you may see the connection with your own experience. Almost simultaneously with my entering the Unity movement, that is, my deciding I wanted it to be my religion in New York City, I decided to commit myself to it and intended to take it very seriously, I also enrolled in the correspondence course. Within a matter of a week, I was flat on my back in the hospital with hepatitis, which in those days was a disease which not much was known about. They Just did not know much about how to treat it then. I was in this hospital, and can you guess what my biggest worry was at that time? Put yourself in my place: you have just joined Unity, enrolled in the correspondence course, and here you are all yellow and sick in the hospital. "Why does this happen to me right after I have come into Truth?" It is a big challenge, a very big challenge. It was a semi-private room, and they brought to the same room a man who was in the advanced stages of hardening of the arteries. It had got to the point where he was in a constant state of mental confusion near panic. He made strange noises and things like this. While he was in the room, I do not think I ever spoke a word to that man. Now, I was in a very depressed, mystified state myself, but I still believed in the Truth that Unity taught. I continued working on my correspondence school papers lying in there. One day, after about a week, the nurses and doctors came up to the room and took the man out. I asked the nurse, "Where is he going?" She answered, "We are taking him into the dying room. He has only a few hours left. He will probably die very noisily, so we are taking him into that room where the sound won't carry." Now, I was lying in bed quite sick myself, and I still had very much in my mind what we were dealing with in the correspondence school chapter. Something told me, "Don't Just stand by and just passively bear witness to this sad situation. There is something more involved here. There is a reason why you have hepatitis that has nothing to do with karma or failure. There is a reason why this room and this man and this situaion and your finding of Truth all connect somehow, and you must not just be a passive bystander here. So, for the first time in my life, folks, totally novice at this sort of thing, I prayed for this man's healing, even in this advanced stage of the illness. I did not argue from my own intellect, my own personality. You see what happened in that particular moment? My spiritual awareness was at the kindergarten stage, but for a moment it stepped out of its own state of development and became super-precocious, as Jesus did here in the temple. It had endeavored something that technically speaking, going by the rulebook, was beyond its capabilities because of what it had developed in my point of view. To make a long story short, that man was brought back into the room the next day completely healed. They called his wife, she came to the hospital, and she could not believe it. She took him home the next day. I do not know how well he was, how much improvement, but the man was coherent. He was not in pain. He was not groaning. He was not dead, and he went on with his wife. That to me is something that is a highly significant point in my life.
When I read an incident like that and think of the symbolism involved, for a moment Jesus stepped out of His own role, so to speak, the role of a twelve-year-old-boy, still under the discipline of his parents and displaying precocity way beyond his years, I believe that this can happen at any time in any one of us, if that is the needful thing for that moment. The capabilities of your own spiritual awareness will far exceed any beliefs you might have about what it is capable of If that challenge comes about.
But you notice that Jesus does not stay in that child-prodigy role that He assumes just for a moment, according to all evidence. Well, here it is. If this is accurate, He comes back from that little episode and He went down with His parents and came to Nazareth and was subject to them, and His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. Now, the only sayings of Jesus that we have record of up until now is that one sentence, "Wist ye not that I must be in my Father's house?" (I must be about my Father's business.) That is the only saying or statement that we have record of, but "she kept these sayings in her heart" and then, "And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men."
Text of the original transcript from paragraph 2 on page 13 through paragraph 1 on page 16.
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on August 8, 2013