Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don't let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (Matthew 6:9-13).
Note: Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
"Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other" John 13:34; "And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you" John 13:14.
Jesus identified himself with God, the heavenly father. He told Phillip, his disciple: "Philip, don't you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has see me has seen the Father!" (John 14:9) Our challenge is to become sons and daughters of God like Jesus: to speak God's word, to do God's work, and to care for God's people ("take care of my sheep" John 21:16). For the people's sake, is there anything better we can be than God? Only God is eternal. If we want to be eternal we must become God.
Primitive Christianity was communistic (see Acts 4:32-37); they shared what they had as brothers and sisters. God is our parent; God's chosen ones are our family. Jesus said, "My mother and my brothers are all those who hear the message of God and obey it" (Luke 8:21). Living together in harmony as brothers and sisters (see Psalm 133:1) is normal throughout the universe.
Heaven is communion with God (Creation-Universe)--harmony with our brothers and sisters here and throughout the universe. It is "normal universe." See Allen Michael, Spirit God's Little Book (Santa Rosa, California: Starmast Publications, 2000), p. 67ff.For the sake of progress, we negated union with Creation-Universe and now are in a cycle of development that will ultimately result in union with God once again. In this cycle, those with leisure, are responsible for using this time to produce good things for the people on whose shoulders they stand. The people (caretakers of the planet) are vigilant--ready to leave old development behind and move onto the next rung of development when the old has become reactionary and self-serving. Society advances choosing the pioneers (leaders) it will support during each step of development until the final step of development is achieved and communion with Creation-Universe is once again restored. In the meantime, we yearn for communal life, harmony with our brothers and sisters here and throughout Creation-Universe.
Under the old covenant, holiness was separate from the people. Only certain ones could enter into the most holy parts of the temple. Under the new covenant, we ourselves become God's temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). We are God's holy temples. Our bodies are holy. God is with us. This is what Jeremiah meant when he said,
I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people (Jeremiah 31:33).
Holiness (the presence of God in us) is specific revelation of truth. Looking for specific revelation of truth in others turns us into "fishers of men" (see Matthew 4:19). We give holiness first place in our lives knowing that God will supply all our needs (see Matthew 6:31-33). Holiness is revolutionary seriousness; it is life or death commitment to establish God's kingdom.
Though a man be soiled with the sins of a lifetime, let him but love me, rightly resolved, in utter devotion: I see no sinner, that man is holy. Holiness soon shall refashion his nature to peace eternal O son of Kunti, of this be certain: the man that loves me, He shall not perish. The Song of God: Bhagavad-Gita, translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, published by The New American Library, New York, copyright 1972 by the Vedanta society, p. 84-85. See also footnote No. 2 above.
"...anyone who keeps his life for himself shall lose it; and anyone who loses his life for me shall find it again. What profit is there if you gain the whole world-and lose eternal life? What can be compared with the value of eternal life?" Our souls are specific, eternal revelation of truth (Matthew 16:24-26).
Spirit is God's Will. Spirit controls perfection of Universe. Spirit-God is peace, communion, or dynamic synthesis of opposites of all creation. Spirit-God manages dynamic opposites that empower perfection. Spirit-God establishes equilibrium of Universe. Spirit brings order, determines all according to truth. Spirit does and says the truth ("I came to bring truth to the world. All who love the truth are my followers" (John 18:37)). Truth is the key to action; action brings forth the truth. The truth for our planet is perfection; perfection of our society and of ourselves. The truth for our planet is that we are developing toward a greater communion, a oneness in good where we contribute toward society according to our abilities and receive back from it what we need--communist society.
In the cycle of perfection that leads to the establishment of communist society, there is class struggle. Classes are a negation of our oneness in God. Classes are temporary creatures--workhorses of the perfective process. They are groups of persons who share the same economic and social interests. They are related to law of opposites which drives the development of society. Development works like this: we (workers) produce ideal conditions for a select few (ruling class) who can then pioneer for us and bring back to us the fruits of development. This process is bad when these groups harden and become numb, living and thinking they are separate, eternal groups or classes. In fact, we are all brothers and sisters; it is only need for development that engenders the formation and tolerance of classes by the people. For the sake of progress, the people let others stand on their shoulders; when progress is achieved, it's time for those standing on the people's shoulders to get down so everyone can move forward. Cosmic-conscious brother and sister pioneers are true leaders of the people (for example, Jesus); it is these who help us find our way to perfection.
Earth represents a time of struggle to find and keep the faithful pioneers in power--those who remain faithful to the masses bringing back to them the fruits of development. It has been a slow but steady process that has led us through slavery, feudalism, capitalism, and now dictatorships of the proletariat and people's republics. The purpose of these steps is to perfect society's well-being and consciousness. The overall goal of this cycle is universal cosmic consciousness (intuitive knowledge of the truth of the universe in a communist society without money or it's ill effects (selfish ambition). The speed of development in this cycle of development in ever increasing. Slavery could be measured in milleniums, feudalism in centuries, and capitalism in years. Communitarian communities (which have always been with us) are thriving. Cosmic Conscious leaders are getting more and more support from followers and the people. Judgment time (revolution) approaches. Those who have hardened, who think they are not one with their brothers and sisters, will not be saved. Those are saved, those have eternal life who know and live the truth.
This is summarized in Jesus' parable of the Wheat and the Thistles: "Let both grow together until the harvest, and I will tell the reapers to sort out the thistles and burn them, and put the wheat in the barn" (Matthew 13:30).
Jesus is the exemplar of the good shepherd in communion with the masses, the cosmic-conscious pioneer who brings good things for the people. Satan and the daemons side with reaction and whatever promotes their selfish ambition. The titanic struggles in the book of Revelations represent the struggles between the daemonists and the communists. This is the class struggle; reactionary groups (old negative karma--the forces of Satan) motivated by selfish ambition, keep back good things from the people. But the people triumph and are themselves transformed into the communist species who inherit this planet. With long-suffering and patience we weather struggles of this cycle till we establish communism on our planet and become part of normal universe once again.
God's will on earth is that there be no jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder, or other kind of evil"
(see James 3:15-16).
Heaven is paradise, utopia, the triumph of truth, universal peace, prosperity, and well-being. But it is not the end of the perfective process; the process continues with a new cycle of perfection.
If earth represents self-consciousness, then heaven represents cosmic-consciousness. Cosmic Conscious beings (for example, Buddha, Jesus, Ann Lee (founder of the Shakers), Martin Luther King) had their organizations, their communities or lived a simple communal style of life (for example Baruch Spinoza) where they did love service for the community, producing according to their abilities and getting back from community what they needed. It's loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. Heaven is the goal of the stages of development of the current cycle.
Heaven (cosmic consciousness) comes to each of us at different times just as we are born at separate times. The time of its coming is a time of temptation and judgement, when Satan, the prince of this world (our old self) will be cast out (See John 12:31). Heaven (cosmic consciousness) reestablishes our communion with the universe.
The essence of Jesus' teaching here is that if you do God's will, if you manifest God to the people, God will provide for your well being, just as God provides for birds and lilies of the field. Enabling, putting into effect the truth is terrible news for immoral ruling classes which are mired in selfish ambition. Truth heaps coals of fire on their heads (see Romans 12:20). Immoral ruling classes want us to work for them, "without ever knowing what we were meant to do;"
Jack Fischel, The Handbook of Complete Logic, published by Joseph D. Chafe, P.O. Box 3112, Anaheim, CA 92801-3112, email@example.com, copyright 1993, p. 24
whereas true culture is "the freedom to express your true ability."
Fischel, same source and page number.
Immoral ruling classes want us to depend on them for sustenance. We, however, do God's will--depend on the laws of nature--to provide for our well being (see Matthew 6:32-33).
Those who overcome sin have what Fischel referred to as a natural resiliency of the brain. "When you accomplish this," he said, "you never have to compromise with what is not right. The great majority are crystallized in their way of thinking so that there is no resiliency at all. Most young people, however, are still flexible," ibid. p. 171
Persistence in sin means there is no longer a brother or sister that journeys through life with you but static creatures. This is what sin does. Jesus Christ is not a creature ("He existed before God made anything at all" Colossians 1:15) Nor are we as sons and daughters of God creatures but creators with Christ. We are not a product of evolution but the managers of the earth. Asking for forgiveness is recognizing that we are in a cycle of perfection. We learn from our mistakes and progress--we create good things. Who are we? We are the sons and daughters of God; we are the Communist species. We have sinned, made tragic mistakes, so we are understanding and forgiving of others. We accept growth, change, progress; we don't petrify into classes. The religious leaders of Jesus'time couldn't understand the rebirth (see John 3:1ff) that Jesus spoke of. This rebirth is ability change, ability to transform into something else.
First a note about the tone of the words: "And don't let us yield to temptation." These words have a humble tone. They are as if to say, "I recognize my weakness and frailty and know that my strength comes from the truth-when I am one with God's laws. Humility orients us with the forces of nature. Pride is the assertion of individuality contrary to nature and truth. Jesus claimed his miracles were from God. "Didn't I tell you that you will see God's glory if you believe?" Jesus asked Martha, Lazarus' sister. And before raising Lazarus from the dead Jesus said, "Father, thank you for hearing me." (John 11:40 & 41) Any development whether personal or social requires humility. Scientists that cling to theories that no longer fit the facts or revolutionaries who fail to determine the objective alignment of forces in society both lack humility; they fail to learn from experience and so will not stand the test of temptation.
Jesus recognized temptation was a fundamental part of progress. "There will always be temptations to sin," he said. (Luke 17:1) What is temptation? Temptation is a turning point in a person's life in which old desires and behaviors and present circumstances react against the new, progressive development emerging from within us. They are opportunities for development.
There are four elements to this turning point of temptation: 1) a substantially new awareness (revelation); 2) inability to continue living as we have done (crisis)-the folly of other courses of action is exposed; 3)the contradictions which have blocked our path are cleared away (alignment of forces); and 4) we are left with a decision to make (time of meditation/prayer). We will deal with each of these elements.
Revelation is the first element of temptation. It is higher understanding bringing with it the possibility of reaction (going back to the old ways) which is the essence of sin. In the bible, Jesus was tempted soon after he was baptised and shortly before his death. At his babtism it was revealed to Jesus that he was the Messiah, the Son of God, and John the Baptist ordained Jesus as a minister. ("I am the one who needs to be baptized by you, ...so why are you coming to me?" (Matthew 3:13) Towards the end of his ministry, it was revealed to him that he could not continue his public ministry and had to decide how to end it. He told his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem where he would be killed at the hands of the leaders and leading priests and teachers. And after Peter tried to correct Jesus saying "Heaven forbid, Lord. This will never happen to you!" Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God's" Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me you will find true life (Matthew 16:23-25). At both of these timmes, Jesus had reached the point at which he had to stand up (not compromise) for the truth which was evident.
The second element of temptation is recognizing the inability that we cannot continue as we have always done. Jesus knew he could not go on working as a carpenter now that he realized that he was enlightened. Towards the end of his ministry he realized that he could not put off confronting the religious leaders in Jerusalem. If he backed out, he would be giving bad example to his followers--Do what I say, not what I do. We struggle in the face of contradiction. Yielding to temptation cuts us off from the living--it is a living death.
The third element of temptation is the alignment of forces which open the way to action. The contradictions which have blocked our way have cleared up. Jesus knew he was called to represent God to the people, but how was this to be accomplished. John the Baptist cleared the path for him making the people's minds receptive to the truth. Sooner or later Jesus knew he would have to face the religious leaders of the Jews. The celebration of the Jewish Passover, his popularity among the masses (he had recently raised Lazarus from the dead) opened the way for this course of action.
Finally there is the decision to be made. This requires concentration (prayer) and freedom from distraction (solitude).
Jesus had to discern the links from private life as carpenter to public ministry. His mind frame at this time was to be alone, to get things straight in his mind, and to make some important decisions. This is the essence of prayer. Temptation is the old self with its desires and ways of thinking. It struggles against the new emerging self, the new quality or mettle which is emerging. Prayer and meditation help us concentrate to make correct decision. After their last supper together, Jesus and his disciples returned as usual to the Mount of Olives. He told his disciples, "Pray God that you will not be overcome by temptation. Then he walked away, perhaps a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed this prayer: "Father, if you are willing, please take away this cup of horror from me. But I want your will, not mine" Luke 22:40-43.After Jesus was baptized, he went off alone into the desert. Before they arrested him on the Mount of Olives, he prayed that he would be able to go through with it.