Beginning on sins and virtues
Monday, January 15, 2018
5:35 a.m. So, gentlemen, shall we start on virtues and vices?
We said we should begin with Pride, traditionally chief of the seven deadly sins. Perhaps though we ought to provide a little context for the discussion.
I’d be astonished if you didn’t. We know your ways, after so many years.
Context is not everything, but it is a great lot. The setting in which you see something, the angle from which you view it, colors your mental atmosphere; it determines not exactly what you see, but certainly how you see it. Think of it as a mood, and it may be clearer to you what we are saying. A mood colors the world for you, and so the world seems to be objectively different than it does in another mood, or free from them. This is not a deep or abstruse statement; you all know it from experience; all we’re doing is applying the analogy to context.
So, think of context as setting the mood in which we are likely to see something?
That will serve. Very well, the context we should like you to place the discussion in is not one of religious teachings (we know many of your readers present and future will come to it with a strong bias, acknowledged or unconscious, against anything labeled “religious”) but of wisdom teachings. This should allow them to escape the self-made prison of emotional reaction against early experience or against politically skewed religious systems.
If you think of the dogmatic core of any religion as its contribution to wisdom teachings, you can assess what if any of it is true for you without needing to overcome your own judgments on any aspects of that religion that may be said to be political or, say, organizational.
That is, to what degree does this worked-out codified belief help me make sense of the world. Is that what you mean?
In this case, how does it help make sense of “the world” in its largest meaning, yes. The 3D world in connection to the non-3D world. The world of compound beings in relation to the vast impersonal forces that flow through it. The meaning of 3D life and of life above, beyond, before, 3D life. These are not new questions. You are not the first people to ask them. The answers we can provide, the interpretations of past answers we can provide, are not new in that sense. But they are living questions and we can give you living answers – that is, tailored to your time, right now. Only, to new explanations you must bring an open heart, not merely what is called an open mind. You must be prepared to be carried away (if that opportunity presents itself) rather than remain armored against persuasion. So often, you know, an “open mind” really amounts to strained tolerance, or perhaps we might say enforced patience. That attitude will be entirely useless here. In fact, it will be harmful in that it will prevent you from receiving the ever-crucial initial impression that has the ability to carry you over onto a more appropriate, current, and productive timeline.
Please – for your own sakes – an open heart, a willingness to encounter parts of yourself that may surprise you, or else leave the material alone and do other things.
Never quite heard you say something like that before.
It is important. People do not come to any day’s thought expecting to be transported to a new life. It is important to realize what attitude will make that transformation possible and what will make the possibility close off.
In other words, this isn’t about belief but about conviction. We aren’t being asked to take something on faith, but, instead, to be open to having conviction spring up within us. And don’t think I didn’t feel the difference in this when you sort of guided my words. [Meaning, in this paragraph.]
Yes. That’s what inspiration is, the infusing of spirit.
All right. So, Pride?
In everything that follows, remember, we are examining traditions to see what they may have set out for us that may be of use to us as we try to make sense of our world, our time. You care less about how they came to their conclusions, or even what these signposts meant to them, than what they point us to, today (whatever “today” this is read from, here and now). Scripture, like any other set of words, is to spark, to set off sparks, not to lay down the law. What we make of scripture, as of anything else, is what reaction it sets off within us, remembering that we are as divine and as human as scripture and those who wrote scripture.
So when we come to Pride, for instance, we don’t care so much what it meant to others – even to those who formulated their conclusions from their experience guided by their own connection to their larger beings. The use we make of these ideas may (or may not, but may) be very different. They may lead us to conclusions very different from, even antagonistic to, that of their authors. No matter. The divine spark is as alive in you as it was in them, and that is what will lead you today.
All this is to explain why we will examine traditional signposts in ways that may have nothing to do with the context in which they have long been formulated. Those still living inside those traditions – that is, those for whom these traditions remain alive – may think we are doing violence to them, but that cannot be helped. It does no good to attempt to compel an attitude; it must spring up by reaction to what is said, if at all.
I have been accused of “twisting scripture” in my time when I attempted to express my own understanding of things traditionally understood in other ways.
Well, prepare to experience it again! But it didn’t kill Emerson and it won’t kill you.
So – Pride.
We aren’t stalling. Context is important! Very well, let’s begin. Remembering your definitions of who and what 3D compound beings are, how can Pride be said to be an obstacle to whatever such beings are here to accomplish?
What I get is that it reinforces a sense of separation.
Remember the fable of the fallen angels. Lucifer – light-bearer – the most beautiful of the unitary beings, is said to have refused to serve compound beings. Non serviam: I will not serve. What do you suppose that means to you, to your life, to your journey?
Are we to take it as history?
It is always a huge mistake to read mythology or fable or scripture as if it were fact when it is written or spoken to convey truth. An unorthodox but perhaps illuminating comparison would be to a dream. Dreams are not fact, but they tell truth by illustrating it in a story. At least, that’s what some of them do; that’s how some of them may be seen. Take scripture and, more than that, take religious and spiritual stories as dreams, clothing truths in stories in order to clarify them. Thus, the apple in the garden; it is a way of making memorable a psychological truth. Thus, Lucifer refusing to serve. Forget what Milton made of the story; return to essentials.
Always, in such matters, ask “How does this story apply to me, here, now?” And don’t forget that sometimes, many times even, it may not. In such case, leave it until it does. When time and circumstance brings it front and center, you’ll know!
Now, there’s your hour, and although you may not think we’ve gotten very far, we’re pleased. We know you thought it was going to be one sin, one virtue, one session, and done in eleven days, but not necessarily. There’s a lot to be said, and there is not only no penalty for not finishing quickly, in some ways it’s just as well to give the material time to work on people. For that, there’s nothing better than time and reflection, as it allows deeper parts of themselves to swirl into patterns of consciousness.
Well, you know we’re grateful for your attention, and I know you’re grateful for ours. Next time, then.