Saying 4. Jesus said: The old man will not hesitate to ask a seven-day-old baby about the place of life, and he will live. For there are many who are first who will become last. They will become a single one.
Can’t say I’m very clear on this one. We have all heard “the last shall become first,” so the shock of initial discovery is gone, but it is in a different context, not about them becoming the same. So, any light you can shed on this one will be appreciated.
Again, remember your touchstone. Jesus is describing reality; he is saying, here is the way in which 3D life is central to you, and the way it is not. So does that clarify the saying? And if not, looking at it as a logical successor to the first [sayings], does that clarify it?
Assuming logical sequence, it seems it must have to do with our greater extent that we may come to know.
Focus. That isn’t stated at all clearly.
No, it isn’t. [Pause] Well then, let’s say it this way. It looks like the previous saying shows us that we are greater, extend farther, than we may suspect, and that only if we come to realize it will we overcome what otherwise is a poverty of resources, a poverty of life.
Better. Now, in writing that sentence, you are thinking, of course poverty means internal lack, not external lack of resources. So, to prod your thinking, we will ask, How could that be? If internal and external worlds are the same things experienced differently, how could internal poverty be good and external be bad, or vice versa?
Because they are not the same things, any more than humility is the same as humiliation even if the words are similar.
Not bad. There is the germ of truth in what you just said. It should prompt you to look at the synoptic gospels’ sayings to see if you have rightly interpreted them in that regard, or rather, whether it would clarify anything, considering them in the opposite sense of what you have assumed they meant.
So, pending such reconsideration, let us look at this saying.
The first seems to have something to do with reincarnation, only I don’t really see it. Who would the seven-day-old baby be? If the saying meant, “late in life one will consult parts of himself that lived previously,” it would not refer to his other life as a baby. So, since I don’t have it, kindly open this saying up to us.
[I reread them.]
Do you get it now?
Well, maybe. As I reread, I thought, maybe I’m overcomplicating it. Maybe it is simply that many a person old in the 3D world will seek wisdom from someone newer into the world, whose wisdom cannot have come from the 3D world it has yet to experience, and will find what will allow them to live.
Consider, though, in context, what does it mean, “to live”? What does it mean, “the place of life”?
Hmm. As I was reading it, I took “the place of” to mean “the importance of,” or “the context of,” not “the location of.”
And in this you were right. The saying does not refer to a physical Fountain of Youth. Then, what does it mean, the old man, having consulting the baby, will live?
Could it be that he is consulting something newly born within himself? Some newborn awareness?
These sayings repay thought and care, but they cannot be “figured out”; any logical deduction may be of assistance, but equally it may mislead. Discernment is particularly important in this exploration.
As I was writing that, my inner state changed and I became aware of it. I remembered, so to speak, that it is five a.m. and my mind is clearer of the things of the day.
And does that changed state bring new clarity?
I can’t say that it does. What it does chiefly is remind me that I as 3D mind am not neutral observer but participant, and my inner state is apt to (perhaps must) color things.
Re-read yet again.
If this is read as relating to the external, it reads one way; if to the internal, another way. Since neither way makes entire sense by itself, maybe we should read it as applying to both.
Yes, good, provided that in so doing, you remember that this is not necessarily how it was received. That is, the 3D/non-3D context that has become natural to you, they might have experienced as physical/spiritual, which is much less suggestive of inherent continuity.
The implications of which are –?
You are in a position they were not in. Jesus, as initiate and as one in entire connection to his non-3D self, was living a reality not yet obvious to them. You in your generation live at the end of two millennia of digestion of the message of Jesus, some of which got through. So one could say you are in a privileged position of being initiates of a sort, even before you begin studying the matter. But where the generation Jesus lived among were faced with the puzzle of unraveling something new, your generation is faced with the task of first hacking through its anti-religious prejudices and/or its reflexive belief that it already knows what the new teaching actually says and promises.
Yes, I’m well aware of that. Only, I get that although I am aware of it conceptually, I am not necessarily aware of any specific manifestation of it.
No, but that realization will itself serve you well.
What we would underline is that these sayings, which were hidden, interior sayings reserved for the inner circle of those most alive to them, were nonetheless enigmas to them until explained. To come to awareness is not to suddenly know everything; it is to become able to use one’s consciousness to address life.
You are being a bit cryptic yourself, this morning.
Words as sparks, not as signposts. At some point in a discussion, logical construction fails you, and only your inner knowing – which may be sparked – can carry you forward.
I get a sense that you don’t really know what this saying means.
No, it is you that doesn’t know, so listen:
Internally: Experience is no guarantee of wisdom, but experience may prompt you to listen to wisdom when you hear it. If you are wise enough to listen, then you know, and in so doing, you know what the other knew, and the difference between you disappears, or is overcome, whichever way you care to look at it.
Externally: Your external life may teach you at any moment, if you remain open to it, and do not overrule what “is” by what you think “should be.” That is, you use your wisdom correctly, to discern rather than to arrogate or proclaim. Sometimes, to learn, you need to come to life internal or external with a beginner’s mind, starting with an acknowledgement of your own poverty of understanding, so that what you do have, what you do know, what you have experienced and constructed, do not stand in your way but aid in the new process of understanding.
So, retain beginner’s mind if we wish to learn.
If you wish to live! That is, to close yourself off to new understanding would be (is) the same as closing yourself off to new experience. It is to refuse life. Refusing life, how can you be said to live?
I see. Reading Davies’ note on saying 4, his seems scholarly and plausible, but not helpful and not particularly relevant.
Judge not, et cetera.