39 a Jesus said: The Pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys to knowledge and hidden them. They did not go in, and they did not permit those desiring to go in to enter.
39 b You should be as clever as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Sayings 39 a and b at first glance don’t seem to have anything to do with each other, the first describing the failings of the scribes and the Pharisees in neither learning nor letting others learn the truth; the second admonishing his disciples to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. But as they are coupled, presumably they are coupled for a reason. Amigos? What say you?
The presence of Jesus was an opportunity for transformation that could be seized or missed, but in any case would be a limited-time window. Once he was gone, there would be no similar opportunity.
So, connecting the three, as usual – the one under consideration (in two parts, in this case) and the preceding –
The scribes and the Pharisees, literalists, did not grasp the true manning, and – by holding others to their own literal meaning – prevented others from grasping what they themselves could not. It was up to Jesus’ disciples – who would have benefited from the presence and who would henceforth be animated and transformed and sustained by the spirit, to be wise and gentle; that is, to have eyes open and heart open too.
Rough paraphrase, but a good one. So you see the progression is an easy one, but if you once go off the main line, you will continue to stray.
Easy to get lost without some kind of check.
That’s the purpose of community, and of access to the spirit. Yet entire communities may go astray, and the messages of the spirit be misconstrued. Nothing is sure-fire over time.
Every tradition decays, you mean.
Let’s say, the smart money bets that way. Look to your civilization around you.
Jesus said: A grapevine was planted outside of the Father but, as it did not strengthen, they will pull it up by its roots and it will die.
Saying 40 has its interesting points. Grapevine – for wine, presumably. “Outside of the Father,” and who is the “they” who will uproot it? And what does the grapevine signify to them, that it may not to us? Previous saying compares the literalists and the disciples, and cautions the disciples to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves by comparison.
You’re learning. You see what a good practice it is to automatically connect the present subject with its preceding context. What do you suppose it means, “outside of the Father?”
I suppose I was thinking that nothing not rooted in the higher self – or perhaps even more basic than that, in the non-3D – would thrive. But as I write that, I see it is a shallow understanding. (It really does pay to put full attention on things.) Jesus was in the habit of describing himself as identical to the Father, or – let’s say, indistinguishable. “I and the father are one.” People later came to think that meant Jesus was uniquely divine – “the only begotten son of God,” but I’m not aware of him making any such claim. I have taken “I and the father are one” to mean that he in 3D was in full connection with his non-3D self, not only the extension of his human self into non-3D but the source of the 3D/non-3D person, the “father” whose will he strove to do in preference to doing his own will. That certainly says he and the father were not the same thing, does it not? We are not in the habit of saying “I and my kneecap are one,” though come to think of it, if the kneecap were able to speak perhaps it would regard us in that way, I don’t know. Anyway, Jesus seemed to regard the father to whom he taught the disciples to pray, in the only prayer he is recorded to have recommended, as the loving creator of humans, in intimate connection with them, whose will could be ascertained and ought to be followed. I don’t think he ever said, “follow me” so much as “follow my example,” or “walk in my path.”
So what was the grapevine planted “outside of the Father,” and who planted it?
Well, I was sort of relying on you to tell us what the grapevine was. A tradition, perhaps? An interpolation? A proposed source of nourishment or encouragement or even of intoxication for us?
Bearing in mind that the grapevine is a symbol, it may mean any and all of those things. In any case it is clearly a living thing that was meant to flourish but did not do so.
I suppose, in context, it might be a religious tradition established by the scribes and Pharisees that was planted in logic and commandments and blind faith rather than in the living will of the non-3D Father as could be lived as Jesus was living it and was teaching those who could hear him to listen to it.
All right. So, “it did not strengthen.”
They had authority and tradition going for them – and the power of coercion, perhaps, but in any case surely the power of their position. They had scholarly logic, and they knew all the verses by heart, and the arguments over the years. They had everything that 3D conditions could provide (except, perhaps, the Inquisition, though they had a non-coercive equivalent) – and still the way of thinking and being that they promoted “did not thrive.”
Actually it was the people following this regime who did not thrive. But yes, that is the sense of it. The tradition and learning and social support – and good intentions no less, and earnest striving, for there was as much of that then as now or ever – did not suffice to provide life more abundantly, nor to lead the way toward it.
I see that, easily enough. The spirit gives life, but literalism kills, to paraphrase the scripture.
Literalism is always an interment. It may begin as earnest attempt at preservation, but if what is preserved is not used, worked, struggled with, its meaning goes dead on you. It is not enough to blindly obey nor to blindly reverence nor to blindly have faith. The blind lead the blind into a ditch, do they not? That is as true considered internally, as one’s thought processes, as between individuals.
So who is the “they” who will pull up this vine by the roots and let it die?
They who planted it, surely, or at any rate they who inherited from them one way or another.
Yes, that makes sense. So even the rationalists and the literalists will come to see the error of their ways?
They will lose hope (and faith) in that attempt. That is not the same thing as saying they will then understand where the vine ought to have been planted.
I’m getting that you mean that they, having given up on their attempts at blind faith planted in reason and traditions, may give up the attempt at meaning. Thus, today’s materialistic disbelief in even the existence, let alone the primacy, of the non-3D aspect of the world, let alone any question of human relation to any concept of divinity, or even of any relation to any intelligent non-3D inherent connection to us.
And is this not where your civilization is?
And has been for some while. I suppose we are a people who largely believe in nothing.
Nihil, nothing: Hence nihilism, acknowledged or not. And that is saying 40, and we may proceed at another time.
Jesus said: Whoever possesses some will be given more. Whoever possesses virtually nothing will have what little he does possess taken away.
Saying 41 seems to us today to epitomize the economic injustice we see around us, but we know that Jesus was not critiquing society, nor was he disapproving what he described, merely describing what is. Bearing in mind that he was describing our situation in 3D and non-3D, what did this one mean? And, as we have learned to do, let’s look at it in context of the immediately preceding saying, which contrasted the inanition of literalism with what was connected to direct experience of the higher being. Again, a paraphrase, but I hope a valid one.
Yes, valid. And you can see once again that context is everything, in searching out hidden meanings. One who does not possess the key to greater life will not come to it by mere extension of days. One who does, no matter how little, will acquire more.
“Will”? Or “may”? I don’t see that there’s anything inevitable about it. Won’t it depend upon the person’s efforts and choices?
And here, you see, you enter into the roots of theological debate – faith v. works as a means to salvation. Predestination v. free will. God’s favor as manifested in one’s station in life, or his displeasure, manifested equally. Karma as the result of past actions placing you in the caste of untouchables or in the highest caste in the land. All such questions are rooted in logic, and, as such, are seductively plausible and deadly in their effect.
I see that, since you point it out, but does that answer my question?
Look to what Jesus said, as recorded by those who heard, rather than to what makes sense to you that he must have meant. The former is testimony; the latter is logic.
All right, I see that. He is recorded as saying “will,” not “may.” So what can it mean?
You really mean to ask, how can it be that some have and others do not have what is needed to acquire life more abundantly.
I suppose I do.
“It isn’t fair,” in effect.
Yes, that’s the underlying thought, I agree. I wasn’t quite aware that it amounts to that.
So then, if we work on the assumption that life is fair, ultimately, where do we come out?
I suppose we must see one’s position as the result of past choices.
No! That is, not exactly.
Call it, the fruit of one’s birth, plus the sum of one’s choices. For not all men are created equal in standing, only in worth.
Second-class citizens of the universe, then?
Don’t react out of emotional preference, but out of discernment.
Good reminder. Well –. I don’t know, you’re going to have to give us more of a clue than that.
No, we don’t need to. You just caught the spark that leaped the gap.
Perhaps I did. We keep thinking that all non-3D beings – that is, our higher selves – are identical, even if we know intellectually that they are not. And we know abstractly that each comprises its own set of values, just as is reflected in our own 3D lives.
If all non-3D beings held the same set of values, how could conflict exist in the 3D part of the world? It is precisely in the clash and interaction and alliance and melding of values that life in 3D reflects (in slowed-down and concentrated form) life in non-3D.
Therefore, no two individuals in 3D hold exactly the same set of values in exactly the same proportions as anyone else. How could they? They are there to embody those values, not to serve as mirror images of one another.
And therefore some are born into the 3D world without a clue, and some are not.
And there is nothing unjust about it, except in appearance when viewed from too constricted a 3D viewpoint.
This may be a digression, but does this mean you approve of the caste system, and dog-eat-dog economics?
We remind you that we don’t particularly concern ourselves with your economic or social arrangements except insofar as they affect your individual development. But – as a sidelight not to be pursued here at this time – if you consider the other half of Jesus’ instructions to the people, you will see that they amount to practical instruction as to the state of being that will produce a fair and just society. This was not his primary concern, we remind you: Jesus was concerned that those who could raise their state of being learn how to do so. But concomitant with that was instruction for those who could not.
A good answer, but I’d still like a more direct one.
How can there be injustice in the universe? It would be the equivalent to a five-pound weight weighing six pounds, or four. It can’t be done.
Then where is the real justice behind the very apparent injustice in the world?
Let us ask you a very simple question, then. If you could exchange your life for that of the very rich, would you?
No. Maybe when I was younger.
Would you exchange it for that of the very poor?
When I was younger I felt guilty to have some when others had nothing, or had much less, but I didn’t exchange then either.
But if it were possible for you to become somewhat richer, or somewhat poorer, what would your reaction be?
Until it reached the limits of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t care, particularly.
So are you unjustly held in your position, or did you carve it out (or fall into it, or assume it) naturally and easily?
If I had been born into a different family at a different economic level or with a different cultural background, I would not be who I am now. I might have accomplished something, or let’s say something more.
But it is sheerly an act of faith to think that any change of circumstance could bring only advantages and no disadvantages.
So do you suppose that you are uniquely placed in that your life provided you with the opportunity to work out your salvation, so to speak – that is, to display your possibilities by a succession of choices? As it is for you, it is for others, but all others are working on their own agendas, obviously, so what they need and create for themselves is different, as they themselves are different according to what they were formed of from their non-3D parent, so to speak.
Then this saying – since I cannot believe it preached either inevitability or hopelessness or “resignation to the will of God” as if to the whim of a tyrant – means what? That those who could hear it were automatically among those who did have the potential? Seems unnecessary.
You will find that logic will keep sneaking in where not desired. Logic is for critiquing, not for construction. First get the understanding, then test it.
So where am I going wrong?
You in 3D have a vital part to play in the cosmic working-out of life. We occasionally remind you, life is not play-pretend, any more than it is meaningless or pre-positioned or a matter of “walking each other home,” as someone said. You are not – we are not – merely killing time.
Thoreau said once, you can’t kill time without injuring eternity.
He was perhaps trying too hard for a smart saying. In any case, you nor we are merely killing time, but in our lives we are contending with those of other values – as we said, some opposed, some in rough agreement, some not one thing nor the other.
You didn’t say that, actually. Not in so many words.
But the sense was there. So listen when Jesus says to you, if you have something of the truth, there is the potential for you to have more, but if you do not, there is no hope for you. This isn’t meant as discouragement – nor, for that matter, exactly as encouragement – but as a description of the situation.
This time you said “potential”; earlier you said it was a given.
It is a matter of which context you apply. In absolute, it is “will.” At any given time, according to your decisions (which means, in effect, according to your effective will) it is potential.
So think on these things and we will resume another time.
Jesus said: Be one of those who pass by.
I have read somewhere that this means, be but a sojourner on the earth – or, more precisely, I guess: Recognize that that’s what we are. We are here for a while but that’s all, for a while. Is there more to it that I am not seeing?
Remember, these sayings were springboards for discussion. The previous saying said what?
If you have little, you’ll lose even that. If you have some, you will get more.
Nonsensical on the face of it, is it not?
It is, a little. What is little to one is some to another. But of course that is my paraphrase, not a straight rendering.
But look at the problem there. We already dealt with one aspect of that saying, but we implied it was more all-or-none than a matter of degree. Looked at as a matter of degree, what determines whether you will be given more or will lose even what you have?
On the principle of the widow’s mite being more to her than the rich man’s money to him?
Could the difference be attitude?
You’re on the right trail. Pursue it.
Maybe, to him who has little and doesn’t value it, it will be taken away, and to he who has little and does value it, more will be given?
It is at least worth your considering.
So it is. Okay, so, in connection with saying 42?
Which do you think is more likely to be one who “passes by,” one who does value the gift of awareness or the one who does not?
Awareness? Is that the word?
Call it what you wish, the idea is the same. Awareness, the kingdom, potential, whatever.
The answer is obvious, of course.
You might ask yourselves, why be a passer-by?
I presume so we do not become overly attached to a life that can only be transient.
And what would be the disadvantage of being overly attached?
You’d have your eye off the ball, and you’d be more likely to get beaned by it.
Minus the sports analogy (from a surprising source), that’s it. If you don’t know what’s going on, you don’t know what’s important, and if you don’t know what’s important, you don’t know what to prize and what to let go. You wind up running in circles, or sleeping away your life. And that’s enough.
His disciples asked him: Who are you to say these things to us? Jesus replied: Don’t you recognize who I am from what I say to you? You have become like the Jews who like the tree but loathe its fruit, or they like the fruit but loathe the tree.
What strikes you about it, as you read it?
Well, a couple of things. The set-up, for one: them asking “Who are you to be saying these things?” Jesus comparing them to “the Jews” rather than to, say, the scribes or Pharisees. Given that presumably this saying was heard by Jews, written down by Jews, delivered orally to, and discussed by, Jews, it seems strange. It would be like someone saying to me, “You are like those Americans,” or “like those ____.” [Fill in the blank with any description that would include me.] The admonition itself is clear enough, though not why it should be preserved as a saying. And – before you ask – the previous saying reminds them to know that they are sojourners here in 3D, not permanent residents.
All right. So let’s begin with what to you is obvious. Tree and its fruits must be the same, and it makes no sense to like the cause and dislike the effect, or like the father and dislike the son. Put another way, it makes no sense to like the emanation and dislike what it emanates from. Agreed? It isn’t a matter even of “should,” but of common sense.
Say it’s so.
Then, if the tree is the non-3D source of life and the fruit is someone in 3D, isn’t that what you would be doing if you claimed to like the one and dislike the other?
But in practical terms we do that all the time.
Yes, whenever you judge one another.
Huh. Further fruit of eating of the tree of Perceiving Things As Good and Evil.
Correct. As the Buddha says, “make a distinction, make an error.” But he didn’t say you have a real choice in the doing so, only that it would be well to recognize the fact.
Okay, and so –.
So it isn’t as if Jesus was complaining that the disciples disliked him or disliked the father that they hadn’t yet really consciously experienced: They didn’t. But he was telling them something. What?
He said don’t you recognize who I am by what I say to you? I suppose that has to mean, “If you were really hearing me, you’d know that I am in connection with the father” – the larger being – I presume. But although I get that this is relevant, I’m not sure I really see the relevance, quite.
If your true nature is as sojourners in the 3D, by implication your true nature is rooted outside of the 3D. And if to live life more abundantly you need to know who and what you are, you need to have your eyes open. If, having your eyes open, you can’t see the source of Jesus’ teaching “with authority,” you show that you are still divided in your mind, not seeing the obvious fact that the tree and the fruit must share the same nature. And of course, it was the message of Jesus that they themselves also shared that nature, not that he was one thing and they a different order of things.
So why say, “You are like the Jews who –“?
You are accustomed to people using the word “Jews” as an imprecation; obviously this wasn’t an issue then and there. He meant to distinguish between themselves on the one hand and the gentiles on the other. It might be paraphrased as “even the Jews, who ought to know better as participants in the covenant.”
You never cease to surprise me. I wouldn’t have thought of that interpretation.
Unless you just did.
Very funny. Well, if it was my own unconscious mind, it’s impressive anyway.
We didn’t quite say that; we are saying (again!) that the difference between everyone’s unconscious and anything they may contact in non-3D is far less clear and definite than you may assume.
Okay, we’ve gotten that, at least in theory.
It will be better when you absorb it to the extent of assuming it rather than having to call it to mind. Any other questions about the saying?
I suppose not. As so often, it is striking how I begin not knowing, in effect talk to myself, and emerge knowing. I recognize that the “knowing” may be wrong, but it is still a knowing. It requires an effort to remember the years when it was not so. Shall we go on to saying 44?
Perhaps another time when you are fresh. Too many turns may be difficult.
I take that to mean, it’s hard for us to absorb more than a certain amount at a time.
That, but more specifically, it is hard for you to preserve the mental flexibility required when you have already exercised it. Hard for you to recognize, we know. That’s why we mention it.
That tells me that the process isn’t as transparent as I’m likely to think of it as being.
Few things are. Living in 3D requires skills unsuspected merely because you all master them so completely that you no longer notice them.
Jesus said: Whoever blasphemes against the father will be forgiven. Whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, neither on earth or in heaven.
I keep expecting to come to a saying in Thomas that you will be unable to explain, and I wouldn’t be surprised if 44 is it. For one thing, I don’t really know what the word “blaspheme” is supposed to mean. Looking it up via a computer search, I see “to speak impiously or irreverently of God or sacred things.” But another defines it as using God’s name irreverently, as in Goddammit. Assuming that’s the meaning, can you make sense of Saying 44 for us? I mean, why would God or the son or the Holy Spirit care?
Assuming that if Jesus said it, it’s true, and that if the disciples recorded the saying and used it as a talking point, it’s true, maybe you would be better off asking not “Why?” so much as “How?” How is it that an offense would be or would not be forgiven? Not in terms of “Why would God or whomever be willing or unwilling to forgive,” but what does forgiveness even mean? And how would it manifest? What did saying 43 say?
43 was Jesus saying he and the father were one, in effect; he compared the tree and its fruit to the divine and its manifestation in him (or maybe, as him).
So saying 44, in making an absolute distinction between father and son on the one hand, and Holy Spirit on the other, says what?
I don’t know. I have a problem with the whole idea of sin and forgiveness and punishment.
You wouldn’t if you looked at it psychologically as well as metaphysically or, we should say, theologically. The more vantage points one looks from, the more clearly a thing is seen in its roundedness, rather than as a flat profile. Carl Jung took religious impulses quite seriously, as you know, saying that he couldn’t prove there was a God, but he could prove that the idea of God was firmly rooted in the human psyche.
Possibly we should ask him to contribute?
It depends what you want. A strictly psychological approach will not suffice, but as an adjunct certainly it will contribute.
Well, I’m feeling nudged to do so. Dr. Jung, do you care to contribute? As always, I assume that someone called into a conversation is aware of context.
That assumption has served you well for these few/many years. It is a usable hypothesis.
But – I gather – only a 3D approximation of a non-3D phenomenon.
Can you give us your thoughts on blasphemy or forgiveness or both, plus anything else you think worthwhile?
Let us begin with forgiveness, for that is actually the key to this particular saying.
Yes. Blasphemy is used as an example in order to clarify the nature of the Holy Spirit as opposed to the other two aspects of the trinity.
Why should blasphemy be the sin that cannot be forgiven? And why for that matter should there be any sin that cannot be forgiven? Did not Jesus elsewhere admonish his disciples to forgive seven times seventy times – that is, times without number? Why should any aspect of the divine be held to a lower standard than was expected of mere humans?
Well, it never has made sense to me. I have been tempted to write the whole subject off as theological addition after the fact, probably working from logic mixed with expediency. But that can’t be the case with a saying from Thomas, recorded and preserved long before the fossilization of the movement into an organization.
You are overlooking the major aspect of forgiveness – as people will do. It is not a matter of one forgiving another as a magnanimous or generous gesture, and the other receiving it with gratitude or relief or whatever other emotion. That is part of it, but the lesser part. The major part, the only important part, is a freeing, on both sides. He who forgives dissolves what you would call an energetic tie to the one being forgiven, or perhaps we should say a tie to the act itself, though it is seldom seen that way. He who is forgiven – and accepts that forgiveness – similarly is released from bondage to the act, more than to bondage to the person forgiving.
This may be more accessible to your understanding if you consider the matter of self-forgiveness. You will have seen over your life the value and the difficulty for people in forgiving themselves. If it were merely a matter of one person’s relation to another, the bond created by the offense would dissolve when the person with a grievance passed out of the offender’s life. But instead, people carry that guilt, perhaps for decades, perhaps through more than one 3D lifetime (as an energetic pattern), perhaps over something that is actually but not psychologically trivial or even justifiable.
I should have seen this from my experience with Confession as a boy in the Catholic church. What a sense of relief, sometimes! What a sense of a new beginning, however little came of the resolution to begin again. As you say, it was about freeing me from bondage to what must have been trivial sins, but they didn’t seem trivial to me at the time, necessarily.
The Catholic guilt at being unable to live up to an absolute standard was mitigated by the Catholic sacrament of Penance, and I often regretted that we had no secular equivalent widely available to those who needed it – for not everybody needing absolution could afford to hire a psychologist!
So, you see, forgiveness is between oneself and oneself, except insofar as another person’s refusal of forgiveness may serve to bind. Now, how can this relate to God? As you say, God cannot be held to a lower standard than man, and, Jesus’ words here cannot be said to have been invented or distorted. So what can this mean?
I still don’t know. I doubt if anybody who routinely says Goddammit as a way of blowing off steam intends any harm, or sees himself as doing harm, or in fact does or could do any harm. So even self-forgiveness doesn’t seem to come into it.
And still I tell you that forgiveness and not blasphemy is the key to this saying.
Are we perhaps coming to say that self-forgiveness is the key here too?
Yes. Continue. As you piece it out, it will organize itself in your mind and you will have it, in a way you could not if it were given to you complete.
I suppose we could look at it this way: The divine – whatever that is – may be considered as the non-3D creator of 3D and all that is in it, and that’s the God the Father aspect. It may also be seen as the 3D/non-3D creatures that we are; God the Son, as an aspect rather than as only one man in one time. And that being so, the spirit animating us, the vast impersonal forces perhaps, or perhaps the reality beyond the vast impersonal forces that blow through our lives, may be considered the Holy Spirit. We partake in all three aspects; everyone does.
And if you insult yourself? That is, if you blaspheme against the Holy Spirit?
That’s very interesting. Would you care to spell it out, now that I’ve stumbled toward it?
If you (we) are part of the Holy Spirit, it is in a different way from how we are part of the other two aspects of the divine trinity. Jesus is saying exactly that. We are indistinguishable from the Holy Spirit in the sense of our lives being impossible without it.
But aren’t they impossible without the divine in general, “in whom we live and move and have our being”?
Yes, but that isn’t the point here. Your 3D life may be lived without your ever suspecting that the Holy Spirit is the very breath of life. It is so close to you, so much a part of you, as to be invisible. You need to pause, as your energy is flagging, but consider this question: How could anyone insult the Holy Spirit that is the life within? When you return to this, begin with that question and deal with it before trying to go on the next Saying.
& & &
Resuming – how could anyone insult the Holy Spirit that is the life within? Offhand, I’d say by disrespecting it. Tautological, but true. I don’t know how else one insults life or the author of life but by wasting it, not valuing it, perhaps even cursing it, or merely bemoaning the fact of being alive.
It is at least ungrateful to receive so precious a gift and yet not value it or exert stewardship over it.
So I suppose the unforgiveableness of disrespecting it is that we cannot mend what we mar, and no one else can either.
Not so far wrong, but spell it out.
We are given our life, with one set of potentials. As I understand it, no two lives can ever have identical potential or identical challenges, hence nothing we omit can be supplied by another; nothing we accomplish could have been accomplished by any other. And mostly, what we make ourselves into (by our choices) no one else could make in the same way or to the same effect.
Yes. Does that mean you will be judged on your life?
Trick question. I gather we will judge ourselves: Some will condemn, some will discern, but we’ll judge.
Then if a life is an irretrievable unrepeatable opportunity, what of the other things you know?
Well, as you say that, I get that “our life” is not any one 3D life but all of them, each living in its own present-tense world, each able to interact with the others (though not all aware of it) and thus an endless process of interaction tweaking and perhaps healing them all.
No need for anyone to lose, in short.
I don’t see why there would be, no.
A little different slant on life than you have gotten elsewhere?
Just a bit. But pray tell, if we continually adjust, as best we can, how can there be a sin without forgiveness?
If you adjust and remove the attitude that was the sin, do you not remove the sin? It isn’t forgiven, it is removed. Surely a better outcome?
Interesting take on it. I wish I knew if we’re on the right track. Anyway, thanks for this clarification, and we’ll resume another time.
45 a Jesus said: They do not pick grapes from brambles, nor do they pick figs from thistles, for these do not yield the proper fruit.
45 b A good man brings good things out of his storehouse, but a bad man brings bad things from his storehouse (which is in his heart). And he says bad things. For out of the surplus in his heart he brings out bad things.
Saying 45, a and b. Bearing in mind Saying 44, which was to the effect that we must reverence the life we have been given, and that we are part of the divine trinity of non-3D creator, 3D (and non-3D) experiencer, and the spirit that flows through us and is expressed by us. Assuming that this is more than my wildly seeking to make sense of the inscrutable!
Nothing particularly hidden in saying 45. You have used it as a touchstone for these very conversations. When you cannot see beyond appearances, you can still judge causes by their effects. No good plant brings forth bad fruit, etc. But does this saying perhaps mean more than that? Excellent advice it is, but is that all it is?
Until you posed this rhetorical question, I would have thought so. Did think so.
Once again, consider a saying in context of its predecessor or predecessors.
I get – but this may be reaching – that what we see as bad fruit is nonetheless part of creation. That is, brambles and thistles may not provide what we want, but they are part of the world. Similarly (perhaps!) bad men produce bad things out of the heart they have been given. Again, they are a part of the natural order of things and should not be considered to not belong.
And why should Jesus say such a thing? That is, what would his purpose be, beyond advocating prudence?
Reminding them, perhaps, that good and evil are judgments, necessarily incomplete judgments. Life is not really good and evil but is opposed (balanced?) forces that we perceive as good and evil because of our captivity to the concept of duality as reality, the situation described metaphorically in Genesis as having eaten from the fruit of the tree of Perceiving Things as Good and Evil.
So you see, even in a transparent saying there may be hidden meanings, hidden not for the purpose of concealment but because by its nature it cannot be seen by anyone whose eyes have not been opened.
46 a Jesus said: From Adam to John the Baptist, no one born of a woman is above John the Baptist, so that he should not lower his eyes.
46 b But I have said: Whoever among you becomes like an infant will know the Kingdom and be greater than John.
Seems to me the question is: What does it mean to be someone born of a woman, on the one hand, and someone who has become like an infant, on the other. Not sure why John the Baptist is chosen as the standard of comparison.
But you know something of it, so say what you know, or think you know, and we will proceed from there.
“Or think I know” is right. I am well aware that I am out farther on the limb than usual. As always, I work against a background of concern (dread is only slightly too strong a term) lest I mislead people. I have to remember that they too have their discernment which will keep them out of trouble if they will employ it.
My assumption is that this is the concept that is familiar to us from centuries of reading or hearing Biblical verses, but would have been new to those who heard it from Jesus: those born and those born again “of water and the spirit,” I believe the saying is, though that may have been later interpolation by somebody. At any rate, I take this to be saying, John the Baptist is at a level that cannot be surpassed by anyone, no matter how good, who is still in the ordinary 3D human condition, but that John, excellent though he be, is less than anyone who “becomes like an infant” and “knows the Kingdom.”
Correct. So is there more to be gleaned from this saying?
If there is, I don’t see it.
Then proceed to the next, keeping this one in mind.
47 a Jesus said: One person cannot ride two horses at once, nor stretch two bows.
47 b Nor can a servant serve two masters, as he will respect one and despise the other.
47 c No one drinks vintage wine and immediately wants to drink fresh wine.
47 d Fresh wine is not put into old wineskins because they might burst. Vintage wine is not put into new wineskins because it might be spoiled.
47 e A patch of old cloth is not sewn onto a new garment because it would tear.
I take this to be giving multiple examples of incompatibility of old and new. In context, your life after you are born again will be incompatible with your life before, and you cannot expect to continue as if everything had not changed.
Also, you will have to choose, which implies that you can choose, between your old life and your new. In other words, you may turn your back on your new state of being, but what you will not be able to do is to both be and not be transformed.
And this leads to 48, which may be a more difficult saying to interpret.