Sunday, January 09, 2011

Parables

Finding and nurturing the relationship with our Inner Teacher is the central issue in the Course, as it is in the New Testament, to the careful reader: To those outside, everything comes in parables, but to his disciples individually, he explained everything. Here is the quote:
With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. (NIV:Mk 4:33-34)
The meaning of this teaching is plain and obvious, yet we honor it more in the breach than in the observance, since we usually refuse to "follow him," by taking our troubles to our Inner Teacher. The first step towards ego-proofing this teaching is to once again read it literally, as if some guy named Jesus in ca. 30 CE, said this to a couple of guys he used to hang out with, and who were considered his followers, disciples, and later apostles. In that process we have substituted the manifest content for the latent content, and rendered the message safe for Caesar (the ego), thus preparing the path for something called Christianity to become a world religion. Namely, as long as we see this as a historical event, and something we tell each other, of how Jesus (notice the past tense here:) taught his apostles, we implicitly escape the immediacy of our own choice in the present moment to either follow him (our Inner Teacher), and leaving the interpretation of anything we think we see (the parables) to Jesus or the Holy Spirit, or to continue to do our own thing, with the usual disastrous consequences.

The bottom line is that as long as we are withholding anything at all from Jesus, we are voting with the ego. The whole essence of that process is this:
The necessary condition for the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts that are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep. Innocence is not of your making. It is given you the instant you would have it. Atonement would not be if there were no need for it. You will not be able to accept perfect communication as long as you would hide it from yourself. For what you would hide is hidden from you. In your practice, then, try only to be vigilant against deception, and seek not to protect the thoughts you would keep to yourself. Let the Holy Spirit's purity shine them away, and bring all your awareness to the readiness for purity He offers you. Thus will He make you ready to acknowledge that you are host to God, and hostage to no one and to nothing.
(ACIM:T-15.IV.9)
In short, as long as we do not enter into the one-on-one relationship with our Inner Teacher, as he is referred to in the Course, we are withholding thoughts from him which we would keep, and thereby keeping the ego in charge. The whole idea of the separation (i.e. individuality) is that we could have private thoughts that we would keep for ourselves, so we can determine what reality is, in lieu of accepting God's reality, thus rejecting the "Kingdom of Heaven," and continuing the choice to shatter Heaven in in the delusion that we could and would rather have "something more than everything." Choosing the ego, entails choosing all of time and space, Samsara, as our own substitute reality.

The contrast becomes clear when once we experience the alternative choice for the Holy Instant, for the choice for the Holy Spirit places us in that one-on-one teaching relationship with Jesus, and is a totally different reality than some story about some interesting teacher so many years ago.
No one who comes here but must still have hope, some lingering illusion, or some dream that there is something outside of himself that will bring happiness and peace to him. If everything is in him this cannot be so. And therefore by his coming, he denies the truth about himself, and seeks for something more than everything, as if a part of it were separated off and found where all the rest of it is not. This is the purpose he bestows upon the body; that it seek for what he lacks, and give him what would make himself complete. And thus he wanders aimlessly about, in search of something that he cannot find, believing that he is what he is not. (ACIM:T-29.VII.2)
The literal, "form" ( the usual word in the Course), the manifest meaning, is the ego's principal defense against the content, the latent meaning, the upshot, or the spirit of any situation or communication. Any good lawyer knows that the best defense against the spirit of the law, is taking it absolutely literally and following it to the letter, while hiding behind such Pharisaic observance to secretly thwart the content, the meaning, the spirit, and twist it to our own purposes, thereby keeping the ego in charge.

Still we know Jesus' teachings in many areas, at least in a piecemeal fashion. For example:
  • Children follow what their parents do, not what they say they do - to the great annoyance of many parents, who like to pass up these healing opportunities, and instead punish their children for their disobedience, and then be surprised when they become little liars.
  • In organizational development we know that the failsafe way to diagnose any organization is to look at the difference between what we say we do and what we do do. That Delta (difference) is the clear indicator of dysfunction in any organization, and can be put to direct practical use to address the issues that cause organizations to spin out of control.
  • In psychology it's been known for a long time that we need to listen to the latent content of dreams, stories, situations, etc. and that the manifest content only distracts from honestly understanding "What's the upshot?".
In short, at some level we all know how the ego's lies are given power, namely by not examining them, and just like with a magician (aka. illusionist), the manifest story details serve only to make sure we will never understand what is really going on, and thereby we empower the ego (Satan is what the ancients called it) and entrust it with directing the movie which we call our life, in preference to honestly going to Jesus or the Holy Spirit, our Inner Teacher, to ask them to interpret it for us. If we do the latter anything we do will be guided by their love, and will not "accumulate more Karma" but instead will set our feet progressively on the way out of the hamster mill of Samsara. As long as we act on the basis of the manifest content, we continue to add on to the ego's labyrinth, and prolong our suffering, postponing the journey home with yet more convoluted meanderings in the world of form, diversions in the hologram of time and space.

The ego is an absolute master at burying Jesus in the details and ensuring that his teachings are never heard. The point of the resurrection is that we don't bury him, but we certainly do bury ourselves, as long as we continue to reenact the crucifixion, and postpone the resurrection. He did not suffer on the cross, as he had long since chosen the resurrection, but we certainly suffer with the guilt of choosing the crucifixion over and over again.

Copyright, © 2011 Rogier F. van Vlissingen. All rights reserved.
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