Wednesday, April 20, 2005

More on Why be moral? and the economy of salvation

So basically, I’m saying that the only thing newborn about a newborn is hi/r body, because the consiousness has already been around the block a few times, on average. We each show up with an agenda for our lives: christians call this the plan of G--, and to the extent that this life and body are gifts from the source of all granted to us with our consent and willing, conscious participation, in order to help us learn what we are ready to learn and resolve what we are ready to resolve, I agree.

Now some might be picking up here that I imply reincarnation when I say all this. Well, that’s right, I do. Whether or not an understanding of the principles of reincarnation are logically necessary here, I am not sure, but since I don’t carry the burden of needing to fulfill tenets of any christian orthodoxy, I freely subscribe to notions of reincarnation, as was taught broadly throughout the christian world by the fathers of the church for the first three or so centuries of its existence. If folks find the world of the early church communities somehow worth reconciling themselves too, then they’ll need to find a place in their thought system for reincarnation as well.

The notion comes up in scripture out of the mouth of Jesus himself. He asks his friends who do people say that I am, and when they say Elijah returned, he corrects them and says, no, John is Elijah returned. He doesn’t say, no, you fools, there is no such thing as “returning.” Rather he helps them to understand who has become who on another go round. That passage is what you call a sleeper, meaning someone on the editing committee was napping and let that one slip by while they were busy axing all of the other references in the community documents refering to such commonplace christian teachings on reincarnation that no longer fit the systems of control being put in place by the newly established church-state alliance of the day.

Reincarnation met the chopping block of doctrines that had to go, not because it wasn’t true, and not because it hadn’t been taught for the prior three hundred years running, but because it didn’t cohere with the absolute limits being placed upon the possibility of “salvation” on the part of the established church/state, new holder of the keys to heaven. By limiting the hope for salvation to a single lifetime, which obviously isn’t enough time to work out what needs to be learned to finish your walks on this planet, folks were duped into buying the instant salvation lottery ticket where everyone who plays can win: ie, “submission to church and sacrament” (the modern easy-ticket version being “confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior”). Unfortunately, such an option does little to inculcate a meaningful motivation for true self mastery, except the kind of truncated and juvenile “self-mastery” that amounts to controlling oneself out of fear of eternal punishment.

To sum up this little screed at this point: the christian formulas that hold out that “all men are sinners” carry the grain of truth from the perspective of self mastery that each and every one of us comes on this planet and takes up life in a body with tasks to complete and skills to be practiced. Divergence between a program of self mastery and the standard christian formulas of our day comes regarding strategies for reaching the end game. Burdening a savior who bares responsibility for irresolvable guilt is not a legitimate strategy on the path of self mastery.

This is not to say the the one who would be a master has no place for the teachings, example, and accomplishments of Jesus. On the contrary, it is Jesus himself who has provided the very program of service and self mastery upon which these posts are based. It is Jesus who taught that the one who would be a master must be the servant of all. (Self Mastery through Service.) It is Jesus who taught that we reap what we sow. (Attraction.) It is Jesus who taught that those who have but a bit of faith will do greater things even than he did. ( Deliberate Intent) It is Jesus who demonstrated the power of aligning one’s will with the will of the source of all: thy will be done. (Allowance.) It is Jesus who taught that all of what happens in the dark will be revealed. (Balance.) It is Jesus who said get up, take up your mat, and walk! (Responsibility) It is Jesus who faced the freedom of the will even in it’s most ignorant forms and poured out his love nonetheless: forgive them! they know not what they do! (Freedom.) It is Jesus who invited followers and respected their decision: sell what you have, and come follow me -- but the man went away sad, for he had many possesions. (Choice.) It is Jesus who taught about thought forms and elementals: a man swept his house clean of a demon and it returned with friends! It is Jesus who said I am the light of the world, and you are the light of the world. Put that light upon the table for all to see!

I believe it is a gross injustice and literalist misrepresentation to reduce the life of Jesus to the death of Jesus as a blood sacrifice for guilt. What satisfactions for the guilty conscious various formulaic confessions may provide are fleeting, ultimately, and fail to resolve the core guilt of a person. The only thing that resolves the core guilt of a person is taking conscious stock of one’s responsibility for one’s thoughts and actions and the effects they cause through introspection, and engaging in the transformative work and practice of new and conscious habit formation that recreates the sleeping “victim” of Adam’s sin into the waking master who multiplies his talents in the service of the source of all.

If there is an “economy of salvation” to the path of self mastery, it is the belief that we are given all the time in the world to work out everything that we need to in order to master our free wills and balance their expression in a manner integral with the will pleasure of the source of all, from whose womb we have never departed in fact, and in whose sacred heart alone we will find true rest.


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