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Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Parables of Jesus

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    parables-of-jesus

    Theme for Contemplation: The Parables of Jesus

    “He excelled in beings all things to all men while remaining utterly true to himself and to his Father in Heaven.”       — Aquarian Almanac

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Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Parables of Jesus

  • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
    Jon Fergus
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    Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

    Just wanted to get us started with a quick link to an excellent article drawing comparison between the Parables of Jesus and the Parables/Stories of the oldest Upanishads. It’s quite fascinating. . .

    The Parables of the Kingdom

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Profile photo of Jon Fergus Jon Fergus.
    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Profile photo of Jon Fergus Jon Fergus.
    • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
      Gerry Kiffe
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      Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

      Wonderful resource here. Thanks for posting both here and on UT.

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    December 17, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Parables of Jesus

    “Those on whom the Spirit of Life descends and abides with power will be saved.”

    — St. James

    “Let man consider who he is and what he should and must become.”

    — Paracelsus

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    December 18, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Parables of Jeus

    ” I reveal my secrets to those deserving of them.”

    — Jesus

    “Short arm needs man to reach to Heaven

    So ready is Heaven to stoop to him.”

    — Francis Thompson

    • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
      Jon Fergus
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      Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

      I’m curious what other’s think about the meaning of “deserving” secrets. What does it mean to deserve in this context, and who/what decides who is deserving or not?

      • Profile photo of KS
        KS
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        Profile photo of KSKS

        I think very specific people truly have the right to decide who deserves secrets, nevertheless, it appears to be a very universal and important rule. Many texts state that the students must become worthy, i.e., mastered that which has been given before the finer truths are imparted- which I believe would be incomprehensible otherwise. Information is given to those who ask.

        What strikes me interesting is the idea behind the qualification of one “who deserves.” By what right is one to withhold, and under what authority? There is a dramatic moral dilemma here. Sacred texts show us that it is a “sin” to withhold information from a student who has shown themselves worthy- yet, to speak all that ones knows is just as “sinful,” showing a lack of self-control and (lack of) proper discrimination.

        ” I reveal my secrets to those deserving of them.”

        “…the prophet of Yezdan, Zertusht, said into him, Commit not to your tongue what you have in your heart, but keep it secret.”

        Looking into other traditions, we find that Mirtha is the custodian of (Secret) Divine Knowledge, who is the Essence of Individuality; theosophically speaking. It might be illuminating to look into the mythology behind Mithra and to what this represents. To commune unto Mithra, is to become inline with that Principle, the custodian of Occult Knowledge symbolized by the Fire within the Heart.

        • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
          Jon Fergus
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          Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

          It really is a fascinating subject and I suspect it’s one that goes very deep into the laws of our inner being. It seems to me that there are, in a way, two types of “guards” against obtaining secrets at an inopportune time (i.e. to early, or when undeserving, etc.):
          1. those beings who themselves guard the knowledge of humanity, who are there to play a role in aiding the student in uncovering truths, and
          2. the “laws” of our inner being, which seem to dictate, naturally, that some knowledge must remain out of reach so long as we are operating primarily through “lower” principles (this is just expressing the ideas crudely of course).

          Ultimately, it would seem that these two are actually one, but express themselves outwardly as two. Perhaps we could say that the whole idea of deserving is simply an expression of the relationship between the lower and higher principles within ourselves?

          • Profile photo of KS
            KS
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            Profile photo of KSKS

            Ḥamza ibn ‘Ali ibn Aḥmad, a Druze, wrote;

            “Protect divine knowledge from those who do not deserve it and do not withhold it from those who are deserving.
            He who withholds divine knowledge from those who are worthy of it, will indeed desecrate what he has been entrusted with and will commit sacrilege against his religion;
            and the conviction of him who divulges it to those who are not deserving will be diverted from following the truth.
            Scripture must therefore be protected from those who do not deserve it.”

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    December 19, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Parables of Jesus

    “He became the Way for those lost,

    Gnosis for those ignorant,

    A goal for those searching,

    A pillar for those wavering,

    And purity for those defiled.”

    — Evangelium Veritatis

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    December 20, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Parables of Jesus

    “God guideth whom He will to His light, and God setteth forth parables to men.”

    —Qur’an

    “God Himself does not speak prose, but communicates with us by hints, omens, inference, and dark resemblances in objects lying all around us.”

    —Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
      Jon Fergus
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      Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

      I think one of the big questions here is: why speak/teach in parables? Many traditions seem to have this approach, including the Upanishads and Vedas. Is a parable a way of teaching that appeals to a different part of us than strictly rational/logical thought?

      • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
        Gerry Kiffe
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        Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

        Another reason parables are helpful is they are memorable and easily passed on. They have a “viral” effect that straight teaching often does not.

        • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
          Jon Fergus
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          Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

          That’s a good point. It combines, I think, with many of the ancient teachings being handed down in song or poem form, where our mind finds it easier to remember the teachings.

          Once thing I appreciate with parables is that they make me think through an idea, i.e. they force me to do the work of unlocking the meaning, whereas much of our modern teaching style is much more “spoon fed” so to speak.

        • Profile photo of barbara
          barbara
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          Parables are more palpable to a large general audience; everyone can get something out of it since there are multiple levels of hidden meaning.

      • Profile photo of KS
        KS
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        Profile photo of KSKS

        Parables are allegory; symbolism. Is this not the same language the Ego communicates through dreams?

        Emerson is genius- he has realized that the Language of Law (God) is the multifaceted and manifold universe; showing Eternal Truth through all materials, vehicles, and bodies. Wonderful quotation!

    • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
      Gerry Kiffe
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      Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

      Following Emerson’s quote: Does Nature Speak in Parables? Is Nature Herself a parable?

      • Profile photo of KS
        KS
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        Profile photo of KSKS

        I would say so Gerry.

  • Profile photo of Odin Townley
    Odin Townley
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    Profile photo of Odin TownleyOdin Townley

    “Lead the life necessary for the acquisition of such knowledge and powers, and Wisdom will come to you naturally. Whenever your are able to attune your consciousness to any of the seven chords of ‘Universal Consciousness,’ those chords that run along the sounding-board of Kosmos, vibrating from one Eternity to another; when you have studied thoroughly ‘the music of the Spheres,’ then only will you become quite free to share your knowledge with those with whom it is safe to do so. Meanwhile, be prudent. Do not give out the great Truths that are the inheritance of the future Races, to our present generation. Do not attempt to unveil the secret of being and non-being to those unable to see the hidden meaning of Apollo’s heptachord — the lyre of the radiant god, in each of the seven strings of which dwelleth the Spirit, Soul and Astral body of the Kosmos, whose shell only has now fallen into the hands of Modern Science. . . . . . Be prudent, we say, prudent and wise, and above all take care what those who learn from you believe in; lest by deceiving themselves they deceive others . . . . for such is the fate of every truth with which men are, as yet, unfamiliar…” (quoted by H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine 1:167)

  • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
    Jon Fergus
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    Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

    Wonderful quote! But there’s one line I’m unsure of. What does it mean to “take care what those who learn from you believe in”?

    • Profile photo of Odin Townley
      Odin Townley
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      Profile photo of Odin TownleyOdin Townley

      May be a cautionary to make the distinction always between psychic and noetic.

    • Profile photo of Pierre Wouters
      Pierre Wouters
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      Profile photo of Pierre WoutersPierre Wouters

      For starters, that you will carry a large part of the karmic responsibility for the effects people engender with the knowledge (right or wrong) you have provided them with.

      • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
        Jon Fergus
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        Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

        What role do you think intention/motive plays in the karmic responsibility?

        • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
          Gerry Kiffe
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          Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

          It might play a role in determining what action is actually needed. If the motive is self-interested then the action chosen might be skewed in favor of getting something in return. Whereas to the degree of selflessness the greater possibility of performing the exact act that is needed and nothing more. But I am sure there are other ways of looking at this interesting question.

    • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
      Jon Fergus
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      Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

      I wonder if it has to do with this idea: if you’re going to teach/share, you need to understand the preconceived notions the students come to you with, because what you say will always be interpreted through that filter, so perhaps even if you’re speaking a truth that the student needs to hear, it could be misinterpreted or twisted and end up causing unintentional damage. (?)

  • Profile photo of Pierre Wouters
    Pierre Wouters
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    Profile photo of Pierre WoutersPierre Wouters

    Yup, all of the above, and regardless of your motive – and albeit a good motive will serve as a protection to some extent – you’ll be connected karmically with the outcome of the actions performed by the recipient of your teaching(s) and thus participate in some measure in the responsibility for the effects produced.

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    December 21, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Parables of Jesus

    “The kingdom of heaven is within you. Look inward, and see it, and be glad.”

    —Buddha

    “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life. Without the way there is no going, without the truth there is no knowing, and without the life there is no living.“

    — Thomas a Kempis

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    December 22, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Parables of Jesus

    “In whatever form a devotee desires with faith to worship, it is I alone who inspire him with constancy therein.”

    — Shri Krishna

    “Ye that are of good understanding, not the doctrine that is hidden under the veil of the strange verses!”

    — Dante Alighieri

  • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
    Gerry Kiffe
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    Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

    I think another way of looking at “deserving” is to substitute it with the word “ready”. The grade school child under 7 is not ready for Calculus, they have to learn their addition and subtraction first. Then they are ‘deserving” of the multiplication and division instruction and so on. If you jump straight to something one is unprepared for danger arises.

    Think of gymnastics. You would not want to give instruction to an athlete to do a double flip dismount off the high bar prior to being able to complete a single flip. It would be very dangerous.

    It might work partly like that.

    • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe Gerry Kiffe.
  • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
    Gerry Kiffe
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    Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

    How does one see the Kingdom of Heaven within? I am assuming that Kingdom of Heaven means Elevated State of Consciousness.

    • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe Gerry Kiffe.
  • Profile photo of Laura
    Laura
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    Profile photo of LauraLaura

    It seems that to reach that kingdom of heaven within takes many steps through the sevenfold nature. One step to begin the Journey, is not to desire anything from the realm of maya. Another is to be of service and another is to be able to discern the Real in all that lives. We are checked by our Karma every step of the way and we must hold to the Journey of service throughout the many karmic moments. The Voice of the Silence indicates it is not easy and many failures will take place, but we are not to give up.

    • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Profile photo of ModeratorTN ModeratorTN. Reason: I changed if to of in Voice of the Silence
    • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
      Gerry Kiffe
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      Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

      Beautifully stated Laura. Sage advice all. Your statement here is a wonderful recapitulation of the spiritual path.

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    December 23, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Parables of Jesus

    “But yet grave Paul him nowhere did forbid

    The use of parables; in which lay hid

    That gold, those pearls, and precious stones that were

    Worth digging for, and that with greatest care.”

    — John Bunyan

    • Profile photo of Odin Townley
      Odin Townley
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      Profile photo of Odin TownleyOdin Townley

      “Words are things. With me and in fact. Upon the lower plane of social intercourse they are things, but soulless and dead because that convention in which they have their birth has made abortions of them. But when we step away from that conventionality they become alive in proportion to the reality of the thought — and its purity — that is behind them. So in communication between two students they are things, and those students must be careful that the ground of intercourse is fully understood. Let us use with care those living messengers called words.”

      – William Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, Letter 6

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