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The Way to a Wonderful Life, Sunday, July 20,  2014

           "27 Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem again. As Jesus was walking around the temple, the chief priests, legal experts, and elders came to him. 28 They asked, “What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” ...  29 Jesus said to them, “I have a question for you. Give me an answer, then I’ll tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things. 30 Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.” ...  31 They argued among themselves, “If we say, ‘It’s of heavenly origin,’ he’ll say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But we can’t say, ‘It’s of earthly origin.’” They said this because they were afraid of the crowd, because they all thought John was a prophet. 33 They answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” ...    Jesus replied, “Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things." - Jesus, Mark 11:27-33, Holy Bible

        The passages taken from scripture Mark 11:27-33, is a back and forth conversation with Jesus and the top religious leaders and legal experts of the time.  What we can learn from this is that "religion" was "compromised" out of fear that if "truth" was presented to the people they would turn away from religion and instead follow the teachings of Jesus even more than was apparently taking place.  Jesus was teaching us to "follow him" ... to do what I do, believe as I do, keep faith with G-d, keep faith with yourself ... "the kingdom of G-d is within you ... keep faith with this part of G-d Intelligence, Power and Spirit within you.  Say to yourself that "I am that Living Presence of G-d seeking to express the livingness, the givingness and the forgivingness of G-d."

     "If we could only try to realize that God is not some far-off Deity, not some stern Judge, but the beneficent force that we recognize as Nature - the life Principle that makes the flowers bud and the plants grow, that spreads abundance about us with lavish hand.  If we could realize that He is the Universal Mind that holds all supply, that will give us the toy of our childhood or the needs of maturity, that all we need to obtain from Him our Heart's Desire is a right understanding of His availability - then we would lose all our fears, all our worries, all our sense of limitation. ... For Universal Mind is an infinite, unlimited source of good.  Not only the source of general good, but the specific good things you desire of life.  To It there is no big or little problem.  The removal of mountains is no more difficult than the feeding of a sparrow. ... He [Jesus] knew that Universal Mind is all power - and there cannot be more than ALL.  He knew that "To know God aright is life eternal."  And Jesus knew God aright ..."  - Robert Collier, The Secret of the Ages [originally published in 1925 under the title "The Book of Life"]

     This was not the only time that the radical Jesus rejected the teachings of religion and religious practices.  He had already realized that the limitations of religion and the focus on "effects" and "tradition" ... rather than the Spirit, or Principle of Life, was a contradiction in the mind and therefore those of a "material or religious perception" would not gain the greater understanding of the availability in the here and now of the Power and Authority of G-d within us.  Jesus understood that religion perpetuates the false belief in the separation of G-d and man [generic], rather than the Unity of Life, that is G-d in man-as-man, and that this truth is revealed as the Christ within everyone.  That is, "the image and likeness" of the Spirit, Life and Intelligence of G-d within all of us.

     The radical Jesus taught that we are to draw from the Intelligence and Power of G-d, and when we do, we may find that we no longer agree with many of the beliefs of the world.  How many of us can make a stand like Jesus and state that we are our own "moral authority" ... that in us, there is an intelligence that is just as great and wise as those who seek to tell us how to live and how to choose how we are to experience this Thing Called Life.  This triumphant spirit that was within Jesus is within you and me too.  Even in our current culture there is so much nonsense and superstition that continues to be fostered by religion.  Rarely will we find a religious leader who stands up to the nonsense perpetuated by those who teach the same superstitions about G-d that Jesus rejected over 2,000 years ago. 

     There is no "god made in man's image" nor is there a "BIG guy in the SKY god" ... yet, this is the pervasive line of thought of those most frequently quoted in the Media ... and although this is never stated, it is the underlying assumption.  At what point do the masses of people realize with Jesus that if we look to Nature, we shall gain a greater understanding of our relationship to G-d and Life Itself.  "See the lilies how they grow," Jesus said ... and what we see is Intelligence ... Intelligence doesn't make judgments and doesn't contain racism, anti-Semitism, sexism or the myriad of other judgments based on false ideas.  G-d is no respecter of persons nor of religious or political affiliation.  G-d does not "favor" anyone any more than "gravity" favors the person who is wise enough to understand its nature.  This would deny the existence of Universal Intelligence.

     The Gospel of Mark was not composed until 70 years after the events of Jesus' life took place.  During this 70 year period the people were drawn back into a belief in struggle, sacrifice and a fear-based relationship with G-d ... in other words, the philosophy of Jesus was replaced with yet another religion.     Pastors, ministers and priests will state that Jesus "died for our sins", but that is not true, he died to his physical life here on earth because he would not compromise the Truth for any reason, even to save his own life.

     From the Gospel of Mark 8:36 "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"  And from these words of Jesus we can realize that in order to live a soul-fulfilling life, we must triumph over all that attempts to diminish the spirit of G-d within us.  Our triumphant spirit is greater than anything we may be confronted with.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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