The Parable of the Rich Young Man—can you be wealthy and still go to heaven?

by Michael Maciel

Matthew 19:21 – Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

In order to interpret this story of the Young Rich Man mystically, we have to take it out of the context of space and time, which means bringing it into the context of you/me—here—now. All of the characters in this story are different elements of ourselves.

So, we have to ask, what part of me is rich and what part of me is poor? And what are our “great possessions”?

The theme of the entire chapter is possessions. But at the mystical level of interpretation, it’s talking about inner possessions, not outer.

It starts out with Jesus debunking the idea that wives are the possessions of their husbands by explaining that men and women were created equal. But because of the “hardness of their hearts,” the rules regarding property had to be applied. They had no “feel” for the truth. In Jungian terms, a spouse is one’s anima or animus (the sacred marriage). We cannot “divorce” ourselves from our inner feminine or inner masculine.

Likewise, children, too, were (and still are) considered possessions. But as Kahlil Gibran says, “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.” Here, “Life itself” is the Christ.

Children are continually learning. In Buddhist terms, they have “beginner’s mind.” They have yet to form an ego and so they possess nothing.

These first two sections of Chapter 19 are prologue to the Rich Young Man (you and me) whose possessions are possessions of the mind, the axiomatic presuppositions (the commandments) by which and through which we live our lives.

In order to enter the kingdom of heaven—to come into the realization that it “is spread upon the earth but men do not see it” (Gospel of Thomas)—we have to convert our axiomatic presuppositions into their raw energy (cash) and use that energy to pierce the veil of matter—the world of illusion—and see the reality of God everywhere, which is the mystical experience.

Like Socrates, we have to say, “I know nothing” and then use that as a lever to pry open that which appears so that we can get at that which is. 

______________________________________________________________________

Be sure to check out The Urban Mystic, my page on Substack.

Posted in Lessons | Leave a comment

The Law of Mind—paying for what you ask

by Michael Maciel

When summoned to a court of law, we take an oath to tell the truth when asked about what happened. We are forbidden to lie about it. We are also compelled to divulge whatever information we have that will affect the outcome of the case. If we withhold that information, we can be charged with obstruction of justice.

Obstruction of justice is when we intentionally interfere with the legal process, which includes the process of discovery – the ability of the court to obtain all the evidence. We cannot settle our disagreements unless we know everything that we need to know. So, if we hold back key information, we prevent the legal process from doing what it’s supposed to, which is to reach a just settlement to our dispute.

In terms of the Law of Mind, a “dispute” is the difference between a current condition and a desired condition. The current condition might be that we don’t have enough money to pay our upcoming bills. The desired condition is having enough money to make up the shortfall.

So, we go to work visualizing the money we need – we see see it either as cash in our hands, bigger numbers in our bank account, or the word “Paid” stamped on our bills. We don’t really care where the money comes from, because money is pretty much created out of thin air anyway. We’re not stealing it from anyone else; we’re simply allowing whatever mechanisms are available to put the money where it needs to be.

But here’s the rub. Whenever we use the Law of Mind to affect changes in the constellations of our affairs, something else has to compensate for those changes. This is where the Sufi saying comes in: “Ask for what you want and then pay for it.” When we pray for more money, something has to make room for it. And in order to do that, all of our cards have to be on the table, including the ones we don’t want others (or ourselves) to see.

When the universal mind begins its process of discovery, it’s going to want to examine our “books,” and we might not like what it finds. It might point out things we are unwilling to let go of, things we have inordinate attachments to, or things we simply are unconscious of but nevertheless are unwilling to part with. These are the ways in which we might be obstructing justice.

For example, we might need money for the next three house payments. At the same time, we own a vintage car that’s sitting on blocks in the driveway. Now, we’re VERY invested emotionally in this car – selling it would feel like failure. So we attempt to “hide” it from the universal mind’s process of discovery. This, of course, we cannot do, because the universal mind knows everything. It is the living connection between all things. It knows everything because…well, it IS everything, including the car. But we have the ability to obstruct its process of working the whole thing out by disallowing the car’s value and by our unwillingness to sell it.

If we envision our prayer as a petition in a court of law, the judge is going to want to see all of the evidence. If we withhold part of the evidence, or if we misrepresent it, then the legal process will be thwarted, and we won’t get the results we’re looking for.

Of course, we can’t hide anything from the universal mind, but we can hide it from ourselves. Whenever we use the Law of Mind to manifest something in our lives, our lives are going to change. They have to. If we resist the changes as they present themselves, we are, in effect, blocking our prayer. This is one of the biggest reasons why our prayers seemingly go unanswered.

According to the Law of Mind, if we ask for something in prayer, we will receive it—every time and without exception—as long as it doesn’t violate the universal law of compensation. If we ask for more money without first utilizing resources we already have, our ledger sheets will be even more out of balance. We will receive the extra money, but it will only make our problems worse in the long run.

We all know that lying about other people can ruin their lives, but do we know that lying to ourselves is just as dangerous? We cannot lie to God. That is impossible. But we can (and often do) lie to ourselves. Since the Law of Mind operates according to what we ARE more than to what we say (or think), the thing that most often keeps us from getting what we want is the way we are being (whether consciously or unconsciously) in the world.

Lack is an unnatural state. If we don’t have what we need, we are the ones responsible. Our thoughts are simply at odds with the will of God. It is against God’s nature to deprive anyone of anything. If we are out of touch with the realities of our lives, if we are being inauthentic in our living, if we are putting on a front, or in any way lying to the world about how we feel, then we will be in a continual state of lack. Why? Because we are obstructing the movement of God’s energy, the same energy that is trying to change the conditions in which we find ourselves trapped.

There is another saying: “Always tell the truth; it changes everything.” Someone asks you, “Do you love me?” Your answer could change your world. Your sixteen year-old son asks you to buy him a $75,000 Corvette. What could possibly go wrong? You’re tired of working and you want to take early retirement. How do you really feel about that? Will having less to do actually make you happier? People who lie to themselves are incapable of telling the truth to anyone, including God.

Have you ever wondered why unscrupulous people always seem to get what they want? It’s because they aren’t afraid to be who they are. It doesn’t matter how many people they lie to—they don’t lie to themselves. How are you being dishonest? Under what falsehoods do you labor? What sorts of pretenses are you trying to uphold? Which of your past deeds are sitting in the shadows of your unconscious, passing judgment on you every moment of your life? Wouldn’t you rather expose them to the light of day?

We are, in truth, our own worst enemy, especially when it comes to how we use the Law of Mind. Honesty isn’t just a moral or ethical principle by which we govern our relationships with other people. It should also govern our relationship with ourselves. This is why it is said that confession is good for the soul—it scrubs our inner mirror. And it helps to remember that honesty doesn’t necessarily make you a good person; it just makes you an honest one.

Being honest with yourself about yourself may show you things you do not like. So what? Whatever you find in your self-inquiry, make peace with it, because nothing changes until it becomes what it is. Hiding problems only perpetuates them. Go within, connect with God, and then proclaim, “I stand in the Light of Christ!” But don’t do it until you’re ready to let go—of everything.

Posted in Lessons | 2 Comments

Is Empathy Enough?

by Michael Maciel

Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now

The mind really is the problem, what we think about things, more than the things themselves. It’s the “about” part that causes suffering.

Can you free yourself from the about? Can you observe something horrible without being sucked into the horror? Can you observe without judgement, without making it either right or wrong?

But it IS wrong! you might say, and you’re right. But does being right make a difference? Does it help? Does weeping and gnashing your teeth do anything to alleviate the suffering you see?

Deep down inside, you know that it does not.

But when we feel powerless to effect changes in the world, a reaction can feel better than doing nothing. At the very least, it reassures us that we are not part of the problem—we are not “them.” We are not the ones causing the suffering.

But in reality, taking the moral high ground only comforts ourselves. It does nothing for those who suffer.

What then, are we to turn a blind eye? Many are doing just that, you know. “It’s all too much!” they say. “I cannot bear it any longer.” They stop watching the news. They retreat into their preferred comfort zones. Instead of letting their light shine, they hide it under a basket.

Did you see the movie, Apocalypse Now, about Colonel Kurtz who retreated into the jungle because of the atrocities he had seen? His dying words were “The horror!” But besides driving him insane, the shock of those atrocities led him to commit even greater horrors.

He became the very thing he could not stomach.

So, I ask you, which is better, empathy or service? If you love God and you care about people, there is perhaps no greater question. How you answer it determines the kind of person you are. And it determines how effective you are in the world.

Which would you rather be, a feeling person or an effective person?

Can you transmute your feelings into action?

Without action, feelings are self-indulgent. And yet, without feelings, actions can be unnecessarily cruel. But in extreme situations, action is better. When there is pain, look first to what’s causing it. Address that first.

Here’s the catch. Can you distinguish your feelings from your emotions? Do you know the difference between empathy and reaction? If you don’t, your shock will turn into outrage, and your outrage will lead you into violence. And like Kurtz, you will try to cleanse the world with blood.

And that can happen in the blink of an eye.

Don’t let your light become a flamethrower. Don’t let yourself become that kind of person. History has seen too many of those. Instead, take your candle out from under the basket and let it be a beacon to the world.

Let it shine on the good and the evil alike.

Light acts. It does not react.

Light acts dispassionately, without favoritism, without rancor. It is never shocked by the horrors it sees. It has seen them before. It does not get swept away by emotion, the kind of emotion that can turn on a dime from sadness to outrage and from outrage to violence.

Don’t be that kind of person.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” You, too, can BE the light of the world.

Will you?

Posted in Lessons | 2 Comments

Mary Magdalene’s Question

by Michael Maciel

In the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, it says:

8) And she began to speak to them these words: I, she said, I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to Him, Lord I saw you today in a vision. He answered and said to me,

9) Blessed are you that you did not waver at the sight of Me. For where the mind is there is the treasure.

10) I said to Him, Lord, how does he who sees the vision see it, through the soul or through the spirit?

11) The Savior answered and said, He does not see through the soul nor through the spirit, but the mind that is between the two that is what sees the vision…

Mary is asking whether visions are memories or are they produced in the imagination. In other words, are we seeing an echo, or are we constructing an image that then speaks to us, the way one can imagine an invisible counselor and then ask it questions? 

Jesus says neither. A vision is a direct experience, not a product of the soul or the spirit, a memory or an ideal. It is a living, present-moment experience. He’s telling her that visions are real. 

The mind is between the sub-conscious and super-conscious—the mind that Buddha described when he said, “I am AWAKE.” That is where the “treasure” is. The awakened mind sees a larger portion of the spectrum of reality. This kind of expanded capability is implied in the word “vision.”

More:

Posted in Lessons | Leave a comment

Climbing the Wall – a visualization exercise

by Michael Maciel

See yourself in a compound, like a small village but one you can see in its entirety. You’re surrounded by the people and events of your daily life—family, co-workers, the schools you went to, the house you live in—everything that comprises “your life.”

See the colors, hear the sounds, watch the people as they walk around. If you can associate smells with the different things you see, do that too. Touch the surfaces. How do they feel? Involve as many senses as you can.

Since you’re visualizing this in your mind, there are no restrictions on time and space. Your elementary school might exist concurrently with the place where you work, different cities might exist as one city, childhood friends and partners you have had all live inside this world—the compound. This is your world as you experience it. 

See yourself fully in it now. Pay attention to the details and fill them in. Let each one come to life. Do this until you can look around and see everyone and everything as though they were real.

Next, let your awareness expand to the limits of the compound. See a wall surrounding it. The wall is about thirty feet high—very tall. And it prevents you from seeing anything except what is inside the compound. All you can see above the wall is sky. There is nothing to indicate that anything exists on the other side. The wall has been there so long that you’ve come to take it for granted, and you cannot remember ever having questioned its existence or what it might conceal.

Be with that. Let the feeling of it sink in.

You notice now for the first time that the wall has a staircase leading to the top. You wonder why you never noticed it before. The staircase is easily accessible, but you can tell by its appearance that it has never been used. Everything inside the compound now seems limited and self-involved. None of the other people in your compound have any interest in the wall whatsoever or in what lies beyond it. 

Now, move towards the staircase and stand there looking at the first step. You look back at the people and places inside the compound, seeing everything as one thing. Your entire life’s experience is summarized by what you see and feel in this moment.

As you begin climbing the stairs, everything in the compound grows increasingly remote. With each step, the air gets clearer and fresher. The sounds coming from the compound become fainter the higher up you go. The sky grows larger, the sun brighter.

When you reach the top of the wall, the surrounding countryside unfurls before you. What is it that you see? Are there mountains, rivers, lakes, other cities? Are there other people? Try to embrace the feeling that whatever it is you’re seeing has nothing to do with the compound you have just left behind. This is an entirely new world. The horizons here are distant and filled with possibility. It feels free and un-confined.

You notice that the wall is only one foot high on this side, an easy step into your new world. You look back at the compound and realize that it lies at the bottom of a large depression, separated only by distance and elevation. You also see that the new landscape completely surrounds it. And now there’s lots to explore all around you, behind as well as in front.

As you continue in your visualization, you can imagine whatever you want. You might see an information booth, or a friendly cafe with outdoor seating, perhaps someone inviting you to sit with them and answer your questions. There is nothing foreboding here, only lightness and ease and friendly faces. The sun shines brilliantly in the sky, and there is a soft, cool breeze. You feel like a welcome guest. 

Of course, you can always go back, and you will. But now that you know where this new land is, you can visit it at any time. And you should. There are no restrictions on how often you can return.

Find someone who is willing to talk with you and get to know them. Ask them questions. Ask them if it’s okay to visit with them again sometime, perhaps tomorrow. Maybe it will become a daily thing. And be sure to invite them to ask you questions. What will they ask you? Won’t that be exciting! 

When you see them again, maybe you could bring flowers or a picture you have drawn or a poem that you have written. Wouldn’t that be nice. Notice how your new friend reacts and what they have to say. Become familiar with their vibration and how they make you feel. What are they wearing? What color hair do they have? What color are their eyes? The more details you can discover, the better. Make the whole experience as real as you can.

Ask your new friend for a token, something that you can have that’s from here and that you can take with you when you leave to go back to your world on the other side of the wall. Put it in your pocket. Feel it with your fingers. Notice everything about it. And bring it with you when you return so that it can be recharged by the purity of the atmosphere of this place. 

When the time is right, say thank you, excuse yourself, and return to the wall. As you descend into your “normal” life, bring with you as much of the feeling and the impressions you received here. Let those radiate from you as you re-enter “your life.” You can maybe even bless the people and things in the compound, filling them with the energies you have brought back with you. The token in your pocket can be a reminder of what those energies are like. 

Then let go of the experience entirely. But don’t forget to go back! You’re sure to have new questions, and your new friend might have new questions for you.

Posted in Lessons | 3 Comments

Prayer MUST be Creative

by Michael Maciel

Prayer MUST be creative. That is its one, essential aspect. Without that, there is no possibility for the power of God to move through us. It might move to us, and through our devotion it can move from us to God, but those two movements, which are also essential, are nothing unless our relationship with God is first and foremost creative.

Saying that God knows what we need before we ask is the same as saying that we don’t have to tell God how to do what we ask. God knows the “how.” It is our purpose and our role in this relationship to know the what. That is our purpose in God’s plan.

The purpose of our lives is not to acquire more and more things but rather to explore the full range of the potential of things. An artist isn’t so much interested in the number of paintings she produces as she is in perfecting her art. One painting or a thousand—it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the purity of the expression—the communication that comes alive in the medium. Does it express the spirit?

We are creative beings. This is the Good News. Jesus shows us how to be creative expressions of the infinite potential of God rather than merely collectors of ideas. The “rules,” which is how most people interpret the word “law,” are there to help us be more creative and not just blind replicators of what has gone before. Crystals replicate. Living things explore the full range of possibilities built into them by their Creator.

God waits to see what we are capable of doing. We are the means by which God discovers God’s own infinite potential. God needs us. We are God’s extensions INTO the world, not just to see what’s there, but to see what can be there.

It’s true that there is nothing new under the sun, but the possibilities are endless.

Posted in Lessons | Leave a comment

The Hard Problem of Consciousness

by Michael Maciel

Scientists are grappling with the phenomenon of consciousness. They call it The Hard Problem. The problem as I see it is in the way it conflates mind and consciousness or, more specifically, intelligence and consciousness. 

Intelligence is everywhere. Anytime you have an energized pattern of interconnected nodes capable of even the slightest degree of organized activity, you have intelligence. 

Heliotropism, for example, is intelligent activity. A sunflower’s head turns to face the sun. Ant colonies build their habitats. Atoms reliably react with each other in specific ways.

But to call intelligence consciousness is a mistake, if for no other reason than the fact that a sunflower cannot say, “Today, I think I’ll let the sun warm the back of my head instead of my face.” It cannot choose what it does or doesn’t do. 

This doesn’t make choice the defining factor, however. A computer makes choices continually, based on its programming. That doesn’t make it conscious. And yet, a computer, in many respects, is way more intelligent than a human being. 

A good example of energized, interconnected nodal networks that display highly organized intelligent activity are the mycelial networks that grow in a forest’s soil. From an article in the BBC’s earth: “We now know that mycorrhizae also connect plants that may be widely separated. Fungus expert Paul Stamets called them “Earth’s natural internet” in a 2008 TED talk. He first had the idea in the 1970s when he was studying fungi using an electron microscope. Stamets noticed similarities between mycelia and ARPANET, the US Department of Defense’s early version of the internet.”

But are they conscious? We don’t know. And yet, there are many people throughout history who have “connected” with different plant species that told them their secrets. Paracelsus, Gregor Mendel, The Findhorn Foundation, Rudolf Steiner, and the South American shamans who say that the knowledge of the unlikely combination of two disparate plants that produce the psychoactive medicine ayahuasca was imparted to them by the plants themselves.

Consciousness, it seems, is varied and differs by degrees.

Science’s difficulties arise from this conflation of intelligence and consciousness, and as the article in the Guardian illustrates, there is enormous dissension in the ranks. They fail to see the difference between an iPhone’s intelligence and the possibility of it becoming conscious. 

They cannot find the source of consciousness in the brain, nor can they come up with a suitable explanation for why it exists in the first place. But this is a little like looking for the Internet inside a computer’s CPU or trying to locate the source of the music inside the transistors of a radio. 

Neither can they reconcile their materialistic view of the universe with the fact that the laws that govern the universe are themselves entirely non-materialistic. No one, for instance, has ever located the number 4. We know that it exists, we just don’t know where it can be found. We can see what it does, just not it itself. As a “thing,” 4 does not exist, and yet it’s everywhere. 

Science doesn’t know what to do with that. But they keep trying to shoehorn it into their materialistic belief system. 

One thing we can say about consciousness is that it has a reflective nature to it. It’s our ability to be aware that we are aware that makes us conscious. This is, perhaps, what Decartes actually meant when he said, “I think, therefore I am.” He was simply pointing out that consciousness cannot be refuted. It is as non-negotiable as pain. Neither can be argued away. 

But even that doesn’t explain how we can emerge from general anesthesia with our sense of self intact. Where’s the continuity? But this too is like asking where the voices in a radio go when we turn it off and why they magically return when we turn it back on. 

The biggest problem with science is its belief that it’s the sole arbiter of knowledge. It religiously disqualifies itself from the domain of meaning and refuses to believe that meaning has any real place in the structure of reality. It admits that meaning has a role in perception, but that’s as far as its indulgence extends. The very idea that it might be foundational to reality itself is simply too much to contemplate. 

There’s a different branch of science that has been around for millennia—spiritual science. It has a vast collection of data collected by practitioners who go by such names as mystics, occultists, seers, and shamans. Their instruments are the normal parts of the brain raised to a higher level of function, turning sense organs into super-sensible faculties. Their methodologies are well-documented, though usually kept secret, imparted only to those who pass rigorous tests of worthiness, those who can be trusted to use their abilities in service to mankind and not for their own selfish purposes. 

Those of us who have been trained in these methodologies know that they work. And we recognize that many, many people are born with their super-sensible faculties already functioning to one degree or another. So part of our job is to assure them that they’re not crazy, that they are functioning the way God made them. These people usually think that they are somehow abnormal, so we assure them that they are, in fact, normal and that it’s everyone else—those who are stuck in sense-consciousness—who are abnormal. And we show them how to use their faculties and how to develop them to their fullest capacity. 

So, The Hard Problem is only hard for those who see a unidimensional world. They fail to understand the difference between intelligence (mind) and consciousness. They are as fundamentalist in their thinking as the Bible thumper who envisions God as a version of himself, only perfect. Until science can entertain the possibility that consciousness is not a product of the brain, that human awareness is not confined to the skull, their attempts to understand consciousness will fail. No amount of fMRI images of monks meditating will tell them anything other than where the blood is flowing. That’s like trying to understand where the music in a radio comes from by measuring which components heat up. 

There IS an inner world. It’s real. And you’ve been aware of it your entire life. The challenge is to explore it. And it helps to listen to those who have gone before you. They are the guides. They’re the ones who know what to do and what not to do. And if you’re one of those who already sees beyond the visible world and are wondering whether you’re normal, be assured that you are. You’re just functioning more efficiently than everyone else. Your job now is to learn how to integrate your experiences into your everyday life. 

Posted in Lessons | 1 Comment

Missing the Mark

by Michael Maciel

The Greek word for planet is “planítis,” which means “wanderer.” The reason they called them that is because they appear to “wander” amongst the fixed stars of the Zodiac.

Each one of us is a planet—we all orbit the Sun. We all work out our karma as we work our way through the myriad complexities of our astrological milieu.

But as every astrologer knows, each encounter is a choice—we can either submit and call it fate, or we can step up and call it destiny. The choice is ours.

And that choice constitutes our aim. Submitting to fate is the failure to aim. How can you hit the target if you’re not even aiming at it? You’re bound to miss the mark.

But aiming (and aiming rightly) is what the mind is for. What is life if not a learning process? And how can we learn if we don’t remember what works and what doesn’t?

That takes thought. It takes weighing the pros and cons of every important action. We work things out in mind before we act on them so that our impulsiveness doesn’t kill us. Trial balloons are expendable. We are not.

Sin, as it turns out, isn’t just “missing the mark.” It’s more like not making the effort to find a proper target. If our aim is to merely seek pleasure and avoid pain, then we’re choosing the path of least resistance. But if it’s soul development we’re after, then we seek the high road, even if it involves pain. 

And that takes thought. Careful, deliberate, well-reasoned thought.

As Buddha pointed out, suffering is caused by ignorance. And what is ignorance but lazy thinking? Or thoughtlessness? Or not wanting to be bothered with nuance?

Aiming takes thought—careful analysis of elevation (trajectory), crosswind (bias), and objective (values). These things don’t happen by accident. They have to be worked out in advance. And that takes planning. And, of course, trial and error. Lots of that!

Posted in Lessons | 1 Comment

Video Lecture: On the Myth of Prometheus, Technology, and Archetypal Fire

Posted in Lessons | Leave a comment

Love Is All You Need (?)

by Michael Maciel

I like the part in 1 Corinthians where Paul says that without love, nothing we do means anything.

He goes on to list certain goal-based achievements:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Now, to me, this says that love is the essential ingredient. It’s like salt in bread. But have you ever tried to make bread without salt? It’s almost inedible.

So, saying that without salt, bread is nothing is not the same as saying we should only eat salt.

Love is the primary ingredient in all of our endeavors, but it’s only one ingredient, not the whole loaf. It qualifies our intention and endorses our achievements. But it should never keep us from having a vision or stand in the way of our efforts to achieve it. Love is in everything (or should be) but it’s not all there is.

In mystical Christianity, we say that the Christ Being—the Logos—has three aspects: Light, Life, and Love.

Light, by its very nature, makes things visible. It also reveals that which was hidden, such as our biases and suppressed memories. In that way, we could call it “truth”—the truth of what is.

Life is the power of God moving through all of creation. It is vitality. It is also the will to live.

And love is the connection that makes it possible for all three aspects to exist. Remove any one of the three, and the whole thing collapses.

Vision, intention connection.

Idea, will, action.

The Thing Itself, how It works, and what It does.

There’s no question that the world is in serious need of a shot in the arm—a hefty dose of love. But the lack of love, which has reached epidemic proportions, could be attributable to a lack of light and life. After all, there’s a reason why the Trinity is symbolized by an equilateral triangle. All three elements, distinct as they are, are nevertheless tied to each other. They are inseparable. Increase the potentiality of one and you increase it in the other two. Decrease it in one (or two) and you weaken them all.

The problem isn’t with love itself but with our tendency to turn it into sentimentality or an affectation. That’s a human error that has nothing to do with love. But that’s why love must be balanced with vision—a goal, a purpose, a raison d’être.”

Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18

But unless love characterizes both the motivation and the intention, the vision will lead to death. Loveless visions always require wholesale slaughter as their means to an end.

Love feels good. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, the feel-good part has to take a backseat to necessity. We have to delay the gratification that love provides in the moment so that it can survive into the future.

And, it’s important to remember that love without light can quickly become cruel. It will ruthlessly defend its own. Because when there is no light, your own is all you can see. In the absence of light, love’s diameter grows increasingly smaller until it has nothing left to devour but itself.

So, that’s the challenge for love’s champions—to make the diameter of their love as wide as possible, to increase it until it encompasses everyone, not just their own.

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

Posted in Lessons | Leave a comment