An open forum for general discussions of a spiritual nature where guests and readers entertain the teachings of The Urantia Book.
Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:25 am +0000
I don't know about you but I find this inference from living life and reading its books especially the Urantia Book and the Bible that we are to be "godlike" rather mysterious. Almost an unbelievable challenge.
1:0.3 (21.3) From the Universal Father who inhabits eternity there has gone forth the supreme mandate, “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect.”
Brotherhood is supremely comforting but fatherhood can be daunting in its scope, responsibility and liberation from self.
Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:28 am +0000
Even Jesus didn't expect us to suddenly develop fatherly love, as stated in 140:5:3. He hoped that we would begin the process of learning fatherly love by following his four faith attitudes, which is another way of saying, it's more about the how and the why. We're supposed to adjust our thinking in order to foster these attitudes toward living. Accomplishing this is a prelude to learning father love, which is actually a fruit of soul growth.
Happy are the poor in spirit— the humble.
Happy are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
All of these faith attitudes will result in those spiritual habits of thinking mentioned in Paper 100. They will also encourage movement through the psychic circles of personality perfection. After all, fatherly love is a more perfect love and it requires a more perfect character to illustrate it.
Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:39 am +0000
This "fathering" thing is amazing! This being godlike is being "fatherlike". It is above everything. Show me the path to the heights of the mountains O'Lord . . .
56:10.15 (647.6) Even truth, beauty, and goodness — man’s intellectual approach to the universe of mind, matter, and spirit — must be combined into one unified concept of a divine and supreme ideal. As mortal personality unifies the human experience with matter, mind, and spirit, so does this divine and supreme ideal become power-unified in Supremacy and then personalized as a God of fatherly love.
Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:45 am +0000
Yeah, the quote says that ideals become power-unified and personalized. I think that is what they mean by power-personality synthesis of the Supreme. It's a phrase that baffled me for a while until I realized that our Master Michael is a revelation of the final power-personality focalization of the time-space attributes of God, which includes fatherly love. Everything we are attempting to unify with the free-will power of our personalities, he has already done. He is the Way to that goal, which is the evolution of the Supreme.
That more or less simplifies it for me. Since the Adjuster is a pre-personality, and thus harder to know as a personality, I latch onto the only spiritual personality I can easily recognize and intimately know, Michael of Nebadon, Jesus, the Spirit of Truth. I don't think you can go too far wrong if you hold onto him as though your life depended on it. It's the whole living vine thing. (I can never say that without thinking of the movie Jumanji, but I digress, sorry).
Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:32 am +0000
I look forward to quil's return to the discussion. In the mean time, I am very pleased we have expanded the "attainment" issue to focus more specifically on that which can be attained in this life. The prior posts here clearly show that God, as our TA, can be attained far sooner than the Paradise attainment and that prior attainment is a required prior attainment to that which comes in Paradise. So, the topic of what strategies and priorities serve both of these "attainments" in the here and now is very topical....to me.
I hope we have illuminated a very productive form of study in Part IV of the Papers.....the demonstrated response abilities of the Master in so many, many circumstances and situations....every day ones that all of us face on a daily basis. From his own childhood to grief and tragedy and the demands put upon a young man and the difficulties and apparent unfairness of economic and political situations of great insecurity, turmoil, uncertainty, failure, disappointment, setback, and endless change.
Therein lies so many great and important lessons to consider....not what He did but why and how. And of course, what He said in love for all creatures high and low. The key to understanding these lessons is well illustrated in Papers 100-112.
Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:28 am +0000
The simple difference between brotherly and fatherly love:
In brotherhood, brothers often tend to disagree, and argue.
With fatherhood, fathers don't need to disagree, so there's never an argument.
In brotherhood, brothers will sometimes go beyond arguing to violence, even to kill.
With fatherhood, in order to protect or save a child, fathers will sometimes lay down their lives.
Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:16 pm +0000
Some text on love and its source and how to begin to identify that motive which should come to underlay our intentions in every circumstance and situation. How grand is our view of the universes? Do we reality-ize our place within that perspective? Do we feel that we belong to something noble and purposeful? If all these are so, then our life should change, profoundly so, and every new day is another opportunity to help in the work of the kingdom - willingly, eagerly, gladly, exuberantly, and sincerely.
The keys to the kingdom are sincerity, sincerity, and more sincerity....all beings have these keys.
Definition: freedom from deceit, hypocrisy, or duplicity; probity in intention or in communicating; earnestness.
2:5.6 (39.5) How unreasonable that you should not worship God because the limitations of human nature and the handicaps of your material creation make it impossible for you to see him. Between you and God there is a tremendous distance (physical space) to be traversed. There likewise exists a great gulf of spiritual differential which must be bridged; but notwithstanding all that physically and spiritually separates you from the Paradise personal presence of God, stop and ponder the solemn fact that God lives within you;
he has in his own way already bridged the gulf. He has sent of himself, his spirit, to live in you and to toil with you as you pursue your eternal universe career.
2:5.7 (39.6) I find it easy and pleasant to worship one who is so great and at the same time so affectionately devoted to the uplifting ministry of his lowly creatures. I naturally love one who is so powerful in creation and in the control thereof, and yet who is so perfect in goodness and so faithful in the loving-kindness which constantly overshadows us
. I think I would love God just as much if he were not so great and powerful, as long as he is so good and merciful. We all love the Father more because of his nature than in recognition of his amazing attributes.
2:5.8 (39.7) When I observe the Creator Sons and their subordinate administrators struggling so valiantly with the manifold difficulties of time inherent in the evolution of the universes of space, I discover that I bear these lesser rulers of the universes a great and profound affection. After all, I think we all, including the mortals of the realms, love the Universal Father and all other beings, divine or human, because we discern that these personalities truly love us. The experience of loving is very much a direct response to the experience of being loved
. Knowing that God loves me, I should continue to love him supremely, even though he were divested of all his attributes of supremacy, ultimacy, and absoluteness.
2:5.9 (40.1) The Father’s love follows us now and throughout the endless circle of the eternal ages. As you ponder the loving nature of God, there is only one reasonable and natural personality reaction
thereto: You will increasingly love your Maker; you will yield to God an affection analogous to that given by a child to an earthly parent; for, as a father, a real father, a true father, loves his children, so the Universal Father loves and forever seeks the welfare of his created sons and daughters.
2:5.10 (40.2) But the love of God is an intelligent and farseeing parental affection. The divine love functions in unified association with divine wisdom and all other infinite characteristics of the perfect nature of the Universal Father. God is love
, but love is not God. The greatest manifestation of the divine love for mortal beings is observed in the bestowal of the Thought Adjusters, but your greatest revelation of the Father’s love is seen in the bestowal life of his Son Michael as he lived on earth the ideal spiritual life. It is the indwelling Adjuster who individualizes the love of God to each human soul.
2:5.11 (40.3) At times I am almost pained to be compelled to portray the divine affection of the heavenly Father for his universe children by the employment of the human word symbol love. This term, even though it does connote man’s highest concept of the mortal relations of respect and devotion, is so frequently designative of so much of human relationship that is wholly ignoble and utterly unfit to be known by any word which is also used to indicate the matchless affection of the living God for his universe creatures! How unfortunate that I cannot make use of some supernal and exclusive term which would convey to the mind of man the true nature and exquisitely beautiful significance of the divine affection of the Paradise Father.
2:5.12 (40.4) When man loses sight of the love of a personal God, the kingdom of God becomes merely the kingdom of good. Notwithstanding the infinite unity of the divine nature, love is the dominant characteristic of all God’s personal dealings with his creatures.
Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:21 am +0000
Good Sunday morning to all of you!
The day for Love and the Attainment.
2:5.10 (40.2) God is love, but love is not God.
2:5.11 (40.3) How unfortunate that I cannot make use of some supernal and exclusive term [other than the word love] which would convey to the mind of man the true nature and exquisitely beautiful significance of the divine affection of the Paradise Father.
Fatherly and Brotherly Love
140:5.1 (1573.3) From the Sermon on the Mount to the discourse of the Last Supper, Jesus taught his followers to manifest fatherly love rather than brotherly love. Brotherly love would love your neighbor as you love yourself, and that would be adequate fulfillment of the “golden rule.” But fatherly affection would require that you should love your fellow mortals as Jesus loves you.
140:5.2 (1573.4) Jesus loves mankind with a dual affection. He lived on earth as a twofold personality — human and divine. As the Son of God he loves man with a fatherly love — he is man’s Creator, his universe Father. As the Son of Man, Jesus loves mortals as a brother — he was truly a man among men.
140:5.3 (1573.5) Jesus did not expect his followers to achieve an impossible manifestation of brotherly love, but he did expect them to so strive to be like God — to be perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect — that they could begin to look upon man as God looks upon his creatures and therefore could begin to love men as God loves them — to show forth the beginnings of a fatherly affection. In the course of these exhortations to the twelve apostles, Jesus sought to reveal this new concept of fatherly love as it is related to certain emotional attitudes concerned in making numerous environmental social adjustments.
140:5.4 (1573.6) The Master introduced this momentous discourse by calling attention to four faith attitudes as the prelude to the subsequent portrayal of his four transcendent and supreme reactions of fatherly love in contrast to the limitations of mere brotherly love.
140:5.5 (1573.7) He first talked about those who were poor in spirit, hungered after righteousness, endured meekness, and who were pure in heart. Such spirit-discerning mortals could be expected to attain such levels of divine selflessness as to be able to attempt the amazing exercise of fatherly affection; that even as mourners they would be empowered to show mercy, promote peace, and endure persecutions, and throughout all of these trying situations to love even unlovely mankind with a fatherly love. A father’s affection can attain levels of devotion that immeasurably transcend a brother’s affection.
140:5.6 (1573.8] The faith and the love of these beatitudes strengthen moral character and create happiness. Fear and anger weaken character and destroy happiness. This momentous sermon started out upon the note of happiness.
140:5.7 (1573.9) 1. “Happy are the poor in spirit — the humble.” To a child, happiness is the satisfaction of immediate pleasure craving. The adult is willing to sow seeds of self-denial in order to reap subsequent harvests of augmented happiness. In Jesus’ times and since, happiness has all too often been associated with the idea of the possession of wealth. In the story of the Pharisee and the publican praying in the temple, the one felt rich in spirit — egotistical; the other felt “poor in spirit” — humble. One was self-sufficient; the other was teachable and truth-seeking. The poor in spirit seek for goals of spiritual wealth — for God. And such seekers after truth do not have to wait for rewards in a distant future; they are rewarded now. They find the kingdom of heaven within their own hearts, and they experience such happiness now.
140:5.8 (1574.1) 2. “Happy are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Only those who feel poor in spirit will ever hunger for righteousness. Only the humble seek for divine strength and crave spiritual power. But it is most dangerous to knowingly engage in spiritual fasting in order to improve one’s appetite for spiritual endowments. Physical fasting becomes dangerous after four or five days; one is apt to lose all desire for food. Prolonged fasting, either physical or spiritual, tends to destroy hunger.
140:5.9 (1574.2) Experiential righteousness is a pleasure, not a duty. Jesus’ righteousness is a dynamic love — fatherly-brotherly affection. It is not the negative or thou-shalt-not type of righteousness. How could one ever hunger for something negative — something “not to do”?
140:5.10 (1574.3) It is not so easy to teach a child mind these first two of the beatitudes, but the mature mind should grasp their significance.
140:5.11 (1574.4) 3. “Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Genuine meekness has no relation to fear. It is rather an attitude of man co-operating with God — “Your will be done.” It embraces patience and forbearance and is motivated by an unshakable faith in a lawful and friendly universe. It masters all temptations to rebel against the divine leading. Jesus was the ideal meek man of Urantia, and he inherited a vast universe.
140:5.12 (1574.5) 4. “Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Spiritual purity is not a negative quality, except that it does lack suspicion and revenge. In discussing purity, Jesus did not intend to deal exclusively with human sex attitudes. He referred more to that faith which man should have in his fellow man; that faith which a parent has in his child, and which enables him to love his fellows even as a father would love them. A father’s love need not pamper, and it does not condone evil, but it is always anticynical. Fatherly love has singleness of purpose, and it always looks for the best in man; that is the attitude of a true parent.
140:5.13 (1574.6) To see God — by faith — means to acquire true spiritual insight. And spiritual insight enhances Adjuster guidance, and these in the end augment God-consciousness. And when you know the Father, you are confirmed in the assurance of divine sonship, and you can increasingly love each of your brothers in the flesh, not only as a brother — with brotherly love — but also as a father — with fatherly affection.
140:5.14 (1574.7) It is easy to teach this admonition even to a child. Children are naturally trustful, and parents should see to it that they do not lose that simple faith. In dealing with children, avoid all deception and refrain from suggesting suspicion. Wisely help them to choose their heroes and select their lifework.
140:5.15 (1574.8] And then Jesus went on to instruct his followers in the realization of the chief purpose of all human struggling — perfection — even divine attainment. Always he admonished them: “Be you perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” He did not exhort the twelve to love their neighbors as they loved themselves. That would have been a worthy achievement; it would have indicated the achievement of brotherly love. He rather admonished his apostles to love men as he had loved them — to love with a fatherly as well as a brotherly affection. And he illustrated this by pointing out four supreme reactions of fatherly love:
140:5.16 (1575.1) 1. “Happy are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” So-called common sense or the best of logic would never suggest that happiness could be derived from mourning. But Jesus did not refer to outward or ostentatious mourning. He alluded to an emotional attitude of tenderheartedness. It is a great error to teach boys and young men that it is unmanly to show tenderness or otherwise to give evidence of emotional feeling or physical suffering. Sympathy is a worthy attribute of the male as well as the female. It is not necessary to be calloused in order to be manly. This is the wrong way to create courageous men. The world’s great men have not been afraid to mourn. Moses, the mourner, was a greater man than either Samson or Goliath. Moses was a superb leader, but he was also a man of meekness. Being sensitive and responsive to human need creates genuine and lasting happiness, while such kindly attitudes safeguard the soul from the destructive influences of anger, hate, and suspicion.
140:5.17 (1575.2) 2. “Happy are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Mercy here denotes the height and depth and breadth of the truest friendship — loving-kindness. Mercy sometimes may be passive, but here it is active and dynamic — supreme fatherliness. A loving parent experiences little difficulty in forgiving his child, even many times. And in an unspoiled child the urge to relieve suffering is natural. Children are normally kind and sympathetic when old enough to appreciate actual conditions.
140:5.18 (1575.3) 3. “Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” Jesus’ hearers were longing for military deliverance, not for peacemakers. But Jesus’ peace is not of the pacific and negative kind. In the face of trials and persecutions he said, “My peace I leave with you.” “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” This is the peace that prevents ruinous conflicts. Personal peace integrates personality. Social peace prevents fear, greed, and anger. Political peace prevents race antagonisms, national suspicions, and war. Peacemaking is the cure of distrust and suspicion.
140:5.19 (1575.4) Children can easily be taught to function as peacemakers. They enjoy team activities; they like to play together. Said the Master at another time: “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life shall find it.”
140:5.20 (1575.5) 4. “Happy are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.”
140:5.21 (1575.6) So often persecution does follow peace. But young people and brave adults never shun difficulty or danger. “Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends.” And a fatherly love can freely do all these things — things which brotherly love can hardly encompass. And progress has always been the final harvest of persecution.
140:5.22 (1575.7) Children always respond to the challenge of courage. Youth is ever willing to “take a dare.” And every child should early learn to sacrifice.
140:5.23 (1575.8] And so it is revealed that the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount are based on faith and love and not on law — ethics and duty.
140:5.24 (1575.9) Fatherly love delights in returning good for evil — doing good in retaliation for injustice.
So what is the highest form of "love"?
If we're really interested in changing the world, are we doing enough to implement Jesus' "new concept of fatherly love"?
Isn't simplicity always at the core of the truth?
"When all is said and done, the Father idea is still the highest human concept of God."
Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:53 am +0000
As Rexford stated already, love is a complex concept with many levels of perception and application. I've long ago determined that self forgetting love is God's "secret sauce" that spiritizes those who give such love to another, any other(s). And such love is self justifying and empowering and enlightening regardless of how little belief, faith, knowledge, wisdom, or religiosity the individual may have. Love works...on every mind...or so there exists such potential for those who find cause to love another where the self is not served by such a feeling and expression or not in any empirical or material sense anyway.
I think our children may be the first to have led or made an individual sacrifice self for the protection or benefit of another - the paternal love for offspring. That love most naturally is first experienced in-family and those who do not experience this primary or primal love force will often suffer for this lack of love experience until they discover it for themselves as adults....if they do so. The family experience of loyalty and self sacrifice and the love of a nurturing mother and protective father, both engaged in teaching, by example, their little ones about how to take care of one another in this fundamental social unit is a key element to cultural/social progress. Love heals and leads and becomes a force for personal spiritization when the circuitry of love is connected by its giving to others. There are so many direct benefits to the self by our connection to this circuit of love force that may lead a perceptive mind into the different levels of love described in the golden rule discourse.
Love trumps knowledge and belief.....self forgetting love is itself God encircuited. And it is so whether we know it or believe it or acknowledge it. Any belief or knowledge applied without love is self canceling and impotent to provide any true progress in the Spirit. So love without any other truth or fact has great power. Love with truth and fact is too powerful to even understand...for me. It is the force that rules the universe of universes....all truth is related to love and all fact springs from the love of God. The reality of the universes is predicated on love.
As to definition: I think true love, pure love is that feeling of care, affection, service, sacrifice, patience, generosity, kindness, and loyalty that is exemplified by "family" rather than by romance, lust, obsession, adoration, or any feeling which is centered on self or self satisfaction/yearning for personal gain of any kind. The love of and in family is precisely a reflection of the universal family where all are equally important to all others and none is more entitled than any other. And such love results in all members acting for the best interests of all others. This is the way of love. Or so I believe from the words within the Papers.
Love is how we attain true identity (who we are and where we belong), how we progress through the circles to attain fusion, and how we will become educated through time and space to Paradise where we attain the Father in fullness to come. Nothing is real without love at its center....including the mortal mind itself. The more love, the more real....the less love, the less real. Every choice made without love as its motive and intent is in error and nothing real or enduring will result by any such free will choice or thought. Or so I think.
Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:51 am +0000
(51.12) 3:5.13 8. Is unselfishness — the spirit of self-forgetfulness — desirable? Then must mortal man live face to face with the incessant clamoring of an inescapable self for recognition and honor. Man could not dynamically choose the divine life if there were no self-life to forsake. Man could never lay saving hold on righteousness if there were no potential evil to exalt and differentiate the good by contrast.
(1331.1) 120:4.1 And so certain unworthy children of Michael, who had accused their Creator-father of selfishly seeking rulership and indulged the insinuation that the Creator Son was arbitrarily and autocratically upheld in power by virtue of the unreasoning loyalty of a deluded universe of subservient creatures, were to be silenced forever and left confounded and disillusioned by the life of self-forgetful service which the Son of God now entered upon as the Son of Man — all the while subject to “the will of the Paradise Father.”
(1609.3) 143:2.2 At one of the evening conferences, Andrew asked Jesus: “Master, are we to practice self-denial as John taught us, or are we to strive for the self-control of your teaching? Wherein does your teaching differ from that of John?” Jesus answered: “John indeed taught you the way of righteousness in accordance with the light and laws of his fathers, and that was the religion of self-examination and self-denial. But I come with a new message of self-forgetfulness and self-control. I show to you the way of life as revealed to me by my Father in heaven.
(1609.4) 143:2.3 “Verily, verily, I say to you, he who rules his own self is greater than he who captures a city. Self-mastery is the measure of man’s moral nature and the indicator of his spiritual development. In the old order you fasted and prayed; as the new creature of the rebirth of the spirit, you are taught to believe and rejoice. In the Father’s kingdom you are to become new creatures; old things are to pass away; behold I show you how all things are to become new. And by your love for one another you are to convince the world that you have passed from bondage to liberty, from death into life everlasting.
(1951.1) 180:5.12 And all this clearly indicates the difference between the old religion and the new. The old religion taught self-sacrifice; the new religion teaches only self-forgetfulness, enhanced self-realization in conjoined social service and universe comprehension. The old religion was motivated by fearconsciousness; the new gospel of the kingdom is dominated by truth-conviction, the spirit of eternal and universal truth. And no amount of piety or creedal loyalty can compensate for the absence in the life experience of kingdom believers of that spontaneous, generous, and sincere friendliness which characterizes the spirit-born sons of the living God. Neither tradition nor a ceremonial system of formal worship can atone for the lack of genuine compassion for one’s fellows.
(2088.3) 196:0.8 The faith of Jesus visualized all spirit values as being found in the kingdom of God; therefore he said, “Seek first the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus saw in the advanced and ideal fellowship of the kingdom the achievement and fulfillment of the “will of God.” The very heart of the prayer which he taught his disciples was, “Your kingdom come; your will be done.” Having thus conceived of the kingdom as comprising the will of God, he devoted himself to the cause of its realization with amazing self-forgetfulness and unbounded enthusiasm. But in all his intense mission and throughout his extraordinary life there never appeared the fury of the fanatic nor the superficial frothiness of the religious egotist.
(2088.4) 196:0.9 The Master’s entire life was consistently conditioned by this living faith, this sublime religious experience. This spiritual attitude wholly dominated his thinking and feeling, his believing and praying, his teaching and preaching. This personal faith of a son in the certainty and security of the guidance and protection of the heavenly Father imparted to his unique life a profound endowment of spiritual reality. And yet, despite this very deep consciousness of close relationship with divinity, this Galilean, God’s Galilean, when addressed as Good Teacher, instantly replied, “Why do you call me good?” When we stand confronted by such splendid self-forgetfulness, we begin to understand how the Universal Father found it possible so fully to manifest himself to him and reveal himself through him to the mortals of the realms.
Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:05 pm +0000
Love is turning the other cheek.
Perfection lies in the mastering of this simple gesture.
Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:20 pm +0000
(63.7) 5:1.9 The fact that vast time is involved in the attainment of God makes the presence and personality of the Infinite none the less real. Your ascension is a part of the circuit of the seven superuniverses, and though you swing around it countless times, you may expect, in spirit and in status, to be ever swinging inward. You can depend upon being translated from sphere to sphere, from the outer circuits ever nearer the inner center, and some day, doubt not, you shall stand in the divine and central presence and see him, figuratively speaking, face to face. It is a question of the attainment of actual and literal spiritual levels; and these spiritual levels are attainable by any being who has been indwelt by a Mystery Monitor, and who has subsequently eternally fused with that Thought Adjuster.
(64.1) 5:1.10 The Father is not in spiritual hiding, but so many of his creatures have hidden themselves away in the mists of their own willful decisions and for the time being have separated themselves from the communion of his spirit and the spirit of his Son by the choosing of their own perverse ways and by the indulgence of the self-assertiveness of their intolerant minds and unspiritual natures.
(64.2) 5:1.11 Mortal man may draw near God and may repeatedly forsake the divine will so long as the power of choice remains. Man’s final doom is not sealed until he has lost the power to choose the Father’s will. There is never a closure of the Father’s heart to the need and the petition of his children. Only do his offspring close their hearts forever to the Father’s drawing power when they finally and forever lose the desire to do his divine will — to know him and to be like him. Likewise is man’s eternal destiny assured when Adjuster fusion proclaims to the universe that such an ascender has made the final and irrevocable choice to live the Father’s will.
[. . .] “. . . you didn’t come here to make the choice. You’ve already made it. You’re here to understand why you made it.” [. . .]
Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:55 pm +0000
MannyC wrote:Love is turning the other cheek.
Perfection lies in the mastering of this simple gesture.
Actually....there's nothing "simple" about it....and it's not a "gesture" either. That's the passive and ineffective form as we are taught in text. Turning the other cheek is a commandment to ACT in RESPONSE to overwhelm evil with goodness. Not so simple.
159:5.9 (1770.1) Jesus did not hesitate to appropriate the better half of a Scripture while he repudiated the lesser portion. His great exhortation, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” he took from the Scripture which reads: “You shall not take vengeance against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus appropriated the positive portion of this Scripture while rejecting the negative part. He even opposed negative or purely passive nonresistance. Said he: “When an enemy smites you on one cheek, do not stand there dumb and passive
but in positive attitude turn the other; that is, do the best thing possible actively
to lead your brother in error away from the evil paths into the better ways of righteous living.” Jesus required his followers to react positively and aggressively to every life situation. The turning of the other cheek, or whatever act that may typify, demands initiative, necessitates vigorous, active, and courageous expression of the believer’s personality.
159:5.10 (1770.2) Jesus did not advocate the practice of negative submission to the indignities of those who might purposely seek to impose upon the practitioners of nonresistance to evil, but rather that his followers should be wise and alert in the quick and positive reaction of good to evil to the end that they might effectively overcome evil with good.
Forget not, the truly good is invariably more powerful than the most malignant evil. The Master taught a positive standard of righteousness: “Whosoever wishes to be my disciple, let him disregard himself and take up the full measure of his responsibilities daily to follow me.” And he so lived himself in that “he went about doing good.” And this aspect of the gospel was well illustrated by many parables which he later spoke to his followers. He never exhorted his followers patiently to bear their obligations but rather with energy and enthusiasm to live up to the full measure of their human responsibilities and divine privileges in the kingdom of God.
159:5.11 (1770.3) When Jesus instructed his apostles that they should, when one unjustly took away the coat, offer the other garment, he referred not so much to a literal second coat as to the idea of doing something positive to save the wrongdoer in the place of the olden advice to retaliate — “an eye for an eye” and so on. Jesus abhorred the idea either of retaliation or of becoming just a passive sufferer or victim of injustice. On this occasion he taught them the three ways of contending with, and resisting, evil:
159:5.12 (1770.4) 1. To return evil for evil — the positive but unrighteous method.
159:5.13 (1770.5) 2. To suffer evil without complaint and without resistance — the purely negative method.
159:5.14 (1770.6) 3. To return good for evil, to assert the will so as to become master of the situation, to overcome evil with good — the positive and righteous method.
As to "attainment", one might say that everything worthy of attainment may only be attained by decisions and actions based on the love of God and/or His children, and everything pursued or gained without a motive of love is only temporal in substance and is without any true meaning or any eternal value.
Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:34 pm +0000
2:5.3 (39.2) love is by nature a fatherly affection
2:6.5 (41.3) love is a father’s attitude.
142:1.4 (1596.6) Love is the rule of living within the kingdom
188:5.2 (2018.1) Love is truly contagious and eternally creative.
177:2.3 (1922.1) love is admonished by wisdom and guided by intelligence.
174:1.5 (1898.5) Love is the outworking of the divine and inner urge of life.
5:4.6 (67.4) love is all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness.
155:5.14 (1730.2) love is the very spirit of the religion we proclaim.
56:10.20 (648.3) love is the greatest thing in the universe
56:10.21 (648.4) Love is the desire to do good to others.
195:5.14 (2076.5) love is the true guide to real insight.
12:9.2 (141.3) Love is the secret of beneficial association between personalities.
196:3.29 (2096.5) Love is the highest motivation which man may utilize in his universe ascent.
2:5.12 (40.4) love is the dominant characteristic of all God’s personal dealings with his creatures.
143:1.4 (1608.1) Love is the greatest of all spirit realities. Truth is a liberating revelation, but love is the supreme relationship.
192:2.1 (2047.5) love is the greatest thing in the world. Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful.
156:5.11 (1739.6) You are destined to live a narrow and mean life if you learn to love only those who love you. Human love may indeed be reciprocal, but divine love is outgoing in all its satisfaction-seeking. The less of love in any creature’s nature, the greater the love need, and the more does divine love seek to satisfy such need. Love is never self-seeking, and it cannot be self-bestowed.
117:6.10 (1289.3) All true love is from God, and man receives the divine affection as he himself bestows this love upon his fellows. Love is dynamic. It can never be captured; it is alive, free, thrilling, and always moving. Man can never take the love of the Father and imprison it within his heart. The Father’s love can become real to mortal man only by passing through that man’s personality as he in turn bestows this love upon his fellows. The great circuit of love is from the Father, through sons to brothers, and hence to the Supreme. The love of the Father appears in the mortal personality by the ministry of the indwelling Adjuster. Such a God-knowing son reveals this love to his universe brethren, and this fraternal affection is the essence of the love of the Supreme.
100:4.6 (1098.3) You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor’s motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man.
Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:04 am +0000
fanofVan wrote:Actually....there's nothing "simple" about it....and it's not a "gesture" either. That's the passive and ineffective form as we are taught in text. Turning the other cheek is a commandment to ACT in RESPONSE to overwhelm evil with goodness. Not so simple.
I suppose Brad, that you took my comment as an attack on your assertion that love is complex. Turning the other cheek is simple yet hard.
You say that it is a passive gesture and then you say that turning the other cheek is a commandment to ACT.
Is it active or passive? Is it one, or is it the other, or is it both?
BTW, thank you nod for the research on love. But you forgot the one that says that love is never having to say you are sorry. Jesus never apologized.
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