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Living the Love That Jesus Taught

Posted by Roberta Grimes • November 21, 2020 • 33 Comments
Afterlife Research, Jesus, The Source, The Teachings of Jesus

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear.
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.
– Joseph M. Scriven (1819-1886), from “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” (1855)

 Without the work of researchers who have studied the afterlife and the greater reality, we still would know almost nothing about what it was that Jesus actually taught. For nearly two millennia, Christians have believed that Jesus was born to be a sacrifice. God was never going to forgive us, so Jesus took it upon Himself to claim all our evil deeds as His own and then die horribly in our stead. So then God would finally forgive us. Oh, a few Gospel bits would be read in church, but generally they were disconnected platitudes about love and forgiveness. And the way the churches long have taught it, loving and forgiving were only feel-good ideas that Jesus shared with us before going to the cross to perform His mission of redeeming us from God’s judgment. It was the Lord’s sacrificial death that was important, even in Protestant churches! In my childhood church, the crucifix was blessedly shorn of the body of Jesus, but still that cross was His central symbol. An instrument of torture and horrific death. A constant guilt-filled reminder of what He had to endure because of our own failings. We even were happy to wear silver crucifixes on silver chains around our necks.

It was only in my early teens, when I began to read the entire Bible, that I realized Jesus had a lot more to say! Soon I was looking forward to the Gospels as I slogged through the Books of Zechariah and Malachi, always feeling at the end of Malachi that I had abruptly landed in the modern day. I would sit at the feet of Jesus, reading favorite passages over and over and reveling in seeing ever deeper meanings. I kept up this nightly Bible-reading habit into my early fifties, at which point I had done enough afterlife research to feel certain that all the Christian teachings were absolutely, stone-cold wrong. So then I had my well-deserved crisis of faith, and I put aside both the Bible and the afterlife evidence for the next two years.

When I finally picked up my Bible again and read just the Gospels, I realized that the teachings of Jesus and the afterlife evidence completely agree. That amazing rainy afternoon was the greatest moment of my life! Jesus knew things two thousand years ago that we could not have corroborated until the twentieth century. And it seems that no one else in history has made and gone public with this discovery. How astonishing is that? The point is that these are not coincidences. They are instead gigantic revelations. For Jesus to have spoken as He did, He has to have known while He lived on earth what afterlife researchers are only now learning.

This really does transform our ability to understand Jesus. For one example, I have found no Christian clergyman who ever has puzzled out what Jesus means when He refers to the kingdom of God (or the kingdom of heaven, which seems to mean the same thing). Jesus uses one term or the other some eighty times through all four Gospels, so arguably unless we know what those terms mean to Him, we cannot understand the Lord’s actual mission. And thanks to insights gleaned when we read the Gospels in conjunction with the afterlife evidence, we are confident now that the Lord’s primary mission was to teach us how to raise our personal consciousness vibrations away from fear and toward the perfect love of the Godhead. When we have reached the spiritual development of what we call the sixth level of the afterlife, the level just below the Source, then we will personally have achieved the kingdom of God. And when we have established that level of spiritual development in a significant portion of living humanity, then we will have accomplished the Lord’s ultimate goal of bringing the kingdom of God on earth.

The modern Christian whose work I most admire is Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest and founder of The Center for Action & Contemplation In Albuquerque, New Mexico. Especially if you have a Catholic background, I urge you to sign up for the daily meditations in which Father Rohr and his team do a beautiful job of bringing Christianity into the modern age. This is from their daily meditation for November 18th:

The Kingdom of Heaven is really a metaphor for a state of consciousness; it is not a place you go to, but a place you come from. It is a whole new way of looking at the world, a transformed awareness that literally turns this world into a different place. . . The hallmark of this awareness is that it sees no separation—not between God and humans, not between humans and other humans. And these are indeed Jesus’s two core teachings, underlying everything he says and does. . . .

“When Jesus talks about this Oneness . . . . what he more has in mind is a complete, mutual indwelling: I am in God, God is in you, you are in God, we are in each other. His most beautiful symbol for this is in the teaching in John 15 where he says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Abide in me as I in you” [see John 15:4–5]. A few verses later he says, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love” [John 15:9]. . . . There is no separation between humans and God because of this mutual interabiding which expresses the indivisible reality of divine love. . . .

“No separation between human and human is an equally powerful notion—and equally challenging. One of the most familiar of Jesus’s teachings is “Love your neighbor as yourself” [Matthew 22:39] . . . as a continuation of your very own being. It’s a complete seeing that your neighbor is you. There are not two individuals out there . . . there are simply two cells of the one great Life.”

As is usual with what we read from Father Rohr’s team, all of this is true. And here they come so close! But because they cannot know what we have learned in doing afterlife research, it seems just aspirational, doesn’t it? Father Rohr clearly sees the goal! You want to say to him, “Great insights, sir! Now, how do we get there?”

What Father Rohr and his team don’t realize is that Jesus told us how to get there. And He made it so easy! But we can only make use of His teachings as a program for rapid spiritual growth if we can (a) see that His teachings are more than platitudes, and (b) also know enough about how consciousness and the greater reality work to be able to apply the Lord’s teachings productively to our daily lives.

Jesus sums up the ultimate goal of His teachings for all of humankind in His Lord’s Prayer. There He says, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven(MT 6:10). He flat-out tells us that we are to bring the spiritual development of the highest levels of the afterlife to those who are in bodies on earth. And He insists that this elevation of each human mind happens internally! He says, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (LK 17:20-21). Thanks to our study of consciousness as it relates to the afterlife evidence, we now know that Jesus is exactly right. And fortunately, since we are all part of one Mind, we can gladly estimate that the elevation of as little as ten percent of the earth’s population to that highest level of spiritual development will be sufficient to begin the advent of the kingdom of God over all the earth!

It is impossible to achieve the Lord’s goal for humankind as it is so well stated by Father Rohr unless we can effect the spiritual transformation on earth that Jesus taught us to pray for. No amount of trying really hard to love your neighbor as yourself (LK 10:27) can produce much spiritual change! But Jesus has the answer for this as well. The key to our learning how to love in the transformational way that God wants us to love is for us to learn prevenient forgiveness. And our afterlife-based understanding of human consciousness shows us why this is true!

We enter these bodies with awareness of only a limited subset of our vast, eternal minds. We temporarily pack away the rest. And importantly, the subset that we use while in bodies is designed for rapid spiritual growth: these earth-minds are lazy, governed by habit, and easily re-programmed. And every wrong that we ever might need to forgive is something that we ourselves have taught our minds is a personal wrong to be fought. We aren’t born knowing that our stuff is our stuff, or that people are attacking us when they cut us off in traffic; but as we grow up, our ego-based self-protectiveness instills into our minds these certainties. We have created our own mistaken habits of thought! And forgiving each perceived “wrong” only after it happens is simply too stressful and too much work. BUT. If we can make our minds’ reactions the whole problem, and we at once perform some boring ritual that distracts our minds whenever they present us with a wrong that would otherwise need to be forgiven, we find that within weeks our lazy minds will re-program themselves and just stop bothering. Then we no longer care if someone steals from us or nearly forces us off the road. And as we get past even the need to forgive, our natural love and affinity for our neighbor starts on its own to bud and blossom. And then it abundantly thrives!

Two decades have passed since I first realized that the Gospel words of Jesus prove He is probably an aspect of the genuine Godhead. I have spent the intervening time in researching, teaching, and trying to ever better understand and use the Gospel teachings in the ways that Jesus wants us to use them. At first, I was my own guinea pig. And with prompting from Thomas, I had amazing results! So then I wrote a book about what I had been learning in order to let others try it out. What I hear from readers suggests that they are having similar results; but the key to making this program work well is probably going to be for groups of seekers to help and encourage one another. And that will come soon. For now, though, let’s talk about how we can better apply to our daily lives the deeply transformative love that God wants all of us to be learning now. And let’s begin next week with what might be our greatest human challenge….

Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
– Joseph M. Scriven (1819-1886), from “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” (1855)

 

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Roberta Grimes

Roberta Grimes is an internationally recognized expert on death and the afterlife. Learn More

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33 thoughts on “Living the Love That Jesus Taught

  1. Hi Roberta! Hi everybody! This is indeed astonishing insight. I particularly love the quotes from Father Rohr and the important point about metaphors.

    I will probably have more to say later on. Meanwhile, I will add that Roberta’s book, cited above, is more than worth reading. Call this another shameless plug. Happy Sunday!

    1. Dear Mike, Thank you for your kindly thoughts! I’m sorry I didn’t manage to respond on Sunday, but I was with family and taking a mental-health break. I have been surprised, frankly, to find that The Fun of Growing Forever has been so well received, when I thought at the time that it was premature but Thomas wanted to rush it into print. On the other hand, he has made me sit on The Fun of Loving Jesus for two years, and it is only now that I understand why!

  2. Thank you. Over the years I have followed your progress and have often found succor in your growth and shared understanding. The light you share has helped my lost personal growth and disenchantment. I hoped to make a difference in the church and did manage to share the greater truths about Jesus you share so beautifully for a while. I didn’t have the faith to move a mountain or the energy to slog on. My life is good by the world standards, but my inner life is stagnated and slowly decaying. This sentence you shared today sums it up, “We have created our own mistaken thoughts and habits”. Yes, that is me and therein is hope.

    1. Oh my dear Michael, I am especially glad that I have helped you at all! Doing this work can be hard, I know: we all find the truth to be so energizing and so radiant that we are sure in the beginning that simply our helping people to see it is going to rapidly transform the world! I have felt that way. But it has been made clear to me that the timing is God’s and we each have our own little part to play but we know too little about anything to have even the right to an opinion on timing. Boy, is that clear to me now! I have neither the faith nor the energy, but I do have in abundance that light. I get to receive it and project it to you! I have it because – and only because – I gave my life to God a decade ago, and I have made that gift freshly every morning and every night since then. As Jesus tells us, the harvest is plenty but the workers are few. So when you show up with a basket in hand, you get assigned to a row that is ripe for harvesting. Guaranteed. And the daily joy of being a part of that harvest is something I can find no way to express 🙂

      1. You are so kind to reply and I have carefully read your sharing. It is now 12 years since I left the pulpit and do not regret the leaving. My growth was very much tied up in helping others to see a message of truth. I do know now and knew then that the God espoused in the Christian church is a human fabrication and not real at all. The Jesus teachings make that very clear, as you have described so well in your ongoing posts. And yet, I have wonderful memories of my ministry in the church. They are still filled with power and Love at my recall. Forgive my nostalgia. Perhaps it is part of the Christmas season which is really about Light and Love and the Godly self giving presence of Jesus. When asked about Jesus the Saviour, the reply for me is that Jesus has no need to save us from an eternally loving God. Jesus and those like him are here to help us. We cannot lift ourselves by our bootstraps. There has to be a power, a vibrational level, a spiritual force greater than our limited earthly selves. Please know that I am writing this for my muddled self and maybe by chance some other stumbling seeker. Thanks Roberta for this tool to help…. “If we can make our minds’ reactions the whole problem, and we at once perform some boring ritual that distracts our minds whenever they present us with a wrong that would otherwise need to be forgiven, we find that within weeks our lazy minds will re-program themselves and just stop bothering.”
        I am trying dear Roberta and renewing my desire to ask for help from beings much more than the lost me. Love to you and all who reads these posts.

        1. Oh my dear Michael, the joy that you found in your Christian ministry doesn’t need to be behind you at all! As Jesus tells us, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, and there are so many who have fallen away from Christianity for all the reasons that we don’t need to restate here, and who are more desperate than ever for the kind of genuine Christ-based love and nurturance that you know so well how to give.

          It is becoming clear now that we will need to start a new ministry, but one that is not just another of the 40,000-odd versions of Christianity. The Lord is calling us to begin at last the Way that He laid out two thousand years ago. And He will show us how, in His time….

          1. I love your use of the capitalized Way. As you must have discovered in your research and reading, some of the earliest sects of Christianity called their faith and practice the Way. As you are saying, in time, the Way will become understood and practiced in the true spirit of the Jesus teachings. The false and contrived rituals and dogmas are fast fading. The temple is collapsing in order to be built again on firm and truthful foundations.
            I am practicing the “boring ritual” when my, much too active reactive mind, tries to go wrong. I have tried many ways but so far this is the best. Thanks is such a small word but my heartfelt thanks I give to you.

  3. Thank you Roberta for this. I woke up this morning to your email and your post today was just powerful and exactly what I needed. God was stirring something up in me overnight and upon awakening and reading this it brought confirmation and direction for me. blessings

    1. How serendipitous! I read Fr. Rohr’s messages each morning, and yours weekly, and here you are affirming my choice. How delightful! You both give me hope and comfort in these very tough times.

    2. Oh my dear, I am so glad to be of help! Isn’t it wonderful how we can assist in and share in one another’s deeply beautiful growth?

  4. Mike R, I second that on Roberta ‘s book. As a matter of fact, when I need a quick review or some help understanding something in the blogs, I often go back to all her books which help reinforce the points I sometimes don’t get right away.

    1. Oh my dear David, I’m glad there is enough that is consistent for you even to be able to use my books for edification and confirmation! The problem with letting yourself be used for channeling is that sometimes you don’t entirely understand what you just wrote; and I think that is why Thomas began to do these weekly blog posts. He gives me the topic, the title, and often links to articles; but then he lets me figure it out until Friday, when he takes over. I have learned so much this way!

  5. Dearest Roberta,

    When you wrote “No amount of trying really hard to love your neighbour as yourself (LK 10:27) can produce much spiritual change! But Jesus has the answer for this as well. The key to our learning how to love in the transformational way that God wants us to love is for us to learn prevenient forgiveness. And our afterlife-based understanding of human consciousness shows us why this is true”.

    Why is prevenient forgiveness the only forgiveness that “works”? Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the event that needs to be forgiven is likely to have roots deep in the pathof events requiring us to unwind a complex series of events to get a true picture which we simply don’t have the time let alone the knowledge to do. When that White Honda cuts me off, I have no idea what true root event was. I could unwind it one step to where the car to the Honda’s left tried to cut the Honda off, but that’s as far as it goes for me.”With “Prevenient Forgiveness” I don’t have to unwind a complex series of events. One size fits all. Thank you for this invaluable insight, Roberta.

    Yours

    Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, your analysis is right, but the real reason that forgiveness is a problem for us goes even deeper than that. Beings who are in what we call the afterlife have no need to forgive because they never feel offended in the first place, and in fact for those in bodies the feeling of offense and therefore the need to forgive gradually lessens as our personal consciousness vibrations rise.

      While we are in bodies: (a) we have egos, which are nothing more than pesky mental gremlins whose sole purpose is to make us fiercely protective of our separate selves; and (b) we are so obsessed with the “reality” of this illusory physical around us that we cannot imagine survival unless we fight for our survival here.

      You have taught yourself that everything is a personal threat. We all have! And because your limited earth-mind was easily programmed to hold these false beliefs and become easily upset, so your earth-mind can just as easily be programmed to stop becoming triggered. When I did the deprogramming exercise in FOGF, I was amazed at how effective it was! I say in the book that it was as if I used to have a whole bunch of levers on the outside that people could fiddle with and make me upset at trivial things: my waitress was slow; my husband forgot to call. Nothings. But then suddenly all those levers were disconnected on the inside. Now NOTHING bothered me. So there was nothing to forgive! A Course in Miracles says that the miracle (forgiveness) has no size, and that turns out to be true: now even very big things don’t bother me.

      The real trick to prevenient forgiveness is that you end up quite able to turn the other cheek because that hit on one side didn’t bother you at all.

  6. And by the way, I had a session with Peter Wright recently and noticed the effects already. He is amazing. Anyway, he has asked me to put a plug in your site, not shameless, something like, “As one who felt is vibration level low and needed help, a “jump start” as you will, to get it moving in the right direction, may I recommend Peter Wright who was mentioned above and has created podcasts with Roberta on her Seek Reality show. I have just had a session with him and already I have started to see results in a positive direction.”

    Yours,

    Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, thank you for mentioning our wonderful friend, Peter Wright! He really is a treasure. He excels especially at doing what he did for you: under hypnosis, he can so easily connect us to our past lives, our guides, our higher selves, the minds of others with whom we have unfinished business, and so on. I have had two sessions with him that were wonderful, and I have been thinking lately that perhaps I ought to do it again!

  7. Dearest Roberta,
    My response to this week’s beautiful blog comes in the form of a memory that came to surface as I read it. Thank you for allowing me to share it here:

    In my early twenties, in my university days, I used to take a train to the Blue Mountains (adjacent to my home town of Sydney) and spend the day walking in the forests there. The Blue Mountains form a wild, expansive national park where ancient rainforests spread through deep valleys. Eucalyptus forests predominate the high places up to sheer escarpments that look down on the primeval, riotous verdure (IE: rainforest) in the valleys far below.

    On one such ‘bush walking’ day I used only a rough map to navigate the remote forest trails, hoping to avoid becoming lost altogether in the vastness of this trackless, overgrown, stifling wilderness.

    There was a point at which the trail map failed, and I stood facing a vigorous creek without any footbridge or visible path beyond. I was deep in the rainforest by then and try as I might, I could find no way ahead at all. Incidentally Roberta, the creek itself presented an absolutely idyllic scene of water cascading over rocks and colored stones, smoothed flat by the flow, lined by tall ferns and canopied by towering, gnarly old ficus trees. Had I tried I couldn’t be lost in a more beautiful place and subsequently I was quite calm. Yet I became quite confounded as to which way to go –

    Then after a time, my perception shifted a little and an idea dawned in my mind. I looked at the large flat rocks in the creek. Instead of focusing on getting across the flowing creek, I just looked and looked. And in a single moment something ‘clicked’ inside and I saw differently – a pattern emerged among the flat stones. Most stones lying on or under the water were mossy and wreathed in river weeds. However there were some marginally higher stones that were completely dry and raised, as they were, above the water line. No moss besmeared their surfaces. I saw that should I step from one to another, I could easily walk up the middle of stream itself…

    I proceeded to do this for a good while and eventually the path of dry stones tacked gradually, almost imperceptibly, over to the farther bank. And there beyond the creek I saw the rough trail through the trees pick up again! Gladly, I was able to walk the rest of the rainforest track and emerge at sunset at the nearest township.

    Even back then in the early eighties, I had the feeling this experience was somehow significant: I had shifted my ‘way of seeing’ and had found the unlikely path that was hidden in plain sight.

    And now it occurs to me that the rainforest walk is the journey through life. The lost path is the experience of being lost, disoriented or bereft that we seem to need (or find ourselves in) at some point in our lifetime. And the unlikely path of stepping stones through watery flux is the revelation that the Most High gives us, should we but look and ask, that ensures we come Home safely; freshly blessed and profoundly changed.

    I feel Roberta, that what Thomas has revealed, the light that shines here in this blog, is the way to come home grown and enriched from our long lifetime of exertion.

    Perhaps what we just need to do is change our perception and really look and see the path that was hidden – the path that Lord Jesus laid down for us long ago. Thankfully it is to be hidden no more, and it is a sure footed path, both firm and enduring. Best of all, it is made specially for every single one of us; each of us being totally the most loved child of God.

    With love & gratitude,
    Efrem 🙏🏼❣️🌅

    1. Efrem, your story is indeed a parable for our time. I think that if Jesus were teaching today He would still use parables and metaphors, but they would be framed for our culture and our 21st century modes of knowing. We need to now approach to understanding true reality with new parables, as you have shown, and metaphors that make sense amid all that we are coming to understand about One nature of divinity.

      1. Yes Mike, I reckon Jesus would use modern parables that resonate in the hearts and minds of modern folk. Meaning would most clearly be seen and felt at heart, in His chosen metaphors.

        Maybe each of us has personal metaphors drawn from our own life experiences…. It was as if back in my youth my Guide in Spirit was suggesting that I needed to find the path that was hidden. Though I was not aware of my guide at the time. 🙂

        1. Efrem, I was “aware” of mine, thanks to Catholic tradition of guardian angels, but I rarely recognized her signs♐️. She guided me with metaphors too.

        2. Dear Efrem, do you think He would still have used parables, when there were no listeners waiting to catch Him out speaking against the dominant religion so they could condemn and kill Him? Or would He instead give a new Sermon on the Mount, and from that height tell all the world the beautiful and perfect truth of the Godhead’s infinite love and our own eternally magnificent true nature?

          1. Dearest Roberta,
            The contrast from iron age Judaea to the US Republic could not be more stark. Jesus could speak freely were He to do so in the US nowadays; the rights of everyone, no matter how much a minority or how powerless they may be, is enshrined in the Constitution. (More so than my country Australia, where we are a robust democracy but do not have a bill of rights. 😔)

            So if you mean that Jesus wouldn’t need to hide the truth in parables, then He wouldn’t need to use them I guess. 🙂

            Yet parables (and stories generally) are such a hallmark of being human that, maybe, Jesus might use a few chosen ones so that key ideas are clearly understood and retained by people, were He to speak in person today….

            I too feel as you do Roberta, that suddenly appearing on the world stage is not God’s style. There is a subtlety to Jesus and all things Divine. Perhaps the Divine template is seen in the growth of a tree; incremental, imperceptible and yet becoming strong and tall at last. Just a thought..🙏🏼❣️

      2. Dear Mike, I have wondered about that myself. Would Jesus even use parables in the here and now, in an age when He would be free to speak plainly? This is a first in human history and still unique in all the world, the fact that Americans have the Constitutional right to speak their minds and there are no legal taboos against it (I doubt He would have cared about pressure from the Twitter mob). I really would love to know what He would say to us now, when He would be free to speak the truth!

        1. I thought of that as well It would make a lot of sense for him to speak to us during these times instead of at a time when people were so clueless. Many have spoken about a second coming in the past, which I ignored because it sounded silly, but I no longer feel that way. He really would be free to speak directly about this without the need to walk on eggshells like he had to do back then.

          1. Dear Lola, I think He feels that He already has spoken to us more freely in this modern time. For Him to show up in person on a white horse now would be enormously disruptive, and that has never been His style! So He led the team that channeled A Course in Miracles in the 1960s, and then in the 1980s He decided to channel a simple modern interpretation of His Gospel teachings. His team chose the most imperfect possible vessel, but He channeled His updated version of the Gospels in 2015 and called it Liberating Jesus. I wouldn’t have believe it was the Lord, either, but I was there. I will never forget that experience.

    2. Oh dear Efrem, this is absolutely beautiful, and wonderfully told. Thank you for sharing your story with us here! A metaphor for life, indeed: all of us begin with little sense of direction, lost in what feels like a foreign reality, but always guided by beings who love us. We see that love and guidance only in retrospect, but in retrospect we realize that it has been perfect and all we ever had to do was yield to it and trust it. Lovely!

  8. Hello. I stepped away for a few weeks, so please forgive me if what I write partly refers to other weeks on this blog.
    You had asked me to contribute ideas from other traditions and there are a few.

    The Buddhist tradition has the Four Brahma Viharas, which are Mettā (loving kindness), Karuna (compassion), Muditā (sympathetic joy), and Upekkha (equanimity). Meditating on these qualities is helpful in neutralizing sankharas, mental formations that lead to suffering. Also, one monk, Bhante Vimalaramsi, notes the speed in which this practice can lead one through the jnanas leading to awakening.
    A related concept is that of Dependent Origination. Also called the Wheel of Causation, it describes Samsara, and the process that leads to suffering. The Buddha noted the place on the wheel where change could occur was at the contact, the sensation, of the senses with the sense objects. In Buddhism, there are six senses, the five we normally think of (touch, sight, sound, taste, smell) and also the mind, which can touch the objects of the mind. An example using the mind would be an external cause: a car containing person A cuts someone off while doing a lane change on the freeway. The internal cause would, for instance, be person B in the car that had been cut off having the sankhara of Anger. This touch of both external and internal factors in person B leads to clinging, cravings in the area of aversion, “I don’t like it.” The action which follows, and I hope I am exaggerating, is person B has “road rage”, honking their horn, following person A off the freeway, staying right on the person’s bumper, chasing the person through the streets until person A pull into a police station to get away from person B. The manifest effect is obvious: person B had a “road rage” episode. But, there is also a latent effect. The sankhara, the mental formation of Anger became strengthened, to show up again when there is another External Cause. But, having equanimity at the point of contact (one of the Brahma Viharas) will allow a relaxation of the sankhara of Anger by weakening the attachment and aversion that gave rise to it, and have the Latent effect of weakening the sankhara of Anger and strengthening the Brahma Vihara of equanimity. Cultivating the Brahma Viharas, combined with an understanding of Dependent Origination has been quite helpful to me.

    I would advise you to have a grain of salt with the idea that because we are all One Mind, the raising of consciousness of 10% of the population will lead to bringing the Kingdom of God on Earth. I still have contact with the Transcendental Meditation people (yes, I learned TM) who have been experimenting with the raising of consciousness in society through spiritual practice, doing multiple studies, and the results have been mixed. They can go to an area, like a city, do their practice and have verifiable effects, according to their studies, such as a reduction in crime rates. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a residual effect on the population once the TM people finish their study. The markers (such as crime rates) go right back to what they were before the study began.

    P.S. I am a health care worker, and I saw something three days ago which has me a little worried. I did an x-ray of someone who might have had both COVID-19 and the flu. I can’t say for sure, unfortunately, because when I get to them the lab results have not yet come back, so everything is only suspected. Their lungs did not look the best, noticeable bilateral pneumonia was seen on the X-ray. Let me qualify my statement. I get notices when orders come in warning me what they are looking for(isolation warnings), so I can wear the appropriate PPE. This person had both COVID-19 and influenza listed, so it could also mean they were not yet sure which one this person had.
    This is a pain. Neither virus cares anything about politics, and although I still see people trying to use statistics to say that COVID-19 is less deadly than the flu, it doesn’t matter anymore because flu season is starting up. Can I ask that people get a flu shot, and tell others to get one, so health care workers only have to deal with one virus this winter? If that is not allowed on this blog please get rid of my P.S.

  9. Thank you, dear Jason! Just three things:

    1) I love the fact that there are all these other traditions! I still think, though, that the teachings of Jesus are by far the simplest and the most effective. I for one simply cannot be bothered, but I find that living the Way simply fits into my daily life. I was the literal dictionary definition and textbook illustration of road rage for most of my life! And now I never feel angry at all, not only on the road but also anywhere else 😉

    2) My husband has been doing TM for 40 years. He learned it from the Maharishi himself! It is wonderful for quieting the mind, but it doesn’t do much to raise your consciousness vibrations away from fear and more toward love. At this point, I think that the only way to really have an effect on the whole world with a spiritual practice being devoutly followed by a limited group as a subset of Mind is with the teachings of Jesus.

    3) I am delighted to have you talk about protecting our health here – thank you! I would just add that my husband is a retired physician, and he has us taking overdoses of Vit D and Zinc daily to help to protect us from getting a major case of Covid. Just for what that might be worth.

  10. Dear Roberta. The beauty of your concept of prevenient forgiveness is that it can dissolve so many of our buttons and levers before anyone can even touch them. I’m starting to experience that a bit in my own practice.

    Here in Massachusetts, as I was contemplating Thanksgiving 400 years after the Pilgrims first landed just down the road in Plymouth, I was struck by some of the similarities between the ideals and goals of the Puritans and what we discuss here. They were disgusted by the domineering excesses of the Church and it’s convoluted dogmas, were ardent scholars of the bible (some even learning Greek and Hebrew,) and wanted to get back to the simplicity and purity of the original teachings of Jesus, but unfortuately thay still bristled with so many of those buttons and levers of judgement, intolerance, Calvinist nonsense, and ignorance of what we’ve learned in the intervening years, that they were more like pincushion puppets, ironically doomed to repeat the errors they wanted to escape. Although I can admire their commitment and courage, it’s too bad they didn’t have the knowledge we have only so recently gained, and a more loving, forgiving, non-judgmental way. The time wasn’t right yet. The wine needed more aging, and a newer wineskin. I’m glad Thomas is more confident that things are on track this time around. Like you have said, I’m not sure how many more shots Mankind has at getting it right.

  11. Oh my dear Scott, how I wish the whole prevenient forgiveness thing had been my own idea! But it came from Thomas. I had a terrible time learning to forgive things after they had happened, as I realize now that we all do. Finally, as I was about to give up on forgiving something – I wish I could recall now what it was – he inspired me to roll it up in a ball and push it away while saying, “I forgive you.” Not much happened. He had me do it again and again, and he taught me the whole mantra (“I love you, I bless you, I forgive, and I release”). That started to work! And within two weeks of doing it obsessively, I realized the phenomenon that you describe above was happening: all my buttons and levers and triggers seemed to have been deactivated on the inside, somehow. And the wonder of it is that the phenomenon seems to be permanent. I have not had to form a forgiveness ball even once in the entire past ten years!

    And yes, quite wonderfully said about the fact that the Pilgrims and many other early Christians did try to simplify and purify Christianity, but they had no way to acquire the knowledge that we have now. I think personally that it is the validation of the teachings of Jesus that we have from so many good afterlife communications that did the trick for us. If we hadn’t heard a chorus of the dead insisting that we can trust the Lord, He is perfectly right, then I don’t think we ever could have found the courage to break past all our religious fears.

    I lived in Plymouth, MA, for 25 years. It was a wonderful, homey, folksy place to rear our children! But it was cold in winter, and Massachusetts is a very small and kind of oppressive state (as we discovered after leaving it). We moved south 17 years ago, but I still recall what a very big deal the 400th anniversary celebration of the Mayflower’s landing was going to be! For you, dear Scott, and for everyone reading this who lives in Plymouth or anywhere near it, I’m sending you a big 400th-anniversary hug!

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