Being of Service in the Modern World

Posted by Roberta Grimes • August 31, 2019 • 33 Comments
The Teachings of Jesus, Understanding Reality

What does it mean for you and me to altogether live the teachings of Jesus? It means a lot more than we might imagine ever could be asked of us. Let’s ask the greatest American of the Twentieth Century what it means to him. He often wrote and spoke variants of these words:

“To our most bitter opponents we say: ‘We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws, because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail, and we shall still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.’” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his essay, Loving Your Enemies

Many people seem now to know that following Jesus requires that we learn to live in forgiveness and in love. When His disciple Peter asked Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (MT 18:21-23). And He said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (MK 12:31). More and more of us at last are trying to forgive completely and love perfectly! But it turns out that forgiving and loving this way is only spiritual kindergarten. If we intend to follow Jesus with sufficient zeal to help to bring the kingdom of God on earth, we must make these next Gospel passages, too, the center of the way that we work and live:

But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two” (MT 5:39-41).

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (LK 6:35-36).

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (JN 15:12-13).

Until we can say what Dr. King says above, and mean it, and accept whatever comes from it, we cannot call ourselves entirely committed followers of the Son of the Living God. But when we can do that – when we can sing Dr. King’s words and live them, no matter what the cost – then after our few minutes on earth are done, you and I can have the joy of hearing Jesus say, Well done, good and faithful servant” (MT 25:21).

Of course, few of us expect to be called to make the ultimate sacrifice. But when you read about the lives of Dr. Bonhoeffer and Dr. King, you can see that the notion that they were fighting the most monumental evils of their time armed only with radical love and kindness, and these struggles might easily cost them their lives, seems seldom to have occurred to them, either. Or if they thought about it, whatever fear they felt was dwarfed by their perfect love for everyone, including their tormentors, and by their finding it unbearable to stay away when there was work they felt called to do. It is this need these young men felt to serve, no matter what the personal cost, that should most puzzle us.

Dr. King, especially, had so much to lose, but still he never wavered! When he had barely turned 27, at the height of the Montgomery bus boycott, he was giving a speech before two thousand people at First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, when someone bombed his house. Dr. King rushed home to make sure his wife and infant daughter were okay as a boisterous crowd assembled outside. These people were infuriated, some were armed, and all of them were bent on revenge. Dr. King stepped out onto his bomb-ravaged porch, and the angry mob quieted to hear him. As quoted by some who were there, this is part of what he said:

“We believe in law and order. Don’t get panicky. Don’t do anything panicky at all. Don’t get your weapons. He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword. Remember that is what God said. We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. Love them and let them know you love them. I did not start this boycott. I was asked by you to serve as your spokesman. I want it to be known the length and breadth of this land that if I am stopped, this movement will not stop. If I am stopped, our work will not stop. For what we are doing is right. What we are doing is just. And God is with us… Be calm, as I and my family are. We are not hurt, and remember that if anything happens to me, there will be others to take my place.”

These words were spoken by a man barely out of his teens who was educated through the Ph.D. level. He had no duty to be in Montgomery, nor to answer the call to lead this boycott that really was no part of his own. He didn’t even have to live in the South: he could have staying in Boston and ignored it all. But out of love for the desperate downtrodden who were at that moment mobbing his porch, and also out of love for their oppressors, he had put himself and his family at the mercy of haters who just had come scarily close to murdering his wife and child.

Just who was this amazing new man? How, in a world full of self-involved people, does someone so young think first of all in such a desperate situation about loving and protecting his tormentors? What is it in Dr. King and Dr. Bonhoeffer and the few other people like them that makes this impulse toward perfect love and forgiveness not something they have to strive for, but the very core of who they are?

I have been wrestling with our present urgent need to elevate sufficient people spiritually that we can raise the consciousness vibration of this planet and thereby bring the kingdom of God on earth. We have known for years what needs to happen, and I am trying to help you do it for yourself, but there has been a crucial missing piece. I can teach you how to raise your consciousness vibration, and I can tell you why doing that is so important; I even can begin to tell you, based upon a few people I know whose spiritual vibration already is high, how people living with an elevated consciousness vibration are likely to feel and to act. But all of that still feels vague and rudderless, and it is only now that I can see why. What we have needed was a concrete goal, and in the beautiful lives of Dr. King and Dr. Bonhoeffer, at last we have precisely that!

What these modern saints demonstrate for us is the result of their having entirely internalized the Gospel teachings of Jesus. We can see that they aren’t only trying their best. They don’t have to think about struggling to forgive the cruelties being inflicted on them, nor puzzle over what would be the most loving thing to do in each situation, but rather their ability to forgive completely and to love universally springs in abundance from the core of who they are. When it comes to fighting Nazi evil or the cruelties of the Jim Crow South, there are no participation trophies. No, what we see in Dr. Bonhoeffer and Dr. King is confirmation that the Gospel teachings of Jesus can actually, literally, and completely transform us into a new creation!

These two lives are the proof we have needed that if we will learn to live the teachings of Jesus, and if we will teach others to live those teachings, then first one by one and then hundreds by thousands we can begin to make for all of humankind an altogether new beginning. One based in perfect kindness this time, where more and more each person’s impulse, springing from every deepest heart, is to empathize even with those who hate us, to earnestly seek and then to do not what will be best for ourselves and our families, but what seems to be best for all. Dr. King didn’t love his family less than any of us loves our own families. But rather, what he said from his bombed porch that day came from the fact that his being so steeped in the Gospel teachings had elevated his spiritual vibration sufficiently that the love he would naturally feel for his family had become for him a universal love.

And I begin to know how that feels. Years ago, as I was first applying the exercises given in The Fun of Growing Forever, I began to think that perhaps my love for my family was cooling. I no longer saw them as quite so special in the panoply of humankind. It took me awhile to realize that I wasn’t loving my husband and children and my beautiful grandchildren any less, but rather I was loving millions of strangers much more than I ever had before. I can see now that each of these modern saints was living at such an elevated spiritual level that they were loving every stranger around them with such a mighty love that they would have given their lives for anyone passing on the street without a second thought. As Jesus said, To the extent that you do something to one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you do it to Me” (MT 25:40). That truth is the height of spiritual growth. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (MK 12:31).

Whether you are going to go all-in on being of service to God and to humankind is a matter between you and your guides alone. Each of us is on a different journey. But no matter who you are, no matter what you want to do or how you feel called to serve or not to serve, it is essential that you now make a point of raising your personal consciousness vibration! You needn’t give your life for others to know the joy of living with nothing but love and kindness in your heart. You can serve without doing anything more than so internalizing the Gospel teachings that you are contributing your own elevation of consciousness to the universal human consciousness, and thereby you are helping the Lord to at last bring the kingdom of God on earth.


King bust photo credit: Pictoscribe <a href=”″>Make America Dream Again</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
King drawing on yellow photo credit: medium as muse <a href=”″>Martin Luther King Jr.</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Pencil Dr.King photo credit: Wasfi Akab <a href=”″>I have a dream</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Silence is betrayal photo credit: Daquella manera <a href=”″>Un momento cuando el silencio es traición</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Swan heart photo credit: Pamela P. Stroud <a href=”″>On the Fifth Day, Life of Varied and Diverse Forms Exhibits the Authority of the Creator in Different Ways</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

Roberta Grimes
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33 thoughts on “Being of Service in the Modern World

  1. Dear Roberta, Thank you for this very thought provoking blog entry. It’s important to remember that emulating these two inspiring souls (and we know there are many others — women, too, and even children) means not necessarily dedicating ourselves to public life or even to a specific earthly cause, as the cause always is the elevation of our unique consciousness within the infinite consciousness that is universal Mind.

    Turning to our guides for cues on how to do this in our own experience that we perceive as incarnation is vital. Our guides already have a spiritual stake in this work, and they are already doing it! Who better to consult than the advanced beings with whom we already have an intimate connection in determining how to enhance our work here in this earthly realm.

    1. Happy Sunday, dear Mike! As you know, these topics and even the writing all come from Thomas really, and while sometimes I’ll think, “YAYY!! Great choice!” when he gives me what’s next, to be frank I couldn’t really see where this series was going. Individually, yes: I had enjoyed being part of writing the past half-dozen or so posts, but they seemed disconnected to me so I was concerned they wouldn’t be doing enough for those reading them. Then came this week, and he pulled it all together and also gave me the next two, which seem to be building on the 8/10 post on faith. I’m excited now about what comes next!

      This week’s post sums up the messages of most of the last six – all but the one on faith – and it’s an answer to my wanting to know how to make real spiritual growth as easy as possible for everyone. The old Pauline fight about which is more important – faith or works – has always seemed nonsensical to me. I don’t think you can have one without the other! And in the post-religion phase that is now beginning, followers of the Lord’s Way will be talking about Truth and Works.

      Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32). Free from what, dear Lord? We know now that the Truth does indeed free us from fear-based religious dogmas! And as we ever better live the Truth, it would be good to know how that Truth might look in action; so that is what Thomas gives us today. I had been wondering how to tie this all together for you, and here he has done just that!

  2. Dearest Roberta,
    You write like no one else I know (or know of). The ‘feel’ of your writing is unique and I perceive it as clear, starkly logical, archetypal and deeply resonant.
    Thomas, huh..

    Well this blog certainly has the big picture view, as Thomas Jefferson had in his dynamic Presidency. And Dr Bonhoeffer and Dr King are also big picture people who went all out in service to Jesus; to Love Divine. What giants you’ve chosen as examples of the power of Love. (And yes they do seem hard to live up to – not that this is the point…)

    As to raising one’s own vibration, adhering to Jesus’ teaching and doing great works, this doesn’t seem like an ‘either/or’ equation. It seems like a ‘both/and’ reality.

    Growing in love and doing works of love are like the sun and sunshine. One comes out of the other. The stronger the sun, the stronger and the more far reaching are its rays of light. Similarly, the fuller the raincloud, the greater the rain. I think of a mother who has placed her baby in a well padded cot. All is well. However when she later sees that her baby has become cold, she rushes to put a blanket over her infant and tucks the precious baby in. She doesn’t think about it, she just does it. In fact, she can’t help herself.
    So as we grow in love and see a need that people have, we will jump forward to fulfill that need. Be it a physical, emotional or spiritual need, we won’t be able to help ourselves. Even great works will flow out of love, often quite naturally. Maybe we won’t be able to help this once we’ve grown beyond a point.

    So, how to become such true beings of love? I guess we love where we can and focus on Jesus’ teachings. We can look at the lives and words of the above mentioned modern saints. Then we may take our guide’s suggestions and enact them.

    And what then ? My only guess is that we sweep out our (ego‘s) misconceptions, our dogmas and our fears, thus cleaning our living room. We also enrich our love, enhance our gratitude and work on perfect forgiveness. And then what ? Do we wait and patiently let our vibrations rise ? Ultimately we accept that God will see to our transformation in His own time. But is there something else that needs to be done or grasped or felt ?

    Roberta, I guess I’m hoping that I haven’t missed something. You know me, I doubt my perception at times; I’m well aware that I do have blind spots.

    1. My dear Efrem, your comments each week are so wonderful! So often, you seem to get what my friend is up to even better than I can. And thank you for your lovely words about my/our writing. I wish I could claim to write so well, but when I venture to write anything on my own I am inept and clumsy. It’s humiliating! I comfort myself by saying that probably every writer actually is channeling people not in bodies who can much better do the job, but they just don’t realize that: they think they themselves are brilliant. As I used to think I was! I don’t think Thomas actually does the writing either, but rather he supervises a team, just as Marvina supervises a team when we do fiction.

      (As an aside, we are working now on another novel in this seven-novel series, which is something I really enjoy because I get to read them first! This one has been pushing for the past two years, and I was sure I could guess where it was going, but at the halfway point it is nothing like what I was expecting. It’s so much better. Oy.)

      “Growing in love and doing works of love are like the sun and sunshine. One comes out of the other.” I love that! Your own guides seem to be on the ball, too ;-).

      You say, “God will see to our transformation in His own time. But is there something else that needs to be done or grasped or felt?” I am being told now that what Thomas means by this series is to show us how essential our purely devoting ourselves to learning and living the Gospel teachings of Jesus will be to our being able to be useful to humankind in whichever ways we are being called now to be useful. Dr. King and Dr. Bonhoeffer were saintly because they lived those teachings! These two, perhaps above all others of their generations, so entirely integrated the words of Jesus on love and forgiveness into their personalities that it was impossible for them not to live those words. Thomas says that we aren’t meant to take their acts as examples to emulate, but rather he wants us to take their zeal for deeply living the Way as our own glorious pattern for showing forth the Way in the twenty-first century so Jesus can begin at last to build a whole legion of Dr. Bonhoeffers and Dr. Kings. They are the Lord’s new beginning!

      1. Thank you dearest Roberta. Your response from Thomas does actually answer my inner question. (Though I won’t go into the ‘hows’ of it here.) There is something I’m seeing now. 🙏🏼 Thank you.

        (I won’t go into details now, about how your written response to me also answers directly the things I’ve thought about, but NOT expressed in writing at the time. This happens a lot. It’s quite uncanny actually.)

        I see what you mean by guide inspired writing and I would love to read your novels too, my dear.
        (I can’t imagine you as anything but creatively eloquent- with or without ethereal help.)

        Thank you also for being so kind to me. I’m delighted to be here for the Lord’s new beginning. What an incredible time to be born AND to be aware of this ! ❣️🌅🔆

  3. Efrem: Doubting your perception at times and having blind spots is, in my opinion, very normal. The important thing is that you seem to be very aware of this about yourself, and that is quite rare. Starting to work on perfect love, gratitude and forgiveness is definitely not an easy task at first, but I like your analogy of the sun and sunshine – the more you practice this, the easier it will become, and eventually it will become a way of life, and you no longer will be consciously aware you are even doing it. How Bonhoeffer, King, Ghandi and similar people got to that point is unknown to me, but just as it is hard for most of us to practice perfect love and forgiveness, it would have been equally hard for them to do otherwise since this ability to love and forgive became ingrained in them.

    1. Well said, dear Lola! Perhaps Thomas’s answer to Efrem, which I gave just above, is in a sense an answer to your question as well? It is our task – if we are willing to do it – to integrate the Gospel teachings into our own personalities so well that we can help the Lord to begin His Way in the modern world. Thomas stresses, though, that all of this is up to us individually, and to our guides! If we are being called to help the Lord begin to teach the Way, then we will be hearing that call.

  4. Don’t sell yourself short, Roberta. A lot of what you say could be inspired by a spirit guide, but I think much of it comes from your own experience and years of being involved in this sort of work. On the other hand, sometimes I get thoughts about the things I write here that are seemingly out of nowhere and come on suddenly, so who knows? Maybe there are beings (guides) joining us here. I am too dense to know a sure answer to this, but how exciting it would be to know that unseen higher beings could actually be interested in what we are saying.

    1. Oh my dear Lola, there seems to be no “maybe” about it ;-). Just a few years ago I was made to understand that essentially all the research I ever have done in my life was guided. My every new idea was given to me. And when I decided to strike out on my own and do some writing without my team’s involvement, I literally could not write one sentence! I have been through all the stages, from refusal to believe it to bargaining in an effort to keep some part of my life and work my own to gradually accepting that it is what it is, and finally to realizing that fairness requires that I give credit where credit is due. (It’s been kind of like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief, I guess!)

      YES, what you write here probably is guided. Your interest in these topics is inspired by your guides, and on many nights they meet with you as your body sleeps and they educate and inspire you.

      YES, very many unseen higher beings are intensely interested in what we say and do! Not for our sake, of course, but for the sake of the work that we and they are doing together… although Thomas wants to make sure I tell you that we are not mere robots or servants. But rather, our having volunteered to enter bodies now and to work with those who are managing the elevation of this planet’s consciousness makes us their cherished compatriots. You and I and everyone who reads these words are loved much more than we can imagine!

  5. I know people leave their bodies at night, as you mentioned, but 99% of us don’t recall the experience. I wonder if you could suggest a way to let these beings (guides) know that you would like to have a relationship with them. Many people recommend that you pray to them, but the only actual prayers to spirit guides were taught to me in a Catholic school when I was a kid. Even then, the prayers seemed rather vapid and devoid of emotion, so wondered if you know a better way to contact them. I’m convinced that they would be happy to know that someone is interested in acknowledging them.

    1. Hi dear Lola, 👋
      Thank you for your keen insight into how we may doubt our perceptions. I see what you mean about it being a normal, human thing.

      I feel that you are right about love/gratitude/forgiveness becoming so natural over time, that it will be easier to enact it than to neglect to do so. Yes, Dr King and Dr Bonhoeffer would have found it impossible not to be compassionate; such was the completeness of their inner transformation.

      And on the subject of spirit guides, my own connection to my guide has become much clearer over the last year. (She kind of proved herself to me in very obvious ways and in dreams.)

      I can’t take credit for that. Roberta clarified this aspect of reality for me in her blog. (I knew about them because they have existed in Judaism since ancient times; Divinely assigned personal guides.)
      Also, there are individuals who are much farther along with the conscious (active) relationship with their own guide than I am. One such generous person (who attends this blog) has helped me greatly to deepen my guidance connection. It even involved dreamwork no less!

      So from one who is learning, may I wish you easy access to the unseen one who loves, helps and guides you all your life. ❣️🙏🏼

    2. Dear Lola, what I did when I first decided I wanted a closer relationship with my guides – and this was decades ago – was that I began to ask questions just before I went to sleep and then look for answers in my mind first thing the next morning. It can take awhile to get this going, but be persistent – once you and your guides are in sync, it works like a charm!

  6. Thanks for reminding me, Efrem, that guides are an ancient concept. I had a Jewish friend years ago and he told me they were very much a part of Judaism, but I had forgotten that over the years. Could I ask you how you became aware of these guides and how you initiated contact?

    1. Hi Lola! Contact has already not only been initiated, but it is ongoing. This blog has talked about numerous ways that the “conversation” between each of us and our guides goes back and forth, and there are many other sources for learning that happily volunteer to teach us, some are even institutional. However, this is an intensely personal process because we are each here for our own unique learning as part of the greater cosmic learning. In my case, becoming aware was easier because of my Catholic tradition and the concept of a personal guardian angel. It sounds as though you share that at least in part. If this still helps you feel the direct divine protection of spirit, then it’s a good place for you to be.

      Frome here, I will say that allowing ourselves to acknowledge signs in our everyday life that mean something to our own unique situation is a worthwhile mindset to being ready for more. I hope you find these thoughts helpful at least in a small way.

    2. Yes Lola, the Jewish tradition outlines two personal helpers throughout life:
      One is our guardian angel (the malach ) who protects us with respect to our life plan. Since we have a part of God within (the eternal spirit) this angel guards it and us all the time.
      The second is our personal guide through life (the maggid ). We have one or possibly more. This guide helps us with decisions and the knowledge to enable us to fulfill our life plan and Divine purpose.
      So both the Guardian and the Guide are with us constantly in this life.

      I’ve learned that my guide is like my best friend and she loves me. I’ve seen her in dreams a few times and she ‘nudges’ me in certain directions and ‘drops’ beautiful and salient ideas into my head. And things work out in amazing ways at times.

      However I am delighted that Mike J-R replies to this blog and often sheds light on this very subject. It’s really worth reflecting on his suggestions and insights. I’ve got to say that he has established an extremely clear and active relationship with his primary guide. He has much experience and knowledge here; far more than I do. Mike has helped me so much by sharing his deep understanding about how to connect with our guides and what an individual process this actually is. Lola, I wish you the joyous discovery of your own loving, lifelong friend. 👍❣️

  7. Thanks, Mike and Efrem. It sounds like once someone becomes aware of the presence of these beings, it is just a short time before they start sending signs of their presence and willingness to help, and once that awareness is established, everything just flows more easily. If you deny their existence, you are not likely to notice any signs from them, so awareness is the key here, I think. I don’t believe any ritual prayers etc. are necessary, and I’m sure both of you would agree. There is no doubt that the two of you are at a rather high vibration which, of course, would facilitate a connection. In any event, thank you Mike and Efrem for your input here.

    1. All beautifully said, dear Lola! I think that for many of us it can be difficult to fully believe that these wonderful, very advanced beings really think we are of any importance! That was compounded for me, of course, when my primary guide came out to me nearly five years ago now as having had a famous and important prior lifetime. I was star-struck, and much too deferential, which irritated him. He kept telling me that by letting him work with me I was helping him to advance spiritually – I was doing something valuable for him! And I couldn’t do that very well until I got over the notion that there was any difference at all between us. We are comrades, working toward some great shared goals; it’s just that I’m in a body at the moment, and he is not, so our roles are a bit different but our projects are the same and they are advancing him spiritually as they also are advancing me. Trying always to remember this has helped me to become much more comfortable with him!

  8. Hi Roberta,
    Your blog continues to raise my own awareness and helps guide me on my path. Often, something said strikes a note on something I ponder often, and sometime I receive a guiding message along the way.
    In my own life, I have said goodbye to many of my very best friends in the past five years. I am 55, and I anticipated this would happen later in life, so it has brought me angst about my own age and what another 20 years might look like. I am an introvert and do not make friends quickly, which deepens the reality.
    I have finally surpassed a point where I had to move on and accept the reality that they are in the past and the future doe not include their presence. But, I had the most divine revelation over the weekend. My life is no longer defined as then and now, but the entire process (for lack of a better term) is a continuum. Every day some of us leave the physical planet, some of us arrive. And, most importantly, they have not left completely, they exist in the “real world”, the spiritual world.
    It really helped to visualize this as continuum of coming and going, but not permanent separation. Natural and expected, but not sad, and not tied to the earthly time line. A cosmic rhythm of sorts.

    1. Dear Tim, I’m sorry about your losses, but I love your conclusions! I hope many people will read what you’ve said here: the very essence of life is growth and change, and our loved ones truly never leave us. Indeed, it really is a “continuum of coming and going, but not permanent separation. Natural and expected, but not sad, and not tied to the earthly time line. A cosmic rhythm of sorts.” Oh, so beautifully said!!

  9. What a great idea, Roberta. I have heard many times that problems or questions, if addressed before going to sleep, are many times answered in some way the following day, supposedly because the usual chatter and mundane thoughts we have during the day are dispensed with while we sleep. I will certainly give this a try. I also liked Tim’s conclusion about life being a continuum and not confined to the earthly timeline.

    1. Dear Lola, this whole notion of “sleeping on it” is used by everyone, and apparently it works even if people don’t know why it works! At this point, I rely on it whenever anything stumps me. Please let us know how it works for you!

  10. Dear Roberta. My guides seem to be wrapping up some things for me also, maybe so I can get past my main stumbling block along the Way. When checking in with them yesterday, on a different topic even, they strongly, repeatedly put the name Niebuhr into my mind. Being only vaguely familiar with it, I Googled, and up popped Reinhold Niebuhr, who was an ex-pacifist turned strident critic of pacifism. He and Bonhoeffer were friends, but were opponents on this topic. Delving into the hall of mirrors that Neibuhr’s arguments become, along with those of commentators, (One spoke of 25 kinds of pacifism, oy vay!) the clarity of Jesus suddenly became much more stark. Neibuhr’s was mostly a relativist debate on violent vs nonviolent resistance, or various combinations, where the noble ends may justify violent means, like different plays to get the football to the endzone. It seems to me he missed the point. Jesus spoke of nonresistance, not resistance. He said do not resist evil, period. Even nonviolent resistance is a kind of coercion. When you resist “evil,” no matter how, you risk becomming that which you resist. Coercion creates a whole new “endzone” that you will arrive at, and it will change you as well – the more violent, the more you, and the ends, become warped. That’s my take anyway. This was an amazingly uncanny process, better than the guides handing me some saying on a silver platter, and I now feel stronger and clearer about the Way, but it takes constant practice. Even Peter, who learned at the feet of the Master Himself for years, denied him three times. Also, thank you Roberta, for the clarity and inspiration of your teaching. I’m excited to study your next series of posts, as I keep building my faith.

    1. Scott, my wondrous primary guide has at times worked with me the same way: I get a word or name and then a hankering to research; then, boom–top of the list of sources is some arcane document, book or whatever, with all sorts of relevant information. The process actually appears to me to me a steady stream. We just need to pay attention and the answers are ready when we are. Such is my experience anyway. I make this sound simple but, as you point out, Scott, even people who knew Jesus personally had trouble confidently believing. It takes some time and may require abundant patience.

      1. This is the way it happens for me too, Mike. I see something or think something and then feel inspired to research it a bit, and lo and behold I come to see that it is something new that either Thomas or Marvina (my fiction guide) wants me to work with. Happens every day! Actually, I think it happens to everyone, except that most people have no idea that each of us is actually a walking crowd. How wonderfully the whole world will change when everyone knows what we few know now!

    2. Dear Scott, your summary is an excellent one! To resist evil is to add to the negativity, so therefore it actually increases the evil in the situation. Wonderful point!

      I read Niebuhr in college, just as I read Bonhoeffer and some other early-twentieth-century theologians, but I found Niebuhr to be not nearly so pure nor so romantic. That is all I can recall about him now! I think, though, that his influence was one of the reasons why Dr. Bonhoeffer came to see the assassination of Hitler as perhaps necessary, and therefore arguably acceptable… although I don’t think he ever thought it really was right. Lawyers have a saying: “Hard cases make bad law.” And to Dr. Bonhoeffer, Hitler was a hard case indeed!

      Actually, what I thought would be our next series has apparently just been put off for two weeks, since there is a two-fer being interjected here that I thought at first was my idea but Thomas has let me know that it came from him. It’s the sort of thing I don’t like to talk about, but apparently it needs to be talked about: how to deal with death as a bad thing. The inspiration comes from someone wonderful that I hope to help you come to know a little better!

      1. From what I could gather in such a short survey, Niebuhr seemed a bit too cerebral, and his prose could be pretty dense. Maybe he needed a bit more of the heart.

        1. Yes. As I recall, Niebuhr seemed to be just another professor, while Bonhoeffer was full of love and life. And he was so much younger! When I was college-age, his recent execution for having tried to fight the Holocaust with love was a pretty epic tragedy to me.

  11. I have to say that I’m excited about what I assume will be talked about next week (death being thought of as a bad thing). The skeptical side of me says it may be a coincidence, but I honestly took everyone’s advice and “put it out there” that I would like to discuss that sort of thing, so I was amazed at Roberta’s post when she said that her guide (Thomas) seemed to want to address that issue, seemingly out of the blue, when she actually had something else in mind. No one can actually say for sure what’s going on here, but to me, this seems a bit of a stretch to call it a coincidence. Does anyone agree, or maybe I am making a big deal out of nothing.

    1. Dear Lola, it may very well be your request that has thrown this stick into my blogging gears ;-). This is looking now like a little series of posts – possibly three – inserted here. Thomas has reminded me that my original task was afterlife education, for which we had spent most of my lifeime preparing. He has reminded me that afterlife education still comes first, because until most people understand that life really is eternal, it will be much harder to get them to accept the fact that we enter these bodies in order to learn and grow spiritually, and to help them learn to use the teachings of Jesus as the easiest and most effective way to get that done!

  12. Lola, I suspect your guides were preparing you for the next installment. Sort of like when inventions show up to several people around the world, time for us to have this information. I hope there will be clarification on how to view prolonged death from disease.
    This has been a wonderful blog with all the contributors reminding me of what I’ve already known and clues on how to do so much better, by listening to my guides. Thanks all.

    1. Dear Jean, thank you for reminding us of the wonderful contributions of all the commenters here! I have learned so much from them, as I know that many others have as well, and I am very grateful for all their good efforts ;-).

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