Sunday, April 7, 2013

Overcoming the World



 
When Jesus said “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) I really think he meant it. The way I understand this statement is that he was saying he was not ensnared by desires or aversions. He was complete within himself and needed nothing from the world for fulfillment. He was fulfilled in God. This is the only lasting fulfillment there it. This is the recipe for the end of suffering. The body may yet feel pleasure and pain but because the mind is released from desire and aversion suffering is absent.

 

The implications of overcoming the world are great. It would mean that God did not send His son to Earth to suffer the way we do. The rational for this kind of thinking is usually that suffering is necessary for compassion. But is this true? Let us hold this question open for a moment.  For Jesus to indulge in suffering would be dragging God down to our level.  And behind this thinking is a resistance to letting go of our suffering, a clinging to it as if it actually gave us something of value, perhaps the self-righteousness of victimhood. Instead let us consider that what Jesus did by overcoming the world was to open a door for us, that we too have the possibility of overcoming the world, so that we can aspire to live in a body without suffering. This would be lifting us up to God instead of dragging God down to us.

 

To understand how this is possible let’s look at a metaphor from physics called entrainment. The classic illustration of entrainment is the old clock-maker’s shop, filled with clocks whose pendulums are swinging. It was noticed that over time all pendulums adjusted their swings so that they all would swing together. This was called entrainment. Whichever clock had the strongest swing that was the one the others eventually followed. Likewise if the whole clock shop was already coordinated any new clock would fall into that pattern because the collective swing was so strong. This is similar to the tuning of a stringed instrument. A string which is plucked will set in vibration any other sting tuned to an octave apart. And so it is with humans. If there is a strong cultural frequency we will vibrate to it whether we are aware of that or not.

 

 

Enlightenment is when you have succeeded in tuning your frequency to divine Love and can hold that frequency no matter what other vibrations enter your field. You are no longer subject to the phenomena of entrainment. In this sense you have overcome the world as Jesus said. And when it is accomplished you stand as a beacon for others. By holding the frequency of Love, it is a boost to others, to their own efforts at accomplishing the same. This I believe is what Jesus did for us.

Ruler of Your Kingdom


 

Long ago and far away… not really but you’ll see…there lived a king who had three sons. He wanted to see which one of them would be the best ruler of the kingdom. He built each of them a McMansion in a different part of the kingdom. Then he called his sons to him. He explained that each of them had a new house and told each son of its location. He gave them each $10 and said he wanted them to fill their houses using ONLY that $10 and that he would be visiting each of them shortly. The sons set off each to his own house.

 

The first son arrived at his house. He wandered through its many empty rooms. He let out a sigh and sat down on the front doorstep head in hands. “It’s impossible.” He said. “I’ll never be able to fill this house using only $10.” The second son arrived at his house and had a similar reaction but not quite. He was a very busy, can-do person so he wandered toward the nearest town trying to figure it out. A truck passed him on the way to the landfill. “That’s it!” he cried. “All I have to do is persuade this truck driver to bring all the discarded furniture and appliances to my house for $10. Plus he’ll save on the landfill charges.” And that is what happened. The stuff that ended up there was broken and dirty and sitting in piles of disarray. The second son was not very happy with the result. In fact he decided to live in the pool house on a cot. “But” he said, “I have fulfilled my father’s requirement to the last penny.”

 

The third son arrived at his house and he too was impressed with its size. “This is far too big for one person” he thought. And then he thought, “I wonder who my neighbors are?” He too wandered to the nearest town. There he found a market in the village square. There were vendors of all sorts and musicians playing music. “Wow” he thought “I could invite all these great new neighbors to my house for a party to welcome my father when he arrives.” And so he set about introducing himself and inviting everyone to his house. Truth be told, he was so happy at the friends he was making, he forgot about the $10 and the requirement to fill his house. When his father arrived at the third son’s house he found it full of people eating food, full of children running through the house in laughter, full of the sounds of music and people singing.

 

Now which son would you want to be ruler of your kingdom, the one who gave up, the one who stuck to the letter of the law, or the one who made friends with his neighbors? We are the rulers of our own kingdoms, the rulers of our own minds. And in any given moment we have the opportunity to choose one of these three sons rule. We can give up, go through the motions of fulfilling our obligations, or reach out in joy to another person. And if perchance we find we’ve chosen a poor ruler for our kingdom, in any given moment, we have the chance to choose once again.