Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Building to the Climax (Part 6)

From Symmetry of Soul

Jesus employed the parable as a method of public teaching because it proceeds from the things which are known to the discernment of the unknown. It also provides for a simultaneous appeal to vastly different levels of mind and spirit. The parable stimulates the imagination, challenges the discrimination, and provokes critical thinking; it promotes sympathy without arousing antagonism.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Parables, Analogy, Allegory

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

We had an interesting discussion concerning possible reasons for those with a favoritism for spiritual consciousness to apply allegorical interpretations to parables. Further, how in light of this tendency to favor a unity consciousness, the revelators speak approvingly of socializing one’s religious experiences as a hedge against erroneous and prideful interpretations of things, meanings, and values.

In response to a caller we explored the question of precision of language and its role in fostering precision of thought. We also touched upon the differences between prosaic and poetic styles of language usage.

151:3. More About Parables

In further instruction concerning the utility of using the parable method for teaching the truths of the kingdom, Jesus pointed out that the diversity of intellect and temperament among individuals in the multitudes made parable story telling a most suitable way for them to be able to interpret the teachings according to their individual intellectual and spiritual endowments.

Jesus goes on to reiterate two points only recently made, that nothing hidden in the kingdom will remain so, but shall eventually come to light, and that those who strive to cultivate their higher understanding of truth (those who have) shall be rewarded with more, while those who are not so motivated or overtly antagonistic to the Master’s gospel will jeopardize even their grace gift of the potential for genuine objective consciousness (even that which they think they have). Listen to the archive for details of the “cosmic physics” of the encircuitment of the Holy Spirit and the operation of the “reality response” wherein these phenomena take place. The double edged sword operates with the reality response of the three cosmic intuitions in that when these intuitions are contaminated with the figments of scientific dictation, social usage, and religious dogma the reality response becomes based upon figment. Consider, if faith were not superconsciously present, no one would follow presumption absolutely as if it were genuine faith. Fortunately for us today we have additional help in the presence of the Spirit of Truth in finding our way.

Jesus provided further instruction on the use and interpretation of parables. He advised against employing fables or allegories, instead recommending nature parables. We spent some time considering the distinction between the natural and spiritual domains, noting the implications we have previously mentioned on SoS of things spiritual and religious actually representing unnatural responses to life circumstances and events. Jesus frequently alluded to the natural as “the unreal and fleeting shadow of spirit realities.” Here lies a challenge to the modern day tendency to ascribe sacredness to things “natural.”

Jesus reminded his hearers that teaching with parables is not entirely new by presenting some parables from Hebrew scriptures.

Jesus cited and elaborated upon the following valuable qualities of parables in teaching the truths of the kingdom:

  1. Stimulates the imagination
  2. Challenges the discrimination and provokes critical thinking (i.e., cultivation of the faculties of the cosmic intuitions)
  3. Promotes sympathy without arousing antagonism.

The midwayers remark that because conventional wisdom of that day was that natural phenomena were regarded as the handiwork of spiritual beings and supernatural forces nature parables served to refute the religious leaders’ charge that Jesus’ work was assisted by demons and devils.

Jesus told the group another version of the parable of the sower which suggested the ideas of the existential Father with no relationship to time or things evolutionary and a harvest in eternity, thus emphasizing that the kingdom of heaven is about a relationship to eternity and not time.

151:4. More Parables by the Sea

The midwayers present six more of Jesus’ parables. The first and last of which introduced the idea of a harvest or sorting out process whereby the good wheat or good fish are gathered up and the bad weeds or fish are destroyed. Here is another variation of the non-valuable being taken away as in the story of the vine and the branches, suggesting that at some point in the kingdom career grace must give way to achievement. The child of God must eventually make the transition to adult of God through personal consecrated and intelligent choice. Two of the remaining four parables deal with the potency of spirit, in one case the mustard seed and in the other the leaven in the meal. The other two parables, one about the treasure hidden in the field and the other about the pearl of great price each make the point that the kingdom of heaven is of far greater value than material abundance or other temporal considerations.

We noted that in pre-Pentecost times of Jesus’ bestowal there was no Spirit of Truth or universal bestowal of Thought Adjusters such that the sorting out or winnowing process alluded to in the parables was confined to the earthly life. We further noted that in the probationary nursery the time of testing and sorting is condensed to a mere 16 years or so.

Henceforth, Jesus taught the masses almost entirely via the parable method. He more explicitly expounded his teachings to the apostles and evangelists during the evening classes.

Notes by Brad

  • In allegory--or well-crafted art like movies--we often seek hidden facts behind the surficial facts.
    • We seem to do this because we all intuit that there is truth lurking behind the facts.
    • Are hidden facts truth? No, they are facts.
    • And yet truth is still a hidden thing.
    • So what is truth? Exactly.

  • We seek precision of language on Symmetry of Soul.
    • This happens all the time in freshman science classes ("no, its tertiary, not ternary"). There is sceintific heft in these words worthy of precise language.
    • And yet works like good, bad, right, wrong, mistake, blunder... these words have philosophic heft.
    • This isn't the most fashionable opinion these days.

  • Tailor your presentation to the minds and hearts before you.
    • Heart is the root here. Start with the fully spiritualized mind.
    • But when speaking to a large group, this isn't so possible.
      • Here, intellect and temperament are in play.

  • Is there a lot you don't understand now? Sure. But don't fixate on the mystical-ness of it all.
    • Because nothing will remain hidden forever. Mysticism is a rabbit hole and potentially endless digression
    • Be patient.
    • Spirit influences never grow tired of your tedious, electrochemical self. They are patient. Can you be?

  • Natural and material are not synonyms.
    • It's more precise to say the natural is a shadow of more real, eternal realities.
    • The material is only one aspect of the natural.
    • Until you're engaging something that it apart from the natural, you aren't engaging spiritualized mind.
      • Which means there's no way to consciously engage personality, which is spirit pattern.
    • Though don't fret too much. Plenty can still happen superconsciously.
    • We seek to aim higher on SoS. We'd like to be conscious of more of this.
    • And we want to avoid fixating sacredness on the natural. We're 180 degrees backward these days... sigh, as usual it seems.

  • Parables had been used before Jesus, but he essentially reinvented it as a teaching tool.
    • A hormonal teenager could roll their eyes at a parable ("stupid grownups"), but an adult who rejects a parable has to do so in a contemptuous way.
  • The 5th ER is not written as a parable. So it's bound to be controversial.
    • But parables also have limits. You can't explain the Supreme Being especially well using a nature analogy.

  • Many of these parables are about God as the sower.
    • God is apart from time--existential
    • So it isn't his "business" to watch the plats growing, the fish being caught, the pearls being bought, etc.
    • But grace only goes so far. At some point there is a harvest.