Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Early Public Work (Part 8)

From Symmetry of Soul

Nothing Jesus had said to the apostles up to this time had ever more astonished them than what he said one evening in Lazarus’s garden. Jesus taught them concerning the differing levels of meaning attached to the interpretation of the golden rule, the admonition to “do to others that which you desire others to do to you”. And they continued to discuss the Master’s words long after he had retired.

Listen to the broadcast

Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Golden Rule, Levels of Meaning, Growing Faith

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

Our brief post-review discussion touched on the influence of environmental conditions on one’s disposition, as applied to the pool of Bethesda. We reiterated our recognition of how Jesus’ express desires regarding his public ministry were time and again subject to the overcontrol of a greater divine sovereignty and effectively modified to highlight his reputation as a healer and miracle worker. And how Jesus’ response to each such redirection demonstrated an artistry of adaptability to circumstances of the moment worthy of our emulation. How much more are we challenged to exercise our adaptability to modify our own course of action when our desired outcomes are thwarted.

Preparatory to our reading we directed our attention to a brief examination of the golden rule as the vehicle for introducing the levels of meaning, one of the foundational features of the 5th ER. Since the beginning of human history, this rule of human fairness, a standard of mutuality has been recognized, and in light of the 5th ER can now be interpreted as one of the earliest human responses to encircuitment in the Holy Spirit forever lifting man above his animal origins.

147:4. The Rule of Living

Setting aside the issue of genuine morality in contrast with the taboos dictated by the mores of the age and the use of the terms wicked, sin, and evil doing, we first noted the implications of Jesus’ teaching a positive version of the old rule of life. In the “thou shalt not” negative mode, the golden rule presents little opportunity for perverting the spirit of the rule into license for the encouragement of evil doing. Nathaniel however, recognizes that in the positive mode, this rule opens the door to such self-serving application and seeks clarification from the Master with his “lustful man” scenario. The Master’s indignant response to Nathaniel’s question undoubtedly stung the apostle but highlighted the perils of failing to put a genuine spiritual interpretation on his commonplace teachings.

We noted that the potential for perverting the rule in the positive mode could be curtailed by explicitly including the word “good” in the rule, such that it unambiguously commands you to do good to others as you would have them do good to you. Yet, the Master does not do this. Thus, he brings the double edged sword of truth front and center. Freewill unavoidably creates the capacity for creativity and destructivity in equal measure. He thereby demonstrates congruence with the Local Universe Mother’s direction to her children in response to the Lucifer rebellion “to work for full disclosure and unlimited opportunity for sin-expression as the quickest technique of achieving the perfect and final cure of the plague of evil and sin.” In so doing the Master is revealing the existential and Absolute Father, apart from time, apart from grace. Here we are face to face with the 5th ER’s attempt to purify the idea of the Father of all false temporality.

We stepped through each of the six levels of meaning remembering that meaning represents a superadditive consequence of the relationship of thing and value. The levels of meaning represent a hierarchical reformed mindal structure transcendent of adjutant mind alone. Each of the six levels of meaning represents an associative relationship with a value “shadow” cast down from higher levels of meaning. Also, the levels of meaning can be seen to correspond with mindal faculties associated with the seven Adjutant mind spirits and the three cosmic intuitions. The intricacies of these associations are beyond my capacity to succinctly summarize, so I urge the serious student to not only revisit the archive of the broadcast, but to spend some reflective effort and time with this section. For simplicity and summary purposes I will consider each level from the standpoint of identifying that which you desire others to do to you and the associated mindal endowment which is in play.

1. The level of the flesh. This is the level exemplified by Nathaniel’s lustful man scenario. Do to others that which gratifies the flesh. The first three adjutants (intuition, understanding, and courage), having the characteristic of being in the moment cohere on this level. Even this level bears relationship with the value of love in the context of sex-love.

2. The level of the feelings. The addition of sympathy (with feelings) and pity (piety duty to God) enhance the interpretation of the rule. Do to others that which gratifies the feelings. The second three adjutants (knowledge, counsel, worship), having the characteristic of a longer-term duration, correspond to this level.

3. The level of mind. The seventh adjutant (wisdom) functions to coordinate and articulate the work of the first six adjutants, conferring organized selfhood upon the creature. Do to others that which is self-respecting.

4. The level of brotherly love. Also the logical level. Do to others that which is kind (kin-like or brotherly). This corresponds to the logical acumen of the first of the three cosmic intuitions inasmuch as the universal brotherhood of all persons is the logical consequence of consciousness of the Fatherhood of God.

5. The moral level. Engagement with the second of the three cosmic intuitions, the moral discrimination signals the attainment of true philosophic levels, genuine morality, which is the superadditive consequence of the relationship of the logical acumen and spiritual insight. This confers ever greater objectivity such as a high-minded, idealistic, wise, and impartial third person would interpret a given problem or situation. Such freedom from self-concerns enables you to do to others that which is right, genuine selflessness.

6. The spiritual level. Corresponding to the third of the three cosmic intuitions, spiritual insight we have reached the level of God-likeness. Do to others that which you know I (Jesus) would do to them in like circumstances.

The midwayer account confirms our suspicions that Nathaniel was indeed stung by the Master’s response, but he recovered his equilibrium, and his fellow apostles were more than thankful that he had the courage to ask such a thought provoking question.

Notes by Brad

  • Can you have a positive reaction, no matter the life circumstance?
    • You are given the adaptive potential to do that.

  • Why is the golden rule so obvious?
    • A little reflection on associativity reveals that there is a mutuality in the cosmos. Even the 6-year old can see this.

  • We start off with Nathaniel framing the golden rule in the context of sexual mores.
    • It's an old, common objection.
    • Has the golden rule been promulgated in a negative mode? "Thou shalt not" taboos?
      • "Do not unto others as you wish them not to do to you."
    • So the moment you suggest using it in a positive mode, there are these perverted interpretations.
    • Scheming, machinations, these all are innate in us. And the positive form is very susceptible to perversion by schemers.

  • So Jesus uses Nathaniel as a poster child for ignorance. In front of his best friends. Ouch.
    • But Jesus knows Nathaniel is tough, has a kernel of philosophic integrity, he can handle it.
    • The front-row kid in the college class bold enough to ask probing questions knows this scenario all too well. Sometimes the professor scolds you to make a wider point.
  • "Do GOOD to others as you would have them do to you?"
    • Why didn't Jesus just say it this way?
      • The same reason he spoke in parables. [151:1.3]
      • Leave it up to the individual to discover the correct understanding, so they can potentially find truth.
      • Giving them the rope to potentially hang themselves. Creativity paired with destructivity in equal measure
      • "If you're going to distort this, I'm not going to get in your way."
      • And a revelation of the Father--who is existential, outside time--is a revelation of the binary aspect of the cosmos. Grace is in time, not eternity.

Read about the Levels of meaning for more, including notes added in from this episode.