Episode:Jesus the Tutor—Sojourn at Rome (Part 5)

From Symmetry of Soul

A rich man asked Jesus what he would do with wealth if he had it.  Jesus answered: “I would bestow material wealth for the enhancement of material life, even as I would minister knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual service for the enrichment of the intellectual life, the ennoblement of the social life, and the advancement of the spiritual life.”

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Wealth, Honesty, Fairness

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

We conclude our commentary concerning the problems with formulating philosophy encountered in the previous two programs as they intersect with the issues pertaining to the precision of the meaning of words chosen by the revelators. The revelators use the same significant words as are found in the formulated philosophies and doctrines which have evolved over mankind’s history. Yet the meanings acquired in the evolutionary process have become colored and twisted by these human formulations such that we must transcend the falsehoods of these doctrines to “cleanse” the words and have any chance of penetrating to the truth inferred by these terms. The emphasis SoS gives to vocabulary, and word meanings should not be interpreted as an over-intellectualization of the revelation inasmuch as the revelators in the second paragraph of the Foreword acknowledge the difficulty of presenting enlarged concepts and advanced truth when restricted to using the circumscribed language of the realm, thereby incurring the risk of partiality or some degree of distortion of meaning. Subjectively truth and error “feel” the same. An objective perspective must be cultivated if we are to engage the revelation rather than merely find affirmation for our views.

We also enjoyed briefly examining the words value(s) and worthwhile in their corresponding relation with eternity and temporality.

132:5 Counseling the Rich Man

The remainder of the broadcast was taken with Jesus’ in depth counseling of a rich man concerning the disposition of the man’s considerable wealth. The man was persistent in his inquiries of Jesus. With each response Jesus made, the rich man pressed for further explication. The man first asked Jesus what he would do with wealth if he had it, to which Jesus gave a reply worthy of universal application which called for the recognition of the material, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of living and an appreciation of passing on resources for the benefit and ennoblement of the next and succeeding generations. To the man’s second entreaty specifically focused on his personal circumstances, Jesus acknowledged that the man was a sincere seeker of wisdom and lover of truth, i.e. a philosophic thinker. Jesus clarified that his advice was being given because he asked, and was specific to him alone. Jesus went on to suggest that if the man were really intending to become a wise steward of his wealth he could honestly analyze the sources of his riches, and determine whence came this wealth. Jesus proceeded to enumerate ten different methods of amassing material wealth:

  1. Inherited wealth
  2. Discovered wealth
  3. Trade wealth
  4. Unfair wealth
  5. Interest wealth
  6. Genius wealth
  7. Accidental wealth
  8. Stolen wealth
  9. Trust funds
  10. Earned wealth

Jesus instructed him to so categorize his wealth accordingly and administer each portion in accordance with the wise and honest interpretation of the laws of justice, equity, fairness, and true efficiency. He further suggested that where doubt exists, God would not look unfavorably if he erred on the side of merciful and unselfish regard for the suffering victims of life’s difficult circumstances, favoring those who suffer the misfortunes of undeserved hardships.

After several hours of discussion, the rich man requested still further and more detailed instruction. After reiterating that this advice was intended solely for this man and his personal guidance he forcefully counseled the man to refrain from dictating how other rich men should regard their wealth. Jesus then proceeded to expand his advice on each of the ten categories of wealth. We noted that the specifics of this teaching exceeded what a bestowal son on a mission of spiritual uplift would be expected to dispense. As Jesus put it, he was speaking only for himself (third circler Jesus) and to the man alone.

Much of our discussion centered on the precision of the revelators’ liberal use of terms as fair, just, honest, equity, moral, and others. The intricacies of these usages do not lend themselves to summarization. Please listen carefully to the broadcast for the full discussions.

Notwithstanding the disclaimers concerning the specificity of Jesus’ teachings on these matters their inclusion in the 5th ER is sufficient cause for each of us to spend time in depth of thought and reflection concerning these matters. Careful reading of this material suggests that we keep in mind the evolutionary relativity of the advice herein contained and avoid existentializing or universalizing it. We also discussed that running through all this instruction is a call to recognize and appreciate the demands of cosmic citizenship, our loyalty to God and duty to our fellows.

Notes by Brad

  • Worth while shows several times in this paper
    • Downstepping an eternal value into time and space? That's worth. But then focus on the temporal nature of time & space: that's "while" (as in meanwhile)
    • Or take what's in the inner life (value, the only place value is found), expressing it into the outer life appears as worth-while-ness.
    • Why so hard to pin down a definition? It's a word that hints at a shadow being cast from something far more profound. Rarely have we explored such things in depth in human history.

  • Don't turn this into "Jesus wealth analysis"-ism. A mindless, universal precept.
  • The nature of philosophic pursuit could be: being "a sincere seeker after wisdom and an honest lover of truth."
  • This section is aptly not titled "The Discourse on Wealth," perhaps precisely because it is so aimed at one individual, 2000 years ago.
    • If we are to understand it as a discourse on wealth, how could we use it properly, objectively, and contextually?
    • Also, Jesus is still here today (via his Spirit of Truth), so perhaps we can ask him for our own personal "counseling" for our riches?

  • Notice the use of just and fair here, echoing the levels of meaning.
    • But what do fair and just mean? Don't count on a modern dictionary! They aren't synonyms, for example.
    • Just. Related to an individuality. Law-abiding for sure. Sometimes also implies honest.
    • Fair. Related to associativity.
  • What about the one in the list-of-10 that is "funds" instead of "wealth?" What's the challenge given to us there? Hmm.

  • Equity appears in here, but certainly not in the narrow financial sense. It's another word that's easy to be fuzzy about
    • Equity. A systems where physical and mental differences are harmonized, in light of the fact of spiritual equality.
    • Equality. In contrast, in the material sense it's a watered down "poor man's equity" so to speak.
  • Undeserved hardships... well, that is open to the interpretation! Nothing fixed and dogmatic about that. Gotta be discerning.
    • Perhaps "He who will not work shall not eat" is a starting point?
  • The expanded list of 10 seems to be fairly straightforward. But still, spend time reflecting on the sum of them all.
    • Notice how often the word honest appears, for example.
    • The word moral here is definitely not about conformity with mores. It's about conformity with the cosmos. So "moral obligation" here implies you need to recognize how you are means to an end of a larger evolutionary process, you're one cell in a vast organism.
    • And moral is not the same as ethical. Ethical is about other humans and your interactions. Moral is simply you and the cosmos, conformity with God the Mother's system.
    • "This gold is MINE! Eternally mine!" Not so much. You were just part of a long chain of it coming into known manifestation.
    • In item 3, the word equity IS used in a more financial sense. Like "burden" last week, they are overtly challenging us to note the imprecision of the English language. Think. Reflect!
    • Item 4 is so important not to existentialize, especially with your religious consciousness screaming at you that slavery is universally bad! But don't existentialize this.
    • Item 8 seems straightforward, but notice the precision of language: unfair here, unjust there.

  • Why do we oscillate between extremes so easily? Because there's no philosophy, only religion and absolutist dichotomy. We have the will, but not the way.