There is an old cliché that "the truth is something no one wants to hear." When Jesus said, "if you learn God's reasoning you will learn the truth and that truth will set you free," he meant that our spiritual and moral freedom is achieved through reasoning that goes hand and hand with feeling, not through intuition, miracles, spiritual feelings, or religious rituals alone. For example, we can be inspired by sermons, awed by psychic phenomena and healing, and lifted to states of bliss and ecstasy by the powers of ritual and music. But is this loving one another? Is the act of a thousand monks experiencing bliss more loving than the simple act of feeding one starving child? The answer to this is a truth we may not want to hear.
Until we learn how to reason lovingly/nonjudgmentally in our everyday lives, inspiration from sermons, feelings of bliss, and the wonder of spiritual insights will continue to be thought of as fleeting, extraordinary moments, rather than common, ordinary events.
Jesus recognized that, by giving us insight into our spiritual nature, religion and spirituality make us feel good and give us hope. But according to Jesus, the true hope of the world is to learn "the word" or reasoning of God. It is not occasional flashes of insight and bliss, but insights supported by knowledge-or gnosis-that can set us free.
History repeats itself because no religious, spiritual, or philosophical ism has ever convinced enough people in one generation to reason morally and lovingly. We know our good depends on the well being of others and our stewardship of nature. But we still selfishly rationalize that our needs, and those of our family and groups we belong to, come before the needs of others and our environment. Short-term profits, for example, all too often outweigh our concern for others, future generations, and nature.
The unique quality of Jesus' nonjudgmental system of logic is that the principle of nature, on which his system of logic rests, has been proven to be correct by modern science. This makes his system of reasoning universally true, and therefore teachable, on a global scale. When universally taught, the pendulum of power could at last swing away from a civilization based on judgmental logic that supports selfish reasoning, to a new civilization based on nonjudgmental logic that supports spiritual values. In practice, this is the equivalent of being in mind, body, and spirit, one with God. When all are one, the world would be revolutionized.
"Paul's gospel was not presented simply as the answer to the religious quest of his hearers, but as the God-given announcement of an event whose meaning challenges those quests, at least in the terms in which they were pursued the gospel challenged the prevailing understandings of God, the human condition, and the means of dealing with it; the gospel called for a reconstruction of those understandings." (5) Simply said, Jesus offers us a way to elevate our consciousness to the save level as his. This empowers us to deal with our problems in new and more loving ways
Note: Jesus' theory of nature casts a new role for religion. Remembering that Jesus' knowledge teachings were disseminated throughout the world through the religious institutions of his day, we can hope for the same now. Religious institutions cross political borders, and therefore, are still the best-qualified institutions to convey Jesus' teaching on a worldwide scale. Hopefully, religious leaders will agree, that teaching both Aristotle's and some form of nonjudgmental logic in their schools, is to their benefit. Together, both systems teach our children how to reason in loving ways, which supports the highest religious goals.
When Jesus said, "let the little children come to me for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs," (Mark 10:14) he was stating the obvious. If we taught our children to reason lovingly from kindergarten on, in but a few generations, "doing on earth as it is in heaven" could become our children's reality, just as Jesus promised. Terrorism, hate, prejudice, and war would no longer exist because their common denominator, judgmental reasoning, would no longer be used.
We can continue teaching religious values from only a mystical perspective, or we can intellectually support those values by teaching our children to reason lovingly. A truly better future for our children depends upon what we teach them now. Hopefully, religious leaders will consider Jesus' knowledge teachings an intellectual instrument that can ally reason and religion to the benefit of both.
"Without the exercise and development of intellect man would still be in the Stone Age but unless homo sapiens develops a greater humility concerning both the imperfect nature of his knowledge and the need for transcendental moral guidance, he could easily return to the Stone Age." (6)
Jesus' logos teachings are not miraculous or a quick fix. They are, however, a rational, and therefore, practical, blueprint to a nonjudgmental/loving way of life-globally.
Copyright © February 2, 2001, William C. Kiefert