by Ernest O'Neill
You need money? You get a job! Right? Of course--that's just commonsense. You're feeling a little depressed--so you take an upper, or a sherry, or an icecream. You feel a little inferior? Go out and buy a new outfit or stereo that your friends will admire-- that will help your self-esteem. This is the way humans lived for two thousand years--though they had other names for their stimulants and their treats. Nevertheless, they thought as we do--whatever you need, you get it either from the world around you or from the people around you. There's no other source for the security and self-esteem we need.
Then about two thousand years ago a remarkable human being appeared on the earth who said that his father had made the world and us. He said his father loved us and would himself supply what material things we needed. He said also that his father would transmit his love to us so really that we would never have trouble with our sense of self-worth again. All we had to do was believe what he said and act accordingly.
This was the first time we men and women grasped the idea that the power we needed so often in our living would come from outer space--from beyond this present world. You would think all of our forefathers would immediately have changed their attitudes and begun to establish relations with this father-creator!
Why didn't they? Just look into your own mind and you'll see the difficulty. At first glance it would seem wonderful if the God who clothes the flowers of the field and feeds the birds of the air would even more attentively clothe and feed us. But would he do it the way we want to be clothed and fed? Would he give us the kind of clothes we want in order to draw attention to ourselves? Would he give us the kind of drink that we need for enjoyment? These are exactly the feelings that motivated our earliest forefathers to reject God as the answer for all the needs in the first place. These are the very reasons why they decided to depend on the world and other people. This way they could get what they wanted when they wanted why they wanted.
It's the same with us today though we have the advantage of hindsight. We look out on a world that is confused and bewildered. We don't understand why people take guns and mow down innocent children in school playgrounds or blow airline passengers out of the air. We don't understand why people beat up their children or their wives. But worst of all, we don't understand why we get so petty about having our own way at home or why we can spoil beautiful days and relationships just in order to say the nasty things we want to say. So often, we look back on spoiled evenings out or summer vacations, and are bewildered at the apparent devil inside us that makes us destroy ourselves and those we love.
We can look back over 4,000 years of history and see that millions of us trying to get from the world the material possessions we need irrespective of what anybody else needs has turned us into selfish monsters. Moreover, when we produce a little effort to change, we find the monster inside grows even worse. The more cocaine we throw away, the more effort we put into family life, the fairer we try to be at work, the worse the demon within seems to become. Many of us feel we've become so perverted that the only hope for us lies in somehow starting life all over again. The ruts in the cortex of our brains are so deep, the emotional habits and the mental pattern of our lives are so much part of us that the only answer seems to be a destruction of us as we are and a raising of some kind of phoenix from the ashes.
The Cosmic Death
Only when you've got to the point of realistic despair and extremity, are you ready to experience the radical, surgery that was done on the human race beyond space and time. Until you see the human predicament (and your own predicament) in the above terms, the Creator's action seems unreasonable. What he actually did was to foresee the way we would use our free wills to substitute the world of men and things for him to supply our needs. Then--in eternity--the timelessness an spacelessness that lies beyond the planet--he put us all into his Son, Jesus, and destroyed what he foresaw we would become--and raised us up absolutely new and fresh. He then expressed this within our time-space world in 29 a.d. on a hill outside Jerusalem in the historic person of Jesus of Nazareth, and gives us now the choice of living whichever life we choose.
But the choice of the world of our father-Creator means a complete turning from one to choose the other. In other words, "dying with Christ" means giving up our right to our own way here on earth. It means a deep readiness to allow him to live in our place. Only in being a physical and mental framework with which he can live the rest of his life, we fulfil the original plan of our Maker. However, if we do adopt this attitude to Him and to life, then all our past perverted personality is blotted out and our Creator starts life all over again for us. We literally are born again and start life new--the old has passed away, and the new has come. This cosmic miracle becomes a personal one if you are willing. Let's talk further about the implications of such a change time.
Read Superhuman Life No. 29
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