I think I know something about Communism, and I would like to share it with you.
First, I would like you to purchase the book about Communism that we will use in this course: Erich Fromm's Marx's Concept of Man.
This book is the best one on the market today because it contains (a) the early economic and philosophical manuscripts of Karl Marx, the ones which contain the heart of the appeal of Communism, and it contains (b) an intelligent, straightforward analysis of what those manuscripts mean, by a highly successful Jewish psychiatrist, who understands how to present difficult abstract philosophical ideas to the average man.
Who is, after all the man whom we are all interested in reaching.
The appeal of Communism is very simple, very basic, and very obvious when you get free of all the ideological garbage and the hypnotically gripping Western prejudices.
Communism is Christianity turned on its head.
They used to say of Marx that he turned Hegel, his philosophical mentor, upside down in his reversal of Philosophical Idealism into Philosophical materialism.
This he did.
To whatever extent Hegel understood and incorporated Christianity into his Phenomenology of Mind.
You have to remember that Marx was writing from roughly the same set of observations as was John Stuart Mill, who wrote Utilitarianism and On Liberty, the two best recognized and most accepted Philosophical defenses of democracy as we know it.
Both writers were witnessing the deplorable working-class situation in England during the 1800s.
Both wrote from an appeal from the heart.
Both got the solution to the problem wrong.
Marx got it more wrong than did Mill.
Both mistook effect for cause.
Mill thought it was democracy that would rescue the worker from the nightmare misery of his plight.
Marx thought it would be Communism.
Both were wrong.
Democracy is a by-product, a spin-off luxury, a reward, for those who turn to Spirit.
Democracy is not the cause of freedom, it is part of the result of freedom that we get as our reward for our labors in the spiritual field.
Thus you cannot protect and defend Democracy, which is an effect; you protect and defend the cause of Democracy--the spiritual values in whose presence it is allowed to thrive--if you wish to ensure its safekeeping and safeguarding.
Whenever you start working from the standpoint of thinking that effect is cause you are in hot water.
The institution you have will decay and rot under your feet.
As we have (to some extent) witnessed to the institution of democracy as it has existed in the United States over the past two hundred years.
Eisenhower was one of my favorite presidents.
He didn't do a goddamn thing except mentally fight Communism, put 'under God' in the pledge of allegiance, and build the freeway system.
Marx was on the right track; he had a good heart. But he made one fatal error: he thought that the causes of the woes of mankind were material, instead of mental and spiritual.
At least that is how he ended up.
At first, in the early Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, you can see that he was torn on the point of whether the problem occurred in the individual consciousness of an individual man, (the worker), or whether it lay in the system which "caused" the individual to feel the way he did.
Marx, like the Sociologists of today, went with the belief that the system was at fault, and that was where he went 180 degrees in the wrong direction.
The problem is, always has been, and always will be, in the hearts and minds of men.
Consciousness, at least as we know it in this stage of human evolution, is individual. It exists as you and me. That is the only place there is a battleground.
Is in what you accept into your thought as your reality.
It all comes down to a matter of belief.
What you believe decides how you will act.
Which is why I am a teacher instead of a soldier.
Because I believe that the place to attack error is in the individual consciousness of the individual observer of God at work in His Creation.
Let's talk about Karl Marx for a while.
in Marx's earliest writings, The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, which came out in 1844, you can see his appeal to the worker--to anybody caught up in the viciousness of the free enterprise, capitalistic, economic system.
Not that that system is more vicious than any other.
Nor that the (apparent) viciousness is caused by that system.
Marx saw the deplorable conditions of a man trying to make a living and support his family, and blamed it on the closest thing his eye could see--the economic system that seemed to cause the conditions.
He was right in his heart; and wrong in his head.
The real problem is not a problem of greed, hatred, envy, and covetousenss after all: it is a problem of ignorance.
Which comes down to a problem of fear.
Meaning that people refuse to turn their heads because they are afraid of what they are going to see.
But if they knew that what they were going to see was something totally harmless, thoroughly emancipating, where the only chains one had to cast aside were the chains of superstition and ignorance that kept one bound to misery, who in his right mind would not turn around and walk the other way?
Marx came close to delivering on this, because he started with the heart of a Christian (although he was a Jew).
But he couldn't deliver; because his analysis was material.
And his solution was material.
But his initial impressions, his original description of the plight of the worker is correct, at least in its material manifestation.
What he describes is the condition of alienation.
See if his description applies to anything you are familiar with.
The central material manifestation of the phenomenon of alienation is a man's relation to his work.
This includes the product of his labor, the time spent producing it, his relation to his wife and family, his relation to his free time, or leisure, his relation to his employer, his relation to machines, his relation to his fellow worker, and perhaps, most important, his relation to himself.
On all of these counts, the average guy, working in a free, competitive market, is alienated from what he does for a living.
That is, he doesn't like what he is doing; it isn't fulfilling; it separates him from the product of his labor; it creates a spirit of separation between him and his work; his work comes between him and his wife and family; his free time is used in recovering from what is done to him at his job; he hates his employer, and fears his fellow employees; he has no time for himself, but spends what time he does have serving the basically animal functions of eating, sleeping, and procreation.
The working man, whether he be farmer, laborer, or white-collar worker spends his time engaged in labor which is essentially not his own, done for somebody else, at the direction of somebody else, to make money for somebody else, and all this according to the values, goals, and sense of time of somebody else.
In all ways the worker's product is not his own.
If you think of his labor; it is not his own, but is defined by the direction of somebody else. If you think of his time, (both the pace of time and the length of time), they are not of his own constructing. The nature of the product of his labor is preconceived, and has no value to him.
Even the money, which he finally turns to as the reward for his endeavor, is already set, both in the amount that he receives and the necessities it must go to pay for in the process of recovering from his work.
In the process of recovering from his life.
In all senses, man, working in the economic conditions we are faced with today, is an appendage on a machine.
The more efficiently the machine runs the more pre-defined his activity becomes.
The more useless he feels.
The more inhumane the conditions become.
Oh, he can fit right in, and be granted complete citizenship in the organization.
Provided he is willing to treat his labor like a thing.
The product of his labor, what he spends his vital life energy producing, like a thing.
Provided he is willing to treat his mind like a thing.
Provided he is willing to treat what he loves most in life as instruments in the service of the things he produces.
Provided he can find a way to numb all his feelings of indignation and dignity and self worth in order to tolerate what citizenship in the labor force is going to cost him.
Provided he is willing to sacrifice every last shred of dignity and self-respect, which pertain to the essence of what he is as a human being, for the simple expedient of existing. Like an animal. Like a well-trained, very well-trained animal.
Who knows his master and comes when he is called.
Marx, as I have said, had a good eye for the problem, because he had a good heart and cared about people. Cared enough to start a revolution by telling workers to "Unite! They had nothing to lose but their chains!"
He was so appealing that people heard him. People felt the truth of what he was saying. They felt the love he had in his promises to them.
And they revolted.
And then you had the two largest nations on earth--China and Russia--eating the lies that came with Marx's inability (lack of courage) to take the extra step and see that the whole problem was spiritual.
He didn't see that all that had to be done was to completely turn to Spirit, that indeed, what looked like deplorable working conditions caused by economic conditions and man's inhumanity to man was really Spirit calling for recognition by His People who were ready to see a new and advanced stage of reality that they had been prepared to receive and accept.
Indeed, actually, the Marxian revolution was essential in the evolution of spiritual reality in order for us to see, for humanity to see, that material solutions to the economic, political, and social woes of mankind are not the answer.
No matter how good the heart is.
Let's talk about work.
Good clean honest work, and what it's about.
Let's talk about my father-in-law, Bob Gerde, who owns a market down on the waterfront in Kirkland, Washington, which is a suburb of Seattle.
Bob is a meat cutter, whose dad came over to this country from Norway, about 75 years ago.
His dad, like all other Norwegian villagers of the late 19th century, fished for a living off the Fjords of Norway in the North Atlantic.
When the sails didn't work they had to row their boat out in the ocean.
One day a storm came up that caught the villagers out in the water with no place to go; and half of them were taken.
Bob's dad, who was just a boy at the time, and some others made it to an inlet, where they survived the winter blast by sipping some whiskey.
That storm left a lot of widows in that village.
When he returned home to his village he told his mother that when he turned twenty-one he was going to America.
Which he did, on the day he turned twenty-one.
He ended up in a lumber mill in Portland, Oregon, earning a dollar a day and glad to get it, as Bob tells the story.
From there he went on to be a carpenter, and lived to build his own house when he was 82.
Well Bob was shipped out to a farm, near Astoria, Oregon, when he was in high school. To make his money milking cows. (You ought to see his hands today. The strong, tender hands of a meat cutter that have learned about pain, and patience, and tenderness pulling milk out of cows.)
Bob went to Ketchikan, Alaska, where he met my wife's mother, Tina, and they fell in love and began raising a family.
Tina, whose parents were also Norwegian, reminds me more of what Liv Ullman was trying to project in her Scandanavian movies than anyone I have ever met.
They lived on an island across the bay from Ketchikan, and you had to row about a mile and a half in between.
Their first four kids were born there.
Bob became an alcoholic during this time. It became hard for him to hold a job, and they moved down to Seattle.
He got work as a meat cutter for A&P, and stayed with them for sixteen years.
He put the booze down in 1951.
At the end of his sixteen year hitch with A&P he tried his hand at setting up his own market, a delicatessen.
It failed. Because someone lied to him concerning the partnership he tried to enter into.
That almost killed him.
But he recovered. He rebounded.
He went to work for Mayfair, which was a food chain owned by Arden Milk.
This store was located in downtown Bellevue, which is a hotsy-totsy snob suburb of Seattle.
Bob went to work managing the meat department of this store, with eight meat cutters under him and four meat wrappers.
That is a very large meat market.
This was in 1967, when hamburger was 30¢ a pound, and the pricing machine didnt even go over $2. 00 a pound.
They made over $25,000 a week.
Which was a lot.
It is the biggest grocery store I have ever seen (and I used to be a boxboy); and that department, while it was under his charge was making more money than any store heard of by anyone I have ever known in the business.
Since he left it has dropped down to $10,000 or $15,000 a week.
What was there about this man that caused a meat market in a grocery store to rise to such stellar heights of flourishing activity?
Like a meteor. In the meat business.
He could get a job in any part of town.
Everybody knew Bob Gerde and his operation at Mayfair Market.
How do you keep eight meat cutters and four meat wrappers behind the counter happy, while turning out that kind of business every day?
It wasn't the union; you can be sure of that.
The union forced him to keep one of the worst meat wrappers he knew.
He couldn't get rid of her.
Although he was a member of the union.
What was it?
His daughter knew. (My wife.)
She was one of the four meat wrappers.
How do you keep all those meat wrappers and meat cutters happy?
You show a willingness to do it all yourself.
You set an example.
On how to be happy in your work.
No matter what it is.
It is there for you.
You show appreciation for it, and for a job well-done.
No matter what it is.
It is the work that the Good Lord has given you to do, for reasons that you may not understand, but you know it has to be good.
This is hard stuff to make people eat.
So the only way to do it is by example.
Painting his board fence.
And pretty soon you have people realizing it is their work, and it is fun, no matter what has been given them to do.
One guy spent his whole day in the back room grinding hamburger and cutting up chickens.
How do you make a guy like that happy in his work?
You show him that he has been given to you and you to him, and that the people, together, make up a team, or an environment, that is happy.
Where each sees and knows and respects the need of the other.
And in the Weltanschauung of mutual shared love for one another, they turn out a product, that is needed and greatly appreciated by the larger community as a whole.
Each according to his ability; each according to his need.
My wife tells the story about how you can learn to make up little games with yourself.
Hers was keeping up with the pricing machine.
With all those people putting out all that meat it was a sport to wrap it fast enough to keep ahead.
She says people would actually gather and watch her wrap it she was so fast.
And she says there were the breaks, where they would get a couple of dozen doughnuts, and really laugh at the funny jokes that they told each other.
Her daddy took a great deal of pride in his work.
And he greatly enjoyed his work.
You've got to remember that this guy's occupation was killing animals and cutting up the meat.
There is a lot to overcome in that.
Besides the boredom and routine.
This is the guy that the rest of us hire to do the dirty work for us.
So we can receive our meat, neatly wrapped and packaged in Saran Wrap, looking like a steak.
He is the guy who goes out and looks the cow in the eye, or receives what's left after some other guy has pulled the trigger.
He is the one who has to make the judgment about whether the meat is fit to eat.
He's seen a lot of maggots.
A lot of us complain about the people we have to work with.
Have you ever tried talking with bitchy housewives from across a meat counter?
They are the people who are looking over a meat counter, salivating at what they see, and too cheap to buy what they want or want what they buy.
The problem you deal with all day is confusion and indecision, (sensuality, remember).
It is much worse than women buying shoes.
Because there are countless other things you have to attend to.
You are always behind in a meat market.
Well, Mayfair, in the infinite wisdom of its management, like A&P before it, decided that Bob was doing so well managing the meat counter that they would transfer him to an operation that was no good.
And they wouldn't let him do the merchandising.
Bob loves people.
He clearly does.
He loves to do the job right for them.
I mean, the extra touch of putting parsley in the package of meat doesn't really add to the flavor of the meat. But it does in the mind of the consumer, and that is who he is working for.
He is the old-fashioned kind of butcher who likes to put doo-das in the roast with pins, so they look pretty in the counter.
Well, Bob has left A&P and Mayfair now, and he has his own butcher shop, down on the waterfront, in downtown Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle.
Bob Gerde's Blue Ribbon Meats it is called.
And it is known far and wide as having the best meat in town, anyplace in the whole Seattle area.
He even advertises in The Christian Science Monitor.
He specializes in things like Crown pork roast, standing rib roasts that have been aged two months, and have an inch of mold on them before it is trimmed off, fresh turkeys.
Fresh turkeys are much better than frozen ones, and cost 20¢ a pound more.
Stuffed pork chops.
His own sausage.
His own smoked Ham.
Pinwheel steaks (flank steaks with stuffing).
And possibly the best aged Sirloin Steak you have ever sunk a tooth into. (At least that has been the report of everyone I have given some to.)
Bob is happy as a clam.
His wife Tina works in the back of the shop taking calls, keeping books, and greeting customers.
They always load us up with meat whenever we go to see them.
They have twelve kids, not one of whom is in serious debt, and oodles of grandchildren, who come over to see them every holiday.
And come down to the store to visit when it isn't a holiday.
You know, if you grew up in the era I did--basically in the 50s, 60s, and 70's--you are tired, just plain tired of hearing about communism.
We had the Korean War. We had McCarthy. We had Martin Luther Coon, the commie.
For me, the Korean War meant that we couldn't buy as many firecrackers for the Fourth.
McCarthy, or "McCarthyism," meant that you had to watch what you said, and you looked around the room to see if there was anybody that looked a little "pink."
Martin Luther King was a neat guy at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. He had a lot of courage.....and brass.
As the movement progressed it got old. Which it could not have done if it had been a genuinely communistically inspired movement. It got old because it was a movement with the same sort of appeal as the labor movement.
Which was the same sort of communist-inspired anti-Americanism in its beginning as well.
If you remember.
Communism gets olds very old, very quickly, if you let it run its course.
As soon as you make the assumption that your problems are basically material, needing material solutions, you are making the assumption that is the cause of the inevitable fall of communism.
Obviously, such an assumption can be made about any of the problems occurring in a democracy. And with the same result.
What made King victorious was the spirit he conveyed in the minds he spoke to.
I remember sitting in an apartment in St. Louis at the edge of the great, sprawling urban black expansion of the late 60's the night King was shot.
You could feel something in the air, like an eruption was going to occur.
With a lot of Negroes taking to the streets prepared to express their displeasure in more forcible terms than merely academic clichés.
But they didn't.
Time and time again he had told them to put down their weapons. That the words that Jesus spoke still held true: "Love your enemies." "Pray for those that despitefully use you and mistreat you."
That was power.
And they had seen it.
And they remembered.
And I, for one little white dude sitting in an apartment, in the middle of St. Louis, at the edge of this eruption, was impressed.
They could have torn that city apart.
But they didn't.
Because they had had a great leader who had taught them the meaning and the power and the value of a spiritually based constitutional democracy. Which would serve them exactly insofar as they served it.
That is the kingpin, that stops the revolution.
In the crunch.
No other kind of democracy or constitution can survive the incredible pressures of righteous social upheaval than a spiritual one, one whose principles have been made clear by having been lived and demonstrated by the leaders who serve it.
All the others have collapsed.
And will collapse.
And as soon as the leaders who serve the constitution and the people lose their love for that spiritual ideal, their words become as hollow as tinkling cymbals and brass.
And the people hear it.
Because it is not the democracy, not the flag, not the leaders, and not the relief from material oppression that the people seek: it is the spiritual idea that they glimpse in the spirit of the moment that they pursue, whether it be freedom, justice, love, or security, and regardless of how it is personified, regardless of who leads them to victory.
It is victory they seek.
The possession of the spiritual idea made real in their lives.
That has been the cause of every major revolution.
Including the Bolshevik revolution.
It was precisely because Marx's appeal is basically a Christian appeal, and because there are leaders who understand and can personify that appeal, that Marxism can get off the ground.
That is basically the reason any revolution can get off the ground.
The only difference between the Christian Revolution and all these others is that the Christian Revolution is the pure thing.
It has no ulterior interests.
Like the Civil Rights Movement does.
And the labor movement does.
To the extent that you are working for mammon as well as God (good), to that extent your movement will dead-end and have to purify itself of all contaminating influences.
We all know this.
I am not telling you anything you do not already know.
It is just a question of when we feel ready to mobilize 100% for the forces of good that we see operating in our physical lives.
With all selfishness aside.
When we are ready to make that kind of commitment to that kind of goal we will literally step into the fourth dimension.
Leaving all the troubles and pettiness behind.
Needless to say, not all Marxists are prepared to make that commitment.
I believe they have some other motives and desires at heart, not to mention some other methods for implementing their ideas besides the purely Christian method of prayer.
Prayer is the wholehearted turning to your oldest friend--the man upstairs.
The thing about prayer that renders it offensive to most warriors and people of common sense is that the people who most loudly proclaim themselves practitioners of the act of prayer-- the self-proclaimed Christians--don't know a god damn thing about what they are talking about.
They only know how to talk about it.
They make a noise about it.
Or a smell.
These cowardly little rats run around the face of the earth, presenting themselves as being in touch with "the Word of God," and yet presenting an example of humanity that no sensible, honest, self-respecting human being would lower himself to emulate.
I am saying to you that the worst class of people possibly imaginable has got its hands on "Christianity," and has made such a mockery of its precious truths that no one who is capable of understanding and using the power of Christianity would let himself get near it, for fear of betraying himself to the hypocrisy and the self-righteous sludge, and most important, to the absolute mindlessness of this religion as it is practiced today.
Look at the people that practice this religion.
Go into a "church."
Turn on your TV set and watch the "religious" programs.
Barbie and Ken dolls.
The whole god damn bunch of them.
With minor exceptions hiding in the corners trying to look like the others. Because there is no other place to go. If they purely want to seek what is right and good, and have chosen to find their path of reality in that.
Or so it would seem.
Nietzsche was right.
God is dead.
At least as he is understood by contemporary Western Society today.
Except for little glimpses of the divine, through little revolutionaries like Martin Luther King.
Who saw what was needed. Was willing to put everything on the line for it. Who cared not a twit about the dirt on the platters. But went ahead, giving his all to Christ--the highest conception of good and right that he could see at the time.
Out of his love for God and his love for man.
That is what it takes.
That is all it takes.
And you will be shown the path.
Into the fourth dimension.
Where nothing can hurt you ever again.
No matter what the material appearances.
And no matter what the (seeming) material resistance to your understanding of right and good.
I am here to tell you that no matter what the obstacle, the understanding of the power of right and good leads you directly to the material victory that you need for bringing that rightness and goodness into physical fact in human existence.
I am here to say to you that these people who call themselves Christians do not know how to pray.
They do not understand rightness and goodness.
Because they practice so little of it in their lives.
When you practice the opposite of what the Christian Religion preaches you are naturally not going to benefit from very much of the power that it has to offer.
When you muddy the waters with your own greed, malice, self-righteousness, etc., you cannot see the activity of the Holy Spirit as it acts in your behalf.
There are many, many fine people--people who are devout and devoted Christians. Working their lives away in hospitals, factories, businesses, and schools, who know absolutely nothing about the letter of the Christian Religion, which would tell them why they are doing what they are doing, what they are doing, and how to do what they are doing in infinitely more effective ways.
The only problem is that these people have too much integrity to walk into a church.
Obviously, I can't blame them.
It takes a profoundly spiritual man, with a profoundly spiritual idea, to move people as Marx and his idea did.
He simply followed the next step in the history of the egalitarian consciousness that had been the cause of every major revolution since the beginning of the Fall of the Holy Roman Church, which began with the lies about the Trinity that got put into the Nicene Creed.
Marx was a far more spiritual man than the fellows who bickered about the doctrine in that little document. And the spirit of his love for the common man carried the day in spite of his self-confessed hatred of religion, which he regarded as a tool of oppression, which it was, and in spite of his appeal to none but material solutions (and causes) for the distress of the workers.
Underlying the Communist Manifesto, or the Workers' Declaration of Independence, and Das Kapital, indeed, in spite of the laboring ponderous theory of how dialectical materialism will ultimately triumph, which the reader must dredge through and putatively eat if he is going to buy Marxism, lies the spirit of the man Marx.
It is the spirit, the love, and the courage of Marx that inspires and holds the Revolutionary forces when it matters in the crunch.
Which is what we saw in Vietnam.
It was our admiration for the spiritual idea that we saw impelling the revolutionary forces in Vietnam--and our recognition of it--that lost us the war.
The right-wingers and war hawks couldn't keep from us the fact that it was being won by little guys pushing heavily loaded bicycles through the jungle, constantly being bombarded by B-52's and thoroughly devoted in purpose and spirit.
Regardless of how rightly or wrongly guided they might have been.
That spiritual tenacity shone through.
And defeated the Great American Tiger.
Because the American People did not have the will to challenge it once they began to see it.
And recognize it.
We could have, at any time, bombed them back to the Stone Age, as Curtis Lemay would have had us do back in the '64 campaign with Goldwater.
But we didn't.
And we continued not to.
And the reason we didn't was because we wouldn't bring the other guy's arm down to the table in our arm wrestling match because we were afraid of what that would say about us.
About who would have been bombing themselves back to the Stone Age.
In the face of that idea.
The British couldn't defeat it in the War of Independence.
The Founding Fathers seized it, captured it, and put it down on paper in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
It is the most powerful idea in the Universe, not to mention human affairs.
The Vietnamese pushing bicycles defeated the United States War Machine with it.
The Americans at Concord and Lexington defeated the British with it, with the shot "heard" around the world.
Karl Marx captured the imagination of the two largest countries in the world with it.
What is it?
If you are not feeling it now there is nothing more I can say to you.
It is the fourth-dimensional understanding of God.
No matter how imperfect, imprecise, or fleeting it may be.
It is the essence of human life.
Suppose, then, that prayer is the key to genuine revolution that will overturn all the wrongs in the world and reinstate all that is right and good.
Suppose that prayer is the secret passageway, in the privacy of one's own closet, away from the material senses and away from the material sense of self, that will lead directly to the vision of reality beheld by Jesus Christ, the spiritual reality the understanding of which enabled him to perform the so-called "miracles" that caught the attention of his awestruck audience.
Suppose that these "supernatural" feats of his--the instantaneous healing of lepers, the creation of food seemingly out of thin air, the proof of his supremacy to the laws of physics in his walking on the water, the bringing back to life of people that had been dead so long they had begun to smell, and, finally, the bringing of himself back to life in the physical presence of his disciples in what we call "the resurrection"--suppose there is nothing "supernatural" about these feats at all; suppose they are not "miraculous" in the ordinary sense of the term, but are, rather, perfectly natural feats available to any human being who is willing to turn his head.
Suppose that the secret of these feats is prayer--the prayer that leads one away from the ordinary conceptions of religion, the religions of the day, which in our case means the Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish material churches, parallels of which were present in the days of Jesus in the form of material churches like those attended by the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Suppose that the secret of prayer is to achieve a state of communion with the Father (and Mother) of us all, the Being that said "Let us make man in our image" in the first chapter of Genesis.
Suppose that to achieve a state of total communion with the Father, i.e., to achieve a state where you have "the same Mind that was in Christ Jesus," you have to understand his expression "The Father and I are one," so that you can see in what sense he meant to say that "It is not I but the Father that worketh within me that doeth the works. "
Suppose that your communion were so perfect that you could literally "see," by way of your spiritual sense, which is exactly opposed to your material sense, just exactly how you are your Father's child, how you were made in the image of God, how man is the Son of God, as well as the son of man.
Suppose, as a result of this, you could "see" what path to follow in the process of "putting off the old man so you could put on the new man," i.e., so you could be spiritually reborn, and enter the fourth dimension, never to be troubled by the third dimension again.
Suppose that your reward for your willingness to turn away from the false promises of the material church of the Land, and turn toward your intuition that God is not wrathful, vengeful, and punishing, would be a complete understanding of what John meant in the 8th verse of the 4th chapter of the 1st book of John, when he said, "God is Love. "
Suppose that your reward would be a complete understanding of how and why you cannot die.
Suppose you could see how the experiences of this life, prior to the time you accepted the divinity that is your real essence, were preparations, some of them painful, for you to give birth to your real identity as the child of God, not the child of man.
Suppose that your reward for your willingness to be open-minded was an ability to heal in exactly the same way that Jesus and his disciples healed, "when he gave them of the Holy Ghost."
Suppose that the real meaning of all the suffering in the world is that the world is suffering from a hypnotic dream--a dream that the material world is real, and that God, proportionally, is unreal--and that with your understanding, gained through true prayer, true communion, you could help break the spell of that dream, and, consequently, relieve the suffering caused by that dream in the lives you touch.
Suppose that the way you break the spell of hypnotism, the hypnotism that finds its most secure root in the material churches across the Land that claim to represent the teachings of Jesus, is to quietly know, through an inner peaceful act, what the Truth at hand really is, regardless of what the material appearances at hand hypnotically suggest.
Suppose that the devil, all evil, is really mental suggestion (regardless of how strong it comes to us as the claim that it is a material reality), that can be broken and destroyed in the mind of the person beholding it, with the consequent result that it is broken and destroyed in what looks like material fact.
Suppose that this is exactly the way Jesus performed the "miracles" that gave the appearance to human eyes of something "supernatural" going on, when really, all he did was to know that the material appearance was an hypnotic illusion that could be dispelled by a strictly mental act on his part alone.
Suppose he knew that all we are ultimately doing in this life anyway is increasing our understanding of God, and that everything that was presented to us in the appearance and variety of "material" life was there to help us secure the understanding that we were gaining.
Suppose that when he said "I am the way" or "I am the door" or "except by me no man cometh to the Father," what he was getting at, in language that the people of the time could understand, was that by his example could we, would we, all be led to the incredibly, indescribably, grand vision of the Universe that he beheld.
Suppose that "the way" to this grand vision of the essence of the Creator, of ourselves and the Creation, which are one and all spiritual and not material, is to strive to perform exactly the "miracles" that were so second nature to him.
Suppose that the entire nature of performing a "miracle" (proving the truth of God's law and God's presence), (establishing or demonstrating the reality of Truth), is a matter of casting out fear and doubt from your own mind based on the understanding of the law insofar as you can see it, based on your apprehension of the Creation that you have up to that point in time, so that there is no longer any place for the hypnotic illusions that would seek to establish a place in your consciousness to take hold.
Suppose that at the instant that you have succeeded through mental means alone, in establishing the truth of reality in your own thought, the apparent claim of the hypnotic illusion at hand, whether manifesting itself as leprosy (that man can be sick), or death (that material force can destroy or injure man), or lack of food, money, or supplies (that material conditions are responsible for our well-being), or sin (that man can actually fall for the temptation of any or all of these things), suppose that the apparent claim of the hypnotic illusion at hand disappears as quickly and effectively as a bad dream the instant you perceive the spiritual reality at hand.
Suppose that, instead of a metaphor of mountain climbing, a more appropriate metaphor, looked at from God's point of view, is one of waking up, where, ever so gently, man is being called upon to wake up from his dream state that derives from his belief that matter is real.
Suppose that the belief that matter is real is the belief that is being corrected by all these disastrous (or seemingly disastrous) things that such a belief gets us into.
Suppose that matter is there, or the belief that matter is there, is given to us to work our way out of as the way of finding out that God is real and we are his children, perfectly intact, perfectly protected, perfectly directed as we progress in our understanding of this.
Suppose that the belief that matter is real, that security can be found in money and in a job, that health and longevity are secured by the material means of medicine, that spiritual security and well-being are secured by going to a material church and by obeying the mythical and self-contradictory creeds found therein, that personal security can be found in human relationships of a personal sort, suppose that these things lead to the disasters that they do because they are showing us that they are not the way, and in language (terms) that we can understand and appreciate.
Suppose that what is being destroyed, what we are waking up from, is the belief in matter, the cause of every woe known to man, and, correspondingly, the cause of every fear and doubt known to man, as well as every point of greed, avarice, lust and self-will known to man.
Suppose that each step of the way along this path, or, to use our new metaphor, each degree of light that we find that helps dispel the darkness of our former beliefs, each measure of progress derives from the fact that we were willing to give up our old beliefs and put on the new--through prayer, trust, seeing or knowing clearly--no matter what the material appearances would have us believe to the contrary.
Suppose that as we see more and more how this process of knowing, this deep quiet spiritual knowledge that underlies all the material shenanigans that seem to go on in our lives and the lives of those around us, we gradually (or suddenly) come to see the nature of the game that is being played, i.e., that the method of prayer succeeds best and flourishes most in the midst of trial, for it is by trial that the claims of material sense are best quieted and the knowledge of spiritual sense most clearly established.
Suppose that Jesus' biggest problem was getting his disciples to awaken from their hypnotic slumbers so he could get them to see what he was talking about, which caused him forever to be saying to them things like "Oh ye of little faith...." and "Oh perverse and faithless generation...." and "If ye had the faith of a grain of mustard seed...." because their belief in the power of matter, a power separate and independent of God, caused a darkness in them that made them unable to see the spiritual light he was trying to give them with his teachings and his healings.
Suppose that the hypnotic slumber that would have us believe that this is not true is something that has to be sometimes broken with a jolt, or a rude shock of some sort, like a "miracle" or a "disaster," that forces one to sit up and look around and ask what is going on.
Suppose that it is the degree of the tenacity of the hypnotic desire that matter be real, that there is good in matter, that keeps us bound and chained, as well as the fear that matter is real, and the doubt that there is anything like God to rescue us from the plight of being biochemical accidents on the face of the earth.
Suppose that it is these beliefs, along with the belief that we are persons, with hereditary biochemical makeup, that form the temptation that is the devil, that would steal from us in the form of the most powerful suggestion possible the rightful heritage that is ours as the children of God, with all the peace, power, knowledge, understanding, joy, happiness, and freedom that that entitles us to.
Suppose that, in the nature of things, when you have a truth, as in mathematics, you also have the possibility of there being a lie about it, a mistake, which remains a mistake, with all the consequences that the mistaken belief brings to you until you correct it; and that that is the source of all evil.
Suppose that all we have to do, in other words, is to correct the mistaken belief in our minds about the nature of man and God for the correction of evil to manifest itself in our lives, as it did in the life of Jesus and the apostles.
Suppose that the evil beliefs which constitute the mistakes come to be believed with such ferocity and tenacity that they become as enslaving hypnotic dreams, mental chains that have to be broken in order for the truth to be realized and the mistakes corrected.
Suppose that the basis for the degree of ferocity of the hypnotic beliefs is fear--fear that is based precisely on the point that what the fear is afraid of is true, and real; and the fear comes into being, therefore, as a means of showing the believer that the lie that forms the basis of the fear is unreal, that it is going to be punished for as long as it is believed.
Suppose that that is the price we pay for persisting in our mistaken belief, much as we would pay the price for insisting on the validity of a mistaken belief in a mathematics problem, as a way of correcting our course to the correct course of action (or principle) which would solve our problem, i.e., give us the needed insight or light that would help us to what we need to see for clear understanding.
Suppose that Jesus was ready to go to any lengths to establish the meaning of "Heaven on Earth" in the minds of men because he saw clearly that that was the ladder that was presented to him, which had to be climbed for his own spiritual growth, i.e., his own emancipation from his sense of himself as a person, which was a cause of no inconsiderable distress for him, as was shown in his conversation with himself in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Suppose that Jesus knew that he couldn't fully shine the light that he knew was there until he shed the final error of personal sense and made the final demonstration of our superiority over death with what we now call the "resurrection," which is, really, a statement in language that we can understand, in our present state of obscure light, that we are free from the material (personal) restrictions of death if we follow his way.
Suppose that he had to wait to give us a full knowledge of what he was talking about because of the extremely limited understanding of the people he was dealing with, which manifested itself in the form of superstition and resistance (hatred of the Truth), and so he promised to "return" to them later a full understanding when they would be able to bear (understand) it.
Suppose that this "Comforter" or "spirit of truth," mentioned in the 14th, 15th, and 16th Chapters of John's Gospel, was given to us at the end of the 19th century at almost exactly the same time that Marx's writings arrived on the scene.
Suppose that Marxism, and the revolution it started was the perfect opposing force, much as the Roman Empire was the opposing force at the time of Jesus, to counterbalance the "second coming of Christ."