Obstructions to renouncing-claiming "my" to (Tape 33)
To continue our discussion of the experiencing of higher spiritual experiences--that which must be renounced and dis-identified with--that which must be observed within the self and the more subtle things in the self.
The assignment will be for this week, and for many weeks to come, to observe that which we still claim. You see, we still live in the world, and the world's ideas are ideals, self-improvement which is usually concerned in the world with obtaining possessions, with signs and demonstrations, with showing how much more one possesses than another, and blaming for any losses or failure to obtain. So we live in a world of constant suggestion of acquiring, owning, and of having. But the terms of the spiritual world is that one RENOUNCE.
We will read today from
Luke, Chapter 14, verse 33.
"So, therefore, everyone of you who does not renounce all that he possesses cannot be my disciple or my student."
Now, one can be a student of self - that is what we start with, is being a student of the self. One can do that any time one has some teaching or some instruction as to the method. One dis-identifies from the self and begins to observe the self. But there is much in the self that one still identifies with--that one has not recognized as being of the self. So while one is a student of self, one may experience the spiritual experience of CONFESSION, one may experience SURRENDER, one may experience TURNING ABOUT from serving mammon, at least knowingly, and begin to report objectively without condemning or justifying what one is aware of in the self. One may report WHAT IS and what one sees as to the VALUE of it. But here is where mammon can hang in a bit. He still has much to identify with the self to tell it what is of value. (The Four Steps of Regeneration)
So I begins to observe that mammon is attempting to identify with I and has much to do with the valuing. The valuing is that which X operates upon when one sees WHAT IS AND THE VALUE OF IT. So the statement is
"So, therefore, everyone of you who does not renounce all that he possesses cannot be my student."
In other words, he cannot experience the higher spiritual experiences of FAITH, GRACE and LOVE. After all, that is the Kingdom of Heaven - the place of faith, grace and agape. One may see differently; one may experience being cleansed of many of the things like resentment, anger, guilt and inferiority; one may experience turning about; one may experience surrendering the will to always be non disturbed; and one may experience confession. But the others are a different thing. They come when one has renounced. Now, to renounce means to not claim - maybe to use it; but not to claim it, not to have as "mine." The suggestion is constantly about us. Everywhere we hear by suggestion: my house, my wife, my children, my husband, my clothes, my ideas, my opinion, my television set, my automobile, my vacation, and my EXPERIENCES above all things.
Now, there is a story that illustrates this point in Luke, Chapter 15, verse 11. It is a teaching story that very well illustrates this idea of renouncing all that one possesses. It says that it concerns a certain man who had two sons. Now these two sons are I, the awareness; and of course the other son is personality - that which one gains and accumulates during one's worthwhile growth as being and living in the man-made world--which is very essential--the personality.
So this certain man has two sons, this is X and two sons - awareness, I; and personality. So the awareness, is the younger of the two sons, says,
"Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me."
In other words, he wanted to "own." He wasn't renouncing, he was owning.
"He divided his means between them."
Of course, this is a parallel teaching story and is not to be taken literally.
"And not many days later the younger son gathered up all his wealth and took his journey into a far country."
It's his journey, his wealth, and he owns it. He has not renounced anything.
"And there he squandered his fortune in loose living."
He gained pleasure, comfort, attention, approval; he bought many drinks for many people, he bought dinners for many people, he threw parties; and of course, he received much attention, much approval. And he began to have, no doubt, a very false idea about himself as a very important young man down in the country.
"After he had spent all, there came a grievous famine over that country and he began himself to suffer want."
Always comes the famine. The person feels that no matter what they have, there is always a famine. He wants more, better and different; so famine is there. Besides that, it doesn't give any pleasure. It doesn't give any comfort any more. One has experienced all sorts of sensations until they no longer gratify; they now are boring. One is said to be in a state of famine.
"..and he began to suffer want."
Want of some purpose of living, but he couldn't find it yet. He had wasted all his substance. He had wasted his awareness. He had wasted the ability of discernment of what is. He had fallen totally for mammon.
"And he went and joined one of the citizens of that country."
One is in the spiritual world--whatever state of being one is--is considered to be the place; so he went to a place in that country and to a citizen in that country.
"..who sent him to his farm to feed swine."
In other words, he sent him to the hog pen in the inner world--that place which is a state of being. He was pretty far down towards apathy, we would probably say.
"And he longed to fill himself with the pods that the swine were eating, but no one offered to give them to him."
He didn't think about taking them, obviously, but he was so hungry for something worthwhile that he would even have been happy to have what the swine had.
Now, we saw in another place that the swine are considered to be people who are only gaining pleasure and escaping pain; but he had tried all this, and nobody gave him any pleasure or comfort. He had tried about everything and no matter what he had now, it didn't give him any pleasure. We possibly have all experienced this, in some certain thing that at one time gave us great pleasure; but we pursued it to the ultimate, and we found that it didn't give us pleasure any more. And it was said that no one gave or offered to give them to him; and while he might try it, there was nothing to it.
"But when he came to himself..."
In other words, he came to observe the self, he began to awaken a bit, he has questioned the purpose of living. Was it to come down to Egypt or wherever he was in this country and wind up in a hog pen? What was the purpose of living? He had tried all the pleasures there were, and none of them gave pleasure any more; even though they were about, the pods were in front of the swine, they were right in front of him; but they didn't offer him any pleasure any more. Most of us have come to that point with many different things, that something that was very pleasurable once upon a time; when it has been overly gratified, it no longer gives pleasure.
So it says,
"When he came to himself" in other words, he awakened a bit, he began to look at the self, "he said, how many hired men in my Father's house have bread in abundance while I am perishing here with hunger!"
The Father, of course, represents the spiritual world, and anyone who works in that spiritual world has bread which means spiritual understanding in abundance. One has bread when one has CONFESSION. It is something to nourish the spiritual frame of reference - the spiritual body. One has bread or food for the spiritual body when one experiences SURRENDER. One has bread when one experiences REPENTANCE. And certainly one has bread when one experiences BAPTISM or seeing differently--seeing all things anew. And so they're considered to be "hired men." They are not students or sons; they are workers. They are workers, they are studying the self and are considered to be apprentices, so to speak. (* see the four basic ideas of the teaching.)
So he decides,
"I will arise and go to my Father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee. I am no longer worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired men."
In other words, he even renounced sonship. He renounced being a son. You see, this would be rather the ultimate of renouncing to most people - to renounce his birthright and say, "just make me a hired man. I'm not worthy to be a son." He had renounced any claim of any kind. He only asked for employment. In other words, he began to be one of the hired ones that began to observe the self, to begin to be aware of how the self was put together. He might begin to experience and did almost at once experience CONFESSION. He experienced SURRENDER. And we will see what happens to him.
"And while he was yet a long way off,"
He was a long way off as all of us are from experiencing the things of the Father - Agape, Grace and Faith. He was experiencing the spiritual experiences that come from being a student of self, a student of observing. Now he was awakening; he was gaining some strength.
"..his Father saw him and was moved with compassion, and ran and fell upon his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, "Father", he didn't say my father. He just said, Father, a title of respect, "I have sinned against heaven and before thee. I am no longer worthy to be called thy son." "But the Father said to his servants, Fetch quickly the best robe and put it on him, and give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet."
Sandals for his feet represent understanding. The ring represents what he is - he is accepted as a son--though he did not ask. He has been accepted as a student and has a robe put on him. A robe is that which one is clothed with--what ideas one has. So he has been given some new ideas. He has been given a symbol; and he has been given understanding. Why? Because he renounced all. He renounced even sonship. He renounced any claim. He was without ownership.
Now, the Father was still there, and he recognized him as Father but not as "my Father." He didn't claim him. He had nothing now. He had renounced all. And he was given some information, some very excellent ideas, the best robe put on him, a ring and understanding, the sandals for his feet. So he was now a student of the Father.
"...and bring out the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry."
In other words, a celebration was at hand. He was accepted as a student and given all the symbols of being a student. But first, he had done what? He had renounced all, including being a son, any claim anywhere; he had nothing to claim. It was strictly, here I am, an unworthy servant and I would like a job. I would like to go to work. I have studied self. I have come to study the self way down the road; and I arose out of being totally identified with the self and with serving mammon, attempting to gain pleasure and escape pain, until it all led to the point where I questioned the purpose of living. Now he is accepted for higher teachings. Let's see what happens.
"..let us eat and make merry; because this my son was dead, and has come to life again."
I had been totally hypnotized, totally identified with the Not "I's," the false personality, with mammon, and the whole purpose of living was to gain non disturbance. And he has come to life. He has woke up [awakened]. He has questioned that point of the PURPOSE OF LIVING and he has studied the self. It says, he came to himself. He studied it, he saw it. He was a student and he came to the point where he would renounce all, including his sonship,
"..because this my son was dead, and has come to life again."
This is raising from the dead. Everyone is resurrected from that world and becomes a new being; but an infant in the new being, and not a fully completed one.
"..he was lost, and is found."
He was totally lost. He didn't know his way. He was following false signals. He was following false markers. He was trying to be free from experiencing anything that would be a challenge. He wanted to have nothing but pleasure and comfort, so he had been in the struggle to improve himself, improve his lot, take his things and go. Now he had renounced all, and it says,
"And they all began to make merry."
Now we will find what the personality, the things that have served a practical purpose, had to say about all this.
"Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And calling one of the servants he inquired what this meant. And he said to him, Thy brother has come, and thy Father has killed the fattened calf, because he has got him back safe. But he was angered and would not go in."
In other words, the personality diminishes as the awareness increases. This is also used in another story, the story of Jacob and Esau, that as one diminished, the other increased. I is now increasing, the prodigal son, the one who renounced all, is increasing. Yet the personality, that which has been accumulated, is angered by it. I believe that most of us have experienced the anger of that personality not wanting to be replaced by the awareness which has been dead and has come to life. You know, that seems to be the whole purpose of personality, is to replace awareness, take over, speak in the name of awareness, it has inherited that which was the rightful bit of awareness, and now it is a bit angered and it doesn't like it.
"His Father, therefore, came out and began to entreat him. But he answered and said to his father, Behold, these many years I have been serving thee,"
The personality has served in place of the son
"and have never transgressed one of thy commands; and yet thou hast never given me a kid that I might make merry with my friends. But when this thy son comes, who has devoured his means with harlots,"
he has been involved with the four dual basic urges, and all the way to achieve the four dual basic urges, which are called harlots
"..thou has killed for him the fatted calf."
In other words, thou hast shown him considerable honor. Thou has been delighted that he has returned, and has opened the treasury, so to speak, and has allowed him to experience grace which is undeserved good. Of course, the elder son, the personality, doesn't like that very well.
"But he said to him, Son, thou art always with me, and all that is mine is thine."
The personality, that workable arrangement of the everyday world that knows how to count, how to drive a car, how to run a typewriter, how to build a house, how to cultivate a field, and how to make a machine. All this has had everything all of it's days, but you see that awareness is the power, and it is to be the exclusiveness, and not have another observing it and that it will be subject to, because when he was given the richest robe and the ring and had the fatted calf killed for him, he was accepted at the "highest realm." The other one [personality], of course, is appreciated but he has always been there and will be there for practical uses. But we have noticed that within there is quite a bit of argument, and personality is the one sometimes that tells us, "Yes, but it is necessary to do this and this. It is necessary to value thus and so." So we see that the personality is upset because awareness, I, which was dead, has come to life. That which has been lost has been found - is back on the job. It has awakened from the hypnotic trance of serving mammon. Of course, the son who had been there, the personality, didn't like any of this. But it is seen as to how Life sees it - X.
"Son, thou art always with me, and all that is mine is thine, but we were bound to make merry and rejoice, for this thy brother was dead, and has come to life; he was lost, and is found."
This is really what renouncing all that one owns amounts to. One has been lost in the darkness of being identified with the self - with the four dual basic urges and the "A" and "B" conflict going on. One was totally lost to X. One was never reporting. It was gone as far as it was concerned, and all it had to get anything from was the personality.
Now the son has come back, offering to be a servant, to be obedient to X, not asking to be a son, renouncing even that. He is honored greatly and given the spiritual experience of grace. We will see what the others are as we go along.
So let's see this week if we can observe what it means to renounce all. That means to renounce every claim, to renounce every idea that one has merit, to renounce everything that one says "my" to. That does not mean to go out and throw it away, cast it in the river, to leave the wife or the children, or to leave the house or the business. It means that one sees that those are tools that will be used by personality and that the job of I [the awareness] is to be a servant to X, to report accurately what is and what is of value in what is - and not to be concerned with ideals.
So here is a challenge, a place where we can see whether we can renounce or whether there are still obstructions to renouncing that have not been observed in the self.
We will observe the self and see.
We will see how self sometimes identifies with I.
We will also see that we are constantly subject to suggestion, and that we live in a school called the world, where every effort is made by the world to hypnotize I. If I is awake, is paying attention, is heedful then it will not be caught in mammon's traps.
This is a school that we exist in and the school is called the world - a world where we are constantly having suggestion put to us for ideals, having suggestion constantly put to us to blame, where we have suggestions constantly put to us to evaluate how much we have self-improved, and we constantly have suggested to us to that this can be improved or that can be improved. We are always in the school of the world which is the outward surroundings of the school that keeps one on one's toes, keeps one heedful, keeps one paying attention, and being aware, reporting to X what is. Other wise, we will go to sleep and then we will be caught. There is always some subtle ones around that we can look at today.
The one we are looking at this week is that one which says MY to many things. We will observe it and not condemn or justify; but we might see that all the possessions in the world finally lead to the point where the man was when he was in the hog pen, and that none of the many things that we consider to be pleasure really offer any.