Regardless of which Gospel you read, interpreting Jesus is not a simple task. However, his message on the other hand…is very simple. The road to living a happy and righteous life runs through The Kingdom of Heaven, a state-of-mind that’s free of earth-bound-notions, which raise a question.
Why is Jesus so concerned about our thinking? After all, he’s the Son of God, not a psychologist, or is he? Jesus was a keen observer and noticed…there’s an order to life and that much of what man said and did…was out of order, which brings-up the big question. What does Jesus want you to know?
The answer is two-fold:
1) He wants you to know that your personality has evolved in more than one direction.
2) And the Law of Cause-and-Effect reveals, which side of your personality you’re living through.
Jesus brings this law-to-light in what maybe his most famous teaching…The Sermon on the Mount; a series of lessons that demonstrate the cause-and-effect relationship between…our thinking and what we create for ourselves and the world around us. For example, his lesson…The meek shall inherit the earth, attempts to show the cause-and-effect relationship…between our inner and outer world.
Contrary to what one might think, during biblical times, meekness denoted a positive and healthy outlook. The earth represents our outer experiences. To inherit the earth, is to have dominion over your experiences, by not allowing your outer world to affect your inner world.
Now you may wonder…how do I do that? Jesus offers a strategy…and for it to work, you have to be willing to: understand, know…and have the courage to act.
If this appeals to you…let’s get started.
Understanding – is often predicated upon changing your perspective. And Jesus is asking you to do just that when he suggested…one has become two. In the beginning there was only God…The Tree of Life. And then, after God created Adam and Eve, number two showed-up…The Tree of Good and Evil; a state-of-mind that can be good, and at the same time evil. This anomaly is governed by a Serpent that has slithered its way into our psyche disguised as us, that communicates…through the judgmental chatter-in-our-head.
You know that voice, the one that talks down-to-you and speaks ill of others. Jesus addressed this duality head-on when he said…”Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but who ever loses his life will find it.”
Knowing – the goal is The Kingdom of Heaven; that special place where…The Father doeth the work.
Having the courage to act – which Jesus makes clear, “He who hears my words and does not do them is like a foolish man who builds his house on sand.”
Understanding, knowing and having the courage to act…is the foundation upon which Jesus built his ministry. However, it’s important to note that Jesus didn’t create this movement all by himself. He had help…his disciples…who also played a key role in spreading the good news.
After returning from such a trip, several disciples caught-up with Jesus and shared a concern; how best to enthuse others to check-out…The Kingdom of Heaven.
Wanting to address the issue…Jesus calls for a meeting…and wants you to attend!
Greeting you at the door…Jesus escorts you into a room where the twelve disciples are sitting in a circle, talking among themselves. Upon seeing you with Jesus…they grow quite. After introducing you, Jesus gives you a run-down of who’s who.
Jesus leans over and touches the shoulder of the person sitting on the floor in-front of both of you and says, “This is Peter, who at times, acts as spokesperson for the others…and here on his right, with that big smile is Andrew…the first Apostle.”
“And over there is James…who is often called…James, the Elder, to distinguish him from the other James, with the brown tunic, whose nick-name is James, the Younger. And to his left is John…whose fiery temperament earned him the nick-name of ‘sons of thunder.’ He’s talking with Phillip, an early follower that loves to preach the Gospel.”
“Say hi to Nathanael who became an instant follower… and Matthew…the tax collector who found what he always wanted…love and acceptance.”
“And the fellow playing with the carpenter’s tool is Thomas (the doubter) …who’s joking with…Simon the Zealot who brings a special energy to the group.”
“And we can’t forget Thaddeus, whose tender-heart and childlike humility is loved by all…he’s talking with Judas Iscariot (the betrayer) who excels in asking…great questions.”
Jesus turns to you and says, “They’re all here, because I’m going to redefine…The Kingdom of Heaven and how to reach it.”
Calling the meeting to order, Jesus reorganizes the group into a semi-circle and begins as he usually does…with a question. “When I speak of the Kingdom of Heaven, what do I emphasis?”
“The benefits,” said Peter.
“Exactly,” said Jesus “I weave the benefits into the conversation, because I want to address the unspoken question that everyone has…what’s in it for me?”
“I try to emphasis that point,” said James, the Elder. “However, when speaking in parables as you do, I’m often asked…does The Kingdom defy description?”
“What I’m about to say” said Jesus, “will help resurrect your presentation. A few days ago, I mentioned I was dealing with a question and felt the need to ‘wander-off,’ as I sometimes do, to see if the answer would appear…and it did.”
“In what way,” asked John?
“In the way of ‘four-words’ that provide a clear path to The Kingdom. I understand that comparing this state-of-mind to a child or mustard seed can lead to questions, which is what I want! Why? I want to know…who is curious and who is not,” said Jesus, as he panned around the room. “I want to know who I’m speaking to. For example, your curiosity brought you to me, so I say to you; and only to you that The Kingdom of Heaven is…
An inner calm so complete that nothing is wanting; there are no internal or external conflicts. It’s a nonjudgmental state that’s passionate about creating, open to change and in order.”
“Who do you know that’s always creating, changing and in order,” questioned Jesus?
“The Father,” exclaimed Nathanael who enjoyed these back-and-forth exchanges. “Creating, changing and in being in order… can anyone think of a better role model?”
Jesus nodded in agreement and noticed that Judas Iscariot had his hand-up.
“Master!” said Judas. “If you were to describe The Kingdom of Heaven in one word, what would it be?”
“Peace” exclaimed Jesus, without hesitation. “Peace is the only state-of-mind that shares common ground with The Father…where all things are added to you.”
“Added to you…in what way” asked Matthew?
”I say to you,” said Jesus. “Is your body at ease? Is your mind free to think of wondrous things when you’re anxious or up-set? Will others invite you to break-bread when you judge and curse them?”
“No,” replied Matthew, thinking he should have given his question more consideration. “But how do you find peace when the future is filled with fear and the past is sown with sin?”
“Watch,” said Jesus, motioning you and the others to come closer. “What you are about to see are the four steps that will take you to…The Kingdom of Heaven.” Reaching for the carpenter’s tool Thomas held in his hand, Jesus knelt down, drew a circle on the earthen floor and wrote inside of the circle…
Looking up, Jesus said, “The journey to The Kingdom begins with Awareness. Know what is in front of you and what is hidden will be revealed. In front of you is the chatter-in-your-head that comes between you and The Father. What is hidden is the side of your personality that created it.”
“One-has-become-two,” added Jesus. “The Father gave birth to you…and you unknowingly gave birth to the chatter-in-your-head that longs to take you where…those who are dying…bury their dead.”
Andrew and James, the Younger wanted to know, “How do we deal with this chatter that seems to have a mind-of-its-own?”
Jesus smiled and wrote…Present Moment and said…
“Enter by the narrow gate (the present moment) for the gate is wide and the way is easy (to be fearful of the future and regret the past,) that leads to suffering, and those who go through it are many. But the gate that is narrow leads to true life, and those that find it are few.”
Jesus continued, “Who knows why the Present Moment is perhaps the greatest spiritual tool you have?”
The disciples were stymied and mumbled among themselves to see who knew what…and then there was silence.
Jesus smiled, raised his right hand to his head and with his forefinger tapped upon his temple, “Your chatter and the present moment cannot exist at the same place at the same time. Bringing your attention into the moment takes you out of the future where fear resides…and the past where regret is alive. When you’re passionate and focused in purpose…you need not worry about the future…for The Father will have it all sorted-out when you get there. And the past…is a learning tool…not a weapon to be used against you.”
Amazed by what he heard, Phillip jumped into the conversation; “I see there’s a responsibility here; if I don’t take action and manage the chatter-in-my-head that wants to manage me…my life will never change.”
“Exactly…and that’s what we have to communicate,” said Jesus and wrote…Conscious Choice.
“I know about this one,” said Simon! “Conscious living is the art of recognizing from which side of your personality your thoughts are coming from.” Turning to Jesus…he continued. “When we first met, I shared that ‘something inside of me was missing.’ And you took time to explain, how one-became-two and that in order for me to know…that part of myself that is complete, I had to make a Conscious Choice to lose the part that was telling me otherwise.”
“And it shows that you have,” said Jesus.
Thaddeus, who was contemplating what he just heard, wanted to know, “What’s the difference between a Conscious Choice and a decision?”
“Good question” replied Jesus. “We make many decisions* everyday, most of which we rarely think about. A Conscious Choice, on the other hand, is a thoughtful decision that requires you to bring your attention into the Present Moment and think-through…as to what you might create, for yourself and others, if you act upon your current thinking.”
Thomas (the doubter) wants to confirm a suspicion. “If Conscious Choice is the process of thinking-through-a-thought, could it be that what we think we are choosing is not a choice at all, but a reaction, which may explain why we can end-up with the very thing we say…we don’t want?”
“That’s a great point I hadn’t considered” said Jesus, “which demonstrates why these exchanges are both powerful and necessary…we hear perspectives that otherwise would be lost…and I thank you for that.”
With three of the four steps in place, the group was anxious to learn of the fourth that takes them to The Kingdom of Heaven. Not wanting to keep them in suspense any longer…Jesus turned his attention back to the matrix and wrote…Connecting.
“Are you talking about Connecting to The Father,” asked James, the Younger?
“I am…and the best way to make that connection is to bring-out what The Father has given you.
If you bring out what is within you, what you bring out will save you. If you do not bring-out what is within you, what you do not bring out…will destroy you.”
To learn more about the side of your personality that Jesus is asking you to lose…and the side he’s asking you to find…checkout my podcast, video and new book: Your Guide to…A Better Way of THINKING by clicking HERE.
*The average adult, according to the Internet, makes between 5,000-35,000 decisions a day.