Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we ponder our lives as consider a spiritual interpretation of life.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
A Spiritual Interpretation of Life
“ Howbeit when the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself: but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak." John, Chapter 16, Verse 13.
Brothers and sisters, in today’s broadcast, we share a spiritual interpretation of life with you. And here I am after becoming a self conscious being, one who is aware of self, as well as aware of other selves. Why am I here? Where did I come from, and where am I going? More succinctly, what is my origin, as I struggle in the present? And what is my destiny as I contemplate the future?
Within me are many powerful urges, but the most powerful and most persistent is the urge to always do my very best in whatever endeavor I am engaged in. This is the spiritual urge. This urge constantly instructs me to seek the to find the better way in all my endeavors. This is the ceaseless, untiring urge that ever seeks perfection of technique. It constantly strives to reach some ideal. This is the urge for God, the urge to know him, and become like him.
I am endowed with the reality of mind, that quality that is both responsive to the urge of perfection as well as the urges of self maintenance, self perpetuation, and self gratification. This quality allows me to determine how to satisfy the spiritual and the material urges. The consciousness of self and the consciousness of other selves create the concept of morality in my mind. As I am related to and interdependent with others, the question arises as to how I shall relate myself to them. How shall I treat them? Shall I treat them any kind of way, or shall I treat them as I would like to be treated? Shall I even treat them the way that God does? One thing is for sure: My successful journey through this life requires that I adjust myself to others selves, and that I cooperate with other selves. And this creates a problem, for the natural me does not want to cooperate. It wants something for nothing. It wants others to serve it. This is the essential conflict between the self and other selves, and is responsible for the evil in the world, for the unconscious pursuit of selfishness is evil just as the conscious pursuit of selfishness is sin.
When I reflect upon these problems and the possible solutions to these problems, I discern two possible courses of action. One course of action requires that all other selves adjust themselves to my wants and needs. This is a selfish solution, and further reflection reveals that this solution can only apply to a part rather than the whole. It requires very little imagination to discern what would happen in the world if everyone tried to implement this particular solution. The next course of action is discerned when I seek the ideal solution. This solution requires that I seek to adjust myself to all other selves, and to adjust myself to their wants and needs. This is the unselfish solution, and further reflection reveals that this solution can be applied to the whole rather than just the part.
When I attempt to implement this unselfish solution in an selfish environment, I find that there are difficulties-barriers and obstacles both internally and externally. Internally there is something inside that rebels at, and resents the resources of self being utilized for the unselfish good of other selves. Externally there are those who lie in waiting to take unfair advantage of my unselfish efforts. They do this with the false hope of furthering their selfish pursuits.
But when I attempt to implement a selfish solution, I find that there are also internally and externally difficulties. Internally there is a sense of disappointment, a feeling of somehow of not having lived up to the best in me. Externally there are those who seek to implement the same kind of solution. The result is frustration and spiritual disappointment, and a further increase in the magnitude of the problem.
An analysis of these two conflicting drives within reveals that the selfish drives are associated with maintaining the outward and material self. The unselfish drives are associated with maintaining the inward and spiritual self. Reflection on past experiences reveals that the outward and material self is doomed to perish. Admittedly self efforts may maintain the material self as long as it is alive, but no amount of selfish effort can prevent the ultimate destruction of the outward and material self.
Inward reflection reveals that the inward self is not effected by these outward changes. No matter what happens to the outward self, no matter how it may age or become diseased, the inward self though reacting to these outward changes remain basically unchanged by them. Inwardly, there are such qualities as love, faith, hope, and trust, and these qualities remain no matter what happens to the outer and material life.
When I reflect upon the meanings of these facts of truth, I discern that I have two natures-one material, the other increasingly spiritual. Further reflection tells me that there is something of an eternal quality about my inner self, and further that I should identify with this eternal quality, that I should cooperate with it. As I seek to identify with this eternal quality, I find that the best approach is through unselfish love. In fact, this quality is best defined as love, and this love has three manifestations: Truth, beauty, and goodness.
The pursuit of this quality of love is like walking through a infinite number of opening and closing doors. After I step through one door, that door closes while another one opens up. The pursuit of love requires that all other selves be loved regardless of how they respond. In following the pursuit of love, I note a shift is made in the motivation for loving. First I love because I want to be loved in return, and since the mandate of love requires that these selves too, be loved, the motivation for loving becomes in and of itself love. I love for the sake of love. Love in and of itself is a value that I pursue.
Further meditation on this value of love discloses that although it ever expands in my life, it never changes. It always remains the same, never fades or gets weaker, but remains firm and strong. In fact the more that I learn about it, the more there appears for me to learn. This characterizes an infinite and eternal quality. When I contemplate the source of this quality in my inner self, consistency requires that the source of this quality be eternal and infinite also.
When I contemplate the manner in which this quality constantly bathes and surrounds my inner self, the constant caring, the sharing, and the unceasing watch care makes this quality, and the source of this quality Fatherly. The source of this quality is a Fatherly Person-a person who is infinite and eternal. This person is none other than God, and is manifested as spirit love.
Further reflection reveals that God is not only the source of my life, but the source of all other life thus bringing into existence the brotherhood of man. God is also the source of all things, and the source of the relationships that exists between the values, and the things-the meanings. Thus God is reflected in two actual phases-the personal and the non-personal while the two are perfectly unified in the mind of God. The spiritual values of God are perfectly revealed in His Son, and the things of the Father are perfectly revealed in the Isle of Paradise while the meanings of the values and the things are perfectly revealed in the Spirit. All of these values, meanings, and things are in the process of being revealed to me through the process of experience.
My life has a divine purpose. I have not been given life for the pursuit of my own selfish goals even though my being a free will creature makes that option possible. That is the wrong way. It is literally impossible for an infinite and eternal being whose purpose is also infinite and eternal to reveal Himself and His purpose in all its magnitude and immensity to a finite and temporal creature. The comprehension of the divine purpose is directly related to and proportional to identification with the divine purpose, and status of existence. Only infinity and eternity of existence equals infinity and eternity of comprehension.
But nevertheless as I grow and develop, I am able to comprehend more and more of the divine purpose. Comprehension of the divine purpose is a reflection of the degree of being divine purpose-spirit. Thus it is seen that divine purpose-values have to be lived in order to be known. Mind has the power to change the values of divine purpose into the meanings of the divine purpose.
This concludes part one of today’s message on a spiritual interpretation of life. Tune in next week for the conclusion of today’s message. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about while you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.