Greetings and good morning, 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 seek to understand the meaning of coming out of the shadows of selfishness.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Out of the Shadow of Selfishness
"Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John, Chapter 3, Verses 5
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share with you some truths regarding the emergence of the soul from the shadow of selfishness. Now this state of selfishness is the natural response of the animal nature towards its environment. It is the reflection of the survival extinct whose purpose is to survive at any cost. But we know that even before, the soul emerges from the shadows of evil, there is the moral mandate which prevents the complete domination of this survival instinct. The self still desires to survive at all cost but the moral mandates conditions this survival instinct by adding the injunction: you may survive at all costs provided you do not violate any moral mandates. In short there are some duties that require the self to subordinate the survival instinct. It is this moral mandate that separates man from the animals. The animals have no such consciousness of moral mandates.
In our endeavor to share the truths of the emergence from selfishness, we shall transform this state by giving its true nature. Sometimes in the solution of a difficult problem, if we transform it into another form, we can gain greater insight into the true meaning of the problem. In short we wish to show that the emergence of the soul from the shadows of selfishness is the emergence of the soul into its rightful heritage, that of divine sonship. And it is this emergence into divine sonship that we want to amplify. In our effort to clarify these truths to the consciousness of the brothers and sisters, we shall use various material analogies to give the consciousness a feel for the spiritual transaction.
The skies had been overcast for quite some time now. This had been a particularly brutal winter, with its freezing temperatures and ice storms. It has been so bad that everything had just about come to a slow crawl and the weather had a stranglehold upon the throat of the city. Only the necessary functions were being carried out. As the state struggled to keep the major arteries of highways open, as soon as they would make a little progress, more snow and ice would erase their efforts. But now there were new forces in play. The winter was grudgingly giving way to spring. And the atmospheric forces of high pressure were shifting. The pressures from the south were moving northward and the pressures from the north were weakening and withdrawing further and further to the north. This had the effect of gradually clearing the storm clouds from overhead, and one could gradually see open skies. The sun would dart in and out of the clouds. But as the dominant forces from the south continued their push northward the clouds were blown away in mass, and the sun following their retreat bursting forth in the fullness of its brilliance. It has emerged from the shadows of the clouds and every living thing below breathed a sigh of relief as things slowly at first and then quickly returned to the normal state.
An old building that was gradually approaching a state of disrepair had begun to show its wear and tear in its outer covering and within. The electrical wiring had begun to erode. At first this went unnoticed, as the corrosion had not reach the point where it broke the electrical circuit. But as the process continued, the corrosion began to make micro breakthroughs. This had the effect of shortening out the circuit. At first these were hardly noticeable, and no one paid attention to it. But if you happened to be looking up at the ceiling when one of these micro breakthrough occurred, you would notice a faint flicker of the lights but not enough to interrupt anything that was going on. But as the process continued more and more of the circuit came under attack, and soon there were visible interruptions of the light. Gradually as time went on the circuit eroded completely, and the lights went out. The whole electrical system had to be rewired before it was restored to its rightful function.
A person has a large pantry filled with canned goods and other staples. He has such a large amount that it requires considerable time to use them up. In fact he had such a large amount that if no more were added, it would take some time before one noticed that the amount was decreasing. But eventually economic hard times fell upon the household, and the provider was not able to replace the ones that were being used. But since he had such a large amount of stocked items, it would be a while before he could actually see the decrease. Only the consciousness that the stock had to be decreasing because he was not adding anymore made him realize that the supply was gradually dwindling. But this did not happen. The stock never did decrease because someone unknown to him kept replacing the used items. As time went on, he took a closer look at his stock and realized that his stock was not decreasing, indeed it was greater than what he had started with. He finally acknowledged and realized that some unknown benefactor was replacing his depleted stocks.
A person sits in front of a locked room. He goes there from time to time. He does not know what is in this room. It was locked when he moved into this house. And he had made a note to get a locksmith to replace the lock but had not gotten around to doing it. It was when he was trying to open the door for the first time when he noticed that the most beautiful fragrance somehow was emanating from the very pores of the door. This was a fragrance that he had never encountered before, and it just made him feel so happy just to breathe in this fragrance, to have it envelop his entire person. There was also the most incredible fresh air coming through the pores of this door. It was a such a quality that it seems to clear out all the cobwebs of his mind. After breathing that pure air and bathing in that fragrance, his mind became very clear, and he could think very clearly about his troubles.
And he also noticed that when he was tired and weary, if he sat in front of that door for awhile, he noticed that his energies were restored, and he felt refreshed, enough to pick up the never- ending struggle to solve his manifold problems. He also noticed that in general when he was not fit, when he was afraid, and lacked courage, if he sat in front of the door, his fear melted away, and his courage returned. But the greatest thing he noticed was that he could talk over his difficulties with whatever was behind the locked door, and even though there was no verbal answer to his conversation, he received the distinct impression upon his mind that he had been heard, and not only had he been heard, but everything would eventually be alright.
That even though the night looked dark the day would be bright. In time, he really desired to know what kind of presence was behind that locked door that had such power. Then one day when he was sitting in front of the door meditating on how he would become one with whatever was behind that door, after trying material means to open the door, the thought occurred to him: All you have to do is to desire it with all your heart and soul and mind, and the door will open, and there will be no barrier whatsoever to your being one with the presence behind the door.
And now we are ready to reveal the spiritual values and meanings of these analogies to the conscious mind. The soul is in the process of dominating the self. As it grows, it gradually leaves behind the shadows of evil, the selfish response. While the self may respond in an unselfish way in some circumstances, like the sun popping out on a cloudy day, the basic attitude of the soul remains selfish. It acts because of the selfish expectation of return on investment: ““you scratch my back and I’’ll scratch yours.”” In its struggle to gain dominancy, the soul does not realize that it is receiving help. While it does have a large amount of reserve, it would soon run out, if this reserve was not constantly replenished by the living waters of truth and the bread of life. This energy empowers the soul to continue its struggle, to emerge from the shadows of selfishness.
But sometimes the soul identifies with the animal nature intermittently and sometimes permanently. This accounts for the on-again off-again attitude towards its emergence into its true heritage, the son of God. But we must remember that it is not only the outer evils that keep the soul in the bondage of selfishness but the inner evils as well. Depression, anxiety, and fear also keep the soul shackled to the selfish mooring of animal origin. Anything that causes the soul to have a selfish attitude towards the universe is a shadow of evil. And while some things of a physical nature may interfere with material activities, none of them can handicap the soul--the soul is operating on a purely spiritual level. That is, our attitudes and supreme desire constitute growth activities. In essence, no one can prevent us from being kind and loving, even merciful, except ourselves.
Finally the soul comes to appreciate the living waters of truth and the bread of life, and the other spiritual activities of which it partakes. Faith rises to the level where it has a desire above everything else to merge with truth, beauty, and goodness. Its faith soon rises above the desire to merge with this divine presence and uses faith to actually achieve this merger. And when it does, it is like the sun emerging from a long period of clouds. The soul now shines brightly, giving off the light of love and mercy to all within its reach. Such a one has dispelled the shadows of selfishness forever, and there is not a hint of a cloud of selfishness anywhere in its soul. And when the skies are clear, on a clear day, you can see forever. Indeed the soul has become forever, me eternal
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of coming out of the shadows. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.