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Thou Shalt Have No Me before ME

  The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. (Matt 13:1?2)

Jesus, forever buoyed above the waves of material sense, peered across the gathering sea of thought to behold his sheep waiting and watching for a Life lesson. He knew their dullness all too well, but he was undeterred: "A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench" (Isa 42:3). Jesus ignited their curiosity with simple and profound stories leavened with truth. He knew that he must inspire them to remove the obstacles that were blocking their path Spiritward.

What was the fundamental lesson that Jesus yearned to have his followers understand? Must it not be the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex 20:3)? Jesus knew that to really know and see God requires a great sacrifice of egotism - "the human self must be evangelized" (SH 254:19). Jesus' parables prepare thought in such a way that even the simple seeker can perceive Christ, Truth. To the encumbered human mind, however, this seems a daunting task with little chance of success, but that is only because egotism tries to take on tasks that are impossible for it. We cannot make ourselves the manifestation of God, but we can discover what we are through persistent humble desire. "Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds" (SH 1:11).

From a ship anchored just offshore, Jesus taught his followers in parables, carefully pointing out both the pitfalls inherent in mortal mind and the rewards of grace. He needed to teach them how to remove the me of personal sense so that Me as Spirit could appear - 'I,' Spirit, must be identified as idea and manifestation, as in "I AM THAT I AM." The seven parables that Jesus offered that day are arranged as a progression of divine awakening. Christ presents the pattern of redemption in a form that the receptive listener can savor.

Parable 1: Sowing the Word
  Behold, a sower went forth to sow; . . . some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up. (Matt 13:3-4)

Mortal mind will never understand God: "The wicked one . . . catcheth away that which was sown in his heart" (Matt 13:19).

  Some fell upon stony places, . . . they withered away. (Matt 13:5-6)

Discouragement and vanity will cause the searcher to dismiss the truth: "When tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended" (Matt 13:21).

  Some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them. (Matt 13:7)

Often, lust and hypocrisy will overwhelm the imagination: "The care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful" (Matt 13:22).

  But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold' (Matt 13:8)

"He that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word [truth], and understandeth it" (Matt 13:23).

  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matt 13:9)

Just listen; anything more than that makes one deaf to the spiritual message.

Parable 2: Good Seed

  The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field. (Matt 13:24)

God and idea is perfect. "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen 1:31). "All things beautiful and harmless are ideas of Mind. Mind creates and multiplies them, and the product must be mental" (SH 280:6).

  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. (Matt 13:25)

The appearance of reality where there is none can only exist where self and sin dream it up. "Mortal existence is an enigma," causing the very fear that perpetuates the dream (SH 70:1).

  When the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. (Matt 13:26)

Good and evil do not mix, but a suppositional mixture of them produces the belief of a mortal man, seeming to evolve by his own design but with acknowledged fatal flaws.

  Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? (Matt 13:27)

"The suppositional warfare between truth and error is only the mental conflict between the evidence of the spiritual senses and the testimony of the material senses, and this warfare between the Spirit and flesh will settle all questions through faith in and the understanding of divine Love" (SH 288:3).

  An enemy hath done this. (Matt 13:28)

"There is but one creator and one creation" (SH 502:29). "Any human error is its own enemy" (SH 401:1).

  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (Matt 13:30)

"Ignorance, subtlety, or false charity does not forever conceal error; evil will in time disclose and punish itself," and grace will be found indestructible (SH 447:12). "I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [LOVE] for ever" (SH 578: 17).

Parable 3: A Grain of Truth

  The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof (Matt 13:31-32)

A mustard seed never questions its identity or purpose. Its destiny is determined by Soul's grand design, generating timeless fragrance and goodness. "To you it shall be for meat" (Gen 1:29). When you aspire to eat this fruit, you shall gain dominion over your faithless contradictions and delight in spiritual substance.

Parable 4: Spiritual Leaven

  The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Matt 13:33)

The Science of Christ leavens science, theology, and medicine through the culture of divine Love. "Ye shall know the truth [understand Truth], and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

Parable 5: Hidden Treasure

  The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matt 13:44)

Christ consciousness appears to be hidden and subtle, but discovering its presence and cherishing it with absolute dedication reveals divine Mind to be the only treasure. "Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over" (Ps 23:5).

Parable 6: The Pearl of Great Price

  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (Matt 13:45-46)

Although Christ is ever-present, Christliness is not a gift; it must be bought at a great price. Jesus knew its value, paid dearly for it, and confirmed the kingdom of heaven on earth. Rejoice, for the Science of Christ has been found! When the ego is stilled and all temptation is turned aside, the same pearl will appear as our experience.

Parable 7: Separating the Real from the Unreal

  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matt 13:47-50)

Conscience will not leave us in the sea of good and evil forever. Christ will gather us out of this foul conspiracy, and every thought will be examined for its shamefulness or purity. "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord" (Jer 23:24). "On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace. The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, want and woe, sin, sickness, and death, which assume new phases until their nothingness appears" (SH 96:13). As earth consciousness is erased, we will be forced to admit that "Spirit and its formations are the only realities of being" (SH 264:20).

The First Commandment acknowledges one Principle, and that Principle is self-verified by its own infinite idea and object. When all selfish sense of me is dissolved, I verify God's present state of existence as Me (God's object).

George Denninger ©

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