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There's a striking example of the way he moves from counselling of daily life to very deep theological consideration. He begins, it says, any encouragement, any incentive of love, any participation in the spirit, any affection and sympathy. Interesting, you see, how he puts these things together. Encouragement in Christ, then incentive of love, any participation in the spirit, any affliction and sympathy, he never separates the human and the divine, they're always interwoven in his thought. And then he says, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being full of calling of one mind. And this call to unity is, of course, very basic in the whole Christian and in the whole tradition of religion, from the wonderful verse in the Greek Veda, which says,


I make you all at one mind, be of sympathy one with another, do everything together. It's a call of humanity, we're all called to be one, and sin has separated us, divided us, and the call is always to return, having one mind, one love, and in full accord. It's a beautiful idea, and that is the goal, we're very far from it always, we're all so different, we conflict, we compete, and still the call to unity is always there, and that is very important in the Gospel. And do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourself. And this is really the answer to the whole problem, you see, everything arises from selfishness and conceit. Selfishness is self-centredness, we tend to centre ourselves, see everything in our own light, and don't see it in the light of the other, and they do the same thing, and so we conflict. Then conceit is we think of ourselves, we not only act selfishly, but we think selfishly,


our minds are centred on ourselves, and that is self-conceit. Self-love and self-conceit is the essence of sin, you see, it's the whole problem. And the opposite is humility. Humility, when you count others better than yourselves, that's a very good test of humility, whether we think others better or worse than ourselves. And saying of the Father, you should not reach perfection of charity as long as you think anybody is less than yourself. So, this is really the new law of life, you could say, as he's put it in one sentence. And then, let each of you look not to his own interests, but to the interests of others, that's the corollary of it. And then, you see, he moves from this moral exhortation to a profound illogical understanding. Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus. That's interesting, you see, which is yours in Christ Jesus.


In Christ, we ourselves find this mind, we have the mind of Christ. That is the gift of the Spirit, to communicate the mind of Christ. But then he was in the form of God, did not account equality with God or things with God, but emptied himself. There's a point here which is very often missed. People think that the form of God means that the essence of God, that he was divine. But it's not really so. The morti in Greek is a form, it's like a morti in Sanskrit. It means he was the image of God. Jesus is said to be the express image. And he was this image of God, and did not account equality with God or things to be grasped. You see, Adam was also made in the image of God, and he grasped at equality with God. By eating of the tree you become thy God, you see. And so Adam grasped at this divinity and fell, and Jesus didn't grasp at it.


He humbled himself, you see. It's the exact reverse of the sin of Adam. So Jesus is that image of God who doesn't grasp at divinity, but empties himself, taking the form of a servant. And of course it refers to the servant of God in Isaiah, the servant of Yahweh who takes upon himself the burden of humanity. Being born in the likeness of man and being found in human form, he humbled himself, became obedient unto death, even death on the cross. And this is the reverse, you see, of this pride, this egoism, this conceit. It's a total humbling himself and surrendering to death, like the servant of Yahweh, suffering for the sins of the world. And therefore God has highly exalted him, has told him the name which is about every name. The name of Jesus every knee should bow. And that is this mystery of sort of death and resurrection, of self-emptying and self-fulfillment.


As we empty ourselves, we fulfill ourselves. And there was a paradox there. And Jesus is the one who totally emptied himself so that he could be totally filled with resurrection, taken into the life of God. And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Jesus is always the image, the worthy Son who reflects the Father, who heals the Father. And that's all to the glory of the Father. Everything Jesus does has come to the glory of his Father. So, as I say, it's a wonderful example, you see, of morality and theology versus one interpreting the other. And it gives the full understanding of Christian life. It's found that way. This parable raises again this question of the end of the world, of the last judgment. And it raises a great problem, especially for people today.


I think one of the great problems in Christianity is this doctrine of hell. And most people find it very difficult to accept. And it certainly creates a problem. And, as I was suggesting two ago, I think we have to think of it very deeply. First of all, we have to recognize that religion altogether, because religion always tends to be an external thing for most people, at least to begin with, to awaken people to the realities of the world. And secondly, our normal human mind is a mind which thinks in terms of dualities, good and evil, right and wrong, truth and error, subject, object, time, space. All these are the concepts by which we normally think. And the Bible is addressed to all men. And the Bible uses this language of duality all the time.


It always sees God of the world as truth, and good and evil as divided and so on. And as long as we're living in a world of dualities, in the ordinary way of human understanding, we have to make this separation between the good and the evil. People have to recognize that good has reward and evil has punishment. And that is a simple fundamental fact. But then, when we go beyond these dualities to try to see the ultimate reality, then, particularly in the Indian tradition, but it's really universal, there is this understanding of the world of non-duality. It's not simply a world of identity or of unity, but of non-duality. That this whole language we use, the whole structure of our thought, is a limited structure and a limited understanding. And when we go beyond that limited understanding, we enter into this world of non-duality, this intuitive wisdom.


And all through the ancient world, from the earliest times, this intuitive wisdom has been passed on. It comes down to us through the Upanishads, through the Bhagavad Gita, which we were reading, and through all this ancient tradition. And when we come to that world of non-duality, then there is no longer this duality of good and evil. And the ultimate reality is beyond good and evil. And it's very difficult to speak of this, but as I say, our language is framed for dualistic thought. And when we try to think of what is beyond the dualities, we have to use paradoxes, parables, symbols, images, which suggest the reality. And that is why, as I say, we have to try to think these parables at a deeper level. They are thrown out at us, as it were, and we have to see what lies behind this speech.


We can't accept it at its base level. See, the idea that, as it says here, the angel will come and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them in the furnace of fire. Their men will weep and gnash their teeth. All this imagery of hell is there. But what lies behind it? And if we think more deeply, we recognize that beyond, you see, the world of dualities and the world of the ego, we have this ego self. And as long as we have a separate ego, we have other separate selves, and we have all this conflict of good and evil. But we recognize beyond our ego, there is a deeper self. There is the Atman, there is the spirit. And that is our true self. And in that true self, in that Atman, there is no evil. See, at the ego level, this lower level of our being where we commonly live, there is good and evil, and there is judgment, and there is punishment.


But when we go beyond the ego, beyond this dualistic world, and experience the inner reality of the self, the spirit, then we pass beyond these dualities, and we experience God. And in God, there is no duality. God is pure love, pure goodness, pure truth. And we enter into that mystery of goodness, truth, and love. And that is the destiny of man. And each of us has this capacity for this truth, for this love. And the end is the fulfillment of that capacity. And evil is unreality. That is the essential understanding that goodness is reality, truth is reality, love is reality. And evil and sin and injustice, cruelty, these things, all these are unreal, ultimately unreal. They have an apparent reality in this world,


as long as we live in these dualities. But in the ultimate reality, evil has no reality. And when a person sins and is evil, he's falling away from reality, creating an illusory self, an illusory world. And most of us live in that illusory self, that illusory world. But when we go beyond, we discover that that is an illusion, it's a passing phenomenon, and that the reality is this truth, this goodness. Our only real being is our being in God. And when we fall away from that being in God, we're falling away into unreality. So, I think if we think on these lines, we can see a deeper meaning behind this. And perhaps, best of all, if we think that God is love, and every human being is created by that love and for that love, that love calls us into being, and that love draws us back to itself. And as long as we're responding to truth, to reality, we're responding to love.


And when we fall away from love, into the ego, into a separated self, we're falling away from truth, we're falling away from reality. And that is what will be abolished at the final judgment. The whole of this unreal world of sin, of evil, will disappear. It has no ultimate reality. And the only real reality will be left. It's the reality of love, of truth, of goodness, of joy, of peace, the kingdom of God. So, as I say, one can't speak of these things properly. One can only suggest them. Really, it's only in prayer, I think, that we get some glimpse of this inner reality, of the inner self. And we realize the unreality of evil, that it belongs to this maya, this avidya, this ignorance into which we've fallen. It's the result of the fall. And when we get beyond, then we know the reality, which is love alone. And that is what we all have to see. So, as I say, it's a mystery,


and we can't properly put it into words. But we should certainly not carry away with us an idea that God is throwing hundreds of thousands or millions of people into hell, where they're going to burn and mash their teeth, and so on. And these are images, symbols, which are intended to awaken us to the reality of the choice before us, the reality of God, and the danger of this fall into unreality, into sin. But when we realize the truth itself, then all that passes away. Or another way of putting it is that, in the end, it's not evil people who are destroyed, but evil itself in all people is destroyed. The evil in man, the evil in the world, is destroyed and shown to be unreal, and the truth, the goodness which is in every human being, which is in the whole creation, that is fully realized in God. So, as I say, we can reflect on these things. And it's important, because for most people,


especially for non-Christians, it's a tremendous stumbling block, and for the majority of Christians also, I think. So it requires to be thought through at a deeper level. We can't just accept it at the very superficial level, which is commonly done. Paul goes on with this chapter, and a very striking phrase. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you. And that is the paradox. And you can't sort of put it exactly, this question of grace and free will. See, we have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It's something that depends entirely on us. And at the same time, God works in us, both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. So it comes entirely from God, and he's fully entirely from us.


Let's see. It's not half God and half us, you see. It's entirely from God. God working in us. God enables us to do any good we do. So when we pray, it's God who enables us to do and make that prayer. It's God working in us. And ultimately, it's God loving himself in us. That is the history of Christian love and Christian salvation. So we again, as I say, we live in this world of dualities, and we have to think of ourselves here separate, working out our salvation, and God's up there doing his work for us. But really, it's one thing. It's the action of God in us, and our response to him is one. And that's the mystery. And I think in prayer, one can experience that a little. We go beyond the dualities, become aware that we are in him and he is in us, and that is the secret. Then it says, Do all things without blame. May we be blameless and innocent, children of God, without blemish, in the midst of our crooked and perverse generation.


And it's very strong, this sense that the Christian calling is to be without blame and innocent. And of course, it's a very high calling and very far from what normally takes place. And a third one, the need is always to keep that ideal before the eyes. You see, if we look back on Christian history, we see almost every conceivable kind of evil in the church, and we see it still today. And yet, behind it all, there's always this call to innocence, to protection, to be totally pure in heart. And that's the mystery, you see, that we belong to a sinful race and we're involved in sin, and yet this call of God is always there to go beyond everything, to experience this innocence and this freedom in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. And there they saw rather the Christians as the holy people


and the rest of the world as unholy. But today we see that the unholiness is in the church as much as in the world, and holiness is often as much in the world as in the church. It's not that they don't separate in that way. Today we're all exposed to sin, and we all have this call to grace. Maybe it's stronger in the church, or in certain aspects of the church, but the two aspects are always there, the sin and the perversity, and the grace and the salvation. Holding fast the word of life. So in the day of Christ, I made the prophet, I didn't have one in vain. See, holding fast his word of life. And the gospel is his word of life. It's not an ordinary word that just comes to the mind and goes out. It's a word that communicates life and sustains life in us. And on the day of Christ, again, of course, this is looking forward to the sacrifice, that was the libation. Paul sees himself as being poured out in that way,


offering his life in sacrifice. Likewise, you all should be glad and rejoice with me. This principle reveals how Jesus was not accepted among his own people, the people of Nazareth, who knew him so well. And it's paradoxical, as it says, they asked, where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? They saw the wisdom and the mighty works, yet they couldn't sort of accept it. Isn't this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? Aren't his brethren James and so on? And they simply knew him as one of their own family, their own people, their own village, and they couldn't accept that he was anything more. Incidentally, with regard to the brothers and sisters, a great deal of questioning is made about this,


but I always feel in India there's really no problem at all if you ask anybody who his brothers and sisters are, and he'll name all his cousins and even remote relatives. It's a normal custom in the East, and I think it was quite evidently so also in Palestine. It's rather a secondary matter, but the point is that the villagers, the people who knew him from childhood, couldn't accept him. And it's a childish argument, really. You see, how can he have all this? We know his reputed father and his mother and his brothers and sisters, so it can't be that he's very different from anybody else. And this is a sort of childish attitude which judges from appearances, and perhaps most of all it judges from family kinship. You see, we all belong to a certain family, a certain kindred, and we're judged by our membership of a particular group in India,


particularly of a particular caste. And you're judged not by what you are, but by your environment, your social order to which you belong. And the real person is not seen at all, so they couldn't see the person of Jesus beyond all this, his family and his brothers and sisters and so on. And this is a great danger in life, really, that we judge people not by what they are, but by their caste or their community or their race or their religion or their social group, whatever it may be, and we never face the real person. And even when we do come to know a person, we still judge them by their external behavior, their attitudes and so on, and we never go beyond it. And Jesus simply appeared to people in that way. He was just a Jew of Nazareth, of Galilee.


Nobody can any good thing come out of Galilee, they said. You see, the real Jews were in Jerusalem and Judea, and Galilee was a mixed people, and they were not counted much account at all. And so Jesus was rejected on that ground. And so, as I say, we judge a person by his external behavior and so on, and we don't see the inner person. And to see Jesus as he was needed deep inside. Even the disciples, you see, couldn't reach it. They came to the point of recognizing him as the Christ of the Messiah, but even then it was a very vague idea of what that involved. It certainly wasn't the reality. They weren't prepared to accept his death and crucifixion. And so the disciples also, and they all remained in this state of ignorance, not seeing who he was. And only in the resurrection were they able to awaken to the reality.


And the same problem occurs today, of course. People read the Gospels, they read them in a critical, historical way, and it means nothing to them. They can dismiss Jesus quite easily. Some would say he doesn't even exist, that the evidence is not sufficient. Others would say he certainly existed, that he was just a man like anybody else, and there's no need to make any fuss about him. And only the insight of faith enables one to go beyond. And this is true with everybody, you see. Unless you have a certain faith in the dignity of the human being, and that the human being is created in the image of God, you will never see beyond the outside of a person. You go on judging everybody by the outside, by their external behavior, and their words and actions, which of course are very revealing, but they don't reveal the inner man, they don't reveal the very center of the person. And again and again we have to go beyond the outer man,


and even in a sense beyond the inner man, the man of thoughts and feelings and so on, you see. These are still not the inner person. We have an outer person, then we have this inner person, and then there is the inmost person, the real person, it's at the center. And that you don't see and you don't hear, and you can only discern it by faith, by this deep insight which faith gives. And that's what Jesus called for. He wanted people to see beyond him as a Jew, an enemy and so on, and beyond even his external behavior, even beyond his miracles, you see. They could see all the wonderful things he's doing, but still they wouldn't see the person. And to see beyond that to the person, to see where God was present in that person. And so with other people generally, we have to go beyond the outer person, beyond the inner man, as I say, the thoughts and the attitudes of mind and so on, to the hidden person, the hidden person of the heart, as they call it.


And that hidden person is the presence of God within. You see, God is in each person, and we in our deepest center are in God, and God in us. And that is the discernment we have to ask for, that behind every human being is external bodily character, and then is interior psychic character, is human being as we ordinarily understand it, to the heart of the person, the center, where God is present. And that is the hidden mystery in every person. So we all need to ask for that faith, that insight, and to the reality behind the appearances. The body is an appearance, and the mind and all its activities is an appearance, real but limited. But behind those appearances there is the real person, the eternal reality, which is always there, that person in God, and God in that person. And then we know the person as he really is. So we have to ask for that faith. Very personal and, you might say, almost trivial,


this plans he has to visit these people, and the people he wants to send, hope to send Timothy to you, no one liking. And Timothy's worth, you know. But it's very personal and very human. And I think it's important that St. Paul, with all his zeal for the gospel and so on, remained extremely human with his very human relationships with the disciples and with nearly all the members of the different churches. He really seemed to have a personal love. He says of Timothy, you know how as a son with his father he has served me in the gospel, and so on. And then he always, the whole thing is always done in a religious context. I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself shall come. He doesn't do anything on his own accord, he's waiting on the will of God and the Holy Spirit. So it's all got a rather deep meaning behind it, these apparently trivial events. Then he goes on to speak of this Epaphroditus,


my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need. He's engaged, you see, in a great work all the time, organizing these communities and keeping in touch with them, sending people here and there. So it is a real work that he's engaged in, which he feels to be the work of God, we trust it to him. And then he's been longing for you all, has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Again, it's quite a small event, somebody's ill, they even nearly get to death, and it's a personal concern. But it's all part of this whole human situation that he was ill near to death, but God had mercy on him, not only him, but on me, that I should have sorrow upon sorrow. You see, he's struggling all the time with all these problems. He says the problems of all the churches rest on him. So I think one can read these things, I say, with understanding that these communities we've all established are extremely human communities,


very close touch with one another, and when he speaks of the gospel, the spirit of God, of Christ, he always introduces also affection and love and understanding and sympathy and so on. So it becomes a total human community, and that surely is what we really need. So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete your service. I think it's all important, because religion tends to become a routine for many people, and it can become rather impersonal, and it's easy for church officials to become rather impersonal and so on. And it's important, you see, this total human personal affection and concern, and the love of God and of Christ is always based on this fundamental human relationship. It naturally is a model for us all. An important reading from St. Paul,


and one of the great passages on the Christian life as a whole. He says, if you have been raised with Christ, see the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, which are mine, and things that are above, and not on things that are on earth. And this raises a great problem. Today people are very suspicious of any kind of spirituality which is concerned only with the other world, and neglects affairs of this world. But I don't think one need attribute that to St. Paul. It's not an easy matter, this how we relate the world of beyond, the transcendent, the world in our midst, and we can't separate them. But there are times when one has to go beyond this world, to be with Christ, to be with God, and there are times equally one has to be with the world, and to be by God and Christ in the world. And it's a kind of rhythm, a sort of polarity,


which one has to learn how to establish. It's never easy. And there definitely is a need to be able to forget the things of the world, and to be with Christ. As St. Paul said elsewhere, I desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ. I think people today tend to neglect that. They tend to think it's only service of Christ in the world and others and so on that matters. But it's not only. The two aspects have to be there. So he goes on, For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. One of the great mystical utterances of St. Paul, you have died, that means your ego has died, you see, your limited human self, and you were woken to this inner life in God, in Christ. And that, of course, is the end of contemplative life. It's to discover that hidden life in Christ, which does not take you out of this world, you see. You die to your ego in your egoistic view of the world, and you're awakened to a deeper understanding of God


and God in the world. It opens you up, it opens the world to God as it were. So that is really what we seek, that really hidden life in God. When Christ, who is our life, appears, you will also appear with him in glory. See, we have some experience of this inner life now, and we're waiting for the time when this world actually disappears. The world as we know it, the world of appearances, and the life of glory appears, Christ appears in his glory. We see him now by grace, but not in glory. We see him then in the fullness. So that is our situation, we're in the world, and we are able to see the presence of God in the world, and be awake to that inner life within, but we're waiting for the final transformation, when the world and ourselves go beyond into the presence of God, the final transformation. Then he has the practical discipline, put to death what is earthly in you,


immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, covenants, which I acknowledge... Notice, what is earthly in you, it doesn't really mean what is earthly. What is earthly, the physical body is earthly, and the senses and feelings are earthly, and so on, but it's the earthly separated from the spirit, and that's often the way with Saint Paul, also with Saint John, when they speak of the world or the flesh or the earth, they're thinking of the world and the flesh separated from God, from the spirit, not simply in themselves. So what is earthly here is immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and so on. And then, do not lie to one another. Then the famous saying, put off the old man, or the old nature with its practices, and put on the new man, which is being renewed in knowledge of the image of its creator. And that, of course, is the whole Christian mystery, really, this dying to the old nature, the old man, the ego, as we put it, and awakening to the new man, the new nature,


which is renewed in knowledge of the image of its creator. You see, we're made in the image of God, and by sin we fall away from that, and by grace we're restored to that image, which is knowledge of God. The image of God in us is the knowledge of God, and so that's the goal of our life. And then he opens the whole thing up in a marvelous way to the full realization of human nature, you see, when we go beyond our limitations, our ego, into this world of grace, then we open ourselves to the whole of humanity, and you couldn't get a more marvelous expression of it. It can be neither Jew nor Greek, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian or civilian, slave or free man. Christ is all in all. And these are the typical divisions of humanity in the world of St. Paul's time. For him, it's Jews and Greeks, you see. The Jews saw themselves as the frozen people of God,


and the Greeks in the Roman Empire, they were the main other people they were concerned with, and that was their division. We would think of black people and white people, or Jews and Arabs, or Hindus and Buddhists, all the divisions we have, you see, all these divisions are overcome. Circumcised and uncircumcised is much the same. The Jews are the circumcised, the Christians are the uncircumcised. In barbarian and civilian, slave and free man. For the Greeks, that's the other way around, you see. For the Jews, they were the chosen people, and the Greeks and others were uncircumcised sinners. And for the Greeks, on the other hand, they were the chosen people. Everybody else was a barbarian. There were only two people in the world. You were either a Greek or you were a barbarian. And so each people tends to divide the world in that way. So it's important that Christ has overcome all these divisions, which are just as great today as they were then. Then slave and free man, of course,


and slavery right through the Roman Empire, and that great division was there. So really today we can apply that to all these divisions of caste and race and nationality and religion and politics, whatever you like. All that divides humanity is overcome in Christ, because he goes beyond the ordinary human nature into this transcendent mystery, which is the image of God in us, the presence of God in us. Christ is all and in all. You see, that is the history. The whole creation of humanity is taken up into this new life in Christ, and then we find the real end and meaning of life. So this is one of the great passages that's informed which we've all have come.