Unknown year, April talk, Serial 00619

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The formant taken in adultery is exceptional in the New Testament.
It's not found in any of the early manuscripts.
None of the early fathers mention it.
In fact, they ignore it.
And the probability is it was part of the original gospel tradition
which circulated but hadn't found any particular place.
And then it was inserted on the fourth century in the manuscripts
and then gradually spread.
So it's an authentic story.
But yet nobody knew its exact place.
It might belong rather to the synoptic tradition of St. John.
But it is inserted here and it's part of our gospel tradition.
And, of course, of very great significance.
There was a very strong tradition in the early church
that there were certain sins that couldn't be forgiven,
namely murder, adultery, and apostasy.
You were left to the mercy of God.
The church couldn't forgive you.
And eventually it was realized that all sin could be forgiven.
And maybe this passage was felt to be of particular significance for that.
And, of course, it does reveal a great deal.
You have the law of Moses against adultery
and there is a law against adultery everywhere.
And you have to have laws and you have to judge.
But laws are social and they are in general.
And Jesus goes beyond laws and beyond general morality
to the actual human situation, human reality.
And he challenges his people, you see.
The law is there, quite clear.
You ought to stone this woman.
But he challenges everyone.
And yet he was without sin among you, cast a stone.
And you see, that goes to the heart of the problem.
No one is without sin.
Some have gross sins which are public
and they are condemned and they may be judged and put in prison.
Others have hidden sins which are not apparent but which may be much deeper.
And we all have to judge ourselves in that way.
We may not commit murder or adultery or apostasy.
But there are deep sins in the depths of the heart.
Because all sin is a failure of love.
And we all fail in love, again and again.
We can't really succeed in it because it's so profound.
And only God can enable us to love.
So we all sin and we're all profoundly defective.
And I think to realize one's basic sin is extremely important.
Some people find confession difficult
because you can't think of any particular sins you've done.
And it isn't a particular sin, really, that matters so much.
If you have them, then you should confess them.
But there's a deeper sin, this failure of love.
In the depths of our soul, we're not surrendered to God.
And that is why we judge others.
We think ourselves all right
because we haven't committed any external sins of any great significance.
Therefore, we're in a position to judge others.
But when we realize the depth of sin in ourselves,
that each one of us has this deep failure,
the original sin is this pulling away from God,
pulling away from love,
which makes us, separates us from God.
And we're all in that state.
And we all need forgiveness day by day.
And unless we realize that, we're always judging others.
You see, the great danger is this judgment of others.
And it's so natural, you see, people doing what?
No, it's wrong.
And we judge and we condemn them.
It's perfectly all right to say this is not right.
But when you come to judging a person,
then you have, Jesus challenges you,
who without sin is among you, you see?
Who among you is without sin?
And no one is without sin.
And we have to judge others as we judge ourselves,
realizing we're all under the judgment of God.
We all need forgiveness.
And when we realize our own need of forgiveness,
then we're able to forgive others.
We're able to forgive as God forgives.
So this is a very challenging gospel.
And we all need to take it apart.
Because it's a big problem in all community life and everywhere.
We have to make these judgments.
We think people do things that are wrong and so on.
But behind it all has to be this fundamental sense
that we're all in need of forgiveness.
And we all, only when we recognize our need of forgiveness,
are we able to forgive others of that compassion that Jesus had.
And he gives us this example to show us
what our attitude should be.
I saw the eye of Jesus.
Who am I?
And he uses this phrase, I am he.
Or rather in the Greek, it's simply I am.
And as you know, it is the name by which God was revealed,
Yahweh was revealed in the Old Testament.
I am.
And clearly Jesus is referring to that.
And it's very relevant in India because, as you know,
the great search in India is for the true self.
Who am I?
It's a question.
Ramana Maharshi in particular, a sage of Thiruvannamalai,
who is one of the, considered one of the great sages of India.
You'd be surprised how many government servants
in the highest position in Delhi and elsewhere
are disciples of Ramana Maharshi.
He's considered the one who's totally realized God.
And his experience was precisely with this I.
Who is us?
Who am I?
And you trace your I.
Am I this body?
You say, no, I'm not that.
Am I this soul?
This person with your thoughts, feelings, desires?
You learn to go beyond your ego, your inner self.
And then you trace the I to its source.
And you go beyond your limited self.
And you discover the eternal I am.
Eternal being.
Eternal self.
The Atman.
And that was the most profound experience.
You really realize the self, you see.
The eternal I am.
As you may know, perhaps some don't.
I had this unique experience with a young man in Madurai.
He was a boy at school, 16 or 17.
And he was quite healthy and normal.
But one day he had an overwhelming prediction.
He was going to die.
And he lay down in the room where he was living near the temple.
And he surrendered himself to death.
And he allowed his body to become a church and stop breathing.
And then he said to himself, now this body is dead.
Am I dead?
And at that moment, he underwent a mystical death.
He realized totally and finally, I am not this body.
I am an eternal spirit.
And from that moment, the age of 16 or 17, till he died at the age of 17 in 1950,
he never for a moment lost the sense, I am not this body.
He died of cancer.
It was extremely painful.
As he used to groan in the night and so on.
But he always said, I am not this body.
I can live in that eternal spirit.
In the I am that he taught his disciples to realize, who am I?
And clearly, Jesus had a similar experience.
He knew himself beyond his body, the physical body of a Jew,
beyond his soul, his psychological nature of a Jew and a disciple and so on.
But beyond those, he knew himself in this deep center of his being.
But there's a great difference here, you see.
In Ramana Maharshi, it's an identity, I am.
And he always said, each one has to discover the same identity, I am.
And some would challenge him sometimes when,
aren't you not concerned with others?
And he would say, there are no others.
There's only one self, one eternal being, the one I, which we have to realize.
And Jesus' experience is different, you see.
He never asserts himself as I am, apart from the Father.
He receives everything from the Father.
He realizes himself in God and through God, in the Father, through the Father.
And expresses it by saying, I am in the Father, the Father is in me.
And that is Christian revelation.
You see, the Hindu has this profound sense of identity with this one God, the one self.
And Jesus has an experience of relationship.
He's the son of the Father.
He's in the Father, the Father in him.
He who sees him, sees the Father.
But he is not the Father.
So there is relationship, relationship between man and God.
And even a relationship within the Godhead.
See, the Father and the Son are one and yet distinct.
They are related.
And why?
Because they are love.
You see, if you assert identity, you remove love.
You cannot have love with one.
Love is a relationship.
And in the Father, in Jesus, there is this relationship with the Father, relationship
of knowledge and love.
He knows the Father, the Father knows him.
He loves the Father, the Father loves him.
And that is the experience of Jesus and of the Christian experience.
And he teaches us not to be God, but to know ourselves in God and God in us.
To know ourselves as sons of the Father.
And we read last night in St. Paul that beautiful thing.
God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Abba.
See, he sends his Spirit, the Spirit of God himself, communicates to us.
And through that Spirit, we know ourselves in the Son, as sons of the Father.
We say, Abba, Abba.
So our Christian experience is the experience of Trinity.
See, the Trinity is the unique Christian revelation.
Not mine, it's been figured, or William, or Islam, or Judaism, which was a unique
experience Jesus had of this relationship with God and of this communion in the Spirit.
So this is a deep lesson.
And we all are called to go beyond our ego, beyond the physical body, beyond the psychological
self, you see, which most people think is all there is to it, a psychological being,
mind, and will, and the rest.
But beyond the psychological self is the Spirit.
In each person, the Spirit of God is present.
And we can realize ourselves in the Spirit.
And in the Spirit, we know ourselves as sons of God.
That is our Christian calling.
So we all need to reflect on this great history.
And of course, it's a great history.
We only know it as we meditate, as we try to realize it through our meditation as we
So we ask for this grace to realize ourselves in the Spirit.
In this gospel, Jesus continues this revelation of who he is.
And the question of who we are, the thinking, who am I, this is the great question.
And most people think they're simply a created being, body, and the mind, living a limited
life on earth, maybe with some prospect beyond, but for many, no prospect beyond.
And then if you realize that that is not you, it is not who you are, that beyond your body
and beyond your mind and your limited human personality, there is a deeper reality within
you, the reality of God.
And our real being is our being in God.
A human being is not simply a limited, created being.
It is a being with a capacity for God.
We like to make this distinction, body, soul, and spirit.
The body is of this earth.
The soul is turning to God at the end by the body.
But within, the soul is the spirit, the spirit of God.
That is present in every human being.
People are totally concealed and will never be aware of it.
This reality is always there.
And that is your real being.
And we all have to discover this truth.
Jesus came to reveal this truth.
I will tell you the truth, the truth will make you free.
And as long as you're living in this limited human personality, or in a world of conflict,
or a world of sin, you're in bondage.
And everybody's in bondage in this world.
And that is why we're in confusion and why we're destroying one another here in India
and the rest of the world.
And only when we go beyond this human limitation and realize God,
realize the presence of God in us and in others,
are we able to be free from this bondage, this bondage of sin.
And the whole humanity is in that bondage of sin.
And sin is precisely pouring away from God.
We've lost the reality, knowledge that we are in God and God is in us.
And we've fallen into this state of a limited human being
which is destined to death.
And that is our human state.
So, the Gospel summons us to this realization of who we are.
And when we realize that, it makes profound change in our life.
We begin to see ourselves and see everybody else in a different way.
Because the same mystery is present in every human being.
The hidden mystery of God is present in every person,
however totally hidden it may be.
And once we recognize that, then we know the truth.
And the truth sets us free.
So, we all have to ask this realization.
You see, here in India, it's been a tradition for ages
that your real being is your being in Brahman, in the Atman, in the Self.
You're in the Self beyond your human limitation.
That is your real self.
And we all have to discover that real self.
And Jesus came to reveal it in his own person.
He is the true being of God.
He is the one who is totally in God and God in him.
And when we recognize him, then we recognize God in us.
We're able to realize who we are.
And we realize also who other people are.
So, we have to ask for this.
Because here in India, this knowledge is being lost, you see.
It's been a tradition for ages.
And yet people today, they grow up in a Western education,
Western world in science, engineering, medicine, all the rest of it.
And they go into their careers in this world.
And they lose sight of the reality which was once known.
Same for Christians.
They also have this knowledge.
But they also grow up in this world of materialism.
And they also may retain their faith.
It is true, but still so often it's either they lose their faith
or the faith becomes something very dim in their lives.
But to realize the truth, to see that we are from God
and God is in each one of us,
that is a recognition which changes everything.
But of course, it puts you in opposition to the world.
And that's why Jesus suffered, you see.
He says, you seek to kill me.
He revealed something in them.
They couldn't face it.
And people cannot face the fact that the life they're living
is not a real life at all.
It's a false life.
They're not living the truth which is in them and which is in others.
Living a lie, you see.
He says, your father said, the devil is a liar.
And we think it's a lie that this world is everything
and there's nothing beyond it.
Yet people are captivated by that lie
because it's so fascinating.
So many attractions in the world.
So many marvelous inventions.
You do such wonderful things.
And it simply carries you away.
There's an article in Time magazine this week about trains.
There are simply marvelous trains in the world today.
Some of them go over 100 miles an hour in Japan,
particularly in one in France.
And others have those incredible luxuries.
You can eat and drink and enjoy yourself
and have a marvelous time
while you travel through the beautiful countryside and so on.
So these things fascinate people.
And they'll spend thousands of dollars to have this enjoyment.
And in Japan, they like to have the first fruits of the year.
And at this time, it's cherries.
And you have these cherries which are produced
with great care and skill at marvelous early time.
And they sell them at $12 for one cherry.
$12 for one cherry.
So you get a box of cherries for $700.
And people, human beings are doing this
while people are starving here in India
and in many parts of the world.
They make $12 for a cherry.
But $12 is 120 rupees.
So this is the world we live in.
A world of total unreality, you see.
Total falsity.
Poor Spaniards all together.
And they spend their lives in that.
And that is living a lie, you see.
And we have to recognize the falsity.
That's extreme.
But it's only an extreme example of what is happening all the time.
So we have to recognize the truth.
That we belong to God.
And this world belongs to God.
This is a vast illusion when we think that this world is everything.
We spend our lives making money and becoming important in this world.
So we ask God, where is the truth?
In this Gospel, Jesus is revealing this other dimension to human existence.
And the Jews are still largely in this worldly dimension.
It's a strange fact that to most of the Old Testament
there's no clear knowledge of a future life.
But the Sheol, the place of the departed spirit, she went, was sort of vague.
And of ghosts.
But there was no real life there.
In the death, in the grave, who shall give you praise, it says in the psalm.
So there was very little hope in that way.
But it was growing.
And there was an emerging sense.
And particularly at the end of the Book of Daniel,
the idea of the resurrection of the just came.
So Jesus came into the world where this thief in some kind of resurrection
was present.
But he wanted to reveal that it's not simply a future life.
I think even today many Christians think that we just have a future life.
And many others, for that same reason, reject it.
They say, I can't believe in a future life.
But what Jesus is revealing is not really a future life.
It's not a temple life at all.
It's eternal life.
And eternal life is not in time.
It's a timeless state.
And when he says, before Abraham was, I am,
some people think that he's simply saying he existed before Abraham.
But it's not really a temple at all, you see.
The I am is not necessarily not a temple state at all.
It's a statement of the eternal reality.
In the name of God, in the Old Testament, Yahweh is the I am.
It's the eternal.
And we rather misinterpret these words of Jesus
if we think simply that he's saying, I am God.
Because that is the normal understanding.
We are human beings.
Abraham, the prophets, they all die.
And Jesus is not merely a human being.
He is God.
But it's not exactly that, really.
When we interpret it in the context of Indian thought,
it becomes quite different, you see.
For a European Westerner to say, before Abraham was, I am,
is to assert you are God.
You are something beyond the human altogether.
But in India, this sense that there's something in you beyond the human,
that you are that transcendent reality that's been revealed
from the time of the Upanishads, you see, the great statements.
I am Brahman.
Aham Brahmasmi.
I am Brahman.
At the same time, the seers of the Upanishads, I am that eternal reality.
And it's gone on ever since.
In India, the realized person, the person who knows God,
the Brahmavidya, or the jnana, the jnani,
is the one who knows God and knows himself in God and God in him.
And so, Prabhupada Maharshi is the great exalter in our own time in Tamil Nadu,
the one who realized God, was able to say this, I am the eternal self in him.
He realized the self, you see, that is the goal.
So when we see Jesus in that context,
it becomes very different, you see.
He's not saying simply that he is God.
He's saying that he, as man, has another dimension to his being
beyond the human and the temporal.
It is an experience of the eternal I am, the eternal reality.
He knows himself in God, in that eternal being, the I am.
And Karl Rahner has interpreted this very interestingly,
where he says that human nature is constituted by the capacity of self-transcendence.
We're all called to go beyond ourselves, beyond the limited human self,
to open us to the divine.
That's what we're created for.
Humanity is created for God.
And each of us has this capacity within us.
But in most human beings, in all human beings, that capacity is limited.
And in all of us, there is some sin, something that prevents us from transcending ourselves.
We're centered on ourselves.
That is the original sin.
A man was called to give himself to God and to find himself in God.
But he fed away onto himself, into his ego.
And we're all self-centered, you see, shut out from God.
And redemption is opening this ego, breaking the ego, crucifying the ego,
so that the true self of God, God in us, is revealed.
And Jesus came, you see, to break that ego, to break that limitation,
to open us to share with him in this experience of God.
He can say, before Abraham was I am.
And he wants us also to realize that we also have something in us
which was before Abraham.
We have in us the spirit of God which is eternal.
And we're called to realize God in ourselves.
We all have to recognize that.
This capacity for God in every human being.
And we're not fully human, we've not attained that yet,
till we realize God in us, in us in God.
And Jesus revealed that plenitude of the human being totally given to God,
God given totally to the human being.
That is incarnation.
Human being totally given to God and God totally given to human being.
And Jesus enables us to share in his experience.
So this is the real revelation.
And it's, you see, the danger of the other is you put Jesus on the side of God
and he's gone beyond you all together.
And you're, you know, as a human being you can ask for grace and mercy and so on,
but he's gone beyond.
But the reality is not that, you see.
It's precisely that Jesus has brought God into our lives.
He has opened himself as a human being totally from the Father to God
and then he brings that life of God the Father into our lives
and enables us to share in his divinity.
It's very important that either the Roman governor
and the judgment and the condemnation
and we remind ourselves that this sort of thing is happening all over the world today.
Whenever you like to look in Sri Lanka or in Paris in Lebanon
or in South Africa or in Nicaragua
and there are a few places where this kind of violence is being done to people.
Totally unjust judgments are being made.
People are being imprisoned, tortured, killed.
And all this is concentrated here in this experience of Jesus.
And then you have the human drama of his betrayal.
One of his disciples betrays him.
And there is a disciple, Peter, denies him.
And again this is a drama which occurs all over the world.
People form groups and work together with one another and betray one another.
We have the Tamil groups in Sri Lanka killing one another
and first of all working together and then falling apart.
And the same happens everywhere in the Karnataka, the Sikhs.
And whenever this terrorist and violence takes place
they divide and they begin to destroy one another.
And so we live in this world of betrayal, of injustice and also of repentance.
Peter denies and yet in the end he turns back and Jesus makes him his chosen disciple.
So again this is this human drama, human world in which we live.
And then the actual suffering of Jesus is discouraging and so on.
And the actual crucifying, we can hardly imagine what it was like.
At the same time we know that similar things are happening all over the world.
People are being tortured today.
In one country after another you have the Amnesty International records of things that are being done.
No one can doubt it.
And so this drama is not of the past, you see, it's the present.
And we have to realize that Jesus is the representative man
and he suffers in all these situations throughout the world.
And there's no apparent justification.
You see, if you were looking on there, you would see no apparent justification.
And on the contrary, there's all this mockery of it, you see.
They say, if he is the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross.
He trusted in God, let him deliver him.
He wants, he said, I am the son of God.
And again people expect, you see, some miracle to take place, some justification.
But again and again nothing happens.
God seems to be totally absent.
And that again is an experience where many people find God is absent.
When you expect help, no, nothing happens.
And the same here.
But yet behind all this, there is this mystery of salvation.
Through all this crime and injustice and cruelty and torture and death and destruction comes salvation.
You see, that is the mystery of the cross.
Through the worst human existence, the most profound salvation comes.
It's difficult to realize it, you see.
That's why we should never despair, you see.
Things seem to be absolutely hopeless.
And yet in the totally hopeless situation, that is when salvation is most clearly present.
So this is the message which the gospel really gives us.
And we all have to ask for the grace to realize that it's taking place today, you see.
It takes place in our midst.
And we're all involved in it, some in a small way, some maybe in a greater way.
But anytime people get involved in the situations like this,
and often in ordinary, very human situations, you get these terrible betrayals.
People are totally betrayed by their family or their friends.
Somebody came to me just recently whose parents were separated when they were quite young.
And they never saw their father.
And after 20 years, I think it was, they discovered who their father was.
And they made contact with him.
And they began to correspond.
And then they met.
And it was a complete disaster.
He eventually totally disowned her.
And her whole life was broken by that.
So this is happening, you see.
These total betrayals take place.
And yet God is in the midst of that person.
Also realize that somehow God was with her in this.
So we all have to try to realize God is present in the most disastrous situations.
And otherwise, you know, life is unintelligible.
Why does God commit all this suffering, all this evil, all these things that we see around us,
unless there is a mystery of grace in the midst of it all,
unless we have mercy, unless we have compassion.
This Gospel telling the story of the woman who anoints the feet of Jesus
is told in all the Gospels in rather different forms.
But in each, it has this same message of the gesture of love.
And it meets with resistance.
And particularly in this Gospel, Judas speaks for the practical people.
He says, why was this ointment not sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?
And John says he did this because he was a thief.
But it needn't have been so.
He might have been simply speaking in the name of practical people everywhere.
But I think we're all challenged by it.
You see, she takes this very precious ointment and wastes it all.
And Judas approves of it.
And Judas, who is a practical man, disapproves of it.
I read once an account of a business organization which wrote to Jesus
giving him advice about his disciples.
And they found all of them defective in various ways.
But they felt Judas was a really practical man with a realistic view of life.
And he should be relied upon.
And it may be, you see, that it's precisely the practical, reliable, rational people
with their scientific ideas who miss the deeper meaning of life.
And I think it's a problem today.
We have all sorts of organizations for the poor and so on.
And they're very necessary.
And they often do wonderful work.
But they often miss the deeper meaning of it.
And Jesus was aware of this.
When he's spoken to the poor and calls his ointment upon him,
he sees the deep meaning of it.
He sees the gesture of love.
And love is more than all these organizations for the poor and so on.
And that, of course, is part of the secret of Mother Teresa,
that she gives love to people.
This is the basis of the whole work she does.
But of course, there are many, many others who also work in the same way.
It's not the organization.
It's not the actual relief given to people that counts so much.
It's the love which is behind it.
And that is what Jesus looked for, you know, in Mary,
and that he looked for in his disciples.
When Peter denies him,
Jesus, the only thing he asks him,
do you love me, he says.
He's trying to evoke that love.
So I think there's a very deep message to this.
You see, we all tend, particularly today,
we're all living in a scientific world
with scientific organization of society and so on.
And obviously, it's doing so much good in every way,
in such wonderful form,
that we get deceived by it
and think that this is the real thing.
But there's always something beyond all that.
And sometimes it's the opposite.
So many of these great revolutions, you know,
the French Revolution or the Russian or the Chinese,
they're all idealists.
People got a wonderful idea of how they could change the world.
And they set about it.
It's very clear in China,
one of the leaders of the Chinese Revolution
was studied in France, you know,
and he was thoroughly trained in logical scientific thoughts
on how to remedy the human situation.
So they all had these wonderful scientific practical ideas
of how to change human society.
And it all goes totally wrong.
You see, in the French Revolution,
liberty, equality, paternity is a beautiful idea.
And then they started murdering everybody.
The same with the Russian Revolution.
Lenin and Engels and so on,
with their wonderful remarks,
with their wonderful scientific theories
about money and organization of society.
And then all this murder goes on,
these concentration camps,
millions of people destroyed.
Same with the Chinese Revolution.
Mao Zedong was an idealist.
His little red book was full of marvellous ideals
of how people should all share with one another.
They all had these beautiful ideals.
And then they start the concentration camps.
Millions and millions are destroyed
because they can't get people to love one another.
You see, you try to force this thing on people
and it just reacts the opposite way.
And the only way, the way Jesus did,
is the way of love.
And it's very, very unpractical to begin with.
It looks as though everything's going to pieces.
Jesus simply surrendered to the chief priests and people
and he's killed.
And Judas saw all this coming.
I mean, Judas was a practical man, you see.
He wanted Jesus to organize things properly
and to relieve the poor and to do what ought to be done.
But he sees him doing the opposite.
And he despairs of it.
But Jesus was going this other way.
And that's the way of love.
Love of total surrender.
He gives his life for the world.
And he sees in this gesture of this woman,
you see, a gesture of pure love.
She recognizes him for what he is.
And she gives this symbolic gesture,
anointing him for his burial.
But she looks beyond the present.
She sees into the mystery of life.
And she doesn't realize it fully, of course,
but she must, she was, in a way,
looking towards the resurrection.
And that is, you see,
the resurrection defies all human calculation.
The whole thing goes wrong from a human point of view.
And yet in the resurrection,
the whole meaning of life is revealed.
So I think we all have to try to live this mystery.
We're all in danger, especially today,
because we're so well educated
on thinking everything in rational terms
and trying to organize the world in a scientific way,
which has its value, of course.
Life, of course, is a conflict, neglected.
But there's something totally beyond it.
And the real value and the real meaning of life
is beyond all this rational organization
and comes often in these gestures
of apparent futility, apparent extravagance.
You see, pouring ointment on somebody's feet.
And yet a sign of something beyond all the rational world,
a sign of love, total self-surrender,
where the truth, the real meaning of life is revealed.
Still we all ask for the grace
to realize this mystery of love in our lives.
The story of the betrayal of Jesus
is a traumatic one for any human.
And we ask ourselves,
why do people betray God, betray Christ, betray themselves?
And the answer surely is
that we all have this self-centered personality
and we live from that center of ourselves.
And we don't listen to the deeper voice,
the deeper self within, the voice of God, the voice of Christ.
And we go ahead with our own ambitions,
our own ideas, our own plans.
And that is the normal human way.
We live from that self-centered personality.
And that brings us into conflict with others
and all the tragedies of the world.
We arise from that.
Each one is centered in himself.
And Judas, you see, was living with Jesus all this time.
And obviously he got his own ideas
of how things ought to be done, what ought to be done.
And after all, Jesus' attitude is very mysterious,
allowing himself to be given up to death and so on,
and prophesying that he would suffer many things
and be crucified.
This was something Judas couldn't accept.
And he thought he knew better.
You see, it's the self-centered person
who always thinks they know better.
And so he set himself against Jesus.
And that happens again and again.
You see, people have their own ideas
of how things ought to be done.
And they won't listen to the deeper truth,
the deeper meaning, the deeper self within.
And they go ahead and they cause disaster around them.
And so he goes his way, as St. John says,
Satan entered into him.
That's another aspect, you see.
As we become centered on ourselves,
we're also exposed to evil powers.
When we go beyond ourselves,
we're exposed to the power of God,
of grace, of the Holy Spirit.
When we're centered on ourselves,
we're exposed to the powers of evil.
And they're around us on every side,
to the powers of the unconscious.
People think they're doing exactly what they want
and dominating people and so on.
But actually, without realizing it,
they're being moved by these cosmic powers
which work in the unconscious.
A perfect example is Hitler, you see.
He was a man of tremendous ambition and vision.
He got tremendous powers in him.
And he felt he was called to save Germany
and depend on the people who defeated Germany.
And he won a greater part of the nation behind him.
And he seemed to be a man of great power.
And it's quite certain that he was in contact with
evil powers, occult powers.
He cultivated these occult powers.
And part of his genius was that he was being moved
by these powers.
That's another you could speak to as an example.
But other people, quite ignorantly,
they go their own way.
And they're being driven by forces of the unconscious
from which they're quite unaware.
And they do the most terrible things
because they've allowed themselves
to be exposed to these forces.
These forces cannot possess us unless we expose ourselves.
And we expose ourselves when we're confident.
So people are confident in themselves.
They can do it.
They go ahead.
They're the people who get exposed to the power of evil.
And then these disasters happen.
These disasters of wars and revolutions
and violence and hatred that we see on every side.
You see, these are the power of evil
which are working through human beings
who have this terrible self-confidence.
All these terrorists today,
when they're interrogated and so on,
they all have a vision of themselves as liberators, you see.
They're going to save their people.
Whether it's the extremists in Punjab
or the militants in Tamil Nadu
or the people in Lebanon
or wherever it is in South America,
wherever it may be, they have their own vision.
They are the saviors.
They've got this power.
They're going to achieve things.
Maybe simply they're up against the establishment as a whole
and they feel they've never thrown it.
They've got this power.
And so they become under the power of evil
and they get this terrible violence and hatred
that may cause this havoc in the world around them.
And the other form is that of Peter.
Peter hasn't got the same kind of self-centredness as Judas
but he's got this overconfidence.
He always tends to think too much of himself.
There's a famous occasion when Jesus tells him to...
Jesus comes walking on the water.
He says, let me come to thee.
He's quite willing to walk on the water
but when he starts, he begins to sink.
He's got this temperament of enthusiasm
but of failure to carry it through.
And so here, you see, he says with great confidence,
Lord, why cannot I follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you.
You see, it's very difficult for Judas.
He's ready to lay down his life for Jesus
but he's quite confident that he can and will.
Jesus said, will you lay down your life for me?
Truly I say to the coconut grove,
you have denied me three times.
So that's the other.
It's self-confidence, you see.
Peter was confident in himself that he could serve Jesus,
could do, lay down his life for him
and he collapses when this situation comes.
So I think this is really the lesson we all need to learn.
We're all self-centered.
We all think that we could do this and that,
we can achieve something and so on.
And we don't listen to the deeper voice within,
the deeper self.
We've got this empirical self, you call it the outer self
and we've got the inner self.
And the inner self is always present to God.
There is a presence in each person
and if we listen to that inner voice,
that inner presence, allow it to guide us,
then we get an inner guidance.
And this is the opposite.
For some people who are guided from within
and whatever they do,
it may not appear anything very much externally,
but it's got the right guidance in it
and it achieves what is really wanted.
It may not seem to use any very spectacular means,
but somehow they make the right judgment
and they are able to bring about peace
and neutral understanding.
For the people of that character
who can bring peace, understanding,
and you know, in a difficult situation,
they help to solve the problem.
So this is listening to the Word of God within,
the Holy Spirit.
Everybody has an inner guidance.
Some, of course, they've not cultivated it at all
and it only rarely comes through,
but others do try to listen to their voice
and the more you listen, the more clear it becomes.
And some people get a clear guidance,
whatever they have to do.
And there are many people at that time,
they've listened to God in prayer so much
that they know what to do at any given situation.
And that's really what we all have to ask for.
So I think we all have to be aware,
each of us is a Judas in everyone,
there's a Peter in everyone,
and there's also the beloved disciple in everyone.
The beloved disciple climbing on the breast of Jesus.
He was listening to him.
And again, the same with Mary and Martha.
Mary was listening to the Word.
So when that happens, then the guidance comes,
then the Holy Spirit takes possession
and the truth, as we live the truth,
we live out the true meaning of our lives.
So we all ask God's grace to discern
God's will and purpose in our lives.
I'm here with Francis' disciples to celebrate the Passover.
This was, of course, a great festival for the Jews,
the center of all Jewish life,
as it remains today,
celebrating their deliverance from Egypt,
all this slavery in Egypt and their being set free,
made into this people of God.
And Jesus enters into the Passover
with that tradition.
And I think it's very important that we see Jesus
in his historic circumstances.
Very easily we take him out of it,
see him as God-made man
without any real reference to the historic reality.
But Jesus comes as a Jew,
lives into that context of that Jewish life,
Jewish religion,
and he comes to fulfill that specific Jewish way of life
and of religion.
And the Passover, as I say, was the center of that life.
And Jesus took the Passover as the center for his life.
He celebrates his Passover together with his disciples
and he gives it a new meaning.
They were just delivering from Egypt,
become this people of Israel, of God.
And he wants to open it up to something more.
And for him, this Passover becomes
the passing beyond this world.
It becomes the passing beyond this world,
not simply going out of Egypt
and forming some people in this world,
but going beyond this world.
And so he accepts the mystery of the Passover
and accepts his betrayal by Jesus
as part of the divine plan.
In a sense, we have to admit that Judas
enters into the divine plan.
It is through him that this takes place.
That Jesus fulfills his Passover.
He passes from this world into the world to come.
And I think we all need to focus on that.
This is the mystery of the Passover.
This is passing beyond this world.
And today people are so occupied with this world
and all its needs and so on,
which of course is quite right.
One has to be concerned with it.
And yet one must always look beyond it.
There's nothing final in this world at all.
We're all passing through.
Death is a passage for every human being.
And unless we face death, unless we recognize
we're all moving towards death,
just as Jesus was.
He goes through death into life.
And we're all called to go through death into life.
And in a sense, this is a message of every religion.
See, the Buddha came and he saw
that this world is suffering.
It's passing away all the time.
And Nirvana is that state beyond this world.
We pass beyond.
We enter into the transcendent mystery.
The same way in Hinduism.
It's the probably holy teaching of the Vedas and Upanishads
is how to pass beyond maya,
beyond this world which is passing away,
to that real world,
to that world of Brahman,
the heart and the spirit, the truth.
It's the whole movement beyond.
And I think we have to see how each religion
has its own way, its own symbols,
its own understanding,
how we go beyond this world to the transcendent.
And each has its own validity.
And Jesus, as I say, comes within a specific tradition.
This is simply a thing apart from history.
You see, today we have a much more deep sense of history.
We all belong to a particular historic context.
We're born with a particular race and people
and language and custom and tradition.
We all are limited.
And Jesus came into a particular language,
custom, tradition, religion, people.
And he lived out the divine mystery
within that context.
And I think if we see it in that way,
we can relate Jesus to others.
We see a great problem for many people today
is how do we relate Jesus to Buddha,
to Krishna, to Anna,
to the different religious traditions?
And I think we have to see that God reveals himself
in different ways.
Each has its own specific character.
There's a mystery, a divine mystery
present in Hinduism, in Buddhism, in Islam.
And that divine mystery is present in Jesus
in a very unique way,
but within the context of a particular tradition.
And he lives it out in that tradition.
He lives it out in this Passover.
It is the center of his life.
He celebrates the Passover of the Jews.
And he takes it beyond these historic limitations,
opens it up to the transcendent mystery.
We're going beyond.
And in every religion,
you've got to go beyond the limitations
of that culture, that religion,
and experience the divine mystery itself,
which is revealing itself throughout the world.
And we all have to go beyond, you see.
But we celebrate the Eucharist.
We celebrate it in the tradition of Israel
as Jesus established it.
And we celebrate it with bread and wine,
which are specific to Mediterranean food and drink.
And we accept these historic limitations,
but it's the means by which we go beyond.
And that bread and wine signify the body and blood of Christ,
but the body and blood of Christ
also signify something beyond.
You see, the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist
are the body and blood of the resurrection.
They are the transcendent mystery.
The matter of this world has been taken up
into the transcendent mystery and become divine.
It's a way of celebrating this passing beyond, you see.
The Eucharist is precisely the sacrament
of the passing beyond this world into the eternal.
Jesus takes bread and wine, symbolizes his body and blood,
and then through that, he passes beyond that body and blood,
and not the body and blood of this world,
but the body and blood of the resurrection.
He's taking us beyond this world into the divine life.
So we all have to try to discover the hidden mystery
behind all these ceremonies which we celebrate,
and to realize the mystery in ourselves.
We're all being called to pass beyond our human limitations,
to experience the divine mystery,
to share this life of God, this life of Christ.
You see, he has gone before us.
He shares the life of God,
and he communicates it to us as we open our hearts.
We also share the divine life,
pass beyond our limitations,
and realize the real meaning of life,
the real mystery.
So we ask for this insight into the mysteries
which we celebrate.
Dr. Marley.
This gospel raises, truthfully,
this question of reality of Jesus' appearances
in the resurrection.
And for the Jew especially,
reality had to be concrete.
Any kind of metaphysical reality was unreal to them.
And their first question, you see,
when he appeared was,
it might be just a spirit, a ghost.
And the common idea was that when you died,
you became a kind of ghost, a spirit.
There was this Aedes, this underworld,
and you lived this kind of unreal life.
The real life was in this world.
And Jesus had to convince them that he was real,
and he does it by showing his hands, his feet,
even eating with them.
But again, we must discern these different levels of reality.
You see, there is a physical level of reality,
and it has its own reality,
the physical world, the world of the senses.
And then, as I said, there is the subtle world,
the world which is still concrete,
which is still visible.
And Jesus could eat and drink in that subtle world.
And he could also disappear.
See, he was there eating and drinking,
he would disappear.
He was in the subtle world.
And then beyond the physical and the psychic,
there is the real world, the spiritual world.
And that is the world of the resurrection.
Jesus didn't remain in that state,
eating and drinking and sharing with others.
He passed beyond into the reality.
And it's difficult for us today to grasp this,
because our whole philosophy of the whole world in which we live
is based on a different view of life,
which thinks that the physical world is the real.
See, the vast majority of people
think that the world of the senses
is what you can touch and taste and see and smell.
So this is real.
Anything else is subjective, ideas and so on.
But as everybody knows when you really go into it,
this is the least real.
Behind all these objects that you see and touch,
and we know there is this solid reality,
it's an illusion.
There is all these vibrating atoms,
electrons and protons and things.
This is all a vibrating field of energies.
And the whole of it is an appearance.
The solid floor and the candle and the light,
all these are appearances of this subtle reality
which is behind it all.
And then the next stage is,
other people think that the mental world is real,
the scientific world, you see,
the world of electrons and so on.
This is the real world.
Or the world of philosophy, you see,
the world of ideas and things I have in my mind.
This is real in a sense.
World is part of the way, it's only a phenomenon.
But my mind, my ideas, these are real.
And that was the Greek view.
Jews were much more concerned with solid physical reality.
The Greeks were concerned with the metaphysical,
the mental reality.
Plato is a great exponent of it.
And for him, the physical world had a certain reality
that was the least real.
And beyond that was the mental world,
particularly the world of geometry, of science, philosophy.
That was a more real world.
Beyond that, he also saw the idea of the good,
a transcendent reality.
So those were the three, the physical,
and then the mental, which to him was the most real,
and then beyond.
But the reality is that there is a physical world
and it has a certain limited reality.
And we're supposed to live in that world
and share it as long as we live in the world.
And then there is the mental world,
the world of ideas, of science, philosophy, theology.
All that I'm doing now belongs to the mental world, you see.
But neither the physical nor the mental world
are the ultimate reality.
They're only appearances.
Beyond the physical world and beyond the mental world,
all our ideas and thoughts and so on, is the reality.
And Jesus passed beyond the gross world of the senses
and beyond the subtle world of the mind and physical thought
into the reality of the truth of God himself.
You see, Jesus is totally present in that reality.
He becomes present in the Eucharist
out of those signs of bread and wine
and makes it her presence, but in his reality.
And we're all destined to pass beyond the world of the senses
and beyond the world of the mind.
This is not the reality.
The whole scientific world is just as much an appearance
as the physical world.
We have to go beyond that.
And the whole theological world,
all our doctrines of trinity, incarnation, all the rest,
these are mental concepts which manifest the reality
in a limited way and have their own value,
but they're not the reality.
The reality is beyond the mental.
It's the reality of the spiritual world.
And it's very difficult, you see,
to envisage that spiritual reality,
because we all live in the world of the senses
or in the world of the mind.
But in meditation, we can get some glimpse of the reality.
You see, in meditation, you try, first of all,
to calm the senses.
You don't have to suppress them.
You calm your senses so that you're no longer occupied
with the world of the senses
rather than what you see or hear or anything.
Then secondly, you have to calm the mind.
And this is the great work of meditation,
to stop the mind, stop all these thoughts and ideas
and feelings and so on which keep coming up.
And then when you've calmed your body and calmed your mind,
you become aware of a presence, of the reality.
And that is, you get a glimpse of the reality in meditation.
You become aware of a presence.
And that is what we have to open our hearts to,
to realize that beyond this world of the senses
and the mind is this mysterious presence.
And that presence is ultimately love,
this mysterious presence of love
which is drawing us and the whole universe to itself.
Through that infinite love is manifesting in nature,
in matter, manifesting in the mind,
but taking matter, the mind,
beyond themselves into itself
by being drawn into the reality of love,
which is from its ends all.
And Jesus, at the resurrection,
goes beyond the senses, beyond the mind,
into the reality of love.
And he's totally present just within that infinite love,
communicating and revealing himself to people.
And that is the reality of the resurrection.
And that is what we have to live in.
We're all called to go beyond our bodies
and beyond our minds into the mystery of love
which comes from its ends all,
which opens us to reality itself, to the truth.
So we all have to ask the grace to go beyond.
And meditation, most of us at least,
is the way to get beyond your body and your mind
and experience the living presence.
That's not to say, of course, that for others,
the loving service of others can be a means
to go beyond your body and your mind,
realize the presence of God in people,
in their needs and their suffering.
It's another way, it's a way of karma,
it's a way of bhakti, it's a way of jnana.
There are the three ways by which we go beyond
and come to be reality.
So we all have to find our way to know the reality
and know God.