Unknown year, May talk, Serial 00622

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.



AI Suggested Keywords:


Year Talks 1/2

AI Summary: 





First of all, we have this rather curious incident of Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman, who was a griever to his father the Greek, and Paul had him circumcised. And you can see the difficulty, it's still, if you were a Jewish Christian, you were expected to be circumcised to keep the law. If you were a Greek and non-Jewish, then you were freed. There was a very serious problem, and fortunately the Jews gradually disappeared from the church and it went away, but it was a great problem. And Peter, later on, you may remember, he started having meals with Gentile Christians, and then he was persuaded to give it up and to go back with the Jewish Christians. You see, having meals, very like the caste in Hindus, Jews were not supposed to eat that kind of meat, and they couldn't share meals with other people. And so for a Jewish Christian it was a very great problem, should he have a meal with a Gentile Christian and eat what he's not supposed to eat.


So, it was a very big problem. And here Paul showed himself very open and had Timothy circumcised himself. But now we come to the more important thing. They went on to Asia, Asia Minor, which is now Turkey, don't forget, a Muslim country. And they go through these various provinces. We speak the word in Asia, that was simply one province of this Asia Minor. And interesting, you see, they attempted to go to Athens, the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. So they were guided by this sort of presence all the time, they were aware of this inner guidance. And many people experienced that, of course, but it was not to be very strong at this time. Definitely, remember when the Israelites were reading the Book of Numbers, when they were


to move on, the cloud, the divine cloud went up and they moved on, and when they were to come to rest and the cloud descended, they had this guidance. And here we have this guidance of the Holy Spirit. And many people today, I think many of us, try to be guided by the Holy Spirit when we take a journey or whatever. We don't just go on our own, we should be guided by what God is asking of us. So it's quite a practical thing. And then you have this vision, you see, of a man in Macedonia, beseeching them, come over to Macedonia and help us. And the point of this is, of course, that Macedonia is in Europe, and this is the point where the Gospel passed from Asia to Europe. And it's always remembered, Christianity was an Asiatic religion, Palestine, Syria, and then this Asia Minor, which is now Turkey, and only at this point did it move over into Greece and to Europe. So it was a very decisive moment. And the special call, you see, come over to Macedonia and help us.


And so they thought to go on, concluding that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them. And then they set out. And they go to Philippi, where, as you know, St. Paul had a very wonderful experience and a very great community there, to which he wrote the letter to the Philippians. So the Acts is very interesting, as I said, it shows us the stages of the Gospel. You see, there was no plan to go to Europe. I think it's very important, you see, that nothing was planned at all. It just went as the Spirit moved. And then they had this call to go to Macedonia, and so they passed from Asia to Europe. A decisive moment in the history of the Church, and yet it took place quite spontaneously without any preparation for it or any realization of all that it involved. As I say, it's a lesson for us all not to plan too much, but to be guided by the Holy Spirit. The Gospel is very mysterious in many ways.


The more obvious feeling is Jesus is going to depart, going to die on the cross, then he's going to appear again. For a little while you will not see him, and a little while you will see him. But beyond that, it's a much greater mystery that Jesus appears in so many ways to his disciples, and then he disappears, leaves them. And people experience this constantly. Many complain of the absence of God. They look for God in a time of trouble, and he doesn't appear. And then, suddenly, he appears again. And this is really the mystery of existence, that God is revealing himself everywhere, all times, the whole creation of the revelation of God. Every human being is an image of God, reveals him, and it also conceals him. The whole universe reveals and conceals at the same time. And that is the problem. We look for God, and we may think we find him in some person, some situation,


we see that some fulfillment, and then it immediately escapes us again. So it's always revealing and concealing. And that is the difficulty of the sense of life, that we're always in the presence of God, who's revealing himself everywhere, and yet you're always beyond. Nothing can finally reveal him. Even the human nature of Jesus reveals and conceals. He reveals God to us, he makes him known, but also he conceals, because God is infinitely beyond that human nature. So we're always in this mystery of revelation and concealment. And actually, in the Hindu tradition, you have the same understanding. You say God is being, knowledge, and bliss, but he also reveals and conceals. So it's a deep insight, you see, that we're all living in this mystery.


Many people, of course, don't see God at all. They just lose sight altogether, he's totally absent. Others become idolaters, and they think they've found God. And then you can find God in some particular person, or some particular religion, or some particular book, or some particular experience, you think you've got the reality. And that is the idolatry, it's very easy, you see. You experience God in some wonderful way, in a person, or an event, or in a place, or in a book, and then you think, now I have him, he's found God. And so you cling to that form in which God has revealed himself, and of course he disappears. You can't identify God with any form, any created reality. He's always there, and he's always beyond. So we ought to learn how to find God day by day, revealing himself, and not clinging to the form in which he's revealed himself. There's a poem which says,


He who bends to himself a joy, does the winged life destroy. See, God comes to us in a joy, and we bend it to ourselves, we cling to it, and then we lose it. But he who catches joy as it arrives, lives in eternity's sunrise. God comes to us, and we catch him as he comes, and we let him go. And then we live in this eternity's sunrise. That is the mystery, how to receive God day by day, and not to cling to this revelation or that, and not to cling to this particular religious tradition or that. You see, God is always revealing and always going beyond, and we all have to live in that history, accepting God, which will come into our life, then letting him go, and not clinging to that revelation, but open to the new. And that is eternity's sunrise. So we ask for this insight into the very mysterious world which we live in.


This Gospel compares the sorrows of this world, sorrows for a woman in travail, for something which passes away, and the joy of the birth of a child changes everything. And perhaps we should try to learn to see the suffering of this world in those terms. Probably we are conditioned by time, and time is very deceptive. There is a physical time, even that we know is conditioned by our own situation, but there is also psychological time. And when you have some pain, toothache, or some problem of that kind, time seems to go on forever. A minute seems like an hour. And people suffer agonies in this time sequence. On the other hand, when you are happy, hours can go by without you noticing it. So time is relative psychologically. And we all suffer so much because our minds are dwelling on the suffering.


We put it into this time framework. And as I say, it seems time seems to drag and go on forever. And yet it's all an illusion in a sense. You see, when we look back on it, it seems something quite small. At the time it seems overwhelming. We think it's never going to end. In the absolute time afterwards, we look back and we see it as something quite relative. And perhaps, you see, all the suffering of this world, we can see it in that way. We see it in this temporal context. And we see terrible suffering, people dying of cancer. It goes on year after year, and so on. And yet, if you could see it beyond this time sequence, it would seem something quite small as it falls elsewhere. The sufferings of this world are not to be compared with the joy that will be revealed. And perhaps, as I say, we don't need to relativize all this suffering. When you look round on it, you think that you have to live with somebody. Sometimes you have to live with somebody who is dying, and it goes on month after month.


And you're very close to that person. You feel it very deeply, and it's an agonizing experience. And yet, when you look back, that little section of time is only a very small section. And when you get beyond time, you see eternal life is beyond time. And we see the whole time sequence in perspective. It will all seem something transitory. And then the joy and the fullness will be totally beyond all this suffering. So I think it's very necessary. You see, sometimes one can be overwhelmed with all the suffering in the world, and all this concern for social justice, people being oppressed and in poverty and in seas, and so on. We see it in the time sequence. It's something very terrible, and we feel we must change it by all means. And of course, one has to relieve suffering. We have to try to liberate people. But we must always remember this all belongs to this time sequence.


And when we get beyond, we should see it in a totally different perspective. I suppose that the sorrows of this world are not to be compared with the joy that will be revealed. When you enter into that eternal life, then all the sufferings of this life are relativized, like a woman in travel. At the time, it seems agonizing and seems to be going on forever. But when it's born, it all passes away. So we have to relativize all the sufferings of this world. And we do it to a larger extent in meditation. You see, in meditation, you try precisely to go beyond this temporal experience. Your body may be suffering when you meditate. If you sit in Parnassum, it becomes agonizing after a time. But you learn to observe. That's one of the secrets of the pastime. You learn to observe the pain in your body. And if you learn to observe it, you can detach from it. And you no longer feel it in the same way. You realize how this pain is relative.


And so also with mental suffering. Meditation, all sorts of trials, anxieties, fears, these things come into the mind. And you can be quite overwhelmed with them. But then you learn to go beyond all these feelings, these thoughts, these desires, these fears. And experience sort of inner peace and tranquility to get beyond it. So in meditation, already we can experience, get beyond the time sequence, both physical and psychological, and experience just the right portion of that inner joy, that inner peace, which is eternal. So that is a glimpse of what is the final stage. Everybody eventually will go beyond time and space altogether and see the whole thing in its perspective. And presumably at the moment of death, to go beyond. As the spirit withdraws from the body, you are no longer subject to all this physical pain and suffering.


As you withdraw from the soul, from the psyche, from all your thoughts and feelings, you enter into the spirit. And then you see everything, your whole life in its perspective. The whole time sequence comes together. You know, many people say when you are drowning, the whole of your life comes before you. There is no doubt, many find that. So the whole time sequence comes together and you see beyond it. You see yourself as you really are in that eternal reality. That is really the way we have to see our lives. And as I say, in meditation we can already begin to get beyond the suffering of this world and to experience that inner tranquility which can go on in the midst of all suffering. You see, it is quite possible, even if you are dying of cancer or whatever the suffering may be, to reach a point of inner peace and stillness, where you suffer and you experience it all at one level, but at another level you go beyond it and you feel inner peace which sustains you all the time.


And that is really what we have to look for. And we ask for that grace to go beyond all these temporary sufferings and realize the eternal reality behind it all. Today we speak of the ascension and there are many problems of exegesis. How do we understand the Bible? And first of all we read in St. Luke the Acts of the Apostles how Jesus appeared to his disciples after his death. And then he said, when he had said this, they were looking on, he was lifted up and a cloud took him out to their side. And while they were gazing into heaven, two men stood by saying, men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will come again in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. And this is a simple way of understanding the ascension


and it is using the language of appearances. And the Bible is addressed to all human beings and it uses the language of appearances. All that we see around us, the outside world, is the world of appearances. It's not the reality. We know the sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west. It's not doing anything of the sort. That is all language of appearances. And the Bible uses this language. So Jesus appears to go up into the sky and then he's imagined sitting at the right hand of God. St. Paul tells us, now in the reading, he raised him to the dead and made him sit at the right hand in the heavenly places. Again, a simple believer will imagine Jesus going up into the sky, the Father sitting in heaven and Jesus sitting at his right hand. And again, this is a language of appearances which 90% of people normally use and understand.


And children can understand it and illiterate people can understand it. And it's entirely acceptable at that level. But then when you become sophisticated, when you learn a little science and so on, you begin to question all this. And that is what has happened today. You see, people who are educated realize that all this is mythical language. It's mere symbolism. And that's the next stage. You have to learn to see that this language is perfectly valid in its own limits. Just to say the sun rises is perfectly all right. Everybody understands what you mean. But you don't mean that the sun actually rises over the earth. So again, when you become more sophisticated, then you realize this is symbolic language. And we all have to realize that going up into the sky, sitting at the right hand of the Father, these are symbols, very deeply meaningful symbols. They complicate literally. They are symbolic languages. And then St. Paul takes us a good deal further. And he shows the deeper meaning of these symbols when he says,


What is the immeasurable greatness of His power in us who believe, according to the work of His great might which He accomplished in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, made Him sit at the right hand, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion of every name that is named. St. Paul is now using metaphysical language, if you like. He's using the language of the deeper reality. It's not going up into the sky. It's going beyond all power and authority, all the powers of the cosmic powers which rule the world, and above every name, every entity, every created being. It's the ascension above creation. And Jesus goes beyond this creation. That is beyond time and space. If you think of Him going up and so on, you're thinking in terms of time and space. Time and space is simply the mode in which reality appears to us. But Jesus goes beyond His appearances, beyond time and space, into the eternal reality where He is always present.


And now a further problem arises that for many people the ascension means Jesus has departed from this world. He's gone beyond this world. He's gone into heaven. He's gone into the eternal. And He's left us, as it were. And there is a certain truth in that, obviously. And the Church, on the whole, in the past, has seen the ascension in those terms, that He's gone beyond and we're to follow after. And that is one way of looking at it. We are going to pass beyond this world, as we did, beyond time and space. We also hope to enter into that heavenly reality, that eternal truth. And that is one aspect of the ascension. But the other aspect, which is no less important, is that when He's gone beyond, He becomes totally present. And St. Paul ends this reading by saying He has made Him head over all things for the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.


His fullness is the Pleroma, which in Greek is the same as the Purnam. In Sanskrit we say Purnamada, Purnamidam. That is full, this is full. God is this total fullness. And Jesus has gone into that fullness, and now He fills all in all. He fills the whole creation. Elsewhere St. Paul says, He who ascended, He who descended into the depths of the earth, that He may fill all things with His presence. So the transcendence, the going beyond, is also the imminence, the entering in. And so the full meaning of the ascension, therefore, is Jesus is totally beyond and totally within. And this is the great mystery. God Himself is always transcendent, beyond everything we can think or speak, and yet He's totally imminent, present in every atom, every molecule, every limited created being. There's a total presence of this one reality,


which is Christ Himself, present in the midst of everything. So this is the full meaning. And it's very interesting that in the Hindu tradition you have precisely the same, that Brahman, God, is totally transcendent. The only thing you can say about Him is nitty-nitty. He's not this, not this. He's beyond anything you can say. And yet this God, this Brahman, is totally imminent in every particle of matter, in every living thing, in every human being. Total imminence and total transcendence. And that is the message, really, of all religions, to see that God is totally beyond us and totally nearer to us than we are to ourselves. St. Augustine has a beautiful phrase, summe or summa meo et intimae or intimae meo, higher than my highest being, and more intimate, more inward than my innermost being. And that is the mystery of God and of Christ and of the Gospel. So we all need to reflect.


You see, it's a very big problem. Many people take these things literally. Many people are convinced that Jesus will appear in the sky in the second time. Just as He went up in the sky, He's going to appear in the sky. Well, that's one way of looking at it, but it's a very limited way and may be very disappointing when you find what actually happens. And so we have to see beyond these language of appearances, which is essentially symbolic language. And when we see the symbol, then we see the reality. The symbol points to reality, opens us to it. We never realize it until the reality comes. And when it does happen, it will be beyond anything we can imagine. The second coming of Christ won't be an appearance in the sky and it won't be anything we can imagine. It will be the final fulfillment. The fullness of Him fills all in all. It will be the final fulfillment. So, as I say, we need to reflect on these mysteries of faith. Because today, some people take them literally and then educated people reject them.


And then, having rejected them, they think the whole thing is just an illusion, it's just fantasy. So they reject the Gospel altogether. And to see it as it really is, it's an obligation of Christians today. See, to go on in a simplistic way, taking it literally, is to turn millions of people to the Church. When people hear this kind of language, they just think it's childish and reject it all. And on the other hand, to be able to show that it has a deep symbolic meaning, that it has the meaning of life in it, that is really our calling. It's really important. Let me get to it then. The Gospel reveals the depth in this.


Jesus' understanding of his mission and his work in the world. It's not easy in many ways to understand it. It says, If you now believe the hour is coming, it has come and you will be scattered, every man to his home will leave me alone. But I am not alone, for the Father is with me. And Jesus is the last. I have left him entirely alone, all his disciples who greet him and plead. And he is with the Father alone. And I think we have to see that. Then he goes on to say, who have tribulations, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. What is this relation between Jesus and the world? And today we are very much concerned with the world, its problems, its needs,


and feel the Gospel has a call to change the world. And this is true in one sense, but there is also another sense in which this world is passing away and Jesus has gone beyond this world and he is with the Father. And perhaps one could see it like this, that this world is not a static thing, it's a movement all the time, it's moving and changing, and it is passing beyond its present state. We have to assist the world in its present state, help people to make their lives more tolerable and so on, but not to expect a finality here. The finality is always beyond, and everybody has to recognize we're all going to die, it's no good pretending we're going to have such a life in this world. We're all going to get sick at some time, we're all going to die, nobody escapes that. And therefore our end is always beyond, and Jesus is revealing what lies beyond.


And in that sense you can say I have overcome the world, he set us free from this power of sin and death. Death is the end for everything, we'll see if there's nothing beyond, but Jesus shows there's something beyond death. He went through death into life, and he gives us the capacity to go through death. And death, you can take it in a very wide sense, we're all dying daily in many ways, the whole world is dying, passing away, and everything is moving to a transcendent state. You can think in terms of evolution if we like, you see the world is evolving all the time, the material world evolves into the living world, and then the living world evolves into the animal, and the animal into the human, and we're evolving now from the human into this transcendent state. We're in a state of evolution, of transformation, and that transformation does affect the world as a whole. We try to build up this world,


we try to help people to let humanity grow, but always with a view to the beyond. And if we lose that sense of the beyond, then really we're under an illusion, you see, we're pretending that we can make this world a place of happiness and joy for everybody, everybody having all they need, and this is pure illusion, it's always going to be tragic, and it's always going to end in death. But then beyond death, beyond tragedy, there is this eternal truth, and Jesus has entered into that eternal truth, he's with the Father, and the Father is the source of all, the One in whom the whole is contained. And when we go beyond this world to the Father, then we enter into the fullness, this pleroma we feel, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. We go into that fullness, and that fullness is not in this world, and not in our present mode of consciousness. Our present mode of consciousness, the ego consciousness, is the limited consciousness of this world, but we're all called to go beyond that,


the ego, to the deeper consciousness, to the presence of the Father. Jesus has gone beyond to the ordinary consciousness, He is with the Father always, and whatever He sees the Father doing, that He does. And He's calling us to go beyond our present mode of consciousness, our present experience, entering into that experience of the Father. And we say now that the Christian calling is to share the consciousness of Christ, to share the consciousness of Christ. And He's gone beyond normal human consciousness into divine consciousness. And we're also called to share, in some measure, we don't fully share it obviously here, but we can get some measure of sharing in that consciousness of Christ with the consciousness of the Father. I am not alone for the Father is with me. And we can all say that, I'm not alone, whatever the situation, for God is with us, He is in this presence. So I think we must,


I think this message of St. John's Gospel is extremely important. You see, some people today, some theologians, almost ignore St. John's Gospel. It's a synoptic gospel for everything. Jesus relieving the sick, helping the poor, overcoming oppression, freeing people. And all that is one aspect of His life, an important one, and we have to share it. But it's all we've got to go beyond that. Synoptic Gospels are not the end. And St. John's Gospel reveals the deeper, deeper dimension of Jesus' life and consciousness. And we all need, and especially in us, I'm especially called to share the deeper consciousness of Christ, not merely His concern for the poor and suffering, which is important, but His concern for the experience of God, the interlinked life with the Father. And He calls us to share His life with the Father, in the Father. And so that is really our calling. They're not contrary, obviously, when sharing the life of the Father,


which is still the concern for others. We can help in many different ways. But that isn't the end. The end is to go beyond altogether and to experience His fullness, His plenum, His plenum, which is beyond the present world. So we all need to reflect how we can recognize the needs, the values of this world, and yet go beyond them and realize that the ultimate end of our lives is beyond this world. Jesus has overcome the world and He's opened a new world to us, a world of divine consciousness, the consciousness of Christ, the knowledge of the Father. And that's really the goal of our lives. Indeed, as far as St. John, we get an insight into being. The inner life of Jesus, the synoptic Gospels are, to some extent, exoteric. They show the outer life of Christ. He goes about doing good, healing the sick,


casting out evil spirits, raising the dead on two occasions. And eventually He dies on the cross and He appears to His disciples after His death and He promises His kingdom, which is to come. And to some extent, that's an exoteric Gospel. It's the outer life of Jesus. But St. John reveals the inner life of Jesus. And I think it's very important that we should all enter into that because in India especially, Christianity very easily appears to be an exoteric religion concerned with doing good to people, very helpful, having good schools, hospitals, doing good and appreciated, and not have anything to do with the deeper realities of religion. Very interesting, Vinoba Bhami once said we shouldn't unite what is best in all religions. We should have the charitable works of the Christians and then the devotion of the Bhaktas, the Hindu Bhaktas,


and the Jnana, the wisdom of the Hindu Jnanis. So Hindus have wisdom and love, we have charitable works. That's a very common view of Christianity and it's very common. And so we're mainly concerned with charitable works, with social justice, doing good in this world, making a better world. All that is very good, important and necessary, but it's really the fruit of something deeper. And St. John reveals the deeper reality. Jesus came to reveal our relation with the Father. He says, Thou hast come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee. This is eternal life, that thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him. And this is eternal life, to know thee the only true God, that Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Jesus didn't come to raise people


from the dead and continue this life. He came to give eternal life and offer it to all. And that eternal life is the knowledge of the Father. It takes us back to the source. And all Jesus' life is directed towards the Father. It's never centered on himself. And that's another problem. Very often people see the Gospel in terms of following Jesus, doing what Jesus does and so on. All that is good, but Jesus takes us to the Father. We don't understand him until we reach that I have manifested thy name. Now they know that everything that thou hast given me is from thee. I have given them the word that thou gavest me. And they received it, knowing truth that I came from thee. And it be that thou didst send me. The whole life of Jesus is directed towards the Father. And that is what he wants us to do. Through him we go to the Father. To realize the mystery of the Godhead itself. And that is the message


which people in India need. The problem is this, you see. In India today there's a vast amount of poverty, suffering, injustice. And obviously the need is immense and the Church is concerned to answer that need. But there's another deeper need in India as in the rest of the world and that is for the experience of God. And for thousands of years India has sought this experience of God. The Upanishads, the Gita, and all the Bhaktas, and all the Gnanis, they've been seeking that. And if the Church doesn't answer that call, it's not answering the deepest need of India or of the world. It's not enough to build up the Kingdom of God in this world. This world is going to pass away. And the Kingdom of God is not of this world. And Jesus is calling us to go beyond this world to the love of the Father, to the eternal life. I think it's so important in India because today everybody is so concerned with social justice. It's obvious the need is so great


that easily they simply neglect this other aspect. That's why John's Gospel comes to remind us of the other aspect which is fundamental. All social justice and all change in this world has to come from this experience of God, of the Father. When we know God, then from that knowledge, that love of God, we can go out, we can serve, we can change the world. But if we try to change the world on its own basis, we're not doing anything of value. Atheists can do that. Marxists are only too keen to change the world, make a better world. They do quite a lot, very often, and do a lot of harm at the same time. But so, that's not the object of the Gospel, you see. It's to go beyond this world. And Jesus says at the end, you see, I am praying for them, I'm not praying for the world. For those who have given me,


they are all dying. I'm not praying for the world. And by the world, Saint John means the world apart from God. There is a world apart from God, and that's what most people are concerned with, building up this world apart from God. All politicians, all politicians, they're all concerned with death. But that is not what Jesus came to do. He did not pray for this world, in that sense, the world apart from God. He took, he wanted to bring the world into God, into the life of God. But that means, first of all, you've got to be living in God. And he came to help us to live in God, to know him in the Father. And then from that, you can change the world. And it's the only way which is worthwhile. You see, all this has been done by people in the West who've done all this, you know. It's really tragic. People go and talk in India and so, to have social justice, to change the economic order, to have political justice, and so on. All this is a great goal to be sought for. But it's all been done


in many countries, in Europe, in Sweden. There's perfect justice. Everything is provided from the cradle to the grave. There's no poverty, no oppression, no injustice of a serious kind. And nobody's happy as a result. It's not proper. The people want it all. They haven't got what they want. They're frustrating people in Sweden, say, in Switzerland, any of these countries. So it's a false trail when you think that the kingdom of God has got to be found in this world. It will never be found in this world. But Jesus said, this world is passing away. And the world to come is what he comes to bring. And that world to come is this world transformed. This world has to be transformed. And it has to become the new world. But in itself, it can never. And that's why he says so strongly, I know more in the world than there in the world, than I am coming to be. The world apart from God, you see, that's the meaning of the world. That's not the flesh.


It's the flesh apart from God. The world is the world apart from God. Jesus is not praying for that. He's not concerned with that at all. That is the reign of sin, the world apart from God. He comes to bring the world to God. We can only bring the world to God when we've found ourselves in God, when we've found this inner mystery of eternal life which he comes to bring. So as I say, I think we all think we have in India a little respect for St. John's Gospel. It was the key to the Christian message in India and eventually in the whole world. This is the heart of it all. And here we meet the same language that Upanishads and the Gita show what India is used to. This is the language that ancient India and some people in modern India understand. And if we leave that out, we're leaving out the central mystery of the Gospel. So let us ask for the grace to realize this mystery. And in Ashram particularly, his whole business is to realize the inner mystery of the Gospel,


to reveal its inner secret not of the world but of the Father. Like Jesus comes to bring us to the Father to reveal the secret of God as well. The source of Jesus in the Last Supper is in a sense the combination of the whole Gospel. Everything leads up to this revelation of the relation of the Christian to God. And perhaps we don't sufficiently reflect on the depth of it. We often have this idea we're all sinners, we're all separated from God, there's infinity above us, and Jesus is God, there's something beyond us altogether. All we can do is to ask for grace, mercy, to receive some gift of God, some grace. But we still remain separated. There's a great gulf between us we're often told. But Jesus came precisely to bridge that gulf. There is a gulf. It is true. Creation itself


separates us from God. And sin separates us still further. But the whole purpose of the Gospel was to bridge this gulf, to make us one. And the language here is extremely powerful. It says, I do not pray for these only, that is the Jews, the disciples, but also for those who believe in me through their word, those who come after me. That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, I in thee, they also may be in us. So the union between man and woman and God is of the same nature as the union between Jesus and the Father. As he is one with the Father, he receives his gift from the Father, the gift of Godhead. Jesus is united with the Father as one.


So also, he calls his disciples to share in the Godhead, share in this total oneness. As he is one with the Father, so he asks that we also may be one with him, and in him, and through him, with the Father. And this is what people call a christian advaita. You see, the deepest revelation of Hinduism is this revelation of non-duality. In the ultimate mystery, there is a total oneness. It's not oneness in the ordinary human sense, not in man, not simply one, but they're not two. God takes humanity, all humanity, into himself, into his own inner life, and makes us one with him. And this advaita is the deepest revelation of Hinduism. And our founder, one of our two founders, Swami Abhishek Parnanda, his whole life was focused on this mystery of advaita. He went to Tiruvannamalai


for Ramanashram. He actually met Ramana Maharshi, and Ramana Maharshi is a great seer of modern times who realized God. As many of you know, he was a young man in Madurai, he was about 17. He was living a normal life of a young Brahmin, devout, nothing very special, and he had this experience when he was 17, studying at the American school there, that he was going to die. And he... the experience was so overwhelming, the sense he was going to die, that he surrendered himself to death. He lay down in the room where he was staying at the temple. He said, I'll visit it, I'll visit it myself. And he surrendered himself to death. He allowed his body to become stiff, he stopped breathing. Then he said to himself, now this body is dead, am I dead? And at that moment,


he underwent a mystical death. He realized suddenly and totally, I am not this body, I am the eternal spirit. And from that moment when he was 17 to when he died at the age of 70 in 1950, he never lost the sense, I am not this body, I am the eternal spirit. And he died of cancer, it was very painful, he even used to cry out at night. And yet, he knew all the time, I am not this body. He had this total serenity, total oneness. And he maintained this oneness with God. There was no duality any longer. In the Hindu expression, I am Brahman, thou art death. And this is a mystical experience, a total oneness. And Jesus offers the same oneness to us. He was searching all his life how to reconcile this total oneness where all the difficulties disappear with the Christian revelation in Jesus. And he found it really in this text


where Jesus says that they may be one, but thou and me and I and thee may be one in us. So the ultimate purpose of life is we may participate in the Godhead, in the divine nature. Actually St. Peter, the second letter of Peter, who had that saying, we are called the partakers of the divine nature. And not only we are of ourselves, we are human, we are sinful, we are separated from God, but by grace we are totally transformed so that we participate in the divine nature, which means in the life of the Trinity as the Father knows the Son and loves the Son and communicates the Spirit to the Son, so Jesus knows and loves us in the Son, communicates the Spirit, makes us one with Him, one with the Father and the Son. So this is ultimate unity and non-duality. And it's very important in India, you see, that we should understand this, that normally we don't preach


this message of St. John. We preach the synoptic gospels, Jesus doing good, curing the sick, crafting out evil spirits, even raising the dead. All this is very wonderful, building up the kingdom of God, and we're all thinking how we can help build up the kingdom of God. And all that has its meaning, purpose, value, all that's necessary, but in a sense it's external, it's exoteric. This St. John's Gospel reveals the deeper mystery. He didn't come simply to help people in this world. He came to transform this world. He didn't come simply to give us a better life and help us to know Him in some measure. He came to initiate us into His own inner life with the Father. There's no other goal in Christianity than to bring humanity to experience oneness with God, with the Father, even through Christ by His power of the Spirit, to participate in the life


of the Trinity, that is the ultimate goal. And you see, in India, if we don't put this forward, no Hindu will take Christianity seriously. You see, I mentioned a day or two ago that Vinoba Bhawe, who is one of the greatest leaders of India after Mahatma Gandhi, and who had a very deep respect for Christianity, wrote a book called The Essence of Christianity, which is very profound, and he said that we should unite all of his best in the religions of India, and he said we should unite the charitable works of the Christians. See, for a Hindu, Christianity is a religion of charitable works. We go about doing good. Another story, which I always recall, is there was a Dominican father at Nagpur, told me once, he was very friendly with a Hindu professor there, and they used to discuss religion, and one day he asked him


what he thought of Christians in the church, and this Hindu hesitated to say at first, but he pressed him, so he said, but if you want to know, I admire you very much and all the work that you do, but I can't see that you have any religion. And religion, for a Hindu, is not going about doing good. Religion is union with God in the depths of the soul. And so Vinoba Bhawe said we must unite the charitable works of the Christians with the bhakti, the devotion of the Hindus, and the jnana, the wisdom, the knowledge of non-duality of the Hindu. So the Hindus have devotion, the wisdom, we have charitable works. And that's what we've got to overcome, and as long as we simply concentrate on good works, social justice, the option for the poor, whatever you like, all these are excellent and have their necessary place, but unless we go beyond that and really teach people that they're called not simply for a good life


in this world, but for an ineffable union with God. That these human beings, it doesn't matter who they are, Parijans in the villages are just as much called to this union as anybody else. And they should know that God is calling them to this ultimate non-duality, to become one with God. It's the one end of all life for the Hindu and for the Christian. And that is really our message in India. I'm not saying we don't preach the offering of the poor. It is necessary. Without it, this becomes meaningless. But we can't stop at that. We can't stop. It's not enough to give people what they want, the medicine and food and education and all the rest of it. That's just something of preliminary, but unless it leads on to the experience of God, the knowledge that they are one with God, and that the love of God which is given to them, the love which Jesus experienced that the Father gives to him is given to us. We participate in that


eternal love, eternal life, eternal knowledge of God. That is the goal of our life. So we all need to reflect on this and to realize it in ourselves. If you haven't realized it in yourself, you can't share it with others. You've got to experience the oneness with God, and then you can reveal to others that that's what God is calling. And the great Hindu sages like Ramana Maharshi, that is what they did. He simply lived out this mystery of oneness with God, and people flocked to him simply to be in his presence because they realized God in him. And that is the call of the Christian, to experience God in such a way that people realize his presence in you. That is the real goal we have to put before us. It needs patience and it needs humility. It needs the part of it as it doesn't come of ourselves at all. You can't become God of yourself at all. You remain a sinner, you remain defective in every way, but God can totally transform


any human being who surrenders to him. It's a total work of grace. Only the Holy Spirit can work that in us, and only the Holy Spirit can give us that fullness of life and of love, which Jesus shares with the Father. And that is the call of the Christian gospel. This last chapter of St. August's Gospel, which is a kind of appendix that will be written somewhat later, and various reasons are given for it, this edition. It has many meanings. One, clearly, is to establish the place of Peter in the Church. And that is significant that John was writing at Ephesus and was certainly in Asia, and Peter also wrote his letter to the churches in Asia. There was some conflict between Peter and John. Peter standing for the institutional church


and John for the spiritual church. And it has a meaning always, because there are always two sides to the church. One is the institutional, which is found to be necessary, and the other is the spiritual, charismatic, which is obviously, in a sense, more fundamental. Each is necessary for the Church. And here, Jesus establishes Peter's place in the Church after his denial. Clearly, he denied Jesus three times, but Jesus makes him give this threefold profession of love. And, of course, it's very important that the Church is established on today this Feast of Pentecost, in the sense of the Holy Spirit on the Church. The Holy Spirit descends with many different gifts. And in the Acts of the Apostles, we read how he descended in tongues of fire on the disciples, and they all began to speak with tongues. And these are


accidental gifts. We have to distinguish the essential gifts of the Holy Spirit from these accidental gifts. There are many in the charismatic movement today who experience, I won't say tongues of fire, but certainly speaking with tongues, prophesying. And these are all gifts God gives to the Church, but I say they're accidental. They're not necessary or essential. We all receive the Holy Spirit, but we don't all speak with tongues. So we need to distinguish these accidental gifts from the essential. And then in the reading from the Letter to Corinthians, Paul speaks of the various gifts God gives to the Church. And there are many gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Church. First of all, we can say the Bible is a gift of God. It's inspired by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit comes to us when we read the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit comes to us through our reading of the Scriptures. And then, even more clearly, the Holy Spirit comes through the sacramental gifts


in the Church, through baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist. And in the Gospel, particularly, Jesus mentions forgiveness of sins, the sacrament of reconciliation. So all these are ways in which the Holy Spirit comes to the Church and we all receive in these different ways. But there's something more essential. All these are indirect. It comes through the Scriptures, comes through the sacraments, comes through... Also, we could mention that when we go out to others in service, love and service, the Holy Spirit comes to us through our service of others. It's one of the great gifts of the Spirit there. But again, this is indirect. It's coming to us through others, through external things. But there is an essential gift to the Holy Spirit, which is the gift of Himself. And that comes to us in the Spirit. We are body, soul and spirit, we call this here. And God comes to us


through the body, through the creation around us. God is present in all the world of the senses which we experience. Then He comes to us through the soul, the psyche, all our gifts of sense and feeling, imagination, mind, will, and all our studies. We are studying philosophy or theology. The Holy Spirit comes to us through these indirect channels. Again, these are all indirect. But there is a point of the Spirit in man. Beyond the body, beyond the soul, the psyche, there is this new mark, the Spirit of God. And that is in each one of us. And that is where we see the Holy Spirit directly, immediately. It is the total God self-giving to us at that point of the Spirit. Saint Francis of Salem calls it the fine point of the soul. Beyond all the gifts and the capacity of the soul, there is this fine point where we are open to God alone. And that is what we have to discover. See, many people never discover that point of the Spirit.


They experience the Spirit indirectly, through the sacrament, through the Bible, through the Church in so many ways. But they don't experience the immediate presence. And yet it is often too old. Everybody has that capacity for God at the depths of their hearts. And we have to try to discover that point of the Spirit. And prayer and meditation is the main use. In meditation, we try to go beyond our body and the senses and feelings. Try to go beyond the soul and mind and the will and all its activities. And we try to discover this hidden point of the Spirit where we are totally open to the Holy Spirit, which is love. See, St. Paul says that the love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has given us. That point of the Spirit where we are totally open to love. And love is self-giving. And the human being is created to give himself, herself, to this transcendent love.


And that transcendent love gives itself to us. And when we celebrate Pentecost, we're really celebrating this transcendent mystery of the love of God poured into the heart. And this is what alone can save humanity. People today are in conflict from all over the world. People have lost their bearings. They don't know what their life is for. And yet everybody who wants love, from the child wanting its mother's love, every stage, the man falling in love with a woman, they're all seeking love. And the love which fulfills our lives is this love of God, infinite transcendent love which is offered to everybody. If you could only go beyond your ego, beyond your limited self, you'd discover this infinite love which is present everywhere offering itself. And that is the hidden mystery of life. And really, the Pentecost is this moment in history when this love was manifested, it was communicated,


and it spread throughout the world. And we're all open to it. But we have to be aware of it. And so many people are not aware. They think to receive the Holy Spirit through the scriptures, through the sacraments, through the service of other people. All this, it's all that there is. All these are essential. We need the hymn, we need the scriptures, we need the sacraments, we need to have loving service of others. But still it's all indirect. And we should all realize there's something more offered to us. An extra direct, immediate presence of the Holy Spirit in the depths of the heart and present in love. And the only thing that can save the world is that love. You see, today people are all in conflict. Religions are in conflict just as much as everything else. Politics and economics are all in conflict. But there is a capacity in every human being for this infinite love. And that is the only way in which humanity can find reconciliation. And that is ultimately what Jesus came to give


to the world. All these other things are good, and there are means, but the end is that experience of God in the Spirit, experience of pure love. And that's what we all want. So we ask for the Church, for the world, this gift of God's love, to open. It's there, often, but to open ourselves to it, to be able to receive that love. That is the whole secret of life. We ask for ourselves to open to that love. As you know, in the early Church, the great problem was how the Christians could relate to the law of the Jews. Jews had been brought up to believe that the law of Torah came from God, and all its prescriptions were the way to find God. And then Jesus came, and he went beyond the law. And the great problem


in the early Church was the Christian obliged to keep the law should he be circumcised, should he follow all the prescriptions of the law. And many believed that he should. And this text of Matthew tends to suggest that you have to keep all these rules of the law. But St. Paul in particular, of course, realized that Christ had gone beyond the law and died to the law, and set people free from the law. And it still remains a problem. You see, how do we relate to law? Do we have the laws of the Church, for instance, and so on? And are we under the law, under obligation to go to Mass on Sunday and so on? All these are things of the law. And I think St. Paul found a very profound answer to it in this. It's not so much what the law describes, it's our attitude to it. And if we are under the law,


then we think we must do this, we must do that. And we're obliged by it. But when we go beyond the law, we surrender to the Spirit of God. And then in and through the Spirit we fulfill the law, but not of ourselves. And the real difference is whether we do things from our own effort, our own achievement, or whether we do it by the grace of God, the Spirit of God. And the same applies to what St. Paul tells us in the Corinthians of the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man. This Greek wisdom, the philosophy, was current all through the Roman Empire, and people thought they could be saved by philosophy, by wisdom. And, of course, it doesn't get you there. It teaches a great deal, it gives you a great deal of knowledge, but it doesn't save you. And the same with the law. You keep all the prescriptions for the law. When you're a Jew, or a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, you can keep all the laws of your religion, but they don't save you.


You're only saved by something beyond the law, by the Spirit of God and the grace of God. And that is the real message of all religion, and particularly of the gospel, that we're called to go beyond the law, beyond any achievement of our own. You see, if you base yourself on the law, you think, I'm a good Christian, I go to Mass every Sunday, I go to Confession, I go to Communion, I do all that I ought to do, therefore I must be saved. But you're not saved by any of these things. You're only saved by the grace of God, which works, and it can work through those things, but it's the grace of God alone which saves us. And so, that was a great message of St. Paul, that we go beyond all human effort, all human achievement, whether in the sphere of wisdom, philosophy, or in the sphere of law and morality. You're not saved by philosophy, you're not saved by morality, you're saved only by the grace of God. It's only when we surrender to the grace of God, and are the spirit of God, that we are saved,


that we become fully human, that we realize our destiny. So this is really, I think, very fundamental, that we recognize that it's only by the grace of God, by the Holy Spirit, that we can be saved, that we can become fully human, and we can fulfill the law. Once you surrender to the Spirit, then you do, by the grace of the Spirit, what normally you couldn't do, you fulfill the law, and you can make yourself free from it. So perhaps we all need to reflect on that, because it's a problem of all religions. You see, in every religion, people think they can be saved by keeping a lot of rules. Go to the church, go to the temple, and have your five times of prayers of Muslim, and so on and so on. You can do all this, you're all right. But the teaching of the Gospel, and the deeper teaching of all religion is, it's not by any action of your own like that that you can be saved. Those actions are only meaningful in so far as they open you to the grace of God, and allow that Spirit of God


to come into your life and to work in and through you. So we all need to reflect on that, how our religion is a means to open us to the grace of God. All religious, and spiritual, and doctrine, and everything else are means to open the heart and the mind to the Spirit of God, and allow us to be guided and moved by that. And that is the message of the Gospel. The Gospel raises this very critical question of anger. The two basic passions that ruminate are desire and anger. Desire for the good and resistance to evil. And both are good in themselves, but both are obviously capable of every kind of distortion. And anger is particularly difficult to deal with, because we all have an innate tendency


to defend ourselves. Everybody is very sensitive about their own self-image, their own self. And anger is a way in which we resist every attempt to invade our own person, our own self. And it obviously is the cause of all the conflicts in the world. This tremendous anger, which people feel, begins as an individual in your family to get angry with your father, your mother, your brothers, or your sisters. And then it spreads through the family, through the circle, the business, wherever you are. And each person is centered on themselves and resists the other people. And consequently you have this whole conflict of anger, which goes on continuously all the time. Then even worse than this explicit anger is repressed anger,


because most people, or many people, feel they shouldn't express that anger. And so they suppress it. And there is repression and suppression. Repression is unconscious, from a child you're told not to be angry, not to show anger. And so unconsciously you repress every feeling of anger which arises, and it remains that. It's a repressed feeling. And suppression is conscious. You begin consciously to suppress any feelings of anger, and you keep them down. But of course as long as they're kept down, they're there, and they can break out in innumerable ways. And all sorts of ways of self-deceit by which we deceive ourselves. We can pretend that we're being righteous, we are defending a righteous cause, but really it's our own anger which is the base of it, and it's simply a veil of this righteousness. It's a veil for expression of our own ill will,


our own ill feelings. And then it's not only personal, but collective anger is even more dangerous. We defend not our own individual, but our family it may be, or it may be our caste, or it may be our race, or it may be our religion. And we identify with a particular group, and if that group is attacked, then we are very angry and we want to resist it, and we want to attack the other person. And that is the root of all the conflicts we see in the world. We have conflicts in families, conflicts between castes, conflicts between races, and conflicts between religions. And perhaps the religions are the worst of all, because they are most easily deceived. You find your religion is being attacked, and you feel it's a personal insult, and you want to attack the other people. And we see this happening in India all the time. We've had these Hindu-Muslim conflicts


just recently in India, and a very little thing is necessary, and the whole group will get up and start burning the houses of the others and attacking in every way. And all this is repressed anger, you see. And it applies, of course, to races as well as to religions. And so we're all involved in this problem of anger. First the personal anger, and then this collective anger. And then there's conscious anger, where we deliberately attack other people. And much more dangerous is the unconscious, where our suppressed feelings, we veil them and hide them under some pretext, and then we feel free to attack the other person or the other group as if they be. There's a book in the library called The People of the Lie, and it's by a psychologist who dealt with this problem of repressed anger, and he found many very respectable people,


pious Catholics and religious people, who, without recognizing it, use the most terrible persecution of others, their own children very often. They pretend that they're completely righteous and they're trying to help their children, but all behind it is a lie. It's a show of pretense, and it's a hatred which is really moving them all the time, and they almost kill their children and the people they hate. So we all have to examine ourselves for this anger. As I say, there is conscious anger, and that is often deceptive. We think that we're being angry with somebody for a righteous cause, but really it's because our own ego has been attacked. You see, it's the defense of the ego. It's the main problem. We all have this ego, this self-centered personality, and we all want to defend it. If anybody attacks it, we feel very angry, and then we invent all sorts of excuses to say that this person is wrong,


we must attack him, and so on, and we won't admit the evil in ourselves. And that is the whole problem, you see, that it's refusal to face the evil in oneself. We always project it onto the other, and then we have an excuse for being angry with the other. He's wicked, he's evil, he's not a good person, and so on. And so to try to get over this defensiveness, you see, and one can only do it in prayer, really, in meditation, to try to recognize the evil in oneself. One's anger, one's lust, one's hatred, all these feelings can be there, and if they're repressed and they keep coming out, we don't recognize them and they cause havoc around us. And you know what disasters occur in families and so on, people falling all the time because of this repressed anger. And on the other hand, we can recognize it, we've learned to recognize the anger, the hatred, the ill-feeling in ourselves,


and allow it to come out and surrender it to God. We can't help it, it's there and it comes out. If we needn't express it, we needn't encourage it, but we can make a surrender on it, try to let it go. It's letting these things go. And when we make the surrender to God, then this capacity for forgiveness comes. And that's the opposite, of course. Forgiveness is when we free ourselves from this anger, this resentment, and allow the grace of God, and really it's only the grace of God that can liberate us from this anger, especially suppressed anger. When we open the heart to grace in prayer, surrender our will to God, then something deeper comes into our lives, and we get that inner freedom, we are freed from this anger, from this bondage in which we are. So this is a tremendous problem, and really we look around and see how lives are being ruined all the time by this terrible conflict of anger.


And as I say, it begins in families, and it spreads to nations and to countries and to races and religions, and brings all the conflict in the world. And it all begins in each individual person with his own anger. You can't cure it by any sort of mass movement at all. Each person has to discover the anger in themselves, this egocentricity which makes them resist other people, and when he's discovered it and set free, then we create a center of peace. There's only one way to peace, where people overcome their own anger, and then they become free. And Gandhiji, you know, is one who fully realized that. In all his peace work and so on, he always said, unless you overcome the anger in yourself and get free from that, you cannot overcome the evil in the world around you. So we all have to ask for this grace, and it is a grace to realize that anger,


the self-sentiment which is in us, and then to release it, to surrender it to God, and allow the grace of God to set us free. That is the only way to peace. We open the heart to God and allow that grace to enter in and change us. We ask for this grace for ourselves and for people in general. It's such a disaster for the world as a whole. Yesterday, in the sermon on demand, we reflected on this problem of anger. Today, at this problem of lust and desire. And both of them are human emotions and essentially good. Anger is when we resist evil, resist what threatens our well-being. And desire is the love instinct in our nature, love which goes out to others,


or every kind of love. And that is the root, desire, the root emotion in our being. And it has to be satisfied. And the gospel gives rather a negative view of it, puts it in a lot of violent language, cutting out your arm, cutting out your hand. I think Jesus wanted to shock his hearers, but we can't take that language, literally, obviously, very harmful. And we need to take a much more positive view, just with anger. It isn't anger itself that is wrong, it's the self-centeredness. We use our anger to resist anybody who attacks our own ego. We resist it and we try to destroy the other person. And so with desire, it's the egoism which makes desire wrong. And there's a great danger, particularly I think today among Christians,


to repress, just as we repress our anger, so we repress our desire, our sexual feelings. And many people are brought up always to repress any sexual feelings. They consider it wicked. You must even have such a feeling. If you do, it's sinful, you have to confess it. And it takes a totally negative attitude to sex. And we're suffering today, extremely, all over the world, from this repression of the sex instinct. Because it's a fundamental instinct in our nature. If you repress it, it doesn't go away. It simply goes underground and begins to come up in all other ways. And so this habit, first of all repression, as it is unconscious, you're taught from childhood it's wicked, you mustn't have anything to do with it. So unconsciously, the moment this feeling arises, you suppress it and it goes underground. And then suppression, as you grow up, you learn that you ought not to have such feelings, you must control them. And so consciously you suppress every feeling that comes up.


And so you get a totally negative view, and you create what's called the shadows in you. You create a negative force within you, and that negative force is always acting, and it upsets your whole life. People's whole lives are ruined by this repressed sex. They don't recognize it even. And it comes out in anger, it comes out in hatred, it comes out in all these other negative ways. As soon as you create a negative force, it comes out in all these different ways. And today we're trying to learn how not to negate these powers in our nature, whether it's anger or love. And it's how to direct that love. And the real cause is not the desire, not the anger, it's the ego. You see, the ego is the self-centered personality. We have all these, we have our bodily feelings and sex feelings and instincts and passions, desires, and they all center on the ego, the I, you see,


the I personality. And that is what binds us, right? We were reading in the Upanishad, I'll read it again. It's the I of the mind. This is I, this is mind. That's what's binding you the whole time. And as long as you're ego-centered, then your sex desires become evil. They become your trying to satisfy your own ego at the expense of other people, and you manipulate others, and you try to control others, and so on. So your ego is the source of all the evil. And if you can get rid of your ego, then these desires become positive. You see, it's not the desires that are evil, it's the egoism which uses those desires for its own purpose. When you surrender your ego, surrender the self, then these desires, whether it's anger, which you resist evil, resist cruelty, injustice, oppression, there's a righteous anger, you see, against these things.


The same way with desire. Desire of love of others, love of man, of woman, all these sex feelings, when they are freed from egoism, surrendered to God, become positive force, you see, become the love force in our nature. You see, sex is a love instinct, and it can be expressed physically, in marriage and so on, or it can be expressed more deeply in an emotional relation, or in a deeper relation of affection, of love. And so the love instinct has all these different modes of expression, and it can be developed so that it's expressed as a spiritual love. It becomes the force of love for God, you see. The whole love instinct can be turned towards God and becomes a positive force. Then the great saints find this love, the very love instinct, which goes out in marriage and other ways, becomes a positive force of love for God and for others.


And that's what we have to do, you see. We have to allow this love instinct to be freed from egoism and open to God, and then it becomes a positive, constructive force in our lives. And I think many people, you see, they never learn this. They have this negative view of sex, of love, they try to suppress it, control it, and it keeps coming back and upsetting them, and they never discover how to get free of it. And you can only get free when you surrender your ego, your limited human personality, when you surrender that to God, allow the Holy Spirit to take possession and bring your love into its own power. The Holy Spirit transforms this love instinct into a pure love of God and others, you see. And that is the real end of Christian life, how to transform this power so that it becomes a positive energy in us which enables us to love God, to love others. So I think we all need to reflect on this. We've got a terrible tradition of a negative attitude to sex in the Church.


It's gone on for centuries. The other is always there, but this other negative view tends to prevail and people's lives are ruined by it, just as with anger, you see. Suppressed anger, you're taught to suppress your anger, and so it goes in you, and you have this terrible hostility, this temptment in your heart that you can't get rid of, so you suppress your sex, and then this negative attitude to sex becomes this negative attitude to anything good in life. You get this sort of puritanical attitude, you can't enjoy anything. All sinful, everything, even eating food, you become sinful. Every relation to a woman or to anything outside becomes sinful. Obsessed with sin. Many people are simply obsessed with sin, and they go to confession. Sometimes they go every day to tell all the times they've sinned, simply because they've negated the fundamental instinct in their nature, and it just comes back on them day after day. When you learn not to negate it,


but to transcend it, you surrender the anger to God, and allow the Holy Spirit to take possession of your anger and of your love. You get the spiritual anger. You see, Jesus had anger against Pharisees, against people who were suppressing others. And same way with your love, the instinct, it can become a positive force, the love of God and love of others. So we all need to learn how to transcend, how to overcome the negative aspect and make this positive aspect of all our instincts so that they become forces used by God, by the Holy Spirit. You become transformed by the Spirit. So we ask for this grace to understand our nature and God's calling to know His love.