Friday, December 14, 2012

possible development...,

This third stage is all concerned with a possible further development of Essence. Since this further development is only a possibility, not a necessity, it is unfamiliar to 99.9999 of humanity. 

Many apparently paradoxical or at least strange things are said in the Gospels about man. These sayings seem strange because they all have to do with the unfamiliar possibility of allowing Essence to grow at the expense of Personality. This is the only way in which Essence, which is too weak by itself to grow, can continue to develop. In this sense, Personality, which is formed around Essence, and must be formed around Essence, becomes eventually, if this third stage is entered upon, the very source from which Essence can grow further. Suppose that Personality is in a particular individual very richly developed. He is, then, a rich man, in the sense of the Gospels. He knows about everything, he is an important person, and so on.

What is poor in him?

What is poor in him is his Essence. He is not yet a real man. What he does, he does to acquire merit, or from fear of loss of honour or reputation, and so on, but he does nothing from himself, nothing from the love of doing it, quite apart from praise, authority, position, popularity, or any other gain in the eyes of the world. Suppose that this man feels, in some way, like the Prodigal Son—namely, that he is eating nothing but husks. I mean simply that he may feel in himself very empty in spite of all of his "richness". He has got the finest house, the richest clothing and jewels, he is famous, and he has in some way got the better of everybody else, and yet he feels empty. Such a man is approaching the third possible stage of development.

He has now reached a position in which his Essence—namely, that part of him which is material and real—can grow. It is possible for such a man to replace his immaterial feeling of emptiness with a material feeling of meaning. But in order to bring about in this man this further development, he must begin to sacrifice his Personality and to go in a sense in the opposite direction to that in which he has gone up to that point in time. In other words, a kind of reversal must take place in him which is well-expressed in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Unless we understand that this third stage is possible and leads to a man's real development we will never understand what the Gospels are speaking about.

and everything else is merely conversation...,

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