I have begun reading the New Testament. For the first time, I might add. I was all panicked about preparedness and the second coming, so Muad'Dib counseled me to actually read the prophecies. I decided to start at the beginning, with Matthew.
I have been unimpressed.
So far, I had gotten the feeling that I was reading words and expressions of Christ through a thick filter, receiving only a slight amount of truth mixed in with all the interpretations. It was an uncomfortable thought. I have had people tell me that it gets better with each book. I guess that's something to look forward to.
And then, last night when I should have been going to bed, I read Matthew 25: The Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of the Talents. An though I was a little confused by the Parable of the Ten Virgins, I was pleased to feel my brain and heart come alive while reading.
I noticed that the difference between the fives weren't "smart and dumb" or "prideful and humble" or "loud and meek", the difference was that five were WISE and five were FOOLISH. As I have learned, Wisdom is Doing while foolishness is "exhibiting a lack of good sense or judgement."
Neither is a difference in KNOWING. Knowing is Knowing. They all knew the bridegroom was coming, they all knew that the wait would be long. They all knew the rate at which their oil burned. They all knew that if they ran out of oil, they ran the chance of being left in the dark. The difference was that five ACTED on the knowledge, and the other five did not.
I was confused by the wise telling the foolish to go buy some when they ran out instead of sharing. Though now I see that if the wise shared, then they simply enabled the foolish to continue to be foolish, in which case the wise could no longer be considered wise.
So, as the kingdom of heaven is likened to the actions of the wise vs the unwise, I learn that it is my duty to be wise, acting upon my knowledge. And when the time comes it is not my job or my responsibility to sacrifice myself in order to save those who had the same knowledge that I did and still chose not to act in accordance with that knowledge.
And then came the Parable of the Talents!
The man gave money to his servants "according to his several ability." (a testimony that he knew his men, as our Father knows each of us) Two of the three who had received stewardship multiplied that stewardship when he "traded." In other words, they used the money as money was meant to be used. Money, and in the broader sense, all trade-able commodities, be they talents or grain (I hope you catch my drift), is not meant to be buried. It can be buried- Go ahead! The master gave you a stewardship and you can do whatever you want with it. Just see what happens. ;)
When the master returned, he saw that the one with five had doubled. The man with three had doubled. They both were awarded these words, "Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler of many things."
The last man, when confronted answered with, " I knew thee that thou art an hard man. I was afraid." (It was here that I wrote in the margin the Dune litany against fear: "Fear is the mind killer.") His defense was met with "Thou wicked and slothful servant . . .thou oughtest to have put my money to the exchangers. therefore I might have received mine own with usury."
And I thought, "If the master gives us what he has, and we do not multiply it, what has he to give us when he returns that need not be returned?"
Then the master said this: "For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath."
I'm not going to lie: I had a problem with that statement. I thought it was mean. I didn't understand what the master was saying.
Until I realized that he was referring to a state of mind.
Those who think in the world of "having" (having joy, having love, having trade-ability, having family, having relationship with God) will HAVE. They cannot help but have, if they live in a world of having. And those who think in the world of "have not" (not enough money, not enough friends, not enough family, not enough things, not enough revelation) will have even what they DO HAVE taken from them, because they live in fear of it and in that way, breed lack of abundance.
That is a beautiful testimony to the power of gratitude, the power of attraction. And Christ taught it. It was very nice to have my testimony of the New Testament begin, and I look forward to having it grow!