By Gregorian Bivolaru
In logion 64 of the apocryphal text “the Gospel of Thomas”, Jesus speaks to us, full of wisdom, about a certain insidious form of dependency that causes many people to miss certain unique spiritual chances or makes them closed to receive certain divine gifts that are offered to them, and that are not repeated again. In the following, we offer you the respective quotation:
An important person decided to invite several guests for a party he thought they were ready to join. After a rich dinner was prepared, full of all kinds of special food, he sent his slave to look for the guests, one by one and to bring them for dinner. The slave went to the home of the first guest and told him: “My master invites you tonight for dinner.”
But the guest replied: “I have an urgent financial problem, which I am to receive today from some merchants who owe me. They will come tonight with all the money. I would be happy to join this dinner, but it is impossible, because today those merchants will bring me the money they owe me. Therefore, please tell your master to forgive me because I cannot participate in this dinner.”
The slave went home to the second guest and told him: “My master invites you today for dinner.”
But the guest replied: “Today I just bought a new home and I am extremely busy. I am sorry I cannot honor this invitation to dinner that your master made for me.”
Then, the slave went to another guest and told him: “My master invites you tonight for dinner.”
He replied: “I am very sorry, but today my friend is getting married and I promised I would cook some very good food for him. I am sorry, but I cannot come. Forgive me.”
The slave went on to another guest and told him: “My master invites you tonight for dinner.”
I just bought a piece of land today. I am very sorry, but now I really have to go and borrow some money from some friends, in order to pay for it. I cannot come for this dinner. Please, tell your master to forgive me for not participating. After he visited each guest the master had invited for dinner, the slave returned and said: “All those you decided to invite for dinner excused themselves. None of them can come.”
Then the master said: “Please go out in the street and bring here anyone you find passing by, so they can have dinner happily together with me. Sellers, buyers and merchants do not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Like other wise words of Jesus, this parable can be studied on at least 3 distinct levels:
Level one: Seen literally, or better said, when this parable is seen only as a simple story, it seems like this: it is about some guests who are asked to go to an important party and who cannot respond properly to the invitation addressed to them, for reasons which seem to be plausible, taken individually: a meeting with the merchants who are bringing the money they owe, buying a house, the marriage of a good friend, some loans that need to be made immediately… Hearing the answers of the guests he invited to his party, the host becomes sad and suddenly decides to spontaneously invite some pure and simple people who pass by on the street and who are willing to follow his invitation to the party that he had already prepared.
Level two: Reading this text from the “Psychological” point of view, we then notice the little aspiration most human beings have towards a real transformation, the little curiosity, the little attraction towards something extraordinary, the little openness to experience that celebration, the little interest shown to the invitation received. At the same time, this also shows the complete absence of the desire to celebrate. It also reveals to us the banal aspects, due to which the human being always finds excuses and justifications whenever she needs to follow a spiritual impulse, or when she needs to follow an inner call.
When we have been selected for a certain initiation, when we are invited to take part in a spiritual celebration or spiritual exemplification, which is unique in its way, when we are invited to a new spiritual manifestation, which might not repeat itself for us in this existence, when we are invited to unite that which is created with that which is uncreated deep within our own inner universe, precisely in that day we find that we have more important things to do. Seen with great lucidity and detachment, all these actions which to us seem urgent and very important, in reality they are revealed to be common, illusory and insignificant. When some of us have the chance to have great spiritual impulses or when it is possible to receive certain important spiritual food that we need very much in order to make an extraordinary spiritual leap, when for some of us there appears a chance that might never repeat itself during one existence, it is exactly then that we are unavailable because we are “too busy”. How many of us instantly realize that we are continuously and insidiously trapped into “being busy”? How many of us realize that we are chained by a lot of things to do, which are in fact meaningless? Understanding this tragic situation properly, (those of us who really are in this pathetic state), we should immediately ask ourselves the following questions:
Who – if not ourselves – will set us free as soon as possible from this “cold war” we fight with ourselves and in which we are constantly beaten? How many of us who are in this situation can realize that the greatest enemy of our being is often our own being?
If we ask ourselves: What is there to be done about it?
The answer is very easy: First of all, we must aim as much as possible to never miss a spiritual chance offered to us. That is why it is necessary to not endlessly postpone our participation in a spiritual camp or within a spiritual group that could greatly transform us in a short period of time. This means that we need to “hunt” for any spiritual chance that appears at a certain moment, even when we expect it the least. Regarding this aspect, it is worth remembering the famous biblical quotation: “God works in mysterious ways”. This also implies chasing away the occupant of our inner universe as soon as possible.
This also implies truly finding the interdependency that each one of us has with God. This implies regaining, as soon as possible, the freedom to instantly take a holiday at anytime. This means freeing ourselves from the tyranny of the ego as soon as possible, to reveal our Immortal Supreme Self, ATMAN. The first extremely important step towards reaching this state of freedom is to awaken and amplify the aspiration within ourselves towards what is divine, essential, infinite, supreme and eternal. This means discovering what must really have priority and value in our existence. This implies asking ourselves the following questions and answering them with maximum lucidity and clarity: What do I really want? How do I want to live my life? What do I want to do with my life?
Beyond appearances, each one of us has the possibility of testing ourselves and easily realizing if we have truly reached a certain degree of maturity. We show that we have the necessary maturity in a situation where we have to choose between two priorities, one of them being obviously spiritual and extremely valuable, if we choose it without hesitation, without excuses or justifications. In other words we reach a certain degree of maturity when we become wise and fully responsible for our important choices and actions. We prove a certain degree of maturity when we appreciate the true value of both the enthusiasm that uplifts us and transforms us, as well as the refusals that caused us lose certain spiritual chances, which will not be repeated. When we truly have the necessary level of responsibility, we will no longer blame the man/woman that stops us, a friend that conditions us, or other people for the little aspiration, little curiosity, little courage and little availability that we have.
In this direction, it is worth it to remember that wise men have said: “The superior man is one who admits, in a lucid and responsible way, all the mistakes he makes. The inferior, cowardly, lazy and ignorant man is one who always blames the others.”
Level three: Jesus’ inspired words regarding sellers, buyers and merchants show us the existence, within this parable, of a metaphysical initiatic dimension. Indicating very clearly those who are submit to and are dependent on certain preoccupations that chain them, Jesus says: “Sellers, buyers and merchants do not enter the kingdom of the heavenly Father”. As it can be noticed, in many cases, sellers, buyers and merchants often have their mind busy with all kind of businesses. Reading these inspired words carefully we can realize that in fact the spiritual revelations that transform our being profoundly, the fundamental divine truths that we experience directly, the state of freedom – none of them can ever be bought or negotiated.
And things are the same with true happiness or love. However much money we have, or riches we gather, whatever things we gain, whatever great power we might have in the social sphere, none of these ephemeral treasures is useful for reaching or for “buying” the state of freedom, the ultimate truth, the spiritual revelations, the possibility of experiencing what there is in a certain initiation we take part in, true happiness or love.
As we can easily realize, none of these spiritual treasures (which are in heavens) belong to the sphere of “TO HAVE”. One can never bargain or negotiate these spiritual treasures and it is impossible to buy them. If we look at the reality carefully and with lucidity, we discover that, in fact, no human being can have happiness, love or freedom whenever she wants. But, in certain conditions, a human being can be happy, be free and can be loved or can love. Some wise men have noticed that many ignorant and selfish human beings manifest an actual “bargaining spirit”, even with God.
Such limited, selfish and ignorant human beings treat and most often consider God as “a gigantic milking cow that can be milked ceaselessly”. They constantly wait for Him to fulfill their wild desires and all their needs as soon as possible. Only the wise ones know that in fact God the Father can never be bought. Beyond the stupidities that some ignorant and limited people imagine, God is and remains forever free of charge and completely mysterious. God is and remains forever the mysterious embodiment of the concept of “free of charge”. God always resists our wishes to “posses” Him. We can never posses God. No human being could, can or will ever be able to have God whenever she wants and to use Him like we use a certain thing or tool.
Beyond this, God is forever mysterious, and – what might seem paradoxical to the unwise one – God offers himself, at the right moment, to all those whose minds are completely open and very still, to all those whose souls are pure like that of a child and full of self-giving, to all those who are full of love and who are available, to all those who are full of humbleness and who make no calculations, to all those who, being “poor in spirit”, are also poor in desires and do not expect anything from Him anymore. God offers Himself to all those who are full of abnegation and who adore him frantically. God offers Himself to all those who, when they give a hug, they do not suffocate the other one; to those few chosen ones, to those very humble and completely detached, those who, when they love God from all their heart and with all their power, they do not ask for any gifts, but they only beg Him to give them His profound peace. It is only these who are given these gifts a hundred times over and certainly they will enter the kingdom of the Heavenly Father.
This is possible because in their case, any trace of selfishness has already been completely transcended. These words of Jesus, full of divine wisdom, remind us that all those who are completely open, who are totally available, who are “poor in spirit”, who are not constantly busy only with themselves, who do not make any calculations, who are always attentive to the mysterious omnipresence of God the Father who manifests in every moment, all those who feel His greatness and love are, without a doubt, on the “narrow path” that leads to Him and, thus, they touch the sky. Such rare human beings remain in the supreme and mysterious origin from which duality is born (in other words, they transcend duality). Through such human beings the Unique Heavenly Father manifests Himself, in close correspondence to their degree of surrendering to Him, the same way he does it through His beloved Son.
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