Mudcat Café message #1391326 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77771   Message #1391326
Posted By: Little Hawk
28-Jan-05 - 11:21 AM
Thread Name: BS: The Religious Left
Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
Peirs - You said (that Jesus said): "'Sell that thou hast and give to the poor' which sounds a pretty stupid idea to me, not a step toward to socialist society, but social suicide. 'Take no thought for the morrow' Jesus said, which is entirely anti-social advice. In fact, Jesus' teaching was to despise worldly things for the sake of a reward in heaven. Socialism, is the appreciation
of the things of this world and the endeavour to make a better world here."

I think you are misinterpeting the words, or looking at them out of context, that's all. His statement "sell what thou hast and give to the poor" was not a blanket statement directed toward ALL people in society, it was a statement specifically directed to those who had decided to become spiritual apprentices to him and follow him around and learn what he was teaching at the highest level. He was advising them that they would have to part with their worldly riches and concerns, put them aside, and concentrate entirely on the spiritual discipline. That was a very specific and small number of aspirants he was addressing, and it was entirely appropriate advice in their case, but certainly not appropriate advice for everybody in a whole functioning society. It sounds like exactly the advice any advanced spiritual teacher would give to an aspirant entering a monastic life of spiritual discipline, then or now. Such people comprise way less than a tenth of a per cent of any given population, so it will not result in social suicide! :-)

"Take no thought for the morrow" not subject yourself to needless worry and anxiety, because it doesn't get you anywhere. That's good advice for anyone. It certainly does not mean "do not prepare for anything"! Jesus gave thought to the morrow when he instructed his disciples and told them in advance that he would be arrested, tried, condemned, and executed, and he was preparing them in advance for dealing with those terrible events in the best way they could. That is "thinking for the morrow".

"Take no thought for the morrow" also means, "have confidence in yourself and in life, because you are essentially good and so is life...therefore be optimistic". Excellent advice.

"Despise worldly things"? No. Just see beyond them, that's all. There is more to life than worldly things. There is love, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, generosity, kindness, illumination, and every other great nonmaterial thing a person can experience...those things are the things of spirit, and they are far more crucial in a person's consciousness than worldly possessions, which come and go. You can do a lot of good with worldly things if you become adept in those other things, and a lot of harm if you don't. Therefore, see beyond worldly things.

"Heaven" is (or can be) your own inner state of consciousness, not some place out there beyond the troposphere. The same goes for "hell". They are inner states of consciousness, available to whomever gravitates naturally toward them...and THAT is a matter of choice. Entirely up to you.

I am essentially a socialist, Piers, although I do not object in any way to combining socialism and capitalism in an even mix...which is probably the best way to go. I do NOT despise worldly things. Neither did Jesus. He honored worldly things, but he saw their limitations clearly. Man does NOT live by bread alone.

And that's my opinion... :-)