THE ART OF DYING
January 26, 1965
Lecture By Neville Goddard
Tonight’s subject, the title may seem strange, I call it “The Art of Dying.” If it seems to you at the moment too spiritual, may I tell you, whatever is most profoundly spiritual you will find in the end to be most directly practical.
There’s nothing more practical in this world than that which is most profoundly spiritual, and tonight this is the art of dying. The art of dying…in the Book of John we’re told, “Greater love has no man than this that man lay down his life for his friends” (15:13). Many people have taken this passage and interpreted it as a man going into battle and offering his body to protect his friends.
It’s a noble gesture, and certainly marvelous, but that hasn’t a thing to do with this passage, not a thing to do with it. When I lay down my life for my friends, I do not step before the knife or the gun and give my body in place of theirs. This is something entirely different.
Tonight we will show you the inwardness of this law. Paul said, “Every day I die!” (1Cor. 15:31). Well, if every day I die and if today I gave this body, I couldn’t tomorrow die; but every day while I wear this body I die. Well, how do I do it? Let us turn now to Blake, one who had a clear, clear perfect vision. In his 96th Plate of Jerusalem he made the statement: “Every kindness to another is a little death in the Divine Image, nor can man exist without brotherhood.” Can’t exist but by brotherhood.
Well, how do I do it? Every kindness to another is a little death in the Divine Image. Man is only the sum of all of his beliefs, all of his impressions, that’s what I am, that’s what you are. If you want to know a man you’ve got to get behind his words, even his thoughts, to the beliefs from which they spring.
So I am the sum total of all of my beliefs. So I meet you on the street or I hear of you, so I meet you and you don’t look well, or someone writes me and they tell me that you are not well, that’s an impression.
So thereafter if I think of you that impression comes into my mind’s eye. I must learn the art of dying to that impression. I must bring you into my mind’s eye and put you into an entirely different light and see you as I ought to see you were you the one that I would love you to be. When I am self-persuaded that you are that new impression, I have died to the other impression.
So every kindness on my part, every little kindness, is a little death in the Divine Image. That Divine Image is death…it must die and die all through love. For what is the Divine Image? Listen to it carefully as Blake defines it: “Mercy, pity, peace and love is God, our Father dear; and mercy, pity, peace and love is man his child and care.”
So was it a merciful thing to do? Yes, it was merciful. Prompted by pity? Yes. Was it done lovingly? Yes. And now am I at peace because of it? Yes. Then I fulfill the Divine Image—mercy, pity, peace and love. So, I took all these aspects of the Divine Image. It was merciful to do it; why leave him distressed when I could exercise this power?
And so every time that man exercises this creative power of his lovingly, he is simply performing this little act of death. Every kindness to another is a little death in the Divine Image. This is called in scripture repentance. Repentance means “to become another person.”
Didn’t I become another person? Because if I am made up of all of my impressions, all of my beliefs, and I believe you to be injured; and that injury need not be physical, in the sense that you are physically hurt, it could be that you are financially hurt. It could be that you are now being disgraced. It could be in a thousand ways.
So if I believe this because here are the facts, I’m confronted with facts, I’m called upon to exercise my talent and put something in its place. Therefore, if I put something in its place, I’ve got to give up that impression that I hold of you. Giving it up, if I am the sum total of all of my beliefs, in giving up any belief I die. I die by giving up any belief that I now entertain.
And so, every kindness to another is a little death in the Divine Image… nor can man exist but by brotherhood. So if I don’t consider the whole vast world, this fragmented world as myself, everyone my brother, and gradually all being gathered together, reassembled into one being that is God the Father, and then I am he. For I am a fragmented being, you are, we all are.
While we are fragmented in this state, we are brothers, and by practicing this art we prepare the way to be called back into the unity that is God. In the oldest of our gospels, which is Mark, the first words put into the mouth of that central figure, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Repent! We are called upon to repent, and to repent means “a radical change of attitude towards life”; a radical change towards anything in this world, but radical right down to the root. So I meet someone in this world and they tell me their story. Having heard their story, they’ve left their impression on me because I trust them, I believe them.
Having heard exactly what is taking place in their life, if it isn’t pleasant they’ve left me with some other aspect of my own being, for they’ve given me another impression. Every impression adds to my being. Every belief is my being. I am the sum total of all that I believe. Well now as I leave them and they go their way and I go my way, it is entirely up to me. not to them, to me, to change my being and bring it back into another state.
For we are told in the 51st Psalm, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, O Lord”…I can’t sin against anyone but myself. Who took that impression? I did. Well, what is his name?—I AM—well, I am believing that. “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, O Lord; therefore thy judgment was just.” Everything you do to me thereafter is just. I can’t complain, for I’ve only sinned against God, and God is I AM… because I took the impression. I saw it and seeing it, I believed it, and believing it, it’s part of my world now. I must live with it.
So from thereon I either live with it and bear the fruit of that impression, or I change it. I change it by becoming another person. So repentance in a lovely way means “to become another person.”
Because that was my being that’s the being that I am. Become another person: I don’t see him that way, I don’t see her that way, I change it in my mind’s eye; and changing it, I persuade myself of the reality of that imaginal act. I represent the individual to myself as what I would like him to be, and seeing him in that light I believe in the reality of that imaginal act. Then time proves that it’s true…she or he conformed to this imaginal act of mine. If that is true, I keep my body balanced as it were. And I am being called by my Father back into that fall from the fragmented state.
So we are told, go into the world and tell the story. Tell it to every being in the world…how they’re really living in a world made up only of their beliefs; that “All that I behold, though it appears without, it is within, in my Imagination, of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.” The whole vast world is myself pushed out, myself objectified.
What self? The self made up of all of my beliefs —I believe I was this, that and the other.
So today, may I tell you, take everyone in this world that you know, costs you nothing and, may I tell you, you don’t need to be graduated from any institution in this world to practice this art. You don’t need a degree. You don’t need any permission of anyone to say you are this, that or the other. You can do it just as you are here.
You need no one’s consent to do it, because you’re doing it anyway. You’re walking the earth just a compulsive being made up of all the things that you believe, and then you out picture them in this world.
Here we have tonight a preparation for the most fantastic funeral possibly that our generation has ever seen. We saw one which was really sheer fantasy back in ’63 when our President was assassinated, and it was solemn and majestic, really marvelous if you want drama…no question about it. But this thing you’re going to see beginning on Saturday will be the most fantastic thing that this generation has seen.
He wrote it back in ’43, when he came down with double pneumonia and he was in Cairo, he wrote the kind of funeral that he wanted. He revised it ten years later. He wanted bands, he wanted a state funeral, he wanted all these things. Alright, he will get it: He imagined it. He’s a commoner. He actually imagined this entire thing. So he out lived them all…he is the last of the big three.
So they called them the Big Three. Roosevelt went first, and Stalin followed, and all were younger; then he, the oldest of them all, and he makes his at the age of ninety. He wrote it in detail what he wanted, and he’s going to get it. He wanted to go as Wellington, as ___(??), as Nelson… everything that they did in that day today will be far, far bigger. They now estimate that 400 million will view this pageant. He conceived it.
Well, I have words for the great man—-a truly great man—-but God played that part as he plays your part. The one who came and cleaned my house yesterday, the one who played that part was God, same God that is going to play this part. And these words that ring out from scripture, “Of those born of women none is greater than John; yet I tell you that the least in the kingdom is greater than John” (Luke 7:26).
No greatness in this world means anything whatsoever, nothing! That vision of Blake in The Vision of the Last Judgment when he saw this character, Araunah, mentioned in 2nd Samuel, the 24th chapter, and he had this threshing floor and David bought it (verse 21). When the plague struck Israel it came right up to that area and stopped.
So he bought it and there he built his altar. The word Araunah means “chief or ruler.” Who could be the chief or ruler but God. And he saw Araunah with a basket pouring out all the vanities of riches and all worldly honors, all worldly honors, all the medals that are pinned upon you, like this pageantry that will begin on Saturday. He wrote it…a great man… but he was only playing a part.
He doesn’t realize that the least in the kingdom is greater than John, but the very least, and the least in the kingdom could walk this earth completely unknown. Well, who would be the one who would be the least in the kingdom unknown? Christianity is based upon the affirmation that a series of events happened in which God revealed himself in action for the salvation of man; and every act was known only to the one in whom it happened.
It could not be seen or heard by another. That one in whom it took place could be believed or disbelieved, makes no difference. But he walks the earth and if these events happen in him, or in her, he is in the kingdom. “No one born of woman is greater than John; yet I tell you, the least in the kingdom is greater than John.” So the one in whom it happens has entered the kingdom. And it need not even be known where he places the little body.
I am told today that no one really knows where Blake was buried. They know where he was born, because his father was a milliner, and so he knew the house where the children were born. But where Blake seventy years later was buried no one knows, possibly in some unknown, unmarked grave of poverty. But he saw in this perfect vision the casting out of all the vanities and riches and all worldly honors.
So what would concern you about a great, great funeral? But if you are given that way, it’s perfectly alright. And I’m quite sure you will look at it, I will, and so on Saturday undoubtedly I’ll turn the whole thing on as though I’m in a theater and watch the whole grand pageant.
You can’t take anything from him, perfectly marvelous, wonderful character that was played by God. God played that part, wonderful part. But he’s also playing your part. Don’t forget for one second that God is one, God isn’t two. So the God that played that part is not a less God than the God that plays your part.
So, all that you can hope for is to pray that this series of events marking your entrance into heaven will take place in you. Because no matter how great you are in the eyes of man, it doesn’t compare to the least in the kingdom of heaven. So let everyone seek only the kingdom.
And you’re told in the beginning it starts by practicing revision. The word is not revision; it’s called repentance, and repentance simply means “to become another person,” another person. As I stand here, if I have any impression that’s unlovely and I change it and put in its place a lovely impression, at that very moment I am another person, for I am the sum total of all of my beliefs, all of my impressions.
So any one change in my life, no matter how small it is, concerning another, and I see him as I would like to see him or I see them as I would like to see them, or I hear other than what I heard and make it something lovelier, if I persuade myself of the reality of this change of attitude, I am another person. And in that other person, alright, I became a new being.
After much multiple changing within my own world as I exercise this talent, then I am called. I can’t tell you what moment in time we’re called, because no one knows how far back we really go. You and I didn’t begin a few years ago in the mother’s womb and we don’t end in the grave.
No one ends in the grave. But we began a way back; and then when we began, everything was perfect, a fragmented being, but everything was perfect. But we’re no earthly good as powers beyond this world unless we have freedom of expression. And so, as that was granted to man he makes mistakes and he tries to overcome the other on the outside. He does all things against his fragmented self until he hears the story. That’s why it’s so very important that everyone should hear the story: The story of God becoming man that man may become God.
So we all hear it, and we’re told the beginning of it, the change is repentance. Then you’re told repentance means “a change of attitude” and the change of attitude should be radical. May I tell you, you can start now, this moment, and start doing it. It takes itself into your dream world. Your dreams are not the normal dream thereafter. You find yourself in dream not allowing yourself to be carried with the wind, not allowed in any way to be simply a thing moving across the world. You are in control of everything that you do.
The opening up of a book in dream…you know exactly what you’re doing. You know the title and you read it and you know everything is taking place in dream. It becomes that controlled by you. You’re not a victim of your wandering attention; you are in control, you are master and director of that attention. It goes right into that state. And when you depart from this world after these experiences take place in you, you leave it forever.
Yet everyone left is your fragmented self and everyone has to be redeemed. You can’t let one be lost—-“Nothing can be lost in all my holy mountain.” So when you depart having had these experiences, don’t think for one second that you have been detached from your world. It’s your world…you are the God that fragmented himself in this world, so everyone has to be redeemed. But then you will be in that controlling world as it were.
As we are told, and this is the new translation in what is known today as the New English Bible: “You’ve heard the words, ‘And the first man Adam became a living soul; the second Adam became a life-giving spirit’” (1 Cor. 15:45). But that’s not the translation today: “The first man Adam became an animate being”—-mark the words “an animate being”; “the second Adam has become a life-giving spirit.” The first an animate being…how true that translation is.
This whole vast world is animated and therefore not to be condemned. Any condemnation is to the being animating it, not to the thing animated. So the first man Adam became an animate being; the second Adam has become a life- giving spirit. After the series of events you become the life-giving spirit. So you will be above, and you’ll understand the words: “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world” (John 8:23).
He’s telling you by the series of events within him that he becomes part of the controlling, life-giving spirit; and therefore he could cry, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Forgive every being in this world for whatever he’s done and whatever he is doing. And knowing this, change it. Forgive everyone and then in your own mind’s eye change him. He can’t help it, he just can’t help it.
For if there is any condemnation, said he, “You have no power over me unless it were given to you from above; so he who delivered me into your hands, he has the greater sin” (John 19:11). So no one can condemn me were it not given to him from above. And he takes the whole vast world and forgives it.
Now look upon the cross in this sense tonight, for this is the art of dying. Don’t see a man on a wooden cross, 2,000 years ago, hanging for three hours, and then rising three days later from a grave. See yourself in this manner—and I’m quoting now from the 6th chapter of the Book of Romans—“If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom. 6:5).
See the change in tense? “If we have been united with him in a death like his”—-that’s past, that’s all over, our crucifixion is over; now comes the future—-“we shall be united with him in a resurrection like his.” The resurrection is taking place. As he said in his letter to Timothy, “Those who teach that the resurrection is over and past are misleading and turning people from the true faith” (2 Tim. 2:18). It isn’t over; it has started and is taking place.
Well, we’re all united with him in a death like his; all were crucified with God. Now God has risen. The first took place; and in all God is rising, in all. Everyone is rising as God…not another little being…only God is rising. So here, everyone has gone through the act of being crucified with God, and everyone shall rise, as he has already risen. He rose in one. He’s rising in all but one after one after one, and all gathered into one being. So this is the story of death: The art of dying. So he’s now on the cross, your cross, and the three days or the three hours…and mark it well in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, “On the third day, the earth rose up out of the deep” (1:9). Three is a symbol of resurrection.
You’re rising by practicing the art of revision. You are rising…every moment in time that you die…every little kindness to another is a little death in the Divine Image. So every time that you see someone in distress, and you revise it, and persuade yourself of the reality of the revision, you die. This is death.
And so everyone is on the cross, and he’s crying out, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” And every time that you actually revise any being in this world and believe in the reality of your revision, you die. So, “Every kindness to another is a little death in the Divine Image; nor can man exist but by brotherhood.”
So it’s one grand fragmented being and these are the brothers; when all are put together again and brought back into one, we are the fathers. We are The Father when united; we are the brothers in conflict when we don’t understand it.
When we begin to see the vision, we are brothers in love, and take care of everyone and lift him up in us. As we are lifted up in ourselves by revising it, we are gradually being called back into that unity that is our unity, and that unity is God the Father. So everyone is called upon to practice it. Tonight, I invite you to start it. Because no matter how great you are in this world—-you could be the richest of the rich, the most honored of the honored—- and yet if you have not had the experiences as described in scripture concerning Jesus Christ, you’re not in the kingdom.
And as we are told, “No one born of woman is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom is greater than John,” because all the honors of the world are poured out, all the riches of the world are poured out, no matter what they are they are completely poured out. Men today not knowing this they will plan to survive the grave by building monuments to themselves, libraries to themselves, and all kinds of indulgences to themselves to perpetuate that memory in the minds of men…and all this is poured out, it means nothing. Only those who enter the kingdom of God…for that means life, to become a part of the life-giving power of the world.
So this new translation is true. You can read it in the New English Bible: “The first man Adam became animate.” I stepped into a room just like this and saw animate beings, and I thought they had life in themselves, I thought so.
At that moment I knew that their life was in me, they didn’t have it in themselves at all. Looking at them, I arrested in me that which I felt, and they were not animate…all the animation was in me. They were completely still and I examined these clay forms.
Everything known to man in this world was not so at all, even the law of gravity. Things didn’t fall that should fall. Birds in flight remained still and not one thing could bring them down, just simply still. And when I released in me that which I had arrested, they moved on and continued a seeming life in themselves…and it wasn’t there at all. So I tasted in that moment the power of the age to come.
So he speaks of the two ages, this age and that age. This age is the animate age, the first Adam; and we’re all moving toward that age where we are the operant power. And we taste it from time to time. That was a great tasting that night. But before you get to that point and taste it that way, you can experiment this way and prove you can operate it by changing within yourself attitudes.
A complete change of attitude results in corresponding changes in the outer world. And when you prove it, then you are on the way, and eventually you reach that point where you will be called one night to taste of the power. Here you do it without really knowing it, but that night you will taste it.
When you see some man stand before you who was walking and he intended to walk outside of the house and you arrested him—-not by putting your hand on him, you didn’t shoot him, you didn’t command him to stand still—you simply stopped something in yourself. As you stopped it, he stopped and he couldn’t move. Then you examine him and he isn’t alive at all, he’s dead. He was only, at that moment, an animate being, and you didn’t realize until that moment you were the cause of his animation.
Today, you are the cause of your whole vast world round about you. You’re animating everything in your world. And so you can try it. Take someone who is distressed, in your mind’s eye bring that one into your mind and represent him to yourself as you would like him to be, and see him, in time, conform to that representation. Well, didn’t you do it?
If this is the lowest level, and you do it with another, then you do it with another. Every time you do it with someone for the better of the other you died. Because, before you did it you lived to that limitation; it’s all in you.
If someone is unemployed and you know of it, well then, in you that’s an image, that’s a belief, and man is the sum total of all of his beliefs. So you die to that belief: Now you represent him to yourself as gainfully employed, he’s never had more, he’s never been better. And then he becomes gainfully employed and he’s never had more. At that moment you gave up one thing; as you gave it up, you died. And so, “Every kindness to another is a little death in the Divine Image; nor can man exist but by brotherhood.”
So this is brotherhood—-taking everyone and transforming everyone within yourself. For, “All that you behold, though it seems to be on the outside,” it isn’t really, “it’s all within, in your Imagination of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.” And then will come that moment in time that you’ll be called to taste of the power, real power. And then you will see why the cry on the cross is so true: “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.” They don’t know it. They are living in a world of impressions, a world of beliefs. They are the sum total of all their beliefs.
And they don’t know how to overcome it, because they have not heard the story…or having heard it they do not believe it. And the story begins on the statement: “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of heaven is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.” That’s how it begins, “Repent!” Repent means “to become someone else, become another person”; and you always become another person at any moment in time that you change your opinion about anything in this world.
If the change of opinion sticks, if it sticks, then you died to what you formerly believed, and you don’t believe what you don’t want to believe. Believing it, you externalize it. Externalizing it, you live in an entirely different world. Experiencing this change of beliefs, one day you are called, and being called, you go through all of the experiences as described in scripture about Jesus Christ. If you read the story carefully there isn’t one thing said of Jesus Christ that was heard or seen by another…all within himself the drama unfolds.
Then he goes back into scripture and he finds confirmation for that which is taking place in him, and he tells it to the world. But he doesn’t look the type…he’s not the majestic being that they thought one should look like when he comes into the world. They are looking for him in this world…and they can’t understand the words, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 15:50). Hasn’t a thing to do with flesh and blood.
What I look like physically hasn’t a thing to do with the being that is wearing this garment. You don’t see the being wearing this garment. No one can see the being wearing this garment. You may see flashes, you may see a moment, but you don’t see the unmasked being wearing the garment.
So if you judge by appearances then you aren’t going to see…not the real being. So when he comes into the world, he’s a normal person as we are, nothing really to rave about, nothing to write home about, no background. He doesn’t leave a monument. Today they can’t find any sepulcher where he was really buried. They’re looking in the wrong place. No matter what they build in the little area called the Near East, they haven’t found any spot where “he” walked.
So he walks in this world, clothed in garments that would disguise him. And when that moment in time is right, these experiences happen in him. As they happen in him, he knows exactly who he is; and he waits and marks his time until that moment in time when he departs, and departs for the last time, no returning. But he can’t leave his fragmented self. He joins the world of controlling the power; and not one will be missed, not one will be lost, and everyone will be brought back and redeemed into the one form which is God the Father.
So tonight, this little art of dying is a true art, and everyone must practice it. If tonight you took any one person in your world and actually changed him in your mind’s eye, and believed in the reality of this imaginal change, and then tomorrow or next week or next month he conforms to it, not only he has changed in your world, he changed because you changed; for there’s nothing on the outside.
So when he becomes the man you want him to be, it’s only because you changed first. Then you understand the words, “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). So we start the act of doing it within ourselves, and they only respond, they reflect, they can’t help it, and all reflect the changes in us.
Every time that change takes place in us it takes place on the outside and all these are the deaths. So we get back to that wonderful statement of Blake in the 96th Plate, “Every kindness to another is a little death in the Divine Image.” Now let us go into the Silence and bring about a little death. * * *
Before we have the questions, that book that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago finally arrived, The Future of Man. The author is considered not only a great theologian—-he was a great Jesuit, he’s gone from this world now—-but a great physicist. I read the book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
You may not agree with everything in the book, but it stimulates, it fires the mind. That’s all that a book should be good for anyway. It does jolt you from moment to moment. And so, this has just arrived, and Grace and Jack they have it tonight on the table, The Future of Man. I have found it a very fascinating book.
He was a great Jesuit…died in New York City on, I think, Easter Day, two years ago. He was silenced by the Vatican, shipped off to China, not allowed to print anything that he wrote while he lived, because it was controversial and in conflict with the policies of the Vatican. But he remained faithful to his Catholic belief and never wavered for one moment. And so he allowed the voice of the Vatican to silence him, went silently on to China, and did his duty there, brought back to France, and he came to America.
While visiting a friend in New York City on Easter Day had a heart attack and made his exit. He was seventy, just about seventy. He writes…of course it was written in French and so it’s a translation…but whoever translated did a marvelous job, beautifully done. So I can’t recommend it any higher than that. I personally was fired by the book. Now are there any questions?
A: (inaudible) The question is, “When a man sets out to be a priest, he must know that it’s not literal after years of study, and yet he teaches it?” Well, my dear, I think that is true of almost every profession, that man discovering the limitation of his own profession and finding himself beyond the point of changing professions, and living in a world of Caesar where rent must be paid and food bought, he continues to live the little lie. On the other hand, if you have all of this from above, from above the world of Caesar, you dare not violate it or you’ll be silenced forever.
So they cannot, they cannot go out and be unfrocked. Many of them are. We don’t publicize how many people leave the church, you know, we only publicize the converts. But more people who become priests and ministers of the Protestant faith and rabbis leave it than remain in it. But they are never publicized, that’s the hush-hush, because why publicize it? Some become violent. A chap came to me in New York City and he was a priest here in this state for fourteen years.
That night that he came he brought a raft of people with him, all whooping it up because he had left the Catholic Church and became violent in his opposition. Well, I didn’t approve of that at all. They were all for it, because they were opposed to it, too. And they were…I will not mention the “ism” that they joined— they were not Catholics—-but they were so glad that a Catholic priest would do what he did that they all sponsored him. They came in with rocks that big.
They had all the wealth of the world hanging on them, and they were all behind him. Well, I didn’t approve of it at all. I told them that you’ve never heard Christianity and from the platform I taught. After the meeting he said, “I never heard this before.” I was speaking that night on forgiveness. Well, he had been forgiving people for fourteen years as a priest, but he had never known the art of forgiveness.
Every time he saw them on the street thereafter he knew exactly what they confessed the day before or a year ago. He never changed any attitude in himself relative to the one that he supposedly forgave. He heard their confession and gloated in it; and then for all these years he remembered exactly what they said so he could hold it against them. He hadn’t once changed himself.
So at the end of fourteen years he went berserk, drank like a fish, and that night that he came to the meeting he was really loaded. Came back the next night, came four times, then he sent me a book that he wrote. I won’t mention his name, because, undoubtedly, you’ve heard of the book. But that I don’t call…that is not Catholicism.
If one hears the story and really believes it, you could be in any denomination in this world. I was reading today the great Disraeli and Disraeli was Prime Minister of England—- one of the greatest that England ever had—-and he became Lord Beaconsfield. Disraeli said that Christianity was the flower of Judaism.
Well, here is the great Jew making that statement. He went beyond both and saw the whole thing as an unfolding drama in the mind of man. That was Disraeli. He never gave up Judaism, any more than Paul gave up Judaism. Paul never gave up… he saw the flower appearing on the tree. What is the purpose of a tree but to bear fruit. If it is a flower-bearing tree, a flower should appear; if it is a fruit-bearing tree, the fruit should appear.
So here is the tree…well, what is the purpose of the tree? To either bear fruit or bear the flower. And Christianity is the bursting of the flower of all that was promised in Judaism. So if a priest doesn’t understand it…not everyone understands it…you’re taught it in a certain way and, alright, you believe that this thing is secular. It isn’t secular history at all, it’s salvation history.
So I don’t condemn the priest who teaches it after he happened to discover it. Maybe he is too old to start afresh, he can’t get out. But many of them leave it and lose themselves in the crowd, many of them do. A few, like Luther, well, he became the symbol of the breaking through of all things. Luther is the giant in the Christian world. He reached the point he couldn’t take it and he broke through and left his mark behind him.
But not everyone has the fire of a Luther to break through. They will just simply adjust themselves to the world. Any other questions, please? Well, do practice the art of dying…and you won’t really die. You will die and not really die. You will die to what you now believe and live to what you want to believe, and become the greater for the dying. Thank you. Goodnight.
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