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Five Paramount Spiritual Lessons

Say and Victor, My first day in retirement. I just woke up and I could immediately smell the sweet spiritual air of freedom. I am now totally free in 'spirit'. Now I know what Jesus meant when he said that you have to be baptised in the 'spirit'! I am no longer enslaved by the system or the 'boss'. I am no longer the 'salary man'! If I am oppressed it is only because I oppress myself. I do not intend to be subjugated or subservient ever again. I am going to be true to myself. I am going to be my own man. How can one be faithful to others when one is not faithful to oneself? As Jesus said, you cannot be a slave to two masters! I have rendered unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Now I shall render unto God what belongs to God. My spirit belongs to God. How do I find God? As Jesus said, we serve him and find him in every poor, sick and hungry [Matthew:35-36]. Jesus did not say that we will find him in the rich and powerful Caesars of the world. They will have their just dessert. I spent last night thinking about what lessons I have learnt so far in life that I should maintain and pass on to my children. These are my personal top five. 1. There is no greater love than parental love, and of the two, there is no greater love than a mother's love. That is why the Chinese are correct is defining the greatest tenet of all as 'filial piety'. You can never humble yourself to God unless you first humble yourself to your parents. For God is our spiritual Father. For, even in terms of 'humility' you have to first render unto Caesar what is Caesar's (for our parents are part of the world of Caesar) and then to God what belongs to God! We learn from worldly life and things before we can transcend to the spiritual. 2. The greatest sin, the mother of all sins, is self-ego and self-righteousness. In common parlance, pride of ego is the greatest sin. As long as one retains the "I" and the "We" we are 'blind' even though we 'see' (as Jesus puts it so succinctly) [John 9:39]. Teach the Chinese Classic 'The Journey to the West' to our children. 'Monkey' in that fable represents us or the 'monkey' in our worldly mind, or our self-ego and self-righteousness. 3. Do not judge and do not compare nor compete with others. Life is really a self-competition and a self-assessment and self-betterment. You think you are competing in a game of golf or even the university exams. Actually you are only competing with yourself. Thus it is strange when Christians and Muslims and others are telling people how to find God, when you have to find God yourself, personally and privately in your own way, according to your individual capacity and capability [Matthew 6:6]. You have to have your own personal private conversation with God. All these mass rallies called churches or mosques are an aberration. You can only find God in private quietude and solitude and transcendental contemplation. Heaven is not an eternal replica of this world! As Jesus said - there is no marriage in heaven! There are no husbands or wives and thus no fathers or mothers or sons and daughters or brothers and sisters! That is what Jesus meant 'parabolically' when he said to leave our fathers and mothers, husbands and wives etc. Pay careful attention to what Jesus said to the Jews that were about to stone the adulteress. 'Let the one who has never sinned cast the first stone'. Nobody is perfect! Pay careful attention to what Jesus said to the adulteress - "I do not judge you either, sin no more" The sinner makes his or her own bed or 'karma'. You reap what you sow. Every cause has an effect. That is an immutable law! Nobody escapes from his or her own karma. God has no say in this matter. God loves us all as his children for what we are, whatever or however we sin. That is his 'forgiveness'! God does not personally forgive our individual sins as such! Only our victims can forgive us such. Think as a victim and then read what Jesus said in John 20:23 - "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." There would not be spiritual equity and fairness otherwise. If our children commit a crime and go to jail, their crimes are not forgiven by us, but we still love our children regardless. If God is a corrupt God who practises nepotism and can forgive sins and trespasses of his children in the way that we have misconceived his fatherly love for forgiveness than he cannot be a Catholic or Universal God. We have to repent and rehabilitate ourselves to get out of the spiritual jail that is called Hell! God is not a worldly Caesar.

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God does not issue free pardons as such. Jesus said so himself. "You reap what you sow" and that he would trash the bad vine. Continue teaching our children the tenets of karma and reincarnation, that good begets good, which bestows virtue and honour, and that bad begets bad, which brings shame and inevitable karmic retribution. 4. The greatest gift you can give your children skill-wise is to teach them how to 'give' and be 'forgiving'. There is nothing more cancerous than to cling and grasp and to hang on to grudges and to be as a result spiteful and filled with hate and vengeance. You start with small steps or in small measures by teaching them sharing, duty and responsibility and respect. All these are building blocks to 'giving' and 'forgiving'. Discipline them well in this regard until it becomes a habit or automatic reflex. Why? Because to give in the manner that Jesus instructed such that your left hand does not know what your right hand does is impossible unless it is ingrained in one's psyche. Certain things or skills have to be hammered in. Just like the Chinese tenet of 'filial piety' which is drummed into us by rote from early childhood, by word of mouth, from listening to adult gossip about who and who were not filial, from Chinese movies and most of all from Chinese classics. Just like the Chinese tenet about the transcendental qualities of a mother's love for her newborn child. It is similarly drummed into us! The fine art of 'giving' and 'forgiving' results in tolerance, in empathy for others, in compassion for the disadvantaged, in accommodating differences in opinions, status, colour, race or religion or circumstances. Ultimately it results in total equanimity, humility and egolessness. It is only then that we meet Jesus' twin commandments - that we (1) love God with all our heart, mind, body and soul and (2) love our neighbours as ourselves. In more earthly terms it is that special transcendence of 'giving' that a mother gives to her newborn child, that she totally surrenders her very being to her newborn! Conversely, it is the quality of the egoless little child who loves her mother totally that takes us to the kingdom of God. Again it comes down to this key Chinese tenet of 'filial piety'. Do not be corrupt by Western thinking. Continue to pray to our ancestors. That is eternal 'filial piety' by extension in the spirit! How do Westerners expect to attain eternal life when they do not have an eternal mindset? In the eternity where there is no "I" as prescribed in the twin commandments, where is the 'you' or 'me' or our 'ancestors'? There is 'nobody' praying to 'no ancestors'. It is all a smokescreen? In mortality we all go up 'in the smoke'. But it is being imbued in the eternal spirit of 'filial piety' that matters. The Parable of the Lost Prodigal Son is simply a Christian tale of the Chinese tenet of 'filial piety'! 5. The first board game you teach your children should be 'Snakes and Ladders'. Imprint into their sub-consciousness that life is about ascending ladders and that when we fall it is because of something that is in the guise of a 'snake'. They will find out what the metaphorical 'snake' is when they grow up, soon enough. Once they start Sunday School teach them about 'Jacob's Ladder'. Get them to learn about Jacob's dream in Genesis 28:12 off by heart - "And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it." Tell them from young that we are 'angels of God', and that we are the 'lost sheep' that the Good Shepherd is looking for; that we are the 'Lost Prodigal Son'. When they are much older, tell them about the Parable of the Sower, that we reap what we sow [Matthew 13:1-23]. Tell them also about the Parable of the Talents [Matthew 25:14-30]. And, when they are still with you after matriculation, ask then to ponder on Matthew 12:43-45 - about who the 'unclean spirit' that goes out of man when he dies, and comes back with his seven more deadly spirit companions (conscience, mind and the five senses) [in Chinese terms come back as 'Monkey' from the Journey to the West] to his previous abode, as another 'wicked generation'! Tell them to stick to the Parables of Jesus for they contain 'things which have been kept secret from the foundation (beginning) of the world' [Matthew 13:35]. Hopefully they will then realise that in each worldly existence we have to leave a better person than we were and to leave the world a better place than we found it., Let me leave you to watch this video which I just received from TKT. It is also about making the world a better place than we find it.

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Love and God bless! Chuan 3/3/14

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