|Summer '73||July 27, 1973|
|PSU I John Commentary||Week Four|
The participants of the Summer '73 Research Assembly were assigned each day to paraphrase, annotate, and comment on the 1st Epistle of John as one spirit exercise emphasizing the solitary dimension of the journey of the religious. The offerings represented as broad a style and content spectrum as people present. Many came in note or short phrase form, while others approached treatise dimension. I have included here those which represent all the sections of I John assigned, those which approached the text from different presuppositions, but primarily those which our intuitions and closer theological reflection perceived to be clear, concise statements coming most near to passionate witnesses about John in their lives. You would have selected others; many fine statements were left out unquestionably, but our PSU presents these symbols of the work; of the total assembly to remind us of' the great possibilities of this methodology to intrigue, invite, and finally engage men with spirit selfconsciousness to journey more deeply into the Way of the twentieth century religious.
I John 2: 68
Who's this model Jesus anyway that we're supposed to model ourselves after? Upon first reflection, he's not my kind of guy. At the early age of twelve he was separated from his parents and his only response to his Mother upon seeing her was ''I was about my Father's business." No apology. No explanation.
At the pool he didn't seem very gentlemanly in his response to the lame man lying on his mart. He didn't tell the guy that he we sorry he had been ill so long. Didn't sympathize with him. Rather he bluntly said, "Take up your bed and walk."
The Jesusmodel is not the typical image of the "good-Joe", but rather a man who was often disliked by many yet at the same time was the one that demanded that illusions about life be dispelled - so that the real life might be lived. He was constantly holding the new possibilities about life. It's this Jesus that I need to model my life after.
I John 2: 1517
Do not place your high values on the worldly things. If you do, you cannot know the Father's love. The things that are done for pleasure, or to bolster your ego are done, only for this world which will soon pass away. If you would make the most of your life, choose to do the will of God.
I John 2: 311
Embracing the great indicative of the way of life is the authentic life. It is an existence lived in light of the fact that finally we are utterly known the facticity of our contingency brings all to naught save the relationship we choose to take to this reality. The man who claims to be living reality and yet will not deal with the nothingness at the core of his own life is merely fooling himself. Life just as given is the meaning of life. That one who dare to live in that reality is indeed the sign of the new humanity.
Style is the key here. Only that one who grasps his life as given or laid down on behalf of all of life is really living in obedience to the Mystery. This is not a new insight, however, It's always been this way. And yet, in a sense it is new, for it is clearer now than ever before that we are living in a new era of possibility. This is true because life's deeps are bubbling afresh in a way they just haven't for years. The fact that to live is intentional dying has been disclosed.
1 John 1 :14
You have always been on the stage of life. See it! Feel it! You are visible; you are you. Every man is on the stage of the Mystery. And the one drama is complete joy.
The show is going on as announced. The lights are on. Not one bulb has burnt out. If you think there is, a prop that is blocking your participation in the cast - well, that is a lie. You are on stage in the actual givenness and expenditure of your life.
This does not mean any magic show that avoids ambiguity with special powers. Our existence is separation. Nothing comes from hiding backstage. Our life is built on the time and space of the one stage.
The point again is that life does not give you a prepared script. You can be sure that all your staging of life will collapse. :But you are the greatest on the stage simply in taking the responsibility for the staging you do create about life, not only that but the whole world is a stage in which everyone is the staging of his life.
I John 2:3 2: 17
This passage illuminates the sociological reality that is the basis for the necessity for detachment namely that, finally, there is, no life to be found in trying to possess or get meaning from this world. Meaning is given in being the one who expends himself on behalf of all. The paradox of engaged detachment is paramount. How do I give myself completely to a situation without making that the basis, for my life? How do I be married to all that is?
I John 2: 38
The way we can check ourselves out on our claim to be in the league with life's truth is to ask if we do what becomes necessary. Claiming to be a colleague of the one who lived the truth fully and yet refusing to do the necessary deed means that a person is trying to live out of two different stories and may then be considered as unreliable as any person with schizophrenia. On the other hand, to do that which has become necessary means that a person is whole, sound, and really knows what life is about.
Friends, I am not trying to tell you something that you do not already know, in fact it is what the truth is and always has been. On the other hand there is a sense in which what I say is new, because the cloud of forgetfulness is passing away and the brightness of the truth is showing forth again. The one who lived this truth fully has proven it, and you know it is so by your own experience.
A person may say, ''I understand clearly how life is," but if he is indifferent about any man, his understanding is mixedup. Only the person who honors the life of every man is thinking clearly and cannot be steered wrong. The one who is indifferent to others' value has perverted true understanding; he lives in confusion and has no idea what his life is about, because this confusion keeps him from seeing the truth.
I John 2: 317
I have combined these two passages because I feel there is a common
ground between the two. In both, he makes reference to the man
who says one thing yet believes another and, therefore, is a liar.
Truly, all men have the tendency to be hypocrites. This trait
is one that may never be totally removed from man; however, every
striving towards the removal of this characteristic is a step
towards the betterment of man as a united force with a common
goal to live in the spirit of God, and His Son Jesus.
I John 3: 13-17
My colleagues, do not be surprised if the world is angry towards
you. We know that we have shifted from illusion to reality because
we do create the structures necessary to pronounce every man's
life acceptable. The person who makes no effort to build these
comprehensive care structures still lives in illusion, for everyone
who is indifferent toward others, has already written off others
as being static and hopeless, and as you know, the person who
pronounces others as being as good as dead has not discovered
the life style that is worth living every moment of every age
throughout history. In this manner we understand what comprehensive
care is, since the one who showed what true humanness is expressed
it by expending his whole life for others. If we would really
be comprehensive in our caring, we can do no less than expend
our whole life for every man. As for the person who has adequate
means of sustenance and decides not to build the structures that
provide the basic stuff that every man needs, how could anyone
mistake that person for one in which dwells the same attitudes
as those of the Mysterious One, who made all persons and pronounced
I John 2: 18:3- 6
I tell you the last hour is the present hour. It is the hour to say yes or no to life. Those who have refused to take a relationship to living in the present moment have done so not because they did not know the truth but because they have lied to themselves. To lie is simply to refuse to accept life as it is and see that all of life is mystery. Let us not be influenced by those who live a life of illusion. If you have encountered the Mystery in your life, never again will your life be the same. False witnesses cannot change you if you have really taken a relationship to the Mystery, to others and to yourself.
Let your life be transparent to all, so that they may also know
the Mystery. Many have not known the Mystery in their lives and
will discover it only if you are the true witness that you are
called to be.
Friends, this is it! You've been told about all kinds of perversions, and now you can see them all about you -- which only proves that this is the time of great decision. Those who are doing the perverting originated with us, but they were never really a part of us; if they had been, they would have stayed with us. They went their merry way, so that everyone was clear that they had split from us.
You, no less than they, are among the gifted; you've lived life to the depths, and because of that you know what life is all about. So you see, it isn't because you're ignorant of something that I am writing to you, but because you are the wise ones, and because untruths, one and all, simply do not belong with the truth.
Who is the liar? The one who denies that you can say a basic "Yes!" to life. He is a great life destroyer because he denies both the way life is and the way you relate to it; to deny the relationship is to be without the ground of that relationship; to affirm the relationship is to have that to which you are relating, You, therefore, must keep in your hearts that which you heard at the beginning; if what you heard still dwells in you, you will yourselves dwell in reality and also as a matter of' fact in the fullness of it! And this is the promise that life gives you, the promise of living wholly in the now.
So much for those who would mislead you, but as, for you, the Joy of living which you have experienced stays with you; you need no other teacher, but learn all you need to know from that which is real and not illusory. As life taught you, then, go and do likewise!
So friends, embrace life the way it comes to you so that no matter what happens you can live confidently and unashamed before the totality of living. If you know what reality is all about, you must recognize that every man whose stance is that of life affirmation is also your colleague. How great has been the blessing that life has shown to us! We've been called little lords of the earth, and such we are; and the reason why the masses of the world do not recognize this is that they have not known life the way it really is, there and now, dear friends, we are the children of life itself; what we shall be has not yet been disclosed, but we know that when ever life is disclosed, we will be reflecting that reality, because we dare to see life the way it is ,.everyone who has the courage to see life clear through purifies himself and becomes a strangely wondrous creation of the universe.
To try to live life falsely is imply to break the laws of the
universe; that, in fact, is pure and simple lawlessness. Reality
always crashes in, as you know, to do away with all kinds of irreality,
and that is the way illusions are stripped from us. No man therefore
who dwells in the affirmation of life the way it truly is is a
law breaker; the lawless have not seen life and do not even know
what it is.
I John 1:1 - 2:2
The reality of life has always been in history. Since it is real, we can hear it, see it, feel it it is that real. It is what we have and all we have that is real. Those who come to understand this share in the fullest and deepest and most complete joy known.
The Word we have heard that led to this understanding is that the Mystery of life is what gives this ordinary life its meaning, or that there are no surprises, no dark corners - there is just Mystery.
To claim that we can give meaning to life is to be constantly
caught unaware and shot down. But if we know that we are not in
control, but that Mystery is, then we are free to live each moments'
preciousness -- for that is all we have.
I John 1: 1-4
We have always been able to sense the Mystery of the way life is, but only recently have we been able to understand it with some degree of lucidity. We understand now, because He is speaking in our language, through one of us, of something that has always been; that we can participate in life and in history by becoming expenditure, by giving back that gift of life. We run here to tell you because we know that, like us, you'll never be able to live the same style again. It's a radical change, but the joy is like no roller coaster you've ever been on before.
The Word about Life is that it is God, and therefore, all of it is Good : That's why you have no alternative but to change. You can't say you believe that and then consciously decide to do evil. If you do evil, though, that is absolved by us, your colleagues, and by God himself.
We mustn't try to kid ourselves, though, that we are always good, If we say that, then we're claiming we have no use for Him! How can the finite exist without the infinite?
Strive always to live by that Word, but don't get hung up on the
times you can't, because He knows that we're all the same, and
He will forgive you, just as He has forgiven me, and all men.
I John 2:3-2:l7
I may say I am an enlightened person. I am on the right path. I know the truth. Why, I have gone to RS-1 and Academy.
But if I hate my neighbor. I am not really enlightened. I am confused. All my knowledge of loving and living gained through RS-1 and Academy mean absolutely nothing if I hate.
Only the me who loves my neighbor is enlightened. Through love and love alone can I see what a beautiful person the person next to me really is.
But the me who is the hating me cannot see how I am to live because
hatred puts smoke into my eyes.
I John 1:12:2
What is that which holds this body of people together? We've found a key that's been made accessible to all. Our task is to bring to man complete use of this tool.
Now if we live as those mainsprings of selflessness and affirmation of life, then we have in common the only thing that holds any group of people together throughout eternity in the depths. The more we affirm and contribute to all of life, the more life springs back to receive us.''
Now if we say that we're totally selfless and that we embrace every situation, we're just kidding ourselves. But if we admit to our failure to bridge the gulf between life and life, then life will also accept our failure. But if in arrogance we think that our measly effort is adequate or more than adequate, then the gulf is only widened and possibility for authentic creativity is cut off.
The point of all this is to hold you in the common task. But if
any fall down or pause, then new possibilities will arise in that
situation. For the freedom to continue anew expiates the past
and brings a new future for all men.