heavenly treasure

Heavenly Treasure is Better than Earthly Treasure

Heavenly Treasure from God

“If a man is very rich in this world, and possesses a hidden treasure, out of that treasure and wealth that he has he purchases whatever he has a mind to purchase. Whatever rare articles in the world he fancies, he readily amasses them, relying upon the treasure, because by means of it he easily procures any piece of property he fancies. In like manner those who seek at God’s hand, and have found, and have the Heavenly Treasure of the Spirit, which is the Lord Himself shining in their hearts, accomplish every righteousness of virtues, and every acquisition of goodness commanded by the Lord, out of the treasure of Christ in them, and by means of it they amass a yet more abundant heavenly wealth. By means of that heavenly treasure they effect every virtue of righteousness, relying upon the multitude of the spiritual riches within them, and easily work every righteousness and commandment of the Lord by means of the invisible wealth of grace that is in them. The apostle says, Having this treasure in earthen vessels, that is, the treasure which it was granted to them in this life to possess within themselves, the sanctifying power of the Spirit; and again, who was made to us Wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctifications, and redemption.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian

Worldly Treasure

Having wealth isn’t necessarily an evil thing, but having worldly wealth, a wealth of material possessions often develops into a desire for more and more material wealth, and at any cost. That is how it becomes evil. It is why the Essene leaders, including Jesus, required members of their community to donate all their material wealth to the community as a whole and do not claim ownership of anything. That is why the Essenes were often called “the poor,” and this is what Jesus meant when he told the wealthy man who wanted to join his community that he would have to give all his wealth to the poor. He meant to the Essene community of which he was the Rabbi, not some random poor people found in the streets. Continue reading “Heavenly Treasure is Better than Earthly Treasure”

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blessed

Blessed Persons are not Stingy or Miserly

“Blessed is the man that hath not slipped with his mouth, and is not pricked with the multitude of sins. Blessed is he whose conscience hath not condemned him, and who is not fallen from his hope in the Lord. Riches are not comely for a niggard: and what should an envious man do with money? He that gathereth by defrauding his own soul gathereth for others, that shall spend his goods riotously. He that is evil to himself, to whom will he be good? He shall not take pleasure in his goods. There is none worse than he that envieth himself; and this is a recompence of his wickedness. And if he doeth good, he “doeth it unwillingly; and at the last he will declare his wickedness. The envious man hath a wicked eye; he turneth away his face, and despiseth men. A covetous man’s eye is not satisfied with his portion; and the iniquity of the wicked drieth up his soul. A wicked eye envieth his bread, and he is a niggard at his table. My son, according to thy ability do good to thyself, and give the Lord his due offering. Remember that death will not be long in coming, and that the covenant of the grave is not shewed unto thee. Do good unto thy friend before thou die, and according to thy ability stretch out thy hand and give to him. Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not the part of a good desire overpass thee. Shalt thou not leave thy travails unto another? and thy labors to be divided by lot? Give, and take, and sanctify thy soul; for there is no seeking of dainties in the grave.” ~Ecclesiasticus

Blessed Person

We can say that people who have not committed a multitude of sins are blessed to some degree. But it is not as much the number of “sins” as it is the level of the sin. It is much like human laws where littering is not the same level crime as committing murder. Sin is just a violation of God’s law. Some will insist that there is no such thing, but that would mean that God is running a lawless universe, a realm of chaos, and that is false. It is true that the universe of matter is somewhat a place of chaos, but that is because it was created by the Demiurge, not God.

Riches of the Niggard

A niggard is a stingy or miserly person. It is one who hoards far more than anyone needs and doesn’t want to share unless there is some benefit in doing so such as getting publicity. So Ecclesiasticus says that riches are not comely to such a person, and that is true. A person who gains wealth honestly and is generous in sharing that wealth is attractive. A person who gains wealth illegally or by cons and trickery is not. Sadly, many today can’t see the difference. But is matters how you gain wealth and how you use it once you have it. It matters to your reputation on Earth, but more importantly, it matters to your spirit and soul. In short, the more you cling to matter, the more you move away from spirit. The further you move from spirit, the harder it is to awaken and develop your spiritual faculties, which is necessary for eternal life.

That is why many orders of holy people of the past such as the Essenes required individuals to surrender all their personal wealth when joining an Essene community so that it could then be used for the benefit of the entire community. Those not willing to do that were not ready for spiritual growth. Greed is not a spiritual attribute. Blessed people are not greedy. Continue reading “Blessed Persons are not Stingy or Miserly”

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charity, generosity

Generosity has Value for Spiritual Growth

“Anathapindika, who lived 2,600 years ago, was an early follower of the Buddha. Anathapindika was a businessman who was very generous, and he used his time and energy to help the destitute people of his city. He gave away a lot of his wealth to the poor, yet he did not become less wealthy. He received a lot of happiness. …

“One day the Buddha learned that his beloved disciple, Anathapindika, was very sick. He went to visit him and urged Anathapindika to practice mindful breathing while in bed. …

“The first question Shariputra asked was, ‘Dear friend Anathapindika, how do you feel? Is the pain in your body growing worse, or has it begun to lessen?” Anathapindika said, “No, friends, the pain in me is not lessening. It is getting worse all the time.’ …

“Shariputra invited Anathapindika to breathe in and out mindfully and to focus his attention on his happiest recollections: his work for the poor, his many acts of generosity, and the love and compassion he shared with his family and his fellow students of the Buddha. In just five or six minutes, the pain that Anathapindika had been feeling throughout his body lessened as the seeds of happiness in him were watered, and he smiled. Watering the seeds of happiness is a very important practice for those who are sick or dying.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Value of Generosity

I heard somewhere that J. K. Rowling, author of the harry Potter books, was the first person to make it to the billionaires list, then get removed because she donated so much to charity, she was no longer a billionaire. I’m sure nearly all those still on that list think she is a fool. Actually, they are the fools. Their greed will not make them healthy. It won’t give them a long life. And it usually doesn’t even make them happy. They live in fear of being robbed, or in some other way loosing what they value most: Money.

That don’t understand what Rowling and all spiritual people do. That what really matter in our short life in the physical realm is what we do to help others advance and escape from this fallen plane. The materialists, especially the greedy ones, don’t understand that the bad thoughts constantly sent their way by the many people they hurt does more harm than poverty would. On the other hand, the generous person is sent happy thoughts, helpful thoughts, and that is more useful than piles of money.

More Friends

Another advantage of being generous is that the generous person has more friends. While the greedy may not realize it, people will be more likely to help you out if they know you are generous. The greedy can only get help by paying for it. And when some one is paid to help someone they know to be greedy, their heart isn’t really into it and the assistance may be limited.

Focus on Happiness

The example given in the quote is of a generous person who is ill and dying. Like many of us who think we don’t fear death, that often changes when death is looking us in the eye. But the dying man is taught to focus on happy times and happy deeds. To focus on how his generosity helped others. In short, by taking his mind off of his problems. This is always a good plan.

I know there are people, especially elderly people, who seem to delight in discussing their illnesses and pains when they have a conversation. By dwelling on such things, they concentrate the mind on them and make them worse. Or at least seem worse because you are concentrating on them. Pain is really a combination of nerve signals and the brain’s attention to those signals. Get the brain to concentrate on more pleasant things, and you stop noticing the pain.

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Hubris, pride

Pride and Ego Let the Devils In

“The Pride of Nature indeed inclines one man more strongly than another, but it forces none that they must be proud; and if there be a force [or strong compulsion upon any,] then it is when man willingly for temporary honor and pleasure sale lets the Devil into his eternal essences; and then the Devil sees presently how that man is inclined by the Spirit of the World, and in that way tempts him accordingly. If man lets him but in, he is then a guest very hard to be driven out again; yet it is possible, if the man entirely and sincerely purposes to turn, and to live according to the Will of God.” ~Jacob Boehme

Pride of Nature

What Boehme is calling “the Pride of Nature” is not natural pride, or being proud of the accomplishments of Mother Nature. He is talking about ego. Specifically, a puffed-up ego caught up is materialistic desires. A person to whom the word “treasure” means a pile of temporary money rather than the eternal treasure of an immortal spirit and soul.

Need for Ego

Ego is necessary. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have one. But any tool can be harmful when misused and ego is probably the most misused tool we humans have to work with.

Without ego, we have no drive, no passion, no desire to accomplish. This may stop you from doing evil deeds, but it also stops you from doing good ones. You become like a piece of driftwood floating on the tides. Some governments promote the destruction of ego since it makes their people into sheeple—people who behave like sheep or contented cows.

God has little use for those people. He needs people who can accomplish things for the good of humanity and the universe. He needs people who want to help and be co-creators. Sheeple can’t do that. The key is to let the spiritual faculties control the ego, not destroy it. First, of course, those spiritual faculties have to be awakened. Continue reading “Pride and Ego Let the Devils In”

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