Sunday Service Week 10: Dogmatism vs. Common Sense
Reading from Rays of the One Light
Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within.
The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.
In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 7, Jesus warns:
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Jesus here, as indeed many times during his teaching, counsels people to use their God-given common sense, and not to rely on high-flown but undemonstrable claims. Common sense goes beyond abstract reason, for it is rooted in actual experience.
Even common sense, however, is deficient when the judgment called for goes beyond sensory experience. Ultimately, what he emphasized always, therefore, was intuitive perception.
Thus, he expected more of his disciples than crude common sense, and often scolded them for being too literal-minded—as he did, elsewhere, when they thought his statement, “I have meat to eat that you know not of,” meant that he had steaks or sandwiches secreted about his person. His reference, of course, was to spiritual, not material, substance.
Words, even though appearing in the scriptures, are no substitute for direct perception of truth. Therefore the Bhagavad Gita says, in the second Chapter:
The sage who knows God has as little need for the scriptures as one might have for a pond when the whole land is covered in flood.
Thus, through holy scripture, God has spoken to mankind.
Reading from Affirmations for Self-Healing
Forgiveness is the sword of victory! When we forgive those who seek to hurt us, we rob them of their very power to do us harm. Better still, if they respond with love, they will unite their strength to ours, and so our strength becomes doubled.
But forgiveness should not be given primarily for its effect on others, but rather for the freedom it affirms in our own hearts. Let no outward circumstance condition your inner happiness. Be not pleased merely when man is pleased. Be pleased, rather, when you feel God’s pleasure in your heart.Practice this affirmation out loud, guided by Swami Kriyananda
All that befalls me is for my good. I welcome any hurts that I receive as opportunities to grow in understanding.
Lord, how often the hurts that I’ve sustained in life have grieved me! Strengthen my power of love, that I surrender all things to Thee, my eternal Friend.