Lesson 51- Becoming a Negentropic Force
Throughout many of my programs there has been a consistent theme which is that we are involved in a cultural war and that many of us do not seem to be aware of it. The reason is because this war does not involve standing armies, or guns, or planes, or weapons of mass destruction. Nor does it involve the protection of some strategic area or some vital natural resource. The truth is that it involves something much more important than these. It is a spiritual war in which the weapons are spiritual and have to do more with values and attitudes than with guns and bombs and the stakes are the "hearts and minds" of men and the future direction of our country and the world on the earthly plane and the eternal disposition of ourselves and love ones on the heavenly plane.
The biggest problem with this war is that its battles are so subtle that its losses and victories are seldom announced on the evening news because few people even know that it is going on. Its roots, according to the Bible, began when Lucifer, the Angel of Light, rebelled against God through the sin of Pride by setting his will against God's will. In other words, the servant wanted to become the master; the creature wanted to become God because the allure of total power was too great for him to resist.
According to the Bible, it was this same temptation that Lucifer used on Eve when he told her that she would be like God if she ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Its the same temptation that he has used down through the centuries to pull humans off the path of salvation. And, as I have mentioned in previous programs, the sin of Pride is the only unforgivable sin because it refuses to admit that it is wrong and therefore will never repent and reform. That is why the Church says that hell is eternal damnation while Purgatory, in a sense, is only temporary damnation. The beings in hell are full of pride and refuse to admit that there is anything wrong with their attitudes or values, while the beings in Purgatory know that there is something wrong and are open to repentance and reform. In other words, the sins of those in hell are mortal because they have become part of their core being, while the sins of those in Purgatory are venial because they are deviations from their core beings with which their spirits are struggling. With the grace of God, they will be eventually saved from those sins as their spirits are refined like gold tried in a fire. Their openness to change, which is just another name for humility, is the surest sign that Gods grace will eventually save them and that is why we pray for them. Through our prayers and sacrifices, both of which are selfless acts, we become agents for the release of those graces. For some unexplainable reason, God wants us to learn to pray and sacrifice ourselves for each other and he sent His Son, Jesus, as an example.
Anyway, the human race has had to deal with the temptation of power throughout its history and, whenever any of its members succeeded in getting it, it proved to be too much of an intoxicant for them to handle. They became monsters and dictators who oppressed their fellow men and even began to believe that they were gods. The Roman emperors, like Caligula and Nero, became more and more intoxicated with their power until they cross the line between sanity and insanity.
Eventually, the human race started to sense the inherent danger of absolute power and expressed it in sayings like, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." If was this fear of absolute power that caused our Founding Fathers to create a government in which the legislative, executive, and judicial powers were separated into three different branches of government, with each having a "check and balance" on the others. And history has shown that whenever any branch of our government became too powerful, it began to abuse it. The Supreme Court, which in recent history has used misinterpretation of the Constitution to carry out the political and philosophical agenda of Secular Humanism, and the federal courts are examples of that now.
Throughout the Bible, God has tried to warn us of the danger of giving power to other human beings and that is probably why he forbade the Hebrew to have kings. Through His prophets he warned them that once they had given someone power over them, he would use it to abuse them Therefore, He said that He would be their King and rule them internally by speaking to their hearts. Of course, the Hebrews didnt listen to the prophets and insisted on making Saul their first king and paid the price.
Power, or rather its use, like money, seems to be at the root of all evil. Even Jesus had to face the temptation of power.
In Matthew 4: 1-11 it says: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.' " Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "`He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' " Jesus answered him, "It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' " Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' " Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Notice that the first two temptations involve power. Power that Jesus had but refused to use. Certainly if He could change water into wine, multiply loaves and fishes, cure the blind and the lame and even raise the dead, it would have been childs play for him change stones into bread or to levitate Himself but He refused to use His power either to satisfy His own needs or to prove His high position. Finally, the devil pulled out his greatest temptation which, beginning with Adam and Eve, the human race has been unable to resist: Worship me, says the devil, and I will give you power. And, Jesus says: "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' "
Jesus, unlike the devil, does not seek power and glory. In fact, he does just the opposite. In Matthew 11:28, He says: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
His attitude towards power is displayed again beginning in John 13: 3., It says: "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him....
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. "You call me `Teacher' and `Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."
In another Gospel, a similar incident is told and in that account Jesus says, The Master of the world lord it over those who are beneath them but it shall not be the same with you. If you seek to be first, be last... In other words, in the Kingdom of God those who have power or status are suppose to be servants to those who are under them.
Finally St. Paul says in Philippians 2.4: Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Are you starting to sense what the basic difference is between Lucifer, the Angel of Light, and Jesus, the Light of the World? Lucifer wasnt God and wanted to assume the position; Jesus was God and didnt covet the job. It says something very deep about those who should have power.
Not many people know that there is a Luciferian religion, which worships Lucifer, and that it has connections with some of the Secular Humanist movements that were a driving force in the French Revolution. According to the Luciferians, God had two sons. One was Jesus, the wimp who always obeyed His Father, and the other was Lucifer, the rebel who sought to use his power to change the world. Thus, Luciferians sought to become the "shakers and movers" of a New World Order, which would be brought about through revolutionary movements: peaceful if possible, violent if necessary. But to bring such a revolution about required "Power!" There's that world again! And where was this power to come from? Well from Lucifer who is a rebel by nature and the leader of all revolutionary movements.
Of course, thats not true. Jesus was a revolutionary who had come to change the world. He said that His mission was to establish the Kingdom of God, which, as I mentioned in a previous tape, is connected to the Judeo/Christian Linear Utopian Concept of History. In other words, he came to "end the world" system and to replace it with God's system. Then, if this is so, what is the difference between the Luciferians and Secular Humanistic New World Order and Jesus' Kingdom of God?
The difference may be more about "means" than "ends and that is why it is so hard for Christians to distinguish between the two positions. Both want to end poverty: The Humanist through the use government power to "redistribute the wealth" through welfare programs and through the use of contraception and abortion; the Christians through personal charity in which one human being responds to the needs of another human being out of love while, at the same time, defending the dignity of every human being from conception to death. They both want to respond to the human suffering caused by sickness and disability. The Humanist believe that children in the womb who are socially or physically handicapped should be aborted and are willing to destroy life to enhance life by purposely creating human beings at the embryonic stage of development so that they can be destroyed for their stem cells. Christians believe that all human life is sacred and that social and physical handicaps are challenges to us to respond to the needs of our fellow human beings. We support all medical advances that can help people without violating our basic moral principles. For example, we oppose the creation of human embryos for their stem cells but support the use of stem cells that are gathered from the placentas of newly born babies.
Another major difference is how this future utopian society will come about. According to Mao Tse Tsung the former leader of Communist China and the man responsible for bringing Communism to China, "Revolution comes out of the mouth of a gun." In other words, to make the world a better place, we will use power to force you to accept the changes we desire. On the other hand, Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk, once referred to Christians as Gentle Revolutionaries who sought to change the world by changing themselves and the hearts of other people. Finally, the Humanist Manifesto declared that "There is no God or Deity to save Mankind; Mankind must save itself." Christians, on the other hand, say that the basic human nature of human beings is flawed and unless they receive new hearts by being "born again" they will corrupt ever method they devise to make the world a better place. Thus, only God through the infusion of His grace into the hearts of men can save Mankind. The Humanist say "give us enough power and we will create a Utopia" and God says that it is your lust for power and your inability to handle it that has destroyed every utopia that you ever tried to create."
If power is such an intoxicant and danger to human beings and, at the same time, necessary to accomplish many goals, what is the solution to its use? I think that God gave us the answer in the Old Testament and the Church gives us the answer in our present time. God said to avoid giving kings the power to control you. Instead, He said, let Me rule you from the inside by giving you a "new heart". What this basically means is that God is telling us that "self control" is preferable to "other control" and carries with it a lot less danger to our freedom. Rational beings that are made in Gods image and likeness were made for "self control." Animals, who have little or no rational control over their impulses, must have "other control." Thus, it is the aim of all parents to teach their children self-control so, that when no one is watching, they will still do the right thing. Children, who fail to learn this self-control, often end up in jail where they are put back under the control of others because they dont know how to control themselves.
Do you see what Gods basic problem is and why Jesus came to fulfill the law not to destroy it? When we are young and immature, we do not understand why "good is good" and "bad is bad." According to the Church, it is because we have not yet reached the "Age of Reason." Therefore, we must be controlled by others from the outside through laws and regulations. But laws and regulations have one great problem. They control behavior though the threat of punishment and although they affect outward behavior, they dont change the attitude or inclination that underlies the behavior. Take the law or regulation away, and the child will revert to "doing his own thing." In fact, I once asked a group of students who contained many "born again" Christians whether if they were to discover there was no heaven and no hell, whether they would continue to do the right thing. Almost in unison, they shouted "No!" and this even included the "born again" Christian kids. What this said to me was that they were not "born again" because they still had the old animal heart that, without the threat of punishment or the promise of reward, would not do "goodness for goodness sake." They said that they loved God but God is just a name we invented for the "Highest Good" and, God and Good come from the same root. So you cannot love God unless you love Goodness and any love that is obtained through threat or bribery can't be real love. Do you remember the "Song of Thanksgiving" written by the Dameans, a music group composed of young priest, whose words said, "Love that freely given want to freely be received..."
The song went on to say....
"Creation tells a story that began so long ago
Of a love that longed to share it life in hopes that love would grow.
The sun repeats (this message of love) each morning
And the story is retold.
And just in Loves retelling, new chapters yet unfold...
That is deep Catholic philosophy and it is probably the reason why St. Theresa once said that even if there were no hell, she would still fear losing God, and even if there were no heaven, she would still serve Him. In other words, she would fear losing the Goodness that God is and would continue to serve that Goodness even if there was no reward. She had learned how to "Sing a New Song Unto the Lord." A song that went beyond "punishment and reward, which is the song that most of the human race has been singing throughout most of its history. The new song was a love song, which said to God, "I love you unconditionally because of who you are and not from fear or for what you can give me.
Oh how long has God waited to hear that song and that is why he rejects the use of power to force you or me to accept Him or His ways. His ways are the ways of Wisdom and Love and the natural result of following them is a heavenly state. Its not a reward.... its a consequence. To reject His ways is to choose Ignorance and Hate and the natural results of following them is a hellish state. It is not a punishment. We are simply reaping what we have sown. The kids in my class realized this when, after they had said that they would not be good if they found out there was no heaven or hell, I started to translate their answer into concrete facts. "Oh!", I said, "then you would all lie, steal, fornicate, rape commit adultery, bear false witness against each other, desert or betray your mother and father and children, and ignore or take advantage of the weak and those in need. They looked puzzled and then they realized that it was Goodness that protected us from the hellish world that I had just described. In other words, they sensed one of the basic teachings of the Catholic Church: heaven is the Beatific Vision, which means simply to be in the presence of God or Goodness Itself. My students got the message and I hope that you did too. Sing a new song unto the Lord; Hes been waiting a long time to hear you sing it. Start with the words, "I love You just because You're You."
Only a person with this attitude could hang from a Cross beaten, despised, and feeling totally deserted by everyone, including His heavenly Father, and still remain committed. Jesus made two acts of unconditional love on the Cross. He showed unconditional love to those who deserted Him and crucified Him when He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" and He showed unconditional love towards His Father when, after crying out in the deepest despair, "My God! My God! Why has Thou forsaken Me?, He then says "Into Thy hands I commend My Spirit."
So the next time you look at a crucifix try to realize that you are looking at the visible image of the invisible God: a God that the scriptures describe as Agape or Unconditional Love And because we know this, we also know that this type of love, although it might possess absolute power over us, will never use it, even for the worthiest reason, to take from us the gift of freedom. If we accept Goodness, it must be done freely for as the song said, "Love that's freely given wants to freely be received."
Therefore, to control others through force, which is what laws are all about, is only a stopgap measure that in the long term is anti-God and anti-Love. It is the Old Testament, which was necessary when the human race was young and immature and laws were necessary to control their behavior for their own protection. But in the long term, laws were displeasing to God because the motivation, which led to compliance with them, was wrong. That is why the New Testament was necessary. God didnt want to just change behavior, He wanted to change our hearts and through Jesus He kept trying to tell us that if we truly learned to love God, who is Goodness Itself, and our neighbors as ourselves, we would do everything that the law required without any need for compulsive laws. This is what St. Paul is referring to later when he says in the Book of Romans that he is no longer under the law. It doesnt mean that he no longer obeys the Ten Commandments. Rather, it means that these laws have passed from external restriction, which his natural spirit resented even while obeying them, to internal conviction where their goodness has been written in his heart and he no longer resents but love them. In other words, he has gone from "other control" which is slavery, to "self control" which is freedom.
This is a hard lesson to learn and even the Church had trouble with it. It took the Medieval Church a long time before it realized that burning people at the stake or torturing them until they recanted their heresies was an exercise in futility. Anything done under force or duress is invalid because it short-circuits our free will and without the consent of our free will no statement or commitment is valid. Therefore, we must be on guard towards any person or movement who promises to create an earthly heaven if only we grant them enough power. Remember, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So what are we to do? Power seems to be a necessary ingredient in most human endeavors. Somebody must exercise power if anything is to get done. If this is so, then what is the proper way to deal with power?
In a previous talk, I mentioned that the Church basic philosophical position on government is called the Principle of Subsidiarity, which says that the smallest unit in society that has the ability to handle a problem should take responsibility for it. According to this principle, the solution to the problem of power is to decentralize and diffuse or spread it out. Therefore, if you have a problem, you should be the first one to accept responsibility for it; if it is too big for you, then it should be your and your family; if it is too large for them, then it should be you, your family, and your parish or community. In other words, keep power decentralized by keeping it as close to the source of the problem as possible. Now, I'll have more to say about this later when I begin to talk about the role of the parish in the coming of the Kingdom of God. But, for now, I just want to show that the Church recommends that power be delegated and diffused and, either knowingly or unknowingly, is simply following a principle laid down in the Bible by God.
Now it might seem strange to you but this whole talk on power is just a foundation that I am laying to talk about the occult and the growing popularity of Harry Potter among our young people. There has been much discussion on this topic and I feel that I should give my two-cents worth of advice on it.
I wont have time to full develop it today but at least let me begin my analysis by pointing out some simple facts that have come to my attention.
First of all, most of us have grown up in a society dominated by science in which little belief is given to anything that cant be seen, weighed, measured or tested. As a result, we have come to the conclusion that anything that doesnt meet these criteria just doesnt exist. This is an arrogant position to take when one considers that we possess sense organs that are capable of only detecting a limited band of the total reality that exists. There were radio waves, ultra-violet light, sub-atomic particles and many other things that existed long before we had any way of detecting their presence. And today, without radios and television to detect them, we could just as easily claim that the invisible waves that make both of them possible dont exist. A more rational and scientific approach is to say, "we don't know." In truth, there are real things that we may never know in a scientific way because science requires that anything that happens must be repeatable under laboratory testing conditions. Anything that isnt repeatable upon demand falls outside of the view of science. That doesnt mean that it doesnt exist. It merely means that it existence cant be demonstrated scientifically.
We have also been led to believe that some of the so-called superstitious behavior of our ancestors was just due to their ignorance and their lack of a truly scientific education. First, I would like to point out that this is a very unscientific idea also because all science is suppose to be based on empirical evidence and, as the philosopher Hume pointed out, scientific conclusions can never be absolutely true because in order to do it, they would have to test every occurrence of whatever they were studying and this they can not do. For example, in order for science to say that the sun comes up every morning based on empirical evidence, they would have to wait until it happened every morning that could ever be. Obviously, this is not possible, so science, like the rest of us, makes leaps of faith based on perceived patterns, which may or may not be absolutely true. So even science cant meet its own rules of evidence.
I say this not to debunk science but merely to show its limitations. Obviously, science serves a good purpose and has revealed many important things to us. But that does not mean that it is capable of telling us everything about our reality. There are occurrences, such as mystical experiences, that happen only once and therefore cannot be verified by science. Yet, for anyone who has had them, and I have, they are real whether science says so or not.
Therefore, next week I am going to share with you some of the things that I have learned of that indicate that there are dimensions of reality of which we are not aware and yet they are as real as anything that is in our awareness. To forget this, is to ignore the fact that we are not playing with a full deck and that we should be cautious when we enter areas with which we are not familiar.
The Church calls this type of caution prudence and it is one of cardinal virtues. It simply means that one should take reasonable care when one is dealing with the unknown and that mental arrogance can sometimes be a very dangerous habit. For this reason, it has always been my habit to give everyone a full hearing even though his or her educational credentials might not match my own
Well, I see that my time is up and that I will have to wait until next week to begin my analysis of the occult in general and Harry Potter in the specific. Here's Dom