How do you think the people experienced Jesus’ authority? (he had spoke with a ‘ring of truth’, i.e. something inside (Spirit?) attests to the truth; he lived what he said; he spoke with integrity and confidence)
Note the first line of vv. 21,27,33 & 38. Remember, we understand these words in the context of v.17: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them, but to fulfill them.” (“You have heard it said…but I say…”)
What kind of authority is Jesus taking on here? (the authority to explicate the law)
This comes after Jesus cast out the moneychangers from the temple.
How do you think the Jewish authorities are feeling? (angry, resentful, fearful)
What question do they ask of Jesus? (what gives you the authority to do this?)
How does Jesus respond? (I’ll answer your question if you answer mine)
What does he keep open? (the question he was asked)
Why does he ask a question about John the Baptist? (John had a large following, so the authorities would dare not risk offending them by answering Jesus’ question)
What is Jesus doing by asking this? (avoiding giving an answer to the question asked of him)
What is asked of Jesus? (to settle a personal dispute)
What has become of the questioner’s relationship with his inner authority? (he has given it, along with the responsibility that accompanies it, to Jesus)
What is Jesus response? Note switch from man to “them.” (he denies authority over the man, and then uses the issue to teach the crowd)
What is Jesus trying to do here? (encourage the man to take back his authority)
What happens when we turn from our inner source of authority? (we are disempowered, lost, unable to follow the path to life)
Take 5 minutes to write of a recent situation when you have given away authority?
** Stand and mime the following:
- 1) Giving authority
- 2) Denying authority
- 3) Identifying with authority
- 4) Relating to authority
What message from the body most impressed you? (Everyone will have their own experiences, so I will briefly describe the messages from my own body. When I was giving authority, the top part of my body felt very weak, and my legs had to work extra hard to hold me up, which tells me that shirking my authority and responsibility weakens me and makes it hard work for others to support me. When I was denying authority, I was detached from all reality and no involvement nor power to be involved. Identifying with an outer authority gave me a false sense of power and it came with arrogance and unconcern for others and was represented by upper body tension. Relating to my own authority totally relaxed me and filled me with confidence and power.
** Draw symbol of relationship to inner authority (15 min)
** Set it in front of you and let it remind you of the presence of inner authority.
What would you say about Martha’s attitude here? (chafing under an ‘invisible thumb’, resentful)
What does she speak to Jesus and not to Mary about it? (Martha already knows she has no authority over Mary, and she was not taking responsibility for herself either,)
How does Jesus respond? (Martha, you’ve got your priorities messes up)
How does Martha feel? (alone, uncared for, ignored, jealous)
What is said about Mary? What has she chosen? (she chose the ‘good portion’)
What is it that “shall not be taken away?” (her choice)
What is the “one thing” that is needful? (to do the will of God, travel the path to wholeness, individuation)
Identify the Martha part in you. The Mary part. (write down)
How might we strengthen the Mary part? (with help from friends who also want to ‘do the will’, take time each day for spiritual things, regular prayer, psychotherapy)
Think of a situation in which you feel caught, as Martha was. What is the one thing you need?
What words could replace “judge”? (discern, evaluate, understand, determine, choose)
What are you doing when you judge? (opting for best alternative, understanding difference between right and wrong)
What is the difference between a creative and a non-creative judgment? (one helps, one harms)
How do you feel when someone makes and uncreative judgment toward you? (wounded, disappointed, undermined, kills the soul, douses the spark, or if positive, it messages the ego).
How do you feel if you receive a creative judgment? (cared about, helped to improve)
**Write: In what situations do you make uncreative judgments? (when tired, stressed or angry; when I don’t have enough time to reflect, when I want to hurt someone)
What inner source do we turn to in order to make creative judgments? (the patient, discerning, wise, unbiased centre)
What is Jesus saying here? Put it in other words. (be very careful about judging others)
When we judge others, what happens? (we establish a criteria to judge self, a response-echo system, ancient karma law, in judging others we may actually be judging a part of ourselves of which we are not fully conscious)
What psychological mechanism are these a description of? (projections)
Where do they come from? (the unconscious due to lack of self-awareness)
Why do we have them? (might be the only way we can gain self-awaress)
What is possible when one recognises a projections? (self-knowledge)
“Every projection is an attempt of the self to realise itself: a deeply religious process.” (Carl Jung)
What should one do with them? (learn from them, take them seriously, consider them sacred)
What is the proper role of the ego here? (to choose, to discern, to take actio) The other? (to reveal self, to engage, to bear the projection) Symbol? (to visible that which is invisible)
How do you work with the other on whom you project? (get to know/understand the other, relate to the other, be vulnerable with them)
What do we need to know about ourselves to work on this law? (what I want/need)
How do you usually expect this law to work? (often seen only in negative, i.e. don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you; or it is only ‘other’-oriented, and you don’t easily receive; or give them want they want, esp. as a buffer to keep others out)
How do you feel when you feel guilty? (hollow inside w/ stuff going around)
What are the realities that lead to guilt? (overly-high expectations of self, acts that cause the withdrawal of approval from others)
What are some things we are likely to do as a result of feeling guilty? (defensiveness, us offence as best defence, submissive acts, apologies)
If you find yourself hanging on to guilt, what might be behind it? (feeds/proves ego belief that you are unworthy, fear of doing anything about it, self-righteous suffering, avoids responsibility, self-punishment)
To what image of God is guilt-maintenance pointing? (controlling, fearsome, arrogant, masculine, the one who prohibits eating the fruit)
What kind of image of God needs to be behind the exercise of creative judgments and creative guilt? (process God, faithful, creative, partner, feminine, imaginative, patient, clown, serpent)
Where do you see this God? (dreams, serpent, choices, in relationship, children, music, nature, passion, ideas, emotions, void)
What is the essence of this teaching? (division is inevitable on the path to the kingdom)
Why division? (if each individual is ‘becoming’, he/she will become ‘different’ and will reject control by another)
What kind of guilt will this produce? (Irrational)
“I came not to bring peace…to part thee from brother, sister…because they are foes…in these things thy soul is destroyed.” (Meister Eckhardt)
How is creative guilt part of this? (protects family early in life, gets your attention and draws it to the need to change, helps to take back projections when it is time to leave)
What does Peter say here? (depart from me for I am a sinful man)
What kind of guilt is Peter expressing? (it can be creative or non-creative, depending upon the path he chooses)
What is Peter in the presence of? (the alarming possibility of being evil, at least by comparison to Jesus)
What are its qualities? (numinous, contrast between good and evil and the need to choose, between apocalyptic God image and inclusive God image)
Of what kind of guilt might the woman have been a victim? (society’s judgment, carries guilt of clients, identifies self as a ‘bad’ person)
**Identify a part of you that has been prostituted and write about the kind of guilt that has been produced.
When creativity serves the ego, it works for the masculine element and the status quo. When guilt is creative, is leads to change.
** Draw the guilt if had a chance to turn toward healing
Put the drawing on the floor in front of you and let it inform you.