2005-10-21 13:59:00Vic writes:
It's been a day or so since I finished The Immortal I. I enjoyed it for the most part, but found some conflicting ideas. Like when John said you shouldn't let anyone be mean to you, to stand up for yourself, else you'll develop a fatal illness from the repressed, unhappy emotions you'll experience if you tolerate it. John later says you're supposed to submit to a situation you don't like, because you'll learn a karmic lesson and improve your soul. How does standing up for yourself work in harmony with submitting to abusive treatment for your karmic development? If you stand up for yourself, the negativity should end. That conflict confused me.
You are not presenting a clear picture of the teachings in the book here. For one thing, the word "submit" isn't in the book.
Let me recap the principle in a nutshell. Suppressed or denied emotions have a very negative effect and can manifest as various types of disease, most notably cancer. One of the reasons this creates such a problem is that it is a lie to pretend you are fine or that you accept abuse when internally you are resenting it. Dishonesty always brings a negative effect to the evolving seeker.
On the other hand, submission can be done with no dishonesty. I daily submit to speed limits that I think are too low, but I do not suppress my feelings about it not do I deny what I think about it.
There is no conflict here even if a submission was discussed. Submission and denial are two entirely different things.
The last chapter felt pushed and rushed to me. John tells Joe he has just a few minutes to think of the key word, else John would leave and Joe would never see him again. It didn't seem right for John to threaten Joe to prove his sincerity, to test Joe after the entire book was about how Joe and Elizabeth adored John like a couple of puppies. Many times John showed that he knew what Joe and Elizabeth were thinking and doing when he wasn't around. He didn't even have to ask Joe the question.
Knowing what a person is thinking in the present and what he is going to think are two different things. I often ask questions to people when I know what they are thinking. If I did not they would not learn or register what I am communicating.
I've received some positive comments on this part of the book, but no writing will please everyone. I'll consider your criticism here.
It bothered me when John urged Joe to THINK of the key word he'd spent the entire book teasing out of the poor man, but not to say it (in print), because Joe must plan to give away the first part of "The Immortal" book, and charge for the rest of the sections in order to make a living while helping people evolve spiritually. Up until that time, John was pretty much a pro bono kind of guy, like Jesus. Why the sudden commercial venture?
Why not make it a commercial venture?
You can't publish a book and give it away for free, at least I can't. I'm sure that if Jesus published a book he would have charged for it to pay expenses and maybe make some profit which would be dedicated to good works.
Do you also fault those who sell Bibles?
Then there was the prayer John taught Joe and Elizabeth, which, if they forgot to say several times a day, meant they'd be unhappy and irritable, even argue at night and go to bed miserable. I don't understand the 'pray or suffer the consequences' concept.
I don't understand it either. Are you sure you read the right book?
Not saying the Song does not make anyone miserable, but saying it will uplift one's spirit. That was supposed to be the message conveyed.
You are the first to get this message from the book. If others see this then perhaps I need to do some rewriting.
Punishment for not praying? Is that in the imitation of Christ? In Matthew, Jesus says the Father will reward your prayers, but I don't recall Him saying you'd be punished if you didn't. I also thought Jesus said prayer was a personal thing, not something to be done to prove to others how pious you were, not even to a 'John' who might be listening on a higher plane, and tormenting you if you didn't pray on a regular basis.
I don't see where you get this idea from the book at all. The song has nothing to do with piousness. There is no mention of any punishment for not saying the song.
There is a benefit to saying the Song just like there is a benefit to exercise. If one does not exercise he usually doesn't see himself as being punished for it, but merely that he no longer has the benefits it gives. Even so it is with the Song - even so it is with any prayer or meditation.
The last chapter left me feeling sad and empty. I have no inclination to continue reading the next books, unless someone can make sense of these conflicts for me.
You are the first to make a statement like this. Most feel enthused about reading more and feel spiritually fed. But it is true that we are all effected differently by various writings.
Hopefully you will take a second look when you see that the items you mentioned are not in conflict.
Copyright © 2005 by J J Dewey, All Rights Reserved