Material Mastery #3

The second spiritual gift we possess is knowledge. Obviously, knowledge is knowing. Knowledge is a component of understanding at a different level.

On an everyday basis we all put our knowledge to work for us. In most cases, it is in the mundane aspects of life. Some use their knowledge on the job. Others have taken their knowledge and developed expression, such as can be seen in the arts and sciences. In these cases, they have taken their knowledge, combined with understanding, to great heights and depths. For others, it is just an intellectual understanding.

The real key to knowledge, and its potential for mastery of self, lies in application. The question is, how do you apply the knowledge you possess?

The most important aspect of knowledge is in knowing self. Here is what the masters/teachers say about it:

    • Buddha said “It is better to conquer yourself than to win 1000 battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”
    • Confucius said: “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
    • Plato presented two perspectives. “Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.” And, “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.”
    • Socrates offered this guidance: “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.”
    • Aristotle said: “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.”

    The Teacher/Master for our age is Jesus who said: “When you know yourselves, then shall you be known, and you shall know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if ye do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.” You can find this saying in the Gospel According to Thomas.

    We use the Thomas Gospel more than any other for the simple reason that it was written while Jesus was alive. The four gospels that most are familiar with were written seventy (70) years AFTER the crucifixion. Even though they are based on oral tradition, that does not mean they are completely accurate. Remember, man is always seeking to have power and control over other men.

    When you compare the sayings in Thomas to what is in the King James Version you will discover that the writings in the KJV are altered or truncated, thus, in some instances, altering the meaning and intent of the Teaching.

    Here is a perfect example. The second Teaching in the Gospel According to Thomas is: “Jesus said: Let him who seeks, not cease seeking until he finds, and when he finds, he will be troubled, and when he has been troubled, he will marvel, and he will reign over the All.” In the KJV we find this: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.”

    Think about what you are asking. What are you seeking? What doors are you knocking on? Apply these questions to each of your four (4) selves; the Spiritual, Emotional, Material/Physical and lastly your Social/Intellectual Self.

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