This discussion by Cynthia Bourgeault on Jesus‘ Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard is directly related to yesterday’s post.
One level: It’s not fair! Social justice-inclined Christians tend to say: “That’s okay for the Gospels, but in the real world workers need a living wage!” If that’s the case, then welcome to the Jesus Theme Park, the ghettoized parallel universe where we “discuss spiritual things” insulated from their having any actual impact. Jesus’ teachings don’t apply; they can’t apply. But we have to learn how to use these parables.
It takes a different perception of this parable to pick up
a.) There was never a question of scarcity, and
b.) The landowner’s motivation is participation – the people standing out there are isolated from the Web of Exchange that is the Mercy of God.
Mercy and Merchant are part of the same root. The landowner isn’t trying to get rich; he’s trying to include everyone. [Note: This is another very Capon-esque point. Kingdom, Grace, & Judgement is your friend here if you want to look at all of Jesus’ parables from the lens of koan and grace and play that Cynthia is advocating for.]
A mind that perceives separation is going to see through scarcity; the mind that perceives union perceives abundance. The former mind cannot follow Jesus’ teachings. The constant tug-of-war between Jesus’ teachings and hearing them through our egoic ears isn’t going to cut it; it’s hard. It’s commendable that we’ve even tried! Wow! I’m not angry with Christianity; I have tremendous admiration in the sincerity of those trying to follow Jesus in spite of their lacking a proper operating system.
The place where I fault the tradition is that we failed to see that Jesus was teaching us a method of how to move into the sincere & conscientious application of Jesus’ teachings in real life –interiorizing and integrating. So far, this has only happened in the few – we tend to call them “the saints.” But this path is for all of us!
When we see how Jesus sees, we see what Jesus sees!
When we move from parts to the whole, and then see from vantage of the Whole to the parts…this is transformation.
To be continued…to see where Cynthia’s going with this, I recommend checking out her books The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, and The Wisdom Way of Knowing.
In this series:
The Way of the Heart – Cynthia Bourgeault Part 1: What IS the Path of Jesus?
The Way of the Heart – Cynthia Bourgeault Part 2: See What Jesus Sees; Do What Jesus Does
The Way of the Heart Part 3: Cynthia Bourgealt’s Four Proposals – Beyond ‘The Imitation of Christ’
The Way of the Heart Part 4: Heartfulness Practice Transcends & Includes Orthodoxy
The Way of the Heart Part 5: Upgrading Our Operating System
The Way of the Heart Part 6: A Rorschach Blot for the Mind
The Way of the Heart Part 7: When 20/20 Hindsight Becomes Blindsight
The Way of the Heart Interlude: Kenosis Hymn
The Way of the Heart Part 8: Heart Surgery
“Web of Exchange that is the Mercy of God.”