Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

There are three generic conditions under which a man may hold his soul.

The first is where those instincts and passions which belong to our animal nature, and whose normal sphere is upon the material globe, predominate, and give tone to character. Under such circumstances, men are always sensual, -- fleshly, in scripture language. They live by the force of their material organization.

But as men come under better influences, there grows up an intermediate state, a mixed character, in which force alternates with higher and better feelings. Under great excitement, the physical qualities predominate; but in times of quiet, and away from temptation, there grow up milder influences, nobler sentiments. The result is that there is an occasional outburst of feeling, and also an occasional experience of sweetness and peace. It is, in such circumstances, an alternating condition of the mind, which results in great strife and conflict between the one part and the other – between the higher and the lower nature. And the greater part of men in civilized countries live in this intermediate condition, in which the animal is not predominate, and in which the spiritual is not predominate, but in which sometimes one and sometimes the other rules, neither having free course.

Then there is a final state – the highest we know of – that in which the moral sentiments completely rule. When these higher qualities give expression to the whole life—to the face, to the tone of the voice, to the language; where they surround the very soul, as with an atmosphere; where the whole nature is saturated with faith, hope, love—with truth, equity, benevolence – there is an air given to men, of strength in gentleness, of courage in sweetness, of activity in tranquility, of will without obstinacy, of self-confidence without conceit.

All these qualities may exist in the individual, and over them all there shall be a luminous refinement, a spiritual glow, which saves the soul from the charge of insipidity and flatness, and gives it authority and vitality. When the soul is completely under the dominion of these spiritual emotions, it shines. It impresses all that come near it. It rules whatever is within its sphere. In short, the spiritual is to become supreme in authority. And that which makes us men- not that which makes us animals – gives the color and tone to the whole life and character.

It is the atmosphere of the spiritual nature of man, or that appearance and those qualities which we see when the man is under complete control of his higher moral sentiments, which is what Jesus meant by “meekness”.

Matt, when I read this I immediately thought of the woman who was director at the AIDS orphanage where you took Carissa and I. I think so many of these qualities were evident in her.


Matt said...

it's that alternating condition that keeps us human, less we think we are something we're not...

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

This is a very fine post with deep wisdom.

To reach the highest level means we have to give up all the pleasures of this life and live like Jesus. Our needs should be the barest minimum, we should be indigent, have no aims and ambitions etc. But if you really look at it the whole world moves because people are after accumulating wealth, competing with one another for survival and success, doing better than the neighbors, walk over the heads of many people, be ruthless, cunning and avaricious. But ultimately no one is going to take anything with them when they die. They have to answer for their misdeeds on God's judgment day. The people with the highest level mentioned by you will find it easier to answer God.

The meek will not only inherit the earth but also the heaven.

The photo is very explanatory. Mother Teresa lived a simple but fruitful life. She reached the highest level in her simplicity and frugal but hard life dedicated to the poorest of the poor and suffering masses of mankind neglected by others.

Very interesting post Fred:)