33Jesus also said:
The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a woman mixes a little yeast into three big batches of flour. Finally, all the dough rises.
Present experience of the Heavens ~ or "kingdom of heaven" ~ is like what? Not just "is," but "is like," for this "kingdom of heaven" precedes and supersedes intellectualizing.
This is like leaven. Leaven, used by Jews for evil influence, is transformed by Jesus to refer to positive influence ~ even though elsewhere Jesus used it for evil influence. The positive use was a literary technique to add to the force of the saying.
Yeast expands and softens the dough. Yeast does this silently; however, the expansion is seen openly.
Jesus speaks of the nature of Spiritual Influence. There is an intrinsic and extrinsic dimension. As yeast works silently and inwardly, the Spirit operates from the core of the soul and silently. Spirit works from the core dimension to the most outer one of matter-space.
Why does Spirit work from the core of the self? For all Spirit communications derive from Pure Spirit, that point outside and beyond the core of the soul, or self. The core, or center, is the point of pure, immediate contact with God. From that core Pure Spirit becomes diluted in the other inner to outer aspects of existing. The marriage of these other less immediate aspects with the core is the purpose of the purgative stage in the classic Christian contemplative map of spiritual growth.
This inward emergence of Spirit evidences in the obviousness of outer manifestation. This is the extension of Spirit, and this will always correspond with the intention of will.
Jesus points to a logic for surrender in contemplative openness in apophasis, or knowing by unknowing. Jesus sets forth this yeasting work of Presence as universal, natural law. This works anywhere and everywhere, at anytime, for anyone prepared to cooperate.
Jesus says, "This is how Grace works." He says, "Work with Grace, by letting Grace work within and through you." Yes, we are to cooperate, and cooperation is a trusting surrender, not an interference. Our cooperation arises from the alignment of will, understanding, and memory with Pure Spirit.
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*Brian K. Wilcox lives with his wife, Rocio, their two dogs, St. Francis and Bandit Ty, and their fish, Hope, in Southwest Florida. Brian is vowed at Greenbough House of Prayer, a contemplative Christian community in Georgia. He lives a contemplative life and inspires others to experience a deeper relationship with Christ. He advocates for a spiritually-focused Christianity and the renewal of the focus of the Church on addressing the deeper spiritual needs and longings of persons and empathic relating with diverse spiritual traditions, East and West. Brian has an independent writing, workshop, and retreat ministry, for all spiritual seekers.
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