Andrew Cort returns to our blog with a discussion on repentance’s role in expanding your mind.
WHAT DOES ‘REPENTANCE’ REALLY MEAN?
Jesus ministry begins at the Jordan River, where John is preaching Repentance. This also signifies that our own journey of spiritual awakening must begin right here with Repentance. But what exactly is Repentance?
‘Repentance’ is generally understood to mean a sincere feeling of regret and sorrow (not merely a hypocritical claim of regret and sorrow) for a sin against God, as a result of which we hope to procure His forgiveness and avoid punishment for our evil acts.
But actually, the Greek word that is translated in the Gospels as ‘Repentance’ is Metanoia, which really means to change one’s mind, to think in a new way. It implies a manner of thinking that is beyond our usual state of mind.
The Bible consistently teaches that all spiritual attainment begins with thinking in a different way. Unless the Mind changes, unless our attitudes change, nothing in the world will ever change, for we will remain forever exactly as we are.
At an early point in the New Testament, Jesus’ disciples bring up a recent story of some Galileans whom Pilate had viciously murdered. Jesus asks them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all the other Galileans?” He then reminds them of a recent disaster in which a tower had collapsed and killed a number of bystanders. “Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them – do you think they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem?” On the contrary, he says, none of this happened to these people because they were evil. They did not ‘deserve’ it.
Then Jesus concluded by telling the disciples, “Unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”
What are we to make of this strange warning!? It cannot mean that all the disciples will be murdered by Pontius Pilate or crushed by a falling tower. Nor can it mean that they will all necessarily be punished with a painful death if they do not feel the appropriate amount of guilt for all the dreadful things they have done in life: plenty of sinful people die peacefully in their sleep without ever seeking forgiveness.
What this means is, ‘unless you change the way you think and awaken, you will die in a state of unconscious, meaningless, sleep, exactly as they did, and that means you will disappear forever, just as everyone does who dies unawakened.’
This is what Jesus wants his disciples to concern themselves with. For him, religion is not about social morality – and certainly not a vindictive self-righteous morality or a sentimental need to be ‘good’. Religion is about the perfection and ascension of the soul, and this begins with Metanoia.
Don’t miss Andrew’s previous features on the blog:
About Andrew Cort
Andrew Cort is an expert on the inner message of Spiritual Awakening that is always ready to be found in the wonderful stories of the Bible and Greek Mythology. To receive several FREE GIFTS from Dr. Cort(a copy of Chapter One, ‘Making the Decision’, from his new book, THE DOOR IS OPEN; a copy of his article on RECONCILING SCIENCE AND RELIGION; and a complete version of the Bible’s erotic masterpiece, SONG OF SONGS , adapted as a Poetic Dialogue to be read out loud by lovers; as well as a subscription to his SPIRITUAL GROWTH NEWSLETTER) click here http://www.andrewcort.com/Gifts . You can also learn more on his blog, Spirituality and Religion.
A native of Boston (and life-long Red Sox fan) who came of age in the turbulent 1960’s, Dr. Andrew Cort has followed a uniquely versatile path through life. He received his Bachelor’s Degree (in English) and Master’s in Teaching (Science Education) from Colgate University. He then went on to receive a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from New York Chiropractic College (he practiced in New York City for ten years, focusing on nutrition, exercise, applied kinesiology, and the mind’s impact on physical health), as well as a Law Degree from Boston College Law School (he is a member of the Massachusetts Bar). During his years in New York, Dr. Cort served on the Executive Board of H.E.A.L., Inc. (“Health Education AIDS Liaison”) and wrote his first book, on issues of health care and the environment,Our Healing Birthright: Taking Responsibility for Ourselves and Our Planet (Inner Traditions, 1990, currently out of print)
Deeply committed to education, spirituality, and activism, Dr. Cort has taught in a variety of colleges and schools, private and public, including The State University of New York in Morrisville, NY; Bay State College, in Boston, MA; The Desisto School, in Stockbridge, MA (a private school for troubled youth); Berkshire Community College, in Pittsfield, MA; and the Springfield Public School System, in Springfield, MA. Dr. Cort has taught courses in Mathematics, Physics, English, Mythology, Business Law, General Science, and English.
In addition to academic studies in literature, science, law and mathematics, he has studied the work of many spiritual traditions — from the Bible, Plato, the Qur’an, Dante, etc., to contemporary teachers including G.I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, Rudolf Steiner, Paul Brunton, Anthony Damiani, Sri Aurobindo, Mme. Blavatsky, Oscar Ichazo, and others.
Dr. Cort is the author of numerous books and articles on religion, spirituality, mythology, politics, history, science, education and healing, and how these all relate to contemporary American culture. Following in the tradition of Socrates, he considers himself a student, and not a teacher, of these extraordinary thinkers, philosophers, mystics, and writers. His work invites readers to study along with him.
He is also the Host of Spirit of the Berkshires on CTSB-TV, and available worldwide on Vimeo.com and on http://www.andrewcort.com. Also on there (and on YouTube) is his series of short videos on The Sacred Feminine: Women in the Bible.
Andrew Cort lives in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, and can be reached at Andrew@AndrewCort.com. He is an accomplished, energetic, and articulate public speaker, and is available for interviews and speaking engagements.
Find Andrew Cort
About The Door Is Open
The door is always open. The light is always ready to receive us. But we have to learn how to tread the path.
Fortunately for us, all of the wonderful myths and legends of ancient Greece, as well as all the sacred and beautiful stories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have the common aim of showing us, through symbols and allegories, a practical method for reaching spiritual enlightenment, for returning ‘home’.
THE DOOR IS OPEN describes the seven precise steps that are revealed in all great mythology and scripture, along with enjoyable and effective spiritual exercises and activities that are suitable for individual seekers or groups of friends working together.
This is a story that has been lost and forgotten, even though the entire tale has been right before our eyes the whole time. Buy it from Amazon for your Kindle here or get the print copy here. Or, check it out on Goodreads.
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