Sergey Nikolaevich, the question is this: in the Bible Christ says that you should first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. In other words people should refrain from taking pleasure in criticising others and their shortcomings whilst remainng silent on their own. I always thought this referred to those who were hypocritical but in time I realised that it ran deeper and raised more interesting points.
To my surprise it was clear that people are not aware and genuinely don’t understand their own shortcomings whilst readily seeing the shortcomings of other people. How do we explain this paradox? As the reluctance of people to change subconsciously or as something else?
It is a fact we have core beliefs in our subconscious which were formed over thousands of years. The reactions of a person to danger is that of fight or flight which is the reaction of an animal.
Does that make sense?
Yes, I agree.
If someone offends me then I will show or feel aggression towards him as a way of protection. Does that make sense?
Yes it does.
A person's level of development can be measured in terms of how aggressive he is towards other people. In the case of a pagan the enemy must be killed. That is the defense can exceed the damage.
So religion introduces the concept of justice, mercy and forgiveness. In Judaism it clearly states that the enemy was sent by God because the Jews had forgotten the commandments. So the enemy is an instrument in the hands of God sent to show us the troubles and evil in our lives, to remind us of our imperfection and push us to develop, to fulfill the commandments and to understand the Almighty. In the past people were born with all their natural qualities and were unable to change their reactions. In the same way as animals, a person was born with certain traits, strengths and weaknesses determined by genetics and was accordingly classified by society. A worthy person would fall into one category and unworthy in a different category.
So when I am being offended or insulted, then in response I have a desire to destroy danger and evil.
It's a natural animal mechanism. But if I am a religious person and I understand that the offence does not come from the person alone but from God, then I should not have hatred and the desire to destroy. I should also have a desire to change. And the less I blame the enemy who offended me, the more I am ready to develop. Do you agree?
Well, yes, a person should ask himself the question — why was I offended? There was a reason for it.
That is, the more clearly I feel the Divine Will around me, the more I understand the problem is not the offender but me. In this way it is possible to develop and improve, with the result there will be no offenders. Or at least it will be easier to solve this issue.
Previously, a person who offended me caused me to hate him. As humanity develops it becomes clear that it is not about the offender but me and I need to develop. Similarly, whereas before when a person was told the truth about one of his problems, he perceived it as an offence and responded aggressively. But to admit that he was to blame was to deploy aggression from other people to himself, that is to engage in self-destruction.
In order for self-criticism not to turn into self-destruction, we must turn the energy of self-criticism into the energy of changing and developing.
People were unable to do it.
Yes, it was not yet possible and Christ began to teach it, but his followers threw it away. The idea of salvation is that he has come, and has already said that sins are forgiven. The idea of changing ourselves, of our development, to see the problems in ourselves first — was, in fact, thrown away. Therefore, people still cannot admit wrongdoing or admit that they are wrong and continue to fight for being right. This is the main reason for divorces and domestic violence — «who is right?». It’s that simple.
I previously recounted about one family where the husband and wife always fought, and the husband went to see how the other family lived. In the other family when someone did something wrong they do not accuse the other person but said «I am wrong». He came home to his family and said, «In our family everyone is always right, in their family everyone is always wrong and that is why they never argue”.
The issue with the concept of „I am wrong“ - is when there is a lack of clear understanding and skills for self-development, it turns into self-destruction. Many people having read my books have realised it is necessary to repent. However, instead of their inner development, their prayer and repentance turned into simple self-destruction. We need to understand that we are not not blame. It is our imperfections which are to blame.
What does it mean ”not to see a log in your own eye”? This is the inability to admit wrongdoing, accept criticism of others and a feeling of complete self-righteousness. People are still behaving like this even after 2000 years, because they were never told how to transform energy of self criticism into the energy of transformation and improvement of the character. That is, as I said before, the dissatisfaction with our fate should be turned into a change of our fate.
If you don't like the world around you - change it. Do not get filled with malice, resentment and complaints which is a means of destroying the world, but try to change the world for the better. If you don’t like your destiny – change your destiny. When you sow a habit, you reap a character, and when you sow a character, you reap a destiny. In order to change our destiny we need to change our character. This is the idea of development and getting closer to God. As this phrase is still relevant today, this means that we still don’t understand the meaning of development, how to develop, how to solve conflicts in the right way and how to repent in the right way. Repentance is not self-destruction but a change of perspective about events, with a change of character and ultimately a change of our identity.
This is the essence of Christianity - changing the person.The Beatitudes given by Christ talk about how the person should be and how he should change his character. Judaism talks about the correct behaviour and Christianity talks about the right qualities of a person. Until this idea fully develops, we will continue to criticise the others with an unwillingness to accept that we’re wrong. It’s that simple.