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What did Christ mean when he said: It is not what goes into the mouth but...

October 25, 2009 02:45PM
Question to Martinus quoted from Kosmos 5 – 1988:

What did Christ mean when he said to the multitude: ”It is not what goes into a man's mouth that makes him unclean but what comes out of his mouth that makes him unclean”? (Matt.IV,11)

Answer by Martinus:
What did Christ himself answer when the apostle Peter asked him to explain this parable? Did he not say ”Do you not yet understand that everything that goes into the mouth, goes into the stomach and is expelled in the natural way? But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart and makes the human being unclean since from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” (Mattt.IV 16-19)

If this parable is to be further explained it may be done by saying that Christ called attention to the fact that the principle of life was to take in nourishment which, as a rule, occurs through the mouth, and to absorb into oneself that can be used for the maintenance of life, and that that part of what has been consumed which is poisonous and cannot be absorbed in the organism and be beneficial to it, normally leaves as excrement. When Christ referred to this it was in order to show that it is in reality exactly the same with our spiritual nourishment. This also has a kind of ”mouth” through which it should pass. The ”mouth” is to a great extent made up of our ears or hearing. This spiritual nourishment is, to a very great extent, words, which means composed thoughts or messages from fellow beings. All these messages are thus designed as nourishment or food for the spirit. This food has also to go down into a kind of ”stomach” and be ”digested”, so that the poisonous substances, if any, in the above-mentioned food can be sorted out or made harmless and, as waste, be eliminated from the consciousness in the natural way, which means a way completely apart from one's fellow-beings so that the unbearable stink which is always the particular characteristic of a waste product does not disturb people. And here exists to a great extent amount the people of the earth the peculiarity that while they have advanced so far with physical hygiene that the elimination of waste is something intimate, something one does not do in the presence of others, yet spiritual hygiene is so far behind or so limited that in some people it does not exist at all. Indeed these people even think that it is amusing to soil everything with their mental waste. From the mouths of these people comes the horrible, putrefying stink of poisonous thoughts and other mental impurities clothed in the words and speech with which one even aims at soiling other people's otherwise good and loving thoughts about one or another particular neighbor so that they, completely confused and unhappy, lose their normal view of this person. The same person had perhaps been a close friend or someone to whom one was in one way or another very closely connected, someone from whose company one had derived much spiritual benefit, but whom one can now see only through a sphere of thought soiled with mental excrement. It is this sphere of thought which in normal speech is called ”slander” or ”gossip”. Gossip is thus the same as mental waste, which is an unnatural way and quite shamelessly is to be found everywhere, not only in the home but also in trams, in trains, in buses, at meetings, in the open street and on the public highway.

Imagine if people were just as shameless as regards their physical waste and thus poisoned the atmosphere everywhere for their fellow beings! And it would be even worse when the former act was, as it were, always performed as an act of revenge. It is this impurity mistakenly leaving the mouth to which Christ is pointing. It is not part of mental health to let such impurity pass one's lips in the presence of others and thereby involve them in one's own mental waste and its stink. If such a thing can happen it is because the capacity for spiritual digestion, which is the same as the capacity for neighborly love, is far too weak or perhaps even defective. Where the capacity for love is sufficiently prominent, everything which goes into a human being's mentality or consciousness is digested. And what is evil or harmful is sorted out, is neutralized through the being's understanding, forgiveness and disregard, is removed from the language, from words and speech and thereby smothered in silence and oblivion. From the mouth of such a person there can therefore come only melodious, lovely words expressing lovely thoughts. It is beings of this type who are the salt of the earth and ensure that mankind does not go completely to ruin in spiritual excrement and all sorts of mental impurity.

(Quoted from letter no. 32 1951 translation MMG)
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Martinus October 25, 2009 02:45PM

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