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Chapter 28


The Sixth Dispensation - - Beauty (part III)

(Laecontes continued) – Right conduct – Take joy in the happiness of others – Right associations – Friends – Right occupations – The labor of your hands shapes the inward man – Right expectations – Parable: The man without patience nor discipline – Right homes – Let children see and touch the love between parents – Sex and marriage (ways of the Gadarites) – The Covenant of Fullness – Sanctuaries in the home – Teaching children patience and discipline through artful skills

 

1  And at the morning feast, Laecontes continued to teach of beauty, saying: “If, therefore, you desire that your life prove beautiful and sweetly blessed, becoming as art most finely made and rightly turned, then hold firm to right belief and speak rightly always.

2  And to these two add the codes of rightful conduct, behaving in all your many affairs and daily labors with a calm and courteous manner towards every man and every woman; extending to the children of God a warm and gentle consideration.

3  Remember well and practice daily the rules of honor and integrity, for a life without honor is a dark and burdensome thing, and except you possess within yourselves the light of integrity, then shall your life appear as dark and filled with trouble.

4  Commit yourself with confidence to those who live honorably, but withhold your hand from those who have no honor; accepting from such neither favor nor advantage, for it is unseemly that those who live honorably should prove indebted to those who have no honor: For what communion has light with darkness?

5  Be you, therefore, as one made firm of mind and deeply fixed within, being yourselves neither swayed nor moved midst blame or praise, but being yourselves most firmly committed to do the goodly thing; not yielding to the smallness of others, but cleaving with steadfast heart to the things which come from God, for in God alone shall you find the beauty of yourselves.

6  Causing that you should show towards all men, whether good or bad, a kind and courteous manner, made of grace and art together; for except you take joy in the happiness and well-being of others, you yourselves will not be happy, becoming within yourselves devoid of every beauty, being instead consumed by envy and petty jealousies filled with vain and empty wants.

7  Thus in your daily conduct let kindness and humor leap out of the very soul of you, casting forth the light of joy in the world of mortal men, causing that darkness itself should give way before you.

8  Know then and be you wise in the conduct of your life, for the beauty you seek is never seen through unhappy eyes; seek then the joy of others and you yourself will find abundant joy, casting up before your eyes the beauty that you seek.

9  And add to this the rightness of association, to choose for yourself with utmost care, such men and women as you would call a friend, being yourself wise and prudent to surround yourself with those of like mind and disposition.

10  For in the beginning was the law given that kind should cleave to kind, and that kind should produce again its own kind; finding in their likeness a good and sweet communion, which communion would add and build and well support, causing that friends should grow together to still some greater glory.

11  Guard well, therefore, through artful care such friendships as you do have, measuring out through kind regard the words you speak and the things you do; for except you have some good and loving friend, life shall seem as hard and filled with aloneness, causing that you should not see the beauty which dwells in others.

12  Count not, therefore, the wealth of your life in money or possessions, but in friends instead; for if a man have great wealth and have no true and lasting friend, then is he made a poor and wanting man.

13  But if a man seem poor in the eyes of men, but be himself a good and trusting friend to many others, having as his only wealth the friends who love most dearly, then is he made the richest of mortal men.

14  Prove yourself a good and worthy friend, being yourself honorable and trustworthy, and there will come to stand beside you those of like mind and similar disposition.

15  And be not frivolous in the choosing of those you would call a friend, judging as worthy those of social class and eminence; but choose as friends those who would encourage you to reach beyond yourself to touch the soul of God, to build you up and not tear down.

16  Declaring within your soul as truly worthy, those who rejoice in life and love and God forever, being yourself unmindful of social class and standing; but seeking out with eager heart those who would themselves dance in the light which comes from God, to fill you up with joy, even as you would fill them up also.

17  Beware, therefore, of those who, for a pretense, would declare themselves your friend, but who are within made bitter against life and love and God; speaking out from their heart words of hurt and cold disdain, filled with a litany of endless woe and many sorrows.

18  Guard well your soul against false friends, for they would fill you up with a darkness which they themselves have made; for such as these know not the ways of beauty or of joy; neither would they permit that you should know either.

19  Seek then with utmost care those you would call a friend and these most sweetly treasure, for in such as these you will find a great reward.

20  Weaving through thoughtful care the artful ways of friendship and good devotion, to fill you up with a beauty which even death cannot break asunder, but which shall prove itself forever bright and filled with joy.

21  Who then would you call a friend except those who are kind and filled with love, being themselves most well comported through grace and thoughtful manner; seeking always your best interest and not their own, being themselves filled with good counsel and quick forgiveness?

22  Manifesting through word and deed their care for you, being themselves filled with songs and dancing, and good and gentle humor filled with holy laughter, being quick to rejoice in all your fortunes and swift to gently comfort when sorrow should fall upon you.

23  Be wise, therefore, in your associations and seek not the company of fools, neither walk in the company of those who hurt and wound through subtle words made dark and ever glooming; but seek instead the likeness of yourselves, for it is given that kind should cleave to kind.

24  Consider now this other also, for in right occupations would I have you ponder the means by which you labor, to earn your daily bread; for you labor amiss if your labors bring forth neither joy nor happiness, for even in your daily labors should beauty be found and well encouraged.

25  Thus in all your labor do that which will promote life and not death, creation and not destruction, peace and not war; refraining your hand from such labors as will fill your life with stress and endless wanting.

26  But seeking instead to labor at that which brings both joy and contentment within your soul, permitting in the midst of all your efforts a calm and quiet reflection, causing that you should prove fulfilled and rich rewarded, to make you feel as well content; for even in your daily labors should beauty rich abound, adding to your life an increase in goodly things.

27  Choose, therefore, with utmost care the means by which you labor, for it is the labor of your hands which also shapes the inward man.

28  Turning through daily effort the heart of man towards light or darkness, hope or despair, joy or sorrow, casting up before your eyes either the beauty of a good and happy occupation, or the harsh and futile labor of brutish and beastly men filled with burdens of every kind.

29  And to this also add the wisdom and beauty of right expectations, for you know yourselves already how the artist, through patience and discipline creates through common things the beauty and wonder of all his work; creating through skill and vision the art which others desire for themselves to have.

30  For all your skills are born of patience and discipline together, and without these things do all your expectations prove false and deeply foolish; for without patience and discipline in achieving the things of greatest worth, even you will wear yourselves out expecting some rich reward when you have put forth no effort to acquire, being filled instead with foolish expectations.

31  Hear then this parable and be you wise, for you know yourselves how that many will claim most fervently that above all things they would know their God, to make their life rich in meaning and wondrous beauty;

32  Yet are they without patience or discipline together, expecting foolishly that the greatest beauty should fall upon them as the rain which falls from Heaven, through no effort of their own, never knowing within themselves that it is the things which require the most of themselves that makes them rich in God and life and beauty.

33  Now there was a young man which desired to be a great craftsman, a master of a trade, and being apprenticed to a skilled and goodly master, he proved lazy and filled with constant complaint.

34  For whensoever the master would require of him both patience and discipline in the acquiring of skill and vision in the working of his trade, the youth would complain and whine incessantly, even till the master discharged him.

35  And the youth raged in his heart against the master which would teach him; becoming in his soul filled with bitterness, and he determined to go to some other master which would teach to him the selfsame trade.

36  But the second master likewise required of him both patience and discipline, demanding at his hand a diligent labor and a timely obedience, and again the youth rebelled and was again discharged.

37  Thus did the youth go from master to master, leaving each midst bitter curses, for they required of him both discipline and patience, even till the reputation of the youth went before him; and every master, seeing the youth approach, turned their backs against him; refusing themselves to waste both time and effort on so foolish a child.

38  And the youth grew to manhood, wasting away his life in low and menial labor; and when he was old he was filled with bitterness, for he mastered neither skill nor trade, for he would not yield himself to instruction.

39  And when he was dying he took count of all his days gone by, and he saw in his life neither God nor beauty, to count his life a sorrowful thing, for he was filled with foolish expectations.

40  If then you would know right expectations, then discipline yourself through patience, and by your good and constant effort all your dreams shall spring forth alive, to carry you forth in joy and rich reward, even till you are filled to overflowing with an abundance of beauty and God together.

41  For what is beauty except the shadow of God and Heaven cast down upon the earth, seeking by its very presence to fill you up with wonder and sweet delight, offering up through efforts of your own, the richness of God and mortal life.

42  Hear then this other also, and add to the former the rule of right home, for it is in the home where the beauty of life and love are first begun with thoughtful care, being in itself the birthplace of all your life, setting forth within your soul the patterns which would guide you.

43  First being established well in the love between a man and a woman, then flowing out towards the children you love most dearly, going out as gentle dreams, to be carried again from generation to generation, to establish well in the depths and heights of beauty both husband and wife and parent and child.

44  Let then your home be filled with beauty, in song and art and constant music, creating within your home the beginnings of every joy midst happy labors and good affections, filling your home with words of love and strength, dressed in virtues wise and true.

45  If then you would establish well your home in beauty, whereby even all might be blessed and edified, then let not the husband and the wife hide away their love for each the other as though it were a shameful thing; for the love of the husband and the wife is ordained of God and by its gentle passions made always good and pure.

46  Becoming in its expression most holy and filled with good instruction, and if it so be that you should permit that even your own children should both see and touch the love between the father and the mother which brought them forth, then are they also edified and disciplined in the ways of love and romance.

47  Causing that when the children are grown and full matured, then will they know most surely the ways wherein a man and a woman should comport themselves midst love and courteous manner; establishing in a home of their own the seeds of beauty and increase forever.

48  Think not, therefore, that the love of a man and a woman is a shameful thing, to be hidden away and covered up by whispering lips and cast down eyes.

49  For this do the Gadarites do, proclaiming always that sex is a shameful thing except in marriage, yet when you are married you are hedged up on every side by small and narrow boundaries, being filled again with shame.

50  Proclaiming aloud that the sexual relationship of both husband and wife is a private thing, and should best be hid in darkness only, and kept as something locked and hidden away behind closed doors, as though it were a dark and fearsome beast which would devour even the whole world midst endless guilt and disgrace.

51  For I tell you truly, as if from Heaven a voice would speak: For that which is ordained and accepted of God as something pure and holy, even this is good for the eye to see in the light of day.

52  But if you should hide away the holy because of shame, then by what means is it made holy, seeing that you have covered up in darkness the things ordained of God? For how shall even your own children know what is good and acceptable of God when you have hidden it all away, to keep it far from them?

53  And if you proclaim aloud that the love of husband and wife is good and come from God, yet by your shame do cover it up as something private and hidden away, then do you confuse even your own selves, becoming yourselves filled with inhibitions and restrictions of every kind.

54  And even into your own children do you cast forth both ignorance and harm, rooted deep in guilt and shame; causing that they should likewise cast it upon their own children also, to go from generation to generation.

55  Know then that in your homes should the beauty and wonder of all your love dance and sing and gently soar, being yourselves open in such affections as must exist between the husband and the wife.

56  For in the Covenant of Fullness is it permitted that even in your own homes should the father and mother teach to all their children the sum of all they know, nothing excepted or covered up, teaching to their children how to love and how to hold, how to speak and how to touch.

57  For every beauty which is found in the home is first born from out of the love of both husband and wife, binding as one together the whole family in light and joy.

58  Seek daily to enrich your home both within and without, that in such a domain as you create, even Heaven itself might be found and fully imitated; to gather in the sanctuary even your whole family where they might learn of God, to worship both the Heavenly Father and the Heavenly Mother.

59  Let then your sanctuaries be richly adorned and filled with light and music, for in your own sanctuary shall God come forth to bless and instruct, teaching through the whisperings of your soul the way you ought to go, to walk in peace and rich fulfillment throughout the sum of all your days.

60  Be you, therefore, most attentive within your home, creating for the ones you love a place of refuge and of joy, holding up for all to see, the beauty of life and love and sweet communion, filling even the whole house with laughter and rich delight.

61  Causing that even in the common chores of all your house, still in this might there be heard the voice and song of happy children, being ever guided by good and loving parents.

62  Appoint also unto each child the learning of some art, that they might learn through patience and discipline to make of their own lives a thing of beauty and artful skill; causing that in the scales and balance of all their life might beauty far outweigh the hurt of every sorrow.

63  Attend, therefore, to these seven with all diligence and firm resolve: right beliefs, right speech, right conduct, right association, right occupation, right expectation and right homes.

64  And if you will do them, then shall your life blossom forth as the rose, even in the midst of a dry and barren wasteland, to fill your days with a beauty both rich and sweetly rare.”

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