So what did Jesus mean when he said, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth this life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal?” Preston Harold says:
In largest sense, Jesus spoke as symbol of Authority-Ego, and when He speaks as symbol He is speaking from a different level of being than that of the ego-group… Symbol of “I” in man cannot accept the insufficiency of Homo sapiens’ consciousness and all that ignorance and error cause to be manifest in life. If man’s growth into a larger structure of consciousness is to be insured, Authority-Ego must lead the ego-group to hate the mixture of love and lust its limited certitude expresses. An adjustment to, a reconciliation with, an acceptance of such insufficiency as is now exhibited in this world would hinder the growth of consciousness, evolution’s goal.
Different levels of life are automatically implied if we bypass the English translation and go right to the original Greek in which the gospel was written. There are 3 different words in Greek that mean “life.” The first is pneuma, which can also be translated as “spirit” and refers to the mental disposition or rational soul. The second word is psyche, which means the animal sentient principal. The third is zoe, which connotes vitality. In Jesus’ statement, both psyche and zoe are used. Here is the statement with “life” being used as it is in the Greek:
“He that loveth his psyche shall lose it; and he that hateth his psyche in this world shall keep it unto zoe eternal.”
It is important to note that in Biblical terms it is the psyche that is subject to death, and to the extent that we identify with it we identify with mere temporality which closes off our consciousness to further development. We must not identify with our lower self, for if we do we will not inherit eternal life.
But notice the paradox here. The goal is to keep the psyche unto eternal life; to make it endure in a highly vital, developed state. In consciously denying the psyche in this life, in not following it’s every whim and desire, we are intentionally subjecting it to the process of death and resurrection which it must undergo to enjoy abundant life in growth of consciousness. If we can hold this tension within ourselves, we are promised to reap an abundant harvest. Delayed gratification, anyone?
Until next time, peace…