Spirituality and Fatherhood

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“Do not call any man on earth “father”; for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9).

While this saying of Jesus may appear to reduce the role of fatherhood to irrelevant, it’s really a call to understand who and what we are as spiritual beings. Bodily incarnation obviously requires a father and a mother, even if neither actually stay around to raise their offspring. We all have an earthly father.

What Jesus is implying is that souls do not give birth to souls. Our bodies are the physical offspring of our parents, but our soul predates them both. Our parents provided the door through which our soul entered this earthly plane. Jesus is reminding his followers (and us) that the source of their being is not found among their ancestors, but rises from the eternal spring of infinite life.

When we tie our identity to our biological heritage, we tend to limit the way we think of ourselves. What if you realized you have had many incarnations, thus, many parents? And what if you realized that you have also been the parent of more children than you care to count? I’m referring here, of course, to the idea of reincarnation, which you may or may not believe is possible. If the source of our being is truly one heavenly Father, however, then the birth and death of a single body becomes incidental. What appears obvious and fixed in relationships, is suddenly not so obvious and fixed.

We can also look at Jesus’ statement in a slightly different way. We consider the intuitive side of our being the feminine. The intellectual side is the masculine. Jesus can be saying that that self of us that is born of the intellect–the self-image–is not to be thought of as our true identity. The soul, our heavenly Father, is our real Self. That part of us that is fathered by the intellect is tied to the body and subject to environmental whims. The soul is indestructible. Approaching our life experiences from the soul level gives us the advantage of retaining our center of power, for we see from a much larger context. Of any negative appearance, we know that it shall pass, and we will come out fine.

Jesus sometimes had a strange way of saying things, but a little consideration of his words can open some interesting doors.


4 thoughts on “Spirituality and Fatherhood

  1. Reverend Doug, another insightful observation, thank you. I am a longtime Science of Mind and Unity student and this is the most direct reference to reincarnation I have heard. Very refreshing.

  2. Doug,
    Happy Father’s Day (belated)! The scripture ‘call no man on earth your father’ is closely related to the one in which Jesus tells of the necessity of a second birth, a birth of a spiritual kind, in addition to our physical birth. Once you understand that this spiritual part of us – called in Unity “the Christ” – is the only BEGOTTEN of the Father, more scriptures, such as being ‘heirs,’ ‘prodigal sons,’ etc., take on their true meaning.

    When I traveled in India we visited an ashram and there were asked by the head guru, “Who are you?” When we replied with our name or vocational position, he asked again, “Who ARE you?” The answer he was seeking was that we were eternal spiritual beings clothed temporarily in physical bodies.

    You stated in this talk, “Souls don’t give life to souls.” In his acclaimed book, “The Prophet,” Kahili Gibran writes, “Your children are not your children. . . they come through you, but not from you.”
    Unity was the first “religious” philosophy that united these Eastern concepts with Western precepts of Christianity and what drew me to adherence of Unity teachings. Your continuing to propound these teachings through your ministry is both a service and a blessing. Thank you!

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