The Rodan Parallels
BILL SADLER COMMENTS ON RODAN
Talk about Rodan a
little. How could that wonderful philosopher be so far ahead of his time?
BILL SADLER: He wasn't.
He wasn't. What we've got there is the
distillate of Greek philosophy. And he probably wasn't quite that
wonderful. He taught for a week. The midwayers edited his talk and
condensed it in one paper. They took the cream of Greek philosophy and
immortalized it in this book.
It's one of the few they did take.
That made me think it was probably
It's one of my favorite papers. It's the
paper which discusses the human art of living in contrast to the mere
animal urge to live.
"When men dare to forsake a life of
natural craving for one of adventurous art and uncertain logic, . . ."
They've weighed anchor, see?
" . . .they must expect to suffer the
consequent hazards of emotional casualties--conflicts, unhappiness, and
uncertainties-- at least until the time of their attainment of some
degree of intellectual and emotional maturity.
You know, I think of the development of a
religious life as being a little bit analogous to the development of a
human being. Stop and think of a youngster--make him a boy--10 or 11
years old. Pre- pubescent. He's a pretty well unified kid, isn't he?
He's pretty well co-ordinated, and he's a grown-up boy.
Then puberty hits him. He begins falling
over his feet, and squeaking around and falling down, and that's what
Rodan's talking about here. As long as you're pretty content to be a
mammal, you've got no problems. You'd be pretty well adjusted. You'd be
But if the hormone of religion hits you,
then at least during the period of adolescence, it'll be a little stormy
until you mature, from a religious standpoint.
Let's talk a little more about what Rodan
said about prayer:
"But the greatest of all methods of
problem-solving I have learned from Jesus, your Master. I refer to that
which he so constantly practices, and which he has so faithfully taught
you, the isolation of worshipful meditation. In this habit of Jesus'
going off so frequently by himself to commune with the Father in heaven
is to be found the technique, not only of gathering strength and wisdom
for the ordinary conflicts of living, but also of appropriating the
energy for the solution of the higher problems of a moral and spiritual
nature. But even correct methods of solving problems will not compensate
for inherent defects of personality or atone for the absence of the
hunger and thirst for true righteousness."
"I'm deeply impressed with the custom of
Jesus in going apart by himself to engage in these seasons of solitary
survey of the problems of living; to seek for new stores of wisdom and
energy for meeting the manifold demands of social service; to quicken
and deepen the supreme purpose of living by actually subjecting the
total personality to the consciousness of contacting with divinity; to
grasp for possession of new and better methods of adjusting oneself to
the ever-changing situations of living existence; to effect those vital
reconstructions and readjustments of one's personal attitudes which are
so essential to enhanced insight into everything worth while and real;
and to do all of this with an eye single to the glory of God--to breathe
in sincerity your Master's favorite prayer, `Not my will, by yours, be
"This worshipful practice of your Master
brings that relaxation which renews the mind; that illumination which
inspires the soul; that courage which enables one bravely to face one's
problems; that self-understanding which obliterates debilitating fear;
and that consciousness of union with divinity which equips man with the
assurance that enables him to dare to be Godlike. The relaxation of
worship, or spiritual communion as practiced by the Master, relieves
tension, removes conflicts, and mightily augments the total resources of
the personality. And all this philosophy, plus the gospel of the
kingdom, constitutes the new religion as I understand it."
Rodan talks about the transfer of goals
from--you might say--easy ones to tough ones, or from animal goals to
truly human goals, because truly human goals embrace God, whereas
subhuman goals embrace merely human gadgets, you know? And he points out
that to do this you've got to have a pretty king-size gas tank.
"The effort toward maturity necessitates
work, and work requires energy. Whence the power to accomplish all this?
The physical things can be taken for granted. But the Master has well
said, `Man cannot live by bread alone.' Granted the possession of a
normal body and reasonably good health, we must next look for those
lures which will act as a stimulus to call forth man's slumbering
spiritual forces. Jesus has taught us that God lives in man; then how
can we induce man to release these soul-bound powers of divinity and
infinity? How shall we induce men to let go of God that he may spring
forth to the refreshment of our own souls while in transit outward and
then to serve the purpose of enlightening, uplifting, and blessing
countless other souls? How best can I awaken these latent powers for
good which lie dormant in your souls? One thing I am sure of: Emotional
excitement is not the ideal spiritual stimulus. Excitement does not
augment energy; it rather exhausts the powers of both mind and body.
Whence then comes the energy to do these great things? Look to your
Master. Even now he is out in the hills taking in power while we are
here giving out energy. The secret of all this problem is wrapped up in
spiritual communion, in worship.From the human standpoint it is a
question of combined meditation and relaxation. Meditation makes the
contact of mind with spirit; relaxation determines the capacity for
spiritual receptivity. And this interchange of strength for weakness,
courage for fear, the will of God for the mind of self, constitutes
worship.At least, that is the way the philosopher views it."
"When these experiences are frequently
repeated, they crystallize into habits, strength-giving and worshipful
habits, and such habits eventually formulate themselves into a spiritual
character, and such a character is finally recognized by one's fellows
as a mature personality. These practices are difficult and
time-consuming at first, but when they become habitual, they are at once
restful and time-saving. The more complex society becomes, and the more
the lures of civilization multiply, the more urgent will become the
necessity for God-knowing individuals to form such protective habitual
practices designed to conserve and augment their spiritual energies."
I love this one, too.
"It requires intelligence to secure. . ."
It doesn't say prayer here, now.
"It requires intelligence to secure one's
share of the desirable things of life. It is wholly erroneous to suppose
that faithfulness in doing one's daily work will insure the rewards of
wealth. Barring the occasional and accidental acquirement of wealth, the
material rewards of the temporal life are found to flow in certain
well-organized channels, and only those who have access to these
channels may expect to be well rewarded for their temporal efforts.
Poverty must ever be the lot of all men who seek for wealth in isolated
and individual channels. Wise planning, therefore, becomes the one thing
essential to worldly prosperity. Success requires not only devotion to
one's work but also that one should function as a part of some one of
the channels of material wealth. If you are unwise, you can bestow a
devoted life upon your generation without material reward; if you are an
accidental beneficiary of the flow of wealth, you may roll in luxury
even though you have done nothing worth while for your fellow men." So
much for the Egyptian concept of providence.
"But life will become a burden of
existence unless you learn how to fail gracefully. There is an art in
defeat which noble souls always acquire; you must know how to lose
cheerfully; you must be fearless of disappointment. Never hesitate to
admit failure. Make no attempt to hide failure under deceptive smiles
and beaming optimism. It sounds well always to claim success, but the
end results are appalling."
"I see in the teachings of Jesus, religion
at its best. This gospel enables us to seek for the true God and to find
him. But are we willing to pay the price of this entrance into the
kingdom of heaven? Are we willing to be born again? to be remade? Are we
willing to be subject to this terrible and testing process of self-
destruction and soul reconstruction? Has not the Master said: `Whoso
would save his life must lose it. Think not that I have come to bring
peace but rather a soul struggle'? True, after we pay the price of
dedication to the Father's will, we do experience great peace provided
we continue to walk in these spiritual paths of consecrated living."
"Now are we truly forsaking the lures of
the known order of existence while we unreservedly dedicate our quest to
the lures of the unknown and unexplored order of the existence of a
future life of adventure in the spirit worlds of the higher idealism of
"The religion of Jesus demands living and
spiritual experience. Other religion may consist in traditional beliefs,
emotional feelings, philosophic consciousness, and all of that, but the
teaching of the Master requires the attainment of actual levels of real
He was quite a guy, wasn't he?
The Rodan Parallels