Updated: Mar 26
What did Jesus mean when he spoke about “the left hand not knowing what the right is doing” and when he referred to the idea that if you have only have one coat you should give it away at once if asked to—and also that you should give no thought for the morrow? Christ’s message of charity has been almost completely misunderstood by the Christians because what Christ is engaged in when he makes these statements is a demonstration as regards how magic works—Christians can have a fit and say Christ wasn’t a magician but I don’t care because as usual people have been lying and fun has been banned (just like about everything else worthwhile in our societies).
To recap on how magic works: the goal is to achieve desireless desire (actionless-action, or wu-wei as the Eastern traditions have it)—so magic constitutes a series of techniques to purify the will so it is no longer subjected to, for example, that terrible jittery feeling when you jump on a log and walk for a bit but then think “I’m walking on a log, I better be careful not to fall off” and then immediately start to try to control the situation and then fall off.
If you activate the magical will through purification techniques remarkable serendipity will occur, akin to “beginner’s luck” (the expert and the beginner are akin because neither try, one man because he doesn’t know how far he can go and the other because he has mastered every lower stage and knows he can explore freely—only the people in the middle, the lukewarm, get “the jitters”).
There are many techniques to purify the will—the poet Rimbaud went in for “derangement of the senses”, lots of eccentric behaviour; some people, like the ancient Greeks, go in for ecstatic dancing; some people make sigils, little symbols into which they project their desires; some people walk a maze in a cathedral on their knees while reciting the rosary—there are many techniques, but the commonality to all is that they want you to escape calculation and schemes. What you really aim to achieve is that sensation when a word is on the tip of your tongue and then it just pops into your mind with great satisfaction—something “clicks”, as psychotherapists say; to live magically, synchronistically, is to be a clicker.
If you’re sitting behind a shield, a persona, thinking “How can I get this sucker where I want him?” then you will never, ever access the magic will (“working in the dark against your fellow man,” as Johnny Cash might say)—you have to have sublime indifference to activate the magical will (as the orientals say, win or loss—no difference). You can’t care whether you win or lose, you can’t “think of the morrow”.
When Jesus talks about “the ignorance of the hands” he’s telling you to get into this state of mind. If you are charitable, you just give your coat straight to a homeless man in mid-winter right off your back—you don’t think about the consequences, you don’t think about whether he deserves it, you don’t think if he’ll just sell it for drugs. You just do it and then forget it at once—you don’t sit back and feel smug because you’re a kind, charitable guy. You don’t tell anyone. Nietzsche would say, “The suicidal Christian ethic at work—you’ll never survive if you do that,” and a Dawkonian rationalist would mumble something about it being irrational or perhaps concede it has some hidden evolutionary purpose.
The hidden purpose is so: it’s not that you’re “storing up good works for heaven”, Jesus says your actions here grant you no reward—it’s about activation of the magical will. The ignorance in the act, not to think about the consequences but just to do it, is the opposite to the calculative scheming mindset that interferes with the magical will (and is instantiated in the arch schemers and ratiocinators, the Jews—the enemies of Christ).
Jesus just taught you a magical technique, and as with all magic it looks like “madness” to the outsider—but if you do it, if you act with no consideration as to consequence, you will find that your true will will be actuated (remarkable synchronistic coincidences will occur—if you’re really developed, like a saint, you will be able to cure diseases and if you’re as adept as Jesus you will be able to raise the dead; and you won’t even have to “try”).
It’s why Jesus remonstrates with people who reach out to touch his cloak to be healed; he basically says, “I’m not here to be a healer.” This is to do with magic also, magic works by paradoxical reversal of opposites—Jesus has to be totally indifferent to his “powers” in order for them to work, that’s just the rules of magic. If he started to promise healings en masse, the powers would vanish—and that’s why he doesn’t do that (atheists naturally enquire as to why, if he be so good, he just doesn’t cure everyone—it’s because magic doesn’t work like that, you only get the power to heal insofar as you follow the rules).
The idea behind giving away your last cloak is just another variation on the same theme—so long as you absolutely don’t care, the magic flows; and Rasputin followed in Christ’s footsteps with his own variation—people would give him expensive gifts, like rugs, and he’d just give them away (entirely in the spirit of Jesus, and so he gained the healing abilities that helped the Tsar’s son). Give it up, you get it back—like some cheesy fridge magnet about love affairs.
The upshot from these facts is that almost everything that sails under the rubric “Christian charity” today is not—it’s nothing to do with what Christ taught or commanded. Collections at churches—all based on premeditation, the collection plate gives you too long to think about what you’re going to give; the collection may well be helpful in a rational way to make sure the church roof gets mended, but it’s got nothing to do with the charity Jesus talked about.
The same goes x1M for big Christian “charity” NGOs that dig wells in Africa and the like; now, rationally, these charities happen to do more harm than good for various reasons, due to lack of market discipline and their beliefs systems, but that’s not why they’re against Christ—it’s because they’re giant schemes, with big flow chart plans. It’s all calculated with these charities, and that is nothing to do with the charity Jesus taught whatsoever—and it applies to Catholic charities, Protestant charities, whatever you like.
It’s all calculating and scheming; even if the charity does “good” it’s still not in the spirit of Christ—his lesson isn’t about effective or ineffective charity, it’s about a purified will that can work miracles; and what works against that is any “plot”, “scheme”, or “calculation”—even if it turns out for the good overall. The plan might be good in itself, but it’s nothing to do with what Jesus was talking about.
I feel you now have an idea as to what Jesus wanted to teach as regards charity. “It sounds like madness.” Well, yes—it’s derangement of the senses, per Rimbaud; however, it really works—it really can cure cancer or stop haemophilia; or cause you to bump into an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Yet if it does, you don’t care because you don’t give it a second thought—you just go with the flow, the Tao. You don’t fight it, you just have total trust in it—or, as the Muslims say, total submission to the will of Allah.
You’re not sat behind a mask thinking, “How will this all play out? What are the consequences? Can I afford it? Does he deserve it? Was that a reward? Was that good or bad?” “I want your coat.” “Here.” Walk on, don’t look back, don’t think about it again. It really works, but most are too worried about being respectable—you wouldn’t want to end up like that awful man Rasputin, now would you (or that awful man Jesus)?
So almost nobody does it and everyone talks about these marvellous charity “schemes” to aggrandise themselves instead—and so what Jesus actually meant by charity has been forgotten; and, actually, people effectively do the opposite—and would say that to act as I have described is “madness”. Why can’t you all just lighten up and really let go, then you’d know what pure joy is?