The Golden Thread
The Meaning and Purpose of Life
Have you ever wished you could have a different body that was more beautiful or handsome than the one you presently have? Do you ever wish you had a better physique so you could be a better sportsman or lover, or have a better mind so you could go to university or college and get a degree, and a better paid salary?
If you have a lot of money, you might be able to afford some plastic surgery to remove a bulge here or there, or straighten out your nose, or beautify some other part of your body. But if you're short and want to be tall, or brown-eyed and want to be blue-eyed, there isn't much you can do other than to buy stilts or get tinted contact lenses. We can change a few things, given certain advantages, but most things remain fixed, in spite of the wonders of modern science.
You can go to a plastic surgeon and get a face lift but you can't go to a doctor or a psychologist for a personality change. So how do you reform someone who is brutal, insensitive and callous? How do you change a bigot or a snob? How to you warm up a cold heart?
There are some ways. If a loving person comes into your life you could well be transformed by the influence of that person. That happens sometimes but not very often. Frequently the actions of a kind person are despised, resented or even exploited by the bad person who remains unchanged.
A personal tragedy sometimes awakens a bad person to a consciousness of his own wickedness and lost state. He may for the first time see a reflection of himself in the evil acts of another and by a supreme effort turn his life around. On the other hand it might provoke the opposite reaction and make him ever worse, stimulating despair, bitterness, hatred and coldness of heart.
People change a little as the circumstances around them change, but not usually very much. The majority just go on doing what they have always done and do not apparently learn many lessons from life. Our habits are deeply ingrained from childhood and we are, by nature, strongly resistant to change. This is, in part, because we are either lazy or don't want to accept responsibility for ourselves and the things we do. Yet we are, ironically, constantly complaining because others won't change to fit into our world. Whether they are friends, brothers, sisters, parents, spouses, lovers, work-mates, or whoever, we usually have a lot to say about how we think they should change but little to say about ourselves.
Everyone is aware of the problems of the world - war, famine, disease, murder, rape, abuse, cruelty, and a thousand other terrors - but most people are too helpless to do anything substantial about them.
Socialism and capitalism, the two main political movements in the world, have sought to create a perfect society by different methods. Socialism lays emphasis on the responsibility of the state to take care of its citizens, and capitalism the importance of individual initiative and responsibility. Though both systems, and various combinations of them, have had successes as well as failures in improving material and environmental conditions, neither have been able to change human weaknesses like greed and self-interest.
A few years before the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, a high ranking Soviet politician bewailed the failure of socialism to create the ideal communist man - a caring, self-sacrificing, society- serving human-being. And when communism collapsed in these countries, there was a mad rush toward capitalism as people became consumed by a "get rich quick" mentality. Those with high ideals from both the socialistic left and the capitalistic right have been forced to watch, with horror, all that is ignoble shatter their dreams of a material paradise.
The conclusion we must draw as we study the results of the several political systems that have emerged since the advent of the "Enlightenment" and liberal democracy, is that despite high philosophical and political ideals, man-made systems are unable to reform human nature - they can, at best, only contain it, and then often unsuccessfully. The result is always a society of greedy, selfish, lazy, unprincipled and unscrupulous citizens parasitising each other, each demanding their "rights" but running away from personal responsibility, duty and accountability.
The world continues to advance technologically at an astonishing rate but its moderately-minded philosophers and politicians have not been able to prevent the rise of Adolf Hitlers, Josef Stalins, Pol Pots, Saddam Husseins, Robert Mugabes and Bin Ladens. The nations have a chronic crime problem as law and order breaks down degree by degree. The politicians have been unable to resolve the civil wars that have been waged for decades in many parts of the world, and they have been unable to properly solve social problems at home or create a real and lasting happiness for their citizens. Beneath the façade of prosperity and wellness there is deep social unrest and in increasingly larger segments a sense of desperation and hopelessness.
Then there is the problem with religion which in many cases has done more harm than good, fuelling wars, racism, intolerance, and bigotry. The attack on the Word Trade Centre in New York in 2001 brought home the terrible reality that there are desperate religious ideas fuelling man's discontent as much as there are political ones.
Having said all of this, the fair and unbiased acknowledge that there are good socialist, capitalist and religious men and women who live by high ideals, who work tirelessly and sacrificially for the good of people. But still, the golden thread that should pass through all life, offering the hope and reality of peace and happiness, seems to be missing. Its absence is why we fail time and time again, and why we forget the lessons of the past. Some say that our problems are the result of a lack of education but in truth educated man has simply created a more sophisticated form of greed and selfishness. Some say they are the result of a lack of wealth, but often rich people seem no less happy than those who are poor. People have many ideas as to why things are going wrong.
The Golden Thread
There was once a highly educated and religious Roman citizen who lived nearly two thousand years ago. He was an extremely devout and zealous follower of his faith and tried to live his religion to perfection. He was what some might even call a 'fanatic' or a 'fundamentalist'. He was also highly educated and had a brilliant mind. Then one day, whilst on a journey to oppose, oppress and persecute people of a different belief system to his own, he found that "golden thread" and his life was utterly changed. He suddenly regarded his religion as nothing and all his education as inconsequential when measured against this discovery. His personality changed. He found a peace and happiness that he had never known before and devoted the rest of his life telling people about the incredible transformation to his soul and how they too could be changed.
This writer was a dedicated scientist, educator and atheist until he too found the "golden thread". When he did, his whole life completely changed in an instant, and he found the peace and joy experienced by our Roman friend. His whole nature became supernaturally altered and is still being altered by that Power today.
Politicians, statesmen, scientists, labourers, shop- keepers ... indeed people from every profession under the sun, have found this "golden thread" and their lives have been revolutionised. They have discovered that their former selfish emotion-backed behaviour system began a sudden and miraculous transform- ation. From being self-centred they have become new human beings which has not only brought them true social-mindedness but given them security and peace concerning life after death too.
The Way that is the Golden Thread
The golden thread that runs through life, integrating it, giving it meaning and purpose, as well as providing a safe way into the next life which lies beyond this one, and which has the awesome power to transform it instantaneously, is neither a political or religious philosophy but a PERSON - not an ordinary human being like you and I, yet a person who has lived like us and knows everything about us. He has a perfect philosophy, way of government, and education. But more than that He has infinite power because He is the human incarnation of God. His Name is Yah'shua the Messiah, better known to most as Jesus Christ.
He is alive and active amongst millions of believers world-wide. Sadly, He is also acknowledged by millions of others who have never personally met Him and who are living a dead religion that lacks the power to change anyone. He Himself said that many would claim to be His followers but who would turn out to be religious hypocrites. These, He warned, would receive no spiritual inheritance in the world to come.
Part of the problem is that Christians have not only ignored a great many of His teachings but have combined their Christianity with other man-made philosophies, thus nullifying the original. As a result, there are few followers of the Messiah who are truly living, let alone experiencing, that original power which so transformed our Roman friend whose name was Sha'ul of Tarsus, better known as Paul.
The original Power is still to be found amongst those who are following the Way as it was originally taught. Please get in contact with us to find out more about it.
From a pamphlet originally published in 1989
This page was created on 20 August 2009
Last updated on 20 August 2009
Copyright © 1989-2009 NCCG