YouTube: The Open Mind
In many of the parables, Jesus often made his points by comparing pairs of opposites. We see good fish and bad fish, God and mammon, wheat and chaff, rich man and poor man, sheep and goats, foolish virgins and wise virgins, the wide gate and narrow gate, born of the flesh and born of the spirit, foundation of rock and foundation of sand, and so on. Today, we are considering new cloth and new wineskins vs old cloth and old wineskins.
You do not patch an old garment with a new piece of cloth. The patch of new cloth will shrink, causing greater damage to the garment. And you do not use an old wineskin to store new wine. The fermenting new wine will cause the old wineskin to burst, as it is already stretched to its limit. Use new wineskins for new wine” (Mark 2:21-22).
Mark uses these parables to address the question of fasting, a practice that Jesus, unlike his religious predecessors, ignores. Elsewhere, he explains that it is not what goes into one’s mouth that defiles, but what comes out, as this communication represents our consciousness.
The mystic understands that the subjective nature of the spiritual awakening requires an open mind, a new birth, a conscious movement from a body-based identity to the awareness of God as our spiritual source. We must be willing to let go of all self-perceptions so the new wine of awareness may transform our consciousness.
It is through the practice of meditation that we let go of the old and open ourselves to the new. We cannot use our intellectual faculty to bring about this change. We are shifting to our intuitive faculty, which opens out to the limitless vista of the spiritual dimension. In our quiet time, we lay down the old wineskins of our daily concerns, which are always centered around the body, and we consider the source of the living energy that is our being.
In one sense, we are fasting. We are letting go of the trivia that occupies so much of our attention and turning our focus on the expansive activity of our spiritual source.