6. His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?"
Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."
In traditional religion, we are given a set of rules and rituals that form a set of beliefs. We perform these rituals to give us a sense of comfort, community and connection to things greater than ourselves. Naturally, Jesus's decuples, believing him to be the messiah, ask him how they should worship God.
Do you see the parallels in our current culture? It is said that history repeats itself, but I like Mark Twain’s assertion that it does not repeat, but rhymes. When a seeker first starts out on the path, they naturally want to be told what to do, think, eat and how to pray from the one they perceive as a credible source. Jesus was that man. Jesus, however, already knew how to meditate and connect with the source of life on an intricate level, so to him, it was beyond simple ritual. How often do we fall victim to fad diets, money investment schemes and exercise routines, hoping to bring ourselves a little closer to perfection?
"Do not lie and do not do what you hate" is a simple but profound statement. Are we in tune with who we truly are, or do we live our lives under false pretenses? It's human nature to be a conglomeration of outside values and opinions. It first starts out with our parents, then society works to imprint it's constructs on how we think. If we are to truly understand, we have to chuck all that in the dumpster.
Self-introspection allows us to question our values and work to get rid of useless paradigms that are holding us back. Do you have to do things the way your parents taught you? I, personally and a natural contrarian, so I have to question whether I am doing something solely to contradict a concept. Jesus tells us not to do anything outside of our own perceived best interests, for our true selves come out in the end, right?