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"Changing Your Stripes"

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 "If your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, 
and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is
filled with light comprehendeth all things."

*    *    *    *    *    *
 Pure Knowledge 
by Matt Moody, Ph.D. 

Pure Knowledge is only Known by the Pure in Heart: Knowing and Being are Inseparable.

Our eyes are like cameras, they process the pictures of Life — but it is the mind that brings "meaning" to those pictures. So, while you will "look" . . . you may not "see" or "know." Your Way of Knowing is a direct function of your Way of Seeing, and your Way of Seeing is inseparable from your Way of Being.

There is an enlightened way of seeing & knowing that is only accessible to those who Live True; only as we Be True and See True, . . . can we Know True. The scriptures call this enlightened understanding: Pure Knowledge.

Only a pure mind can conceive pure knowledge. Paul implies two kinds of minds in this verse: "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled" (Titus 1:15). A mind that is "defiled" will see the world and know the world differently than a mind that is pure.

The Gospels give account of a man from whom "devils were departed," after which he was restored to "his right mind" (Mark 15:5). Alma speaks of "the effect of a frenzied mind; and . . . derangement of your minds" (Alma 30:16). The outside force of unseen evil explains the "derangement of . . . minds" and the associated dark way of seeing and knowing; in contrast, the presence of light and love brings back into clarity . . . a "right mind." A "frenzied mind" will bring meaning to the pictures supplied by the eyes . . . differently than a pure and "right mind."

Paul makes it clear that Pure Knowledge is not know-able by the carnal mind of the natural man:

"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. . . . For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. . . . But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:5,11-14).

Again, an impure mind cannot know the precepts of purity: ". . . the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). The "natural man" is blocked and blinded from seeing and knowing Pure Knowledge. The carnal man has eyes . . . but cannot see the truth; he has ears . . . but cannot hear the truth. Paul describes in detail the ways of the carnal, natural man:

"In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, disobedient to parents, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, fierce, despisers of those that are good, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God" (2 Tim. 3:1-4).

The previous verse aptly captures the motives that feed hedonistic living: "lovers of their own selves, . . . boasters, proud, . . . lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." Further, the Apostle describes carnal man's correlated way of knowing as "heady" & "high-minded," and asserts that such arrogant intellectualism is: "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7).

Pure Knowledge Flows to the Faithful

Because the carnal mind cannot understand pure knowledge, the carnal man casts aside plain and precious precepts as foolish and simple-minded. To the carnal mind, great knowledge is complex, intricate, esoteric, intellectual, and especially . . . empirical. In contrast, Pure Knowledge is plainly stated and understood by simple faith, and not primarily through empirical approaches:

"And Ether was a prophet of the Lord . . . and began to prophesy unto the people . . . exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance lest they should be destroyed, saying unto them that by faith all things are fulfilled . . . And it came to pass that Ether did prophesy great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe, because they saw them not" (Ether 12:2-5).

These disbelievers wanted the very thing that science requires to establish knowledge, . . . empirical evidence, and unless they could visually "see," they would "not believe." Moroni adds this about living by faith and receiving enlightenment from Heaven:

"And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith" (Ether 12:6).

No witness of pure knowledge comes until we prove faithful. Pure Knowledge is endowed by the Spirit through faith . . . and does not come by mental machinations of willful figuring. Thus, Pure Knowledge is unavailable to the heady and high-minded:

"O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not" (2 Nephi 9:28-29).

Nephi adds a stern warning to heady, high-minded intellectuals:

"Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost" (2 Nephi 28:31).

Paul echoes a similar warning to those who think they are wise and suppose they know of themselves:

"Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men" (Corinthians 3:18-21).

Two Possible Worlds to See and Know

While we live upon only one earth, yet two diametrically different kinds of minds perceive and experience two possible worlds: A world of Simplicity versus a world of Complexity. Within each world is a way of knowing that is also diametrically different. Isaiah taught of the higher way of knowing:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). This higher way of knowing is described by Nephi as plain:

"And now I, Nephi, . . . am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be" (2 Nephi 32:7).

The way of seeing and knowing in the world of simplicity comes by plain and simple means:

"Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear. For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite" (D& C 136:32-33).

"And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures" (D&C 89:18-19).

Through the enlightened seeing and knowing that comes only to the humble and obedient, even the prophecies of Isaiah can be plainly understood:

"Wherefore, hearken, O my people, which are of the house of Israel, and give ear unto my words; for because the words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy. But I give unto you a prophecy, according to the spirit which is in me; wherefore I shall prophesy according to the plainness which hath been with me . . . for behold, my soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn" (2 Nephi 25:4).

Consider this ultimate irony of enlightenment: The writings of Isaiah are best understood by the simple-minded. Indeed, plain precepts and simple faith bring Light to our minds:

"For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding" (2 Nephi 31:3).

Of Truth, Light, and Love

Pure Knowledge is inseparably tied to the reality of Light and Truth. Of Truth, Christ gave this unflinching declaration: "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).

Truth is not a metaphor to represent a non-tangible essence; instead, Christ is "the truth" by virtue of his whole way of Being True, . . . Truth is the very Being of Christ!

Of Light, Jesus taught: "If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light" (Matt. 6:22).
And in modern-day revelation, this principle is expanded: "And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things" (D&C 88:67).

"And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness. That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you" (D&C 50:23-25).

Pure Knowledge distills as "dews from Heaven," upon the humble, contrite, obedient, and virtuous . . . for a Divine Purpose: That the faithful might influence and impact others to their eternal advantage; enlightened understanding is graciously given that we might love one another in the example of the Savior, . . . in similitude of the Being of Christ. Christ-like love is always expressed within these guiding parameters:

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile (D&C 121:41-42).

Godly Knowledge is inseparable from faithful application; a truth suggested in this Old Testament verse:

"Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed" (1 Samuel 2:3).

In the same mention of "knowledge" is a statement of human accountability: "actions are weighed." Thus, we "know" that we might "act" . . . and we "act" . . . that we might "know." Knowing happens in a hermeneutic circle, a mutually-informing circle of action and insight that either spirals upward to the Light, or downward to darkness.

Of the upward ascending circle, the scriptures teach: "For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith" (D&C 98:12). Reaffirming that only those who Live True, . . . can Know True, Jesus spoke of the inseparable tie between knowing and doing: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine" (John 7:17).

Pure Knowing for a Purifying Purpose

In all human action, there is no act we can choose that does not carry with it impact upon others for either their betterment, . . . or their detriment. Mortal Life is an inescapable moral context where all human beings are accountable to the Creator for the influencing impact of all thoughts, words, and deeds (Mosiah 4:31).

Pure Knowledge, . . . Plain Knowledge . . . is Purposeful Knowledge; and that purpose is centered in Jesus Christ: That we might walk in His Ways of Light and Love and be redeemed from darkness by his precious blood. Nephi writes of the purifying purpose of plain precepts: "I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell" (2 Nephi 33:6).

All who live in the Light of His Love will joyously receive the words of plainness:

"But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, . . . and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal. And it speaketh harshly against sin, according to the plainness of the truth; wherefore, no man will be angry at the words which I have written save he shall be of the spirit of the devil" (2 Nephi 33:3-5).

Pure Knowledge is not gleaned by intellectual means; rather, it is revealed by the Spirit of God to those who live in the Bright White Light of Purity. Pure Knowledge flows to those with a single eye and a pure heart, those who are faithful, humble, and virtuous: "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly then shall the doctrines . . . distill upon thy soul as the dews from Heaven" (D&C 121:43).

Pure Heart, Pure Mind, Pure Knowing

Jesus taught that "the tree is known by his fruit" (Matthew 12:33); by observing the "fruit" of everyday doings, people reveal "who they are," . . . they expose the nature of their heart: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21).

Integrity of Heart is foundational to enlightened understanding: "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). In an admonition to his son, David affirmed the importance of a pure heart: "And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts" (1 Chronicles 28:9).

Of this correlation between a perfect heart and a willing mind, Christ confirms: "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh" (Luke 6:45).
The mouth speaks according to the good treasures of the heart; but the benefits of an abundant heart extend to all human faculties (see D&C 84:33). The treasures that we harbor in our heart determine either a deadening or an invigorating of the senses:

"For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (Matthew 13:15).

When the Savior proclaimed this seemingly unattainable standard, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48), Christ could have just as well stated, "Repent and come unto me, that I should heal you; for I am able to make you holy and your sins are forgiven you." Being "perfect" is primarily about being healed of "defect," being made clean from the stain of sin. Godly Knowing, . . . Pure Knowing is not about being magnificently accomplished and complex, but about being simply and purely clean, . . . perfect! "But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin" (D&C 50:28). (Changing Your Stripes Manual, pages 8-8 thru 8-11)

.* * * * *.

In Contrast to Pure Knowledge and Pure White. Visualize a canvas of pure white, the kind of canvas that an artist uses to paint a portrait. Think of your life as a collection of colors being painted upon this clean, clear canvas. With every word you think and every deed you do, the portrait of your life is painted, and in contrast to pure white, any tint or shade less than white is obvious and conspicuous. Against an immaculate backdrop, you are able to see, with perfect clarity, how some motives and emotions fall short of pure white.

In your mind's eye, imagine that all loving words and deeds possess the unsullied shine of bright white. The purity of love would have no hint of darkness, not even the slightest shade of gray. Every word, deed, thought, or emotion that is "less-than" pure white, is a shade of betrayal:

                                        Pure Love                                                      Less-than-Love
Emotions of Bright White                                  Black & Gray Emotions

                           calm           approachable                                  impetuous                edgy
                           lovely           enthusiastic                                  suspicious             angry
                           amiable           nurturing                                 defensive             cranky
                           engaging             friendly                                  arrogant             forlorn
                           fascinating              happy                                  jealous              resentful
                           welcoming                sweet                                  galled                annoying
                           cherishing                giving                                  mean               impatient
                           animated            genuine                                  bitter              malicious
                           gracious           generous                                  bored               apathetic
                           cheery             passionate                                  listless                worried
                           lively           comfortable                                  irritated              fearful
                           real           warmhearted                                  conceited                tense

Shades of Betrayal: Less-than-Love. When we are being less-than-loving, the portrait we paint upon the white canvas is clouded by confusion; instead of vivid hues of red, blue, and green, a quarreling collision of colors makes the muddied shades of black and gray. Thus the portrait of our Life loses clarity . . . and beauty. Against the backdrop of bright white, even the subtlest shades of gray are easily exposed.

* * * * *
The Light of Innocence shines in the Heart of all Humanity;
It carries the Clarity and Purity of Bright White.
When I betray the Light of Innocence,
tense and agitated shades of black and gray
stand in stark contrast: Emotions Less-than-Love,
these Emotions signal my departure from Pure Light.
.* * * * *.

Look back on your life: Remember a time when you were crystal clear that something was wrong to do, . . . but you did it anyway. With your very first act that betrayed the Light of Innocence within, you were completely clear that a lesser way was being chosen. With each subsequent betrayal, this crystal sense of honesty became increasingly clouded; you became accustomed to the muddied shades of a dreary portrait. You became desensitized to the darkness, . . . deadened by the darkness.

* * * * *
Pure White . . . portrays Pure Love.
Anything less than Pure White is Less-than-Love.
All acts that are Less-than-Loving are acts of Betrayal.
.* * * * *.

The Light of Innocence will naturally lead you back to the complete purity you possessed as a child. Followed consistently over time, the Light of Innocence will lead you to recover and renew . . . the You that is True. Returning to pure white is how you began and is who you are from your core. When you recover and renew, euphoric feelings of Love fill you, and flow from you. As you choose Love, you also choose the peace that comes with Love. To follow these impressions of Inner Innocence . . . is to experience rebirth.

* * * * *
The Light always leads to Love.
Pure Love is an absence of Anxious Emotions.
Acts of Love I feel to do . . . bring Healing and Contentment.
As I choose Acts that are Less-than-Love,
I choose chaos and contention.
They come together
just as certain seeds
bring forth specific fruits:
confusion, clamor, and complexity
comes with every act that is Less-than Love.
The Motives and Emotions of My Heart, define the Acts I do.
.* * * * *.

The Fallibility of Following Feelings. The words "feeling" and "emotion" are essentially synonymous. Emotional moments, feeling moments, are the exclamation points of life; they give emphasis to a particular experience. Through our "feelings" we are constrained to pay greater attention to things that likely need more attention—this is true whether the feelings are white, black, or gray.

When emotions flow from darkness, the discomfort of unsettled feelings is educational—it can teach us NOT to do "something like that again." The rule of thumb, "follow your feelings" became a common guide precisely because all emotional experience is instructive.

However "following your feelings" per se is an unreliable rule—because some feelings are fallible. The fact is that emotions flow from prior perceptions and choices; thus, any physiological feeling that arises in you, is actually following your lead. It makes no sense to follow something . . . that is following you! Because YOU author of your emotions, if your perceptions are skewed then the feelings that flow from you will be equally warped. Bottom Line: Emotions should not always be followed, but should always be listened to for what they might teach.

* * * * *
You can trust your emotional feelings to
be a good teacher, but not always a good leader.
You are the author of your emotions; you should not follow,
that which is following you, . . . for if you are false, then
foulable feelings—which should not be followed—
will flow from your falseness.
.* * * * *.

Foul-Able Feelings: A Sign of Leaving the Light. Feelings are fundamentally of two types: feelings of Light and feelings of darkness; emotions of Bright White and emotions of black and gray. Again, emotions are Life's exclamations . . . that point to moments and matters that need attention—what to reinforce in Bright White moments, and what to avoid when black and gray emotions arise. Emotional feelings "kick in" as a function of how you perceive your world; thus, if your perceptions are incorrect or impure, you will generate body physiology in support of a "false alarm."

* * * * *
Fallacious Feelings should not be followed,
but should be "listened to" and "learned from."
.* * * * *.

The most important function that foulable feelings serve . . . is to let us know we have left the Light. Negative emotions can be useful exclamation points that help us correct our course; however, they are only helpful if we hear and heed their warning, otherwise the experience of feeling negative emotions is just one more useless, needless occurrence of Self-Inflicted Suffering. Listening to what anxious emotions are willing to teach is one way that Life is Self-Correcting.

Because foulable feelings let us know that we have strayed from the Light, the way to discern is clear: Feelings of Light lead to do good, . . . and when you do good, you feel good. In the very same way you recognize a good tree by its good fruit, you may also know that you are being true by the joyful feelings that fill you, and shine from you.

A thorough understanding of the tell-tale signs of betrayal can provide awareness sufficient to catch yourself and correct your course. The patterns are predictable and observable; they are signs central to the aim of Un-Doing! Seeing these signs in yourself will provide a huge clue . . . to what you need to Un-Do:

* * * * *
When I go against my own sense of Truth,
I go against myself, . . . I am false.
Being false, the way I experience the world is colored by my falseness:
I see darkness in my world, because of the darkness in me.
My thinking, my emotions, and how I behave
are all tainted by betrayal.
My search for solutions is skewed;
It is wrong, . . . . because I am wrong.
.* * * * *.

When caught in the trap of betrayal, we encounter the connected consequence of diminished vision; betrayal and blindness always occur together. People will not even attempt to correct a problem if they don't think they have a problem--yet they do . . . and are blind to it! Thus, having an intellectual awareness of the tell-tale signs of betrayal is a good start in "seeing" beyond the blindness. Intellectually identifying the tell-tale signs can be quite easy; the harder task is "seeing" the full implications of these outward signs and humbly admitting one's betrayal. Even though there is intellectual acknowledgment of tell-tale signs, yet we will continue to be blind as long as we remain in betrayal. Clear Vision and Pure Knowledge only come with harmony of heart. (Changing Your Stripes, pages 194-200)

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