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The method of personal maturity I have been developing is similar to what Jesus was proposing two millennia ago, but with a personal responsibility and a living goal rather than a religious duty and a posthumous heavenly one. This new approach is simple:  Pause occasionally and consider; — What is the more mature way to do this?

What Jesus was reported to have said in his Golden Rule was by my understanding best translated in the King James version. Here is a link to 52 other Bible versions of Matthew 7:12. Of these English translations, 11 used the word should, 6 used like and 21 used want.

The original King James Version (KJV) is — Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

The difference between should and want or like is critical to your human development because at every level from infant to sage a person knows what they want, but they might or might not have any idea of what they should seek to do. They may learn that what they should want is available to them if they try to achieve it, but to reach that more mature level will require some personal effort from them and a knocking at the right door. Jesus opens the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes; it is the ladder of increasing challenge for a seeker of personal development to climb to Heaven.

Matthew 5, King James Version (KJV). Notice that there is a spiritual growth implied in the ladder of personal struggles and rewards for every step of these beatitudes.

Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (the things of the earth)
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

This ladder is the opening to the only complete sermon available to us spoken by Jesus, and the sermon points to the Golden Rule as the essence to be practiced. Thus, the Beatitudes are the way to climb to heaven, and the Golden Rule is the method, and the rest of the sermon is commentary and illustrations of how to do it. It is important that each of these key elements of The Sermon on the Mount be understood, and for that to happen it is essential that they be translated from the original statements to our modern English as clearly as possible. Having 53 different translations unnecessarily complicates the issue. Obviously for a person to raise themselves from their present state of human development to a higher one would be the direction a great sage would be teaching to his followers. But implied in the “like” and “want” others to do to you translations is to satisfy the personal lust for acquisition at your friends’ expense.

To teach people how to manipulate their friends for personal advantage would not be the teaching of a spiritual sage.

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