Living a Virtuous Life According to the Jesus Sutras

What is done in this life will shape the next life. – The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity, by Martin Palmer

In the new year and beyond, we can choose to live our best lives. Never give up on your goodness. Find the keys to open your heart – to open your treasure chest. In The Jesus Sutras, written by Martin Palmer, the Stone Sutra reveals how we can live a good life.

The Jesus Sutras, in the second sutra (the sutra of cause, effect, and salvation), states the following about living a virtuous life:

  • Virtue can only be practiced in this world.
  • The One Sacred Spirit controls everything, and you should do as the Spirit demands: good deeds in this life.
  • This is the only world in which you can perform good karma.
  • All acts of merit and benevolence must be performed in this world, not the next.
  • Be charitable here because in the other world you can’t be.
  • Become open-handed and not tight-fisted and narrow.
  • You can only be charitable and generous in this world, not the next.
  • Rid yourself of the evil and poison in your heart and abandon all your bad thoughts and jealousy.
  • With peace of mind, worship God in this world, for it won’t be possible in the next.
  • You will reap the consequences of this life in the next world.
  • If people wish to be virtuous, they should follow the commands of the One and Only Sacred Spirit.
  • Understand that the One Sacred Spirit presides overall existence to be venerated; strive to do what is right and be grateful for the grace you have received.
  • In order to see the One Sacred Spirit, people must keep themselves pure in heart, and as an act of grace, all will become clear.

Just as the sun tirelessly rises each day, we, too, get another day to try our best. The world presents challenges to us. We have the pandemic situation, job issues, relationship problems, etc. Sometimes is easy to feel tired and defeated in life. However, the Taoist Stone Sutras encourages us to strive for goodness in every situation. We need to have self-compassion – it’s a lot of work living in this world!

Take time to rest and reflect. Look back on the last year and see how you want to change things in your life. How can you become more “open-handed” and generous? How can you create peace in your mind? How can you bring grace into your life and the lives of the people around you?

The Jesus Sutras are translated and interpreted throughout the text. Four of the Sutras date from ca. 640-660 and remain primarily in private collections in Japan,” says Martin Palmer. The Chinese Character for Sutra actually means, “sacred literature.” The Chinese Taoists preserved this “sacred literature” in a substance that would last forever: stone.

May you be well, happy, skillful, and peaceful.