The way in which Jesus of Nazareth speaks is apt for the audience he speaks to. He speaks to animals who hunger and thirst. He invites them to have the same desperation for righteousness.
So far, our risks have often involved faking and wrongful motivation of show. Here though there is another risk related to feeling that can be transferred to mourning. The natural human states of mourning or hunger and thirst are full of feeling for the human animal. But it is my contention that feeling is not the primary contact with reality for the rational animal. And thus, the analogy does not transfer the feeling associated with mourning and hunger and thirst as it does the activity that is associated with either.
Again, the analogies begin with what is normally associated with deep feeling. And this is proper given that feeling beings understand the language of feeling more than anything else. But what has to be transferred is more than feeling and in some sense regardless of actual feeling. A
An analogy to support my warning about the risk of wrongful interpretation of Jesus’ analogy: Jesus of Nazareth had this hankering for trying to describe the coming of what he called the kindgom of the god. Here at Puritanical Libertarianism we like to think of the reign of the god as the instantiation of that which would be best in any and every part of the world where there is a question about what is best. And, we invite each individual to begin with the coming of the kingdom in his own heart and move out from there if he ever gets done in there. But, when Jesus of Nazareth wants to talk about the kingdom of the god he talks about brides maids, feasts, managers, servants, seeds, birds, weeds, rocky places, lamps…and we could go on! Note: the mundane material reality is used to capture truth about the depths of deep reality. Just as the mustard seed can capture something about the kingdom of the god so crying can capture something about making moral progress and physical hunger and thirst can capture something about longing for righteousness. But just as it would be wrong to think the kingdom of the god would be shaped like or colored like or textured like the mustard seed so it would be wrong to think that the truth about the relation between making moral progress and crying or starving would be captured in the feeling. Don’t make that mistake!
The problem with making the mistake is that one would wrongly turn to how they feel as a measure of whether they are making moral progress. This is not recommended. In fact I warn you about trusting your feelings when you are aiming at moral transformation. Given the inadequacy of the state of the soul, those feelings at best inform me of what I feel, but not how I should feel!
When asking oneself whether one is hungering and thirsting for righteousness the first thing to realize is that one has gotten caught up in doing something else besides hungering and thirsting for righteousness! But what should such a state look like? It looks precisely like the man who hungers and thirst about sugar and sex. He will connive, strategize, look for opportunities, sacrifice for that which he is after. The question is about the organization of activity not about the feeling.
He who hungers and thirsts, really, for righteousness, should in his spiritual/moral being, long for it. But don’t think of longing as a feeling. Think of it has patience waiting for, organizing oneself to receive, preparing the way for, making oneself worthy of. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness will be present in the way righteousness and not anything else organizes the individual’s activity.
Ask and you shall receive. But only if you really ask!