Follower of Jesus (14)
Feb 26, 2017
Follower of Jesus (14)
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (2)
Who was this Jesus and what is the meaning he intended when he spoke these terse comments? In order to answer that, we have to understand who Jesus really was and how he interfaced with the humanity of his time and how he intended to interface with the broader scope of humanity throughout the ages.
I will be using in this description the teachings from the Wisdom Schools, modified according to my 80 years of searching and prayer.
We claim that Jesus was (is) the Christ. The Christ, according to the opening monologue of John’s gospel, is the creative force of the universe: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5, NIV)
This introductory paragraph of John defines so much: the trinity (God, the Word, and the Light); but above all it defines the Christ: for the Christ was the Word of God that was spoken, or what we call the universe, as the universe is, by itself in the eyes of God (see the quote above), a living being called the Christ. This is the understanding of Paul that he used throughout his letters, and this was a common understanding of the Christians at the time of Paul. That is, Jesus was the point where the Christ became human life to leave behind himself a trail of suggestions and powerful sayings that each contain many layers of meaning. After the death of Jesus, the Christ returned to the living universe (not that the Christ abandoned the universe during the life of Jesus, but the Christ became a particular being that could relay directly the path into eternity for humanity). Why Jesus? Simple. There is no way we can relate to the vastness of the cosmos; no, we need something we can relate to, or a single person who was the personification of the Christ.
The Christ is therefor at least 13.7 billion years old, and was the cause of the “Big Bang” that started the universe as we know it today on its way. The Christ is still very much alive as our universe, creating and still in the process of “becoming”, not sitting still, and will be such for the duration of our universe.
Jesus had no intention to start a Church with its leaders and rules and whatever else evolved. Jesus railed against such an empire, for it is an empire, without ceasing. Jesus came to deliver a message to all of humanity, in terms that could be accepted by all of humanity when brought into their own culture and religious background. Of course, we now know that is not how this turned out, but that is another story.
The saying and teachings of Jesus would have spread much faster if the rigidity of the Roman empire would not have been introduced in 312, but that too is another story. Jesus himself lived a multi-layered life. He was the true master, joining with God on a consistent basis throughout his life, being united with the Christ layer all during his life. He was in his twenties before he could begin to understand the power and depth that was being asked of him, and thirty before he took up the mantle that was his destiny.
The words of Jesus have many levels of understanding. Most of what we have been taught comes from the lowest level of understanding; that level where humanity needs to be led and spoon-fed with the simplest possible interpretations of the words, which are far from the true meaning intended for the potentials that we humans contain. The major problem stemmed from the year 312, when Constantine decided to make Christianity the Roman Empire state religion, and the meaning of the words of Jesus was “Emporized” to be consistent with the guidelines of the Roman Empire. The holy writings that were a challenge to the empire’s view of Christianity, such as the gospels of Thomas, Phillip, or Mary Magdalene, were tossed, and have now been revealed only in the past hundred years. There is a truth we have to learn from these events.
If we are the body of the Christ, as Paul intimates, (see 1 Corinthians 12:12, or 1 Corinthians 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you are a part of it.” ) then we have the potential of understanding the unity we have with God as one. The meanings of the sayings of Jesus, and especially in the sermon on the mount, are rich in depth and profound meaning that we could spend years exploring them. Many have spent years, and there are many books trying to explain even the sermon on the mount, but I have not been happy with the almost universal simplistic explanations given by most authors. I shall attempt to explain my understandings of these mind-boggling sayings, viewed from a different perspective. I will attempt to remove, as much as I can, the iron-clad mentality that was inflicted on the words of Jesus by the changes in the fourth century, and I have arrived at my thinking by reading many mystics and teachers that move beyond the language and attempt to get to the meanings that would have been expressed by Jesus at that time.
Jesus spent much of his time trying to get his disciples to understand his meanings, sometimes they understood but sometimes they did not, hence his taking them off to the side to explain to them his true meanings. It is only now that as we understand the cosmos further that some of the depth and meanings of those words of Jesus and the gospels begin to appear; and these are different indeed from what we may have heard in the past.
I want to thank Fr. Richard Rohr and Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault for their keen insights and methodologies that have formed much of what I will be saying over the next weeks.
Guiding Light, I bow before you in gratitude for the joy in life and spirit that I experience each day. You keep opening up vistas in this life, and I joyfully follow the path that you set before me. I will continue to seek the path in the Kingdom of God, and as each day dawns I will present myself in joy before you, for I know that all else will be given to me, as you promised. Each day brings fresh joy and I understand your love for me and mine (all humanity) and I am dazzled again and again.
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