I want to talk about Jesus.
Admittedly, He is a difficult character to discuss publicly, since interpretations of his life and teachings vary greatly according to different institutions and individuals. The resulting competition over who owns the real narrative means that in many circles, it is taboo to question the official story as given by whichever religious institution said circle subscribes to, seeing how such questioning can only debase that group’s claim to exclusive possession of His Truth.
The honest and open pursuit of truth here inspires me to dispense with this closeting taboo. I fancy myself an explorer—and you can’t expect to control the nature of one’s discoveries. This is precisely why I explore to begin with – because I don’t know what I’ll find. It’s an adventure.
In my experience, I have found that the “official story” of Christ’s life and message rings rather hollow—almost false. The basic idea according to The Church, as I have heard it, teaches that…Jesus was the one and only Son of God who, out of His infinite compassion, incarnated on Earth to teach a downtrodden humanity basic spiritual principles and ultimately, to die for our sins so that future generations might recognize the evil in human existence and thereby, be inspired to seek forgiveness in hope of achieving absolution in the moment of death, thus earning a golden ticket to eternal Heaven, where Jesus and His Dad sit on clouds growing their beards, telling sattvic jokes while Paul the Bouncer does the dirty work.
(Perhaps that last part about the beards is a bit too snarky; I will try to keep the discourse on a more elevated level.)
To my ears, the story of a man born as God, of God born as man seems a very common tale. One might approach from a secular disposition, where He can be analyzed using routine archetypes, labeled as a convincing public speaker with a messiah-complex, then possibly demoted to the status of mere myth, considering that the first written records of his very existence do not appear until many years after his death.
On the other hand, one can take a more pantheistic viewpoint, wherefrom each and every human, plant and animal on this planet (indeed, the planet itself) are born with that same spark of divinity, making Jesus of Nazareth, like Gautama Buddha before him and the Prophet Mohammed after, simply a man perfected — a man who, through diligent seeking and spiritual experimentation over the course of many lifetimes managed to reconcile all his karmic debts and achieve a God-like state in his penultimate incarnation. In either case, secular or holistic, there is nothing to suggest that He is the One and Only True path to liberation.
The claim of exclusive access to The Truth is by no means just a Christian thing, far from it, but I must express my bewilderment that some folks worship a Savior who spoke of unconditional charity and unrelenting brotherhood, then find it appropriate to inform their brethren that they will soon be enjoying eternal hellfire and damnation because they were bred or otherwise led to exalt a different name and form of God (at times taking drastic action to quicken the timetable of said brethren’s demise). The false choice between My God and Your Not-God reveals a mere cosmetic treatment of the teachings, stripping them of the supreme empowerment which is their original intent.
It is possible that the teachings of the ancient rishi’s have merely appealed to and appeased my ego, which so desperately wants to be exalted as divine, but I find good cause to fundamentally reject the idea that I am an essentially sinful being. To suggest that Christ was the only Son of God and that all the rest of us are dirty souls unworthy of Grace until after death seems to me a cynical distortion intent on mass manipulation. This widespread teaching has indeed been an extremely effective fund raising tool for centuries now, helping to maintain a debilitating public standard of inborn shame and assumed unworthiness. Remember, Powers-That-Be (nowadays known as the Powers-That-Were) don’t like enlightened people; it is in their interest to minimize this threat by tweaking the teaching just enough to instill a sense of dutiful inferiority in all “true believers.”
A fundamental aspect of Christ’s life was the very fact that he was alive! Born human, same as us. The Man is even quoted as saying, “These things I do, ye shall do, and even greater works than these.” Far from the scriptural cherry picking that so often happens with the Bible, this, for me, is a rather explicit message that we are all the children of a Divine Creator, and that the potential for ascension and union with the Self I Am lives latent within each one of us.
A proper explanation for this promise of ascended abilities, as I understand it, is rooted in the concept of the Second Coming. There is much banter these days of the impending apocalypse, 2012 doomsday scenarios, the anti-Christ, the rapturous harvest of the 144,000, the imminent rebuilding of the Temple on the Mount and so on and so forth. Gleeful anticipation of the Second Coming of Christ is naturally a part of this jumble of cross-cultural, inter-textual prophetic hyperbole.
I do not mean, in any way, to downplay the gravity of the current world situation. Beyond a doubt, we are alive in a time of unprecedented global (read: galactic) shift and experiential acceleration. However, in Light of the vast complexity of our evermore interwoven world, it seems extremely naïve to believe that an individual is going to suddenly show up, unite everyone in service to Him, defeat all darkness in one fell swoop and declare peace on Earth under the benevolent rule of He, the Planetary Prince.
To be clear, I believe whole-heartedly in the Second Coming of Christ. Which is to say, of the Christ Consciousness. I can easily see how the Christ might be reborn within the heart of each person, creating an unstoppable cascade of personal revelation and ecstatic communion with Spirit wherein each individual resolves the dualistic paradox of existence and embraces true unity in diversity. Peace and prosperity for all sentient beings would be a natural byproduct, oh-by-the-way. Honestly, I feel as though the first domino has already fallen.
The major distinction I hope to make from the more mainstream teachings is that we ought not rest our hopes in some outside force coming in to rescue us from ourselves. Not only would this be a grave error (submitting our free will to any ulterior power is a direct invitation for the anti-trinity to take over), but it is entirely unnecessary! The whole point is that we learn/remember our true nature as divinity incarnate, that we need not seek any authority outside our own innate knowing, for only then can we begin a process of inspired co-creation in line with Our Father’s will and become true stewards of the Earth.
Such a scenario would signify a true apocalypse, in which the veil falls for good and we remember that we too are divine beings, fully capable of performing miracles (merely the natural operation of metaphysical laws outside our current paradigm) equal to and greater than those performed by Christ in his time.
Notice how this expanded conception synthesizes a whole slew of Golden Age idealism with practical prophecy from ancient wisdom traditions the world over. For example, yoga is spreading like wildfire inside a tornado after a drought. There are folks in dare-I-say every country on Earth consciously raising their vibrations through asana, pranayama and meditation. It is through these practices that the rishi’s and many yogi-saints since have cultivated Christ-like abilities of healing and clairvoyance. (Indeed, there is evidence that Jesus spent a good deal of time in India during those unaccounted-for years of his youth; and even, perhaps, after the crucifixion).
These practices and abilities are available to anyone willing and able to submit to the prescribed discipline. As the geopolitical scene continues to produce its typical chaotic drama, and our Earth Mother squirms restlessly from within the restrictive density of the noosphere, more and more people are awakening to the need for a new way of being. The resultant seeking often leads to spiritual practice, be it in the form of classical prayer, or yoga asana (body-prayer); or perhaps in the guise of esoteric channelings discussing principles of New Age magnetic energy; or basic community service, all the same; even something as simple as learning how to apologize to your mom and express the gratitude you feel might signify a revolutionary shift.
The resonant effect on the collective consciousness of so many people seeking peace at once must be enormous! The hundredth-monkey principle is overwhelmingly powerful, to the point that a minuscule percentage of humanity (144,000 out of 7 billion, maybe?) has the ability to instigate profound changes in the way we exist collectively on the planet, allowing a more harmonious, just and verdant world to manifest itself before our very eyes.
That potential exists, and has been offered to us on a collective and individual basis. We simply need to recognize, claim and step into that power. Simple, I say, but not easy. For me, realizing the empowerment offered by the teachings of Jesus began with the breaking down of the dogma that has been built up around His message over the past two-thousand-or-so years. Is it safe to assume most folks have seen Zeitgeist by now? (Addendum, too?). While I can not in good conscience endorse all the information given in that film, it does provide a decent introduction to the symbolic roots associated with the life of Christ, beginning with the recognition that Christmas has nothing to do with the day baby Jesus was born in a barn near Bethlehem.
In brief, around 312 AD, when the Roman emperor Constantine was inspired to convert all of Rome to Christianity, it was a savvy political move to allow the traditional winter solstice celebrations to continue. All he had to do was superimpose a new purpose over the pagan gaiety, and voilá, we have the story of Christmas. (Santa Claus came later).
I would like to stress the fact that I am in no way attempting to undermine anyone’s faith or religious tradition. Indeed, quite the opposite. The information I have encountered during this adventurous incarnation has acted to enhance my faith through a gradual, gentle thinning of the veil that separates me (see: us) from the sacred framework subtly underlying all existence. I am here simply hoping to show how a series of small perspective shifts have moved me from a stance of dire church-aversion and ambivalence toward the story of Christ; to actively rejecting the wartime reality being foisted upon the world “in Jesus’ name,” with a sincere loathing of the blatant manipulation therein; to the point where I now embrace the Master of Love as a true and potent teacher of humanity, as an empowering source of potential salvation from our self-created woes, and as an authentic way-shower on the path toward the creation of an enlightened society. I can only hope that the vision of a more loving and prosperous world appeals to believers and atheists alike.
From skeptic to devotee, cynic to missionary, pessimist to believer — have I not been reborn? True faith is borne of direct, personal access to universal Truth. Having transcended the historic distortions of robed middle-men, no animal fear or spiritual compromise arises, for then “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)
For further outside-the-box reading on the life and teachings of Christ, you are invited to check out Part IV of The Urantia Book, as well as pages 175-176 of Max Igan’s e-book, “Earth’s Forbidden Secrets Part One”
David Telfer McConaghay was born on planet Earth. Since that fateful first day of Spring in ’86, he has wandered across its surface in search of something which, when found, kindly insists that he continue searching. His immediate family lives in Minneapolis, MN, though he also feels at home in Washington D.C.; Grass Valley, CA; Bogotá, Colombia; and now, almost Denver, CO. He completed his B.A. in English & Creative Writing at The George Washington University in 2008. The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm (Vrindavan of the West) is the primary source of any yogic inspiration David aka Sri Nivasa may express. He plays on Facebook HERE.