DINER MYSTIC LOOKS AT JESUS THROUGH THE SCRIM OF CHRISTIANITY AND SEES A SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT PERSON

The “True Self”

If you want to know what Jesus thought about our “true self” – it’s simple – one’s “true self” can be discovered when we achieve the openness and receptivity of a small child. It’s the state of innocence human beings possessed prior to developing an “ego” or “false self” to deal with a potentially hostile world.

            “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:14-15.

Jesus – in telling us to become “like a small child” – means we need to move towards a radically different, and earlier, version of the human spiritual world – accepting the “natural reality” directly created by God –  as opposed to a “reality” created by technically and theologically “sophisticated” human beings in modern manmade civilizations.

The “Essential Choice”

What deters us from becoming “like little children?” It’s our desire for and love of money – creating a stark choice between love of God and love of money.

            “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Mathew 6:24.

Jesus made this crystal clear by pointing out the impossibility of someone who’s rich to be able to enter God’s kingdom.

            “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  Mark 10:24-5.

Jesus also emphasized God’s preference for the poor:

            “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6:20.

And said we needn’t worry about clothes or food:

            “… do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body, more than clothes.” Luke 12:22.

What Kind Of “Human Love” Does God Want?

If you want to know what God is “like” – that is, how human beings can start “living like God” – it’s simple: “God is Love” and “Love is God.”

But that begs the question, doesn’t it? What is this “love” God wants for us and how are human beings supposed to achieve it?

Jesus radical (and true) answer is: “Love your enemies!”

            “I tell you: Love your enemies… that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous…. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mathew 6:44-48.

So, don’t be nationalistic, tribal, or self-centered – no, be like God. Remember, people who love their enemies have no enemies. If we can live like this – that is, how God would live if God were a human being – then we’d be able to enter God’s world and start living like God’s children. After all, there’s no ego in the sun or rain!

Another good example was love of one’s “neighbor.”  In response to the question of “Who is my neighbor?” (in the context of “Love your neighbor as yourself”), Jesus gave the example of the “Good Samaritan.” Because there was serious animosity between Judeans and Samaritans at that time (another example of “Love your enemies”), the story demonstrates that non-Jews (and, later, non-Christians) sometimes follow God better than the “official people” of God. Therefore, people like Muslims, or even atheists, may be able to do what God wants even better than those committed to the Western majority faiths.

Such “radical” examples of love go further than the “Love Commandment” later set forth in the Gospel of John:

            “A new command I give to you” Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

This, however, is the least radical of Jesus’ love teachings. That is, it’s significantly less radical than loving one’s enemies or hostile neighbors! This kind of “love” was addressed to Jesus’ immediate circle of disciples.

Who Should We Spend Our Time With?

Jesus tells us that people who act on behalf of God can be spiritually closer to us than our blood relations or close friends – emphasizing doers over listeners.

            “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Luke 8:21

How Can We “See” God?

Finally, how can we see and experience God’s kingdom? Jesus indicated that God’s rule is close or already present but unobserved – that God’s rule is all around us but difficult to discern:

            “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say “Here it is!” or “There it is!” because the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21.

In other words, God is spiritual, not materialistic. God’s Spirit can be seen and felt through one’s imagination and heart. That is, it takes an awakened inward “mystical” sense for us to be able to “see,” “feel,” and “sense” the presence of God.

ENLIGHTENMENT IS NOT ENOUGH

I talk a lot about becoming “nobody” – about giving up my ego –
The identity I’ve developed over years of trial and error
While projecting my “self” out into the world
To gain an acceptance of my self-created identity.

Eventually, however, I start feeling inauthentic
For relying upon this self-manufactured ego
Which, one day, I hope to replace with a new, improved identity –
A “better” ego –
Which, of course, will also invariably turn out to be a dead-end.

Giving up one’s ego – completely – as the final step on the way to enlightenment –
Is never enough however,
Because becoming a “nobody,” by itself, doesn’t accomplish a thing –
The point of relinquishing one’s ego is to replace it
With love of God –
Along with an ability to take concrete steps to bringing God into the world.

In sum, relinquishing one’s ego is only the first step –
But what follows needs to be a life dedicated to “understanding” God
And God’s true nature as much as humanly possible –

For example, who is God, what does God want, and are there any exemplars of God
Appearing in the world today
Who make one’s heart “sing with joy?”

Starting this process of “understanding” God
Is the same thing as “falling in love” with God –
Both, however, entail a commitment to a lifelong process.

Once you’ve actually fallen in love with God
Means you’ll want to act in ways that God desires –
Jesus was able to do this –
Faced with a painful, disgraceful death administered by Roman troops –
He acted solely for God
Which resulted in an historically impactful release of Holy Spirit out into the world
Occurring simultaneously with his physical death.

This spirit of Jesus was transformed into a human “sun” –
That perpetually is creating more spiritual life in our world –
Often in ways not manifested during his earlier physical life.
Take Saul/Paul, for example, who was able to transform himself,
At least partially, into a brilliant reflection of Jesus.

So, enlightenment is not enough by itself – instead, we need to “fall in love” with God
And then commit our lives to bringing God, by our actions, into the world.

We lose nothing by giving up our egos
Because, without God, we’re nothing anyway –
All our other efforts – no matter how materially meaningful –
Don’t matter at all –
The only thing that truly matters are actions on behalf of God
Everything else is – dross.

Every single human being, whether righteous or unrighteous,
Has the potential – while still alive –
To make a choice about each single individual act –
Whether or not to contribute something towards making God’s world real.

God began existence with a simple gesture
Unfurling out into the cosmos –
From its initial cosmic explosion, followed by evolving life, and then radiant spirit
All – moving steadily towards God –
Where, by the end of time, all of us will end up participating with God

Who is “Love”
Who is “Truth”
Who is “Justice”
Who is “Beauty.”

If you can do this, you’ll gain everything – and lose nothing –
Even if, by then, you’ll no longer have any personal identity or name –
Which won’t matter because, in your actions, you’ll have become part of God –
And God will recognize you and know your name – even if no one else does.

Jesus deeply understood this, and you can trust him about it –
That is, we need to love God the same way he did.

So, a loss of ego leading to enlightenment may be an important first step,
But, by itself, amounts to almost nothing
While acting in the world for God turns out to be the only thing
That’s actually truly meaningful!

THE BIRTH OF A NEW RELIGION

It won’t be a new religion bearing a capital “R,” but something beyond that.

Something beyond the usual and ordinary conceptions available to our human minds –
Something beyond all previous definitions of “God.”

It’ll come bubbling up, surprisingly, out of nowhere,
Which is where the next final God
Is now residing.

It’ll be similar to what happened to Jesus, the Buddha, and Mohammed –
When God “twinned” with a specific human being –
So that people were no longer able to distinguish who was who.

The next final God will also choose someone specific
Someone surprised at being chosen
Yet willing to accept that choice for the good of all –
And, more probably than not, will be a woman.

This particular someone will know when they’ve been chosen –
Because they’ll become “Love” –
They’ll embody “Truth” –
Their right hand will symbolize “Justice”
And “Beauty,” for them, will be completely natural.

This God beyond all presently known Gods
Is knocking on hearts across the globe at this very moment.

“Knock knock – Knock knock!”

Won’t you let in the God beyond “God”
So she can begin appearing in and influencing all hearts on earth
Today?

“LAYERING”

Our minds “read” reality through differing layers of abstraction
Because human beings embody a complex architecture of consciousness
Made up of different “levels” of virtualization using mental abstraction.

For example, the micro-physical level is on a radically different level
From the “normal” human body level –
When we move our arm, the mental abstraction of “arm”
Lies on a different level from the millions of cells making up that arm
Which, in turn, is on a different level from the gazillions of electrons making up those cells.

So, given these different levels of “reality” –
Our minds virtualize “arm” as an ordinary everyday mental abstraction
As part of our overall physical self –
While our minds also have the capacity to visualize, using imagination,
The underlying cells and electrons supporting this “top” level of human reality.

God’s reality, however, encompasses reality at all levels.
Jesus indicated his understanding of this by teaching his disciples that God
“Numbers” the very hairs on our heads. (Mathew 10:30).

So, what is the next layer of abstraction that might become available to our human minds?
I think it’s a “human/God” level of experiential Love, Truth, Justice, and Beauty –
Which, in turn, would require a fresh spiritual language and accompanying supportive culture
To attain this newly-exposed world of reality existing beyond
All previous levels of human abstraction.

With the availability of a new language, fresh realities could open up to our “true selves”
So as to experience living “like” God would live if God were a human being – just like us.

LONELY AS A ROCK

If there were no God
I’d be lonely as a rock hurtling through the void.

If there were no “high true” human character to attain –
I’d travel to an amusement park and ride around all day –
Eating cotton candy – while going round and round.

If there were no love available for me –
I’d rent a room in some high attic
And never go out again.

If truth completely evaporated out of American society –
I’d hitch a ride to dusty red Mars with a bunch of bizarre billionaires.

If it turned out that Jesus was not really Jesus –
And that the Buddha never blossomed into his “true self” –
I’d stop asking further questions and respond solely in exclamations –
Like “Huh,” “Argh,” or “Wheeh!”

If I thought it’d be pointless to learn any new things –
I couldn’t find fault with Trump saying: “Duh, maybe Hitler was a pretty good guy
Since he did get people back to work.”

And if there really were no God, there couldn’t be joy either
And the word “hope” would never be found in any English dictionary.

THREE SECONDS

“Be here now!”
Say the Zen Masters –
Because the past’s already gone
And the future’s not yet arrived.

This is the point of “no time” or “eternity”
Which is where we’re all trying to reach.

But, wait, just what, and where, exactly, is that?


According to Galen Strawson, a second generation Oxford Philosophy Professor,
It’s a “hiatus free period of thought or experience” – a few seconds at most –
Because our eyes and minds are always “jumping” –
In fact, the latest scientific research shows that this experienced “Now” is not actually a point,
but an extended period – of up to three seconds.

So, when the Buddha tilted his head back, opened his eyes and saw the morning star –
His own “hiatus free moment of enlightenment” – suddenly, he could understand everything.

Everyone can have a similar experience!

That is, if you can just get past your gabbing, obsessive-compulsive telling stories
and producing mental films of yourself as a “star” or “hero” of your creative imaginative/dream productions –

After which, getting past all that – and opening up your eyes and heart
You accept what you are seeing and experiencing – at that moment.

Then, trusting your mind and heart as to what to do next – and do it –
That is, what your “true self” knows needs to be done.

Seeing through this open window – at reality itself – and then acting!

That is “enlightenment-plus.”

Both the Buddha and Jesus emphasized that one needs to act upon what one sees or experiences
In that spiritually-open moment.

This is what it means to be a human being who thinks, experiences, and acts as God does –
Jesus, the Buddha, and Mohammed repeatedly illustrated this to us –
Not to show how great they were – but how great the potential of each single human being
on the planet actually is!

GOD LOOKING AT GOD

Jesus did it –
So any of us can.

We need freedom, however, to accomplish it –
Because the “self” our parents and society provided us
Prohibits real freedom –
Yes, unfortunately, that “self” which we use to survive
And, hopefully, prosper in the world –
Partially blinds us to reality – as well as to God.

Very few individuals are able to drop their societal “self”
In order to glimpse God –
Zen Buddhist monks tell us that one should “Know nothing” –
And keep repeating it –
Because one’s “self,” and all its mental constructs, restricts our freedom.

This, however, is partially incorrect –
True, to the extent that when we accept any mental constructs
They tend to blind us to reality –
But false, in light of the millennia of human striving for greater understanding
That has led to acquiring tools that can test reality
For the presence of God –
That is, for “Love,” “Truth,” “Justice,” and “Beauty.”

Scientists of consciousness teach that we’re provided with approximately three seconds
To open ourselves to reality – that is, to God –
That we have a 100 trillion synapses available to accomplish this –
And that our mind has a capacity even larger than the entire known universe –
But also, of course, limited by the time available to take a look.

God, however, has no time limitations
(since “time” for God exists in an entirely different realm) –
Therefore, God is always looking at us –
And greatly pleased when we’re able to “feel” God’s presence
And, in response, turn in God’s direction.

Sometimes, we can “see” a flicker of God’s robes passing by –
In and out of our psychological reality –
Out there, on the edge of consciousness –

Not only “see,” but also have the ability to think about what we’ve just seen –
Using those spiritual tools of love, truth, justice, and beauty,
To reflect upon it.

This is what Jesus did, and why he was able to say the things he said,
And why the people who looked into his face could see God.

So, yes, Jesus is God
But so are you if you truly want it.

You just have to give up everything – so as to gain sufficient freedom
To “see” –
And then, have faith in what you are seeing,
Using those “spiritual tools” handed down to you
Over millennia of human experience.

We should be talking with one another about all this –
About God – and about our selves –

What could be more important?

HATING YOU FOR WANTING WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T WANT

What would you do
If you were a human being
Who decided to take on the shocking role
Of speaking directly for God?

Would you study hard and humanly learn everything you’re able,
Or, alternatively, shake off all the accumulated knowledge out of your head,
So as to gain a truer picture of reality?

And how, for example, could you become more loving
If you weren’t so much previously?
Would you try “pretending” a greater love
So as to gain experience in what you’d never been able to touch
Before?

Would you make a public announcement
Or just try to keep it quiet?

Would you ask for help from others who had gone before –
Like Jesus, the Buddha, or Mohammed –
Could you hear them from such a historical distance –
And would you even be able to detect who was speaking?

What about friends, family and acquaintances
Would they think you had gone mad
And cut you
For doing something they couldn’t imagine doing?
Is there a chance, they might even end up hating you
For wanting what they think you shouldn’t want?

(Last post until mid-July!)

THE APOTHEOSIS OF HUMAN SPIRITUAL ENVY

When Jesus first appeared
Speaking as if he was related to God – personally –
And implying he might even be a human embodiment of God –
It wasn’t just the Romans and Jewish high priests
Who viewed that claim as a threat.

Regular, everyday religiously-faithful people,
Reacted badly as well –
To the audacity of placing himself ahead of Moses,
Greater than David or Solomon,
And even surpassing Isaiah, Elijah, and Jeremiah. 

They murmured, “Just who does hethink he is?”

Jesus appeared among everyday “good” people
Who, potentially, had the ability to make a spiritual “leap”
Directly to God
By accepting him like his disciples did –
But they refused –
In fact, he made them as angry as possible –
Which resulted in their secret wish for the authorities stop him.

And that wish was fulfilled.

What made it possible for “good people” to desire the destruction of Jesus –
A human being who, correctly, believed he was speaking for God?

The answer is what eventually became the Crucifixion/Resurrection myth.

They hated him so much for his apparent “hubris”
That they wrenched away his humanity
And replaced it with a “Christian myth”
So they could sleep soundly again
And never need reflect upon what an acceptance
Of Jesus’ (as well as their own) “human/God” life
Might mean.

WHAT A GIFT – JESUS’ REAL DEATH

Doesn’t the splendor and meaning of Jesus life
Derive entirely from his death –
The actual one – the one he accepted
At the hands of Roman soldiers and Temple officials?

So, how could his death become more meaningful
By refusing to acknowledge it –
Playing the Roman game of power trumping power?

The truth is that if Jesus ever decides to come again
It would have to be spiritually, not materially,
After all, even now, isn’t he “alive”
In the hearts of people grateful for his gift –
Not as the prime source of some Pauline super-cult
But only as a human subject
Since subjects are the only type of human beings
Free enough to make a decision to physically die
In order to spiritually live.

If Jesus knew he was going to be resurrected
Wouldn’t his “death” have been pointless –
Since such “risen life” would have undermined
The meaning of his actual death –
The gift he had decided upon.

Jesus “became” God upon achieving the freedom to die for God
As well as for the rest of us –
So his gift would become available for future generations
By his spirit becoming generally available –
And God’s Kingdom, by that reason, starting to achieve reality here on earth
Among all people.

What a gift – that real death!