"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me."
In the Aramaic Bible, Jesus' own language, the word for I"in this scripture is ena-ena or I-I. The meaning is not the same as ena which is an individual I."Ena-ena is a cosmic I"or I AM THAT I AM (Ex. 3:13 -14).
In other words, Jesus was speaking here, not from the perspective of a human form (the man from Galilee), but from the perspective of the formless Christ (the Godhead, the holy Spirit, Source, Consciousness etc.) which he knew to be the essential nature of all beings.
In another scripture, Jesus tells us that we make a mistake if we think he is good,
Why do you call me good?"'Jesus answered.' No one is good - except God alone."(Luke 18:19).
By myself I can do nothing."(John 5:30).
The way to reconcile I am the way..."And Don't call me good..."is to understand that it is the formless I AM (ena-ena) that is talking in John 14:6, whereas, in Luke 18:19 and John 5:30, the one talking is the form (ena), Jesus.
Though mere words can never capture or contain the sublime secret of enlighenment, the more correct way to read John 14:6 would be ...
"I AM is the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father (Conscious Beingness) except through (the recognition of) I AM."
To recognise and understand the deeper non-dual teachings of the Master, it's vitally important to discern which dimension Jesus is speaking from at any given time -- the form (the man Jesus) or the formless (the Christ).
The I AM is bigger than 'Jesus' in the same way that all the water on this earth is more than any individual lake. By analogy, Jesus, Buddha and all beings (includng the reader of these words) are lakes filled with the one living I AM.
In the case of Jesus, Buddha and all awakened beings, however, they are conscious of their eternal formless I AM (ena-ena) dimension and see That as their true identify, whereas, most people are unawake beings, and unconscious of their formless dimension and identify only with their temporary human form (ena or body/mind/personality).
In another scripture, Jesus clearly says the only requirement for attaining eternal life is loving God and loving our neighbor:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he asked,'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'What is written in the Law?' he replied. 'How do you read it?' He answered: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 'You have answered correctly,' Jesus replied. 'Do this and you will live.'"(Luke 10:25-28).
If believing in Jesus were necessary to attain eternal life, Jesus would have been guilty of lying to the temple official in this scripture.
Not a single time did Jesus ever warn us about other religions. Rather, he said,
Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us."(Luke 9:49-50).
A Buddhist that is not against Jesus is for Jesus.
It would seem that other enlightened beings have made statements similar to the one Jesus made in John 14:6. Here, for instance, Krishna comments on his own incarnation:
When goodness grows weak, when evil increases, I make myself a body. In every age I come back to deliver the holy, to destroy the sin of the sinner; to establish righteousness. Bhagavad Gita
And Buddha is reported to have said:
You are my children, I am your father; through me you have been released from your sufferings. I myself having reached the other shore, help others to cross the stream; I myself having attained salvation, am a savior of others; being comforted, I comfort others and lead them to the place of refuge. My thoughts are always in the truth. For lo! my self has become the truth. Whosoever comprehends the truth will see the Blessed One.
Probably the most profoundly direct instruction Jesus gave on non-dual truth is from Luke 11:
"The light of the body is the eye: Therefore, when thine eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light ...." (verse 34)
From the non-dual perspective, this is easily paraphrased as follows: The part of you that perceives or sees (the Seer, one's real Self) is your true light. Therefore, if you identify wholly with the Seer (subject -- "I") singly or exclusively (versus being identified with thoughts, objects and images) you will have illumination -- or what some call the "enlightenment of the whole body".
Anyone in the east, coming to a similar conclusion about the Christ, might call the approach of Jesus the path of sudden realization, because his teachings are often in the form of commandments or statements giving no ground (room to maneuver).
But what was special about Jesus was the sense of awe-inspiring fierceness, the intensity of rock hard reality that packed each moment, demanding ... commanding perfection of everyone, now. For example:
"For I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know his commandment is life everlasting." John 12: 49
"Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."
"I give you a commandment: Love one another." John 15: 12, 17
His approach permits no delays, no second chance, no outs, no remedy, no alternatives to the tribulations of the world.
His way to God (the "I AM" of the Old Testament) is full of beatitudes and purity (Mat 5: 2-11), blessedness and love (Mat 6: 38-48).
But those that oppose the Spirit "will never be forgiven" (Luke 12: 10, Mat 12: 32; Mark 3: 29) and "will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there is great suffering and gnashing of teeth." (Mat 8: 12;14: 50; 22: 13; 24: 51)
Also to be considered are Jesus' teachings and parables about non-judgment (Mat Ch 7: 1-2; Luke 6: 37-42; John 8: 6-11), non-attachment (Mat 6: 40), non-anxiety (Mat 6: 25-34; Luke 12: 22-32), perpetual forgiveness (Luke 17: 4; Mat 19: 21-22; Mark 11:25), compassion (Mat 25: 34-40), humility (Mat 18: 4), and so on, which all relate to the disidentification with the temporary form and a reidentification with the formless Self. "Take no thought for your life (pay no attention to the thoughts or 'story' by which the mind trys to define your life.)." Mat 6: 25).
As Jesus repeatedly stated "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear." Mark Ch 4: 23, again Mark 7: 16, etc.. This hearing is central to the entire non-dual teaching process.
Until the mind becomes still, free of its focus on identity with images such as the egoic self, the Conscious principal, the subject "I", one's true imageless and timeless Self flashes forth. As he said: "You will know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
Stillness of mind means "Be still and know that I am God (I AM)." Ex 3:14 (David, Ps).
Ponder that Moses did not know how to tell the Israelites who had given him the Ten Commandments.
And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."(Exodus 3:13-14).
This is curious. Why not tell the Israelites Y*h*w*h (Jehovah) had sent him? All of the Israelites knew that name.
Moses was experiencing God in a way he knew they would not easily understand. He was experiencing God as the one Self of all beings; as pure awareness, the basis of all existence, the ground of all being -- the I AM.
The I AM is within (and around) us all. The I AM that is in you is the same I AM that is in me and everyone else. Through the Spirit dimension or our Beingness, we are all connected. This is why Jesus tells us the kingdom of God is within us:
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."(Luke 17:20-21).
Some have attempted to dilute this scripture by saying that Jesus meant he himself was among them. However, this is easily dismissed because he also says the kingdom of God does not come with observation and Jesus was certainly observable. Also, the Master says the kingdom is not here"or there"and Jesus could be regarded as being either here or there.
The I AM is not observable because it is not a thing"rather it is pure awareness. It is not here"or there"because it is all-pervading and that includes within us."
Focusing attention on inner Awareness (the aware Awareness that is our essential nature) also tallies with Buddhist and Hindu scriptures. If the Old Testament says God is I AM, what does the New Testament say? God is love."(1 John 4:8, 4:16).
Like the I AM, love also is experienced within us. Love is another name for I AM. We can only experience love for God or our neighbor as something that comes from within us. Thus, the kingdom of God is within us.
And what are Jesus' two commandments?
.... an expert in the law, tested him with this question: Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."(Matt. 22:35-40).
While in the Old Testament God states the Truth as "I AM THAT I AM", the West has perceived Christianity in terms of Descartes' dictum: "I think therefore I am."
To think that salvation can be had by simply mouthing the words, I believe in Jesus"is nothing but pure laziness. First of all, Jesus said that we must regain our childlike innocence or we are absolutely not going to find or experience heaven:
And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'"(Matt. 18:3).
How about these arresting statements of Jesus:
Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?"(Luke 6:46).
Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"(Matt. 7:21-23).
The mantra of the ego is, Its all about me."The footprint of the ego is My way is the only way."
The ego, by nature, will adopt any belief as an identity. Then it is fearful when faced with other beliefs. It feels threatened. The ego must always imagine that it is the center of the universe. Thus, My way is the only way"comes into being and, by extension, everything with which the ego is associated.
An ego-centered Christian says Jesus is the only way"and an ego-centered Muslim says, Islam is the only way."The translation of both statements is, My way or the highway."
The ego is the opposite of love. The ego is me ... me ... me ... and love is you ... you ... you ... The ego is motivated by, What's in it for me?"Love asks, How may I serve you?"
In a manner of speaking, the ego is Satan in us. Love is God in us. The ego is the sense of separation from God and others. Love is a feeling of unity or oneness with God and others.
The ego is me"and mine."Love does not seek to possess but only to give. When we fully identify with the thought-based ego, there can be no true love and when there is true love in us, there will be no identification with ego.
Think of any negative emotion -- jealousy, hatred, greed, anger -- all of them are the fruit of the egoic sense of self whose roots are me"and mine."
Therefore, love is the most potent restorer of the ego. Love restores the ego to its intended role as servant rather than master.
alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24)
The meaning of Jesus' metaphor of the seed falling into the ground and dying is creative and generative. And it is the heart of the Christian path. Indeed, within this particular teaching of Jesus is the notion of kenosis, or "self-emptying."
Kenosis is roughly parallel to the classic spiritual teaching of nonattachment or nonclinging, but kenosis has an intrinsic warmness to it: it means to actively and willingly relinquish that which you're clinging to so as to give something else the space to be.
This was Jesus' practice, his path, and his unique vision on how consciousness is transformed. It's a practice of letting go.
Letting go over and over is a kind of perceptual tool. It isn't just to make you feel like a freer and finer person -- it actually enables you to see from the deepest recognition what the One is.
Letting go is not an attitude; it's an inner gesture, and it's completely visceral. So when teachers keep telling you to let go, it's not in order for you to become nicer and more useful to the planet; it's because this is a kind of spiritual aerobics that, if you perform it faithfully, steadfastly, and patiently in all life's situations will literally transform your sense of self.
For true spiritual masters, of which Jesus was certainly one, dying is the letting go, or kenosis, of your "egoic operating system," that which keeps coughing up a sense of self as a different or distinct person with its own qualities, uniqueness, specialness, personal history, and agenda.
To die to this self means to die to all self-talk and the projection of your self out in the world. In fact, the big goal in this life is not to prepare for your physical death but to assist in the germinal act of laying down your egoic operating mechanism and be born again as the flower of full presence -- the True Self.
This self always knows what to do; it always knows when we are true and when we're not true, when we're free and when we're not free. Virtually all the spiritual teachers of the world say that when you've died and been reborn in this way, physical death is essentially something you don't even notice.
In order to manifest the True Self, though, you have to completely clear the playing field of the usual language. Because in the usual egoic syntax the True Self is something you "have," and therefore you have to "find" it. But the True Self is not something you have; it's what you are.
Think of the flame of a candle; the flame is only a flame so long as it's burning. It's a process, and there would be no flame if it stopped and tried to have its "flameness."
Likewise, as soon as you stop and say, "I want to measure my true self -- I want to define it, I want to list its characteristics, I want to compare it to my false self" -- you've "bought the farm" because you've downloaded it into an operating system that can't possibly do anything other than caricature it.
The false self is like a veil that hides the paradise that we're seeking. At the very end of his life, Moses was granted a glimpse of the Promised Land. They took him up onto a rock, and he could see it. He even had an experience of it, but he couldn't enter.
That's a kind of analogy for what I'm talking about: as long as you process everything through the ego, you merely "have" mystical experiences. But when you die to the false self, that's when you enter paradise.
And you can't enter paradise, raid the mystical insight, and come back to write a book so that people will say, "Oh, what an awesome mystic." You have to disappear so that there's nothing left that's going to take the experience back somewhere else.
Then you finally begin to live at the speed of the mystery that we are. That's the fruit that Jesus spoke of.
by Cynthia Bourgeault -- excerpted from Silence is the Language of God by Elizabeth Debold and Maura O'Connor.
There's a passage in the Bible where the Pharisees ask Jesus, "You talk about the kingdom of God. You say it is near and it will soon come. But how will we recognize it and when will it come?"
And Jesus replies: "You will not be able to recognize the coming of the kingdom of God by external signs. Nor will you be able to say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'See there!'
For the kingdom of God is within you." This is Martin Luther's translation. Other translations read: "The kingdom of God is among you."
Biblical scholars and theologians disagree and argue about which is the correct translation, "within you" or "among you". But actually both are correct. One complements the other.
"The kingdom of God is within you" means that God's kingdom is the core of everything. It's your innermost self, the place and origin of all life. It's the "cave of divine darkness," the "krypta of the heart," as the Christian mystics say.
This is where the light of your true nature shines. Your innermost self is the kingdom of God "within you." And this innermost self is now!
The innermost self is never the past nor the future. Such are merely clouds that pass in front of the clear light of the Mind (our true nature) and have no substance.
Behind them shines reality with undiminishing clarity -- eternal, unborn, indestructible, beyond the bounds of space and time, eternally being itself. It manifests itself as the foundation of all you experience and thus is "among you."
From, Zen Beyond All Words: A Western Zen Master's Instructions, by Wolfgang Kopp
Discover the distinction between the Infinite Christ and the man, Jesus, and you will be transformed. Learn more >Here
Read how Jesus awakened to his essential beingness and became enlightened. Learn more >Here
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The Gnostic Jesus
A brief explanation of the meaning of Gnosticism and the early years of Christianity.
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The above is excerpted and condensed from the book The Mystic Christ By Ethan Walker III. Ethan also sings and plays guitar and you can listen to him singing a spiritual song >Here.
"After my departure there will arise the ignorant and the crafty, and many things will they ascribe unto Me that I never spake, and many things which I did speak will they withhold, but the day will come when the clouds shall be rolled away, and the Sun of Righteousness shall shine forth with healing in his wings" ~ Jesus, The Essene Gospel of Peace
Read Eckhart Tolle's comments on Jesus' Teachings, >HERE
You may also be interested in Steven S. Sadleir's site at >>www.ChristEnlighen.com.
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