Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jesus' words are misunderstood

Many people around the world, especially Catholics, but Christians in general, celebrate Easter today.  The notion of "Easter" is supposed to be a day remembering Jesus' death and resurrection.  This tradition, just like Christmas, was created by the Catholic church in order to remind their followers of the teachings of the church.  Unfortunately, these traditions are nothing more than blind and misguided teachings of men, not the "true" message of Jesus (I quoted the word true because it is up to the individual to find their own truths).

The bible that everyone knows of only came about because the Roman emperor Constantine needed to unify the Roman empire under a single belief system.  He chose the Christian theology, but at that time, there were many sects and differing interpretations of the Message.  In order to organize these groups, he had many of the group leaders come together at the Council of Nicea to agree upon a single unified message.  That message is what was canonized into the beginning of the bible we have today and it solidified the organized religion of Christianity.  If you read the traditional canonized bible, you'll find that the New Testament is lite on the words of Jesus (4 gospels, 2 of which are probably heavily influenced by the books of Mark and Luke), and heavy on the teachings of the church leaders (these leaders being influenced by the writings of the apostles and Paul).  In addition, all of the books in the Bible were originally written by unknown authors, having been "touched" by the church leaders to shape their message, then only within the past 4-5 centuries, translated into other languages for non-clergy to be able to read.  During each major transitions of power, political challenges, and world events, additions and removal of text from the Bible have transformed the writings and ultimately the message.

Any teachings or writings that differed from the Official Church message were deemed heretical.  There were many writings such as the Gnostic writings back before the third century that never made it in to the current edition of the bible, but contain much contextual information about Jesus' message, which I believe radically alters the Christian message (much time has passed since the events of Jesus and the time of the bible's canonization, leading to many interpretations and overly humanistic reasonings rather than the "true" messianic messages).  Because the "true" message departs from the traditional religious teachings about the relationship between God and man (the teachings and belief that God is spirit and all powerful, while man is physical and weak creates a heaven/earth, God above/man below relationship), the followers either did not understand or chose to disassociate from what I believe is the "true" interpretation of Jesus' message.  Thus we end up with the popularized and easier to teach writings and traditions of Christianity, with its familiar Judaic theme of Good vs. Evil (God vs. Satan, which is also an analogy for spirit vs. flesh), salvation and redemption (sacrifice and blood cleansing), sin and righteousness (death vs life).  The similarity of themes is probably why the Old Testament was included in the bible, as an authoritative recognition of the new teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Book of Thomas is an example of a dismissed writing.  It is one of many "Gnostic" books from the Nag Hammadi collection (which is the region in Egypt where these books were discovered).  The word "Gnostic" means "knowing" or "secret knowledge" in reference to the writings which focus on a personal connection and knowing with their inner divinity with and as God, rather than the orthodox ideology where self-selected men intercede for other men as God's servants (due to the belief in separation); the priesthood concept.  The book of Thomas is claimed to be the words of Didymos Thomas, written by an unknown author (as most, if not all, of the biblical writings were by unknown authors, including the 4 cannon gospels), and it mostly contains the words spoken by Jesus, many of which are also in the Bible's gospels.

Some of the sayings of Jesus explain much deeper concepts about man and contain the key to interpreting the message, but the church leadership stripped them out to create their own specific message.  In fact, Christianity today teaches that we should follow Jesus as our "Lord and Savior", while church leaders are supposed to be either God's messengers or for the non-denominational churches (which began after the creation of alternative "new testaments" starting with the Church of England), the "shepherd of the flock", watching over the congregation's spiritual condition.  When people quote the bible saying "Whosoever believes in me..." is misunderstanding what is being said.  It is not about believing in Jesus the person, it is about his message.  The message of Christ was never about followers, but about who and what we are, personal responsibility to self, and equality among all of "creation" both living and non-living, including with Jesus, "brothers and sisters" one and all (the connected and Oneness of the universe).  More than the oneness, the message was about our spiritual heritage and those qualities of consciousness to be developed through the life experience.  Even the 4 gospels, if read from a different perspective, portrays this message, but additional narrative was added by early church editors to minimize this heretical message.  The fact that some men designated disagreeable writings as heretical, which they then banned and destroyed, should make you question the bible as a source of absolute authority.  At minimum, it should raise suspicion as being a form of indoctrination.  It doesn't help that there were many different interpretations, translations, editings and rewritings of the bible over the past 5 centuries with only the early church's text as their source until the discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the Nag Hammadi scrolls and codexes.

Here is one translation of the Book of Thomas.  If you read some of the sayings of Jesus, you'll find the message much more in line with what I and many other "spiritualists" have written regarding our true nature.  For example, the first verse speaks of finding the correct interpretation.  I interpret this to mean you cannot just read the words in some religious text and take it literally, especially if it contradicts other ideas or messages.  There are contradictions because the context for the words are missing.  The "true" message does not contradict itself.  Therefore, the correct interpretation is the one where the words are in harmony with all the other teachings (including teachings of other cultures, times, and regions.  Both eastern and western philosophies and religions all have the same message, but the interpretation distorts the message into religious teachings and physically oriented dogmas, which is what people generally believe today).  This can only come by understanding the context of what's said, and this key is what is stripped out of the current bible.  The second verse speaks of the consequence of seeking and finding.  What I've found was that everything we think of as being "real" in the physical world is really a temporary "illusion".  Those things that we think of as being out of our control is actually completely in our control.  This is because you have to understand who and what you are in order to know yourself, which is talked about in the third verse.  As I've said before, we ARE God, just as God IS us.  If you recognize this, then "you are sons of God".  Now at this point, the die-hard Christians might become like the Pharisee's, hardening their hearts to the message because of the fear of "rejecting their lord and savior" by listening to this heretical "blasphemy".  That is why the minority Roman Christian sect dealt with heretics and heretical writings when they were creating the unified Christian message, forming the Catholic church.

I could write many pages explaining the words of Jesus, but just as Jesus was misunderstood in the time of his existence, people will not understand or accept the "true" message because of their blindness to the "spiritual" world.  The religious notion of "God" always represented the spiritual part of our identity, what most people call our "soul" because the flesh that we identity with in physical reality are the creations of our souls.  "Satan" or "the deceiver" was always in reference to the physical world as it is the great deception, that "which will pass".  The "battle" between these two represents the "fight" for our identity.  Hence when the "angels fell to earth", it represented our identity with the physical over the spiritual.  But it is and always was a matter of perception, not an actual separation between the two.  In the life that we think of as physical, we are both flesh and spirit - they are one and the same - but our beliefs chose to identify our consciousness with one over the other, creating the self-deception.  The temptations of Job and Jesus were both about only believing, following and "worshiping" the physical world.  Jesus was asked "should we pay taxes to Caesar?"  His response was "give to Caesar what is his, and to God what is God's".  This is not talking about money and God and choosing between the two, as some interpret it due to the words "you cannot serve God and money".  The idea is that the flesh lives as flesh, but those who live by the spirit live as spirit.  If you do not recognize yourself as spirit in flesh, then you are poor in spirit and live only as flesh.

From this shortcoming, there is much disease, poverty, and ignorance.  The ignorance comes from the lack of memory of where they come from.  We are not merely born of human parents, but the consciousness you know as "I" comes from a source other than flesh.

(15) Jesus said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, prostrate yourselves on your faces and worship him. That one is your father."

This is the source other than flesh: you as a soul/entity.  You as a soul is the "father" or "God" (since we as a soul are portions of All That Is), and "you", the personality living life in the flesh, is the creation of the soul.  You and the soul are one, but "you" are in the flesh, just as Jesus was "God" in flesh.  This is why Jesus was called a blasphemer, and why people who accepted this message of their own godliness were considered heretics. Unless you recognize your origin as that without a mother, you will not recognize yourself as spirit.

Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like the smallest of seeds, the mustard seed, which when planted, grows to be a great plant.  Why did he describe heaven as such?  Many people think that heaven is some beautiful place, like a tropical paradise, that is a resting place for all who go there, but that isn't even close (while we do rest while in spirit for a while, it is not for eternity as we left that environment because of boredom and stagnation).  Heaven is a state of being, not a place, and when we attain "heaven", we become heaven.  The smallest of seeds represents the most basic of our being, our beliefs (aka. "faith").  As we learn to remove limiting ideas and beliefs, it grows our consciousness to accept even more possibilities and allow more diverse experiences.  That is the growth we gain by living life and why Jesus said "store treasures where it will not rot", which is what you keep inside, your thoughts and feelings.  Much of our ideas about reality are based on the physical senses of a human existence and those who identity themselves with the human perspective carries over to our ideas about non-physical reality.  This is where the trouble occurs because everything we experience in the physical body is all an interpretation by the mind, and after physical life, the human perspective does not exist, which is why so many become confused.  It is always the mind creating reality and so everything must be looked at from the perspective of the mind which is an aspect of our spirit.  The spiritual mind's perspective is that there are no boundaries of beliefs, no limitations, no symbolism that can contain the infinity of our consciousness.  This is why Jesus said "cast off your old self", meaning remove the humanistic, physically oriented way of viewing everything.

So then how does one "get into heaven"?  "Heaven" in this context is the spiritual world through perception.  That perception is created by your state of mind.  Based on one's predominate beliefs which creates the perception, the spiritual world may not be as "heavenly" as expected (a few people have experienced "hell", some people have experienced a great void, some people have experienced being among the stars, which again are the creations of the individual's mindset.  Most simply experience being with friends and family in a familiar setting).  In order to experience the spiritual world, you must be "reborn" of water and blood/spirit.  Most Christian teachings interpret this to mean baptism because, again, they chose to make the message fit to the flesh.  But dunking yourself in water is not going to get you into "heaven".  The "water" comes from being born as flesh, but to "enter heaven", you must die, shedding blood and thus are reborn as spirit.  This is the rebirth as spirit that occurs upon death in the flesh.  Fortunately, you don't necessarily have to die to see "heaven" as many have done so throughout the centuries through dreams, trances, meditation, out of body experiences, and near-death experiences, but you must be in "spirit" (meaning not focused on the physical senses) to do so.  This requires a shifting of your consciousness away from physical awareness, but most of us simply "fall asleep" when this occurs.  It is the challenge to retain and have full control over your conscious awareness while in an altered state of consciousness.

(29) Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has made its home in this poverty."

The flesh being "born" of spirit is amazing in and of itself, but to remember you are spirit after being flesh, thus the spirit being "born" of flesh, it is even more amazing because you did not lose your identity as spirit while in flesh.  Those who are able to do this is even more "wealthy" because they have not "lost" themselves in the "poverty" of flesh, but instead added to their wisdom and thus develop their consciousness.  You as spirit is the great wealth, and it has made its home in the "poverty" of flesh. I should explain that "wealth" and "poverty" is meant in terms of difference between the two, not that one is better than the other. "Wealth" in this context means you are much more than you know, while "poverty" means you know little about yourself.

(37) His disciples said, "When will you become revealed to us and when shall we see you?"
Jesus said, "When you disrobe without being ashamed and take up your garments and place them under your feet like little children and tread on them, then will you see the son of the living one, and you will not be afraid"

The garment is your body.  To be "naked" means you are without a physical body, but the "shame" (meaning fear of exposure of true self, not physically) exists for those who cannot put off their identity as a body.  Those who primarily identify with the body, having strong physical tendencies and habits, are either "ashamed" of their deeds or cannot release their physical identity or desires, and thus choose not to return to their light or they continue to exist in a limited belief system.  Those personalities who have not released their humanistic beliefs can become a "stuck ghost" in our plane of reality (as opposed to the visiting spirits) or those who "enter hell" because they choose to view their reality in that way, mostly due to guilt or fear.  It also applies to those who "enter heaven" because they believe in such humanistic perspectives.  Once you remove your identity with the body, and choose to return to your light, then you will be "in spirit" and be able to "see".  What you'll "see" is that you are the "son of the living one", an immortal "being" of pure light. By "being", I don't mean a person or any humanistic concept, but the core aspect of consciousness: to be.  That's what the words "I AM" means.

If you identify yourself with only the body, only "listening" to the physical senses and thus ignore the inner senses, then you cannot see the spiritual reality.  Those who are psychic are more developed in their atunement with their inner senses (though they may not understand why or how), but it is not limited to the psychics.  We are all already psychic, but most of us do not use our inner senses with any frequency or expertise while awake (all communication is always psychic, translating sounds of speech and squiggles of writings, which are the physical manifestation of our psychic thoughts.  It is also why Jesus said there are no secrets and everything is "laid bare" because we are all connected with each other).  As it says in verse 29, we came from spirit, and thus we already know how to use our inner senses.  It is when we become flesh that we forget and deny those abilities.  But if you accept that you are spirit, and don't identify yourself with only the physical senses, then you will "sow the seeds" and "reap the harvest" as you develop yourself to be "whole", one in body and spirit.  We are here to learn through the physical experience in a body that was meant to be temporary.  Our permanent "body in spirit" will never die, but it will change as we develop ourselves.  We are "becoming".

This last line I want to discuss really sums up the message of Jesus:
(50) Jesus said, "If they say to you, 'Where did you come from?', say to them, 'We came from the light, the place where the light came into being on its own accord and established itself and became manifest through their image.' If they say to you, 'Is it you?', say, 'We are its children, we are the elect of the living father.' If they ask you, 'What is the sign of your father in you?', say to them, 'It is movement and repose.'"

The "light" is Source as well as "God", our soul.  The "light" is the highest frequency, the highest energy, the highest vibration, the highest everything.  We come from the light and are light, because all is in the light and we remain in the light, regardless of the perception in physical reality.  We are in the image of the light, children of the light, and so we are also light.  Our purpose is to experience.  It is "movement and repose", active and yet at peace.  It is to "be".  You are spirit living as flesh.  You are the light, not that you have a light.  Our lives are the manifestation of our light, which is our soul, our spiritual entity, the source of energy and consciousness for our being.  Jesus' words describe this reality, but many have been led astray by the blind leading the blind, teachers who do not recognize their own spirit and only recognize their flesh.

The saying "your body is a temple" is easy to understand; that the flesh is not our identity.  But what most people misinterpret this to mean is that the soul is a separate thing that you own (that portion of you that is non-physical), contained by the body.  This is not the case.  The body is the creation through transformation of a portion of each of our soul's energy (all physical matter is made of energy and is imperceptibly recreated constantly through a renewal of energy).  It is our spirit made flesh.  The word "temple" is meant to convey the fact that you are holy and sacred, not just to describe a building that houses something within.  When the body dies, the spirit (your personality as the body) which is the energy that gave it form, movement and "life", returns back to the wholeness of the soul (unless that personality's beliefs prevent it from recognizing its own light; not accepting who and what it truly is).  How can this happen if you and your soul are one and the same?  Because when you are born in flesh, a portion of your soul energy is used to create the personality that forms the body (this was described in the book Journey of the Soul by Michael Newton).  This portion is a newly created, wholly separate and individual identity, a portion of your whole self, just as your whole soul-self is an individual portion of All That Is (the traditional notion of "God").  That portion of you which you identify with as "I" living in flesh has its own free-will and is "a new creation".

The words that most evangelical Christians like to use to explain how to "get to God" is also misinterpreted.  The words "I am the way, the truth, and the light" is misinterpreted to mean "Jesus is the way".  But that is how the current bible was interpreted, making "I" literal rather than descriptive.  In reality, it is "I" am the way, the truth, and the light.  No one comes to the father except through "me".  In other words, YOU as the "I" of the identity is the only way to get to YOUR father, your soul.  It is through YOU that you will come to know YOURSELF.  What point is there for Jesus to tell people to follow him, and then tell those followers to behave?  If you want to behave, you must do it through recognizing yourself.  Only in that way can you "save" yourself from your own ignorance.  If it was as easy as just believing in a person, what point is there to better yourself or take self-responsibility for your own lives?  It is because the current message being taught teaches that you are flesh and that you are weak without "God", contradicting the "true" message of Jesus - that you are light and that we are sons of the "Light".

Jesus did not come to bring peace, but division.  This division is to split our identifying with our body rather than our spirit, to help us recognize that we have become too blinded by the flesh, which is the "sin" that cause "destruction".  The destruction is our ignorance of our self both in the physical life and in the afterlife.  Those who die in ignorance "stray" from the light of their own soul and remain "stuck in darkness" as a personality who thinks they are flesh.  Jesus came to help "open their eyes" and "open their ears" so that "the two (body and spirit) will become one" and thus reveal their light.  Your beliefs create reality.  What you choose to believe affects you not only in the physical life, but in the afterlife, because what we perceive is created by our own thoughts.  Dr. Martin Luther King once said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  In reality, there is nothing to fear at all, not even fear because it is something we use for our benefit as well.  But those who are controlled by fear cannot escape their beliefs because the beliefs are the source of your reality including your fears and doubts.  The only way to get rid of fear, especially of death, is to realize that you are not the body, that you are not a physical being that can die.  These are the limiting beliefs that must be overcome, but it is so hard to do because you believe through your limited perceptions that death is real.

(44) Jesus said, "Whoever blasphemes against the father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven either on earth or in heaven."

The spirit that came from your soul and manifested itself as "you" in the flesh is the "holy spirit".  "Blaspheming" against yourself means you do not recognize who you are, thus denying your own being.  Your beliefs affect you in both your physical life and the afterlife.  It doesn't matter if you believe or deny in God or a soul as those are from ignorance of self, but "knowing yourself" cannot be done except by each individual and thus is "unforgivable" (you can't forgive something you are not aware of, nor can anyone else forgive or condemn).

The resurrection was the final example of the fact that we are not flesh, and that the physical world is temporary.  Though the bible describes the crucifixion of Christ, many spiritualists claim this was not the case.  The death "scene" was not necessary to explain the concept of our immortality, but the authors of the text describing the crucifixion added those details to embellish the resurrection with a horrifying death.  Unfortunately, this is the problem with only using text material as evidence.  You cannot know for certain what did and did not transpire.  Also, the traditional story of Doubting Thomas wasn't about Jesus' resurrection, but that he doubted his own immortality and did not believe (by faith) that he is more than flesh as Jesus taught.  This is the message that is difficult to accept for most people and it is why the Christian message is what it is today.  It's easier to preach that we obey an all-powerful God or savior, with men as lowly creations that must beg and plead for mercy and salvation, especially to the church leaders.  The physical senses can be most difficult to overcome if you only live by the flesh.  This is also why real faith isn't about believing in and obeying a person who is no longer around to teach and direct, but to believe and learn from the message which leads to self-realization.

Those of you who claim to be Christians, the next time you read your bible (if you do) and see descriptions of death and destruction, the temporary nature of everything, etc., consider that those literary words were meant to explain that what we see and experience is not our true reality.  Those words were not meant to instill fear, but people feared those descriptions because they did not see themselves as anything but a part of that temporary physical world.  Those descriptions were meant to emphasize the fact that you are experiencing life AS a physical being, not that you ARE a physical being.  Because of their fears, men created all sorts of teachings about damnation, sin and righteousness, judgment, and destruction by a "righteous God".  Their beliefs created visions of such torment and passed these on to others as if they were the words of "God".  The same goes for pretty much all religions and philosophies that chose to interpret their messages in terms of physical reality, projecting humanistic qualities beyond the physical experience.  Consider the Buddhist message about the end-goal, which is to be released from attachment.  Attachment is the belief that you are a physical being, and until you release this belief, you remain in "samsara" or the cycle of death and rebirth, preventing the attainment of "nirvana".  But "nirvana" in the Buddhist belief system is not the western idea of "heaven".  "Nirvana" is the idea of non-being, where you no longer exist as an identity or individual.  This too is a misunderstanding of the self and what consciousness really is.  Everything in physical reality are symbolic experiences, but only a tiny portion of the infinite experiences and concepts pertain to physical reality.  When you limit your consciousness to that tiny portion of experience, then the message is misunderstood.

The message even goes to those who do not believe in any religion and instead choose to follow science and intellect as their message.  Those who only believe in the classical Newtonian Physics (akin to the religious belief that you are only physical) must decide if the paradox of Quantum Mechanics (akin to the religious idea of spirit or the metaphysical notion of consciousness) is apart from the physical laws and thus truly is different from physical nature.  If it isn't and you believe it has nothing to do with metaphysical concepts, but rather describes in further detail the physical nature of the universe, then that belief is the same as the religious belief that they are flesh and in need of a savior (in the case of science, the savior is more human knowledge).  But if the understanding of quantum mechanics describe an other-worldly scenario, not able to be encapsulated by the physical universe, then it is closer to the understanding that the physical world is not what it seems.  Quantum Physics then shows a side of the physical world that is a probability actualized, which is the same as the metaphysical concept of a non-physical reality creating a physical one out of free-will (the Schroedinger paradox requires an observer, the non-physical, to actualize a result, the physical by observation, an act out of free-will).  In that case, what then does the word "physical" really mean?

God does not "give" love nor do we need to take or receive love (the desire for love comes from the separation we feel from the Whole Self while in the physical experience).  God IS love, just as we ARE love.  Love is not just an emotion or a feeling.  It is the energy and power that sustains us and gives us our being.  Love is the Light that gives life.  Love is always the source of free-will.  Any teachings or beliefs that take away that free-will is not of love.  A lot of well-intending, but fear-driven persons will disagree arguing that love "helps" people by being involved in other's lives, but that is looking at it from a humanistic point of view, ignoring the purpose for coming to this physical reality (our "mission").  While we can choose to help, especially if asked, we should not "butt-in" to other people's lives to "help" them in the egotistical way of telling people what to do or how to live.  If you accept that we are all immortal spirits, then not only is there nothing to harm us other than the temporary physical conditions (but longer mental conditions through our beliefs), but the only true way to help another person is to let them experience and learn from that experience to gain wisdom.  Interference does not help, but only feeds the self's ego.  This is not saying "don't help others", which is just twisting the point.  It is about helping those who ask with wisdom (knowing when to help and when to let them help themselves), and not forcing your idea of "right and wrong" on others, overriding their own free-will.  You will recognize the fruits of love, one of which is the unconditional freedom to choose the paths we take by our own judgment, not from judgment by others.  We must learn to take life as a game.  It is where we play and learn from play, not to take it so seriously.  If you view life as a fun experience, as some are good at doing, then you truly will be "like a child".

(56) Jesus said, "Whoever has come to understand the world has found (only) a corpse, and whoever has found a corpse is superior to the world."

In case you haven't figured out what Jesus is saying by now, he's saying that if you realize that this "real" world is just a corpse (no life, meaning it isn't real), then you have taken a step beyond it, towards understanding your true self, which is superior to what you think you perceive you are and what you think the world is.

If you've read this far and if any of this resonates with you, I recommend reading other literature to expand your awareness.  One book that I found very interesting was Robert Monroe's third book, "Ultimate Journey", though I do recommend reading his first 2 as well.  It is the final account of Mr. Monroe's out-of-body journeys, detailing much of the encounters and insights he's had in the later stages of his experiments.  But the most influential books for me are Jane Robert's books, starting with "Seth Speaks" followed by "The Nature of Personal Reality".  I highly recommend anyone read these books to get a different perspective about this subject matter ("Seth" is the name used by a non-physical entity, who channels the words in the books through Jane Roberts).  Neither are religious books, but they are very helpful in providing a "key" to much understanding.  If you're afraid of "occult" books, I ask only that you put your fears aside and let your mind decide if the words ring true or not, rather than your emotions and dogmas.

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