Jesus? Yeshua? What's That Spell?
Now that we are well on our way into the 21st century, it is really time to begin viewing Jesus / Yeshua (his name in Aramaic and native language) with fresh eyes. It is (really, it is!) with hearts wide open (and under no one's control or domination) that has to be our starting point! With that in mind, has there ever been a story of anyone else who walked with such radical integrity and personal commitment to the Way of Love as Yeshua, the Poet of Nazareth?
Yeshua continues as the focal point of Western Civilization -- regardless of the many contradictions between his teachings and the practices of his followers in that very "civilization". Consider our practice of monopoly / predatory capitalism -- when he taught simple living and sharing; our stunning militarism -- when he taught nonviolence; and our prejudice and bigotry -- when he taught non-judgment and hospitality. Would Yeshua welcome the brown-skinned immigrant -- or urge us to build border walls and deport as many as possible? Would Yeshua heal the sick and urge us to do the same -- or condemn the mere concept of health insurance and care for the poor? Most modern scriptural scholars have concluded that the Sermons on the "Mount" and on the "Plain" are, for the most part, most likely to be his essential word and trustworthy as to representing his person. Much of the other purported words of Yeshua in the Gospels are questionable as to whether or not they actually came from the mouth of the Master -- and this is not even taking into consideration the writings of Paul -- and the forgeries written in his name -- and the many efforts of the "literalists" to re-create Yeshua into their own philosophical image: all of which transformed a "mystery practice" and a humble Teacher of the Way into the religion of Jesus Christ, Son of God.
A new beginning? Like embracing a new mystic or "mythic view" of Jesus / Yeshua? Why not? Let's just suppose that Yeshua is the Peasant-Worker-Poet of the Holy One -- not just the "Word", but the "Poet". Let's suppose that Yeshua represents an initiatory path into the Christ -- Quantum -- Consciousness. Let's suppose that this Poet (and Path) was in tune, in-sync, with the hidden rhythms of the Universe -- that his consciousness even knew the vast secret spaces between the moving "parts" of an atom, that he could feel the whirl of those atoms within the orgasmic thrust of an expanding Universe... let's also suppose that that very same Consciousness was at the same time "localized" in his being, in time and space... let's further suppose that that Infinite Poet was bursting with love and adoration for every existent being or thing, personally loving and adoring everyone and everything... what then would be his dance, his song, and his poem?
With that thought: Yeshua the Poet, as our new beginning, can't you feel those old oppressive thoughts of original sin, control, and domination beginning to slough off like old, dead-tired, flakes of dandruff? If some flavor of his thought and teaching could actually be found in the Christian Gospels, what would that flavor be? If you were to go for a long walk with this person, Yeshua the Poet, what words would you come back with? Would you feel judgment -- or liberation? Would you feel doubt -- or enthusiasm? Would you bury yourself in shame -- or would you laugh yourself silly? Would you still define faith as right belief or creed (a thing for the head) -- or would that faith transfigure you into a new life of daring: consistent with his own radical witness? Would you follow Yeshua into the depths of your heart and then live the rest of your life from that sacred place? Those are the words that interest me! That is the Yeshua this world needs!
This Yeshua is, I believe, a current vitalizing force for beauty and good on our precious blue planet, especially because he represents a Consciousness that is not addicted to its power, not even to its own Being. This Consciousness is playing a give-away game! And we have been invited to the incredible feast of life -- to do the very same things! If you've got love, give it away! If you've got a sense of justice, make it happen! If you've intuited beauty, show somebody! Give it all away -- isn't that the essence, the "open heart, open hands" essence, of the Way? Yeshua the Poet is striding with purpose through time -- do you really think he's going to dilly-dally with dead theologies, political parties, or even Soup Kitchens that do not believe in the duty of love? Do you really think he would be ignorant of the precarious condition of this precious blue Planet -- and urge us not to care? Do you really think he would do anything other than bless our every human effort to love and to be loved -- regardless of our sexual practices for pleasure and soul-comfort in a world that is too often cruel and brutal -- so long as the participants are adults and not exploited, abused, or harmed? Good-God, this is a huge Universe: do you really think the Source of Everything is worried about how humans on a distant little Planet strive to be happy and find some little delight in life for a little while -- and then condemn that delight with an eternity of horrendous torture-- with the added gall of calling that "moral"?
Yeshua the Poet is alive for the ages and he's always been about a rEvolution of fire in the human heart -- he'll never fit on a prayer card, a bulletin board, or in a small-minded theological or political agenda! Yeshua the Poet is about a total and radical transformation of consciousness: an increase of awareness blossoming into an awakening of our own essential identity as "mirrors" of the Divine: with a corresponding responsibility to manifest justice, peace, equality, kindness, beauty, and harmlessness in a dynamic struggle to build "Love's Domain": the New Creation of Love and Radiance without limits... this is the vocation of the followers of the Way of Yeshua and the renewal of the churches who profess his name!
This Poet want us to feed all the children! This Poet wants us to redeem by our actions a devastated planet! This Poet wants liberation and justice for everyone everywhere! This Poet wants women to be equals in every way to any and every man! This Poet wants everyone to be welcomed home! This Poet wants us to believe in our divine purpose -- we have meaning! This Poet holds open the doors to Paradise -- not in some future time, but right now! This Poet would have us walk through those doors, with absolutely everyone else coming along, carried by us if need be, for no one gets left behind...
There is still one additional vitally important question to ask: for anyone on the mystic journey with (and in) Yeshua, how does one access the "heart"? Every mystic path speaks of the heart -- not as a physical organ -- but as the psychological / spiritual center of every human person: so how does one "get" there and live? For example, in Hinduism and Buddhism, mantra meditation (the steady repetition of a holy word) is most often taught as the means to quiet the mind and discover one's sacred center; Sufism also teaches this constant "zikr" or prayer of "remembrance" calling upon "Allah" (the One); Eastern Orthodox Christians have long focused upon the "Jesus Prayer": Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner... linking this prayer with the breath until only the prayer breathes and one then "descends" into the heart. These mystic references are important because they point the way: as an aid to focusing and slowing the endless flow of mental "mush", select a holy word that has a powerful appeal to you -- such as "Allah" (the One), Abba (Loving Daddy), Amma (Divine Mother), or Amen (the True, the mystic Christ Consciousness) -- link this word to the "in and out" flow of your natural breath patterns... follow this word into the depths of your interior being until it settles into your heart... and remember to also (as in left hand - right hand) work for social justice, peace, and transformation on every level in your community.
I am just one small man, and if this one small man can imagine our steady transformation into the fullness of all of our divine possibilities, with his one small heart, and with all the limitations of one small mind filled with not a small amount of painful memories, doubts, and fears... if my imaginings can place no limits on the Divine Consciousness to manifest Love, Beauty, Compassion, and Mercy -- what, then, are the imaginings of that Unlimited Divine Consciousness? Yeshua the Poet, what bliss to be one of your small imaginings, now what else do you have in mind for me, and for all of the rest of us?
"Ah! Thanks for the hints, ya 'ol Wild One You!"