Creating the New Earth Together

Port Arthur, Texas was my geographical port of entry to this planet 77 years ago today, May 20, 1940. Mother was using midwives for the deliveries back then. I was number three of eight siblings who survived birth. A ninth didn’t make it.

Dad’s entire life was his family along with his trade as a master machinist. He worked for Standard Brass in Port Neches, Texas during the war years making bullets and bombs. I don’t know why he and his fellow workers were never considered part of the Armed Forces and therefore eligible for military pensions. Sure, he didn’t have to go fight the battles abroad, thankful as I am for that.  But those that did have to go would have been useless without ammo in their guns and bombs in their bays. Dad was home during the war busy raising a family with our Mom beside him and birthing offspring. There was purpose in his drive to procreate. He wanted to supply his beloved Church with priests and nuns, as Mom revealed in her old age. Dad’s life ended at sixty-one with a massive heart attack. (I lucked out with his genes at age sixty-two with a coronary bypass.) Dad didn’t have time for doctors. I wish he had. I was just beginning to know him and enjoy his presence in my life.

In 1944-45 Dad moved his growing family to Lake Charles. He bought a deep acre lot with a two-bedroom-one-bath house on Sallier Street, just across the railroad track that formed the southern city limits. Most of the roads were graveled, including South (now Ryan) and Lake Streets, and, of course, our Sallier Street.

Being outside the city limits, Dad built a small milk-farm, which I will always cherish as the most meaningful and practical setting for my education and character-development. I milked cows before and after school, fed chickens and ducks and sloped hogs, raised rabbits and calves for meat, built fences and strung electric wires to keep the cows in the pasture (and learned never to pee on one again!). With more girls than boys – seven to three with Mom and Dad – in a house with only one bathroom, we did our pissing behind a tree or in the barnyard. God, I loved that little farm. So many happy memories, not the least of them is the bonfires we were free to have outside the city limits. Then the city moved the southern border to take in our farm and we had to dismantle it.

By that time I was well on my way to becoming a priest in Lafayette, Louisiana, away from home and all the drama that played out with my sisters. My brother had joined me at the seminary but didn’t stay very long. At fourteen, I was enamored by the priestly life of prayer and solitude, on one hand, and on the other by the stability and security the priesthood offered. Besides, my dad seemed really happy with my choice of vocation, which made it much harder to leave the seminary seven years later.

Speaking of seven years, my life’s journey has unfolded in seven-year cycles, as it probably does for everyone. At age seven, I began my schooling in the first grade at St. Charles Academy. There was no kindergarten back then. I finished my junior high school at Landry Memorial High School by age fourteen, when I entered seminary at Immaculata Minor Seminary, which is located on the Breaux Bridge Highway in Lafayette, our mother’s stomping grounds when she was an orphan. She was born in Rayne and adopted by a cotton farmer in the Breaux Bridge area, where she was reared. I loved my mother very much and felt close to her during those seven years of seminary training.  She wrote me often, as I did her. She had the most beautiful penmanship. I promised that I would take care of her in my own home when she grew old, but that was not to be.

I spent six years in minor seminary and one year at Notre Dame Major Seminary in New Orleans, where I met a chiropractor who worked what I thought were little miracles with my health. So impressed was I with his method of health care that I left Notre Dame and went off to chiropractic college in Indianapolis, Indiana at age twenty-one. My dad’s belief and use of chiropractic made my decision to leave seminary a lot easier.  I think he was happy for me and with my change in vocation.  I know Mom was.  She was always supportive of me in my life’s journey.

I graduated from Chiropractic college at age twenty-three, met and married a wonderful woman of German descent, Jane Ellen Kriner, who had two daughters, Elizabeth and Patricia. We moved straightway to Louisiana — at her encouragement, I might add, and with the excitement of her daughters — to begin my career as a chiropractor and natural healthcare practitioner.

We settled in Crowley, a small rice-farming community an hour’s drive from home, where we soon bought an antebellum house that had served as a medical clinic for some thirty years, which we renovated as a home-office combination. In Crowley we ran squarely into the medical prejudice against chiropractors. Even the parish priest where we attended church was preaching against the “quackery” of chiropractic. This encounter broadsided me and woke me up to the reality of the times. We lost a court battle over a zoning infraction with our office in a residential zone, which had been rezoned without the realtor telling us. At the same time, a colleague in the Baton Rouge area invited me to join him in his busy practice. So, we moved to Baton Rouge, which was our home base for some fourteen years.

Over the weekend of May 19/20, 1967, I attended a seminar that completely redirected my life and the life of my wife and two daughters. Dr. William Bahan, who was giving the seminar on how to put your life and service on a “giving basis,” was to become my beloved mentor and friend. In 1968 I was introduced to Lord Martin Cecil, who was to become my spiritual mentor for the next twenty years. I was completing four cycles of seven years.

To start my fifth seven-year cycle, in 1969 we adopted a little baby boy whose mother was one of my younger sisters.  We were barren and Leo Fredrick, as we named him after our own fathers, was a love-child and a gift from God.

In 1973 we moved our family to Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, to attend a three-month class in the Art of Living. When we returned home, we became active in our newfound spiritual community as residential members of an Emissary Center in Baton Rouge. Six years later, we were blessed once again with our first and only offspring of our marriage, another sweet love-child whom we named John Anthony, after our own namesakes.

In 1980 we moved again, this time into the New Orleans area where I joined a friend and colleague in his practice, eventually winding up in Belle Chasse, a suburb of New Orleans, where we lived and worked for six years. Then, in 1986, a growing crisis erupted in our marriage that ended it. Easter Sunday took on new and significant meaning when Jane and our son, John, drove away to start a new life back home in Indiana. I was left with our older son Leo in the Crescent City to find my way to a new cycle and direction in life and to helping Leo find his life.  Our shared-journey’s end completed my seventh seven-year life cycle.  With Leo married now and off to join the Navy, I moved back home in 1988 to take care of our aging mother in Lake Charles. I was forty-eight and winding up my seventh seven-year life cycle.

As I began my eighth cycle and celebrated my fiftieth trip around the sun, I met my best friend and travel companion Bonnie Lee Fisher on Earth Day 1990 and we have journeyed together to this day. We courted for ten years before entering a fully married and eventful relationship in 2001 with an outdoor wedding at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, surrounded by family and friends.  We flew up to Niagra Falls for our honeymoon. Loving her has been a joy as well as a source of much spiritual and personal growth.

A memorable event was officiating as a celebrant at Marcus and Khara’s wedding, Bonnie’s son and daughter-in-law. The following year held the major and surprise event of bypass surgery on Easter Sunday in Fort Collins, Colorado, giving me a new lease on life as I started my ninth seven-year life cycle at age sixty-three the following year.

Much has happened in the last fourteen years since my heart surgery. I started publishing Health Light Newsletter in 2004 and published my first book, Sacred Anatomy, in 2005 and my workshop manual in 2007 in preparation for my first Attunement with Sacred Sound workshop intensive at Glenn Ivy Retreat and Conference Center in Corona, California. That same year I published “Rediscovering the Soul of Chiropractic,” a reprint in booklet format of an article I wrote for our professional magazine Today’s Chiropractic in 2000. I then retired from active practice and went up to Ashland, Oregon to spend some time with my two sons and grandchildren. Bonnie and I had taken a breather from one another and rejoined our lives and shared journey upon my return from Oregon.

In 2008 we rented out our house and moved up to Sunrise Ranch Conference and Retreat Center in Loveland, Colorado, where I studied sound healing with Jonathan Goldman and continued to developed and teach a workshop in Attunement with Sacred Sound, completing my tenth seven-year cycle at age 70. Our boys had moved to the West Coast with the grandkids and we followed them to San Francisco, California and Ashland, Oregon. We really enjoyed the rugged Pacific Northwest Coast.

Upon our return home in 2011, I went into part time practice as a health coach in the Holistic Healing Arts, the name I gave my office space in the American Wellness Center in Lake Charles. Since then I’ve been offering my services in clinical nutrition, attunement energy work and sound healing. I made my final contribution to the field of the Sacred Healing Arts by publishing my second book Attunement With Sacred Sound in 2015, bringing my eleventh seven-year cycle to completion presenting my work as part of an attunement workshop intensive offered by a friend and colleague at Still Meadow Retreat and Conference Center in Portland, Oregon.

I continue to serve where I am needed and received. My two blogs, HealingTones.org and LiftingTones.com (my Health Light Newsletter online) are visited by readers from all parts of the globe thanks to the Internet. Life is good, and my journey has been full of blessings along the way from friends I cherish and hold dear with infinite appreciation. The Lord has been good to me, providing all of my needs all of my days, for which I thank and praise Him daily.

So many friends posted Happy Birthday wishes on my FB wall. Gosh! I am floating in happiness! Spent the day with a colleague who came through on his way to New Orleans who gifted me with a wonderful and much needed complete body stretch and alignment. After which Bonnie and I drove down to the Gulf for an evening of solitude and beach-coming stroll in the salty sea waters.  Thank you one and all for your love and happy wishes.

Tony

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Chorale PicI have always had a peculiar feeling of resistance when I hear the words “In Jesus’ name we pray,” with which preachers end their prayers – mostly Protestant and Baptist preachers, as rarely if ever have I heard Catholic priests utter these words. It just doesn’t ring true to me as something required of us in order to connect with God the Father in prayer. Jesus himself instructed that when we pray we should enter into our closet and pray directly to the Father in secret.

Now, I think I know the source of this tradition. Somewhere in the Biblical account of Jesus’ public ministry, he is recorded by the Evangelists as having indicated that “No one comes to the Father except through me.” He is also recorded as saying “Whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” Later on the Catholic Church made it a dogma that states unequivocally that no one comes to the Father except through the Son.

Now, in the Aramaic tongue, which Jesus spoke, the word for name is shem, which means shimmer or vibration.  When someone is said to “come in the name of the Lord,” in Aramaic it means one who comes in the tone or vibration of love, love being the shem of Jesus, the Lord of Love. So, to ask the Father “in my name” is to ask in love, not to get something from God but to give something to God, namely glory, as well as to give something to one’s world, namely creative action.

When Jesus was teaching his disciples how to pray, he gave them what has come to be known the world around as “The Lord’s Prayer.” Interestingly, this prayer does not end with the words “In Jesus’ name we pray.” Nor does it begin with words invoking the Father through Jesus’ name.  According to the record, Jesus instructed “When you pray, pray thus: “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…etc.”  Then it ends with these words – which, for some peculiar reason, the Catholic version of this prayer omits: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matt. 6:9-13)

Jesus instructed his disciples to address the Father directly, and not as his Father but as “Our Father.” This leaves me with the impression that someone put a spin on this Gospel text. It seems they put words into Jesus’ mouth when they wrote the Gospels that have been handed down to us by Catholic theologians at the Council of Nicea. As we saw in previous posts, the Council of Nicea was convened by the pagan Emperor Constantine in the fourth century after Jesus (325 AD).  This was when the Catholic Church was created along with the dogmas that were to be taught and upheld by all Christians.

This was also likely when the phrase “In Jesus’ name” was owned and capitalized on by the Church, which in essence decreed that the only way to God was through the Church and its priesthood. This really does reveal the Judaic roots of Christianity. Judaism had its High Priest who alone was permitted to enter the Holy of Hollies in the Jewish temple. No one came to the God of Abraham except through the High Priest of the Temple. Direct communication with God by the layman was taught and believed to simply not be available. Yet, we have Jesus’ words instructing us to address the Father directly when we pray. I find this most interesting.

Where was Mother God?

What also strikes me as peculiar is the absence of the Divine Feminine, Mother God, in this prayer as it was translated from the original Aramaic text into the English language — and I may step on some patriarchal toes here. From my studies of the original Aramaic prayer of Jesus, I learned that the first word of this prayer, Abwoon, invokes both Father and Mother God, and the word for kingdom, malkuthakh, is a feminine word which means queendom and not kingdom. So, let’s have a closer look into the nature and purpose of this prayer of Jesus, which actually has ancient roots. It was a prayer that was used to initiate a new cycle of creative venture.

The Aramaic language is a sound-based language as distinguished from the meaning-based English language, so that in simply voicing this prayer out loud, one sends forth in his or her creative field energetic frequencies that begin to establish a new vibrational terrain – which we can call a “new heaven” – for the creation of something entirely new – which we can call a “new earth.” So, let’s have a look at each line of this Aramaic Prayer of Jesus.

The Aramaic Prayer of Jesus

As I said, Aramaic is a sound-based, rather than meaning-based, language. So, it really can’t be translated literally word for word. When spoken or chanted, however, it carries our spirit forth to accomplish absolutely that which we intend.  Above all, it sends our Word before us to clear the path upon which we are about to embark of all the clutter of yesterday’s successes and failures. It literally renews the path of our life’s journey so that something new may unfold that’s not a repetition of the past.

The invocation itself creates sacred space for the Great Spirit of Father/Mother God to enter and be with us as we initiate a new cycle. Praying this particular Prayer of Jesus helps us to enter his shem, or vibration, which, as I’ve said, is the vibration of love itself.  Love is, after all, the true path upon which we are to embark in co-creating and re-creating our worlds. We hereby set our direction and our intention and open our hearts to receive the sacred energy from Father God and the substantive provision from Mother God’s Queendom we will need to create and re-create our worlds. We do this in the name — the vibration, the shem — of the Creator,  as in the phrase “Hallowed be thy name.” Holy – and wholly encompassing of the All – is the vibration of the Creator of all things in the Universe.

Now, although the Aramaic words cannot really be translated literally, the vibration of the words of this prayer have a certain and specific quality that stirs a corresponding resonance in the “void” of the undifferentiated strata of creative dust out of which all forms are made. The following is one possible “translation” of this Aramaic prayer of Jesus offered by Sufi murshid  (senior scholar) Neil Douglas-Klotzl, from which I personally leaned to articulate the Aramaic words of this prayer.  I will give the Aramaic words followed by his translation. For a vocal rendition of this prayer, see the video on my December 26th , 2016 post.

Abwoon d’bwashmaya – O Breathing Life (or Father-Mother God)

Nethqadash shmakh – your Name (vibration) shines everywhere!

Teytey malkuthakh – Release a space to plant your Presence here. (Or: Let thy Queendom come now! is another possible translation).

Nehwey sebyanach aykanna – Envision your “I Can” now.

d’bwashmaya aph b’arah – Embody your desire in every light and form.

Hawvlan lachma d’sunqanan yaomana. – Grow through me this moment’s bread and wisdom.

Washboqlan khaubayn (wakhtahayn) aykana daph khnan shbwoqan I’khayyabayn.

Untie the knots of failure binding me, as I release the strands I hold of others’ faults.

Wela tahlan l’ nesyuna Ela patzan min bisha. – Help me to not forget my Source, yet free me from not being in the Present.

Metol dilakhie malkutha, wahayla, wateshbukhta l’ ahlam almin. – From you arises every vision, power, and song, from gathering to gathering.

Ameyn. – Amen: may my future actions grow from here!

There are a few other possible translations of the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus, which one can find on the WEB. They all essentially convey the same intention.

What opened my understanding and piqued my interest in this prayer is the expressed purpose for vocalizing it. In this prayer, as I said earlier, we have two invocations: one to Father God and another to Mother God. The invocation to Father God is to bring into one’s creative space the vibration of Creative Power. The invocation to Mother God is to bring into one’s creative space from out of her cornucopia, her “horn of plenty,” the provision needed to give form to one’s creative Word.

But the magic of this prayer is to be known as one takes the position of praying as God rather than to God; in other words, as a co-creator with Father/Mother God, rather than petitioning God to give me something I need in my life, something we are told by the Teacher that our Father in Heaven already knows. We pray our needs into existence rather than asking God to fill our needs for us. We do this in love but also as Love speaking the command “Let it be according to my Word.”

In Biblical words, we may say “Behold I create” – and I take full responsibility for my creation – starting with the most immediate creation and world of my physical body and temple — staying with it for as long as it exists and the substance that gave it form totally disintegrates and returns to the undifferentiated substance of creation – my world, my creation, my responsibility.

The rest of the prayer embodies and articulates a process of clearing one’s slate, so-to-speak, of all past experiences, both the good and the bad, the successes and the failures, one’s virtuous deeds along with one’s “sins” of the past, especially those “trespasses” that one has made upon others’ space, but also those that others have made upon one’s own space. “Untie the knots that bind me,” to others by reason of my judgments of them, and vice versa that bind others to me by their judgments of me. In other words, I release all things that may hold me back from pursuing my dreams and current creative imaginings. Then it ends with the command, “Let my future actions grow from here.” Or, in the words of Captain Picard, “Make it so!”

One can learn to articulate the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus is just a few weeks with the help of Neil Douglas-Klotz’s audio cassette tapes available from SoundsTrue.com. I learned it and could say it from memory in just two months and it stays fresh in my memory for instant recall. The Aramaic words seemed like deja vu to my tongue. I highly recommend it to my friends and blog followers.

The Lord’s Prayer

Here is a more timely version of The Lord’s Prayer, perhaps more current with the times and with the spiritual awakening underway in human consciousness. It was penned by Lord Martin Exeter, a British lord from the United Kingdom — who was also my spiritual mentor for some twenty years.

I am in heaven. The revelation of myself is holy. My kingdom comes because I am here. My will is done in earth because my will is done in heaven.  I give the bread of life in each moment of my living on earth.

I forgive, and that forgiveness is received by those who share the spirit of forgiveness. I lead no one into tribulation, but deliver all evil into the creative cycle.

For mine is the kingdom present on earth because I am present on earth. Mine is the creative power of the Word. And mine is the glory which results, shining round about, to be reflected by the world which I create.

So, with that I will say Adieu and, until my next post,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

Read my Health Light Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com.

 

 

 

 

 

“Jars of spring water are not enough anymore. Take us down to the river.” –Rumi

I will conclude this series of considerations of the Jesus of faith versus the Jesus of history with Michael Baigent’s own words summarizing the journey we have taken through his provocative book The Jesus Papers — Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History, words and thoughts that I fully embrace as resonant with my own spirit of understanding of the life and ministry of Jesus.

Here are Baigent’s final words from his book:

DURING THE COURSE of writing this book, I have sought out knowledge of a very special context – that of Egypt and Judaea in the first century of the modern era, a period about which there are few facts that we can be certain of. We have seen how the context can be controlled and forced to support a story that simply can’t be true. The Jesus of history cannot have been as the theology of the Jesus of faith presents him.

During the course of our journey, we have discovered that Jesus rejected the political activity of his Zealot supporters. This is a crucially important piece of information that has been missed. We have seen too that there is no evidence that he died on the cross; in fact, what evidence survives suggests otherwise. And if he didn’t die on the cross, where does that leave the resurrection? His divinity? His equal­ity in the Holy Trinity? These claims all disintegrate once the spin stops.

We have discovered that all these assertions about Jesus came much later, the result of a glossy gift-wrapping of some historical events that were deliberately distorted in order to serve a strict theo­logical agenda, one that maintains to the present day a number of ex­tremely odd and eccentric notions. Foremost among these is the belief that only men were Christ’s closest disciples and so women cannot serve as priests, bishops, or popes. With this discovery, the male domination of the apostolic succession crumbles away, along with the Rome-centered concept of the succession itself.

And crucially, we have also discovered that there is no evidence to suggest that Jesus intended to be worshiped as a god. On the con­trary, his teachings indicate that he wanted each person to have the opportunity to travel to the Far-World to find the Divine for himself or herself — or as he put it, to travel to the kingdom of heaven and be filled with the “Spirit of God.”

Where did Jesus learn all this? Not in Galilee, we have concluded, but much more likely in Egypt, where the Jewish community appears to have been more diverse than the Jewish community in Palestine and to have nurtured a more mystical approach to religion.

Furthermore, nothing in our findings suggests that Jesus ever planned to start a religion, let alone encourage others to write down his words and organize them into an official collection of sayings. In fact, quite the reverse is more likely I suspect that he wouldn’t have minded at all if people forgot him; what was more important to him was that people should not forget the way to the kingdom of heaven, a notion not restricted to Christianity and Judaism: “To be ignorant of the divine is the ultimate vice,” proclaim the texts attributed to the Egyptian sage Hermes Trismegistus.

It should be clear now that history is malleable: we have our facts, but we never have enough of them to be able to put our hands on our hearts and say, in all honesty, that we know for certain what hap­pened. All history is a myth, a story created to make some sense out of the few events we can know. The past is a hypothesis erected to ex­plain and justify the present.

In some ways this does not matter, for myths exist to communicate meaning, not history. But in this scientific age we want to know that the myths we live by are, if not true, at least based upon some approximation of the truth. We want to know that Jesus was really crucified, that Caesar was truly murdered by Brutus, that Paul did have a mystical experience on his way to Damascus. All these events are plausible, and there is no intrinsic reason why they might not be true.

But what do we do with beliefs such as Jesus walking on water?  Jesus having been raised from the dead? Peter founding the Roman Church with infallible popes? None of these beliefs is plausible, and there is no intrinsic reason why any of them should be true. Yet there are many who equally believe both sets of assertions.

Our modern world is dominated by the “religions of the book”­ Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. We can see that to base truth upon a written word makes it vulnerable to all the problems of interpreta­tion and translation, to say nothing of religious distortion. The danger is that books foster a dependence upon belief rather than knowledge; if there has been one underlying theme of our journey, it has been that we need to travel the road for ourselves and experience its hardships, pleasures, and insights directly rather than secondhand or vicariously. (Bold emphasis mine)

And with that plea I must bring our journey to an end, not be­cause there is no further to travel, for of course there is, but because we have traveled much already and it is now time to pause and reflect on just how far we have come.

As we halt, it only remains to quote the great Persian Sufi Jelalud­din Rumi, who, cutting straight to the heart of the matter, as was al­ways his way, cried out to all who would listen: “Jars of spring water are not enough anymore. Take us down to the river!'”

To drink from the river is our birthright. Let no one deny us that freedom!

There is no argument that the impact upon the entire world of humankind that the presence and ministry of this one man made is nothing short of a profound transformation and elevation of the human spirit and of human consciousness. I know this is true for me personally. Just to think of him and to read his words in my red-letter Bible stirs my soul and quickens my spirit. Jesus is alive today in the heart of humanity as truly as he was alive and physically present on earth two-thousand years ago.

I’ll leave you with this five-minute video clip by Dr. Bruce Lipton on how our beliefs direct our lives 95% of the time and how religious beliefs are programs and not reality. Believing in God is not the same as knowing God. To know God is to go beyond belief and to know your Self. That is the only reality we can know for certain: that I AM.

In my next post I will consider the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus and the direct access to Father and Mother God available to all human beings on Earth. Until then,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

Read my HealthLight Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com.  Current post: Humble Honey Kills Bacteria.

 

Good morning and Happy Easter!

I feel the burgeoning wave of joy and happiness that is resurrected from the womb of human hearts every year at Easter in the wake of the fasting season of Lent and just on the heels of passion Holy Week and sorrowful Good Friday — at least in the Christian sector of the world’s seven-plus billion population. With spring bursting out all over, this is a most appropriate time of the year to celebrate Easter.

(click on the picture to enlarge it)

A study in 2012 estimated Christianity was the largest faith at 2.2 billion adherents or 31.5 percent of the world’s population. The Roman Catholic Church makes up 50 percent of that total, with Protestants — including Anglicans and non-denominational churches — at 37 percent and Orthodox at 12 percent.”  So, nearly a third of the people on earth celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Little wonder the day is so bright, even as bright as the Sun rising in the East. 

Hmm. I must look up the origin of the word “Easter.” And I did. Here is one item that stands out among all of the hoopla over the pagan roots of this annual Christian celebration:

Because the English Anglo/Saxon language originally derived from the Germanic, there are many similarities between German and English. Many English writers have referred to the German language as the “Mother Tongue!” The English word Easter is of German/Saxon origin and not Babylonian as Alexander Hislop falsely claimed. The German equivalent is OsterOster (Ostern being the modern day equivalent) is related to Ostwhich means the rising of the sun, or simply in English, eastOster comes from the old Teutonic form of auferstehen / auferstehung, which means resurrection, which in the older Teutonic form comes from two words, Ester meaning first, and stehen meaning to stand. These two words combine to form erstehen which is an old German form of auferstehen, the modern day German word for resurrection.

It was the Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 who “ordained that Easter shouldn’t be connected with the festival of another faith. It should stand on its own in connection with the natural world. Hence he ordained that Easter should be celebrated on the Sunday after the first  new moon of Spring.” (David Potter of Oxford University Press.)  So, Easter Sunday’s final resting place is somewhere between March 21 and April 25. The date of Easter Day is usually the first Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the March equinox.

An issue was also settled at this council concerning the celebration of the Passover by the Jewish Christians, as Jesus’ crucifixion was said to be associated with the Passover. Obviously, Christianity emerged out of Judaism. Thus the consolidation of the two celebrations by Constantine.

Now the Easter egg can be traced back to practices in pre-dynastic Egypt as well as amid the early Christians of Mesopotamia.  From there it spread into Russia and Siberia through the Orthodox Churches. In Christianity, for the celebration of Easter, the Easter egg symbolizes the empty tomb of Jesus. An ancient tradition was the staining of the Easter egg with the color red in memory of the blood of Christ shed during his crucifixion. The egg is also a symbol of fertility.

Significance of the Resurrection

I will now return to my consideration of the Foreword of Stevan Davies’ book The Gospel of Thomas – Annotated & Explained, written by the his Series Editor Andrew Harvey. I will continue from where I left off in my post of April 7th on the theme of “Kingdom-consciousness.”

If all the Gospel of Thomas did was relentlessly and sublimely cham­pion the path to our transfiguration and point out its necessity, it would be one of the most important of all religious writings — but it does even more. In saying 22, the Gospel of Thomas gives us a brilliantly concise and pre­cise “map” of the various stages of transformation that have to be unfolded in the seeker for the “secret” to be real in her being and active though all her powers. Like saying 13, saying 22 has no precedent in the synoptic gospels and is, I believe, the single most important document of the spiritual life that Jesus has left us.

Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples: These infants taking milk are like those who enter the Kingdom. His disciples asked him: If we are infants will we enter the Kingdom? Jesus responded: When you make the two into one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the upper like the lower and the lower like the upper, and thus make the male and the female the same, so that the male isn’t male and the female isn’t female. When you make an eye to replace an eye, and a hand to replace a hand, and a foot to replace a foot, and an image to replace an image, then you will enter the Kingdom.

When Jesus says in saying 19 “If you become my disciples and listen to me, these stones will serve you,” in saying 24 “There is light within a man of light, and he lights up all of the world,” and in saying 106 “When you make the two into one, you will be called sons of men. When you say ‘Move, mountain!’ it will move,” he was not speaking in incandescent poetry; he was describing the actual powers that God gives those who risk becoming divinized, powers that can alter natural law and “burn down the house” of the oppressive power structures of the world.

Fourth and finally, we see in saying 22 the final cryptic sentences of the saying: “When you make an eye to replace an eye, and a hand to replace a hand, and a foot to replace a foot, and an image to replace an image, then you will enter the Kingdom.” What these lines describe is nothing less than the physical transformation that mystical union makes possible, the bringing up of ordinary matter into the living truth of the Light.

The ultimate sign of the Christ is the victory of the Resurrection, which is the marriage of matter and spirit to create a wholly new and eternal substance. Those mystics who follow Christ into union come to know and taste the glory of the Resurrected Body in their own bodies. The pow­ers available to the human being willing to undertake the full rigor of the Jesus-transformation are limitless. What could not be done to trans­form this world by a group of seekers who allowed their whole beings­–psychological, spiritual, and physical–to become increasingly transfigured by the living light?

The greatest of all modern philosophers–Sri Aurobindo — saw that only an “integral” transformation could provide the force and inspiration to change that must occur if humanity is to survive and evolve. Jesus in saying 22 has anticipated Sri Aurobindo’s vision and provided the map to its realization.

There may be very little time left to take the adventure into total being that the Gospel of Thomas advocates with such astringent brilliance and pre­cision. In such a terrible age as ours, it is easy to believe that the dark powers, the powers of that corpse of the world that the Jesus of Thomas so fiercely denounces, have won already, and there is nothing even the most passionate of us can do to turn around a humanity addicted to violence and destruction.

Despair, however, is the last illusion. The Gospel of Thomas and the Jesus who gave it to us continue to challenge us to dare to become one with the Divine and start living the revolutionary life that streams from union and that can transform all things. This worst of times needs the clearest and most unflinchingly exigent of visions to counteract and trans­form it; in Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Thomas and in his living out of their reality through and beyond death itself into the eternal empowering glory of the Resurrection, we have the permanent sign of the Way, the Truth, and the all-transforming Life that, even now, can build here on earth the reality of God’s Kingdom.

As this series  The “Jesus of Faith” Vs the “Jesus of History” winds down, I will return to my desk to write, edit and publish my final post of the series. Until then, I wish you each one a Happy Easter and offer my thanks to you for sharing these considerations with me over the past several weeks.  Until my next post, then,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

Photo credit: Craig Burrows “The Invisible Light that Flowers Emit”   Click on the link to see more of Craig’s flowers.

I remember when I was fourteen and studying for the Catholic priesthood kneeling in front of a large carved image of Jesus hanging on a cross above the altar in the chapel and struggling to get in touch with feelings of guilt and sorrow for my sins, sins for which this man is said to have died an ignominious death. I was actually able to bring myself to sorrowful tears of repentance. Such memories serve me today as motivation to write about the deception that has been created and maintained for two-thousand years by the Catholic Church and by Christianity in general.  I truly believe that, if Jesus were to come back today, he would have all the crucifixes taken down and destroyed. It is his life of love and compassion, his “good news” about the Kingdom of Heaven being right at hand, that I believe he wished to be remembered by and not his crucifixion.

That said, I would like to share religious historian Michael Baigent’s perspectives on the crucifixion of Jesus from his controversial book The Jesus Papers – Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History. The chapter heading from which the excerpts are taken, “SURVIVING THE CRUCIFIXION,” speaks for itself.

Jesus’ crucifixion was politically motivated, and Jesus was well aware of the political reality of the time. The main contention between the Jews and the Romans was their refusal to pay taxes. This played a pivotal role in both Jesus’ betrayal by the Zealots, as well as in a survival plot orchestrated by Pontius Pilate himself. I’ll let Michael Baigent detail his scenario.

If the Sadducee priesthood wanted to be rid of Jesus because they saw him as a messiah and a threat to their power, and if the Zealots too, for different reasons, wanted to be rid of Jesus, then word of this would have reached Pilate. And this intelligence would have put him in a very difficult position. Pilate was Rome’s official representative in Judaea, and Rome’s main argument with the Jews was that they declined to pay their tax to Caesar. Yet here was a leading Jew — the legitimate king no less — telling his people to pay the tax. How could Pilate try, let alone condemn, such a man who, on the face of it, was supporting Roman policy? Pilate would himself be charged with dereliction of duty should he proceed with the condemnation of such a supporter.

The New Testament represents “the Jews” as baying for Jesus’s blood. And this apparent guilt of the Jews stuck for millennia — it was only acknowledged as fraudulent by the Vatican and excised from the teachings as late as 1960. But as should now be clear, it was not “the Jews” in general who were calling for Jesus’s arrest and execution, but the militant Zealots, those who hated the Romans and would sacri­fice even one of their own for their political aims. In the scenario presented here, Pilate would have found himself in a serious dilemma: to keep the peace he had to try, condemn, and execute a Jew who was supporting Rome but whose existence was causing public disorder, the flames of which were being fanned by the disgruntled Zealots. Pilate needed to try to square the circle on this; he desperately needed a deal.

And the deal, I suggest, was this: that he try Jesus and condemn him as a political agitator, thus appeasing the Zealots, who threatened widespread disorder. This was the last thing Pilate needed on his watch, especially since he was aware that he was falling out of favor with the Roman authorities. But while he condemned Jesus and had to go through with the required sentence of crucifixion, he could not dare have it reported to Rome that Jesus had actually died. So Pilate took steps to ensure that Jesus would survive. He spoke with a member of the Sanhedrin and friend of Jesus, the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea.

Technically, how could a crucifixion have been faked? Just how could Jesus have survived? Was it possible at all to survive a crucifix­ion of any length of time?

Crucifixion was not so much an execution as a torturing to death. The procedure was very simple: the victim was tied, hanging to the crossbar, while his feet were supported on a block at the base of the cross. His feet were also usually tied at the block, although at least one example recovered by archaeologists reveals that a nail might be driven through each ankle. The weight of the hanging body made breathing very difficult and could be managed only by constantly pushing upwards with the legs and feet to relieve the tension in the chest. Eventually, of course, weariness and weakness overcame the ability to keep pushing. When this happened, the body slumped, breathing became impossible, and the crucified person died — by as­phyxiation. This was reckoned to take about three days.

As an act of mercy — only the brutal Romans could come up with such a definition — the legs of the victim were often broken and so deprived of any strength whatsoever to maintain the weight of the body.  The body would drop, and death by asphyxiation rapidly followed. We can see this in the New Testament. John reports that the legs of the two Zealots crucified beside Jesus were broken, but when they came to break Jesus’s legs, “he was dead already” (John 19:31-33).

On a side note, a statement in the Koran, “They did not crucify him,” could be translated as “They did not cause his death on the cross.” More relevant is the teachings of a heretical Egyptian Gnostic that Jesus had been substituted by Simon of Cyrene on his way to Golgatha and died in Jesus’ stead.

But if Jesus survived without being substituted, how could it have happened? Hugh Schonfield, in his The Passover Plot, suggests that Jesus was drugged — sedated on the cross such that he appeared dead but could be revived later, after he had been taken down. This is by no means such a wild idea, and it has received a sympathetic hearing. For example, in a television program on the crucifixion broadcast by the BBC in 2004 called Did Jesus Die? Elaine Pagels referred to Schonfield’s book, which, she noted, suggested that Jesus “had been sedated on the cross; that he was removed quite early and therefore could well have survived.” And, she concluded, “that’s certainly a possibility?”

The hypothesis forwarded was that Jesus was drugged with a sponge soaked in a sedative mixture of opium and other compounds such as belladonna and hashish when he cried out “I thirst.” Vinegar would have revived him whereas the drink from the sponge apparently caused him to die. Such a drug concoction, which was available and used in the Middle East for medical procedures, would have rendered Jesus unconscious and therefore spared much of the trauma and mental anguish crucifixion surely inflicted upon him. Then there was the incident of the spear thrust into Jesus’ side, not his heart or vital organ, where it is reported that blood and water poured out, indicating that Jesus was still alive.

All that remained then was for Jesus to be taken down from the cross, apparently lifeless but in reality unconscious, and taken to a private tomb where medicines could be used to revive him. He would then be whisked away from the scene. And this is precisely what is described in the Gospels: Luke (23:53) and Mark (15:46) report that Jesus was placed in a new tomb nearby. Matthew (27:6) adds that the tomb was owned by the wealthy and influential Joseph of Arimathea. John (19:41-42), who generally gives us so many extra details, adds that there was a garden around this tomb, implying that the grounds were privately owned, perhaps also by Joseph of Arimathea.

John also stresses that Jesus was taken down quickly and put into this new tomb. Then, in a very curious addition, he reports that Joseph of Arimathea and a colleague, Nicodemus, visited the tomb during the night and brought with them a very large amount of spices: myrrh and aloes (John 19:39). These, it is true, could be used simply as a perfume, but there could be another equally plausible explana­tion. Both substances have a medicinal use – most notably, myrrh has been used as an aid to stop bleeding. Neither drug is known to have a role in embalming dead bodies. Mark (16:1) and Luke (23:56) touch obliquely on this theme as well, adding to their story of the tomb that the women — Mary Magdalene and Mary, the “mother of James,”­ brought spices and ointments with them when they came to the tomb after the Sabbath had ended.

. . . . But there is yet another oddity that we need to note: in the Gospel of Mark, Joseph of Arimathea is described as visiting Pilate and requesting the body of Jesus. Pilate asks if Jesus is dead and is surprised when told that he is indeed, for his demise seems very rapid to Pilate. But since Jesus is dead, Pilate allows Joseph to take the body down. If we look at the original Greek text, we see an im­portant point being made: when Joseph asks Pilate for Jesus’s body, the word used for “body” is soma. In Greek this denotes a living body.  When Pilate agrees that Joseph can take the body down from the cross, the word he uses for “body” is ptoma (Mark 15:43-45). This means a fallen body, a corpse or carcass. In other words, the Greek text of Mark’s Gospel is making it clear that while Joseph is asking for the living body of Jesus, Pilate grants him what he believes to be the corpse. Jesus’s survival is revealed right there in the actual Gospel account.

If the writer of this Gospel had wished to hide that fact, it would have been very easy for him simply to use one word for both state­ments — to have both Joseph and Pilate speaking of the ptoma, the corpse. But the writer chose not to be consistent. Could this be be­cause it was too well known a fact for him to get away with any manipulation of it? This had to wait for the translation of the New Testament from Greek into Latin: in the Latin Bible – the Vulgate – the word corpus is used by both Pilate and Joseph of Arimathea, and this simply means “body” as well as “corpse.” The hiding of the secret of the crucifixion was completed.

Again, it takes only a slight shift of perspective, a standing aside from the theological dogma, to see the crucifixion in a new way. That is, to see how Jesus could very well have survived.

Jesus alive in A.D. 45?

Then there’s this: Jesus is reported to have been alive in A.D. 45, twelve years after his crucifixion. When this tidbit of historical information came into Michael Baigent’s hands in the form of a letter from an undivulged source, he immediately set out to find “incontrovertible evidence that Jesus survived and was living long afterwards.” But his efforts were to no avail.

Then there’s the Stations of the Cross plaque still on the wall of the church at Rennes le Chateau.

“. . . an image that reveals something very heretical indeed. . . .  One image, for example, shows a woman with a child standing beside Jesus; the child is wearing a Scottish tartan robe. . . . But the most curious of all is Station 14. This is traditionally the last of the series illustrating Jesus being placed in the tomb prior to the resurrection. At Rennes le Chateau the image shows the tomb and, immediately in front of it, three figures carrying the body of Christ. But the painted background reveals the time as night. In the sky beyond the figures, the full moon has risen.”

This indicates that the Passover had begun — and no Jew would have handled a dead body after the Passover had begun as it would make him ritually unclean. The scene also suggests that the body of Jesus was not being placed in a tomb but was being carried out secretly under the cover of night.

The significance of this story lies in the fact that the priest of Rennes le Chateau, Abbe Sauniere, discovered the story of Jesus’ survival in documents he found while renovating the church in the early 1890’s. His bishop, upon seeing the documents, sent him to Paris to meet with experts at the Seminary of Saint Sulpice, where he spent three weeks. He returned with access to considerable wealth, sufficient to completely renovate the church and build a road to the village up the hill. The implication is that his silence was bought.

It is important to note that the Stations of The Cross at Rennes le Chateau were painted under the direct supervision of Abbe Sauniere. He appears to be telling us that he knows — or a least believes — that Jesus survived the crucifixion.

As a final note to close this post, I will tell you about a most interesting event Michael Baigent discloses in this chapter. In researching the origin of the letter he had received mentioned above, he came upon Canon Alfred Leslie (1860–1948) who was Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral in Oxford, England. He was an expert in medieval French and was often consulted on difficult translation work.  He was invited to Paris to the Seminary of Saint Sulpice to assist in the translation of a “strange document (or documents).” The scholars working on the translation asked for help because of the outrageous nature of the text which they thought that perhaps they were misunderstanding. His friend, a Rev. Bartlett, who had invited him to go to Paris, reports on the outcome:

“They didn’t know that it was close to the bone . . . . Lilley said that they wouldn’t have a long and happy life if certain people knew about it. It was a very delicate matter. Lilley laughed over what was going to happen when the French priest told anyone about it. He didn’t know what happened to them [the documents], but he thought that they had changed hands for a large sum of money and had ended up in Rome.” In fact, Lilley thought that the Church would ultimately destroy these documents.

Lilley was quite certain that these documents were authentic. They were extraordinary and upset many of our ideas about the Church. Contact with the material, he said, led to an unorthodoxy. . . .  “By the end of his life,” Bartlett explained, ” Lilley had come to the conclusion that there was nothing in the Gospels that one could be certain about. He had lost all conviction of truth.”

A group of “Modernists” that included Lilley wanted to “revise the dogmatic assertions of the church teachings in the light of the discoveries made by science, archaeology, and critical scholarship.” Baigent concludes with this observation.

Many theologians were realizing that their confidence in the historical validity of New Testament stories was misplaced. For example, William Inge, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, was once asked to write on the life of Jesus. He declined, saying that there was not nearly enough solid evidence to write anything at all about him.”

I will leave it there for now. Until my next post Easter Sunday morning, then,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

 

 

 

 

 

“Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may also glorify thee:  ….I have glorified thee on earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do….”

These words are recorded by John (17:2-4) in the New Testament as being Jesus’ final words with his disciples before entering the Garden of Gethsemane. The last eleven words are the most significant: “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” These words were uttered by Jesus before he was crucified, which tells us that crucifixion was not necessary to his mission on earth, nor was it part of a divine “plan of salvation,” as Christian dogma teaches. That’s all spin on the part of Catholic theologians and Christianity in general–that Jesus died on the cross to redeem us from the clutches of Satan and to atone for our sins. All spin to create religious power and control over people based on guilt, shame and fear. Jesus’ message was one of forgiveness, compassion and love.

The following excerpt is from Claire Heartsong’s 2002 book, Anna, Grandmother of Jesus–A Message of Wisdom and Love.”  For me these words, though replete with modern spiritualistic concepts and thought, convey the true passion of Jesus as he may have expressed in words of assurance and comfort to his family and disciples. His passion was to reveal the glory of the Father’s love for humanity and for this world, which he accomplished with his life. They also convey the cosmic event of ascension for Mother Earth to a new level of vibration that was underway at the time. The book itself is a remarkable work which I highly recommend to my readers. Jesus’ name is “Yeshua” in the story, as told by Anna herself.

After John ben Zebedee’s group arrived at our designated rendezvous point, we ascended the well-worn path that crossed the Kidron Valley and took us up the Mount of Olives’ southern slopes. We found cloistered shelter within the Garden of Gethsemane’s oldest grove of gnarled olive trees. A cold, desert-borne breeze gently stirred the pungent odor of crushed, dry leaves underfoot. We silently took our places surrounding Yeshua and Mary Magdalene. Mary Anna and Ahmed sat beside me. We softly sang a litany of psalms, intoned Sanskrit mantras and the seventy-two Hebrew names of Father-Mother God, until we rested in a deep abiding calm.

Then Yeshua spoke. “The hour comes for which we have long prepared. You are the chosen ones that my Father-Mother God has given me to hold the Way of the Teacher of Righteousness secure. While the world sleeps you have chosen to be awake, and so it is that we have come together to prepare all things.

“Even with all your knowing and wisdom, more shall be accomplished these next fifty days than you can presently understand. For, I say to you, my Heavenly Father-Mother has established a New Covenant in me and my beloved Mary, that you now know not of, but soon you shall be our witnesses. I testify that what we do shall be imprinted in you, even as the signs of crucifixion imprint my hands, wrists and feet as a testimonial that the old patterns of atoning for guilt through blood sacrifice are to be done away. So shall it be that every cell of your physical body will likewise be imprinted with the universal codes of light and truth that shall surely set you free.”

In the midst of serenading cricket song, Yeshua paused. Our attention turned to embrace the nocturnal sounds of nature around us. Then he crushed an olive leaf between his fingers, and allowed the gentle breeze to send the fragments aloft. Next, my grandson picked up a nearby clod of earth, which crumbled in his hands and slowly sifted through his fingers. Smiling and acknowledging each disciple, he softly whispered, causing us to draw close to him, “Yea, even the least of these, which are of the Mother’s earthly body, will be likewise imprinted with ascending light. No creature hidden in the deepest place will escape the irresistible pull of our cosmic Mother’s love, when She brings all opposites together as divinely harmonious complements in Union. She shall surely bring down the Heavenly Father’s cosmic light in order to give this earthly body a new form. We have come together at this time to assist our cosmic Mother and Father to prepare humanity and Earth for ascension’s bright day, in a season yet to come.

”All of you, whether physically or in your light body, were with me as I lay in the sepulchre of the Great Pyramid of Egypt. I have taken you aside and have given you additional instruction these past six years. Therefore, know that what was placed into your conscious and subconscious knowing is now being opened to you. Now you may release the Old Covenant of our matriarchal and patriarchal ancestors who believed that original sin required blood sacrifice to appease an angry, jealous god and to keep the Earth Mother fertile.

“Likewise, it is you who will usher in the New Testament or New Covenant of the ascending and eternally living Christ who proclaims all life as innocent and in eternal union with its Creator. It is that same Christ living within you, who whispers this irrevocable truth to you day by day. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you. It is you, my beloved companions, as you are and shall be, in a day that you now know not, who shall join with humanity to unite the highest heavenly realms of our Father with this, our beloved Earth Mother, to birth the Universal Christ into your consciousness.

“If you would enter the kingdom of Heaven on Earth, allow the differences that provide contrast to inspire you. Make the two, one, by joining the inner with the outer and the outer with the inner. Allow your feelings of love to flow, giving and receiving as one. So likewise, make the upper like the lower and the lower like the upper, merging the Heavenly Father and Earthly Mother, male and female, light and darkness into a single One. In this way you shall enter the bridal chamber where the Bridegroom claims you as himself. Then you shall surely enter the kingdom.”

Now Yeshua stood in the center of our intimate circle, lifting Mary Magdalene to stand beside him. With his arm securely around her, he said, “Mary and I shall now go off a short distance to pray and prepare all things. Remain here, watch, and pray also with all your might, mind, and soul. The time is short that we have together. Soon I shall be taken from you. Let not fear overcome you, but do the part that you have long prepared to do. Though what we shall now pass through is indeed the partaking of the bitter appearance of death, humbly replace that illusion with the true sweetness of your Father-Mother’s Will, which is eternal life.

“Remember this.” said Yeshua, his lips trembling. “As the sun is darkened and the Earth Mother quakes, keep your eye single and look into the heaven worlds. There you shall find me and know I have not left you. On the third day, this body shall rise, and you shall see me as I AM. So be it. Amen and Amen.” With these last words of comforting counsel, Yeshua stooped low and tenderly pulled his mother to him, kissing her forehead. Yeshua motioned to Peter, John and James ben Zebedee and his brother, James, and a small number of other close disciples, both male and female, to follow him. They could be seen about fifteen feet away sitting huddled in the shadows of ancient olive trees. Yeshua and Mary Magdalene went off a short distance further, sitting face to face, their cloaked forms barely discernable. We followed the example of the others and knelt on the ground, our bodies quaking with an ever-increasing intensity of energy. For some, the energy became so great that we fell prone upon the ground.

Below our bodies we could feel a low, humming vibration within the Earth that seemed to be rising to the surface from her core. As our consciousness expanded into a greater sense of oneness with the more subtle realms of intelligence that are often unacknowledged but nevertheless are always co-creating with humanity, we became aware of web-like patterns of light enveloping us, uniting with our hearts in profound unity and love. I witnessed legions of angels and ascended beings of this and other worlds providing us with their loving support should we choose to receive it. I was also aware of the ethereal city of light that we called the “New Jerusalem.”

That city of light is none other than the state of “Kingdom-consciousness” I wrote about in my last post. “It is my Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom” were words Jesus is recorded to have spoken to his disciples. That was his passion and purpose for incarnating. It had nothing to do with crucifixion and death. Even so, he took that on, faced it and overcame it by not dying . . . and that will be the subject of my Good Friday post. Until then,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

 

“When you understand yourselves you will be understood …. If you do not know yourselves, then you exist in poverty and you are that poverty.”

This blog series is dedicated to all my Christian brothers and sisters.

Continuing from where we left off in the previous post, I will share further excerpts from Andrew Harvey’s Foreword in The Gospel Of Thomas — Annotated & Explained by Stevan Davies. The author is commenting on this saying by Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas:

“Jesus said: ‘The seeker should not stop until he finds. When he does find, he will be disturbed. After having been disturbed, he will be astonished. Then he will reign over everything.’ “

From his own harrowing experience, Jesus knows that finding cannot be without suffering; to find out the truth and power of your inner divinity is to be “disturbed”: disturbed by the gap between your human shadow and its dark games, the abyss of light within; disturbed by the price that any authentic transformation cannot help but demand; disturbed by the grandeur you are beginning to glimpse of your real royal nature with all its burden of responsibility and solitude.

Jesus knows too, how­ever, that if you risk this disturbance and surrender to the unfolding of your divine nature, extraordinary visions will be awoken in you–visions that will astound you and drag you into what the Sufi mystics call the “kingdom of bewilderment” that “placeless place” where everything you have imagined to be true about yourself or about humanity is rubbed by the splendor of what you discover. And from this increasingly astonishing self-discovery, tremendous powers to influence and transform reality will be born in you. Just as unprecedented energy is unleashed by the splitting of an atom, so through the “splitting” of human identity to reveal the divine identity within it, a huge new transforming power is born, a ruling power, the power that great saints and sages have displayed through gifts of healing, miracles, and undaunted stamina of sacred passion and sacrifice.

The seeker that becomes a finder and ruler makes a leap in evolutionary development from human being, unconscious of the Divine hidden within him or her, to an empowered divine human being, capable in and under the Divine of flooding reality with the glory of the Kingdom. To reveal this secret, live it out, and release it in all its radical power, to make “finders” and rulers of us all, is why the Jesus of the Gospel of Thomas lived and preached and died.

It’s a giant leap from the saying “I’m only human” to “I am divine.” One is left with no excuse for one’s goof-ups and shortcomings. Assuming one’s divine identity does not mean that one will no longer make “mistakes” or experience shortcomings. These are seen as lessons in the school of Life rather than mistakes. One learns and grows from them.

This empowering vision of saying 2 leads naturally, as in the text itself, to the challenge of saying 3:

“Jesus said: If your leaders say to you” Look! The Kingdom is in the sky!” Then the birds will be there before you are. If they say that the Kingdom is in the sea, then the fish will be there before you are. Rather the Kingdom is within you and it is outside of you. When you understand yourselves you will be understood …. If you do not know yourselves, then you exist in poverty and you are that poverty.”

The savage, gorgeous radicalism of this saying should not be under­estimated; Jesus is, consciously and with the most subversive imaginable scorn, mocking all versions of the spiritual journey that place the ultimate experience beyond this world, in some transcendent “otherwhere.” All the patriarchal religions and mystical transmission systems–including those conceived in Jesus’ honor–subtly devalue the immanent in favor of the transcendent. . . .

The Jesus of Thomas is a “mystical revolutionary” who goes against all convention, religious dogmas decreed in his name, and the sociopolitical structures that maintain the status quo.

From what I have said, it should now be clear why in saying 10 Jesus announces, “I have thrown fire on the world. Look! I watch it until it blazes.” The “fire” that Jesus has thrown–and is constantly throwing on the world–is the fire of a revolutionary transcendent and immanent knowledge and love that menaces all the world’s political, social, economic, and religious hierarchies and elite, and all their self-serving justifications for keeping a vicious and unjust set of structures in place. The Jesus of Thomas is not the tender, often ethereal victim, or the suffering servant; he is the most fiery-eyed of revolutionaries, a being who knows he has discovered the nuclear secret of a new, potentially all-transforming power of love-in-action, and he is committed to seeing that its unleashing upon the world and transfiguration of the fire of its truth and laws take place.

In saying 71, he announces cryptically, “I will destroy this house”; scholars have taken him to mean that either he will bring down the Tem­ple with all its elite and hierarchy and business policies throughout a revelation of a direct egalitarian vision of human divinity, or that he is pledged to destroying the House of Herod that is currently “defiling” the house of David. These are entirely too limiting and local interpretations of the enterprise of Jesus. The Jesus of Thomas is not a peacemaker; he is an incendiary of love, a pyromaniac of divine passion, announcing the laws of a transformed world and of the enormous struggles, sacrifices, and sufferings, both internal and external, necessary to engender it.

As he pro­claims in saying 16, “People think, perhaps, that I have come to throw peace upon the world. They don’t know that I have come to throw disagreement upon the world, and fire, and sword, and struggle.”

Jesus has far too mordant an understanding of ruthlessness and cor­ruption not to realize that only divine violence can end human violence­– only a sacred violence of utter abandon to God and utter commitment to transformation can dissolve the human violence that keeps the world sunk in degradation. Not only does Jesus know this, but he faces its necessity and lives it out in the extremity of his own life; he is fully aware that his knowledge of the laws of the birth of the Kingdom threatened all previous human accommodations to the way of the world; after his very first public sermon, the Gospel of Matthew tells us, occasional attempts on his life were made.

Unlike many of the gurus and so-called teachers of our time, whose vague transcendental waffling further drugs an already comatose culture and leaves every aspect of the status quo intact, Jesus’ vision of the new way was rooted not only in visionary ecstasy but in an utterly illusionless and ruthless analysis of power in all of its aspects. This is what made him–and makes him–dangerous, perpetually scandalous, and what makes the Gospel of Thomas a fiery challenge, not only to less incendiary versions of his own message, but to all philosophers who do not propose a complex mystical revolution on every level.

Jesus risked such an almost alienating fervor and uncompromising urgency of address not merely because he understood that the Kingdom could not be birthed by any less absolute passion, but because he knew too, from the majesty and astonishment of his own experience, that empowerment on a scale as yet undreamed of awaited any being radical enough to accept and risk the terms of transformation he was proposing. Anyone who reads the Gospel of Thomas with an open mind and awakened heart will realize that what Jesus was trying to create was not an eth­ical or sociopolitical revolution alone; he was attempting to birth a fully divine human race, a race of beings as radically alive and aware as he was himself.

In saying 108, he makes this clear: “Jesus said: He who drinks from my mouth will become like I am, and I will become he. And the hid­den things will be revealed to him.”

Divinized  Human Beings

It is in saying 13, however, that the fullest vision of how Jesus wished to empower others is given:

“Jesus asked his disciples: Make a comparison; what am I like? Simon Peter replied: You are like a righteous messenger. Matthew replied: You are like an intelligent lover of wisdom. Thomas replied: Teacher, I cannot possibly say what you are like. Jesus said to Thomas: I am not your teacher; you have drunk from and become intoxicated from the bubbling water that I poured out. Jesus took Thomas and they with­drew. Jesus said three things to him. When Thomas returned to the other disciples, they asked him: What did Jesus tell you? Thomas replied: If I tell you even one of the sayings that he told me, you would pick up stones and throw them at me, and fire would come out of those stones and burn you up.”

This is one of the most permanently astonishing of all of the sayings of Thomas, and nothing like it is found in any of the synoptic gospels. What makes saying 13 so clear is that what Jesus most wanted was to set others on fire with the same fire that he himself had ignited with Thomas, so that they, like him, could be divinized. Thomas is the one disciple in the saying who does not have a tidy and dead category through which to express his understanding of Jesus. Thomas has become a “finder” and so is bewildered and astonished: “Teacher, I cannot possi­bly say what you are like.” One last block remains to Thomas’s true understanding of Jesus and who and what he is. Thomas’s own reverence of Jesus as “teacher,” a reverence, however beautiful and justified, that acts as a subtle distancing force from the full outrageousness of the truth. That full outrageousness Jesus proceeds with his usual nakedness to uncover: “I am not your teacher, you have drunk from and become intox­icated from the bubbling water that I have poured out.” Jesus recognizes that Thomas has allowed himself not merely to try to follow him, but has risked everything by getting drunk from the “bubbling water” of divine knowledge and divine passion that Jesus has poured out for him, and in so doing, he has become like Jesus himself, one with him and one with his fiery source.

The next saying is my favorite as it speaks to the state of transmutation of consciousness to the state of Oneness. It also speaks of the Healing Field which holds the patterns of perfect design for the body temple.

“Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples: These infants taking milk are like those who enter the Kingdom. His disciples asked him: If we are infants will we enter the Kingdom? Jesus responded: When you make the two into one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the upper like the lower and the lower like the upper, and thus make the male and the female the same, so that the male isn’t male and the female isn’t female. When you make an eye to replace an eye, and a hand to replace a hand, and a foot to replace a foot, and an image to replace an image, then you will enter the Kingdom.”

Imaging is an essential aspect of creativity, as well as healing. One is functioning in the kingdom of heaven when working with one’s consciousness in holding an image of perfection of form. “As above, so below. As below, so above.” The alchemy of holistic healing is what Jesus worked with in his “miracles.”

There are four interlinked truths about saying 22 that I would like to unravel here, for they each illustrate another aspect of Jesus’ vision of “Kingdom-consciousness” and, taken together, provide the fullest guide­line we have to its implementation and power.

First, we see” Kingdom-consciousness” in the child, born from a mar­riage of opposites–of transcendence and immanence, heart and mind, soul and body, masculine and feminine. The freedom and mastery of this Divine Child consciousness transcends all known categories, prepares a wholly new birth in every dimension, and brings the seeker into unity with the One in all its aspects and potential.

Second, we see the agency of this transformation in the motherhood of God, the Divine Feminine. This is quite clear from the image of infants sucking at the breast, through which Jesus is trying to make us aware of how important is the embodied Godhead, the Mother aspect of God, and how important it is to the kind of transformation he wants. Only those who have awoken to the kingdom within and without as the embodied God­head will be able to view life and Creation and all the workings of the uni­verse with the kind of abandon and trust that will allow them to be fed directly by God, with all the powers of vision and action they need. Without a restoration to the Christian mysticism of Jesus’ own full celebration of the Divine Feminine, the “Kingdom-consciousness” cannot and will not be born.

The third truth that saying 22 reveals is the order of the transfor­mations that have to be undergone by every seeker if the” Kingdom­-consciousness” is to be realized. The first recognition–when you make the two into one–describes the first major inner revelation of the divine consciousness, that of the impotence of all dualistic concepts to begin to describe Reality. This is followed by the opening of the heart center
(known as the heart-chakra in Hinduism, Sufism, and Buddhism), which dissolves all distinction of inner and outer in a living vision of all things burning in divine light. This in turn leads to the collapse of all previously useful categories of high and low, sacred and profane, through the reve­llation of presence in all things, events, actions, and possibilities–what in Hinduism and Buddhism is known as the Tantric revelation of Nirvana as Samaras, of the world of appearance as being essentially one with Absolute Reality and saturated at all moments with divinity.

The combination of an experience of all three linked revelations leads to the alchemical fusion within the seeker of masculine and feminine, and so to the mutual trans­formation of the” masculine” powers of will, order, logic, and strength, by the “feminine” powers of compassion, sensitivity, and reverence for all life. That engenders a new kind of being, the Divine Child or Sacred Androgyne who, like the Divine itself, is beyond category and able to use transformed feminine and masculine powers in whatever combination is called for in the actual situation. Such a being” reigns” over reality in the name of and with some of the actual miraculous powers of the Divine itself.

Such passionate words resonate at deep levels in the heart, where spiritual things are spiritually discerned and understood. I will share the fourth interlinked truth in my Easter Sunday post. As we move into the Easter Season, my focus will be on the passion, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as Michael Baigent presents these events in his book. Until my next post, then,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

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