Monday, January 16, 2012

Perhaps the miracle is in the message.
Miracles being added on to stories about an extraordinary person do not seem to be uncommon. As we look back at the stories of Jesus, the miracles he is reported to have preformed seem dubious. Do we know, in Jesus, a person or a myth of a person? There is a sense in which I see mystical knowledge that makes it possible for me to consider that the teaching of Jesus is fantastic enough without all the added and contrived magic. A person who has reached a level of transcendence, or reached a trans-ordinary consciousness, or reached some level of clairvoyance as to be able to see reality with a penetrating understanding, whether by some extraordinary gift of mental capacity, or a giftedness of spiritual insight, or by a weird amalgamated confluence of cosmic and biological happenstance, may be, in fact, miraculous and fantastic, without having to be enhanced with fantasies of a virgin birth, or magical alchemy, or the capacity to raise the dead. I wonder if the addition of so much contrivance to the simple teachings of a mystic person is not because the simple teachings are so hard to grasp. The point is that he said some things that still cause us, two thousand years later, to ponder the truth and mystery of his words. Not just pithy little “stitch in time saves nine” truths. But truths that seem to reveal a whole other aspect of reality. An aspect I tend to think that we must intuitively sense exists, but one we don’t have, for whatever reasons, immediate access to. The teachings of Jesus seem to me to be so engaging not because he teaches of something beyond that we can never know, but because he points to a knowable alternative reality that coincides with the reality we are presently occupying. Or he points to a reality that is the one we occupy, just seen from a completely different perspective. To me, ideas that Jesus poses, such as: that to love your enemies is a virtue, or that to forgive people when they trespass against us makes some kind of sense, or his idea that we can trust the universe to feed and clothe us; these are far more engaging notions than the weird and freakish concept of a virgin birth, or a convoluted trinity of Man/ God/ Spirit salad. (Apologies to the devout). A person who sees that the reality we inhabit is far more complex and transcendent than what we settle for, and who tries to share that vision, is majestic enough without embellishment. To have a fantastic myth about the beginning and ending of all things is compelling and attractive. To argue about how a Mythological superhero fits into that grand theme is consuming. More consuming to some than others. But to have a teacher who can open the eyes to see beyond the veiled one dimensional nature of the actual existence we are in, and gives us a hope that we can actually access this reality while in it, that, in and of itself without embellishment, makes the teachings of Jesus compelling.


drguy0 said...

Jesus for me was a man who was taught some moral and ethical principles and who, after talking with his peers and teachers and observing the interaction of the people around him saw inconsistencies between what he was taught and what he was observing. My guess is that he found the hypocrisy between the two so disturbing that he began to preach a philosophy of love and how the love could be translated into everyday behavior. For me what I can find that seems, after so many translations and political interpretations , to be the core of his message is caring, loving, forgiving and practical -- practical as it relates to our getting along with each other and with the earth on which we live. . the rest that appears to have been added over two thousand years is fantasy. I really like the analysis you have presented on your blog.

John Franks IV said...

Well put Sir! To believe in faith and fact is in fact somewhat hypocritical.

To understand the idea that a single being, entity, or spirit is in fact responsible for everything is impossible.

People tend to cling to the ideas of old and mythical beliefs, a need to hope that there is something better after this life. This does not make them true, it makes them a comfort to those who believe in their religion/higher power.