The Voice Of Jesus–Grounded In God

Grizzly Bear Campsite
Alberta, Canada

I appreciated the fact that I was sitting in a beautiful wilderness
area with pen in hand, writing down last night’s events. Hiking in the
Rocky Mountains was different than hiking anywhere else. Fear was a
giant eye-opener. It supercharged the senses. Life became just a bit
more precious. Even before last night, just knowing last night was
possible made each step along my hike a bit more special, a bit more
exciting. It was different than when I was hiking in Hawaii. There, I
took in the beautiful landscapes. Up here, as soon as I put my foot
down on the mountain, I was already inside the picture. I never even
thought about it. It was automatic. It felt like walking into a vacuum
where the distance separating life from living it was immediately
sucked out. Expecting the unexpected when the unexpected was a bit
dangerous lifted consciousness above the level of “questioning why,”
above the level of “imagining why.” It put me right at the center, and
that was a gift, the bears’ gift to me.

There was something else about this hike that felt like a gift—the
silence. Even though I had never been a stranger to solitude,
prolonged silence had to be endured, not enjoyed. For instance,
whenever silence got bothersome, I would switch on my radio. On this
hike, even the thought of turning on my radio was repulsive. I was
just grateful to be able to appreciate non-drama, and, I might add, up
here in the wilderness, non-drama was working with an optimum of
efficiency. I was fully aware, though. I was aware that I was merely
experiencing a glitch in the scheme of things; when I left this place
I would be back at the beginning, back in the world, back in my own
dramas. Silence was concentrated non-drama, and I knew I was not ready
for that one, not ready spiritually, socially, or any other way.

I had just finished reading “the book.” It was quite an experience. I
took it with me into the wilderness, and it spoke to me. Only after
the fact, could I say that. Until now, I would never have guessed that
that book could speak to me, but it did. The image of Jesus that I was
left with after reading the book was different from the image of Jesus
that I grew up with. Neither did I find a man who identified with the
“son of God,” nor did I find a man who knew he was about to be
sacrificed for all the world’s sins. I didn’t even find a new world
prophet proselytizing for the exclusivity of salvation for “true
believers.” Instead, I found a social reformer who taught the politics
of compassion. I heard more from this man about the importance of
breaking down boundaries than about erecting new ones. And, I
discovered a man who had the audacity to speak out against the
sanctified traditions of his time—family, wealth, honor, purity—while
holding fast to the belief that he was still “doing God’s work.”

Obviously, the work Jesus was doing didn’t conform to the model of the
God that I grew up with, the God that doled out rewards and
punishments, the God that damned the unrepentant, the God that lead
the “chosen” into the Promised Land. Jesus’ work criticized the
traditions and norms of his own time. His voice was the voice of a man
grounded in God. He spoke more about the transforming presence of God
than he did about the “God of judgments.” He was concerned with his
relationship to the spirit and asked of others to also be concerned.
For Jesus, God was the light lifting the darkness, the light of the
heart. Giving your heart to God made you the beloved of God, and from
that love everything “good” followed.

No wonder Jesus was crucified. Love God, love your brothers and
sisters, and be received in the divine Kingdom. That message couldn’t
have set well with the priests who, with their sacrifices and
atonements, earned themselves and their devotees divine merit. The
slave-holding Romans certainly didn’t receive Jesus’ message gladly.
Come to think of it “Love your enemy” and “The meek shall inherit the
Earth,” must have sounded offensive to everyone except the powerless,
the oppressed, and the victimized. Add to his troubles the company he
kept, the prostitutes, radicals, and itinerant wanders, and his short
ministry was predictable – a long three years.

The method he used to undermine authority probably was the reason he
was allowed to live as long as he did. His teachings were camouflaged.
His parables and aphorisms did not directly speak to authority. As a
result, Jesus couldn’t be accused of blasphemy against the church, or
rebellion against the state. Instead, his teachings invited disciples,
followers, and the street person to look at things differently. Jesus
taught a way to see differently, a way to see through the conventional
wisdom of his time, a way to see into the heart and spirit. His wisdom
was the wisdom of love. By not affixing his teachings to an external
authority, he was able to pursue his ministry long past what would
have been possible for a less wise person. He was truly amazing. I’m not
sure if he was the Messiah, but I do know for a fact (if what I read
was true) that he was special, a very special spiritual person. His place
in history may be the most deserving of all the spiritual leaders.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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6 Responses to The Voice Of Jesus–Grounded In God

  1. How you described the teachings, are for me the essence of what he wanted to share. More than dogma and rules. It is about Unconditional Love and compassion. Acceptance. Thank you for sharing.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Yes, that’s also the way I see it, but acceptance in not necessarily the case. My closest estimate so far: God’s logical consistency is connected necessarily to the evolution of everything that we know about the universe, i.e., connected necessarily to all the possibilities of human behavior EXCEPT the behaviors that contradict God’s self-consistency, e.g., behavior that takes life unnecessarily, behavior that causes unnecessary suffering, behavior that does harm to the environment–harm to that which preserves and perpetuates freedom, life, love, and reverence for the God that makes “all” possible. Thanks for all the comments!

      • For me is acceptance together with compassion. All that is seen for unacceptable, like you mention, it is in compassion we know that those who act in that way are forgotten who they are. We do not approve, but in being forgiving and accepting we can be compassionate.Understanding is never approve.In the balance of dark and light we are human. Real freedom is gained when we can see into the deepest essence of all. In compassion we do.

  2. aawwa says:

    Thanks for your visits to my blog and the thoughts you shared. I enjoyed your post.
    cheers
    Lorraine

  3. Mèo Lười Việt says:

    Very meaningful post. It gives me lots of encouragement. Thank you very much. You know recently I’m quite busy so I hardly follow all of your posts but I really want to read all. Wish you happy. 😀

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