Sunday, October 19, 2008
churchianity vs Christianity; and how I met Jesus the first time
The only good thing that came out of yelling at that brain dead churchian was me remembering Jesus. As soon as I did, I just had that Buddha smile on my face. I completely relaxed and felt very very happy and strong inside. It was nice to reconnect with Jesus again. This time it felt very different, like a very familiar friend.
I haven't Worked with Jesus directly for years. Long time ago, when I was an atheist and very "normal" person going to graduate school, married to a "normal" guy, and living a "normal" life - well, everything fell apart. I got rather sick because of stress (and why is yet another story). So anyways, I could barely move out of bed. Modern medicine had no clue what was wrong with me. And that's how I started exploring alternatives.... Which meant a lot of plundering about through all kinds of new age stuff... Like working with a network chiropractor who used kineziology and a very cooky "healer" friend who read auras, some other cooky kineziologists, reiki, crystals, aromatherapy, ...
And eventually ended up styduing Course in Miracles, which is supposedly channeled by Jesus. Up to that point, Jesus was a foreign word in my vocabulary, the only way I ever would mention him was if someone had the "jesus slippers", which was the slang word in serbian for slip-ons.
Even though I was reading this book written by Jesus, I was still not into God or anything like that. My family was severely persecuted by church during the World Wars and both sides of my family spit on church stuff. They all said: we don't believe in god (meaning: church god) but we do believe that there is Something Higher out there. I saw with my own eyes how opressive and stupid church was, and I stayed away from it as much as possible.
A Course in Miracles was more about psychology, to me; which it is, actually, although it describes some fundamental spiritual truths. It dissects how ego works vs how Spirit works. There were words in there like Holy Spirit, and since I have never gone to church nor read any christian literature, it all made sense to me in a very natural way, as related to that "something Higher" that my family talked about. Jesus was very cool guy and the book started to gradually make sense, even though at first it was all like greek to me - because the IDEAS were foreign, as I later realized. It wasn't because English was difficult. So, anyways, up to that point I really became a new age atheist.
So, one very very early morning, I just could not sleep and so I snuck out of bed where my then-husband was sleeping. It is like 4am, barely light. And there I am in the living room, alone on the sofa, reading the book on how hospitalized children in LA used a visualization to "clean" their brains, and how they got better from doing that. So, I wanted to try that out. I was JUST ABOUT to start visualizing washing my insides, when Jesus appeared. He was very very small, maybe 10 inches, and he was dressed as a window washer, in a blue jumpsuit, and he had a big mop and a bucket. He was happily whistling a tune. And he was floating just in front of my eyes. Well, he was a very happy chap and I could only giggle when I saw him, his joy was infectious. At 4am, a little live window washer winking and floating in front of me - physically - I had my eyes open - just somehow seemed very natural and just FINE. I was very taken by him. He had this joy that was just very convincing and very real and I somehow totally trusted him.
He offered to wash me up and I said sure! The whole conversation happened without any loud words, it was as if I could "hear" his words inside me, or better yet, sense what he was saying. Without a word, I knew exactly what he said, and vice versa. It was like ... hm.. telepathy, we were reading each others' minds.
So, off he went, cleaning, and whistling as he went along. A lot of dark water came down as he washed and scrubbed. Then he'd rinse and go all over, and more dark water came down, and eventually it all became clear. Then he packed up his washing gear, winked at me, and said goodbye and disappeared.
I had a sense that Jesus himself worked with me for a short while afterwards, until I accepted the idea that he is real and that he works for God. I became a believer in Jesus and God. After that point, he never worked with me directly anymore, I had a feeling that I was given to his "subordinates" for further coaching. That is how I started working with Yogananda and Grandfather.
And I wondered why Jesus appeared? If anything, I was intellectually prone to zen buddhism, tibetan buddhism, and sufism. That's what I read and thought about. There was nothing real from the Christian side. But it made sense why Jesus showed up and not Buddha - I was not a buddhist at heart. I was a westerner and thus prone to Christianity. Period. No qualms about that! Later it made even more sense, because Jesus is one of the gurus of Paramahansa Yogananda, who is my guru, so - Jesus *is* one of my gurus.
I haven't seen Jesus for many years, until the next time, when I became so ill I almost died. Then I saw his picture in a christian store window in this small sleepy backlog town. I bought the picture, and put it in my living room, and it helped to connect with it through all the trials I went through. It lasted for several years... Until I chucked my entire life on East Coast and came to Hawaii.
So, I haven't really worked with Jesus directly since then.
He is still in my living room, that same image. Perhaps I should get another image... I had an image of pregnant Mother Mary, and I gave it to my mom and got another image of Divine Mother. This image has Jesus as a child in her arms. It's difficult to find a good image of Jesus. Most images have him totally maimed and sad and serious. His face should be joyous, peaceful and soft.
Many years later, I sat under a boddhi tree and connected with Buddha and became buddies with him. In my house, I have Buddha and Jesus and a few other saints I adore. I like Quan Yin. Somehow I always liked her. I became her convinced fan when I heard the story of her life: she was just reaching enlightment and going up when she heard a child crying, and she turned around and came back to help. So she lost her enlightment because she was still needed here. Many saints do that kind of work. Since I had a very difficult childhood and survived by being helped by such invisible friends, I totally cherish what Quan Yin did for us kids. Thanks! I also like Divine Mother, for some reason, I think that comes from Yogananda and my mom.
Most of the time, I try to talk directly to God. Several years ago, both of my mentors, Yogananda and Grandfather, told me to not get stuck on them, because they are only human, and to DEFINITELY go straight to God. So I took their advice seriously and always try to talk with God directly. It is quite ok, God is a nice guy. I like hanging out with God. Perhaps one of these days I might say that I love him.
Last night, because of my brain dead churchian "friend", I was doing some research on true Christianity. Gurdjieff work claims that Christianity existed way before Christ, and that sounds right to me. There is no way that God wasn't known before Jesus! It just doesn't make sense. People KNEW. God makes sure people know.
So, I had some opportunity to think about God, Christ and what it means, and I took the opportunity. As soon as I started thinking about Jesus, I had a feeling that he came - well, what this means is that his presence, the vibe, is felt, it is like hooking into something higher and very energizing.
So I hooked up with Jesus again this morning, and that was very nice. He/it is a very nice ... whatever he is :) spirit, presence, awareness, guy, ...
Jesus is accessible from anywhere. I just need to think of him and he is there.
It would be easier to call him in when there are at least two of us thinking of him. Finding people to do this with is a tricky business. If I lived closer to Yogananda's temples, I'd go there.
I would never go into a church. Church to me feels very very heavy and oppressive. It is a bunch of asleep people doing asleep things. To sit there for 1-2 hrs just listening to someone preach (typically: bs) is insane. Even Gurdjieff meetings are to be endured because people are people, however, in G meetings, people really try to put some effort in, and it is understood that we are there to do Inner Work, and everyone participates, so it is a much more interactive and positive experience. G work does not really get into prayer and God, and that's a bummer. It does get into meditation, so it is more of a buddhist-like experience.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
"Biblical Christianity" vs esoteric Christianity
Book by Jacob Needleman, "Lost Christianity."
This is from the reviews:
This book challenges the reader to re-think almost everything they understand about
"lost" Christianity. Needleman does not present another work on Gnosticism,
Christian contemplation, esoteric teachings, or hidden gospels; instead he indicates
that a change of heart (an almost ontological change, and not merely one in thought
and emotion) is necessary for even the most rudimentary Christian teachings to take
root and become REAL in a person's lived experience.
His main premise is that Christianity has lost any real means of spiritualy transforming
people. That the methods that teach us the "how to" have been lost or
replaced with emotional indulgance pretending to be spirituality. As Needleman says
"all real religions produce results." The inability for mainstream Chrisitian
chruches to do that and even keep members is a sobering reminder that something
has gone wrong within western Christianity.
There are other two books that can be useful, Putting on the Mind of Christ by Jim
Marion and and Magus of Strovolos by Daskalos.
This is from the reviews. First a "churchian":
Misguided Christianity, February 6, 2008
Jim Marion has obviously put a lot of work in this book. However, I find his argument
unconvincing. He uses a lot of "handwaving" explanations to support his
ideas, including presenting "scientific" ideas that have no basis or proof
behind them and grossly misinterpreting Biblical scripture.
In fact, I would argue that Jim Marion is not a Christian at all, but rather a
Gnostic (*********only through inner, psychological development can one attain true
knowledge and thus be saved********) with splashes of postmodern and Buddhist ideals.
I base this on comments such as
"no one will save us but ourselves" (pg 263),
sin is overcome when we become psychologically whole (pg 240),
Jesus did not do everything needed for our salvation on the cross (pg 227),
among others. Jim can certainly believe whatever he wants and I think this is an
interesting book for a mature Christian to examine. However, I believe this book
is quite dangerous for the new Christian believer, who may not be able to identify
or understand the pervasiveness of this clearly non-Christian (i.e. non-Biblical)
viewpoint posing as Christianity.
Review from someone who thinks a little bit more:
This book is one of the greatest books I've read for a while. Jim's complete
lack of dogmatism and
****** emphasis on the Kingdom of Heaven that is here and now is very uplifting.
One of the best parts of the book is Jim's explanation for
****** the need of everyone of us to seek the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth in
our lifetime. If we don't do it now we literally have to go through the pain
and suffering associated with life until we finally have grown in spiritual awareness
and have attained the Christ's consciousness.
**** That theorem marks a profound departure from traditional christianity that
in its more vulgar and fundamental forms teaches that one can only reach salvation
through Jesus and through the church.
Quite early on Jim Marion completely does away with the traditional churchs insistence
on dogmas and its long-winded list of thou-shalt-nots and thou-art-sinnful. For
this reason Jim may appear subversive in more fundamentalists quarters.
"Putting on the Mind of Christ" allows man to be on par with Jesus by
permitting man to also reach the Christ consciousness.
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