Note: This is a pretty long article. Feel free to bookmark and come back to it!
With great humility, I posit that the single greatest need of Christianity today is not only to embrace contemplative spirituality, but also interfaith spirituality.
There are several reasons why. Here is what I will go over in this essay:
- How Parts of the Deconstruction Movement, Progressive Christianity & Evangelicalism Are Stuck
- The Answer is Returning to a Direct Relationship with God – through Contemplative Spirituality
- How Scripture Points Us to Direct Relationship with God
- The Rich History of Interfaith Christian Contemplatives Over Millennia
- Once You Experience a True, Deep Relationship with God, it is Easier to See God in Other Spiritual Traditions
- How the New Testament & Jesus’ Words Should Be Taken With a Grain of Salt
- How Energy Science & Psychology Give Us A More Accurate Understanding of God & Jesus
I’m not sure how much more controversy I can stuff in a blog post! Definitely not my intention (I’m not much for conflict). But I gotta share what I think is true, based on my studies.
Here goes nothin’.
How Parts of the Deconstruction Movement, Progressive Christianity & Evangelicalism Are Stuck
My Deconstruction Journey
I started my deconstruction journey in 2010, after hitting rock bottom and losing everything.
I won’t get into the gory details. But I will say that since then, I had consistently felt like a black sheep in the churches I attended. I questioned things, and read controversial books (even by Atheists like Dawkins and Hitchens). But I also read a lot of amazing works by Christian writers like Tozer, Packer, Augustine, a Kempis, and more.
I didn’t meet many other Christians who had the same thirst for truth and direct experience with God as I did. They had a thirst for the “truth”, but only within the confines of the Bible. No one really questioned why we trust the Bible so damn much. I took apologetics courses and read apologetics books – I really tried to gain some certainty about this faith called Christianity.
Why was it so easy for everyone else to believe, except me? It felt like no one else was doing the work of questioning what Christians take for granted.
And I didn’t meet a lot of Christians who were trying to dig into the spiritual truths of experiencing God directly. They loved studying theology and concepts, but not necessarily direct experience with God (the definition of mysticism, by the way). Though there are many Christians that do thirst for direct experience, through worship and prayer.
I had a thirst for experiencing and understanding God, and that took me a lot of different directions, including Christian contemplation, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sufi Muslim spirituality. I dug into spiritual science like Dr. Andrew Newberg’s neurotheology.
I started to notice some patterns in the spiritual experiences I read about. They all started to sound similar.
So my deconstruction was quiet, pretty alienating, and difficult, but also incredibly life-giving because I felt like I was experiencing God in a real way.
Finding Contemplative Spirituality & Progressive Christianity
Then I started reading Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. Changed my life. It set me down the path of true Christian spirituality – one of direct experience, not of “doing for God instead of being with God”.
“Action, then passivity; striving, then letting go, doing all one can do and then being carried . . . only in this rhythm is the spirit realized.”
“The core spiritual issue in stopping revolves around trust. Will God take care of us and our concerns if we obey him by stopping?”
“Detachment is the great secret of interior peace.”Pete Scazzero
Pete taught me about Brother Lawrence, St. Benedict’s Rule of Life, and Ignatian spirituality. These writers all set me on the path of contemplative spirituality.
I’m not sure there is another better definition of contemplative spirituality than his:
- Brother Lawrence called it “the pure loving gaze that finds God everywhere.”
- Francis de Sales described it as “the mind’s loving, unmixed, permanent attention to the things of God.”
- It is about seeing God in all of life, not just in what we might consider the spiritual aspects of life.
- awakening and surrendering to God’s love in any and every situation;
positioning ourselves to hear God and remember his presence in all we do;
- communing with God, allowing him to fully indwell the depth of our being;
practicing silence, solitude, and a life of unceasing prayer; (my emphasis added)
resting attentively in the presence of God;
understanding our earthly life as a journey of transformation toward ever-increasing union with God;
finding the true essence of who we are in God;
loving others out of a life of love for God;
developing a balanced, harmonious rhythm of life that enables us to be aware of the sacred in all of life;
adapting historic practices of spirituality that are applicable today;
allowing our Christian lives to be shaped by the rhythms of the Christian calendar rather than the culture; and
living in committed community that passionately loves Jesus above all else.
This is the solution to what American Christians need today in the 21st century.
Most of us would agree that evangelicalism is lacking, and has hurt many people. The trauma is real, and it is encouraging that so many people are deconstructing by finding communities and knowledge to support their healing. Even if you weren’t traumatized, maybe you’re just going through a process of questioning.
But the deconstruction movement and progressive Christianity can also be a bit stuck. There is a lot of talk about politics, theological issues, Biblical interpretation, and criticism, but not about our spiritual practice. And sometimes people can get stuck in bitterness and trauma, and end up rejecting the faith completely.
It’s not enough to remain doubtful and skeptical in the long-term, without arriving at some certainty. Much intellectualizing and debate doesn’t compensate for a real relationship with the divine love of God.
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”Francis Bacon
“There’s a difference between knowing God and knowing about God.”J.I. Packer
So is there a way to come to a more complete understanding of Jesus, God, and the Bible, built on a fulfilling spiritual relationship with God? As Christians who have struggled with the faith, is there a way to affirm the beautiful parts of the faith, while having a truly rational worldview?
Absolutely – through contemplative spirituality and prayer.
Returning to Direct Experience with God
Contemplative spirituality and prayer provide concrete spiritual methods of experiencing God directly. It helps us cultivate a real relationship with the Divine, without all the religious dogma and legalism.
What is Christianity, without relationship or direct experience of God? Contemplative spirituality focuses on what’s important – how to deepen our relationship with the Divine.
There are wildly different interpretations of scripture, the role of Jesus, and how Christians should think about politics. But contemplation takes the focus away from those endless arguments, and focuses on what’s important: Oneness with God.
And as you’ll see, oneness with God gives us a more accurate understanding of scripture, Jesus, and God.
What Jesus Can Teach Us About Contemplative Spirituality
Oneness or direct experience with God, is also called mysticism. When many people think of mysticism they think tarot or crystals, but that is a misconception. Mysticism just means direct relationship with the Divine, and there is a rich history of Christian mystics and contemplatives.
This includes Jesus himself, who spoke of being one with God and experiencing God directly. Many of us already have a relationship with God, so you could say we are already mystics.
But many of us weren’t taught how to deepen that relationship in a predictable way. Or, we still feel like we’re having a relationship with a god who is out there somewhere outside of the universe, and maybe we feel his presence if we’re lucky.
Beyond Words to “a long, loving look at the Real”
In Sunday School I was taught that if I “read my Bible and pray every day, then I’ll grow, grow, grow”. And that’s usually what most Christians are taught.
But is reading your Bible every day really the best way to cultivate a rich relationship with God?
And how are we supposed to pray, exactly?
If you have a Christian background, your mind might go to the Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus taught us to say, “Give us this day our daily bread”, etc.
So Christians usually try to cultivate a prayer life with a lot of words and thoughts: Reading the words of the Bible, thinking about them, and also saying a lot of words during prayer.
When Christians pray they usually do all the talking, not God.
But in contemplative prayer, this is reversed. We quiet ourselves and listen to what God has to say.
Though Christians focus on how Jesus taught the Lord’s Prayer, he also showed us other examples of prayer.
He also taught us to “go into our room, close the door, and pray to the Father in secret” (Matthew 6:6). We also know that Jesus “frequently withdrew to the mountains to pray” (Luke 5:16). The Psalms of David are filled to the brim of writings that bring us into direct connection with transcendent love (aka, God). Relationship with God is also described as a “peace that surpasses all understanding”.
And as far as I know, Jesus did not bring scrolls with him to study in the mountains. The core of his prayer life did not include scripture. Yes, he was incredibly knowledgeable about scripture. But it seems that his study of scripture was very separate from his prayer life.
So it seems that silence, solitude, and the quiet contemplation of God is the key to true spirituality.
This is verified by Thomas Keating, a catholic monk and the father of centering prayer:
“Silence is God’s first language; everything else is a poor translation.”
The Rich History of Christian Contemplation
Contemplative spirituality is not new, and certainly didn’t end with Jesus. There is a long, rich history of Christian contemplation, often from monks who (thankfully) penned their practices to paper.
Here is a short list of influential contemplatives in the Christian tradition:
Catholic Monk | 1923-2018
“The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from God.”
Franciscan Priest | 1943 – Present
“All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not.”
“If I could encourage you toward one spiritual discipline it would be silence and solitude.”
Episcopal Priest | 1947 – Present
“It’s very, very simple. You sit, either in a chair or on a prayer stool or mat, and allow your heart to open toward that invisible but always present Origin of all that exists.”
St. John of the Cross
Spanish Catholic Priest | 1542 – 1591
“The soul that is quick to turn to speaking and conversing is slow to turn to God.”
St. Teresa of Avila
Spanish Nun | 1515 – 1582
“We need no wings to go in search of Him, but have only to look upon Him present within us.”
“Prayer is an act of love; words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love.”
“Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.”
St. Ignatius of Loyola
Spanish Catholic Priest | 1491 – 1556
“For it is not in knowing much, but realizing and relishing things interiorly, that contents and satisfies the soul.”
American Trappist Monk | 1915 – 1968
“Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war.”
“We are already one and we imagine we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. Whatever we have to be is what we are.”
“The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds.”
“The peace produced by grace is a spiritual stability too deep for violence — it is unshakeable.”
French Lay Carmelite Brother | 1614 – 1691
“And it is not necessary to have great things to do. I turn my little omelette in the pan for the love of God.”
St. Augustine of Hippo
Theologian, Bishop & Philosopher | 354 – 430
“True, whole prayer is nothing but love.” – Augustine
John the Apostle
You guessed it, an Apostle of Jesus | 6 – 100 AD
“God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
Philosopher, Italian Dominican Friar | 1225 – 1274
“It is necessary for the perfection of human society that there should be men who devote their lives to contemplation.”
I left Aquinas for last because of his fascinating mystical experience 3 months before he died. Before, he was already known for the ability to levitate and practice long bouts of contemplation.
It was after this final mystical experience that he stopped writing, saying “I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw”. Aquinas is probably the foremost Christian philosopher and theologian of all time. I take this as a strong case for the power of deep contemplative spirituality. He came to understand that God was far beyond words, concepts and theology.
How the Contemplative Tradition Was Stopped
“Contemplative prayer was largely lost after the dualistic, tribal fights of the Reformation and the Enlightenment. The utter vulnerability of silence did not allow us to “prove” anything and so was no longer attractive.”Center for Action & Contemplation
The contemplative tradition was practiced for around 1500 years (from Jesus to the Desert Fathers & Mothers, and beyond), before it was supposedly stopped by Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.
Luther’s method was one of contemplating the theology and infiniteness of scripture, and opposing the silent love of contemplative prayer. Again, this goes against the practice that Jesus himself displayed by retreating frequently to the mountains to pray (where presumably he did not bring scrolls of scripture with him).
Seeing God Outside of Christianity
So we know that “God is love”, God is infinite, “without love we are nothing”, and that “the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace”, etc. We know from Jesus’ example that in silent contemplative prayer, we get to experience the Spirit of God directly.
I argue that this same Spirit of God is present in all spiritual traditions – yes, including the mystical practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Native American spirituality, and all others.
So through contemplation, we start to develop a sense of openness, transcendence, and love for all things. The infinite love of God becomes a deep reality in our lives. We experience a deep abiding and knowing of the presence of God.
The presence of God is objectless (also called nondual awareness). There are no boundaries between self and the Divine – the boundaries dissolve and we become one. As Jesus said, “I and the Father are one”, where we experience the “peace that surpasses all understanding”.
Thought, opinion, desire, craving, aversion, resentment, attachment – all fall away in the infiniteness of God. In this clarity of mind and heart, even the smallest phenomena becomes magnificent: the chirping of a bird, the cool air in your nostrils, the transcendence of the big, blue sky. As Brother Lawrence said, “I turn my little omelet in the pan for the love of God”.
If we start to pay attention to this experience with God from a psychological perspective, we notice a few key ingredients: Letting go, transcendence, and gratitude for the infinite presence of God (transcendent love).
If we look at all spiritual traditions (and most Christians don’t), we notice the same striking pattern of letting go, transcendence, and experiencing an infinite love. Depending on the tradition, it could be also be called boundless awareness, the Source, infinite presence, pure being, or simply infinite love.
If God is love, and our relationship with God primarily consists of experiencing that infinite love, and other spiritual traditions also experience an infinite love in their practices, then the spirit of God is present in all religions.
It’s really that simple. Yes, there are other arguments for the inadequacy of scripture, that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t necessary for salvation, and more. But the argument above gets to the heart of the issue, in my opinion.
If our relationship with God is real – that is, we experience the presence of God in a real, tangible way – then it is pretty easy to see the totality of God in other traditions.
“A heart transformed by this realization of oneness knows that only love ‘in here’ can spot and enjoy love ‘out there.’”Richard Rohr
But, God is not present in all aspects of all spiritual traditions
Now, I will note that a Christian doesn’t have to practice contemplative prayer to experience the presence of God. There is also worship involving music, which is a powerful way to experience the transcendence of God. And yes, reading the Bible can produce this same transcendence as well. But in the case of the Bible, it also carries with it the possibility of bigotry. Through scripture you can experience the transcendence of God, but you can also get the wrong ideas about women in leadership, homosexuality, hell, or slavery.
Christians, as well as devotees of other religions, all can experience the Divine, but humans tend to tribalize and theologize around how that experience works. Contemplative prayer just focuses on the transcendence of God at the core of its method, without all the dogma.
I will also say that God is not 100% present in all aspects of all spiritual traditions. For instance, I don’t think that the Hindu practice of worshipping cows is practicing the presence of God. Other symbols and gods of Hinduism are not God itself, but they can point to the Divine in a powerful way. It’s just that many Christians look at these symbols and gods and judge the religion by these surface objects. If they went deeper and studied their texts, they would see the deeper truths being taught of transcendent contemplation.
Worshiping statues of the Buddha is also not the presence of God. But most Buddhists do not worship statues of the Buddha, as many Christians believe. Statues are just symbols that lead Buddhists to the Divine, or their own Buddha-hood. They generally do not meditate on the statues themselves. The Buddha even encouraged his followers to question his own teaching.
And it is unfortunate that there are many Muslims who have radicalized their faith. From what little I know about the Quran, it seems that they have perverted scripture to their own ends. But, there is also some evidence that Muslims became hateful towards Americans, after Americans prolonged their occupation of Afghanistan too long after fending off the Russians. Muslim extremism is not the spirit of God – but neither is American imperialism. Regardless, there is an incredible mystical thread of Islam called Sufism. If you’ve heard of Rumi, he was a Sufi mystic. In the Sufi tradition, the infinite love and peace of God is present throughout the tradition.
On the other side, there is much within Christianity that doesn’t directly carry the presence of God either. For instance: baptism, communion, symbols of the cross, or depictions of the Virgin Mary. These are all symbols that can point us to the Divine, but are not the Divine itself. I personally believe that worshiping Jesus is also a form of idolatry (to use Christian terminology). By his own admission, Jesus was merely a man. A powerful, divinely-inspired man, but a man nonetheless.
“Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”Jesus
In my opinion, it was his apostles that injected their own exclusionary interpretation of what Jesus’ life meant. The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are a more accurate depiction of Jesus’ words and life, and those gospels didn’t say nearly as much that could be construed as Jesus’ sacrifice being necessary for salvation from hell.
So Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and other symbols can lead us to the Divine. But in the end, we have to let them all go to become one with God and achieve nondual awareness.
Now, Let’s Get Philosophical
So then you might ask, “but what about Jesus and the Bible? Didn’t Jesus say he’s the only way to God?” A valid question, which I will try to answer.
When we study the wisdom of all spiritual traditions, as well as the science of neurotheology, religion, and energy medicine, we see that while Jesus was a powerful reflection of God (or conscious energy), he was not the one and only Son of God, and not necessary for a relationship with God.
The theological concepts of sin and sacrifice produce specific mental states, and can be extremely effective for producing transcendence in humans. That’s why ancient civilizations practiced animal sacrifices so much – the act of sacrifice serves as a catharsis for the guilt of humanity. The orthodox theology of Jesus’ sacrifice being necessary to atone for the sins of the world, while false, still is an effective way to produce spiritual transformation.
Regardless, Jesus is certainly not the only way to a relationship with God. And that flies in the face of what the “Church Fathers” taught, I understand that.
New Testament Support & Criticism
So another objection you might have if you’re an orthodox Christian is, “but what about the authority of the Bible?”. A valid question.
First, there are strong arguments that the New Testament as a whole should be taken with a grain of salt. I won’t get into that here, but check out my article: Is the New Testament Reliable?
So if or when Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me”, why do we immediately want to inject the theological idea that he must’ve meant that we have to confess Jesus as Lord or we’re going to hell? Since Jesus starts out saying “I am the way”, could he not have meant that his way is the only way to God? Seems like a far more reasonable explanation, in my opinion. In that case, he would be absolutely right.
Jesus’ way of experiencing infinite love and sharing that love with others, is the only way to God. And that way is present in all religions.
This is confirmed by what else we know about Jesus:
- He taught that the 2 greatest commandments were to love God and love people, not confess Jesus as Lord to avoid eternal damnation.
- He taught that the Good Samaritan, not the priests, had the favor of God. Samaritans were despised by Jews at the time, so this was a highly inclusive, controversial statement by Jesus.
- His most severe rebukes were reserved for the religious leaders of the day: the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were the ones that thought they knew the most about who was, and who wasn’t, acceptable for the Kingdom of God.
- He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is among you”, implying that the Kingdom of God wasn’t out there somewhere to be achieved if you confess him as Lord – the Kingdom of God is already within us.
- Jesus healing the Canaanite woman’s daughter, though the Canaanites were considered evil and idolatrous by the Jews.
- Not to mention he turned water into a bunch of wine at a party. So while this isn’t quite related to interfaith theology, at least we know Jesus liked to party! Just sayin’.
Plus there are other interesting tidbits of interfaith ideas in the New Testament. For instance, even Paul said that Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness, even without the need for Jesus’ sacrifice. Abraham had faith in the spirit of God and the spirit of Jesus, which was transcendent love and peace. And that was enough, even in Paul’s eyes.
There is also “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love”, “without love we are just a clanging cymbal or a noisy gong”, and “the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace…”, and “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”. Experiencing transcendent love seems to be the foundation of the entire New Testament.
It is a common orthodox theological argument that:
- Since the Bible says that it was inspired by God,
- and the Bible says that God is truth,
- so the Bible must be total truth (or inerrant).
But this is a self-referencing argument, and is a fallacy.
You could have a random book that said that it was written by God, and says that God is total truth, so since He would never write anything that wasn’t total truth, that random book must be true. The same self-referencing argument could be made from Joseph Smith’s golden tablets, “God gave me the tablets, so the tablets must be inerrant”.
In the end, the Bible was written by human hands, who are ultimately imperfect vessels of God’s inspiration. To take it on faith that one human could channel the inerrant voice of God is tough enough. But to take that dozens of writers, transcribers, interpreters, and canonizers all channeled the inerrant voice of God, is absurd. Plus, the doctrine of inerrancy wasn’t even created until the 19th & 20th centuries.
All that being said, I think we have to move past the idea of inerrancy as Christians.
There is some fascinating research by Dr. Andrew Newberg on neurotheology. In it he posits that all spiritual traditions experience the same mental states where the sense of self, space and time dissolve.
In Christianity, we’re taught to “crucify the self”, “less of me, more of God”, etc. Well, this same destruction of self is present in all religions, according to the brain scans of Carmelite nuns, Buddhist monks, and Jewish Rabbis. In Christianity, the driver of this self-lessness is the sacrifice of Jesus. But other objects and methods of selflessness are present in all religions, and produce the same results.
“All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not.”Richard Rohr
Nondual Awareness & the Perennial Philosophy
Again this is the concept of nondual awareness, the perennial wisdom that is present in all traditions. This perennial philosophy shows that there is a Divine reality that “keeps recurring in different world religions with different metaphors and vocabulary”. This idea that God’s presence is perennial is not new, and is well-examined.
“Perennial wisdom isn’t unique to any specific system of thought or belief, but rather a set of teachings common to all of them. Each articulation of perennial wisdom takes on the flavor of the system in which it rests. Mistaking the flavor for the substance leads us to imagine differences where none exist.”Rabbi Rami Shapiro
The Science of Energy Medicine
One of the main reasons we treat Jesus as deity is because of his healings and miracles, right? He obviously must’ve been the only Son of God because of all the incredible things he did, right? Plus, he was resurrected! And these are valid arguments.
Well, I have found that there is a science to healing. In fact, Reiki healing in particular is now being used in hospitals to help produce better health outcomes and recovery. There are many other modalities being used in hospitals as well, including healing touch, therapeutic touch, and qigong.
Even Dr. Joe Dispenza is seeing incredible healings in a non-religious setting. The Heartmath Institute is doing compelling research on the power of heart coherence on healing ourselves and others. And through the Maharishi Effect, we are learning that group prayer and meditation has a measurable effect on the world around us (confirming that there really is power in prayer, “when two or more are gathered in my name”, etc).
Through all of this and research by Dr. James L. Oschman, we now know that the power of healing ourselves and others is built into the fabric of the universe through electromagnetic signaling. Check out Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis for the technical mechanics behind these phenomena.
So Jesus’ healing miracles, while incredible, are not necessarily unique (especially coupled with the likelihood that many of his miracles were likely from the placebo effect in his followers).
As far as Jesus’ resurrection, I do not think that is outside the realm of possibility. Jesus was a very strong force of consciousness. If Jesus were a battery, it seems reasonable that it would be very hard to drain his energy fully. Jesus would not have been the only one in history to spontaneously resuscitate, as shown by the Lazarus syndrome. It’s also possible that he was merely unconscious when taken off the cross. From there, there are theories that his body was taken from the tomb and nursed back to health. It is also possible that the guards allowed this to happen. If one of the centurions changed his mind and said “surely this man was the Son of God”, it’s possible that the guards became believers and allowed someone to take Jesus’ body. Really, we don’t know for sure. There are details that the gospel testimonies do not capture, and the gospel writers were not there to see what happened at Jesus’ tomb.
Energy Explains Juuust About Everything
It is helpful to think of all spirituality – including Jesus and God – in terms of energy and psychology. Based on my studies of science and religion, it is not likely that God is a being outside of the universe, that we may or may not be able to contact. It is more likely that God is conscious energy that permeates all things.
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”Nikola Tesla
“Your True Self is a tiny flame of this Universal Reality that is Life itself, Consciousness itself, Being itself, Love itself, God’s very self.”Richard Rohr
“The Holy Spirit is the kind of energy that is capable of being there, of understanding, of accepting, of loving, and of healing.”Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Monk
“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”Colossians 1:17
“For from him and through him and to him are all things.”Romans 11:36
From what we know about energy medicine, how consciousness likely evolved, the creation of DNA programming, the supposed quantum unified field (which intelligently distributes information and energy), we can deduce that what we experience as an infinite, loving, transcendent God, is really just accessing our highest possible energy of consciousness, made possible by the seeming intelligence and energy of the universe. Fascinating!
Even John G. Lake, a famous Pentecostal faith healer in the early 1900’s, likened God’s healing power to the energy of electricity. How right he was!
Jesus also said that “virtue has gone out of me” when the woman with the issue of blood touched him for healing. I believe that his healing power was possible, because he spent so much time cultivating his energy in the mountains.
From what we know about the quantum observer effect and the quantum field (posited by Dr. Joe Dispenza, et al), this could also explain the virgin birth of Jesus (if that actually happened). The Jews feverishly expected and prayed for a Messiah. And if we are able to recreate reality (as we seem to be), it is possible that the Jews created their Messiah by thought alone. A gnarly and interesting theory!
So How Do We View Jesus?
As I’ve shown, it is possible to affirm the reality of Jesus and God, but also affirm the truth of all spiritual traditions.
In the end, Jesus was a gifted energy healer and had a powerful relationship with the Divine. But he was just a man – a man that reached awakening in a Jewish culture where a Messiah was expected. So he felt the need to fulfill that role the best way he knew how.
But Jesus experienced the infinite, and so he was the best and only way for the Jews at the time to experience the infinite in a less religious way. He was the “new and better” object of transcendence vs. the previous system of animal sacrifice. If the New Testament was accurate about what Jesus actually said, it does seem that even Jesus himself believed that he was the best and only way to God for the Jews at that time. Vis a vis: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
So, What Now?
We take action. We practice this perennial spiritual wisdom of how to access the Divine, and spread that wisdom to a world that needs it. When we recognize the deep wisdom of all spiritual traditions, we can accept and love those who believe differently than us. This will bring unity, openness, inclusion, love and healing to our world.
We can also spread the wisdom of mindfulness (particularly nondual awareness) to leaders, parents, kids, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, and professionals. But especially world leaders. If world leaders do not learn this wisdom of awareness, contemplation, mindfulness, love, and peace, humanity may not make it. Religious conflict, war, poverty, and climate change may go unsolved if our world leaders do not become a role model of mindful wisdom. Though I do realize that statistically, the world is making vast improvements in certain key metrics (less violence and war, less poverty than ever, less hunger than ever, etc).
But by practicing the wisdom of mindfulness at the very upper echelons of leadership, our leaders will not only be able to solve the world’s toughest problems, but will also motivate humanity to live with that same wisdom. Wisdom has to start at the top, and then it can trickle down to all of humanity.
We need that wisdom now, before it’s too late.
What do you think? Agree or disagree? Leave a comment, or connect with me on Instagram and let’s chat!