Message Boards Message Boards

Toggle
Jesus
Answer
11/22/12 6:09 AM
Jesus was 'awake' to some degree right? And then the whole thing just got lost in translation/power? He was trying to say that everyone is the Son of 'God' (interdependent universe), not just him?!

"Let the little children come to me, and stop keeping them away, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these."

'Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?'

RE: Jesus
Answer
11/22/12 6:15 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
Emerson seems to think that Jesus was a spiritual teacher whose message got twisted, you can read his Divinity School Address here:

http://www.emersoncentral.com/divaddr.htm

RE: Jesus
Answer
11/22/12 6:26 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
He was a very good guy... that's my take on him.

RE: Jesus
Answer
11/22/12 10:08 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
I say he was enlightened, but of course all we have to go on are the reports of those who came long after and tried to piece it all together. So many of the things he said are spot on--the fact that a rich person can't get into the kingdom, for example: doesn't that mean that if you're too comfortable and happy with business as usual, a life of fulfillment and pleasure, you will lack the incentive to look beyond it? Or his comment about being homeless (the birds have their nests, but the son of God has no place to lay down his head)--doesn't that describe what it is to be awake, with no fixed identity to cling to any longer? Maybe I'm twisting things around to suit me, but whatever. I also think many of the Christian mystics were awake, Meister Eckhart in particular.

I think, though, that one's cultural legacy gets caught up in all of this. People interpret the message in terms of what is already familiar and expected. The bare-bones message itself is impossible to communicate to anyone who has no idea what being awake is like.

RE: Jesus
Answer
11/22/12 11:54 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
Sure. All those parables about seeds and fruit; about judging a tree by its fruit; about how it's important to do as he did, not just say what he said; the parables about the treasure in the field, and how digging up the entire field yields the treasure; the weird saying about how the eyes are the lamp of the body, and when the entire body is filled with light, it will shine forth through the eyes... The parable about the leavening reads like instructions for attaining jhana; the striking "like a thief in the night" reads like a description of how totally unexpected fruitions always are; and finally, his example: go to a remote place and meditate for 40 days and face your demons - sounds like a good retreat to me.

I think what we here refer to as emptiness or luminosity or enlightenment is what he called the heavenly kingdom.

So yeah, if you read just the received Jesus sayings, in particular those in Mark, Matthew and Luke (in John he comes across rather differently, more like a Greek demigod than like a teacher of enlightenment), he can be understood to be talking about the same stuff we discuss here on the DhO.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Jesus
Answer
11/23/12 8:44 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
I wouldn't necessarily say that. Jesus seems to fit a few archetypes from the Helenistic world. From having read a few books on the historical Jesus, I get the impression of a "healer" (someone who performed magic). There were healers all over the ancient world. What seemed to make Jesus special was that he performed his actions for free, and he did them on the Sabbath. In the context of Galilee during this period, this became a political statement.

You can actually learn a lot about what Jesus was like by looking at the earliest Christian communities. There were plenty of contemplative communities in the ancient world. Early Christian communities are mostly about sharing food, though. This is, after all, a large part of what the scriptures say Jesus was doing. The Kingdom of God - however you want to interpret it - the image of it in the here and now is simply the table full of food. To people on the lowest rungs of society in the ancient Mediterranean world, heaven would be a full table and free health care!

This is not to say there weren't Christian contemplative communities, too. There were ascetic, apocalyptic, and gnostic sects, too, and very early on. For all I know, they were achieving rigpa or even stream-entry. I don't really know. But what Jesus himself seemed to be doing - and what seemed to catch on in the most emphatic way in the Mediterranean - was something a lot more basic. Specifically, it was about the relationship to the lands, the fruits of the land, something which had been guaranteed to the Jewish people a long, long time before the Romans showed up on the scene to change it.

So, no. I don't think it really illuminates anything about Jesus to say he was enlightened. I mean, maybe he was. We'll never know. Jesus didn't keep a practice log. :-) But I don't think we need the category of "Enlightenment" to understand what Jesus did, why he did it, and why his movement lasted and had the effect it did.

RE: Jesus
Answer
11/23/12 12:47 PM as a reply to Robin Woods.
I don't believe we have any idea who the real Jesus was, and we never will. The church that we have today was not really founded by Jesus, it was created by a guy named Saul of Tarsus, better known as the Apostle Paul. Funny thing about Paul is that he never met Jesus in person but he claimed he had a vision of Jesus who told him what his mission would be. Then he went off into the desert for 14 years and came back ready to convert the world and pretty much that is what he did. When he returned he caused all kinds of issues in the church which was pretty much only in Jerusalem at that time. What happened in that desert? He said he had visions but did not go into any real detail. I'll say that what we have is Paulianity not Christianity.

Most of the New Testament Epistles(letters) that was accepted by the church in the 4th century was written by Paul and the doctrines that the "church" holds come mostly from his writings. If you read the book of Acts you will see clearly that the church was established in most of the Roman Empire by Paul, which laid the ground work for what came later.

Many of the more mystical writings from the Gnostic groups were excluded from the New Testament Cannon because they did not line up with the writings of Paul. What was lost by Paul hijacking the church is a tragedy for the church and the world. Unfortunately we will never know what Jesus was really trying to accomplish.

I'm very thankful that The Buddha was very pragmatic and his teaching are mostly practice oriented, goal oriented. Buddha could have been elevated to Godhead status by his followers also if he had not gone to great lengths to make sure that did not happen.

RE: Jesus
Answer
11/23/12 5:11 PM as a reply to Darrin Rice.
Darrin Rice:
I'm very thankful that The Buddha was very pragmatic and his teaching are mostly practice oriented, goal oriented. Buddha could have been elevated to Godhead status by his followers also if he had not gone to great lengths to make sure that did not happen.

But don't you think that Buddha *has* been elevated to Godhead status by many followers? Surely the very reason there is even a need for a "pragmatic dharma" movement is precisely that there is a lot of non-pragmatic stuff around.

When I look at what the Buddha actually taught versus what Buddhists teach, and compare that difference with what Christ actually taught (insofar as we can figure that out from the Gospels) versus what Christians teach, I see very little difference between the differences. Spiritual followers appear to be, the world over and across all paths, extremely capable f*cker-uppers of the messages of their spiritual founders :-)

RE: Jesus
Answer
11/25/12 6:03 PM as a reply to Robin Woods.
I also think that Jesus was awake to some degree.
He probably never meditated, but it's not strictly necessary to meditate if you can develop the right qualities and reduce the wrong qualities on your own.

On the christian bible there is a story in which he questions "wise" men on the temple when he was a child, showing since he was young he was already "on the right path". The Buddha also had a tendency to the path, he even entered the first jhana once when he was young.

Even more on the side of speculation, instead of saying that the kingdom of heaven is enlightenment on earth, one could say it is the heaven as pointed out on early buddhism cosmology, and the equivalent to hell, basically saying that Jesus didn't see that even beings on hell and heaven died one day and reincarnated once more.

I would echo Florian's suggestion, that you shouldn't see the whole new testament as "Teachings of Jesus", consider too the canonization process it went through.