Some of the most perplexing questions can often be the most obvious and least likely asked. Raised as a fundamentalist Christian in a very conservative denomination, we didn’t ask about Jesus, we already knew the answers. That is what our culture was about, knowing the answers. As a matter of fact, most often you would evaluate your spirituality based on your comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental doctrines and the memorized scriptures to support those doctrines. We were answer people.
The quest of seeking enlightenment is about questions not answers. The questions are far more important than any ego-mind conceived answers. Knowledge often becomes our stumbling block. It can be the very thing that keeps us from asking the most challenging and revealing questions.
The fundamentalist answer to “what about Jesus?” is so widely accepted as basic truth, it is rarely challenged and if it is challenged the questioner is labeled as atheist or liberal or some other categorical way of isolating “those that ask” from “those that know.” In my denomination the accepted “truth” of Jesus was he had to come and be a god-man, perfect in every way, to be sacrificed to an angry god that would seek revenge for all us humans who fell into, or were born into a life of unforgivable sin.
What if that is an answer we conceived from an egoic mind and it was based on fear? What if that perceived “truth” is the very thing that has kept us from asking the question, the hard question, one of the central questions that leads to an awakening of the divine consciousness within?
I believe Jesus was pointing us to something much more profound than another religious paradigm to justify staying in the dark and asleep to our true nature. I believe he was revealing the Christ Spirit or Christ Consciousness that is the essence of what we really are. 2000 years ago, was the collective consciousness of mankind ready for such a pointing? Was what he wanted to show us just “too much” for our way of thinking? Is it possible that Jesus was well before his time and it has taken us this long to awaken enough to ask the hard question “what about Jesus?”
There have been mystics and sages and avatars and gurus and more who have seen and experienced the awakening of our divine consciousness. Those greats, many of them nameless, have paved the way for the collective consciousness of mankind to awaken to the truth that Jesus revealed. Those pointers are becoming more and more self-evident. If you are reading this post (and haven’t already moved on) then you are likely one of those who is ready to ask the hard question. You are ready to find confirmation of what you already “know” in a way that is beyond or before the mind and the thoughts of an ego identity.
I’m writing a book I call “the flip side.” I hope to take the words of Jesus and look at the flip side, to see what he said in another way. It requires an open mind and a willingness to look beyond our limitations, but it can be incredibly liberating when you see from the divine perspective of oneness. It’s like coming home after a long time away.
I plan to share some of those flip side moments in the coming posts but as a set-up, let me share a few more words from Eckhart Tolle. I found confirmation and great peace in his words. I hope you do also.
CHRIST: THE REALITY OF YOUR DIVINE PRESENCE
Don’t get attached to any one word. You can substitute “Christ” for presence, if that is more meaningful to you. Christ is your God-essence or the Self, as it is sometimes called in the East. The only difference between Christ and presence is that Christ refers to your indwelling divinity regardless of whether you are conscious of it or not, whereas presence means your awakened divinity or God-essence.
Many misunderstandings and false beliefs about Christ will clear if you realize that there is no past or future in Christ. To say that Christ was or will be is a contradiction in terms. Jesus was. He was a man who lived two thousand years ago and realized divine presence, his true nature. And so he said: “Before Abraham was, I am.” He did not say: “I already existed before Abraham was born.” That would have meant that he was still within the dimension of time and form identity. The words I am used in a sentence that starts in the past tense indicate a radical shift, a discontinuity in the temporal dimension. It is a Zen-like statement of great profundity. Jesus attempted to convey directly, not through discursive thought, the meaning of presence, of self-realization. He had gone beyond the consciousness dimension governed by time, into the realm of the timeless. The dimension of eternity had come into this world. Eternity, of course, does not mean endless time, but no time. Thus, the man Jesus became Christ, a vehicle for pure consciousness. And what is God’s self-definition in the Bible? Did God say, “I have always been, and I always will be?” Of course not. That would have given reality to past and future. God said: “I AM THAT I AM.” No time here, just presence.
The “second coming” of Christ is a transformation of human consciousness, a shift from time to presence, from thinking to pure consciousness, not the arrival of some man or woman. If “Christ” were to return tomorrow in some externalized form, what could he or she possibly say to you other than this: “I am the Truth. I am divine presence. I am eternal life. I am within you. I am here. I am Now.”
Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment