Thanks for your input again LW.your insight is amazing.My feelings but with education.
[SIZE="3"]You are welcome, and thanks for the appreciation.
Some say i rant on about paul but i feel he directed christianity away from its real purpose, turned it from a message of hope into a world power,full of corruption.Thomas gives us more of a true meaning to Christs message.
[SIZE="3"]I might disagree with your take on Paul a bit because I don't think the world would have discovered much about Jesus if it weren't for him. He did set up the basis for turning the experience Jesus revealed into a religion, but I don't think he could have been so successful if he hadn't brought some of the feeling of Jesus with him as he spread the word. I hate to think how Europe would have developed without the morality that monotheistic religion brought to the far more violent tribal mores (Clovis, for example).
The way I look at it is that Jesus had his mission, and Paul had his. To those cruel Romans I mentioned, for instance, Paul's influence had to be a step up from paganism. Today there are still those of us who seek what Jesus taught, and those who feel more comfortable with Paul's watered down version (my apologies in advance to those who think Paul well represents all that Jesus was about). Despite the downside of religion, I think the world is better off today because of the influence of monotheism during the development of civilizations, even if now we might be better off without it.
But for me, the really interesting question is what Jesus taught. My investigation has proceeded through the practices of union that could be found going on very soon after Jesus' death. There are interesting books around about the practice, such as Helen Waddell's small work, "The Desert Fathers," and of course the writings of the Greek Orthodox monastics in the "Philokalia." The classic "Mysticism" by Underhill looks more at the practice in Catholic monasteries; and some of the more modern works like Needleman's "Lost Christianity" examine how the tradition is still alive today.
My own book will attempt to show that Jesus taught union to a select few, those who would abandon their work and family to follow him around. I argue that those "seventy-two" Jesus sent ahead of him were just such devotees, and the rich man story or the talk to the crowd saying "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his [family]. . . even his own life . . . [part] with all your possessions . . . cannot be a follower of mine" were invitations to join his sangha-like troop. It was, I suggest, from these closest devotees that the practice was preserved for centuries, primarily in monastic life. I argue that since all practicing called themselves Christian, and since before Jesus there is no record of anyone practicing, then if Jesus didn't teach it, where did it come from?
Paul, on the other hand, was not offering any such opportunity, but rather a way for the majority to still get something from Jesus even if they weren't ready to devote their entire lives to an inner practice. In this way both categories of the faithful -- the hard core devotee and the householder -- were able to benefit from Jesus.[/SIZE]
---------- Post added at 11:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:02 AM ----------
It is a very minor issue, but I would side with Didymos as regards the exoteric teachings. . . . I expect we'd all agree. What Les is suggesting is that we do not have to speculate. [i.e., that "It would thus be a very futile exercise to attempt to try to postulate on Yeshua's states of consciousness content, or what he had really had in mind with his activity"]
[SIZE="3"]I've singled out those two comments, not to start a big debate, but to explain why I think those issues are important.
In my survey of "types" of inner teachers, there is a most unique category I refer to as creationary
teachers. I won't get into much detail of the model, but it includes a certain radical focus these teachers seem to insist on from devotees. Put that idea on hold for a second, and let me address the second comment.
I understand we can never know for certain what state of consciousness another is experiencing, nor (especially far back in history) can we know for sure another's intent. However, I have (in my own work) argued that there is no other way to understand Jesus (or the Buddha, or any other of those I label "creationary") unless we understand both their state of consciousness and their intent as a teacher. In fact, it is the failure to grasp these two issues that is precisely the reason for so much disagreement about such teachers.
Was Jesus the son of God, here to offer salvation to the world? Was he a supernatural being? Watching the "Last Temptation of Christ," the intent and consciousness presented there has Jesus with no more than a preacher's state of mind, and an intent meant to create a new religion. Gibson's take in the "Passion of Christ" is has a different state of mind and intent.
If we are to get any insight into these questions, where do we look? I think we have to begin with what the closest devotees were up to; as Jesus said, "you will know him by his fruits." But to really understand I also think we have to experience what these closest devotees were experiencing, and then read Jesus with the understanding the experience gives one. Obviously, this is no small task.
Still, if you learn union, practice it, and over time allow the experience to affect conscious, then Jesus starts to be seen in a new light. For example, because the experience of union is oneness, there is a real sense of being with Jesus consciously instead of merely looking at him from the outside. Also, after working at union for over thirty years, I know what devotion it takes to keep at it (although for me, the rewards of practice are enough). A teacher like Jesus wasn't going to teach union if a person wouldn't seriously commit, and so when I read what he said I see nothing but parables about "what its like," invitations to give it a shot, and warnings about just how much one must sacrifice to practice.
Jesus' comment "let those with ears hear," is an amazing bit of information if one knows what he is saying. When a creationary teacher speaks (according to my model), he makes a feeling present, and it takes a certain openness and sensitivity from listeners to feel it. Jesus knew only those who are moved by the feeling of his message were going to be attracted to a devoted practice, no other means of attraction works. So he just put the feeling out there, through his words, and let it attract whomever could feel it.
Here we are 2000 years later, and how do we know what that feeling was by just reading it from a book? It was Jesus' living presence that manifested the feeling, and his most devoted students who kept in alive first as desert hermits and then in monasteries. Whatever feeling survives today shows up in the passion and love we can manage to pick up on from Jesus and the most devoted, but it is very difficult for most people to detect.
Scholars who try to figure out Jesus will never understand, IMHO, if they think his words and behavior alone are enough to tell us what he was about. Only by experiencing what he experienced inside can we really understand both his state of consciousness and his intent.
Getting back to why I think he only
taught inwardly, it is because he understood that outer follows inner. You are correct to say that today we understand we can encourage inner development through behaving some way first; however, that is because we are so outer! If someone has fully, 100% realized inner (like Jesus), then his way of being is a demonstration of what it is like to wholly rely on, have faith in, and recommend inner. That his inner teaching has positive lessons for us to mimic behaviorally is simply due to our
condition, not his condition or teachings.[/SIZE]