Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Mystery of Christ

‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering,’ Abraham tells Isaac, and although there on the mountain at first we see only two figures – Abraham and Isaac, father and son – after a time it turns out that there is someone else in the picture: the ram caught in a thicket by its horns. The lamb, which God provided for Himself for the burnt offering! Neither Abraham nor we the readers could see how and when the ram got there; he simply was there, and had been from the very beginning. In Jewish sources, this ram is considered a creature of great importance and is included in the list of the things created at twilight at the end of the 6th day of Creation. The entirety of God’s design for the ages, His complete plan for humanity, is within this scene. At first, there are two: the father and the son; however, in the dispensation of the fullness of the times it turns out that there is also the Lamb, who from the creation of the world, was destined for sacrifice. “I heard from behind the Heavenly Veil these words: ‘Not Isaac, but the ram predestined for the burnt offering.” The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world replaces, on the altar, the one whom Father Himself has called His son and firstborn. ………… Julia Blum, Aqedah: Sacrifice of Isaac
I am writing this article as a dedication to the Holy week of the Christian calendar which we commemorate this week. The central theme of this celebration is the sacrifice of Jesus.
As Fr. Richard Rohr, the great Franciscan theologian says; the Christian community has lost the rich tapestry of the relevance of Christ consciousness as it is rooted in the historical Jesus in all its dissemination of the sacred knowledge that has come to us through the Biblical writings. The above passage from the writings of Julia Blum and how the backdrop of Christ consciousness can be seen from the very beginning of creation from a mythological perspective could be useful in our seeking the deeper truth hidden in the Biblical writings. In the New Testament Jesus himself declares:
“Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!” ……..John 8:58.
Also in John’s Gospel the very first chapter deals with Logos. The Logos or Vac in Vedic philosophy is the ever-existent Divine consciousness. "Vac is essentially the creative force that brings forth all forms expressions as also the existence. It is an emanation from out of silence which is the Absolute. Vac is also the river and the embodied or god-personified as word," ……..Chandogya Upanishad Ch 3:2:1
This consciousness finds its fullness in the physical Jesus as the Christ manifest. It is contained in limitation. This is a great mystery and difficult to comprehend. As Jesus says in the Gospel of Thomas:
"If the flesh came into being because of spirit, that is a marvel, but if spirit came into being because of the body, that is a marvel of marvels. Yet I marvel at how this great wealth has come to dwell in this poverty.” …….Gospel of Thomas - Saying 29
The children of Abraham were shown this mystery through a mythological symbolism of the ever present Lamb which is intended for sacrifice. The father and son existence is ever present as the Divine consciousness and in its temporal embodiment, but it is Jesus the Lamb that is sacrificed and the ever-existent Christ who is raised to be seated at the right hand of the Father. This Christ consciousness is imbibed in the second coming when every son and daughter of man is born again of the spirit. This is the Trinitarian third person as Holy Spirit.
Orthodox Christian faith believes that Jesus of Nazareth was personally identical with the eternally existent Son of God or Logos. Here Christians hold the pre-existence of a divine person—something distinct from other notions such as the pre-existence of the Jewish Torah in which we have the mythological symbolism of the Lamb created on the sixth day of creation.
Pre-existence means rather that Jesus (not Christ) personally belongs to an order of being other than the created, temporal one. His personal, divine existence transcends temporal (and spatial) categories; it might be better expressed as trans-existence, meta-existence, or, quite simply, eternal existence. Current theological view is a very limited and distorted one in the light of current cosmology where time is only a product of the human mind and revelations in our study of nature of consciousness.
In one of my talks to a group of theologians, I was asked if what I hold be true then given that there could be billions of planets only in the Milky Way and the billions of galaxies in the universe, can it be assumed that Jesus came to redeem only humanity on earth and what about other planets where we could have human like souls. I think the question itself answers our limitation when we equate mythology to history.
The all-pervading Divine consciousness can only be perceived in limitation with the human mind and mythology plays a role in revealing the deeper layers of higher order truth and capping it with a fossilized dogma is crippling in our spiritual journey.

Love to you all.

12 comments :

  1. Sir,
    The article gave a great insight. I have a question.

    In the last paragraph you have mentioned that we equate mythology and history. Which part of the question is mythology and history. Kindly clarify.

    Regards
    Ram

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  2. Dear Ram,
    Thank you for your appreciation.

    When the original spiritual thinkers and masters wanted to communicate a deep insight to the common people, they used parables, Puranas and other means so that a common man could understand and start a process of enquiry, These parables and Puranas are what we may classify as mythological. Mythologies need not be purely fictional but could also be quasi-historical.

    For example, the character of Buddha, Krishna, Rama, the kings and prophets of the Biblical document,Jesus and The Prophet could all possibly be historical but the events and stories that is written around their name could be a mythological to evoke the deeper meaning of their teaching.

    Only in Vedic philosophy there is a clear demarcation between Shruti & Smriti: Shruti is “that which has been heard” and is canonical, consisting of revelation and unquestionable truth, and is considered eternal. It refers mainly to the Vedas themselves. Smriti is “that which has been remembered” supplementary and may change over time. The Puranas and Itihasa are smriti and classified as mythological.

    In Christianity there are only two basic fundamental and canonical truth. As Jesus says: " ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ......Matthew Ch 22: 38-39
    All the rest of scriptures are mythological.

    Hope I have answered your question.

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  3. Can I share your comment and my reply for the benefit of a larger audience.

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  4. Thanks much Sir for your time to explain me the Scriptures

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  5. Sure Sir. When your service benefits larger audience it is good to the Society.

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  6. Ultimately it seems that the lamb refers to our own physical self. We must in order to become free of the material condition first realize that the god christ spoke of is the god of the spiritual realm and secondly realize that all men are one therefore you must treat others as you would yourself. Through the proper treatment of all the creatures of the material world and yourself along with the study of the material world the way a prisoner would study his cell knowing the only way to know what's outside is to first know whats in we shall have an opportunity to transcend the physical condition.

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    1. Thank you for your comment which is very apt.
      Spiritual exercise is not something rooted in the air, it is in every relationship that we develop with the world at large.

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  7. Iam deeply moved "It is amarvel how this great wealth has come to exist in this poverty." When we observe pour own temporal priorities and anxiety, it seems impossible even to have glimpses of a higher order conciousness or Christ conciousness
    Yet here we are devoting time &energy to attain what sounds impossible from a mortal point of view.

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    1. Gospel of Thomas is a very esoteric document.
      I am deeply in love with this scripture.
      Like my previous reply, we cannot isolate ourselves from our worldly associations which is part and parcel of our manifestation All objective realities are our own conscious perceptions and hence we have a responsibility to cultivate a higher order consciousness in all our relationships in this world. This is huge exercise fraught with difficulties when we live in a ego dominated consciousness.
      This is where the great truth revealed by Taoism aptly explains the purpose of life: "The purpose of life is not attainment of a GOAL but walking the PATH or TAO".
      Thank for your comment and sharing your thought.

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  8. Jesus,the Son born of Mary, understood as the Son of Man is our Model.

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