The Teachings of Jesus: Incomprehensible to Most Christians

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Dragon, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    Christian doctrine renders the parables of Jesus impossible to understand. They are obvious in significance to any mystic, though -- or most of them are, anyway.

    Here are three clues to understanding them.

    1) They are NEVER about personal morality in the ordinary world.

    2) They are NEVER about life after death.

    3) They are ALWAYS about the transformation of the self, and what in other religious contexts is sometimes called enlightenment.

    Here is an example, from Luke 17:20-36.

    20 Some of the Pharisees asked Jesus, "When will the kingdom of God come?"

    Jesus answered, "God's kingdom is coming, but not in a way that you will be able to see with your eyes. 21 People will not say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' because God's kingdom is within you."

    22 Then Jesus said to his followers, "The time will come when you will want very much to see one of the days of the Son of Man. But you will not see it. 23 People will say to you, 'Look, there he is!' or, 'Look, here he is!' Stay where you are; don't go away and search.
    24 "When the Son of Man comes again, he will shine like lightning, which flashes across the sky and lights it up from one side to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by the people of this time.26 When the Son of Man comes again, it will be as it was when Noah lived.27 People were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving their children to be married until the day Noah entered the boat. Then the flood came and killed them all.28 It will be the same as during the time of Lot. People were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, and building.29 But the day Lot left Sodom,[c] fire and sulfur rained down from the sky and killed them all. 30 This is how it will be when the Son of Man comes again.

    31 "On that day, a person who is on the roof and whose belongings are in the house should not go inside to get them. A person who is in the field should not go back home. 32 Remember Lot's wife.[d] 33 Those who try to keep their lives will lose them. But those who give up their lives will save them.34 I tell you, on that night two people will be sleeping in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 There will be two women grinding grain together; one will be taken, and the other will be left. [ 36 Two people will be in the field. One will be taken, and the other will be left.]"

    The first part of this is very straightforward and means just what it says: the Kingdom of God is within you -- a transformation of your own spirit. Don't look for it in any place you can see; look for it on the inside. The rest is more cryptic.

    The coming of the Son of Man transforms everything. It burns down the old and makes the world entirely new. But this is a transformation of experience and perspective, not of the material reality of the world itself; it is not an event contained in time, like a revolution, but rather something that happens within each person who undergoes it.

    The bit about the Son of Man first having to suffer is usually interpreted by Christians to refer to Jesus' own coming torture and crucifixion, and it is conceivable that is what he meant, in an unpleasant bit of time-free awareness. But it can also refer to the suffering and painful transformation that each person undergoes in awakening, and given the context this seems the more likely interpretation. (Or of course he could have meant both.)

    Those who try to keep their lives will lose them, those who give them up will save them. Holding onto one's normal mind-set and normal consciousness binds a person into mortality. Giving these up, allowing the awareness of the real Self to flow through, one becomes aware of the unity between God and oneself, and that as such one is immortal, but not in one's limited personality.

    Two people in one bed; two women grinding grain -- these are both two people in one body. The real self, the real consciousness, the true identity, arises and the old self is left behind.

    In the light of spiritual experience, the cryptic sayings of Jesus become comprehensible and his parables make sense. Without that perspective, they are opaque. Properly understood, they fly in the face of a lot of Christian doctrine. In fact, I become increasingly convinced that the whole point of Christian doctrine is to obscure the teachings of Jesus, like a protective coating applied to a dangerous and corrosive substance.

    Whoever has an ear, let him hear.
     
  2. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    Some of them most definitely are about personal morality. When he was confronted with questions regarding personal behaviors from those who were "sinning", his response was "go and sin no more", not "go ahead and continue your behavior, it's all good".
     
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  3. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    Ah, but you have to look at that in context.

    For example, there was the woman who was caught in adultery and was about to be stoned by the crowd, in accordance with the Mosaic Law. Whatever we may think of stoning to death as a penalty for adultery in this more enlightened age, I got the impression that the woman's guilt was clear and uncontested.

    Jesus' response: "Whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone."

    Now, assuming the validity of the Law in the first place, this was bullshit. I'm sorry, but it was. With that standard in place, the Law would be unenforceable and cease to exist. Jesus was undermining the laws against adultery here.

    The crowd dispersed, and Jesus asked the woman, "Where are your accusers?" As no one could be found to accuse her, he said, "Neither do I accuse you. Go and sin no more." A rather vague tag-on to an overall statement that the law against adultery is null and void.

    I'm not saying that Jesus actually believed and taught that personal morality should be dispensed with, though; or that everything goes. I don't think that's true. What I do think is that he brought a message that had nothing to do with morality as we normally understand that. He, like all other enlightened teachers, sought to bring God into the human heart.
     
  4. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    To the bolded, and in your own words:

     
  5. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    Lizzie, do you understand the difference between teaching that morality is null, and not focusing on morality in one's teaching?
     
  6. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    Yes, but you stated two different things when I pointed out that what you initially claimed was not true. Jesus (if the stories we read are presumed to be true) most certainly did include moral codes in his teaching. He was not a legal arbiter, so he declined on passing judgement, but otoh, he said to go and sin no more. Iow, if one doesn't desire to be condemned, then don't act in a manner which results in condemnation.
     
  7. rdean
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    The Teachings of Jesus: Incomprehensible to Most Christians

    Possibly most, but certainly not all. I asked a question once, what do people on this site say when they pray and a few said they hoped God would hear their praise. That is the true Christian answer. It's not about "wanting stuff". That's just greed. We have "free will". What more do you need?

    Funny, even though I understand, I have no personal mystical beliefs. But you can't mock the beliefs of "REAL" Christians. Not if you understand them.

    Most on the right wing in this country are a kind of "faux" Christian. No one who applauds executions, yells "let him die" and believes corporations are people is a real Christian. It's not even remotely possible. Those are the ones I laugh at.
     
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  8. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    All right, I'll acknowledge I overstated the case. What I should have said is that many times the teachings of Jesus are misunderstood by Christians to be moral teachings when they are not.

    A good example is the passage in Matthew 43-48: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[g] and hate your enemies.' 44 But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you.[h] 45 If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong.46 If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that.47 And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don't know God are nice to their friends. 48 So you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

    As a practical moral rule, this is absurd, but as a measure of the impact of the Spirit on the mind of man, and transformation of the human animal to become a child of God, it works. That's what Jesus was all about: the calling forth of the divine nature within, and the transformation of consciousness. Most of what he is reported in the Gospels as having said relates to this.
     
  9. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    Personally, I would consider teaching people to "be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect" to be extremely on the moral side of things. Morality centers around the judgement of what is good and bad, negative and positive, or other choices between opposites. Morality implies that one is living up to specific personal and/or societal standards.

    Using the example of the prostitute whom he told to go and sin no more, the question centers around the morality (or lack of) of the prostitute's actions. Moral codes are pretty much based on the values of a collective social group, depending on the expectations that some actions are harmful to the society as a whole.

    My personal thoughts are that the teachings of Jesus were geared to the individual and his soul/spirit, however one views the issue surrounding personal morality, and that he preferred to leave judgement to others in the legal realm.
     
  10. Douger
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    [ 36 Two people will be in the field. One will be taken, and the other will be left.]"
    Does this mean I need to hire some backups ? I mean when the pineapple is ready. ITS READY !
     

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