Category: Shifting Perspectives Written by Sofia Falcone Views: 2009
As we get close to saying goodbye to 2020; a year full of chaos and uncertainty world wide; and with Christmas approaching I thought it fit to discuss the subject of the divine spark or what many call God. Many who are familiar with the history and meaning of Winter Solstice already know this is a time of introspection, a time to reflect on how we lived our lives thus far; what things we should be grateful for, what things we overcame, what things we need to improve on, what have we learn from it all and how can we apply those learnings during the next year.
The subject of Jesus Christ is one often debated with fervor by believers and non believers; this article however is not here to debate Jesus Christ as the divine and only son of God, rather I am approaching the subject of Jesus Christ as man who was a mentor, a teacher, someone who embodied the Christ spirit; like others before him from various cultures.
I am going to approach the subject of Jesus Christ by mostly focusing on the message he tried to teach everyone despite creed, race and social status. I do not hold “the truth” nor am I or my beliefs “the only path” to the truth. I am an Omnist/Gnostic/Stoic and Active Nihilist (for those of you who don’t know, an Active Nihilist is a person who is skeptic not someone who is atheist, contrary to popular belief, Nihilism comes from the Latin word “Nihil” which means indefinite nothing/uncertain but open to discovery) who seeks to learn more about myself and the divine. I am simply going to share with you my opinion based on what I have learned and what such learnings and life experiences have brought to my life. I will share my learnings about Jesus Christ’s teachings from books such as the Bible, Kabballah, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic texts, Torah, Talmud, The Qur’an, the Vedas and the Buddhist’s buddhavacana. Teachings which range from history to perceptions about Jesus and the Christ spirit; let us remember a lot of history on Jesus Christ was written after his death. Don’t believe anything I say, seek for yourself; I am only inviting you to question your own conditioning learned through the church, schools, the society you were raised in and government.
I have full confidence that any person who seeks to understand more about oneself and our connection to the divine; whether religious or not; will not take offense to what is written here and will keep an open mind and heart–after all that is what the spirit of Christ is about. I dedicate this article to anyone brave enough to question his or her own beliefs in order to better understand divinity, where it can be found and our relationship to it.
I was born into a Catholic family. My father was Catholic by baptism; however, he was always of an open mind. My mother was also a Catholic; her mother practiced it, while her father was more a metaphysical/spiritual man. I was baptized a Catholic when I was very young; I didn’t even understand what the whole thing meant yet I was introduced to a system of particular beliefs; like millions of children are to various different religions. Even as a child I loved reading and sitting down with seniors to hear about their life experiences, beliefs, etc. The more I heard them, the more I understood they were right when they would say “God is within, most people don’t understand that until it’s too late. Religion like any other practice can bring comfort to the soul but Religion isn’t God”. I payed close attention and used to observe how so many people who attended mass, as soon as it was over would go back to being cruel to others or care little for what they had supposedly learned– they would go back the following week and ask God for forgiveness for their actions yet the cycle continued.
One afternoon at lunch time; when I didn’t feel like playing with my classmates; I sat by my teacher’s feet thinking–I had been reading at home “The Bible” and “The Little Prince” simultaneously and I had been listening to the weekly discussions between priests (who would often come for dinner), my grandfather (spiritual) and and old man named Simon who was a Shaman/healer–Out of nowhere I looked up at my teacher and told her I liked Jesus, somehow his spirit reminded me of the Little Prince, but I felt just like the little prince he was severely misunderstood. I said to her “He must feel very lonely, just like the little prince. He is trying to teach us something yet all I see people do is repeat his words but they are mean to others and I don’t understand how such blood thirsty God (the old testament) could have possibly been Jesus’ father”. She sat down and told me how children (conditioning aside) for the most part are a great example of God’s spirit “Don’t ever let anyone take your innocence away”. I cried a bit as I didn’t want to tell her what was happening to me outside school and she was wise enough to tell me “Innocence lies within our spirit, no one can take that away, and that is your path to God. Question, ask, seek, never feel ashamed for wanting to understand your maker, remember that Jesus said we should be like children”. Her name was Salome, she was wise, and in my eyes she was the most beautiful woman; strong and caring. I will never forget her; shortly after our discussion, I stopped believing in one Religion and sought to learn about the divine in various places. Maybe it was how my life was unfolding what pushed me to seek more, hoping to understand why things were as they were. At some point I considered myself an atheist yet my spirit knew there was more to life than extremes. Nietzsche helped me to accept my atheist ways, only to later rediscover what he really meant (hence it is said in life we will discover and rediscover truths over and over until we integrate them appropriately). As a young teenager, Nietzsche only fueled my idealism but I lacked the maturity to understand his full reasoning; he was not saying the divinity was dead, he meant the distorted image fabricated by men had taken its place.
So there I was, from believing in God to not believing in God, to once more reconnecting with something that had been sleep within and from which I had felt very much disconnected. My reconnection was the result of pain which tested my limits, maturing, searching, self development, therapeutic healing; finding my real self and claiming it once more. I came to experience God vs memorizing things about it; it was a secular spiritual experience. I found the spark exactly where it always had been–inside of me– its expressions all around me. I felt more and more connected to that which we call God, Life, Universe; as spirituality is not ruled by beliefs, spirituality is nourished through experience. Jesus Christ was always ready to help us understand one should not simply accept what others say, rather we should experience things for ourselves. I personally feel if Jesus was alive right now he would be confused wondering why all religions profess to be “the only way” to salvation–where did he go wrong, what are they thinking? I think he would be asking them “What part of my teachings did you not understand?”
His teachings are full of parables which are tales often used to be able to reach anyone regardless of level of education and background. It is proven that our minds instinctively relate to symbols and parables (Parables and symbols illustrate the invisible (spiritual) world by using analogies from the visible (natural) world). Such parables, without the actual person there to guide, are open to interpretation; such is the case with many religions.
In this article, I intend to share my own; probably skew; point of view. The difference however, is that I have no delusion of knowing specifically how someone else should connect with God–as I understand that like self development, a deep connection with the divine is a deeply personal experience. After learning and experiencing various beliefs, I worked hard at separating Jesus’s teachings from Religious dogma. I needed to separate the rituals, all the external voices and through analysis, self exploration and introspection (as I worked to heal from my own traumas) using logic and reason; I came to discover what it is to experience mysticism. A Mystic experience is to go inside oneself and explore the subjective territory in order to reconnect with something profound. When one undergoes a mystical experience the false “I” disappears giving permission for the real imperfect; yet perfect because it recognizes its imperfections; “I” to surface.
There is nothing illogical about spiritual development ;which believe it or not goes hand and hand with personal development, for as you start to heal you start to listen to your inner voice which is but the voice of the eternal you or the divine you. Having submerged myself in various learnings from different cultures, beliefs and practices, did not take away from my experiencing the rediscovery of what Jesus was trying to teach; on the contrary it all serve as a cohesive glue.
The more I grew, the more I understood at their core none of the actual teachings by prophets, sages, mentors of other cultures were bad; neither were they in conflict about the divine, it was men who had chosen to create division and uncertainty in order to better profit, control, manipulate, and serve their own social, economical, governmental interests. Many great wise men from other cultures have taught and tried to teach what Jesus was really about; however, their teachings are of little to no interest for those who are fanatic or for those who have named themselves as the “path to the only truth”–of course they will narrow the path to serve their purposes, as their truth is often profitable.
This article is for those who are open minded, who like to question things; those who recognize most of their beliefs were preconditioned, never given a choice–they recognize had they been born somewhere else their beliefs would be different. It was never a personal choice but an imposed one. To me, to impose on a child a set of religious beliefs when that child lacks the capacity to understand, to recognize, to cognitively decide, is something atrocious. There is a difference between teaching good and bad to the best of our ability; separate from religion; than it is to teach a child to see others as “less than” because of a particular sect of ritualistic beliefs. True connection with the divine has to happen organically not through imposition.
Before I start with the main purpose of this article, let me once more be clear that what I am writing here is based on Jesus as a great mentor, prophet, teacher, wise man who embodied the Christ spirit. I am not here to be concerned with how institutions; regardless of their denomination; see him. It is a lengthy article and you always have choice on whether or not you read it. Ultimately I can only hope you do, keeping and open mind– it might just surprise you….
To me, Jesus was a very precocious seeker and as a result of his search he ended up submerging himself into mysticism. Mysticism promotes intrapersonal intelligence; this is the intelligence responsible for encouraging you to relate with yourself; manage emotions, question beliefs, peeling away layers of false conditioning in order to better hear your own voice. Reality is, there is too much noise within us …
When I started trying to listen to my own voice, I first had to listen to the voice of others such as priests, rabbis, pastors, society and more importantly the voice of my parents who at some point in their childhood had also been conditioned on what to believe. Jesus’ message about life and the divine was not to condition, instead he sought for us to be FREE, completely and utterly FREE of the voices found within dogmas. He was trying to teach us to let go of the voices in order to connect with ourselves, in order to experience ourselves; for he knew a mystical experience , a transformational experience, is not something one can learn from a book or be taught, it is an experiential and deeply personal thing–it is something you either have experienced or not.
We live in an era where the scientific method has won; that is good thing; so long as it is to abolish old dogmas which fueled the retardation and ignorance of the human spirit. However, an spiritual, transformative experience goes beyond logic; yet at the end of having experienced one, logic seems to find peace with our spirit; together working towards the betterment of self. As people, it is innate for most to seek an spiritual experience, a desire to belief in something greater–a primal need to connect with the divine–and so we set out to climb the mountain where we will reunite with our own divine spark, yet religions and dogmas have determined “this is the only way to climb the mountain” “only this way will you reach the top”. They forget people are expressions of the divine which means we are diverse, and the divine in its infinite wisdom knows best than to provide limited access, a limited path to understanding its awesomeness, its greatness and our own. That is why Jesus, who understood all of this, became a revolutionary philosopher; his teachings attacked the religious and political interests of his time. Jesus’ message always referred to the same thing, the freedom of being and the divine inner connection (without masks or pretenses). It has been said if Jesus was alive not many people would follow him, because religion sells “You have a problem, come here pray and accept our believes and all is forgotten” but Jesus promoted Spirituality, which says “I will not take responsibility (ability to respond) from you. Within you is the necessary power to heal, resolve and transform your life”.
The Jesus that everyone sees on the cross, the Jesus churches often sell us, is not the same Jesus who taught all those wise teachings. Let me explain further; the image of Jesus nailed to a cross is gruesome and mostly debated as Romans didn’t use nails to crucify–for the word “crucifixion” derives from the Latin crucifixionem (nominative crucifixio), noun of action from past-participle stem of crucifigere “to fasten to a cross” (using ropes) NOT to “nail to a cross”. Yet such image; without evidence but subjective theories; has been promoted. Psychologists know well the effect such image would have on people; specially on children. This modern image of Jesus was created to generate control by guilt and fear.
Jesus embodied the Christ spirit which it is said to incarnate to help us question the world and find our truth. That Jesus, promoted love (all 7 types, as love is expressed differently in different situations). For the longest time it was and still is taught that love accepts anything, yet this is a misunderstood concept which has been used by cruel souls to allow for atrocious behavior from one party to another. Agape love; the highest type of love there is; is very different than filial love, Eros love, etc. If people were taught about the different types love and how it manifests, there would be less confusion on self identity and more trust on one’s own personal choices. But if people are taught there is only one type of love and it is a sacrificial one, then they are expected to turn a blind eye and “let God do the rest” –a quote often used to cover up horrible acts, also the reason why we find ourselves in serious dissonance with how our society is structured.
Jesus taught about compassion not pity; simplicity not humility (words root meanings are important, and when misused they can twist and weaken our minds) Humility comes from the Latin word “humilitatem” or “humilitas” which literally means “insignificancy, degradation, humiliation and debasement” . Do you really think the Christ spirit would have taught that?
Christ taught introspection and self criticism which is the ability to recognize and analyze the merits and faults within one self. He taught strength not bullying, standing up not cowering, responsibility, self-awareness, ethics, meditation, the transcendence of false ego and reconnection with the divine essence.
Religion teaches to kill the ego, spirituality recognizes one needs an ego to live and thrive (Ego: The part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity/ a conscious thinking subject…not a robotic one) As you can see Jesus was way ahead of his times, yet he was not teaching something new; he was simply unearthing teachings which had been put aside, neglected or set as “occult”; not much different than various subjects now.
Jesus did not found Christianity, it was founded by the followers of the followers of the followers. After his death his teachings were spread throughout the Mediterranean, but it was the clergymen and emperors who institutionalized their teachings and created Christianity. They took control and the legacy of the heritage of this great sage. In 313 Emperor Constantine “The Great” finally legalized Christianity and 200 years later it was declared the official State religion; this was done to appease internal conflicts. That is when religion married the State; that was such a tremendous pairing for that is when we start to see the radical beginning of conditioning of new generations based on a skew interpretation meant to serve both the clergy and the State. We start to see the decadence of Spirituality and the expansion of social control through the distortion of spiritual beliefs, which in Christianism include the “10 commandments” .
“The 10 commandments” are in reality but a few of the laws written within the Hammurabi code; a collection of 282 rules, established standards for commercial interactions and set fines and punishments to meet the requirements of justice set by rulers over commoners; nothing to do with spirituality but everything to do with punishment and fear of a very moody and unforgiving God–this was the false God or false understanding of divinity which Jesus tried to eradicate as such teachings place God outside and above; while Jesus wanted us to understand God was part of us and us part of it.
Most people to this day follow Religion out of fear of being punished and fear of a mythical hell; while Spirituality which applies to all creeds, races and backgrounds; teaches us how we create our own hell by our own actions or negations. It teaches us how every action has a reaction = Responsibility; it isn’t based on a mythical hell or heaven but rather the wisdom that hell and heaven are here–only through learning, healing and developing can we attain one or the other. Unfortunately the control of sects and religions survive due to ignorance; leaders (often blinded and conditioned themselves) teach about a twisted message; meant to perhaps bring comfort at best; not healing. Many (not all) use the word “I am a believer” yet have never experienced God; hence more often than not their actions do not match their words–as their minds have been kidnapped by radical beliefs and the desire to escape responsibility for any of their own actions. For example, it is easier to say one asked God for forgiveness and was granted it (by a priest/pastor/rabbi) than it is to ask for forgiveness from those whom one has hurt and to make amends. It is easier to say someone did me wrong and I was innocent of any fault (except when you were completely incapable of defending yourself or standing up for yourself) than it is to say I too had something to be responsible for. Why would people deny taking responsibility? easy we are so lost in the idea that if one belongs to a religion, one has to be good–their definition of good is often misconstrued and attached or equal to “perfect” “goody goody” “could not make mistakes” –to admit then to a mistake would be to destroy a fragile yet false “image” of “all good and pious”. None of that has anything to do with Christ, for forgiveness comes from conscience, your soul knows the truth and will organically grant it to you when you have honestly changed your pattern of behavior and when you have; wherever permitted; made amends.
Let’s me point out some of Jesus concepts and teachings and explain them from a different perspective than you may have been taught:
When he speaks of father or God try translating it to life / reality and watch what happens. When you start to read and replace the word which has been so stained by religion, you will begin to see the deep meaning of the teachings. The Holy Spirit is Wisdom, the Kingdom of God is the union and connection with the divine essence (“find the kingdom of God within you”) when you live in that state, a heightened state of consciousness is produced which allows you to act more wisely.
Son of God (we are all children of God) when speaking of the son of God, he means God has entered the son, meaning conscience has awakened–and father is in heaven– because when conscience expands one starts to see things from a better/higher perspective. Our spirit and mind elevate. To Jesus many of the people in power (whether political or religious) were people who were sleep/ not elevated.
Original sin: identification with the ego. We all go through original sin, it is part of the journey of knowing yourself. Therefore a sinner is a person identified with the false ego and that is a sin, because a mistake made by a person who identifies with the false ego does not recognize his own failure (the error did not become a lesson).
Hell is a state originated by a mind that disturbs itself either because it does not know how to accept its own mistakes, it denies them or when someone has been hurt severely (traumas) –when the mind was not ready to understand the situation and blames itself– creating its own hell. Such hell can only be eradicated by doing the work of healing the unconscious and bringing things to the conscious. What does society do to get you out of hell? modernly they may try to medicate you without any therapy or lead you to religion; which without guidance is really just denial of wounds. Denying one’s own wounds and not allowing to feel the emotions attached to them, are the reason why one’s own behavior often takes an uglier turn in other aspects of life; covertly directed towards self or others. Therapy, introspection, self discovery is what has helped (is helping) some of us come out of hell; healing isn’t a band aid–the journey isn’t easy as healing doesn’t’ happen overnight nor does it just happen by confessing one’s sins superficially, but through work which leads to a healthier self. All of these truths were taught by Jesus yet we have put religion first, false ego second and God comes last.
As you can see Jesus was a great revolutionary, one who sought to liberate us of our emotional/ spiritual chains. Ask yourself when does the government, schools, society, religious institutions promote the knowing of self; they say they promote freedom which modernly means only the liberation of bodies while infantilizing the mind, making it dependent of instant gratification (vices, social media likes, casual sex with strangers, a curriculum often set to tie teachers hands and kill their desire to instruct while restricting the mind of children), the destruction of identity and fomenting of gender confusion (one should respect the personal lifestyle chosen by and adult, that is very different than to try to push an agenda on children when they have no conscious understanding of what is being presented), the separation and division of people (never have I seen people more divided by race and status than now, when supposedly we are educating people we are equal), the killing of the feminine masquerading it as modern feminism (feminism used to stand against real oppressions, it was never to be use as retaliation for years of oppression; often behaving now in the same immature, ignorant ways chauvinist males do) As you can see through distortion and extremism one can mask a goal as good while aiming to destroy the root of the subject in question (metaphorical example: if a kid asks you for sugar again and again, give them so much they will get sick of it and not ask for more/ the Machiavellian system; named after Niccolo Machiavelli) Unfortunately we live in a state mostly lead by financial, religious and governmental institutions meant to divide; it is profitable for them to divide vs. unite. It is profitable for them to have people look out vs. IN.
Centuries have passed but life is usually full of cycles, we are in a different century yet the cycle of oppression which ruled then is for the most part ruling now, yet Jesus like many other masters provided us with the tools necessary to liberate ourselves; however, in order to understand and value such gift, we need to be willing to expand our horizons, our knowledge. Instead of discarding the concepts of others simply because they may seem different than us; let us try to be “brotherly” and dare to take a look for ourselves at their teachings before we draw conclusions; you might be surprised and discover they are all pieces of a puzzle. There are various paths provided by Life/God to reconnect, but you have to be willing to take responsibility vs comfortably placing it in the hands of others.
Freedom can be scary, for true freedom comes with bigger responsibilities, but it is better to be free than to be a mental slave. This article was written with no intention of generalizing the people who genuinely find comfort and try to practice many of Jesus’s actual teachings; there are beautiful souls everywhere and from personal experience, I know they; perhaps more than any; will actually understand this article and what is trying to convey.
May this holidays reignite your desire to look in, your desire to grow, your desire to heal; only then will you look at life with a brand new set of eyes…only then can we start to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others, for charity, compassion and love, starts with self!
I passionately believe one person can make a difference. I write from my own experiences and interests. It is my greatest hope that by writing about my own challenges and hopes, others may feel inspired to believe more in their inner power and to fully embrace themselves.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with permission from Sofia Falcone.
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