This arresting picture of Jesus as a revolutionary, imitating the style of the famous poster of 1960s fighter Che Guevara, was produced as an advertising poster encouraging people to go to church during Easter 1999
I personally do not think of Jesus as meek and mild but instead as a determined and compassionate revolutionary ~ an evolutionary forerunner for a state of love and soul consciousness which is also deepest within each one of us. Only the church as an institution stands in the way of this common innate connection and empowering knowledge: Allen L Roland
To discover the real Jesus ~ one must completely surrender to love ~ for only then will you be seeing through the heart; for only then will you understand that Jesus was the ultimate rebel ~ an evolutionary forerunner and spokesperson for a state of love and soul consciousness that lies deepest within us all. A state of consciousness that he surrendered to and found during his undocumented years from 12 to 30 and most probably in his travels to India.
It makes sense that Jesus as a young child sensed his destiny and traveled elsewhere in a quest to not only find himself but to get in sync with his destiny. Several authors have claimed to have found proof of the existence of manuscripts in India and Tibet that support the belief that Jesus was in India during this time in his life. Some assert that Jesus lived the life of a Buddhist and taught Buddhist ideals to his disciples. Their work follows in the footsteps of the Oxford New Testament scholar Barnett Hillman Streeter, who established in the 1930s that the moral teaching of the Buddha has four remarkable resemblances to the Sermon on the Mount.
So let’s say that Jesus, like many of us, was originally looking outside for God and true meaning in his life and towards the end of those 18 years realized that what he was externally looking for was instead deepest within him ~ a love, a state of soul consciousness and a kingdom of heaven so deep that it existed beyond time and space and it was calling him to service.
Imagine him returning home armed with this burning heart felt knowledge and eager to share this truth with friends, neighbors and disciples and then also imagine his shock of witnessing the decadent Roman culture and externalized world that existed at that time ~ which eventually became threatened by his teachings and rebelled against his message of love, inner freedom and individual power.
It was probably something like this ~ the temple scene from Jesus Christ, Superstar ~ 3 minute video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g77AcTbjFo
It was then that Jesus became Jesus, the unorthodox revolutionary, spreading his message of love and touching a loving chord that has never been forgotten because it also exists deepest within each one of us ~ regardless of how well hidden it is under blankets of unworthiness and self doubt.
Today, Jesus would be considered not only a rebel, if not a terrorist, and most certainly a threat to the establishment and the status quo ~ as he most certainly was 2000 years ago.
Patheos.com published a review of the book Sacrilege: Finding Life in the Unorthodox Ways of Jesus. As a part of their review they interviewed the author, Hugh Halter. Here is an excerpt from that interview:
You say in your book that Jesus was “without question, the most appropriately sacrilegious revolutionary of all time.” What do you mean by this?
Halter: “Simply put, he challenged everything they held to be sacred. He called out the religious leaders for missing the boat, he told them that they didn't need the temple or church-based religious systems or the paid professional priests, he went against their Sabbath laws, and spent his time being with those who were deemed to be beyond God's grasp or love. I think if he jumped into the world today, it would be exactly the same and the first wave of people he would offend would be Evangelical, Mainline, and Catholic Church leaders.”
You are undeniably critical of contemporary religious culture, especially the Church. What do you think is lacking in religious institutions today?
Halter: “The most glaring “miss” is that we have forgotten that Jesus intended us to be like him, not just pass on information about him. When he told his original disciples to go around the world making other disciples, he actually meant that we should help people live like he did. I'm convinced if we lived like he did; the world would not only have a high degree of respect for our movement, but would jump in to join us. A wave of sacrilegious disciples would be a huge breath of fresh air! ”
As such, Jesus has been misused and misinterpreted for thousands of years and is still being misunderstood under the current banner of Christianity.
As Michael Piazza explains in Liberating Word ~ “ When Christianity became the official religion of the empire it emerged from being an underground grassroots movement that opposed war, classism, and imperialism, and it became co-conspirators in defending the emperor (who was now one of them) and the empire.
Constantine convened a council of bishops in 325 AD to resolve theological issues on which various parts of the church differed, and fundamentalism was born. The church produced a creed that changed forever what it meant to “be a Christian.”
For over 300 years Christianity had been a lifestyle, a way of living, a way of being in the world and treating other people. After the Council of Nicaea, Christianity became a set of defined beliefs that became the litmus test for who was and was not a Christian. Disciples went from being “people of the Way” to being “people who believed a certain way.”
Until that point, independent communities of people had gathered to share a common journey and their resources. Their creed was simple: “Jesus is Lord.” By claiming this, they defined themselves as those in the empire who followed the way of a Jewish rabbi rather than pledging their first loyalty to the emperor. After 325, bishops began to assert their authority over what these communities must believe. There were even increasing examples of this conformity being imposed with violence.
Jesus' followers became Christ worshippers who were good citizens of the empire and faithful adherents to the official religion of the emperor. Christianity was forever changed - or perhaps lost.”
Substitute the word emperor with the Pope and you get the current big picture of how Christianity has been misused and with 80% of the American military being Christian ~ are we not still fighting the crusades against the media labeled primitive, fanatically religious, hateful Middle East Terrorists ~ when in reality they are our brothers and sisters barely surviving in illegally occupied and economically ravaged countries.
So much for Christianity, let’s get back to Jesus ~ the ultimate rebel for love who still calls to us from deep within to open our hearts and find ‘ The Way ‘.
It is my contention that Jesus did not die for us (contrary to the catholic church) but, instead he lived for us for he was indeed a determined revolutionary and an evolutionary forerunner for a state of love and soul consciousness which is also deepest within each one of us ( the Unified Field ) ~ a state of love and soul consciousness that exists beyond time and space and is one in the same with the experience of an after death and near death experience.
As such, Jesus was apparently experienced, after he died, by those closest to him because that deep unconditional love and state of soul consciousness existed also within his closest followers.
This is not unusual now but it certainly was 2000 years ago.
Gallup has revealed that nearly half of all Americans believe that they have been in contact with someone who has died ~ usually a dead spouse or sibling who they had a deep loving connection. Another important point in Gallup's study was that the major factor associated with contacting and experiencing the dead was a belief in a loving God, rather than a judgmental one.
In that sense, Jesus represents the transition from an externalized old testament God of wrath and judgment to an internalized new testament god of love and altruism.
My own mother appeared to me the night she suddenly and unexpectedly died in 1987 ~ some 3000 miles away. Not only did she tell me how deeply she loved me but she also said that she knew what I knew ~ Allen, I Know, Allen, I Know ..
I had sent her a copy of my Unified Field Theory some weeks prior to her death which can best be summed up in this one statement ~ The basic underlying and uniting force of the Universe is a psychic energy field of love and soul consciousness ( The Unified Field ) which lies not only beyond time and space but ALSO beneath our deepest fears and whose principle property is the universal urge to unite.
So my mother appeared to me, much like Jesus did with his followers, and told me that she was now in that same state of unconditional love and soul consciousness which I call The Unified Field, thus ~ Allen, I Know, Allen, I Know ..
Did Jesus not do the very same thing when he appeared to his followers after his death ~ proving to them that the kingdom of heaven was within them?
Good Friday is the day where Christians remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, who 78% of all Americans believe to be the son of God and who came to Earth to die for our sins.
In a Newsweek poll ( Is GOD Real / April 2007 ) ~ 78% of Americans believe Jesus rose from the dead but eighty-five percent (85%) also think that the person known to history as Jesus actually walked the earth 2,000 years ago ( Rasmussen Poll )
81% of Americans say they are Christians which is now the world's largest faith ~ with 2 billion believers or roughly 33% of the earth's population. Newsweek reveals that 75% of them say that Jesus was sent to earth to absolve mankind of its sins.
Let's get something straight. Jesus was not sent from anywhere for Jesus was divinely human ~ no different than you or myself at birth ~ and the humanizing of Jesus is an essential step in the journey towards taking responsibility for that same love deepest within each one of us.
As such, the natural birth of Jesus and the loving relationship of Jesus and Mary Magdalene completely humanizes Jesus, takes him off the unreachable pedestal the Catholic Church and others have put him on ~ and makes him finally accessible to the world through love and Relationship.
As such it also places women, ( the divine feminine ) as symbolized by Mary Magdalene, in their rightful place at the right of Jesus ~ and certainly on more than equal footing with men.
Teilhard said it beautifully ~ The only right love is that between couples whose passion leads them both, one through the other, to a higher possession of their being..... Union, the true upward union in the spirit, ends by establishing the elements it dominates in their own perfection.
We all have a personal covenant with Jesus in our capacity to unconditionally love one another as he manifested that love in his life. It is my potential to love as Jesus loved that fills me with faith.
A gift I utilize in my heart centered work with my clients who use that love to dig beneath their unworthiness, shame based guilt and closed hearts to find a lost and alone child within themselves who longs to love and be loved for who they really are.
My faith is not blindly based on a literal belief in the church, bible, the virgin birth and the resurrection story.
However, with the acceptance of a Unified Field of love and soul consciousness, which exists beyond time and space ~ the bible, virgin birth and the resurrection story assume symbolic, not literal significance.
For example, could not the resurrection stories be symbolic of the fact that the love of Jesus can never die and is deepest within each one of us?
This is why we have never forgotten him ~ much like I have never forgotten my grandfather who also unconditionally loved me.
Could not the virgin birth be symbolic of the fact that each one of us came from and are born in a state of love and soul consciousness ~ regardless if we were wanted or not.
For example, I know I was not wanted by my mother ~ but I also now deeply know that I wanted to be here because my heart is open and I’m in sync with my destiny.
There is no such thing as an ugly soul ~ but there are many maimed and wounded ones. I witness resurrections every day as a heart centered psychotherapist and particularly with veterans with PTSD ~ as they emerge from their self imposed cocoons of fear and self loathing and reclaim their original love, joy, purpose and authentic self. http://allenlrolandsweblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/veterans-respond-positively-to-heart.html
The controversial Catholic theologian Hans Kung in his thought provoking book On Being A Christian has helped to demythologize the bible by attempting to rediscover the true Jesus:
" Against all tendencies to deify Jesus, it must constantly be stressed today that he was wholly and entirely man with all the consequences of this (capacity for suffering, fear, loneliness, insecurity, temptations, doubts, possibility for error ) Not merely man but true man. "
Jesus was the ultimate rebel for love, a definitive threat to the establishment and they, in essence, eventually killed the messenger ~ just like we did with Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
For those of you who are waiting for Christ's return, I will tell you to look within, for it is there that he resides in our deepest propensity to unite with and love one another ~ and we all have a part to play in that loving plan.
Jesus wasn't just a rebel. He was the ultimate rebel. And now his call, "Follow me," seems a whole lot more radical because what he really means is go inside, open your heart and find and travel the path or way of your heart.
Thus, in our current search and groping for our roots and beginnings ~ we will eventually rescue Jesus from the church, and the unreachable pedestal they have put him on, and discover Jesus (the truly human Man) and finally realize that The Christ is the love that is deepest within each one of us.
A love that is NOT out there to be found but instead deepest within us to be fully experienced and celebrated ~ as this brief video of the South African youth choir, recorded live at Cape town in June 2010, clearly demonstrates. Video / 3 Minutes
When you walk in love, you walk with Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Gandhi, King and all the other great souls of our planet ~ Happy Easter.
Allen L Roland
Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website allenroland.com He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on www.conscioustalk.net
Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist Allen L Roland is also available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations ( firstname.lastname@example.org )