Does anyone else think of these as two different, but related concepts? I think of Christ as the highest form of consciousness, a force and function of God – or the second part of the Holy Trinity – The Son or The Logos (The Word of God). The Force of Love Itself. A complete awareness that All is One. Jesus of Nazareth was a man who demonstrated this higher consciousness to a very high degree, and thus was given the title “The Christ.” But Christ is a form of consciousness that is available, and the highest potential for all individuals. Jesus’ mission was to guide all people to “unlock” this potential in themselves. You don’t hear this around most churches, but it’s what I basically believe. I think this is applicable to all people, regardless of their religious affiliation. It’s terribly unfortunate that Jesus’ message was changed to the modern conventional idea that he was to be put up on a pedestal as this figure who is much higher than you, and who is to be worshiped an idolized above all people, and that only ‘Christians’ have access to his wisdom and teaching. I see his death as more of a demonstration of the ideal that you must be willing to completely surrender your life to a higher mission or purpose in order to find the highest potential for yourself. I wince at the idea that his death was an atonement for your sins and was some way to make you ‘right’ with God if you accept this concept. That’s missing the higher teaching. And maybe that works for some people, and was especially effective with the 1st century superstitious Jews who were very much stuck in the mode of duality but it’s not what many people of this modern age need to hear.
@phoggy, “Christ” is just the messianic title they assigned to the personage of Jesus. People get confused and treat Jesus as an Idol, that is actually blasphemy, all he is is a key to unlock the treasure chest of life. He taught people how to love, how to recognise it within themselves and do their best to behave according to it, but also to recognise hate and walk away from it.
That is all Jesus is, nothing beyond that, a teacher. He has great insight but it is just a result of him being in touch with the universal love that flows through all things, anyone can tune into it and so anyone can be up to his standard. It is just about living in your nature, being true to yourself, all this divinity stuff floating around it is just pillow talk, over dramatizing it all.
@phoggy, I like that interpretation of it. Honestly since I was raised catholic I was brought up believing Jesus was our savior, god knows and controls all etc. Since learning more about religion and hearing so many different views both for and against organized religion in general I find it hard to have faith. In some cases I wish I was more religious or spiritual. I want to believe in a higher power and I say I do but I’m not really sure. I can’t bring myself to follow any religion although I don’t know enough about any one to made an educated decision.
My thoughts would be that Jesus was somehow awakened/enlightened and that he somehow received some ancient wisdom by connecting with spirits or whatever they may be called. Beings of another dimension. Something similar to what a shaman would do, connect with other beings and share their wisdom and knowledge. In that case Christ would be the one or group of beings he communicated with. Jesus was just the physical body that shared the messages. I think that’s what your saying as well correct?
@reinvented2012, @trek79, I think we are generally on the same page. There are certain elements that we may differ on, but I think that the mutual understanding that Jesus, while he was an exceptional human being, is no better than or “higher” than anyone else. Yes, I certainly agree that is a form of Idolatry. I think Jesus was on the same page as all of the other great teachers such as Buddha, Gandhi, MLK Jr., Mohammed, etc. Each one just taught the same concepts in slightly different ways, only tailored to the individuals of their respective age and culture. I think they were all connected to the Christ Consciousness, which is the same as Enlightenment, Nirvana, Highest Human Potential, One-ness, etc. The terms are irrelevant, it’s the same thing IMO.
Jesus was someone who realized he was the “son of God” just as we are ALL children of God, in the sense that we are all an extension of universal consciousness. He realized we are all godlike, because we are essentially the spiritual aspect of the universe. If the universe (consciousness) is god, then we are all connected – we are all “god” essentially.
People misunderstood this and thought he was saying he was the DIRECT son of god, which I don’t believe was his message.
@chodebalm, People said he was the son of God, he said he was the son of man. He did call God his father though, but that was not uncommon, people would often say “our father in the heavens” so that was not an issue.
The conflict arises when people call him the first born, the Bible says “in the beginning there was God, and the word was with him, the word came forth from his mouth and through it all things were created” or words to that effect. The idea is that Jesus was the word, basically he is the Arch Angel of creation, that returned to God fulfilled.
That is interesting and all but not really relevant, it primarily serves to divide people and so by that result it should not be prioritised.
I think a point of emphasis certainly is that Jesus’ demonstration of higher consciousness makes him an ideal model for humanity, but not “better” than you or I. It’s like a high school senior vs. a Kindergartener. The Senior is not “better” than the Kindergartener of consciousness, but just more informed and better educated about the higher aspects of reality. It was Jesus’ desire to raise all people up to his “Senior” level. I think that even makes him a kind of a “savior” because if you followed his ways and “believed in him” you would be led to a greater and more fulfilling life. This is what “Eternal” Life is. Eternity is more than just forever, it is the fullest potential of NOW. To “believe” in Jesus is to have faith that his teachings will lead you to this “Eternal” life. But that does require a high level of faith, not only in Jesus, but in yourself. Jesus wanted people to believe in their selves much more than he would “require” them to believe in him. I think that’s what made him a great man – he made others see the highest potential in themselves. I believe he had this ability to look a person in the eye and reflect back to them exactly what they needed to see in order to see themselves as Sons of God.
It was nice to read all of these comments, very interesting.
It also makes me wonder has anyone successfully lived life trough
“christ” > Jesus. the word of jesus is not that hard to follow.
@shomari, It really depends on how you interpret his teachings, I personally see it like this; They say he came to save sinners, I think he focused on sinners because they had less attachment to the law. Men of law are far too rigid in their convictions to be able to see the truth Jesus was teaching.
As in the Adam and Eve story; It says they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, morality is a knowledge of good and evil, law is based on morality. People who place the law first are putting it before the natural love within them, they believe love is proven by observance of faith and law, but I believe Jesus was saying that faith and law are proven by the observance of love. Contrary to popular belief.
Jesus was not a good man or a great teacher for those desiring enlightenment . The bible says multiple times that his original audience seemed to take what he said meant that he was Divine, “I and the Father are one.” In fact, the Jews were ready to kill him right there! Why? “Because you,” they said, “a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). On another occasion, he used the personal name of Israel’s God–the name revealed to Moses (Exodus 3:14)–to refer to himself. And he even used the Torah for context, so no one would misunderstand him: “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). This would be about wild as telling a Muslim, “I am your God, Allah.” Don’t try that in Saudi Arabia! It’s no wonder the Jews tried to stone him to death. That was the exact penalty for blasphemy under the Jewish legal system. It was pretty clear to everyone there that he was saying, “I am Israel’s God.”
The bible is the best account of his life and his teachings we have and according to it he claimed to be divine in multiple ways. His direct disciples who carried on his message clearly understood him to be divine. It was also what ultimately lead to his death. Based on those grounds I cannot believe that he is a good teacher or like Buddha, Gandhi, or Mohamed. His teachings eliminate him from leading to enlightenment because he claimed sole ownership of divine essence.
@trek79, Right on! I always read the 10 Commandments like this: If you love God, yourself, and your neighbor, you will not ever kill, steal, envy, lie, etc These “sins” are not committed by a person who loves with all their being. Matthew 22:36-40 is Jesus’ teaching of this principal:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
It is important to note that Jesus’ second commandment implies that you must first love yourself in order to love your neighbor. I like to say this one sometimes like “Love your neighbor as if they were you.” I also believe that this commandment is followed naturally. It logically follows that when a person loves their self that they will love their neighbor likewise. If a person does not love their self they will logically also project that on to their neighbors.
@phoggy, You can also look at what I think is the most important thing Jesus said, in John 13:34-35 “A new Commandment I give unto you; love each other as I have loved you, by this all will know that you are my disciples, that you have love from one to another”
No other time does he emphasise the importance of what he is saying like this scripture, by using the word “Commandment” he deliberately makes this the primary point of everything he said and did in his time. Everything hinges on that scripture, the rest of the Bible (gospels) are just showing us how he loved.
@trek79, It just now occurred to me that something strikes me as rather odd that a person could be commanded to love. The problem is free will. You can’t command a person to be unselfish, if they are selfish. I think a lot of guilt that people have comes from the idea that they want so very badly to be able to follow this commandment to “Love Thy Neighbor” and such, but they simply are unable to. There’s a lot of baggage that people carry that makes following this type of commandment very difficult. The unfortunate thing about humans is that we place a value on Love. I think that when you believe it is a “good” thing to love then you can also be easily trapped into believing that you are also a “bad” person if you do not love. I believe this concept is known to manipulative people and it is used against others to their advantage. Clearly this is the case with religion – especially Christianity. Obviously Jesus would know that, so it seems a bit odd that he would use the word “commandment” when telling people to love each other. I wouldn’t think he wanted people to go around feeling guilty about not being to follow this commandment, because guilt tends to discourage people, but I’m not sure if there would be a more effective way to convey what he meant.
This will assure you. Truthcontest.com The Present with Religion.
@phoggy, For sure, placing a value on love is the original sin, as I said about Adam and Eve. Love is natural, even if you place no value on it, it will remain, it will compel and guide. That is not right or wrong, that is just nature, that is how we are built, that is how the universe is built.
@trek79, If love is natural, there should be no need to command it. I do believe that love is the most natural thing that we do. However, it is WHAT I love that challenges me when I am faced with a commandment like this. Ideally I would like to love the way that Jesus commands, but in truth I don’t. I know that this is OK because that’s just where I am on my path right now, but it’s just very odd to me that love is attached to a commandment. If Jesus were here today I would challenge him on that, actually. That seems to be a form of conditional love. Maybe it was just said that way because it would have appealed to the audience of the times, but it’s conflicting with me today and right now it’s doing more to discourage than to encourage me. However, I love to have my faith and beliefs challenged because it strengthens them. I’ll wrestle with it for a while.
@phoggy, That is a good point, you shouldn’t have to command people to love, but you do. People forget the importance of love and so do not emulate it, the command is not about ordering people to love, the command is about reminding people of the importance of love.
In a way you cannot love as Jesus loved, in another way loving the way you love IS the way Jesus loved, it depends on how you look at it ;)
I do see massive contradictions in religious people though; On one hand they believe nothing is in mans power, it is all the will of God, on the other hand they involve themselves in politics, huge contradiction there.
On one hand it is clear that God is telling us that our behaviour has consequences, but then the religious dismiss consequence as the will of God, again wtf.
Religious people want to do the right thing but then they want the world to end because they believe God will reward them, wtf.
The religious fight action on climate change because it will end the world, the end of the world is the will of God, humans have no power, no responsibility, it seems the religious are using their power to fight taking responsibility.
There is no evolution? A child is born knowing nothing but learns many things, a child is born with and open mind but it becomes closed as it fills, what is evolution if not that?
@trek79, I think religious people just want to be right about everything. It’s not about love, or pleasing a god, or serving the the poor and oppressed. It’s about ego and the religion just gives them an excuse and a leg to stand on. They use their pseudo morality as a front to justify their twisted ideals. It’s comforting for them to believe that they don’t have to do a damn thing that it’s all in Gods hands and to even try is worthless because Jesus is coming soon and he’s gonna wipe the slate clean anyway. If there is a devil, religion must be his favorite tool. All kinds of people serving his cause while thinking that they are fighting him. That’s crafty! And sad :( …….. “And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!”
@reinvented2012, I’ve recommended these books to so many people I wish I’d bought shares in the titles, seriously!!! (not seriously-screw money) Anyway, please read ‘Conversations with God’ vols 1-3 and I guarantee you will have many moments of pure epiphany. The best explanation of the whole concept of God etc… I have ever heard or will ever need to.
@kjbaran, You know, I feel for Christians. I understand where they are coming from, because like them, I used to believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. So if the Bible was teaching something, even if I felt that it was incorrect, I didn’t feel as though I had a choice and I had to accept it on faith that it was true and that it was beyond my human understanding if it didn’t resonate with me. I know that there are countless Christians that feel the same way and they are taking the stance that if you don’t agree with them, it is not their fault, but “the Bible says so” and that makes it true. “Hey, don’t shoot the messenger!” This is not a freeing thing. To me, it felt like I had no choice but to believe this or I was going to hell, and I worried so much for all of the “non-believers” out there and it made me sad that there were so many. I felt I had to accept the parts of the Bible that I didn’t understand and that it was wrong for me to question them and that if I didn’t know, I wasn’t supposed to know. Imagine what it must be like to want this all not to be true, but feel like you must believe it or else lose your soul, along with the countless others that were “rebelling against God”. You have to feel that for a moment to have some compassion for a fundamentalist Christian. And like Jesus, you should forgive them, for they know not what they think, say, or do in the name of their jealous god. Thankfully, I was able to find my way out of that darkness.
Long story short, I eventually came to realize that the way that Christian’s were regarding the Bible was a form of idolatry. They had created this idea that it was infallible, and in many respects, they were worshiping the Bible! I came to understand that the Bible is really just a tool that can lead you to the truth, but it’s not the truth itself. In fact, it isn’t even the only source of truth. There are sources of the truth EVERYWHERE. In a book, in the lyrics to your favorite song, in a conversation with a stranger, on a billboard on the side of the road – everywhere and in everything. Even the things that are not true help you to define the things that are. They are teaching you something also. I realized that God speaks to us always. All ways. Because God is All that Is. I came to understand that the Bible is really more like a road map, that when used correctly, can lead you to a truth that is within you. This is a form of the truth that cannot be touched or tainted by human hands, it is truly Eternal, and never changes. It’s the source of that feeling you get when you hear something really profound that really resonates with you and makes you feel alive when you hear it. And somehow, you realize deep down that you always knew it, because it was always a part of you. THAT is the Word of God. Jesus said in Luke 17:21, “the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” And I personally believe that means if people are looking for truth in a source that is outside of themselves (a Bible, a preacher, church, religion, rituals, etc) that they are consulting a man-made, and thus, very fallible source that is subject to the opinions and faults of the humans that created it. Ironically, I believe it was Jesus who was the one who led me to this revelation, but I had to first be willing to empty my personal beliefs and put them aside before I could receive that truth. And I thank God for it, because this version of the truth actually makes me feel very free and I don’t worry about all of the “non-believers” anymore. They are just people at different points on the Path and it is not up to me to judge them for that. They are just extensions of the Creator as much as I am, only at different levels of awareness.