When we got to Jerusalem I was impressed--by exactly how much it looked exactly like I expected it to look.
What didn't look the same was the country around there.
The country around the whole area, except for the patently desert regions like the Wilderness of Judea, is very much like the country here in Eastern Montana. It is more like this than any other country I have ever seen.
Rocky, semi-arid, except for the irrigated farmlands, which pose striking relief from the natural lonely landscape.
The grass is clearly for grazing.
And the air, particularly in the early morning, as the dawn breaks, is clearly for smelling, with your spiritual senses. There is the same quality of being urgently still in the early morning that I am able to find in Montana.
There are rocks everywhere.
Here in Montana we (they) make rock fences and huge piles of rocks gathered from the fields that they want to cultivate. There, there are generally too many rocks to bother trying.
But the rocks add a quality to the land that gives a visible image to quicken the spiritual senses: the soil is precious, and each little blade and cluster of grass really appreciates the little bit of soil it has found in among the rocks to grow.
The elevation and latitude are roughly the same as Oregon.
The air has the same feeling of freshness and crispness; but it is very dry, while Oregon is wet. The Western half anyway.
There are Pine Trees!
That surprised me.
And gladdened my little cowboy heart.
They have a pine tree that looks like a Scotch Pine crossed with a White Pine. It's funny to see them on top of these little rising rocky knolls. David fought a lot of his battles among them.
We saw the little valley where David and Goliath were supposed to have fought.
And that was another thing, for a little kid who grew up on Westerns, Pirate Movies, Cowboys and Indians, and King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table--this country was perfect battle country.
There were rocks just big enough to hide a man, all over the place.
You could see for miles...who was coming over the crest of the hills miles away.
You could hide and surprise your enemy through lots of strategies, and when you did get together there was lots of open space so you could have a good honest battle.
It was a hard land; but the ideal perfect place to wage a war.
It was also the perfect place to walk. To be alone. And still.
In fact it was nonoptional.
You didn't have any choice but to be alone in that country.
Like Montana, it just sort of forced you to confront yourself and your own thoughts.
I could see how the sheepherders could get off just standing in one place for hours at a time.
There is a reassuring peace that pervades the countryside.
It reminds me of a line that speaks of being "alone" as being "all one." If you can see that, feel it, then you can see that there isn't anything to do; it has all been done, and we are just along for the ride. To enjoy it.
And appreciate it.
That is a very calming thing to see. And it's sort of nonoptional in that kind of environment.
If you can quiet your "self" long enough to hear it, and see it.
That self that is composed of all those needs and fears and wishes and doubts and longings and hates and fears and more fears.
Get that baby out of the way and you can really see it.
The trick is getting that self out of the way. And that is one of the reasons I am hear to talk to you, I guess.
Well, a perfectly lovely clash between all of this natural bucolic setting and the bustle of the city and all of its preoccupations was given to us as we came over the top of the hill, where Jerusalem is located.
The first thing you notice is that the city is built on top of a very high hill for fortification.
The Old City, which has a wall around it, is built within the New City.
It was just outside the wall of the Old City that they crucified Jesus, and left him dangling on a cross for the passers-by to ogle at. Just before the feast of the Passover. So there were plenty of people around.
The feast of the Passover is something that the Jews celebrate to recognize the day that Moses led the Jews out of Egypt and toward the "Promised Land."
The "Promised Land" was taken literally by the Jews as meaning Israel, or the piece of land that we now acknowledge by that name. Instead of seeing the "Promised Land" is a spiritual place that one achieves through adversity, through willingly allowing oneself to be led into a wilderness of despair over the loss of one's earthly attachments, trusting that the Kingdom of Heaven, the Understanding of God, the Understanding that is God (or God's reflection of Himself) will be the reward.
Naturally, it is a lot easier for primitive people to figure that the "Promised Land" is a piece of dirt, stake it out as theirs, and promptly proceed to get in wars over that.
A similar mistake, of course, has been made about Jesus as was made about Moses and the first "Promised Land," in case anybody is starting to feel self-righteous about the mistake that the Jews made.
The "Christians" have made exactly the same mistake.
With respect to the person of Jesus.
Jesus was talking about the "Promised Land" too, exactly the same "Promised Land" that Moses was talking about, only Moses identified the "Promised Land" with a piece of ground, so that people could have some sense of what he was talking about, and Jesus identified the Kingdom of Heaven with himself, so that people could have some idea of what he was talking about.
Remember that he was talking to fishermen and tax collectors.
When he said "I" am the way, he was saying two things: first, follow my example and you will see the way, the path that has been laid out before you, and second, if you follow my example (I am the door, gate, example, the way, the truth, and the life), then you will see what the "I" means, what it refers to. Namely the Son of God, or man, which is "in" you, the Truth within you that will set you free.
What the word "I" refers to is all important.
What Jesus was trying to get you to see, by way of setting an example for you (and me) to follow, was the utterly glorious, fantastic thing that that little pronoun did (does) refer to when you are willing to get that little human self out of the way: the image and power and likeness of God. Put it on the altar and kiss that son-of-a-bitch good-bye.
When you get that human self, with all its gripes, meanness, pettiness, and garbage pit inclinations, out of the way, or as you get the human self out of the way--which all of your life experiences are given to you to help you do--the dawn, that light that is referred to in the Bible as being "spiritual light," begins to appear over the horizon of the darkness of your human experience. What this light is is the recognition of who and what you really are.
The sons and daughters of God.
As you really are.
With all that that entitles you to as co-inheritors of the Kingdom with Jesus Christ.
Seeing and doing all the wonderful things that he saw and did while on earth.
On the basis of his spiritual insight and power.
It all comes down to understanding.
Which you are given in direct proportion to your willingness to trust, and let go, of your human preconceptions about the way things should be.
Along with all the little desires, and phobias, and hates, and prejudices that go with all that lovely human willfulness.
Well, speaking of human willfulness, Jerusalem is just brimming with it.
The Jews finally got Jerusalem back.
The Wailing Wall was one of the most peculiar sights I have ever seen. The warble that these people send up (they often hire somebody to do it for them) sounds like a cross between a Loon and a Sioux Indian Pow Wow chant.
I went up to the wall and saw little bits of paper stuffed in among the rocks, all rolled up in little balls. I asked the guide what they were. He said they were requests and demands that certain prayers be answered.
I found this hard to believe.
But then another guide, taking us through the Garden of Gethsemane, explained that some of the gnarled old Olive Trees there were over three thousand years old. At least one was, anyway.
I also found that hard to believe.
The Garden of Gethsemane was a neat place though.
It was right across a little vale or valley from the Wall of the Old City.
It faces a large door that Jesus was supposed to have entered when he re-entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey (to fulfill a prophesy in the Old Testament) on what is now called "Palm Sunday."
It is simply incredible to me how the human mind (which is virtually identical with the word ignorance in meaning, when it is finally understood) can materialize spiritual things.
"Easter," for example, is named after a Teutonic goddess named Eostre, whose birthday happens to fall around the time of the Resurrection.
So we paganize the greatest proof or demonstration of the nonexistence of material limitation that was ever made, by associating it with the earthbound, human, material sense of the coming of Spring.
Good work Christians.
Onward Christian Soldiers.
Let's kill the meaning of "Christ" to celebrate the example our teacher was trying to set for us.
"Christ" is the Greek word that means "Messiah," or "the anointed one."
It does not refer to a person.
It refers to the spiritual idea, or that spiritual light, that we all have. If we just let it shine.
By getting the "human" self out of the way.
And letting it take over.
Like the guy in Star Wars.
Let the Source take over.
That was what the Garden of Gethsemane was important for.
The night before his crucifixion, or before he let them capture him, Jesus had to struggle with his own human sense of what was best to do, or yield to the Divine.
Three times he fought, asking that that cup be passed by him.
Each time he relinquished, saying not my will but Thine be done.
And let himself be taken away.
And given what was then one of the most humiliating and painful and defeating ways to die there was.
Which threatened his life work.
For everyone to see him like that.
Spread-eagled on a cross.
With festering, painful wounds all over his body.
With people walking by just outside the Wall of Jerusalem wagging their fingers saying, "If he can save all those people and do all those works why can't he save himself now?"
It appeared to be a real threat to his life work.
An appearance that undermined his ability to prove what he was talking about to his disciples (students). All of whom had left him except the "beloved" one, John.
The rest had scattered and run like rats.
Peter cried bitterly when he saw what he had done.
What Jesus may not have seen at that time (it always comes to you in the darkest form it can take, or so it seems) was that all of this was absolutely essential for him to make the great triumph, the proof, that he knew what he was talking about.
That he wasn't just fooling around.
He was the Messiah, or the "anointed one," that is, he was the messenger, bringing the news to everyone that the Messiah, the anointed one that is in all of us, the Son of God, the Truth, or Christ, that is within, that will set us free to be our divinely ordained selves, is ready to do its leavening work, when we open our thought and receive the idea.
You see, the words of Christ, as spoken by Jesus, are just words that the Christ is speaking to itself.
There is just One Mind; therefore, the Mind that speaks is the Mind that hears.
When it is ready.
In a particular individuation of itself.
And not until then.
Not until that ground has been thoroughly prepared to receive and appreciate the good news that we are not of this earth, we are not of the animals and plants of this world, doomed to decay and dust; but we are already, right now, the sons and daughters of God.
And all that is happening in our human experience is preparing the way for that light to dawn when we are ready.
When we are ready to turn away from the world with eagerness and gladness in our hearts, eternally grateful that we are not sentenced to the doom that would be in store for us if we were subject to the ways of matter.
What seems preposterous to material sense seems obvious and commonplace to spiritual. Once you have seen that light.
The darkness is real to those imprisoned by it.
Material sense is patently true, a matter of solid conviction to those who have not yet seen that spiritual dawning.
They cannot be judged or condemned or criticized.
We can only let that light shine as powerfully as we can, through our own individual being, and know that they will see it, when they are ready. It will trigger something within them that will start the Truth stirring, the leavening, within their own thought.
If you look in the face of another man, and judge him, remember that you are looking in nothing but the face of God. Everywhere, no matter where you look.
"In Him we live and move and have our being."
"If I lift up a rock, behold, I will find you there."
No matter what it looks like, no matter how awful it may appear to your human senses, it is just God. There is just God.
There is only God.
And if you don't like what you are seeing, that means that there is something for you to change your mind about, because all that needs changing is your thought.
When your thought changes, the discord disappears.
Just like it did for Jesus.
The worst calamity turned into the most glorious demonstration of the proof of God's allness and His goodness.
Because one man, one appointed (anointed) messenger, was willing to sacrifice all he had, his life work and all his teaching, for the love of God. And trust in God.
So he laid aside his human inclinations, and figurings.
And let them take him.
And flog him.
And torture him.
And mock and ridicule him.
And then roll dice for his garment.
Friendless. Betrayed. Alone.
Except for his mother, his best friend, and his girlfriend, or as close to one as he had.
The former harlot.
That was a dark day.
What they now call "Good Friday."
But that's the way it seems to work.
You are brought to a position where there is absolutely nothing left to trust.
You and Him.
And then you dig down and deepen that faith, that "belief," that understanding, yet one more notch, and....wham.
The dream breaks.
The mesmerism is broken.
The human has yielded to the divine.
And something happens on the whole scene surrounding your individuality that makes it all fine, and glorious, and you "see" what it was all for, what it was all leading to.
In terms that are certain.
You have "resurrected," a little bit more.
I would like you to entertain, for a moment, what you have been taught as the price of accepting so-called "conventional" Christianity.
First of all, as I have mentioned before, you have that little man up in front of the Church, in front of the Congregation, simultaneously boring and hypnotizing all the faithful in the flock, who are putting in their time for God by going through the ritual of going to church.
What is going on in the minds of the people in the congregation? What have they been taught? What do they believe?
What have they accepted, willingly accepted, into their hearts and minds as the price of admission into the Kingdom of Heaven?
The first and most important thing they have accepted is that Jesus Christ is their personal lord and savior. That is, somehow, some way, this guy is going to come down out of the clouds (without touching the earth) and draw them up to Heaven with Him, for believing and accepting the glaring idiocies they have been taught all their lives.
For willingly allowing themselves to be hypnotized (or more accurately, for hypnotizing themselves) for the plum that they see as the reward for receiving all these mindless, self-contradictory, boring theories that they are told they have to accept as the "Keys to the Kingdom."
What is the biggest single problem in the Church today?
The same as it was yesterday.
The first reward for accepting the self-hypnotizing lies given to you by your pastor, minister, or priest is that the lies really aren't all that interesting anyway. They don't have anything for you after you have conned yourself into thinking that Jesus is going to come and whisk you away from all of this, as your reward for doing absolutely nothing but sitting on your ass and continuously telling yourself that you have "let Jesus into your heart."
Unless you are Roman Catholic.
And then you have to believe the Church hierarchy let Jesus into their hearts, and they will pass the word along to you, as to what is right, what is wrong, how to think about every little detail of your life.
The Communists are criticized for having group control over the thought of its followers. Communism has nothing on the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church is the master when it comes to mass hypnosis.
Perhaps that is why it does so well in countries that were similarly easily swayed by Communist propaganda.
The essential difference between Communism and the Catholic Church is that Communism does not have the added pretension of claiming that its doctrine was given to it as the Word of God.
To that extent it is more honest. And appealing.
The essential break that Protestantism made with Catholicism, and the break was a definite and clear move in the right direction, was to de-materialize the concept of Church so that the individual parishioner could have a personal relationship with God.
Unfortunately, Martin Luther, and the other theoreticians behind this courageous break, could not let go of the materialism in the church enough to stop thinking of Jesus as a person. Thus, it was the material concept of Jesus as a person that was in the back of their minds when they formulated the new doctrine, for everybody to memorize and hypnotize themselves with.
Why do you suppose that Christianity does not work today, like it is supposed to?
Mustn't it be because the Churches are preaching false doctrine, which, if accepted, nullify the activity of the spiritual law that Jesus and the Apostles understood so well?
If so, the vital question today in Christianity is: what is the law?
That has been found.
But before it can be given and accepted, the falseness of the religion we have all grown up with and been taught as gospel must be clearly seen. Without seeing this, the law won't make any sense, since it contradicts so fundamentally the material teachings of the Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant religions.
What is needed is the restoration of Primitive Christianity, that is, the restoration of the understanding of the spiritual law that Jesus had and gave to his Disciples.
What the law does not say is that you should stop thinking for yourself and start subscribing to the doctrines and creeds of other men as the way to salvation.
I know of no funnier or arbitrary document than the Nicene Creed, and the way it was formulated by Constantine "the Great" in order to keep the Roman Empire together. A Creed that has dominated the thought of the Church ever since.
And the thought of men who have been lashed into submission by the Church.
And little kids.
The healthiest youthful attitude toward religion I have ever seen publicly expressed was by Tom Sawyer.
The healthiest (and holiest) attitude I have see publicly expressed by a man was that expressed by John Walton.
People who don't like lies, even thought it costs them sitting at home alone while their family leaves them to go to church to sit with the righteous and faithful are the kind of people I am addressing.
If you want to get hypnotized sometime, if you want to get into a real old-fashioned trance sometime, start singing a hymn. In Church. With all those other people that are right there with you. Mutually reinforcing and supporting each other's hypnotic fantasies.
That Jesus is going to come down out of the sky and get them.
Like the natives on the island worshipping the crashed cargo plan, hoping that it will save them.
But the ugliest, most hideous, rotten part of the doctrine is that the other guys--the ones who won't buy the Life-Insurance package--are bound to be doomed. This is the Platonic Form of an insiders-outsiders club.
I remember when I went to the Episcopal Church for a few months late in grade school.
To try it out.
Because my friends went there.
And my mother made me.
All the other people in my group were getting ready for "Confirmation," whatever the hell that was.
I inquired, and found out I hadn't even been baptized.
The shame of it. Drove me right away from the Church.
However, I got even, later in life.
In order to get married to my first wife they made me get baptized in the Episcopal Church so we could get married there.
The head guy who baptized me, at the ripe old age of twenty-one, asked me if I believed that Jesus was the Son of God.
I said, "I don't know."
He said, "That's okay, we'll baptize you anyway."
So I'm legal.
Unlike Plato and Socrates. Who happened to be born a little too early. So they have to float around in limbo for eternity, weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth for not having been born after the birth of Jesus.
Say, if you want a truly hilarious perspective of what the Catholic mind can do to the spirituality that Jesus taught, read Dante's Inferno.
I like the part where the guys are standing on their tiptoes in boiling blood, with just their noses above water, waiting for the guy with the pitchfork to stab them in the face.
Oh, the Love of God for Man.
As long as that sort of thing is accepted and believed, that is the sort of thing that will happen.
Until it is burned out of existence.
I think my favorite part is when they start coming to "the end of the world."
When everything is going to go up in flames in the Apocalypse.
And the Apocalypse is going to come true. Literally.
Here it comes!
THE END OF THE WORLD!
The Ones Who Believed.
And the others are not.
Our poor brethren.
Our brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, mothers or fathers. All of those who didn't buy the bullshit.
Too bad about them.
But I do love my brother as myself. And revel in the glory that he is going to everlasting damnation and I am going to be saved for eternity.
Yea for me! And us!
We tried to save him, but he wouldn't listen.
We tried to tell him that if he would just let Jesus into his heart everything would be O.K.
But he wouldn't listen.
So now he is doomed.
And we are saved!
Well, God didn't make robots you know.
He wanted to give man a choice.
About whether to accept all the bullshit about how he Fell, and was a Sinner, in his heart of hearts, and how God in the Bigness of His Heart saved man by giving him the choice of whether to repent or not.
God certainly went to a lot of trouble so that man could be free.
He set things up so that man "His only begotten Son," "for whom He so loved the world," would Fall.
God created a being that could be tempted, then he placed him in a situation where he would be tempted, then saw to it that he was tempted......Oh no, pardon me, that was incorrect.
God was unaware that man was being tempted at the time, that's right.
Or, He was aware, but just permitted it.
So He could then watch His Son fall into Hell and everlasting damnation.
That particular lie is what the second chapter of Genesis is there to warn people about, because it's going to look that way, and people are going to say it is that way, that man has the "knowledge" of both good and evil.
But that is the lie.
That is the serpent talking.
God would never set it up that way. Not a good God. Not even a halfway just God. Not even a God that had half of one sleepy eye open to what is right or wrong, fair or unfair, just or unjust.
No God would set things up so that man deliberately Falls, because God allowed him to be tempted, and then, after securing man's repentance, bring him back into His Good Affection.
That's ridiculous preposterous bullshit.
I could shit a more humane God than that.
Yet, that is what all three of the major religions in Western Civilization would have you believe.
If you're going to be spiritual. On their terms.
Which is why they can't heal.
Because it's a lie.
Recorded in the second chapter of Genesis, along with the material conception of man.
Which the major religions would also have you buying.
It is false.
And if you buy it you will be cast into a hypnotic state, totally incapable of healing or saving yourself from absolute catastrophe in your life.
Because you have allowed yourself to be mesmerized.
By a lie.
And you cannot practice the science of true spirituality on the basis of a lie.
Its just like trying to practice mathematics on the basis of false rules of arithmetic or geometry.
It won't work.
You can pray and pray and pray and pray. But if you are praying on the basis of false beliefs, false assumptions and preconceptions about the nature of Mans relationship to God, you will get nowhere.
The "end of the world" in Christian parlance means, simply, the end of the old material way of looking at things. The end, or the beginning of the end, of third-dimensional thought and experience.
No more, and no less.
It does not mean the destruction of the earth. Although, it sometimes takes what seems like pretty destructive occurrences to shake people up enough to get them to part with their old, unlovely ways of viewing what is going on in life.
It means the same thing that Paul referred to as the "putting off the old man," and "putting on the new. "
The "dead" that are so often referred to in the New Testament are not the folks lying in the ground with markers to immortalize what looked like their brief stay on earth; the "dead" are those who are still stuck in third-dimensional sense and think that its real.
What is the single most grotesque claim made by "Christians" today?
If we haven't covered it already?
Let me suggest to you that it is the thoroughly remarkable thought that "Christ died for you," or "Christ died for your (our) sins."
In other words, that this kind and wonderful and selfless man, who did so much for mankind to teach them about the Christ, the Christ (Truth) that is within....that his act of generosity of love sets me free of all the guilt and rottenness and ugliness that I have done to my neighbor, if I will just buy the notion that he personally can enter my heart and hypnotize me for life.
Explain that one to me.
Anyone in this class.
I dare you.
I invite you.
I exhort you.
Please try and explain that one, not to me, but to yourself.
How does Jesus save?
By his example? And his teachings?
Or by entering your "hearts?"
Through the Holy Ghost.
Religious people time and time again have to resort to the claim of "mystery" and the "ineffable" ways of God to explain how it is possible, how it is good, or right, or intelligible, or coherent that Jesus could take away my sins by getting me to buy all the rest of this gobbledygook about his person.
If "sin" means anything at all it means disobedience.
Disobedience to the law.
But what law?
The spiritual law that Jesus, the Patriarchs, and the Prophets talked about in the Bible.
The law that is God.
The law that is man's nature as God's reflection.
True, this is a new usage of the word "law," but only according to our modern day highly refined meaning of the term that comes from modern science and the legal profession.
"Law" means the same thing as "Lord" in the Old Testament.
You can replace "Law" for Lord there pretty much at will and not lose the central meaning of the text.
Unless you anthropomorphize.
And reduce God to the level of man.
Then you lose the meaning.
But, you don't do that if you think of "Lord" as "Law," and not some fiery angry Jehovah with a beard.
What looks like the wrath of the Lord is the Love of the Lord. The Love of the Law for It's own Nature.
That Nature is expressed in us.
We are being led to a discovery of what it is about.
All the time.
And when we step off the track it looks like fire and vengeance; but it is really just getting us back on the track. That we are really not off of anyway.
All this business about personalizing Jesus and how he is going to personally save you completely violates the law.
Which is why people believing that piece of nonsense are going to find themselves in the middle of some particularly violent experiences to shake them out of it.
When they are ready.
Meanwhile, this notion of sitting around waiting for Jesus to be the agent of God's forgiveness, simply because we are willing to be hypnotized by the belief that Jesus is a person operating in our lives, is grotesque enough punishment for any half-wit with half an ounce of integrity.
Much less the notion of going to Church to have some agent for Jesus and the Lord do the forgiving for them.
The belief is punished.
Only the belief.
For as long as it is held.
Until you let go of it.
That is all there is to "sin."
It is just like having the wrong rule or belief operating for you in arithmetic or science.
As long as you continue to use the wrong thought, thinking it is right, you will screw up the formula or the equation or the experiment.
Until you change the belief and get it right.
Then everything works.
That is the way a Good God runs His Universe.
The only thing that gets destroyed is the false belief.
So that nothing but the purified and true remains.
One of the most intriguing parts of our stay in Israel was the machine guns.
The machine guns.
They had three different types that I could make out.
An M-16, and two different kinds of burp guns or sten guns.
At the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem ("Oh Little Town of Bethlehem . . .") there were so many guards I thought they were going to start a war.
At the mosque which was the burial place of Abraham and Sarah (and which therefore was an equally holy place for both Moslems and Jews) the guards there were there to make sure that we put on these little paper skull caps, so that we wouldn't defile the shrine.
I don't know what the Moslems (Palestinians) would have had to say about that.
While I was there I had a chance to talk with some lovely Palestinian people, who were trying to make do with the Israeli occupation.
They complained most about the Israeli torture.
They said it was commonplace, and humiliating, and designed to drive the remaining Arabs from the land.
By making it so uncomfortable.
One girl told me of her neighbor, a week ago, who was caught out alone at night by the police.
They took him to the station and beat him until 5:00 in the morning. And then let him go.
He said he could hear the screams of a lot of other prisoners being similarly treated while he was there.
I arrived in Israel just after the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon.
The Israelis had apparently used a tactic that the Nazis had perfected.
What you do if the guerrillas kill or attack members of the occupying force is over-retaliate to the point of making it not worth their while.
The Nazis would take thirty or fifty people out of the village and shoot them in front of the others.
The Israelis would bomb and strafe and blow up villages that were sympathetic to the Palestinians.
When we got to the Sea of Galilee I was most impressed of all the places we visited.
This was the place, a lake actually, that Jesus had walked on and done so much of his teaching.
Right on the banks of this lovely little lake.
About four miles by nineteen miles long.
Across the lake were the Golan Heights. Some nice hills, a high plateau actually, that sort of overlooked the lake.
In fact the drive from Nazareth all the way along, past Jacob's well, all the way to the Sea of Galilee, reminded me of the Walla Walla Valley in the Springtime.
Fair farmland. Fair topsoil, good climate. Not much water.
The country around Nazareth, where Jesus was raised, was exquisite. Perfect for a boy to grow up in.
Peaceful, open, Nazareth was an active little city.
I was really impressed by how close to Nature one would have had to be growing up in the environment.
The quiet of the woods, or the open fields and grass in the case of Jesus, catches your thought and holds it. Nonoptionally.
You could feel that presence there, no matter how loud the noisy little city of Nazareth tried to get.
To shut it out.
I was really looking forward to going to the Sea of Galilee.
This was where Jesus cooked his disciples breakfast on the shore, after his resurrection.
They were out in the boat fishing (for nothing better to do, after he got crucified), and they were getting skunked, again.
He (again) told them to cast their net on the right side of the boat.
And they (again) did, and the net was so full of fish it was bursting.
Jesus was cooking them breakfast on the shore. Fish.
Waiting for them to come in after a long night's despair over losing him (and getting skunked).
I always thought that was a nice touch.
He was there to prove to them that he hadn't been injured by the crucifixion, and to give them some last instructions before he disappeared from human sense completely, for the last time.
Oh, those were the good old days, the days of revolution, when the band of "Merry Men" knew what they were doing and knew who the enemy was and knew how to fight.
(I read Robin Hood instead of Jesus when I was growing up.)
The lake was just a lake, with nice grassy meadows leading down to it.
We took a boat ride across it (for the tourists) from Capernaum to Tiberius.
I thought, son-of-a-bitch I've got a long way to go before I can walk on that son-of-a-bitch.
But, then I stopped. That's not the way you're supposed to think about things. What you think you will experience. That's the whole point.
On the other hand, I didn't jump out of the boat and try it.
Prudence, love, trust, humility, and courage. That's the ticket.
Although Prudence is used to cover a host of sins, sepulchers full. People, these god damn Christians again, who think that the appearance of being squeaky clean white has something to do with the reality of whats inside your mind.
The preoccupation of material religions with the appearance of cleanliness and propriety was exactly what Jesus was talking about when he exhorted them about being concerned about the dirt on the platters (or sepulchers), and not being concerned about the purity of what was inside, not visible to human view.
People sense that.
They sense the absolute hypocrisy of people who go to church.
Most of them who make a thing of it.
The pretensions of the church, and the churchgoers are what drive honest citizens away.
Knowing the reality of what lurks in the hearts of the sweet-smiling, sweet-smelling, sweet-talking members of the flock.
As he does.
With their dingleberries freshly scrubbed off.
For Sunday Morning.
Day of Hypocrisy.
Give me a man with an honest hangover and in the wrong bed any day.
Jesus was the friend of whores and winebibbers.
Whores and winebibbers are more honest.
And closer to the Kingdom of Heaven.
For that reason.
Crimes of the flesh are a lot less serious than crimes of the mind.
He clearly said so.
For example, when the Pharisees asked him why he hung out with whores and winebibbers, and why his students didn't wash their hands before they ate, and so forth, he said those who would profit from his attention got it, and those who wouldn't didn't.
That's why I use dirty language so much.
It reminds me, always, that while I'm here, in the flesh, with lots of work to do, I'm not going to get any self-inflated opinions about where I really am. Self-inflation, self-love, is the most deadly enemy of progress.
And if it takes a little dirty language to remind me of where and who I am, so be it. The cause of Truth will survive. If I use my little crutch.
It may strike some of you that I have a new dualism of thought going on here, where on the one hand I speak of God's child (thats us) and on the other I (seem to) make judgments about others, and myself as well.
That's just an appearance.
Remember that I said I would say and do things to shock and rattle us out of our hypnotic slumbers. That is the only reason for seeming to make judgments. And seeming to invoke a dualism. Between what Paul called the "old man" and the "new."
I am really speaking from only one point of view, though I have to say things and do things that meet the human thought where it is, and help to gently shock it out of the slumber that is keeping it from beholding the beautiful reality that is right at hand--our real identity as the children, and reflection, and consciousness, and understanding of God.
There is a great deal that would hamper our perception of that.
It is that that I attack.
That would chain us.
Into the third dimension.
Third-dimensional thought will do absolutely anything to keep you from seeing the truth.
Because it knows, that as soon as you have, it is the end of the third-dimensional thought.
Like all these people that genuinely feel they have had an experience with Jesus.
They have felt something, there is no doubt of that.
But what they have felt is not Jesus; it is Spirit touching their lives in an unmistakable way.
It is not Jesus.
But it is something.
And they know it.
So, if all they have are these evangelists around, propping up their own egos and their own self-importance and absolute indispensability to the person's encounter with the Spirit, where expressions like "I witnessed for the Lord," and "I brought Jesus into their hearts and lives," become seemingly intelligible nomenclature, then the person out of genuine humility and respect for his experience, is going to turn in that direction.
Because he has no other place to go.
Except for Protestant and Catholic Churches.
Which are spiritually void.
As vacant as the pyramids, looted and gutted by the very people who built them as soon as they were built.
And stand now as museums.
Points of curiosity to an antique conception of the spiritual House of God.
It has always struck me as self-evident that if God is about, it would be highly offensive and spiritually immoral to erect structures that suggest that this is holy ground (inside the building), and that the rest of the ground we walk on is not, together with the rest of the week that we walk on it.
If God is in the Quad, it is a 100% operation, all the time, where we "pray without ceasing," trying to find the way, trying to be open-minded to the way that has already been prepared.
Setting aside a time and a place has always struck me as the height of mans arrogance.
I still think so.
The only problem with that theory, as the clergy will surely be alert to, is that, like the abolition of the doctrine of sin, it will have the important implication of doing away with the clergy entirely.
You see, the way these false doctrines are set up, (like the need for a "temple" for God, as if your consciousness were not the only temple needed and the only temple there is in which to consecrate Him), the clergy (and their church) always turn out to be conveniently indispensable.
If you have sin, then you have to have somebody to help you, preach to you, lead you into the path of righteousness (right thinking).
You're saved (for listening to me).
All those other people out there are not.
False doctrine has got to have somebody to keep it going.
Fortunately there are lots of takers.
With lots more on the way.
Well, anyway, I started to say about how I really liked the Sea of Galilee, and how good the country smelled, and looked.
And about the Golan Heights.
These beautiful bluffs overlooking this lake.
With our hotel right on the other side. Facing them.
I had one problem with my appreciation of all this spiritual, historical splendor, imagining that this was the place where my teacher once walked and taught.
The barbed wire.
The barbed wire around the lake.
So that you couldn't get down to the water.
There were literally rolls of it down in the water, to keep you out, or in, depending on which direction you were coming from.
I walked for two miles before I found a place I felt I could comfortably sit by the water.
As the evening fell (we were only there for one day and night) I could see these little lights going on in homes across the lake. I wondered what it would be like to live there.
And then I began to see....
The lights were the floodlights going around the compounds.
"Settlements" they call them.
With two fences and floodlights enclosing the encampment.
Five of them across the lake.
Until that was all you could see when it was night.
These five circles of light.
Across the Sea of Galilee.
The avowed purpose of an evangelist's ministry is to spread the Gospel of the love of Jesus Christ.
The central message of that Gospel of love is that if you don't buy it you are damned forever by the Word of that gospel.
The message that is given one as he resides on the inside of a Church, and studies the meaning of the Gospel, is that its purpose is to put you to sleep.
Everything going on inside a church is designed to lull you into a hypnotic slumber, one way or another.
That is the effect anyway.
Either that, or, when the consciousness level is raised to a point of self-recognizability, it is done so with the design of getting you to rub your hands about how you are saved and they are not.
The money that is raised to help spread the Gospel, the Gospel of Good News, is raised by conscious and deliberate manipulation of fear and guilt by the preacher in the minds of the people listening to him.
Indeed, fear and guilt are the central message of his sermon. Even though he will claim that it is a message of love and generosity and forgiveness.
It takes a lot of fear and guilt to get people to buy into the hypnotic dream of accepting the magic of Jesus becoming their "personal savior."
It requires about as much power as getting people to believe in the mind/body/soul trichotomy, or the mind/body dichotomy, that science peddles to the young.
Only the methods of science are far more subtle and powerful. And devious.
Which explains why science is on the rise now, and religion on the wane.
The stupidity of people normally associated with Christianity--the sheep the wolves in preachers clothing up in front prey upon--would be better understood as thought. And so would the wolves.
The wolves are not people.
They are fear and guilt.
Clearly these dreams grip the thought of those who "spread" "the Gospel."
They are as much victimized by it as anyone.
Evangelists need the expansion of thought, their "worldwide ministry," to verify the dream: it needs constant, expanding confirmation, by acceptance.
Hence, the impulsion to proselytize.
Their insistence upon public commitment derives from something in the Bible, which has to do with action, not profession.
It means you live your understanding of the Christ, you don't talk about it, or publicly confess it.
The preachers have it exactly backwards.
To suit the ends of fear and guilt.
Jesus was very very explicit on this point; he was emphatic on it: "Do not your alms before other men, as the hypocrites do, but when ye pray, pray in secret to the Father, and your Father, who sees thee in secret will reward thee openly."
That comes to us directly from the Sermon on the Mount.
It must be a hard one for these fellows to explain to themselves.
All their emphasis on public expression.
It seems to me that that is what a Church is all about--to see or be seen.
Or, what it has become. In the hands of materialists.
And seekers of power.
The seekers of everything first, but the Kingdom of Heaven.
A state of Mind.
In the closet.
Away from people.
And their goddamn opinions.
It isn't that the people in the Church are the stupidest; they are the most easily hypnotized.
The essence of hypnotism is letting somebody else (or something else) take responsibility for your life.
That is the essence of it.
Which is caused by fear, of course, since nobody really wants that.
The timid, the meek, the afraid, therefore, tend to cluster in churches because they know that all their problems will be taken care of for them if they will just buy the Word.
They know that they can endure anything in this life because of the afterlife promised them if they will just "be good." Which is identical with obeying the Word.
As delivered by the Preacher.
Or his understanding of the Bible.
Or his Church's.
The only problem with that strategy in life is that the "afterlife" referred to in the Bible has nothing to do with death, or what we call "death" in this state of existence. Or consciousness.
"Death" refers, again, to the old material ways of looking at things.
Not to what happens just before they plant you.
So the Preachers have you waiting for the Cargo Plane to come and get you after they put you in the grave.
They have you in Church.
When "death," and "life everlasting" refer only to the material vs. the spiritual ways of looking at things.
And they have you in the clutches of a 100% material way of looking at and understanding religion, waiting to die, a physical or material death, so you can get your reward for being "good."
Joke's on you.
You are already dead.
As long as you insist on construing what Jesus said in material way and letting little men who are greedy for power do your thinking for you.
Instead of thinking for yourself.
And daring to stand alone.
Then, and only then, does the rebirth come.
In response to courage.
In response to love, not self-righteousness.
In response to trust, not the hypnotic worship of brainwashing techniques.
In response to humility, not the humility that obeys a human creed, which contradicts the Bible by telling you you are sinful and guilty, but the genuine obedience to God's Law, the Law that is Love, and will guide you through every circumstance in life if you listen to the "still, small voice."
The "lost sheep" are those who are lost to fear and guilt.
Or, more accurately, it is thought that is lost to fear and guilt.
As long as thought is responding to fear and guilt you may be sure that it is breaking the First Commandment, and is indeed "lost" on that account.
Where does that leave the folks in the church?
Again, I say to you, that most of the people who are genuinely in church wouldn't go near one of those physical edifices.
To be genuinely in Church is to refuse to be persuaded, by any physical or mental appearance, that there is any real motivation in man but the desire for Truth and Love. If one is coming from this standpoint, and approaches Life and his fellow man on this basis, he is conforming to Jesus commandments exactly.
The people squatting in the Church are pretending to conform with a physical gesture, a charade: they violate the scripture exactly.
The essence of the First Commandment, the whole meaning of the Bible pertaining to the Nature of God is that there is no other power apart from Him.
"I AM ALL." He says.
And in countless ways.
There are no other little powers around which act separate from Him and opposed to Him.
Like human will.
Or the devil.
Yet 90% of the purpose of these little institutions is to teach people of the reality and the nature of these "enemies" of man so that we can guard against them.
They are dreams.
They are puffs of dragons, as illusory as the effects of a marijuana cigarette.
Except when they are believed in.
Then they become real dragons.
That will chase you running and screaming all through your life if, and only if, you let them.
They will chase you until you stop believing a lie about God.
They will punish the belief for as long as it lasts.
Well, obviously, the Church is designed, for its own protection, maintenance, and well-being, to promote exactly this belief that is causing all the distress, that seems to make the Church all the more indispensable.
The lie has to have a tool to keep it in good repair.
This is the "devil."
Jesus said of the devil, "You are a liar; you were a liar from the beginning; you are the father of lies."
That's all it is.
And a lie.
That the Church must maintain to support its own survival.
These lies will manifest themselves in your experience for as long as they are believed.
These lies are preached by the Preachers.
As the love of God.
Let me reiterate: the belief in a power opposed to God is what the devil is. That is all he is.
God is Good, God is Goodness, and a belief in any other power will manifest itself in your experience until it is self-destroyed.
This is the cause of all forms of discord in our life--war, sin, disease, accident, loneliness--the whole shebang.
I know this is absolutely incredible to believe!
But it is true.
The key has been found!
And the Church, along with its old adversary Science, or what has been passing for "Science" for lo these many centuries, are the prime causes for the belief that generates the problems in the first place!
People are never lost.
It is thought that is lost.
You get a lot more fear, and guilt going, however, if you preach that it is people that are lost.
Damned in sin and disobedience.
It's just a crying shame that God would let that happen to His children.
But He did.
Because they are so disobedient.
He just doesn't have the power to redeem them.
The are condemned to everlasting fire and punishment and hell.
Tough shit about you people; my house is going to be clean for the day of judgment.
It is false thought that is condemned to fire and punishment and hell.
I commend your attention, again, to the first two chapters of First Corinthians.
Look at what it says there about the "wisdom" of this world.
Look also at what it says about prudence.
The prudent man going to church.
Protecting himself, his own ass, and his family.
Listening to the "wisdom" of the religion of this world; for it is to the religion of "this world" that such material institutions are fully devoted.
How much courage does it take to walk into a church, and be spoon-fed mindless garbage to run your life by?
What does love for God and man really come down to, if that is the real road to Heaven?
Sitting in a Church?
Acceptable in the "eyes of the Lord."
Or, does not love really imply courage, and a willingness to dare to go beyond.
For the sake of man, and the understanding of God.
Whatever that means in your life.
I say you have to go beyond the "wisdom" and "prudence" of this world.
That takes trust.
In the end.
The kind you can walk on the water on.
Instead of the kind where you wait out your life in sheer fear and trembling, and boredom, waiting for the sheer magical act of Jesus entering your heart or coming down out of the clouds to take you away.
As the reward for your waiting.
Waiting for the day when your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, cousins and aunts, and all those funny colored people around the globe who haven't yet got the word, are all going to everlasting hell and damnation.
Screaming and writhing in agony.
And, finally, eternity.
I have two good friends, Michael and Gail Rona, old students of mine, actually, who are working at a hospital in Seattle.
She is working as a nurse, in training.
He has just been promoted to assistant administrator in charge of emergency arrivals.
The hospital is the main hospital in the Seattle area to handle emergencies--that is its specialty.
Michael was showing me around a while ago.
We were hoping to bump into his wife Gail.
So we went to the burn center.
The "Burn Center" is where they bring in the emergency burn patients.
In her nurse's training Gail volunteered to work there.
It is normally duty that nurses wouldn't touch.
The psychiatrists don't even like it.
Because the pain is so real. So relentless. So overwhelming.
She says that what they have to do, the only thing that works, they have found, is to take a sponge that looks like a Brillo Pad, and scrape off the wound. Twice a day.
No pain killer.
No pain killer.
They are "scrubbed down" twice a day, and then an antiseptic salve is put on.
Their whole day, she says, begins and ends with these treatments.
They are able to relax for about half an hour after the pain of having the raw nerve ends--you can see them, hundreds of them sticking out--scrubbed.
And then they begin preparing themselves mentally for the next time it happens.
There is no other way to do it, she says. Given the state of the "art," or "science," today.
Michael and Gail are two of the brightest students I have ever had the privilege of teaching.
It is they, or thought like theirs, that I am trying to reach.
Jesus gave a parable, once, about a fig tree.
It was barren and bore no fruit.
Jesus touched it and it died.
The point of the parable, at least the point for our purposes here, was that profession without proof, preaching without practice, was barren thought that should be destroyed.
The fruit of preaching is healing.
The healing of human want and woe from every form of sin, sickness, and death.
And a lot of other things.
But these in particular.
This means healing from (freeing from) the belief in those forms of evil manifesting themselves in human experience.
Since the seeming fact of disease, or injury, or death, or congenital malfunction, or any other evil appearance to the human mind, is strictly a manifestation of what that mind believes, the healing of the belief (correcting the inaccurate thought) has the direct effect of permanently releasing (freeing) the patient from his (seemingly) physical discomfort.
That is what Jesus did.
Back then when Primitive Christianity was understood and practiced.
Before "Religion" got hold of Christianity.
And "Science" got hold of Healing.
I say this to you: that there is a brand-new, totally revolutionary approach to spirituality and healing.
Not associated with any form of faith healing, or the occult.
An approach that Jesus was trying very hard to get across in the Gospels, through his use of parable and example.
An approach that has been systematically destroyed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, and, most recently, the evangelical movements, including their so-called "faith healers."
This approach is so penetrating, so perfectly in tune with the structure of the Universe, that once glimpsed, the old ways of viewing spirituality and medicine will be abandoned as children playing in the sandbox.
This approach is so revolutionary, so fundamentally earthshaking, that its biggest problem is one of being comprehended by the mind of man, mired as it is in the educational indoctrination that we all survive, and in the material misconceptions that we are afraid to leave behind.
We need to courageously pursue the (real) New Frontier.
To borrow a phrase that Jack Kennedy once misapplied to "social" problems.
The "New Frontier" is the Frontier of Mind.
It is the Old Frontier that Jesus was talking about.
Exactly the same one.
Only now, the "Comforter" that he promised has come.
And we face the same problem now that he faced then: most people are completely unwilling to accept the fantastic reality about which he spoke.
Which he called "The Kingdom of heaven."
And John called "The New Jerusalem" in the Book of Revelation.
And there will come exactly the same resistance which he met (and overcame), and gave us the example for meeting, in the way he loved and died.
That resistance will come from exactly the same source that it came from in his time--the established World Church of the time.