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Why Did Christ Come?
Gail: Dear James, okay, I “get” (I believe) that Christ is, as you say, a self-realized soul. But… why did he come? Being a Christian, I’ve been fed my story. Working it through, he was a Jew that came to change the game plan, to say, “It isn’t in the rules… but your heart.” He came to give us a shortcut to freedom and truth. Then I look at you, and you are attempting to give us the same shortcut, to awaken to who we really are, awareness passing through life.
But he really had “it” going on. All for our education? Why did he come?
James: Actually, life is passing through awareness, but I know what you mean.
He came for the same reason everyone comes: to realize who they are and set themselves free. He realized freedom lay in his identity with his “Father,” i.e. consciousness, his innermost self. His coming was no big deal, nor was his leaving. Everything that comes here leaves. There are thousands of Christs today who have realized the same thing and are helping people rediscover the truth. The big “game plan” is not changed by the presence of someone who knows the truth, although individuals can be deeply transformed by the presence of a great soul. If he had been successful, redeemed us from our sins, whatever that is supposed to mean, the world would be a very different place. He probably awakened some people to the truth. And he would have had a much bigger impact if he had lived to a ripe old age and mellowed a bit. But he was young, a bit of a hothead really, could not keep his mouth shut, attracted the wrong people and got himself killed.
The rest is all myth cooked up by the church over the centuries. You have to separate the church from Christ. It basically turned his teaching upside down, back to front, from non-duality to duality, in the blink of an eye. Even if you understand what he was saying, his teachings are not comprehensive enough to be of much more than an inspiration that dies quickly enough for want of a way to implement them.
Honestly, Gail, Christianity is kid stuff spiritually. It is myopic, dualistic, has no methodology, is faith-based and relies on the words of a mystic that were written down by others long after his death. There are even elements of the story that suggest that he was not fully enlightened, that he was a yogi whose “connection” with the self was tenuous. In any case, we have no way of actually knowing what his experience/knowledge was. It is just another spiritual story, albeit a compelling and dramatic one.
Belief in an external God is not the kiss of death as far as samsara is concerned – it keeps people in line and gives them hope. But fear and hope are useless emotions spiritually. Belief in an external savior, particularly a dead one, is silly because you only get free by proper investigation and right effort. And it turns out that the dead saint always tells the devotee exactly what he or she wants to hear.
I’m not down on religion at all. I think it is good – up to a point. But while it contains certain elements of truth, in practice they are little more than relics, happenstance artifacts. Ignorance is hardwired, systematic and terribly intelligent. You need a comprehensive means of inquiry. An undeveloped hodgepodge of beliefs that creates more doubts than it resolves does not amount to means of liberation.
At best Christianity is a salvation theology, but when you think about it, only an idiot could accept it insofar as there is no practical way to verify its statements. “I am going to do what the church tells me to because I want to go to a place where the church tells me life is eternal and blissful… after I die”? Life is eternal and blissful right now and there are means to discover it. Heaven? The results of actions done by a limited entity will never produce eternity. And if there is a heaven – the Vedic scriptures also talk of heaven – it could only be in maya and therefore not eternal. Use up your good karma and back you come to the earth. Saved? “I was never bound in the first place,” etc., etc.
I haven’t time to properly take the piss out of Christianity, because nothing much is accomplished by it. Mind you, Vedanta has done it, long before Christianity even existed. Read the Brahma Sutras. Duality is as old as the hills. It is hardwired because people take the body to be the self and are fooled into thinking that the way they experience reality is true to the nature of reality. The world is not real and duality is not a fact. It is a belief. We can prove it if – as Christ says – you have eyes to see.
Anyway, I feel a full-fledged rant coming on and it is not good for my blood pressure – which always goes up when I think of Christianity. So I will sign off with light and love.