Conversations with Jesus and Zoe: Rest
Jesus: I have spoken of this before. Come and rest in me.
In Me you will find your courage, your solace, your need for being. I await you.
© Zoe 2015
Jesus: I have spoken of this before. Come and rest in me.
In Me you will find your courage, your solace, your need for being. I await you.
© Zoe 2015
Jesus: Learn to hold your own. Always listen to the voice of others and reflect on what is said. However do so from a place of strength and have courage to trust what you feel and know inside you. Hold your own. It is a brave and good man who can reflect on the opinions of others and hold his own course.
© Zoe 2015
Buddha: We are living in a time of collective madness. We are living in societies and civilizations, not all but most, where people are living with a collective consciousness below that of hysteria. The threat is believed to come from every angle: from economic downturn, from terrorists, from immigrants, from racial minorities.
Within this context many of you will become uncomfortable, unable to function to the best of your abilities and unable to accept this way of being for yourself, for your community, for your country anymore.
When these times arise there is only one place to look that is not in defensive strategies, that is not in armament either of weapon or money. The time to look is the time to look inside and to learn to become one with what you find there in. There is nothing to be frightened or fearful of inside of yourself. There is nothing inside you that, with focus and dedication, cannot be turned into gold. So during this time look inside without fear. There will be great reticence initially at doing this for what is hidden has been hidden for good reason or so the mind has told you. But it is illusion as I repeat there is nothing that is within any human alive that cannot be turned into gold, that cannot be turned into the seeker and even the finder of better states of being.
I have been asked, “Why look within? Why will looking within and becoming at peace with what one finds be a strategy in uncertain times such as these?”
You are connected to the collective mind, to the consciousness of humanity. For the consciousness to change be the change. If enough people in uncertain times become stable and solid and stalwart then peace will be able to return. Think of a life or death situation that is being faced by a group of people. If there is one that is able to find the peace, the strength, the courage to stay in the moment and to deal with what is happening, that one is able to impact the hysteria of the many; not always successfully but impact would be made.
Now think if there were two or three or four, the odds are getting better aren’t they. So in uncertain times when one is concerned with ones material future switch to ones interior future and begin the work. By creating stillness, by allowing the system to harmonize, you will not only make more logical and grounded steps you will also impact the collective of everyone around you.
This is all for today.
© Zoe 2015
Background to A Prayer from Maitreya with TMichael
TMichael: This meditation was given to me many years ago by Maitreya. After reciting it daily since then I have just begun to understand its significance and meaning to me. Prayer and meditation are often emblematic of the mystery of life, subjective and personally revealing in their own way and time. Please receive this prayer in that spirit.
With every breath that I breathe in I receive love in abundance, and
With every breath that I breathe out I send love in abundance into the world,
I am filled with love in abundance.
As I receive love in abundance I use my courage, truthfulness, goodness and beauty to enhance its value for the benefit of all.
I follow the path of love and wisdom.
I am grateful for all that I receive in love in abundance,
And I am grateful for all that I share with others.
I am that I am and thus receive the blessings of love in abundance.
© TM 2015
TM: What does it take to live a spiritual life?
Master Buddha: Dedication, perseverance and a sense of humor.
TM: Did you have a sense of humor during your life as Siddhartha Gautama?
Master Buddha: Not at first. I was spiritually ambitious and burning with desire. That’s not very fertile ground for humor. Later in that life I developed an understanding of the importance of humor.
TM: Is it as important as dedication and perseverance?
Master Buddha: In some ways maybe more so. The ability to laugh at one’s self is priceless. I see so many lives that tread the path of holiness and they are so miserable because they cannot laugh. So much seriousness kills the spirit.
TM: I’ve learned to laugh at myself more recently and I can say it makes a big difference in reducing the amount of judgment I have for others and myself.
Master Buddha: Life is for experience and for fulfilling purpose. That can be pretty serious. It can also be very funny if you know that all of the mistakes and all of the pain go to the same place when it’s all over.
TM: Where is that, where do they go?
Master Buddha: They go to hell of course, right with the soul who created them.
TM: I take it that was a joke.
Master Buddha: Is it funny?
TM: Sort of, if you don’t believe in hell.
Master Buddha: And if you do?
TM: Well, you might not find it too funny.
Master Buddha: I tell you there is no hell. Furthermore, I tell you that the idea of hell was created to keep you in line. Has it worked?
TM: Maybe it has for some people, but probably not for most folks. It seems there are a lot of loopholes to slip out. It never seemed too enlightened a concept to me. I mean it sounds like something humans would do to one another, but it doesn’t sound too godlike.
Master Buddha: Yes, but don’t you know about the battle, or perhaps feud I should say between God and the Devil? God gave the Devil his due by giving him the real estate of hell and all the sinners that go with it. That’s a fair settlement wouldn’t you say?
TM: Okay, now I know that’s supposed to be funny.
Master Buddha: I’m doing my best to break your reverence for everything. You can stop pretending that you believe everything must be taken so seriously.
TM: You’re right, I’m afraid of offending people, so I tend to show respect for all points of view.
Master Buddha: Does that mean that you cannot find the humor in all points of view?
TM: No, but like I said, I’m afraid some people will be offended by you or me finding humor in their beliefs.
Master Buddha: Do you find offense if someone finds humor in your beliefs?
TM: Well, since I find humor in my beliefs I don’t get offended. But I don’t know if others feel that way about their own beliefs; so, I just avoid making light of their beliefs.
Master Buddha: That’s very polite and considerate of you. Do you have thoughts about their beliefs and do you usually think funny thoughts, silently to yourself?
Master Buddha: Then maybe you should share them with others and let them tell you if they are offended or not. Maybe they would have a good laugh with you. Did you ever consider that option?
TM: Not really.
Master Buddha: I’ll tell you a story about a man who traveled the world in search of the perfect religion. He stopped in every village in every country and sought out the priest. He asked each and every priest, what makes your religion so perfect? And after each description the priest gave he would laugh uproariously, falling over on his side, rolling on the ground. At first the priest would recoil in horror and offense that this stranger would be so rude to laugh at his religion. But eventually seeing and hearing the stranger laughing so uncontrollably, the priest would crack a smile at first and then after a few moments he would start to gently laugh and then he would also fall over with laughter.
The villagers in seeing this would think that their priest had gone mad. They would try everything they could to restrain the priest. But to no avail. The priest would laugh and laugh for hours until he would fall unconscious in sleep.
This happened in one village after another as the man traveled throughout the world. When he at last he had covered all known villages and had laughed with every priest, he decided to compile his notes about every religion on earth and why the priests believed them to be the best religion in the world.
When he examined his notes he began to laugh uncontrollably again. In every language and in every way the priests gave him the same answer. Their religion was the greatest because the Supreme Being, God, had decreed theirs the best, the greatest and the one that all men should follow.
It was this news that he shared with each priest he encountered after the fits of laughter. In that state of ecstasy, they all embraced him and thanked him for reminding them of their own arrogance.
TM: Thank you for that story. But, really I think the man would have been hung in some places.
Master Buddha: You underestimate the power of pure enlightenment. Laughter is one of the best pathways to pure enlightenment. At any rate it is necessary from time to time to keep one’s balance.
TM: We use humor to ridicule oftentimes- to belittle others and their ways. I think that is what feels bad about humor and then it takes on irreverence, especially as it relates to one’s religion.
Master Buddha: Ridicule would be ineffective unless one has a powerful attachment to the importance and inviolability of one’s religion. It seems to me that if one is so sensitive to receive ridicule, then perhaps the weakness is in his faith that his religion has any value at all and must be held together by his defense of it as being beyond reproach.
I once encountered a monk who delivered the most eloquent and beautiful sermon on the virtue of humor. He told of his journey to a foreign land and of his many blunders with language and custom. His audience was all smiles and laughs as they recognized themselves in each anecdote. Why can’t we have that acceptance about religion? Is it somehow more important than its adherents? There is a problem here that goes deeper than offense at irreverence. There is a problem that a man can only resolve by finding his true spiritual nature through a religion that he so identifies with that he has the strength and the courage to laugh at himself and his religion occasionally. Life is experience and religion is also experience. This means that it must be accepted as fallible and in need of evolution. Man must not guard it as if it is a treasure that belongs only to him, and is so fragile that it will break at the slightest injury.
Religion is a living thing. It is nurtured in the way all living things are nurtured. It must learn. And to learn it must not take too seriously what it already thinks it knows. Otherwise there is no room for new insights. Without new insights how is it to grow and learn and allow for nurturing?
TM: What about humor in our popular culture; it reflects where we are socially, but often in a mean-spirited way.
Master Buddha: You’re correct in your emphasis on ridicule and mean-spiritedness, but really this is the stuff of children. It hurts one’s feelings to hear such things because of the attachment you have to the importance of such things. The more that you clutch onto your beliefs, whether religious in nature or secular, the more offended you’ll be at the suggestion they are unimportant or faulty in some way. There is no escape then from the mode of defense. And to be in the mode of defense requires much serious vigilance. This excludes humor from one’s life.
Without humor, expressions that should effortlessly pass through get stuck. When you have a thought or a feeling at the level of consciousness and you stuff it, what do you think is happening to the energy behind it? Humor allows for the movement. Otherwise in its place we have judgment. And with that we have stuck energy. With stuck energy we have the root cause of disease and physical distress.
TM: I think I’m afraid to let go of the beliefs and I defend them because I don’t know what will replace them. Maybe it will be worse than the ones I eliminate. And then where will I be?
Master Buddha: You’ll be stuck if you don’t release the attachment to your beliefs. Yes, certainly you could adopt beliefs that are no good to serve you and your fellow beings. But remember, that at the point you have decided to openly question your beliefs, you have opened the door to your spiritual nature in a way that can and will inform you. It will not lead you astray. It will take you where you need to go regardless of your opinion or protestations. You may at any point stop the course, but if you feel that despite your discomfort or resistance, it is the right path, you’ll continue.
It is rare to find one who has no doubt whatsoever. There is a difference between doubt and denial. A strong attachment to beliefs relies on denial to guard its gates, so to speak. Doubt can leave the door ajar and permit examination. There can be a gradual release of belief as one becomes familiar with a new idea.
TM: It seems like there must be some value to the fact that the majority of the population holds steady with certain beliefs as a sort of social glue. What would happen if everyone just shed his beliefs and tried on new ones? No one would be able to function in a society where you couldn’t anticipate anything.
Master Buddha: This is quite the conundrum for people who begin to tread the path to enlightenment. How does one explore new beliefs while remaining in the world that is governed by set beliefs that demand conformity? This is not so hard to understand once you accept that everything will be okay if you are out of sync with the collective consciousness of humanity. The mass of humanity is in sync with this collective consciousness and it is this fact that terrifies you and holds you back; yet at the same time it urges you to rebel against it. Remember this, most of humanity is subject to the magnetic pull of the collective consciousness. They have no awareness that it should be any other way—they are present with it and do not question it from a philosophical perspective. It is the way of life for them.
Those who have crossed the threshold of awakening and sense there is more to experience in life will not be satisfied. They will agitate for change in their lives and also in society as they press against the forces of conformity. This is the tension that is necessary to move the mark of progress for humanity. It is the birth of new consciousness and it struggles to break free from the confines of its womb, which is represented by mass consciousness.
TM: Is this break more difficult in Western society than in Eastern?
Master Buddha: Yes, largely because in Western society, the individual surrenders much authority. The irony is that while that is true, the individual is encouraged to compete and excel at the cost to everyone around him. On the one hand you are worthless and not capable of making your own decisions about life and on the other hand you must lift yourself up by your bootstraps in order to prove your worthiness.
It is a system of behavioral conditioning that says that you are incapable of excellence except through the authority of (fill in the blank). You may do your own thing, so to speak, as long as you don’t cross this boundary that has been established by the authority, be it religious or governmental. The great problem for Westerners is that they feel they are the freest society on Earth, and yet their happiness seems to spring only from being in a position of economic and military dominance. That again reflects the notion of being “the world authority”, which satisfied their belief system of being free. If they are the authority, then they must have overcome some other authority, which means they must be free. It is a convoluted psychology and one that will require a good deal of working out. With the spreading of Eastern thought, many in the West are beginning to question this foundational belief system. That takes us back to your question. Yes it is difficult to break with a system that breeds insecurity and at the same time encourages development of the little ego to compensate.
TM: What about dedication and perseverance?
Master Buddha: Human nature changes slowly, in the individual and in the group. Dedication and perseverance provide the counter balance to the insatiable impatience of humanity. It isn’t more than a mental discipline to favor patience. It is also a matter of the emotional nature in regard to one’s desire, but the impetus of impatience comes from the mind. Dedication and perseverance represent the noble virtues that humanity identifies with, and so can provide the strength of character needed to thwart the ill effects of an impatient mind. It is a bridge technique and once greater understanding is reached, it too shall be cast off. Humor endures beyond the shedding of dedication and perseverance. That is why I say it is the greatest of the three, yet they work together at one stage to assist humans to the next level of understanding. Where a healthy sense of humor can dissipate despair, dedication and perseverance keep despair abated because of the promise of a better life earned. Humor eliminates it immediately.
TM: We really admire dedication, loyalty and perseverance. Those are character traits held dear by most people aren’t they?
Master Buddha: Yes, but your question began with what does it take to live a spiritual life. Not what do most humans admire in one another. I’m saying that humor is a compassionate, loving way to accept one’s ignorance—of oneself and ignorance of others. The opposite of humor about these things is judgment. That means defending against your lessons, which in turns makes the lesson nearly impossible to accept without accepting blame for ignorance and the consequences associated with ignorance. That means that one is shamed as one consequence, or one must feel guilt for being ignorant, or one must feel she is lacking in some way that points to self-inadequacy. The intent of judgment is to undermine self-confidence.
TM: This always gets around to judgment is seems.
Master Buddha: It’s important to understand the harmful role judgment plays and that there are other options to using judgment. Humanity has relied on judgment because it has been believed that humans are inherently evil or at least bad and that judgment is the way to keep everyone from enacting the evil things in their hearts. If you could stand back from humanity as we can, you’d see how steeped you are in this belief and this stuck position. You cannot advance any further by using the system of judgment. This is the end of the road for it. It will only bring destruction on a huge scale if your systems of thought persist in this way.
TM: That sounds gloomy.
Master Buddha: It is. Judgment is the root of hate, for oneself and for others.
TM: Others might say it’s the reverse.
Master Buddha: They go together and so what difference does it make, where there is one there is the other and their presence makes it impossible to embrace love. That in turn makes it nearly impossible to learn, to evolve.
TM: Yet, arguably humanity has evolved, and quite rapidly in some ways, wouldn’t you agree?
Master Buddha: The speed and progress of humanity is relative and really you haven’t anything to compare it with unless you are suggesting that perhaps you could compare it to the progress of a rock. In which case I could agree that humanity is faster in progress. But what does that suggest?
TM: I don’t know. I’m not defending the use of judgment, I’m expressing that most humans probably believe we’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time.
Master Buddha: Whatever role you believe judgment played in that progress is now over wouldn’t you agree?
TM: It won’t be so easy to just throw it away if you believe that it was instrumental in the progress you’ve made. Aren’t there different levels of judgment, like this is good and useful and that isn’t?
Master Buddha: That is a different context entirely and one, by the way, that can be used to subtly judge while pretending to be open and neutral. So, you’re right in stating there are different levels of how judgment is applied. So maybe we can start with the most obvious way regarding human behavior.
This method of judging one another’s behavior as to good or bad has it roots in an innocent and useful social practice. Early agrarian societies needed standards of behavior in order to coordinate the community toward those practices that would yield the greatest results for survival. This included provisions for food, shelter and defense. It wasn’t too long after that however that some people, mainly priests and rulers, discovered that if they could devise, interpret and defend the judgment of behaviors intended for the good of the community then they could derive much power for themselves. And it was from that point that political interests and greed for wealth and power became the motivating force behind the creation of the principles men and women were to be judged. It has only grown more distorted and corrupt ever since that time and it will only grow worse. So, that is why I say it has run its course.
© TM 2015
TM: This being our second writing, where shall we start?
Master Jesus: We shall note for the record that we are beginning this series of conversations on Easter Sunday in the year 2004. That may be significant to some folks.
TM: Should it be significant and if so in what way?
Master Jesus: First of all, there isn’t a ‘should’ involved. It either is or it isn’t significant based upon one’s orientation to these things. For some people, Easter is a big deal, wouldn’t you agree?
TM: Yes. But I have to say that for me, it’s not really.
Master Jesus: You say that but it’s not entirely true. When you were younger, in adolescence, you went to a Christian church every Sunday and Easter was a big deal in your life. Even your father who rarely attended services attended Easter Sunday. So, it was a big deal at one point.
TM: True it was then but it hasn’t been that way for over thirty-five years. I think I can say it isn’t a big deal now.
Master Jesus: It’s okay if it isn’t. The one fact you can’t escape in the influence of religious practice on society is that the significance of major religious events is en-grained in your being like DNA imprints on your physical body. They affect you whether you are aware or not. Human consciousness on the whole is not an individual affair. You can increase or decrease the affect by conscious awareness. The affect is there nevertheless.
TM: So, I’m affected in ways I’m not aware? Will you elaborate and give an example?
Master Jesus: You reside in a Judaic-Christian society. On Easter and during the weeks preceding Easter there is a build up of energy in the form of thoughts and emotions based in ancient traditions and expectations. Every year this energy recycles, gaining momentum from the previous cycles. When enough people experience this recycling of energy they perpetuate it through their contribution. And so it builds over time. Even though you may not participate in Easter services, you experience the affects of others in your society who do participate. Because you participated as a young person your connection to the experience is greater than someone who has never participated. Even that person will experience something despite his/her religious orientation.
TM: There is an air of worship and reverence I sense on Easter.
Master Jesus: That’s what I’m referring to, although it may register as something else to someone else.
TM: How many other beliefs and mass experiences does this same phenomenon occur?
Master Jesus: Whenever there is a strong belief tied to an emotional commitment with a large number of people, sustained for a long period of time, then this phenomenon occurs. Sometimes there are competing thoughts existing at the same time. When this occurs collectively you feel the energetic tension of opposition. This is the great duality that plays out constantly in human affairs. There is a saying to avoid politics and religion in polite conversation. That is recognizing the deeply engrained opposition and emotional force behind the tension—it is uncontrollable at times. It is reserved then for a different arena; one in which conflict can be explored.
TM: Is that why it is so difficult to change the way we do things in our society even when they are destructive?
Master Jesus: Did you have a particular example in mind?
TM: Yes I do. I’ve been thinking about our economic system of capitalism and how it has deteriorated over time. I see the initial guiding principles and see how it was altered. Along with many other people I want to change it so that it serves everyone, but the forces opposed to change seem enormous.
Master Jesus: What would you change about it?
TM: It’s almost too much to list here. In short, capitalism cannot be just about more—producing more, consuming more, pursuing more wealth for the purpose of perpetuating the cycle of production and consumption of more. We have to integrate higher values into the equation. I had a friend say to me that he thought that maybe the destruction of the Earth and many or all of the species was the right path and the inevitable outcome of this life experiment, and maybe then new life springs from that and a new cycle begins. He is a well-respected, financially successful businessman. When I heard him say that I began to understand the rationale behind the opposition to change.
Master Jesus: So, is your friend correct?
TM: I’m working from the premise that we don’t have to destroy everything if we have a consciousness that is inherently creative and can alter our path creatively to support life in an ever-changing dynamic.
Master Jesus: What if you’re both correct? What if these two points of view are true, then what?
TM: Then it’s a matter of choice. Our society can choose one or the other.
Master Jesus: And you’d like society to choose your point of view?
TM: Well, yes I do.
Master Jesus: And your friend would like it to go his way?
TM: Yes, I believe so.
Master Jesus: Then will you and your friend continue to support your respective points of view in how things work out in your society?
TM: I suppose we will unless one of us changes our mind.
Master Jesus: Then this is how it is for everyone on Earth at this moment. It’s about making a choice. Will you destroy life as you know it or will you creatively re-frame it? Does that seem over-simplified?
TM: I was hoping for a little more help I suppose. Maybe you could tilt it one way or the other.
Master Jesus: I guess you can say that I’m working on the side of humanity, which by the way includes your friend and all those who believe as he does. My work has been and is dedicated to assisting humanity in its decisions about living. A major decision is facing humanity now. Will you collectively choose destruction, death and eventual rebirth, or will you choose the next evolution of life from this point. There is no judgment either way, good or bad.
TM: You almost sound indifferent.
Master Jesus: You really want me to choose a side don’t you?
TM: YES! Choose, validate my point of view and give me the strength and courage to fight these bastards!
Master Jesus: And what about your friend? Shall I tell him I support his view so that he is encouraged as well? Or would you prefer I tell him he is wrong and he better get with the program, or else?
TM: Or else what?
Master Jesus: Or else he shall burn in hell of course. Isn’t that what happens to people who don’t get with the program? I’m pretty sure I hear that message quite often, throughout the world and from almost every religion, and evoked in political circles as well. I guess we’ve moved beyond polite conversation haven’t we?
TM: I think if you just simply told my friend and his fellow believers that their path of destruction is wrong, and then they would change because it’s coming from you and you’re the man. They aren’t convinced if I say it or if others in my tribe say it. But they’ll listen to you.
Master Jesus: Really? Why would they listen to me? What am I offering as proof that what you want is right and true for them?
TM: They will accept it on your authority. You are Jesus. In case you’re not aware, that carries a lot of weight. I think they would yield to your point of view.
Master Jesus: Believe me I’m aware of the weight I carry. So, it’s that simple. If I appear on Earth and say to humanity, listen, here are a few things I’d like for you to do at this time, then you believe that everyone will respect my authority and follow those simple directions?
TM: Well, not everyone, but enough of them to swing things the other way.
Master Jesus: Your way?
TM: Yes, for the umpteenth time, my way.
Master Jesus: I just want to be clear about whose way it is.
TM: Since you’re such a stickler for this distinction, many of us who believe this is the right way draw that belief from your teachings. So, I guess we assumed it was also the way you believed was right.
Master Jesus: I’m not sure I remember in which lesson I encouraged you to ‘fight the bastards’.
TM: Touché. But that’s just my emotion speaking. I’d rather not fight. I’d rather you persuade them with your magic and then we could all live happily ever after.
Master Jesus: Again I ask you, why would they listen to me if they believed I was on your side opposed to their beliefs?
TM: You are beyond humanity and know things we don’t. You are the man, the boss, he who rises from the dead. They will just be relieved to know you really exist and that you have an opinion on these matters. Of course they will follow what you say.
Master Jesus: They don’t believe I really exist?
TM: Maybe some of them do, but they think you’re returning some day and you’ll set the record straight then. But until then, they are not going to follow your teachings unless you explain it to them in modern terms. So, I guess I’m asking you to reveal yourself now and tell it like it is.
Master Jesus: You mean in your terms?
TM: Why don’t I just ask you to define it in your terms whether or not it resembles mine? I’m really not caught up on it being my way.
Master Jesus: Okay, I’ll do that for you. It’s a long story are you ready for that?
Master Jesus: Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away….sorry, different story. But one closer than you can imagine to the real one. All of these stories have their origins in truth. There are many entry points for stories because there isn’t a beginning you see. At least there isn’t a beginning that we can identify in words that will express humanity’s story. We can also include humanity’s spiritual journey and that gets us closer to a beginning, but even that isn’t completely a beginning. I’m emphasizing this beginning business because humans are tethered to truth having a beginning and anything that doesn’t have a beginning must be false or non-existent. You’ll have to accept that your story doesn’t have a beginning or an ending. Are you with me so far?
© TM 2015