Background to Conversation with Buddha, Jesus and TMichael: The Differences between Religions
TMichael: I read this blog post (the differences between Jesus and Buddha on happiness) and asked Masters Jesus and Buddha to comment. What follows is their response…
http://enelnombredelgato.com/?fiserit=chat-zona-lesbianas&f43=85 Master Buddha: It is always amazing to me how the adherents of one religion can so easily dismiss the legitimacy of another religion with the slimmest of knowledge. I’m speaking here of how Buddhists the world over dismiss Christians as being fanatical and emotional. And in this one blog post we learn that isn’t true at all. Christians are just not very smart.
Master Buddha: Does that answer your question about how we view such topics? It’s petty competition between non-existent differences that make the adherents appear small and weak for engaging in such a waste of time and energy. Why do men and women of such fervent religious beliefs think that they must attack other religions in the way one toothpaste manufacturer attacks the market share of another? Can they not see that the aim of all religions ought to be the elevation of human spirit, which includes all humans?
Master Jesus: We love mankind. Every day we strive to bring humanity closer to the spiritual kingdom. Buddha and I work in tandem. There is no contradiction in our work or in our goals for humanity. I ask Christians everywhere to embrace the love of all religions and reject the pettiness of competition. It isn’t necessary to belittle another religion in order to promote one’s own. There is nothing better that comes from one religion that proves supremacy. It only displays self-righteousness when one attempts to demonstrate superiority of one’s religion.
Master Buddha: We represent love, kindness, compassion and unity for all humanity. That is our mission. Anything else that you imagine coming from us is pure mental illusion. It’s time to forget the differences you perceive. Or least explore the differences from a perspective of positive curiosity, not derision and ridicule.
Master Jesus: Our love is larger than any dispute that could arise over ideas planted in religion or politics. Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. Do you really want to spend your last days on Earth fighting over whose religious teachings are the best? We are unified. It is time for Christians and Buddhists and Muslims, and all religionists to lay down their arms and embrace one another as friends.
Master Buddha: We aren’t naïve. We understand why people fight over religious points of view and affiliation. It’s time to stop. We aren’t going to present eloquent arguments filled with platitudes to persuade people to stop. We just ask. Please stop it now. If you find any love and compassion in any religious teaching, then that is your starting point. Apply it now.
TM: I’ve received quite a few inquiries about money and requests to talk about it. There has been a great body of writing on this from a spiritual perspective. What do you say to someone who asks, “What is the proper relationship to money, how much to have, how to use it, how to get it, etc.?”
Master Buddha: First of all, there isn’t just one way to view this because each person has his or her particular orientation to money given his or her life path. Anything I say must be understood as general statements and then I can offer examples of individual circumstances to show how some principles may apply.
As viewed from the spiritual perspective, meaning from a non-material realm, money is as worthless as a bicycle would be for travel across an ocean. It is purely a human creation. So your question presumes a spiritual oversight that doesn’t exist except in the form of advice and counsel that may be offered from time to time. That is the spirit in which I present these ideas today.
Let me attempt to simplify the concept of money in relation to a person. Humans have decided that money shall represent a value of some thing. Those things may include the physically inanimate object (house, car, etc.), a personal action (one’s labor), a promise for future delivery of value (speculation), restitution for past value (grievances resolved), a gift of love or social obligation, so on and so forth. The second premise is that the value of money shall equal approximately the value of that thing in the exchange. Sometimes the values are not equal, and if they are too unequal, then one or the other person feels either elated or cheated.
The third premise created by humans is a system of ethics regarding transactions between one another using money or the thing valued as the currency. This is a point of departure between the diverse cultures of the world. The one dominant force has been the Western philosophy governing the use of money. The ethics of the Western system have varied over the past two hundred years, but for the most part they have represented an idealism that while noble in its aim has not achieved its goal.
TM: So is it possible to answer my questions?
Master Buddha: I’m getting there, but needed to frame my response for clarity. The proper relationship to money must take on a general perspective representing larger society (we’ll call general ethics) and the particular relationship of an individual to money. From the general ethics, the idea of freedom to choose one’s occupation and one’s level of income and expense, is I think the best arrangement. As we have discussed in these conversations there is a point that one must consider that individual freedom intersects with group harmony. This means that it is necessary for individuals to contribute to the whole in a way that brings harmony to the whole and doesn’t disturb the peace of the many. This is the greatest insurance for all. The current system in Western society doesn’t achieve this goal, but with modification it could.
TM: I’m not clear on what you mean. Are you saying that there needs to be a balance in interest between the range of individual freedom and the needs of the whole population?
Master Buddha: Yes. For example, in Western society a person is permitted to amass unlimited wealth. On the other end of the scale a person is permitted to starve to death or die due to exposure to the elements because he cannot afford shelter. What is preventing Western society from implementing safeguards at the bottom end of the scale?
TM: We don’t allocate budget for it because we’ve determined other things are more important.
Master Buddha: And the contradiction is that your idealism states that you cherish life above all. Your military runs to all ends of the earth to rescue those in peril. Your governments send aid to foreign countries in an attempt to prevent starvation and lethal diseases from spreading. Yet in your own domestic domain you have families living in such poverty that their lives are at risk daily.
TM: It isn’t a perfect system for sure and most Westerners will agree that we can do more to clean up our domestic programs.
Master Buddha: What do you think is stopping you from doing this?
TM: We have an overly complicated and increasingly corrupt political system that can’t philosophically agree on just how much we are our brother’s keeper.
Master Buddha: It is first and foremost the obligation of your governments, using the general treasury, to prevent starvation and health-related problems derived from poverty. This cannot be left to the generosity and goodwill of individuals. It must begin with your domestic sphere first. It is there that you work out the ethics of being your brother’s keeper as you phrased it. Once you have mastered that step then sharing that wisdom with other cultures is a natural extension.
TM: We have the resources to do what you suggest, but not the collective resolve to do it.
Master Buddha: This is true, but you asked for a perspective on the proper relationship to money. You will have to work out the politics in order to deliver a just relationship.
TM: Okay then, maybe you can state what a person should be required to do in order to receive assistance that raises his status above poverty. That’s where we fail; we can’t agree on that. Some people say we should be self-reliant and others want to give to others with little or no requirements for self-responsibility. So, what is the answer?
Master Buddha: Ah you see, now you are into the business of designing a society that grapples with such ethical obligations yet stumbles at the final step failing to complete the mission. If the US government felt the collective will of its citizens favored a system whereby no citizen would be permitted to fall into poverty, could they achieve that?
Master Buddha: Then it must be that the collective will of its citizens do not favor such a system.
TM: How many citizens create a collective will?
Master Buddha: Enough that under your political system you could legislate and implement the system.
TM: Then you must be correct. Sadly it must be true. But you still haven’t answered my question of self-responsibility.
Master Buddha: Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Your society has through its own design created an array of citizens from the genius to the infantile. Your society is responsible on a par level with the individuals that make up society. It will take many generations of enlightened governance to correct the mistakes and injustices created by past policies and practices. It will likewise take time for individuals to climb out of their ignorance or unfortunate circumstances due to conditions beyond their control.
Wandering your streets are the insane and the helpless. They cannot take responsibility for themselves in any way.
You have many people who are indolent and averse to responsibility through personal predilection and familial training. They will have to be educated on a new understanding of their responsibility.
You have a growing number who have turned to crime and are either incarcerated or among the general population. They will have to be educated, and until they are they will remain incarcerated because you have no other way to assimilate them.
There are those who through no fault of their own have fallen upon hard times due to major shifts in the economy. They will need to be retrained in new occupations and helped along the way.
When there are enough enlightened citizens there will be a more enlightened government and they will realize the long-term commitment required to correct your system. It is a race against the clock.
If you do nothing to correct this situation, because as a society you think it isn’t your responsibility, then you will suffer the consequences of doing nothing. The consequences will include a greater divide between the economic classes, thus more poverty; less efficacy in minimum education achievement among the lower classes; increased criminal activity; reduction of individual freedoms due to crime prevention measures; compartmentalization of community along class lines further reducing the efficacy of government and the erosion of community infrastructure. You can probably project from there what will transpire next.
If however, you find the collective will to make a long-term commitment to correction, then you will begin to see minor changes for the good. It will take patience beyond one, two or three generations. That is perhaps the greatest challenge for a society that has come to expect immediate gratifications of its goals (even though this hasn’t really been the case).
TM: What can you say to the questions regarding individuals and their relationship to money? What are some guidelines to follow is really what I’m asking.
Master Buddha: As individuals you must graduate through levels of ethical refinement regarding the role of money in your life. What is good for one person may not be good or right for another. For that reason do not be hasty in judging others for their view in earning or handling their money.
As Master Jesus and I have maintained throughout these conversations, release judgment from your view. Find your relationship to money based upon your path and your understanding and allow others to do the same without inveighing their choices. When you have come to peace with your relationship to money then you may offer a helping hand to others who may wish to hear from you.
Background to Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: The Passion of the Christ
This was my (TMichael) first conversation with Master Jesus and was prompted by the film, The Passion of the Christ. In this dialogue, Master Jesus describes his point of view surrounding his death and the role of those who played a part.
I saw the film The Passion of the Christ not too long after it opened. First, I saw the movie marquis and thought this should be interesting. I’ve been on a sparse mainstream media diet for many years and so I didn’t know anything about the controversy surrounding the film. Natural curiosity pulled me in.
Later when I asked some friends if they had seen the film I learned of the swirling debate. I jumped online and discovered more commentary than I had imagined. Then I attended a panel discussion hosted by Tikkun magazine that featured an array of Christian and Jewish clergy.
All in all, what I was hearing seemed predictable. Depending on the perspective of the speaker or writer, the grievances with the film reflected that singular point of view. The same with the supporters of the film; it was somehow proof of their faith.
Try as I may I couldn’t resolve whether I was under-reacting or whether others were over-reacting. After several days of deep meditation it became clear that what I wanted more than anything was to hear directly from Jesus. The following conversation occurred with Jesus and me.
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: The Passion of the Christ
TM: What do you think about the recent film, The Passion of the Christ?
Master Jesus: Hmmm…sounds like you want to draw me into the highly charged controversy over this film.
TM: Actually, I’m hopeful that you can clear up things for everyone. You can sort of have the final word.
Master Jesus: I’m not inclined to pose as a film critic, but I am inclined to speak about the content and subject matter in a way that can shed some light.
TM: Please do so.
Master Jesus: There are a few things that must be said at the onset of this conversation. I’m as present today in the world as I was 2000 years ago. I serve among the Masters in world service to humanity. The record of my ministry is incomplete and at times incorrect, owing to the great number of interpretations through which it has passed. Nevertheless, the essence of peace and love remains the focal point for all who will embrace the teachings. The records of the life and times of humanity during those days are also incomplete and at times incorrect owing to the authors’ bias and inability of present day people to grasp the cultural mores of the time. There is much scholarly and layman speculation on the missing parts—a natural and admirable intent to make complete the story and an understanding of history.
TM: So, the fact that so many people are grappling with the meaning, context and impact of this film is natural and striving for a complete understanding is a good sign?
Master Jesus: It is natural for humanity to desire familiarity with their religious icons by interpreting the messages as best as they can. Naturally in that process there will be disagreement about the interpretations. When the level of disagreement reaches the point of personal and group acrimony, then it has moved beyond serving humanity and begins to destroy the fabric of unity among all beings. Unfortunately, the discussion over this current film has been divisive to that degree among some groups. However, we can note that some groups have bridged gaps in their relationships as a result of examining the meaning of this film.
TM: Some people have told me they wouldn’t see the film because they think it is too violent.
Master Jesus: Then they shouldn’t see the film. Seeing the film has nothing whatsoever to do with understanding the message I brought to humanity then and that I’ve brought through the intervening periods of time and into the present. It is merely a creative expression of the filmmakers and their interpretation of certain events.
TM: What about the claim that the film portrays Jews in a historically incorrect light to the point of making them appear evil, which in turn perpetuates hostility from Christians?
Master Jesus: This is a misunderstanding that arises from the causes I mentioned earlier, namely incomplete and incorrect reporting of my teachings and of history itself. Let me strip away the word evil and present a new word to describe what is meant by it. Ignorance coupled with fear produces what is referred to as evil. Scholars have devoted much time and energy to defining evil. The term itself has become too emotionally charged to accurately reflect a meaning that can be applied to human behavior. If it can be used to describe a political regime, religious leaders or a serial murderer, then its meaning has become too broad. I offer a way out of this labeling. To look upon a group or individual whose actions appear horrific to you and label them evil no longer suffices. The labeling as such shows a lack of comprehension on the part of the one applying the label. To label someone in a way that separates him from you destroys the fabric of unity in the same way I mentioned earlier. To default to that label implies ignorance of the one labeling and a signal that hatred has sprung from ignorance and fear. You can see the vicious cycle—ignorance, fear, hatred, separation, and destruction. Evil is in the eye of the beholder. Where hatred is present, one will see evil. But, I tell you it is already in the heart of the one producing the label.
TM: It sounds like your turning the tables and calling the righteous one hateful and the other, offending one justified, or at least free from scrutiny. Does this mean that one’s actions are justified and permissible and not subject to scrutiny by social standards? That if I brutally beat someone to death that I can expect society to embrace me and let me go unpunished for my actions?
Master Jesus: Society can and must define codes of conduct consistent with freedom for all. It is not necessary to label one evil in order to create a just society. What you asked in the previous question relates more specifically to a problem of labeling an individual or group as evil in order to justify all sorts of acts of retribution toward them. Do you not think for moment that I didn’t choose my death? The Sadducees played their role as did the Romans and as did all connected with me. It was my choice to allow that to happen the way that it did. No one was evil in my eyes because I love them all. I see into their hearts and minds and know them well. I am their elder brother and know their mistakes and love them still. Why would you do less in my name?
TM: I feel inspired and sad at the same time. So what can we do to better understand the role of this film and what it provokes emotionally among so many different people?
Master Jesus: The film itself is not important, as I stated earlier, it is a representative view of that time and those events by filmmakers. It provokes discussion that could occur with or without the film. It provokes emotions that already exist. It provokes ancient prejudice and guilt that already exist. The film doesn’t need to do these things, but it does because of the subject matter and what is in place around it. The subject has been contentious on so many levels for so long now that it doesn’t take much to provoke an outcry.
The Jews didn’t kill me anymore than the Romans did. That will be confusing to many who wish to pin the blame on someone so that they can seek justice in the form of revenge. Again, this isn’t necessary in my name, and I’m the one presumably wronged here so my wishes must be weighed. The longstanding enmity between Christians and Jews over this episode is unnecessary. Jews are reluctant to drop their defense and Christians are holding on to a grievance that isn’t true.
TM: Forget about it. Is that it? If the Jews and the Romans didn’t kill you, then who did? Are you saying you took your own life?
Master Jesus: I had a plan when I came into physical life just like every human being before me and since. I carried out my plan just as every being before me and since. I was consciously aware of my plan in the flesh. Nevertheless, I faced the same obstacles as every being, namely, staying in my conscious awareness. The greatest test for me was in my final hours before my death in physical form. Could I remain conscious of who I am and what my purpose is on this earth? Isn’t that true for every being? Those who judged me acted out their own conscious awareness. Their ignorance and their fear filtered their judgment and prevented them from embracing me and my teachings, just as it has done since and that it is now for the vast majority of beings. Will you judge your ancient brothers for their acts and claim yourself to be free of ignorance and fear? My mission and purpose is not complete until I can demonstrate to humanity the strength of love and wisdom and the power of conscious awareness. It is judgment that has been and will be your downfall. Forever will you remain separate from one another. It is worse that you take part of my teachings and use it to condemn your fellow beings. It is better that you take all or nothing.
TM: To make sure I understand this, you’re saying that to be in full consciousness of whom I am and what my purpose is on earth is only possible when I let go of judgment of others?
Master Jesus: And to let go of judgment of yourself, which is equally important.
TM: So I’m not sure how to answer the question of who killed you and I have a feeling you’re not going to go there. I guess what you’re saying is that it doesn’t matter.
Master Jesus: It doesn’t matter in the sense that you think you have to judge others and avenge my death in the flesh. To do that is to oppose everything I represent.
TM: Why do we make such a big deal of these things? The film I mean. Why such dramatic hoopla about the risk of Gibson’s career and the actor who played you may never “work in this town again”? That frenzy spills over into the religious circles as well.
Master Jesus: Because people think it’s important to be right. Right in their point of view, right in their understanding of reality, right in their relationship to me and to God. Being right often means making others wrong. It’s that simple on the surface, but runs much deeper on racial hatred or religious intolerance. Not only is it important to be right, but one must also weave a measure of justice into the arrangement by punishing those who are wrong. It doesn’t have to be this way. There is a movement among the enlightened teachers of all religions to put aside dogmatic differences and embrace the oneness of all faiths while still practicing the rituals of each.
TM: Are you behind this movement?
Master Jesus: Yes, along with other Masters.
TM: Will this recognition bring peace to the world?
Master Jesus: It’s a beginning. Politicians have often used religious differences and the strong emotions of those differences to fuel their wars. If there is a general sense of spiritual unity and religious peace it will make it more difficult to wage war among countries. Powerful leaders intentionally determined to wage wars to achieve their goals know that to control the emotions is to control the minds of their followers. Our work begins with the heart. A strong heart with pure intent of love and peace will withstand the sophistries of mental concepts put forth by those seeking after power.”
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Conditions on Earth (Part 1)
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?
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Loneliness and Love (Part 2)
TM: Is it an addiction?
Master Jesus: Of course it is. You cling to the old story out of comfort in the fact that it is known, while the new story isn’t known. Humanity has struggled with this dilemma for eons. Always there are those who support change and those in the majority who resist it. This is built into the evolution of the species. If change was too rapid, the status quo might never reach its peak of efficacy. Remember the status quo was selected as the story to abide by at some point. When it begins to wear down in efficacy a new way is discovered. Those comfortable with the old way resist the new way while the others champion the cause of the new way. The tension is created and at some point things change. The addiction is the rationalization that something is good for you when it has passed the point of being so.
TM: So loneliness is an addiction?
Master Jesus: Loneliness is an experience of what love isn’t, which leads to a bridge experience of hope that leads to the promise of love. Back and forth it goes. It is the story that is addictive; the experience of loneliness is part of the story.
TM: Easier said than done to change it. How do we just let the old story go?
Master Jesus: That’s not easy. But consider that it starts with awareness that the new story may be true. Then gradually you begin to notice evidence of the truth. Over time as you welcome the truth the old story wears down until it no longer holds you in its grasp. The ones who understood the truth and who agitated for change usually go through this process too. The timing is different for everyone.
TM: It seems overwhelming at times, the idea that we have so much to understand in order to alter our present course. Sometimes the will to keep things the same over powers the forces of change. But you’re saying it has always been that way?
Master Jesus: Yes, and every generation thinks it’s worse for them; that the stakes are higher. By the way, the forces of change challenge the bedrock of status quo. The energy of the status quo is not so fluid, having crystallized over time. I say that metaphorically to underscore how thought forms behave.
TM: May I change the subject given the subject of change?
Master Jesus: See how easy it is?
TM: What are the greatest expressions of love that you observe in our culture of modern times?
Master Jesus: There are expressions of love through individuals and through institutions and they are in abundance throughout the world every second. Believe it or not it is the predominate emotion.
TM: Really? It doesn’t seem that way. I thought you said in our last conversation that the other energies were stronger right now and that you guys are trying to strengthen love to make it dominant.
Master Jesus: We are strengthening the manifestations of love, so that when the force that comes in behind it comes, love will be expressed so fully that everyone will experience it. It’s not what you observe so much because of the filters of observation. To many, expressions of love are signs of weakness, or at the very least non-productive. I observe the intimate moments between a parent and child, which is possibly the most intense expression of love. There is romantic love that for some is the only expression of love that they have ever known. There is the expression of love between friends; that love being rooted in loyalty and forgiveness and most closely imbibed with no conditions.
When I witness communities coming together to help one of its members through a crisis; that is an expression of love. An act of creation inspired by love can be a beautiful song, a painting, a home crafted with the hands of its inhabitants or a building 50 stories high that embraces the dreams of its residents. I find expressions of love in the works of many. You call it survival, but I say that it’s love. Providing for one’s survival is love. It has been distorted and made into a material quest for more, but it is nevertheless the ultimate expression of love for one’s self. It doesn’t matter if it is used to gratify the ego or punish one’s neighbor or competitor. It is an act of love to survive.
TM: Hang on just a second. You’re saying that love can be used to gratify egos and punish people and that’s okay?
Master Jesus: I’m saying that survival is an act of love, perhaps the ultimate act. The act itself is not diminished by misinterpretation.
TM: So, if someones intent is to survive, that’s love. And if they happen to kill a few people along the way, that’s okay?
Master Jesus: Hmmm…. that’s a bit extreme isn’t it? We’re talking about love and you’re mixing in attributes of what love isn’t. I appreciate the confusion that exists around absolute rules and definitions. That is what humanity wants you know, precise definitions and guidelines. I’m sorry to disappoint you in that regard, but it doesn’t work that way. Every time you create a black and white answer to a complex system you inevitably end up with contradictions in practice.
Let’s take these one at a time. Survival is an act of self-love. Providing for one’s loved ones for their survival is an act of love. The next part of your question then moves to the means of survival; how one goes about securing the provisions for survival. The means to an end debate has gone on for some time, but hasn’t really been decided has it?
TM: It has for me, although it is a major struggle at times depending on how refined you make it. I wouldn’t kill someone in order to get food or water.
Master Jesus: Let’s say a group of people in your community formed a militia and commandeered the food and water supplies. They are determined that only certain people are entitled to these supplies and the rest shall perish through starvation. In a sense, they are killing you and others like you. Assume you have no other outside resources. Is it self-defense for you to harm them in your quest for survival?
TM: I don’t know what I would do. To do nothing means I would die and if killing them was the only means to survive myself, then that doesn’t seem right either. What’s the right thing to do in that case?
Master Jesus: There isn’t a right thing to do in this case. There is only what you would do and what they would do. We’re assuming this scenario from your perspective of survival. But what if we peered into their perspective and discovered that their actions are necessary to the survival of the community because they have discovered that there is a lethal, communicable disease running rampant throughout the community and they are able to isolate the infected ones from the healthy members. The food and water provisions are likely to be disrupted because of this calamity and so a quarantine of the sick ones and rationing of the scarce provisions is the only way for the healthy members of the community to survive and rebuild the community. Should all the members of the community perish because they haven’t the will to allow the ones with a lethal disease to die without wasting their means of survival?
TM: These are the scenarios we pray we never have to face; the stories of stranded expeditions where people resort to cannibalizing to survive. It hurts to even imagine what I would do.
Master Jesus: We have examined an extreme case that most people never have to face. But by degrees from this, people do experience it in some form or another. That is why it is so difficult, for example, for a wealthy person who is many degrees from starvation to understand the plight of those who are inches from starvation. People don’t know to whom they should attribute their good fortune to survive comfortably. Some thank themselves, some thank God and some thank others. Others don’t know whom to curse for their misfortune.
TM: As of this writing, the aftermath of the tsunami that struck countries in the Indian Ocean bears witness to much suffering and at the same time much compassion by wealthier countries. What can you say to this situation?
Master Jesus: You’re right the suffering is immense and the outpouring of aid once it was realized the amount of devastation has also been immense. This is an example of what I’m talking about. The next step is to recognize the chronic suffering by hundreds of millions of people throughout the world every day. In some cases emergency aid is warranted, but for the most part it is the long-term commitment of resource sharing that is needed. The tension exists between the aggressive tendencies of humanity against the tender heart of humanity. This can be measured by the level of fear in the minds of those in control of the resources. The greater their fear, the more they rely on aggressive tendencies (even though they’re couched as defensive). As fear is diminished, so they are open to loving response.
It’s rare to find an individual with the capacity to share what they have with others. Sometimes their sharing is limited by their fear that maybe they won’t have enough for themselves when the time arrives. Sometimes it’s because they don’t know where to begin. Sometimes they follow the institutional giving route that makes it easier to identify to whom to give and how much. Groups behave in a similar manner. To the government sharing add the component of strategic politics. Sharing starts with increasing individual capacity for sharing by reducing fear. For this reason individual awareness is a major focus of spiritual work.