Jesus: On the eve of the day of reckoning few will be able to sleep. There will be an unease, a malaise, across the world. Events will have come and gone and many will be awakening to the changes we have put in place.
Economic viability now will be the bed rock for the individual. Teach yourself now how to care for yourself materially. Strip the excess now and many years of financial pain will be spared.
Learn to honour and respect what you have now and God’s grace will be yours. The yearnings, the desires for what others show, deliberately instilling desire, consumerism and envy is coming to an end.
Turn in now and let the peace come over. In truth there is nothing to have or know but yourself. In yourself you will find us. You will find love, hope, peace and charitable intent. As the turn inwards begins, do not be tempted back to the world of man’s greed where no form is enough – more shoes, clothes, bags, money, bigger, better, stripping the earth, killing the cows and deafening the sound of your inner reason.
You have enough. Free yourself from the greed, the pain of wanting and fill yourself with us. The truth of this shall set you free.
Buddha: We wish to speak to you today about extremes. Because extremes move in different ways from a perceived central point, are they any different? No. To clarify, if one is looking to get fit, becoming a couch potato could be extreme, exercising for five hours a day could be perceived as extreme. Are they any different? While the behaviors of a couch potato person and someone who is exercising five hours a day may seem radically different, extremes are extremes.
People who move into extreme behaviors are cut off from their center, so, although we are speaking about extremes, we are actually speaking about those who are devoid of center.
At Wimbledon, the most prestigious court is center court. I like this! One of the best thing or compliments that can be given to a person is that they are centered. Would you trust someone more or less if you described them as centered? Would it be easier to love someone more or less if they were centered?
Humans were designed to be centered yet many spend their lives rushing around in extremes. What do I mean? I mean that ‘centered’ means feeling strong, feeling safe and sound within your own being. How many people actually spend time practicing this within their day-to-day activities? Equally, as there are so few people who practice feeling centered, there are also fewer people who exist in their center; center is all there is.
I ask that all readers find their center. How do you know where your center is? It’s the mind state that makes you feel ‘centered’. I try not to play with words. Sometimes I resist the opportunities to play with minds other times I don’t. The irony is that it is the mind that takes one out of ones center! But let’s not toy here.
To get into your center stop, breathe. You can still do all that you need to do in your day-to-day activities. You can go to work, be at work, come home from work, cook, sleep: centered. You can wake up the children, feed the children, take the children to school, get on with your daily chores, collect the children, feed the children, feed yourself: being centered. Or you can become un-centered and end up in extremes whereby you are in a rush to get to work, rush to complete your work, rush to get home, rush to cook, rush to get to bed. Similarly you can become lost in the chores or lose you own center by focusing on the children’s centers. Are the children fine, are the children fed, are the children ready are the children this, are the children that? These are extremes. I will speak about child rearing at a different time for now it is suffice to say if you are lucky enough to be raising children physically, then be aware- as they say on the airlines, fit your own oxygen mask before you fit that of the child’s. In this case center yourself. A centered parent will raise centered children: simple as that.
So this is your message today from the center to the center, saying find your center. How do you do that? Stop, breathe, be present. Once you have this go about your day to day activities and you will be successful. Success follows center. Spend a minute now thinking about how mundane tasks feel when you’re centered and how mundane tasks feel when you’re not. Similarly think about a big event. How does a big event feel when you’re centered and how does a big event feel when you’re not.
This exercise itself should conclude the importance to you of being centered at all times.
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Love and Loneliness (Part 3)
TM: I recently had an experience that put to test what we discussed in parts one and two on loneliness. Someone very close to me wanted to die because of severe loneliness, alienation, etc. The ideas that we discussed seemed so intellectual and abstract that she couldn’t bear to listen or discuss them. She wanted to die because she didn’t care about anything. What would you do for someone is this shape?
Master Jesus: Love her first. Love her with all your heart. Let the power of love pierce her fog of confusion. Each person will respond differently to mental concepts, but all will respond to the purity of love in the same way.
TM: I don’t know what that means or how to do that.
Master Jesus: It means that your heart informs you and moves you to action, not the mind. When the mind argues and rationalizes a point to her, the heart just embraces her for who and what she is. The mind suggests changes immediately, the heart accepts first. The mind demands discipline and compliance, the heart offers comfort.
TM: Yes, but if she has reached this point, it’s because of behavioral patterns that need augmenting. Isn’t what you’re suggesting just a form of enabling the behavior that is so destructive?
Master Jesus: I’m speaking about first responses. The changes will come only when she feels love, first from you then from herself. Any changes prior to experiencing love are subject to disruption with the slightest provocation. No matter how sound your mental concepts are, they will wither and fall away if the emotional turmoil is present. The problem is that the emotional powers are tethered to older thought forms that are made even more powerful when denied or left unaddressed through unconsciousness. Love begins the dissipation process and provides the strength required to weather the battle. It must be experienced first; that’s why I say to you to lead with love.
Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Anger Management
TM: May I ask about anger and its role in our lives and relationships? Will you begin with offering a definition of anger?
Master Buddha: What may seem obvious to most everyone is that anger is a reaction to not getting what you want when you want it or in the way you want it. It can be your fault, or it can be someone else’s fault. The second reflex of anger is retribution or evening the score to recover what you didn’t get plus a bonus for having suffered the agony of anger and inconvenience. There is also anger once removed, meaning on behalf of an injustice done to another for which you have a connection or affinity. The reflex of retribution is the same.
TM: I have a difficult time knowing when to express anger, that is, when it’s appropriate and when it isn’t. Sometimes I wonder whether or not anger is necessary or not, even though it seems to arise as an involuntary reaction.
Master Buddha: Let’s start with the involuntary reaction part of your statement and then move to the rest. Anger is a natural human emotion just like love, sadness, grief, joy, happiness, bliss, disappointment and others in the spectrum. They arise spontaneously as a reaction to what is happening in your life. This as a general statement is true for every human on earth. Then how do we account for the differences in reactions among people? Why do some people react violently to the slightest provocation and others almost not at all to severe events?
Humans share in common an emotional body that works in concert with your physical and mental bodies. There is an influence based upon one’s past life history—what must be experienced this lifetime? There is group connection—what must be worked out for this group of beings? There is the influence of parents, family and community that impacts one’s emotional body and conditions its reactions. Beyond these local influences, there is responsibility from humanity’s role on Earth.
The confluence of these many factors produce differences in reactions from one being to another.
As a social concern, there must be a range of acceptable reactions and for that humans have erected laws to regulate behavior. Within those laws one will find instances that permit retribution resulting in death of the offending party that passes as justifiable because of the provocation of anger and the acceptance that that person is not liable for such reactions, or as is in some cultures, entitled to the justice of the extreme reaction. Other cultures don’t condone anger reactions to that extent, but make some allowance for it that support the concept of it being involuntary if acted out spontaneously. There are also social customs below the threshold of laws that regulate behavior.
To answer your question of whether or not anger is necessary, we must ask to what purpose is it necessary.
TM: Some people I’ve spoken to about this usually say that expressing anger is natural and involuntary and that it releases the energy from you and that’s a good and natural thing, then you move on. Their assertion is that anger is within the constellation of natural human emotions as you just said and that we eventually evolve to the point that we can freely express anger without killing one another, but express we shall just like any other emotion.
Master Buddha: Would you say that as a rule, expression of anger has the potential to be more destructive in its effects than the expression of joy or sadness?
TM: In some cases yes. But maybe that’s because people overreact to some things due to repression of anger until they explode disproportionately.
Master Buddha: That’s possible, but let’s go back to your question to what purpose it serves and so is it necessary. If our definition of anger described the circumstances of anger, then let’s answer what is anger energetically? What purpose does the delivery of that energy serve?
Anger, energetically speaking springs from the desire nature, which in turn reflects human survival needs, and desires beyond the necessities of life. Anger is the defender of those personal and group needs and desires. If they are threatened, then anger arises to defend. Energetically, it is linked to desire and it does not discriminate between basic needs and frivolous wants without the help of the mental body. Anger at its root level, just is the defender that can be, when combined with mental energy, an impetus to aggression.
TM: In the desire nature and its list of wants, do you include things like dignity and respect?
Master Buddha: Yes, of course. That is a matter of ego interpretation of necessities that we have covered elsewhere.
I wish to draw your attention to the fact that anger derives its force and origin from its role as defender within the human realm of physical, emotional and mental.
TM: From that are you implying that anger doesn’t exist in other realms, such as spiritual?
Master Buddha: I say emphatically that anger does not exist in the spiritual realm because there is no need that goes unfulfilled.
TM: What about the whole Lucifer rebellion? That sounds like some needs unfulfilled.
Master Buddha: That was a matter of pride and desire, not of anger. It was a calculated, creative execution of a perceived right of domain. It failed.
TM: So spirits in the universe weren’t angry with Lucifer and his minions for disrupting and corrupting everything? I mean it seems like a major conflict and you’re saying there was no anger involved and I find that hard to believe.
Master Buddha: What can I say other than what I know to be true? There was disappointment in the whole affair, but not anger or retribution associated with anger. There were consequences that were accepted with responsibility by all involved.
TM: Okay. Please go back to your line of thought.
Master Buddha: Anger finds its origin in the human realm. Given that, we can look for its necessity there. Its purpose is to defend. But is that necessary?
TM: I think I know where you’re going. You’re going to argue that our desires aren’t necessary, neither is defense of them; so, anger isn’t necessary.
Master Buddha: That would be a difficult argument wouldn’t it? Many people would disagree that desires are unnecessary. What about basic survival needs? Don’t those need defending? Can’t anger be necessary for that?
TM: Yes, I suppose so. But couldn’t they be defended without anger? Why is anger necessary to arouse defense?
Master Buddha: Because it is. This is where humanity is right now. As the human race evolves closer and closer to its spiritual nature there will be a diminishment and eventually a disappearance of anger as the impetus for defense. Over time there has been and will continue to be this gradual receding of anger.
TM: I’m surprised. I never would have guessed that the official ‘Master’ position is that acting out anger is okey-dokey.
Master Buddha: Well, we have to cover this a bit more to qualify that position. I think what you’ll discover is that our understanding of human nature encompasses a realistic perspective of long term evolution of human characteristics and traits. The expression and use of anger as a defense mechanism is one. There are others.
TM: I think I need some elaboration on this, because it goes against what I believe.
Master Buddha: And you believe?
TM: Anger is a natural emotion arising from our attachment to what we desire and feel entitled to have. I don’t believe it’s necessary, but we are conditioned to express it, violently sometimes, and to accept it and actually be entertained by it. I believe there are ways to express anger without being harmful to others and that seeking revenge and retribution create more attachment to the experience. I agree this is an evolutionary process, but surely we at the point where we can see that anger isn’t necessary so that we can explore other ways of providing for our survival.
Master Buddha: Does it make you angry that others can’t see this point and share your belief?
TM: A little.
Master Buddha: This is one of those conundrums for which we can’t assert what should be based upon what we’d like it to be—it just is what it is. And at this point in human evolution there is a substantial number among the world population that experience anger differently from the belief you have stated and it’s going to take some time for the weight to shift. In the meantime there is progress toward peaceful solutions among people who have recognized, if nothing else, that peaceful solutions grant more security to the protection of needs and wants than it does by using anger and retribution. It’s a start. You don’t make the shift by being angry or judgmental towards those who still regard anger, violence, war, or force as the natural solution to feeling threatened. It is the natural solution for those grounded in the materiality of humanity, and that is the majority population of the world.
It will change over time through the enduring examples by those who have mastered peaceful solutions to threatening situations. It will happen. Patience is required.
TM: It always requires patience doesn’t it?
Master Buddha: Patience and a non-judgmental perspective.
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Spirituality and Patience
TM: Oftentimes I feel the undercurrent of impatience in spiritual matters. I want it all to happen immediately and in complete fullness.
Master Jesus: The knowing is not of the mind or of logic. It just is and you know it by feeling it, not thinking it. It is a hard corner to turn if the mind is doing the driving. For the ego and the mind, knowing from the heart represents self-destruction, which in turn, goes against survival instincts. The mind is so clever in that way. It’s a house of mirrors. Everywhere you see a way out; that is indeed just another mirror. There is no escape through the mind or by the mind. That is my point and yet it appears I am appealing to your logical mind to embrace this, but that isn’t the case. I’m strengthening your soul to tap your spirit that holds the key to your power that unlocks your heart that alters the mind that frees you from the illusion.
TM: I suppose the biggest frustration I experience with spirituality is the shroud of secrecy surrounding it. Of course, we are fascinated with what we can’t sense in our physical world. But it seems like you could make things appear in our sensory form that would make things much clearer and universally understood. Why don’t you do that?
Master Jesus: Have you never the noticed the many similarities found in all the world’s religions and customs? Throughout the centuries, humanity has received the transfer of knowledge from the spirit world. This has been in many forms including human incarnations of master teachers, appearance of masters in visible spirit forms, demonstrations for non-believers of feats beyond human ability and inspiration channeled directly to humans in all fields of earthly creation. Remember that until recently the population of humans worldwide has been relatively developed in isolation. In the last few hundred years has commerce between continents developed to such a point that sharing of cultures has become more prevalent and thus an education in how other people interpret social and religious events.
The stage is being set for what you are clamoring for, but it can only come when there are universal points of recognition and understanding. Again, it is human tendency to view things from a present and provincial point of view without the longer time interval needed for events to ripen. We are making more revelations worldwide now than in any period of human history. You take it for granted because you don’t have the memory of all the other epochs. Also, you have instant communication tools that never before existed, which makes news travel so much faster. What was once a communication barrier is slowly being lifted to make it possible for teaching to be at once universal in language and delivered to people worldwide instantly. That’s quite an opportunity, wouldn’t you agree?
TM: I agree it’s an opportunity. But where’s the evidence of revelations in a universal language and experience that everyone can breathe the big Ah-ha at the same time?
Master Jesus: It’s coming. There has to be preparation. That’s where these writings and many others are going to lead. You have to accept that revelation of truth is not an easy task, because it generally differs from what the majority has accepted through faith and experience as truth. You have already said so yourself in your own wrestling with what we have to say. Do you think you’re so unique in that regard?
TM: No, I know what you mean and it’s very frustrating and so I keep putting my hope in the spirit world to be so awesome in power that you can instantly overcome these obstacles in human ignorance and make it all better. Childish I know, but it’s part of me nevertheless.
Master Jesus: When someone is in the pain of the moment it’s natural to want relief immediately. But what if the pain was due to psychosomatic causes instead of real flesh and blood injuries? You would take a different course of treatment wouldn’t you? Emotional distortions and mental delusions require a longer time period to work through. It isn’t so cut and dried as strapping on a bandage or committing to surgery. Humanity has evolved to the point that these other issues are predominant and that’s the field we’re working. The chief reason why physical wars and threats are no longer sufficient to quell dissent and discord within and among nations is that people will no longer accept the servitude explicit in that arrangement. They will literally die fighting against it.
TM: But in Iraq and Afghanistan people were living under horrific oppression of their freedoms and they did nothing but endure it. Where was the revolution?
Master Jesus: Had the US allowed it to run its course you would have seen the revolution. Everything within its time and when outside interests force revolution before its time, then the forces of premature revolution become the new oppressors and will have to reckon with real agents of revolution eventually. The US will discover this is true. The old ways of command and control through wars and might do not work any longer. You are witnessing the decline of those methods in this generation. Just three generations ago if anyone had made these statements it would have been received with such incredulity as you cannot imagine. But today you sense that it’s true, even if you’re not sure, you know it’s possible.
TM: I don’t know. I hear what you’re saying and I believe it to some degree, but we still witness so much violence that it’s hard not to see the opposite condition.
Master Jesus: Your impatience is staggering at times. And it’s not just your impatience, it’s all those who wish for immediate solutions to problems that are ancient. That’s not an excuse, but an explanation that what has been created by humanity over millions of years cannot be rectified in one generation without the will of the entire populace behind it, and that simply isn’t happening. So, your hoped for solution is that there be some sort of divine intervention to set things right, to speed up the process. We have covered this and you understand it, right?
TM: Yes, I do. Thanks for reminding me though. You know what I really want? I want for you and Master Buddha and all the rest to walk among us; sit in the chambers of our governments and address our leaders and representatives; visit our religious institutions and seize the pulpits; lead the classrooms in our schools; and really just be among us everyday to provide the guidance we need. It’s the physical presence I want.
Master Jesus: All in good time, my friend. The leadership you’re seeking is already among you. It’s just that their voices cannot be heard at this time. Well, not entirely heard, but they are growing in number and positions of strength. For one who listens they can be heard. Soon all will hear and then you can decide what you want to do. I repeat, it is humanity’s decision and will that determines the next stage for Earth. As much as you would like to shuffle it to others it is yours. You will be given a fair and informed opportunity to make your collective decision. Don’t look for someone to take that responsibility for you.
TM: Our orientation to spirits, gods, heroes and the lot is deeply engrained. We like being rescued in the final hour. You’re saying that’s not going to happen? There is going to be an Armageddon?
Master Jesus: That’s a loaded question in many ways. The struggle is within humanity—it is your Armageddon.
TM: In reference to biblical scripture and even esoteric revelations, there is a war in the heavens between light and dark forces, good and evil, the mark of the beast, all that stuff. A lot of folks say it’s happening now. Explain what you mean by ‘humanity’s Armageddon’.
Master Jesus: Humanity has created crisis within itself. It’s the crisis that has been prophesied. But it’s not external forces using humans as puppets as your stories are telling. That is part of the illusion created. Humans have so convinced themselves that there are forces of evil and darkness that are in constant pursuit of them that they literally believe it is a race to the finish between good and evil. The problem is that they can’t decide if they are inherently good or inherently evil. Which is it? If they are good, then Satan (or any substitute for him) is using every trick in the book to lure them into devilish insanity. If they are evil, then they must use all their being to return to God and forsake their wicked thoughts and ways.
I’m not going to pretend that there isn’t a real experience of evil at the level of illusion, but it simply isn’t real on the spiritual plane and ultimately it is the spiritual plane that counts. We’ve been through this discussion and I understand how difficult it is to accept that much of what you experience in life isn’t real. Eventually you’ll see and that’s all I can say for now.
TM: It’s very frustrating to hear that. Because I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t. You say love is real and everything else isn’t. But how do I know what is real love and what is the illusion of love?
Master Jesus: You don’t know it; you feel it. But you can’t feel it if you live inside your mind. And your mind manufactures the belief system to keep you in the illusion because knowledge is perceived as power and safety. As long as that is the cycle then that is your trap as well. You are imprisoned by your beautiful mind; that mind that is so wonderfully creative. You have to admire it. That level of creativity is astounding. But it isn’t serving you to stay there. Love is from the heart and uses the mind in a reality that isn’t inverted like humanity’s. That is the next stage of evolution.
TM: That’s a hard corner to turn it seems. I don’t trust that I know my heart from my desire that may spring from thoughts or my lower nature. How do I know the heart and trust that is the source of my desire?
Master Jesus: The knowing is not of the mind or of logic. It just is and you know it by feeling it, not thinking it. It is a hard corner to turn if the mind is doing the driving. For the ego and the mind, knowing from the heart represents self-destruction, which in turn, goes against survival instincts. The mind is so clever in that way. It’s a house of mirrors. Everywhere you see a way out; that is indeed just another mirror. There is no escape through the mind or by the mind. That is my point and yet it appears I am appealing to your logical mind to embrace this, but that isn’t the case. I’m strengthening your soul to tap your spirit that holds the key to your power that unlocks your heart that alters the mind that frees you from the illusion.
TM: In other words, that understanding is buried within me?
Master Jesus: Your spirit knows all that I’m saying. Your soul struggles in the space between spirit and human consciousness. Integration is the aim and the purpose of life on Earth.
TM: But what then? What happens when there is integration?
Master Jesus: That is for another time.
TM: One thing mastered at a time?
Master Jesus: That’s right.
TM: So what can people do to help this process along?
Master Jesus: It’s different for each person, but let me offer stereotypical descriptions. For those beings who are on the path so to speak—they have stimulated their spiritual awareness and are questioning their everyday experiences looking for spiritual significance in what they do—the path will lead to actions that set an example for others who have not yet awakened. Those actions will consist of sharing, compassion, non-violence in relationships, acceptance and a willingness to separate their identification with aggressive materialism. They will exhibit an increasing kindness in their daily affairs and less concern for what they own. As a matter of fact they will feel that they have too much and begin to sell or giveaway many of their belongings without any effort to replace them with new items. Material acquisition will no longer satisfy their emotional needs.
It is no secret that many people in the West have buried themselves under mounds of debt in order to acquire vast stores of material items. As this trend reverses it will bring relief to the pressure that many people feel to keep up with the pace of spending and earning. At first it may feel a little painful or lacking in some way, but very soon after that brief phase they will find gratification in the challenge of living within their means and reducing their means in order to enjoy the many insights they are now experiencing.
TM: Our US economy and to a growing degree the world economy is based upon increasing consumption and production. The fear, of course, is that if it stops or slows down real economic problems go into effect.
Master Jesus: This is truly the belief and one that has been carefully planted to keep the factories rolling. The group of people who will at first experiment with reduction and gradual separation from this practice will discover that the economic destruction and collapse is false. Your economy has these periodic problems anyway. Those episodes seem more severe because you’re still in the old paradigm of earn and spend without cessation. Once enough people do it willingly and with a sense of grace, the severity will not be a part of the experience.
TM: As a brief aside, who planted the idea “to keep the factories rolling”?
Master Jesus: It’s just part of the story of developing materialism and wealth and power. There is nothing sinister or improper about how the story came to be. Commerce through the advances of the industrial period has served humanity in many positive ways. It has run it’s course in its current form and now it’s time to change it. The citizens of Earth have created this and are the ones to change it.
TM: What can other people do who may not fit into the description you gave?
Master Jesus: Witness. They may not be ready to do anything other than observe and that is okay because eventually they will see that their fears are unwarranted. For the more advanced souls, teaching the ones in the middle will be their role. Thus you have these three major segments.
TM: It sounds like it’s more a profile of Western society and countries with strong economic positions. What will it look like in the weaker economic countries?
Master Jesus: The profile will shape up to be similar, but the pace will be delayed. They will not spend as much time at the levels experienced in the stronger economic countries. And by stronger and weaker we are clearly referring to a definition that measures production and consumption. Since many people in the weaker economies have not developed habits of over-consumption they will not have the same sort of withdrawal fears that people in the stronger economies face. For many, just having the basics will be satisfactory.
Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Sensual Pleasures and Enlightenment
TM: I’d like to talk about one area that seems to be rejected by Christianity and Buddhism (maybe for different reasons) and yet Hinduism embraces it in part. And that is pleasures of the flesh. Two questions come to mind. When you say give up the pleasures of the flesh, or give up the sensory pleasures, what do you mean? Why do we have to forego pleasure in order to appreciate and live a spiritual life in the flesh?
Master Buddha: Those questions allow me to clarify some misunderstandings that have arisen from my original teachings and Master Jesus’ teachings too. Let me emphasize too that those teachings were provided for an earlier time in which the conditions of the time were different than they are now and so adjustment is required.
First of all for context, the questions posed that aroused the teachings had to do with achieving enlightenment or salvation. They were intended for disciples who had dedicated their lives to tread the path. Those who recorded the essence of the sermons and discussions were biased by their own personal beliefs toward the ideas presented. This doesn’t mean they are completely inaccurate, it just means that one must make allowances for the bias.
Secondly, we were in our own time biased by our own lives while incarnated. While it is true that Master Jesus and I achieved states of enlightenment beyond the norm we could not escape the effects of being human. This is often forgotten or is dismissed because we are elevated above our actual experience in the flesh by devotees and followers.
Now let me address your questions. Sensuality is a natural part of being human. It is so natural in fact that it can be mistaken as the primary aspect of ones being. It is in reality a reflection of higher consciousness. For those treading the path I ask, do you wish to play in your reflection in the pond or do you wish to know the one casting the reflection?
This was not and is not to be interpreted as an admonishment to those beings who are playing in their reflections. It is saying to the one upon the path, this is the way.
TM: So you are saying that one can’t find their way to enlightenment by exploring the pleasures of the flesh?
Master Buddha: It is knowing the distinction between the true self and the one who pretends to be the self. One will not find the true self by only exploring the reflection. Likewise one cannot deny or ignore the reflection and truly know oneself. I think what you want to know is can one experience and appreciate the pleasures of the flesh and pursue enlightenment. The answer is in each ones heart or center of ones intent. The non-self is a trickster beyond belief. To answer yes means that it is possible and to answer no is to exclude that which is possible. It will be different for everyone.
TM: So it is possible but it depends on the individual?
Master Buddha: Yes.
TM: How do I know if it is possible for me? How do I know what is the center of my intent?
Master Buddha: You will know when the power of your heart and your true desire for enlightenment out weighs all other considerations. All that isn’t from that place melts away and leaves the purity of true self. In other words until that point you won’t know. You will try this and that, and mostly you will try to strike bargains and negotiations with the true self to bring with you all the things that are important to the non-self. Until that day when you realize what you have been doing and it all falls away and leaves who you are. Then you’ll know.
TM: It sounds like what you’re saying is that the pleasures of the flesh are the parts that the non-self is bargaining to keep and that they will be the parts that melt away. Is that what you mean?
Master Buddha: I believe you were one of the ones who recorded these teachings many centuries ago. Why don’t you just find out for yourself?
TM: Well, of course I will. But I’m asking you as a teacher for a lesson that will guide me along the way.
Master Buddha: And I am a teacher along the way who is offering a lesson to a student who wants me to provide shortcuts that obviate his own need for experience, which in reality cannot happen. What more can I say except that you will have to find the way to the center of your heart to know your true self and in time know that which is not the true self. The pleasures of the flesh represent the reflection, but are not the true self. Is that clear?
TM: Humbly, yes. Although, I must say you are being forceful and adamant about this in a way I haven’t before experienced in your teaching.
Master Buddha: Sometimes that is what is needed. I am adamant that you experience life for yourself. A teacher shall point a way, but shall be cautious about dictating precise directions. It is through discovery that you truly learn the lesson, not through intellectual comprehension. The motivating force that propels you into discovery is from within yourself. There is no harm in vigorous stimulation of the mind on spiritual matters. But ultimately it is living experience that counts.
Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Reincarnation
TM: What is reincarnation exactly?
Master Buddha: Every living thing on Earth has an eternal essence, or spirit. That spirit or essence cycles through life experience in material form and in various other forms, and what may be called non-forms from the perspective of material being. In the material form on Earth of which we are speaking, there are many choices. The essence chooses according to the experience one has been created to experience.
TM: Does this mean that those of us in human form would choose human form in the next life on Earth and not that of an animal, insect or plant?
Master Buddha: That’s correct.
TM: Does that also mean that no other past life we were any of those other forms and then graduated to human form?
Master Buddha: It is correct that individual essence, or personalized essence does not vary in forms in successive incarnations on Earth. Each kingdom, mineral, plant, animal, human, and spirit has a role to play for the uplifting of vibration of the whole. It means that as each tiny life fulfills that role to a greater and greater point of perfection then the whole rises in vibration and thus contributes to the likelihood of greater perfection, so on and so forth.
TM: What is meant by ‘vibration’?
Master Buddha: Vibration is measured by frequency, as you may be familiar in sound frequency or light waves. A wave is produced and the shorter the wave, the higher the frequency, i.e. the faster its frequency of repetition. Another way to think of it is in density. Slower or lower frequencies are denser, and the opposite is true for higher, faster frequencies. This happens at a subatomic level and then is reflected in the ultimate form composition intended by the inhabited essence. The choosing of a form is instinctual according to the essence’s creative prerogatives. That is, a human essence will instinctively choose a human form, a plant essence a plant form. As that essence progresses over many lifetimes, it will increase its vibration within that form. As each individual increases the vibration of its form there is a phenomenon that occurs in that other forms within that kingdom also increase slightly, and to a lesser degree the vibration life forms within other kingdoms increase as well.
TM: What is actually vibrating then?
Master Buddha: The essence within the form, which then reverberates throughout the form.
TM: And the essence is made up of what?
Master Buddha: The essence is comprised of light and sound waves, plus energetic qualities that resemble light and sound, but are distinct in their vibration apart from their binding with light and sound.
TM: So is consciousness the same as essence?
Master Buddha: In all discussion about these matters, it is a good idea to differentiate between individual and group reference. Consciousness, like essence, can be either individual or group. It is a part of essence as I am speaking of it here.
TM: Is there a set number of lives that an individual essence must fulfill and what happens at some point of fulfillment?
Master Buddha: If you mean, is there a quota of number of lives, the answer is no. Each individual essence progresses as its free will and experience determine. All benefit from the most progressive for the reasons stated earlier. This ensures progress for all. Each kingdom progresses and thus assists the other kingdoms to also progress.
TM: So what is the aim eventually? Is the progression infinite or finite, and how is that decided?
Master Buddha: From our perspective, the progress is infinite. This is because we haven’t the capacity to comprehend the finite within divine expression.
TM: May we speak later about the role of karma in reincarnation?
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Health and Balance
TM: Can you speak to issues of health?
Master Jesus: Yes.
TM: How is human health affected one way or another by our degree of spiritual awareness?
Master Jesus: As you become spiritually aware you make different choices. You will make different choices regarding things directly affecting your health as well as those things that affect your health indirectly. We have talked about the role of judgment. Even those at the higher levels of spiritual awareness can possess the characteristics of judgment, which can adversely affect their health. That’s an example of how choices that may seem unrelated can affect health issues. The more obvious choices most people know about, but they may choose to continue unhealthy behavior. Or they may become so opposed to those behaviors that they develop unhealthy reactions to themselves or others engaging in those behaviors.
It’s not so easy to provide a list of do’s and don’ts. Having a set of rules seems the right thing for many people, but in the long run it only runs a greater danger of producing intolerance and a judgmental nature, which can and is more dangerous to the health of humanity.
Spiritual enlightenment is not so much about one right way for everyone as it is about discovering the right way of living for each one. There will indeed emerge a set of principles to guide society in everyday affairs, but I wish to point out that without a spiritual awareness on the individual level, the societal guidelines will suffer. As individuals progress in understanding and spiritual intelligence, they will raise the standards of societal behavior. Society cannot rise higher than the largest group of enlightened beings in its ranks.
TM: How does disease, as we describe it, and the health issues you’re describing intersect? Aren’t there viruses and bacteria that wreak havoc with our bodies that have nothing to do with spiritual enlightenment?
Master Jesus: There is a host of factors to consider when examining the full spectrum of human health issues beyond spiritual enlightenment. But that will be the bedrock that all systems can be built upon. Bacteria and viruses are living organisms as are humans and animals and plants and so on. If you truly want to understand the role of each organism in the evolution of Earth, then study the past. If you want to know the future roles of organisms study the present. Humans have so upset the balance in nature that microorganisms are reacting in record numbers. You have only begun to see the potential of these organisms. The present path will force a collision of humans and microorganisms on a scale that is beyond your imagination. Much of this is unavoidable at this point, but much can be done to avert disaster on a large scale.
TM: Are you talking about epidemics?
Master Jesus: Yes. You remember our discussion about Armageddon? This is one of the ways it will work out. This is a result of humanity’s actions, not that of a vengeful God punishing you.
TM: I remember a quote, “You are not punished for your sins as you are by them. And the same for your virtues, in that you’re not rewarded for them as you are by living them.” So, how did we create the ground for epidemics?
Master Jesus: Ecosystems are in balance when all living organisms operate within their sphere and natural tendency. Humans have taken the role as lead and dominant species because of divine right. With that right comes responsibility. Humans are made up of all that exists in the world; so, there isn’t a thing that isn’t you.
TM: I must interrupt. You’re saying by divine right? What does that mean?
Master Jesus: Let me restate that to say by divine order. There is a hierarchy of life, both on Earth as there is in the universe at large. The hierarchy is determined by characteristics inherent in each species that create specific roles to maintain harmony and balance in the whole system. It allows that there are times of disharmony and imbalance, but the correction comes as a result of each species finding its role. Despite the belief that the universe is largely random and chaotic, which it certainly appears to human observation, there is an order beyond your comprehension.
TM: Beyond our comprehension or beyond our ability to see?
Master Jesus: Both. It is something you must take on faith, or belief without evidence. Among those of us who witness wonders in the universe beyond anything humans see, we can barely glimpse the order even as we comprehend it.
TM: Suddenly I feel like the dumbest kid in class.
Master Jesus: Someday humans will comprehend it, but first things first. For now, and this is what makes it such a challenge to teach as well as to accept as truth, it will be a matter of faith. Humans do as well with matters of faith as any being. It always comes down to trusting the motivation and knowledge of the source.
TM: Back to what you were saying, there is nothing in the world that isn’t us. I skipped too many science classes to understand that one.
Master Jesus: There are basic qualities of energy that compose life on Earth, which are in turn reflected in the chemistry of material existence. Humans are composed of all those basic qualities of energy found in every species on Earth. The two most abused beliefs by humans are that humans have dominion over all species and survival of the fittest species. The unremarkable intelligence that springs from those simplistic notions is creating your own Armageddon. Your role as steward has been usurped by your pride as being superior. Your role as spiritual leader has been sabotaged by your fear of spirit. Without a turnaround in these conditions, you will have to experience the consequences of these beliefs carried to their natural conclusion.
TM: To clarify, are you saying that humans don’t have dominion and that survival of the fittest is inaccurate?
Master Jesus: Humans have reduced the meaning of those truths to rationalize behavior that is inconsistent with the integrity of those truths.
TM: So, what I’m gleaning from these discussions is that we’re pretty much screwed on a number of fronts from economics to epidemics if we don’t change our ways. Is that it?
Master Jesus: You will experience the reality you have created. The masters and I want to give you every opportunity to recognize that you are creating the reality and that you will experience it as you create it; so, pay attention to what and how you’re creating.
TM: When you say masters, that sounds very Eastern. It may not be understood in the West.
Master Jesus: It means teachers. We use it as a way of deference to one who has achieved a high degree of understanding and enlightenment. And while some prerogatives of authority come with the title, it is largely a title of achievement.
TM: Whom do the Masters teach?
Master Jesus: They mostly work with disciples on the spiritual plane, who in turn work with disciples on the physical plane. However, we have begun to teach directly to those on the physical plane as a matter of expedience and some small measure of experiment.
TM: What kind of experiment?
Master Jesus: We want to see how rapidly humans can assimilate spiritual knowledge if a master administers it directly. If this successfully accelerates the process, then we will organize group sessions for those who are ready.
TM: Is this the first time this has happened?
Master Jesus: Periodically we test for receptivity along these lines. This happens to be one of those times.
TM: Lately I feel these discussions have taken on a stream of consciousness, that is, flitting from one thought to the other without ever finishing one thought. I wonder if this will deter from what you need to convey.
Master Jesus: What would you like to conclude?
TM: All this Armageddon business spurs more questions than answers to me. Please summarize the health issues relative to spiritual progress.
Master Jesus: I’m expressing these ideas in the most accessible way for most people to understand it. It’s time to expand beyond ideological boundaries and reach common understanding.
Spiritual progress is needed on the individual and group levels at this time. The time is critical due to the fact that humans have created a reality that is headed for disaster. Before it reaches the point of no return, you are given a chance to become aware of your actions and the consequences. Then you must decide what you will do. Health issues are wrapped up in the whole system. I can’t separate them for you or explain their nature out of context. Deterioration of human health is and will ensue at an increasingly rapid pace despite the illusion of medical advancements to cure disease. The root cause of this can only be corrected at the spiritual level, because it is from there that the physical level will conform to new understandings.
TM: People don’t understand disease and “why me” is the big question. I know folks who live very pure lives; healthy attitudes and diets, and yet they suffer through all sorts of physical maladies. How can you tell them the root cause is something spiritual?
Master Jesus: I can’t tell them the cause of their illness is spiritual unless I know them. I’m speaking in broad terms for the bulk of humanity, not for specific individuals. Having a healthy diet and being spiritually inclined is helpful, but there are so many variables that can trigger an illness. Often, for spiritual people, an illness reflects a clearing that they are ready for; meaning that they have reached a point that they can clear energy from their body that they have been carrying for a lifetime perhaps. It may be clearing from past lives. Very few people are so spiritually advanced that they create a shield from illness. But they can handle an illness better than if they were spiritually ignorant. And healing is about understanding spirit and using it practically.
TM: Does prayer help?
Master Jesus: Yes it does. But really the person who is ill must have a will to heal or nothing is going to heal him or her. Healing begins within. External assistance then accelerates healing by strengthening that which already exists and is in motion. There are some excellent studies addressing these claims.
TM: What’s happening in cases where the ill person wants to heal and his family and friends are praying for healing, yet he dies anyway?
Master Jesus: Again, you’re asking a very specific hypothetical question that really is impossible to answer. I know you want to know these things and yet I can’t provide the answers. This puts the burden on you to investigate for yourself in these very specific cases.
TM: How would I do that?
Master Jesus: Truly know the person fitting the description above. Do you really know what is in his heart? Do you know what is fear of death and what is true yearning to live? Do you know the guilt one feels as one nears death, and that it is at times unbearable? Do you know the longing for a life fulfilled and whether he is satisfied this is done, or there is more to be accomplished? Is there a gentle acceptance of death? Does he feel the pull of loved ones to keep him in this life for their sake? You must ask these questions and many more to fully understand an individual case.
TM: Are natural disasters prompted by humanity’s decisions too?
Master Jesus: Humanity has an impact on the environmental well-being of Earth. Weather patterns are most affected by humanity’s impact as the population grows. Earth is a living entity and as such has its own physical responses to that life that will occur with or without the presence of humanity. Earthquakes for example are purely geologic events. Global warming though is largely caused by humanity’s impact, but in other times has been naturally occurring. So while humanity must take responsibility for its impact on the health of the planet, it is in your own best interest to do so for your health. You are not separate from Earth.
TM: I know I’m asking questions out of the realm of education and religion, but I’m curious.
Master Jesus: I can speak on a number of topics, but I will bring it back to spirituality. This is the time for education to take center stage; otherwise, the age of synthesis will be missing parts to compose the whole picture. Humanity must see the whole picture.
TM: There are a lot of new spiritual books, conferences and workshops. Are they right in what they teach? Some of them seem to contradict other teachings, or at least present diverse ways of accomplishing the same end. How do we know which ones are accurate?
Master Jesus: Choose the ones that feel right for you. There is so much diversity because there is diversity among humans. Do you really believe for a moment there is one right way for everyone? At the same time, while you are choosing the right method for yourself, allow others to do the same. Blend your way with others. Any method that teaches that it is the only way is the one to avoid.
TM: We’re such social creatures though; we like to belong by identifying with sets of values. But then we make the mistake of thinking our way is superior and we want everyone to follow that way. If we could accept what you are suggesting I can see how it would work. I don’t see how to undo what is done.
Master Jesus: It will be undone by substituting a new understanding; the one we’re discussing; one that allows each person to select his or her inspiration without judgment or ridicule. The social connection must be viewed from the perspective of identification with the whole of humanity rather than the provincial identification. This is happening already within many circles and it will expand with time.
Ancient civilizations could not imagine human organizations spanning the entire world- they had no definition of the entire world beyond what they could see, and what they could see was limited. This civilization sees into the universe and yet still suffers the myopic view of its own insular world made up of petty prejudices and grievances. This will change. It will change because of a disaster that will create an environment that forces unity, or it will occur because of an enlightened populace. You choose.
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 Buddha and TMichael: Humor is Essential for the Human Spirit
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.