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Jesus: Rebel with a Cause

Posted: June 21st, 2005, 7:38 pm
by Bhakti
I recently read a series of articles in Utne entitled "The Future of God." In one artcle called "Heaven Can't Wait," David Schimke says:
The Jesus they [my family] taught me about lived and died in the name of justice, in the spriit of peace. He was an anti-establishment activist who begot peacemakers from Gandhi to Chaves, King to Mandela. And I had forsaken him. . . . I'm no longer reticent to say that I believe Jesus walked the earth. That I believe he provoked the powerful, considered economic injustice a sin, and welcomed all people . . . without judgment or expectation. In short, I believe that Jesus was a radical.
I remember also reading that Vivekananda said that there are Jesuses or enlightened ones, most of whom never publicize or preach. They enlighten us by being Who They Are.

I believe that, without ever coming out of the woodwork, enlightened ones live as hermits, neighbors, and hobos. They are silent radicals who love without judging and realize that the future of God and heaven is Now within them and always Is. They want for and will receive nothing short of this.

So, if we devote ourselves to our hearts and spirits, there is hope and peace for all of us in a world that can feel God-forsaken or God-vacant as we listen to the news each day and feel overworked and stress by jobs, family, information, and technology that seems to move faster than the speed of light.

Blessings, Bhakti

Posted: June 26th, 2005, 6:46 pm
by zoofence
Bhakti, right on! In Nisargadatta's words, "Teachers there are many".

For the truly aspiring seeker, there is no shortage of inspiration. The Teacher is everywhere.

The problem, if there be one, is we ourselves. Are we open and receptive to the Teacher everywhere present?

On this subject, here's one of my favorite stories (from The Sufis by Idries Shah): A seeker comes to a Teacher and says, "I wish to learn, will you teach me?" The Teacher replies, "I do not feel that you know how to learn." The seeker responds, "Can you teach me how to learn?" The Teacher asks, "Can you learn how to let me teach?"

As for the quotation from Utne, I don't know whether or not Jesus was a radical. I think it is in the nature of Teachers that they are precisely what we want them to be. That is, having "achieved" Self-Realization, they manifest their Infinite Nature transparently, without any wrinkles or curlicues. And so we are free to see in them - and take from them - whatever we seek, whatever we are looking for. In a word, what we perceive in a Teacher says far more about we ourselves than about the Teacher. Isn't it Ramakrishna who refers to a Teacher as "the wish-fulfilling tree"? If so, the question becomes, what do we wish for?

Posted: July 12th, 2005, 12:19 pm
by anna

Nice thread you started.

As they say, teachers there are many, students there are few. Most everyone wants to be a teacher, and few want to struggle or accept the fact that they are students. Interestingly, usually the more capable a teacher becomes, the less he or she is inclined to teach. And of course, vice versa - the less the student knows, the more the student wishes to teach.The spiritual process is always paradoxical.

The very essence of an enlightened individual is that he or she will by virtue of that enlightenment, be radical, because the "rules" of "appropriate behavior" no longer make sense to him or her because these folks now live in a world which does not differentiate, but instead unifies. That said, however, they usually abide by the rules in order to escape the inevitable attention that radical behavior generates, unless they are "making a point", as Jesus did. This is logical, because such a person does not relish attention, but instead, prefers solitude and often anonymity -- why would a person who does not consider himself to be special or separate want attention directed to what he considers to be a non-existent entity?

To put a metaphysical spin on this subject: a teacher of any kind, but particularly a liberated one, is a reflective surface for the student, against which the student applies all his or her consciousness, conditioning, associations, and expectations. This is why often the most liberated teacher eventually "creates" antagonism in the student, because the heat of the student's preconceptions, many of which the student is unable or unwilling to acknowledge, become apparent, but only by the process of "projection" from the student to the teacher. (Of course, the teacher creates nothing of the kind - it is the student's own dance that is projected onto the face of the teacher. The miracle of all of this is that the teacher supports, and often encourages this dance, for the sake of the student.) This is of course a great sacrifice made by a teacher toward the student - he or she is willing to carry the burden of the student -- does this sound like the crucifixion of Jesus? Well, that is what it was, after all. The teacher literally "lays down his life" for the sake of the salvation of the student - or - from a less esoteric vocabulary, the teacher gives up his time and energy for the sake of the liberation of the student, and does not expect anything in return. Contrary to the student's beliefs, who because of his less liberated view, assumes that the teacher gets great "return" for this effort, in the form of all worldly expectations, egocentric satisfaction, aggrandizement of name, fame, and so forth, the teacher actually receives nothing like that for this effort, and instead frequently receives grief and trouble in exchange for his sacrifice. Instead, the student, by projection, of course, envies the teacher's position, and wants to "be there himself", not knowing until he knows that the position he seeks is not what he thinks it is, nor does he want that position when it is finally reached? Paradox, paradox!

In other words, the purer the teacher (the less he projects of himself outward), the greater the ability that teacher brings to a student for the student to see himself through the teacher. There of course is a meeting here of minds - as Gurdjieff constantly pointed out, a teacher, in the area of esoterica at least, can only teach a student who is just one step behind him, and is unable to therefore teach those who are further "behind". Likewise, each student therefore is, or becomes, a teacher to the next lower step student, and so forth. Does this sound like evolution - I think so! :wink:

That said, the genius of Jesus, as well as the Buddha (Siddartha), and the other great founders of religions, is that they managed to be understood by ALL levels of students, despite frequently and apparently conflicting interpretations of their words by those followers. Perhaps this says something about the level of purity of the teacher, or, perhaps instead, it says something about the power of organized groups with history and time on their side?

Posted: July 14th, 2005, 3:35 pm
by Bhakti
The teacher literally "lays down his life" for the sake of the salvation of the student - or - from a less esoteric vocabulary, the teacher gives up his time and energy for the sake of the liberation of the student, and does not expect anything in return.
Anna, do you think that the teacher experiences fulfillment on a human level, just as the teacher would experice any feelings, be they sad or happy, overwhelming or boring, etc? I think of Mother Teresa, for example, who got fufilled from the suffering people whom she helped.

I enjoy helping people and don't expect anything in return. But I get fufilled spiritually as well as humanistically. I'm no Mother Teresa, so is this just the ego playing it's tricks on me because of my enjoyment and what Steven calls my vocation in life?

Posted: July 22nd, 2005, 12:02 pm
by iamDiane
"Thats a interesting Question, one I have asked myself many times & still contemplate at various times in my experiences..
Presently, my understanding highlights for me, that when I think I am doing something, it seems to elicit a specific role or task I see as the doing part of myself & participating at a level that dictates I must in some way be superior, such as I am helping others. I always apply this as a guide that reflects my true motivations & or intentions.,

I sometimes feel it is just the words we use to communicate with, that limit one's authentic intention! being merely natural!

Alternatively when one is just Being themselves in the moment & it is ones natural response to share,respond & interact with another, purely because this is who one is, then as a consequence "Joy" or Sadness can be present for all concerned, whereby neither is more fullfilling than the other! sharing connecting elicits experience of :) fullfillment!

Posted: July 24th, 2005, 1:35 am
by anna
I think IamDiane answers it pretty succinctly. If, in doing something for another, the doer is conscious of this "doing something good" for someone, then that action is motivated by self-interest, and while it may be fulfilling, it is not necessarily any more significant than any other action, and its motivation is self-seeking however holy it may appear. However, if done because it is in your nature to do it, and you automatically do it because of that, then the fulfillment received from that action is a kind of feedback that the doer receives, which is natural and right for that doer. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself if whatever it is that you do feels good to you (not necessarily even fulfilling, but feels good, natural and right), then you are being who you are, and that is good, natural and right. I am not sure that Mother Teresa would say that she was "fulfilled", although if by fulfilled you mean full of spirit, then perhaps she might, but instead she might have said she is content and at peace doing what God makes her do. Of course, I didn't know the lady, so I may be off base here.

Don't let the ego play tricks on you, though. The ego can get you off track by suggesting that what it is that you do is NOT holy, just as easily as the ego can get you off track by saying that what you do IS holy. Don't ask the ego, it doesn't know what it is talking about! ;-) :lol:

Posted: July 24th, 2005, 2:15 am
by iamDiane
"Thanks" Anna, you certainly have a special gift in expressing what I, at times find a little difficult, to get inner feelings on to paper!

However, in light of Mother Teresa,& what I am aware of, I personally feel, she most certainly walked her talk, as an example of God or all that is, in action, expressed through a channel of form.

I feel she may not see herself as doing anything, or even giving it a thought! maybe, just being herself in the infinite moment & sharing also with herself. Not perceiving others as seperate from her, but a reflection of another aspect of her. In sharing or heliping others I have discovered, one is also rewarding oneself with the same offerring of actively being a part of all that is without distinction!
Have a wonderful week!

Posted: July 24th, 2005, 2:48 pm
by Bhakti
Thank you, Diane and Anna, for your insights. Touche to them. Blessings, Bhakti

Posted: July 25th, 2005, 1:23 am
by iamDiane
Your'e more than welcome., :D
"Thankyou" for your sharing which elicited the sharing interaction that reflects the innate human endeavour of understanding "Self" hence, universal truth!

May you have a wonderful day of infinite fullfillment!

Posted: September 5th, 2005, 12:09 am
by NewMoonDaughter
These are such a great group of contemplations and explanations regarding teachers and students. In fact, these seem like the best descriptions of teachers I've ever read. And it also says well how I've come to regard teachers. Thanks to all.

I guess there are some teachers who are only doing what they feel inherently called to do, and so feel like it's nothing special because they can't NOT teach. Maybe for some it's as simple as breathing, something that's not chosen, but that seems to choose the person, and then getting especially appreciated for that would seem quite odd. And that's also why it wouldn't seems especially fulfillilng. But also, it can be a very satisfying thing to do what calls to one in the most intense way. For example, if one is inherently kind, then being kind really doesn't seem like a big deal although others might be very impressed by it. But then also, being kind can also be very satisfying and fulfilling for the same reason because one has a chance to express outwardly what flows naturally. And maybe it's all just another one of those paradoxes.