The recognition of deeper problems in human life
Even for changes that go beyond healing the body, Jesus’ first question would be: "Do you want to get well?" (John 5,6); or Do you know the imperfection you still have to change, if you want to come closer to God? One can find a central thread behind the simple matters of life, which aren't usually associated with Religion. A child growing up to adulthood gains new abilities; however, some of the abilities to experience things intensively becometemporarily "lost" ('covered'). Later, one can try to renew these natural abilities. In this case, the newly gained abilities remain, while the hardening of the being diminishes or becomes erased. The breaks in mind and life resulting from the break between the intellectual and the instinctive life - with a weak bridge between them in the "heart" - become better reintegrated. It is possible to show that this break is one of the meanings of "eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge" in the myth of paradise - so overcoming one's negative ("devilish") qualities will include healing this break. The saying of Jesus, "Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" is based on deep knowledge of the possibilities to change and return - Matthew 18,1-3; Mark 10,15; Luke 18, 17. This is not only a matter of the unpredjudiced manners of children, but also concerns original basics of development, which are "archetypal" 2) patterns - a lost part of an "instruction for the use of man". This path can lead far beyond today's limited intellectual consciousness.
2) Archetypal: a term of the depth psychology of C. G. Jung and others; basic patterns of human existence experienced as different forms/ figures, e.g. in dreams. However, the "archetypes" also have a high level of mixed and misleading content. "God" is portrayed as an old man, and references to "heaven" and "hell" become "archetypical" symbols of a "collective unconscious". Jung did not know exactly what this was. At least a core of this level of consciousness appears to exist to a certain extent in all people – with its images and ideas that are impressed upon people. Thus, this emerges as a kind of primal memory from a very early time in the history of humankind – even before such periods as the "mythical consciousness", as presented in our chapter "Consciousness, brain research and free will". This level of consciousness also contains such contrasts (more or less "apparent" contrasts), as addressed on our page "A Christian attitude...a third way". A closer view reveals that this level’s notion of God is a rather problematic caricature. That is why, for example, theTibetan Book of the Dead (BardoThodol) – for which C.G. Jung wrote the preface – warns the living against responding to the deceptive deities and demonic figures of this level after death. A similar writing existed in ancient Egypt. Even Gnostics in the Christian sphere held a critical view of such figures , as they were surely also experienced in dreams and meditation. Fairy tales have attempted to creatively interact with this world of symbolism, which can indeed be useful for children. However, adults may attempt to go beyond these symbols – symbols that have taken on many human aspects. But the real challenge involves seeking God directly, rather than letting him fizzle out with these false concepts of God.
This does not mean that it can easily be managed under one's own steam. Jesus offers a real path and the power or grace to master it. Christian seekers for truth, Christian mystics and Christian alchemists all found their path of (greater) perfection (compare e.g. Matthew 5,48; John 10,34;...). Many other Christians, either consciously or unconsciously, have similar experiences, - whether they search inwardly apply their faith in social life, or combine both. This is something we call "full Christianity". For thousands of years, many other cultures have also been searching for solutions to those inner conflicts; e.g. the Taoist alchemists and some schools of Yoga 3).
3) The Indian word Yoga, literally "put to the yoke" means seeking the reconnection with the origin and eternity too. This does not mean, that all these paths must lead to the same goal. Concerning the similarities and differences see our special pages.
The "God-man" Jesus Christ, the 'new Adam' is the signal that shows us that human beings can regain the original qualities they "lost" and that it's time to adjust their negative qualities, which have meanwhile become dangerous. Luckily for the earth, Jesus represented both the connection to the original source of the meaning of life - God - and the highly developed human consciousness. He overcame the forces of degeneration. In spite of being different from people, he was also the human being who manifested this. So people can do this too, especially if they do it consciously. But even for those who don't know about the historical Jesus, his life including the resurrection can have effects on them - just as animals learn something on a remote island faster, after animals of the same kind have learned it on another island, influenced by their mutual field of force. This occurrences were discovered by R. Sheldrake.
At first, an inner relation to Christ and to God are possible to find without a Church. However, an appropriate community of Christians is helpful. The contradictory theologies, partially describing Christ either as a spiritual adviser or as a social reformer, are no longer the last resort; but they can give some people a clue; if they know about the various schools of theology, the effect must not be one-sided.. Every individual can directly attune himself to Christ in the privacy of his own room, but - with more experience - also in daily life . For this purpose one can remember Jesus' qualities that have been handed down to us in the Gospels. If we believe that Christ survived his death as the resurrected one, we can also contact him as a being that exists in the present time. (There are many testimonies of people surviving after death too, but usually in a state different from that of Christ.) We can feel to pray "in his name", with him as our elder brother to God, who encompasses ('wraps') all. (see. John 15,16; Matthew 6, 7-15; Matthew 18,19-20). E.g.:
God, my origin, my help and my hope!
*) Those who want to include
Mary may also do so. This way, both the male and female qualities of man
can become exalted.
The significance of ethics on this path.
One level on the path is "loving God", who is above everything, "and love your neighbour as yourself" (Matthew 19,19). Loving oneself too can also be part of the effort to find one's task for others. Love can connect us with Christ, because it's his main nature, combined with wisdom. The path of good deeds with its effects also makes the Christian Path clear. Jesus kept the old ethical basics; because (usually) "a man reaps what he sows" (Gal. 6,7) but he stressed the responsibility of the individual more than the external law. Here we can experience that there is something within us - e.g. felt as conscience - which is in harmony with the spirit, which Christ exemplified throughout his own life. This point can be individually experienced in the heart, in the soul or in the spirit. It is useful to bring the known qualities of Christ home to oneself as often as possible; to allow a more direct contact to arise - even if there are no big effects for the time being.
The power developing this path within us through mercy can attract the universal healing power approaching from the "external" Christ and God. Here, the individual way of experiencing can be different too; however, in this case the effects on oneself and the context may be intensive. Those experiences, which till now had only been had by a few "mystics" and "saints", can now spread to ordinary people in our "apocalyptic" time, although one may not immediately recognize its significance and so it must be mentioned here. Those concerned can accept this transforming power; otherwise it may painfully hit the barriers of those who have not developed enough qualities in harmony with it - so that it may be felt as some kind of "judgement".
Guide me, that I will not harm Others on their way to
*) Here others may also be included.
A similar development on a large scale, in the cultures since prehistoric times.
Like the stages of development from the child to maturity previously mentioned, human cultures also went through similar stages of consciousness. On one hand they resulted in new abilities (a freer will, freer feelings and thoughts than before). On the other hand the original familiarity with the whole of "creation" diminished, with problematical consequences. (Compare e.g. Jean Gebser, "Ursprung und Gegenwart" – German). One after the other, an "archaic", a "magical", a "mythical", and an intellectual consciousness arose and beyond that a more integrated common sense has developed. Outstanding beings helped to take these steps in development which were fruitful for their cultures. This happened in spite of all obstacles, but - as mentioned - it impaired previous abilities. In recent history, mankind and its various peoples have had to accept the challenge to continually master smaller or greater evolutionary steps, in order to survive. 4). These Christian possibilities have existed for around (about) 2000 years. This development no longer diminishes older qualities such as the intellect. If enough individuals develop a more and more holistic common sense and renew their connection with their divine origin 1), mankind can win the race against apocalyptic catastrophies with help from "above". There is also a relationship between activists in the world, e.g. the peace movement etc. All people with a good will have their role to play in the "game". Many people - in all of the established religious schools - are obviously seeking. They go on ahead into the future and help to work off the past - although there may be some "mediocrity". It does not matter whether one thinks that the purpose is to "rescue" humanity or to advance in consciousness. The contemporary scale of values must become transformed, because it is clear where the old "program" of this civilization is leading to. Everything is part of the whole and so all good deeds help the world.
4) We do not agree with the pessimistic attitude, e.g. in Herbert Gruhl's last book "Himmelfahrt ins Nichts" (German, "Ascension into Nothing"), only because one can feel for a forgotten source of development and power - which, nevertheless, is only a chance: God.
1) The origin of the word Religion is Latin re-ligio = re-uniting - with God, who takes shape in us from our "core". Something like this happens on the large scale too, similar to a hologram.
Inspire the people to put decisions about life and death
in Your hands *.
*) Here details may be
added, or considered meditatively after the prayer, like this: 'to
stop building up violence', 'resolving problems for taking away one cause
of violence', 'to start a peaceful dialogue between the well-meaning
people of various religions'.
So a "turnabout" to God on both a small scale and a large scale is in hand.
The importance does not primarily lie on "beliefs" - that is, on human thoughts about religion - but rather on a person's connection to God, lived out in a real way.
John 16,12-13: "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13: When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
The layers of the human being
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topics and main text.