Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."- Gospel of Thomas (logio 3)
We continue our series on The Unitive Way and Jesus teachings, delving into sources of Jesus teachings which, while not included in the traditional Christian church doctrine, reveal Jesus as a mystical teacher who points us inward to discover our own Divine nature. This perspective parallels the direct path of spiritual realization that is professed and promised by the mystical branches of all major religions, such as Sufism (Islam), Advaita Vedanta (Hinduism), and Kabbalah (Judaism). And of course, this inward path is what Unity professes, as it sees Jesus teachings as a mystical path to our own realization of oneness with the Absolute and all of Life.
The opening quote reveals a mildly sardonic Jesus that takes aim at the literal belief that Heaven is a place in the sky. Collapsing time and space like a quantum scientist, Jesus destroys all seeming barriers to residing in this lofty spiritual domain - from then and there to here and now, Heaven is a non-journey - only a realization. One must come to know oneself, as One truly is - Heaven Made, spiritual at the core - an inherent wholeness lost only to our recognition. Salvation is remembering, and restoring the knowing of this Truth. When we merely identify ourselves with the body and mind - we live in "poverty" limiting our capacity for freedom, love and peace to the confines of an "egoic operating system."
The journey to an abundant life begins with seeing how we are "looking through a glass darkly," seeing only in part, believing we are a fragile independent self that is run by a sense of inadequacies that demands constant seeking... but never finding. Jesus suggests, in one of the metaphoric Kingdom parables, that we must "sell everything" in order to buy the field that contains the treasure. To have eternity, we must notice and release everything we have become identified with that is temporary. Notice my thoughts, come and go. My feelings come and go. Perceptions, sensations, memories, come and go. But I, the ever-present light of awareness, remains. This is life changing recognition - Jesus might say, "Born again."
Join us Sunday as we continue to unpack these liberating teachings, pulled in part from the book, The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault.
Peace and blessings,