I have been asked to speak of Jesus Christ. The brethren know that this is a difficult and even a painful subject for me. As I go into these thoughts, however, I can already feel His presence and theirs gathering around me.
I have come to prefer the usage of the name ‘Jesus’ instead of ‘Christ’; Jesus comes from a word or name that means ‘savior’, whereas ‘Christ’ comes from ‘king’. In this case, it refers to the Jews; and there is no reason why that should matter to me.
I grew up in Jesus, as a Catholic…except that we never went to church. My mother prayed daily, but we were so poor that she was ashamed to be seen in public. We didn’t have any ‘Sunday bests’.
It all made sense somehow that we were obvious Catholics (we had all the paraphernalia); and yet, at a very early age, I was being introduced to curanderos (spiritual healers) and touching palms with them (they had the paraphernalia, too).
Finally, when I was in my early teens, and my mother and I had moved in with my sister in town (that’s another story), I was running around ‘in the streets’ one day, and the local priest happened to be driving by and espied me.
My First Communion was about 5 years late, but I became completely absorbed in the subject matter; I read deeply and I listened closely, and then, I began to ask questions. And too many of the responses I was getting didn’t make sense; at times, I felt as if I was being misled purposely so that I would not ask so many questions.
At first, I thought I was just young and dumb, and it was all going to make sense later on. But there actually came a time when I began to study demonism and Satanism, because I wanted to find out for myself if everything I was being told was true. Some of it was.
But because of those studies, I experienced rejection and prejudice on a different level. I was familiar with prejudice…but to be excluded from a congregation? Eventually, I needed to come back into the light, and that was a long and painful journey. But now, I saw the difference between the religion and the people. That journey into the darkness had been necessary for me, and it would not be my last.
I spent many years trying to fit into some sort of ‘normal’ life. What that meant was that premarital sex was now acceptable, as was getting married by an evangelist…and then getting divorced. Then somebody found me, and he didn’t talk religion.
We had been talking about my sore back and the stress I was experiencing in my first job as a counselor. And he started me doing yoga. I’m going to skip another long story here (I think it’s already been told), but yoga has led me on a very, very long journey, which I still trod.
I did eventually come back to a solid relationship with Jesus, but only after studying the other religions and the philosophies that started the religions. There is so much that overlaps from different cultures and different nationalities, different rulership influence and different individuals’ influences.
There is a time in Jesus’ life that is unaccounted, and most educated people have an opinion about where He might have been and what He may have been doing.
This is the position of Shama’an: On the night of His birth, Jesus had been visited by important people of the Orient. They have been referred to as wealthy men, kings, and wise men. To the Shama’an, there is every indication that they were mystics.
We believe that we exist as corporeal beings, as sensors of the physical experience, on behalf of the Spirit; and Jesus shared this with us. Like us, He would have come here fully programmed, and as in us, those programs had to be found. We have to learn about them and from them, and that takes education and time. Therefore, He would have needed schooling at some point.
We believe that Jesus went to study with Eastern mystics. Much of Jesus’ rhetoric has similarity to Confucius and Buddha and Lao Tzu. The implication here is not that these others knew more than Jesus, and that He then learned and taught Eastern philosophy. It is simply that the truth of the Spirit is universal, and these men were here before Him.
Here is another one of those questions: If it is discovered that Jesus was indeed teaching Eastern philosophy (sans le yoga), would that cause Christians to now turn from His teachings, since they have already rejected the teachings of Confucius and such?
The philosophical truths of the world are the same; otherwise, they would not be truths. Those philosophies of the world that are not the same cannot be truths. We all have the insight by which to distinguish truth from non-truth, but we have to learn how to find and use that insight.
The Hebrew faith had become corrupted and would not have served Jesus, and He sort of pointed that out shortly before He became obscured. He would have wanted a fresh perspective. When everybody else was ready to explode with anger and revolution, he showed up again and began preaching about love and peace.
Compassion is the way of Buddha, the Golden Rule was uttered by Confucius; and when the Kung Fu master was asked ‘how does one defend against power’, he answered ‘turn away’.
Have you ever met a really stubborn person? One who refuses to accept the evidence on the table? Imagine a person like that having acquired rulership through brute force, as was the way in the old days. Now, imagine this person so imbibed with power that he decides to declare himself a deity. Too much? A demigod. Still too much? Okay, he stacks a few boulders together and declares ‘this pile of rocks is the god and I am the king and we rule together’.
I have little doubt that if Hitler had kept on going, he might have deified himself somehow. But my point is that people like him have influenced religion from early on in time, long before Moses or even Confucius.
Religion, as a whole, has become very muddled. We are not being told everything, and much of what we are being told has been and is being twisted. We want desperately to surrender ourselves to a higher power, but too often, that higher power is another person or a group of people.
My encounter with Jesus was not like a walk in a park and meeting a bearded gentleman with long hair, wearing a white garment. I was in deep contemplation, in a room lit only with a candle, and His Presence was felt as a warm current of air, barely sensible, that swirled around me and then went right through me. In a matter of a few seconds, I was made aware of many things by a silent voice. And then He was gone, and I wept because I ‘knew’ and because it had happened so fast.
But there have been many such moments since then, some longer than others and every one blissful. I have also met others this way.
Why is talking about Jesus uncomfortable for me? Because the nature of my relationship with Him alienates me in Christian circles. I am a shamanic priest – to most people, that is completely non-Christian.
My relationship with Jesus is not one in which I look up to Him and lay all my burdens on Him, although it is understood that I can do that at anytime. But we have discussed His perceptions, His visions, His other relationships, His Earthly experiences besides the one He is most noted for, and His suffering.
We turn to Jesus for salvation and for the alleviation of our own suffering – that is well and good. But how can we say that we have a relationship with someone, a friendship, or a kinship, and not have any interest or care about their life?
Well, but He was God – He is God. He is above any need from us. But the whole point of being Jesus was being a human…among humans. He had nerve endings, and he bled; and He had a heart, and it was broken, and He wept.
Remember the saying ‘it’s lonely at the top’ and keep in mind the song ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’.
I sometimes visualize Him as the parent, who has stepped out of the house and stopped to look back. The children have been given life, time, instruction, entertainment, and now, they have the house. He hears the laughter and the screaming, and he smiles to himself, because he knows they are enjoying themselves. Some of them are getting hurt, but this is what they wanted.
And he hears the sounds of destruction, as they play with things that are not meant for play. And He sees flames begin to lap out of the windows. There is no attempt to save them. He gave them everything they needed and more, but they wanted to parent themselves; and they wanted control of the house.
As a parent, He can only watch now and let it happen. But, as humans, do we really assume that it isn’t difficult to watch? Are we really so enlightened about our god that we can be comfortable with that assumption? Remember that the Spirit Creator that once was now knows the human experience.
As a shaman, I have no valid opinion. Most people see me as pagan, and I cannot possibly know anything about God or Jesus that other more highly accredited ministers and priests don’t know better.
He is my friend and brother. What else do we need to know? And after everything that He went through, that we know of, He is still being misunderstood, exploited, ridiculed, discredited, and misrepresented. And, as His friend and brother, I too have been hurt.
I think it is interesting that a man who encouraged universal love stirs up fear and hate in so many people. Many people will choose not to read this article out of a feeling of fear or hate. And if those people were to talk about love, it would most likely be about lust.
There is nothing in this article that anyone, including myself, would consider ‘preaching’; in fact, I think I said too much about myself. But you can be sure that there is enough about Jesus here to bring resentment.
I have lost friends and relatives because I either do not believe correctly or I believe too much. Only Jesus understands. I hope I have not offended anyone; and if I have, I hope you can forgive.