Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The "Historical Jesus" Fallacy Revisited

Recently, I blogged some pieces about the issues to do with the historical Jesus, pointing out why in essence the whole concept is a distraction.

The topic keeps coming back up, because with my interest in the Thomas Gospel, the whole question of why Jesus sounds so different in Thomas than in the later gospels keeps coming up, and the historical time line of how things happened at the time is the most practical way of explaining that, and sorting out Jesus's teachings from the theologies that were later promulgated in his name.

However, the real way of understanding it all is only internal, never mind how difficult that may seem at times. This is one reason why A Course In Miracles is so helpful, because it puts us in touch with the resistance we all have against Jesus.

For the careful reader it is very evident how "fresh" the sayings from the Thomas gospel sound, it is really like it was recorded by someone live, and then collected into a bundle, so it is almost as if you can hear the spoken word vicariously through the scribe, listening through him. This experience is similar to what people experience with A Course In Miracles, and even with some of the sayings in the New Testament tradition, the inner recognition results from having an experience that results from a sincere attempt to follow him, by practicing what it is we hear him say. Only in that attempt do we come to grips with the meaning of the words, and does the meaning of the teaching reveal itself. References to that are to be found throughout the literature. His teachings are thoroughly practical, and not at all meant as a topic for a thesis in theology, but for daily practice.

Once we begin to fathom the holographic nature of this perceptual universe of time and space, "the world," it is evident that Jesus is speaking to us from outside that world of separation, from a reality of wholeness, where truth is one, and one is truth, and no separation or differences exist. He is thus the personification of our own deep understanding that the Kingdom is actually our reality, and, as Jesus says repeatedly in the Thomas logia, the Kingdom is all around us, we just don't see it. Ultimately, the reason we don't see the Oneness, is because we have chosen at the level of the mind to take seriously the notion of a separate identity, and on the abstract level, it is that choice of the mind, where we place ourselves outside the all of spirit, which we are a part of, that we then reciprocally no longer perceive that all as oneness, but as a multitude of individuals and individual entities. One is a logical consequence of the other.

Therefore when we follow the accounts of Jesus, there is a temptation of trying to identify him as what he looked like and what he said or did, and which individual he was, so we can point him out, as Judas did, and we do not even fathom that this in itself is the betrayal, not of Jesus, but of ourselves. The Judas principle denies the living, spiritual reality of Jesus, and hands him over to "the authorities of the world," so that he ends up being crucified. Like Judas we do not comprehend that we are simply so drunk with the perceived "reality" of time and space, that we don't realize the consequences of our action, but we won't learn until we finally are able to stop choosing form over content, and let the spirit direct the form, instead of trying to force it into a mold which kills it. By setting him up as a person of history, we now relegate Jesus to being one person in particular, who we can then crucify, or idolize, or both, but at the very least we have then successfully killed off his living reality as the manifestation of the Holy Spirit (as A Course In Miracles calls him). At that point we have seemingly managed to pull him down to our level, instead of following his call to rise up to his level and follow him to the Kingdom, which is the reality of our oneness, which we cannot see as long as we look from the vantage point of individuality, with our physical eyes. The idea of his teaching is instead to come up to his level, and see the world with the spiritual vision of oneness, so that we see it like him. However, as long as we limit him to a historical person, we have then established him to be like us, as a specific individual, whom we call Jesus, and to make it really safe, he lived 2,000 years ago. And again, psychologically to put him in the past symbolizes nothing but repression. We have thus distanced ourselves from him, by imagining we live in a world in which he lived, and died, that long ago.

So the way to recognize him for what he is, including understanding the true and the false of the historical traditions about him, lies in practicing his teachings in our own lives, at which point we find ourselves moments of sudden understanding of some of his sayings, which might otherwise remain obscure. We see this in contemporary writers such as Eckhart Tolle and Jeff Foster, and we've seen it from many spiritual people (regardless of if they were sainted or not), who suddenly along their path experience a deepening of understanding his words, when experientially they come in touch with the same issues of spiritual development as Jesus spoke about. That level of understanding, which is a dynamic growth process of its own, is altogether different, and more solid than the form-based argumentations of philology, hermeneutics, and theology, which will invariably shut us off from that living reality of experiencing Jesus in the present.

Another tip-off about the problem is to realize just how many historical Jesuses there are. As many as there are students of him, for we all have different images and understandings of the past, which after all is not a reality per se, but just a way of speaking about our experience, and our own belief system of who and what we are. There is no better way than that to realize that none of them are true. The only thing about him that is true, is the essence, is what he represents. Historically it is the Acts of John which is the tipoff, for there we find the apostles discussing how differently they each experience Jesus.

The above is why I found myself recently saying to someone that the whole historical Jesus "thing" is some sort of a hoax. Jesus told us he would be with us whenever we call on him, but by limiting him to a personage of history, we safely shut the awareness of him out of our present awareness.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Amazing Talk about Spirituality, Ken Wilber and Fr. Thomas Keating

This is a very interesting segment, from what was obviously a larger dialog...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Between Scylla and Charybdis

A rose by any other name is still a rose... ?

Which will it be: Jesus, Jesus, or Jesus? Evidently, whoever Jesus is, he is not dependent on how we think of him, but nonetheless, confusion is rampant. People's associations with the name can be very powerful at times, and yet, he is unaffected by any of it. Having said that, it remains a helpful thing at times to realize the many ways people have looked at him, and all of which he is not. No different than the famous Buddhist saying that "What is known as the teachings of the Buddha, are not the teachings of the Buddha." Ultimately whether you follow Buddha, Krishna, or Jesus, the only thing that could possibly matter is your own relationship to them, and more precisely, the more you can let them teach you the meaning of their being and their teachings, rather than the interpretations of others. It really gets to be absurd to substitute these teachers with the interpretations of them by others, yet that is what "religions" have always done and are still doing.

Some bitter idols have been made of him who would be only brother to the world. Forgive him your illusions, and behold how dear a brother he would be to you. For he will set your mind at rest at last and carry it with you unto your God. (ACIM:C-5.5)

With early Christianity there were major differences from the start, most notably the "Jerusalem" church under Jesus's brother James, a.k.a. the Ebionites, which maintained a Jewish focus, and felt that Paul c.s. Romanized Jesus, and they were certainly right about that, but does that mean that they got Jesus right? Paul, and Peter c.s. made the most noise, and ended up establishing the very Roman tradition which for a while was the Church pure and simple, but then quickly split again in East and West, Greek and Roman, and that process has been repeated many times over until today. Pursah, the ascended master who appeared to Gary Renard, and who was the apostle Thomas in another life, represents yet another school, that of Thomas and Thaddeus, which ended up via Syria in India in the years after Jesus' death, and their central text was the Thomas Gospel. And of course there were numerous other schools, we can't even keep track of them, but very soon it was in the hundreds and even thousands.

All in all the Thomas group, and of course Mary Magdalen, left precious few historical traces, and seemed to have sailed between the Scylla and Charybdis of these dominant groups who were the major power blocks of early Christianity. So as always, it is the victors who write history, and this is why our perception of Christianity in the West is so biased towards the Pauline tradition. In Gary Renard's book Your Immortal Reality, Pursah points out that in order to understand the source of the movement, you would want to go back to a time before it splits into many different traditions. By that logic the Thomas Gospel is our best source, because it is the oldest, and least corrupted record of actual teachings of Jesus, along with that other sayings tradition, the Q document, of which we don't own a copy, but which has been reconstructed from quotes that are common to the texts we do have. Clearly Jesus was not a Christian, not only historically, because it was invented long after his time, in the modern sense that we attach to the term today, but also, his teachings are clearly very different than the religion(s) founded in his name. In fact everything points to the fact that he had no intention of founding any new religion. As I recently blogged here, under the title Being There, just one little theme alone shows the completely different thought of the original teachings versus Christianity, namely the very clear emphasis on the Kingdom as not something in the future, but something here and now, that is within us and around us, but which we do not see, unless we get an attitude adjustment - and for that Jesus offers some ideas. Therefore he is also not pro or con any religion, and not concerned with founding a new one, but merely a teacher of truth, a truth which finds its only validation in inner experience.

Thus the answer is not in making him out to be a Jew, although he was a Jew, that fact was not important to his teachings. Thus James and the Jerusalem school, although they are very reflective of the culture from which Jesus sprang, and were certainly very justified in their skepsis of Paul, but they do not do Jesus a service by restricting him to being a Jew. Still we can learn a lot of useful stuff from scholars like Robert Eisenman (James the Brother of Jesus), Hyam Maccoby (Mythmaker, Paul and the Invention of Christianity), and Barrie Wilson (How Jesus became a Christian). The mass of Pauline writings which became so dominant and constituted the New Testament, has filled entire libraries, but it's good to realize that essentially any book that does not reflect and appreciate the complete difference between the teaching of Jesus and Paul, is inevitably from the Pauline tradition, and beholden to justifying his views, a practice which started with the Gospel of Luke, and the book of Acts, whose purpose really was to prove Paul right and James wrong. So it is that for our own understanding of him, we need to navigate between all of these systems which claim to represent him, and seek our own relationship with him. The preface of A Course in Miracles expresses that very clearly, here:

The names of the collaborators in the recording of the Course do not appear on the cover because the Course can and should stand on its own. It is not intended to become the basis for another cult. Its only purpose is to provide a way in which some people will be able to find their own Internal Teacher. (ACIM, preface)
And this makes it very clear what needs to be done. Not a degree in theology, but starting a relationship with your own Internal Teacher, to which the Course may be a help, but it is not a substitute, nor is any particular writing. A book is not the truth, at best only a reflection of it, and some books may be more helpful finding it than others. The key thing is to let the teacher teach us, rather than us telling him what to say.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reciprocity of Teaching and Learning

Parents often find out to their annoyance that kids do what you do, not what you say. They turn out to be a lot smarter than parents give them credit for, except most parents don't get it, for they think they are raising their kids, when it's really the other way around, and the kids are raising them, except it often results in learning failure if the parents think they already know everything. Or, properly seen, it's a two way process. It's one of the lies of our culture that we're grown-up at age so and so (varies by culture and time), and that we are ready to be parents just because we have kids. Perhaps we should consider that having kids is an accelerated learning opportunity, which most of us at best only realize long after families fall apart, kids hate their parents, and so on.

The same goes in teaching. Kids learn more from watching you learn than from watching you teach, and thus teaching by example remains the most powerful form of teaching, and of course in a classroom setting that example can be one of the students who isn't getting it, and who is asking all the stupid questions that everybody else also has, but does not dare to ask.

A Course in Miracles is all about teaching by learning. Throughout the book it becomes clear that the wealth of teaching that is there is designed to be practiced, not be the subject of speculation, and theological reflection. It is indeed a very practical course. The intellectual presentation merely serves to reassure us, and give us some hand holding, as we learn to let go of the thought system of the ego, and learn the thought system of the Holy Spirit. This structure of teaching= learning and vice versa is also found in the structure of the book, as almost a college curriculum, with a text, a workbook for students and a manual for teachers. The trick is we are both the student and the teacher, and our best teaching is when we are good students. Teaching classes on the Course has nothing to do with it, and if anyone calls themselves a teacher of the Course, my suggestion would be you run for the hills, or go play some billiards down the street instead.

In the Thomas material, this reciprocity of teacher and student, is the subject of Logion 108, where this reciprocal relationship with Jesus finds very graphical symbolic expression, showing us that by learning from him, we do become like him as a teacher, because in this learning by example we will experience that Jesus's experience becomes our own, which has nothing to do with copying him in form, as Christianity has too often taught. It is about learning from him in content. Also in the Course we find the same notion expressed when Jesus tells us that the only difference between him and us is in time, not in reality.

    "No man cometh unto the Father but by me" does not mean that I am in any way separate or different from you except in time, and time does not really exist. The statement is more meaningful in terms of a vertical rather than a horizontal axis. You stand below me and I stand below God. In the process of "rising up," I am higher because without me the distance between God and man would be too great for you to encompass. I bridge the distance as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other. My devotion to my brothers has placed me in charge of the Sonship, which I render complete because I share it. This may appear to contradict the statement "I and my Father are one," but there are two parts to the statement in recognition that the Father is greater. (ACIM:T-1.II.4)

Monday, October 12, 2009

It Blows My Mind

Funnily enough, there are urban myths around, such as that we only use a small percentage of our brain, etc., which are really an interesting symbolic reminder of a reality we seem to have lost. What if we could use it all. We never stop to think how absurd it is to assume that meat could think. It's almost as absurd as thinking that computers could ever think. Absurd because both assumptions ignore the thinker who teaches dead matter to perform a certain way.

The image that is evoked by Logion 96, of the leaven that makes large loaves of bread, is really about the fact that the Kingdom represents something that exceeds our wildest imagination. In the Course we find this discussed in other ways, such as the difference between grandeur (of spirit, and our true nature), and grandiosity (of the ego - which is really the superiority complex covering over an inferiority complex). Our reality as immortal spirit is completely beyond what we can grasp within the ego mind, and hence there is always the emphasis in the Course on our relationship with our Internal Teacher, just like we find emphasis in the early Jesus literature on "following" him.

The life of the ego, is an existence of littleness, of scarcity, and of limitation. And the teachings of Jesus are nothing but an invitation to wake up from that dream of limitation, to our true reality as spirit, which is beyond our wildest imagination, and he invites us to invite him to lead us up to the level where he is.

In you is all of Heaven. Every leaf that falls is given life in you. Each bird that ever sang will sing again in you. And every flower that ever bloomed has saved its perfume and its loveliness for you. What aim can supersede the Will of God and of His Son, that Heaven be restored to him for whom it was created as his only home? Nothing before and nothing after it. No other place; no other state nor time. Nothing beyond nor nearer. Nothing else. In any form. This can you bring to all the world, and all the thoughts that entered it and were mistaken for a little while. How better could your own mistakes be brought to truth than by your willingness to bring the light of Heaven with you, as you walk beyond the world of darkness into light? (ACIM:T25.IV.5)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Making a Clean Break

That is the underlying theme of Logion 47, yet another "prequel" to the New Testament. The change of mind which Jesus advocates is a complete break with the past. The thought systems of the ego is utterly incompatible with the thought system of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus represents. The break has to be complete, for as long as you hang on to the ego even a little bit, you are hanging on to contradiction and to pain, and keeping conflict in your life.

This saying is just one of the many many ways in which the Jesus material that has been handed down to us is letting us know that his teaching is really, really different. His Kingdom is not of this world, give to God what is God's and to Caesar what is Caesar's, etc., and throughout the material of A Course in Miracles we find this principle clarified to us in great detail.

Here is where the metaphysics of the Course truly help in understanding our mistake, and understanding why it is impossible for us to exit from the mental knot which is the ego system, without appealing to something or someone who is not part of that system. These concepts become clearer every time you look at them, and appeal to us intuitively at a very deep level.
  • One comes first. (Duh!) Here there is nothing but the consciousness of Heaven.
  • We toy with the idea of being anything other than one, and stupidly we take this thought seriously, without realizing that oneness is ever so much still one, never mind if we take the idea very seriously, it remains nothing but a "tiny, mad idea." But if you take it seriously, it would be the first step of the separation. And we do take it very seriously...
  • We get all impressed with our new found sense of self-importance, and forget to laugh about the whole thing, though we are nagged by the memory of Heaven (a.k.a. the Holy Spirit), which we cannot truly forget. So give him his own room, and tell him to stay there, so as not to spoil our game. This is the separation of the mind into Right mind and wrong mind.
  • Now that we are feel free from that spoil-sport, we can totally run off with the ego, but we find ourselves feeling guilty, sensing vaguely that we did something wrong (sinned in the past), and are afraid of tomorrow, for we suspect God wants to get us back for running away from home (fear for the future). So now we cannot experience the present, but we use it to scheme to protect ourselves from that fearsome future, by defending ourselves from all the evils that are lurking in the world. This futile battle for self-preservation is what we think is our life, and we never admit the utter futility to ourselves, for try as we might it ends in death - the only certainty of the ego thought system. We're on borrowed time, until the Grim Reaper comes to collect the overdues.
  • We now happily compound our error by extending the ego's run, and let ourselves once more be guided by its insane thought system, which inevitably recommends more of the same, namely to run away from the problem. At this stage it comes up with the idea that in this world of time and space we can have discrete individual bodies, where we will really be safe, ignoring the fact that it all reflects the same stinking thinking. This is the metaphysical equivalent of the Big Bang.
We find ourselves living a life in this world, and somehow smelling a rat. Somehow, the contradiction of Logion 47 makes sense, and we know something does not add up. With the growing discomfort we start looking for "another way," and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are just symbols of the part of our mind which still recalls all the way back to the Oneness of Heaven, and shows up in our lives as a Helper or Inner Teacher to fill in what the ego forgot, and so begins the way back home, on which we learn but to give up all the ways in which we've rationalized the ego's thought system. As we learn to navigate, and through forgivess touch on the miracle of Inner Peace, we also begin to notice more sharply how much the ego system is one of conflict, and how painful it is whenever we fall back on it. We need to learn this incompatibility fully, in order to be motivated to keep on making the other choice, until it finally becomes the default choice, in what A Course In Miracles calls "accepting the Atonement for ourselves," which is our only real job if we follow Jesus:

    Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because there are no degrees of Atonement. It is the one complete concept possible in this world, because it is the source of a wholly unified perception. Partial Atonement is a meaningless idea, just as special areas of hell in Heaven are inconceivable. Accept Atonement and you are healed. Atonement is the Word of God. Accept His Word and what remains to make sickness possible? Accept His Word and every miracle has been accomplished. To forgive is to heal. The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function. What is there, then, he cannot heal? What miracle can be withheld from him? (ACIM:M-22.1)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is that all there is?

I love that wonderful song, and most dearly in the rendering by Joan Morris and William Bolcom, from their Leiber & Stoller album (Other Songs by Leiber & Stoller, Nonesuch H-71346). I could not find this particular song, but you can just about imagine how they would perform it from this wonderful YouTube video.

There is always that haunting feeling that something is missing, and you can stash it for a while, but it won't go away. After many years of spiritual seeking, it all really only came together for me, in the way A Course in Miracles in explains it to me, namely that the choice for the separation, for individual awareness, on a spiritual level is the equivalent of giving up everything for nothing. We gave up the all, for nothing at all, and then spend the rest of our lives wondering what's missing. Well, duh! Only everything is missing. For the choice for individuality means the choice for a limited life, living on borrowed time, for a while, until we die. The Course variously describes the choice for the ego as the choice for death, for murder, for the crucifixion. Logion 11 sums it all up beautifully.

The dead are not alive. We who chose individual existence over the peace of heaven, find ourselves on a treadmill of constantly having to justify our individuality, and making it real by sleight of hand, even though any fool could see in advance that no matter what you do, it ends in death. To keep up the system implies a constant re-affirmation of death and crucifixion, which is beautifully captured in Wilhelm Reich's little book The Murder of Christ. Without going along with Reich's overall thesis, I still find this description remarkably powerful, because it lays bare the mechanism of constant justification which is needed to keep this individual awareness going, and it demands a constant validation of our choice against the awareness of the whole which we have denied in the process and which is our real life in the end, transcending all specific forms, and returning to our natural inheritance.

The living will not die. The other choice, is waking up from the dream, and returning to our real life, which as the Course puts it is only in Heaven. Thus only when we wake up from the dream will we know what our life is, namely the life of the spirit, and we will simply know our immortal reality. The misunderstanding is always that these bodies will become immortal. No what we are, spirit, is always immortal, and we just played a temporary role in these bodies, but they don't matter.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Love Has Forgotten No One

Recently we finished with the reading of Gary Renard's Your Immortal Reality in my weekly study group, and in reading the final prayer, which is absolutely wonderful, I realized that the title of Gary's elusive new book (and this article) is hidden there, right in the middle of the prayer. I'm not at all trying to pre-empt him with this article, but I have to admit it's part of the charm of his work that the clues are there all the time, and this keeps the suspense going. It is a fascinating process that is unfolding through Gary's books and workshops, and in the process he drags us along to become more diligent in our own studies of the Course, simply because, never mind all the distractions, we realize it is what we want to do more than anything. Here is that paragraph, from page 217 of the book:

The day will come when pain is impossible, love is everywhere, and truth is all there is. You've longed for this forever, often silently and without knowing it. The knowledge of what you are is more certain now, and love has forgotten no one.


As this blog is designed to be an extension of my book, Closing the Circle, I got fascinated some time ago to notice that after about two years of activity, of which the last 10 months were fairly regular, there were about half of the logia of Thomas which I had not really discussed at all. So I decided to discuss all of those "stragglers" more or less consecutively. That episode has now come to a close.

From reader feedback, it has come to my attention that although Logia 11, 47, 96 were mentioned, they did not receive much further discussion previously, so I will now turn my attention to them, in order to have a more complete and balanced treatment of the whole collection, which hass now becoming a reference source for the Pursah version of the Thomas Gospel. By using the tags, you should be able to find anything you're looking for.

It was very interesting to go to this level of consistent effort, and it certainly has enriched my appreciation for the Pursah collection of Thomas Logia, as a very well balanced, and consistent collection, which really lends credence to the whole phenomenon of Pursah as your inner experience with them deepens. It remains important also to realize that the purpose, neither of the book, nor of this site, is to provide the complete, definitive, or exhaustive treatment of the material, rather it is all done in an exploratory spirit, to encourage the reader to find their own relationship with the material, and the teacher who speaks through these words.

By intensifying one's acquaintance with this material, alongside the study of A Course in Miracles, it also becomes easier to understand, and we can more readily accept Pursah's guidance, that it is most important that we evolve our own relationship to the material, that there are no authorities in that regard, but only the validation of our own Internal Teacher, and if the material helps the reader to listen more readily to that voice, then this material served its purpose. So I guess, I'm trying to be conclusively non-exhaustive, and with that bit of tongue in cheek I will, after the discussion of Logion 109, which will complete my original list of "stragglers," continue the discussion with these last three orphans.

Being There

Why wait for Heaven? Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes. The light is in them now. Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all. Light is not of the world, yet you who bear the light in you are alien here as well. The light came with you from your native home, and stayed with you because it is your own. It is the only thing you bring with you from Him Who is your Source. It shines in you because it lights your home, and leads you back to where it came from and you are at home. (ACIM:W-188.1)
The theme of Logion 109 has been frequent through the Thomas material. The same idea of immediacy, that just awaits our opening our eyes, comes up in Logia 3, 5, 18, 24, 26, 28, 31, 32, 36, 37, 51, 52, 70, 91, 92, 94, 97,  and that's just by cursorily flipping through the pages. Many more logia imply the same theme in one way or another - the Kingdom is here, not "there" and that it is only we ourselves who rob ourselves of the experience of it, of course by interposing the story of the ego, instead of following Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Again studying A Course in Miracles will definitely give you the whole framework which is mostly only implied in the Thomas gospel, and the consistency of this material will become clearer as you come along. Without a doubt also, this selection which Pursah has presented as being reflective of the real original sayings of Jesus, gains in strength the more you work with it. Just like Jesus teaches that he is always with us, if only we ask him, so he teaches that the Kingdom is always present to us, except we don't see it, and the only thing we need is to change our mind, or metanoia in the Greek of the New Testament. It is the essence of the miracle of forgiveness, namely to let go of the judgment of the ego, which heretofore has defined our reality, and accept the judgment of the Holy Spirit instead. A beautiful corollary to all this is found in the Course's notion of "a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed." (ACIM:T8.VI.9:7)

It is the ego which always wants to see the Kingdom as some faraway destination that you can never get to in reality. This is the basic mythology of Christianity, the religion that was invented by Paul after Jesus's death, and given his name. There the basic mythology is that the teacher died, and did not come back when he promised, so now we have a substitute teacher (Vicar of Christ), Peter, and then we perpetuate this tradition by means of the apostolic succession (conveniently invented after the fact as a justification for the authority of the Pope), so as long as you come to classes faithfully, you'll be ready when the teacher comes back. This of course is a marvelous way of setting up a perpetual charter for the Church, for THAT teacher, the body, is never coming back, but it conveniently blocks out of our awareness the teacher who is always with us, our own Internal Teacher, which Jesus refers us to in A Course In Miracles. Thus again, it becomes blatantly clear how Christianity teaches just about the opposite of what Jesus taught, and the principal misunderstanding is the level confusion between the teaching that is about the mind, about an inner change, so we can enter the Kingdom, which is shifted completely towards an outer Kingdom that depends on the bodily return of the teacher. That teacher taught BEFORE the crucifixion that he'd always be present for us, whenever we'd choose to join with each other and with him - Do this in the remembrance of me.

This logion also reminds me of a Chassidic legend, which I remember reading in the work of Martin Buber - I'll retell it from memory, and make up the names. There a chassid in Krakau, by the name of Jacob Goldman, who has this dream that there's a treasure buried under the hearth in the house of a Samuel Cohen in Prague. He travels to Prague, and starts looking for a Samuel Cohen, and as he asks around, finally someone says that that's my name. So our friend starts telling his story. At which point Samuel Cohen says: "But that's crazy, can you imagine how man people are called Samuel Cohen in this town? I've had a dream too, that there was a treasure buried in the hearth of a Jacob Goldman in Krakau, but you think I'm going to waste my time to seek out all the Jacob Goldmans in Krakau?" So our friend returns home, digs up his hearth, and finds the treasure. Remember also here, this is a parable, it is not about a bag of gold coins buried in your physical fireplace, but of course the fireplace is (used to be) a beautiful symbol for the center of your house. One way or another it's here and now, right in front of your face, and the very situation you are in today is the best classroom you could wish for, if only you ask the right teacher.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

To Follow the Herd, or Seek Another Way

Logion 107 has the lovely image of the lost sheep, and it is of course another "prequel," for this saying is clearly quoted in the New Testament, and it seems that it also occurs in the "Q" collection.

God and His creations remain in surety, and therefore know that no miscreation exists. Truth cannot deal with errors that you want. I was a man who remembered spirit and its knowledge. As a man I did not attempt to counteract error with knowledge, but to correct error from the bottom up. I demonstrated both the powerlessness of the body and the power of the mind. By uniting my will with that of my Creator, I naturally remembered spirit and its real purpose. I cannot unite your will with God's for you, but I can erase all misperceptions from your mind if you will bring it under my guidance. Only your misperceptions stand in your way. Without them your choice is certain. Sane perception induces sane choosing. I cannot choose for you, but I can help you make your own right choice. "Many are called but few are chosen" should be, "All are called but few choose to listen." Therefore, they do not choose right. The "chosen ones" are merely those who choose right sooner. Right minds can do this now, and they will find rest unto their souls. God knows you only in peace, and this is your reality. (ACIM:T-3.IV.7)
Thus we choose ourselves, by choosing "another way," in lieu of going along with the herd, and simply choosing against continuing to dream the ego's dream along with the herd. We won't know our bearings when we leave the herd, but Help will come to us, and appreciate that at least we were willing to not choose to follow the herd, to not stay within the ego system. This image is very much in line with what the Course advocates, namely that it is a course in un-doing, in not choosing the ego, in stopping to justify the ego. We must learn to question the ego before we can learn not to choose it, and choosing Jesus or the Holy Spirit instead. The same is implicit in the steps of forgiveness, where we first need to step back from the projection, and begin seeing it for what it is, before we are then ready to look at it with Jesus, decide we don't want it, and ask to see things with the eyes of the Holy Spirit instead, thus we ask for help to change our mind, because the ego by itself is designed to be self-perpetuating, and the Holy Spirit or Jesus represent the part of our mind that is still sane, that has NOT bought into the ego system, and which is thus our only hope for Help as and when we leave the deceptive comforts of the ego system.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Moving Mountains (again)

Here is another New Testament "prequel," not to mention that the image of moving mountains is also used in Logion 48. The expression also seems to exist in the "Q" source material. Logion 106 is a little more pronounced than logion 48, which speaks only of two making peace with each other in a single house. Here the expression is "making the two into one." It adds to this the notion of becoming children of Adam, which here seems to be meant in terms of returning to the original decision point, to the original decision for the ego, which A Course in Miracles calls the "tiny, mad idea." Adam is the exemplar of that, as the first "individual" human being, to exist separately from God. The implication is that by making "the two into one," we return home the same way that we came, by undoing the choice for separation and duality.

As per usual, the moving of mountains would not be meant literally, but whoever has dealt with all the feelings of guilt and fear which the ego is commonly associated with, would have to understand how impossible it can seem to dislodge those mountains of fear and guilt, which are the ego's obstacles which block "the awareness of love's presence" safely from our mind. These are mountains indeed, and they can seem impossible to dislodge. And of course our experience in the world may our may not change as a result, but Jesus speaks to us symbolically about the inner process.

Making the two into one is simply another way for the undoing of the separation thought, and while it is not often spelled out in such detail in the old literature, with A Course in Miracles in hand, it is easy to see how it's path of undoing through forgiveness really leads us back to this original decision point, until we finally can choose the Atonement for ourselves, when we fully accept that the separation indeed never happened, and it was only a dream. The fact is that for us sometimes the more direct, psychological explanation of A Course in Miracles, is easier to understand than the symbolic language of old, but both have a role to play, for our lives speak to us in the language of parables, as everything in the realm of duality is a symbol, and it only depends on the guide we choose whether our experience will be one of endlessly repeating the separation (if we choose the ego), or one of restoring the two into one, if we choose the Holy Spirit as our guide.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This is not a Salespitch for Tupperware

Logion 97 is one of my favorites. Curiously it seems I had not discussed it in full before. I have sometimes guessed that one of the reasons Pursah excluded this logion from her list of 22 logia that she found easier to understand for modern readers, and which were included in Disappearance of the Universe, was simply the fact that today we don't keep flour in earthenware jars anymore, let alone see women running down the street with an earthenware jar of anything. For that matter, just like Theodore Roszak's experience with his kids, who thought a chicken came from a factory somehwere, today's kids might not know anymore what flour even is. They know pizza, or bread, cookies, cake, or crackers, but many are no longer in touch with the raw materials of cooking. So an image that was perfectly every day in Palestine of 2000 years ago, suddenly requires some thought to imagine a plain everyday image, such as the one evoked by this logion.

The image is simple enough, after running home with a jar of flour, the woman finds that it has cracked, and she only holds the empty jar, and all the flour was spilled along the way. The ego always focuses on the form, not the content, and that way you always end up with the boobie-prize - in this case holding an empty jar. So by focusing on the form of the "Kingdom" you will lose the content. That is certainly one part of the image here. Also, she had the flour all along, but in her hurry, she lost it. If you look at it that way, it is another reference to the many themes throughout the Thomas gospel that the Kingdom is not there, it's right here, you're just not seeing it. In short, all we need to do is wake up from the ego's dream, and see what's in front of our face for what it is, and give up the idea that we have to go anywhere, or do anything.

Your way will be different, not in purpose but in means. A holy relationship is a means of saving time. One instant spent together with your brother restores the universe to both of you. You are prepared. Now you need but to remember you need do nothing. It would be far more profitable now merely to concentrate on this than to consider what you should do. When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; "I need do nothing."
   Here is the ultimate release which everyone will one day find in his own way, at his own time. You do not need this time. Time has been saved for you because you and your brother are together. This is the special means this course is using to save you time. You are not making use of the course if you insist on using means which have served others well, neglecting what was made for you. Save time for me by only this one preparation, and practice doing nothing else. "I need do nothing" is a statement of allegiance, a truly undivided loyalty. Believe it for just one instant, and you will accomplish more than is given to a century of contemplation, or of struggle against temptation. (ACIM:T-18.VII.5-6)

Thus the point certainly is not that she needed to get herself a better container, but rather that she did not have to run anywhere to get what she already had, but did not know or realize, and which she (temporarily) lost in her hurry. Hence the Course also speaks of: "A journey without distance to a goal that has never changed." (ACIM:T-8.VII.9:7)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rebellion, and the Answer

There really is only one rebellion, and that is the choice for what A Course in Miracles calls the "tiny, mad idea." This is the idea that we could be separate from God, and that we could have a will that contradicts His.

Logion 103 alludes to rebels attacking, and I understand that in this vein. It is a theme that is also very prevalent in the Course, fundamentally meaning that we should understand what the ego is all about so that we can choose against it. This comes back in the constant admonitions to look at the ego with Jesus, for the way the ego (the rebels) loses power is because its mode of operation becomes exposed. It can not stand the light of day, and certainly not the light of forgiveness. The minute we lose the fear of the ego, and no longer take it seriously, that is the moment when we slip out of the vise-grip in which it has been holding us for too long while we gave it credence.

So, we need to know enough to see where the attack is going to come from, so that you will not be surprised by the attack, here is the same warning in the words of the Course:

You, then, have two conflicting evaluations of yourself in your mind, and they cannot both be true. You do not yet realize how completely different these evaluations are, because you do not understand how lofty the Holy Spirit's perception of you really is. He is not deceived by anything you do, because He never forgets what you are. The ego is deceived by everything you do, especially when you respond to the Holy Spirit, because at such times its confusion increases. The ego is, therefore, particularly likely to attack you when you react lovingly, because it has evaluated you as unloving and you are going against its judgment. The ego will attack your motives as soon as they become clearly out of accord with its perception of you. This is when it will shift abruptly from suspiciousness to viciousness, since its uncertainty is increased. Yet it is surely pointless to attack in return. What can this mean except that you are agreeing with the ego's evaluation of what you are? (ACIM:T9.VII.4)
Given that we do recognize the ego for what it is, and are not taken in by it, we are then in a position to return the dream of fear to its maker, and to hear that it was not a big serious sinful idea, but a silly mistake, while our biggest problem was not entertaining a stupid thought, but taking it seriously, so Jesus offers humor as the avenue to diffuse the whole thing. Thus one part is to realize that the ego is fully up to no good, and to face that for what it's worth, but secondly not to take that seriously at all, by asking Jesus's help to laugh it away with him. The silliness of it all undercuts the grip the ego has on us.

Let us return the dream he gave away unto the dreamer, who perceives the dream as separate from himself and done to him. Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects. Together, we can laugh them both away, and understand that time cannot intrude upon eternity. It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent eternity, which means there is no time. (ACIM:T-27.VIII.6)

The A-historical Jesus

The Jesus of experience is and remains a-historical, for we meet him outside of time and space. He is the Jesus who speaks to us from the Sayings of Thomas - whoever finds the meaning of these sayings will not taste death. He is the Jesus of the mystics, (and note that while a few were sainted, and some were not, most were never known!) He addresses our immortal self, and invites us to follow him. The same goes for A Course in Miracles, which is merely a more modern and profound version of his teachings, which integrates insights form philosophy, psychology, and even quantum physics, and non-dualism, and expresses his teachings in a thoroughly modern form. And yet, the teaching remains the same, being that it is fundamentally aimed at practicing what he says, "following him," without which we will never get what it is he says. Intellectual understanding is the boobie-prize, though the Course definitely does appeal to the intellect as a way of supporting us along the way.

    You have surely begun to realize that this is a very practical course, and one that means exactly what it says. I would not ask you to do things you cannot do, and it is impossible that I could do things you cannot do. Given this, and given this quite literally, nothing can prevent you from doing exactly what I ask, and everything argues for your doing it. I give you no limits because God lays none upon you. When you limit yourself we are not of one mind, and that is sickness. Yet sickness is not of the body, but of the mind. All forms of sickness are signs that the mind is split, and does not accept a unified purpose.
    The unification of purpose, then, is the Holy Spirit's only way of healing. This is because it is the only level at which healing means anything. The re-establishing of meaning in a chaotic thought system is the way to heal it. Your task is only to meet the conditions for meaning, since meaning itself is of God. Yet your return to meaning is essential to His, because your meaning is part of His. Your healing, then, is part of His health, since it is part of His Wholeness. He cannot lose this, but you can not know it. Yet it is still His Will for you, and His Will must stand forever and in all things. (ACIM:T-8.IX.8-9)
The Jesus of experience speaks directly to our immortal self, (Your Immortal Reality is the title of a book I once read). He asks us to follow him indeed, not to copy his words without comprehension, which is what preaching is. Preaching in any form is a way to keep him at a distance from us. We are then engaged in convincing someone else of the truth of his words, in a desperate attempt to really convince ourselves, who are not following him, and do not believe what he says. As everything else the ego comes up with, this is another strategy which is self-defeating, for it merely ensures we will not follow him, and focus instead on what anyone else thinks about him or not.

The path of inner experience always remains open, in spite of all the barriers of theology, as we can see from the lives of saints, many of whom undoubtedly had a very profound relationship with him, the experience of which clearly transcends all theology, even if people would often express their feelings in the context of their day and age. So the forms vary, but if we listen to the heart, we can understand that experientially the content of love is consistent. Having said that, it does seem as if the modern teachings from the Course do make it much easier to learn and understand his thought system, but the emphasis on practice remains the same:

     No one can withhold truth except from himself. Yet God will not refuse you the Answer He gave. Ask, then, for what is yours, but which you did not make, and do not defend yourself against truth. You made the problem God has answered. Ask yourself, therefore, but one simple question:

Do I want the problem or do I want the answer?

Decide for the answer and you will have it, for you will see it as it is, and it is yours already.
    You may complain that this course is not sufficiently specific for you to understand and use. Yet perhaps you have not done what it specifically advocates. This is not a course in the play of ideas, but in their practical application. Nothing could be more specific than to be told that if you ask you will receive. The Holy Spirit will answer every specific problem as long as you believe that problems are specific. His answer is both many and one, as long as you believe that the one is many. You may be afraid of His specificity, for fear of what you think it will demand of you. Yet only by asking will you learn that nothing of God demands anything of you. God gives; He does not take. When you refuse to ask, it is because you believe that asking is taking rather than sharing. (ACIM:T-11.VIII.4-5)

The promise of the Eucharist, and the Resurrection is exactly that he is present to us in our mind, as our Internal Teacher, whenever we call on him. The etymology of the name Jesus, Jeshua, means "God Helps," the Course calls him at times "the Manifestation of the Holy Spirit," to some he could be Krishna, Quan Yin, or the Buddha, and whatever works for you will do. Studying the history of what his bodily adventures may have been two thousand years ago, achieves the opposite of entering a relationship with him. It is a way to keep him at a distance, to ensure that we do not let him into the presence of the now. From the standpoint of the ego then, the studies of the "historical Jesus" are a way of making him unreal to us, and keeping him at a distance from us. For time and space are illusory experiential dimensions which are an expression of the separation. The whole experience of a past and a future is merely an example of the ego's sleight of hand, designed to rob us of the immediacy and the reality of the present by engaging our mind in a substitute reality, which we call "our life," but which is wholly illusory. The Course explains this here:
    Time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic. Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. The script is written. When experience will come to end your doubting has been set. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by. (ACIM:W-158.4)

The power of the Thomas gospel and the Course is that he speaks to us directly from their pages, and by this immediacy these books appeal to us to choose him, to let him in by choosing another way but the ego. And if we had not begun to make that choice at some level, we would not find ourselves reading either the Course or the Thomas Gospel, but of course what we do with them is up to us. We could use to develop a new theory about "the historical Jesus," which has not been tried yet. Or we could choose the immediacy of our own relationship with our Internal Teacher, which the Course is designed to help us restore, as it says at end of the first section of the Preface:

The names of the collaborators in the recording of the Course do not appear on the cover because the Course can and should stand on its own. It is not intended to become the basis for another cult. Its only purpose is to provide a way in which some people will be able to find their own Internal Teacher. (ACIM, Preface)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The "Historical Jesus" Racket

Every once in a while it pays to look at the story behind certain concepts, for the meaning tends to drift if we don't properly appreciate the context. The notion of the historical Jesus is one of those. It has its origin with the Enlightenment and mostly protestant Bible scholars and philosophers. (Remember, prior to Vatican II the words "Catholic Bible scholar" were practically a contradiction in terms, because Catholics weren't supposed to be studying the Bible.) It thus represented a "new" look at Jesus, to counter the "old" view of Jesus, i.e. the Catholic version of him.

Briefly, here is how it all happened. The meaning of the term "Christian" dates from after Jesus, and was really of dubious value, because thousands of creeds considered themselves Christian. That all changed in 325 at the Council of Nicea, when the emperor Constantine to all intents and purposes poured the whole thing in a meatgrinder, and made hamburger out of it, which was then promoted as Christianity, he created the brand, and in effect put the Church in business but good. Or, to describe it a little bit more literally, he brought this council together and more or less forced the various factions to come up with one common denominator of what made a Christian a Christian - what became the Nicene Creed - and thus he forced a certain homogeneity, which had never existed beforehand, and which in all reality never existed since either, but for a while it seemed that way. After that the first major rift was the Eastern and Western churches, or Greek Orthodox, vs. Roman Catholic, which became final in the 11th century. This carries on without many further overt problems until the time of the reformation, when Luther took issue with some of the theological wild growth in the Church, and his response to what he saw was to try to go back to the literary source, i.e. the Bible. He then translated it into the vernacular, and advocated everyone's right to have their own relationship with this material, though he evidently certainly intended to be helpful with the proper interpretation. By the present time we are back where we started, for there are at least as many versions of Christianity now as there were in the centuries immediately after Jesus.

With the enlightenment, along with the progress of archaeology, Biblical scholarship became interested in the connection between textual scholarship and archaeology, realizing that it might be possible to gain a much deeper knowledge of the history behind the Bible this way. This unleashed a whole new energy that was focused on the historical basis of the tradition. Naively, many of these scholars thought that with this sort of scientific basis to their faith, they could save Jesus from Catholicism. Of course what happened over time was that Catholics also became interested and after Vatican II essentially co-opted the search for the historical Jesus. If you really get excited about all the variations on the theme, there is an excellent summary of the whole story on a website on Early Christian Writings, here:

The whole endeavor has fueled controversy, instead of leading to answers. It is a further evolution within the Christian tradition, and has led only to a proliferation of theories about Jesus, which sort of compete with interpretation of Paul. The interpretation of Paul c.s. sort of won out in the past, and became Christianity. Today we have a seemingly ever expanding universe of interpretations of him based on all sorts of criteria. The variations are interesting at times, declaring him to be a myth created by Paul, or explaining him as a revolutionary, where some have Paul as a Roman spy, seeking to subvert the movement. Yet none of them have much relevance from the standpoint of anyone who decides to try and practice what Jesus teaches. The only path to him, is to follow him, not to study his worldly circumstances, and write and rewrite the history of his appearance in the world two thousand years ago. For anyone who has studied the lives of saints, it should be obvious that experience was the dominant factor, which is exactly why the Church so often had trouble with accepting saints for what they were, and became entangled in their theological acceptability.

With a slight play of words, we could say, do not let the historical Jesus delay you, or, in the words of the Course:

The ego will demand many answers that this course does not give. It does not recognize as questions the mere form of a question to which an answer is impossible. The ego may ask, "How did the impossible occur?", "To what did the impossible happen?", and may ask this in many forms. Yet there is no answer; only an experience. Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you. (ACIM:C-in.4)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Smart Investment Decisions

There are numerous statements throughout the logia of the Thomas gospel and elsewhere in the Jesus literature where images are used pertaining to money, property, rich or poor, etc. and as with everything else it is clear that he speaks of our emotional or psychological investments, and as usually he does not intend for us to take him literally. But, in spite of how many times he says that it all comes to us in parables, or pulls his hair out and wonders why we didn't understand that he was not speaking of literal "bread," we merrily continue taking him literally anyway. The way to defy the spirit of the law is to take it literally. Every good lawyer knows that. That's how you get off. You follow the letter of the law, while defying the spirit of the law, and you cannot be challenged in court. This is a basic ego trick. It is what A Course In Miracles calls level confusion, and it is the most basic defense strategy of the ego against anything Jesus says. Thus statements that speak only of the level of spirit or the mind, which is what Jesus basically addresses himself to, become interpreted in a literal way, and find reflection in the world in such ideas as Islamic banking, where you cannot charge interest, but of course that is not going to stop business, it merely means that other constructs have to be developed. Logion 95 is a typical example, for here Jesus speaks of not lending money at interest, but giving it away instead. Taken literally that seems clear enough. Except it is not what he meant.

There is however a common usage which sheds a lot of light on this expression, we speak of "psychological attachment" and of "being invested" in something in the psychological/emotional sense. That is the key to understanding this statement as it was meant. Jesus speaks of the wealth of the spirit, and encourages us to share it liberally, not looking for a specific return, that would be a typical ego-mechanism, where you are doing A to get B, and naturally you are always looking for a B, which to you is more valuable than the A you have to offer. That is the foundation of the ego's horsetrading, but it is different in God's economy of Love, where you gain by sharing. In A Course In Miracles you will find a lot of use of the concept of investing, and riches in a similar vein as in the historical sayings of Jesus. Our spiritual capital is love, the ego's capital is scarcity (remember economics, the dismal science, is based on valuations that are all based on scarcity of goods?), and in God's economy of Love, ideas grow by sharing, thus we learn to extend Love through the forgiveness teachings. Here is a summary from the Course about how to invest our spiritual capital:

    Every loving thought held in any part of the Sonship belongs to every part. It is shared because it is loving. Sharing is God's way of creating, and also yours. The ego can keep you in exile from the Kingdom, but in the Kingdom itself it has no power. Ideas of the spirit do not leave the mind that thinks them, nor can they conflict with each other. However, ideas of the ego can conflict because they occur at different levels and also include opposite thoughts at the same level. It is impossible to share opposing thoughts. You can share only the thoughts that are of God and that He keeps for you. And of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. The rest remains with you until the Holy Spirit has reinterpreted them in the light of the Kingdom, making them, too, worthy of being shared. When they have been sufficiently purified He lets you give them away. The decision to share them is their purification. (ACIM:T-5.IV.3)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Knock, Knock, Who's There?

-Jesus who?
- It's your own bro', bro.

... Now would you open the door or not?

Again, in Logion 94 which is definitely another "prequel" to the New Testament, it is all about immediacy, and that is what these logia provide by their very nature. The more you entertain a dialog with this little collection of sayings, the more this dawns on you from time to time, that their very simplicity, and the absence of the editorial context of the NT storybooks, aka. the canonical gospels, actually makes for a sense of immediacy and presence, which is really the single most important thing. It is the essential promise of the resurrection, namely that he is present to us whenever we wish, and taking up our "cross" means among other things taking responsibility for the fact that our relationship with him would be a lot better already if we quit slamming the door in his face. That realization is the essence of the path of the Course, namely to remove the obstacles to love's presence, which is our natural in heritance (ACIM:Introduction). Note please that it is the love that is our natural inheritance, not the obstacles: those are the natural inheritance of the ego. Which would you rather have? At the end of the workbook is the following quote in the voice of the Holy Spirit, which mirrors the same theme:

    We trust our ways to Him and say "Amen." In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God's Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God's angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless. (ACIM:W.ep.6)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Seek and You Will Find

A familiar theme, and Logion 92  falls in the "prequel" category, for nearly identical expressions occur in Matthew and Luke and researchers think that a variant of the same expression is also to be found in the "Q" sayings tradition.

There is one thing that needs to be said about these logia. They are truly the most "original" source of how Jesus really spoke, and if you read them intensely it cannot fail to dawn on you, that he is speaking directly to you. Many people have that experience with A Course In Miracles,  and I would not doubt that Thomas Jefferson had some of the same experience when he composed his The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. Perhaps Jefferson took some editiorial license which I might disagree with, but by and large he was right in almost hearing the original voice and tuning in with his intuition. As I've pointed out elsewhere this is the only thing that would explain how he could distill something that corresponded so closely to the Thomas Gospel, which was not to be rediscovered until some hundred and twenty five years later. It is an experience that has come to readers of the Thomas Gospel and to students of the Course. It is an experience that is available to anyone, for if you truly tune in with the heart, and hear the content behind the words, you are truly entering into a relationship with your Inner Teacher, in which the words are now simply an aide mémoire.

Thus, now that we're talking to him directly, listen what he has to say: "Don't give up seeking, you will find the answers. However notice how when you just started looking for me, I did not always give you all the answers you were looking for. Now that you've come closer, and I'm willing to tell them, but you're not asking." I just paraphrased the saying, making it a tad more "vernacular." To carry that just a little bit further, the whole thing might be summed up as: "Do not give up seeking, for you will find. Now that you've come this far, don't drop the ball and turn around. I'm here, ready to tell you, but you're forgetting to ask." Thus he is reminding us of the fact that we are afraid of him, and some part of us (the ego) does not want to hear him, but we should overcome our reticence, and ask him. He is there. Here follows an almost parallel passage from the Course (Note the use of the capital Him, so this refers to the Holy Spirit):

    No evidence will convince you of the truth of what you do not want. Yet your relationship with Him is real. Regard this not with fear, but with rejoicing. The One you called upon is with you. Bid Him welcome, and honor the witnesses who bring you the glad tidings He has come. It is true, just as you fear, that to acknowledge Him is to deny all that you think you know. But what you think you know was never true. What gain is there to you in clinging to it, and denying the evidence for truth? For you have come too near to truth to renounce it now, and you will yield to its compelling attraction. You can delay this now, but only a little while. The Host of God has called to you, and you have heard. Never again will you be wholly willing not to listen.