Friday, February 3, 2017

The Jesus Story, a Japanese Christian and a Dominican Nun

I finally finished reading A Life of Jesus by Shusaku Endo ( a Japanese Christian). It was a slog, for me, but an interesting one. Endo’s analysis of the biblical texts and the verifiable /non-verifable truth in the Jesus story posits interesting questions and some possible answers.

But it didn’t convert me, i.e. the story about the Jesus story is interesting, but the fundamentals problems with the Jesus Story as a basis for a religion remain for me.

  1. Life is a forward, progressive movement. All traditional religions require us to spend much (the majority) of the time (trapped?) peering into an increasingly distant (irrelevant?) past. My personal experience has shown me the undefined present is where it’s at and cult-like figures, codified texts, and ecumenical hierarchies are where it is not. Although I will not deny rituals and sacred spaces can have inherent beauty and power. But, honestly, reading an analysis of the Jesus Story while interesting, was actually kind of depressing, and left me feeling dusty and stale.
    the incarnation of jesus christ; resurrection of jesus
  2. It’s really hard to believe that Jesus (the historical figure the Jesus Story was created around) did not manipulate the events of his end and his death to fit the prophesies regarding the Messiah, and this, not even very well. Kind of like direct plagiarism. It’s hard for me to read about Jesus’s trial and crucifixion without thinking: suicide ideation and/or death by cop. It’s like Jesus (the historical figure the Jesus Story was created around) gauged the forks in the road and saw increasing irrelevance or a shot at fulfilling this martyr role. Because it’s like he wanted to die. You know.
  3. Once you get over 35, you might begin to have other problems with the Jesus Story, i.e. living fast, dying young, and leaving a good-looking corpse (sorry!) isn’t so hard. Really, it’s not. What’s really challenging is the years that follow, and the years that follow those, and the years that continue to follow. If you’re 40 or older, you know you’re a lot wiser and have much more experience than you did at 30, 20 … etc. Which doesn’t mean if you’re under 40 you don’t matter. It’s just that …
  4. I’ve never been able to shake the belief that we all have a spark of the Divine within us, and it’s pretty much up to us whether or not, or how we choose to cultivate that spark. Flashes in the pan (and Jesus’s Story is a flash in the pan story) (not the enduring religion built around the story)(but the approximately 2 years of his ministry) just don’t have the same … umm … well, I’m always really impressed by those who survive aging with joyousness and light. Life, grief, from all those losses we eventually accumulate if we live long enough, can sculpt us into something gorgeous … umm … I just don’t see that that happened with Jesus (the historical figure the Jesus Story was created around.)
    enlightenment, prayer, consciousness, evolution
So. The first time I turned an objective eye upon the Jesus Story it failed me, as the basis for my life’s purpose, my life’s meaning, a religion, etc. And it still does.

I’m not saying it’s not a good story. It’s a great story! The themes of INCARNATION and RESURRECTION are exceedingly powerful. As is a spirituality of Love vs. a spirituality of Law. In fact, I don’t doubt that Jesus (the historical figure the Jesus Story was created around) experienced cosmic love to a degree that he received a vision of humanity who also experienced cosmic love and lived out of that. And that that was his message. But each of us can have that same experience. And it’s true we all suffer deeply in one way or another—all have our crosses to bear—so, yes, it’s a great story. Obviously, hehe, the religion it engendered, Christianity, remains one of the world’s largest.

But, honestly, I’m with the Dominican nun, Sister Lucia, I’m pretty sure Mary and Joseph were in love and they did it …
Spanish Nun Sparks outrage with suggestion that the Virgin Mary may have had sex