With the continuous attack on Christian holidays, stemming from the variety of spiritual paths in the United States as well as globally, maybe it would serve Christians to step back and re-think the representation of the upcoming *Easter Holiday.
The Christian Easter story is very rich and complex and can be interpreted in many, many different ways since each interpretation exposes a different facet of the story in its entirety.
Imagine for a moment that Jesus wanted ALL of mankind, not merely professed Christians, to understand about the symbolism of the Christian Easter Story ... that this is a story not about Jesus the man, not about just one person, but an illustration about the path that every soul can follow on its way to "Christhood" and the transition of each soul into the spiritual or non-physical realm or Heaven. The Christian Easter story exemplifies the very last part of every soul's journey. These beliefs are already held in most organized religions.
The Christian Easter Story can be divided into three main acts in the play that unfolds as our individual lives. The first element is Jesus' entry into Jerusalem where he is welcomed by many as a King. We can compare this part of the story with the birth of most children who are treated as the God-created special and unique beings that they are.
Although, thank God, many have moved into a more civilized society on this earth and are not as likely to be physically killed for different beliefs, there are those, including those claiming to be good Christians, who will not open their minds to other belief systems or religions. That is one of the reasons that Christian holidays have always been under attack and scrutiny. Although most Christians are sensitive to the fact that Jesus was persecuted for His beliefs and teachings, they deny that they, too, spiritually crucify others for beliefs other than their own. Persecution occurs even within the different Christian denominations. How does that serve any one?
Take a look at how many people have been "crucified" in the modern media in terms of character assassination ... is that not how Jesus was falsely portrayed by the temple priests? In other words, if you are willing to never falter from your spiritual identity (which expands as we experience) you then have an opportunity to go through the spiritual initiation of the resurrection which was exhibited through Jesus' physical resurrection as He demonstrated that each soul has the potential of climb-ing into the state of higher consciousness and spiritual identity.
Seems too simplistic, yes?
Jesus' dying on the cross represents that the soul will overcome physical death. There is no death! We are eternal beings and we just transition into spirit upon our physical death. We ALL do. It is not reserved for members of a specific religion! It is an all inclusive club ... that of the human race.
Our earthly lives would go easier if we would be willing to surrender our earthly identity to God and rejoice in and acknowledge that all souls are sons and daughters of God ... and that all beliefs that are rooted in the highest and best intentions for the spiritual expansion of the soul are valid! There is not ONE Truth.
Each individual path back to the Creator is the correct path for that particular soul. We know not what the intention of another soul is during this lifetime. We know not what purpose and spiritual experiences are on the agenda for another soul in this lifetime.
Most know not even his OWN PURPOSE!
Just imagine when Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me." that that was His deepest and most heartfelt wish for the human species. And that wish was that each of us would someday follow the teachings of Jesus the Christ and realize that we, too, can put on the universal "Christ Consciousness" as did Jesus. We can then stand our ground in defense of our individual spiritual path back to Our Creator ... the God of our understanding.
Jesus 'died' for all of us ... not because He viewed Himself as the only son of God ... not because He was directed by God to establish an exclusive organized religion on His behalf ... and don't you believe that for one moment! That belief imprisons us and defeats the expansion of the individual soul. The intent of Jesus the Christ, the brother of ALL MANKIND ... was to show us HOW to get the most out of life's experience.
Jesus incarnated into the physical from the spiritual and transitioned from the physical back to the spiritual realm AS WE ALL DO, because He wanted to impart the universal wisdom tothe souls on earthwho hadforgotten. He wanted us to understand that we were just like Him,ALL of US ... His brothers and sisters.
Jesus wanted to assist in the spiritual growth of the individual soul by assisting in the evolution of the human species.
That was the purpose of Jesus being born of man like all of us. His intention was to set a precedent of freedom toexperience and thusly, empower the soul. Jesus was wise enough to know that unless a spirit is free to make the choices, it remains
unchanged and stagnant with no expansion ... resulting in a sort of waste of opportunities in a human lifetime of spiritual growth ... resulting in repeating those opportunities and possibilities in, yet, another lifetime. All souls are growth-seeking!
And that is the basic purpose of us all. We are all growth seeking beings ... and the growth I am referring to is purely spiritual ... as we are spiritual beings having a human experience ... and, ultimately, it is our purpose to expand our own souls through whatever opportunities that we can create while here in the physical.
As you think of the Christian Easter Story, insert YOURSELF as the main character. You will gain a perspective that you have never had before ...
The next phase of the Christian Easter story is what occurred to Jesus during his life in Jerusalem and then the eventual resurrection. You will note that the reason Jesus was so accepted during that time was that the general public in Jerusalem had a certain image of Jesus being a king who would deliver them from the rule of the Romans. When the people began to realize that Jesus was not about to fulfill those expectations of Him they quickly turned on Him. Some of the very people who shouted "Hosannas" at the gate of Jerusalem when Jesus first entered now cried, "Crucify him!" at his so-called trial.
This part of the Easter Story represents the story of the experiences of the soul as it desperately tries to express individuality while maturing even more so here on earth. But because every soul does not have the same spiritual mission or the same perception of spiritual growth, all souls are not charged with the choice of living up to the expectations of an entire society as was Jesus. The choice that every soul eventually faces is whether to conform to the expectations of other souls (parents, family, society) or to develop and express its uniqueness in its spirituality.
The spiritually mature soul eventually comes to a crossroads and must then either deny its true identity and spiritual mission or simply not conform to worldly expectations. The life of Jesus was to illustrate that when you do reach those crossroads in the path of spiritual awareness you need to be true to who you are in order to fulfill your pre-birth mission in this lifetime ... even if it means at the sacrifice of your station in society. Jesus' story was meant to inspire each one of us with the courage to speak our truths and endure whatever the persecutors of our world direct towards us.
For almost 1,700 years, official Christianity ... started by the Catholic Church but continued today by almost all Christian Churches ... have acted as if they have a monopoly on Christ. Yet, what did Jesus demonstrate through his resurrection? He demonstrated that no earthly power or institution can control the Living Christ! They could kill his body, but they had no power over his Spirit.
Have you ever considered why Jesus was such a threat to the official religion of the day that they simply had to kill him? The reason was simple. The Jewish religion of the time claimed that the people's salvation could be attained only through the sacraments performed by the priesthood ... meaning that the people could enter heaven ONLY by being obedient to an institution on Earth. Does this sound familiar? It should ... because it is the same message that has been preached by most Christian churches since the formation of the Catholic Church in the fourth century.
Do you find it strange that the religion that claims to represent Christ on Earth became the exact same kind of religion that had Jesus killed? Do you find it a tad peculiar that Christianity makes the exact same claim about your salvation ... namely that it depends on the external ... as the religion that saw Jesus as a threat to be eliminated?
If you do, indeed, find this peculiar, it is simply because you have been brought up with a completely false view of religion and the forces that drive human history. You see, a careful look at history will reveal that there has always been a small elite group whose members have been trying to control the population in order to secure power and privileges for themselves. The members of this power elite have been using all means available to them, including military power. However, the most efficient way to control the population is through ideas, including (but not limited to) religious ideas.
The stark reality is that most larger religions have not been truly religious organizations. They have been political institutions controlled by a small elite group and used to giving that elite group special powers and privileges. As an obvious example, consider how the Catholic Church allowed the kings and noblemen of medieval Europe to hold the population in an iron grip for a thousand years ... as you know it was called the "Dark Ages".
The following article was written by Kim Michaels, the web master of the Ask Real Jesus Website. This website is extremely insightful and provokes much thought about religion versus spirituality. Please read this article and as always, take with you what resounds in your soul and leave the rest to revisit at another time along your spiritual journey. ~Holly~
(Continued from column at the left)
So ... why was Jesus such a threat to the power elite religion at the time? Because he preached that "The kingdom of God is within you", meaning that the people's salvation did NOT depend on the hierarchy of the external
religion. If the Jews had believed this message, the power elite of Jewish society would have lost their grip on the population. So, their simple solution was to kill Jesus. (in other words, to shoot the messenger!)
However, killing Jesus did not prevent the emergence of a movement (not, yet another religion) of people who sought to understand and embody his teachings. And even though the Roman Empire sought to kill all Christians, it eventually became clear that this simply was not possible. So, a representative of the power elite, the Roman emperor Constantine I, decided that "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em". He turned Christianity into the official state religion of the Roman Empire.
Even a quick look at Constantine will show him as a political animal, and thus his purpose was clearly to create a new religion that could (again) control the people, unify the empire and keep himself in power. And ... in order to achieve this end, Jesus'true message of an individual ... inner salvation HAS to be removed and replaced by the same old message that ... people's salvation depends on the sacraments controlled by an external religion.
And THAT is precisely why Christianity has stolen Christ. The power elite stole Jesus' true, inner message!
Yet there is no power on earth that can prevent YOU from taking back the trueteachings and the true example of Christ, so that YOU can discover the Kingdom and the true inner path that is right within yourself. You can then demonstrate that no earthly power can control YOUR spirit ! And, meanwhile, this may inspire others to do the same ... so that humanity can transcend the power-elite. We can then help fulfill Jesus' true purpose ... namely ... to set people free from the elite ... the blind leaders ... (and empower the individual spirit to take the responsibility of his own "salvation")
The reason for the links to all of these spiritual resources is to help you begin this very process.
From John Davidson, The Gospel of Jesus:
Those who find God within, discover that their real self IS God!
They see that all are His Children and that He is the essence of their being. They also come to see Him everywhere and in everyone. Then, wherever they look and wherever they go, they find nothing but God and His love. So, naturally, being filled with His love, they love everything and everybody, treating all with respect, honesty, kindness, understanding and all other good human qualities.This is truly loving "thy neighbor as thyself". ~
Focus upon the TEACHINGS of the most beloved Teacher, Jesus the Christ. Our Brother was a way-shower ... who taught that we truly are ONE with God. HE never said that HE was the ONLY son of GOD. "Ye are gods..."
With the coming of the celebration of Easter and the onset of another spring I cannot help but recalling the past year and all of the changes and adaptations that have occurred in our families, our communities, our nation and in the world. Mankind is experiencing labor pains which is giving birth to a new time ... a new era ... a NEW AGE.
Since our earthly journey entails constant change... which translates to our evolution, both individually and as a species, this time is unavoidable. We can either embrace it or resist it. Resisting it will only make our lives intolerable. Our species has evolved from survival of the fittest to survival of the wisest. That wisdom can only be acquired from within. This is the basis of this web site ... to teach the concepts and give you some tools to assist you in gaining that wisdom.
Most of us are fearful of change ... but the times, they are a-changing ... and at a faster rate than ever before in the history of mankind.
We are upon a New Age ... call it a hippymentality if you want ... but it is now evident that we are transitioning into The Age of Aquarius ... and those of us who are not onboard, will chooseto just fall away during the upcoming days.
Our current beliefs are incomplete and will not serve us in this New Age ... so, I am offering a perspective that you may or may not want to embrace. Please read the following with an open mind and open heart as it was my intention to stimulate your thought and addunto your current beliefs
... NOT TO CHANGE THEM ...
~Rev.Holly Greene White ~ 2003
The Following is paraphrased from the teachings of Kim Michaels:
In Love & Light,
Rev. Holly 2003
HISTORY of the Original 'Easter' Tradition
Keeping an Open Mind for this Ancient Sumerian/Pagan Celebration