Thrown For a Loop

I came across this article on one of the blogs I read regularly.  I took the time to read it and quite frankly, I wish I hadn’t.  It has filled me with questions, or maybe just one BIG question, and a week later, I can’t stop thinking about it.  At this point, you’ve probably yet to click on the link so I’ll fill you in on it’s subject matter.  The article addresses the idea that perhaps a real person named Jesus, who did all those things we are told he did, did not actually exist.  The information that supports this theory is that there is nothing recorded by anyone who lived at the same time that Jesus lived that testifies to any of what we’ve learned.  Everything that we know of Jesus was recorded by people who lived 50 years or more after he died.  So everything we have taken as fact and in some cases based our life upon is at best hear-say (stories passed down through generations) and at worst lies.

For me, I am a skeptic and these days apply common sense first when posed with questions.  I’ve already admitted at least one thing I don’t believe about Jesus’ life and I could probably name a few more.  I don’t accept the Bible as the be all and end all.  I look at it as a piece of literature.  There are many great truths within literature, meaningful messages and even historically accurate settings, but that doesn’t mean we should call the literature a textbook (unless of course we are studying literature).  I had always thought or believed in a historical Jesus, even if I wasn’t sure about all of the stories of his life.  I assumed the facts were there to prove his existence.    This article has thrown me for a loop.

Recently I wrote my first post about Jesus and I mentioned at the end how I feel like I can commune with Jesus.  If I am meditating (or even not meditating) I can ask Jesus for guidance and if I’m listening and aware can get an answer.  So what does this mean exactly, if the article is correct?  With whom am I communing?  Then I had this thought: What if Jesus is a state of mind?

In Hinduism people pray to and call on the power of the various Gods and Goddesses.  There is Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, the God with an elephant head, who is known as the remover of obstacles.  Kali is the Goddesses of death and transformation.  She has many arms and carries decapitated heads in at least one of them.  There are many others, but those two are my personal favorites.  Their stories are myths and metaphors.  That is understood because hybrid elephant and octopus people do not live amongst us.  But still they are prayed to.  When people think of these Gods and Goddesses, they call forth the aspects and characteristics that are represented.  They believe in the energy and they experience it.  So what if Jesus is like the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism?  What if he is merely a symbol of all that man can be and do?  What if he is whatever we want him to be?  To me, he is unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance.  For someone else, he is salvation and God in human form.

I guess I will continue to wonder about Jesus.  I want very much to be convinced he was a real person who taught all the lessons I have learned.  I want the author of that article to have missed or overlooked something (or maybe someone to send me a link to snopes that says the whole thing is a lie).  There is another thought that goes through my mind though.  Imagine for a minute that our world is destroyed and a new breed of humans arrive to recolonize.  Along with many aspects of our history, they happen to find a copy of Forrest Gump.  After watching that movie and all of it’s historical accuracy, would they realize that Forrest was just a fictional character or would they write him into the history books?

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11 thoughts on “Thrown For a Loop

  1. Renee April 14, 2010 / 10:08 am

    It all comes down to faith. If your faith is that Jesus existed, then Jesus is real to you. Everyone has some kind of faith. You have to decide for yourself where yours leads.

    • lesleehorner April 14, 2010 / 12:43 pm

      well said, Renee!

  2. ray April 14, 2010 / 3:45 pm

    Is there anyone who can give a first-hand account on knowing Adam?

    • Renee April 14, 2010 / 5:51 pm

      I’ve known many Adams. Which one you wanna hear about? 😉

    • Darkwulfe April 14, 2010 / 6:38 pm

      Interesting question. Analyze that for a moment? The assumption you make is that the Creation story is accurate and that “everybody” knows this to be a fact and as such we all “accept” that Adam is the first man. Nobody has any first hand knowledge of the Adam from the Hebrew Bible, therefore I would put it under the same rules of evidence. I no more accept the existence of Adam than I do that of an historical Jesus. I also do not accept that said “Adam” brought all of mankind into damnation any more than I accept that said “Jesus” brought redemption to all men. The rules for a scholarly study of both subjects are the same, therefore using “Adam” as evidence of the existence of “Jesus” is like using Santa Claus to prove the existence of the Easter Bunny.

  3. Karen Monroy April 14, 2010 / 8:52 pm

    I love looking at the archetypal meaning of our symbols. The Truth is always true–as expressed in the archetype-Jesus-Love is the only power. I’m fine with the actual person never having existed. BTW what the article fails to mention that logically, all of the disciples (save Judas who committed suicide) started their own ‘ministries’ underground because they were being hunted by the Romans. The reason the gospels were written (Mark 50 years after Jesus death and John about 300 years) so long after Jesus death is they were the ministries needed to be underground to survive the Roman’s.
    Most scholars agree that the reason Jesus never wrote (save in the sand when the woman caught in the act of adultery) was he was the supreme psychologist. He knew humans would argue over the words. Each of us has been left to seek the truth, as it should be.

    • lesleehorner April 15, 2010 / 7:38 am

      Thank you Karen for this comment. This is something I needed to hear and am so glad you shared your thoughts!!!

  4. Jade Fisher April 25, 2010 / 1:06 am

    There is actually only 2 references to Jesus in writings around his time, and they do make mention to him being crucified by Pilate…so I guess we can safely assume that there was a guy named Jesus crucified, but other than that…not so sure. I just read a great book called Jesus Interrupted by Bart D. Ehrman, who goes through the different historical stuff about the gospels and looks at discrepancies and information, trying to help us piece things out.

    But, if you set aside the actual historical accuracy of the Bible, the archetypes like your friend said are SO powerful, at least in my opinion. Awhile back I read through Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces, and it shows how in every place in every time there are themes and stories (including the idea of being born of a virgin, death, resurrection, etc.) and how much it influences us as a human race. Fascinating stuff.

    • lesleehorner April 25, 2010 / 8:52 am

      Thank you, Jade, for mentioning these writings. I will have to look into the books you have mentioned. I just picked up a book called “Love Without Conditions” by Paul Ferrini and it is very powerful. He says in the beginning that the information comes from Jesus and that it is not channeled b/c we all have the ability to commune with Jesus and receive the same information through our own consciousness. After reading some of this book I realize I do not need absolute proof of his human existence to learn from him…

  5. Dave H July 12, 2010 / 10:56 am

    Just read your post with interest.

    On the subject of the historical Jesus. The Christian gospels of Matthew, Mark and John are actually first-hand eyewitness accounts. Luke, a contemporary, based his account on research and first person interviews from more than one source. He says in Luke 1:3 “Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,” Luke was a doctor with an interest in accurate observation. Add to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John’s writings, the comments of an impartial source the contemporary historian Josephus, and the early date of available copies, and the existence of Jesus is probably of the most documented historical facts of ancient history.

    I was most fascinated to see how your post contained a picture of Kali. To me there can be no greater contrast than the path of spirituality Jesus offers and the path of Hinduism. I was in Calcutta last year and had the privilege to visit Mother Teresa’s “House for sick and dying destitute people”. At the top of the building there is a statue of Jesus suffering for others with the words ‘I thirst’. Jesus is positioned in the community as refuge of love and hope for the ‘thirsty’ and the community has witnessed this through the practical deeds of his followers. Immediately beside the house for the sick and dying and destitute is a temple for Kali – goddess of death and destruction, receiving worship from people out of fear and obligation. Two completely different options.

    I will always remember this contrast and recognize that the authentic Jesus offers real hope for life and stands counter to religious systems of power.

    Let me share a story I received today from my friend in Calcutta, Ashok Andrews (his letter led me to look for a picture of Kali which led me to your blog):

    “Everyone in the village of Teghoria had heard about the unusual powers that controlled Bharti. She was a devout Kali worshipper who claimed that she was possessed by Kali. The spirits that lived in her gave her exceptional powers and she was able to prophecy about people’s futures. Every Tuesday and Saturday, between 11:00am and 2:00 pm, people came from all over to seek Bharti’s guidance for their lives.

    When Shakti and his friends arrived at Teghoria… they were curious seeing large crowds gather around a particular home. On enquiring they were told that this was the home of the great Kali devotee Bharti. They were burdened for her and decided to stay back and meet her. After everyone had left they had an opportunity to meet Bharti alone. As they conversed with her they were surprised that she did not want to be possessed. She even told them how this had greatly pained and destroyed her life.

    Shakti and his friends shared Jesus with Bharti. They told her that Jesus had the power to completely deliver her. When they began to pray for her, the spirits began to scream and cast her to the ground. The brothers continued in prayer and the Lord showed Himself in great power. Bharti was completely delivered from the clutches of Satan and his forces.

    Once she experienced this new freedom, she stopped prophesying and began attending the local Bible study regularly. Her neighbors were unhappy and wanted her to return back to her old ways. Bharti knew without a shadow of a doubt that she had tasted the love of Jesus and she was not going to turn back.”

    All the best – Dave

    • lesleehorner July 12, 2010 / 11:50 am

      Thank you for the historical information. Very helpful. Jesus’ is really a path that has it’s foundation in love, compassion, forgiveness, and non-judgment. Focusing on those attributes in life brings much peace.

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