religion is not about safety, or the salvation of the individual
from naked confrontation with suffering and pleasure and death
religion is about the difficult evolution and ultimate transcendence
of the individual, and mankind, and Man.
we must awaken from our self-protecting illusions of religious
safety, and we must surrender to the Current of life in which
the body and the mind are swimming forever.
is no "Holy Substitute" for Man.
is no "representative" sacrifice [such as the death of Jesus],
is no true alternative to awakened consciousness and unqualified
love in the case of each individual.
one of us is the necessary sacrifice of God.
Prophetic Criticism of Great Religions
— The religious consciousness of Western Man
is trapped within an archaic structure of myths, dogmas, and
social conflicts that no longer serve the true religious and
spiritual process of true Man. Man himself cannot awaken to
his evolutionary spiritual Destiny until the spell of mythological
and self-possessed thinking is broken. Conventional religious
institutions learn how to survive by serving and manipulating
a massive membership that is largely incapable of true and
practical religious responsibility. This is done by minimizing
the true religious demand for literal and personal conversion
of mind and action, and replacing that difficult religious
demand with the "easier" and more secular demand for mere
allegiance to systems of myth, belief, ritual, and dogma.
Thus, over time, great "Churches" tend in fact to become the
enemies of ultimate religious Truth. This was the situation
that confronted Jesus, and it was and is the situation confronted
by all true religious prophets and spiritual Adepts.
the Outer or Public Cult of Jesus
— The New Testament is essentially an exoteric
or outer and public manual of instruction. And it was created
by the exoteric public
cult of Jesus that became the official Church of the Roman
Empire. However, we may find aspects of the esoteric
(or "inner circle") Teaching described in certain texts of
the New Testament, particularly the gospel and the letters
of John the Beloved. And it was only that "inner circle" Teaching
and practice that represented the full Teaching of Jesus and
his school. John,
known as the Beloved, and, presumably, also as the Elder,
was apparently the principal disciple or devotee of Jesus
of Nazareth, just as Jesus himself had been the principal
disciple or devotee of John the Baptist, and Jesus, therefore,
succeeded John the Baptist, after the latter's death. The
religion of Jesus and John the Beloved was essentially a proclamation
of release from the negative burdens of life in this world
through ecstatic or self-transcending union with the Living
God. The Way of that union began with conversion from abstract
belief in the "God of our fathers," or the "God of the Holy
Book." Jesus and John the Beloved preached that there must
be conversion from mere and idolatrous belief in an idea
Good Principles of Jesus — Jesus communicated the view that the Principles of this
world are prior Unity with God, renunciation and forgiveness
as a means of purification, and an individually conscious Life
that is ever changing but never destroyed. Jesus represents
only the argument, the conviction, and the confession of this
good assumption of Good Principles. He does not represent any
independent historical Act that makes it unnecessary for any
one else to accept and be responsible for these Principles.
In other words, the Principles of our Life are Good, but these
Good Principles are only as effective in our own case as the
degree of our acceptance and responsibility relative to them.
Was a Sacrifice, Not a Survivor
— Jesus of Nazareth has become a universal archetypal figure
in the minds of all mankind. But He has thereby become more
a part of conventional mind and meaning than a servant of the
Real. Unfortunately, He has become identified with personal
or egoic survival rather than perfect sacrifice of self, mind,
life, emotion, and body. Paul the Apostle said that if Jesus
did not survive His death, then belief in Him and his Teaching
is fruitless. Therefore, the bodily and personal survival of
Jesus became the traditional foundation of Christian belief
and practice. But Paul's conception is false.
every Idol, the Myth of Jesus contains a secret about Man himself.
But that secret is locked away in the features of the Image
men worship. Men worship Jesus as an exclusive human embodiment
of God because they are unwilling or unable to accept the kind
of responsibility for themselves that Jesus accepted for Himself.
Jesus did not teach the worship of Himself as a substitute
for the responsibility of each man for his
own religious and spiritual sacrifice.
the Hidden Teachings of Jesus: Part I
— I have criticized the cultic Christian revision of Jesus'
life and work, since it forgets and even anathematizes His real
work and totally misinterprets the significance of His spiritual
influence. At another level, however, my criticism must also
be directed at the inverted, self-divided, world-denying, soul-glorifying
orientation of the ancient oriental mystical traditions as a
whole — since much of the "inner circle" Teaching of Jesus was
an extension of that ancient "gnosticism" of "Heaven-seeking"
via internal mystical techniques. Ultimately, the esoteric idols
of mysticism must be overcome, just as must the exoteric and
public idols of analytical intellectualism. Mysticism, like
science, is another way of "knowing about." It is simply an
arcane method for acquiring certain kinds of knowledge. The
Truth is not within. Experiences - external or internal - are
not Truth. And, although we may learn and grow by experience,
experiences do not in themselves liberate us into the Transcendental
Reality or Realm of the Absolute Divine.
the Hidden Teachings of Jesus: Part II
— The notion that Jesus died for our sins (rather than because
of them, or merely as part of the natural chaos of the subhuman
world) is based on the Hebrew ritualism of the Old Testament
and the ancient cults of "blood sacrifice." The New Testament
proclaims that all sins are forgivable — except one, which is
the sin against the "Holy Spirit." But the idea of a special
act that is a sin against the Holy Spirit is only a kind of
play on words. All sin is turning away from the Living God,
the Life-Principle, or the Holy Spirit. Then what is not the
ultimate sin? What is the only activity that is "forgiven" (or
permitted to find God)? It is to meet the mark, or to worship
the Living God — not with conventional ritualism or cultic belief,
but through Love-Communion, through feeling and breathing, through
the total, cultural, and ecstatic or self-transcending process
that is most intimately associated with one's very existence
and with all one's relationships. Thus, it should be clear that
the process of human liberation in Truth has nothing whatsoever
to do with any cultic ritual of "blood sacrifice," even the
"blood sacrifice" that Jesus supposedly performed by being nailed
to a cross. Such an idea is cultic and ritualistic nonsense
— exactly the kind of religious nonsense that Jesus himself
historical person of Jesus is now beyond the ordinary reach
of mankind. He has gone on to fulfill his own evolutionary destiny
in the realm of Nature. Only the Living God, or the Transcendental
Reality to which Jesus pointed with his entire life and Teaching,
remains for us to embrace in love. We must surrender to the
Life-Principle, the Living God, the Holy Spirit, the Radiant
Self of all beings, Who is the Truth, the Way, and the Destiny
of Man. If you like, you can name that Living Reality "Jesus,"
or the 'Christ," but do not threaten and deny the rights of
those who name that same Principle by other names. Every religion
is simply an historical intuition of the One and Only Life-Principle.
Enlightenment of Man Is in His Bodily Commitment to Life
time has come to transcend our ancient acculturation to the
bodily negative recoil from Life.
We must transcend the ancient religions and the ancient cultural
taboos. We must be enlightened in our understanding of the paradox
of human mortality and immortality. Therefore, we must embrace
Life bodily and surrender into bodily Communion with the Living
Reality. We must throw away all of our bodily negative, anti-sexual,
anti-Life adaptations. We must realize a truly regenerative
bodily love of Life. It is not that we are to become libertines,
but neither are we to become ascetics. We must surrender bodily
to Life, via all our actions. We must transcend mortal fear
and all of its false religious and social dogmas. We must allow
Life to regenerate us in every part, and we must yield to the
evolutionary plan and pattern that is hidden in the body and
in the play of Nature, and which is not at all contained in
the mind (since the mind is only a reflection of previous experience
and previous or chronic limitations of knowledge, perception,
and presumption). We must transcend ourselves through ecstatic,
mind-transcending, whole bodily Communion with the Living God.
Only by doing all of this can Man move beyond the present impasse
of worldwide conflict and subhuman idealism. We
are at the dead end of the ancient ways, and we are
suffering from the inability to move fully into our right, human,
and immortal destiny. Only an enlightened and liberated understanding
of our old cultural and subhuman presumptions will permit us
to yield to Life bodily, in love, and so move on in the
Way of God.