The Secret Identity of the Holy Spirit of God


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Beyond the Hidden Teachings of Jesus

a talk: Part II

 

ADI DA SAMRAJ: 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." Just as the idea of Jesus' "ascent into Heaven" does not really coincide with the cosmology that we know to be true from our present knowledge (but actually coincides with the traditional mystical symbolism of internal ascent), similarly, the ancient rites of "blood sacrifice," of which Jesus' death is traditionally supposed to be the highest example, are not really understandable in the conventional terms of modern daily life.

If we are to find some value, or likeness to Truth, in the biblical idea of sin, we must examine what "sin" is in any case. The dreadfully dark word "sin" is a version of an ancient expression which simply means "to miss the mark." To miss a mark, as when missing a target with a bow and arrow, is to be eccentric, off the center. Thus, to "sin" is to turn one's attention away from the Center or Heart of Existence. It is to be unattached to God, turned away from God, deflected from God, turned elsewhere than to God. It is to worship principles that are not God. It is to be attached to experiences, to self, to the body-mind, rather than to the Divine Life-Principle or Transcendental Consciousness.

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. One cannot, therefore, avoid committing the unforgivable sin by means of any ordinary behavioral aversion, since all sins are the same all sins are a matter of turning away from the Life-Spirit, or the Living Divine. All sins are equally and absolutely "unforgivable." Therefore, not only must all sins be forgiven, but sin itself (or the "sin against the "Holy Spirit") must be forgiven, or else there is no forgiveness (or no intimacy with God). To be "forgiven" for one's sin is to be released from the consequences of sin, but, above all, it is to be released from the tendency, activity, and consciousness that is sin. "Forgiveness of sin" is to be released from eccentricity and returned to the "mark." To be "forgiven" is to be converted, or turned about in one's attention. It is to be released from reactive and self-possessed (or Narcissistic) obsession and returned to self-transcending Love-Communion with the Life-Principle, the Holy Spirit, the Living God. Therefore, if we will only accept the Teaching of Truth in our understanding and turn body and mind from self-possession to God-Communion, we are "forgiven", or released from "sin", by virtue of that conversion.

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 preached against. Jesus and his disciples preached conversion to the Living God, not to the "God of our fathers," not to the God of cultic belief, not to the God of priestly ritualism, not to the God of liturgies and literal or vicarious and symbolic "blood sacrifices." Everyone must make the true and bloodless sacrifice of conversion to the Life-Principle. Everyone must be "forgiven." Everyone must turn away from "sin." Everyone must submit to the living "cross," the central nervous system, which obliges all knowledge and all desire to submit to Life. In other words, everyone must enter into heartfelt bodily Communion with the Living God.

This is the single and entire message of the New Testament. There is no other true message there, or in any other religious tradition. That is it. The question is, what are we going to do about it? We can spend the rest of our lives studying the New Testament and all the superficially complicated content of biblical faith, but true religion still depends fundamentally on this matter of personal and total psycho-physical conversion to the Life-Principle, and the assumption of a truly spiritual Way of Life, or a practical habit of existence that always (or via all our human functions) Communes with the Spirit.

I once functioned as chaplain in a mental hospital. On at least two occasions I gave a sermon on the passage in the New Testament that describes the sin against the Holy Spirit as the only unforgivable sin. People who are insane are often obsessed with the idea that they have committed the one sin that cannot be forgiven. When I preached the first sermon on this matter, I presumed but I did not have to presume I noticed that everybody there was completely insane! I very quickly had to become responsible to serve people who had not one whit of attention left over from their mechanical, self-possessed, inward life, their turning away. They were devoted sinners! They were not communing with God; they were not openeyed, clear, conscious, full of attention. They were distracted in themselves. They were obsessively missing the mark, moment to moment. Their breath was irregular, their bodies were all out of harmony, they were self-possessed, dark, demonic egos. They were like any ordinary person, except that they were an exaggeration of the ordinary state.

It was the perfect place to preach, a perfect setting, and the ultimate place to preach that particular sermon. The people in the audience were doing exactly the thing that I was talking about. The only imperfection in the circumstance was that no one in the audience was capable of "hearing" me and understanding what I was saying! I was obliged to give this sermon, but they could all do whatever they pleased while I gave it. They were generally expected to remain confined to the room, but, apart from this basic obligation, very few demands were placed on them. Thus, their "sinning" was totally obvious.

The usual man functions, he talks to you, he often seems reasonable and intelligent. Even so, he is also mad, because he is utterly and fearfully involved with himself. He is creating the fake reality, the subjective world of self, exactly as were the mental patients to whom I preached. Like a madman, the usual man or woman is completely involved with the repetitive ritual of obsessive interpretations and misinterpretations, and the chronic contraction of his or her own body from the obvious and Radiant Reality of the Living Person, the Divine and Transcendental Truth of Man.

The people in the mental hospital were simply a kind of cartoon version of humanity. While I gave this sermon, which seemed to me basically insightful, they were aggressively busy with themselves, shouting, playing with their noses and their genitals, and rehearsing their bizarre emotional rituals. They were all totally out of relationship to their environment and to me and to all the other people in the room. Each one of them was like a planet in a separate universe, with no relationship to any other planets and universes. The "audience" reeled with this tremendous movement, like a great ocean. As I look out at you who listen to me today, I see a relatively orderly gathering. But the audience of mental patients was not orderly at all. All the heads and bodies were moving constantly. Each person was a heap of gestures and a chaos of noises and silences, acting in an eternal moment that is without relationship to anyone or anything else.

They were the perfect example of "sinners." In that eternal and absolute moment of self-involvement they were eternally and absolutely "unforgiven." The teaching and the fate of Jesus made no difference to them. They were unforgiven because they would not be converted in their attention. They would not, in other words, cease to sin. They would not turn from self to Life. They would not return their attention to the Absolute and All-Pervading Reality. They maintained their attention on and in themselves to the point of madness, the "black hole" of egoic implosion. Most people have not reached that point. Most people are neurotic and deluded, but they are conventionally sane. They function within the same ritual order that most other people acknowledge to be "reality." Still, everyone is a "sinner," exactly as every madman who came to watch me preach.

All of this is perhaps not quite so obvious to the Sunday morning preacher. When he confronts his dreadfully sane congregation, it may not seem obvious to him that every one present is sinning at that very moment. It is not really obvious to the preacher that he himself is also sinning via the ritual of all his thoughts and acts. He and his congregation have their Jesus, and this makes them orderly, but they have no awareness of the sinless life of ecstatic conversion to the Living Truth! Their attention is on themselves, they are full of concerns, and, together, they believe in the ritual nonsense of ordinary religion, in order to alleviate the critical anxiety of ordinary fear. They are not awakened to true "faith," which is literal God-Communion perhaps because they have not yet experienced and recognized the stark reality of their own madness, their own sinfulness.

The deadly tendency of my own body-mind has always appeared as stark to me as the tendency I could see among the madmen in the mental hospital. The Life-negative and self-meditating tendency of this human mechanism has always been obvious to me. From the beginning of my life, I have been dealing with this literal matter of "sin." However, to the usual man or woman, asleep with all the anchormen of the TV news, the reality and effect of "sin" is not obvious. To the usual man, "sin" is merely conventionally "illicit" behavior, such as stealing, or alcoholism, or sexual intercourse, or even enjoyment itself! A false idea of "sin" only contributes to our fundamental insanity and "sinfulness." "Sin" is not merely or even at all a form of behavior that may be socially inappropriate in a white Christian suburb of puritan America. "Sin" is an anti-spiritual gesture. It is the Life-negative gesture of self-possession. It is the contraction of body and psyche from the Life-Principle. It is self-attention and self-division. It is recoil from Ecstasy, toward the inward obsessiveness of the defined and separative self.

We are all struggling with this chronic gesture of reactive contraction, of psycho-physical recoil, of fear, of self-possession, of self-division, of turning attention away from the Life-Principle and toward all the idols of egoic experience. Such idolatry is the chronically negative substance of everyone's life, even of the highest of lives. It is even part of the substance of the life of Jesus. (This realization should not shock us. In his ecstasy, Jesus was identical to the Spirit that is God, but in his natural state, he was a devotee of God, a mystic, and a man of his own time. Therefore, Jesus himself declares, in the New Testament, that it is not Man that is "Good" even if he is Jesus but only God is "Good," and it is to God that every man and woman must be surrendered.)

Even so, in the context of his own moment of time, Jesus was not an idolator. He angrily denounced the idolatrous trends of his day. He was part of the movement in that epoch of ancient history in which all the "great religions" were developed. In that epoch, the cultural movement of mankind was focused on the realization of the awakening of the undifferentiated psyche to a position of moral and mystical self-consciousness. All the religions of that time existed for that purpose. Thus, they were true in their time. Nevertheless, the concrete mysticism of the ancient cults, including the "inner circle" of Jesus, represents only a moment or an early stage in the ultimate drama of human transformation.

There is a kind of worship of idols in the form of mystical experiences, just as there is in the common idolatry of the scientific and religious worship of the powers of Nature and all the cultic and secular frenzy over the Gods we make from words. Once we pass beyond the limits of our own body-mind, and, therefore, of the ancient concept of mind, we can see that even the mystical realization preached by the ancient esoteric cults is, as much as any other form of idolatry, to be transcended as we mature in Divine Communion. What is offered as the absolute Realization of Truth from the point of view of the ancient mysticism is simply a more highly evolved aspect of human knowledge and experience. But the Truth is a matter of absolute self-transcendence. The Truth is not Realized by the confinement of attention to any form of experience at all, but only by the release of attention, and all the gestures of attention, into the Living Divine Reality.

Therefore, the Truth is the Life-Principle itself, and the Realization of Truth is never Absolute, since the Living Truth must necessarily be Realized in every newly arising moment of existence. The Realization of Truth is an endless Process of constant transcendence of self (and of the functional limits of Man) through psycho-physical surrender into the Life-Principle. Man himself will have become evolutionary rubble long before the experientially reflected Light of God-Realization even begins to produce an intimate glimmer of the Wonder that is yet to be born at Infinity.



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