By now, if you have been reading my earlier Posts, you know that I have started with a special focus on Jesus. I think he was, like Buddha, Lao Tzu, Lord Krishna and others, a great wisdom teacher. He said so many things which we still don’t understand, including in respect of relationships, which is the subject of this 3-part Post.
The reason for starting with him is not that I am trying to propagate Christian religion through these posts. No, for me, every teacher who has managed to say something which has helped others down the ages in understanding themselves and their relationship to the Whole, is a great wisdom teacher. I intend to devote my life reading and writing about all of these great teachers.
I have found Jesus to be one of the most misunderstood figures and his words to have been the most misunderstood words. The more I read the Jesus quotes, especially with my own mystical eyes, the more I begin to see a hidden message, which makes much more sense than the ordinary understanding of Christianity coming from the present day Church.
The scope and beauty of (what appears to be) the real message of Jesus, and its hidden nature, were so substantial and magnetic for me that I could not keep myself from reading the quotes again and again and from starting to write about them. I am planning to write three books based on the teachings of Jesus, the first of which is now in the process of being self- published.
Going back to relationships, I would like to present a few quotes of Jesus.
The first one is from the Book of Luke, one of the first four books in the New Testament (also called the Gospels). In Luke Chapter 9, Jesus meets a man on the road and says to him, “Follow me”. Jesus was a very perceptive guy. He could look at someone and see their spiritual aura and know immediately whether the person had any spiritual tendencies. And whenever he used to come across such people, he used to invite them to join him as a disciple.
Now, this guy that Jesus met, his father had just died and he was apparently busy with the burial rituals. He wanted to follow Jesus, but he also wanted to go through the burial ceremony. So he says to Jesus, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
Jesus says, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
But isn’t that preposterous? How could Jesus tell a guy whose father has died, “Let the dead bury their dead”?
Lets go deeper into it. It seems to have two meanings:
Firstly, he is referring to people who have not understood the meaning and significance of life, which is 99.9999999% of us. We think that life begins when we are physically born and life ends when we die physically. The essence of Jesus’ message was that we come from the eternal / the divine and we return to it after sometime. We are eternal. There is no question of birth and death. What we consider as our birth and our death are illusions arising from the world of ego and images that we live in.
When Jesus says, “Let the dead bury their dead”, he is also telling us that if we believe that physical death is actual death, then we are dead too. We have not yet woken up to the reality of eternal life. We are the living dead. Whereas, those that have realised the eternal reality, those who understand what life actually is are those who have entered what he calls the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. And those are the only ones who are actually alive and they shall never die.
So, in a way, Jesus is telling the guy: wake up, your father is not dead. None of us ever dies. Come out of this illusion and follow me. You’ll see what i mean.
Secondly, lets think about this for a while. What could be more important for a person than to attend his own father’s funeral? Nothing, right? Yet, here is Jesus, telling the man to move on. It seems like he is telling him something very very important. Maybe he saw something in that man, a potential to understand something beyond the immediately visible. And he saw that he had in fact appeared in the man’s life at a very very critical moment, i.e., his father’s funeral. And that if he could deliver the right message in the right way at this right time, then the man would have a huge opportunity to move beyond, to attain instant enlightenment, to open the door to the kingdom of heaven and just enter.
Just as the man’s dead father is lying there and (we can assume) everyone is probably crying and women are wailing, Jesus comes along and he is telling the man to ignore all this and to go and proclaim the kingdom of God.
It is almost as if he is trying to shock the man into awareness. He is telling the man that these relationships are not the most important thing in the world. There are other things you should be focusing on.
In Matthew 12 (Bible), it happens that while Jesus is talking to people, his mother and brothers come to meet him. Jesus’ disciples come and tell him that his family has come to meet him. Jesus says, “Who are my mother and brothers?” And then he points to his disciples and says, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my mother and brother and sister.”
That is Jesus’ definition of family. When you do God’s will, you are Jesus’ family. So, then, what is God’s will?
In Matthew 22 (Bible), when someone asked Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment in the law (meaning Jewish scriptures)?”, Jesus replied that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart and soul and mind. And that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbour as ourself. So, basically, love God and love everyone. To put it in one word… love. That is the greatest commandment. Jesus is saying that whoever loves, is his (Jesus’) family. It’s not about who is related to who and from which side and how many generations back and related in what way. No, none of that.
Essentially, if we can learn to love, then everyone is family. And if we fail to learn what love is, then no one is family.
And I could not follow Jesus more than in this respect. Love is the only true relationship.
Now, what is actually happening in our own lives? We need a reason to hate. We are all haters. There are very few in this world who have the ability to love someone without any reason.
We need a very good reason to love someone, a very strong reason; there has to be something very special in it for us. Only then can we love. Otherwise, we are not interested.
But when it comes to hate, we don’t take a second to conclude that someone is bad and worthy of our hatred. Quicker than the speed of light.
Why? The same fear of death, which (as we saw in Part 1 of this Post) makes us love, also makes us hate. It is a double edged sword. We love others because of fear and we hate others because of fear.
Instead of love (as Jesus was telling us), we have made fear the basic relationship. Fear is the lens through which we see people and decide to either love or hate. And mostly it is hate.
Now, lets talk about love. What is this love that Jesus was talking about? Is it the love we have in our present day lives? Or is it something else? No, the love in our current lives is nothing but give and take. It is a set of commercial transactions. I need something from you, you need something from me, we come together, hold hands and tell each other, “I love you”.
No, that’s not Jesus’ love. That is not Kabir’s love. That is not Rumi’s love.
Jesus’ love and Kabir’s love and Rumi’s love is when we are not. ‘We’ cannot love. Because we are just the ego. And ego cannot love. Ego is a set of images which divides, me from you, you from him, him from them and so on. The only function of the ego is to divide. That’s how ego functions. As long as ‘I’ exist, I cannot love. When ‘I’ die (not the physical death, but the death of the ego), love is. When ‘I’ die, ‘You’ also die and both merge into a loving oneness. The lover meets the beloved and the two become one. That is Jesus’ love.
I cannot love and you cannot love in the way Jesus is talking about love. And no one else can love in the way Jesus is talking about love. Love is not an action to be carried out. It is a state of being which is as yet unfathomable and undefinable by us as we are. It comes about when all divisions cease to exist and when I and you and everything melts and merges and returns to the eternal flow of oneness, wholeness and nothingness. The only time we come close to feeling it is when we accidentally pop out of our ego for a moment and feel an affinity for something or someone which or who has nothing to give to us.
Observe your life closely in the coming days and be alert to moments when you smile at something or someone from whom you want nothing!
That is love and that is the only relationship worth having!
All the rest is commercial BS!