When we take the first sentence in the Gospel of St John, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” and consider Jesus as a person, these words are enough to assume that the Words in the Bible are absolutes. In other words, we can accept that as the truth and nothing but the truth because the Words are spoken by a person who is God. These words are historical, evidential and, therefore, extend to exegesis, a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of Scripture.
That is how we understood religion before and after Christ’s appearance on Earth. Religious authorities interpret and explain our religious scriptures and that is where our understanding and exploration remains. We have come to rely heavily on men and women in authority and influence to tell us what the truth is and expect them to lead us even through life. In other words, truth is based on the weight of the person who is proclaiming it to be fact. We have become so reliant on experts to tell us what is true, give us direction, lead us through chaos, and give us short answers for quick fixes to problems that seem to have no end. Accordingly, we have become conformists without inquiry.
Whether the expert is saying the truth or hyperbole or flat out falsehood, seems irrelevant to our considerations. We accept it for what it is. If we resist this, we become recalcitrant to the Churches, and unmanageable in our work places. Divisions, racial profiling, religious extremism, or total indifference are the inevitable outcomes for those who choose to remain complacent to the so-called experts. We must find ways to free ourselves from this dilemma.
This paradox as I described thus far, is not without a solution.
Let us now consider the last sentence written in the Gospel of St John, “But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”
If we could spread the number of unwritten books across the Earth, assuming the average size of the book is 6 x 9″ (230 x 150mm), we could possibly come up with an absolute number as a result. But if we spread and stack the books one on top of another, this number is literally infinity. That is how much information and knowledge about Jesus is missing in the Bible. Relatively, the Bible as it is, can only remain as the Words of “hints” that could lead us in further exploration to know Christ in the Words in the infinite number of unwritten books. Nonetheless, the entire knowledge about Jesus Christ is imperative to every Christian since knowledge is required to sustain in love, if we were to love God.
To learn how we gain the full knowledge about Jesus Christ, we need to start by delving into the hints given by Christ. “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). Invariably, the Holy Spirit will teach us ‘everything’ about Christ. But how do we listen and learn from the Holy Spirit?
First of all, the Holy Spirit is not a God who is a person. He is Pure Consciousness. He does not speak to us as a person would. His words are not evidential or given to us in palatable doses. His manifestations do not reflect in signs or wonders. They are revealed to us in a state of mindfulness in which our minds are emptied of thoughts, ideas and intelligent rationales. Our minds must remain ready to witness all the wonders, and remain in the astonishment without even a desire to interpret anything we witness.
This is not a contemplative state in which our minds are somewhat active. This is a meditative state in which our minds and senses are inactive but totally restful and incredibly alert. This is the state the Psalmists aptly described as “stillness.” “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10). For a logical mind, the question may arise as to how we learn when our minds are inactive.
In Exodus 14:14, there is a hint about what happens in our stillness; “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.” In a literal sense, when we are fighting in a theater of war, our senses are extraordinarily alert but our minds should not be in a state of logical interpretations of what is going on around us. If we do, we will lose precious time in reacting according to our training to what is going on around us. Otherwise, we will quickly perish. Yet, God is telling us to be “still” and He will fight the war for us. In other words, we have no need to concern ourselves with anything we encounter or witness along the way.
However, this stillness does not happen because we want it; it is a learned attribute. It requires a serious spiritual expedition to know Christ our Savior. Any expedition requires some preparation. If we were to hike and explore a mountain, we need to start preparing ourselves to learn more about the mountain by reading books and browsing through whatever information available on the internet. Besides, we have to eat the right food, practice the right exercises to strengthen our bodies, and also pack what we will need for our trip.
However, spiritual expedition requires a different preparedness. Processes may be the same but the target is “knowledge about our Self.” Spirituality begins with the knowledge of the Self. We must explore ourselves fearlessly and discover how we contribute to the root-cause of everything that goes on in our lives. We cannot readily change the world we live in, but we can change ourselves.
This self-learning requires knowing how we have become so vulnerable and reliant on experts to tell us what is true, give us direction, lead us through chaos, and give us short answers for quick fixes for problems that seem to have no end. What brought us to this quandary? First of all, how did we contribute to this from our end; and, secondly, how did others, our environment, and learning methodologies make us so vulnerable?
Self-learning is neither straightforward nor easy. It requires a relationship and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it requires prayers. It is okay to start this with ritualistic prayers that we are accustomed to saying. But it must progress into not as much the words we use in prayers, but teaching ourselves to intently listen and observe as the Holy Spirit takes over our prayers and prays Himself for us. The answers, self-learning, and life in the Wisdom of God will be the eventual outcome of this relationship.
The book, Supreme Realization, A Journey into the Depths of Conscious Energy, by Anthony Nayagan, describes in detail about how to begin and progress in this journey.