22 May, 2019

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The Mystery Of Christ

By Jagath Asoka

Dr. Jagath Asoka

I invite you to take a break from mundane things such as petty-party-politics and pay attention to things that will remain as mysteries forever, because no one can know these things; we are moving in a world of images and concepts and none of our reflections touches the essence of these mysteries; perhaps, we can experience them.

There is only one way to look at mundane things that are going on around you: With aloof amusement because soon you will forget everything, and everything will forget you.

Even a Buddhist must ask, “Is it possible to live my life that is modelled on Christ’s or to live my own life as truly as Christ lived his: betrayed, denied, mocked, crucified, and abandoned?What is the driving force behind your own life? Does the public opinion or the moral code stands behind your action, or is it your unconscious personality, which is a mystery? Just like the Buddha and Christ, are we what we always were?

Recently, I did a small survey and asked, “What is the actual meaning of the word ‘Christ’?” I am not going to reveal the results of my survey for obvious reasons. Go figure!

If the divine experience is lost, God is dead, and the mystery has faded in you, what is next for you?

Probably you have heard or read the following: The son of God died; this is believable because it does not make sense. And after he was buried he rose again; this is quite certain because it is impossible.” Wow! Surely, this kind of thinking is not for the faint hearted.

If you are a Christian, the grace of God is everything to you; you are puny, so always be mindful of your impotence; the death and resurrection of Jesus brought salvation. In Buddhist soteriology, when the ego disappears, man redeems himself; a Gnostic would say that the divine substance hidden within us is known only to a very few. When you look at what is happening everywhere, it seems like “God is really dead; He is not pretending to be dead. Who is going to resurrect Him?”: at least psychologically. The Old Testament God is like a sea of grace on fire. In the Old Testament, Yahweh revealed himself in Nature; sometimes he was cruel; in the New Testament, God became man: Now, man is God, and God is man.

If you are a Buddhist—I invite you—visit an empty, old church; if you are a Christian, visit an old Buddhist temple on a full moon day when people are not around. You will experience numinosum which will alter your consciousness. When there is religious sentimentality instead of the numinosum of divine experience, then you know that religion has lost its living mystery. For most people, creed and dogma may not after all have any meaning in their lives. There are people who have had an immediate experience; they would not submit to the ecclesiastical authority. For dogma to survive, dogma must be a living thing which is capable of change and development.

Is Jesus God? This is a theological question, and I am—a student of religion—cannot answer that question. My views on religion are not based on creed, dogma, devotion, or faith, but on my own experience. Around 2.4 billion—out of 7.6 billion people—would say, “Yes, Jesus is God.” Though I am not a Christian, how Jesus became God fascinates me, and I plan to be a student of religion for the rest of my life. If I must bet, I would go with Blaise Pascal to satisfy both contingencies:  existence and not existence of God.

The claim that Jesus was God separated early Christians from Judaism. Why did Christianity spread through the pagan world so rapidly? Was Adonis, the archetypal dying-and-rising god, a prefiguration of Christ? Was the Osiris-Horus-Isis myth a prefiguration of the Christian legend of salvation? Why did the pagans embrace Christian symbols with such alacrity? Was it because they were similar or sometimes identical? If Emperor Constantine had not converted to Christianity, or Emperor Asoka had not embraced Buddhism, all of us would probably be pagans or Jews; certainly, I would be a pagan!

Throughout the history, there have been numerous ways that people have understood the divinity of Jesus. The Trinity, which is a mystery to me—there are three distinct persons, namely, God, Jesus, and the holy spirit, yet there is only one almighty God who manifests in all three persons—was not the view of Jesus or the followers of Jesus during Jesus’ life time.

The basic historical questions are very simple: When did the followers of Jesus start believing that Jesus was divine or God? The sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of John about his divinity do not make much sense from a historical point of view; theologically, of course. When they started believing that Jesus was God, what did they mean? Was Jesus co-eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and identical with God, God the Father? First it was homoiousia then homoousia. In addition to being fully divine, Jesus is fully human, so the Trinity is a revelation of both God and man: man is God, and God is man. Some people think that other peoples’ religions are fiction: They think only their religion consists of facts.

Throughout Christian history there have been several ways that his followers have understood how Jesus is God.  As far as history is concerned, what people thought of Jesus’ divinity has changed over the years. The divinity of Jesus changed from the beginning with Docetism, Separatism, Modalism, and the Trinity. I have no desire to explain these concepts because most people do not give a hoot about these concepts, but these concepts will edify, illuminate, and tantalize you. In Christianity, God and Satan are separate: Two separate seas, a sea of grace and a sea of fire.

The Shadow is very much a part of human nature. When the learned try to repress the demons within them, they force the demons to revolt. A small evil becomes the Devil if you disregard and repress it. Are you weary of bad people of the world, especially when you are one of them? A Buddhist would say the gods and demons are truly within him; they well up from unknown depths and reveal themselves to us through our feelings, thoughts, and actions. Know your gods and demons because they have an effect on you.

Every deep realization of humanity arises from the suffering of the body and soul. All people suffer, but not all pity themselves: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing. All of us die, but not all of us die whining: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit!”

Whether you are a Christian, a Buddhist, a Hindu, or a Muslim, if you can help it, please never preach your belief! I think God and Christ would hate exaggeration.

I know that I am an omnireligiophile and a perpetual student of religion. If you know in what form a man can experience God, please let me know.

Merry Christmas. And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness, for auld lang syne.

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    God’s Word, the Bible, makes it very narrow.
    There are no several ways to God.
    Only ONE.
    That ONE way is not a religion but a person, God who became man.
    It is not a way of life. Jesus said, I am the way,the truth and the life.
    There is no re birth but new birth.
    If you are born once, you will die twice,normal death and eternal lake of fire.
    If you are born twice , only one death, or even not one,
    a person who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ may be caught up when the Lord Jesus returns to the sky.
    1 Corinthians 15:

    51 Behold, I shew you a mystery;
    We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

    52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
    at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound,
    and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
    and we shall be changed.

    1 Thessalonians 4:

    13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

    14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

    15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

    • 1
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      IS jEESHAs GOD – THE ALMIGHTY ????

      Watch the video.. Ponder .. Use Brain with reasosns.. DO NOT HAVE BLIND BELIEF.. DO NOT TRUST PRIESTS …
      watch ;

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPDS3K-iVbk

  • 3
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    Detailed look at what we did in a Country full of all the beautiful religions and cultures……..this itself is part of the diversity of the creator just as the bio diversity around us and all the God’s have challenged the humans and said please demonstarate your understanding of the spirituality/responsibility I have given to you………for cohabitation amongst yourself and all other elements/nature around you…….

    What we do………..plug all the flowers belongs to nature/bees for pollination and throw them at the God??? Pour milk over a stone having just stolen that from a mother cow made for her baby……..gold plate something…..religious treasury full of money when people staff on the street…….kill each other in the name of religion as thugh God has asked us to protect him/her……look at the trashed up environment….something has gone wrong…..in my village I have cast system and even a temple access is a risky affair…..do we know what it is gone wrong???????clergy men pointing fingers at people in anger..priests sexually abusing children…..list goes on.

  • 1
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    You said lot of confusing things however answering your last question. If you claim to be “perpetual student of religion”, read Romans Ch.1, answer is there. Start from universal guilt declares in Rom.1:22-25 “Claiming to be wise, they became fools…” What kind of wickedness? – “the suppressing of truth”. What truth? Read Rom.1: 19-21.

    God reveals that He exists, that He has eternal power and deity. All men receive this revelation. God does not reveal Himself only to a small elite group of scholars or priests but to all mankind. It is clear and unambiguous. This knowledge “gets through”. Man’s problem is not that he doesn’t know God exists, but that he refuses to acknowledge what he knows to be true. This revelation has been going on since creation. The whole creation is a glorious theater giving a magnificent display of its creator. The revelation is sufficient to render man inexcusable: None will ever be able to say to God, “I’m sorry I didn’t know you existed. I didn’t think there was sufficient evidence to affirm your existence”.

    Now, if all men have heard of God but naturally reject Him, then it follows that all men need to know of the redemption offered in Christ. To have no knowledge of Christ is to be in jeopardy because of the prior rejection of the revelation of the God. But to hear of Christ and reject Him is to be in a state of double jeopardy.

    Anyone who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6). “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one” (Acts 17).

  • 1
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    I don’t think anyone here seriously believes in the existence of God, Santa or Satan.

    • 2
      1

      Even Donald Trump was trying to verify whether a seven year old American Child still believed in Santa!
      At what age do Sri Lankans stop believing in God, Satan and Santa?

  • 2
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    As per the bible, the purpose of any Christian is to search for everlasting love and spread love in this world.

    Jesus is the way, because he showed us the same by living, dying and resurrecting.

    Christians believe Jesus is God himself.

    If I ask you what is h2o? The answer is water. Then I will ask in what form? The answer could be liquid, solid or vapor.

    God is the same. Christians believe God in 3 forms. Father, Son(Jesus) and Holy spirit.

    You cannot teach how tasty is a biriyani to an Eskimo, without letting him or her to taste it.

    Similarly only way to understand is through exercise. Hence it is a religion but not a philosophy.

  • 0
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    You are entitled to your ‘ I think’s..
    Others think differently..

  • 1
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    In what form is God known?

    In your spirit as Spirit when you are United in Christ’s spirit/
    Humans can’t see God He hides His face to protect us. but
    You can see His glory as did Moses, then you can experience His pure joy and love,

    Brother get over words. Desire Christ. Christ is God you will experience.

  • 0
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    ‘ Everyone seemed to be against God: the Young Pioneers, the teachers,the headmaster,the speakers on the radio – the whole country. It didn’t seem fair. Even in schoolyard games they were not allowed to gang up on one person. Also it seemed odd that they all pitched such a furious battle against someone they said didn’t exist anyway.
    Today Irina was wondering,as she often had,why the teachers even bothered with the truckloads of words she was dumping from the front of the room.
    ” God doesn’t exist,” the instructor said again .
    ” Only silly, ignorant old women believe in Him”.
    Can’t they tell they are giving themselves away? Thought Irina.
    Adults tell you there are no Gremlins or ghosts. They tell you once or twice, and that’s it. But with God,they tell you over and over again. So He must exist – and He must be very powerful for them to fear Him so greatly.’.
    ( From.’ In the Beginning’ – Irina Ratushinskaya) you are

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