The Story of Jesus

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About no person on this earth has so much been written as about Jesus of Nazareth, now generally called Christ. Yet in his own time that prophet was so far from being famous that the most learned of men have maintained that he is nowhere mentioned by name in ancient books, until the advent of the writings now known as the New Testament. And it has even been maintained that Jesus never lived, and that the gospels are nothing but fiction. But that is absurd. It is clear from the gospel story that the story is told of a man who existed; and also that there is more truth in the aspects of the story, which have been deemed especially unbelievable, than even latter-day theological scholars have believed.

It is most interesting to consider the story of Jesus in light of new science and new philosophy, which make it easier than before for us to ascertain what is most true and correct in the accounts of Jesus. And it also becomes more clear to us than before, who of the evangelists are the most reliable. Matthew and Mark are clearly more historically accurate than the others, while Luke is more literary, and John philosophical.

Some light is cast upon the nature of Jesus by the Greek myth of creation, as it is told in Plato’s Timaeus. The supreme creator divided the soul of the world among the stars, thus creating gods who were immortal and strangely perfect, although less perfect than he. And he assigned these gods in their turn to create on yet other planets – as stated in Pythagoras’ remarkable words, to which I have reason to believe I am the first to draw attention – a lesser, more imperfect life, which is subject to death. And, while the theory is far from clear, one may nonetheless read from it what is said in Timaeus: that the purpose of life is to attain perfection by overcoming the obstacles posed by the material. We must view this creation myth in conjunction with the Greek belief in the daemon, the spirit which accompanies and protects (a) man, which could sometimes be of such a transcendent nature as to be truly called a god. And, as I have mentioned elsewhere, through the bond with the daemon the truth may be glimpsed, that the daemon inhabits another planet. In general it appears to be difficult for the daemon to achieve the connection with a human being which is necessary in order to be able to protect him, and guide him onto the path of perfection; but should the human being have the good fortune to see the daemon, he will feel that he is seeing himself, only inexpressibly more beautiful and perfect. That this was the experience of the excellent philosopher Plotinus may, as I have explained in the previous essay, be deduced from his own words. And that has been my own experience, and it has been of extraordinary significance to me, although on only a single occasion; for it was of essential help to me in understanding this fundamental aspect of our existence.

Jesus was unlike other men, in that his relationship with his daemon, whom he called Father, was so perfect that he attained abilities which, in other people, either do not exist so far as one can tell, or only at a far less advanced stage. One of the consequences of this close connection is that Jesus could work miracles (in Greek dynameis, the plural of dynamis = power). But the nature of the miracles becomes clearer to us when we consider that life itself is a form of empowerment, resulting from the “charging” of the material. And Jesus experienced this empowerment more than others, due to his close connection with the “Father.” However, the gospel story clearly indicates that this connection was contingent upon the Law of Determinants. The connection was at its most perfect, and Jesus’ ability to perform miracles was at its greatest, when a mass of people “believed in him,” while the talent largely disappeared when Jesus encountered disbelief and scorn. “The power of the Lord was present to heal them,” says Luke (5:17), and also “there went virtue out of him, and healed them all” (6:19). But on occasion these “divine powers” could be limited. Jesus came to Nazareth, the city where he had grown up, but here “he could do no mighty work.” The people there “were offended at him,” and remarked: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?”(Mark 6). And according to Matthew (Chapter 13) “he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”

When we add together the most likely aspects of the accounts of these two evangelists, the outcome is that Jesus could work no miracles in the town where people had known him since childhood, because he was not honoured there. We learn that even his brothers had no faith in him. It was precisely due to this lack of belief in

Jesus, there in Nazareth, that the connection with the “Father” and the concomitant empowerment could not attain the level required in order for him to perform miracles.

Luke too tells (Chapter 4) of Jesus’ visit to Nazareth: but he appears not to have noticed this most interesting aspect of his sojourn there, recounted by Mark and Matthew. It is indicated only indirectly by Jesus’ words: “Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.”

In the Gospel of St. John we find in Chapter 7 a hint of Jesus’ experience in Nazareth: “For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.” (A more correct rendering would be father’s city, or home town.)

But let us now consider the implications of people’s belief in the great prophet. Jesus moved the multitudes to a higher pitch of belief and admiration than ever before when he was able to arrange for all to be fed, although the food available had been sufficient only to feed a few mouths. After that he became so empowered that he was able to walk on water. I find it more likely, however, that he hovered over the surface of the water, as the god Hermes did, according to Homer. And in fact all of us have some idea, from our sleep memories, what it is to float above the earth in that way: and this derives from our dream-giver, who has just learned to travel in this impressive manner from place to place.

The same influence of attunement explains the most marvellous event recounted in the gospels. Jesus had again performed the miracle which was conducive to winning the faith and admiration of the multitude: he had fed thousands of people, on food which no-one previously knew was there. A little later he took with him up onto a high mountain three of his disciples – probably the three most likely to be conducive to the marvellous event taking place. And in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun, and his raiment became white as the light. Beside him appeared two radiant beings, whom the disciples took to be his revered precursors Moses and Elijah. I see no reason to doubt the truth of this event, although it is somewhat surprising that the Gospel of St. John makes no mention of it. But the event is entirely consistent with all Jesus’ nature and conduct as described in the gospels. That was the zenith. Jesus was transfigured due to the influence of the visitors from afar, and came to resemble more than before the more advanced inhabitants of another planet, probably the one he called “the kingdom of God,” where his “Father” was king. For this was a visit from another planet, a portent of that which must become a common festive event on our earth, if mankind is to be successfully saved from damnation.

It is not unlikely that it was after these encounters with members of a more advanced human society that Jesus began to speak increasingly strangely, which led to most of his disciples concluding that he had gone mad, and abandoning him. But we can well understand the tendency of that talk. It presages the understanding which will become common currency, when the connection with the more advanced inhabitants of other planets has attained the necessary level: understanding of the purpose of life. Admittedly, it was manifested in such a strange and obscure way that people can hardly be blamed for believing that he was delusional. His most bizarre words are these: “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” and “he that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” In addition he said: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

The import of these words is that Jesus was an intermediary of sorts with a more advanced form of existence, and that, in order to establish a connection with it, people must gain a share of the energy which emanated from him. And in truth that energy closely resembled that which created from lifeless materials the components of bread, and of flesh and blood. It is because Jesus is empowered by that energy that he can say: “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” And it is possible that there are other signs of his remarkable telepathic state. But even though the empowerment from the higher being, the “Father,” was so great that the energy emanating from Jesus was sufficient to correct what had gone amiss in other bodies, and even to reawaken a life which had been quenched, his connection did not suffice to enable him to explain in comprehensible terms to his disciples what they most needed to know. And he himself appears to have realised that his teachings were imperfect, and hence he spoke to his disciples about the spirit of truth who would come and “teach you all things.” These words may truly be seen as predicting that science will come to replace religion, with respect to life after death and the purpose of life. And we may say that with the appearance of Swedenborg this prophecy came true in some part: for the Swedish philosopher’s theory of life after death far exceeds what the gospels tell us of these matters. But as a miracle-worker Swedenborg was far inferior to Jesus, for the conditions for such feats were far less favourable in Sweden than in Palestine.

There is something which clearly indicates that those who maintain that Jesus is a purely fictional character, are wrong: the fact that the evangelists make no attempt to conceal that Jesus was, in some imperfections, not entirely unlike other men. The same man who said “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you” vilified his opponents as a “generation of vipers.” And he cursed a fig tree which bore no figs, although the fruiting season had yet to arrive. Jesus’ human imperfection is also illustrated by the way he said that the end of the world was nigh, so imminent that some of those who were listening to him would be received into eternal life without dying. But it would hardly be correct to call this a false prophecy. Jesus’ dire prophecies prefigure the Book of Revelation, which recounts a holocaust on another planet, probably the very one which Jesus saw in his mind’s eye, due to his connection with the “Father.” He then attributed to our own earth the terrifying events which took place on the other planet, as did French engineer/visionary Cabarel, who, as I have mentioned before, experienced telepathic visions of the destruction of mankind on another planet, but imagined that he was seeing the future of mankind on this earth.

The most remarkable statement attributed to Jesus is the sublime words of the fourth gospel [St. John], where he prays to the “Father” that those who believe in him “all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us,” and furthermore: “that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.”

These words may be interpreted as presaging the Hyperzoon theory, or the idea that life in the Universe should become one, but in such a way that the individual remains fully autonomous. This objective is achieved by perfect harmonisation of forms of life; the farther we have progressed along that path, the more perfect the connection with the eternal source of energy. And the aim is to make the world become god almighty. This must be the aim of everything. Every step which tends in that direction is right; every step which goes astray is wrong. And we can tell that we here on earth have not progressed far, by the degree to which life here is a life of corruption and predation – yet man is his own worst enemy.

But it was not possible to have any notion of how magnificent the role is, and – to use a word not entirely apt – the destiny, which awaits us all, who live such an imperfect life here on the periphery of creation, so long as there is no knowledge of the greatness of the universe, where distances are so great that even a ray of light is millions of years travelling them, and where constellations in which are hundreds of millions of suns are only as tiny particles in comparison with the greater domains of the universe. It is in such a universe that life should grow towards perfection; in such a universe divine life should rule entirely.