Jesus the Man

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Jesus the Man

Post by Wes on Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:02 am

Silver Birch had a few things to say about religion and about Jesus, who he referred to as the Nazarene, as a way to separate Jesus the man from Jesus the Christ.  He said that “men of God” and their teachings had nothing to do with the Nazarene, and wonders what they would do if they only “knew how the Nazarene wept at the way the churches which are named after him continue to betray him.”

To get a glimpse at what this betrayal was, you would need to put aside all the stories about Jesus, written after his death by people who did not know him (and had their own agendas to promote), and go back to what we really know about Jesus and his message.

The historical Jesus takes up just a footnote in history, sentenced to death by the occupying Romans in Palestine for the crime of sedition.  His crime was the attack on the temple in Jerusalem, which sits at odds with the peaceful, mild nature that we are led to believe Jesus had.  Yet this is the historical bedrock that we have for Jesus from which to build a picture of who he was.

We can glean a bit of Jesus’ intentions from the words of his brother James, who led the movement begun by Jesus after his death.  James’s philosophy was recorded by one of his followers and it can reasonably be assumed that a lot of James’s ideas came from his brother.

It’s likely that he was an illiterate peasant from Nazareth, whose acts and words built a following in small towns around Palestine.  He attracted the ire of the religious establishment in Jerusalem because he dared to heal the sick and cast out evil spirits, for free!   This was just not the done thing at the time, and was a challenge to the Temple of Jerusalem where everything came at a price.

Jesus wanted to establish God’s Kingdom on earth which would be achieved by removing the church as the stumbling block between god and his people, eliminating materialism, and living under the Law of Moses, which among other things included strict adherence to the Ten Commandments.

When Jesus first entered Jerusalem, he intended to make an impression, he had his inner circle of 12 with him as well as his larger following, and at least a few were armed with swords.  He went to the Temple and violently upended moneychanger’s tables, and one would assume that physical violence could have been used on those who tried to protect their property from this attack.

This was not only a challenge to the religious status quo of the day but by extension a challenge to Roman rule of the city.  So it is possible that Jesus really did have a bit of a god-complex, that he really thought he would achieve what the Messiah was expected to do: To overthrow the Romans and establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Self-proclaimed Messiahs were not unusual in Palestine with Hezekiah the bandit chief, Judas the Galilean, Menaham, Simon son of Giora, “the Egyptian” and others all promising much and delivering little.  It’s worth noting that to wear the title of Messiah did not mean you were the Son of God and did not mean you were anything other than human.

Yet something about Jesus and his message lived on after his death at the hands of the Romans.  After Jesus’ execution, his brother James led the expanding movement from Jerusalem and gained the respect of many, earning him the title of “James the Just” even from those who did not believe that his brother was the Messiah.


Last edited by Wes on Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by Wes on Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:02 am

The problem with believing Jesus was the Messiah was that he died with his revolution unfinished, and perhaps to get around this inconvenience the whole story about his resurrection could have arisen. This way Jesus could return to lead his people to freedom.

James continued to preach his brother’s words about overthrowing the existing order, casting out the rich, empowering the poor, and following the Law of Moses to the letter.  In other words, in his eyes, you are judged by your works, not by your faith.
A few years after Jesus’ death, James was also executed, and a few years later saw Jerusalem rise up against the Romans, and for a while they were free.  Until the Romans came and slaughtered all its habitants.  That was the end of the movement begun by Jesus.

What took its place was a corrupted version based on Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus where he encountered the “divine” christ.  This led him to believe that faith in christ was the most important thing that you could have, and all of your works and deeds were secondary.  This “get out of goal free” card has led to countless acts of violence and oppression to be committed in the name of Jesus.

After this betrayal of Jesus’ work, it’s no wonder Silver Birch would only refer to him as the Nazarene.

A movement that began as one of “free health care”, spiritual growth, personal responsibility and self-determination, became one of subservience to men’s creed and dogma that absolved you from any responsibility for actions committed under their direction.

Regarding the question of which is more important, faith or works, Silver Birch said that “None can remove the results of your actions from your shoulders. You are personally responsible for everything you do and think”

In other words, repenting all your sins on your death bed, saying as many hail marys as instructed, or giving to the church will not in any way clean the slate or balance the ledger in your favour.
 
Jesus wept indeed.  Yet according to Silver Birch, Jesus continues to work tirelessly to finish the work he physically began two millennia ago.  To continue to be the healer, teacher, medium and revolutionary that he was on earth.
 
Now that’s something to have faith in, because all Jesus’ accomplishments were achieved as a human being. A human born the same way we were, a human that had the same divine spark wrapped in flesh that we have now.  The same divine spark that seeks to shine as brightly though us as it does through Jesus.

(These words were inspired by three books: Zealot by Reza Aslan; Philosophy of Silver Birch; and More Philosophy of Silver Birch.)
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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by mac on Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:42 am

"Yet according to Silver Birch, Jesus continues to work tirelessly to finish the work he physically began two millennia ago. To continue to be the healer, teacher, medium and revolutionary that he was on earth."

Does the spirit who incarnated as Jesus the Nazarene have any special relevance for the movement of Modern Spiritualism? And if, as seems likely, this individual/entity is working to finish a task started two millennia ago, one might wonder when/if such work would ever be considered as finished.

Might it be that there is a spirit entity which is the sole guide for this world from its creation through to its unavoidable end, an entity that once incarnated as a teacher/healer/guide at a particular time for a particular task? Or maybe Jesus was the manifestation by one spirit entity among others? Some who sometimes incarnate while others work in the background, but all engaged in guiding the souls who come to experience the potentially-unique experiences found here?

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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by Wes on Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:03 am

Thanks Mac. The main relevance this version of Jesus would have for Modern Spiritualism is that he was a role model that today's spiritualists could follow: He went from town to town spreading his philosophy, performing skilled acts of healing and mediumship for free, and had the principles to question the status quo and then to challenge it.

Compare that to more than one "spiritualist" church here, where you will receive no healing, see nothing that could be called mediumship, and will not hear anything about spiritualist philosophy.

Silver Birch talks of Jesus as the "guiding intelligence behind all the work we do" and claims that he was an advanced being that volunteered to incarnate physically on earth to help humanity along.  He refers to Jesus as the leader of their movement but offers no detail as to the movement's goals, techniques and time-plans.

He does talk about "working according to a plan" that require convincing us one at a time and using evidence, reason and co-operation as the tools of conversion.  

Silver Birch does make reference to powerful beings in his world that decided that "the power of spirit should flow outside the established religions because it could not make itself felt within them" which implies a change of approach and perhaps another change of approach is needed now, due to the steep decline in mediumship standards.

Silver Birch was asked if Jesus had reincarnated a number of times and his reply was not definitive, saying only that the spirit power that found expression through the Nazarene is the same spirit power that seeks expression within us all, with differences of degree but no difference in the kind of spirit.

Your last paragraph is intriguing, as Silver Birch talks a lot about Divine Plans and the movement that he is a part of, yet we don't know how many other movements there are, or how influential they are, if there is a hierarchy of movements, and if their goals are compatible with each other.  So like you I wonder "who is in charge?"

 Apparently there were from time to time, beings incarnating on earth with similar goals and abilities to Jesus, yet we are not told who they are and if they now work within Jesus' movement or have movements of their own, or have simply moved on, or as you suggest, now work in the background.

There is much to ponder on this topic...


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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by mac on Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:56 am

Thanks, Wes, you've made some interesting comments on my earlier piece.  A propos nothing particular I notice we registered on this website within a couple of days of one another.  I'm not sure how I found my way here but it might have been via Spiritualist Chatroom (sadly now little used) Was that your route?

I agree with the points in your first paragraph.  Some years back I presented an argument somewhere that a door-knocking 'mission' might be one way to get over the message of survival.  Someone to talk about the fundamentals with an experienced medium delivering a personal link to spirit.  It wasn't a serious proposal but rather something to get a dialogue going - it didn't!  But your proposal isn't so very different and perhaps needed if churches and centres aren't providing the mediumship that once they did....

Thank you for refreshing my memory about what SB had to say.  It's years since I read his words and I've forgotten much.  I'm not proud about that and have often vowed I would re-stock my library (my books were 'lent' but not returned) of his compiled teachings so I'm not such an ignoramus as at present.  But then I ask myself what for? Although I often mention SB in online forums only rarely do I get positive questions about his teachings and generally I have enough knowledge to answer the few questions raised.  I don't need to provide verbatim details.

The little exposure I now get to matters of the spirit is online.  If what I see there reflects the interest of the current generation then I don't see much of a role for the Spiritualist movement with its teachings about survival and communication via mediumship.  I doubt it will totally disappear but my guess is that something different will need to emerge and perhaps that is planned - a movement more appropriate for today?  

I don't expect it to happen before I kick my clogs, another thirty years at best (worst?  Wink ) I'm guessing.  Not long to wait before I'll be able to research from t'other side, if I'm still interested, the big picture concerning this world.  I enjoyed hearing your thoughts and there is indeed much to ponder but I've reached the point where it's less interesting for me than it was only a few years ago.  

Maybe that's mostly down to the aging process?  Laughing 

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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by Wes on Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:02 am

Perhaps you've reached a point where you know what you need to know  Smile 

The two "Philosophy of..." books are handy reference books for Silver Birch as they group his teachings into themed chapters, which simplifies researching pieces like the original post.

I may have joined this forum through the same route you did, through the SCR or a similar forum, at any rate is was due to Jim & Lis' involvement - as they were in charge of the spiritualist church I was attending.

If spiritualism is to stay relevant, it's hard to see how it could be possible, unless it embraces the electronic and social media somehow. How such an impersonal medium could do this is beyond me though..




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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by mac on Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:46 am

Wes wrote:Perhaps you've reached a point where you know what you need to know  Smile 

The two "Philosophy of..." books are handy reference books for Silver Birch as they group his teachings into themed chapters, which simplifies researching pieces like the original post.

I may have joined this forum through the same route you did, through the SCR or a similar forum, at any rate is was due to Jim & Lis' involvement - as they were in charge of the spiritualist church I was attending.

If spiritualism is to stay relevant, it's hard to see how it could be possible, unless it embraces the electronic and social media somehow.  How such an impersonal medium could do this is beyond me though..



I agree I've probably reached my personal 'need-to-know' point.  Thanks for the suggestion about the two SB compilations - maybe this time I'll actually order the books!  As for embracing the electronic/social media the situation is reflected in a nutshell on the Psychic News website's forum boards where there is no more than a handful of contributors who - apart from me -  don't appear to be tradiional Spiritualists anyway... Perhaps all the active ones are to be found on social websites which I don't know about?

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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by hiorta on Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:33 pm

There seems to be grave doubt as to whether the biblical Jesus ever existed. SB very neatly deals with the possibilities but neither confirms or refutes the possibility.
The wisdom of not challenging sincerely held beliefs but allowing evolution to reveal Truth and accuracy, yet confront no one's beliefs, never ceases to amaze.


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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by mac on Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:36 pm

I suppose the Biblical Jesus was one created from a mix of facts and stories.  Not totally wrong yet not totally right in their detail.  

Some may see it as an affectation but for me thinking of, and using SB's term 'the Nazarene' keeps it 'real' for me while still allowing some of the simple truths from that time...

Not too long to go before I get to see the picture from a different perspective, or perhaps the one I've seen before - a memory that lingers on.
  Laughing Wink


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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:16 am

There is a lot to think about on this topic thanks Mac and Wes. It is interesting one area I am being drawn to is the thread between man made "religions" and the reality of the way mankind appeared and spread through our world.
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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by Wes on Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:15 am

The difference between Jesus' original teachings versus man made religion seems to boil down to which has precedence, works or faith. A lot of killing, torture and theft has been done over the years in the name of faith. Yet if you think that what you do is more important than what you believe, then it becomes much harder to justify a lot of things that have been done in Jesus' name.

This is very pertinent right now in Australia as the enquiry into institutionalised child abuse continues. Where the welfare of innocents is deemed to be much less important than the good name of the institution that "cared" for them. Where the perpetrators are treated far better than their victims. Where legal defences are employed where there is no moral defence to be found.

This is straying off topic but it does resemble the kind of attitudes that Jesus railed against.
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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by mac on Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:24 am

Wes wrote:The difference between Jesus' original teachings versus man made religion seems to boil down to which has precedence, works or faith.  A lot of killing, torture and theft has been done over the years in the name of faith.  Yet if you think that what you do is more important than what you believe, then it becomes much harder to justify a lot of things that have been done in Jesus' name.

This is very pertinent right now in Australia as the enquiry into institutionalised child abuse continues.  Where the welfare of innocents is deemed to be much less important than the good name of the institution that "cared" for them. Where the perpetrators are treated far better than their victims.  Where legal defences are employed where there is no moral defence to be found.

This is straying off topic but it does resemble the kind of attitudes that Jesus railed against.

Your examples, Wes, are also current issues in the UK and in the USA over the past winter so perhaps they are global problems in the so-called developed world. It astonishes me just how similar problems are in the public eye. I'm often told on forum boards that there's something spiritually big just around the corner, a suggested return of the guy himself and revelations about the true nature of life, death and God. Perhaps that's how things in this world have always been though, a new Messiah always about to appear?

I consistently challenge those who post these claims to see if anyone has any real indication beyond what they're saying publicly but I'm still waiting for that little extra....

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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by Wes on Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:03 pm

That sort of belief sounds like a cop-out Mac, that by thinking that someone will come along later to sort out the mess, it lets everyone off the hook now that could be acting to change things. The avoidance of the kind of personal responsibility that spiritualism encourages...
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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by mac on Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:49 pm

Those who are predicting the emergence of 'something new' feel to me to be desperate for the arrival of the hoped for, almost-magical, person who heralds a new age of spirituality with widespread awareness of life, death and everything.  Perhaps that is exactly what you've suggested, a cop out from life in this world which they struggle to understand - who doesn't, though?

I'm not persuaded their expectation is justified.   Wink 

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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by hiorta on Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:51 pm

Wes wrote:That sort of belief sounds like a cop-out Mac, that by thinking that someone will come along later to sort out the mess, it lets everyone off the hook now that could be acting to change things.  The avoidance of the kind of personal responsibility that spiritualism encourages...

Absolutely Wes.
We make a mess of it - then we must sort it at personal and collective levels. This is our opportunity to learn that Life is not a game. It is great wonderful, brilliant in so many ways, instructive too, but we might be best not to pick and choose our lessons.
The sensed big Daddy might be understood as our opportunity rather than a non-existent 'saviour', but it is up to each individual to 'grow themselves' to full maturity by the choices they make.
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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by Milly on Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:38 pm

Wes wrote:
If spiritualism is to stay relevant, it's hard to see how it could be possible, unless it embraces the electronic and social media somehow.  How such an impersonal medium could do this is beyond me though..

Again, this is the dilemma.  When I was a child, the Church my family attended was full to overflowing (1960's - 70's), mediums were abounding, home circles were flourishing, Spiritual Healing was being practiced in all Churches and via the Federation of Spiritual Healers ... all these people were demonstrating those abilities to one degree or another that Jesus did in his incarnation in the physical.  One wonders if any of those wonderful people in the earlier movement will inspire the legendary following that Jesus did.  Others have come to touch the Earth plane with their wisdom  and humanity (Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King ....), individuals will always come to inspire and teach and try to avert the almost inevitable self-destruct of materialism.

I suspect to some, my thinking may be a tad naive.  I hear so many people talking about the huge changes about to take place on the Earth plane, lots and lots of stuff about galactic beings and interdimensional wisdoms and channelled entities and such like, visitations, inspirations ad infinitum.....  

None makes the sense to me in the way SB speaks of natural law, the demonstrations of survival, the undeniable effectiveness of Spiritual Healing.  

I guess Jesus was a man of his time in the physical sense, with the conventions of the day, and what passed for communication then (nothing like the electronic age now was it), but it was clearly necessary that he came to deliver a message of divinity.  Mankind will ALWAYS  need to be reminded of his/her origins, his/her true purpose and to be given inspiration to rise above the troubles of the times, however they may unfold.

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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:56 am

Milly wrote:

I suspect to some, my thinking may be a tad naive.  I hear so many people talking about the huge changes about to take place on the Earth plane, lots and lots of stuff about galactic beings and interdimensional wisdoms and channelled entities and such like, visitations, inspirations ad infinitum.....  

None makes the sense to me in the way SB speaks of natural law, the demonstrations of survival, the undeniable effectiveness of Spiritual Healing.  

I guess Jesus was a man of his time in the physical sense, with the conventions of the day, and what passed for communication then (nothing like the electronic age now was it), but it was clearly necessary that he came to deliver a message of divinity.  Mankind will ALWAYS  need to be reminded of his/her origins, his/her true purpose and to be given inspiration to rise above the troubles of the times, however they may unfold.

Not naïve to me those who want those changes often wish it, even if it means millions who can't attain enlightenment have to die, two of the leading prophets of such change Hoffman and Cooper were disgusting in their words about the Japanese Tsunami. None of it makes any sense to anyone who understands Spiritualist Philosophy. One Sunday I nearly lost a demonstrator (and did lose some attendees) because she talked from Jennifer Hoffman and I challenged what was said because it was so far against our Philosophy.
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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by Milly on Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:05 am

Oh dear Lord, I have just read a tiny fragment from Hoffman's website ...... I am suddenly reminded of those religions that talk of only the enlightened/believers being 'saved'.  It couldn't be farther from all the wise teachings that come via Spiritualism.  Thank heavens I have been encouraged all my life to be discerning and keep my feet on the ground as well as my mind open.

I've always tried to retain an ‘all roads lead to Rome’ perspective, but I have to say (and knowing that there are plenty who would think Spiritualism the work of Beelzebub), that some of what I read about ‘ascension’ scares the living bejeebers out of me – in that I wonder where the evidence is?  I have long believed in the science behind Spiritualism also, in the experiments that Spirit lead us in.  This, and evidence that I personally have received regarding family members survival, proves to me (personally) the philosophy’s credibility.


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Re: Jesus the Man

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:41 am

I also note that Hoffman and Cooper have created their own, pretty lucrative, career from all of this.
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