Jesus (Part 2)
This page is a continuation of Jesus (Part 1).
It is taken from the chapters "Jesus" and "Wilderness Mind" in the book "The
Quest" by Tom Brown, Jr. I have added in the headings myself to make it easier to read.
...I finally rallied enough courage to ask Grandfather a question, still stunned
by what he had said. "What, then, are the simple teachings of the Bible
and Jesus?", I asked.
The Simple Teachings of the Bible and Jesus Christ
He hesitated for a moment, then answered the most pressing question on my mind, the question I had been afraid to ask. He said, "You wonder how the teachings of the Bible and of Christ are in conflict or are similar to what I have been teaching you. In the past, all you have seen is the conflict and not the truth.
"What I teach, what Nature teaches, is the same basic truth the Bible teaches. The only distortion and conflict is caused by man and his interpretation of what I teach, compared to the teachings of the Bible. For what man has done to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus he has done with so many other religions and philosophies.
Faith and Belief
"You will remember that I told you that faith and belief are the most powerful forces on Earth and of the spirit. Jesus taught the same thing. Jesus said, 'I tell you the truth. If anyone says to the mountain, "Go, throw yourself into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.'
"Jesus also said, 'Everything is possible for him who believes.' As I have told you, and as Jesus taught, belief is the most powerful force on Earth and of the spirit. For through belief all things are possible. You will remember that belief was important before you fused body and mind as one, and this absolute belief is the basic truth of healing.
"This belief empowers all things."
Grandfather continued explaining the similarities to what he taught and the teachings of the Bible. "You will also remember that I taught you that love is what drives us from the wilderness to help the lost and searching masses. Love causes us to give up many of our dreams, for that love is more powerful than our dreams.
"Love, too, is a great power, for it motivates us to empower others. Jesus also said, 'Love your enemies.' Christ taught us to lay down our lives for others. Laying down one's life does not always mean death but giving up some of the things we cherish in order to love and help others. To be willing to sacrifice all for your brothers and sisters is to know the power of love.
Painting: Walter Rane.
Jesus with his disciples during the last supper. Luke 22:7-20
"So, too, have I told you that the wilderness is truth and that the prophets came from the wilderness. John the Baptist came from the wilderness, for it was in the purity of wilderness that the Creator spoke to him. John said, 'I am the voice of one calling in the desert.'
"Jesus also used the wilderness as a teacher. The Bible says, 'At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels attended him.' Was this not a Vision Quest? Jesus fasted for forty days and it was there that he was tested by evil. Is it not the same Vision Quest that guides and teaches you, as I have taught you? So does not the Bible teach the purity of wilderness and the power of the Vision Quest?"
There was again a long pause in our conversation, and my mind came rushing back in to try to digest all that Grandfather had said. I had remembered so many stories of John the Baptist. The wilderness was where he wandered, where he learned, and where John had touched God. John came from wilderness, just as Christ went to the desert wilderness. So, too, did all the great prophets.
For the first time I could see the similarity in what he did to our own Vision Quest. I felt the power and purity of the wilderness in the Bible and in the teachings of Jesus.To Christ the wilderness, the gardens, and the mountains were also his temples, for that is where he taught. I felt drawn to go back and reread the Bible, this time with simple purity and to study it as a whole.
What amazed me more still was Grandfather's ability to quote verses from the Bible. I had no idea until then that he knew anything of the Bible or of Jesus, yet what he told us revealed an tremendous amount of thought and study.
Grandfather began to speak of prayer and how it was similar to meditation, which he called the "sacred silence". He said, "Jesus taught people that it would be best to pray in a closet. Most people interpret this as a way of not proclaiming one's spirituality publicly, but I suspect that there is much more to that teaching. A basic truth that escapes most men.
Jesus said, 'But when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for the love to pray standing in the synagogues and street corners to be seen my men. When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen.' By going into the silence of your room and closing the door, you seclude yourself. The distractions of man fade away and there is but you and the Creator. As I taught you to pray in the Sweat Lodge for these same reasons, Jesus also taught.
"Each teaching must be looked at wholly. What you must learn to do, with any teaching, is to look beneath the most apparent meaning for other deeper meanings. Then compare that meaning to the whole to understand what is true. But the final test of that truth is to take it to the purity of the wilderness and see if it works there. For in the wilderness is the temple of creation.
"Take these things also into the depths of your heart, for there you carry all things. If it is true to your heart, then it is true to all things and all people. Finally, look for the common truth in all religions and philosophies. Seek out the simplicity and throw away all that is complicated, for it obscures the truth. I cannot judge any religion, philosophy, or doctrine, for if it is true to the believer and works for all men, then it is the truth. My purpose, then, is not to judge but to find the simple truth.
"So, too, have I taught you," Grandfather continued, "that creation will provide for you. I have shown to you that possessions are not important, just the things of the spirit. Jesus then taught the same things when he told his people not to be concerned with what they will eat, or how they will clothe themselves. He said that the Creator will provide all of these things for us. Jesus also said, 'Do not store up for yourself treasures on Earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal.'
"Jesus went on to teach that the most important things in life were not of the flesh. We should not concern ourselves with the things of the flesh, for the true riches in life can only be found in our hearts and spirits. The things that all men work for are peace, love, joy, and purpose, and these things will never be found in the false gods of the flesh. For they can only be found in our hearts and in the things of the spirit.
"The Bible also teaches what I teach about healing. I have told you that the healer is but a bridge. The healing takes place only through the power of the Creator. I have shown you that you must never take credit for these things, for the ego will destroy the healing. Jesus, after healing the man with leprosy and again when he healed the blind and dumb, said, 'See that no one knows of this.'
"Christ taught his people that it was of no purpose to take credit for anything. That we should work our power in a quiet way, so that no man should marvel. This also teaches that we should not allow our egos to interfere with those things of the spirit, for the ego obscures the truth."
I was taken aback by Grandfather's reference to healing in the Bible. I could not see why Grandfather would say that was similar to what he taught, for most men believed that only Jesus could heal. It was not a gift for mortal men. I asked, "Does it say in the Bible that we are to have the power to heal, or is that just meant for Jesus?"
Grandfather replied, "Jesus himself commanded his people to heal. Jesus commanded, 'Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.'
"You see, Jesus did not ask, but commanded us to heal. The age of miracles is not over, for that same command still lives in all of us. It is a basic truth for all people, for even you have borne witness to so many healings and so many miracles.
I was amazed at how much clearer the teachings of the Bible were now that Grandfather had clarified them. The conflict between what I was learning in the wilderness and what the Bible had to teach was beginning to resolve itself.
I was so excited about what I had learned, and there were so many more questions spinning through my head, that I could not sleep. Instead I lay awake all night, thinking about the things of which Grandfather had spoken. I began to take the teachings I had learned from the Bible, and with each teaching I could clearly see the parallel to what I was learning from Grandfather.
The more I dug into my mind, the more I understood. Though there were some teachings of the Bible that were technically different, when I looked at them as a whole, they were more similar than different.
Seek Out Wilderness
There seemed to be no limits to Grandfather's knowledge or his curiosity. But one simple fact remained, as it remains in me today. With all of his knowledge and all of his travels, he still came back to the simplicity and rapture of the wilderness. For it is in the wilderness where the fires of the spirit are born, and it is the common ground of all beliefs.
In times of need we must also seek out wilderness, no matter in what form it comes to us. It could be a prolonged trip into a grand wilderness area that replenishes our spirit and heals our soul, or it could be just a blade of grass growing between the cracks in the sidewalk of some huge city; both are doorways back to the Earth and to purity.
Nature is all around us, whether in the city or in the suburbs, all we must learn to do is use the doorway it provides and find our way back. All prophets, visionaries, and teachers must get back to the purity of wilderness periodically.
We must create an island within our mind. This is the seat of the wilderness mind which keeps us from being sucked into society's madness. Even though we must live in a world near society, we can create that island of thought in which our conscious and spiritual mind are always thinking of the wilderness, the purity, and the spirit. In the times of need we can go back to the spiritual mind, which is directly connected to all of creation.
Thus, with a shift in thinking, we become wilderness again even within the heart of a big city.
The Final Days
There is no doubt that we are in the final days of the Earth as we know it. We have sacrificed our own mother for the sake of the false gods of the flesh.
We all work for only four things in life, lasting peace, boundless joy, limitless love, and a purpose beyond ourselves. Society teaches us that we have to find these things outside of ourselves, while in fact these things can only be found within. It is the greed of society and its relentless pursuit of the false gods of the flesh that has destroyed and will continue to destroy the Earth. Truly we are a society that kills its grandchildren to feed its children.
Many of us, from all walks of life, philosophies, cultures, and backgrounds, see that we are losing the Earth. Even though we all may not agree with each other, we are still fighting the biggest battle in history.
Fortunately, I can see and feel the resurgence of the spirit mind and people moving closer to the Earth. It is not just a fad, but an undercurrent in today's society. People are growing concerned. New laws are being passed, there are demonstrations and various groups trying to protect the Earth.
But this is not enough for we must begin to reach everyone and reach them quickly. We must reach people, not in the mind, but in the heart. For society to change, each person must change. Society must learn to sacrifice its gluttonous lifestyle, greed, and prejudice, to seek the riches beyond the flesh.
Painting of Jesus Christ: Author Unknown
For those of us who have a Vision to see this world change, we have no choice but to work within society to bring about this change. We are tired of the pollution, the wars, the hatred, the prejudice, and the constant destruction of the Earth. We can see beyond the trappings of the flesh and into a world of spiritual riches. There is more for us in life than the nine to five work ethic and a life of clocks, finances, and shallow living. We are governed by a strong Vision to get people back to the Earth, to basic and real values, and closer to the world of spirit.
Those with Vision know that they cannot run away and hide, for there is no place to hide. We know that we must bring our Vision back to society or we become responsible for the destruction of the Earth.
The Real Quest — Share It With Other People
The reality here is that we must live our Vision and share it with other people. To hide in wilderness is also to hide from the self, and from the Vision. The real quest begins when we come out of the wilderness to teach.
I tell my students that they are the ones who carry the Vision, Grandfather's vision. Each person has the ability to lead another back to the Earth and back to the Creator. One does not have to abandon job, house, and family to do this as the disciples had to do to follow Christ. Each person has an opportunity every day to reach and teach someone.
It is not only a quest to educate, but to stay on the path of Vision when all around is chaos, spiritual death, and distractions. But this does not have to be pain or suffering, for our numbers are growing stronger. Lines of separation are being broken down and there are more people to talk to. As always, we have the power of the wilderness mind.
Living Our Vision
Above all, we must learn to live our Vision, so there is nothing else in our lives but that Vision. Our families and friends must become part of that Vision, with their personal Visions blending with ours, creating a more powerful Vision.
That Vision must be lived beyond self, and we must work from a place of love. To work for self alone is a shallow and hollow form of existence. To reach out and help others, even when it exhausts us, is to live the Vision of love. To work beyond the self is to find one of the true meanings of life, the meaning of love.
This was not just Grandfather's Vision, nor is it just my Vision, but it is the Vision and the quest of anyone who wants to heal the Earth and love of all creation, including man.
Source: Tom Brown Jr., "The Quest"
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