My take on Jesus is that he is no more the “Son of God” than any of us, that we are all children of god. It doesn’t matter to me whether the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection are true or false. I’m sure this world contains many things that don’t fit in our Western culture’s limited world view. It would not surprise me if there were many virgins who gave birth and many people who rose from the dead. I don’t believe every word that was put in Jesus’ mouth by the gospels, I know they were coming from a particular political take of the early church. On the other hand, I’m sure he was a very great human being, that he brought a message of forgiveness and the love of god for all of us. He did his best to help those who were outcast, sick, poor, crazy, whatever. He pointed out the hypocrisy of the wealthy who didn’t help the poor. He was very compassionate and very kind and very angry about injustice. He was crucified because he was a danger to the Empire. I do believe that cry from the cross “My god my god why hast thou forsaken me.” I can’t imagine someone who believed Jesus was the son of god making up those words. Once, when I was in a very painful place in my life, thinking of suicide, etc. I was at a friend’s house and there was a picture of Jesus, probably on the cross because his head was hanging to the side, and I realized that he knew the depths of human misery. He understood exactly what I was feeling. I can’t imagine any other god in all the pantheons who would know about that. They all sit on thrones up in the sky and are very holy. So Jesus has become a very important person in my life. Sometimes I call on him and he’s right there. Other times I don’t hear him, and I think that’s when there’s something closed in myself. Often he comes when I don’t really expect him.
Just had a conversation with Jesus. He heard my misery about failing with Damien, and that I had been trying to follow Jesus and maybe he was disappointed in me. He appeared next to me on the couch, looked at me with such kind eyes and told me I was forgiven. He reminded me that everything I did was motivated by wanting to help Damien. “I was trying to follow you, and I failed.” You did not “fail,” you just don’t have the resources that I have. “But didn’t you tell the disciples to heal just as you did?” They had been living and working with me. They had what they needed to heal others. “Can’t you just heal if you really want to?” That is an unfortunate notion of your control-obsessed culture. It’s true if you understand “really want” to be with your whole being, and also are able to let it go to the Healing Power.
Afterward I was thinking that it’s true that I wanted what was best for Damien, but that when I decided to take him, I left myself out of the equation. Sharon Salzberg shows how that’s a mistake, how we can’t do good for others if we don’t take care of ourselves.