Author: Roberta Grimes

What is Love?

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love,
I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I give away all my possessions to charity,
and if I surrender my body so that I may boast,
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

“Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant.
It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit;
it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered,
it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.
It keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

– Jesus as channeled through the Apostle Paul, from 1 Corinthians 13

Coming up with a topic for our blog post each week is my Thomas’s task. He proposes our topic on the previous weekend, and then he lets me flounder with it until Friday, at which point he steps in and helps me finish and polish it. Late last Sunday afternoon he still hadn’t said anything, so as I was going through emails I said to him, “It’s time. What have you got for me?” I was opening’s daily email of articles. He said from behind my left shoulder, “Try that.”  

The top article was about the Biblical definition of love. I said, “That? That’s boring. He said, “No. Define the word ‘love’.”  And he was right. We talk about love all the time. But do we really all share one definition for the word “love”? Love as the Bible defines it is pretty much limited to Jesus’s loving us enough to die on a cross to save us from God’s judgment for our sins. Which, as we know now, is a nonsense idea. Jesus tells us right in the Gospel of John that God never judges us (JN 5:22-23). So Jesus didn’t need to die as a sacrifice to God. We have Jesus’s own thoughts about love as a Core Teaching on, and we might consult that. But what do you and I mean by the word “love” when we use it in conversation? What really is love, anyway?

I have written about love here repeatedly, and I am embarrassed now to say that I have never satisfactorily defined the word. The Merriam & Webster’s dictionary definition is also unsatisfying, since it boils down to synonyms. “Love is a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.” “Love is attraction based on sexual desire; affection and tenderness felt by lovers.” “Love is affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests.” So basically, love is a positive feeling, and you and I know it when we feel it? But what really is love, anyway?

Of course, what further complicates our question is the fact that A Course in Miracles would call all the personal loves in the paragraph above just “special loves.” The loves that we have for particular individuals are all special loves, and ACIM derisively tells us that special loves are as counterproductive spiritually as are “special hates.” Well, that’s a real downer!

As a first pass, at least we can say that love is a positive feeling for someone beyond oneself. But there are so many kinds of love! I am reminded of what my Thomas has told us about his brother six thousand years ago, the sweet teenage boy who in his next incarnation was going to be born from the Godhead as Jesus. That boy was so entranced with people that even while a war was going on and his tribesmen were finishing off the losing side, he went searching for people who might be hidden away, hoping to find and save some of them before the soldiers could get to them. And when he found a terrified mother with her children, he rescued them and kept them safe until he could find a man of his own victorious tribe who would take the woman for a second wife and would adopt her children. That was Jesus in the making.

Then when Jesus was born from the Godhead four thousand years later, He had some definitive things to say about love! When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, He didn’t name any of the Biblical Ten Commandments. Instead, He was all about love. He said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (MT 22:37-40). Ah, now we are getting somewhere! In shifting the base of the entire existing Hebrew religion to His new Law of Love, Jesus is telling us that love has become fundamental. Nothing is more important. Jesus has moved us from a transactional relationship with God, one in which the breaking of arbitrary rules once called for the payment of penalties in the form of pigeons or unblemished heifers, to one in which God now requires of us that we love with our whole heart, soul, and mind. In a way, this is letting us off easy. We do get to keep all our pigeons and heifers. But on the other hand, to give up your whole heart, soul, and mind to God might turn out to be an even greater burden. It all depends on what love means.

What A Course in Miracles is about fundamentally is forgiveness. An unwillingness to forgive is the ultimate barrier to being able to master perfect love. But forgiveness is much harder than it sounds! You and I are transactional by nature, just as were the ancient Hebrews. We carry around a scale in our minds. For us to be wronged and to forgive that wrong will set our mental scale out of balance, and will make our being able to freely love that much harder. In a way, a lot of what our lives on earth are about is learning to get rid of that mental scale so we can forgive easily and completely, even despite our having been wronged. This is especially true of forgiving God! I will occasionally get emails that are full of woe-is-me complaints about people’s lives, and right beneath the surface it is clear that really the senders are in a rage against God for the problems that they themselves had planned into their own lives as spiritual growth challenges. By far the greatest habit that any of us can learn is complete, automatic forgiveness of wrongs. But doing that goes against human nature, which is why ACIM is called A Course in Miracles. With a big emphasis on that last word! Personally, I have found that once I accepted the fact that I myself had designed into my life all my problems of this lifetime, and then I added the forgiveness-balls routine, automatic forgiveness became a snap.

So my mind goes back to that scrawny boy searching a battlefield for people to save. I don’t know what Jesus remembers of His final earth-lifetime before He ascended to the Godhead level. I never have presumed to ask Him that question. And Thomas recalls very little about it, but on the rare occasions when he has been willing to discuss it, he has dredged up and shared vague bits of memories that I find tantalizing for what they tell us about the titanic spirit that was Jesus in the making. Thomas has told me that some six thousand years ago in the fertile crescent there was some kind of blood-feud between two primitive walled cities, and he himself as the chieftain’s oldest son in one of them led an attack that breached the other side’s defenses. But he stresses to me that it was all primitive, mud walls and hovels, knives and spears. His younger brother should not have been there at all. In his vague memories, the princeling who would much later be born as Jesus was a sickly boy, and under orders never to leave their home city. Still, that boy snuck out to follow the army, and even while they still were fighting, he ventured into the enemy’s breached city that was littered with the dead and dying to try to rescue some woman, some child, some innocent victim from out of the carnage. But, who does something like that?

I try to put myself into that boy’s mind. All I can think is that he could not bear to sit safe at home, while knowing that there was even a chance that maybe there was someone in that city that his brother’s army was attacking that he might possibly save. He would have observed his side’s preparations after witnessing this battling between the two walled cities. First we attack them and then they attack us. Lots of yelling and throwing of stones and spears. But now he was hearing that his brother had a plan to breach the other city’s walls and obliterate it? Oh no! But what about the women and children? He had to get himself over there, so he snuck out and followed the army. The great danger to himself didn’t matter at all beside his thought that there might be someone he could save.

Thomas is looking over my shoulder at this point. He has a vague memory of receiving a report that his brother had been spotted in the ravaged city, so he had to assign soldiers to protect him while there still were enemy soldiers alive. But the boy kept slipping away from them. Brat. And how is this helping us to define love?

Jesus’s teaching that we must love our neighbors as ourselves might perhaps be one key. It is clear that Jesus saw things quite differently from His contemporaries, and surely the boy that He had been in His previouus earthly incarnation also had a unique perspective on things. All of us together are parts of a single consciousness; and amazingly, that means all nearly eight billion of us now. Even in this more sophisticated twenty-first century, that fact can feel difficult to get our minds around. And it is flat incredible that two thousand years ago, clearly Jesus already understood this concept! Love your neighbor as yourself. Because your neighbor is yourself. And even four thousand years before that, a sickly teenage princeling in the fertile crescent at the dawn of civilization seems also to have had some clue that the separations that are apparent between people are illusory. I can think of no other explanation for his behavior.  

But can it really be so simple? Ultimately, love is a recognition that we are all one being? Some forty or fifty years ago there was a major famine in Africa, and a photographer was sent to document it for National Geographic. I recall this story only vaguely now, but I can never get this man and his photograph entirely out of my mind. The story was that he was allowed inside the famine zone to take pictures, but he must not intervene. Which was a rule that likely made sense to the authorities running the relief effort, since with a mass feeding program underway they could not have random do-gooders running around and getting in their way. So this fellow took an award-winning photograph of a toddler crawling alone across a gigantic African plain, while within the frame there were vultures waiting nearby. He did his job and took his photographs and won his award. But he never was able to learn the fate of that one particular child, and he gradually became inconsolable. He quit his photography job. Then he killed himself.

There is nowhere else that we can go but this: love is the recognition that all of us are one being. Love your neighbor as yourself because your neighbor is yourself. Jesus uses the analogy of the good shepherd who leaves his flock and searches until he finds the one he has lost. Humankind is unique among living creatures for the fact that we are all eternal aspects of the one consciousness which is all that exists, and which at its highest is the High God, and therefore we all are encompassed in the singular love that Jesus taught. The special loves and hates don’t matter. And learning to completely forgive is just a necessary step along the way toward achieving this fundamental realization. All those other details are just side-issues.

Love is the recognition that we are all one in God. All almost eight billion of us. And that is the true and eternal love that Jesus taught. It is steadfast, fundamental, and eternal, and whatever else is going on, it underlies and unites us all. It is the love that motivated Martin Luther King, Jr. and so very many others who could not turn away from evil, but in fighting that evil they loved the perpetrators as well as the victims. But how do we form this into a definition for the word? “Love is the irresistible certainty that I am eternally one with every human being on the face of the earth.” Perhaps for now that might do as a definition for the word. It is more complex than Jesus’s “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But for now, perhaps it is enough.

“Love never fails. But if there are gifts of prophecy, they will fail.
If there are tongues, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will be done away with.
For now we know in part and prophesy in part;
but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I gave up all childish things.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face;
now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known.
But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love. “
– Jesus, as channeled through the Apostle Paul, from 1 Corinthians 13

God’s Peace

Let there be peace on Earth
And let it begin with me.
Let There Be Peace on Earth,
The Peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father,
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my Brother
In perfect harmony.
Jill Jackson-Miller (1913-1995) & Sy Miller (1908-1971) from “Let There Be Peace on Earth” (1955)

We all are undivided aspects of one God. We know now that there is a single Consciousness that includes each one of us, and we know that this Consciousness at its highest aspect is the God which manifests all of reality. Of course, this means that reality is fundamentally mental, and not physical. Reality is indeed, as Albert Einstein is said to have once jovially remarked, one heck of an illusion, but it is an illusion all the same. As A Course in Miracles wisely tells us, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Therein lies the peace of God.”

I can remember what it was like to fret. I can recall what it was like to worry, to struggle, to have a care, but now all of that is in my past. I am all. I am everything. I am one with all that is and was and ever will be. And I marvel to realize that I have spent my entire life exploring what amounts to just about the whole of accessible reality before arriving back here at this simple understanding that has me sitting mentally in the Buddha’s lotus position and murmuring as the Buddha once did, “I am awake.” I look around in soft wonder as it occurs to me to assume that probably everyone must make this same circular journey.

But no, as I consider matters further, I imagine not. I still get so many emails from people who are terrified of death. And I still see amazingly few people who seem to know this deep peace, which fact perplexes me. How can everyone not have this stillness within? But Jesus also has this same deep peace. Oh, yes indeed! You see it in His face, in His eyes, in how He can sit with His hands cupped one within the other and that soft almost-smile on His face, and He can listen to you in perfect stillness as if only you matter to Him. Or He can close His eyes and commune with God in an attitude of absolute bliss, while nearby yet another group of newly-arrived Christians is gathering to await His blessing. At this advanced stage in Jesus’s eternity, nothing ever really troubles Him at all.

The Apostle Paul called this deep tranquil feeling the peace of God which passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7). And we all can have it, here and now. We don’t have to wait until after we have died and then discovered that, well, what do you know, human life really is eternal. I have been sitting here trying to determine where this peace of God comes from and how it might have begun for me, so how I might help to begin it in you, and it occurs to me that owning eternity probably is its foundation. For so long as you believe that your existence is tied to the survival of that fragile meat-body that grows weaker with each passing moment, you never can know any kind of peace.

When Craig Hogan and I conceived the idea for Seek Reality Online, it was really about easing human pain. Fear of death is the base fear, so when you no longer fear death, you no longer fear anything. And since we knew how much our having conquered the fear of death had improved our own lives, we thought we could similarly improve the lives of many other people around the world. So let’s assume that conquering the fear of death must be the first and most essential step. Once you are certain that your life is eternal, you begin to live in an eternal frame, and the difference that makes in your life is immense. It is impossible even to quantify it, but I do distinctly recall the difference. You go from feeling as if you are living in a box with a beginning and an abrupt and final ending, from there to having a sense that you have unlimited horizons of forever ahead. That constant awareness of death as a black ending that might at any second land on you is a profound horror! It is a terror that makes life miserable until you can conquer it. I believe that I can date the beginning of these wonderful changes in my own life to the moment when I first understood that my life truly never will end.

And it is only then that you can dare to venture beyond the safe humdrum of the narrowest of lives. One of the great joys of my life has been the fact that my husband is a high-functioning Asperger’s person, so two of our three children are Asperger’s people as well. As a result they never have married, and rather than downsizing from a house that is much too large for just two people, years ago we invited them to come and live with us. There are some who might not love this arrangement, but we consider it to be ideal. Two brilliant, quiet people that we adore who have interesting careers and busy lives, and who gladly share their lives with us? How perfect!   I might eventually blog about how our living together works and what I have learned in the process, but my point here is just to talk about our daughter’s kittens. Six months ago, our son’s much-beloved old cat died, so three months ago our daughter decided that it was time to adopt some kittens. And watching these kittens’ surprisingly different approaches to life mimics the two very different ways in which most people live. There is Vicki, who is highly prudent and basically afraid of everything. And on the other hand, there also is Morrie, who is a supremely curious and utterly fearless pain in the neck. And once you lose your fear of death, you too can live like Morrie, happily investigating and figuring things out.

And living like Morrie is so important! When you closely study the Gospels, you come to see Jesus as a modern Man, or even as a Man from our distant future, who entered a time capsule and traveled back in time to teach first-century primitives. He speaks to them simply, while knowing that His words are going to be preserved and will be read in all the ages to come. He knew even then that He was speaking to the ages, and He urged us to keep on asking questions, because in all the ages between two thousand years ago and now, and in all the future ages as well, human understanding would be deepening more and more. So He says to each of us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8).

Jesus is saying that to you and me now! Before you understand that your life is eternal, you have no choice but to live like little Vicki, protecting your precious meat-body at all costs. You are afraid to do any research at all, because your research might lead you to learn something horrible and unforgettable about reality, and you will have to live with knowing that unforgettable negative thing forevermore. And when you have to live that way, you are going to learn so little! However, once you come to understand that human life really is eternal, then you know that you are indestructible, and a curious and joyous Morrie life is your own. You, too, can be gleefully pulling computers and everything else off overhead tables even if it all might land on your head, and generally raising havoc with the world so you can try to figure out how everything works! (Fortunately we love little Morrie a lot, and we think this is probably just a phase).

The more you come to understand about the greater reality, which is everything that we know exists, the safer you will feel in God’s everlasting arms. Learning that my life is eternal was the beginning for me. But it was only the beginning! The more I learned, like curious little Morrie, the more I was eager to learn even more. And the more I actually needed to learn, since I was finding gaps in what I was learning that my swelling curiosity was desperate to fill. “Ask, and it will be given to you…” What I have been discovering throughout my life is that Jesus is as good as His word. The evidence of what was true was everywhere, and the pieces were fitting together like puzzle-pieces in a vast and complex puzzle that made up all that there is. And that, Craig Hogan was also finding, was true for him as well. Craig and I did not become aware of one another until 2008, and that was rather late in our separate efforts to understand and make sense of reality. Even then, as soon as we began to talk about all the evidence about reality together, we were already at the point of completing one another’s sentences. It is truly far beyond wonderful to meet someone who shares your own eccentric obsession. And then, to find when you begin to discuss it that your very different approaches to the research have led each of you to reach identical conclusions is so very far beyond wonderful!

I soon discovered that there were other people, too, like the Zammits and Sandra Champlain, who had achieved what Craig and I had achieved. All over the world, people here and there had been individually studying the afterlife and the greater reality, and all of us had reached identical conclusions and personally conquered our own fear of death. So when I realized that my lifelong eccentric hobby wasn’t only my own eccentric hobby, with Craig’s encouragement I wrote what became The Fun of Dying. My particular bent seems to be to write simple books for laypeople that are easy to understand. As I have explained the difference between Craig’s books and my own: “Craig uses footnotes.” And of all of these afterlife and greater reality scholars, I am the only one who also is a long-term student of the Gospels, which has turned out, I think, to be my big advantage. That nexus has been of immeasurable value, since Jesus actually talks about some of the same things that dead folks mention from the afterlife. The outer darkness and living water, for example. Wow, talk about cross-validations! The more I learned about our eternal lives, and the more what I learned was validated by what other people were learning, the more comfortable I began to feel in this life. That really is how doing extensive and in-depth afterlife research works.

Sadly, though, discordant fear-based Christianity still was dragging me down. I had given up television by 2010. I could control everything else that was impacting my life, but still I was going to Mass every week to keep my husband company, and that life-size, full-color plaster Jesus that was bleeding for my sins on the cross above the altar was filling me with so much guilt that eventually I had to stop going to church altogether. In retrospect, I realize that ending my church attendance was what made the final difference for me.

That was about the time when I also decided to stop traveling to give talks about the afterlife at conferences and at Unity Churches.  My business clients didn’t want me to retire from my legal career just as we  were  preparing to pass their businesses to their respective next generations of ownership; and my blog posts had to happen each week, my weekly podcasts had to happen; and frankly, of all the things that I loved doing, it was traveling to speak that seemed to produce the most stress for the least reward to both speaker and audiences. So then, little by little, as I settled into my quieter life that was now entirely free from fear, I began to get whispers of what I can only call joy, kind of effervescing in me. You can’t do much about these unexpected bouts of joy. They simply happen when they happen.

My dear friends, after a lifetime of research and learning, at last it all was coming together. The Emperor Constantine’s bogus Christianity was receding in my mind, since I was no longer confronted each week by Jesus’s sorrowful plaster face as He bled out over the altar. I have read the Gospels so many times that Jesus’s words are always in my mind, and I think it was the combination of my certainty that my life is eternal and the gentle words of Jesus always there beneath the surface that caused this permanent elevation of my whole being in a way that I could see only in retrospect. Then, two years ago we suffered a catastrophic financial loss. I wrote about it at the time, and what surprised me most when it happened was how untroubled I was, and how easily I forgave such a heinous crime by someone I had loved and trusted. It was first then that I realized how much I had changed! I look back now in wonderment, and I see what should have been a calamity as barely a bump in my spiritual road. I never think of it now, beyond seeing it as part of my broader relationship with Thomas.  

But I look back now over all my life, and I realize that what can give to you this same ineffable peace of God is just freedom from the fear of death plus a deep familiarity with the teachings of Jesus. That for certain is what has done it for me! When you, too, live in an eternal frame, and when you live with our beloved Friend in your heart, then how can you not also always be joyful? My dear friends, that elusive peace of God which passes all understanding must come from knowing that you are eternal, and from this blissful walk with the Prince of Peace, who sweetly lives with you in perfect love. The fear-based age of the Emperor Constantine is becoming a fading memory. The Age of Jesus has begun.   

Let peace begin with me.
Let this be the moment now.
With ev’ry step I take
Let this be my solemn vow

To take each moment and live
Each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me!
Jill Jackson-Miller (1913-1995) & Sy Miller (1908-1971) from “Let There Be Peace on Earth” (1955)


Jesus’s Website

When morning gilds the skies My heart awaking cries:
Let Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, To Jesus I repair:
Let Jesus Christ be praised!
Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find,
Let Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this,
Let Jesus Christ be praised!
To God, the Word, on high, The host of angels cry,
Let Jesus Christ be praised!
Let mortals, too, upraise Their voice in shouts of praise,|
Let Jesus Christ be praised!
– Katholisches Gesangbuch (1774-1855), from “When Morning Gilds the Skies” (trans. 1868)

Jesus’s website went live on Monday morning. When He first asked us to create a website for Him last April, He was quite specific. He wanted a website precisely as His website would have been if He had had a website in the year 30 CE. He wanted it to feature His teachings, and He thought it would be a good idea for it to go live nine months after went live. So that would put it in March of this year. I can claim no credit for, but I love it as its doting aunt. All week long I have been wandering around and clicking the links and reading what I channeled with Thomas, and contemplating a few things that I thought were so radical when I first finally understood them that I worried that they could not be right, even given the fact that Jesus had said them. After all, He has been away from the earth for so long! But even radical ideas will wear in over time.

I thought at first that we would never come up with enough material to populate a whole website. Even when we consider all four Biblical Gospels, Jesus’s teachings are simple and basic, and they are not all that extensive. And His instructions were so specific! I mean, a website back then? And if you are asked to do something for Jesus, it isn’t just that it needs to be perfect. It needs to be so flat-out extraordinary that it has to rock the planets in their orbits. I had so much performance anxiety that I was paralyzed and unable to do anything, and meanwhile the whole summer passed while Craig assembled his team and politely waited. And Jesus, for His part, was amused by the prospect of having His own website on earth, which made my anxiety even worse.   I recall that at one point around September, Thomas conceived the idea of Jesus doing a live question-and-answer thing with me on His website. I was already feeling overwhelming pressure. Jesus’s website had not yet been started, designed, nor even envisioned, and March was only six months away. And Thomas wanted to prove to me that his question-and-answer idea could work.

He was at me about asking Jesus a question. “Go ahead! Ask Him! Ask Him anything!”

So I did. I said in my mind, “Jesus, is there a hell?”

I heard clearly in my mind in Jesus’s distinctive voice, “There is no hell. There is only love and light.”

And that was my final straw. I told Thomas emphatically that I would not do a question-and-answer thing with Jesus. Not in a million years. And I somewhat wrecked our relationship for months.

Of course, Jesus understood how freaked-out I was. I have since apologized to Him and offered to do it if He wants to do it, but I doubt that He will want to do it now. However, for Thomas it was a personal betrayal, and the wound may take more time to heal. I cannot imagine that Jesus and I would have been taken seriously, anyway. Roberta Grimes, not even a medium, is suddenly able to channel Jesus? But my strong reaction may have mildly shocked Jesus. He probably has no memory after two thousand years of how people on earth are likely to react in complex interpersonal situations. And, come to think of it, I believe it was right after this experience that Jesus started calling me “Little One.”

Ours is a working relationship, really, like any other working relationship. I would never be in this wonderful position of getting to sort of hang out with and be of personal service to Jesus the Risen Christ if my primary spirit guide were not His very longstanding close friend. I had no right to refuse Jesus anything. I did, however, have the right to tell my spirit guide that I thought his idea was unworkable. And feeling as unbearably stressed as I was feeling back then, with the website not even started and with everything hanging on me, something had to give. I have apologized to Thomas, too, and repeatedly, and again just now. I am pretty sure that He understands. But even though his astral body looks like just some gorgeous young man, he is in fact an extremely venerable Being who should himself long since have ascended; and he would have done so, were it not for his eternal devotion to Jesus. And my Thomas does not suffer fools. In fact, I am working with the two most venerable non-ascended Beings in all the realities. But I try very hard never to think about that.

Not all husbands and wives are actual marital partners. Almost from the day that we met fifteen years ago, Craig Hogan and I have worked together in a perfect dance, with each of us strong where the other is not. In truth, Craig gets me better than my actual husband gets me, and even better than I get me; and so eventually he pried out of me what the contents of needed to be. He kick-started Thomas and me into channeling all the contents for the website, and he prodded us into thinking about the design. When I first saw the result, I hated it for a full thirty seconds because I was sure that nothing could be good enough for Jesus; but then of course I began to love it. How could I not love it? If computers had existed in    30 CE, then Jesus would have had precisely this website. Jesus is happy with it too, because Craig also gets Jesus better than I get Him, since he is not in love with Him. But I literally could not do this work without Craig. He is a genius at all the nitty-gritty details.

Giving you a tour of the website isn’t even necessary, because a website would have been simple and straightforward in the year 30 CE.          I should have realized that when I was feeling so paralyzed with performance anxiety. You’ve got Jesus’s adorable astral face at the top, and His teachings, and then with that comes a list of what didn’t come from Jesus in Christianity, which is all of it; and then also some amazing things about Jesus pointed out. And that is the entire website. Traveling back to before the time of Constantine is amazingly freeing! Before Constantine, there are no fear-based ideas around Jesus to mess us up at all. Back before Constantine, there really is only love. And while that will take a little getting used to for people who have been judgmental and moralistic religion-based Christians, it really does feel like a whole new world.  

Let us take for example the new movie just out, called Jesus Revolution. Apparently it is a box office hit and a wonderful movie; but at the same time, the true-story Jesus figure at the center of that movie was a tormented homosexual who later died of AIDS, and the true-story Christians around him would not accept his sexual identity. In fact, I had long wondered whether Jesus Himself might have been a homosexual, and whether that might have been the reason why He never married, and why John was “the disciple that Jesus loved.” And horrifyingly, Jesus was able to read this unspoken question in my mind when I first met Him personally on April 6th of last year, and it mildly shocked Him. Not, I think, because of the homosexuality angle, but because I was even thinking such a personal question. He came right out and told me that John had been His younger brother in the same ancient lifetime in which my Thomas had been His older brother. I have later learned that it is likely that in His Jesus lifetime Jesus was a slave until He was thirty, which was probably the reason why He didn’t marry, since perhaps by custom slaves didn’t marry; and then once He was emancipated by law at the age of thirty He was right away into His mission for God, so He had no time for marriage. But there clearly are hints in the Gospels, so I am surprised that no scholars have ever publicly suspected that Jesus might have been a homosexual.

Now let’s talk about this sexual-identity issue for a moment, from the pre-Constantine’s-Christianity angle. Would Jesus now judge homosexual behavior to be wrong? Well, from now on what used to be ten Commandments are boiled down to just Jesus’s two Commandments. Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (MT 22:37-40). So the answer directly from Jesus seems clearly to be that no loving sexual behavior can be wrong. And what is more, Jesus said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned” (LK 6:37). Oops! So now it looks as if all those judgmental Christians who used to enjoy applying Old Testament rules to homosexual behavior will have to be silent forevermore in this new post-Constantine’s-Christianity world. In Future Church, homosexual love is normal love, because it is only love that matters.

So to answer those who have been wondering how the new Christianity can be so different, here is one answer. Rather than debating the finer points of scripture or doctrine, we will have only to debate the finer points of love. And, well, I suppose that because of venereal diseases and such issues there are arguments to be made that free love is problematic, and that children do best in monogamous families. By all means, let us make those arguments! But the only applicable standard now is the perfect love that Jesus taught. And if there ever are disagreements about something, in the end we simply will agree to disagree. We won’t ever splinter into sects of this vibrant new Christianity. We are now and forever all one loving family, with now and forever one single rule of love by which we judge all things; and those who might win arguments over this or that application of love will sit side by side in church with those who lose those particular arguments. Do you see how this works? God’s love includes everyone, and love is the only rule that matters. We are together helping one another to learn to ever more perfectly apply God’s perfect rule of love.

So now let us venture to look ahead perhaps fifty years or so. It is the year 2073, and Future Church has spread nationwide in the United States, and to hundreds of cities worldwide. It is online and also in what were once empty church buildings, but mostly it lives in individual homes and it meets at whatever times you might like. There is a booklet available at the door of every public Future Church that lists the meetings that are open to the public, by state and by city and country. Of course, by now “Future Church” seems like a stupid name for this spiritual movement, even if the name did originate with Jesus. A proposal is circulating to change the name, but Future Church is still loosely run by the family of one of its founders. And even though the family has always been willing to change the name, to give up control, and to do whatever else the millions of its members might like, there seems by now to be a kind of superstition that to change anything at all might damage this wonderful, peaceful feeling of love and joy that pervades this whole worldwide community. Well, speaking as one of its founders and a voice from the distant past, just let me say that Jesus expects you to come up with a better name! He called it Future Church back in 2023 just so we would have a way to talk about this future Christianity that is free from both fear and silly human divisions. But after fifty years, for heaven’s sake, Jesus wants you to come up with a better name! Why don’t you call it something like “Jesus’s Way” Or “God’s Garden,” or something like that? Just use your imaginations!

And finally, for those who are still shaky about whether or not you really believe in reincarnation, here is an eight-year-old child conducting a symphony orchestra. My husband and I are classical music geeks, and for years we had season tickets to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, until it got too experimental. So I have attended more than my share of concerts. And to see this little child performing like an expert conductor, well, if I had not believed in reincarnation before, I would for certain believe in it now. Every time I watch this kid’s video, he makes me giggle. If you are not into classical music, you may not realize how difficult this is, but it is literally something like playing all those different kinds of instruments at once. And he has memorized all the instrumental parts, so he doesn’t even need sheet music! 

When sleep her rest denies, My silent spirit sighs,
Let Jesus Christ be praised!
When evil thoughts molest, With this I shield my breast,
Let Jesus Christ be praised!
In Heav’n’s eternal bliss The loveliest strain is this,
Let Jesus Christ be praised!
The powers of darkness fear When this sweet chant they hear:
Let Jesus Christ be praised!
Sing, suns and stars of space, Sing, ye that see His face,
Sing, Jesus Christ be praised!
God’s whole creation o’er, For now and evermore
Shall Jesus Christ be praised!
– Katholisches Gesangbuch (1774-1855), from “When Morning Gilds the Skies” (trans. 1868)


Future Church (Part II)

Who can I turn to When nobody needs me?
My heart wants to know.
And so I must go Where destiny leads me.
With no star to guide me. And no one beside me.
I’ll go on my way an
d, after the day, The darkness will hide me.
And maybe tomorrow I’ll find what I’m after.
I’ll throw off my sorrow.
Beg, steal, or borrow my share of laughter.
With you I could learn to. With you, on a new day.
But who can I turn to If you turn away?
Anthony Newley (1931-1999) & Leslie Bricusse (1931-2021) from “Who Can I Turn To” (1964)

The modern western world is full of desperately lonely people. And many of the loneliest are the newly adult, where the family unit seems often to be amazingly reduced to just one person, a situation that when I was their age would have been altogether unthinkable. And sadly, too, this situation seems to be hardest of all on the youngest men, more than sixty percent of whom are likely now to remain single even into their thirties. And since historically it was during our twenties that nearly all of us were paired off and married, this situation does not bode well at all for these single young men’s happiness for the rest of their lives. People lived until very recently in vibrant multi-generational families. We lived in the same area for generations, we went to church, and it was simply assumed that we always would take care of our own. Against that backdrop it has begun to feel now, and oddly to someone who has reached her mid-seventies, as if our society is tattered and unraveling. I spoke last week about growing up in the fifties. My experience of light happened in 1954, and back then my family attended a church that on Sundays was always packed to the rafters. People tend to assume that the future is going to be some better version of today.

And so we are coming to realize that when we compare our present society to the familial security of the nineteen-fifties, we have gained so much in the past fifty years, but there also are things that we have lost. We were so eager to throw off that old fifties stuffiness for our nineteen-sixties experiment in freedom! And oh, how good it all felt at the time. My generation was right at the leading edge, and while I fortunately was able to avoid allowing the sixties youthquake to ruin my life (although I did drink a lot and smoke pot in college), I thought at the time that our experiment in letting-go was overall a positive thing. I recall that in Freshman biology class at my female college, we were taught that there were certain preferred species of trees to plant when we were on three-planting committees. And then, amazingly, in my Junior year the talk was all about “Women’s Lib,” and we were being urged to go to graduate school and all but commanded to choose “men’s careers.” That was literally how fast it happened!

Of course. women should long since have been liberated. I was a member of one of the earliest classes at my law school to graduate women in any numbers. We were fifteen percent of that class, as I recall, and I have loved my men’s career so much that after two failed retirement attempts, I now am sure that I never will retire. On the other hand, my husband hated being a physician, but he enjoys shopping and creative cooking so he retired at fifty-five and this reversing-roles thing has worked out very well for us!

But for all that we have gained, I realize now that some very important things have been lost. As I think back to the idyllic church where I grew up, I think especially of the boys my age, nearly all of whom were married in their twenties. In particular, it is occurring to me now to wonder how important a roll that church community might have played in their lives. Boys are less social by nature, and having that community structure in which to marry would likely have been important to them. Most of them remained for life in or near the same town where we grew up, while here I am, living with all my children and grandchildren fully half a continent away. But the decade of the sixties with its Women’s Liberation and its Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War turned out to be amazingly disruptive to America’s longstanding social norms! We might glibly say that there is no gain without at least a modicum of loss. But the loss of half of our young men of this present generation is a much greater loss than we should be willing to bear.

Still, I cannot regret the decline of Christianity now. Absolutely for the sake of that beautiful Being whose spiritual movement was stolen from Him after it had thrived for three hundred years, and who has spent the past seventeen hundred years loving the hundreds of millions of victims of Roman Christianity into emotional and spiritual health. No, I cannot now regret the fact that the Christianity of my nineteen-fifties childhood is well and truly dying at last.

Thomas still takes me along on some of his frequent visits with Jesus in the astral plane. He tells me that there are other guides who accompany me on most nights when I am out of my body, because he is sufficiently protective to make sure that I am never out of my body alone; but Jesus is my Thomas’s first priority. He assumes that I need no apology for that. And sometimes he simply takes me with him with amnesia for the experience, and I feed the fish or pat the deer or simply hang around while he and Jesus converse by mind. Thomas is helping Jesus to maintain His human balance. I feel like an idiot about tagging along that way, but Thomas gives me no choice in the matter. He feels responsible for me as my spirit guide, and He feels responsible for Jesus, too. On this past Thursday night, though, Jesus had a question for me, and so He called to me, and He also graciously granted to me the right to remember our meeting. This memory gradually came to me during the course of Friday morning, beginning with the memory of Jesus’s voice in my mind.  

“Little One? Little One? Come here and tell me about your day.”

I was briefly confused, and then I realized that I had been sitting maybe ten feet away from them, and somewhat behind them to give them privacy. I stood and went to sit beside Jesus. It felt amazing to be suddenly basking in His glorious, silken energy. My astral body can stand up and sit down easily and gracefully, which is nice. I seem to have adjusted by now to the power of Jesus’s presence; and anyway, He seems to be remembering to tone it down a lot for me. Beyond Him, I could see that Thomas was leaning forward around Jesus to give me his stern “Don’t embarrass me by saying something stupid” look. And Jesus was looking at me the way He looks at people, as if at this moment nothing else in all of reality matters to Him, but I matter very much. He was using spoken words for English practice, so I used words as well; I find His mild, unguessable accent simply adorable. I don’t remember very much about our conversation. I was so dazzled just to be unexpectedly there with Him, and so close to Him, looking into His eyes. Omigod. Jesus was trying to learn more about what it is like to go through a normal day in America in the year 2023. But I was not a very good reporter, because what I mostly do all day long is writing and legal work. Although we have kittens now. I told Him about playing with them. I told Him how our recent ice storm broke the trees. And as happens whenever I have just been with Jesus, more and more intensely throughout the day on Friday I had that glorious sense of Jesus like a lingering, luscious scent, His silken energy and the overwhelming love that He is. All day long on Friday I was lifted and smiling.   

But I think about this now, and I realize how extraordinary it is. Omigod, I know Jesus personally! I mean, to talk with Him! Isn’t this unbelievably wonderful? I don’t have to just believe in Jesus, because I know Jesus as my actual Friend. I know His mannerisms. He strokes and manipulates His sash with his fingers and looks briefly upward and away when He is thinking. He smiles that slight smile very often when He looks at you, as if the two of you are sharing a secret. Jesus gives you the sense when you and He are talking that He has all the time in the world to give to talking with you, and I know how hard that must be for Him to do when almost right away He was transforming into pale church-Jesus again, and going to greet more newly-dead Christians. His eternal life is nothing but love and service.   

And meanwhile, what I have come to think of as Jesus’s Future-Church experimenting still goes on. He is speaking to the hearts of many of the young, and with results that are flat-out astonishing to see; and wherever this is going I cannot imagine, but it is clearly delighting my beautiful Friend, and therefore it is also delighting me. His mind is a great deal more powerful now than it was two thousand years ago, and young people are responding to Him with love and joy. Jesus has not been on earth as a human being for two thousand years. Instead, He has been patiently working to heal the suffering of hundreds of millions of people that Christianity has damaged. And my Thomas, and others who are close to Him have meanwhile been carefully helped Him to keep in human balance. The resulting Being is extraordinary, as I can personally attest, and as we are seeing now as He sparks all these revivals.   

 While at the same time, people who love Roman Christianity are still trying to find some way for it to survive. And the more I have thought about it, the more I think that Jesus’s idea of simply creating a new and genuine Christianity that is free of fear and based on His teachings alone, and housing it in some of those empty churches, might after all make the most sense. It certainly is worth a try. It would be different if Jesus was talking about only tinkering around the edges of Christianity. But, my god, Jesus’s new Christianity is so altogether different from the old Christianity that it would be a complete departure. is apparently so satisfactory to Jesus now that He didn’t even mention it when I saw Him on Thursday night, and I am told that the developers have finished their work and the website will go live in this coming week. So if we call Future Church a whole new Christianity – which of course it surely is going to be – then that will ease the transition for those who want to still call themselves Christians. All I can think is that perhaps this gives us the only chance that we still might have left to create a new beginning for a healthier Christian community. And perhaps we then might rescue some of the lives of this foundering generation of young men from their awful state of terminal loneliness.  

The picture that heads our post this week is of my childhood church. It has wonderful antique stained-glass windows, and its most beautiful window takes up the whole back wall behind the preacher. It shows a brilliant life-size Jesus, resplendently dressed in red and talking with the Samaritan woman at the well. As a child, I would spend each Sunday morning adoring resplendent Jesus in His window with all its bold saturated colors as I listened to Reverend Turrell’s gentle sermons being preached as if they were coming directly from Jesus. There never was talk of judgment or hell, or ever the slightest reason to fear. That whole experience was such a beautiful exemplar for our coming Future Church!

And maybe tomorrow I’ll find what I’m after.
I’ll throw off my sorrow.
Beg, steal, or borrow my share of laughter.
With you I could learn to. With you, what a new day!
But who can I turn to If you turn away?
Anthony Newley (1931-1999) & Leslie Bricusse (1931-2021) from “Who Can I Turn To” (1964)


Future Church (Part I)

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!
– Adrianus Valerius (c.1575-1625), from “We Gather Together” (1597)

I can vividly recall singing our frame-verse in church when I was eight years old. This was back when every pew in that building of sacred memory was full, and when I was refusing to go to Sunday School. Instead, what I craved was Reverend Turrell’s sermons. I was always the only child attending grown-up church, and I remember that there were frowns from some of the grown-ups nearby; but my parents permitted it so that was that. I never let us miss a Sunday. I was trying to understand my experience of light.  I realize now how perfunctory, how entirely unserious being in that building on Sunday mornings likely was for some of the grown-ups in attendance; but for little me in my home-smocked dresses, it was the most deadly-serious and important part of my week. We never learned to fear in that church. In retrospect, among the many things that I think that Jesus designed into my life was my childhood pastor. There were three white steepled churches around the common in the little New England town where I grew up. And my parents had been guided to choose the one where I could learn only Jesus’s beautiful teachings through all my childhood years.

Because it is apparent now that this generation is in the process of enjoying the privilege of witnessing the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And it is also apparent that my own life has been directed toward helping to make this happen. We all want to believe that we are normal, right? And I am mostly normal. But I am coming now to accept the fact that there were some weird events in my childhood that have cast long shadows over my life. It wasn’t only that experience of light. There were other things, too, that I know happened then, and that I am trying to remember more clearly. My beloved Thomas has me on a needs-to-know basis, so he will never answer my questions. Except to acknowledge that of course he has been talking to me for my entire life, and of course all of this has been carefully planned. And it is all now unfolding on schedule.

Jesus seems to be feeling some urgency about separating Himself from the religion as it dies. He has inspired a successful television series about His earthly life, and an expensive (if strange) advertising campaign, and there also is a movie on the way. And now suddenly on February 8th there began a revival at a Christian college in the American South that is going strong, and it seems to be spreading nationwide. When I asked Thomas if Jesus had inspired that, too, he said, “Do you really need to ask?”

And now Jesus has just in this past week given us what I consider to be a new revelation. I thought we were getting away from Christianity, but it suddenly seems that He wants to make His coming movement into a new form of Christianity that is going to take over all those empty churches? Only, this time it will be for His Christianity? Jesus expects way too much of people in terms of intelligence and sophistication, if He thinks we will be able to tell the difference!

Believe it or not, Jesus calls me “my child.” This adorable Man who looks to be about the age of my own grandsons, whose personal energies are perfectly silken but are powerful enough to nuke the world, actually calls me “my child.” Of course, I have no idea how my astral body and face look to Him. There are no mirrors in the astral plane. But even though by now I am used to seeing Thomas casually treating Jesus as his familiar, and even on occasion play-fighting with Him, I cannot get past the fact that this is the genuine Jesus we are talking about! I cannot raise the least objection to Him. If He tells us this is going to work, then who am I to suggest to Him that He might conceivably be wrong?

Jesus has begun to call His new movement “Future Church.” And that comes as a relief to me, because I have had no idea what to call any possible movement that might flow from Jesus insists that this is not a religion, because all religions are human-made. But God can make a spiritual movement of God’s own to occupy those empty buildings. Later on, God’s people will give it a name. But God’s own Church will have no dogmas beyond the command to love God and love your fellow man, so there will be no divisions among God’s people. There will only be God’s single Church, and it will fill all those empty church buildings. Oh, okay. So no more forty-two-thousand-odd separate denominations? I think I am starting to like this idea! Will it even have a Bible? Will it even have pastors? That will all be up to the people of God. But Jesus, wouldn’t you then get some fake charismatics? Even people claiming to be You, reincarnated? What the three of us ended up with after some discussion on last Monday night was just the four Biblical Gospels as a canon, and maybe as the new Jesus Movement’s initial governing organ.

And here you can immediately see a problem. There were three of us involved in this foundational meeting, and the only one of us who is presently occupying a material body is me. And who am I, for heaven’s sake? Why would anyone listen to me? I saw this problem, and I mentioned it to Thomas afterward. He said that Jesus will never see it as a problem until it becomes a problem. At which point, Jesus will simply influence enough minds to make it be no longer a problem. It is good to have a very powerful Friend.

I never was able to envision Jesus’s new website, but Thomas channeled it through me and then Craig Hogan designed it. When Craig insisted that I had to approve it before it goes live early in March, of course then I had to look at it. Which I did wincingly at first, afraid that it could never be good enough for Jesus. How could anything ever be good enough for Jesus? But actually, I love it! I cannot get over how well it works, and how effectively it tells His story. I deserve none of the credit for it, but Craig gives me credit for it anyway. And now I cannot wait for it to go live!

And meanwhile, the serpent writhing in its slow death-throes that is the Roman Emperor Constantine’s Christianity continues to gradually die. What bothers me most about this process is seeing what it is doing to the life’s work of a few wonderful people that I have come to care for very much. And foremost among them is Father Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Father Richard is an eighty-year-old Franciscan priest, and no sweeter man ever breathed. But as a Catholic, he has had to follow the orthodoxy not of Jesus, but of the spiritual descendants of the Roman Emperor Constantine, and so as Father Richard winds down his career, and as he publicly sums up his life’s work, what he is summing up looks to be sadly nonsensical to me. And it grieves me so much to say that!

Here is Father Richard’s missive to the world last week:

“A previous director at our Center asked me, “Richard, you talk about so many things, but what are your underlying major themes that keep recurring in different forms?”

As I remember, I took at least two or three months to try to say, “Okay, that’s foundational, that’s foundational, and so forth.” And I brought them to her.

She read them, and she looked at me and said, “We have the curriculum for a school.”

It became the beginnings of what we now call the Living School, where we’re not trying to teach just theory, but practice. And I really think Christianity in general has been weak on practice. We attend services but note the word “attend.” “Attending” is not really participating with our active, embodied selves.

So what these Seven Themes led to were seven highly participatory conferences that we called CONSPIRE, because conspirare (Latin: con, with + spirare, to breathe) means “to breathe together.” How can we breathe together a kind of wisdom, a kind of what we hope is goodness for the world?

The Seven Themes are, I hope, an honest statement about the underlying foundations of what I teach.

From the CAC website:

  1. Scripture as validated by experience, and experience as validated by Tradition, are good scales for one’s spiritual worldview. (METHODOLOGY)
  2. If God is Trinity and Jesus is the face of God, then it is a benevolent universe. God is not someone to be afraid of but is the Ground of Being and on our side. (FOUNDATION)
  3. For those who see deeply there is only One Reality. By reason of the Incarnation, there is no truthful distinction between sacred and profane. (FRAME)
  4. Everything belongs. No one needs to be punished, scapegoated, or excluded. We cannot directly fight or separate ourselves from evil or untruth. Evil becomes apparent when exposed to the Truth. (ECUMENICAL)
  5. The “separate self” is the major problem, not the shadow self which only takes deeper forms of disguise. (TRANSFORMATION)
  6. The path of descent is the path of transformation. Struggle, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines. (PROCESS).
  7. Nonduality is the highest level of consciousness. Divine union, not private perfection, is the goal of all religion. (GOAL)

A friend of Father Richard’s writes that these Seven Themes “are more than simply the themes that have organized Richard Rohr’s life’s work; they are the fundamental issues that any serious Christian must engage in to develop a healthy and holistic spiritual worldview.”

I quote all of the above in love, and in support of Father Richard as he sums up his life’s work as this generation’s foremost American Catholic. I have read it a number of times over the past week, just trying to understand it, as I have also at the same time been reading through and proofing my Thomas’s summation of Jesus’s own life’s work as we have set it forth on, which Jesus instructed me last April should go live in March of this year. And the differences between the two are stunning. We find set forth here by Father Richard no mention of love or forgiveness or the spread of the kingdom of God on earth. Instead, it is all about Process! And that is what religions really are, is it not? Beyond the fear-based rules by which they try to control our lives, religions are all just form and procedure and process. That is why Jesus has always been so determined to abolish religions altogether.

And we can see now that of course Jesus is right. If we can fill all those empty churches with people discussing and ever better understanding the Lord’s teachings, and with no complications of fear-based, human-made dogmas and religious nonsense; and if people then are inspired to go forth and share and live those teachings, just as two thousand years ago they were first inspired to share and live the Lord’s teachings in their thousands, and then in their millions; then this time, without the Emperor Constantine’s false Christianity intervening, perhaps we truly can transform the world! And every bit of unnecessary religious process will be out the window.

The late Pope Benedict XVI suggested that, well, the Catholic Church is going to need to become small and begin all over again if it is to survive. Although I cannot now imagine that it is a part of Jesus’s plan for the Catholic Church to survive in any form at all. But still, just about everything that Jesus has done so far as He has planned His return has been amazing to me, so at this point, nothing further that He does is going to surprise me at all. For now, though, let us brainstorm with Him. What might this Future Church of the New Jesus Movement in all those old, abandoned churches possibly look like?

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be;
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

– Adrianus Valerius (c.1575-1625), from “We Gather Together” (1597)


Jesus Confirmed

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make decisions by what His ears hear;
But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the humble of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Also righteousness will be the belt around His hips,
And faithfulness the belt around His waist.
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion

and the fattened steer will be together;

And a little boy will lead them
(Isa 11:1-6).
– The Prophet Isaiah (740-701 BC)

There are a number of passages in the Old Testament that look to be prophecies of the coming of Jesus, and my favorite is this one, from the Book of Isaiah, that is our frame-verse for today. Please only note that the word “fear” here would mean something more like “reverence and extreme respect.” Jesus answers Isaiah’s prophesy so well! It is as if the great Prophet saw clearly not just who Jesus was going to be when He taught on earth seven hundred years later, but also who He would grow to become two thousand years after His earthly death and resurrection, which would then be even some twenty-seven hundred years after Isaiah spoke these words. And it is only this week that it first occurs to me that you and I might be living not at the end of Isaiah’s prophetic vision, but rather more toward the middle of it. So Isaiah might have been foreseeing some very much more idyllic day that lies yet even much farther along in our joyous shared earthly walk with Jesus.

One of the fruits of living a semi-public life is that I have many friends now that I never have met. I hear from you randomly, and I enjoy knowing you, and sometimes you send me wonderful gifts that can assist us all in our long shared walk. Several days ago one such friend sent me a gift that Jesus could not have given to us now in any other way. It was a few pages from a twenty-year-old book detailing a double-blind remote-viewing visit that was made to Jesus in the nineteen eighties. Omigod, I didn’t even know that remote-viewing in the astral plane is possible! But clearly it is, because the Jesus that I have been visiting and working with since April of last year is amazingly the very same Jesus who was militarily remote-viewed by this author in a double-blind experiment. And that viewer was rather freaked-out by his experience with Jesus. I also am somewhat freaked-out now as well. Truth to tell, I think that until this happened there has been a sense of plausible deniability to this whole project for me. I even have fondly taken to irreverently referring to Thomas and Jesus as “the Boys.” But this remote-viewer was getting a fix on his subject, and his subject turned and looked right at him, and the remote-viewer realized that his subject knew he was there. Which was impossible, because remote-viewing simply involves fixing on a distant target with your mind. And when reality hit this man, that was when it hit me as well.

I am going to share this with you, because you might need this validation as much as I have been needing it. It is important to be able to validate deeply amazing things, and it is frankly close to unbelievable that someone at Jesus’s level of spiritual development has chosen to remain at an accessible level of the astral plane. So in a case like His, some validation long has been needed. Which makes it feel especially wonderful that now you and I can find this validation in a book that is still in print with a 2003 publication date (It is called The Seventh Sense, by Lyn Buchanan). Very little is being done by the military with mental energies at this point, but back in the eighties and nineties there were a number of similar mental studies being conducted. And afterlife researchers consider it to be extremely important to confirm every bit of afterlife evidence with a second source if that is at all possible. So it is more delightful than I ever can tell you to be so unexpectedly given this second source as confirmation for all my astral  meetings with Jesus!

And from Jesus’s perspective, we might just note here that He is working at a considerable disadvantage. This is even despite the fact that Jesus’s mind is so immensely powerful that He could create havoc on the earth with His extraordinary mental powers alone. Would you like to see Armageddon, perhaps? Jesus could give you Armageddon any day of the week that He chose to do it. His mind is that powerful. But wreaking havoc on the earth is not what Jesus is all about at this point in His eternal life, and for the work that He actually wants to do, being disembodied is in some ways a disadvantage. My Thomas will on occasion mutter to me when his own lack of a material body gets in the way of something that he wants me to do, “You are the one with the hands.” But fortunately, Jesus can use His powerful mind to influence people to spend millions of dollars publicizing His name in non-religious ways as part of His plan to now reclaim His independent name and image. And Jesus knows that I have come to take His presence in my life far too much for granted. I have begun to think of Him as my personal familiar, perhaps something like another Thomas, so He influenced my friend to buy that book, and then to send me those pages that have rocked my world. I think He meant it as a bit of a corrective. And He knows by what I am saying here that it was a startling one, true, but still a welcome one!

Let us first set this scene for you. Remote-viewers fix their minds on a distant place and try to see it clearly, and then they will draw it. Some people become quite good at doing this. Craig Hogan is very good at remote-viewing. And decades ago, the military was experimenting with remote-viewing rather extensively, with an eye toward perhaps using it in wartime. In this case, they were also experimenting with focusing on remotely connecting with the minds of distant criminals. Drug lords and such. They could not have found Jesus if He had been where someone with His level of spiritual development should have been by then, at the Godhead level or actually above it. But where Jesus still is, at the entrance level of the astral plane and focused on maintaining His status as a fully differentiated human being, He was mentally accessible to this remote-viewer, just as that level is accessible to us when we are astral-traveling at night. And this author, who was then working for the military, had at that point in his career become so disgusted with reading the minds of despicable criminals that he asked, perhaps in semi-jest, for a mental palate-cleanser of some sort. Might he please read the mind of Mother Teresa, perhaps? Someone like that, for heaven’s sake?

A week later, he got his wish. They called it a “personality profile.” They wanted him to “lightly access” an unspecified target individual while he was sitting in a room on a military base. As the experiment began, he felt a light tingling in His face and hands, as of a slight sunburn with cool air passing over it, and he also began to feel as if he was glowing inside. He says, “The target person was one of the nicest people I had ever met. I really liked him. He was impressive. I could not find a single thing about him that I did not like. I became so intrigued that before I realized it was happening, the PSI experience began setting in.

“I found myself standing beside the man; he faced in one direction, and I faced in the other. I would have been shoulder to shoulder with him, had I not been a few inches taller than he. I looked over at him and saw the side of his face. He did not seem to take notice of my presence. I started to put my hand on his shoulder, to get him to think something, so I could gain better mental access. As my hand touched him, I felt a sudden rush of the most peaceful energetic power I have ever known. He continued to face forward, not taking notice of me, which is normal for the PSI experience. Since you are only accessing what your own subconscious knows about the site, the reality is virtual. No one at the target site ever knows you are there, simply because you are not.

 “As I tried again to gain better contact, I felt something I remember vividly to this day, but which I will never be able to adequately describe to anyone. He turned to look my way, gave a very slight smile, and then turned away again. He knew I was there. But, how?

“I tried to remove my hand from his shoulder, but the feeling that filled my entire being continued flowing. I remained standing there beside him, my hand on his shoulder, soaking up the most wonderful energy I had ever known. And I knew that he did not mind my doing so.

“When the flow seemed to stop, I still stood there, but I was now aware of myself more than of him. I sensed the presence of this powerful and perfect person, and was aware of the contrasts between him and myself. He turned to me again, gave the same slight smile, and I realized that he had just done a personality profile on me, as well. Even more, he had caused me to do a personality profile on myself, a totally honest and accurate one.”

 When this double-blind experiment was over, the envelope containing the identity of the target was opened. It contained a sheet of typewriter paper with a single word typed in the middle of it:


Oh, where to begin? Putting aside the fact that Jesus tells me that He remembers this man and this experience, the remote-viewer’s report also precisely jibes with the Jesus that I know. Jesus chooses to present in an astral body that is shorter than the average man’s body, and His overwhelmingly powerful but gorgeously silken personal energy is the most extraordinary thing about Him.

And I know His little half-smile so well! Jesus smiles that way often, as if you and He are sharing some marvelous secret. Yes indeed, some forty years ago this author met our beautiful friend, Jesus, the Son of the Living God. He met the same Jesus that I first met on April 6, 2022. The Jesus that I have been working with for most of this past year. Now Jesus wants us all to have this independently-published validation.

The first time I read that book excerpt, my skin pricked and my mouth went dry. I don’t think that I really deeply understood until then that my own Jesus is in fact the Jesus. And I love my Jesus in such a fond and doting way. In such a personal way. I am having trouble letting go of that, and giving Him back to the world, which owns Him. I fully realize how stupid that sounds. But my spirit guide’s personal love for Jesus which spans the past six thousand years seems to have rubbed off on me. Jesus is so universally adored! And yet in the most profound sense, He is not really loved. He is worshiped. There is no one more truly alone than is Jesus. I have so much enjoyed working with Him on Just being needed by Him in that little way, even though I admit that some of His Core Teachings have shocked me. “You don’t really mean that, do You?” Then He would give me His little half-smile.

Oh how I love His smile! We have agreed on hair for the website model which is halfway between the hair that He wears normally and the church-Jesus hair that He adopts for welcoming all those Christians home. He seems not to care, since His entire focus now is on beginning all over again right from the start His original movement that Constantine long ago interrupted, so He can at last bring the kingdom of God on earth. Hair is the last thing on His mind. He sees me write this, and again there is that sweet half-smile.

 “Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea” (Isa 11:7-9).
– The Prophet Isaiah (740-701 BC)

Knowing Jesus

My sweet Lord, My Lord.
I really want to see you.
Really want to be with you.
Really want to see you, Lord,
But it takes so long, my Lord.
My sweet Lord. My Lord, My Lord.
I really want to know you.
Really want to go with you.
Really want to show you, Lord.
But it won’t take long, my Lord (Hallelujah!)
 – George Harrison (1943-2001), from “My Sweet Lord” (1970)

In the past nine months I have been given such an extraordinary gift. Religious people speak freely about “knowing Jesus.” But I never had remotely thought that I ever would, you know, actually get to know Jesus. Now, however, I am dumbfounded to say that on the sixth day of April last year I actually met Jesus the risen Christ face to face. It turns out that a lot of people meet Jesus in the astral plane soon after their deaths. He makes a point of that. Jesus loves humankind to such an extent that, rather than ascending as He long ago would have been expected to ascend in the natural order of things and merge with the Godhead Collective, He has instead maintained His separate existence on the entrance level of the astral plane. And there He welcomes home all the adherents of Roman Christianity who hope to be blessed by Him personally. There are more than two billion Christians still living on earth, so He is going to be at this task for a while.

All of us generally leave our bodies on most nights while our bodies sleep. For what might be as much as two or three hours, using energy bodies that are mimics of our earthly bodies and trailing energy cords that keep our material bodies alive, we slip our earthly shells for some spiritual recreation. On many nights we never leave our bedrooms, although sometimes with our spirit guides we will take night-trips that generally don’t go far in distance, but are mostly vertical lifts in vibration. It is up to our spirit guides whether we are going to remember these nightly trips, and the trip that Thomas and I took last April was in the nature of a business meeting so I was going to need to remember what was said. On that April night I had the sense of waking up sitting on an astral river bank between Thomas and Jesus, feeding neon-colored fish.

Our Companion looked nothing like church-Jesus, but I knew where we were and I knew who He was. Being there made me recall that of course I had been there before in that love-based atmosphere, surrounded by colors that don’t exist on earth. And the subtle smells of the place are something that I don’t think that you ever forget. We recognize people in the astral plane by their unique personal energies, and Jesus’s energy is extraordinary, unbearably powerful but sweetly silken and with no down-notes at all. Sitting there, though, He looked like just some folksy older guy. He was talking as this memory begins, and Thomas was sending Him the thought that I would be able to understand His thoughts, so He smoothly switched to the mental method of communication that is usual in the astral plane. Jesus clearly knew that I was alarmed, because what He was mentally telling me was that as I became more comfortable, He would revert to looking as He usually looks. Omigod, I couldn’t even look at His face! Thomas had given me no preparation, and that grandfather-look was no camouflage. I had visited the astral plane before with Thomas, and had seen Jesus there a couple of times from a distance, when Thomas had pointed Him out. But I never had imagined I would talk with Him. And be sitting beside him, less than two feet away!

That night began for me a series of shocks. And the fact that Jesus now chooses to look more the way He would have looked when He was a brown-skinned Mediterranean Jew two thousand years ago is the least of it. Meeting Him has also made me dredge up and confront from decades ago all the early Christian history that I learned when I was in college. If I had been Jesus, and had started a spiritual movement that had been as successful for more than three hundred years as His own movement was, and then my movement had been destroyed the way Constantine ruthlessly destroyed the Jesus Movement, I would have been infuriated. And they even stole and used His name! He managed to preserve the core of His teachings inside the Christian Bible, but the core teachings of the Christian religion itself have nothing to do with Jesus. How can He not be a literal cauldron of raging grievances by now? There can be no greater advertisement for the success of living Jesus’s teachings than the Man is Himself. He has patiently waited out Roman Christianity for seventeen hundred earth-years, and now He intends to begin to teach His genuine truths all over again from the beginning.

Learning about Thomas’s history with Jesus, and about my own history with Thomas, explains some things about my own life. All of us accept amnesia when we enter these earth-lifetimes, and after this body dies I will sort out the rest. And meanwhile, Thomas seems generally to take me along on his nightly visits to Jesus, but with amnesia for the experience, very much as you might take along your uncomprehending Labrador retriever. It is part of the spirit guides’ code that he must never leave me alone for long. Thomas, however, also takes very seriously a sacred pledge that he made long ago.

As we have previously said here, Thomas’s role for Jesus is “balance.” All that Jesus ever gets is worship, but Thomas has known Jesus for so long, and six thousand years ago he was Jesus’s older brother in the Lord’s last human lifetime, so Thomas is the only being left anywhere who still is able to give to Jesus what each of us gets from our own familiars: just basic human interaction. And I have come to understand that for a Being at Jesus’s elevated level of spiritual development, what Thomas does for Jesus each night is essential. Without someone willing to help Him keep in regular human practice, Jesus would rapidly lose the remaining human remnant that He still has left.

For most of my life, Thomas has cloaked my astral experiences in such deep amnesia that I have had no memory of them at all. And to be frank, for most of that time I knew so little about what is really going on that I would not have comprehended much of it anyway. But after I actually met Jesus in April – and I am told that happened at Jesus’s request – Thomas has experimented with letting me remember a few of our nightly excursions. Not many. And it has been fascinating and heartwarming to watch their interactions from a respectful distance. They communicate mostly in some other language, or in what I suspect might be a pidgin of languages, and both by thought and verbally, so I seldom have a clue about what they are saying. And for much of their time together they talk warmly, sitting close together on that riverbank or sometimes walking, both in long astral robes, often laughing and teasing one another, and deep in the kind of verbal dance that close friends easily do. And then occasionally, Thomas will beat Jesus up. Not actually, but Jesus will say some trigger-word that is meant to infuriate Thomas, and Thomas says a word that I have been told translates to “Brat!” And then he chases and catches Jesus, and astral bodies are indestructible anyway. But the first time I saw this happen, I was horrified.

My spirit guide beats up the King of Kings. And now I have seen everything. But as I think more deeply through all of this, and as we prepare for to go live about the end of February on the schedule that Jesus has planned, I am seized by a vague but increasing worry. A blogger on recently expressed my worry, and seeing it in black and white made me delete his post from my feed, so now I cannot link it for you. What I remember is that He said that the universalists shouldn’t be so smug about their insistence that there is no hell, because “if everyone goes to heaven, then Jesus died for nothing so now who needs Jesus?” My worry more precisely is that no Christian sees Jesus as a brown-skinned Jewish Teacher. But that is who He is and who He always was, and that is the way that He wants to be seen now. What He wants to do is to go back, literally, two thousand years, to the shores and hillsides of Galilee, looking not the way that church-Jesus looks, but looking instead like Mediterranean Jesus. And He wants to send all of us out now as His disciples to share not the Roman Emperor Constantine’s fear-based religion that is rapidly failing worldwide, but sharing instead His own love-based Core Teachings that can at last and forevermore truly bring the kingdom of God on earth. But, could that happen? Who would listen? Is it even possible at this point?  

My fear is that instead, people might see Jesus as only nothing more than Christianity’s trademark name and face. So as the religion dies, so also might they see Jesus as outmoded as well, just as they would lose interest in any other trademark of a company that had fallen out of favor. As the religion dies, will the good name of Jesus also and inevitably die with it?

In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ is the most charismatic Man that you can imagine. He is the most popular guy, the star of every class, the one that everyone gravitates to and votes for and listens to and loves. When He looks at you, He truly sees you and He loves every single thing about you, and you feel that so powerfully that nothing else matters. I cannot get enough of simply being with Jesus! Just listening to His voice. It doesn’t matter what He says. And Thomas is smiling now, to see me writing this. He shares none of my worries. But it will be just a website! No one who visits it will experience Jesus. If only there were a way for people to hang out with Him, you would have people there by the millions. But, just at a website? No chance.

I have come to think of Jesus’s two-thousand-year post-incarnation life as a grand-scale experiment in the farthest reaches of love. According to the laws of Consciousness, He should long since have ascended and merged with the Godhead Collective. But for His pure, ardent love for humankind He has remained as human as possible while His vibration and His personal power have grown ever more, and in this He is unique. While He remained on the entrance level of the astral plane and nursed back to spiritual health the hundreds of millions of people that Roman Christianity was damaging with its fear-based dogmas and its Inquisitions and its Crusades, and His vibration and His power grew ever more elevated, and while His erstwhile brother kept working to keep Him in balance, and also kept taking repeated lives on earth to try to protect His Biblical teachings, and neither of them knew when or where this would end, Jesus grew vastly more spiritually powerful. He may be individually even more powerful now than is the whole Godhead Collective that continuously manifests this universe, and I say this because Thomas tells me that they have briefly ventured together even above the Godhead level with no energetic resistance at all, which is astounding. And I should add, too, that my Thomas has done His part. When I was seeking quotations for The Fun of Loving Jesus, I found sufficient great quotations from Thomas Jefferson to make him that book’s keynote speaker. And through all of this, Jesus was developing into the sweet and gentle and almost childlike Being that He is today.  

And so we look at Jesus now. When I try to step back far enough to really see Jesus, I have to say that even as He is literally God, at the same time when He is compared to the Man who died on that cross, He is amazingly more childlike. Two thousand years ago, Jesus’s disciples came to Him and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And Jesus called a child to Himself and set him among them, and He said, “Truly I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (MT 18:1-3). He was always saying some variation of that, and with it He hit the mark precisely. Rather than causing Him to grow in ego, as it could quite justifiably have done, spiritual power as overwhelming as His has only made Jesus ever milder. I cannot envision the Jesus of today ever calling clergymen sons of hell, as He did back when He was last on earth, or overturning the tables of money changers in the Temple. No, this Jesus has risen very far above that! In predicting His coming some seven hundred years before His birth, the prophet Isaiah said in part, And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fattened steer will be together; And a little boy will lead them (Isaiah 11:6).

And I wonder now whether Isaiah may have been seeing for us all even today a far better future. To know Jesus is to know a divine love so powerful that it is the Alpha and Omega and the bright morning star. To know Jesus now, I realize that we may be seeing in our own future some of what Isaiah could see when He foretold the Lord’s divine birth. We will say more about this next week.

My sweet Lord (Hallelujah!)
My Lord (Hallelujah!)
My sweet Lord (Hallelujah!)
Really want to see you,
Really want to see you,
Really want to see you, Lord.
Really want to see you, Lord.
But it takes so long, my lord (Hallelujah!)

– George Harrison (1943-2001), from “My Sweet Lord” (1970)


p.s. Many thanks to those who are reviewing The Fun of Loving Jesus! I cannot believe what Amazon charges for such a skinny book. We are looking now into buying it in bulk from the printer, so we can give it away.

Building on a Rock

This land is mine.
God gave this land to me.
This brave and ancient land to me.
And when the morning sun
Reveals her hills and plains,
Then I see a land
Where children can run free.
So take my hand
And walk this land with me.
And walk this lovely land with me.
– Pat Boone, from “The Exodus Song” (1960)

You would think that building a website for Jesus would be a simple thing, but I struggled with the design for months. When you are asked to do something for Jesus, you want it to be completely amazing! I want people to love Jesus’s words as I love His words, and to see in them all that I see in them. I want everyone to easily find in those words each his or her own perfect pathway to his or her own more wonderful life, and I couldn’t find a way to make that happen. Eventually we came up with what I now think of as a starter version of I imagine that we will be working on this website for years, gradually making it work ever better for each individual user. Because the teachings of Jesus are at the same time both much more complex and a great deal simpler than they seem to be when you first read them.  

Please take, for example, the Lord’s teaching that Thomas and Jesus have been urging me to write about for weeks. They tell me that it is meant to be Jesus’s Ninth Core Teaching. And I tell them that, sure, but I don’t see enough in it even to make a half-decent blog post! “Just follow Jesus’s teachings closely and you can live a better life.” That is your entire blog post right there. So, how is that a Core Teaching?

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and its collapse was great” (MT 7:24-27). And there you have it! That is the whole blog post. Just do what Jesus says. Done deal. But still, they keep insisting. Oy.

What was Jesus really talking about when He talked about rock vs. sand? Well, anyone who knows Jesus would guess that He was talking about love. Build your house on love. Almost every third word out of Jesus’s mouth has something to do with love. But we know by now that for Jesus, love is not what you and I think of as love. No, for Jesus, love is not an emotion. It is an intense and profound and unchangeable way of being.

“Then His mother and His brothers came, and while standing outside they sent word to Him, calling for Him. And a crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, ‘Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.’ Answering them, He said, ‘Who are My mother and My brothers?’ And looking around at those who were sitting around Him, He said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers!  For whoever does the will of God, this is My brother, and sister, and mother’” (MK 3:31-35).

A Course in Miracles was channeled to us in the nineteen-sixties by a team that reportedly was headed by Jesus. And in The Course, Jesus calls the kind of love that we have for our family members and close friends “special loves,” and He says that special loves are as spiritually counterproductive as are “special hates.” Believe it or not! No, the kind of love that Jesus teaches is universal. It is big enough to encompass all of humankind, as constant as the ground on which you stand, and important enough that you would give your life for it without a thought. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but I have seen that kind of love at work. That is the love that lives in Jesus.

As our wonderful friend Father Richard Rohr says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is really a metaphor for a state of consciousness . . . it is not a place you go to, but a place you come from. It is a whole new way of looking at the world, a transformed awareness that literally turns this world into a different place. . . The hallmark of this awareness is that it sees no separation—not between God and humans, not between humans and other humans. . . . When Jesus talks about this Oneness … what he more has in mind is a complete, mutual indwelling.” So Fr. Rohr calls the divine love that Jesus taught “Oneness,” which is a reasonable description of how it feels as it grows in you. The love that Jesus taught is a universal love that makes no distinction among people at all.

Here is what the love that Jesus taught is not:

  • Personal. If there is anyone that you are unable to love, then you are being too personal. It is time for a reset.
  • Stressful. The process of raising your personal consciousness vibration toward more perfect love is stress-free by nature. And in fact, it requires that you free yourself from all outside stresses as much as you can in order for it to work really well. And if you find yourself gritting your teeth as you try to forgive, then you are doing it wrong; it is time to start over and practice the basics of raising your consciousness vibration more patiently.
  • Enjoyable. Falling in love feels wonderful! We thrill! We soar! But none of those intense feelings of personal love is associated with the early stages of achieving the universal love for all of humankind that Jesus teaches. At first, to be frank, the love that Jesus teaches feels more like a flattening of your emotions. It feels like a kind of distancing from actively loving those closest to you. It is only later, from the space of universal peace that raising your consciousness vibration fosters in you, that your heart starts to swell until it encompasses all of humanity.
  • Variable. Approaching ever more universal love creates in you a more stable mood-base. It makes it so that you will less and less feel earth-life’s emotional ups and downs, but rather you will feel yourself to be at a little distance from them. And this includes even the great emotional highs and lows, like winning the lottery or the loss of a loved one. As this feeling builds, you come to transcend all earthly concerns, and you begin to feel a kind of deep and constant mild happiness, no matter what might be going on around you.
  • Fickle. We tend to think of love as something like a meter that measures how we feel from day to day about the people who are closest to us. We love them more when they are helpful to us, and less when they do things that annoy us. But the universal love that Jesus teaches is the exact opposite of the roller coaster of special loves! As the universal love that Jesus taught builds in you, you will be less and less annoyed or elated by those close to you, no matter what they might be doing.

My dear friends, raising your personal consciousness vibration is a deliberate process. It requires that you literally be love, every hour of every day. Some people do it using an Eastern religious practice, but I have found that by far the easiest method is the teachings of Jesus. By far! They work effortlessly, and within months I was seeing everything so differently. When I first began to cultivate Jesus’s genuine love for all of humankind, it felt as if I was losing some of my love for my close family. But instead, my love for everyone in the world was catching up to the way that I love my family members. And one of the first symptoms of this flattening was the moment, perhaps a dozen years ago now, when my husband picked me up at the airport as I was returning from a business trip. And I was feeling so much compassion for him, to think that he had been alone all week, that I spontaneously told him that if he found a lady friend to share dinners with when I was away, you know, darling, I wouldn’t mind. Poor man – he just looked at me funny. But that is what developing universal love can do.  

My two great youthful heroes were both radical ministers, and they continue to inspire me to this day. As I think of it now, each gives to us an extraordinary example of what it is to have built your spiritual house on a solid rock constructed of the teachings of Jesus. And then, perhaps inevitably, each was martyred in the spiritual house that He had built on that rock:

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer fought the Nazis’ anti-Semitic murder-machine with everything that was in him, but his only real weapons were his pen and the universal love that Jesus taught. He was hanged at the Flossenburg extermination camp at the age of thirty-nine for plotting to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and he died only days before he would have been rescued. I fell in love with Dr. Bonhoeffer’s legacy in college, that persistent but reluctant hero, a budding intellectual and a beautiful writer.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. also was martyred at the age of thirty-nine. Dr. King had such a sure connection to the radical power of Jesus’s love that when racists bombed his home while his wife and infant daughter were inside, he was peacefully able to tell an angry mob bent on revenge that fighting violence with violence gets us nowhere, so they must now peacefully disperse. I fell in love with Dr. King in college, too, when the Civil Rights movement was at its height, that slight young man and his magnificent voice.

You and I follow Jesus in the wake of giants. And now I realize of course that there can be no more ideal examples than these two amazing young men of people whose houses were built on the rock of the universal love that Jesus taught. And they lived at two of the worst moments in history, when Nazi Germany and the racist American South washed away so very many whose spiritual houses had been built upon shifting sand! So, yes, dear Jesus and Thomas, we can make a whole blog post out of your suggestion. And we likely can make a Core Teaching of it, too.

Both Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr. had only set out to live decent lives. They were not asking for trouble. As Dr. King said, “Like anyone, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place.” Most of the other people who were alive where and when they each lived their lives had built their spiritual houses on the unsteady sands of no solid principles, so when the Nazis and the haters came, those others had no rock beneath the houses they had built, and as the troubles rolled in for their respective generations, those troubles washed most of those others away. But the few who had built their houses on the immovable rock of the love that Jesus taught stood strong! My heroes did not enjoy being heroes. Watch Dr. King’s face in those old clips. He was never exultant. Never glad to make history. And I don’t know that I ever have seen a picture of Dr. Bonhoeffer wearing more than a half-smile that never reached his eyes. But living where and when each of them lived, there on that solid rock with Jesus, they did what they knew they had to do. They could have done no other.

And it is first now that I feel that I really begin to understand this teaching by Jesus. It is no trivial thing! To build our house upon the solid rock of the love that Jesus taught means loving enough to fight for the right with your whole being, and to love the least of these people with your whole heart and as if nothing else matters. I have just read that Dr. Bonhoeffer’s death was likely not by hanging but under torture. And Dr. King was hounded by the despicable J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, who tried to ruin Dr. King’s reputation even long after his death. But even if they could have known their futures, neither of my heroes would have deviated from his course for a moment.

To love as Jesus loves is to love as Dietrich Bonhoeffer loved, and as Martin Luther King, Jr.  loved. Or else to miss out on the love that matters, which means to never really love at all.   

Though I am just a man,
When you are by my side,
With the help of God
I know I can be strong,
To make this land our home.
If I must fight, I’ll fight
To make this land our own.
Until I die, this land is mine.
– Pat Boone, from “The Exodus Song” (1960)

Postscript: All the photos but the first were taken in Jesus’s earthly homeland.

Whose Christianity?

I paused to watch a darting speck
That flickered in the yellow breeze
And came to taste my daisy bed
And touched with gold my lazy trees
And blessed all I had done.

And though I had to turn my head,
I watched it as it fluttered by.
And though I had to work instead,
I ached to be a butterfly
And frolic in the sun.
– Roberta Grimes, from “Butterfly” (1962, 2012)

Christianity is dying now in much the way that a serpent might die, writhing and churning as it seeks to maintain its hold on teachings that have nothing to do with Jesus. That image of Christianity as a dying serpent came to mind as I read a diatribe against what someone called “the heresy of universalism.” And what is this monstrous heresy, you might ask? What could be the worst heresy of them all? Why, it is the awful notion, so ghastly even to contemplate, that everyone might be going to heaven, even those who never have claimed the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal savior. But I can tell you now with certainty, after having spent more than fifty years studying the genuine afterlife, that universalism is no heresy at all. It is instead an absolute fact. The true God is a far greater God than any petty Christian ever has imagined, so everyone does indeed go to the self-same afterlife together, no matter what they believed in life. But tragically, it is this very sadistic pettiness of Roman Christianity that is the only thing that lies behind the whole concept of the Christian belief in a fiery hell.  Someone recently wrote a tongue-in-cheek post for Patheos, the Christian blogging website, about how relieved an imagined group of mean and petty Christians are to learn that hell is real after all, so some of the people those Christians thought ought to by rights be condemned to burn in hell are indeed roasting in hell right now. But in fact, of course, there is no hell, and the concept of hell has caused so many millions tremendous emotional pain.

Christianity has never recovered from the Covid closures. And traditional Christian practice – at least in the United States – has become a partially online activity, while it seems at the same time to have entered a more rapid stage of its writhing decline. I watch all this happen, and I feel as miserable about it as if I am the cause of it all. I apologize for having left off last week’s post with a set of enigmatic ellipses. But Christianity is dying fast, and I feel as if I am its executioner. I have loved Christianity since I was a child, and ever since my childhood experience of light I had assumed that I was eventually going to become a minister. And now, as I have been working on, and feeling deeply called to do it, and even feeling called to do it by Jesus, even though the purpose of the website itself is the further destruction of the Christianity that I love, I had begun to hear faint whispers in my mind from someone saying, “Christian, love me more.” For days I tried to ignore that whisper. This is just what feeling guilty does to you, I thought. I kept telling myself that actually losing your mind is a conscious choice, so I could choose not to do it. “Christian, love me more.” But could feeling so guilty make you lose your mind? Was that a real possibility? That whisper would not stop, so then I Googled the phrase and it came right up. There it was: an old hymn from my childhood. It was the perfect theme for this whole series, so Thomas and I used it as our frame-verse last week.    

And then, as I was working on this post in the middle of last Tuesday night, I drifted into a catnap. And I had a vision of the pink child’s bookcase that was in my bedroom when I had my experience of light; but it was standing out at the curb with the trash, and oddly it was covered in moss. This was a vision and not a dream, since it has stayed with me ever since. When I asked my Thomas what the heck was going on, he told me that Jesus is dredging up these old memories for me. The hymn. The bookcase. He wants me to more intensely recall the Christianity of my childhood days so I can now more properly throw it all away.

What is astonishing is that even now, there are people who confidently believe that the Catholic Church carries a permanent franchise granted to it by Jesus. They say it smugly, as if just saying it with enough certainty might put more people back in those pews. Or Protestants in evangelical churches try to mix organ music with praise bands, in something they are calling the worship wars. Or then there is the megachurch theory, to overwhelm people with the smell of success. Or then, even possibly, what just might work is a return to the solidity of old-fashioned ways. Anything to put people back in those pews! But the plain fact is that the Roman Emperor Constantine’s idea for a religion that he could use as a weapon of mass control is just not working anymore, and it never is going to work again, no matter what we try. 

Seventeen hundred years ago, the Romans under Constantine seized and destroyed a spiritual movement that was then three hundred years old and thriving. Had they simply left that movement alone, it might have gradually overspread the world and made the universal love that Jesus taught the lingua franca of humankind. But emperors bent on conquest have no interest in teaching the world how to love. So the Romans cut down and reshaped the Jesus movement into a religion that they thought they could use as a more effective means of control, and they destroyed all its love-based variations. For how long did the Christianity of Jesus survive? Just to give you some idea, three hundred years ago was the year 1723, and Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743, so more than the lifetime of the United States until now was the lifetime of Jesus’s spiritual movement. And in those three hundred years after Jesus’s ascension, the movement that He and His followers had begun had already grown to millions of people when Constantine co-opted it. The Roman armies massacred whole villages of those first followers of Jesus, and they hung them on crosses or fed them to lions in coliseums in the process of creating their own new religion. Because the thing about organized religions that so often makes them evil is that they cannot tolerate competing ideas. But the Jesus Movement – which is what Jesus’s movement actually seems to have been calling itself in various languages by the time it was destroyed – had tolerated a host of widely varying beliefs. There was that one belief, though, that tickled Constantine’s fancy. He loved the idea that Jesus had been crucified for our sins, and that Jesus then had risen from the dead. It was not the central teaching of the Jesus Movement, but it ended up being the primary fear-based dogma of Constantine’s new Roman Christian religion. That was something the Romans knew they really could use!

So the Romans killed the Jesus Movement, but they did keep the figurehead of Jesus. Then Constantine presided over the First Nicaean Council in the year 325. It was the first in a series of seven Roman Christian Councils, and there they set about creating the Roman version of Christianity that is practiced worldwide today. In the Bible that the Councilors put together, we do have preserved the core of the teachings of Jesus, and a record of the start of the Jesus Movement. But the dogmas of Roman Christianity have nothing to do with what Jesus taught. I have asked a few Christians that I know well enough to actually ask them why Christians don’t, you know, actually read and follow the Gospel teachings of Jesus. Some of them protest that of course they do. Some admit that they don’t, but say perhaps they should. Although none of them think this is much of a problem. But, good grief! When the core of the Roman Christian religion is that Jesus died as a sacrifice to God for our sins, and Jesus tells us right in the Gospel of John that God never judges us for our sins so no sacrifice is needed, then I would say that is a pretty big problem!

Christianity as it stands now is built on a lie. And it is a gigantic lie. Jesus died for our sins, and unless you claim Him as your personal Savior, you are going to hell? Wow, that lie is epic. And you can sell a lie for only so long before people catch on and your lie falls apart. The Christian Bible, too, is an important book, but it is not the inerrant word of God. Sad to say, that is another big lie. So the Christianity that the Roman Emperor Constantine designed as a fear-based weapon to control the masses of his day is being practiced now by more than two billion people, nearly all of whom think that they are following Jesus. But none of these people has much idea of what their beloved Jesus actually taught.

After Jesus has endured seventeen hundred years of this treatment, I find it hard to even imagine the level of His personal frustration. I don’t know how He patiently manages it, but Jesus transforms Himself into church-Jesus repeatedly, something like every hour on the hour if there were hours where He is now, so as not to disappoint all the newly-transitioned people who keep coming to Him to receive His post-death blessing. He helps people on earth, He constantly answers prayers, He is always deep in service. Just a couple of nights ago, Thomas and I met with Jesus briefly, and something in the order of things had broken down so much that I remember that meeting. Which never is supposed to happen, unless there is some reason for me to remember a meeting with Jesus. And He was indeed Jesus. Omigod. I was feeling His overwhelmingly powerful and gorgeously silken personal energy. But He looked like a mix of church-Jesus and Mediterranean Jesus, with olive skin but lighter, longer, and almost-straight hair. He seemed a bit flustered, and He was speaking so rapidly to Thomas that I couldn’t register what He was saying. If Jesus is being so driven to distraction now that He can no longer manage smoothly transitioning back and forth between His astral bodies, then we really are in the midst of a crisis.

My dear friends, I wrote the first half of our frame-verse when I was sixteen years old. I found it among my mother’s papers after her death, and I actually remember writing that first half, sitting at a picnic table in my family’s backyard on a hot summer day. When I found it, I thought that poem needed a second half, so fifty years later I gave it one. And now modern Christianity, too, is ready for its second half. But so much more importantly, Jesus deserves the right to bring to completion what so long ago He so well began. Jesus’s own true Christianity looks nothing like our present Roman Christianity. And His Jesus doesn’t even look like our Jesus! When I first personally met Jesus last April, and I asked Him why He chooses to look as He chooses to look now, He said just that everyone looked that way back then. Well, of course they did. To tell you the truth, I am used to it now, but nine months ago His Mediterranean look was a shock.

And now, my beloveds, it is long past time for each of us to choose! Will we choose Jesus as He wants to look now, with His Bible which contains just His four Gospels and His love-based teachings that can transform the world? Or on the other hand, will we choose to remain with the Roman Emperor Constantine’s fear-based Christianity, and his thicker Bible that the First Nicaean Councilors assembled at Constantine’s command? It must be one or the other. So, whose Christianity will you choose?

Now fifty years have come and gone
Between that butterfly and me.
I’ve done what I set out to do,
But still my fondest memory
Is what I wouldn’t try.

I’ve had enough of cheap success
And superficial days and hours.
Now what I want is gentleness,
The joy of decorating flowers
And trembling in the sky.
– Roberta Grimes, from “Butterfly” (1962, 2012)

“My Commandment” (Part II)

Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of our life’s wild restless sea;
day by day his voice still calls us saying, ‘Christian, follow me.’
As of old Saint Andrew heard it by the Galilean lake,
turned from home and work and kindred, leaving all for Jesus’s sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship of the vain world’s golden store,
from each idol that would keep us, saying, ‘Christian, love me more.’
In our joys and in our sorrows, days of toil and hours of ease,
Jesus calls, in cares and pleasures, ‘Christian, love me more than these.’
– Cecil Francis Alexander (1818-1895), From “Jesus calls us, O’er the Tumult” (1852)

Last week  we heard Jesus say to His Apostles, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (JN 15:18-19).

And in the Book of Matthew Jesus gives a longer pre-crucifixion charge to His Apostles that includes these words: “As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is deserving of his support. …

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be as wary as serpents, and as innocent as doves. But be on guard against people, for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings on My account, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who are speaking, but it is the Spirit of your Father who is speaking in you. 

“Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. 

“But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes” (MT 10:5-23).

Jesus even says, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I came to turn a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a person’s enemies will be the members of his household” (MT 10:34-36).

What on earth is going on?! All this hatred, and yet when we think of Jesus we imagine a kindly and loving Man teaching radical forgiveness and perfect love. Whether the version of Jesus in your mind is pale church-Jesus with blue eyes and light-brown hair to His shoulders, or is the sweet young Mediterranean-looking Man that Jesus prefers to present to His astral visitors today, this notion that Jesus was hated when He was teaching on earth is hard to imagine. But when you read the Bible through, you are unceremoniously dumped from the archaic Old Testament Book of Malachi directly into the Gospel of Matthew, and you are suddenly in the presence of a modern young Man teaching primitives. Unless you are blind and deaf, you really cannot help seeing their cultural friction. Jesus is the Son of God! His coming was foretold as the Son of Man (see e.g. Ezekiel 33), and Jesus Himself claimed that designation. The cultural shock is at least as extreme as it would be if a Man from the far future were to land abruptly in Times Square today. The people around Jesus were living in the Iron Age, many of them illiterate, deeply clannish, and highly superstitious. They were heavily oppressed by Roman rule, by their own ruler Herod, and by the rule of their clergy. And in addition, there are some peculiarities about Jesus’s life on earth and about the life of His mother that my favorite blogger, Keith Giles, may just have nicely explained for us. Mother Mary and Jesus may in fact have been slaves.

Slavery was common in Biblical times. And as Keith’s source explains, the Greek word that Mary uses to identify herself to the Archangel Gabriel in the Gospel of Luke is the word for “slave.” As I first read Keith’s recent post on this topic and the Daily Beast article on which he draws, I realized that the point he was making explains a number of things about Jesus’s life on earth that have never before made sense to me, including this odd question about why Jesus was so much hated by some for preaching with authority, especially near the start of His ministry. As the son of a slave mother, Jesus would have been born a slave Himself; but a law passed when He was a child would have freed Him at the age of thirty… which would neatly explain why He delayed beginning His public ministry until He reached the age of thirty. Omigod. And as an observant Jew, Jesus should have been married in His teens, but oddly that seems not to have happened. As perhaps it would not have happened if He was a slave when He was a teenager. And this also might explain why, when there was no room for them in the Inn, a stable was thought to be sufficient shelter for a slave-mother who was about to give birth.

And Joseph may have chosen not to marry a slave, even despite the Archangel Gabriel’s amazing announcement of the divinity of Mary’s coming child. And although Joseph may have had other children by Mary, he later may have instead married a free woman. Marriage for women in that time and place was an institution not much different from slavery, in any event. And if Mary was indeed a slave, that also might explain why Jesus from the cross asked His Apostle, John, to look after His mother (see JN 19:27), assuming that He could not be certain that his father would dependably care for His mother after His own death. As indeed Joseph did not, according to a close reading of the Gospel of Luke.  

But Joseph did give Jesus a good education, to prepare his enslaved but still beloved oldest son for His legal emancipation as an adult. And meanwhile, Jesus’s status as a bondsman in His youth would adequately explain what are called the “lost years” of His twenties, when He would have been an enslaved carpenter. And I do know Jesus now! If the Jesus that I know and adore was planning to be born into a lifetime to be lived in a place where a significant percentage of the population was enslaved, then He would have wanted to be born enslaved Himself. Of that, I have not the slightest doubt. When I asked my Thomas if all of this was true, his answer was, “Do you really have to ask?”

So I take this new evidence as probably true. It makes a puzzle-piece that fits the whole puzzle of Jesus’s earth-life so neatly! And the complexity that this new information adds to our study of the teachings of Jesus is of crucial importance. It adds a layer of deeper debasement to Jesus’s lived status, especially in His home community. And it is no wonder now that the clergy and everyone else of higher rank hated Jesus for speaking out as boldly and as radically as He did. It wasn’t just that Jesus regularly dined and socialized with the dregs of society, but many people knew Jesus to have been born into the dregs Himself. Who was He to be speaking so far above His social status? Even now, Jesus is almost unbelievably charismatic. And Thomas tells me that He always has been this way. So as soon as He was emancipated at the age of thirty, Jesus then began to teach. And almost right away He was drawing crowds that soon, incredibly, numbered in the thousands.

“And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding region. And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Him. And He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the favorable year of
the Lord.’

And He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all the people in the synagogue were intently directed at Him.  Now He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ And all the people were speaking well of Him, and admiring the gracious words which were coming from His lips; and yet they were saying, ‘Is this not Joseph’s son? ‘And He said to them, ‘No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me: “Physician, heal yourself! All the miracles that we heard were done in Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.”’ But He said, ‘Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a severe famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many with leprosy in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.’ And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and brought Him to the crest of the hill on which their city had been built, so that they could throw Him down from the cliff. But He passed through their midst and went on His way” (LK 4:14-30).

The last part of that passage never made sense to me before. But it makes absolute sense to me now! This was just Joseph’s son, the local carpenter’s boy, who was a slave until barely a season ago, now claiming to be the fulfillment of prophesy? No wonder they wanted to throw Him off a cliff and be done with Him! Jesus soon learned to speak perhaps a bit more circumspectly. But our knowing this additional aspect of His personal history does explain so much!

And knowing Jesus’s countrymen’s disdain for Him adds even more power to the scene where John the Baptist recognizes Jesus as God’s own Son. And John says, “I have the need to be baptized by You, and yet You are coming to me?” But Jesus, answering, says to him, “Allow it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John allowed Him. After Jesus was baptized, He came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and settling on Him, and behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (MT 3:14-17).

Oh my, yes! If anyone around Him was going to be a slave, then the Jesus that I know and adore would have chosen to be born a slave as well. When He says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (MT 5:3) and “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (MT 5:5), Jesus well knows whereof He speaks, because He knows personally what it is to have been a slave-boy, once so belittled and so despised as to have felt Himself to be invisible.

It is only late in my life that I am coming to see that I have had one great advantage in this lifetime. I have known since I was eight years old that of course there certainly is a God. If you, on this beautiful morning, still have the slightest doubt of that fact, please let me give you a decided skeptic’s personal assurance of at least this much. Oh yes, my treasured friend, there is a God indeed! Like Moses with his burning bush, I first encountered God when I was eight, which has let me spend the rest of my life happily figuring out all these details. But what I did not know until much later was that religion was going to turn out to be perhaps God’s enemy, and not God’s friend….

Jesus calls us: by your mercies,
Saviour, may we hear your call,
give our hearts in glad obedience,
serve and love you best of all.
– Cecil Francis Alexander (1818-1895), from “Jesus Calls Us, O’er the Tumult” (1852)