Posted by Roberta Grimes • March 05, 2022 • 33 Comments
Jesus, The Teachings of Jesus
Under a spreading chestnut-tree the village smithy stands.
The smith, a mighty man is he, with large and sinewy hands,
And the muscles of his brawny arms are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long; his face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat, he earns whate’er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face, for he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night, you can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge, with measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell when the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge, and hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly like chaff from a threshing-floor.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), from “The Village Blacksmith” (1840)
So now we are left with a withering Christianity, failing worldwide at a rapid pace. I fought the decline of my beloved religion until the very recent moment when I realize that this entire process might well have been by divine design. Please follow this along with me!
It is an historical fact that the Christianity we practice now is not the Christianity that Jesus taught. This Christianity was created by the Romans some three hundred years after the death of Jesus, and it was originally codified by the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325 A.D. Six more Roman councils are recognized to have followed First Nicaea, and all seven church councils self-importantly declared themselves to have been “inspired by God.” Together they built a fear-based religion around four dogmas that gave Roman Christianity a way to tightly control its world. None of those dogmas is any part of what Jesus actually taught. And yet all of them are central to the Christian religious message, even today. Briefly, they are:
None of these dogmas came from Jesus. All four of them are dead-end ideas based in fear and not in love, but they served manifold essential purposes. For the Romans, and for all Christian tyrants and kings for the past two thousand years, they have created an efficient means for controlling the masses. And for the Godhead, they have preserved almost entirely unmolested the name and the teachings of Jesus inside their protective Christian shell. For a long time, I considered the Romans to have been the great usurpers of Christianity. But my dear Thomas has helped me to see that the Christianity of the Romans has been a wrapping which has protected the pure teachings of Jesus from forces which could otherwise have corrupted and destroyed them.
Until now. It is only now, in the age of the worldwide internet, that it is safe for the protective wrapping of the Roman Christian religion to gradually shred and fall away, and for the true Way that Jesus came to teach to begin to spread as it always has been intended to spread, peacefully and from heart to heart. It is only now that it will be impossible for any force, however powerful it might be, to kill those precious teachings. The wings on which they will fly will be the same ones that Jesus spread for His disciples on that first Easter morning. They will fill all hearts with the triumphant certainty that, after all, there is no death. And once the world hears from its best-known personage the eternal truth that there is no death, it is going to be open to hearing Him as He shares His spiritual teachings with the world!
The first vision of my life was a happy lark that happen in August of 2011. I had spent a year making appearances to promote The Fun of Dying, and by then I was tired of it. Enough! So one morning, just as I was waking up, I saw a glow of light. In it was what I have thought of forever after as the four dancing clergymen.
When I was writing The Fun of Dying in the summer of 2009, a friend with mediumistic gifts called and told me she had been prompted by her guide to let me know that there were five dead clergymen helping me to write that book. She is a sweet and saintly person, and we both were astounded by what she had to tell me. She said that one clergyman was a very advanced being who had been so long away from the earth that “I’m surprised he’s still in contact with it.” Three were good men of God, very recently dead. And one, she was astonished to say, was one of my ultimate personal heroes. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I gasped at the name and asked her why the saintly Dr. King would bother to be helping me! She said, “He wants to set the record straight. They all do.”
So then, on that August morning in 2011 I woke up to a vision of a colorful astral garden in which four beautiful young men in astral robes were singing and dancing in unison. And laughing. The very advanced clergyman was above such foolishness, but apparently Dr. King was not. And he wanted to show me his participation, so the young man on the left was very slightly more beige. What they were singing was this:
“You’ve got a wonderful story to tell!
Life goes on forever. And there is no hell!
So go out there and share that beautiful sto-ree!
I have never seen my Thomas so upset as he has been this week. To see someone falsely claim to be Jesus returned, and claim not to have risen from the dead at all? (see last week’s comments) Instead, this imposter claims to have lied to, cynically tricked, and betrayed his own followers? Thomas is a being of such integrity that he has been unable to process that level of deceit. And then, for the imposter to have ascribed such deceit even to the Lord Jesus Himself, who is an aspect of the genuine Godhead? And this, after Jesus had planned and in fact had delivered His actual death and successful resurrection with much added trouble to Himself, in an effort to convince His followers that we all do indeed live eternal lives? I ached for my precious friend, but you can’t physically hug with your spirit guide so all I could do was just to let him be. I told him on Monday that we needed a frame, and I suggested maybe a Longfellow poem, and what about “A Psalm of Life”? He insisted instead on “The Village Blacksmith.” And it had to be the whole poem! Then on Friday, I thought of telling you about my happy vision of the four dancing clergymen. He thought that was okay. But there had to be more of a point to this post. When I said that, he gave me the two words that became its title.
“But, what does that mean?” I asked the question respectfully. He said, “Take things always by their smooth handle.” That’s a quote from Thomas Jefferson. I could tell he meant it as a joke. Which told me he must be feeling better. Then he added a bolus of thought.
“The blacksmith is your template for living on earth. Whether you are high or low here, you are all of one status where I am now. You must neither attack nor attempt to protect Christianity as it dies, for just as it was the Godhead’s strategy to allow Roman Christianity to form as a protective wrapping for the Lord’s Way, so now you must accept the Godhead’s strategy to allow Christianity to dissolve as The Way of Jesus emerges. And now that the name of Jesus has become the best-known in the world, you have only to do your part as it is given to you to share with the world the teachings of Jesus, and the kingdom of God will overspread the world in the Lord’s own time and in the Lord’s Way. From your perspective, this is all happenstance. But the Godhead thinks in millennia of time, and from the Godhead’s perspective all of this is happening in the perfect Now.”
I said, “I’ve learned in this lifetime that if there’s any fear in something, then Jesus didn’t teach it. That’s how you can tell what He said.” That’s when I learned that spirit guides can hug with us in our hearts, after all.
He goes on Sunday to the church, and sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach, he hears his daughter’s voice
Singing in the village choir, and it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother’s voice singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more, how in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes a tear out of his eyes.
Toiling,—rejoicing,—sorrowing, onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin, each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done, has earned a night’s repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend, for the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped each burning deed and thought.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), from “The Village Blacksmith” (1840)
33 thoughts on “Tread Lightly”
Thank you for this brilliantly clear summation.
Oh my dear wonderful Jack, any brilliance in it comes from Thomas! And I really thought we might not make it this week. But he rallied for us. That our guides are people, after all, and emotional, and they do love us very much, is something that in the press of things we sometimes tend to forget!
Looking forward to reading what u have to say
Dear Mary, I think you are referring to Seek Reality Online. That project has turned out to be as much an effort of working ON it as working IN it! One thing we have realized is just how gigantic the need really is. As we drill down, we find that while everyone needs to know the truth about our eternal natures, it is Baby Boomers who most urgently need what we can teach, and there are something like a billion and a half of them (at a minimum) worldwide! So SRO will need to be instantly translatable into six languages to reach them all. And so it will be.
Wow, is this turning out to be an education for us. We have a terrific team, I’m meeting with the head of it almost weekly, and the whole project is coming along now amazingly well! We have a target user, and it turns our that in developing her my ten years of hearing from Seek Reality listeners has been a tremendous help. She’s a 68-year-old American widow, a former Christian now questioning and seeking, and she speaks for all those billion and a half other people. So far, so fun! Expect the site to be live and buzzing by June!
That was truly timely! I’ll be leaving my career with AA next year. I’m going to send that poem framed to the CEO, maybe he will appreciate agents more! God bless you and your family!
Oh my dear Anne, thank you for appreciating the Blacksmith! Actually, my mother loved that poem. She used to recite parts of it when I was a child. I grew up hearing, “He looked the whole world in the face, for he owed not any man,” and I never knew where that came from until I grew up!”
Thank you (and thank Thomas) for steering me in the right direction, namely to have nothing to do with the book “Christ Returns – Speaks His Truth.” Fortunately I only attended one session with this group, and will not return. How fortunate I am to have you as a reliable interpreter. I continue to seek a deeper relationship with my spiritual guide. I am blessed to be in a wonderful ACIM group. And to be devoting my life to learning and service.
I love Thomas’ idea that the Christianity of the Romans has been a wrapping which has protected the pure teachings of Jesus. I find the spirit of Jesus within the church tradition where I worship (the PC/USA church next to Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond VA.) Our Pastor is a wonderful woman filled with the love of Jesus, we have a mixed congregation with “Black Lives Matter” signs in the yard, and I am involved with adult Christian education. I see all the problems that Christianity brought with it from Roman times, and I sense the vibrancy and importance of Jesus to our future as spirits on earth. May your vision of “the true way that Jesus came to teach” truly begin to spread as intended, “peacefully and from heart to heart.” My thought has been that this will take the form of a second great Reformation, but these things are in the hands of spirits like Thomas and Jesus Himself.
I loved the “Fun of Dying” and quote it frequently. One of my roles is to facilitate the Williamsburg Friends of IANDS. Thank you for your blog and for keeping alive the vision that Jesus came to teach, that love rules the universe and there is no death, and that we are so blessed to be part of his great creation as children of light. I send you prayers and blessings.
Grace and peace,
Oh my dear beautiful Chuck, you have no idea how I smiled when I saw your reply here! I was so worried about you after last week! I wanted to email you, but Thomas wouldn’t let me. I wanted to leave you another comment last week, but he wouldn’t allow that, either. He insisted to me that you were fine, and I knew from experience that I couldn’t even argue with him.
Thank you for being the wonderfully gracious person that you are! And yes, I have fretted that I couldn’t see how the Way could work as a spiritual movement, but as part of Seek Reality Online I do begin to see it. This is such an exciting time to be alive!
Hi Roberta. Thomas seems right on with his title for this post. Treading lightly is certainly not the way Rome did things. Constantiine tried to stamp out the feuds between Christian factions and impose one compromise orthodox version with his council in 325. We still wound up with thousands of denominations due to people’s love of complexity, but as you say, that early attempt to enforce orthodoxy did help preserve a lot of the teachings of Jesus, as if in amber, before they were argued and atomized out of existence. If we can just get back to the really basic, simple spiritual principles, maybe we can rescue that early Way which Jesus taught, which, as I see it at least, is primarily to increase our capacity for love, and all the other detritus that was added over the centuries should be fairly easy to spot and weed out. Hopefully we can then walk lightly along in loving kindness, Jesus leading the “Way,” and leave the stomping about to the dogmatists.
Forgive my presumption in responding. There are approximately 42,000 Protestant denominations in the world at the last count I saw. As I remember over 130 denominations in the States have grown to the point of having their own seminaries. This all rings true to the statement from A Course in Miracles that there is no universal theology, but there is a universal experience. And I believe that universal experience is knowing the spirit of Jesus still alive and teaching us how to live.
Thank you for that comment Chuck. I appreciate it. I can relate to what you say about universal experience. The more we drill down on the core spiritual and mystical teachings of the saints and sages of all the main world religions, the more it all starts to look the same, and apparently there are no religions or denominations on the other side, except maybe for the little potemkin villages some new arrivals may be in until they adjust. It is nice to do the comparissons with Eastern spirituality, etc, but like you I believe we have what we need with the teachings of Jesus, once we get them in proper perspective. If I remember correctly, there is a line in ACIM, “Love is freedom.” That about sums it up for me. My guides did their own riff on it which I like, by calling it “Love unfiltered.”
Oh my dear Scott, and there is another saying that I believe also comes from ACIM: “Whatever the question., love is the answer.”
Oh my dear Chuck, I recall very recently – I believe it was in 2010 – that I looked this number up, and it was 10,000. On my goodness! Can there really be 10,000 versions of Christianity? Wow! Amazing! That’s terrible! And then the next time I looked, it was 20,000. I gaped at the fact that it had doubled. My jaw literally dropped. So now you’re telling us that you have looked more recently, and it has doubled yet again, to 42,000?? Even as the number of Christians continues to decline worldwide, the number of denominations has doubled yet again??
Ir seems that perhaps there can be no surer sign that this is a human-made movement rather than a divine movement than the fact that Christianity continues to splinter this way. As you say, it’s a phenomenon that ACIM predicts. And as we begin to follow the genuine Gospel teachings, our purpose will be always to seek the Lord’s meaning in His words, which of course was impossible in church teachings which were not based in things that Jesus ever said.
On my dear Scott, as I recall my college studies (which were roughly a million years ago), the different factions before the time of Constantine weren’t so much feuding as they were debating, putting forward their lively ideas. Then the Romans came along, and everyone who disagreed with them got fed to the lions.
What I find fascinating – and what had never before occurred to me – is that the Godhead had apparently been waiting 2000 years for the internet? Really? Because with an internet, it is impossible for an infinite number of lions to altogether eat up any precious idea!
Hey Roberta, Hi everyone. 👋
“The Village Blacksmith,” is a great choice of poem. I love the way the persona of the blacksmith exhibits the nature of the good man; dedicated and true. I mean every quality of a balanced, centered person is found in this poem.
The blacksmith is faithful, focused and hard working. Using his strong arms and his dexterous hands, he sweats and toils at smithy to earn what he may. He is humble and feels very deeply. It seems he is quiet; an unobtrusive man of few words and large deeds. The blacksmith owes no one and he always finishes the job. Amid all this he loves, sorrows and rejoices. He is truly alive. His life is consciously “wrought” day by day until his days are full.
Roberta, I don’t mean to summarize this poem, rather I notice that if you list the blacksmith’s qualities, an excellent template emerges for forging and reshaping human perceptions of Jesus to reveal His true nature and teachings. By imbibing the qualities suggested in this poem, any one of us is best placed to help in the Lord’s work. Thus the Lord’s teachings can be hammered out cleanly and shared with humanity. This work is in God’s care anyway – but if we are faithful, humble and dedicated we can help effectively, without making the mistakes of those who messed up religion. (Is it not humility and love that prevent us from falling prey to the ego’s desire for status, notoriety, privilege, money and power?)
As Christianity dissolves the time draws nigh for the true nature of Jesus to emerge. When the base metal cools after being heated, the blacksmith may reshape it aright. He does this powerfully, resolutely and patiently.
Ultimately God is the blacksmith and we can leave it to Him to refashion things in His own time and way. But maybe each person who helps is one swing of the hammer or one bite of the tongs. Together we form the process…
Oh my dear Efrem, yes indeed! And I think that it’s the craving for pointlessly divisive earthly status, especially – and especially the strain of it that most obsesses some in the United States – that most bothers my own dear Thomas. Perhaps what most tempted us in our own earthly lifetimes is what most bothers us when we later see it in others?
As we have worked together, from even before I knew about his most famous lifetime, he has been beating my ego down in various subtle ways. Teaching me personal humility (which I have certainly well earned!). And most of all, teaching me not to feel the need to defend Jefferson from all the crap that is always being thrown at him. So then, on the most recent most-famous-in-world-history list I found as I was doing this post, Jesus was #1 sure enough, and Washington was way up there as he should be, but Jefferson was #10. I said, “See? What are you going to do about that?” He said, “Leave it alone! It will go down!”
He was prideful in that lifetime, but he refuses to be so now. He wants all of us to take the Blacksmith as our personal image as the ideal man. Also me, of course, since I am again a man in his mind. As you say, my dear Efrem, that good man is the ideal man of virtue here in preparation for being the ideal man of virtue for all eternity.
I gotta say, I love Thomas’ humor with an unexpected, inverse take on it: “It will go down!” And I take his point, of course. 😉
You have quite a clear and succinct way of expressing abstract concepts. This particular idea is very interesting: ‘Perhaps what most tempted us in our own earthly lifetimes, is what bothers us when we later see it in others.’
Great idea my dear. What a thought!
Admittedly, I do feel that I fall short when looking at the glowing character of the blacksmith. I am weak in some areas certainly. Though nowadays I realize that God loves me regardless of my shortcomings – and with this knowledge I can accept myself as I am, deficiencies and all. Thus I can happily get on with the job of raising my vibrations towards perfect Love, hopefully with some degree of humility; neither pulled down by low self esteem, nor puffed up by pride. We will see.
And there is one gift in the humility area I realize is not generally known: Life and work has taught me that if I am ready to set aside taking credit for effective outcomes, if I’m happy to manage important and pressing things while remaining totally in the background, there is nothing that cannot be achieved. In other words things work out well, even in unforeseen and amazing ways, when one gives the success of outcomes to others. If the work is important to people’s lives, then it must be done first and last. Who cares if one’s self is recognized or not!?
I do hope that as successive generations espouse the true Jesus and teach The Way, they continue to do so with ever increasing humility and love. 🌅
Thank you for this. The whole passage reminded me of a poem I wrote in high school, and I am not sure why I wrote it. I can say I wrote it before Modern Christianity convinced me I was not worthy to receive Jesus forgiveness. Thank God that idea didn’t stick for ever. I will be looking for it to see if I can find it, to see if there was more to it than I remember.
It went something like.
“Are we but running shadows of the ones from yesterday, always trying, always failing until our lives all fade away.
… and does God allow us only one soulful life. ”
That is all I can remember, but perhaps I was looking for evidence of a second chance at life … a solution for a loving God who would never abandon his children. At any rate, every week I enjoy everyone’s remarks and it is always remarkable that you can pull modern references from non-religious prose that also have a most important message.
Oh my dear Tim, you’re a poet! I never knew that about you!! And yes, isn’t it wonderful how our friends here will so often have such wonderfully insightful things to say? Sometimes reading comments will be the best part of the week for me!
Hi Roberta, hi everybody! I think I finally get it. I may have taken dunderhead pills this week, but for the last several days I couldn’t understand how the co-opting of Jesus’ teachings by a corrupt and destructive institution could protect these teachings from forces which could otherwise have corrupted and destroyed them. And then it hit me. Since it appears to be that none of the aforementioned 42,000 versions of Christianity really pays much attention to His actual teachings but includes them in their holy book, while everyone was reading the rest of that book and preaching on that, the pages with the pure teachings also got passed down. The alternative could have been that the original records of what He taught would end up in clay jars to be dug up 2,000 years later as the gnostic scriptures were. They would then have been viewed as cultural artifacts and possibly added to museum displays.
This way, we have the context of His life and times, plus His words. Now we can, to your point, discard the corrupted wrappings and appreciate The Way. I look forward to SRO, and I have to admit, my impatience is getting the best of me. June, you say?
Oh my dear Mike, you’ve actually made me giggle!
This was quite literally the ONLY way that the teachings of Jesus could have been completely preserved, like a fly in amber. Go into any standard denominational Christian church today, and you’ll see that for the most part the words of Jesus will be ignored in favor of Old Testament and Pauline rules. That has bothered me all my life, but I see now that it may have been by design. Perhaps ir is only now that humankind has become sufficiently sophisticated to contend with an entirely love-based morality?
I just thought of something. An even worse fate would be the “sayings of Jesus” in the hands of a Literature graduate-student’s dissertation!😳
Ah yes, my dear Mike. But the religious treatment also has been pretty bad, we must admit! To add dogmas that have nothing to do with what Jesus actually said, to say that those dogmas were “inspired by God,” and therefore to insist that you have the right to use your dogmas to modify the sacred words of Jesus is pretty awful too! That’s why the religious shell has to fall away. And it’s in the process of doing that now. The point is that, quite wonderfully, because it has treated the teachings as separate, they have remained of a separate piece. So now they can separately shine!
This definitely makes sense. His teachings would have to “separately shine” since none of them support a fear based religion. Only in modern times could this be so obvious, so I think it is by design that these truths are coming to light. We are finally sophisticated enough to dispense with the old scary teachings.
On the other hand, Pastor Rick Wiles insists that Covid was sent by God in retaliation of those who have left the church and those who have gay sex. He doesn’t say where his information is coming from
My dear beautiful Lola, and everyone who ever reads these words, Thomas has asked me to make one thing plain to you that I’m sure that you already know to be true.
Anyone who ever claims to be a pastor and tells you that anything negative that ever happens to anyone is “sent by God in retaliation” for anything is speaking purely from his own misguided ego.
The genuine Godhead is the purest love and light. Jesus tells us that. The genuine Godhead is forgiveness seventy times seven times. Jesus tells us that as well! I am sad for many pastors who are seeing the backs of a flock who are being called by Jesus now to leave a Christianity that has been failing them for a very long time, but so it is. And so it must be.
Oh I definitely don’t believe him. I only mentioned it because there still seems to be people out there who are continuing the fear and they still paint God and Jesus as being petty enough to send a disease our way for leaving the church, being gay, and other silliness. It’s hard to believe that this can even happen.
The OT is filled with plagues that purportedly punished “enemies.” When the assumption is your god is a “jealous” and “vengeful” god of war, these may seem like divine intervention. It is not possible, actually—as what we experience as Divine Love is actually ongoing Divine Creation, which can only be supportive, forward moving, unconditional in its impetus to explore, discover, grow and evolve. As part of this Creative Force, we are purposed to do the same. As my own beloved guide has said, “There is no darkness, only discovery.”
PS-in the Gospel chapter about the man born blind, Jesus specifically says it has nothing to do with punishment. But of course this week’s whole blog post is about how Christianity is built to ignore Him.
Now that you mention it, Mike, I do recall this incident of the person born blind. It’s pretty clear cut, and still it is ignored because it isn’t fear based.
Do you know, my dear Lola, I think I am at the point of actually feeling rage at those who still in 2022 are judging people for being homosexual? I can recall how racism made me feel in 1968, but there really is no racism anymore, even though some factions try to drum it up. Now racism is gone. So now instead it’s homosexism, or whatever you would call it. And being gay is no more a choice than skin color is a choice!
Some people actually call themselves Christians and judge people for being homosexuals, and I have news for them. If you read the Gospels carefully, you find evidence that Jesus Himself may have been homosexual. I have a suspicion that evidence is there for a future, more open-minded generation to find, and to use to open hearts in a future, more open-minded day.
That wouldn’t surprise me and it would, like you say, take a more open minded generation to pick up on that. It would have been a death sentence to even mention such a thing back in the day. I think Jesus was all about love, and it made no difference to him one way or the other. Some of these pastors or preachers are projecting their own prejudices and saying it is the “word of God,” but in reality, it is their own misconceptions they are trying to push on others. This is just one more example of how religions are man made, and this makes them potentially dangerous.
Hi Guys. I had forgotten about the man born blind. It seems to point at reincarnation doesn’t it? Is his is another example of God’s so-called punishment, but now not just for things one did in this life but in some other life? There are also examples of children punished for “sins” of the parents, and then of course the ultimate biggie that we were all doomed by the original sin of Adam and Eve until God let his son Jesus be sacrificed like some beast to cleanse that one away. What a treadmill of fear and guilt humanity has been on! Jesus had his work cut out for him. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised this has been a 2000 year project.
The fear and guilt trips were designed so that people would look to the church for salvation, thus giving an enormous amount of power to the church