The Radical Teaching of Jesus of Nazareth

Welcome to this edition of the Pulse of Spirit. We, who create and read this weekly publication, consciously acknowledge that we are part of the Family of God that includes all families, all people, and all forms of life on this planet. I celebrate the spirit of this Family in this article.

There are two elemental human experiences: to love and to know. They are intrinsically related.

When we love something or someone, it activates a desire to know what we love. If we love the forest, we might have the urge to get to know the trees and the animals that live there. If we love a person, our love inspires the desire to know them. We are drawn to them, and in the process, we get to know them in that love.

If we love the source of life and inspiration, our love inspires us to know that source.

Likewise, when we really get to know someone or something, it engenders love. As the cliché goes, to know me is to love me. This is what the renowned movie critic Roger Ebert had to say on that:

To know me is to love me. This cliché is popular for a reason, because most of us, I imagine, believe deep in our hearts that if anyone truly got to know us, they’d truly get to love us—or at least know why we’re the way we are. The problem in life, maybe the central problem, is that so few people ever seem to have sufficient curiosity to do the job on us that we know we deserve.

If we are satisfied with having a distance between ourselves and other people, we can choose to judge who they are instead of coming to know who they are. Instead of knowing oneness with them, we experience an autonomous, separate sense of self.

In the story in Genesis, there is this statement:

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain.
Genesis 4:1

There are other places in the Bible where the word knew relates to sexual union. I used to assume that this was a polite and proper way for Elizabethan English translators to speak of sexual matters. But the truth is that the Hebrew Bible, which was the origin of the King James Version, uses a Hebrew word that really did mean knew.

When we love someone or something, there is communion. There is an interchange—a back and forth. At whatever level, with whatever it is we love, there can be attraction and union. In that process, we come to know them. And something is born out of that union.

The proliferation of the human race through childbearing is only one relatively small area of human life. But at every level of human relationship the same dynamics are in play. In a creative conversation, there is a back and forth that can lead to a joining of ideas and the birth of a new understanding or a new concept. In an emotional interchange, people can come to a higher emotional truth that blesses each other and their world. And in the process, people get to know each other. Love might seem like a big word to use for what comes out of everyday interchanges with other people. Nonetheless, an experience of love and appreciation can come from getting to know someone in that way.

There is an experience of knowing and loving that is natural to anyone and to all of us as the Human Family. We are not made to know everything all at once. We don’t need to know everything. Knowing is a process more than a destination. Knowing is getting to know. If you ever did come to a place of knowing everything, life would lose its joy—the joy of discovery. The same is true in relationship to an individual. If you come to believe there is nothing more of them to come to know, the relationship is probably over.

Love works the same way. We might say we love everyone and everything. But loving is a process. It is our interchange with Reality that is specific in human experience. And so, it is not complete in a moment.

It is our destiny as humankind to experience the fulfillment of knowing and loving. We are made to know and be known. We are made to love and be loved.

The way a human being is made allows them to know they are loved from the inside by the source of life. And we are made to love back—to appreciate the way we are loved by what created us, and to love that source.

We are made to pass on the love we know and share it with the world in the living of our life. This is experienced oneness—not oneness as an elusive abstract idea. It is an experience of union.

Jesus of Nazareth spoke of it this way:

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.
John 17:23

This is the fulfillment of love—union and oneness.

The fulfillment of love is also the fulfillment of knowledge. When the source of life is in us consciously, through mind and heart, we know that source. When our love fills our world, to whatever extent in whatever way, we have an interchange with our world on that basis, and we come to know our world.

This is our primal spirituality. It is how we are made spiritually, and so it is the potential for each of us as a human being and for all of us as the Human Family. If this is how we are made and our potential, what stops our potential from being fulfilled?

The ancient world was filled with superstition—a belief that supernatural entities and powers impacted human life. Superstition has ruled human culture so that people believed in things that they didn’t really know. Often, those entities and powers were seen as malevolent. Whether they were seen as good or evil, people in the ancient world felt at their mercy. They had no direct experience of those entities and powers. But they believed in them. They had faith in their capacity to determine the outcome of life. And so they sought to appease those entities and powers by trying to please them. Out of superstitious belief, people have done awful things.

On this Easter Day, we celebrate the enlightened spiritual teacher, Jesus of Nazareth. What did he teach that was so radical in the ancient world, and radical even in the world of today? It wasn’t just that we should love God. That had already been introduced into the world. The ancient world already bought into the idea that gods should be worshipped. And the teaching Thou shalt love the Lord thy God was already taught in the culture in which he lived.

And it wasn’t just that people should believe in God. The ancients already believed in gods of all kinds. The Jewish people believed in their God.

What was radical was that love was fulfilled in Jesus. Love led him into union with God and with his followers. And that is the experience he shared and taught.

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.
John 17:21

With the fulfillment of love, he taught the fulfillment of knowing.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:32

Jesus did teach people to believe, and specifically to believe in him. But not as an ultimate destination, as if he taught nothing else. He taught people to have faith in him as a step to knowing truth for themselves.

He taught people to love, but not as an unrequited, unfulfilled love. He was explicit that love ought to be fulfilled. He taught the fulfillment of love that would bring people into a state of union and oneness with the Creator and with their fellow human beings. In that experience, there is knowing. 

The joy of relationship is knowing and being known, and loving and being loved. Something is born from that communion. We are imbued with power. It is life-giving.

Is that not what happens when someone sees you for who you are? I can remember shaking a man’s hand and seeing him look back into my eyes, and having the feeling, Oh, my God, he sees me for who I am. It changed my life.

We have that gift of knowing someone to bring to other people, to in essence say, I know you. I see you. When we do that, we are bringing love. It is life-giving to be known and to know.

When a community of people are knowing and loving one another, there is life in that community. The community thrives.

There’s a fulfillment of love between us all that is right for who we are in relationship to each other. And there’s a way to let that love be fulfilled in life that is appropriate for any relationship. That is the opportunity for any two people. And that is the opportunity for all of us together.

What did Christianity teach when Jesus left? Faith without knowledge. In essence, they went right back to the superstitious views of the ancient world, applying them now to Jesus. And without knowing the Divine, we don’t experience the union of love with the Divine.

Christianity didn’t invent faith without knowledge. It didn’t invent superstition. But it is sad that when Jesus showed the way of fulfillment, by and large, Christianity went right back to a superstitious view of the world, as if Jesus barely put a dent in the mindset of the ancient world. And then the world accepted Christian doctrine as if it were what Jesus taught.

People wonder how some Christians today can be so hoodwinked by autocrats and false prophets. Here is how. They have been trained to have faith without knowledge. So they accept something ridiculous from autocrats on a superstitious basis, without logic, reason, or understanding.

Now, much of the modern world has gone on to place their faith in knowledge without love, which offers no real, lasting solution to the issues that face humankind.

Despite the great tendency of the world to ignore what Jesus taught, the tincture of love and knowledge that he brought to the world has been affecting humankind ever since. We feel that tincture in the air that we breathe, and the seed he planted has sprouted and grown in the heart of humankind. It is transforming us, despite the best efforts of ignorant people.

To the degree that a person doesn’t let that tincture of love and knowledge in, to be fulfilled within themselves, it’s driving them crazy. Don’t let it drive you crazy. Let it be fulfilled in you. Let yourself come into the experience of the fulfillment of your love, and the fulfillment of your knowing of the world and the people in it. Let yourself respond to the source of love within you so that you are known by that source, and you know it.

When a person is consciously knowing and loving Reality, they bring life-giving power to themselves and to the world in which they live. That is the power of resurrection, which does not refer to bringing a dead body back to life but to bringing spiritual regeneration to the living. This was what Jesus demonstrated on the first Easter morning—resurrection, revitalization, resurgence, upliftment, and the activation of life. And this is the recipe by which it comes.

When loving and knowing are fulfilled in a person, they bring the resurrecting power of life to their world. This is the radical teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.

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Kari Bye
Kari Bye
April 7, 2024 3:31 pm

I am thinking of processes of transformation in human consciousness….

I am thinking of the times you brought chanting into our church in my community, David. And how, with respect, I carefully tried some interaction of Christian traditions with emissary teachings in the seminars you led.

There is room for so much more now, and not only locally.  Jesus of Nazareth is beginning to be seen in a much larger perspective, and so much more can be shared of his actual message. It is also a perfect time to re-consider the origin of our faith, as there is a strong focus on the process of transformation in this decade a thousand years ago. 

Olav Haraldsson, a fierce viking touched by his experience of Christian ways of living, brought a bishop with him back home and initiated his dream of uniting his own country into one kingdom, in the Christ spirit.   It took both words and weapons, and King Olav did not survive his last battle. That was in the year1030.  But the opposition was not there anymore, and the following year he became St.Olav.

Fiona Gawronsky
Fiona Gawronsky
April 6, 2024 7:54 am

Each language has its nuances. In French, they distinguish factual knowledge with the verb “savoir”, (perhaps we get our word “savvy” from this), from knowing in a more personal sense with the verb “connaitre”, as an experience of knowing, like a friendship. English does not.

At quite a young age, children love to tell you what they know. Life is exciting as they are full of curiosity. Why does this stop?

I have an elderly friend who had a career as a medical doctor. Admitting to me recently that she was a very shy person, she got over this in her practice by asking questions of her patients by gentle enquiry. She was adept and established good relationships and trust. Margaret is gifted with an excellent memory. I love to visit her. We both enjoy a good conversation.

April 4, 2024 11:22 pm

So true in me is Knowing. From the moment I could talk, I could be heard saying how I already knew that. It sounds like I had a big ego before I was 2 years old lol, but as I actually came to know Source later in life, I understood that I had the gift of having access to Source and Knowing, not that I actually knew everything. Then and still. That I had and have access to all knowledge. That is so true for me. It is unshakable, though it took me a while to understand that and make that connection. And I definitely was judged for knowing too much, for knowing things I should not know.
What I find hard in this world, is that knowing (and loving) is a radical experience. It still is. And that we are not encouraged to have this relationship with Source. Instead, we are actually faulted, punished and shamed for being curious, for asking questions; inside religion and outside of it. I am innately curious of that which I do not have knowledge of and if it interests me, I will learn it. I can recall myself saying as a child that the day I stop learning will be the day I die. I thought at the time it was literal, but it could also be that my soul dies when I stop learning. That makes a lot of sense to me. It saddens me that this curiousity that we are all born with, is squashed or lessened or at times made so wrong.
What I did not receive in my life was the love. Especially unconditional. It was completely conditional in my life and never a given. And that is reaching me to the core at this moment: That we can live in a world where people are so disconnected and so, I don’t know, damaged maybe, that they do not have this love for another, especially a child. And I fear the damage perpetuates.
In the pulse, it is written:
“…most of us, I imagine, believe deep in our hearts that if anyone truly got to know us, they’d truly get to love us..”
And yet some of us, and I know many, have a different thought: That we would not be loved if someone truly got to know us. More likely that they would run screaming in the other direction. For that is what we learned along the way. I do know, deep down, that is not what is actually true, and yet, it is so ingrained, it is hard to shake. My knowing with Source is so strong, I know Source has my back always, and yet that does not always translate into love for me. I did not experience actual unconditional love until I met the Emissaries, which was not so long ago. And I didn’t really understand how these kind people could also be so loving and caring of someone they barely knew. And yet, I was welcomed and loved with open arms. That is likely my undoing. In a good way for sure, but an undoing and an unraveling of sorts of the hurts and pains endured, in a world where love can actually change everything entirely. If only, we would be willing to unravel and let love in where once we were hurt. Thank you for breaking me open David. Let light in to create consciousness in the darkness we keep hidden.

Jerry Kvasnicka
Jerry Kvasnicka
April 4, 2024 5:03 pm

As you so clearly bring out, David, it is so sad that Christianity fell back into the same kind of superstition that prevailed before he appeared on earth. And this is a major reason why humanity is in the deplorable state that exists on earth today.

Let us be in the vanguard of those who have moved from knowledge about a distant God to an actual knowing of God and the experience of union with God and with each other.

April 4, 2024 4:53 pm

What if we really did just this – Love thy neighbor as thyself. I read a story about a biker who was anti-semetic and was cruel to his Jewish neighbor. He was seriously hurt in an motorcycle accident and was paralyzed. You may be able to guess – who was the only person who came to help him – of course the Jewish neighbor. The biker found himself in a new way of Being and the two of them for many years, toured the world to tell their story. We know we can do it!!! We can love others as ourselves – and maybe first – we need to learn to love ourselves.
Blessings All, Katie

Samantha Mckune
Samantha Mckune
April 4, 2024 3:24 am

Dear David, we each have a background of at least potential loving ness and knowingness. Mine, most fortunately, was not of the bigoted kind you speak of. So I move on gleaning with others what wonderfulness of fullness your service has brought into my life, remembering to share same with anyone who should cross my path. Thank you

Samantha Mckune
Samantha Mckune
April 4, 2024 3:06 am

Thanks. I was loving and knowing you during that service, may I extend that as my days go on to anyone who rightly draws near.

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