Wisdom is a universal thing
And you will find the hidden treasure in you - Part 3: Is the dualistic worldview of Christianity correct?
Alice questions the dualistic worldview of Christianity, i.e. man and God as separate from one another, and finds indications in the Bible that God does not exist outside of us, but is like a creative force within us. This is also how the Far Eastern religions understand it. Is that the universal truth and the hidden treasure in us? In the third and last part of our little series, we present you exactly the excerpt in which Alice makes this monstrous discovery.
Alice found that the Gospel of Thomas was very different from the other four. This text did not deal with the life story of Jesus. He did not report a single event, no miracle, spoke neither of the condemnation to death nor of the resurrection. This gospel reproduced the words of Jesus only, with no embellishments or comments.
No sooner had Alice started to read than she felt insecure. The words sounded like those of a Far Eastern master: They were incomprehensible and sometimes contradicting, their meaning was not immediately apparent, but they mysteriously evoked something inside. When she had finished reading she leaned back, looked out the window and studied the flowers, birds and clouds for a long time.
Is the dualistic worldview in Christianity even true?
The Gospel of Thomas suggested that Jesus had a non-dualistic worldview, which largely coincided with that of Laotse and other Far Eastern spiritual masters and was in contradiction to the dualistic worldview that the Church ascribed to him, a worldview according to which humans differ from the rest the world, but also separated from God.
In this gospel Jesus called people to look inside themselves and to know oneself, and he never tired of emphasizing that God also dwells in each and every one of us. In each and every one of us ... Then why did he say the opposite in the canonical gospels?
Alice remembered looking up the words Jesus used in this context a few weeks earlier. When a group of Pharisees asked him where the kingdom of God was to be found, he clearly replied: “It is among you” and not “in you”. How could this contrast be explained? Did one of the evangelists misrepresent Jesus' words, or did Jesus himself make contradicting statements? [...]
Laurent Gounelle, does universal wisdom exist for you?
I believe there is a universal wisdom. What amazed me when dealing with different religions, regardless of whether they are monotheistic or not, is to discover a correspondence in the messages behind the different forms.
This thought gave her the idea to check whether the expression “in the midst of you”, which was ascribed to Jesus, was not perhaps due to a wrong translation. She looked for the appropriate passage: Luke's Gospel, Chapter 17, Verse 21. With just a few clicks, she got to the best-known and most widely used translations of the Bible.
To her disappointment, she also found the words “in the midst of you” in the New Jerusalem Bible. Then she looked at a footnote with the following explanation: "The translation is not very obvious from the context." Aha ... She kept looking. Another renowned translation also wrote “in the midst of you”. Here, too, an asterisk referred to a footnote that Alice immediately read: “Sometimes within you too. However, this translation has the weakness that it ascribes a purely internal and private nature to the kingdom of God. "
Is God in us instead of outside of us?
She kept searching until she came across a page with the original Greek version of the Gospel of Luke, where she found verse 21 and the expression used there: entós hymôn estín. She typed these words on several online translation sites. They all got the same result: it is within you. Sensing that she was gradually getting closer to the crux of the matter, she did further research on the word entós and found that it denoted not only the interior, but even the deepest interior of human being.
She dropped back in her chair. That was monstrous. The translators had deliberately replaced “God is within you” with “God is among you” because this statement suited them better. Incomprehensible.
We are all part of the whole - similar to Far Eastern religions
Alice had made it clear that the evangelists might have inadvertently changed the words of Jesus because each had understood them in their own way. But that translators had purposefully changed them beyond their understanding. And of course that changed everything.
The closer one approached a non-dualistic worldview according to which all of us, who are just stardust, are part of the whole and thus part of God, the more a conception emerged that Alice believed to be “God ”Should imagine. A creative force? A collective consciousness in which each individual had a small part?
[…] “And yet,” Alice continued, “the divine essence of man of which Hindu legend speaks can be found all over the world. In Judaism it says in the psalms: 'You are gods.' The Buddhists say, 'We all have Buddha-natures.' And even Jesus said, 'I and the Father are one' after explaining that his Father is one is also our father.
Because the Jews saw this as blasphemy, they persecuted him and ultimately sentenced him to death. The culmination is that the Church has appealed to Jesus but has ceaselessly persecuted those who have held this non-dualistic view for blasphemy […] The idea that God is in us suggests both ourselves and upon us to trust life, ”she says. "Maybe that's the true belief."
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