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Was Jesus Talking About Enlightenment?

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Rising Star
Has Jesus been misinterpreted for two millennia?

This all really came about from a lot of LSD, but breaking down the word 'Christian' was to mean a follower of Christ, naturally then I started with what Christ said, which isn't that much really. Looking at what Jesus said and what the church teaches there is a clear distortion of values and teachings. So trying to read the Bible with a clear mind these are some verses that strike me as odd:

Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Luke 6:39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Luke 17:20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

John 10:34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”

There are more verses, both in the gospels, New Testament and the Gnostic Gospels. I want to stick solely with what can be attributed to the historical figure known as Jesus.

A point I'd like to add is that given the historical and religious context of Judea at the time of Jesus, the disciples would have most likely passed on/written down what would have correlated to their own personal experience. Heard Osho saying something similar the other day as well.

Thoughts on the matter?

Love :)
As far as i know, there is no proof that greek or early christian philosophers have directly or indirectly been inspired by budhism. I think it's not unlikely though. There are just no historic documents that would proof there ever realy was such a connection.

That greek philosophy has been a major influence on christianity is undisputed though. And it's not very difficult to see parallels between the lives of Socrates and jesus.

It is not very plausible that Socrates and Sidhartha Gautama where aware of eachothers existence. They probably where contemporaries, although the exact date of birth and death of Sidhartha are unknown (the day of Socrates' death is known exactly because the athenians kept records of all the trials that took place).

But later greek philosophers like Aristotle have probably had some knowledge of indian philosophy.
Personally yes I think much of the metaphors from the Bible if looked at in the right light are about Enlightenment ("the great I Am" delivering a message to Moses). In fact my favorite verse in the Bible is Luke 17:21 and I'll use a different translation than you used. "Nor will they say here it is or there it is, for the kingdom of Heaven is within you."

The Bible particularly has been translated and mistranslated for over a thousand years which is clear just in looking at how many different interpretations of the Bible there are and different denominations. What's literal? What is metaphorical? What's a spirit of the times? What's a universal truth?

I think Jesus is just another prophet in a sea of many having used the language of his era to convey a point about divinity in the words and culture that was known at that particular moment in time. Those who couldn't hear the message would get mixed up. Same seems to be true for all religions.
Read some early Christian mystical writing (or even Dante's Pardiso), and you'll find that a lot of the descriptions of heaven focus considerably more on the idea of becoming 'one' with God, or forming some kind of Union with God, Christ, and Creation, than the modern depictions of heaven as a paradise where your desires are all satisfied.

I think early Christianity was suggesting an afterlife very similar to some depictions of Nirvana, but over the years, as Christianity has developed in a modern, ego-centered, capitalist culture, this focus on loss of the self and Union with God has been replaced by the Heaven you see today.

dragonrider, I am not suggesting that there was any cross over of teachings between Christianity and Buddhism/Hinduism. Certain teachings over a range of religious texts seem to all point to a very similar goal, Socrates seems to be included in this group but I have not read enough of him to firmly suggest this yet.

Psychelectric, that version is my favourite too 😁 , thought I would stick with NIV for continuities sake. I agree with you that what I would call a Truth has been lost in dogma. Truth being that of love and separation from the divine being illusion.

Nathanial.Dread, thanks, have downloaded the pdf of Dante's Pardiso! You are too right, early gnostic figures had a huge problem with the early church and the idea that through just baptism and the creed you were granted salvation.

'. . . end the sleep which weighs heavy upon you. Depart from the oblivion which fills you with darkness . . . Why do you pursue the darkness, though the light is available for you? . . . Wisdom calls you, yet you desire foolishness. . . . a foolish man . . . goes the ways of the desire of every passion. He swims in the desires of life and has foundered. . . . he is like a ship which the wind tosses to and fro, and like a loose horse which has no rider. For this (one) needed the rider, which is reason. . . . before everything else . . . know yourself . . .' Silvanus
The Gospel of Thomas said:
"There is light within a man of light, and it lights up the whole world. If he does not shine, he is darkness."

Kena Upanishad said:
For a man who has known him, the light of truth shines; for one who has not known, there is darkness.

It's is only one quote, but parallels abound within Lao Tzu, Jesus, Hindu texts, Buddha and philosophers like Socrates and Jung and mystic traditions like Kabbalism and Sufism. It is sad that most people of any belief, whether sport, politics or religion look for differences instead of similarities...
this was touched on in this thread Gnosticism - Spirituality & Mysticism - Welcome to the DMT-Nexus

Yesu of Nazareth was, from most accounts and evidence, in fact a very well educated man (for a 'carpenter'), and the Essenes are implicated in his training..however, being the classical world, no religions existed in vacuums, and most educated and spiritual people in the Middle-East and Greece would have been aware of other great written traditions, Hermetic philosophy, as well as the Sanskrit Vedic written tradition...both ancient Greeks and Indians mentioned knowledge of each others' cultures..

this is especially evident in early Christian Gnostic works, of which a number are considered by theologian/historians to be genuinely representative of the earliest Christianity - the Gospel of Mary for instance (and of Thomas)

thus (as mentioned in the link above)
in the Christian Gnostic text 'The Sophia of Jesus Christ' (Nag Hammadi scrolls)

Jesus says: -

"..'He' is unnameable. He has no human form; for whoever has human form is the creation of another."

"And he has a semblance of his own - not like what you have seen and received, but a strange semblance that surpasses all things and is better than the universe. It looks to every side and sees itself from itself. Since it is infinite, he is ever incomprehensible. He is imperishable and has no likeness (to anything). He is unchanging good. He is faultless. He is eternal. He is blessed. While he is not known, he ever knows himself. He is immeasurable. He is untraceable. He is perfect, having no defect. He is imperishability blessed..."

..an Indian spiritual devotee friend and scholar of the Vedas commented that this was almost word for word the same as descriptions of Brahman in the Shruti..and, as i've argued elsewhere, i think Brahman is the same as 'Nirvana' (which is for the less faith/heart orientated mind perhaps)

so, yes i agree JDSalinger, that all true spiritual paths point to the same place...it's the institutions of religion, the politics therein, and the differing interpretations of words (according to ability to comprehend, or agenda) which stray from the path..
There is a hypothesis about the unknown years of Jesus Christ. Apparently, some time before Jesus was crucified, he went to India and studied their culture. The Ahmadiyya Muslims believe that he is buried in India, and lived to a ripe old age.

"During his research into Jesus' death, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad initially suggested that Jesus may have been buried in either Galilee or Syria, until eventually uncovering evidence to conclude that the tomb of Jesus was located at the Roza Bal shrine in Srinagar, Kashmir. Thus, based upon this evidence, Ahmadis today believe the tomb of Jesus is located in the Srinagar region of Kashmir."
Thanks nen888, sorry for late reply, been real busy at work, loved your post, especially the quote you shared/linked. It is a shame the Gnostic movement was destroyed, structure really seems to kill free thought, with religion, work or even laws within society, sometimes it seems people don't know what's right, just what they are told. ANyway I'm rambling, these spiritual parallels that keep popping up certainly nudge to the fact that all these sages were talking about the same damn thing.

Once you unblock your mind a little, plenty of things begin to seem fairly damn clear, downside is it seems harder to function like most people... But then again, I might just be plain delusional :p

Bodhisativa, ummm yeah, I have heard of this before. I find it very interesting, but it is something I believe to be irrelevant, just like if he was, or was not, 'the' son of God, virgin birth, all that jazz. I think Eckhart Tolle puts it well here "Never personalize Christ. Don't make Christ into a form identity. Avatars, divine mothers, enlightened masters, the very few that are real, are not special as persons."

Love :)
In short, yes, you nailed it. A friend of mine joked, "What's the difference between Buddha and Jesus?" ... "One was a prince, the other a carpenter." (In other words, nothing at all of importance.) Jesus preached the eightfold path; just not by that name.

You quoted one of my favorite verses but you chose a translation which has been adulterated, in a small but critical way:

Luke 17:20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

The better translation (which linguists clearly demonstrate is the more accurate) reads the Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Just that one word -- within, and not among. I've heard that the words "amidst you" or "among you" was changed later to accommodate the opinions of some theologians.

But the intention is clear: Heaven is not some city in the clouds where we play harps all day, it's WITHIN YOU, you encompass it, and when you lock yourself out of heaven you are really just locking yourself out of your own heart.
Glossolalia said:
But the intention is clear: Heaven is not some city in the clouds where we play harps all day.
WHAAAT?!?:shock: :shock: It's not?!?:shock: :shock: :shock: Are you telling me i've been practising that fucking harp for nothing?!?!?
“The commandment, 'Love thy neighbour as thyself', is the strongest defence against human aggressiveness and an excellent example of the unpsychological [expectations] of the cultural super-ego. The commandment is impossible to fulfil; such an enormous inflation of love can only lower its value, not get rid of the difficulty. Civilization pays no attention to all this; it merely admonishes us that the harder it is to obey the precept the more meritorious it is to do so. But anyone who follows such a precept in present-day civilization only puts himself at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the person who disregards it. What a potent obstacle to civilization aggressiveness must be, if the defence against it can cause as much unhappiness as aggressiveness itself! 'Natural' ethics, as it is called, has nothing to offer here except the narcissistic satisfaction of being able to think oneself better than others. At this point the ethics based on religion introduces its promises of a better after-life. But so long as virtue is not rewarded here on earth, ethics will, I fancy, preach in vain. I too think it quite certain that a real change in the relations of human beings to possessions would be of more help in this direction than any ethical commands; but the recognition of this fact among socialists has been obscured and made useless for practical purposes by a fresh idealistic misconception of human nature.”

― Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

thymamai said:
did jesus really happen? or did it happen in our minds? and, is there a difference?
Yeah, Jesus did happen, or at least, Biblical scholars have found pretty strong evidence that around during the 1st century AD a man named Yeshua developed a religious following and that he was killed by the Romans in a manner consistent with crucifixion.

Now, whether he worked miracles, came back from the dead, or did any of the mystic stuff is another question (I tend to doubt it), but the existence of Jesus the Martyr is pretty well established. It's also known that, around that time, in that area, there were a LOT of different religious leads preaching apocalyptic and radical new gospels and several of them also claim to have been killed and returned to life (it was a fashionable thing for your factory-issue prophet in those times).

The 'Jesus' that we know today is probably a myth that grew up around a living man and has been retold in a variety of contexts throughout history.

Jesus is a mystery.. no doubt.

The Buddha was enlightened, I get that.. the Christ went another step deeper by resurrecting his flesh, however.. I have not seen him yet.

He returned from the dead .. with a little divine help I guess... or so the story goes.

The holy spirit is part of the trinity that flows from the God head, through the Christ and into the heart.. as we pray, that's if we pray, great spirit help us?

My mind has it's own issues.. Buddha help me. They are very connected. Body/Mind/heart/spirit we are.

The kingdom is within. I get that also, that's why I do what I do even though a Queen would be fine with me too.:love:

Heart/mind expansion seems to work too.:roll:
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