If there’s a plan for humanity, and “the light sends out his messengers to us” and Buddha, Muhammad, and all the other “lesser but still very great” teachers of humanity were in the flesh, why not the one who`s supposed to be the King of them all?
Recently in an online discussion of the historical Jesus and my book Jesus Potter Harry Christ, Hans Andréa from Harry Potter for Seekers responded to a question about Jesus’ existence with an insightful commentary. Since I agree with Hans’ conclusions regarding how and to what extent Jesus Christ existed or continues to exist, and since I couldn’t find his post on Google (does Google index Yahoo group discussions?) I’m reposting it with some comments of my own.
The question, which is a common criticism of the argument that Jesus was purely mythical, was this:
In other words, if we accept the very popular new age idea that all “saviors” are enlightened moral teachers, and that they all help guide us towards our own spiritual evolution, why would we pick on Jesus rather than the others? First of all – those other figures are like Jesus mostly literary. I don’t believe Buddha was really born out of a lotus blossom or that Muhammad really flew into heaven on human-headed horse. These are spiritual metaphors, fables or literary embellishments. But secondly – Jesus is absolutely unique in being the center over a huge debate about his existence that started as soon as people began presenting him as historical. Here is Hans’ response to the question (which was aimed at my book).
Hans: Derek (correct me if I’m wrong) never says Jesus didn’t exist. He just says there’s no proof he existed. People like Derek point out that just about every word in the gospels also exists in pagan literature. This subject has been discussed a number of times, and it would be worth your while to go to the archives and read the previous posts on this: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/harrypotterforseekers/messages. There’s a search function there as well. I have also tried to answer this question on the website. Please go to: http://www.harrypotterforseekers.com/alchemy/qa/was-jesus-christ-flesh-and-blood.php
My answer there is based largely on Jan van Rijckenborgh’s book Dei Gloria Intacta.
Just to be a little personal: To me Jesus both did exist and did not exist. As far as I know I’m not schizophrenic, yet I can live with that idea!
He did not exist in the sense that the image built up about him over the last 2000 years by the churches is totally false. The Jesus that traditional Christians worship did not exist. He does exist today in the astral plane, but he is just a mental image brought to life by millions and millions of faithful people in their thoughts and feelings over many centuries. Imagine the power such a mental image would have! Yet at some time in the future this image will lose strength and die, as a new religion captures the hearts of millions. Maybe it will be Harry Potter, who knows!
Nor did Jesus exist in the sense that he was anything like the person in the Gospels. The wonderful value of books like Jesus Potter Harry Christ is that they point out that the Gospels are symbolic, and were not written by the four Gospel writers but are ancient writings adapted to the needs of the people and the time. He did not go around turning physical water into wine and did not walk on physical water (unless it was freezing).
On the other hand, as Jan van Rijckenborgh points out, and as confirmed by people like Max Heindel and Rudolf Steiner, there was a man in history who made his microcosm accessible to the Christ spirit. I do believe there was a descent of the Christ into the physical world, just as he descended into the etheric plane on a previous occasion, many thousands of years before. However I think the man involved was so totally different, and everything he did was so far removed from what we think as a result of 2000 years of disinformation, that it’s best to tear down the carved image we have and start again. This time let’s not imagine what he looked like or what he did. Let’s simply accept the teachings that the Christ incarnated in a human body (of Jesus) and leave it at that. After all, what does it matter? Let’s take solace in the wise cliche: Even though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, but not in us, we will be yet forlorn.
————-(Back to Derek)———-
Basically I support all of Hans’ ideas: Humanity creates and projects ideas which have power in their own. I’m not sure about the incarnation of these ideas, but I do believe certain humans develop extraordinary wisdom and teach very meaningful things; however I’m not sure “following” or being “faithful” to the teachings of one of these masters is ever a good idea (although reading their texts could be motivational and inspirational).
At any rate, that’s a whole different discussion. As for the “historical Jesus” – the man presented to us in the gospels was not there, did not do those miracles, did not teach those teachings. Some other man, named something else, that did nothing miraculous, wasn’t named Jesus, and did not teach those things, probably existed (can we deny it?) But who cares about him? Allowing his potential existence and linking it to the rise of the Christian movement does not support the claim that the Jesus of the gospels was historical.