There is a story about Jesus in the Gospel of John. The story tells us about a time when Jesus was traveling around trying to spread his message. I chose this story because it reminds us that, beyond everything else, the story of Jesus is a story of one man’s journey of following his dreams in the face of all adversity and conflict, a story of offering his gift to the world even when most people thought he was a nutcase, a story of an ordinary human being who awakened and became the Son of God.
Many of my conversations with people begin with them saying “I know I have a calling but… I have a family to support/I have mortgage to pay/I am poor/I don’t know where to start” etc. And I remind them that stories of countless great men and women who followed their dreams and somehow made a great impact on the world began in the same way. Be it Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, your next door neighbor, it’s always the same story.
At some point we are inspired (in spirit) and our voice within us tells us to get out of our comfort zone and begin walking in some general direction. This getting out of the door and begin walking (metaphorically speaking of course) is always difficult because in the end, it’s never about anyone else, it’s always about you. “Getting out” means going beyond your doubts and fears, all the accumulated negative programming, and realigning your life not in the name of success and prosperity but true bliss. When we follow our true bliss, everything else follows. The journey begins with clarifying what really matters to us and rejecting what doesn’t. Embarking on such a journey is synonymous with offering that truth to your fellow beings by example, not lofty speech, and inviting them to awaken as well to fulfilling their personal destinies.
As anyone who has ever tried such a thing knows it’s never easy. But I am here to remind you that it is much easier now than ever before. Just about 400 years ago on February 17, 1600 the Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burnt at stake by the Church for supporting the discoveries of Copernicus and claiming that earth revolves around the sun (along with certain other advanced ideas that cannot be addressed here). He was famously quoted to have said to his persecutors “Maiori forsan cum timore sententiam in me fertis quam ego accipiam (Perhaps you pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it).”
We live in a much better world today, you should realize. Following our hearts and speaking what is the truth has never been easier. Easier of course does not mean easy, there is still great danger for anyone who questions or threatens the established world powers. But that point is far away; the greatest battle for most people begins with the battle against our own ego minds – the part of us that only understands the world through the filters of separation and desire, the lazy, repetitive, selfish part that is perpetually addicted to delusions of psychological security. So no, the journey is not easy, it is littered with obstacles both within and without, but it is your destiny. And until you start listening to that voice within and take the next step, you will never truly know true fulfillment, happiness, freedom or love, no matter how much power, money or fame you gather.
Anyway, back to our story of Jesus, try to go through it with an open mind no matter what your religious beliefs are. There are of course multiple layers to this story, but the simplest of them all is this: this is the story of a man inspired by the truth within heart, a man in love, a man awakened.
The Story of Jesus on Solomon’s Porch
Taken from the Gospel of John, Chapter 10, Verse 22-39. (Certain parts have been edited for readability. All words in quote are unchanged from the Bible.)
It was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem and it was winter. Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. Seeing him arrive, the people surrounded him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in doubt? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered “I told you and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me… I and my Father are One.”
Hearing this they took up stones again to stone him.
To this Jesus said “Many good works I have shown you from my Father. For which of those works do you stone me?”
They answered saying “For a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
Jesus answered them, “Is is not written in your law, ‘I said, you are Gods’?” (Referring to Moses)
“If he called them Gods, to whom the word of God came… do you say of him… ‘You are blaspheming?’, because I said ‘I am the Son of God’?”
“If I do not do the works of my father, do not believe me; but if I do, though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in Him.”
Hearing this they sought again to stone him but he escaped out of their hand.
So I’m sharing this story with you to think about it. There are many layers, many aspects to consider. The easiest thing to do after reading this story is saying to yourself “Hallelujah! Truly Jesus was great…” then going about your day. But everyone knows that already and the world is still engulfed by the darkness of ignorant indifference.
The harder thing to do is asking “How can I follow his footsteps and do what he did? How can offer my gift to a world where there is so much suffering perpetuated by ruthless greed, ignorance and the chain reaction of indifference? How can I overcome my doubts and fears and speak the truth in a way that can make some difference? What can I do today, even if in my own small way, so if I die tomorrow, I will have left behind a slightly better world for generations to come?” …and then actually doing something about it. The ocean is a multitude of many small drops, and when one drop changes the ocean is never the same again.
Just like Jesus, the Father is in you too, and in people of Syria and Sudan. Just like Jesus, you too are One with the Father, just like the people of Cuba, Mexico, Vietnam, Laos, Iraq, Greece, Libya… Just like Jesus, you too have a journey to make, a gift to offer, a world to change. But will you?
Will you commit yourself to the deepest truth that is within your heart? Will you do the hard work that is necessary to clear your brain, to train your eyes to see through the thick fog of lies and propaganda made up of glamour, glitter and gold that surrounds us all today? That’s the difficult choice.
How long are we going to pretend not to understand what is truly at stake? A tree is known by the fruit it produces; it seems to me that we are producing way too much suffering for way too long. How long are we going to distract ourselves with TV and family, work and money, relationship dramas and selfies, while mothers and fathers around the world are waking up in the middle of the night to see their children burning or starving? When playing the Game of Gods, indifference is usually not a very good strategy.
In the end, let me leave you with one of the most elegant, powerful and inescapable truths that govern our reality, it comes from Issac Newton’s third law of motion: For every action, there is same and opposite reaction. So, here is my wake up call for you today: if you find yourself unwittingly or unwillingly serving as a link in the chain reaction of indifference that is setting off many shock waves around the world today, maybe its time to reconsider your life strategies, maybe its time to seriously reevaluate your role in this great game, and see where truth leads you to.
This is not a moral teaching, simply an invitation for clearer thinking. While it is true that everything is perfect when seen from sufficient enough altitude, it is also true that ignorance rarely, if ever, brings bliss in the long term. If I were you, I’d do some serious thinking.
So… something to think about.