exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
This Irredeemable World
|it cannot be saved,
wasn't meant to be saved
- only transcended
return to main-page of the "Jesus" article
In the “Why Can’t We Achieve World Peace?” article, you’ll find a discussion concerning the irredeemable nature of this world:
Dr. Willis Barnstone, translator of the ancient Nag Hammadi documents, informs us that some of the Gnostic gospels predate the Synoptics by several years; as such, I feel they present a more accurate picture of Jesus. (See "The Wedding Song" for more discussion of the Gnostic documents.)
I really like the Gospel Of Thomas, in my opinion, one of the most spiritual messages. Jesus, as portrayed therein, emphasizes one's direct access to God -- which is why these documents were not included in a later Church-approved canon.
like trying to preserve a snowflake in hell, some problems have no solutions; not in this world
Adrian has studied Gnostic philosophy more than I, and he mentioned that many Gnostics (there were different sects) taught that this world is unredeemable. Human nature, being what it is, often taking orders from the “false self,” makes the social problems which bedevil us, essentially, unsolvable. It’s not going to get any better “down here in the trenches.” It may appear to for a while, but the “inner neediness” of "I am not enough," the craving of more and more, assures one more resurrection of “the evil empire.” And then another.
We talked about how the world seems to be slipping toward some sort of major conflagration. The “dark side” is becoming emboldened, throwing off restraint, just as it did before World War II. That’s how I see it. He agreed. But then I interjected that there’s no guarantee that, in this “irredeemable world,” we might not grant license to some oppressive neo-Roman Empire. Long term, I'm optimistic, but that doesn't mean we couldn't invite to ourselves a one-thousand year Dark Age. It's not as if it hasn't happened.
My view is that I wouldn’t be surprised given today’s level of incivility, made worse by our dumbed-down populace, venal and bribable, flirting with power-grabbing socialism and political hucksters. Ask David Kenyon Webster what he thought about this; he had a choice little speech for those who love servility.
getting back to normal
Few have any idea, nor do they care, about what the Founding Fathers gave to us. Adrian remarked that “we’re spoiled.” We think that having personal freedoms is just the way it is, there couldn't be anything else -- but the liberty we enjoy today is a complete aberration in history, just a little sliver of light amidst a vast, dark wasteland of totalitarian dystopia. We joked that we’ll soon be “getting back to normal.” The jungle always wins, you know.
how then shall we live our lives
Anyway, I said, it doesn’t matter, Summerland is just around the corner – that’s the fail-safe in this world, no matter how bad it gets, we're just one missed heartbeat from being "shot from a cannon" into a new world, the "real world." Our task, while we’re still here, is to live an honorable life and not get sucked into the maelstrom of materialistic, cultish society.
Irredeemable world. Yes - like trying to preserve a snowflake in hell. Some problems have no solutions; not on this planet.
Trying to “save the world” would be like praying that your son, about to enter Navy SEAL bootcamp, might be spared and saved from the rigors and hardships of that severe Spartan gauntlet. But this “saving” would likely become his execution when facing a future unforgiving foe.
you can't save a butterfly from its chrysalis
Trying to “save the world” – you may be familiar with this example – would be like cutting a chrysalis, attempting to help a butterfly escape from its straitjacket. But the butterfly needs to fight its way out in order to strengthen itself; without this ordeal, the butterfly dies.
we came to this world that we might not be saved - but to overcome it, to transcend it, on our own; no one can save you but you
We came to this world for the express purpose of enduring its harsh environment. It’s part of the individuation process; it’s how we become autonomous persons. We need this in order to be ready for what comes next.
The concept of “saving the world” is a bankrupt notion, rooted in the illusions and misteachings of Big Religion. Our task is not be rescued from all the mayhem here, but to supersede, to transcend, the base passions of the Little Me Ego, which has built all of civilization.
This is what Jesus meant when he said, “I have overcome the world.” This is not a spectator sport. We are to do the same.