So I’ve spent years racking my brain trying to understand why Christians are so indoctrinated with this concept of the New Testament that flies in the face of what Rav Yeshua actually taught:
- The close minded interpretations
- The attacks on different faiths
- The outright refusal to acknowledge mysticism
- The mistreatment of same sex couples.
None of these things scream “love your neighbor as you love yourself” to me.
Well, I finally found the answer. Way way back in the day the Church adopted the Greek style of teaching where the teachers word was the be-all end-all. Students were discouraged from countering what they were taught as they couldn’t possibly have anything to contribute to their all knowing professors. What this has left us with is this concept that only a literal interpretation of the Bible is valid and everything else is folly-
Of course I have huge problems with this concept as the Bible is riddled with allegories and deep concepts that go way beyond mere words. (I admit I’m biased)
-Sola literalis has taken any chances of diving deeper into the mysteries of these texts off the table for the average Christian. The second one alludes to any hidden meanings or symbolism they are instantly labeled a heretic or an occultist. Not that being an occultist means what the modern Church says it does but still… we are discouraged from deriving any sort of meditative techniques or depth beyond face value.
This simply isn’t what Christ taught. Now I’m going to back this up with scriptures:
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”-Matthew 6:6
This is Christ telling us to sit quietly and turn our focus to the unseen. The hidden. That which is occulted from our view. “Your Father who sees what is done in secret” meaning- God sees within us and will reward our efforts and reveal Himself to us.
It’s the journey within which is what mysticism is at its core.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”-Philippians 4:8
“Think about it.” Contemplate it. Turn your entire focus on it and study it deeply. We don’t even have to be familiar with the wisdom of the east to discern the meaning conveyed here.
Finally, let’s close this small list of meditative scriptures with a passage from Psalms. King David prayed and meditated constantly. His collection of poems and prayers is one of the most utilized by modern Christians. Let’s see what he has to say:
“I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.”-Psalms 143:5
This is speculative meditation 101 right here. David dove deeply into meditation in his desire to understand God and we should too.
Naturally, as we meditate on the scriptures our perspective of them changes. Entirely new layers of meaning flood our consciousness as we open ourselves to the Divine presence within. Why this practice has fallen by the wayside in exchange for literal translation is beyond me but sola literalis has been the general paradigm of the past few centuries.
This is how we’ve ended up with Creationists refuting science as opposed to seeing the metaphysics of Genesis. Apologists who will argue down any point that threatens the status quo with zero regard for the polysemantic nature of language. And Churches turned social clubs without any genuine connection to their roots.
God isn’t some lofty intellectual concept. The world of Spirit isn’t some concrete thing we can just wrap our heads around. We must learn to write the scriptures on our hearts. That means we must go within and open our hearts and minds to God. We are to be born again and renewed in our Spirit. That requires a depth of understanding we have disconnected ourselves from in exchange for takes based on face value.
Dive within. With all your hearts, all your minds, and all your Spirit.