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      Paul met Debbie
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      1st Advent today.

      We don’t belong to any official religion, but still these days are reminiscent of the arriving of Christmas in 4 weeks time. Debbie has decorated our new Christmas “tree” (an ornamental metal construction in 3 layers, holding some 12 candles) with some green twigs and a selection of our former Christmas-tree-balls and ornaments. It even has some lighting and it looks the part. We are glad that we don’t have to sacrifice a real tree anymore, and the ornament can stay in our living room all year (with the candles), for Easter even with some appropriate spring decoration.

      Past years we used to play the music of Bach’s Advent Cantata, a beautiful recording conducted by Philippe Herreweghe with Collegium Vocale. But we find that we have more or less outgrown this music. Even without paying attention to the words (often, classical singing is largely incomprehensible if you don’t know the lyrics in advance – only the singers think that they are intelligible), it is clear that this music is about human thoughts, emotions, happiness’s and sorrows set to music. It is quite a thick layer of human egoic stuff that is suddenly poured over our unborn minds. We are not used to that anymore and it feels like an excessive meal that we don’t want to swallow anymore. So, after a while, we change the CD for something more digestible and return to Mompou, who has been on the forefront of our awareness lately anyway (see our website for a tale of Mompou).

      The official Christian church celebrates the birth of Jesus with Christmas, although it is well known that Jesus was not born on the 25st of December. What is less known is probably the most important event in Jesus’ life, which was his baptism in the Jordan river. Most people will not know this was Jesus’ experience of enlightenment, his awakening, where he discovered his true identity as Oneness (the spirit of God it was called in terminology of those days) and that it happened on the second Sunday in January. In most churches this event is lost and not observed, except for the liturgical one and even there it is not a big deal. But his baptism is recorded in all of the four Gospels (Christmas only in two). This event started it all for Jesus. It is why we call him The Christ. It is like the epiphany of enlightenment The Buddha had under the Bodi-tree. Most churches ignore or downplay this event in Jesus’ life, which is indicative of the fact that most people don’t know what Jesus or his message are really about. This is another example of the ignorance of human kind and it is expressed in the Gospels as well, because they often say that the twelve disciples did not understand who Jesus was or what his message was about. The disciples were clueless, as clueless as human kind is of its real nature. Only a minority of the earliest Christians got it, for instance the apostle John. His gospel is mostly non-dual and speaks in terms of oneness and wholeness in the way Jesus intended. There were other gospels that told of this wisdom, but they didn’t make it into the new Testament (like the gospel of Thomas). The main stream church decided to follow Paul and James, who were not even among the original 12 apostles or even met Jesus. So Christianity as we know it today is more a product of Paul of Tarsus than it is of Jesus of Nazareth (we learned this from the very informative YouTube channel of Marshal Davis).

      In previous years we already found a lot of Christian non duality in the sermons of Meister Eckhart (Eckhart von Hochheim, a German Dominican theologist and philosopher; 1260 -1328)). He carefully hinted to the non dual message of Jesus, but was always under the threat of his own church for doing so. Shortly before his death an inquisition was started against him, but he died before the case was concluded. After his death most of his teachings were banned from the official canon as heretic, because he wanted to know more than was necessary, was seduced by the devil and was misleading the common folk, according to the verdict of Pope John XXII. The church did all but doom him for official heresy, because in their vision he already distanced himself from many of his teachings before his death. If you read the document where Eckhart explained himself to defend against the accusations of his own church, you will see that he did nothing of this kind, he only distanced himself from the wrong interpretations of his teachings.

      Anyway, although not belonging to any religion, we like to honor enlightened souls that showed us the way before. Jesus and The Buddha are two shining examples of those, as is Meister Eckhart. And in more recent times we like to mention Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta. The world needs more people like them. But most of all, the world needs more people to really study and realize what they taught. There are enough Guru’s, but not enough disciples.

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