Spookily, Joseph Campbell and Jesus Christ have the same initials!
My wife is hot!
Writing is a breeze.
Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst.’ John 6:35
My career is on fire.
All of these statements may or may not be true but they are all metaphors.
The metaphor has been a device of articulation since Moses played full-back for Jerusalem.
What metaphors do we tend to believe literally though? Do we tend to pick and choose what we believe based on thrift or expedience?
Are we literately lazy?
Jesus Ascended Into Heaven
The understanding may well be that someone called Jesus rose up into the sky and went somewhere named Heaven.
Or….it’s a metaphor.
The use of metaphor in religion is to ask the reader to imagine ‘as if’ the transcendent thing is like the literal meaning of the text.
As there is no place in the universe named heaven, we know that Jesus didn’t go there, but metaphorically, He left here to be there.
Joseph Campbell once said, “Even ascending at the speed of light, Jesus would still be in the galaxy!”
He suggests the meaning is likely to be,
“…he has gone inward — not into outer space but into inward space, to the place from which all beings come, into the consciousness that is the source of all things, the kingdom of heaven within”.
Poetry Gets To The Unseen Reality
Unlock the inner perceiver
Nothing more than a day dreamer.
Take me to a place of unimaginable sights.
Big waves with pretty lights.( Tyler Zuniga)
Shakespeare said that art is a mirror held up to nature.
Campbell says that ‘all of these wonderful poetic images of mythology are referring to ‘something in you’.
“When your mind is simply trapped by the image ‘out there’, so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image”.
Imitate Jesus and Buddha
Being Jesus-like and/or Buddha-like is not easy.
But imagine what it would have been like to BE THEM! Prince Siddhartha (aka Buddha) gave up being the next King of Sakya to sit under a tree and help others.
Try that in Central Park East!
When we think that life is different now — well that is true. But the being a human being and a spiritual being is not.
Jesus showed us his temptations and even towards then end he exclaims, “My Father, why have you abandoned me!”.
WE feel like this today. So we go shopping, watch a fantasy on the screen, drink, have some drugs or beat each other up in frustration.
Whether you’re just about to be crucified or the costume for Jimmy’s pantomime is due tomorrow, our physical bodies are always in some sort of quandary with our spiritual bodies.
Jesus showed us an example of how to behave, as did Buddha Shakyamuni.
“The metaphor in Christianity that corresponds to reincarnation is purgatory”, says Campbell.
“If one dies with such a fixation on the things of this world that one’s spirit is not ready to behold the beatific vision, then one has to undergo purgation — one has to be purged clean of one’s limitations”.
The limitations are our sins. Campbell explains that it’s our sins that are limiting factors in our consciousness and fixes it in an inappropriate condition.
Buddhism suggests that if one has not removed these limitations in a life time you’re reborn to try again. Nirvana is that state of having expurgated all the erroneous fixations.
Finally what does J.C (Campbell)offer us as a guiding light onwards?
You Are More Then You Think You Are!
“There are dimensions of your being and a potential for realisation and consciousness that are not included in your concept of yourself.
Your life is much deeper and broader than you conceive it to be”.