Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jesus is my Guru

As a newly divorced woman in her mid-forties, I have entered a strange new world of dating. And I am doing it in the strange world that is Asheville.  Being who I am, I tend to be attracted to men who are spiritual.   This translates into my last three dates being with a guy who has been a devoted practitioner of a particular form of meditation based on some kind of yoga out of Hindu/Indian traditions.   So, it has a guru.  And he (date guy) does.   I'm not a guru type of gal.  My protestant gut is suspicious of any human being who claims too much spiritual power. Power corrupts and corrupted spiritual power may be the worst kind.  

(Think inquisitions.  Or Osama bin Laden, for that matter.  Although I don't really think of either of those as spiritual, but political power which cynically used the spiritual weaknesses of people to rile them up.  But that's another post.)

Anyway, I'm discussing my general distrust of gurus with this guy, who is trying not to become defensive about his love of his guru (he's gone to India 3 times to see him) and trying to share with me that it's really all about love -- increasing our love through meditation, blah, blah, blah.  

So I say, "Well, Jesus is my guru.  I don't need any other ones."  And I realize it is true.  That I do think of Jesus much in the same way he thinks of his guru -- as a human being who became so imbued with God-love that he was capable of extending it through not only his words and touch, but even through time and past death.  While I'm fairly ambivalent about church these days, I am still crazy about Jesus.   Though it defies intellectual understanding, I have experienced Jesus in encounters I will call mystical because I'm not sure what else to call them. I have been healed by these encounters -- spiritually, emotionally and physically healed.   Not always in the ways I hoped to be healed, but in ways that powerfully changed me or the direction of my life. 

I experience Jesus as a guy -- a real Middle Eastern Jewish guy -- who fully and completely got it.   Got God.  Got the point of life.   And was transformed -- transfigured -- by it.   And then became a conduit for transforming others.    I don't know what happens to most of us when we die -- worm food?  reincarnation?  straight to heaven, do not pass go, do not collect $200?  -- but I believe that Jesus, in some real sense, did not die.   His body is dead and gone, but his spirit is alive and well.   And not in some vague "everything is divine" sense, but in the sense of that Jewish guy who lived 2000 years ago and taught and walked and healed and was crucified. That his particular life experience -- incarnate, real, fully human experience -- was critical to his ability to continue through cultures and time to speak to us as fully human ones.  

Perhaps there have been other human beings in history who share this category -- Buddha comes to mind -- but I can't attest to that.   I can attest to Jesus.  And because I experience him as still present, still available, still healing, I don't see the need for some other human to come along and claim some spiritual power into which I need to tap.   I can go straight to the source -- the Big God -- or I can go to Jesus.   And Jesus, having been human, is easier for me to get most days than the BG.   

What about you? 


Wormwood's Doxy said...

I still struggle with Jesus. You see, I've never had any trouble with Big God. Big God and I get along fine. I used to joke that Jesus was for people who were too scared to deal with Big God...and I was too much the extroverted Leo to have that problem. ;-)

But the truth is that two things totally turned my head around on the Jesus issue. First---the realization that EVERYTHING I believed about God (merciful, gracious, and loving), I believed because of Jesus' teaching. And second, Jesus' words from the cross---"Father forgive them..."

You see, if there IS a God, I believe that's exactly what God would be like...

So, yeah---I guess you can say that Jesus is my guru too.

lj said...

"Jesus was for people who were too scared to deal with Big God." hahaha.

Well, in my case, I grew up with a loving, gracious God. No hell-fire. So I don't think fear is the issue. It's more about personality for me. When I think of Creator of Heaven and Earth God, I find it difficult -- problematic for reasons beyond gender questions -- to personify this One. I have done so -- usually a big, brown earth mama type comes to mind -- but it seems kind of arrogant for us to anthropomorphize this Life Force, Creative Energy, Ultimate One ... if you know what I mean.

Jesus, on the other hand, is a aramaic Jewish guy no matter how you slice it, so I can see him, imagine him, personalize him. And yes, when I think about the characteristics I assign to my non-personalized God, they are all the personal things I learn from Jesus.

pj said...

I have experienced Jesus in encounters I will call mystical because I'm not sure what else to call them. I have been healed by these encounters -- spiritually, emotionally and physically healed.

Me too, and you can imagine how effed-up it was for me. Although why wouldn't a regular middle-eastern Jewish guy talk to me? Dunno. I also dunno how I feel about my old Hebrew School Big God. I'm in flux.

But I'm with you about gurus. I wouldn't have one, and I wouldn't have the cajones to call myself one either, even if I did nothing but pray and meditate for twenty years.

"No guru, no method, no teacher, just you and I in the garden wet with rain." -- Van Morrison. (I posted this song to my blog about a year ago, LJ, in response to something you and I were talking about. Funny life.)

lj said...

Great Van Morrison quote! And guru guy loves Van Morrison. I remember now that you quoted it before. New meaning this time.

Yeah. It's weird enough for someone who has spent her whole life in church and Sunday School to have Jesus mystic moments. Can only imagine what it was like for you.

Diane said...

well, when you post, you really post ...

I'm too tired to add anything substantial tonight. I can't ever remember having a problem with Jesus, although how I think about him has changed a lot...

Jane R said...

Great post. Been back here to read it three times.

Hmmm. For me it was the Spirit and the church that drew me in first. Jesus came later. He's around all the time now. I can relate to the guru thing (for Jesus, that is) but it's more like he's my Rebbe. But he's never just one thing for me (nor is he in the Biiiiiiible or the tradition). I'm big on Dorothee Soelle these days and have been for years. Her Jesus is fragile and needy and needs us. But there lies his power. We can't resist helping him bring about his kin-dom.

But I have mystic moments with any and all -- Jesus, God, Spirit, Trinity, Mary.

And sometimes it's just fog and searching.

lj said...

Thanks, Diane and Jane. I'm going to see if I can start posting about once a week or so ... not every day, not once a month. We'll see. It's not the posting that takes up so much time -- it's visiting all my blog friends and trying to keep up. Maybe I could keep that to once a week, too. Discipline. That's what I need.

pj said...

You have won a very prestigious award, btw.