Ways of Christ ™

Updates, not yet translated into all other languages than German and English

( in most sites some of these updates are already integrated.)

Additions English  /  Deutsch

Part 1: The steps in the Gospels

In Introduction

Along the steps which Jesus himself went through, their significance for different fields of life shows itself.

In "Birth"

*) The Aramaic language did not have a distinct word for "virgin". It used the term "young woman". But at that time, young women were generally virgins before marriage. There are diverging accounts about Jesus’ siblings. They might have been younger than Jesus; others might have been brought by Joseph into the marriage.

Addition in "The silence..." before Cf. our excerpts from  a guide by the Christian mystic Jakob Böhme too (a page existing only in German).

Cf. Teresa of Ávila "Interior Castle".

Addition in "The sheep

... extreme disproportionate self-deprecation or servile behaviour ...  ... 

Additions in "resurrection

Newer scientific research, for instance by Dr. Peter Gariaev (Pjotr Garajajev), shows that cells, and even the genetic substance DNA, also store light particles and communicate by waves, and so learn through several influences. Several spiritual and healing groups are now searching for methods to activate the untapped potential of DNA: this concerns an initially energetic "twelve strand DNA" that facilitates the connection of the physical body with the other parts of the human being. (It is in no way related to the well-known technical genetic engineering.) 
However, it seems that if one – with the various parts of a human being – becomes attuned to God as the source of everything, this also enables DNA to develop with the physical body over the course of time. It is possible to attune oneself to such a holistic goal, in prayer – connected with God beyond the conditions of life; and at the same time gratefully sense that one is in accord with God, or wait for insights about what else needs to be done; and to be aware of any initial indications that something has been set into motion.

... This is also a bridge for entering the realities beyond physical consciousness without leaving the physical body, by a method called "Merkabah" in Hebrew.

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Part 2: The Revelation

 
 

At the end of the footnote* of "Inspiration"
- not yet corrected -

The Catholic Saint Teresa of Ávila wrote in "Interior Castle" that "half learned" priests, who don't understand true gifts of God's mercy, cannot help in distinguishing between true and false ones. 

Addition in en56.htm_The Beast of the sea.
Addition in 1000 years of peace

Here we find the spiritual Last Judgement too. The translation of Rev. 20:4 - "... they came to life" does not fully meet the original meaning, that is simply "... they lived", (as it was translated literally for instance in the footnotes of the "Elberfelder Bible"). In the case of the souls this could mean "a coming to life again", but people who did not follow the beast may also continue to live on earth. It would be a misunderstanding to think that all of them must die.

In main text, chapter The "seven bowls of God's wrath", the end of "Babylon" and the Second Coming of Christ

Since this prophecy is complex (see the first chapter "The Revelation of John"), the real development in the world may be more advanced than it seems to people who look at particular details of the prophecy, which are not manifested fully. Other areas show plagues, which are even more "advanced" than those outlined in the Revelation.

*) When examining such a possible window of time, there is no major significance in theories that refer to the time of Jesus’ birth asbeing 300 or even 700 years later than indicated by today’s Gregorian calendar. It is primarily the quality of time – in relation to the biblical prophetic visions – that indicates whether the time would be ripe. Newer visions would, in any case, be based on today’s calendar – assuming they contain a general time frame at all. See also the chapter on"How to deal with prophecies".

Szenarios

...- a spefical way on earth towards unity.

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Part 3: various topics, questions of life

Addition in "Prayer

See Mark 12:30. Prayer involves both the heart-felt belief in the attainment of what is being requested - according to the will of God - and the corresponding thanks. Jesus' words handed down in John 16:23, "My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name", also contained the words "... let the answer surround you" in the old Aramaic texts (cf. Neil Douglas-Klotz, Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus).

(The viewpoints published here, although partly new, are not contrary to the manifold prayers practised by the churches.)

 
Addition in "Consciousness

*) Note, however, the differences in the various development stages of human consciousness (e.g. archaic, magical, mythical and intellectual), as presented on our pages "General viewpoints concerning natural religions" and "Religion as a ‘reconnection’ of man with God…" The sources of human emotions were more strongly observed outside the person at certain times, while at other times they were more strongly observed inside the person. Today’s possibilities in the area of consciousness development are carved out in part 1 of our main text, based on the steps in the life of Jesus. Today, for example, a person can consciously learn – in contrast to earlier, more instinctive means – to again more intensely recognize the relationships with his or her surroundings and the environment and earth. Thus, besides social and ecological insights, there are also general ethical and religio-philosophical aspects that emerge for society.

(Addition in "A Christian way - digestion of the daily life")

This leads to a more loving and wise orientation. So one is no longer one's own obstacle on the path. On this path, Jesus can also serve as a compass that allows us to find a new balance beyond the one-sided "wrong tracks": (See the Table of the final chapter of the main text: "A Christian attitude - in the world, but not of the world", cf. John 17.).

Renewed page Jesus and peace
New page Jesus and Refugees, Migration and Cultures
Footnote in "General Christian viewpoints for society and politics"

***) The principle of subsidiary, drawn from Catholic social teaching, would offer an element of prevention at the social level. If it were taken seriously, each superordinate level would only regulate overriding issues that cannot reasonably be regulated on a smaller scale – that is, from the bottom up.

 

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Part 4: The Old Testament, and contributions to the dialogue with other religions.

In topics/oldtestament.htm

The semitic words "Elohim" and "Allah" (Islamic) have surely the same linguistic origin; "El" of the Canaanites too.

(...) There are severe problems when the corresponding parts of Judaism attempt to apply the 613 laws (Halacha) formalistically, instead of looking at a situation in the light of God’s love, free of prejudices. Handling church law and even secular law schematically, may produce similar problems.

Common jointly concepts about Jesus, held by Jewish and Christian theologians.
Many modern Jewish and Christian researchers have come to the following mutual conclusions concerning Jesus: 
- That he was a real historical person, who was born at Nazareth in Galilee, the son of Joseph and Mary and grew up in a house with brothers and sisters.
- That he was baptized by the preacher John the Baptist and after that, felt called to act publicly and in this context built up the Jesus-movement.
- That, as an itinerant preacher, he taught how to pray to the one God and called on the people to repent in the face of the approaching Divine Kingdom.
- That he did many miracles of healing, for instance of people suffering from mental diseases and that he was accepted especially by those less fortunate in the society of the time, such as the poor, women and the sick.
- That he came into conflict with Jewish scholars in Galilee and Jerusalem until being put to death violently by the Romans.

Certain controversial differences of opinion remain between Jews and Christians:
- Whether Jesus was the prophesied Messiah and how exactly the relation between Jesus and God is.
- How to consider the crucifixion and resurrection.
- How to understand the Christian concept of the more comprehensive "People of God" extending beyond the Jews.
(However, beyond that, there are some Jews and Christians with extreme criticism against each other; but in the interreligious dialogue, they don't play any significant role.)

*) See Hans Küng, Judaism: Between Yesterday and Tomorrow for a study of the development of Judaism from the origin to the tragedy 1933-1945 and the present time. He attempts an integrated research that accepts the contents of the Scriptures as a contextual source, in spite of archaeology and critical theological research, which gives some Christians and Jews pause for thought. (We don’t accept all the consequences resulting from the historico-critical research. For instance, some events surrounding Jesus appear largely to be only subjective experiences. However, Küng is open to an open, not yet explored kind of reality of such experiences

Additions in "Islam

(Other changes are already inserted in other languages.)

Islam means "Surrender (to the will of God)", also "(religious) devotion".

Apart from the Bible, Jesus is also mentioned in the Koran (7th century AD), with some similarities and some differences.

; one can compare such "vehement" passages with other passages, which limit them (like "In religion there is no enforcement", sura 2,256).

**) Concerning the historical development of the Islam and the different schools see Hans Küng, "Islam. Past, Present and Future", Oneworld, Oxford 2007. (Referencing books of others does not indicate, that this website supports all of their opinions.

Additions in "Buddhism

(...) An explanation of these similarities doesn’t have to be passed down by some exterior source, as some researchers imagine – even if it’s possible that there was a point or two of contact. (...)
After all, it’s inspiration. And if it’s true, then it comes from the eternal source – without which there would be no "something" or "nothing" or "not nothing", etc.; and without which there would be nothing that brought deliverance, since this deliverance itself would be meaningless without it. From that which is behind everything, and is hidden in everything, and yet is also completely outside everything. That which is unmanifested, yet which already contains all things, and which will be even more at the end of creation than at the beginning – something which, in the material sense, is at least as contradictory as a koan (a meditative paradoxical saying, or parable, in Zen Buddhism). Something that cannot be grasped by theoretical means, even if the human mind can gradually be made flexible enough to at least make an indirect approach***** or to process that which has been seen internally.
(...)

Among the Christian mystics, Meister Eckhart’s work is closest to the Eastern impersonalism. Among the Buddhist schools of thought, the teachings of Nichiren could appear as a bridge. Among the other Indian philosophers, the work of Sri Aurobindo – with his partner, "The Mother" – is closest to the European personalism or intrinsicism. He experienced Nirvana and recognized – apparently in a way similar to some Christian mystics – that there is something quite different than "nothing" behind the Nirvana experience. He speaks of the "highest" and wants to bring certain aspects of this "highest" down to earth. There are those for whom Sri Aurobindo could be seen as a bridge leading back to Christianity – but to the true essence of Christianity, encompassing real "Christian discipleship" and even the power that Jesus himself displayed in his resurrection.

The "ultimate reality" and the question of God
(...)

And here we suddenly find a parallel in Christianity, Judaism and Islam that is not so consciously recognized. All of these religions acknowledge that it is of no use, or even forbidden, to make an image of God – even if the reason behind this has been forgotten. In Judaism, it was not even permitted to directly utter the Hebrew name for God.
Now when we take a look at the oldest-known "monotheistic" religion – with its earliest precursors dating back many centuries further than the Jewish tradition – namely, the Zoroastrian religion in Central Asia, which we call "the religion of Noah before the flood" (http://www.ways-of-christ.net/topics/parsism.htm), then we still find everything clearly distinguished: "Ahu" as the impersonal, unmanifested but very real divinity, and the more well-known "Ahura Mazda" as the God regarded more as a being through a Cosmic Christ. This is not as widely known, even among today’s Zoroastrians; rather, it was explored mere decades ago by representatives of this religion in India.
We’ve applied this to a certain extent in Christian mysticism, when the "Son" or Logos is seen as the first created being, or the mirror in which God sees himself – just a human term, but one that communicates something very important, something that human language cannot clearly express. Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father except by me". This, too, is not usually understood in its fullest sense. (At that time, the God of the Old Testament was experienced more as a "God of the people", in more of a collective sense, and not so much as a personal counterpart of a human individual.)

Rudolf Steiner might be worth mentioning at this point too. He said that Buddha brought teachings about the wisdom of love and that Christ then brought the power of love.
The power of love ultimately draws everything back – or rather, forward – to divine perfection. "Ask the Father in my name" – meaning, in accordance with him, through him, the Christian way leads to the One.

***) The Christian Mystic Master Ekkehart described his experiences like the Nirvana experience – without using this word -, but the difference was that for him it was connected with meeting God.

****) Returning to God with the essence from the way through the world is on the one hand a return to something, which was already there all the time. On the other hand it is something additional, which was not there before, like two congruent triangles. This paradox can only be understood through deepened mystical experience.

*****) There are also philosophical aspects. In Mahayana Buddhism, Nagarjuna described in his commentary on the Prajnaparamita that something can be looked at as true, or not true, or true and not true, or neither true nor not true – four categories instead of a simple dualistic either/or. Since reason is not capable of understanding this fully, it could lead to a person’s attaining a type of enlightenment beyond this dualistic reasoning, resulting in a view from another level of consciousness. It is similar to the effects of the koans – paradoxical sayings, or parables – of Zen Buddhism (see above). In European philosophy there is another way to expand the mind beyond the old dualistic either/or: Hegel’s dialectics of thesis and antithesis also includes the aspect of synthesis. It enables the mind to be trained to overcome contradictions or apparent contradictions, thus opening itself for the higher truth of God's spirit. Our Christian project has independently developed a similar possibility: different viewpoints may contain parts that are understandable and compatible from the holistic perspective – which fit together (overcoming apparent contradictions [dichotomies]).

Addition in "Hinduism, last sentence replaced

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most important sacred texts of the Hindus, the traditions of which combine the earlier Vedas with the philosophy of the Upanishads and yoga wisdom, and is part of the Mahabharata. Krishna, the hero of this didactic poem, is considered to be the Supreme Being manifesting himself in human form – an avatar (see above).

Addition in "Taoism
In this way, dividing all things into two polarities, yin and yang, may keep the mind within these polarities; but a seeker may successfully aspire to go beyond them, into a mystical state of consciousness.
Addition in page: "Religion as a 'reconnection' of man with God - on paths with Jesus Christ"

The importance does not primarily lie on "beliefs" - that is, on human thoughts about religion - but rather on a person's connection to God, lived out in a real way.

2) Archetypal: a term of the depth psychology of C. G. Jung and others; basic patterns of human existence experienced as different forms/ figures, e.g. in dreams. However, the "archetypes" also have a high level of mixed and misleading content. "God" is portrayed as an old man, and references to "heaven" and "hell" become "archetypical" symbols of a "collective unconscious". Jung did not know exactly what this was. At least a core of this level of consciousness appears to exist to a certain extent in all people – with its images and ideas that are impressed upon people. Thus, this emerges as a kind of primal memory from a very early time in the history of humankind – even before such periods as the "mythical consciousness", as presented in our chapter "Consciousness, brain research and free will". This level of consciousness also contains such contrasts (more or less "apparent" contrasts), as addressed on our page "A Christian attitude...a third way". A closer view reveals that this level’s notion of God is a rather problematic caricature. That is why, for example, theTibetan Book of the Dead (BardoThodol) – for which C.G. Jung wrote the preface – warns the living against responding to the deceptive deities and demonic figures of this level after death. A similar writing existed in ancient Egypt. Even Gnostics in the Christian sphere held a critical view of such figures , as they were surely also experienced in dreams and meditation. Fairy tales have attempted to creatively interact with this world of symbolism, which can indeed be useful for children. However, adults may attempt to go beyond these symbols – symbols that have taken on many human aspects. But the real challenge involves seeking God directly, rather than letting him fizzle out with these false concepts of God.

 
See also pages which are currently only available in English and German:
- Apostles' Creed.
- Annotation: the question of the triune nature of God.
- The question of life after death and its consequences for life before death.
- The relation of Christianity to other teachings about "karma" and "reincarnation".
- The prophetical teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 24.
- The "Gospel of Thomas".
- On the "Gospel of Philip".
- "Archetypes" - from the earliest history - elucidated by the Bible - to Jesus, and to the future.
- Notes on Ancient Egyptian Religion.
- Remarks Concerning Early European Religions.
- Additional informations: Churches and peace.
- The declaration of the World Summit of Religious Leaders at Moscow 2006.
- Critical comments concerning the caricatures showing Prophet Mohammed from danish newspapers.
- 2012: The Mayan Calendar and Christianity
- Scenarios (see above)
- ...

Some other updates are named in the pages

 

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