Delores Cannon: Jesus and the Essenes

Delores Cannon offers information about the historical Jesus Christ based on material that she obtained from subjects under hypnosis.

Cannon claimed that certain subjects could enter into a very deep trance state, equivalent to somnambulism. In this state, they would remember their past lives. Cannon said that for these subjects,  under hypnosis they are not engaged in normal past-life regression but rather in a kind of time travel. Subjects under deep hypnosis could forget entirely their current life roles and lose consciousness of their contemporary identities. Instead, they would assume the identity of an earlier incarnation of their souls.

Through one such subject, Cannon gained information about the life of Jesus from a subject who had been a member of the Essenes, a Jewish sect that is probably responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In this post I will not attempt to assess the legitimacy of Cannon’s claims. Can channeled material under trance genuinely serve as a valid historical source? The claim is rather incredible and contravenes normal standards of historical proof.  Nevertheless, the claim may prove to be valid, either completely or in a limited sense.

Apart from the validity of channeled information as an historical source, Cannon’s work on Jesus serves another beneficial function.  Her presentation of Jesus and the Essenes offers us a renewed imagination for the life of Jesus.

Certainly, the New Testament record provides only a partial look at Jesus Christ and his times. Cannon’s material proposes to fill in some of the gaps in the record. The world of Jesus and the New Testament comes alive with a new vividness.  We get a picture of Jesus’s times, culture, and possible spiritual influences. Our imagination for history and for the life of Jesus is thus enriched.

For more on the Essenes, see: The Essenes

Here is an interview withe Delores Cannon on the topic. There are several more talks by her that are available on youtube, too.

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The Joy of Jesus, by Doreen Virtue

Here are a few thoughts about Doreen Virtue’s book, The Joy of Jesus, which recounts her recent conversion to Jesus Christ, after having been a successful teacher (of new age spirituality), for some decades. I will list, first, what I find positive and admirable about her message. Secondly, I will make a couple of points in critique in light of Christian tenets.

Here’s what I admire about Doreen Virtue’s personal witness, her message, and her book.

  1. The Courage to Take a Stand: DV has fearlessly and courageously sought the truth. Upon realizing that Jesus is the savior — through a vision, prayer, and study — she has been willing to act upon her faith, even at risk to herself. She gave up her lucrative business, and her status, as a new age spiritual teacher in favor of a Christian evangelism for which she receives comparatively few rewards. This courageous example speaks volumes in favor of the life-changing reality of God that she describes.
  2. The Gospel is for Everybody (Finding/Seeking):  DV honestly and graphically recounts the emptiness (indeed, the torment) of a life that is dedicated to spiritual seeking, for its own sake. In her own career as a successful spiritual teacher (so, she confesses), she tirelessly tried to track down special or esoteric knowledge. Yet, if the prize was forthcoming, the pleasures were temporary and elusive.  She likens the promise of esoteric knowledge to Eve’s temptation: the shiny apple is the secret wisdom that will finally make one like God. Esoteric knowledge — or special wisdom — in new age circles can become a commodity and a badge of superiority.  By contrast, the gospel is at once fully satisfying and freely accessible– (the wisdom revealed to babes). If Christ exhibits the nature of God, then it is God’s nature to be generous, truthful, and forgiving.  We may touch God, in the here and now, and rather than searching, relentlessly and restlessly, for something to make us whole, we may find–and be found by–a limitless and loving God. Healed, we are whole.
  3. Joy: DV reveals, through her conversion, an encounter with Jesus Christ that fills the heart with causeless and boundless joy — no matter one’s trials and tribulations. We are all seeking such joy, aren’t we? As DV shows, through Christ, that joy is real.

Here are some points of critique.

  1. Guilt and Judgment: DV seems to believe that she was duped and deceived by the devil up until her conversion and her meeting with Jesus Christ. Yet, against this self-castigating narrative, it may be urged that the Christian gospel is about forgiveness, which releases one from guilt. In the light of forgiveness, one may see the beauty — and truth — that have been present, even while one has been hindered by various vices and sins.  Surely, DV had lots of good things to say, in her earlier books, even if she made some “mistakes,” when measured against her current standards of belief. While writing her books about angels, and portraying Jesus as an ascended master (rather than as the unique Son of God), DV showed an enthusiasm for spiritual things, and curiosity about various ideas, which inspired many.  These gifts ought not to be so sternly condemned. Guilt toward self, furthermore, gets transmuted into judgment toward others. For instance, DV believes that hell is real and that theological universalism is misguided. So, anyone holding these beliefs, so she judges, must be deceived and duped, just as she used to be. Surely, Jesus embraced theological pluralism, on a number of points, even if he also preached certain universals (such as the Great Commandment). Heterodox opinions do not amount to grave sins.
  2. Biblical Literalism: I honor DV’s respect for the Bible. Yet, to lapse into rote biblical literalism is to take the easy way out when faced by controversial or difficult passages. For instance, DV claims that God (through the Bible) condemns mediumship and witchcraft. Yet, Jesus himself was accused of magic and of being in league with demons. These accusations against Jesus were argued on biblical grounds –which draw upon similar passages (from Deuteronomy) as those on the basis of which DV derives her biblical prohibitions against mediumship. If Jesus (the Son of God)  “broke” such biblical rules himself — or if he was suspected of doing so– then perhaps the biblical rules, here, are liable to be misinterpreted. Could it be that the surface meaning of the Bible needs to be probed, more carefully, so that a deeper truth will emerge? Biblical doctrines about hell are equally complex and open to interpretation.

DV’s book, The Joy of Jesus, is available as a free PDF download on her website.

 

Asia Bibi : Christian Jailed in Pakistan

Asia Bibi, Pakistani Christian

The Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, was arrested and jailed in 2009 for allegedly blaspheming the prophet Muhammed. She was sentenced to death.

In fact, Asia Bibi extended hospitality and friendship towards her Muslim coworkers by sharing water and conversation. Rumors then circulated, and false accusations, claiming that she had defamed the prophet of Islam.

Asia Bibi’s case has been appealed. She has been waiting (in jail) for the Supreme Court of Pakistan to hear the case and render a final verdict.

Jesus fought for Spiritual Freedom : Lightworker

Jesus himself was accused of blasphemy for claiming to be united with God. No matter our religion, all of us have the right– like Jesus–to enjoy such intimacy with God. We ought to openly declare or speak about our faith, peacefully, without incurring retribution by a dogmatic orthodoxy or a strident majority.

Not Just about Religion but about Human Rights

While Asia Bibi’s imprisonment involves persecution on religious grounds, her case goes beyond sectarian differences between religions. Instead, the case puts on trial freedom of speech and basic human rights.

Pakistan, a country which claims to protect religious minorities, ought to uphold the freedom of a person (Asia Bibi) to speak and associate freely with Muslims even while practicing her own different culture and mode of faith.  Is one free, respectfully, to declare one’s own faith (as a Christian) without thereby being accused of allegedly insulting the religion of the Muslim majority?  The charge of blasphemy, if it should ever be legitimate, is illegitimate, here.

This case has not to do with protecting a Christian person, merely, but rather with the democratic right of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

More Information about the Asia Bibi Case 

A journalist risked her life so that she could get Asia Bibi’s story. The book can be found here: Blasphemy: A Memoir

Here are updates about her case:

Update Asia Bibi Appeal Pakistan

Prayer Support 2018

Vision of Jesus during NDE

Jesus said that by dying, we open ourselves to eternal life. Our lives then become fruitful. In some instances, through a near-death experience  — or a serious brush with death — a person becomes aware of the source of life, itself, which is eternal. Jesus Christ is revealed.

John 12:24-25: Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Here is a beautiful experience, recounted by a woman who died (in clinical terms) at the hospital. Jesus Christ came to her, as a being of pure golden light, who glowed through the heart with a blue star.

The woman (Charmian Redwood) knew that she had touched the eternal.  Upon returning to her body, and recovering from her illness, Charmian reoriented her life according to sacred values. This short video is quite affecting.

Thomas Paine: Biblical Arguments for the American Revolution and the Thomas Jefferson Bible

Since today is the American Independence day, here is a brief look at the issue of how the founding fathers understood the Bible. In view of our current political challenges, it is worth asking whether the Bible itself supports monarchy or democracy.  (And, as an aside, do we have a new King George, aspirationally or in the making, on our hands. See link: USA Today: King Trump).

Were the founding fathers of America, most of them Deists, opposed to divine revelation or to the inspired quality of the Sacred Scriptures?

Thomas Paine

In his argument for the American Revolution and in his tract Common Sense, Thomas Paine argued, making biblical appeals, that America should accept no King except God. Paine cited Judges 8:23: “And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you.” (KJV). Here is an interesting argument, in this regard, which I quote from the article linked here: Thomas Paine: No King but God

The children of Israel being oppressed by the Midianites, Gideon marched against them with a small army, and victory, thro’ the divine interposition [providence], decided in his favor. The Jews elate with success, and attributing it to the generalship of Gideon, proposed making him a king, saying, Rule thou over us, thou and thy son and thy son’s son. Here was temptation in its fullest extent; not a kingdom only, but a hereditary one, but Gideon in the piety of his soul replied, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you. The Lord shall rule over you. Words need not be more explicit; Gideon doth not decline the honor, but denieth their right to give it; neither doth he compliment them with invented declarations of his thanks, but in the positive stile of a prophet charges them with disaffection to their proper Sovereign, the King of heaven.

Thomas Jefferson 

Thomas Jefferson argued for American democracy on the grounds that Jesus was an exemplary moral teacher, whose principles form the foundation for American democracy.  For Jefferson, in his adaptation of the Bible called the Jefferson Bible, miracles were but superstition.

See this article:  Jefferson Bible. Here’s an article about the Bible that Jefferson must have used in making his own adaptation: Editing Jefferson’s Bible

See this video:

Sayings of Jesus/Lao Tzu

Persian_depiction_of_Jesus_-_Sermon_on_the_Mount

Selections from Jesus and Lao Tzu, by Martin Aronson:  See larger selection here

Commentary is my own by Jesus Lightworker

Respond to anger with virtue Tao Te Ching 63

Matthew 5:38 Do not resist and evil doer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, offer him the other also. 

Commentary: The vicious circle of sin, in Christian terms  — or the deviation from the Tao, according to Lao Tzu’s philosophy — consists in a dynamic of retribution. Anger is repaid by anger, evil by evil. This cycle can occur on larger levels, as in warfare or global strife, or in smaller ways, whenever we hold a grudge or we are motivated by ill-will.  If, instead, we respond to evil with goodness and to anger with virtue, then we demonstrate that goodness and virtue are actually more powerful than their opposites.

By offering the one who strikes us the “other cheek,” we do what martial artists do when they use another’s strength against him. An evil doer comes rushing, with aggression, toward us. We simply put out our hand  — or offer the “other cheek” — at once to submit to the assault and to block it. Because we have cultivated our own inner power, and integrity of virtue, the force of the aggressor is visited back upon him by our own slightest move. Our act, without any motive of resistance or retribution, nevertheless overcomes the adversary.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

The sage is good to people who are good. He is also good to people who are not good. This is true goodness. The sage trusts people who are trustworthy. He also trusts people who are not trustworthy. This is true trust. Tao Te Ching 49

Commentary: If the sage trusts even people who are not trustworthy, who is he or she trusting? She or he trusts the Tao. It is the Tao that brings about the interaction or relationship itself (between the sage and the trustworthy or untrustworthy person). The Tao, the principle of Life itself,  is trustworthy. Similarly, by repaying people who are not good with goodness, the sage trusts the Tao itself, which is good.

If I lose money in a business deal, for instance, because I’ve trusted somebody untrustworthy, I have exhibited my trust in the Tao (or, in Christian terms, in the Spirit and in God), which will repay my good intentions even if I lose one particular deal, or some amount of money, along the way.   Similarly, if I forgive somebody who has stolen from me, slandered me, exploded unfairly at me, or otherwise caused me harm, I am asserting through my forgiveness that the Spirit (or God) will honor my good intentions by setting me free from these very same sins or their equivalent.

That I do not judge the wrongdoer means that I refrain from drawing inferences, globally, about his or her character. I do not enlarge the misdeed by elaborating a drama about the violation (in my own mind or verbally by rumors), nor do I nurse grievances or inflict penalties. Instead, although I may come to some harm, in this particular matter, I open myself to non-judgment and forgiveness from Spirit (or God), in the bigger horizon of my life. Spirit and God are the ground and foundation of my being. Thus, I am liberated to live life fully and abundantly, since my own generous intention is mirrored back by reality.

Why are you afraid, you of little faith ? Matthew 8:26

He who has not enough faith will not be able to command faith from others. Tao Te Ching 23

Commentary: By giving faith, we command faith from others. This principle from the Tao Te Ching suggests that people are naturally drawn toward faith, even if on the surface they may seem to be manipulated by inferior motives (such as the desire for selfish gain, approval, or material profits by dishonest tactics).

Let’s say that you have faith in a humanitarian project. You speak about the project with people who are cautious and who disbelieve that generous intentions may prevail successfully. You make a case, exhibiting faith, regarding the success of the endeavor. Citing examples of humanitarian projects that have been successful, you describe the victories of Mohammad Yunas in micro-financing, of Susan B. Anthony in the women’s suffrage movement, and of Bill Gates in starting Microsoft. All of these benevolent projects began with faith. Your associates, even if they are by nature less trusting or well-intentioned than you are, come around to your opinion, thanks to the attractive force of your faith.

Most people would like to believe that goodness and generosity will prevail, because they worry (secretly) that they may some day be in need as potential recipients of another’s good will. Jesus also counsels that we put our faith in God, the source of goodness and generosity, for anything that we might fear will dissolve at the urging of faith.

With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

If there is a good store of virtue, then nothing is impossible. Tao Te Ching 59

How can nothing be impossible? With God or given a good store of virtue? Can the sun drop from the sky? Is that the kind of impossible thing that will become possible with God?  No, or probably not, because for the sun to drop from the sky would be contrary to God’s laws of nature which uphold the universe for the preservation of life; since God is good and principled, the author of life, God will not allow the sun to fall from the sky for that would extinguish life.

That all things are possible with God means that all things are possible, so long as they are in accord with God’s nature, which is generous, life-giving, creative, truthful, free, and radiantly attractive and satisfying. So consider something “impossible”. Ask yourself whether this “impossible” thing would display generosity, virtue, truth and creativity, freedom or peace, joy, abundance, justice–and other qualities or benefits in accord with God’s nature. If so, then move toward this impossible thing. It will unfold, step by step. The impossible will become possible.

Confucius_Lao-tzu_and_Buddhist_Arhat_by_Ding_Yunpeng

Confucius, Lao-tzu, and a buddhist Arhat

 

Croiset the Clairvoyant and the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth

The work of the Dutch Clairvoyant Gerard Croiset (1909-1980) sheds light, in some particulars, on the miracle working of Jesus. In this post, I will address two points.

1. The inner signals and experiences that the healer, clairvoyant, or miracle worker undergoes, in rapport with his subjects or petitioners For this matter, I will compare Croiset’s report with a passage about Jesus’s experience of healing (Mark 5:30).

2. The helps and hindrances to healing or miracles I will compare Croiset’s report with a passage about Jesus’s miracle working and healing in Nazareth (Mark 6:4-6).

The Dutch Clairvoyant Gerard Croiset (1909-1980) was gifted with paranormal abilities, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. He was hired by private clients and police, or detective agencies alike, to find lost children, to weigh in about circumstances and suspects in crimes, and even to offer insight into the historical contexts of manuscripts and fossils.

1. The inner signals and experiences the healer, clairvoyant, or miracle worker undergoes, in rapport with his subjects or petitioner:  Energetic signals (Mark 5:30)

Interestingly, Croiset could feel in advance – upon making contact and receiving a request from someone  – whether he would be capable of responding and assisting in the case. Croiset’s biographer Jack Harrison Pollack quotes the famous clairvoyant, “Whenever anybody telephones and says he would like to talk to me some time, I do not feel a thing. But when a warning feeling disturbs me, I get a vibration which is like a full-up feeling and I expand like a balloon. I grow attentive. Then I know it is not an ordinary call….When somebody with a real problem comes to see me  I see a lot of colors. These colors spin around in me very fast until they form a picture. These pictures shoot out as if they were flashing forward like a three-dimensional film.”

Croiset’s description of his healing rapport with his subjects raises the question (if a speculative one), whether perhaps inwardly, as with Croiset, some sensation or vibration would alert Jesus that the petitioner in question, in need of healing or a miracle, had genuine need of assistance.  Rarely do we learn in the Gospels of any subjective experience of Jesus, involved in his healings and miracles.

In one rare instance, however, we do find this telling description of Jesus’s healing rapport with a woman in need. A woman who has been bleeding for twelve years is healed when she touches the garment of Jesus.  The healing is marked for the healer by a sensation (Mark 5:30): “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?'”

In this case, Jesus makes physical contact with the one he heals. Usually, in Jesus’s healings, there is no such contact. Inwardly, perhaps, the power within Jesus stirred him, as it did Croisset, when a person with a legitimate need approached him.

2. The helps and hindrances to healing or miracles (Mark 6:4-6): Compassion

Croiset was indifferent to quantitative tests of his paranormal abilities, such those devised by J.B. Rhine, the Duke researcher. Once declining to participate in one of Rhine’s studies — which involved predicting a series of figures on cards — Croiset remarked, “I do not like just to guess cards. I have to be emotionally involved in a case, such as a missing child or somebody in trouble.”

If compassionate interest aroused Croiset’s capacities, by the same token self-interest thwarted them. Croiset was incapable of predicting the future on behalf of his family or in order to secure some financial gain. Conversely, where he and his clients shared a significant problem, Croiset’s abilities were enhanced. Because Croiset had nearly drowned once, he became an expert at rescuing or locating drowning people. He had a special sensitivity to orphans, having suffered as an orphan himself.

In the case of Jesus, it is curious that the unbelief of his own townspeople prevent him from working stupendous miracles. As Mark 6:5 explains, about his work in Nazareth, “he could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them,” because of the people’s “lack of faith” (6:6) and because a prophet (i.e. Jesus) is not honored in his own town (6:4).

A lack of trust or belief, on the part of those he would assist, could thwart that compassionate interest that (as with Croiset) enhances the miracle worker’s success.

In conclusion, like Croiset, the famous healer and clairvoyant, Jesus may have registered somatically a signal to alert him as to the needs of his petitioners (Mark 5:30).  The healing abilities of Jesus may have been enhanced, too, by compassion for the afflicted (Mark 6:4-6).