Jesus Would Just Drop It
I am happy this very instant because I see that the unhappiness I carry is not who I really am. It is utterly alien to the Self.
Yet at a more profound level, the unhappiness I've been carrying is precisely who "I" am. The reason it's so heavy is because "I" am heavy. Dropping my unhappiness means dropping "me", the sense of a doer or owner for all these thoughts, moods and anxieties that pass through on their way from nowhere to nowhere.
So-called "enlightenment" is not about acquiring something. It's about dropping what we never needed to carry. In ancient childhood, somebody convinced us to carry their suffering for them. But carrying somebody else's ancient pain does not relieve their burden. It doubles the burden. Now two of us are miserable.
Jesus never carried our suffering: he simply invited us to drop it. His invitation is exactly the same as the Buddha's invitation to "anatta" (no-self), Laotzu's invitation to "wei wu wei" (action with no doer), and the invitation of the Bhagavad Gita, "Yogaastah karukarmani" ("Established in the unwavering Oneness of yoga, perform action") .
Jesus says: "Come unto Me, you that are heavy-laden, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light... If you cling to your life you will lose it, but if you let it go you will find it..." The Kingdom of God is not a future attainment. It is liberation from the bondage of "I" right now. The Kingdom of God is all about laying down this burden, and awakening to the lightness that is already here.
But the Church turned Jesus' teaching of liberation from suffering into a cult that worships suffering. The Church's tragic misunderstanding developed in three stages.
1) First, Jesus simply invites his disciples to drop the "I."
2) But the disciples are raised in a culture of ritual sacrifice, where every sin must be expiated by blood or sorrow. They imagine that they can drop their suffering only by placing it on the back of a scapegoat, or "lamb of God." They believe that they are liberated from suffering only through his suffering. The Church invents a pre-Christian theology of vicarious atonement that was never taught by Jesus.
3) Finally, in the Middle Ages, a third Christian way appears: "the imitation of Christ." If Jesus takes the sorrows of the world upon his back, then good Christians should do likewise. The cult of suffering is complete. Christians actually pride themselves in carrying the world's pain, partaking in the sufferings of their Messiah.
Let's get clear about this psychology, which is the antithesis of Jesus' teaching. If I suffer with terminal cancer and you come to comfort me, I do not want you to get cancer. I want you to be free of suffering, so that you might envelope me with the healing power of love. To empathize with me, you do not need to be weakened by my wounds and diseases: you need to be liberated in Christ-Consciousness, the blessed power of peace. When I am sick, I don't want you to double my sickness. I want you to dissolve my sickness in the light!
The Church's confusion arose because theologians never adequately explained the meaning of the Cross. Why is the infinite radiance of "Am" crucified on the finite cross of "I"?
"Am" hangs on the cross of "I," not to suffer, but to allow non-localized Christ-Consciousness to locate itself in a unique individual. To experience this wonderful possibility, individuality must needs feel separate for awhile, crucified and alienated from its Source in God. "I" briefly imagine myself to be other than the divine "Am." It is a necessary fiction: a crucifixion. It is why Jesus cries the words of Psalm 50 on the cross, "Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?"
This alienated phase of our spiritual journey can last for an hour or a thousand lifetimes. It's up to us how long we decide to hang on our little melodrama, the story of "I."
Sooner or later, temporary crucifixions end in eternal resurrections. And just as the individual awakens from "I" to "Am," so does collective humanity. Perhaps this historic moment is Now! We live at the end of the aeon. A vast wave of souls awakens from Adam to Christ, from the First Man to the Last, from Good Friday to Easter. These are but Biblical terms for phase-transition: from duality to non-duality.
Let go of ancient suffering. Let go of ancient stories. In darkness or light, pain or pleasure, work or play, let the brilliance of "Am" shine through the window of "I", a beam unseparated from its Source.
Om Kyrie Eleison Namah Shivaya.