In his brand new book Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, Pope Benedict XVI says the Christian calendar is actually based on a huge mistake by a sixth century monk named Dennis The Small, who the Pope reveals was several years off in his calculation of Jesus’ true birth date. In a report published yesterday CNN writes:
“The Pope says the Christian calendar is actually based on a blunder by a 6th century monk, who Benedict says was several years off in his calculation of Jesus’ birth date … According to the Pope’s research, there is also no evidence in the Gospels that the cattle and other animals traditionally pictured gathered around the manger were actually present. He also debunks the claim that angels sang at the birth, a staple theme of Christmas carols. But while the book points out that the Gospels do not support the presence of animals at Jesus’ birth — a detail apparently added in later centuries — the Pope does not suggest they should be thrown out of the Nativity scene, Speciale said. ‘The Pope is a traditional man and he doesn’t want people at all to change their traditions,’ Speciale said. The 176-page volume, which comprises a brief foreword, four chapters and an epilogue, traces Jesus’ life up to the age of 12, when, according to the Gospels, he was presented by his parents in the Temple in Jerusalem, the Vatican said.”
This is fascinating on many levels. For instance: 1) the Pope has proven once again that the Vatican has been wrong about something for thousands of years; 2) the Pope is an expert in animal forensics and cold cases; and 3) most importantly, the Pope has proven that information passed down from generation to generation over the course of 20 centuries is almost always 100% wrong. Pope Benedict’s discovery that Jesus was born several years earlier than believed is merely the latest in a long string of errors the Vatican has had to admit to, and with each one of these revisions we get closer and closer to the most difficult revision this institution has yet to make, but will absolutely have to come to terms with at some point or another: over the last 2,000 years the Vatican has completely eroded the true message of Jesus Christ.
While he was alive Jesus was the world’s #1 champion of compassion and enlightenment. He had an incredibly powerful message that heaven is not a location, but refers instead to the inner realm of consciousness. In his book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle writes:
“This is the esoteric meaning of the word ‘heaven’, and this is also its meaning in the teachings of Jesus …The Catholics and other churches are actually correct when they identify relativism, the belief that there is no absolute truth to guide human behaviour, as one of the evils of our times; but you won’t find absolute truth if you look for it where it cannot be found: in doctrines, ideologies, sets of rules, or stories. What do all of thse have in common? They are made up of thought. Thought can at best point to the truth, but it never is the truth.
That’s why Buddhists say ‘The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.’
All religions are equally false and equally true, depending on how you use them. You can use them in the service of the ego, or you can use them in the service of the Truth. If you believe only your religion is the Truth, you are using it in the service of the ego. Used in such a way, religion becomes ideology and creates an illusory sense of superiority as well as division and conflict between people. In the service of the Truth, religious teachings represent signposts or maps left behind by awakened humans to assist you in spiritual awakening, that is to say, in becoming free of identification with form.”
“There is only one absolute Truth, and all other truths emanate from it. When you find that Truth, your actions will be in alignment with it. Human action can reflect that Truth, or it can reflect illusion. Can the Truth be put into words? Yes, but the words are, of course, not it. They only point to it. The Truth is inseparable from who you are. Yes, you are the Truth. If you look for it elsewhere, you will be deceived every time. The very Being that you are is Truth. Jesus tried to convey that when he said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’ These words uttered by Jesus are one of the most powerful and direct pointers to the Truth, if understood correctly. If misinterpreted, however, they become a great obstacle.”
“Jesus speaks of the innermost I Am, the essence of identity of every man and woman, every life-form in fact. He speaks of the life that you are. Some Christian mystics have called it the Christ within; Buddhists call it your Buddha nature; for Hindus, it is Atman, the in-dwelling God. When you are in touch with that dimension within yourself — and being in touch with it is your natural state, not some miraculous achievement — all your actions and relationships will reflect the oneness with all life that you sense deep within. This is love. Laws, commandments, rules and regulations are necessary for those who are cut off from who they are, the Truth within. They prevent the worse excesses of the ego, and often they don’t even do that.
“‘Love and do what you will,’ said St. Augustine. Words cannot get much closer to the Truth than that.”
In 2012 we live in a world with a huge range of interpretation of Jesus’ message of love, peace, compassion, and enlightenment. So as we approach the 2012th birthday of this amazing man, it’s always worth stepping away from your belief system for a moment to reassess where you stand on Judeo-Christian matters. Do you enjoy being on the wrong side of history by attending a Catholic, Pentecostal, or Evangelical church that preaches hate and fear? Or would you rather align yourself with the true message of enlightenment of Jesus Christ by attending a Unitarian, Episcopalian, or Anglican church? Better yet, why not mix it up with some Buddhism, Jainism, and other peace-based religions for some added beauty and dimension to your spiritual well-being.
So if Jesus Christ was the world’s #1 champion of compassion of his generation, who would be ours? The Dalai Lama? Probably. The Pope? Not by a long shot. Everyone has their own interpretation of God, and I am no different. For me, there is no such thing as an anthropomorphic personal God who sits in a throne in the sky spending Its days worrying about what thoughts enter your mind, what customs you practice, who you sleep with, and in what position, etc. God is pure energy, God is consciousness, God is enlightenment. God is Jesus. And God is You.
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