Was Jesus trying to make us woke? A little thought on Transcendence
It must have been around 1999. My mom came into my room to wake me up for dinner. That sleep was sweet. If you’ve spent enough time sleeping, you can attest to that point in your sleep where the sleep just starts to make so much sense.
Wooosh! I felt the cold water on my face! My mother had poured a bowl of water on my face. The sleep cleared from my eyes instantly! Has this ever been done to you?
The last couple of months, I have immersed myself in loads of books, discussions, and ideas that have given me the ‘cold water on face’ effect. Each time, I remember this feeling of water being poured on my face to wake me up.
So here, what did Jesus mean when he said, “you have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also”?
Did he mean for you to endure the pain? Did he mean, just suck it up and move on? Did he really mean for you to walk away from an assault? Is that all he meant?
When he said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.
Did he just mean for you to practice enduration and emotional torture?
And then he said at some point, “So… do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Did he just say for you to not plan?
He said at some point: if you go to the altar and are about to give an offering and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
A disciple of his came asking ‘Hey yo, Jesus, how many times do I need to forgive someone who hurts me? Seven times?’.
To which Jesus must have answered, ‘errrrrr no! Not seven times. Seventy-seven times, actually’.
What was he trying to say? Just forgive someone who hurt you so badly? JUST LIKE THAT??? Do you even know how I was hurt???
There was a different message beyond the lines and words spewed here. It had nothing to do with laws. It had nothing to do with modes of operation. It had nothing to do with how to conduct self. It had nothing to do with subjecting yourself to being a mugu.
It had everything to do with living a higher life. A life where you see past the physics of everyday life, its clashes and modus operandi.
Like water being splashed on my face in sleep, I have woken up to the understanding that these weren’t just some ‘divine’ exercise in ‘holiness’. No, they are the templates for transcendence. A realization that we can live up to the standard where someone hurting us has nothing to do with us. We hurting others, leaving the gift at the altar to go settle scores has everything to do with us. Where our worries about survival have nothing to do with us. We operate from another plain.
Am I even making any sense to you? Do you also need to be woken?