Posted in Authentic Freedom, Freedom, Jesus, self-actualization

Scripture as a Manual for Ascension

For the past 26 years I have studied scripture.  Beyond the scholarly, historical, contextual, sociological and theological applications of scripture, I have explored scripture through the practices of contemplative meditation and prayer.  I have also studied the Kabbalistic (the mystical branch of Judaism) interpretation of scripture.  With all of this, I have come to believe that scripture is much more than an interpretive history of the Jewish people, and much, much more than an historical account of Jesus’ life and teachings. In fact, to a true historian, scripture is neither of these.  Instead, as the Kabbalists would suggest, and which Jesus seemed to teach and demonstrate:

Scripture is an instructional guide for the evolution of human consciousness.

In more popular terms, scripture is a manual for ascension (self-actualization).  (Read here by ascension isn’t enough)

In order to approach scripture as an instructional manual and guide for the evolution of human consciousness, we first have to remove it from the trappings of patriarchal conditioning and control.

  • We have to move beyond the image of the Divine as the “old man in the sky” whose approval we have to earn and who will punish us for our human transgressions.
  • We have to move past the interpretations that mean to control us through intimidation and fear, threats of punishment and eternal damnation.
  • We have to keep scripture in its proper place, written in a specific time for a specific audience for a specific reason.
  • We also have to understand the literary genres which are in use – myth, allegory, poetry, song lyrics, reflective and interpretive history.
  • We have to take Jesus off the pedestal and we might even have to (gasp) stop looking to him as having saved us from sin or death and instead look at how he teaches us how to live!
  • We have to forget the idea that Jesus came to start a new religion or start a church. Jesus was a Jew and he remained a Jew.  His followers were practicing Jews until they were kicked out of the Temple.  Then they continued their Jewish practices in their own home, adding Jesus’ teachings to the mix.  None of what we now call sacraments were original to Jesus – these were all Jewish practices which the later Church decided to make their own.
  • Finally, we are invited to examine scripture as the Mystics, Prophets and Kabbalists would have (another topic for another time – was Jesus in fact a Kabbalist?) – through meditation and prayer, seeking out the message for each of us as individuals, along with the universal message of LOVE.

When we look past the patriarchal, fear, power and control trappings of scripture, we find a book that describes through myth, metaphor, allegory, story-telling (of people who may or may not have lived), poetry, song lyrics, and the remembered teachings of Jesus, how to evolve our human consciousness from a place of fear to an attitude and experience of LOVE.  Through scripture, we are invited to move beyond the natural fears and limitations of the human experience so that we can remember our truth nature as:

 

One with the Divine (Love)

One within ourselves

One with each other

One with all of creation

 

This experience of Oneness is the “salvation” that Jesus attempted to bring. Jesus had come to experience this “salvation” (authentic freedom) within himself, which he then attempted to teach others.  Using the manual that had been given to him (Hebrew scripture), he tried to show his friends the way.  After his death, his friends tried to remember what Jesus had taught them, created their own written interpretations of his words, and then went out to share this with others.

The true mission and intention of Jesus’ message got lost somewhere along the way. But in this case, what was lost is easily found.  When we follow the formula above, we are able to see the “ascension manual” hiding in plain sight.  To illustrate this, I have taken a passage from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians and reinterpreted it in a language that we might more easily understand:

 

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well
that the day of transformation will come like a thief at night.
When people are saying, “Peace and security,”
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in ignorance,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are also of the night and of the darkness

But we are not blind.  We see and we know.

Therefore, let us not remain blind as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and attentive.
For the Divine did not destine us for punishment,
but to gain freedom through what Jesus taught us,
who showed us the path,

so that we may live in freedom as he did.
Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up,
as indeed you do.

 

Here are Paul’s original words as translated in the New International Version – Catholic Edition.

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well
that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.
When people are saying, “Peace and security,”
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.
For God did not destine us for wrath,
but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep
we may live together with him.
Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up,
as indeed you do.

1 Thes 5: 1-6, 9-11

If you are interested in learning more about finding the ascension manual hiding in scripture, take a look at my Authentic Freedom online course.  Click on the image below to learn more.

Authentic Freedom online course

Or read my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy.  Find it on Amazon.

Author:

I am the founder, owner of Authentic Freedom Academy and the Spiritual Director of the Order of the Magdalene and the Order of Melchizedek. Our mission is to provide education, community and support for those seeking to become self-actualized. Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is our learning community.