Jesus Christ, Zen Master
Zennish Series, Book4
Jesus Christ was a Zen master?
In at least one version of early Christian belief, he sure sounded like one.
Early Christianity was far from the gentle and unified belief system that we have been led to believe it was. In fact, in the earliest stages of its development, interpretations of the meanings of Jesus’ teachings varied widely, were hotly debated, and differing views were not tolerated well at all.
The Jesus narrative that eventually won out was passed on to future generations while the losers had their books burned and adherents imprisoned, tortured, or put to death. Talk about issues with freedom of religion!
Luckily, an early Christian group called the “Gnostics”, in seeing their beloved books burned and adherents mistreated, buried their most important works in hopes of future discovery.
These works were discovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945 and have shed quite a bit of light on an alternative and very different interpretation of Jesus’ teachings—one that was widely followed in the early years of Christianity, yet more closely resembles the “enlightenment” teachings of Zen and Buddhism.
The Zen-like nature of the Gnostic’s Jesus is the focus of this work.
“What you seek after is within you.” - Dialogue of the Savior
Excerpt from Chapter One:
“The one who seeks should not cease seeking until he finds. And when he finds, he will be dismayed.And when he is dismayed, he will be astonished. And he will be king over the All.”
-The Gospel of Thomas
If you really and truly seek it, you will find it.
Is it easy? Not in the least. You have to move beyond the ego and the insistence of the masses (and their egos) as to how you should view this world.
It is an extremely difficult path, yet rewarding beyond your wildest dreams.
When you find it, be prepared to be shocked. You are not who or what you thought you were. This world is not what you thought it was.
Your attachment to the self is very strong. Your ego has told you that it is who and what you are. It has defined the world for you, and it doesn’t let go easily. The death of the ego feels like the death of yourself.
But once you move beyond the initial shock, prepare to be amazed. The world opens up before you in a way you can’t yet imagine, and it is precious beyond words. Prepare to merge with the force that animates this living world. Prepare to join the All.
“To see a World in a grain of sand, and a Heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour.”
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
"You are no doubt familiar with the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But what about Thomas? Discovered in 1945, the Gospel of Thomas is considered by many to be just as legitimate as the other gospels, and perhaps of even greater value. The reason is because it is a collection of the deeper, Zen-like teachings of Jesus that the disciples themselves didn’t always fully understand. "
-Steven Lane Taylor, author of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat: A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow”