The Compassionate Way

Sep 4, 2012 by

The Compassionate Way

I term myself a holistic Christian by which I mean that I hold a view of Christianity which is totally open to inspiration from other ways, closely linked with holistic spirituality, yet is inspired by the teachings of Jesus. But, boy, have those teachings become distorted! Jesus central message was to teach the path of transformative love and compassion, which can be summed up with 4 words.

Repent, Love,  Forgive, Kingdom.

Repent

The gospels reveal that Jesus came to tell us to repent. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.” (Mark 1:15). But the meaning of the word contains a surprise. The Greek word is metanoia. But it doesn’t mean feeling sorrowful for doing or thinking bad things. It doesn’t just mean ‘to turn around’. It isn’t just about starting out again with God. The word can be broken down into two parts, meta and noia. Meta can mean either ‘beyond’ or ‘large’, and noia is ‘mind’, so it is really saying ‘go beyond the mind’ or ‘go into the large mind’. The repentance that Jesus is talking about is to go beyond ourselves, to enter into the mind, the consciousness of God, to come to a new level of awareness, or, as St Paul put it “to be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). To put it into more recent terminology, it is about letting go of the dualistic, ego-self and entering into a higher state of consciousness, a place of non-duality.

He was really talking about us ascending to a new level of awareness, going beyond our ego-centred mind, getting out of our self-centredness and entering a new way of being, entering the large mind, the divine consciousness.

Love

Love was absolutely central to Jesus’ teaching. Some of his words were:

“Love one another as I have loved you.”

“Love God, love your neighbour as yourself”

“A new commandment I give you – love one another as I have loved you – by this will all people know you are my followers.”

Love is the key factor, the hallmark of Christianity. Like Blackpool rock, it is what runs through the whole of Christianity. Compassionate love is utterly central to the teaching of Jesus. I see it as the core value of of the life of faithfulness to God, as we see it in Jesus. Jesus sums it up in a very short saying “Therefore  be compassionate as God is compassionate.” The word for compassionate in both Hebrew and Aramaic is related to the word for womb. Thus, to be compassionate is to be womb-like.. God is womb-like, Jesus says, therefore, you be womb-like.

What does it mean to be womb-like? Well, it means to be life-giving, nourishing. It means to feel what a mother feels for the children of her womb: tenderness, willing their well-being, finding her children precious and beautiful. It can also mean a fierceness, for a mother can be fierce when she sees the children of her womb being threatened or treated destructively. Compassion is not just a soft, woosy virtue. It can have passion and fierceness to it as well.

Forgive

The gospels are full of instruction about us being forgiving people. The words immortalised in the Lord’s prayer say it: “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Jesus was asked by Peter, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. In Hebrew thought, seven was the number of perfection, so he was effectively saying “You must always offer forgiveness.” It about not judging as well, as they are closely linked.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37) The reason this is so strongly emphasised is because holding on to hurts, resentments and woundedness is so damaging to ourselves, causing lowering of the immune system and all sort of chronic disease. Forgiveness is freeing.

 

Repent, or ‘go beyond the mind’, love, or ‘act from a compassionate heart’, and  forgive, or ‘be freed from damaging emotions’ – these were the central teachings of Jesus, because they lead to a new, higher way of being, that he called “the kingdom.”

KINGDOM

The Kingdom of God was Jesus’ shorthand for the whole message. The kingdom of God is near, is within you. It can be expressed in all sorts of ways. When you repent, when you go beyond the small, ego-mind, when you enter unitive consciousness, when you love your neighbour, when you feel compassion for the world, when you can forgive those who hurt you, then you are entering God’s kingdom. Entering that state of being means that you are being changed, transformed, refined, you are moving up onto God’s resonant frequency, you are beginning to fulfil the potential that you have as a human being, you are aligning yourself higher spiritual vibrations, you recognise the Christ within you. However you want to express it. We can get lost in terminology and nit-picking arguments about these things, but the main message of Jesus was not to talk about it, but to live it out. Not to be moral upstanding people living a good life, but to be compassionate people, full of life and light, giving energy and life to others. It is a way of living from a higher centre, the place of non-dual consciousness, rather than from the ego-mind, the lower self.

The first followers of Jesus were known as followers of The Way. This was the path he taught, the Way of Transformative Love, the Way of Heart Wisdom. It’s a path that is there in all religious traditions and one that is central to the spiritual global shift that is happening now. As one person said to me recently, “Its’s all about love.”

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