Two Tickets To Paradise
The other day a friend of mine announced that he was leaving the Church (he’s Christian) but that he was considering accepting Jesus as his savior before he dies – just in case. He described it as buying insurance to heaven! It kind of reminds me of the old Eddie Money song “Two Tickets To Paradise.”
Zig Ziglar, who was once referred to as the world’s top salesman, referred to Jesus as the greatest salesman ever. After all, how else could you get a free pass to paradise? However, this idea of accepting Jesus as the messiah just before you die takes the idea of salvation to an even more absurd level. More than one Christian that I know are living out their lives in the expectation that Jesus will save them in the end regardless. Regardless!! Is there no personal accountability for one’s actions during their lifetime?
In many older civilizations, people didn’t fear death but rather celebrated it. So the larger question that this issue raises is why all the emphasis on the fear of death and how did we get to this point? For starters, belief systems (such as religion) are based on other people’s opinions. Those opinions might be based on another person’s own personal experience or they might, in turn, be based yet on someone else’s opinion; and so and so on down through time until the source is but vaguely remembered, if at all. People rarely stop and ask the question: Where does the belief system come from and why should I believe it? Rather, they blindly accept it because it was passed on to them as part of their culture or tradition.
Now, Christianity understands death based on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, a belief which is a central tenet of their faith. However as Carl Jung so eloquently stated, Christ’s rise from the dead is intended to be understood symbolically, not literally. The Dead Sea Scrolls shed new light on the fact that the Jerusalem Church (at Qumran) led by Jesus’ brother James did not accept the Christian theology. This is also evidenced by Paul’s own letters which are included as part of the New Testament.
In part, the problem stems from the Old Testament belief in the coming of a messiah. In Jewish custom, a messiah was a king who would deliver them from their oppressors. Actually, every King of Israel was considered to be a messiah (e.g. King David). Essene texts actually refer to two messiahs, one a king descended from King David and the other a high priest descended from the priestly caste of Aaron. In that regard, many of John the Baptist’s followers actually considered him to be a messiah as he was descended from Aaron. Jesus has long been considered a messiah by Christianity because he descended from King David down through his father, Joseph. However if you believe in the virgin birth, that would seem to disqualify Jesus on those grounds.
But the biggest problem lies in the fact, as Carl Jung said, that Christianity believes in the literal translation of the Bible. Like all religions, Christianity was intended for the masses while the truly enlightened received the real message from secret societies. Even today, secret societies pass down privileged information which is disclosed only to their initiates. Beginning generally with the great Greek philosophers, the secrets of enlightenment were passed on through something called The Mysteries. The Bible confirms the process of hiding the truth from the masses in a number of places, including Romans 16:25 (“Now to him that is of power to establish you to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.”) and in Matthew 13:11 ( “To you, the disciples, it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them, the masses, it has not been given.”
One of the secrets of The Mysteries and the true meaning of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is that we can and do overcome death because death is simply an illusion. It is only the body (matter) which decays and dies. In order to understand the nature of death, one must realize that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings having a human experience. As spiritual beings that exist simultaneously in more than one dimension, our 3rd dimension consciousness is only aware of the sensory experience in this dimension. When we die, we simply cease to have those 3rd dimension sensory experiences, but we continue to exist in other dimensions. (in a religious sense, we go to heaven).
One of the main reasons for the Christ Consciousness to enter our world was to reveal this secret of the ages about the nature of life and death. Unfortunately, that message was co-opted, with the true meaning eventually buried under the weight of church dogma. As perhaps you’ve heard me say before, “A church and a religion are not required (to understand God)…and never intended.” So, who’s still interested in two tickets to paradise?