Originally posted by boymonkey74
I think the reasons why is the Church has not moved with the times and people are using their own mind to come up with spiritual ideas for
Thanks for this thread - a very relevant issue for many. The Church has definitely not kept up with the times - and that actually
started with the institutionalization of Christianity that mainly Paul was responsible for. (Some of the following is part of a post I wrote a few
days ago on another thread, but it is also relevant here.)
First I need to provide some background on my understanding of Jesus' original Christianity.
Jesus was not interested in establishing a religion based on rites, ceremonies, dogma, and all the rest of the religious trappings we can find in
Christianity then and now. He taught a spiritual process that entailed both exoteric and esoteric practices.
His commandments of fully loving God with one's whole body-mind and spirit, and one's neighbor as oneself, were his moral instructions for daily
living and for also preparing the body-mind through self-transcending love for his esoteric initiation given to his most devoted followers - so that
they were "born to here from above".
This esoteric initiation involved Jesus' blessing of his disciples with the Spirit and drawing them up to the Divine Spirit Light Above (God the
Father) thus transcending the body-mind. Such was the original ascension in Christianity. Through such ascension, the Spirit-blessed disciple would
be "born from above" and that was also the Spirit-blessed disciple's salvation for he most directly saw that the mortality of the body-mind did
not mean the end of one's very being.
This was Jesus' message, both exoteric (the commandments of love) and esoteric (his Spirit-Blessing). However, this message was misunderstood and
revised for the sake of making Jesus' message much more acceptable to the masses. Thus the ascension was associated solely with the physical body of
Jesus ascending into the heavens, and salvation (sometime in the future) was associated with simply believing or having faith in Jesus' physical
resurrection and ascension.
Ascension was no longer associated with the initiate's mystical ascent to the Divine Light of God Above (God the Father) but was revised by the
institutionalized version of belief-based Christianity that Paul particularly promoted.
So the physical ascension of Jesus' physical body was a man-made myth that has nothing to do with original Christianity. In my view the physical
Ascension myth is of least importance to Jesus' true message because it was fabricated for the sake of spreading Christianity as a belief-based
religion with the promise of salvation at a future time.
If Christians would come to understand and live the core commandments of love (the exoteric message) and even the process of ascension (the esoteric
message), Christianity will be restored to its original form, and Jesus' intention will be fulfilled. Otherwise Christianity will continue in its
decline, especially in this day and age, where, for example, the belief in the physical ascension of Jesus is much more difficult given our current
knowledge of the cosmos.
People are more and more realizing that much of what has been propagated for centuries is myth and so do not trust the institution of Christianity
nearly as much. But this is certainly not to say that Jesus' original message should also be thrown out nor that science/materialism be adopted as
the only "god' to be understood and recognized as absolute truth.