I Am The Walrus/Logos

I Am The Walrus/Logos May 13, 2014

Roger Wolsey shared some thoughts about Jesus as yogi. His starting point, unsurprisingly, was the Gospel of John, ch.17, where Jesus is depicted as praying, and even after acknowledging the distinction between the only true God and himself as the one God sent, he then goes on to blur the two in mystical interrelatedness, so that he and God are one, and so too his disciples.

I’ve mentioned before that the idea of Jesus as mystic – as one who, like prophets and other such figures before him did at times, sought to lose himself in God, so that God’s own voice could be heard through him – is one of the underexplored approaches to the Gospel of John.  There have been studies on this, but they have been relatively few and far between.

On Christology elsewhere in the blogosphere, see also Daniel Kirk’s review series on the Evangelical response to Ehrman, and Dustin Martyr’s ongoing review of Ehrman’s book, as well as Nijay Gupta’s review series. Daniel Kirk’s post about being a son of God is also worth reading. See too Jim Burklo’s post that ranges from Bob Marley to Rumi to mystical intoxication with the divine, and Rachel Marszalek on the connection between Trinitarianism, subordinationism, and complementarianism. And if you haven’t seen it yet, here is but one of many recent interviews with Bart Ehrman about his recent book on Christology (this one on NPR’s Fresh Air):

And finally, as seems appropriate given the title (which riffed on Roger’s riff on the Beatles song), here is John Lennon’s follow-up to “I Am The Walrus,” his solo song “God” (which is basically the antithesis of the message of the Johannine Jesus!):

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  • YungSuk

    You may add my recent work on the I am sayings of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel. Visit the book page on my web site. http://www.youaregood.com/truth_book.htm
    –Yung Suk Kim

  • Rebecca Trotter

    I think that when God became embodied, he would have had to go through a sort of forgetting process in order to experience life fully as a man. People who deal in mystical things commonly teach that we each contain all knowledge within us, but we need to remember. We’ve forgotten. It’s possible that the process God would go through to live as Jesus would work in a similar way.

    So, it may well have been that Jesus would have sought unity with God, just like other mystics, only to discover that he was God and had been sent to be Messiah. What I find fascinating about this idea is what sort of proof or verification Jesus would have needed in order to accept this. The world was filled with false Messiahs at the time. To step out and claim that role would take a lot of nerve on the part of a non-crazy, non-deceptive, non-power-seeking human, don’t you think?

    • pearly1

      When one seeks God and truly finds God, one deeply knows/understands that we are also God. Jesus quotes scripture and says, “Ye are gods” but we don’t realize it. Jesus also taught us to seek God/God’s kingdom within ourselves (“The kingdom of God is within you.” “Seek and you will find.”) That’s what unity means. There is NO separation, all is one. Jesus, his disciples (extend that to all of us), and God, all the lines are blurred. I think that’s what St. Paul was trying to convey with his term “the body of Christ” and how we are all members — all are one in unitive consciousness. It’s very hard to understand if this unity consciousness has never been experienced, and most people haven’t experienced it. But everyone can.

      • pearly1

        And I’ll add that today’s mystic Jews (Kabbalists) understand that we all each have within us the seed to be Messiah — and that all it takes to be a true Messiah is this shift into unity consciousness and then one is truly an agent of God on earth. Jesus made the shift, yes, he was a Messiah, God’s anointed king on earth. But Jesus taught us we can all aspire to be that and bring Heaven to Earth. In fact, Daniel’s shining “one like a son of man” (which Jesus self-identified with) may be a symbol for a future, collective consciousness of humanity that has made that shift to unitive God-consciousness.

    • paarsurrey

      @Rebecca Trotter

      “I think that when God became embodied, he would have had to go through a sort of forgetting process in order to experience life fully as a man. ”

      Sorry. I don’t agree with you.

      It is a blemish for the One-True-God to take a physical human form. It never happened. If John stated; he must have wrongly understood or wrongly interpreted.


      • Rebecca Trotter

        And that is exactly the sort of humanity hating, creation hating nonsense that Jesus lived, died and rose again to save us from.

        • MattB

          Amen sister. Preach!

  • pearly1

    Thanks for mentioning this, James. I think few scholars have explored the idea that Jesus was a mystic, perhaps because they know little about mysticism and as historians (many, anyway), they shy away from the topic or downright don’t believe in any of it. If I recall correctly, Stevan Davies wrote on this and basically described Jesus as “channeling” God/the Holy Spirit or being “possessed” by Him/It. Marcus Borg touches on this idea but doesn’t explore it fully.

    I say, of course Jesus was a mystic and prophet! He prayed/meditated and had visions, and did and taught what he saw “his Father” doing. Through meditative/contemplative prayer practices, mystics go deep (expand!) into a unitive state of consciousness.It’s a state that transcend the ego-self and allows unity with the All/God/Father/Source. It’s what is meant by humbly emptying one’s being of the self/ego, putting self aside, or “crucifying the flesh (needy ego-self)”. It’s that state of consciousness that allows Jesus of G. of John to say such things as “I and the Father are one” and “Is it not written ‘ye are gods'”, and all the “I am” sayings. In that state of consciousness one is only “I Am” – pure essence/ being-ness/ consciousness, which is what “I Am” means. One can’t experience God without first going through that “I am” state of consciousness. Jesus was speaking from his own “I am” just as he promised and taught we all could reach that same state of consciousness — from that state of consciousness we too could perform miracles and be able to do all that he did and more. Why is it that in the early church, there was prophesying and speaking in tongues? Perhaps because Jesus taught his followers they could also do when they had “received” the Holy Spirit (joined with or were reborn in/by the Spirit)?

    I think the original author of John (or his early source) tried to capture this unitive state of consciousness from which Jesus spoke and taught. But another later apologetic redactor, who was still stuck in a dualistic mindset of separation from God, mucked it up by inserting separation language that pointed to Jesus being the ONLY way to God, that he was uniquely divine and we’re only humans, etc. John is at war with John – more than one writer;s hand, theology and agenda in there. Either that, or if just one author, John was confused and didn’t fully get it/understand unity consciousness. I both love and hate parts of the G. of John because of this confusion and/or mixture of more than one hand/writer.

    Go for it, James, write about Jesus the mystic!

  • arcseconds

    Rev. Ref over on Slactivist has a bit of an involved relationship with
    ‘I am the Walrus’, too. He’s fond of saying that it’s the Gospel of
    John in song form, although no matter how much you like the idea of ‘one
    flesh’, he won’t allow it to be played at weddings.

    (posted this accidentally to Roger’s site)

  • Another testimony that provides fodder for the fire that is mankind’s “imag”ination, and as such has it’s portion in the perversion of that which IS SPIRIT(TRUTH, Light, Life, Peace, Love, Faith, Grace, Wisdom,,,,,,, ALL that IS Truly GOOD)! (Romans 1:21, II Corinthians 10:5)

    Simply “religion”, and yes atheism is a religion as well, for they see their version of a god each and every time they view their reflected “image”! The “religion” of self(“I”,ego,id,pride)worship indeed!

    Simply, “religion” has so perverted that which IS, that which IS TRUTH, that “The Way of TRUTH is evil spoken of”! (II Peter 2:1-3)

    And especially so because of pagan catholicisim and her harlot christian daughters!

    Yet ‘religion’ was and is yet needful for the natural man, those “disobedient and gainsaying (contradicting and opposing GOD) people”, who are “stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears”……. Those who would rather have a man than Our FATHER and GOD speak to and rule over them! (Romans 10:21, Acts 7:51, Exodus 20:19, I Samuel 8:4-21)

    It IS as Mahatma Gandhi testified, “GOD has no religion”!

    Family, YES!

    And we have REALized how “poor and needy” we truly are and so it is we “cry unto Our FATHER and GOD day and night”……. (Psalms 70:5; 72:13, Luke 18:7)

    As we evermore sound and resound The Declaration of Dependence:

    FATHER Help!

    HE DID! and HE does…….

    So Peace IS! in spite of the dis-ease (no-peace) that is of this evil world and/or religion’s way…….(John 7:7, I John 5:19; 2:15-17, James 1:27; 4:4)

    ALL Thanks and Praise Be Unto Our FATHER and GOD!