tag : bright yellow-green apples: Jesus: God infinitely reincarnated?

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Jesus: God infinitely reincarnated?

“…the encounter with Christ goes beyond the physical. In my view, this is one reason why we need the Resurrection. It signifies that Christ is alive now, and hence moves our relationship with him out of a dark corner of history and into the present day.”

I’ve found the discussion on historicity and Christology with Andy very useful and stimulating. Have a look for yourself here on the blue chicken.


On a similar note, also relating to via negative below. My mind is somewhat afoot at the moment with ideas of how Jesus’ words “do not hold onto me” relate to the importance of holding provisionally of our images of God. In the sense that maybe the death-resurrection was the dramatically played archetype for how we should put to death every image we have and receive, kill the Christ when we encounter. In order to hold the faces we have lightly, and allow rebirth of theology in every time and place and person around us. To hold on to him would keep him held in as provincial as the Jewish Jesus if he chose sectrian nationalism rather than being light to the world. Maybe the Hindu is straying somewhat...


Blogger Andy said...

All I can say to that is: "Preach it, brother!" (although I know I shouldn't be doing things like that) Honestly that post is eerily similar to what I have been churning over in my mind for the last three or four months. I trust that your advice to 'kill the Christ we encounter' is paying homage to that old Zen parable of killing the Buddha on the road - the idea that we must rid ourselves of the divine that we meet, because it is not the true divine, but rather the expression of our longing. Of course, when you do eventually meet Christ, you won't even recognise him.The idea of the dying and rising God has become very interesting to me of late. The idea that we must kill off God in order to know him better is perhaps part of the Resurrection story, just as Jesus tells the disciples in the passage above that his suffering and death was a necessary precursor to his coming into glory. The grain must fall to the ground and die before it can create new life.

9:43 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Ah good, it looks like I’m not alone here. Yes, your comments closely shadow what’s been floating in my imagination, with lateral connections. And yes killing the Buddha sets a healthy precedent, inspiring my thoughts. I suppose it’s both exciting and very scary to consider - deicide in the name of ensuring God lives in life in all its fullness *does* seem a bit of a paradox. Not that this, in itself, bothers me so much! In fact that Emmaus motif has made it into the poem I’ve had on the go today about this complex of atheism for the sake of theism...

10:59 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

Ah but you of all people should know that paradoxes reveal truths in all the best places - in art, theology, literature and (I hear) increasingly in science.

Now, since you asked me to come and be Hindu here, I will go out on a bit of a heretical limb. In India, there is a strong sense of the Self (i.e. the enlightened "Self", the opposite of the passionate, unruly, unspiritual "self") being equal to God. When we find God we also find our Self. In Christian theology, we don't always see it that way, but reading St Paul or mystical theologians you get this strong sense of a small self dying to give birth to a rising Self. Call it the Kingdom within, the Holy Spirit, the Christ within or whatever. Knowing God, a Hindu would say, is the same as Self-realisation. This also fits in rather nicely with all of Jesus' teachings on death being a precursor to life. We must deny ourselves, be born again etc.

I'm not sure which is more frightening - the death of God or the death of ourselves! Either way, if we look knowing God as inseperable from Self-realisation, they must both die at the same time... in fact, we have to kill them everyday.

I'll stop now before I get accused of being too Hindu again!

8:21 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Oh I know, I tend to reveal in the space between tensions. This case seems to be a particularly compelling and edgy one, though, and quite a new perspective to me in many ways.

That highly (un)orthodox angle was a very pertinent one, given that the whole point of killing Christ is to ensure he lives with us as Emmanuel. It is the whole human-divine axis which needs to shift in the constant reworking of what theology means to us. We are not single units but defined by our relationships with others and with the ground of our being, in the process of self realisation-salvation-restoration. And thus the idea of a little of us dying (though initially seemingly a cause for melancholy) seems to be a necessary part of life’s development, on the journey to that desired state.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

Well you put it as concisely and stylishly as anyone could: "the whole point of killing Christ is to ensure he lives... as Emmanuel"That's very profound!

8:49 PM  

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