I’ve said in a previous post that Jesus seems to be the embodiment of Love. Everything He did, His purpose here, His death- everything was about Love.
John, writer of the fourth Gospel, is called the Apostle of Love because of his focus on this aspect of Jesus’ mission here. If I bring together some key statements about Jesus, then the Christian religion, according to John, becomes far less exclusive, and much closer to what I’d expect from a loving God. It also seems to show us a path to Transcendence (of consciousness, purpose, life…) and Oneness (with the Divine and with men).
If God is Love (1Jn 4:8), and Jesus is God (Joh 1:1,14), then Jesus is Love.
If Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Joh 14:6), then Love is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
If putting our faith (trust) in Jesus (Greek word ‘pisteuō’) is the key to salvation and eternal life (Joh 3:16), then putting our faith (trust) in Love is the key to salvation* and eternal life**.
If we love one another, God is in us (1Jn 4:12), so Love is the means to communion with God/the Divine.
Jesus came into the world so that it might be saved through Him (Joh 3:18), not to condemn it (Greek word ‘krinō’), so, as we’d expect, Love was sent into the world that it might be saved through Love- not to condemn it (I don’t know any love, as I’ve previously described it, that would condemn)
If there is a unity and a Oneness of those who have faith in Jesus (Joh 17:21-23), then there is a unity and Oneness that comes from having faith in Love (and all the fruits of that faith in Love).
And on and on.
As my philosophical thought wraps itself around Love as a path (and, perhaps, THE path), I find all kinds of parallels popping into my head. It all started with that first argument, that led me to look at Jesus as Love, not just a messenger of it. With this perspective/interpretation, there is no conflict for me between following a (more or less) eastern path and following Jesus.
*For me, Salvation means freedom from enslavement to the flesh, from a small and meaningless existence, from being just an animal, from all things destructive and harmful to me and to others… All those things which make my existence a ‘hell’, and which make my existence contribute to the ‘hell’ of others.
**It is my personal belief that who I am lives on through the fruits of my good deeds, since my deeds are the expression of who I am. The consequences of bad deeds are usually stomped out somewhere down the line- like a house fire that has been lit. Whereas, the fruits of good deeds go on and on- like keeping a young person on the right path, who passes positive lessons and security onto their children, and they to theirs…. If I am in communion with ALL men, and my good deeds benefit ALL men, how much more will my good deeds live on and grow and bear fruit from generation to generation- keeping WHO I WAS alive and even imprinting me onto all history to come.