I Am a Follower of Jesus

A few months ago, while reading (and listening to on Audible) The Revelations of the Aramaic Jesus by Neil Douglas-Klotz, I suddenly realized that IF I had been in the company of Jesus during his ministry I would have become a follower of Jesus. In fact, I felt CERTAIN that I would have become a follower of Jesus! My sudden certainty surprised me.

This sudden spontaneous certainty, at age 80, so surprised me since I have wrestled with God and Jesus my entire life: from early childhood growing up in a strong Lutheran family and grade school, through 30 years of active Lutheran church life, through a 7-year passage of transitioning out of active church life, through 23 years of Pathwork of finding myself, and now through my first year with ICN – always wrestling with God and with Jesus.

Part of this realization and certainty that I would have been a follower of Jesus came from the expanded meaning Neil Douglas-Klotz gives to the words of Jesus. This expanded form of Jesus’ words allowed the words to land in me at a deep level, at a heart level. My experience of “certainty” was not logic-based. Rather, in that moment of sudden certainty that I would have followed Jesus I FELT my total acceptance by Jesus just as I am (Thank you, Thomas Merton through James Finley, for speaking so boldly of the unconditional love of God for each of us). I FELT Jesus’ warmth, his love, his celebrating who I am and have been in my struggles through life.

Perhaps this draw in me to follow Jesus would have been from a transmission of energy from him, resonating with and awakening the life force in me, and this life force then in turn filling my soul, my heart, my very being. Even though I had no real sense of what Jesus meant in his words, through Neil Douglas-Klotz’s expansion of a possible meaning of Jesus’ words, I “knew” Jesus spoke truth at a profound level.

And, I found I could trust Jesus, his message, his love, his life energy, and his essence. This all left me with a strong desire to be with Jesus and follow him. Yes, I now saw that I would have been and hence on some level AM a follower of Jesus after all. Perhaps I have been a follower of Jesus all along – sometimes consciously but mostly unconsciously.

In my previous blog entry Insistence of Mystery I mentioned Mystery’s ever-present “NOT THAT.” Will “NOT THAT” play here in my sense of being a follower of Jesus? Is Mystery going to step in and say, “NOT THAT,” “Gary, you are NOT a follower of Jesus”?

I was helped by one of the people in an ICN group with whom I was sharing this previous blog content last Sunday. She wisely offered that I consider using the phrase “Not ONLY That” instead of “NOT THAT.”  Thank you, Chris. I realize that, being in a dualistic state of consciousness in this incarnation, I can normally see and “know” only pieces of the whole at any one time. Thankfully by grace from time to time I may get brief glances at the level of non-dual unitive consciousness where I can sense the Whole of Ultimate Reality.  Pieces of the Whole – that’s where we live!

With this “NOT ONLY THAT” I can continue being open to and revisiting ALL of the Mystery, growing beyond “being a follower of Jesus,” yet always including “being a follower of Jesus.” Being a follower of Jesus is making God’s Face “near enough” for me, but NOT ONLY THAT…