Wrestling With Jesus Christ
The phrase, “Personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” has always been a phrase I have struggled with. Most conservative Christians (I was one until ten years ago) make this the cornerstone of their belief system. Even the Pathwork Jesus Christ Lecture (L258) speaks to this and makes it central for living a fulfilling and joyful life. And yet I find that I am not at all sure what the phrase, “Personal relationship with Jesus Christ” really means. I do know that when I hear the phrase I vacillate among feelings of confusion, fear, guilt, and rage. I tiptoe around the idea, and eventually drop it out of my awareness. But it always pops up again, most recently at a moving a cappella rendition of Rock of Ages at a bluegrass concert Pat and I attended, and the phrase or idea of a relationship with Christ always brings the same wave of uncomfortable emotions.
Why am I triggered and made so uncomfortable by this phrase, a phrase that I’ve been told my entire life is supposed to be my core source of peace and love, my foundation of all truth and eternal security? The first thing that comes up is the possibility that I have all the wrong ideas about what this phrase actually means. For me it made Jesus Christ a parent or authority figure and I became child or servant. With this image I concluded that his will is not my will, and that I would have to sacrifice much of what I treasure if I hooked up with Jesus Christ. Why on earth would I ever want to do that?!
But maybe this idea about the meaning of “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” is not correct. Pathwork Lecture 258 gives me another window into all of this. Yes, I am invited to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but where do I look for Jesus Christ? This lecture says that I am to look for Jesus Christ within myself, that he has entered my heart. He is not “out there.” He is “in here.” The lecture goes on to say that Jesus Christ is united with and even one-with my Higher Self (“His presence merges with your higher self. You truly become one”). This Pathwork lecture would invite me to consider that Jesus Christ and I are ONE at that level of my being. I recall several Gospel passages that speak of this Oneness of Jesus Christ and God, and this ONE now living within my soul. This is all mystery to my human mind, but nevertheless an avenue to contemplate. These ideas have a resonance of truth within my intuitive self.
But let me get out of my intellect and consider my feeling self. Let me explore where I find the deepest joy, peace, and fulfillment in my life. I experience such positive feelings when I am with Pat and others in a loving and sharing relationship. And when I am recording and sharing Pathwork Lectures. And when I am being generous with my time and money. And when I am digesting and sharing the Pathwork material. And when I am wallowing in the beauty of Nature or music. I notice that I am most fulfilled, joyous, and happy when I am living spontaneously from my Higher Self qualities of Love, Truth, and Creativity. Living from here brings me experiences of the greatest joy I know.
Maybe living this way from my Higher Self aspects, living from Jesus Christ within, is what is meant by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. After all, how much closer of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ could I experience than being one with him! So, indeed, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is not a sacrifice but my source of fulfillment, joy and bliss. It is being in relationship with my own Higher Self, my Real Self. This meaning of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ I can say YES to. How could I do otherwise?