Wednesday, March 31, 2010


As hard as I have tried, there is no way for me to escape the cross.

The beginning days of April 2010 bring with them the ending of Passover and the observances of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and finally the Christian celebration of Easter. As I reflect upon this season, I am more powerfully aware than ever of the transformative power of human suffering, and the role it has played in my own personal emergence. I was born on Easter Sunday, and I have within my astrological chart the pattern of the grand cross. While it has been a number of years since I identified as a Christian, I recognize the lasting impact crucifixion theology has had on my life and my relationship to Source. To be informed at an early and impressionable age that an innocent and “only son” of a punitive God had to die for your sinfulness has lasting unconscious effects beyond the scope of this brief writing. I know from years of counseling with others that religious wounding can have life-long impacts on people who do not consciously deal with and release the psychological trauma these mis-construed teachings have. While many if not most people associated with New Thought spirituality will claim to not believe or be affected by literal Christian teachings, the level of actual mystical engagement would indicate otherwise. The often overemphasis on outer material manifestation, the aversion to the shadow depth of the inner realm, and the resistance to practices of prolonged silence and non-doing contemplation point to an unconscious fear of encountering this uncontrollable Source- Force that can only be met in a deep, prolonged, heartful receptivity. Unconsciously, if this “only begotten son” was sacrificed in a God-ordained act of violence and murder, we certainly may be next if we get too close. Our fear and aversion of our own inner darkness directly reflects the heinous images we have made of this capricious and punitive outer-God. Demands that Jesus “the savior” is the only way to the one Christianized God only exacerbates the whole dilemma. The belief in the need for a cross IS the crucifixion! The belief that a savior is needed IS the perception to be saved from. The notion that there was one holy and human expression of this One unnamable Source is only as accurate as it is inclusive; the historical Jesus is that expression in the same way as is all sentient beings. An enlightened avatar does not a savior make. Our unconscious projections comprise a goodly portion of what we call theology. The crucifixion was a political act, not a religious one. The value in the illustration today is in seeing it as the energy pattern it is for all of us. The crucifixion is the resistance to what is contained within the present moment. It is always perceptual and emotional. It is always interpretive. It is saying that what already is shouldn’t be, and then internally gripping against the object of resistance in emotional reaction. Suffering is the direct result of resistance. While pain and contraction seem to be inevitable in the human experience, suffering is in direct proportion to the level of resistance to the pain we encounter.

This is not to suggest that there was no actual crucifixion and death of the historical Jesus. It also doesn’t exclude the possibility of an actual physical resurrection. Resurrection reports have been prevalent in eastern traditions for centuries. It does, however, lead this writer to acknowledge the Easter holiday more as a celebration of personal inner resurrection here and now. Just as crucifixion is perceptual, so is resurrection. It is the releasing and transcendence of the resistance that keeps us nailed to outer conditions. It is overcoming the power of programming and conditioning, and opening to a Truth that is only available in the depths of our silenced inner being. We cannot think our way out of crucifixion. The crown of thorns symbolizes the added suffering of trying to use the mental realm for what can only be realized in a heartful submission. We may think that the entire paschal schema has no authority over us, and yet in times of deep emotional anguish, how practically available is our Source? Jesus’ cry from the garden “thy will be done” referred to the resurrection and not the crucifixion. Until we transcend emotionally any theology that would indicate otherwise, our true comfort remains a concept. We remain nailed to the often insidious belief in guilt, punishment, and death. Grief and shame are in our unconscious emotional imprinting, and so are lived out in our relationships to ourselves and to others within our world. This is our cross to bear. From whatever religious tradition we may hail, there is no escaping the axis point of the vertical and the horizontal realms. And that is exactly what the cross represents. We must feel into the depths of the emotional crucifixion. We must lie within the stillness of the inner tomb. And in that Presencing, non-reactive spaciousness, resurrection is. That is Easter. It is within. It is here. It is now.

So you see, it is only in the “in-scaping” of the cross that it is escaped. It is in embracing the pain and even the resistance that then leads to our comfort. It is in moving into the religious wounding that leads to its integration and healing. Our pain is indeed a crucible from which may flow our greatest transcendence. We are here to rise above the painful misperceptions of this world and of our Source. Listen deeply within your own wise heart. The resurrection is already there.