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Word Made Flesh

When one pictures Jesus in his mind's eye and calls him Lord, Christ, and Son of God, it is logical to assume from John's declaration, "The Word was made flesh," that God made Jesus' material body, but this assumption is incorrect (John 1:14). It is much easier for the human mind to materialize Word than for the human mind to allow the Word to spiritualize its view of flesh. To see spiritual form requires a revolution of consciousness. Physical sense will never understand Spirit, and Spirit cannot make matter any more than light can create shadows. As shadows appear only where there is an obstruction to light, so does material flesh appear only where there is an ignorance of God. Our ignorance of Jesus' true identity produced what we call his fleshy material body, but Jesus understood his body to be the temple of the living God. If we really want to see how Word made flesh, we must endeavor to seek the truth behind every word Jesus taught so that we may spiritualize our concept of him. Until the mind is imbued with spiritual understanding, all humanly directed research begins with material effect in the hope of deducing original cause from mortal measurements. "The human mortal mind, by an inevitable perversion, makes all things start from the lowest instead of from the highest mortal thought" (SH 189:18). What did Jesus say of this approach to gaining wisdom? In The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus' disciples asked him, "'What is matter? Will it last forever?" The Teacher answered: "All that is born, all that is created, all the elements of nature are interwoven and united with each other. . . . everything returns to its roots; matter returns to the origins of matter.'"1 Matter is mortal mind's lowest common denominator, and mortal mind is rooted in self-delusion - nothingness. Even though we may adore Jesus, we are not necessarily aligned to his spiritual perspective and too often dismiss his provocative answers because his conclusions make us uncomfortable.

When we depend on five physical senses for direction and feedback, we are prodigal sons, for we have left the sanctuary of our spiritual home to devour our substance with what Jesus called riotous living. Either in the whirlwind of events or in the stupidity of boredom, whenever we cannot hear God, we say, 'Well, I will just do what I desire all by myself.' The body that I call me is really mortal mind projecting on me what I claim as my identity. Doing things without divine direction, even with the best of human intentions, may be self-satisfying, but this activity is heading away from the Father, straight toward the "husks that the swine did eat" (Luke 15:16). While companioning with the swinish elements in human thought, our only hope is to keep cool in Adam's mudhole.

Physicists search for the building blocks of reality in subatomic particles, and people bear children to pass on their genetic legacy, each one, in their````` own way, climbing down into a bottomless pit. From this vantage point, even the sublime demonstrations of Jesus appear as physical events rather than evidence of God with us. We build scholarly temples in the sand and hope to avoid being flushed downstream, all the while acknowledging that matter must have an end. "When he [the prodigal son] came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!" (Luke 15:17). By our very failure to succeed at a mistake, Christ has succeeded in turning us toward home. "In the soil of an 'honest and good heart' the seed must be sown; else it beareth not much fruit, for the swinish element in human nature uproots it" (SH 272:6). When human invention has had its day, we must conclude that all matter is mental, that mentality is a dream (an illusion), that dreaming is impossible, and that there are no dreams and no dreamer.

"We must close the lips and silence the material senses"
(SH 15:15). As we turn away from self, our innate ability to feel Christ's presence is amplified, and we look upward and outward with spiritual sense alone. There is a "great gulf fixed" between Lazarus in Abraham's bosom and Dives in hell (Luke 16:26). Mortal mind cannot make the leap to heaven, and the Word cannot make flesh out of matter. Christ identified and defined Jesus; therefore, mortal mind did not define or circumscribe Jesus' life or his body. To understand Jesus as the body of Christ, it is necessary to leave mortal mind's landmarks, reverse direction, and look up the chain of command to spiritual cause. Pure Spirit was the real substance of Jesus; he was animated by divine Life.

Physical sense says flesh is matter; spiritual sense says the Word made flesh. Spirit could not form Jesus as a physical body to walk the earth with some ambition to tame and revitalize mortals. Jesus' flesh was divine presence made conscious through Christ, "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the [false sense of] flesh to destroy incarnate error" (SH 583:10). With spiritual eyes, we see and identify the truth of Jesus' existence and confirm reality for ourselves. With the Mind that is God, we ascend to the Comforter - finally, we understand divine Love! "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1: 12?13).

1 The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Translation from the Coptic, Jean-Ives Leloup, pg. 25

George Denninger ©

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