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Posts Tagged ‘Was Jesus a Dualist’

Was Jesus a Dualist, a Qualified Non-Dualist or a Non-Dualist?

 By Br. John Martin Sahajananda

We’re here dealing with this question retrospectively. These systems weren’t formerly established during the time of Jesus. But they do give us some tools to understand the experience of Jesus.

Jesus reportedly made three important statements: “my Father is greater than me,” “I am in the Father and the Father is in me’, and, “the Father and I are one.”

The first statement is in accordance with the dualistic system. God is the creator and Jesus is the creature. God is greater than him.

The second statement is in accordance with the qualified non-dualistic system. Here, the relationship is much more intimate. It’s not the relationship of creator and creature — it’s the relationship of Father and Son. He is in God and God is in him. It is an experience of mutual indwelling. Still there’s some distance between him and the Father. He is not the Father.

The third statement is in accord with the non-dual system. Jesus and the Father are one. There’s no distance. There’s no separation.

If we take these positions all together, then it appears Jesus is contradicting himself. If God is greater than him, then he cannot say, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” If there’s a distance between God and Jesus, then he cannot say that he and God are one.

I suggest that Jesus began his spiritual journey with the consciousness of being a creature and experienced God as being greater than him according to his religious tradition. Then, as he was baptised by John, he went beyond that relationship and realized that he was not so much a creature but a son of God — a manifestation of God!

Later, Jesus went beyond even this realisation and became conscious, or saw, that he was inseparably one with the Father — with God. The gospels indicate though that he didn’t remain pre-occupied with non-dual consciousness, but fluctuated between it and qualified non-dual consciousness and dualistic consciousness as long as he lived in his physical body and in the world of time and space.

We can say, therefore, that Jesus was essentially a non-dualist, but functionally a qualified non-dualist and a dualist. We cannot say, however, that he lived by any one of these systems to the exclusion of the other two. 


Br. John Martin Sahajananda

Continued next week

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