The ideas, the universal, perhaps metaphysical ideas, images, symbols, thoughts, myths – all of the abstract phenomena that represent universal thought are patterned after something. They are an imitation, a representation of something that already exists… in our minds and ‘out there’ somewhere. And these theories of super-consciousness, un-consciousness, consciousness, while in many respects are hard to discount i.e. if something empirically exists one can hardly dismiss the validity of that something, I keep getting a sense that they complicate a very simple yet vital fact. A very important factor that is sometimes obscured in all of this universal thinking is the individual, or what is the personal-ness of the individual.
We are individual, personal beings and we cannot function properly, or I should say we cannot function optimally without connection to other individual, personal beings. We need to love and be loved, we need to know and be known, we need to feel joy and pain and we need to feel the joy and pain of others. Our joy and pain, all of our feelings serve nothing, come to nothing but suffering in the absence of another. And somehow the universal ‘stories’ of the hero’s journey through life, salvation, redemption, death and rebirth, all of these concepts come to nothing unless they are shared with another. To be sure it is a universal truth that no man is an island.
I have come to the conclusion that I want Jesus to be real. Lately I find myself questioning if he was, not so much whether a man named Jesus actually existed in the flesh – that part is easy to accept. It is the part that says that Jesus was God incarnate as human being, as one of us. But this much I know, I desperately want him to be who the Gospels claim he was. Because it is God as man, divine in human form that tells me that God knows us, that God understands our struggle as human beings and not-God. That he knows the pleasure and pain of humanity that is endured daily and moment by moment for so many. In Jesus is represented the God that we need, the God that must be in order that we have hope for something more. In Jesus we see kindness and gentleness, love and forgiveness, the power to heal and the promise of so much more beyond the harsh realities of our existence in this life.
This is why I want Jesus to be real and I know that there probably will not be any definitive answers provided to me as confirmation of my wanting and sometimes I don’t understand that. But I also know that in the acknowledgement of these things, in the realizing of my desire for this to be so I may also be stating the reality. I may be recognizing the pattern, the basic structure that has been there from the beginning.
I think it safe to say that Jesus is everything we human beings need him to be.