Your Eternal Self
The author of this Web site has written a book bringing together everything we now know about the afterlife, consciousness, the nature of physical reality, and the psychic realm. It is intended to help readers know we are eternal beings having a physical experience.
You can read chapters from the book and download an Acrobat copy. Click on the book cover below to go to the Web site for the book.
Greater Reality Publications
Greater Reality Publications publishes books and magazines that help people understand their place in the universe and how to grow spiritually. It brings knowledge about the greater reality, afterlife, Higher Power, love, peacemaking, and humankind's place in the universe to people.
The first publication is Your Eternal Self described on the youreternalself.com Web site. Greater Reality Publications will be publishing The Greater Reality, a magazine about the greater reality that will be much like a Psychology Today in format, with articles for the average person bringing what we're learning about the greater reality to humankind.
It rests with every professor of the religion of Jesus to settle within himself to which of the two religions, that of Jesus or that of Paul, he will adhere. - Jeremy Bentham,
in Not Paul But Jesus.
Yeshua (or Yahushua) bar Yosef (Yeshua, son of Joseph) is the original Aramaic name for Jesus the Nazarene. His parents, siblings, disciples, and followers called him by that name. The name "Jesus" is a misspelling and mispronunciation that resulted from the translation of Yeshua's name after his death, first into the Greek Iesous (pronounced "ee-ay-SUS"), and then from the Greek Iesous into the Latin Iesus. The Latin Iesus ("ee-ay-SUS") wasn't pronounced as "Jesus" with a "J" because the letter "j" didn't come into the English language until the middle of the seventeenth century. The King James Bible, written at the beginning of the seventeenth century, has the name Iesous ("ee-ay-sus"), with no "j." So even in English, no one spoke the name "Jesus" until sometime after the middle of the seventeenth century.
Content of This Web Site
To understand Yeshua bar Yosef and the simple messages he spoke, we must go back to the time before his death in 30 CE, when Yeshua spoke humbly and lovingly, without the veil of a church that would separate him from the people to whom he wished to give his message. This Web site is devoted to helping humankind understand Yeshua, realize that Christianity is not Yeshua and doesn't own Yeshua, and overcome the damage the church has done in the name of Jesus Christ, the figure that the church created. It is not a Web site affiliated with or claiming allegiance to any religion, including Christianity. It is a spiritual site dedicated to understanding Yeshua and Yeshua's message in an effort to help humankind grow spiritually into the beings and society he knew we could be while in the Earthly plane of eternal life.
We Must Understand Yeshua's Message without the Religious Shrouds that Smothered It
Yeshua is a more profound figure, with the potential to have a more pervasive impact on humankind, than the Christian church has ever understood or been able to communicate. His life and teachings belong to humankind, not to a religious body. His wisdom and counsel stand with those of the Buddha and other brilliant luminaries who have communicated the truth of the eternal universe to humankind, helping people grow to spiritual maturity and bliss. His life is among the most inspiring accounts in humankind's history of love, spirituality, acceptance of others, suffering out of love, and forgiving all, even his executioners. Every human being—religious, atheist, spiritualist, or of any belief system—can learn from and be inspired by Yeshua's life.
Unfortunately, who Yeshua was and what he taught have been enveloped in dark ecclesiastical shrouds that are now, justifiably, being stripped away by the relentless clawing to uncover truth by a humankind that has developed sharp talons of systematic inquiry and knowledge since the seventeenth century. However, the truths that were secreted away deep within the shrouds are becoming lost among the shreds of the deteriorating church.
As the tatters that were the church are swept away, the spiritual guidance he provided must not be disposed of with them.
The Bliss of Growing to Spiritual Maturity
The reason Yeshua's message is so important to humanity is that our purpose in life is to grow in spiritual understanding and maturity, becoming blissful, unafraid of the transition called death, full of love and compassion toward others, and receiving the same love from others toward us. Every hour of every day of our lives should be filled with the warmth of love and peace with others—that is the Kingdom of God as Yeshua envisioned it.
Humankind should be evolving to having unconditional love for all others in brotherhood and harmony, without interpersonal conflict and war. "The Kingdom of God is spread out upon the face of the earth, and men do not see it," Yeshua said (Gospel of Thomas). The writer of the Gospel of Luke reported that Yeshua said, "The kingdom of God does not come visibly, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." Paradise isn't a place apart from Earth coming at a future time as the church describes it; Heaven is within us and spread out among all peoples upon the face of the earth and we're simply not living in it. Understanding and living the profound truths Yeshua, Buddha, and the other luminaries taught would open humankind's eyes to the Heaven, the Kingdom of God, that is already here—we just don't see it.
Misinterpretation of Yeshua's Message
Very soon after Yeshua died in around 30 CE, his followers gathered in Jerusalem to await his return to establish the Kingdom of Israel as promised in the Old Testament prophecies. In the years that followed Yeshua's death, they began to realize that the return of their Messiah might be delayed for a few more months or years, but surely not longer than that. And so they developed rules for the body of followers in a loosely formed organization.
By the time of the Council of Jerusalem, in around 48 or 49 CE, the groups in Jerusalem and outside in the Diaspora had become more formalized, and could be referred to individually as churches. However, all of the believers together would not have been called a "church" in the larger sense of the term. There was a great diversity of beliefs about Yeshua during the first three centuries after his death
Gradually, as Yeshua's return was delayed, syllables and words of an organized church began to be heard. A canon of texts had taken form by the end of the second century. Creeds had come into being stating the beliefs. More or less permanent meeting places had been established. It became obvious that Yeshua would not be returning imminently, so a church evolved.
At the Council of Nicea, in 325 CE, around 300 bishops from a number of the larger, more established churches around the Mediterranean assembled to settle issues having to do with Yeshua's nature in relationship to God the Father. The Roman emperor Constantine presided, having been converted (ostensibly) to belief in Yeshua (now Iesus Christos). Christianity had a name and had become the state religion in the Roman Empire by the end of the fourth century. The Nicene Creed, written and revised in the fourth century, refers to a "holy catholic and apostolic church."
Insignificant Christianity had grown from a persecuted sect to the most powerful religion in the empire. In the process, it had left the teachings of Yeshua in an archive and established its own structure, beliefs, and rules. The church created its own version of the Messiah, steadily embellishing the icon until all vestiges of the humble Jewish Rabbi, Yeshua, had been expunged. It promoted itself to the position of omnipotent earthly representative of the God it had created, thereby itself assuming the stature and power of God, with all the rights, status, infallibility, and absolute power characteristic of a God.
In the end, the church became the casing that held God, shielding God from humankind and serving up regulations and observances it required humankind to embrace. The church's functionaries, as the representatives of this God, eventually felt themselves to be demigods accountable only to the God they had created. They interpreted God for humankind, had license to commit any atrocities in the name of God and the church with impunity, and demanded that states and peoples defer to them in all matters of spirituality and human conduct.
The list of crimes against humanity grew, while the church's coffers swelled from enticements to give money to the church fabricated by church leaders. The church sold guarantees of salvation for people and their deceased loved ones, in contradiction of Yeshua's words about spiritual growth and the necessity of being born again for salvation, and implied that people who did not give money to the church would be punished for eternity. The money enhanced the church's power and supported its actions.
In the thick matrix of the church, Yeshua's teaching about love, forgiveness, peace, and humility were relegated to the ineffectual status of mindlessly repeated words that had become part of the liturgy. Yeshua's influence was purged from the church.
Much of the church with the name Christ in it does not represent Yeshua bar Yosef. In this twenty-first century, humankind, with all of its diverse religions and belief systems, needs to learn about the teachings and model of Yeshua before 30 CE without the ecclesiastical shrouds of myths and rituals enveloping them. Humankind must separate itself from the church that itself grew into a God over the two millennia after Yeshua's death, and see, for the first time, the truths in Yeshua's teaching that will help individuals and humankind evolve to spiritual maturity.
Yeshua's second coming will be in his being understood for the first time.
The Results of Two Millennia of Paulianity
The following article is reproduced from the Huffington Post, April 5, 2012. It describes where two millennia of Paulianity have brought society. There is very little of Yeshua bar Yosef in the organized religion that claims to be based on him and his teachings. There is, in fact, prominent teaching and action that is antithetical to Yeshua's teachings.
by Phil Zuckerman,
Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus
Professor of Sociology
The results from a recent poll published by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Tea-Party-and-Religion.aspx) reveal what social scientists have known for a long time: White Evangelical Christians are the group least likely to support politicians or policies that reflect the actual teachings of Jesus. It is perhaps one of the strangest, most dumb-founding ironies in contemporary American culture. Evangelical Christians, who most fiercely proclaim to have a personal relationship with Christ, who most confidently declare their belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, who go to church on a regular basis, pray daily, listen to Christian music, and place God and His Only Begotten Son at the center of their lives, are simultaneously the very people most likely to reject his teachings and despise his radical message.
Jesus unambiguously preached mercy and forgiveness. These are supposed to be cardinal virtues of the Christian faith. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of the death penalty, draconian sentencing, punitive punishment over rehabilitation, and the governmental use of torture. Jesus exhorted humans to be loving, peaceful, and non-violent. And yet Evangelicals are the group of Americans most supportive of easy-access weaponry, little-to-no regulation of handgun and semi-automatic gun ownership, not to mention the violent military invasion of various countries around the world. Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one's money to the poor. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation's poor -- especially poor children. They hate anything that smacks of "socialism," even though that is essentially what their Savior preached. They despise food stamp programs, subsidies for schools, hospitals, job training -- anything that might dare to help out those in need. Even though helping out those in need was exactly what Jesus urged humans to do. In short, Evangelicals are that segment of America which is the most pro-militaristic, pro-gun, and pro-corporate, while simultaneously claiming to be most ardent lovers of the Prince of Peace.
What's the deal?
Before attempting an answer, allow a quick clarification. Evangelicals don't exactly hate Jesus -- as we've provocatively asserted in the title of this piece. They do love him dearly. But not because of what he tried to teach humanity. Rather, Evangelicals love Jesus for what he does for them. Through his magical grace, and by shedding his precious blood, Jesus saves Evangelicals from everlasting torture in hell, and guarantees them a premium, luxury villa in heaven. For this, and this only, they love him. They can't stop thanking him. And yet, as for Jesus himself -- his core values of peace, his core teachings of social justice, his core commandments of goodwill -- most Evangelicals seem to have nothing but disdain.
And this is nothing new. At the end of World War I, the more rabid, and often less educated Evangelicals decried the influence of the Social Gospel amongst liberal churches. According to these self-proclaimed torch-bearers of a religion born in the Middle East, progressive church-goers had been infected by foreign ideas such as German Rationalism, Soviet-style Communism, and, of course, atheistic Darwinism. In the 1950s, the anti-Social Gospel message piggybacked the rhetoric of anti-communism, which slashed and burned its way through the Old South and onward through the Sunbelt, turning liberal churches into vacant lots along the way. It was here that the spirit and the body collided, leaving us with a prototypical Christian nationalist, hell-bent on prosperity. Charity was thus rebranded as collectivism and self-denial gave way to the gospel of accumulation. Church-to-church, sermon-to-sermon, evangelical preachers grew less comfortable with the fish and loaves Jesus who lived on earth, and more committed to the angry Jesus of the future. By the 1990s, this divine Terminator gained "most-favored Jesus status" among America's mega churches; and with that, even the mention of the former "social justice" Messiah drove the socially conscious from their larger, meaner flock.
In addition to such historical developments, there may very well simply be an underlying, all-too-human social-psychological process at root, one that probably plays itself out among all religious individuals: they see in their religion what they want to see, and deny or despise the rest. That is, religion is one big Rorschach test. People look at the content of their religious tradition -- its teachings, its creeds, its prophet's proclamations -- and they basically pick and choose what suits their own secular outlook. They see in their faith what they want to see as they live their daily lives, and simultaneously ignore the rest. And as is the case for most White Evangelical Christians, what they are ignoring is actually the very heart and soul of Jesus's message -- a message that emphasizes sharing, not greed. Peace-making, not war-mongering. Love, not violence.
Of course, conservative Americans have every right to support corporate greed, militarism, gun possession, and the death penalty, and to oppose welfare, food stamps, health care for those in need, etc. -- it is just strange and contradictory when they claim these positions as somehow "Christian." They aren't.
Mentality of the Roman Catholic Church
Those who have been abused by priests, and those who know and love them, have pondered at length what could cause officials of a church founded on the teachings of Yeshua to rape, sodomize, and even torture children and still believe they are somehow righteous. And what state of mind could result in the rest of the church defending the perpetrators and ignoring, buying off, and denigrating the victims?
The answer, I believe, is that over the centuries since the Council at Nicea, the leaders in the church (Pope, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, nuns, and priests) came to believe that the church (meaning them) was the representative of God on Earth. If God was the heart of this body, they were the brain, vital organs, blood, limbs, eyes, ears, and all other parts of the body. The heart beat relentlessly in the innermost core of the church, but out of sight of any human being. The vital organs of the church sustained God—without them, God would perish. The limbs that acted in the outside world could do anything because the core heart they were sustaining was God. As a result, the body was to be protected at all costs, even to deceit, revision to fit their version of the truth, abuse, and homicide. The physical men and women became stewards of the God within, and thus their own instincts and needs were God's instincts and needs. The result has been an addiction to power.
The words the abusers use when performing their atrocities are church words: "God will love you if . . ." "You have been chosen by God to . . ." "Do this to me so I can be closer to God . . ." and on and on. I have come to feel they actually believe the words they utter. The climate of the church has brought them to that point.
Because of the requirement for celibacy and the greater likelihood that their lifestyle would be criticized if adults are involved in the acts, homosexuality and pedophilia became the most viable methods of satisfying their pent-up sexual urges. They have easy access to children, the influence that comes from the church's inculcating beliefs about church leaders being the representatives of God, and the remarkable privilege of being above the civil law because of their religious affiliation. The result has been widespread sexual abuse of children and adults that continues to this day. The priesthood has actually come to be seen as an attractive occupation for people who have these urges that can't easily be satisfied in society. And today, priests are reported to be focusing their abuse on the children of illegal immigrants because the immigrant families are frequently devoutly Catholic and fear deportation if they report the incidents.
The abuse continues.