I’m reading for the second time Thomas Moore’s book Writing in the Sand: Jesus & the Soul of the Gospels. This morning I started on the chapter about healing and read:
The good news is that we are creating a new world order in which the first task is to heal each other.
The Buddha begins his teaching with the simple observation that there is suffering in the world. Jesus similarly focuses on the sickness of the soul that affects people individually and socially, physically and spiritually. This perception of sickness is central, and healing is his signature activity. Jesus does not teach how to be virtuous, how to be saved, or how to be a good church member. He says nothing about memorizing dogma or following a strict set of moral rules. Instead, he continually demonstrates how to be in this world as a healer.
I find this perspective so inspiring. Moving away from judgment, rules and regulations, to focus on healing and becoming whole.
Also, in my current reading of the Gospel of Mark, I’m realizing for the first time how concerned Jesus was about feeding people. I mean, we’ve all heard the story of the miracle of the loaves and fish, but I think previously I had assumed that it was just another opportunity for Jesus to show off. But the second time he does it, Mark describes it thus:
In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, he summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.” Mark 8:1-3
I can completely relate, since I love to feed people and am constantly thinking about what food I will make, who will be around to eat it, what they might enjoy, etc. For the first time I felt a real human connection to Jesus through a story in the Gospel.
I think my study of Buddhism and Taoism has deeply informed my understanding of Jesus and what he was all about. I think for me the Good News makes much more sense when approached from these directions, rather than the hellfire preacher or rigidly structured, Pope-dictated way.
The message becomes very simple, and living as Jesus did and following his example is precisely as we are told the Tao operates, flowing like water to the lowlands, moving with the terrain, serving without asking for credit or being clever, losing one’s self in the ocean of Oneness.
To heal, to feed, to love!
I don’t know how any of it could be officially integrated in any way that anyone else would ever recognize as valid, but for me, it feels like Spirit is speaking and being revealed through the interweaving of it all.