While I was in church yesterday, I struggled to get into the flow of the lesson considered. However, my Spirit woke up when the teacher asked a question. The teacher asked why is it difficult for people (Christians) to emulate Biblical heroes of the (Christian) faith?
The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
The book of Daniel chapter 11:32b says; “the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” The question is, what does it mean to know? From what specific sensation do we say that we know something? How do we prevent ourselves from falling into the trap of an illusion of knowledge? What then, is the illusion of knowledge?
Let’s go back for a moment to the question on emulating Biblical heroes of faith. As I was pondering on the subject, I asked myself what I do know about the Biblical heroes of faith. I realized that all I know about them are what was written in the Bible. In other words, all I know about every Biblical character that portrays faith or anything else is someone’s perspective about them. Jesus Christ isn’t exempted from this. Four different books try to talk about the life of Jesus, and four different authors wrote all from a different perspective. Imagine we didn’t have four different books. Imagine we only had one book. Perhaps Matthew, or Mark, or Luke or John. How would access to a single book alter your perspective about the man called Jesus? I dare say that it’ll affect it significantly.
The same goes for all other books of the Bible. If four authors could write about Jesus Christ from different perspectives, imagine what would happen if we had access to various writings about the life of Abraham, David, Noah, etc. Imagine more than one author wrote every topic. Imagine we could approach all Biblical characters from different perspectives and not just from a single point of view. Would it help us gain more knowledge about them or not?
Everyone writes from the depths of what they know, and from their specific perspectives. The knowledge of this truth and its understanding will help us grow Spiritually. Similarly, we don’t know everything. What was considered to be the norm centuries ago is regarded as an abomination today. There was a time when it was usual for the rich to own slaves, and women were once considered as properties of men. It’s still true in some parts of the world today, but most Countries are actively kicking against that. Knowledge changes over time and our understanding of issues also vary even in a single dispensation. If that were not true, the United States wouldn’t have been divided on crucial issues as they are today.
With all this said, a writer influences our understanding of most Biblical topics. And the truth is that the authors are trying to paint a picture about these topics in the way it seems right to them. And when we take their words as infallible, we are only saying that their stories are right, and we are ignoring other perspectives of the same issue.
I’m not saying that it’s wrong to listen to their stories or learn from their perspectives, far from it. What I’m saying is that because we read about them doesn’t mean we know what it means to be them. How do I mean? The fact that I’m able to learn about the life of David or Abraham doesn’t mean I truly knew Abraham, or knew what he faced, or understood his consciousness. In other words, when we subscribe to a single perspective of an issue, and we hold on to that perspective as the ultimate truth, we only have an illusion of knowledge about that issue.
It’s difficult to be transformed by the story of a man, or by their reputations. Stories can inspire us to do something good, but stories aren’t enough to change a Soul. We could learn life lessons and how to become a better human through all that has been written, but to become the people we so admire, we need to be born of the same consciousness that births their lives.
To be like Jesus Christ, we need to be born of the same consciousness of Christ that made Jesus the Christ. To be Abraham, we need to be born of the same consciousness of Abraham. To be anyone in this world, we need to be born of the same consciousness as they are. Christians would say to be born of the same Spirit for Spirit make men. It’s our spirit that makes us who we are not our memories, or stories, or even the illusory knowledge we have in our brains that keeps us from the knowledge of the truth.
Our subscription to a perspective of the truth is also keeping us from knowing God truly. Daniel rightly said that it’s only those who know their God that would be strong and do great exploits. God can be anything here, but the critical thing is that such a person knows and is not under an illusion.
There are a lot of religious folks today, especially Christians whose perspective of God is that of what has been written by someone else centuries ago, or what they’ve heard from preachers and pastors. I’m not saying that these perspectives are wrong. What I’m saying is that all interpretations that may exist in this world is neither right nor wrong, but rather are pointers to the real and ultimate truth/reality.
Perspectives are pointers. They paint a picture that’s not complete, and we can ride on the wings of these perspectives and let it point us to the real truth. And we can only see the truth if we are looking for them. It’s impossible to begin to look for them when we hold onto these beliefs, these stories, and perspectives as the truth.
Does the answer lie in more perspectives?
Having access to multiple sides of the same story only serves one purpose; to give us a balanced outlook of whatever issue is being discussed. For those that are conversant with the left and right policies in America, if you listen too much to one side of the spectrum, you’ll end up seeing things from their perspectives because for all intents and purposes, they have amazing ideas. If you listen too much to the right also, you’ll end up subscribing to their school of thoughts. However, those who can listen to both sides of the spectrum are more akin to hold a balanced approach on the issues they both tackle differently and would probably be able to focus on solutions that’ll solve all their problems.
The first four books of the Bible, for instance, talks exclusively about the life of Jesus from different perspectives. The ability to read about the same man from these perspectives have helped many Christians formed a balanced outlook about the man Jesus. It’ll help prevent people from veering off course, and should also help point the readers to the truth the message is trying to pass across.
In conclusion, the only way we can be who we admire is to be born of the same Spirit/consciousness as they are. An understanding of the summary of who they are isn’t enough to make us be who they are. We’ve got to be able to live as they lived, think as they did, understand the reasons behind their actions, and the only way we can do all this is to be born of the same Spirit as they are.
Jesus Christ said that except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of heaven. This verse, in other words, is pointing to the fact that there is a consciousness that’s needed to see things divinely, and that consciousness isn’t the egoistic consciousness. We can only become a doctor by going through schools that can impact the consciousness of medicine into their students. No matter how hard a person may try, they can’t become a doctor by going through the school of Engineering. It’s not possible, except perhaps a doctor in engineering.
Let’s seek inner transformation and cultivate the habit of seeing issues from a balanced perspective. The goal of a balanced perspective is to help us perceive the truth more clearly. If we are faced with situations where we don’t have access to other views, we’ve got to be careful in jumping to conclusions because no matter or beautiful a perspective may be, it can never be the truth. No teaching or dogma can ever replace the truth. However, they can point you to the truth if we are willing to open our eyes to see.