The Problem of Jesus’ Last Name ~ From: Putting on The Mind of Christ, by Jim Marion

This article came via M from J, and it came at an incredibly serendipitous time. No accident this! I have colored in GREEN why I think so many people are ducking the issues on the table before us today. It perhaps is not denial, but comes from having some really bad information! This strikes me as a very, very important post. Read it for yourselves and see if you agree – or disagree. ~J

Clear Sight: Sharing Spiritual Awakening – to the truth of who we really are

The problem of Jesus’ last name is a misunderstanding most Christians have about who Jesus was. Even Pope John Paul II’s book of private reflections, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, contains this metaphysical misunderstanding.

There is a metaphysical distinction between Jesus of Nazareth, the historical human personality, and the Christ as God’s “Only-Begotten Son” (Nicene Creed), the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Ordinarily, when we speak of Jesus, we talk as though Christ were Jesus’ last name.

We say, “as Jesus said to the woman at the well,” or we might say, “as Christ said to the woman at the well,” or again, “as Jesus Christ said to the woman at the well.” This ordinary usage is convenient but it can create a serious problem in understanding not only who Jesus was but also who we ourselves are.

Most Christians, of course, know that Christ was not the last name of Jesus of Nazareth but a title given to Jesus by the early Christians, meaning the “anointed one” or Messiah. Nevertheless, even though we know the origin and meaning of the title, Christ, we still ordinarily use the word Christ as if this were Jesus’ last name in the same way that Smith is used as a last name for persons whose ancestors were blacksmiths. Understanding the origin of the last name doesn’t alter the usage in either case.

What exactly is the problem? The problem comes when we try, in light of this familiar usage, to interpret the words of the Nicene Creed: “I believe in Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God.” What we usually end up mistakenly thinking is that the Creed means Jesus of Nazareth is God’s Only-Begotten Son. That is, we mistakenly think that Jesus, and Jesus alone, was God’s Son, and that all other humans are therefore less than Jesus.

That is not what the Creed means. To think so is a serious metaphysical error. And this error is so grave that, unless corrected, it can actually prevent us from taking our place with Jesus in the Christ Consciousness, and later in the Kingdom of the Father. It is the Christ who is God’s Only-Begotten Son, not Jesus.

True, Jesus of Nazareth knew he was the Christ; that is, that he had the Christ Consciousness (and the higher nondual consciousness of oneness with the Father). He knew that, as Christ, he had been directly begotten by God from all eternity. But Jesus knew and preached that the same was also true for us.

We too, according to Jesus, are to become Christ by putting on the mind of Christ, that is, the awareness that we too are directly begotten by God. One of the reasons Jesus called himself the Son of Man was that he wanted us to realize that our reality and destiny are the same as his.

Most Christians make this theological mistake of thinking that Jesus of Nazareth, rather than the Christ, was God’s only-begotten Son. I made it myself, and it caused me a great deal of confusion when my consciousness was trying to realize Christ Consciousness. Even Pope John Paul II makes this exact mistake in his book of private reflections, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.

The Pope asks why Jesus, “this Jew condemned to death in an obscure province,” isn’t considered by Christians to be in the same category as Socrates, Buddha, or Muhammad. He answers himself by saying that:“Christ is absolutely original and absolutely unique …. He is the one mediator between God and humanity … Christ is unique!” (pp 109)

The Pope starts out by talking about the historical personality Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew from an obscure province who was condemned to death. So far, so good. Then, when he talks about the Second Person of the Trinity, the one and only, original and unique mediator between God the Father and humanity (and the rest of creation), he uses the word Christ. No problem here either.

But then he combines Jesus and Christ, just as if Christ were Jesus’ last name, and begins comparing Jesus Christ to the historical personalities Socrates, Buddha and Muhammad. Naturally, Socrates, Buddha and Muhammad come out second-best.

With all due respect, the Pope’s analysis is faulty. In comparing the divinity of Jesus to the humanity of Socrates, Buddha and Muhammad, he is comparing apples to oranges and seeing not only Socrates, Buddha and Muhammad, but Jesus himself, in a one-sided (though opposite-sided) fashion.

I don’t know about Socrates, but both Buddha and Muhammad, like Jesus, had at least the Christ Consciousness, although they called it something else. Both, in fact, had nondual consciousness, the level above Christ Consciousness. Both Buddha and Muhammad, therefore, are, like Jesus, what the Western Christian esoteric tradition calls ascended masters (as, for example, is the Jewish prophet Elijah, who was “taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot and whirlwind” (2 Kings 2:11).

Jesus, however, was born with the Christ Consciousness, while Buddha and Muhammed were not.

Jesus himself, according to the Scriptures, was careful to make the distinction between a great human being understood only as a human personality and any human being understood as a divinely Christed being.

That is the distinction Jesus was making when he said that John the Baptist, understood as a human personality, was the greatest man ever born of woman, but that the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven, i.e., with the Christ Consciousness, was greater than John (Matt. 11:11).

The same confusion surrounds the mythic doctrine of the Virgin Birth. The Scriptures are clear that, in accordance with the flesh, Jesus of Nazareth was born of Mary, that his father was Joseph (John 1:45), that his brothers were James, Joseph, Simon, and Jude (Matt. 13:55), and that he had sisters as well (Matt. 13:56).

But, as Jesus himself stated to Nicodemus, there is another way to be born — in accordance with the Spirit (John 3:3-7). In accordance with the Spirit, Jesus, as the Christ, was born directly (virginally) from the Father, through the Holy Spirit, and out of Mary (the Nicene Creed).

The same is true of anyone who consciously realizes the Christ Consciousness as John’s Gospel clearly states, “Some, however, did receive him and believe in him; so he gave them the right to become God’s children. They did not become God’s children by natural means, by being born as the children of a human father; God himself was their Father” (John 1:12-13).

Mary, the new Eve, in the doctrine of the Virgin Birth just described, and identically to the Buddha’s mother Maya, stands for woman. Archetypally and psychospiritually, woman stands for the womb, the watery baptismal abyss, human emotional depths, the human unconscious, and the belly of Jonah’s whale.

As Mother (and again identically to Eve and Maya) Mary represents matter (mother is mater in Greek and Latin and has an equivalent meaning in many other languages). She therefore represents the dualism of maya, the physical world, understood as separate and apart from God.

The Christed being is always “born again” directly (virginally) from the Father, and or through the Holy Spirit, out of this “Mary” (womb, matter, unconscious, maya, emotional depths) in the baptism of the Dark Night of the Soul. That is why, spiritually, Mary is the Mother of God not only in Jesus’ case but in the case of every person who is reborn into the Christ Consciousness.

This is the point the Gospel of John is making in having Jesus, on the Cross itself, say to Mary, “Woman, behold your son,” and then to John, “Here is your mother” (John 19:26-27).

I agree with the Pope that Jesus of Nazareth is unique. But his status as Christ is not what makes Jesus unique. Anyone who reaches the level of the causal, at which one understands the Trinity as a living cosmological reality in which that person (and all humanity and creation) participates, is a Christed being (John 1:12, Gal. 3:26).

Mary was a Christed being from the moment of her conception. All of the Apostles were Christed beings after they were finally baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5) at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). So too were the other non-Apostle authors of the New Testament.

St. Paul and St. Teresa of Avila, invoking for herself the words of Paul, said, “For me to live is Christ” (Philip. 1:21). Paul also said, “I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me (Gal. 2:20).” Neither Paul nor Teresa said “Jesus” lives in me. Nor did they say “Jesus Christ” lives in me. They said Christlives in me.

The Christ, by definition, transcends any human personality identification, including that of the historical personality Jesus of Nazareth. When the Christian passes through the Dark Night of the Soul and enters the first level of divine identity, the causal, all of this becomes crystal clear.

Before that time, however, the meaning of Christ will normally seem murky to anyone without Christ Consciousness (that is, anyone who wrongly thinks his or her human personality is the “real me”).

By putting Jesus on an unreachable pedestal so that others such as Buddha and Muhammad can’t get near him (that is, by understanding Jesus only as divine and the others only as human), we also prevent ourselves from getting near Jesus. We set up a major obstacle to our realization of Christ Consciousness and our own entrance into the Kingdom.

According to Wilber, even St. Augustine couldn’t get himself past this incorrectly understood uniqueness of Jesus. This type of reasoning has also driven an unnecessary wedge between Christians and Muslims.

One reason Islam has traditionally insisted upon the oneness of Allah has been in reaction to the type of Christian trinitarian theology that seems to elevate a human being, Jesus of Nazareth, into a second God, fully co-equal with Allah. Muslims are very careful not to do that with Muhammad, and can be deeply offended when Christians call Islam Muhammadism.

When Christians treat Jesus as though Christ were Jesus’ last name, the Muslim criticism is right on the mark. While it is true that the whole of God was incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth (as the whole of God is also present in the Holy Communion and, for that matter, in every grain of sand), and while the nondual consciousness of Jesus of Nazareth was perfectly aware of his oneness with God, Jesus never claimed to be equal to God as transcendent, nor even to be the complete expression of the Christ, God’s Son.

When the passage of the Pope’s book cited above was recently brought to the attention of the Vietnamese Buddhist spiritual master, Thich Nhat Hanh, he reportedly said, “It appears the Pope does not understand the Trinity.”

Sadly, the Vietnamese master is correct. Nor, from what I can see, does the leadership of any other Christian denomination, none of them having first put on the “Mind which was in Christ Jesus” as we were instructed to do (Matt. 6:33, Philip 2:5).

Paramahansa Yogananda also addressed this problem of Jesus’ last name, one he called the problem of Jesusism versus Christianity. He wrote:

“I am glad that Christianity was not called Jesusism, because Christianity is a much broader word. There is a difference of meaning between Jesus and Christ. Jesus is the name of a little human body [personality] in which the vast Christ Consciousness was born. Although the Christ Consciousness manifested in the body of Jesus, it cannot be limited to one human form. It would be a metaphysical error to say that the omnipresent Christ Consciousness is circumscribed by the body of any one human being.”

Let us set aside the comments of Buddhist and Hindu spiritual masters, however, and look at what the Scriptures and Jesus himself say. Directly contrary to the idea that Jesus was uniquely the Christ, St. Paul states flatly in his first letter to the Corinthians: “Christ is like a single body, which has many parts; it is still one body even though it is made up of different parts. In the same way, all of us, Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free men, have been baptized into the one body by the same Spirit, and we have all been given the one Spirit to drink …. All of you, then, are Christ’s body, and each one is a part of it.” [1 Cor. 12:12-13,27].

You couldn’t get much clearer than that. Note too that Paul is talking about baptism by the Holy Spirit, the baptism by spiritual “fire” (energy), not baptism by water.

Jesus, quoting the psalmist, asked us, “Do you not know that you are gods?” (John 10:34-35; Ps. 82:6). What sense would Jesus’ question make if we too could not claim our own divine heritage?

How, for instance, can we be “joint heirs with Jesus of the Kingdom”(Rom. 8:17) if we are not divine by “participation” (to use John of the Cross’ word) in the same divine Christhood in which Jesus participated?

What is the use of being “baptized with Jesus into his death” (Rom. 6:3) if we cannot fully share, as the “friends” he called us at the Last Supper (John 15:15), in the full glory of his Resurrection, which, for us, is the realization of our Christhood (Rom. 8:17)?

Jesus also said, “Whoever believes in me will do the works I do, and even greater ones” (John 14:12). How can we expect to be able to do such things, and even greater things, if we are not ourselves divine in the same sense that he, the carpenter of Nazareth, realized he was?

And again, Jesus prayed to the Father that we may be one just as the Father and he were one (John 17:11), and that we might live in God just as Jesus lived in the Father and the Father in him (John 17:21). Was Jesus praying in vain? Was he mistaken in what he was asking? Of course not. Jesus knew exactly what he was saying and what he was praying for.

From these, and from a host of other Scriptures throughout the New Testament, it is abundantly clear not only that we are every bit as divine as Jesus was, but that our entire Christian spiritual quest consists of consciously claiming our divinity just as Jesus did.

Meister Eckhart, having realized the nondual vision of the Kingdom of Heaven, exulted: “Everything good that all the saints have possessed, and Mary the mother of God, and Christ in his humanity [i.e., Jesus], all that is my own in this human nature. Now you could ask me: ‘Since in this nature I have everything that Christ according to his humanity [Jesus] can attain, how is it that we exult and honor Christ [in his humanity, i.e., Jesus] as our Lord and our God?”

That’s because he became a messenger from God to us and brought us our blessedness. The blessedness that he brought us was our own.

The “good news” of the Gospel is that we, none of us, are mere human beings. We are now, and have always been, divine. All of the doctrinal statements of the early Christian Councils, in which the Church’s understanding of Jesus as the Christ was hammered out, are statements about us. They tell us who we are.

We are, here and now today, all the things the early Councils said Jesus was. All we need to do to be “saved” is to consciously realize who we have been all along. We need to realize our divinity, own it, take up the responsibility of it, and live it.

There is another reason why many Christians prefer to keep Jesus, seen only as divine, up on a pedestal, why they’d almost prefer to forget that the carpenter from Nazareth was a human being like ourselves. Many Christians like the idea that Jesus did all the work of salvation for them (he being divine after all, and they only human).

They find solace in the theory of “vicarious redemption,” that, by his sufferings and death, Jesus somehow made up for and appeased God for all of our sins. Such Christians often place heavy emphasis on the “Lamb who was slain for us” (Rev. 5:12), even in the hymns that are sung every Sunday in church.

But, while it is true that Jesus, by his suffering, took upon himself and transmuted a great deal of our negativity (just as does any Christian, to a lesser extent, who takes the Crucifixion Initiation), Jesus did not do everything. Nor can Jesus do what is ours to do (Col. 1:24). God for our own ultimate good would not allow it.

It is our responsibility to grow up into our own divinity, paying whatever price we need to in the process. Neither Jesus, nor anyone else, can do the work of individuating our own souls into Christ Conscious wholeness for us. When we all become conscious Christs then, and only then, will all the world’s sin be forgiven (1 John 2:2).

The overemphasis on Jesus’ divinity has resulted in centuries of enormous practical harm to Christians in their search for God. Countless Christians have not taken to the spiritual path because they’ve felt either that the divine Jesus did everything for them, or because, since they saw themselves as merely human, and Jesus only as divine, they thought the path impossible.

This thinking has resulted in a huge chasm between the human and the divine, and between the ordinary Christian and Jesus. What this thinking does is to actually nullify in one swift stroke the essential “good news” of the New Testament, that we are divine and free from sin and death. It throws us back upon salvation by the law, by doing good and avoiding evil, which is no route to salvation at all but a recipe for continued slavery to duality.

Who was Jesus of Nazareth? Where did he come from? This question has puzzled Christians for the last two thousand years. To say Jesus was the Son of God does not help much to answer the question because we too are sons and daughters of God in the same sense. To say that he was divine, and shared the substance and nature of God, is another way of saying the same thing. To say he was the Christ, the only-begotten of God, also does not help, for we too are members of the Christ.

To say Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews does distinguish him as unique. But it is the Christ Consciousness, not Jesus as a human personality or even as an individual soul, that is the Messiah, the liberator, and the redeemer from all sin (1 John 2:2).

To say that Jesus was conceived and born with the Christ Consciousness, that is, without sin, distinguishes Jesus from the vast majority of us humans (and from the Buddha and Muhammad), but not from other avatars, the Hindu word for liberated souls who are allowed or requested by God to reincarnate here on Earth to help the rest of us. Nor would it distinguish him from Mary, who was also conceived and born without sin.

Some Christians believe that Jesus is distinguishable from the avatars in that he never had a past life on this planet nor has he ever incarnated since. Jesus of Nazareth, they believe, was the one time only incarnation of the fullness of the Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, on Earth.

The personal view of Pope John Paul II, cited above, seems to be the same. I suppose this may be a possibility, for “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26), but there are problems with this understanding.

First, there is Paramahansa Yogananda’s objection that the vastness of the Christ Consciousness couldn’t possibly be contained in, or expressed by, one human personality. Second, how could we, as St. Paul says, “fill up what was lacking in Jesus Christ” (Col. 1:24) if, as the fullness of Christ, he lacked nothing? Or how could we, as Jesus promised, “do greater things than” Jesus (John 14:12) if, as the fullness of Christ, Jesus by definition could never be surpassed?

Finally, this understanding edges in the direction of the view that Jesus, though he had a human body, did not have a human soul. The early Church councils repeatedly rejected one form or another of this view; for example, the view that Jesus had a human body and human emotions but not a human mind, the view that Jesus had a divine will but not a human will, and the view that Jesus had a divine nature but not a human one.

The councils insisted that Jesus was fully human as well as fully divine. (cf. Heb. 2:17 “This means he had to become like his brothers in every way.”)

So, if Jesus had a human soul, and not only that but a perfectly developed human soul, with perfected emotions, fully developed intelligence, psychic powers, will, etc., how did Jesus get such a soul? Did the Christ, wholly apart from the normal, divinely ordained human evolutionary process bypass this in Jesus’ case and create, all at once, a perfect human vehicle? It may be possible but I don’t think it at all likely.

What would be the point? It would make Jesus, not like us in every way (Heb. 2:17), but a human anomaly. He would certainly be unique, but this uniqueness would estrange him from the rest of us and from human history and evolution. He would hardly be the “new Adam” (1 Cor. 15:22, 45) if he had no connection to the first Adam (except for his body) and no connection to human consciousness evolution.

How could he be understood as the Lord of History if his birth was some kind of special, miraculous divine interventionism into our history?

At least one Western esoteric tradition suggests that the individual soul that incarnated as Jesus was the first consciousness evolved entirely on this planet that had been able to realize the Christ Consciousness. That tradition suggests that prior souls who had realized the causal level of consciousness (Krishna, Buddha, Lao-Tse, and Plato) originated elsewhere.

Because of this colossal achievement, God commissioned Jesus to enact with his life, from birth to Ascension, the entire map of human consciousness evolution, the Way, the Truth, and the Light. In other words, Jesus was the “new Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45) the founder of a new race of Christed beings. That seems a more grounded and realistic possibility.

I have tried to set out in this book, in as contemporary a way as possible, the path to the Kingdom of Heaven, the Way Jesus showed to us by his life, particularly by his Death and Resurrection. But the Kingdom of Heaven is only the end of the earthly journey into God, not the entire journey.

There is, in fact, no end at all to the journey just as there is no end to God. And I suspect that, however far we journey into God, Jesus, whoever he may really be, will always be there lighting the road ahead.

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16 Responses to The Problem of Jesus’ Last Name ~ From: Putting on The Mind of Christ, by Jim Marion

  1. Starry says:

    Well, for me it is like this, it really doesn’t matter who one believes Jesus to have been. Jesus was who he was and is who he is. The matter is really with the question of who are we. To reach the point where we can begin to realize this, not determine, because what is , it is said that we have to put on the “Christ-mind”. Now, this has been nearly impossible because the way has been covered over with perceptions of what his mission was that are incomplete. However, if this state is what we have come to journey towards, it is natural to us and we will get there, if someone first points out that the getting is the job of each man.

    I am not sure if there is one formula. God has created paths for each of us. I fear, but do not know, that it would be yet another mistaken aim to set out one method of achieving it.

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  5. adriane says:

    I do agree with you, Jean. Except for the Roman Empire cooperating with the church folk, instead i am convinced that they were actually the same people (same strategies,same methodologies, same objectives)
    Thanks for your response, i had been thinking about this text and the comments but ran out of time and could only post my comment after the text was removed from the main pages.
    I really appreciate this blog and have been visiting regularly. There is a warm atmosphere of welcome and acceptance.Just wanted to give this feedback.
    Hugs do not come that natural to me but instead i offer my warm feelings of thanks in appreciation.

    • Jean says:

      Maybe one day you will like hugs, but to be honest is a treasure and a gift, so I thank you. The woman with whom I did my healing work always hugged me, when I left her office. For years, I’ve had no human intimacy – and I haven’t seen her for almost ten years, and she always said we each need at least a dozen hugs a day. This is the only way I get to ‘hug’ people, and from my own experience, I know how wonderful hugs are. For me, I went almost a lifetime without receiving much affection, so I must say I agree with my therapist. If it’s okay with you, I send you hugs, ~Jean

  6. adriane says:

    Unfortunately this text is too long ( as well as the very interesting comments) for me to finish reading this in even two days (i have 1 hour a day reading time). So i had to skim, but did read the green sections, Jean!

    From my angle it just comes down to these two sections that have been battling each other on and off since the birth of the Roman Catholic Church. The vehemence with which the fledgling Church tried to obliterate the other party ( whether Gnostics, Arians, Cathars etc) was due to the disagreement on one very crucial point : the Divinity of Jesus of Nazareth.

    I think that the decision of Jesus being either Divine or a very special human being was essential because it would determine the solidity of the base for this new religion. This new religion, — in my view created by those that have controlled us for so long– needed this Deus to glue the various control points that were needed to keep the populace corralled.

    If one assumes the above to be correct, –which obviously i do– the Deus factor was more of a strategy than a fact. So who would Jesus of Nazareth be ?
    I see him as a very special, compassionate human being, one of many some of whom are still known others have been long forgotten. These beings came to earth to point the way to humans that were lost, to encourage growth in the right direction, to give us support etc. We still remember Krishna, Budha, Ra, Muhammed etc.

    Who were these beings? Some were humans who requested to be sent back for special missions, others were beings that briefly visited to perform a special task etc.
    Ra, when asked by questioner Don Elkins who he was, said that he was a sixth density collective entity who had come to earth on two occasions. Once in Atlantean times and once when Egypt was becoming a mighty society. Both of his missions though remain unheeded by humanity and were failures.

    Jesus is said in some places to have been a fourth density being –density is a term that refers to vibrational range and is therefore a more correct term than dimension which rather refers to place/location. A fourth density being is focused from the heart — linked with the fourth, the heart chakra….just think of the ‘Sacred Heart’ !

    From one angle and there are many re this issue, i see Jesus as having been selected by the Hidden Hands for use in their control system to keep the masses shackled. This system, successful for so long, is now finally falling apart
    .
    Taking another angle I think we have to separate Jesus from this horrible Church organization and in this sense it would be useful to read those scriptures that were hidden from the destructive force of this church, the ones that were recently rediscovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt. Those surviving texts are hardly tampered with as they were hidden in the late 300′s. So there is a minimum of inserts or church-fabricated ‘corrections’ which makes them considerably more reliable than the traditional church authorized texts.

    • Jean says:

      Adraine, from my reading I believe the Roman Empire allied with the Church on purpose and consciously introduced the present pathology of SEPARATION onto the planet. I think these are the people who came in here to create the Duality illusion – and now, that their job is done, they don’t want to give up the power. Apparently, this often happens, but they will lose. In fact, they already have lost – it is just a matter of time until they realize it.

      It seems to me that Jesus came here to teach the simple lesson, “God IS Love” and to leave that consciousness here with us. In that, he was successful. The power brokers on the planet distorted this lesson and confused the issue and many people as well, but I think we’re getting it straight now, or at least some of us are, those of us who are ready.

      Hugs,
      ~Jean

  7. michael says:

    Jean… Thank you writing…(that was a lot) I think we are talking about the same thing but from a different teachings and readings. Either way the last 11 to 13000 years have been difficult for humanity. I read Barbara Hand Clow who speaks to 11,500 years ago. Her teaching is, the earth was hit from some big object that knocked the earth off its center… causing us to go from a planet that had perfect weather (garden of Eden) to dealing with the 4 seasons. This is how we became a warring world…fighting for survival. It is during these times that we were disconnected from God or Spirit and started to create all the negative karma. We lost touch with the fact that God is inside, out of fear for survival (still we struggle with that)
    As to the “take away the sins” I believe the church twisted its meaning as you say “ to keep us from our personal power” They twisted a lot of things to keep us from our personal power. I do believe we were being crushed and it makes sense to me that a highly conscious being was able to pull a few cosmic strings to give us a chance to recover. Along with that we got the Christ message to LOVE…love love love…

    As you say Jean this is a very complex subject. I am very grateful for your time and effort to bring these topics to the front of our daily life for discussion.

  8. michael says:

    Jean…. here is another form of levels or what they call Initiations .. I am not sure if you ever read anything by Alice Bailey who live from the late 1800 until 1949 ? The below is filled with a lot of information that is “over my head” LOL but it does give some form of a map that we as humans are following… How all this fits into the dimensions is up to our imagination…and i am sure the numbers are a little out dated…

    The vast majority of ordinary humanity lies on the probationary path (below the first initiation)(Zero).
    First initiation (“birth” to the spiritual life)..
    According to Alice A. Bailey, at the first initiation one gains full control of the physical body.[4] According to Benjamin Creme, there are 800,000 people at this level of initiation.[5]

    Second initiation (“baptism”)
    Alice A. Bailey states that at the second initiation, one gains full control of the astral body.[6] According to Benjamin Creme, there are 240,000 people at this level of initiation.[5]

    Third initiation (“the transfiguration”)
    An individual who is at the level of the third initiation has acquired fully developed clairvoyance and clairaudience.[7] According to Benjamin Creme, there are somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people at this level of initiation.[5]

    Fourth initiation (“the crucifixion”)
    An individual reaching the fourth initiation is known as the perfected one, or an Arhat (Pali) or a Paramahansa (Sanskrit).

    At this level, it is believed in Buddhism, one has the ability to remember all of one’s past lives, and one also has various minor siddhis capable of affecting one’s immediate environment.

    Symbolically the fourth initiation is denoted as the crucifixion initiation. An Arhat is supposed to be one who does not need to be incarnated again to develop spiritually. According to Benjamin Creme, there are 450 people at this level of initiation.[5]
    “The seven choices before the perfect [hu]man”
    Having reached the threshold of the fifth initiation, a soul does not necessarily have to enter Earth’s spiritual hierarchy proper as one of the “Masters of the Ancient Wisdom”. One has seven paths forward to higher levels that they can choose to go forward on, only one of which is to become a “Master of the Ancient Wisdom”. These seven choices, called in Theosophical literature “the seven choices before the perfect [hu]man” are:

    1. “Remain with humanity as on official of the Hierarchy”, i.e., become one of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom. 2. “Remain with humanity as a “Nirmanakaya”, i.e., become a bodhisattva. 3. “Join the Devas”. 4. “Join the Staff Corps of the Solar Logos”, i.e., join the Masters living in etheric cities inside the Sun who supervise the activities of the Solar Angels that direct the process of evolution of the life waves (process of reincarnation) of the beings on all the planets of the solar system (all of whom live except those on Earth live on the etheric planes of their planets). 5. “Prepare the work of the next Chain”, i.e. join that subsection of the Staff Corps of the Solar Logos who are the solar planners who plan the future development of planetary civilizations in this solar system. 6.&7. “Enter Nirvana”, i.e., become a Pratyekabuddha.[8]

    Fifth initiation (“the resurrection”)
    The fifth initiation, called the resurrection, comprises the first rung of beings designated in Theosophy as Masters of the Ancient Wisdom and in the Ascended Master Teachings as Ascended masters.

    Siddhis at this level include the ability to teleport and bilocate moderate distances and levitate within a localized area.

    According to C.W. Leadbeater, Alice A. Bailey and Benjamin Creme, there are a total of 43 beings at this level of initiation; this figure is arrived at because all three have stated there are a total of 60 Masters in all—subtracting from the 60 the 17 Masters at level six and above identified by C.W. Leadbeater, leaves a total of 43 Masters of the Ancient Wisdom at the fifth level of initiation.

    Of these 43 Masters, a total of 12 have been identified by name, one by C.W. Leadbeater, nine by Alice A. Bailey, and two by Benjamin Creme.

    C.W. Leadbeater named a Master called Master Jupiter who lives in India that is involved with overseeing the people, government, and development of India that is at this level.[1]

    Alice A. Bailey identified as Masters the Master P., who is said to help St. Germain bring about the Age of Aquarius in the Americas, and two different English Masters (English Master #1 and English Master #2), one of which is said to have inspired the labor movement.[9] In addition to these three, she identified the three Lords of Liberation–(Lord of Liberation #1, Lord of Liberation #2, and Lord of Liberation #3). According to Alice A. Bailey, the three Lords of Liberation formulated the slogan Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Finally, Alice A. Bailey also identified the three Lords of Karma (Lord of Karma #1, Lord of Karma #2, and Lord of Karma #3). These three beings are said to live in Shamballah and help Sanat Kumara decide where and when souls are going to incarnate in their next life.[10]

    Benjamin Creme identified two previously unidentified Masters at this level in 2001—he stated that there is a Master in Moscow [11] and a Master in Tokyo,[12] but did not give their personal names.

    Forty-three minus 12 equals 31 Masters of the Ancient Wisdom at this level that are still unidentified by name.

    Guy Ballard and Elizabeth Clare Prophet have identified, named, and received dictations from at least 200 new “Ascended Masters” at this level;[13] however, these Masters are not recognized as Masters of the Ancient Wisdom by traditional Theosophists. Ascended Masters named by Guy Ballard and Elizabeth Clare Prophet at this level include such Masters as Confucius, Lord Ling, Lady Master Magda, Pallas Athena, Lanello, Kwan Yin, the Great Divine Director, Padre Pio, Godfre and his “twin flame” (celestial wife) Lady Master Lotus, and many dozens more.

    In the Ascended Master Teachings, the Master Jupiter is referred to as Chananda.[14]

    According to the Ascended Master Teachings, Sanat Kumara has a grandson named Master Cha Ara who is half mortal and who just recently became a Master, therefore meaning he is functioning at the fifth level.

    Sixth initiation (“the ascension” or “masterhood”)
    The Chohans (Lords) of the Seven Rays – El Morya (1st Ray), Master Kuthumi (2nd Ray), Paul the Venetian (3rd Ray), Serapis Bey (4th Ray), Master Hilarion (5th Ray), Master Jesus (6th Ray), and the Master Rakoczi (7th Ray) – are seven of the beings at the level of the sixth initiation, while their coordinator and communications director Djwal Khul is another, making a total of eight at this level.[15]

    All of these Masters are recognized by both traditional Theosophists and those adherent to the Ascended Master Teachings. In the Ascended Master Teachings, Master Rakoczi is referred to as St. Germain.

    Siddhis at this level include the ability to teleport, bilocate, or levitate to anyplace on Earth.

    According to the Ascended Master Teachings, on January 1, 1956, the Master Jesus advanced from the sixth to the seventh level of initiation and the Lady Master Nada (a lady Master recognized in the Ascended Master Teachings but not in Theosophy) advanced from the fifth level to the sixth level and replaced the Master Jesus as the chohan of the sixth ray.[16]

    Seventh initiation (“bodhisattva” , “avatar”, or “christhood”)
    The seventh initiation is known as the initiation of the Bodhisattava (Buddhism)or the Avatar (Hinduism). The Maitreya or World Teacher (known as Krishna by Hindus, the Christ by Christians, Maitreya by Buddhists, Messiah by the Jews, the Iman Mahdi by Muslims, and the Peshotan by the Zoroastrians) is at this level. At this level also are said to be the Chakshusha Manu, the Vaivasvatu Manu and the Maha Chohan,[15][17] thus making a total of four beings at this level.

    In the Ascended Master Teachings, the Chakshusha Manu is referred to as Lord Himalaya.

    According to Benjamin Crème, a being at this level has the ability to teleport to anyplace in the solar system.[18] Creme admits, however, that unless one is in a hurry, it’s simpler, easier, and uses less energy to just take a flying saucer. Creme has also stated that beings at this level have a level of invulnerability such that they would not be affected by a bullet fired at them, nor even by the detonation of a nuclear bomb.

    In the Ascended Master Teachings, it is believed that on January 1, 1956, Maitreya advanced from the 7th level to the 8th level.

    Eighth initiation (“buddhahood”)
    Level eight is the level of the Buddha.[15]

    At this level also, according to C.W. Leadbeater, are The Three Pratyeka Buddhas (the task of these three Buddhas is to focus the Seven Rays from Sanat Kumara through Djwal Khul to the chohans of the Seven Rays).[15] Unlike Buddha, the three Pratyeka Buddhas do not interact with the human race except for fulfilling their function of focusing the seven rays.

    Alice A. Bailey stated that communication among beings at this level is entirely by telepathy. According to Theosophist Alfred Percy Sinnett, beings at this level can freely roam both in interplanetary space and in nearby interstellar space in full consciousness while physically remaining in their celestialized bodies and carrying on normal activities such as communicating with other beings.[19] In order for beings at this level to be able to do this, it would have been necessary for them to have activated their transpersonal chakras. Benjamin Creme and Elizabeth Clare Prophet have stated that beings at this level can teleport as far as the star Sirius.

    This makes four beings at this level, according to traditional Theosophy.

    In the Ascended Master Teachings, it is believed that on January 1, 1956, Buddha advanced from the 8th level to the 9th level, becoming co-equal with Sanat Kumara.

    The three Pratyeka Buddhas have not been mentioned so far in any of the Ascended Master Teachings.

    Ninth initiation (“godhood”)
    Level nine is the “Lord of the World”: Sanat Kumara – “The Eternal Youth” and “The Ancient of Days”, believed by Theosophists to be the “Lord of the World”, i.e., the governing deity of Earth.[15]

    C.W. Leadbeater discussed the abilities of beings at this level. He stated that Sanat Kumara’s “consciousness is of so extended a nature that it comprehends at once all the life on our globe. In his hands are the powers of cyclic destruction, for he wields Fohat [i.e. beams composed of "bubbles in space" used by Theosophical deities to materialize or dematerialize material objects[20]] in its higher forms and can deal directly with cosmic forces outside our chain [i.e., outside our solar system].” [21] Thus according to Leadbeater powers of beings at this level include omniscience regarding the events occurring on a single inhabited planet, materialization of large objects, and the ability to affect at a distance to some degree happenings in other nearby planetary systems.

    According to the Ascended Master Teachings, Sanat Kumara has a “twin flame” (celestial wife) named Lady Master Venus who he brought with him from Venus, as well as a daughter named Lady Master Meta born to them on Venus who they brought with them to Earth, both of them presumably also functioning at the ninth level of initiation.

    Tenth initiation (“planetary logos”)
    The tenth initiation is considered to symbolize perfection and is used to describe the Planetary Logos.

  9. michael says:

    the way i understand is: Jesus was a human who became a clear channel for the christ consciousness… as the story goes…. the christ consciousness entered Jesus at the baptism and lifted off when he was on the cross…. this is when Jesus said “why has thou forsaken me”?
    We talk a lot about getting to the 5th dimension where we experience living in the oneness of love and light… Christ consciousness is another few dimensions inward…maybe the 7th…give or take…

    • Jean says:

      Michael, I’m not sure I agree with the Christ consciousness level as being higher than the fifth dimension. If you will read Drunvalo’s book called The Serpent of Light – I think that’s the one, although it may be Flower of LIfe, he describes how the Christ Consciousness grid was created artificially and with permission by the Ascended Masters to help save us from the mistakes that happened 13,000 years ago. Without the grid around the planet for our species, a grid which is now functioning, we simply couldn’t ascend to the fifth dimesnion. Period.

      Love and hugs,
      ~Jean

      • michael says:

        Hi Jean… (always nice to talk with you)
        Words and definitions send our awareness/attention to different places depending on what books we’ve read and what teachers we’ve studied with. I see here that we are talking of some kind of Grid that was created for our protection by the Ascended Masters that is called the Christ Consciousness grid. Perhaps this is connected to the quote “ Christ took away the sins of the world”? My understanding with that is, we as a human race had become so over burdened with our Karma that we were being crushed by the karmic debt and were no longer able to move forward in consciousness. It appears to me now that this grid and the “taking away the sins of the world” might be one in the same? In away, it could be viewed like a 20 year home mortgage.(spreading out the debt so we could afford to pay) Except this was spread out over 2000 years to give us the needed incarnations to work out debt. Now we are told the debt is paid and its time to ascend.
        When I say The Christ is from the 7th dimension (give or take) I am referring to a level of consciousness that would give the Christ (or ascended masters) the ability and authority to be able to put such a Grid into place. …. michael

        • Jean says:

          Michael, I do not think this is quite the way it is, not according to the Ascended Masters. 13,000 years ago when it became know that Atlantis would be destroyed, there was an off-planet group there that created an artifical merkaba, because they had no emotional bodies, a necessary requirement for a merkaba, which is a protective device used for ascension. If I remember the story correctly, this false merkaba tore through the dimensions and also caused people to fall farther than was necessary in our evolution. (Yes, we were far more highly evolved than we are now.) Part of this dimensional problem remains and is what we call the Bermuda Triangle. It will be straightened out when the coming shift takes place.

          Every single thing on this planet has an electromagnetic grid around the planet that holds its collective consciousness. In order for us to move to the higher dimension, we must have the Unity or Christ Consciousness grid around our planet, and after Atlantis we did not have it. The Ascended Masters had removed themselves safely from the planet during this time, but they did not walk away from us in our plight. They sought and received permission to create this grid artificially so we could continue to evolve in consciousness. The only way we could move forward was to go through Duality (again? I’m not sure.), which is a school of learning. It is about as low as you can get in evolution. Some of the indigenous tribes live on the first dimension, but this is heart-based, and a kinder place to be.

          This grid, a literal thing known to NASA, etc. was actually created in the fourth dimension and then gradually over the last 13,000 years it was manifested here on the planet itself, via temples and holy places where what are called ley lines intersect here on the ground. Let me say also that many of our military bases have been placed on these intersecting grid lines. The dark knows exactly what is going on.(The pyramids were actually created from the top down! Drunvalo told them this in Egypt, and they laughed. Then they went and looked, and apparently they agreed that this was how it was done.) The pyramids are a significant part of the grid. The Serpent of LIfe book tells how Drunvalo was asked to go into Central and South America and help finally get the grid up and running through ceremony and intention (which fits with our knowledge of quantum theory), and I believe this was only done recently, maybe within the last dozen years. (I can see I have to read up on this again. It is complex, and I have forgotten much of the specifics.)

          I believe it was the first Russian cosmonaut who lost his memory when he went out into space. This fact was never advertised, but what happened to him happened to many in Atlantis. Now astronauts wear a device on their belts that keeps their memory intact. When the earth changes her poles, she will shut down the electromagnetic poles for maybe 3 days, and during this time we must remain in a state of love, which will cause the activation of our own personal merkaba, and prevent our own memories, which are linked electromagnetically to the earth from being wiped clean, as if our hard drive were crashed. Drunvalo says that during this time we will definitely know that we are one with God.

          In order for humanity to go through duality (again?), we had to forget what we knew. Thoth came to Egypt and introduced writing which caused this to happen; we began to record history, etc. We think being able to write is so wonderful, so fantastic – but it is not, not at all. Because we had been more highly evolved, we simply did not need to write!!! We ‘knew’ what we wanted to learn, perhaps we were able to tap into the akashic records. Then life was reintroduced to us all over again rather rapidly. For some, they had no memory of something like how to make a fire, so you can see what this huge mistake was all about.

          If the Ascended Masters had not worked here for the last 13,000 years, our species probably wouldn’t exist anymore. Many of us have had to go through a veritable hell in order to work our way back up the ladder of evolution, but we are doing it – successfully. We are greatly loved as a species and much cared for!

          I”m not sure about where the statement that you refer to – Christ took away the sins of the world – actually comes from. Without any specific research, I would think it was implanted by the Romans to keep us from our own personal connection with God, because I see no reason for Christ to take away our so-called sins. If we believed that this was Jesus role in our lives, then we would not seek the closer relationship, the one in which Jesus specifically said we are exactly like him . . . I think he planted this seed for us to ‘remember’ at this time. All the indigeneous peoples tell us to ‘remember who we are.’ I believe the truth is that we are powerful beyond belief, and Jesus was telling us that we can be exactly like him, if we choose. We can all be Ascended Masters – if we are willing to do the work. This is a ‘free-choice’ planet, so we don’t have to do anything, but I also believe it is a fact that sooner – or later – we will all return to God.

          I think our karma was not from these mistakes made 13,000 years ago, but more likely has resulted from our disconnect from God, the God that is inside us rather than the God outside us, who is really not a God at all to my way of thinking. We are finishing up with this karma now as we realize that God is within us – not outside of us.

          There is a joke that Chris Columbus stood on the shores, facing the indigenous people, holding the Bible formally in his hand. He pointed to it and said proudly, “This Book contains the word of God!”

          The tribal leader looked at Columbus, looked at the Book, and then asked this question, “What! You mean you can’t talk to your God?” To me, this says it all.

          There are a couple old posts I’m going to pull up that are favorites of mine. I’ll post them again . . .

          Mike, the gist of what I am saying I think is that we are very likely not talking about the same thing. I do hope I’ve been accurate in the specifics of what I have said. I’m pretty certain that I have generally stated it correctly, but you can see the topic is a very complex one, and I have only touched the surface.

          Hugs,
          ~Jean

  10. mike says:

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I don’t agree with everything that is written here. But for the most part I agree. I have said all along that we are the Christ. The Bible tells us that which the author of this piece explains.Except one passage Col 3:11 Christ is all and in all. As far as sin is concerned the definition of the word means simply is to miss the mark. For we have all missed the mark and fallen short of who we really are.and Paul tells us that using himself as an example in Rom chapter 7. He tells us about the two entities that is in this human body. Christ and ego.

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