The Wisdom Jesus Class on Zoom with Rev Pam

We’ll unite our various study groups who are reading and discussing The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – A New Perspective on Christ and His Message.
Join us in a Zoom gathering on Thursdays at 10:30am!
Pamela Douglas-Smith is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: The Wisdom Jesus with Rev. Pam
Time: Apr 16, 2020 10:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Every week on Thu, until Jun 25, 2020, 11 occurrence(s)

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The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault                                                 

“If you are searching, you must not stop until you find. When you find, however, you will become troubled.  Your confusion will give way to wonder.  In wonder you will reign over all things.  Your sovereignty will be your rest (Gospel of Thomas) . . . We are living in an era right now which some would call a major paradigm shift . . . See Jesus first and foremost as a wisdom teacher . . .

It’s concerned with the transformation of the whole human being.  Transformation from what to what?  Well, for a starter, from our animal instincts and egocentricity into love and compassion; from a judgmental and dualistic worldview into a nondual acceptingness . . . G.K. Chesterton: Christianity isn’t a failure; it just hasn’t been tried yet . . . Only there – in the ‘cave of the heart,’ as mystics are fond of calling it – does a person come in contact with his or her own direct knowingness.  And only out of this direct knowingness is sovereignty born, one’s own inner authority . . . Jesus asks repeatedly, ’Who do you say I am?’. . . ‘Who or what in you recognizes me?’ . . .  The ones that remained – and still remain – are the ones who have met him in the moment: in the instantaneous, mutual recognition of hearts and in the ultimate energy that is always pouring forth from this encounter. It is indeed the wellspring.”

“The Kingdom of Heaven is within you… is at hand… Whatever this Kingdom of Heaven is, it’s of foundational importance to what Jesus is trying to teach.  So what do we take it to be?….a place you go when you die-if you’ve been good?  … Jesus specifically contradicts this when he says “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you (here) and at hand(now)”…..It’s not later, but lighter-some more subtle quality or dimension of experience accessible to you right in the moment.  You don’t die into it; you awaken into it.” (p30)

Chapter 6—Kenosis: The Path of Self-Emptying Love

• In reading Philippians 2:9-16, what does it mean for you to “take on the mind of Christ?”
• Karl Rahner said that “God is the prodigal who squanders himself.” How might Jesus be each of the characters in the story of the Prodigal Son? How are you each character in the story?
• How is the “Trinity, understood in a wisdom sense,” an icon of self-emptying love.
• What have been some alchemical processes in your life that have led you the moments of discovering your own soul gold?

Chapter 7—Jesus as Tantric Master

• How are Jesus and John the Baptist, “symmetrically paired opposites?”
• How might we experience “the transcendence of separation and duality—through a complete self-emptying or self-outpouring?”
• How had Mary Magdalene fully moved beyond her egoic mind in order to “completely integrate what Jesus was about?” How can we do the same thing and become a “living spirit?”

Chapter 8—The Incarnation

• How might the understanding of the Divine as “pure spirit, pristine consciousness itself, unmediated by any form of expression,” influence our concept of God?
• Consider Bourgeault’s statement, “The greater the gamble of self-disclosure, the more powerful the intimacy, and the more profound the quality of devotion revealed.” What might this reveal about our relationship with the Divine?
• What would it mean for Christianity if we saw Jesus as the bridge to God and not the sacrifice made on our behalf of our sinful nature?
• How might you see yourself as living a life as God’s very presence in the world, what Bourgeault calls “lived conscious sacrament?”

Study Guide Developed by Gil Stafford 3

Chapter 9—The Passion

• What do you make of the statement, “Jesus is not particularly interested in increasing your guilt or your devotion, but rather, in deepening your personal capacity to make the passage into unitive life?”
• How we might we see ourselves as midwives for the revelation of the Kingdom of Heaven?
• What is the “Let it be” in your life?

Chapter 10—Crucifixion and Its Aftermath

• Where might we find our own False Self in the crucifixion story? What character do we most closely relate with?
• Have you ever had an existential moment of “alienation” or “meaninglessness?”
• What do you imagine the divine self-disclosure looks like in the modern Harrowing of Hell? In other words, what does it mean, “If you want to live, you have to die?”
• “We wish God could only be light?” How might we see God in the darkness? What other “opposites” do we see being “held together” in God?

Chapter 11—The Great Easter Fast

• How do we imagine Jesus’ “resurrected body” might be of a “more subtle density” that’s “appropriate to a different realm of being?”
• What do you think Bourgeault means by “The wisdom walk with Jesus is at every step of the way a recognition drama?”
• What does this statement mean to you? “Jesus is corporeally present only to the degree that people cannot yet see with the eye of the heart. As the eye of the heart opens, there is more and more freedom to release the physical traces and simply all the naked immediacy of love to meet heart to heart.”

Part 3—Chapters 12-16

• Discuss what spiritual practices the group has experienced.
• Ask the group to participate in Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, and/or Chanting and Psalmody.

Bibliography ~ Various Approaches to the Story of Jesus

Series Text
Bourgeault, Cynthia The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message

Unity
Fillmore, Charles Keep a True Lent
Turner, Elizabeth Sand Christ in You, Your Hope of Glory
Wilson, Ernest C. The Week That Changed the World Archetypal
Houston, Jean Godseed: The Journey of Christ

Eastern Mystical
Yogananda, Paramahansa  The Second Coming of Christ
Saraydarian, Torkom Christ: The Avatar of Sacrificial Love

Western Mystical
Bailey, Alice From Bethlehem to Calvary
Hall, Manly The Mystical Christ
Heline, Corinne Mystery of the Christos (New Age Bible Interpretation Series Vol VII)

Western Metaphysical
Brown, Sylvia The Mystical Life of Jesus
Furst, Jeffrey Edgar Cayce’s Story of Jesus