Understanding Jesus, Buddha, and Other Mystics

September 13th, 2006 by Steve Pavlina

I’ve been going back and re-reading mystical texts such as the Christian Gospels, and I’ve noticed that they make a lot more sense under the subjective model.  Even some of Hindu and Buddhist teachings I used to regard as incomprehensible now seem perfectly logical.  I suspect such teachers as Jesus and Buddha had a subjective belief system, since in my opinion they use the language of subjective reality liberally.

For example, consider Jesus’ teaching, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Under the objective model, the most obvious interpretation is that Jesus is telling us to treat other people as we ourselves would want to be treated.  That’s an egoic perspective that’s fairly easy to understand but that’s hard to practice consistently.  Our default objective behavior is to favor ourselves at least a little more than our neighbors, especially people we don’t know.  However, I believe Jesus was really speaking subjectivese, so this would be a misinterpretation — that’s why it’s so hard to put into practice.  Jesus wasn’t asking us to do the impossible.  His real advice was actually much easier to follow, but we’d only know that if we spoke subjectivese.

Under the subjective reality model, the most obvious interpretation of “Love your neighbor as yourself” is that Jesus is telling us to recognize that all of us egoic human beings are projections of awareness, and your true identity is that awareness.  Furthermore, unconditional love for everything is one way to regain that awareness.  Unconditional love is essentially unconditional connectedness.  So Jesus is suggesting a shift in your mindset rather than your behavior, which is a whole different sort of challenge.  In fact, if you follow Jesus’ teaching from a subjective perspective, you’ll automatically follow it from an objective perspective as well, but in a way that’s much easier than if you tried to tackle the objective approach head on.  Behavior changes are relatively easy once you’ve already made the mindset shift that gives rise to them.  Jesus is asking you to notice something very subtle here, not to struggle against your default behavior.

When I interpret Jesus’, Buddha’s, or other enlightened teachings objectively, I usually assume they’re talking about behavior, and I often judge the material as being too incomprehensible, too vague, or too difficult to put into practice.  They are the unattainable ideal.  But when I realize they’re speaking subjectivese, I can clearly see they’re really talking about mindset, not behavior, and their ideas are so simple and elegant that I end up nodding in agreement and thinking, “These guys are speaking to me as an equal, not as an underling.”  I also recognize that their advice is not that difficult to follow and that their state of being is ultimately attainable by anyone.  Many of their teachings are little more than pointers for what to pay attention to.  By taking their advice, we end up feeling so good that suffering diminishes and joy rises in its place.

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