Don Edwards Literary Memorial

May 18, 2006

Jesus 3


I don’t know exactly what happened to the pious Jesus of our monastic life, but here is what I think happened. And I don’t care whether or not he actually existed…his persona was created by people after his time anyway. I really like your characterization of him in your previous post. Josephus does mention him, but as far as I know, that is the only factual, historical reference to him.

I wrote a story about how I left the Scholasticate, basically told to leave since I didn’t apparently have “the right stuff.” Thank God for that favor. They were right…I didn’t. I remember looking at a picture of St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle on the wall of the room when I told Brother Edward I was leaving, sweet Saint face, halo, very in my imagination, prissy little smile, very sissified. He was, in fact, an ass kicker. Making the rabble literate was just about the last thing the Church or, for that matter, the monarchy wanted to happen.

So our pious, sweet Jesus, the miracle worker isn’t even evident in the gospels, much less the probable life he led. Miracles can be in the mind of the person. Good psychology, sensible advice, “have a good attitude” probably works miracles in modern times to those with cancer. Healing is a very complex and, if we are looking for miracles, miraculous part of the world, plants, animals, viruses,….it is astounding to me to see a cut I accidentally inflicted on myself the other night while preparing dinner begin to heal, close, scab, dissappear. Milagro!

There is a science fiction story by Michael Moorcock called “Behold the Man” which is interesting. Let us just say Jesus existed. What happened after, how he was portrayed, the mythology built around very little evidence… can I believe all that? Perhaps you are right: we have gotten over our monastic ideas by living a long time. I believe much of the basic principles of leading “a good life” which is reflected in the gospels, but Socrates said many of the same things hundreds of years earlier and so did Gilgamesh, a document preceeding the bible by at least two thousand years.

So to answer your question, I find I go to themes involving religious ideas and because I was a monastic at one time, to some of those themes, but I have no faith in my earlier faith. I like stories and many of the stories of Jesus are really good stories. So are the stories of Beowulf and Grendel. I have recently scanned the Koran and the Upanishads and the Kabalah…not because I’m looking for answers, but just intellectual curiosity about what different cultures believed. Same old stuff. Buddah, Moses, Jesus….all tough cookies at least in the written stories.

The Jesus of our youth left me long ago. But I like some of the written accounts and many of the messages: take care of the poor. Be kind to others, protect children. Try to lead a good life. Good principles written by Aristotle as a matter of fact.

Friday the 13th came on a Saturday this month.

My best,


Filed under: DON POSTS — Don @ 3:18 pm

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