Saturday, February 24, 2007

"Get Behind Me, Satan!"


Jesus once used the phrase, "Get behind me, Satan!" when his disciple suggested that he would not suffer as he prophesied that he would.

There is no evidence that he directed this remark to any of his disciples. That would have been a terribly rude and crude insult to any of them, and there is evidence that Jesus was a more courteous and polite person than that.

Instead, odds are very good that he was muttering to himself. He was part human, and part Spirit, like we all are, deep down in the mind. And, among the writers and thinkers of the Enlightenment Tradition, "Satan" is the name given to the fear-nature. [Fear is the conceptual opposite of Love, but Love has no real opposite. This is recognized by early Christian writers. (1 Jn. 4:18, for example.] So, fear, or the interior fear-nature, is the "devil" for mystics and enlightened people generally.

So, Jesus Christ, or at least, his human side [called "Jesus," while "Christ" was the "name" or title of his spiritual (divine) side] was rebuking the lower side of his human nature. This was the fear-nature, called, "Satan."

The human part of a person, plus her lower animal-nature, and, lowest of all, her fear-nature, altogether are collectively called the "lower nature."

Since Jesus was both "true God and true man," his human side did indeed have a fear-nature, and it was his job-- the same assignment we all possess-- to get it into subjection by, and under the control of, his higher nature (spiritual nature or Love-nature). And he had, at times, to wrestle with this fear-nature-- especially when contemplating his manner of voluntary death by the nightmarish, ghastly, horribly painful crucifixion.

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