Thursday, August 09, 2007

Jesus' Transfiguration


The "Mount of Transfiguration" was not a phrase used by Jesus, but was a later description used by others. This describes an event in the Gospel accounts of the Life of Jesus. This is perhaps a symbolic or representative account of a radical shift in the mind (consciousness) of Jesus.

In a clearly altered state of consciousness, Jesus was granted a vision one night upon a mountain. In the vision, he was apparently glowing, which is a symbol of the interior Light. He apparently encountered several light-phenomena. In the vision, he saw two beings who were later interpreted to be "Moses" and "Elijah," two of the more famous "prophets" in the Jewish tradition. So, he was obviously in touch with the profound area of the Superconscious Mind (Lovemind, Godmind, Coremind) called the
akasha. This contains the spacetime history of our world.

Although, historically, there is usually a clear distinction between the visionary and the mystic-- and mystics generally do not "see visions"-- this is a rare synergic unity of a visionary and mystical experience in one single event.

"Transfiguration" means major transformation, transmogrification, or spiritual rebirth. So, this was likely one of the major mystical experiences, of which Jesus experienced many.

This type of experience occurs in the lives of mystics, although not to this extent, or this powerfully, all throughout the spiritual history of every enlightened being. As is often the case, Jesus here is an "archetype," or universal model, of the mystically illuminated kind or type of human being. But why would the experience include encounters with the famous Jewish sages?

Probably because most of his disciples, and, in fact, most of the first early Christians, who would learn of the story and make use and application of it, were from a Jewish genetic, cultural, and geographic background. So, this event, like so much in Jesus' life, was not prepared for only Jesus, but for his followers as well. The Jewish historical component was included, not because it was necessary to the spirituality of the event, but because the people of the time could easily relate to the event as deeply "spiritual." For in that situation, culture and history were closely interwoven, in their minds, with spirituality.

It is perhaps historically significant, some literalist scholars point out, that Moses had a breath-taking experience similar to that of Jesus, and so did Elijah. These historians are reasoning from the premise that these accounts represent actual, literal experiences with extraordinary power-- not symbolic events or descriptions. They believe that the same power returned to earth and created the transfigurative experience. This also is a real possibility, but, at this late date in human history, we cannot know the whole story. So, all that we have is speculation.

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