Beyond Awakening Q&A – Part Two

Ed asks: Whether Jesus Christ is mythical or a historical fact or even both, isn’t he the very model of the task that lies ahead for all of us in our evolving?

A:I’d have to say no, and here’s why. Which Jesus are we talking about – the one who counsels to turn the other cheek, or the one who rails against the moneylenders? And from which of the gospels? Especially when they contradict one another.

The point here isn’t to start any biblical debates, but to say that we’re all lost as soon as we look to any single being as our model. The world needs each of us to show up in our own unique and powerful way. One of us might need to bring new theories to the world, while another must only dance. The actual best model, I suggest, is the person we already know ourselves to be, but perhaps haven’t yet fully embodied.

Eric asks: Is there a universal criteria for what is moral not based on ‘belief’ but on root emotivity that isn’t just being wafted around by passing moods and feelings but is rather connected to the Divine through the human emotional body that has not been bypassed or strategically managed around to avoid pain?

A:Sounds alluring, but I don’t think so. Because, since emotions are so internal and subjective, there’s no way to judge whether any one of us is acting out of avoidance at any particular time. If there is such a universal criteria in the abstract, my sense is that it would always allude we humans in the specific. And all the more so if and when we begin seeing ourselves as able to apply it.


About Raphael Cushnir

Raphael Cushnir is a popular contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine. He has also been a teacher, activist, screenwriter, and film director. His own heart was rekindled after a period of profound grief. His first book, Unconditional Bliss: Finding Happiness in the Face of Hardship, was twice nominated as Best Personal Growth title of the year and introduced the "Living the Questions" process. His second book, Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life, is used as a teaching tool in churches and spiritual centers around the country. His third book, How Now: 100 Ways to Celebrate the Present Moment, was named one of the "Best Spiritual Books of 2005" by Spirituality and Health magazine. Raphael shares his work in talks and workshops worldwide. For more info:;;;
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6 Responses to Beyond Awakening Q&A – Part Two

  1. Helena says:

    I just want to thank you for making yourself so available and to share with us your wisdom and clarity. I have to say that your answers resonate deeply within me. I’m Spanish speaking -from Venezuela- so it is not easy for me to express myself, but I can say THANK YOU!

  2. Lynnet says:

    Raphael, thank you for reminding us to be more OURSELVES rather than to model someone else. I was raised fundamental Christian. I was taught to stop before any and every action and ask, “What would Jesus do?” before acting. The goal was always to model him– this particular church’s interpretation of him, that is.
    The message was that I was not ok as myself. My own desire were from the “flesh,” which meant they were linked with “satan.” Intellectually, I rejected this path long ago. However, this way of being– measuring myself against some fantasy ideal and suppressing what does not match– still rears its ugly head.
    Thank you for calling it out so clearly.
    Blessings, Lynnet

  3. ed says:

    Well, actually, Raphael, I meant that the sum total of what Jesus had to face is what I have to face in its essence rather than the specifics of the story. So, not the model of a person but a model of the path which the Universe/Creation calls for in the evolving. I would have needed to be in Jesus’ sandals (context) to have done it his way…crucifixion and all. Even today we are up against the status quo etc, πŸ™‚

  4. ed says:

    I really wish I could, Raphael…….there is the paradox that you refer to in part1.
    I do think Jesus starts off the same as each of us, awakening, and the process continues even unto physical death, the ultimate awakening. Beyond that ultimate awakening, is where Jesus truly found himself and all that that infers to your requested clarification. We are all sons and daughters of ongoing Creation, awakening and yet dumbing down towards our physical death, the very thing we dumb down for in order to ‘avoid.’ Beyond awakening is one almighty shift when we realise there is nothing to avoid, only our infinite potential. Paradox will not always be with us.

  5. ed says:

    Must add that I don’t place any judgement on ‘dumbing down.’ It’s natural and just my way of expressing it. The real question is, are we supernatural πŸ™‚

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