Whilst I’ve been around on Planet Earth, I’ve made quite a mess. How about you?

My name is Monica. It means “counsellor” and I’ve been counselling people one way or another all my life. Counselling is all very well. I’ve tried to be a good one, but maybe it would have been better if I’d just kept my mouth shut! I’ve passed on a lot of stuff that I realise now was wrong. Lots of people like me believe what they’re told and build their lives on it, not realizing there have been “spin doctors” out there for centuries. When they told us the world was flat, we believed it. Whether it is scientists or religious leaders, we swallow what they say – and it can certainly give us constipation (or violent diahorrea!). It’s time for a colon-cleanse. Let’s get rid of the rubbish.

I had a school-teacher called Miss Warren. She was lovely, and she taught me what she had been taught. Surrounded by other 5-6 year olds, I listened to the story of the crucifixion and it broke my heart. I wept for that man I loved – and I love him still.

Regularly, we children crossed the playground under the lime trees, into the old church where we had our weekly service. Once I read the lesson. I stood on a wooden box to make me tall enough to see over the lectern. I can hear it now word for word…”Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind and with all thy strength. This is the first and great commandment and the second is like unto it, namely this, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’”.

That reading still makes perfect sense to me, but there’s much that I no longer believe. I do believe a very special person lived about 2000 years ago. He taught those close to him what he knew; to others he offered a simpler version of the truth that they might cope with. Few understood him.

They lived in an occupied, war-torn country, their traditions dishonoured and despised. The indigenous people were waiting for a deliverer to rescue them from the Roman invaders, believing the Messiah would be born of two specific family lines –making him both king and priest of the Jews. When he came, they believed, the Romans would leave; the land be restored to them materially and politically and their religious traditions sacred again.

Marriages, then, were arranged. Jesus was of the royal family of David and the line of Aaron through the respective lineages of Joseph and Mary. I wonder who arranged their marriage. It was a perfect opportunity for the awaited Messiah’s birth.

If they thought it acceptable to take whoever they chose and make her pregnant, even if it cost the girl her honour and her life, maybe it’s understandable some men thought God would do the same.

For years, I thought the Bible was a book. Wrong! I discovered it’s a collection of books written by different men of different countries and religions, spanning centuries. There were more, but they got destroyed. A Roman Emperor called together religious leaders and told them which they could keep and which they couldn’t. The Bible is a collection of manuscripts which that Emperor found acceptable. Some of the rest got buried in jars in the desert, but at least we’ve got those he found acceptable.

The thing about learning is that the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know. Wonderful! Exciting! There is so much to learn. Just imagine being able to access information direct from the Originating Source of all that exists. Whatever we call the Source is irrelevant; connecting with it is bliss. Whoever we are, it’s our original source; perhaps that’s why Jesus called it his father, or why he taught his disciples the prayer we’ve come to know as “The Lord’s Prayer”. Every word of that prayer rings true when you listen – it was not original to Jesus, of course. It’s a quotation from an ancient Egyptian manuscript, from where he lived when he was tiny. There was lots of knowledge there and Therapeuts (connected with the Essenes) too, who were experts at healing. They had a centre on the road direct into Egypt from Judea. I wonder if he stayed there – and for how long.

I hope he was happy. When someone called him the Son of God, Jesus’ response was, “What are you calling me that for?” He pointed out that, in their scriptures, it was written that they were all gods. He was a special person, this Jesus; he knew what he was talking about. He even said to his countrymen, “Well, Moses told you that….but I’m telling you this” and updated the teaching – more lovingly. How brave! He lived by his own truth. He taught people at the level of their ability to understand and, with his nearest and dearest, he practiced mystical spirituality that was deeply empowering and can still be felt across the centuries.

The church has never been comfortable with astrology but it’s strange they accept “wise men” who brought gifts for Jesus’ birth. The Magi were led to Jesus by the star. I’ve worked for astronomers and I can assure you astronomers don’t deduce births from star positions. Astrologers do.

Maybe it’s all about being unlimited by the physical world around us and knowing, sensing and feeling our connection to the supreme life-force pulsing through everything that exists. Jesus knew it and lived it. So can we.

With the help of others, Jesus enacted the relevant, ancient prophecies pronouncing his status but said his kingdom was not of this world.

He was arrested, tried (against the rules) overnight and crucified the following morning.
People would have expected him to survive longer. Given some “vinegar” to drink on a sponge, he became unconscious. Because the following day was a feast day when it was unacceptable to have crucified people around, it was announced he and those with him should have their legs broken so that they couldn’t support their weight and would suffocate. When they checked, he appeared dead, so his legs remained unbroken, but a soldier stuck a spear into his side and blood and water gushed out.

Removed from the cross, he was placed in a specially prepared tomb. There, enormous amounts of healing herbs were taken to “embalm” him. When his women relatives came to the tomb later, he had vanished. The tomb was open; the grave clothes were there, but he was not, and white-robed messengers said he’d risen from the dead and they’d see him later, which they did.

Some of his group didn’t believe it. They thought the women had gone mad. Then, Thomas saw Jesus, who said he wasn’t a ghost and to feel the wound in his side to prove it. Thomas did. Jesus shared their company in the following weeks and then left. Who knows how long he lived in that body or where! I, for one, am sure that, in a physical body or out of one, he still maintained that wonderful unity with the Divine Source that is the essence of all that exists.

The Christian church that men formed after his death has put its own “spin” on the story, but he said, “The Kingdom of God is within you” and it is there, in the inner reaches of our Real Self, that we are wrapped in the Love and the Light of this wonderful Friend.

We all have our own spiritual awareness, and every one of us is connected to that Originating Source that Jesus called his father. We could agree to overcome our differences by honouring our own truth at the same time as honouring each other’s. Nothing need stop us from saying, “That is their way, but it is not my way. I believe such and such, and those people believe something different. We all have a right to honour the wonderful truths that fill our hearts, especially when it enables us to live peacefully, loving our neighbours as ourselves.”

ACCORD is the Association for the Cross-Cultural Overcoming of Religious Differences. It is a “virtual” association. It has no membership fees. It connects heart-to-heart, and all you have to do to join is to decide that it’s right for you. You make ACCORD what it is by living love. Some years ago, I was inspired with the idea of such an organisation, and then given the name of it. I thought it a great name – and then I was shown what the letters stood for. I hope you are as impressed as I was. I wrote to a lot of people “in high places” about the idea – and received only one reply. If you are interested in being in ACCORD, perhaps you might like to write to me. Who knows what a difference it could make to us, or to the world!

Author's Bio: 

Monica Underwood, Dip.Es.Sci. & Astrol., Dip.P.Hyp., offers counseling in Spirituality and Professional Hypnotherapy.