Sunday, April 04, 2010

Resurrection: Beyond Words, Dogmas, and All Possible Theological Formulations

Continuing with The Wild Reed’s special Holy Week 2010 series, I share today, Easter Sunday, a sixth excerpt from Andrew Harvey’s 1998 book, Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ.


It was as the “Son of Man” [and not as some omniscient divine “savior” figure] . . . that Jesus undertook the journey that opened onto the splendor of resurrection. Like any other divine human being who wants to become one with the Kingdom beyond time and invoke its transfiguring power into the heart of reality and so into the heart of every thought, action, belief, and every cell of living matter, Jesus had to trust in the darkness, surrender to death after death, risk everything and suffer everything again and again.

Knowing this – and daring to face this – is what makes Jesus’ achievement devastating to all of our comfortable sense of human “fallibility” and “limits”; if Jesus is a divine human being like ourselves, what is to stop us from joining him in the undying but our cowardice, laziness, incapacity for surrendering, and unbelief? And with Jesus alive in every atom of the universe in eternal light and one with the highest aspiration of every soul and one with the divine now forever – but also turned toward us always as supreme friend, brother, lover, most generous, humble, and least authoritarian guide – what excuse do we have not to take our journey also through Gethsemane and Golgotha to the body ablaze with light outside the empty tomb?

It must be clear by now that I accept the resurrection as a mystical fact; this is where I part company from many of the modern historical scholars whose work I have learned so much from and whose scholarship I admire. The deepest learning and the wisest mind can never understand the mystery of the resurrection; it cannot, in fact, be “understood,” only known and experienced, beyond words, dogmas, all possible theological formulations, by the humbled and mystically awoken heart and through direct divine grace. Until all Christians dare to accept this, there will be endless empty tragicomic “discussion” and “argument.” But accepting this means accepting the entire mystical dimension of Christ’s life, teaching, and death and taking up his undying challenge to us all to realize in more and more daring and radical ways our divine identity.

Until we have begun to live directly and taste and inwardly experience our divine identity, the resurrected Cosmic Christ cannot be known; only by daring to try and “Christ” ourselves can the universal Christ be discovered inside and around us.

– Andrew Harvey
Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ
Pp 84-85

NEXT: The Cosmic Christ: Brother, Lover, Friend, Divine and Gentle Guide

For previous installments of this series, see
Jesus: Path-blazer of Radical Transformation
The Essential Christ
One Symbolic Iconoclastic Act
One Overwhelming Fire of Love
The Most Dangerous Kind of Rebel

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Passion of Christ (Part 11): Jesus Appears to Mary / “You Will See Him”
The Passion of Christ (Part 12): Jesus Appears to His Friends / Not Metaphor, Not Guilty Revision . . . But Something Else
Jesus Lives!
The Triumph of Love: An Easter Reflection
Light of Christ (Easter 2008)
He is Risen! (Easter 2007)
Easter Reflections
A Girl Named Sara: “A Person of the Resurrection”


Mareczku said...

Easter Blessings to you, Michael. Thank you for all you do and share with us here.

In the peace of the Resurrected Christ - Mark

colkoch said...

Happy Easter Michael. This has been an outstanding series. I absolutely have to get this book.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Hi Mark and Colleen,

Happy Easter to you both, and to all my Wild Reed readers!