In this volume, Jesus sets the record straight regarding a number of events in his life. He tells us: "I was born to a simple woman in a barn. She was no more a virgin than your mother was." Moreover, the virgin birth was not the only myth surrounding his life and teaching. So were the concepts of vicarious atonement and physical resurrection. Relentlessly, the master tears down the rigid dogma and hierarchical teachings that obscure his simple message of love and forgiveness. He encourages us to see him as an equal brother who found the way out of suffering by opening his heart totally. "The power of love will make miracles in your life as wonderful as any attributed to me," he tells us. "Your birth into this embodiment is no less holy than mine. The love that you extend to others is no less important than the love I extend to you."
Reader Comments About this Book
I have been a student in a esoteric school of The Fourth Way Traditions for 20 years now. This system was developed by Geroge Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky and is, in many ways, connected to esoteric Christianity.
I was in a bookstore in San Diego County putting the School's bookmarks in books related to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (one of the ways we attract students) when my hand just reached out and grabbed your book from a nearby table and there was a certain emotional sense that I needed to buy it and I did. Reading this book has profoundly deepened my understanding of the issues of self vs. self- betrayal. I greatly appreciate the openness, the clarity and simplicity of expression in this and other Paul Ferrini books which I have purchased since.
Our school stresses the immense importance of presence in the moment and that no real work can occur in sleep. Your gentle words have helped me to understand a broader why for this. While I can't put into words the deepening understandings that continue to come my way through your writings, I do want to offer you my heartfelt thanks for your work.
Thank you for the books that you sent me through your Books In Prison program. They have brought many blessings to me and given me important tools to use on my new journey.
We are developing a network here in the prison using your books. Much love in the Spirit.
Excerpts from Miracle of Love
A teaching lives only to the extent that people understand it and live it. It is like a musical composition. It doesn't come alive until someone performs it.
Performances can be wide ranging in their accuracy and inspiration. Those who are deeply moved by a piece, understand all aspects of it, and have the skills to play it, will give the best performance. They in turn will inspire others to listen and to play.
When I lived, my words and my deeds were congruent. I understood deeply. I spoke simply and clearly. My actions were consistent with my words. That is why people were moved by what I had to say.
When you understand my teaching and practice it in your daily life, you will be a beacon for others. Through you, my teaching will come alive. Through your life, I will live.
This is my second coming. I will not come again in a physical body. I will come through your heart/mind and your life as you attune to me, just as I have always done.
There was a time when I had twelve apostles. Now I have thousands.
Every time a person turns to me in complete surrender, he becomes my instrument. Through his hands and heart I work to spread love in the world. Every time a person releases her grievances and offers forgiveness to others and to herself, I stand at her side. I am the one who holds her in my arms and comforts her. I am the one who bows with her at the feet of the invisible God.
My disciples practice love and forgiveness every day. They are not perfect in their practice. But they are sincere. They make mistakes, come to recognize those mistakes, and endeavor to learn from them.
My disciples are wise, but they do not parade their wisdom. They do not seek to attract attention to themselves, but work to empower others in their thoughts, their speech and their actions.
No church or temple can bring you to me until you are ready. And when you are ready, you do not need another to intercede in your behalf with me. You have only to ask, and I will be there for you.
Unlike many whom you know, I am not fickle. I do not come and go away from you. Even when you reject me and call me names, I do not stop loving you or cease to see your greatness. For I have learned from my Father and Mother how to love without ceasing, and how to give without expecting anything in return.
When you are ready, you too will learn. If you are turning these pages, that time may be now. I welcome you, brother or sister. As you open to the truth herein, that truth will open in you.
Words and concepts will not open your heart. Only love can open your heart.
I am writing this to set the record straight. It is nearly 2,000 years since my birth and my teaching, which was once like a raging stream, has shrunk to barely a trickle of water. You have rationalized me and put me in my place: an exalted place perhaps, but a distant one. You have placed me above you where I will not challenge you. By making me a deity, an only son of God, you excuse yourself from having to live up to my example. Yet my example is the heart of my teaching. If you do not try to emulate me, what is the meaning of your belief in me?
Mine is not an intellectual teaching. It is a practical one. "Love your neighbor" is not an abstract, intricate concept. It is a simple, compelling idea that invites you to practice. I did not invite you to an evening of discourse and argument. I did not ask you to profess or debate the scriptures. I asked you to do what you find so difficult to do: to go beyond your limited concept of self. Any of the practices I gave to you will keep you busy for a lifetime. Although they are simple to understand, their challenge lies in the practice.
If I died for your sins, then there is nothing left for you to do. Why then not ascend to heaven on the strength of your belief in me?
I will tell you why. Because, in spite of your belief, you are not happy. You are not at peace. That is because you have placed me outside of yourself. You have put me above you, where I cannot touch you.
Take me down from the pedestal, my brother or sister, and place me at your side, where I belong. I am your absolute, unconditional equal. What I have done, you too will do, and more. You will not be saved by my thoughts and actions, but by your own. Except you become the Christ, peace will not come to the world. If you would see me as king, then king must you yourself be.
Do not put this distance between us, for I am no different from you. Whatever you are — a beggar or thief, a holy man or a king — that I am too. There is no pedestal I have not been lifted upon, nor any gutter I have not lain in. It is only because I have touched the heart of both joy and pain that I can walk through the doors of compassion.
I was born to a simple woman in a barn. She was no more a virgin than your mother was. You make her special for the same reason that you make me special: to put distance between us, to claim that what I did you cannot do.
If my life has any meaning to you at all, you must know that I do not claim a special place. Neither Mary nor I is more spiritual than you. We are like you in every way. Your pain is our pain. Your joy is our joy. If this were not true, we could not come to teach.
Do not hold us at arm's length. Embrace us as your equal. Mary could have been your mother. I could have been your son.
Love Is Our Teacher
Whoever you are, whatever your life looks like, know that our understanding and compassion reach to you. It is impossible for you to be in a place that we have not experienced, a place to which the hand of love and compassion does not reach.
We have entered every darkness the soul can fathom. But the light of truth lives even in the darkest of places. There is no such thing as total absence of light. Darkness cannot exist except in reference to the light. No matter how great your pain, it is measured in the degree to which you feel the love's absence or loss. All darkness is a journey toward light. All pain is a journey toward love without conditions.
That is why you are here: to enter the darkness you perceive in yourself and others and to find the light which lives there. Once you find the light, no matter how tiny or insignificant it seems, your life will never be the same. A light bearer never questions the light s/he carries. And so s/he can offer it to others patiently and without fear.
You who seek converts in my name, know that your actions betray your own fear. For love is gentle and kind. It gives without thought of return. It does not ask people to change, but accepts them as they are. No one can minister in my name and withhold love and acceptance. S/he who offers love with conditions, no matter what those conditions are, takes my name in vain.
You must recognize your own fallibility, as I was forced to recognize mine. When you make up the rules, love is constricted or denied. No one is as great as Love, not you or I. And it is to Love that both of us must bow. Love is and will always be our teacher. Will we be its students and learn what it has to teach us? Or will we insist on writing the syllabus and interpreting the text?
The Jewish Perspective
As you know, I am a Jew. When you are a Jew, you do not stop being a Jew and become a Christian. You remain always a Jew. And if you are a true Jew, then you are always asking questions of God. You are always pushing God to the limits. Every day when a Jew prays, s/he asks God "Why?", knowing that God alone has the answers. It is blasphemous when a Jew thinks that s/he knows, for only God knows. At best we have a glimpse of the mystery.
If you wish to follow my teaching, you must first fulfill the Jewish part of your Judeo-Christian legacy. You must know that God has the answers, not you or I. You must submit to life as it unfolds, knowing that there is a purpose, even if you cannot see it.
As a Jew, your attitude must never be full of pride or the pretension of knowing. You must always say "No matter what I seem to know, God knows more than I. God is mysterious. No matter how hard I try, I cannot fathom the Divine way. At best I can have experiences of grace and glimpses of the divine plan. I am the student. God is the teacher. More than that: God is my teacher. He maketh me to lie down beside still waters. He restoreth my soul."
A s a Jew, you must have a relationship with God. And it must be a respectful relationship.
Many Christians think that they have my ear and therefore they do not have to dialogue with God. They think they can have me and dispense with God. But it is not true. Without God, I am nothing. It is precisely because I dwell in respect and rapture at the feet of God that I am able to extend the divine blessing to you.
My friends, especially those of you who call yourself Christians, understand that when it comes to God and Jesus, only one of us is dispensable, and I assure you it is not God. You do not need me to come to God. You need only come to the Divine with boundless love and respect. You need only come with a sincere desire to learn. That is how I approached God and that is how you too must approach the Divine, whether or not you believe in me.
You Christians place far too much emphasis on your belief in me. I say, forget me, and remember your Creator. Then, you will be remembering me by your example, not just by your words. If you know me in your hearts, you know that I am not much for words. Show me what you believe not just through your words, but through your actions.
Deeds Not Words
My whole life is about practice. Anyone who practices being loving returns to the divine home. It does not matter what path s/he takes or what s/he calls it. No one way is better than another. You will not get home faster if you believe in me than you will if you believe in Krishna or Buddha. The man or woman who loves the most makes the most progress. That is the simple truth.
Religions, sects, dogmas are nothing but obstacles on the journey home. Anyone who thinks he has the one and only truth builds his house on quicksand. It will not take long before he discovers that his pride, narrow-mindedness, and lack of tolerance toward others were the cause of his undoing.
If you are a loving person, does it matter if you are Jewish, or Muslim, or Taoist? That love expresses itself regardless of what you believe. The language of love is not a language of words. You may use words, but love does not depend on the words that you use. A few simple words and a heartfelt gesture are enough to convey your acceptance and celebration of another person.
Words and concepts will not open your heart. Only love can open your heart. When you open to the love that is available to you and extend it freely to others, the words that you need will be given to you. You will not have to struggle to know what to say or to do.
When love is in your heart, the path opens before you. Actions flow spontaneously from you. There is no self-consciousness, ambivalence, or deliberation. For these are not the qualities of love. Love is unconditional and direct. It always finds the beloved, even when she is hiding.