Brian Wilcox. 'River at Sunset~Androscoggin River Series~no. 25'
Jesus spoke, "... Days are coming when you'll look for me, and you won't find me anywhere."
*Gospel of Thomas, Saying 38
Jesus told them, "Without a doubt, if you don't eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you'll not have Life in you."
*Gospel of John 6.23
* * *
A Christian inquired of the Sage...
I'm trying to find out how to get closer to Jesus. I feel I've come to a dead-end in my worship of him.
Very good?! How can that be good?
Your heart is inviting you to a feast.
I'm not into that like some Christians. I don't go to a church where they kneel at an altar to get Jesus in bread and wine from a priest.
You've enjoyed devotion to Jesus; now, eat him. No priest can give you any of Jesus you can't receive without a priest, without anyone. Jesus didn't create rituals and all the resultant confusion that keep persons from him being fully available to them, everywhere and anywhere.
And what does this mean, then, "eat Jesus"?
Stop worshipping Jesus as separate from you, treating him as an object you adore. You keep him at a distance. Many Christians feel safe keeping Jesus at a distance. They enjoy celebrating him in words, but hold him afar, crowded out by doctrine, ritual, prayers, spiritual exercises, and so forth. Jesus quoted in the Gospel of Mattew from the Book of Isaiah, "These people venerate me with the lips while their hearts are far from me...." Become intimate with Jesus, like when you eat something, and it enters you, and you and it become one.
* * *
Possibly the most significant challenge in devotional spirituality is releasing whom one worships as object-of-worship. Jesus, for example, leads beyond the form, or man, Jesus. He knew this, for he not once in the Gospels of the Christian Scriptures informed anyone to worship him. He never claimed to be God; he referred to God as "my Father." Once, he spoke to his followers, referring to the Father as "my God and your God." Regardless, most Christians worship Jesus-the-man as God.
I am not saying the adoration of Jesus or other objects-of-worship is wrong. A form can prepare one for the Formless, even as Jesus is the way for many to the Father.
* * *
We see this move into the Formless in Buddhism. Buddhists teach the three kayas (or, bodies), or three Buddha bodies.
(1) The Nirmanakaya, or Emanation Body, corresponds with Jesus-as-man. This kaya is seen by many to apply to buddhas, or enlightened beings, who manifests on Earth to help us. A buddha does not have to be a Buddhist and may not be known by others as a buddha-being. We could say there are many buddhas, many christs, walking among us. The historical Buddha, who is the wellspring of Buddhism today, would be of this kaya. Another way of viewing this kaya is Spirit manifesting in matter. Matter reveals Spirit, or Spirit manifests as matter. The world is revelation. A rock, a leaf, the wind, a fingernail, the iris in your eye... everything expresses the subtle and the Source. This kaya, again, corresponds with Jesus for, "And the Word became flesh." Jesus was a finger pointing to the Moon, a love-letter from the Lover.