I just read one of Mary Luck’s posts and I’ve been reflecting a bit on the general topic about how people perceive me when I mention I listen to the reincarnated Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ. Honestly if I heard myself say that a few years back, my immediate reaction would be that I’m nuts, or at least temporary deluded. That’s exactly the thought I had when my friend Yvette said it. The problem was I knew her to not be nuts prior to her saying this to me, so I thanked her for saying it, told her I could imagine it was difficult to admit that, and I was left perplexed. I had to go and resolve this welling contradiction – on the one hand Yvette is nuts but on the other I know her not to be nuts. She can’t be both nuts and not nuts at the same time, right?
So I went the next day to Google to ask for the facts. I read some stuff about these guys being delusional, went to the old website of divinetruth.com and it just seemed to be a bunch of
documents of conversations (a very quick look btw), and then I came across a scratchy youtube clip of AJ. I started watching it and honestly I was ready to expose this dude as a fraud and go back to Yvette with some concrete logical facts about why he’s not worth listening to.
I had this concept I was developing too about what coherence is. Basically I figured that people who are coherent would be aligned in how they speak, act, appear and feel. In contrast less coherent people
would say one thing but their mannerisms / body language and dress would be out of kilt for example. The classic one would be if a guy in an Armani suit was criticising people being materialistic – there’s
not much coherence going on there, so you’d want to be careful about the rest of his claims generally.
I suppose I wanted to create a framework for myself and others to filter out manipulating “gurus” from those who would offer valuable insights. At the time, I was sick of the gurus out there telling
people what they want to hear to get something in return – often money or just fame, recognition etc etc. I thought of myself as a bit of a guru crusher (in my own mind anyway). What a great opportunity then to but my theories to the test and crush a new guru, this one even thinks he’s Jesus – at least something like that was going in in my head back then.
To analyse myself a bit, I was mostly jealous I didn’t have people listening to me, so I had this air of arrogance covering all that. It’s still with me somewhat, but at least I know much more about my real feelings, which is a blessing for me (oh and others!).
Anyway, watching AJ on Youtube I put him to my guru crushing test, assuming he’d fail… but he didn’t fail, so I watched more, then more and still he didn’t fail, he was very coherent and he actually made a lot of sense – oops, that’s going to be a problem, I thought, what now? Should I take all this stuff seriously?
I decided I wouldn’t take it too seriously, what I’d do instead is just trial the things he’s talking about like start to feel my emotions, start toying with the idea that God is an entity, no harm
done I figured. I’ll just see how that affects my outlook and based on that, I’d then come back to this claim about whether he’s Jesus or not. So that’s what I did and I’m still doing that and its three years later.
Anyway to be honest no, I haven’t resolved the question about whether or not they are Jesus and Mary of the first century? I can’t say for certain I even know there was a Jesus and Mary to begin with, although there’s a fair amount of evidence outside of the Bible to suggest the truth of that. Frank O’Collins of Ucadia (http://ucadia.com/) is a good start, with this short article: http://one-faith-of-god.org/about/about_christianity_did_jesus_exist.asp
But I know this, I’m not listening to a mad man and woman, well at least they’re far less mad than anyone else I’ve yet come into contact with and I have observed AJ (having more interaction with him) to be one the most down to earth and kind people that I know. Feeling-wise, I mean I still intellectualise my feelings, but that aside, I feel their claim is sincere too.
I can understand the average Joe thinking I’ve got a screw loose in someways. When I say average Joe, I’m talking about the same people that wouldn’t question things like the idea we live in a real democracy or that we’re actually in an economic free market (without influence). These people for whatever reason, take the stance of conventional wisdom and I can see why, given its the majority and it’s how mainstream news presents facts. This is a generalisation mind you, I actually don’t see people as cookie cutouts, but for explanation purposes, what baffles me are those in the opposite spectrum – those that don’t prescribe to the mainstream view of the world.
For example, I meet a few people recently that talk about an alien Galactic Federation in the same way a person would mention the labour or liberal party (in Australia). They would talk about what’s
happening with different alien races, how they have differing opinions about our current events and so on. Whether this is true or not, its talked about as a given. Many would see that as being way “out there”. So by contrast, what I found interesting was the polite quiteness when I broached the subject of AJ and Mary (aka Jesus and Mary Magdalene). Was that a subject too “out there” for the “out there”?. Perhaps it’s the same dynamic where if we cross over the bounds of a person’s accepted beliefs, a person’s ability to be open – closes down. There’s that term “cognitive dissonance” that describes this phenomena well.
A classic illustration of cognitive dissonance is expressed in the fable The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop (ca. 620–564 BCE). In the story, a fox sees some high-hanging grapes and wishes to eat them. When the fox is unable to think of a way to reach them, he decides that the grapes are probably not worth eating, with the justification the grapes probably are not ripe or that they are sour (hence the common phrase “sour grapes”). This example follows a pattern: one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one’s dissonance by criticizing it. Jon Elster calls this pattern “adaptive preference formation”
If I was to be honest though, a lot also has to do with the way I present things. When I feel, wrongly or rightly that there will be a level of antagonism to what I’m going to be saying, I’m the one that shuts down, I can’t talk openly and honesty, in fact I’m in a position of fear before I even set of with certain topics. So come to think about it, such situations are really a good tool for me to start reflecting on myself, rather than so much on others capacity to hear me.