Spiritual Awakening 2 – Expected Outcomes

As a hypnotist, having identified the weakness of the existing hypnotherapeutic process in dealing with hatefulness, I started researching brotherly love, and therefore the teachings of Jesus Christ.

What I found, I confess, touched me.  And toward hypnotherapy I also found a few gems.  But there was a gap.

Because Christ’s instruction was, “Love your neighbor as yourself.  Turn the other cheek.  If you would be perfect, sell everything you own, give the money to the poor, and follow me.”

Now, you know that when Christ taught, he would have gotten this question–

Excuse me — Rabbi.  I have a problem.  My neighbor?  He’s a schmuck.  He kicks my dog.  He steals my cows.  He grabs my wife’s ass.  I’m willing to love him:  but how?

— he would have fielded that question a lot.  And you know that he would have had a reply to it; but nobody wrote it down.

So, the question became, “How does one cultivate brotherly love?”  And I started looking around for a process.

The process I found, eventually, was a Buddhist practice called metta meditation.  It was similar:  the purpose of metta meditation is the cultivation of lovingkindness.

I adapted this Buddhist meditation to Christianity, which means that I practiced it as I imagined a first-century Christian might have.  As a hypnotist, I presume that, just we all have different bodies that are more or less the same, we all have different psyches that are more or less the same.  So a process that works for a Buddhist will work for an early Christian, and one that works for an early Christian will work for a modern secular hypnotist.

And this was effective in changing my outlook toward people.  I had compassion toward people bad people, even when they wanted to hurt me.  I developed the sense, after about a year of hobbyist-level practice, that I had Made It:  that I had gotten what I was after; that I was saved.

–I can’t even tell you what that means, but I had the definite sense that it was important and not bullshit.  And I had the overwhelming feeling of relief, as if I was in line for a lifeboat on the Titanic and, counting ahead, had determined that there would be a seat for me.

Then, a few months after that, something really weird happened:

I started to feel that there was a little creature growing inside me, in my heart.  Really, it was my heart.  And this creature was incredibly valuable:  more important than my own life.

I sort-of had a sense what this was, from reading the lunatic science fiction of Philip K. Dick.  But I didn’t really focus on it until later, when I was hoboing around the States, and sat in on a Baptist sermon where the preacher described the ‘new man’ of the gospel.

The new man was a creature that early Christians felt grow inside them.  Modern Christians don’t much anymore.  When I talked to the pastor (not the same man who spoke) after the sermon, and told him I had one of those, what was happening was clear to him–

That I was crazy.

–Because, after all, he was more Christian than I was.  He had the certificates on his wall to prove it.  And he hadn’t grown a new man.  And none of his friends, who were also all more Christian than I was, and had certificates and were not hobos, also hadn’t grown one.

This used to be a standard part of the Christian experience.  Why don’t Christians grow new men anymore?

Published on September 21, 2010 at 9:08 am  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I can’t see how you can say that no one ever wrote down Jesus’s answer to the sucky neighbour question, for that is exactly what he does in Luke 10:25-37. Also Matthew 5:38ff. Cultivating brotherly love is easy. It’s cultivating love for everyone else that’s hard.

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