In response to multiple comments in social media recently, the Meusio founder, Muktaihin Joseph Perez has written the following statement:
* * *
Anyone repeating the “Joe thnks he’s Jesus” or “Joe thinks he’s a partial reincarnation of Jesus” lines would do well to remember the 9th commandment: thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Or, more precisely, one should not commit libel through half-truths and the omission of salient context.
There was nothing totally new in my August 2018 blog posts (“The Mystery of God, Parts 1 -3”) regarding my relationship to Jesus: the fact is, I have openly and publicly wondered about it since I was 30 years old (when I first experienced the mystical union known as God-consciousness) or 33 years old (when I wrote Soulfully Gay and experienced the mystical state called Christ-consciousness upon recovering my repressed memories of God-consciousness). It is more or less very old news. Soulfully Gay came out in 2007, with a Foreword by Ken Wilber at http://www.kenwilber.com/blog/show/92.
Honestly, I don’t talk about this topic a lot because the issues involved are too complicated for most people to grasp and many people come from mythic systems — I prefer the term synthetic-membership systems — with strongly held views of Jesus Christ that I cannot hope to change through a single conversation. Nevertheless, I repeated these facts as recently as this summer in an interview with Lynn Fuentes in the “Koan of Illness” series, which recounts the very difficult situation I found myself in at the time.
What was new in the first blog post in “The Mystery of God” is that while I was traveling in Alaska I temporarily suffered a major manic episode while simultaneously encountering extraordinary psychic and subtle phenomena which I believe actually jeopardized my mental health and physical existence. In a panic, I expressed myself in a “manic” fashion befitting that particular state of consciousness from the airport. A few hours later, I was hospitalized and treated with an antipsychotic medication and antibiotics (for pneumonia). A few days later, after I had completely returned to a pretty ordinary, non-major manic state, I “walked back” the blog post several times.
Nevertheless, the ignorance of crowds is profound. Some idiots (may I say something very un-Jesus-like please?) never read the fine print or the context or the caveats; they simply say “Joe thinks he’s Jesus” to mock me, hate on me, look down on me, or encourage other people to disregard me. “He’s lost all credibility” said one particularly foolish person, apparently oblivious to the fact that I built my authorial career on a book telling the story of my attempt to grapple with Christian spirituality and mental illness.
So, within a few short months the sequel to Soulfully Gay will be released: The Worldview Artist. It’s a new autobiography from birth to the present day with an emphasis on events happening in the last 13 years. Let me share what The Worldview Artist will say as the capstone for this topic. It’s not completely final yet, but it will probably be very close to this draft statement:
I believe the Second Coming of Christ is primarily a collective phenomenon related to the evolution of Kosmic Consciousness (thinkers from Teilhard deChardin to Jim Marion to Wayne Teasdale have influenced my thinking in this regard); secondarily, it is probably also an individual process involving multiple individuals all of whom share a genetic bond to Jesus of Nazareth through their ancestry, and it may be focused on one or more (I suspect several) individuals, some of whom may have been recently alive or may still be alive in our time.
Although I cannot prove it, I believe I know the identity of one such person. Based on information from two angels, there was a woman who died in 2006 who had the makings of a Christ Return. Regrettably, she never fully accepted her Christ-hood because she was a pragmatic thinker with inclinations to atheism. Feel free to take this information with a grain of salt if it strikes you as bizarre. I wouldn’t even mention it, but I believe it’s important to say in print for someone who will read this in the future and she will know who she is.
I suspect, but do not know, that I might share some part of a non-exclusive connection to Jesus through my ancestry. Although like most Latinos I am primarily Native American and Iberian, I may carry some DNA related to Jesus through my North African or European family lineage. Persons who carry the DNA of Jesus may have mystical experiences of a “Jesus connection” that are particularly intense and may even awaken spiritual communications from saintly or angelic or jinn sources as a result. None of this is to imply that persons without a DNA connection to Jesus are any less capable of experiencing the perfect love or a soteriological relationship with Jesus Christ, not in the least.
Furthermore, I am one of a very small percentage of people who seem to have shared both deep mystical union with Christ and simultaneous psychotic states of consciousness. Contrary to what most non-Christians and even some Christians would imagine, such experiences were not especially ones of unusual grandiosity or narcissism. Some were experiences of universal love and compassion for all sentient beings. Some were deep experiences of union with Yahweh. Some were extraordinary experiences of (I think) miracles. And some were terrible encounters of profound, not-yet-redeemed suffering. These include experiences that I described (in Soulfully Gay) as Kosmic Terror, Kosmic Horror, and Kosmic Torture. I don’t claim that I am interpreting these experiences perfectly; there’s a lot that’s open to multiple interpretations. In a nutshell, that’s what I know about Christ-Consciousness when it has happened as a temporary state in my life: the good, the beautiful, the weird, and the horrifying. It’s nothing to be proud of; it just is what it is and it isn’t what it isn’t.
If, after hearing this entire explanation, there is still a part of you that wants to know, “This is too complicated an explanation. Put it plainly: do you think you are the Second Coming of Christ, Yes or No?”, then I detect your question comes from presuppositions in a synthetic-membership structure of knowledge. But I will reply in kind with a synthetic-membership reply of my own, plainly spoken: “I honestly don’t know. It’s conceivable that there’s something to what you say, if it’s understood in a non-exclusive sense. If you experienced yourself as temporarily God-like at age 30 in 1999, upon the Eve of the Millennium when many evangelicals predicted the Second Coming to occur, and then you encountered yourself as temporarily Christ-like at age 33, the so-called “Jesus year”, and later you had the life I’ve had, what would you think?”