Discovering its limitations, I left Christianity and went East to Yoga and eventually Buddhism, and when I returned to my native religion I came in through the back door and discovered the Mystical back room of Christianity that has been sealed off from the congregation. Instead of separation from God, nature and myself, the message was now unity with myself. My exile was over.
When you heat Christianity, the ice of tribalism melts, but you have to leave the ice field in order to find the flowers.
The teaching of Jesus is like a Zen Koan. One has to penetrate it, become the teaching, become his words until you are speaking them a Jesus speaks them. But in the orthodox teaching there is an infinite gap between you and God, you and Jesus. And this gap reinforces your sense of separation for God and yourself…you are God and God is you. You are God discovering Himself, always surprised.
The teaching of Jesus, not the image or form or person of Jesus as an object both in history in in y our mind is present as a puzzle, a spiritual Down. You go to the Master and ask: Am I God or Not? The Master says MU! (which means NO, but a NO that is not NO but just a hammer blow to the question itself. That hammer blow that smashed the question and the pain of separation, and the exile is Jesus when Jesus is your voice, you true nature that transcends the Me versus World.
Jesus is MU! Jesus is that which is before your parents were born. Jesus Christ is your true Self..the Self that has no second, the Buddha Nature that is prior to all the many forms of nature.
The same with Eckhart Tolle, or any other non-dual teaching. When first encountered the Tolle teaching is about something, about you, about all these new concepts like Presence and the NOW. One is still in the conceptual mind but with a new road map.
But as one practices Tolle, listening to the talks over and over, a gradual shit occurs from the objective (Tolle teaching being form) to the Subjective and the Tolle teaching begins to speak you. Je Suis Tolle. You begin to speak the teaching, not as a teacher informing others, but as your own own living word.
Now you are reading and being between the lines of the teaching and its concepts. You become the space between the words and thoughts; you become the emptiness where you and Tolle are ONE.
The teaching leads you out of the duality of the teaching where the teacher, the teaching, and one being taught are one. And yet you are still separate from Tolle. The form is the teaching, the emptiness is its source, the one source that has no second.
Eastern teachings are from the East, and we live in the West, and it is not easy, certainly most difficult, to switch cultural paradigms and ways of viewing reality itself. It’s like a plastic overlay map on the natural terrain of our birth culture. Each map by itself does not cover everything, but in our choosing mind we think it must be either Christianity or Eastern traditions. That is not true.
In our own quest, we have to discover a new world view that contains both maps, that which works for us that harmonizes both cultures, both views, since both have valid truths.
Each of just must become a hybrid that integrates the ambiguity of the two world views. By holding and harmonizing the tension our lives becomes vibrant and always questioning, always growing, always alive to the mystery of Now.
When Jesus Christ is made into a person, a form, a thing in history, instead of being a quest, Jesus becomes an idol, a fixed center around which we stave off change and mystery.