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In this episode I will show how nonduality underlies Jesus’ ethics. His ethical teachings in the Sermon on the Mount have a pattern. First Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said…” and then he quotes a passage from the Torah. Then he adds, “but I say to you.” Then he give his teaching. In other words he says, “The Bible says this, but I say this.” He was not negating what the Bible said. He was building upon it and completing it. He was fulfilling it. I am going to take each of these sayings in his section of the Sermon on the Mount and see how his teachings reflect a nondual ethic that goes beyond dualistic understandings of right and wrong, us and them. Living in nonduality is entirely different than living by moral rules and laws. When one is aware of the nondual Reality that unites everything, we live naturally out of this nondual nature rather than trying to figure out with our heads what we should do. Paul calls this walking in the Spirit as opposed to obeying the Law. 
In this episode I expound Jesus’ nondual approach to Scripture found in the Sermon on the Mount.
I finished the beatitudes of Jesus in the last episode. I may continue a nondual interpretation of the rest of the Sermon on the Mount in the future, but today I am going to take a break and address another issue, which is related. The issue is: Did Jesus really teach nonduality? I have been asked that on occasion.A few weeks ago I was on a Zoom call with a psychologist who is a listener. He asked about my nondual interpretation of Jesus’ apocalyptic teachings, and I started to expound them the way I normally do. He interrupted and said, “I understand that this is how you interpret it, but is that what Jesus really meant?” That was an important question, and it began a very interesting conversation about the historical Jesus.This was not the first time I have been asked something like that. I was interviewed on a podcast, and the interviewer asked me, “Do you REALLY think Jesus taught nonduality?” I could hear the incredulity in his voice. People have a difficult time believing that Jesus really taught nonduality. And it is right to be skeptical. So I want to address this today.
In this episode I am looking at the eighth and final beatitude in what I am calling the Eightfold Path of Jesus. It says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” It is immediately followed by what some consider a ninth beatitude, but is actually an expansion of the eighth because it deals with the same topic. Jesus simply shifts it from the third person to the second person. He says, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” This is Jesus’ way of making it clear that he is bringing this set of nondual beatitudes to a conclusion and applying them directly to the reader. The topic of this beatitude is persecution. 
Nondual Peacemaking

Nondual Peacemaking


Today I look at the seventh of the nondual beatitudes of Jesus. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” Nondual awareness – unitive awareness – is characterized by peace. Inner peace that promotes outer peace. This is the peace that passes human understanding. It is the peace of God, the peace of Christ, the prince of peace. 



Today I look at the sixth of the eight blessings of Jesus in which he describes nondual awareness. In this one he describes it as pureheartedness. He says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” It so happens that at the present time I am rereading the Ashtavakra Gita, which is one of the classics of Indian nondualism. He talks about “pure of heart” in chapter 17, which I was reading just before I shut off the light to go to sleep last night. It says: “The liberated soul abides in the Self alone and is pure of heart.” That gives us a hint as to what Jesus is talking about when he says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Using similar language Jesus, speaking as the Divine Self, says, “Abide in me and I in you.” When we abide in the True Nature, the separate self dissipates and the Divine Self shines through easily. We are transparent to the presence of God. The smog of the ego clears and we see God.
Nondual Mercy

Nondual Mercy


This episode explores the fifth of the eight nondual beatitudes of Jesus. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” 
Hungry for Rightness

Hungry for Rightness


Today I am looking at the fourth of Jesus’ nondual beatitudes. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” This may be the most important of the eight beatitudes. At least it has been in my life. It is the one consistent characteristic in my search for truth, and it eventually resulted in the shift that is often called spiritual awakening. 
Today I am looking at the third beatitude in Jesus’ eightfold path of nondual awareness. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
In this episode I explore the second beatitude of the Sermon on the Mount from a nondual perspective: Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Nondual Beatitudes

Nondual Beatitudes


Jesus was a teacher of Nonduality. He called it the Kingdom of God. The Sermon on the Mount is the best known and longest sermon by Jesus. So it makes sense that the Sermon on the Mount would be filled with teachings about nonduality. And it is! But this is missed by most Christians because preachers interpret it from the perspective of their dualistic theologies rather than nondual awareness. So today - and for a few episodes at least, I will interpret the Sermon on the Mount as teachings on nonduality.The sermon begins the Beatitudes. These are eight blessings with a ninth that serves as an epilogue. I call it the Eightfold Path of Jesus. The Buddha had an eightfold path, the Christ had an eightfold path. The teachings sound different, but that is only because they are the products of different cultures one Indian and one Jewish. Yet they are both pointing to the same Nondual Reality – whether it is called Nirvana or the Kingdom of Heaven.
In this episode I talk about anxiety and fear. According to recent articles there is an epidemic of anxiety not only in the United States, but in much of the Western world. Addressing fear and anxiety can help us be happier and healthier emotionally, as well as decrease violence in society. Awakening to our true nature and the true nature of reality can eliminate, or at least reduce dramatically, fear and anxiety.   
Consciousness and Love

Consciousness and Love


Christianity tends to focus on love. At least at its best it does. Historically Christianity has too often focused on secondary matters like doctrine, tradition, rituals, rules, or church structure – or at its worst money and power. But the New Testament says God is love, and Jesus said that the spiritual life can be summed up in the two commands to love God and love one’s neighbor. So love is at the heart of Christianity.Nonduality tends to focus on consciousness. It is sometimes summed up in the three words Sat-Chit-Ananda, often translated Being-Consciousness-Bliss. I am not saying love is absent. Love is present in the Buddhist teaching on compassion. But it seems that the nature of consciousness and reality is the main focus. In Christian nonduality I try to show how these two – love and consciousness - are connected, and are in fact one: nondual.  
In Christianity there is a lot of talk about who Jesus is. The Gospel of John is famous for its seven “I am” statements in which Jesus identifies himself using symbols and metaphors. “I am the Bread of Life. I am the Light of the world. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” and so forth. They are all based on the famous “I am” statement in the story of the burning bush in Exodus, where God says “I am what I am.” These “I Am” statements got me wondering if there were also “You are” statements made by Jesus, telling us what or who we are. So I did a search for these words in the gospels. I was not looking for what the apostle Paul or Peter or James says about us. I was not looking at what later Christianity says about us, but only what Jesus taught about us. After sifting through these “you are” statements, I found three statements that Jesus made about who we are. So let’s see what Jesus says about us. What did Jesus teach about our spiritual identity? 
Many people have outgrown the religion that they used to be a part of. I explore how and why people outgrow religion, especially conservative forms of Christian religion. I also look at the idea of spiritual growth. Is growth real, or is it better seen as a sudden awakening to the Nondual Reality that is always present? Or are they both metaphors? Jesus talked a lot about the growth of the Kingdom of God. I explore several of those stories, especially the Parable of the Sower. 
The inspiration for this episode comes from an email I received from a spiritual friend in Melbourne, Australia. He sent me an interpretation of Jesus’ parable of the two foundations. Jesus used the illustration or two men who built a house on the sand and the rock. I tie this into Jesus’ response to Peter’s profession of faith that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus replied, “On this Rock I will build my church.” They both refer to Nonduality as the bedrock of reality.
You are Christ

You are Christ


In this episode I ponder our true identity in Christ. Then I explain how this can be experienced by means of meditation on scripture. 
Practice Dying

Practice Dying


A while ago I read about the early life of Ramana Maharshi - how when he was a teenager he was overwhelmed by a sudden, extreme fear of death. Then he lay down on his back and imagined he was dead. I think I read this in the preface to a book of his teachings, but I couldn’t find it. So I did an internet search and found the details of the account on his official website. It happened in July of 1896, and it was actually the event that precipitated his spiritual awakening. His account is meaningful to me because it has many similarities with the experience that prompted my spiritual awakening.In this episode I read his account and compare it with my experience. Then I describe a spiritual practice of dying that may help those who are seeking to awaken to True Self. 
When people ask me about spiritual practices or disciplines, I generally do not recommend any. The reason I don’t recommend any is because people tend to view practices as a means to an end. They think that if they do certain things then they will result in a spiritual goal. Yet even when I don’t recommend practices, people will press me on it. They say that they know it is all grace and that there is nothing they can do to wake up spiritually, but they are hoping there is something that might help in some small way. Today I am going break my pattern and suggest a practice. 
We are deep within the Christmas season now, and holiday activities are in full swing. So it is a good time to contemplate the meaning of Christmas. Too often the choice seems to be between Santa Claus or the baby Jesus, secular or theistic, or perhaps opt for celebrating the winter solstice as an alternative. But it is possible to celebrate Christian holiday spiritually from a nondual perspective. The holiday of Christmas expresses the oneness that is our true nature and the nature of the one reality.
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