How a nice Jewish atheist came to know God and a Christ
I often tell people that my mother was a strict Jewish atheist. She was the power in the family as far as I knew, and my father wasn’t talking. In consequence, I was afraid to believe in God. The first time my parents let me go all the way from the Bronx to Manhattan without grownup accompaniment, my friend, Sarah Davidson, took me into St. John the Divine, a grand cathedral in New York. I was a classical violinist and she a cellist, and here was a free performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor. I should have been in bliss. It was, I’m sure, magnificent, but I was so terrified that my mother would be angry that I was in a church, I insisted that we leave. Another time, in school, I wrote a prayer in the form of a poem, which I hid under the mess of shoes at the bottom of my closet. Months later, I looked and the poem wasn’t there and once again I felt the terror of my mother’s disapproval. Years later, one day in my first Saturn return (age 29), my therapist, with whom I’d done years of Primal Therapy and other forms of family healing, said she had no more to offer me. My first response was that I still had an empty hole inside, to which she responded, “Maybe that is your spirituality.” Again, my first thought, even after all those years of bashing pillows and crying deeply to release my childhood feelings, was, “My mother would kill me.”
Given this background, you can imagine that my introduction to spirituality, which began the day after my therapist released me, was exciting and scary. I had been taught that religion was a crutch used to enslave people, that the Germans — Christians all — persecuted and slaughtered the Jews. My birthday on Christmas Eve was made an especially big deal so I wouldn’t envy my friends with their Christmas trees and sparkly lights. I didn’t find out until my mother was dying, years later, that the real reason she hated religion was that they wouldn’t let her sit next to her papa in the synagogue, where men and women sat in separate sections.
My journey became stranger yet when I found myself at a meeting at the Center of the Light where I was studying as a healer, entitled, “What’s a nice Jewish girl like me doing in the Church of Christ Consciousness?” and noticed that every time Jesus was mentioned by some people, I would find myself shaking with the effort to hold back tears.
Yet I persevered, studying in MSIA with a teacher who said he reported to Jesus (who holds the office of the Christ still) and reading A Course in Miracles. Then, in 1990, in the grotto of the Temple of Pan, in Banias in Israel, where we were told Jesus had been, I asked, using my newly developed muscle-testing system for spiritual guidance, “Jesus, are you here?” I got a clear “Yes.” We have been talking ever since and our relationship is one of my most precious.
Even then, I have been reluctant to tell anyone about this. People jump to so many conclusions about who you are and what you believe when you use that name. I didn’t want to be associated in people’s minds with many of the people who called themselves Christians, or be judged by those who had rejected Christianity for good reason. I prefer not to get identified with any religion or set of beliefs — Jewish, Christian, New Age, American, student/minister with the Mystical Traveler, Melchizedek priesthood, etc. — even when I am any of those things in this time. It feels like just more stuff to let go of on my ‘way home to God.’
I do my best to clear my own tendency to identify myself with any label, though I still have a couple of favorites that are uplifting to me. There are words I’ve taken on, like ‘way home to God’ to describe that which is difficult to describe in an effort to — as accurately as possible — vibrate to that which they refer, knowing that the words aren’t the same as what that actually is.
Fortunately I’ve learned and developed and taught a technique with which one can dissolve the linkages we have with the words so that we can get to the true vibration they represent. I had to ‘de-link’ Jesus and Christ, from my mother’s thoughts and all of the churches and all those who hate or judge or have been burned by ‘churchianity.’
I get tired of the need so many of us have to say that we have separated religion and spirituality but I understand that that is the price of creating space around us. We want freedom to live and love and grow without getting stuck anywhere.
What matters to me is our spiritual trajectory and I have no problem using the word ‘Christing’ to describe it, though I don’t get that the word is accurate, any more than ‘enlightenment’ or ‘God-consciousness,’ or awkward constructions like ‘becoming that which we are’ or anything else that points to some kind of spiritual transcendence. I just want what that is and I do what that is, and we are all doing that, no matter what we call it.
Here is what my beloved Maple tree has to say:
Come forth in your glory and you will find us waiting in glory to welcome you and live in harmony and grace. Yes, we know grace; we form it every day; we exude this natural grace. Solemnity is not part of that, but laughter, playfulness, ease and lightness of being. We are creative and naturally curious and we love the Christ consciousness coming through every pore of this planet’s existence. It is what the planet is made of, after all. You must broaden your idea of what it is; your ideas are so narrow and limited. Widen and enlarge your awareness and you will find Me (Christ) in every cell of every plant and every stone and every being that exists, animal, dolphin, whale, etc.
I have a little ritual that I do for myself each Christmas — to read from the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ. For me it reads like poetry and has the ring of truth and beauty. It was written/channeled by an American preacher, Levi Dowling, in the early 1900s. He says he transcribed it directly from the Akashic Records.
It tells the story of Jesus’s life, including much that is not in the Bible; his parents’ studies in Egypt when they fled Israel, his own studies in the mystery schools, his travels to teach in other countries, etc. My spiritual teacher, if I remember correctly, once said the book was close to accurate and I ‘get’ 91%. It is inspired, inspiring, uplifting and beautiful. I get the frisson, the happy, thrilling goose bumps of joyful excitement that says, “YES!” when I read it. Here is one of my favorite passages. It takes place after the resurrection:
And Jesus came and sat with them; a crown of light was on his head. And when the silence ended Kaspar said, A master from the royal council of the Silent Brotherhood is here; let us give praise.
And all the priests and masters stood and said, All hail! What message from the royal council do you bring?
And Jesus said, My brothers of the Silent Brotherhood, peace, peace on earth; goodwill to men! The problem of the ages has been solved; a son of man has risen from the dead; has shown that human flesh can be transmuted into flesh divine. Before the eyes of men this flesh in which I come to you was changed with speed of light from human flesh.
And so I am the message that I bring to you. To you I come, the first of all the race to be transmuted to the image of the AM. What I have done, all men will do; and what I am all men will be.
But Jesus said no more. In one short breath he told the story of his mission to the sons of men, and then he disappeared.
Jesus, do you have anything to add for this article?
You are the Beloved.
6 Responses to Taking the Christ Out of Christmas
Chief Niwots Son says:
Elisa- Thank you for sharing your journey to de-link the encrustations around the words “Jesus” and “Christ.” I was also born into Yeshua’s Tribe, and I feel fortunate to not have been raised within the predominant religious paradigm of our culture and have to de-link from the inside. Yet de-linking from the Jewish tradition, it’s relationship to Christianity, the fundamental relationship to Yeshua, and our own tribal ‘mishegas,’ certainly has it’s challenges and opportunities. The image that comes to be is that of a baby bird breaking free from the shell and spreading wings to fly.
Amanda Painter says:
i agree with strawberrylaughter — this idea of “de-linking” language so that it can hold the frequency of its essence is fascinating to me.
is its effect mainly within us, with our own usage of words and how we hear them? or does our use of “de-linked” words also seem to shift how others hear/read them when we use them?
Elisa, my heart is warmed by your taking Christ out of Christmas and bringing him to the trees with you. My epiphany years ago was meeting Jesus outside the church on the ground, not a pew. Whatever degree of perfection he walks with now in ascended state, it’s awesome to have a Christ consciousness who fully gets being human. Your conversation with the maple makes me realize I need to connect with you, a visit to website to see what’s possible a half a world apart. I am in relationship to many trees here on the land, and I know I am missing something. I am grateful for your presence on the planet and your willingness to wander at this time. Blessings.
Elisa, I can’t wait; this is a fascinating idea to me. Do you see this as a tool that could be used to release the meaning we’ve attached to events in our lives, as well as language? It wouldn’t be exactly the same thing–events don’t necessarily have their own intrinsic resonance–but we create identities out of accumulated & false meanings that we attach to…practically everything. When you think about it, part of the power of trauma is in the way this culture treats that particular trauma. And, the way I see it, if/when we can release the event from the attached meaning, we can more readily heal.
I know you don’t work this way, but (as much as I love you), I can’t work the way you do…yet. You have a perspective that sees beyond the whole thing in a way that’s extraordinary. I chip away at the edges. And I’ve tried a lot of avenues for a way to effectively help people let go of story. This intrigues me. I very much look forward to talking with you again.
Elisa Novick says:
Thanks, Strawberrylaughter. I’ll be happy to teach you the De-linking technique; surprised it hasn’t shown up yet. I teach it as part of the Accessing the Inner Master course (which is on line) too. Essential for cleaning up our fields is purifying the language frequencies we learned. A word that has been purified holds the frequency of what it is. I believe there is a universal language of frequencies.
Elisa, this is lovely. I’d not considered psychically “unlinking” the words from the complicated meaning structures I’ve had attached to them. How freeing. And to be honest, it’s not just the words God and Jesus that have meanings which make me stumble — a whole host of them, love, perhaps at the very tip-top. To release these…essences…from the bindings we’ve given them, and allow them to breathe and show us what they are…. How utterly, utterly lovely.
what a day.