The prophetic approach used by Jehovah to create belief in his messages culminated 2,000 years ago in a joint project led by Jesus and John the Baptist, who are often called cousins because their mothers Mary and Elizabeth were related. The Cousins are two of the members of The Movement, formed millennia ago by a small group intent on increasing the happiness of the human race. The original plan for the Cousins’ joint project was for John the Baptist to inspire interest in righteous living prior to Jesus’s stepping forward.
To teach people to overcome the fear of death through virtue.
What Happened to that Message?
Three major elements caused that message to become obscured. First, there was some misunderstanding between Jesus and John the Baptist, which was not cleared up prior to John’s untimely death. Then the simplicity of the message was clouded by the many desires of those who became enthusiastic about Jesus’s inspiring leadership. And finally, the popular emotional appeal of Paul’s belief that Jesus’s divine sacrifice made up for all the sins of the world completely hijacked the Jesus Project.
The cousins Jesus and John the Baptist are resurrecting the original focus of their joint project: to make it clear that you can overcome your fear of death through virtue. The Cousins would now also like to add that understanding death can also help you overcome your fear of it.
- Understanding death
- Understanding that your mind is eternal
- Recovering memories of your past lives
Understanding death more clearly helps because it soon becomes obvious that there is nothing to fear, since there are only two possibilities upon death: 1) either you no longer exist, or 2) you do continue to exist. If you no longer exist after your body dies, you can no longer experience any emotions (including unhappiness and fear), so there is nothing to fear from death, because fear is just the emotion caused by the anticipation of unhappiness. If, however, you do continue to exist after your body dies, you will remain basically the same person you are now. And while that might scare you, that is not the fear of death. That is the related fear of continued existence.
Understanding That Your Mind is Eternal
That related fear of continued existence can be diminished by realizing that you are most probably an eternal, uncreatable, indestructible mind whose continued existence cannot be interfered with by anyone. And the personality you have developed over time only changes quite slowly, most often due to your own decision to reevaluate your fundamental attitudes about life or in reaction to a profound emotional experience. An eternal mind, whose personality basically remains intact even though it does change slowly, has no reason to fear either death or its continued existence.
Recovering Memories of Your Past Lives
Recovering memories of your past lives can also help you get more comfortable with the continuing existence of your own personality by lessening your fear of remembering past pains and failures, and by gaining strength from useful insights about your personality. Our own memories of our past lives include many such pains, failures and insights, and one of The Movement’s purposes in sharing our personal histories with you on November 30th was to give you a realistic idea of what our personalities are like in order to avoid any notion of the possibility of perfection in life — either in yours or in ours. Individual life, both previously and now, both here on Earth and wherever individuals rest between lives, is far more normal than the impressions that have been created by popular but imaginary stories about all this.
In any case, you don’t really need memories of your past lives to become more comfortable with your personality. Everyone’s passions and fears are easily seen in their undisguisable emotional reactions to everyday events. And those passions and fears are the emotional distillations of those same previous (but not remembered) experiences. So, by merely paying closer attention to your passions and fears, you will develop greater comfort with your own personality, thereby increasing your inner strength and confidence, which in turn will lessen your fear of death.
It is also important to understand that there is no single perfect way to overcome the fear of death. There are many ways to successfully accomplish this goal, and any effective method is valuable.
Ways to Strengthen Virtue
What do the Cousins mean by “virtue”? Virtue is not the same as obeying a code of behavior. Virtue is inner spiritual confidence and strength and the more virtue you develop, the more easily and calmly you can deal with death. The following should help increase your virtue:
- Turning Within to strengthen your awareness of who you really are — a mind, an eternal mind. Uncreated and indestructible.
- Developing confidence in your ability to make your own decisions. Making mistakes when exercising your judgment is not a problem. It’s a universal experience. And even if you feel you are becoming incapable of finding happiness yourself, you are only fooling yourself when you pretend to turn that job over to someone else, because you are inherently the only one who can make your own decisions. So grab hold of your free will and use it. You won’t lose it if you don’t use it, but there is no advantage to keeping it in “safe storage”. So never let anyone (and especially an entire bureaucracy) come between your thoughts and your Self.
- Developing a wide variety of friendships. You don’t have to love your neighbor as yourself, but being happy that other people are in this world too, and enjoying the company of those most interesting to you, are not only enjoyable in themselves, but are also of tremendous value in remaining realistic about yourself and about others. Friends not only inspire love in us, they also provide valuable outside perspectives and feedback that help us keep a grip on reality.
- Developing your talents, your skills, and using them generously to help create a better civilization for all of us to enjoy.
Beliefs Don’t Change Reality
The Cousins have no suggestions about what you should believe about life, or about them, or about any other historical fact or fiction. And it certainly doesn’t matter to the Cousins what you do or do not do about any ritual, ceremony or institution. It doesn’t even matter whether you believe in another life after death, or what you believe about your Self either. You can believe you have no Self, no thoughts, no emotions, no mind. That you are purely matter, with no free will — that all your actions are determined in advance. That won’t matter — except that you will probably be quite surprised in the first few moments after you die. But there is no reason to be afraid that anyone will punish you for any such thoughts. Neither the Cousins, nor any of their friends in The Movement, are so petty-minded. In any case, reality will remain the same whatever you believe about it.
It doesn’t even matter whether you believe in God or not — the evidence is not all in on that question, and may never be. But the Cousins are confident that any God worth his or her (or its) salt has no need of your worship — that is, your admiration mixed with fear. Any real God would have nothing to prove and no need for your emotional support to feel good about himself. Or herself. Or itself. He wouldn’t even need to be thanked. If you enjoy life, that would be more than enough thanks.
Neither the Cousins nor any noble God would ever require a loyalty test either. If anyone ever tries to force you to accept his or her beliefs, you can decide how to react to that pressure without any concern that what you do about that, or don’t do, will upset the Cousins. The Movement recognizes it’s going to take centuries, if not millennia, to get past all these beliefs. In the meantime, it’s important to remember that Jehovah’s goal was to put an end to human sacrifice. He would never have encouraged the boldest and the brightest to become one.
The Cousins understand completely that hundreds of millions of you believe in Jesus, and have listened to Paul’s theory and have lived by it — at least somewhat — for a very long time. And you have gained a lot from it, and are emotionally attached to it, and Jesus has no issue with that. But please don’t be so afraid of Jesus. That is totally unnecessary.
Heaven is not a place of retribution or forgiveness. Neither Jehovah nor Jesus is in a position to forgive you. No one is. And the Cousins would like to point out that no one ever forgives and forgets anyway.
There is no hell. The Cousins are sorry that their occasional frustration and anger gave you that impression. There are no rewards or punishments for your behavior, and there certainly is no final Judgment Day, because there is no final day and there is no judgment. There is no need for any judgment. And that’s the good news: there is no justice in Heaven at all — instead Jesus’s Father (as he likes to call Jehovah) has organized a place of generosity, kindness and understanding.
As Jesus said long ago, imagine the best father you can, and then multiply that 70 times 7 times. That might get your imagination closer to comprehending Jehovah’s level of generosity, kindness and understanding. When Jesus also said long ago that both Heaven and Earth shall pass away, he meant that Heaven is not an abode of eternal rest. Heaven is only a place to recover and rest from all your frustrations. It does not last forever. When you want to get back to the world, back to the life of humanity, you simply get up and go.
Jesus also wants it to be crystal clear that he did not die to save man from sin. Jesus died because the Romans had cruel laws and the high priests were jealous. Jesus was deified because that happens to many outstanding individuals, but all the members of The Movement are basically the same as each of you. And we certainly die. If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you crown us with thorns, do we not cry out in pain?
As was explained on November 30th, it really bothers Jesus and Jehovah that so many people spend time contemplating the cruelty of his dying on the cross. All that visualized suffering makes people dwell on cruelty. Many even mistakenly think that that cruelty somehow has great value, because it paid a price that Jehovah demanded in order to feel better about all those sins. Jesus doesn’t want that idea perpetuated any more in his name. Or in Jehovah’s name. The members of The Movement really find it disturbing that those who love Jesus often think that Jesus’s death on the cross was somehow part of some inscrutable divine plan. No. That was Paul’s extremely guilty and faulty imagination at work. And there is no reason for any of you to spend another minute on Paul’s nightmare.
You would never put a picture up on the mantel of your new baby’s head crowning in the first seconds of her birth, because it would remind you continually of her mother’s physical pain at the moment of birth. Nor would you display a picture of your screaming newborn’s first breath. Jesus feels the same way about crucifixes, and especially about the crown of thorns. It did happen. It was real. But these are grotesque images, and not representative of his life. Jesus prefers you use other images of him, especially kind, friendly ones — ones where he is teaching.
Freeing Yourself from Fear
As Jesus also said, the truth shall set you free. And this — this is a good start. We will undoubtedly never, even all working together, ever know the whole truth about reality, because the number of ever-changing facts makes that extremely improbable. But a sufficient amount of truth will also set you free. Because all we really need to know to be wise, to live our individual lives well, are the principles of the inherent structure of life, and then apply those principles to the facts we personally have to deal with.
That is individual life, down through the ages. It really isn’t as scary as everyone makes it out to be, although there are certainly many painful — sometimes very painful — parts of life. But over 80% of our emotional pain appears to be self-inflicted.
The Cousins want to do something about that. The Cousins have wanted to do something about that for ages. The Cousins have tried to do something about that for ages. But we have all been scaring ourselves silly for so long that it’s become an engrained habit. And the Cousins recognize that such engrained habits will take time to change.
The Cousins remain deeply engaged in the improvement of human culture, but have become far more patient and light-hearted about it, far more respectful of everyone’s free will. Still, you will undoubtedly be hearing more from us over the coming centuries — everyone in The Movement likes to talk. As do our closest friends. And the Cousins have asked some of those friends who worked with them on the Jesus Project, like Kelvin Chin, to help resurrect that project’s original focus. The Cousins hope, as these conversations continue to get ever more interesting, that you enjoy the part you choose to play in them.
Whenever you wonder whether you will ever find true love, remember that in the high priest’s courtyard the Apostle Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times. But that didn’t make any difference in Jesus’s love for Peter, because Jesus understands his friends and usually knows in advance what they will probably do (although they occasionally surprise him). Such knowledge indicates a deep, personal friendship. The true love almost everyone seeks is not, in essence, an exclusively romantic emotion. True love is loving the personality of the other person just as it is, not as you wish it to be.
The Cousins believe it is wise to love yourself in the same way as Jesus loved Peter — to love yourself as you are, not as you wish to be, especially if at the same time you keep your imagination actively pursuing what your next adventure will be, what your next goal will be, what you can do to become the person that you wish to be. That will express your many talents and skills more effectively and more enjoyably, as your imagination’s horizon continually but comfortably extends ever further out. In this life. And in the next. And in the next. Forever.
Merry Christmas to all
and to all a good life!
and their friends in
December 25, 2014