Q: What is the most authentic document of Jesus’ teaching? The Gospel of Thomas? Are there others you would point to?
The Gospel of Thomas seems to be the most authentic. Certainly the four Gospels of the Bible contain his teachings, but mixed in with untrustworthy elements. Still, they should be read with the understanding that the sugar must be separated from the sand, as Sri Ramakrishna said about all scriptures. [Read The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening on our website or in print.]
The Second Coming of Christ by Yogananda [Available for download on our E-library] is invaluable in understanding Jesus’ teachings, as is his autobiography and the books of his public talks [see our post A Yogi’s Recommended Reading List.]
The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ is a remarkable document that does not claim to be infallible, but is also invaluable in understanding Jesus and the difference between THE Christ and A Christ. [Read online on our website and also The Aquarian Gospel for Awakening, a commentary.
The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ seems to be very much conformed to the idea of the narrators. Still, it is good to look into.
In The Christ of India the quotation from the Bhavishya Mahapurana is short but certainly authentic. There we see what Jesus thought of the religion of his land of birth and his definite adoption of Sanatana Dharma. [Also available in print.]
Jesus the man taught that the Universal (Christ Consciousness) pervades all of our visible and invisible (manifest and unmanifest) universe and that Christ Consciousness pervades all and is All including the body, mind and actions of the perceived individual which is a spark of the Absolute (Father). Correct?
Why is monastic life chosen over engagement in society where the influence of the Christ Consciousness awakened in the monks can influence the consciousness of society?
The purpose of monastic life is to intensely develop and evolve the consciousness without hindrance. Our website, which embodies hundreds of hours of work, and continues to expand, reaches far more people than any other form of activity ever could.
Consciousness is not just imparted by physical contact, but by the unseen unity with all.
Is the story of the historical Jesus also an allegory of the journey of the Soul to merger with God? If so could you elucidate or point the direction?
The lives of all great masters who after perfect realization return to the earth as avatars are certainly portrayals of esoteric truths, mostly in symbol. The life of Jesus and the early life of Krishna are mystic portrayals of the soul’s journey to God-realization.
It would require a book to explain the meaning of their lives, and perhaps one day I will manage to write on.