In my last wee post I looked at how many close friendships eventually explode or suddenly fizzle out, much to the surprise and shock of onlookers and the participants themselves. I have suggested that friendship at a subliminal level is all about mutual desire transmissions and the process of mimetic imitation. We become the other and the other becomes us. Two identical twins cannot afford each other psycho-spiritual space and the friendship abruptly ends.
Today and next week, I want to look at two events in the recorded account of Yeshua bar Yosef’s close relationships and see if there is anything there that can help us enjoy the freedom of relationship without subconscious rivalry.
So let’s consider the seemingly disconcerting wee tale of Yeshua’s response to a request from his mum and brothers to have a wee word as we say in Northern Ireland. Here’s the account from Matthew’s memory.
“While he was talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers were standing outside eagerly wanting to speak with him. Someone said to him, ‘Look, you’re mother and brothers are outside wanting to speak with you’.
But he answered them, ‘Who is my mother and who are my brothers?’ And he stretched out his hand towards his disciples, saying, ‘Look, my mother and brothers! For whoever is doing the will of my Father (Abwoon), who’s in the heavens (transcendent realm), is my brother, and sister, and mother.'”
Now folk have never really got their head around this seemingly unloving statement from the Nazarene, seeing it as an expression of delusions of grandeur by the popular prophet-preacher. Yet, if we dig around it we’ll see that he is being extremely perceptive in his take on relationships, in this case family attachments.
For me, the key word here is will.
For many of us it’s a heavy, condemnatory religious word, so let’s swap it for strong desire.
Two wills or desires are on show here.
1) Family demands.
2) Divine Desire
It doesn’t take much to imagine the scene. Yeshua is merrily chatting away in his storytelling teaching style to enthralled followers while mum and the boys are trying to be patient outside. Finally they’ve had enough and send in an urgent, perhaps ego scripted message to their unconventional kinsman. ‘Yeshua, get your ass out here ASAP, who do you think we are, some of your weak little followers standing in line for a beatific smile?’
What we have here is the exercise of desire via hierarchy. The family saw their blood relationship to be of a higher order than the crowd around them. They had a bigger claim to Yeshua than the motley crew packing the wee house where Yeshua was spouting forth. In other words, the family were in rivalry with the crowd via their exercise of desire. Now Yeshua, must have experienced this kind of relational expectation before with his folks. That’s the way most family relationships work. In Ireland, the Irish mammy is one who must be obeyed! I’m sure that it was no different in the Jewish families of 1st century Palestine.
At first the Nazarene’s response appears to be downright disrespectful and unloving. The Jewish family was the pillar of society and the building block of a Palestine under occupation. Yet, I reckon Yeshua was taking the opportunity to teach about desire. Bluntly, he was saying that he didn’t respond to skewed desire as expressed by ego. Let’s not forget that this is how society works and is the dominant force outside the ‘Queendom’ as illustrated by his eventual violent end.
So to summarise, the Nazarene therapist was surely saying this:
There are two desire fields that act like a magnetic flux.
1) The Passion or Desire that emanates from Transcendent Source.
2) The skewed desire that we mutually transmit via ego, or wounded psyche-souls.
His disciples, those shockingly referred to as his brothers, sisters and mother are those who are being influenced by his desire, which in turn is aligned with that of Divine Source. In other words, if you follow me (resonate with my desire) then you will resonate with the Divine Desire that birthed you in the first place. Such an alignment is the experiential essence of being the Children of Transcendence, the Children of God.
The normal desire demands of our familial and friendship transmissions are never to take precedence over such a spirit alignment. The psyche-soul must always be under the healing and freeing influence of Spirit Breath and its life flow. To be tossed about by the desire pull of others is the root of unhappiness and relational discord.
Of course the Nazarene loved his family, particularly his mother. His concern for Mary at his execution is the painful evidence of this. Yet, he was aware that he had come from and would return to Divine Source. To be constantly living in the passionate creativity and restorative power of Divine Desire was his overriding goal. A goal, that to my mind, made hin unique among men.
Next week we’ll look at Peter, and his close friendship of concern with the Nazarene. Prepare to be shocked.