In last week’s wee post I looked at the dynamics of rivalry within a family context and the way to live in freedom while enjoying such relationships, viz. to align with Divine Desire and let everything flow from that.
Today I want to focus on friendships that blow up, taking as an example Peter and Yeshua. My examination of this relationship will focus on the Greek word scandalon or stumbling block and its role in our personal relationships. So here goes: I’ll quote a few wee lines from Matthew’s account of the blow up!
‘Yeshua began to reveal to his disciples how he had to go up to Jerusalem to suffer many things from the elders, chief priests and scribes, be killed and be raised again on the third day.
Then Peter took hold of him, beginning to rebuke him, saying, “Pity yourself Lord, there’s no way this is going to happen to you.”
But Yeshua turned around, saying to Peter, “Get behind me Adversary (Satan): you are a scandalon (stumbling block) to me. For you don’t understand the things that emerge out of God, but those that come from men.”
So much for lovey-dovey, touchy-feely Christianity! What on earth was going on here? Well, let’s try and unpack this bizarre little incident.
Peter, strong-willed as he was, was a loyal, dedicated follower of the Nazarene. Prior to this incident it’s claimed that he declared Yeshua bar Yosef to be the awaited anointed one or Messiah king. So part of Peter’s inner psyche seemed to be spot on regarding his itinerant teacher-master. But what else was lurking within?
May I suggest that Peter partly saw himself as an equal with Yeshua, the Big Brother to keep the unpredictable Nazarene on track to power. But wasn’t the extrovert fisherman a disciple? Well yes, to all outward appearances, yet Yeshua’s declaration of intent exposed a deeper dynamic at work within the dedicated follower. Please let me explain.
When we latch onto the strong desire field transmitted by another we initially drink it in, basking in the discovery of such an energetic psycho-spiritual force. Submitting we swim along nicely for a while until our internal mimetic wiring kicks in. Subconsciously, we adjust our inner Self to that of the transmitting other. Absorbing the desire of another we begin to clone ourselves in their image. We get to a stage when we look at them we see our new Self, and when we look inside we see them. Our desire friend has got inside us, like a dormant virus awaiting contagion time.
I reckon that Peter was at this stage in his psycho-spiritual development. Deep in his lower consciousness lay Peter, the Messiah, or at least the twin of the Nazarene, his Big brother realist equal. So when Yeshua broke the bad news of last suppers and cross-examination, Peter’s cloned Messiah self wasn’t taking it – not from anyone, not even from his beloved miracle-working preacher-prophet. The desire equal within, the one formed in the three years of following Yeshua’s unique desire trail wasn’t planning for this end of the road scenario.
When we tap into the desire flow of another we will inevitably end up their rival further down the tracks. It’s at this stage that we have morphed into a scandalon, a stumbling block for our Model transmitter. And so it was with Peter. Yeshua saw it immediately and turned to tell it like it was. “Peter, you have become a manifestation of the Satan, the rivalry dynamic that rules the affairs of man, an Adversary who is attempting to cross my will. You are a scandalon, a stumbling block relationship, trying to bend me to your will and stop me being me. I’ve a destiny to walk and you’re trying to trip me up, to keep me locked into our clone-based relationship. I’m afraid you’re not thinking like Divine Love but like a Monstrous Double, a twin-like co-dependency friend who is afraid to lose their Linus blanket Model.”
And that was that. Shocked by the Nazarene’s words the desire spell was broken, at least for a while, until the Gethsemane sword drawing incident.
So are we at the stage when some of our friendships, those born in the initial thrill of inter-personal desire transfer, have become prisons. The stage when we are being held into a relationship by chords of imitative desire, when fear to leave our Model and move on dominates our waking thoughts. Now the Nazarene, knew how to step over the Peter stumbling block and continue on into the annuls of world history. He moved in relational freedom by listening to the Voice within and following its instructions. Do we?
Incidentally, it’s interesting to note that Peter, post resurrection was finally realigned with his Friend, during an inner healing episode on a Galilean shore, but that’s another story, for another day. Strange also that legend has it that the Rock ended up upside down on a Roman cross. I wonder if he asked for it to be this way, so as to remain free of Model rivalry, even as he passed into the realm of his risen friend.
P.S. If you’d like to discover more about imitative desire and Model obstacles, please let me recommend my wee book, ‘Matrix Messiah”. It’s a much more detailed account of our desire settings and the inter-personal problems they can get us into. It’s not all bad news though for I outline a new way to live, a Way that follows the One without desire. Here’s a wee link to my Amazon author page if you’re interested.