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Jesus Was a Sailor

Back in 1966 Leonard Cohen, one of the greatest songwriters of all time, penned a powerful poem, which shortly after became a beautifully haunting song. The song was "Suzanne" and the first moment I heard it I as entranced.

But I didn't really hear it until after my own spiritual awakening 5 years later. Leonard often used Biblical analogies in his poetry and songs and this was no exception. And, since we are discussing the deep, spiritual import of Biblical stories, I wanted to include the entire 2nd verse from that classic piece of songwriting.


Jesus was a sailor When he walked upon the water And he spent a long time watching From his lonely wooden tower And when he knew for certain Only drowning men could see him He said "All men will be sailors then Until the sea shall free them" But he himself was broken Long before the sky would open Forsaken, almost human He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone And you want to travel with him And you want to travel blind And you think maybe you'll trust him For he's touched your perfect body with his mind


I'm not going to try to delve into the layers of meaning in that verse in this brief email. Suffice it to say that a figure of the stature of Christ, divorced from ecclesiastical despotism, has touched millions of lives directly. He doesn't need ideology because there is a spirit and an unmistakable power in the story of Christ. You have heard me refer to him numerous times in this series of emails as "The Sage of Nazareth." He truly was a sage, a Buddha, an enlightened being. One whose every word emerged spontaneously from his constant connection with the divine, which for our benefit he called "Our Father" or "The Kingdom of Heaven." To truly understand the message of Christ one must put aside all of the theological and ideological absolutes. Those have served the interest of power and control, not the interests of liberation and freedom, which was the constant message of the Master Himself. Imagine you are encountering this humble man for the first time. You have no knowledge of original sin, the fall from grace, hell and damnation, the mythical story of a virgin birth or death and resurrection. Instead, just ponder the life of a man who judged no one, loved every one and had one ambition that guided his life, the same ambition that guided his predecessor the Buddha... to save all beings from suffering.




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