What do you think of this interpretation of the crucifixion?
The mainstream interpretation of the story of Jesus’ crucifixion never made sense to me, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. I’ve called myself an atheist, but over the last few years, I’ve slowly become, if not religious, then spiritual (though the word bugs me). I’ve adopted a kind of pantheism, the idea that “God” can be seen as the infinity of reality, all the matter and energy in our Universe and whatever lies beyond. This seems to answer the question “what created the Universe” because the creator and the creation are one and the same. I see this idea reflected in parts of Taoism, Buddhism (Zen in particular), Hinduism, as well as the mystical traditions of many monotheistic religions (the Sufis of Islam, for example).
I also recently came across a different interpretation of the crucifixion while reading Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth”, which included this same idea. It essentially said that the story of the crucifixion can be interpreted as an expression of the idea that suffering is not something inflicted by God on us, but is rather something God (or the Universe) is doing to itself. God was and is both Jesus and his tormentors, and likewise is every being that has ever suffered and every being that has ever inflicted suffering.
In this light, Jesus’ greatest message seems to make perfect sense. We should love our neighbors as we love ourselves because our neighbors are ourselves.
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