By Cathy Eck
Shortcut to Freedom
A powerful shortcut to freedom is to take the concept of win-win to the extreme. This is especially true if we need to see our religious, social, or cultural beliefs because they tend to look acceptable and normal.
Recently, I went to the Prohibido Museo de Arte Extremo in Cuenca, Ecuador, where I’m still living temporarily. It had an assortment of dragons, gothic art, monsters, and taboo pieces. It was clearly one man’s life passion; he was very talented. It was a courageous expression of art since Cuenca is an extremely religious town.
I was surprised when my Christian housemates recommended it to me. After I visited Arte Extremo, we discussed the sculpture above. It’s Jesus breaking his cross.
One of the things that started me searching for the initiation teachings was the Christian notion that authorities could kill God. God represents omnipotence and immortality. Either Jesus didn’t die; or he wasn’t God. The notion that Jesus died for our sins as a martyr was an attempt to make sense of the crucifixion, but it fails miserably as a story ending.
I theorized that the correct perspective to Jesus’ story would cause it to read like a novel. It would contain no contradictions. The conclusion would be a logical ending to the story. This project took about eight years of research. In addition, I had to let go of everything that I thought I knew about Jesus. Eventually, I found the perspective I sought; it was called initiation. My theory, which became my Ph.D. dissertation, proved to be sound. Jesus’ story did read like an ancient novel from the initiate’s perspective.
Since my project, religious art has taken on new life. So many great artists, like Michelangelo and da Vinci, had an initiate’s perspective and gave us clues through their art. Only those who had eyes to see saw the clues. I had no doubt that this extreme artist was tuned into the initiates’ channel.
Jesus breaking his cross represented freedom in initiation. The cross was a metaphor for being stuck in the illusion. A God wouldn’t be stuck in the illusion. The sculpture from this perspective expressed a win-win point of view. Jesus would be telling us to break our crosses, not wear them around our neck. It seems that the artist saw Jesus as a true God, more powerful than any distorted human authority’s perspective. Isn’t that how a God would be? Wouldn’t a God save us little mortals from authority?
Who benefits from believing that authority is more powerful than God? Authority does. If authority can kill God, what chance in hell do we have? We’ll blindly obey.
I discussed the sculpture with my housemates after my return from the museum. One of them said that he wasn’t offended at all. He views art as expression that often challenges our thinking; this artist did what many artists do.
The other was bothered by the sculpture and saw it as anti-Christian. She said that it’s wrong to say Jesus didn’t die because he did. I could see where she was coming from. Her beliefs connected her to a special group perspective, and it’s all she’d ever known. She believed that she was saved and Jesus was her savior.
Getting free isn’t about proving who’s right or wrong, it’s about win-win or win-lose. Her saving has no value unless all people are fallen sinners. The initiates didn’t believe in sin; they believed in wrong thinking, which could be dropped. My housemate’s belief that Jesus died for our sins requires Jesus, a God, to have died. If he broke the cross and stood up to authority, the whole belief system would shatter. If all people are sinners, and Jesus didn’t save anyone, then she’s hell-bound scum just like the rest of us. The artist pulled the magic carpet out from beneath the Christian savior illusion with one silent statue. But look what happens when we join him. Authority loses its power; we move toward win-win. Jesus didn’t die; authority did.
If God can’t be harmed by authority, and if we all have a True Self (God) aspect within, then authority has no real power. We can only be harmed by authority if we obey them, believe them, and accept their perspective as true. Isn’t that exactly what religion does to people? The religious perspective kills Jesus everyday so that we don’t have to deal with our own sinning (false thinking).
When we hold on to win-lose, we lose our own chance at freedom. We don’t just harm others; we hurt ourselves. In the eyes of truth, we aren’t truly good until we can live from win-win in the extreme — where our perspective is so expansive that it gives everyone the potential to win (without having to accept our beliefs).
Extreme win-win forces us to purify our masculine false mind. We become harmless to anyone and everyone. Expanding our perspective to see if it’s win-win for all turns us into true leaders. It forces our false mind to be objective and unconditionally loving. Once our mind is win-win to the extreme, it’s returned to the way it was initially — the goal of initiation.
The final test of initiation was the crucifixion. The initiate took one last dip into a powerless, feminine role. This was my purpose in coming to Ecuador — to allow my own remaining beliefs to come at me — and they did. This is why Jesus didn’t fight in his story. Instead of doing harm to others, the initiate allowed whatever was left in their mind to be done to themselves. The key was to realize that whatever came at them was false. If they failed the test, they died. If they passed the test, they lived as resurrected beings, completely free of the illusion.