This theme is so vast and rich that I hope to write a much longer blog post about it soon when I have the time. Moreover, I will talk about only one aspect of the myth here (the esoteric perspective based on realization) that does not negate the other aspects. A myth is a myth because of its multifaceted and mysterious nature. The myth of the resurrection also contains ideas of grace, relationship with the Personal God, and many other themes. There are many, many sides to this inexhaustible diamond; who in their right mind can claim to grasp its meaning? That said, here are some shameless ramblings:
In my opinion, whether you literally believe in it or not, the resurrection of Jesus is a powerful symbol that points to our own eternal nature, or Christ Consciousness. Culturally, the archetypal theme of the death and resurrection of the hero goes all the way back to prehistoric shamanic religions, and was present in later pre-Christian cultures all over the world (in the Osiris myth of Egpyt, for instance). The resurrection is ultimately an archetypal and mythological statement about humanity, a “finger pointing to the moon” of our own eternal nature. Like Jesus, we all must “die” to our ego and transcend death through the “resurrection” of our Deathless Awareness, which is always present yet mysteriously hidden by our own spiritual ignorance. As one of the great myths of mankind, the historical reality of the resurrection of Jesus doesn’t even matter – in fact, thinking about myth overly historically empites it of its power, as the unrivaled mythologist Joseph Campbell was always fond of harping on.
Because the resurrection functions fundamentally as religious mythology, it is ultimately about us all. Traditional Christianity does the teachings of Jesus a great disservice by misinterpreting that the deeper truths of the New Testament only apply to the historical Jesus. Jesus taught UNIVERSAL truths about the nature of humanity. As he became an awakened Christ through his deep realization of the Christ-Consciousness, we all have the capacity to become awakened Christs (or Messiahs, Anointed Ones); in the same way, the historical Buddha was a human being who became the Buddha through his own personal awakening experience, and we all have the capacity to become Buddhas, for we all have Buddha Nature. To realize your own Christ-Consciousness (or Buddha Nature, True Nature, Krishna Conscisouness, etc.) through meditation and spiritual practice is the ultimate joy, and goal of life. Truly, spiritual awakening is like being “resurrected” from the “dead” idea that we are only the body and mind. In reality, we are much, much more… Like Jesus, our True Nature is eternal!
Anyone who, through meditation and spiritual practice, realizes their own Christ Consciousness will understand the deeper meaning of the resurrection myth. They will see that, in reality, it has nothing to do with Jesus, for he was only a vessel that the myth expressed itself through. They will realize that Jesus was just a wave on the great Ocean of Spirit, and that you too are a wave on that same Sea! What was true with him is true for you. You are no different in nature; Jesus had merely realized It fully. Unfortunately, most modern churches that teach in his name will ironically persecute you for saying this. If you say you are “one with Spirit” (a heretical utterance in most churches), you say the same thing Jesus was perecuted by the pharisees for saying about himself 2000 years ago. History is fully of depressing yet fascinating ironies…
To conclude this shameless rant, we should all take heart in the hope that whatever we go through on this planet is only temporary. In reality, we are One with eternal Bliss Itself (our True Nature is God!), if only we realized this. We all have the capacity to rise above the dualities of the world through deep meditation and ethical living, and to see our Source. This goal is indeed difficult, and is perhaps the most difficult path a human can walk. Though it may seem like a “tall order,” the myth of the resurrection of Jesus makes it clear that any human being – through the grace of God and their own spiritual effort – has the capacity to wake up and be free!
May God reveal Itself to you, and may you “resurrect” from the illusory idea that you are your body/mind. May you become an awakened Christ and a fully realized Buddha by realizing that, in reality, you have been one all along!
With Cosmic Unconditional Love emanating from the Source of all life,