The Mystical Meaning
One wonderful thing about having the direct experience of the Divine is that so many things become immensely clear.
The Gospel is not merely the recounting of some fascinating happening in history (and even that may be considered embellished or distorted by the best of Biblical scholars); the Gospel is also mystically instructive, explaining things about what's happening on the mystical level of reality.
The direct of experience of Christ is very unlike the kind of sentimentality that presents itself in many Christian groups. That direct experience is so profoundly different than the sentimentality that one will almost miss it.
Yet when you make the connection, it's unmistakable- there's an almost magical "AH-HA!" moment. "THIS is what the mystics have been talking about! This is what the Christians were trying to convey early on! This is the reason Christianity endures!"
There are also profoundly weird things that can happen. (As an example, the mystical experience of the Crucifixion can be something of a literal tear-jerker without necessarily feeling sadness as we normally understand it, and that's because there's a kind of purgation happening on deeper levels of our being).
Worthy of note: I don't want to entirely knock the "sentimental" Christ, as it were. Mainstream Christianity often conveys important cultural aspects that are necessary to ground one to our ordinary, every day experience. However, there's a difference between the necessity of a grounding process and clinging to the imagery so much that one never experiences what it's all pointing to.
I almost always have more to say, but I try to keep these entries shorter so folks will read them.
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