Bearing Witness to the Truth
In the last month before his death, Jesus entered new realms of consciousness. He was no longer limited by the effects of time. His ability to see, hear, and act according to his purpose had become transcendent.
Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” (John 18:33-38)
At this point in time the consciousness and awareness of Jesus were liberated from all forms of confinement—from emotional and psychological phenomena, conceptual knowledge, ego-centered states of consciousness, all forms of attachment, all forms of aversion—such that his state of being was one with truth and every aspect of him bore witness to the truth. It is also true that he had lost all desire to live. We must be careful in presenting this to you because the word “desire” is very different from will. In Jesus was a powerful will to express life, his life, and the will to manifest the life present in God. Desire is very different from will in that it often leads to weakness, attachment, and sometimes addiction. Jesus overcame his desire to live by any false means, any means that did not manifest truth and love. Life in him was transcendent over death in all its forms. In the few moments he had standing before Pilate, Jesus was like a mirror, reflecting back to Pilate the contents of Pilate’s unconscious. The questions he asked were like the uncontrolled streams of consciousness of a man perplexed by questions he was intellectually incapable of understanding. His posture toward Jesus was one of physical power and intimidation that he had learned to use through his position and status, and these were not grounded in his spiritual being through an embodied morality. His question, “What is truth?” was his last attempt to intimidate Jesus by suggesting that truth would not save Jesus. The thought of Pilate was, “What is truth in the face of the facts of my physical and material power?” He was not willing, or able, to engage in the meaning of the truth that faced him.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.” (John 19:1-12)
All earthly forms of power were nothing to Jesus. All the forms of conditioning that are present in human beings—imprints, scripts, patterns, and habits—were burned away during his passion. The rejection by those around him and the hostility of the Romans did not evoke reaction from Jesus in any way that created spiritual consequence for him. Jesus was pure being and lucidity in each moment, with each lash, with each step, with the crown of thorns. Every action and word from that moment forward he directed toward the purpose of showing the way to all human beings through his life, his teaching, and his healing ministry. In the last moments of his material life, he lived for others that they might see in his strength the way to end their suffering and separation from God.
The people were confused by his descriptions of oneness with God and oneness in purpose. In spite of his statements that clearly made a distinction between himself and God, they crucified him with false charges that were made according to the law that Jesus sought to fulfill with love. The actions and responses of the people and of Pilate were made through fear. In the face of physical pain and cruelty, the clearness of his mind revealed a strength that everyone would eventually know was stronger than any material force. In those moments Jesus was equal to all things—he was in them, they were in him, no one holding a place above another, he giving up everything to subordinate himself to the laws of the universe, the divine order found in God.