Jesus - The Wounded Healer!

Hello all,

Namaste! Hope all of you had a great week where you were able to do some Christmas shopping, spend time with family or just paint the town red with your friends. As this Friday is just the week before Christmas, why don't we analyze the personality on whose birth the Christmas is celebrated? Only a very charismatic person can have the worldwide success we see in the case of Jesus. Yes, Christians celebrate Jesus as the son of God. But every one of us can learn some valuable lessons from every kind of leader the world has produced.

So today in the spirit of Christmas, let us look at the man Jesus and see how he used his life to show people what values the most in this physical existence. Before proceeding with the post, just a note. This post is about the historical personality Jesus, who was born 2000 years ago and who walked the earth as a spiritual master/teacher and whose teachings the people followed. This post is not about the divine Jesus, who is the son of God and who did magical miracles while he had a physical existence in this earth (I am of the belief that every God/Goddess is an archetypal energy whose essence we can bring into our lives and live our life to the fullest and with intention. If Gods are put on a pedestal, which we can never reach anywhere near, what is the real point of having Gods who sit somewhere in heaven and whom we can never emulate as they are considered perfection incarnate? We humans are never perfect, as every one of us has our imperfections, which make us unique and beautiful in its own sense).
Jesus
Christ by Heinrich Hofmann [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Here Jesus will be discussed as an Archetype called the 'Wounded Healer'. What is an archetype? Remember, we discussed this before. The term 'archetype' was coined by the Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung (pronounced as Carl Yung, J is pronounced as Y in Polish, it seems) to define the behavior we emulate bringing in subconsciously the historical characters and personalities that walked the earth or from the stories we heard in childhood that we imbibed into our subconscious mind.There is also another way this can be imbibed, what Jung called the 'collective unconscious'. This seems are the structures or patterns we human race have embraced in our 'collective' or group subconscious mind that later come into our thought and make patterns and structures that ultimately enter into our conscious mind as behaviors and personalities. Phew! A mouth full of words to digest.

In much simpler non-Psychological term, it is the way we bring in a big or huge personality into our behavior and life unconsciously watching their words, behavior, and actions. It is the same way a leader seeps into the behavior and personality of a follower without him/her consciously taking action to do so. So anyway Carl Jung has described an archetype called the 'Wounded Healer'.

This is a person who during his/her adolescent/young age had to go through the huge upheaval of physical and emotional pain and could not make a sense of it. Later they had to go deep inside themselves, make sense of all that pain they have gone through, use that as a foundation to bring peace and healing to others. So literally the wounding of their Self, they used to transform themselves to become a healer who can empathize very well with another person. In other words, they literally can feel or relate to the pain another person is going through. Here another 'Wounded Healer', we can remember is 'Buddha'. Now let us come to our charismatic personality 'Jesus'.

Jesus - Life as per History: Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. It seems they were guided by an angel to go to the town of Bethlehem where Jesus was to be born. But at the same time, a decree was issued by Caesar Augustus that all people should go to their place of origin and get their land registered and Joseph's origin could have been Bethlehem and Joseph and Mary were forced to go to Bethlehem. In the journey, both Mary and Joseph had to go through a lot of difficulties. Here we can take these trails as the faith of a person being tested when one turns towards their sacred path.

By the time Mary and Jesus reached Bethlehem it was around midnight and the only place they could find was a shed for cows where Jesus was born. So Jesus had very humble beginnings. Later most probably they went back to the town of Nazareth where Jesus grew up. While growing up itself it seems Jesus had a difference of opinion with his neighbors and family and had different sets of ideals. His family used to do carpentry work and most probably once he was a youth he would have gone to the nearest city in search of carpentry work.

It also seems from a young age itself Jesus had a good handle on spiritual deliberations and religious debates. Around his youth, Jesus becomes inspired by the teachings of John, the Baptist and starts to follow his teaching and starts to attend his sermons. But remember at this time the Roman law or Paganism was different from what John, the Baptist was teaching. So, John, the Baptist gets arrested and put into prison. Around these time, it seems Jesus also had to go through innumerable trails and his faith or inner trust gets tested. There are differing gospels that either Jesus gets baptized or not by John, the Baptist. This can also be taken in a metaphorical sense, Jesus taking a symbolic rebirth according to the teachings of John the Baptist. (Just a note here, I was brought up in the culture of Hinduism and there may be gaps in the stories of Christianity as I narrate. If there are any mistakes please bear with me and I am always open to knowing more about other cultures and faiths. Would very much look forward to any inputs my blog readers may have ;-) ).

After being with John, the Baptist and following his teachings for some time, Jesus starts giving sermons to his followers. Now let us go back in time to this scene. Think Jesus is giving sermons. What would have been the political and religious climate at that time? Would the authorities have supported Jesus with open arms? The rule of the land at that time was by Romans and they practiced Paganism. And here was a youth who was drawing huge crowds of followers for another way of life, which is very much far from Paganism. So he would have had enemies among authorities and officials and they would have tried to thwart Jesus's effort every which way possible. Also, they could have employed spies among the followers of Jesus itself to know what is happening in his camp. (Remember, the story of Judas). Jesus had to deal with all these difficulties.

Now, let us think whether the extended family of Jesus would have supported him? He was born and brought up as a Jew and here he was as a young adult moving away from his religion of birth and preaching about a new way of life, which could have been far from his faith of birth. This could have brought out the wrath of his extended family and he may have had to deal with this as well. Historical records show that his mother Mary though was on his side and very much supported him.

Jesus Carrying the cross
By PawełS (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Now finally after all this trials and tribulations due to the cheating of Judas, Jesus is captured by the Romans and he is derobed, put a thorn crown on his head and walked through the public square along with two thieves, each carrying a cross. Think of the final trial he had to go through. Later he is taken outside the gates of Jerusalem to a place called Golgotha or Calvary and is crucified on the cross along with the other two prisoners. Now think, Jesus was left there, nails in his hands and feet, bleeding, hungry and thirsty and left to the vultures to feed on him. What a terrible way to end one's life. This is the story of Jesus as I have understood it. Now let us go to the analysis.

Analysis - Wounded: As a young adult, Jesus becomes inspired by the teaching of John, the Baptist. During those times, the middle east now parts of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and  Israel were under the rule of the Romans, and these provinces had to pay heavy taxes to the Romans. This made the Romans extremely rich and the Jews who populated these provinces extremely poor. Above that most probably all the government or authoritative positions would have been in the hands of Romans and this could have led to a climate of corruption as for everything the Jews would have had to bend down to the will of the Romans. This would probably have created a culture of fear, worry, frustration and anger and Jesus also would have become a culprit of all these emotions.

Once he started his sermons he would have faced even more challenges and difficulties as the authorities would have considered him a rebel who is making people uprise against the then government. Think about the emotional and the spiritual stress Jesus had to go through. Maybe even physical challenges. He was born in another religion and every juncture he also would have had to go through the test of his inner faith as he was the first one to find this new religion. Only if he first has faith in his inner truth others are going to have faith in him. So at every crossroads, he had challenges, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and even psychologically. So in all these avenues, he was wounded every time with emotional and psychological scars. There could have been times when he would have lost all the structures he had built up in his life till then. His life as he knew it would have been torn apart by its bear foundations.

Analysis - Healer: Here he could have succumbed to the higher forces and challenges and could have lost his way in life. Instead, what did he do? After all the psychological and emotional trauma most probably he went through, he would have gone deep within himself to know truly who he himself was. For this he would have had to go through deep inner work and transformed himself to see the lessons or the guidance hidden in the trials and tribulations of his life. Most of the saints and sages go through this and it is a journey into oneself of solitude and aloneness. (Mind you, they are not lonely. Instead they choose aloneness to avoid distractions to go deep within and learn the lessons life is providing them. I am of the belief, each one of us sometime in this or another life will have to go through this journey of solitude and Self-realization).

This deep inner work would have transformed Jesus into someone who is able to empathise with another soul, put himself into that person's shoes and give him guidance and healing that is apt specifically for that person. To reach this stage in his personal development Jesus surely would have had to fight the outer adversaries first and later had to fight his inner demons like Self-doubt, lack of inner trust or faith and basically all the lower emotions like anger, envy and other vices. Then he would have had to bring his perspective or viewpoint up into higher qualities like compassion, love and happiness for all (Here we are discussing the historical Jesus who lived and walked the earth as a human like anyone  of us and not the divine son of God, Jesus Christ). To do this level of inner work, Jesus would definitely had to undergo great emotional and mental stress for sure.

The deep work transformed him into the divine healer we read about later in the stories. Because of the trails and tribulations he had to go through, he was able to relate very much with another human being at a raw soul level and was able to give the other person the much needed inner empathy and mercy, so that another person was able to start his inner work and Self- realization. Thus the wounding of Jesus later got transformed as a healer and Jesus very much represents the 'Wounded Healer' archetype.

A Foot Note: To finish up this post, I want to add an interesting detail to this write-up. We all know that Jesus was made to carry a cross on his shoulder through the public square. Even though, Jesus did carry a literal cross, I always had an inkling that there has to be a metaphorical meaning to this. I searched the internet far and wide many times to figure this out. What is this cross Jesus is carrying? Could not find an answer anywhere. So now who is the best person to clarify this doubt? Jesus himself, isn't it? So I put out an intention or a pointed thought to Jesus, as a spiritual master, what is this cross he is carrying?  (Remember we discussed this before, divine speaks to us through our intuition or inner voice and the religion and divisions are only made by us, humans. Any divine entity, spiritual master or seer we ask questions to as intentions with devotion, do and will provide us answers and there is no difference of being a Hindu, Christian, Muslim or any other religion, we are here working at our soul level ;-)).


Crucifixion
By Peter Gertner, Walters Art Museum [Public domain,via Wikimedia Commons]

The answer did not come for many many months. Absolutely no clue what the cross was. Then suddenly one day as a flash of thought it dawned. Jesus used to love and care for the poor and down-trodden people to the core of his heart. So due to the love for the poor people, their problems and difficulties became his problems and difficulties. Talk about a true leader! So now think, we normal human beings struggle just with our own problems. So consider a person who above his difficulties treats the problems of a whole population as his true problem. Isn't that a huge burden or a metaphorical cross he is carrying on his shoulders? This love for his tribe was the true cross he was carrying in his heart and his heart was metaphorically bleeding due to the care and concern he had for his people. (This brings to mind the picture of Jesus having a bleeding heart surrounded by a thorn belt with a cross in it).

Let Jesus, the wounded healer fill our hearts with love, care, compassion and concern for each other in this world nowadays divided by different faiths, religions, divisions and what not. Wishing all my dear readers a very 'Merry Christmas'!

I wish you a good weekend and I'll see you next Friday! 😉

Next week: Welcoming a crisp New Year!

Note: Images taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance ; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried".  


 
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