The Whole-Hearted Human Being

I have a special interest in the non-canonical scriptures of the Christian tradition. Perhaps it’s because I chafe at the idea of orthodoxy and “right belief.” Almost always, those who insist there is only one way of seeing things become more violent than those whose view they oppose. We’ve seen this borne out many times over the course of human history.

It is in the non-canonical gospels that we find Yeshua/Jesus “the single one,” ihidaya as he was called in Aramaic. I like the translation “whole-hearted one.” From the Greek, we get the English mistranslation “only-begotten,” as though Yeshua was the one and only son of God and we’re… well, not. But in Aramaic, we get a more nuanced picture.

It’s in the wisdom gospels, such as The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of Thomas, that we get Yeshua, Ihidaya, teaching us not how to go to heaven, but how to become whole. We get glimpses in the canonical gospels, but the wisdom teachings of Yeshua really open up in these once-forbidden texts.

To be ihidaya, whole-hearted, is to see the Oneness underlying the ten thousand things (as the Tao Te Ching says) and then, from that place of awareness, heal the world.

The news is filled with images of violence and disaster. As a global community, we produce over 2 billion tons of waste every year. The ocean levels are rising. There’s the problem of world hunger. The problem of potential new viruses. The world is full of problems. There can be a kind of helplessness when we consider the variety and scope of what we’re collectively facing.

And yet the hope of humanity is not in the coming of Jesus Christ, literally in the flesh, with his army of saints and angels. Our hope is the coming of ihidaya in each one of us. Thich Nhat Hanh once predicted that the next Buddha would not be an individual, but a sangha, a community.

I think the next Christ will be a community of ihidaya. That is what I hope to create with The Power of One. What I can do in my life is limited, and I only have so much time to build my skills. But imagine what a global community could do, what the power of one vision carried out by thousands of people could accomplish.

The community of ihidaya is open to all, of whatever religion, race, gender identity, sexuality, or national origin. In such a community, we return over and over again to the Great Mystery at the center of our beings, at the center of all things, through meditation and ritual. In such a community, we hold the Earth as Sacred Mother and respect all beings born of her lands and waters. In such a community, we work with the life/death/life cycle as the fundamental pattern of the cosmos. And, spiritually nourished, we go out into the world and heal.

We heal our Mother Earth.

We heal our communities.

We heal our bodies and minds.

Let us all be the medicine that the world needs.