By Joe Perez
Recently, I heard biologist, Elisabet Sahtouris, offer a great analogy that helps me to interpret the Easter story. Noting that physicists talk about sound vibrations at various frequencies as constitutive of the universe, she employs the image of a cosmic keyboard. Science deals with the low and mid-range frequencies, matter and electro-magnetic energy. Religion plays on the higher part of the keyboard in the realm of Spirit. Spiritual folk tend to make sense of the world by starting at the top end and working their way down, while scientists tend to start at the low-end and work their way up. But for decades science and religion got stuck, playing only one part of the keyboard and making the claim that only the music that came from their part of the keyboard was legitimate. To dance well and sing on key, we need to hear the music of the the whole keyboard.
But the “key” point is that there is only one cosmic keyboard. Nature is One. Reality is a single-story universe of infinite depth and height. The Easter story is not the story of a supernatural God, who intervened in Jerusalem 2000 years, suspending the laws of nature with a supernatural miracle. Rather, it is a story that encapsulates and catalyzes the story of a resurrection impulse that is active at all levels of creation, cosmological, biological, social and spiritual. Science is particularly focused on the first three. The spiritual frequency is a dimension of Nature/Reality that eludes easy measurement. If you intend to hear it, you need to spend time training the ear of your heart.
Read the whole thing, including Bruce’s answer to the question, “Do I believe that an iPhone camera pointed at Jesus on Easter morning would have captured him rising up?”
If Bruce’s question sounds familiar to my readers, it’s because I give three different answers to this question at different stages in my spiritual autobiographical chronicle Soulfully Gay (three different answers at three distinct periods of time). Without spoiling too much of the book’s surprise ending, I will add that my final response is different than Bruce’s, although we both affirm a belief in Christ’s resurrection. My belief was grounded on an actual physical visitation of a spiritual being who I came to identify with the Christ, and of which the book is eyewitness testimony.
Today, my belief in the resurrection is not dependent on assent to any particular notion of the transmigration of souls or belief in the Hindu tales of gurus who reappear to their flock following death. World Spirituality does not throw out the baby (abiding mysteries of Spirit, uniquely and irreplaceably expressed in religious gnosis) with the bathwater (superstitious or uncritical belief) in making space for pre-modern traditional knowledge.
Instead, it is grounded in my experience of a Unique Self which exists beyond the distinctions of space, time, and thought. From this abiding personal essence, I know of an awareness of a Self existing beyond the boundary of death, however imperfectly I am able to express this belief in words such as “resurrection of Christ.”