Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Peter And The Keys To The Kingdom

17 Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

18  And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,  and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

19  I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

For Catholics, the above verses from Mathew 16. are used to justify the authority of the Papacy and the legitimacy of Apostolic succession.  On the surface this seems to be a logical conclusion.  This is especially true if one is raised in the consensus tradition of Catholicism.  A person so raised would not be predisposed to question the authoritative understanding of these verses.  My problem is that even though I was certainly raised in the consensus Catholic tradition, I was prompted to question the unquestionable assumptions very early in my Catholic formation.  These verses and the unquestioning assumptions they have generated are no exception.
I now think that Jesus is explaining to Peter and the other Apostles how reality works.  Jesus is very matter of fact when giving them the keys to creating their own reality. What is conceived of in the earth plane shall be manifested from the heavenly plane--or the quantum reality.  And those thoughts can be of a creating or destroying nature, binding or loosening, and they will manifest without judgement.  We create our own personal and consensus reality.
Chapter sixteen opens up with the Apostles having misunderstood something Jesus said which is really important about this concept of creating reality and Jesus goes to some lengths to correct their thinking:
1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came and, to test him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven.

2  He said to them in reply, "(In the evening you say, 'Tomorrow will be fair, for the sky is red';

3 and, in the morning, 'Today will be stormy, for the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to judge the appearance of the sky, but you cannot judge the signs of the times.)

4 An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah."  Then he left them and went away.  (What Jesus is saying is that the consensus reality taught and reinforced by the Pharisees does not contain any other conceptional reality except the Old Testament with it's stories like that of Jonah. Individuals can find enlightenment, after great trials, but the reality manifested by the consensus culture keeps on keepin' on.)

5 In coming to the other side of the sea,  the disciples had forgotten to bring bread. (This is important to note, because the Apostles have left the consensus reality of the Pharisees and have come to the other side of reality--Jesus's reality.  However, they have also brought their Pharisaical thinking with them.

6 Jesus said to them, "Look out, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."  (Leaven is a catalyst in the creation of bread,  just as authoritative teaching is a catalyst in the creation of consensus reality.)

7 They concluded among themselves, saying, "It is because we have brought no bread."

8  When Jesus became aware of this he said, "You of little faith, why do you conclude among yourselves that it is because you have no bread?

9 Do you not yet understand, and do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many wicker baskets you took up? (Jesus is reminding them that His reality transcends Pharisaical reality.)

10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up?

11 How do you not comprehend that I was not speaking to you about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

12 Then they understood  that he was not telling them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Bingo!)

13  When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"

14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15  He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

16  Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." 

17 Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood  has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

This last statement of Peter's is really important because it indicates that Peter understands Jesus is teaching and manifesting something new about reality and how it should be thought of and that the old ideas are old ideas.  In my scheme of things he sees that Jesus has come to save them from their old consensus reality and to form a new one.  Jesus then goes on the give Peter the 'keys' to reality by essentially explaining how reality works.  We get what we think and believe and that will manifest without judgment from heaven--the quantum reality. 

No wonder in Jesus's conceiving of forming a new consensus reality (church) he placed such an emphasis on love and service to others and the sacrificing (transcending) of the need driven self aware ego.  Jesus's consensus reality would be known by it's manifestations from love, by it's egalitarian acceptance of everyone, and by it's signs and wonders--it's ability to transcend the known rules of material reality.  Authority was not predicated on genetic family line or intellectual accomplishment, both of which tend to maintain the status quo.  In Jesus's new consensus reality authority is based first on selfless service to others and secondly on the mystical connections one had developed. This is why Jesus commented on Peter's understanding of His messiaship as having come not from flesh and blood--the material reality,  but from the Heavenly Father--the creative quantum reality.

What's happening now in Catholicism is not a tug of war between competing political wings or theological ideologies.  It is a tussle over the description of the consensus reality manifested by adherents of Catholicism.  If it seems at times that we are engaged in the same conceptual battle Jesus was as to who is the 'leaven' of this consensus reality, it's because we are engaged in that same conceptual battle.

It would be novel if we actually tried to create the love based consensus reality Jesus taught and manifested.  We might find it not only makes life fairer and more just, but it's also hugely efficient in meeting basic human needs---like feeding five thousand people by replicating  loaves and fish from the quantum universe.  The thing is, in Jesus's reality you don't get to play on that level in the Kingdom if your personal reality is that of a self centered jerk--and that too is a lesson brought to us by Peter.

I'll be writing more on this notion of the creative power of consensual reality tomorrow.  Emotion is a big part of this idea, and fear, as a dominant emotion, creates a very polluted consensus reality.  It creates a reality in which authority figures, usually self selected,  are given (or just take) all the power of conceiving the consensus reality.  It's very spiritually disempowering for the vast majority, something which is used and abused by too many authority figures.  Just some food for thought, until tomorrow.


  1. Nice one Colleen.

    Once again it shows up the delusions of cognitive power.


  2. But beyond the delusions of conceptual power, there is a truth. "In the beginning was the word..." Emotion is the focusing energy of creating, but the intellect fills in the details. Words and the intellect which generate them are important.

  3. Colleen, I've spent some time thinking and praying about these passages. I agree with you. The passage about sins being loosened and bound in heaven just don't pass the sniff test for me. God lets us tell Him/Her what to do? Can't see that at all. But when you apply the test to yourself, instead of power over other peoples sins, the passage makes sense. Jesus seems to be saying that this world really counts, that you will drag your evil and your holiness with you to that next plane. The church natters on about temporal punishment and indulgences and perfections, but this makes simple sense.

    Please note that each time I speak for God, I assume She/He is chuckling, somewhat like watching 4-year-olds in a spelling bee. For here and now, that's where God seems to lead me. Nice to have some synergy with you.

  4. "Emotion is the focusing energy of creating, but the intellect fills in the details. Words and the intellect which generate them are important."

    I'll add here that I believe vision and hearing are also the focusing energy of creating. Emotion is connected with what one sees and hears interiorly or exteriorly.

    For example, before Michaelangelo sculpted the Pieta, I believe it is said that he saw the form in the uncut stone. It must have been an emotional experience to have seen such a vision and then to proceed and bring it to life.

    As well, Beethoven and Mozart heard parts of the score interiorly and then visualized the piece or score and its direction. Beethoven later went deaf but was so thoroughly immersed into the world of music that he could still hear it in his mind.

    I look forward to reading your next post Colleen. This one was very enlightening and helpful.

  5. mjc, it's not so much that you drag you sins with you to the next world, it's more you take your misconceptions and misunderstandings as well as your truths, your relationships, and your passions.

    It's interesting reading Near Death Experiences. People have very similar experiences of going down a tunnel and being greeted by relatives and other beings, but they also have very different experiences as to how they conceive the reality in which they are met. For instance, it does seem there is a Catholic heaven, and a Muslim heaven, and a Native Other Side Camp. None of these are 'true' in the big sense, but they are in an individual sense. Our individual heaven will reflect what we individually think and believe about it, just as our waking reality reflects what we think and believe about it.

    As to the emotional part, if you die thinking your dead ex spouse deserves to be burning in hell, you may very well 'see' that, but it will be your illusion and not your ex spouses reality. As to what is really happening to your ex spouse, that depends on them and on God. We do not have the capacity to judge another in any meaningful sense. We just have an ego need to think we do. :)

  6. butterfly, your point is well taken because any of our experiences in this reality are products of sense reception. Part of the mystical path is to get past the enculturated limits of our senses and open them up to recieve information from the Greater Reality. Beethoven is a great example of our capacity to do just that. I'm always amazed when listening to his Ode to Joy to think he was actually deaf in this reality when he wrote it, and that meant all the individual parts for all the instruments and voices. Some part of his self aware consciousness was not limited by his deafness that's for sure.

  7. Colleen, I believe the vision Michaelangelo had of the Pieta in the stone was mystical and "information from the Greater Reality" (heavenly, & I hope this is what you mean) as well was Beethoven's 9th Symphony. I believe the information from the Greater Reality works as a gift through the senses interiorly and then moves outward to the external reality.

    On another note and related, I've read the stories of near death experiences years ago and it motivated me to think about how I would like to spend my eternity. It forced me to think about my life here in the here and now. It brought my dreams to the surface when contemplating about the end of my life here and what I might do and be in the next. Of course my personal heaven is full of artist and composers and inventors, creative people. I am glad to not be in a seat of judgment in this heaven. I imagine it to be like Earth in appearance and in which creativity continues and we can truly be all we were meant to be. We are limited here, repressed, unless we bring heaven here, are open to receive it like you say. To me, Heaven is also a place in which all the things one desires to know can be learned and relationships with people are not clouded by any falseness of the senses that often can distort the truth.

    In the heaven I imagine jamming with John Lennon, Beethoven and all the greats and never heard of in the greatest of orchestras and bands ever & lots of singing and composing. Jesus said that He "prepares a place for us."