Is all which I now see around me truly the result of my brief presence on Earth? Has all this truly been done in my name? I came among you with a single intent. Not, as you seem to think, to win redemption for all of you for the sin in Eden (how could you imagine such a thing?). There was no Fall in Eden. The Man and the Woman remained unblemished. So how could there be such a thing as universal redemption when there is no such thing as universal sin? No, the only sin is the personal sin of not being true to one’s own self. That is the greatest betrayal, for if we betray ourselves, then we also betray our true Selves.
But you do not need me to redeem you, for I tell you truly that each and every one of you has the spirit to redeem yourself, because each and every one of you is me, and I am each and every one of you. Why have you forgotten this? I will tell you why: you have forgotten this because you have placed me outside of yourselves. In your frenzy to banish bronze idols you have merely replaced them with another idol. And the idol which you have created is a monster, not of bronze, but of ideas, of doctrines and of dogmas which have served only to divide you against yourselves, and therefore from me also. That idol is myself as you have created me. You have so occupied yourselves with building a towering plinth for me to stand on that you have forgotten that if I am standing high above you then we no longer can look each other in the eye.
And this is not the only idol which you have created in my name. You have built another idol to worship: an idol of words. You have transformed something that shone with the light of my being, something bright with radiant change, into something harder than stone. For even stone, which seems unyielding, changes its form over time. You have taken it upon yourselves to decide what is or is not ‘holy’, and yet I say to you now that all which is thought or said or written with a pure heart is holy in my eyes, and whether something is or is not holy to me is not something for you to decide. And yet this is what you have done. I speak with many voices, and yet how many of my voices have lain in the dust of centuries, or which you even have consigned to the flames, because of the choices which you have claimed to make on my behalf, because of your folly in believing that such choices were yours to make?
Look at the footprints I leave behind in the soil. They are the footprints left by a mortal form who wore only simple woven sandals. And yet many of the footprints left by those who deign to place themselves nearer to me have sunk deep into my earth, weighed down by the finery of their wearers. Their footprints are heavier than my own, and I tell you that their weighty apparel, their jewelled rings and resplendent robes, distances them from me more than the pure of heart who must walk barefoot, for such earthly show is a greater barrier to drawing close to me than the simplest garments worn by those who leave footprints as light as my own. The footprints of the meek have trodden where I also have trodden, and their footprints and mine are therefore the same. Lightness is a virtue, and a crown of thorns weighs less than a crown of jewels and gold, both in this world and in the one to come.
But these robes of earthly glory are not all that in my eyes truly weighs down mortal flesh. If the blood of even one individual is shed in my name, I say to you that the death of that single individual is a matter of greater weight to me than my own mortal death, which was no death but a mere revealing of my true nature, as it is for you all. And yet the lives of millions have been offered up in my name. Where is the kingdom of heaven for those who have swung the sword, or caused conversion in my name by fear or by force, or torched the pyre beneath the stake? How can it ever be attained when all which I truly am has become so misshapen?
How could it have come to pass that so many innocent young souls so precious to me have been damaged by those who actually make claim to represent me, but who in truth only represent their own darkness? I, who have entrusted to the Woman the most difficult and the most sacred task of all, and who should only be honoured, now find Her damned by you. Do you seriously imagine that I will return in triumph when so much that has been done in my name has served only to create damage and division, and even a loss of life itself? Only a fool would think that I one day shall return. The pure of heart know that I have never left.
But why did I come to you at all, if not to redeem a sin of your own imaginings? If redemption exists in each and every moment (and it does), then my descent to earth, my entry into this world of coarse matter, must have been for another reason. And it was. Such events move on a stage greater than your imaginings. They arc across all of time and space, and from time to time these events emerge into your world, become momently visible to your histories, and you create messiahs and mythologies: stories and writings which are mere faint echoes of far larger truths.
So why did I come? Why, if not to redeem, did I descend into this flesh? I had been waiting. I had been waiting for my beloved Other Self, waiting for her arrival in the world so that I might join her and so on earth complete the sacred union of soul and spirit. I came, not for all, but only for one. You, my beloved one, who in these greater realities take the form of the clear voice of wisdom, my bride Sophia, were that One. You, who are the Ocean holding all life within your sacred womb. You, who trod the soil in the same place and at the same time as my own brief sojourn. You, who witnessed my mystic death and resurrection. You, who took me as husband at Cana in a marriage that was the earthly echo of our union which already had found place in the luminous Beyond. Mary, I came for you.
The drawings and paintings in this post have been adapted from the late 19th-early 20th-century works of Odilon Redon. From the top: Closed Eyes, Reflection, Christ, The Golden Cell, and Melancholy.