Your own personal Jesus in the hall of mirrors

Preliminary speculations — not from an expert witness — but from a mind that wandered and wondered during a church service: 

Corcovado jesus

Your Jesus is constructed from your interpretations of Bible passages about Jesus, your imaginative appropriation of Jesus, and your experiences related to an intentional focus on Jesus. In other words, you cannot escape your own subjectivity in your beliefs about Jesus, no matter what label you attach to those beliefs. When you look for Jesus, you find a single image from overlays of your interpretations and your imagination and your experiences. Maybe the outcome of these overlays provides some accuracy. I’m not sure anyone can overcome some degree of fiction in his beliefs — about anything, including Jesus. I’m not sure which one becomes the greater source of fiction, the imaginative appropriation or the experiences related to intentional focus. Then again, even the wildest, imaginative fiction has a root in the world as it is commonly experienced. Furthermore, common source materials make for similarities between different overlapping points of view. How does one evaluate the source materials, like the Bible passages? That I won’t attempt to answer here.

To turn this same central point in another direction: An individual becomes who she is by believing what she needs to believe. As she grows spiritually, she might choose to believe new things and to discard old beliefs. What she needs to believe now might not be what she needed to believe in a previous time.

But do humans get clearer perspectives and perceptions as they grow? These days I’m doubting it. For one thing, is it possible to refine a point of view without reading and studying its opponents? Probably not, and few really do. Furthermore, what passes for aged wisdom within one worldview is folly within another worldview. But then the need to believe a particular belief is based in a subjective need, not  in an unattainable, objective view of truth.

All this has nothing to do with the question of God’s existence.


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