Ways of Christ

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Main text part 1, The Gospels,
chapter :

The question of the empty grave, the "descent into hell" and the "ascent into paradise".

Drawing: the empty grave of Jesus

We could now deal with some further questions connected with the crucifixion. Firstly, there is the question of the empty grave (John 19, 38 - John 20, 10). We already mentioned that it was not simply a question of healing a living person with herbs . Nicodemus also applied substances known to be useful for embalming the dead. A simple corpse robbery with a funeral elsewhere can be ruled out from a not purely materialistic viewpoint. This will become obvious through the discoveries connected to the "resurrection" that are to be described in the next chapter. Further details can be deduced from working on rare formulations of questions:

One can, for example, look into the general question of what happens to human beings at and after death and whether it varies. This has often been done on the basis of religious manifestations and traditions and also due to philosophical speculations, further with the aid of, for example, parapsychological investigations, humanistic and transpersonal psychology as well as clinical and individual experiences (e.g. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, …)

Nearly all religions ultimately state that man not only "lives on in his descendants and through cultural after-effects" but that he continues to exist as a conscious individual. Even the worship of ancestors by (so-called) "primitive peoples" does not only mean the ancestors "living on" in the descendants; but they are convinced of the real mental or psychical existence of the ancestors in present time and even of their possible real presence in the cult life, or in the normal life of the descendants too. Even where ideas arose that humans could enter or incarnate in other life forms like animals or even stones or something else, the rule of the continued existence as a spiritual being was accepted. The newer "high religions" also stress continued existence. They see these even more unambiguously on higher levels of existence than the physical one. Some speak of possible contact between these levels of existence, but also of its problems. For the conscious ascent into higher spheres, precise ceremonies were developed, see for example "The Tibetan book of the dead" which, for example, C. G. Jung dealt with too. Concerning questions like reincarnation, very different experiences and ideas were reported.
Today there are some theologians, who don't believe in life after death, or in "Eternal Life"* through the experience of Jesus (*see the last paragraph in "The question of life after death..." too). They had adapted their thoughts to the long since outdated science of the 19th century.
One might get spiritual experience by asking oneself frequently "what is behind?".

In the field of the medicine there are not only cases of anaesthetized or apparently dead people who came back and reported on their experiences in other fields of consciousness. There are also scientific investigations e.g. about a decrease in weight of approx. 21 grams that always occurs at the moment of death. In Anthroposophy and Theosophy one would speak of the detachment of the "I" or the "mental body" and of the "astral or emotional body", along with the "ethereal or life-energy body", and the "phantom body" from the physical body. After that a further withdrawal into the emotional, and after that into the "I" alone and the causal world - this is not yet the "heaven" - follows - always with the higher Self above.

This might also lead to the question of how the dying person deals with the stored abilities, experiences, and substances in his various "layers"; and how are differences dealt with. Literature on this subject exists too, e.g. by Father Roesermüller (Germany), which points out that "essentials" from all elements of the being are "taken with one"; and that burial is better than cremation, because of this process. Even an unexpectedly observed sudden substance dissolution in a grave was reported. There are also reports about "corpses not decaying" observed by churches, from several centuries right up to the present time. Today, e.g. Bernadette Soubirius at Lourdes. There are many reports about "empty graves" too. In such cases it was frequently stated that these people had lived "very close to God".

Apparently, no one thought about a relationship between this and the empty grave of Jesus.; This thought, astonishingly enough, first seems to have appeared in the later esoteric magazines. There are several other peculiar events which are more difficult to check, but to generally put them down as frauds would be much too sweeping a statement. However, we know that physical matter still contains considerable secrets. Investigations from the field of chemistry and physics shake the picture of the putative, relatively constant atoms in the body even more. This can only be mentioned here in passing, since it covers a chapter in itself.

The apocryphal writings of early Christianity are also worth mentioning (not considered to be "heretical" by the churches, but also not considered to be a hundred percent correct and therefore not included in the canon of the Bible). A part of the so-called Gospel of Nicodemus describes "Jesus' descent down to hell" after his death and his influence on the beings there, who go through a - presumably emotional - cleaning. His meeting with the people of the Old Testament is also described - in some kind of "paradise", here meant as some kind of mental/ spiritual realm above. On the one hand such ideas seemed reasonable, but they can very presumably be genuine visions, which may be partly direct, partly symbolic.

As an image, the grave phase as a stage on the path of Christ shows on the one hand a last transformation of the corpse of Jesus, which was already "spiritually refined" during life; and parallel events of the higher being released from the physical body consciousness. The new beginning of a holistic (integrated) "New Adam" is touched on here. It is also full of symbolism because according to corresponding traditions "Adam and Eve" are supposed to have been buried below that area of "Golgotha" ("place of Skulls").

The importance of reports about Mary Magdalene being the first to discover the empty grave are not yet exhausted., Apparently, she recognized Christ in some kind of an intermediate stage* - "do not touch me " -. In the mental context, here she seems to symbolize the role of Eve. - *"Do not touch me, because I have not yet gone up to the father." This is different from the later appearance as a "resurrected being", where he e.g. explicitly permits Thomas to touch him. The dead body seemed to be animated by spirit in a new manner. However, the stories handed down do not lend credence to the speculations about Jesus "only having been injured and subsequently cured to health". His appearance had completely changed and the reactions of Mary Magdalene do not indicate that these changes were obviously caused by wounds or scabs. The two herbal substances used by Nicodemus, were also suitable (effective) in this combination for the embalming of the dead. What came about here does not fit into the scheme of death and life in the classical sense. Neither does it match with any of the borderline experiences between life and death which had been known about before. This also has a certain importance for the future, see our chapters concerning "The Revelation ".

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