This paragraph is from an answer to a question from one of the blog readers.

Hi Frederic — I believe that Jesus’s mission was to explain to everyone that we can all be united with God. Not symbolically, but actually. People experience this in different ways, but one thing is always the same: Once you’ve experienced it, you can’t doubt it. This is hard enough to describe to people in the 21st century; imagine how hard it was to explain in the 1st. As you can tell from the Gospels and other early Christian works, he was often frustrated in his mission (e.g., Luke 24:25). He experienced it when he was baptized, which is what sent him into seclusion. If you read the writings of the Christian mystics, you will probably see a pattern (although, again, each has an individual experience). What I’m writing here is how I came to terms intellectually with what I experienced early in my life. I’ve come full circle back around to it, along a very crooked path. People who tend toward intellectualism have a hard time opening themselves to the experience of God; I’m hoping that I can help people who are stuck in an in-between state. But until now, I’ve avoided writing this personally, which is a psychological protection mechanism. Thanks for asking so directly. May the Spirit of God be with you!

Steven Shaffer