In the beginning was the word, is among the most profound statements in scripture. It is no surprise that the Divine Spirit chose John to make this statement. The word here represents eternal and infinite knowledge or if you like, information upon which all of existence is founded. John, the beloved disciple of Jesus went on to say, that the word was with God and that the word was God. Then, in the most beautiful existential summation one could imagine, John proclaims, the word became flesh.
A truth seeking soul, knocking hard at the spiritual door, may ask what exactly is this word? If it is the foundation of all of existence, what is its nature and make up? Where did it come from? Is it the subatomic particles that make up atoms, which go on to make up complex molecules, which then go on to form complex life forms? In the parlance of theoretical physicists, is the word a brute, indisputable fact beyond which there is no further explanation? This kind of questioning leads to the fallacy of reductionism. When you’ve peeled back the last piece of the onion skin you are left empty handed. The essence is not found in the individual parts, the essence is Oneness, The Word, God. A more concrete way of explaining the fallacy of reductionism, is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You can take a computer apart down to its quantum level and set the parts before you and you will be no better equipped at explaining the nature of a computer from those individual parts than you are equipped to predict the wetness of water from the individual gas molecules of hydrogen and oxygen.
WARNING, a brief digression to put a finer point on all of this. The search for meaning and the nature of reality used to be within the scope of the Physical Philosophy. Things progressed and empirical science took over until the advent of theoretical and particle physics, which seeks to explain reality by reducing things to their fundamental parts. Much has been gained through this method and the glory of God has been manifested in deeper and deeper ways. But just as we may feel the presence of God in a beautiful sunset or in the case of some of us, in the myriad of subatomic particles produced by the collision of two protons, those things are NOT God. Today, theoretical and particle physicists have revealed some marvelous things about the nature of reality by describing various fields and their particles. Some discoveries have lead to great technological advances in medicine and materials science and engineering. These advances have improved the quality of life for us all.
However, scientist are baffled by their own discoveries when they attempt to understand the very essence of what things are made of. They have peeled back the skins of the onion and found fields and particles. The subatomic particles have long been thought to be disturbances in those fields. Now, they are not so sure because the individual fields and particles dissolve into nothingness when they attempt a further reduction. So what is left?
A careful study of John’s very clear statement gives the answer. He boldly states that the word is God. In the recent popular science vs religion debates once again the question of, why is there something rather than nothing? has come up. The simple answer is that there is no such thing as “nothing”. The evidence of this is existence itself. The answers to existential questions are contained within the questions themselves. And if this may seem circular, it is because it is circular. If there was no existence there would be no questions about existence. What we seek, as Jesus said, is within us. Our angst about the nature of existence, which at times degenerates into agony and despair is the result of our separation from God. That separation leads us to believe that life is meaningless and that we have no purpose.
Jesus, the word in the flesh, showed us that the source of living a life of meaning and purpose, with power, grace and love, ensues from not just knowing the word, but by becoming the word. That is we attain this when our nature becomes one with the divine nature. Ah, but here is the rub.
Many in religious and theological circles, particularly amongst fundamentalist Christians and the Catholics mistake language, or the spoken word for the word referred to by John. The irony here is that the Divine Spirit, speaking through John, sought to clear up this confusion by making it clear that the real word is spiritually transcendent. It is the knowledge and foundation of all things that ensues directly from the mind of God. A deeper irony is that any linguist will tell you that the words of our everyday language are but representations of thoughts, images and a sense of reality. They are not the thought, the sense or the reality. There are numerous examples from scripture that make this clear. When the followers of Jesus heard him speak they declared that he spoke with authority, unlike the Jewish religious leaders. Here is the scriptural text of another example: 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.Matthew 9:2-8
Jesus had just told the paralytic man, to “be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you.” Jesus, being the word in the flesh, had the authority to reunite this man with God, or in the language of that day, forgive him of his sins. The authority came not from some incantation or mumbo jumbo of words, rather Jesus as the word was and is the authority that not only controls reality but is reality.
The fundamentalist preachers, the Charismatics, the Catholic and Pentecostal healers all somehow believe that they can invoke the power of God to heal people with words and emotions. How woefully sad. If your illness is a manifestation of your separation from God(physical, emotional, or psychological), the only way you will be healed is through reuniting with God. The first step is recognizing you are separated from God(Faith); being sorry for that separation(repentance); through much prayer and meditation allowing your old nature(the self separated from God) to die; and then allowing the Divine Spirit to guide you into a new life of ONENESS with GOD. This must be the supreme desire of your heart. It is the only Way that you can realize the Love, Power and the Glory of God. A life of hopelessness and despair will be replaced by a life of purpose and meaning.
Jesus, as the word, as revealed to John and now to us, made all things and without him nothing was made that exists. And though Jesus was here among men, most were unable to comprehend the nature of his presence and hence remained in darkness. If we are to emerge from darkness and into the light we must be able to comprehend the word. It is the most profound, transcendent and unifying essence upon which all of existence rests.
To God Be The Glory Forever, and Ever