Is life meaningless?
Does life have any meaning? If so, what is it?
Is there an inner path of transformation that can give real meaning to life? Was the historical Jesus a “mystic” teaching this inner path?
It was a morning of big questions on Wednesday 29th June at the Pattaya City Expats Club when Dr Ren Lexander gave a talk marking the release of his new book, The Jesus Code.
Dr Lexander has already been published by major publishing houses such as Penguin, Bantam, Doubleday, Dell and Harper Collins but it quickly became obvious that this was his most radical book. The Jesus Code argues for an understanding of Jesus which contradicts not only the faith-based view of Jesus but also the received academic view – that he was a deluded apocalyptic preacher of a forthcoming Apocalypse which never came.
He started his talk by going through his own life journey which caused him to write The Jesus Code, starting with a depression he went through at the age of 26 after a business collapsed. This caused him to start asking hard questions about the meaning of life. Does life have any meaning? Would it matter if I died tomorrow? What is the meaning of life and how do you create a truly meaningful one?
Three years later, his life had apparently turned around – he was writing the National Manual on Local Government and the Arts in Australia, he had a TV series under option, he was building his first home but one thought kept looping and looping around in his head “There has to be more to life than this… There has to be more to life than this…”
This set him on an inner path of healing and transformation. In 1991, things happened in this path that caused him to start reading the works of mystics through the ages. And it caused him to re-read the Gospels and he saw of what Jesus said dove-tailed in with writings of mystics.
In 2013, Dr Lexander set himself to write a book arguing that the historical Jesus was a mystic. He found himself quoting some of the Beatitudes (“Blessed are the…”) so he thought “Give me another look at the Beatitudes… and I was stunned… because I realized that, in this handful of sentences, is spelt out the inner path of transformation in unbelievable clarity.” Dr Lexander argued that the first steps of the Beatitudes are the steps that anyone – atheist or otherwise – has to go through before they’ll turn to any inner path. They have to:
Mourn (ache because they lack a sense of real meaning inside). There has to be more to life than this…
Be meekened by that mourning. I don’t have all the answers after all… maybe someone else does…
Hunger and thirst to be right on the inside. The external world is not going to do it for me. Something inside me has to change…
He then explained the next four steps on the inner path that can culminate in what Jesus called “Baptism by the Holy Spirit”.
For more than one person, Dr Lexander’s talk had a very powerful effect. One person said: “I had so much to say myself this morning to support you and everyone there but I would have been too emotional and had been fighting back tears with the truths you put so well.”
Another comment from a church-going Christian was: “I found it entertaining, enlightening and, in a way, ties faith-based beliefs and the mental health of atheists together through Jesus which I see as a way to break through barriers and improving the quality of life for all people.”
For more information about the PCEC, visit their website at https://pcec.club. The Jesus Code can currently be downloaded for FREE at www.thejesuscode.com. Dr Lexander’s talk can be viewed on the PCEC’s YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkwYk6AB0D8