Chapter 1: Spiritual Hedonism
Jesus was crucified outside the town. Not only that: to emphasize the fact, two very dangerous criminals were crucified with him - two dangerous criminals on either side. He was crucified between these two just to emphasize the fact - to hit it hard into people’s minds - that he is just a criminal, a dangerous man, not at all respectable, an outcast. He had to be crushed like a worm, not like a man. What had he done? What sin had he committed? - the sin of being happy.
That’s how I am condemned. People would have liked me if I had been a sad man. They would have liked me if I had been fasting and killing my body. They would have liked me if I had been teaching you some type of masochism: how to be cruel to yourself. They would have liked me, they would have praised me like anything; they would have called me an avatar.
But I teach you to be alive, I teach you to be happy. I give you only one gospel: the gospel of joy and love. That is a crime. That is creating a dangerous situation. That is corrupting people.
Jesus committed the crime of being happy. That was his only crime - nothing else.
Christians have been trying to change his face. They say he never laughed. Can you think of a man who is always seen at dining tables, eating well, drinking.and not laughing? Impossible! But Christians had to create a respectable Christ, a Jesus who is not a criminal. They have painted his face. You can’t find any picture of Jesus depicted by Christians, any statue of Jesus created by Christians, which is real or true. It is absolutely unreal. The man has been betrayed.
Just the other night I was reading a poem. I liked it. I would like you to listen to it. It is a poem by Adrian Mitchell.
The Liberated Christ Gives An Interview
I would have walked on the water
But I wasn’t fully insured.
And the BMA sent a writ my way
With the very first leper I cured.
I would have preached a golden sermon
But I didn’t like the look of the mount.
And I would have fed fifty thousand
But the press wasn’t there to count.
And the businessmen in the temple
Had a team of coppers on the door
And if I’d spent a year in the desert
I would've lost my pension for sure.
I would've turned the water into wine
But they weren’t giving licenses.
And I would have died and been crucified
But like - you know how it is.
I am going to shave off my beard and cut my hair
Buy myself some bullet-proof underwear
I am the liberated Christ
And I have got no blood to spare.
Christians have made him totally different. He was not like that. He was a rebellious man, a revolutionary, extraordinary. And he lived it, he lived his rebellion. He was not a theoretician: he lived it, he died for it. He loved life so much that he was ready to die for it. But he was not ready to be anti-life. That was his crime.