John 18: 28, Facing Our Killer Fears

Verses 28, “ Pilot said, ‘why do you not try him?’ The Jews answered, we are not allowed to put anyone to death.”

The Jews were stirred up and angry. Their killer rage was pushing to the forefront of their actions. They wanted Jesus’ life snuffed out. They were threatened by Jesus’ healings, teachings, and non-violent presence. They feared their way of life, their beliefs, and their law would be usurped by a different way. They were afraid. They mobilized their aggression to get Jesus killed. Their worldly laws prohibited them from doing the killing; so, they went to the ruling order of the day, the Roman government. 

The story is symbolic of an inner movement that often happens automatically in our psyches. We feel the presence of an unknown part of our soul coming into consciousness and we get scared. We want to maintain control (an illusion) by holding onto our perceptions of who we think we are. We resist acknowledging feelings and impulses that contradiction our notion of who we are. 

The tyranny of the ruling principles that show up as “shoulds, musts, and ought tos” shows up to thwart the new. Our anxiety increases as the inner harassment of these edicts intensifies. We get caught in the frenzy to abolish and maybe even kill the new life that is emerging.

The collective ruling principle in our psyche always resists the movement towards greater consciousness. Some part of us seems content to hold on to what is known. Fear of what is emerging from the Self/God Within reigns. We can, like the Jews, seek permission to kill off the new knowing.

We do this emotionally and mentally in many tricky ways. Here are a few: negative self-talk, judgments, criticisms, hostility, name-calling, doubt, repression, denial, and aligning with fear. We inadvertently defer our conscious responsibility for meeting the new by letting these inner “Pilots” decide the fate of our soul.

We may feel afraid to embody, to act on, and to integrate the new energies that emerge from our larger Self or God Within. The larger Self is the totality of our psyche/soul.  Our little self or ego is always less than the wholeness of our soul/psyche. We forget this. We get attached to our ego ideal. We resist incarnating the largess of our soul as it means the ego changes.

To incarnate means to embody. To embody means to integrate into our personality and physical being. This means experiencing and using the energies in service of life. We embody as we relate, respond, and give the new consciousness it’s rightful place. We choose to invite the new to inform our inner and outer actions. Our soul becomes the ruling authority.

When we follow the soul’s lead, our thoughts, feelings, and movements reflect the realities of our truer nature. We no longer bow down to the internalized legalisms of shoulds, musts, and ought tos. , Our soul’s energies become the ruling principles, guiding impulses, and originator of our actions. We live in soul’s knowing and truth. We break our allegiance to the internalized authority that reflects the voice of the outside collective norms.

We grow up in families, churches, schools, communities, and cultures that have certain prevailing beliefs. At the time the beliefs emerge, the resulting spiritual authority is what is needed for growth. It contains a level of consciousness that fits for the time. It gives parameters and guidelines that are helpful for living. 

The Jews in the story represent this internalized collective spiritual authority.

If we continue to grow, our consciousness expands. The parameters and guidelines that were once helpful stymy the soul’s expression. As our consciousness expands, we have to let go (or destroy) the old ways and open to the new spiritual guidance that is now present. Jesus represented the new guidance, the law of Love over the rules of legalism.

We choose whether to align with the greater consciousness that emerges or to keep our allegiance to the older, smaller consciousness. We make this choice every time a new bit of soul makes itself known.

Inner Reflection

How do your inner “Pilots” show up? What do they say? What feelings indicate the presence of killing energies? What is the new life that’s emerging for you now? How can you protect it? How can you nurture it into full expression? Be aware of your choices throughout the day. Be courageous and align with your soul’s budding.