[Written around 2005. Commentary in 2013: Just to be clear, I have no clue whether or not Jesus actually lived as they said he did. I take him to be a very unusual and mythological person, and that’s how I’m writing about him…]
Jesus was a warrior, and his prime enemy was the family. He advocates open rebellion of children against their parents. Take Matthew 10:34:
“Think not that I have come to bring peace to the earth; it is not peace I bring but a sword. I have come to set son against father, daughter against mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law; a person’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”
Jesus says reject your parents, reject the lies they raised you on, and find the honest truth within yourself. That’s why they killed him, Jews and Romans, and even one of his own disciples. Jesus threatened their way of life, and created a new mold.
Take his celibacy. This gave him the opportunity to avoid externalizing his internal conflicts. Few can handle the frustrations of conscious celibacy, and most who are celibate simply do so through unconscious defense, by splitting off and repressing their sex drive. This death-celibacy does not lead to enlightenment. It leads to disease.
And take his lack of having children. He never recreated the cycle of bringing others into the world to rescue him. It is difficult, if not impossible, to attain enlightenment when one becomes a parent. Projection, that most basic defense mechanism underlying acting out, becomes too easy and comfortable when one has offspring. They’re like magnets for parental projection of denied material, for one’s own unresolved childhood traumas, and are a time-tested vaccination against healing.
And take Jesus’s forty days and nights in the desert: his time of profound introspection – and temptation. Before Jesus could move forward cleanly he had to know who he truly was, where he was heading, and what was tempting him back. And his temptation was his family, their perks, and their ways. And once he’d figured this out he no longer had to mince his words.
Take his line to his own biological mother and brothers when addressing a crowd of his followers, from Matthew 12: 48-50:
“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Or this, from Luke 14: 26-27:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Jesus hated his family because they betrayed his soul, and he made a new true family for himself – a family of true soulful companions, people open to his new, true, honest self. He had to reject his old self as well, the false self that he created to survive amidst them, and hate all that went with it, all the parts of himself that were just like them. However, as to his line about hating one’s own children (assuming he’s talking about young children), he’s totally off there. No child deserves the hate of his parents. After all, Jesus wasn’t perfect. He went far, but he still had his emotional work cut out for him – and he agrees!
Take John 14:12:
“He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…” [italics mine]
Jesus realized that even he was an evolving person who had not reached the pinnacle of man’s consciousness. He was a person of his time, and one who died young, at a mere thirty-three. What might he have become had he kept on exploring, maturing, growing, developing his thoughts?
This he leaves to us to find out for ourselves…through our own lives, through our own healing processes.