wilderness path

a significant inner journey


Messiah or Murderer?

 A Short Story by David Joy

Copyright © 1994 by David Joy







     This is a story with a different slant. The world has heard the endless stories of the ones who came to give meaning to something more than the mind presently could grasp. Their lessons and their teachings are profound, as they are left for each one to ponder, explore and discover.

     Perhaps the question one might consider here could be, “Is it possible that the experiences others came to share have a much deeper meaning than what is superficially assumed by the ‘experts’?” Who is it who decides the way another comes to express the Essence of Life is correct? Has he risen to the level of Critic of the Universe?

     It appears that those who have come before me have left behind signs for me to encounter in my own quest for the Answer. These signs are like symbols on a treasure map. They are universal, thereby allowing anyone the freedom of discovery through them.

     It appears that there are others who arrogantly conclude what the symbols represent, for them, and attempt to sell these ideas to anyone who will listen. Unfortunately, there are many who do listen. For this is the birthright of belief.

     Beliefs come from the assumed ideas of others. These ones need to defend their assumptions through conviction. Convincing another of one’s own ideas strengthens the belief one is assuming. One may ask, “How can one possibly come to any kind of clarity without the assistance of another’s ideas?” This is a fair question to consider.

     What if the ideas of others were seen merely as seeds for one’s own Self-discovery and not the request for acceptance of these ideas? What if each individual took the ideas offered by those who have left profound examples upon the face of humanity and attempted to seek the meaning of them for oneself? What if one’s mind refused to believe another’s words, yet questioned them deeply?

     In that instant, the need to depend on another would end, and one’s freedom to explore, to discover, would begin to dawn. To drift aimlessly seems not to be such a logical thing to do, since dependency is all the mind can comprehend, and another’s direction seems more secure than Self-direction. The need to feel secure, even if the security is false, dominates everyone.

     There are no exceptions to this rule. If the possibilities of seeking an answer rest in the inconclusiveness of a question to which one does not seek to supply an answer, the mind must open, becoming vast and unlimited. Here, there is no telling what one might encounter. Since this seems too fearful to consider, the very idea of fear becomes that which motivates and rules one’s mind.

     Here, one has convinced oneself that freedom rests in what one believes, or in whom one believes, rather than what and whom one refuses to believe. Thus, the ideas each one upholds become one’s life. The pure discoveries of others then become the root system by which one lives. This is dependency, not freedom.

     Someone else had to make Self-discoveries in order for me to look upon them and read about them. Was the motivation for another’s ideas being offered to me to hold the other responsible for my life? Or were these others saying, “You can do this also if you wish,”?

     There is not one ounce of intelligence operating in the accumulation of another’s ideas. Whether these ideas are related to the development of skills such as reading and writing, or the complex system of theory that demands the deep study of recorded information, this fact applies. Someone learned how to write in order to teach writing. Learning how to write from a penmanship major does not take intelligence. This activity is taught and memorized through technique.

     Reading Einstein’s Theory of Relativity makes not one a genius; it makes one a clone. Clones are not original organisms, since the concept institutes the process of duplication within it. Here, something must be duplicated. Was the one who assumed that Einstein utilized only ten percent of his brain using eleven percent? What percentage of the brain is utilized in death?

     To see the absurdity of such a premise is an intelligent action. The mind offers consideration to oneself, whereby Self-discovery becomes effortless. Intelligence is effortless, since only an ignorant mind thinks it takes effort to learn. Who wishes to achieve something that is painful, which effort must be?

     This appears initially to be seen as a lesson in achievement. It may very well be, but the achievement is time-consuming, making this a lesson in the achievement of pain, consumption and delay. Who wishes to consume pain wearily and assume this to be the action of intelligence? Here is where we might begin.

     Another comes to offer freedom from the very ideas presented. This then is a lesson in freedom, rather than a lesson in what the freedom is expressing. This teaches one the strength of one’s own freedom that will never ask for a donation. The gift of receiving one’s own boundlessness lies in giving what one discovers within oneself, rather than in the taking of what another discovered and claiming it as one’s own.

     Here, can one never own another. Here, one can never look to another for sustainment. Here, one will never demand from another. There is no one better than another in Self-discovery. There is only the equality of sharing that is available to everyone to receive freely.

     Our minds turn now to the following story which came out of this consideration for all things. I heard of a story of one who came to make a profound statement. What I never considered was the role of the others within the entire picture of this learning exercise.

     Each one must play the part for his/her release in order for the orchestration of the Universe to continue. My conclusions concerning what each part means make me a sponge and I arrogantly accept another’s rendition of his discoveries. Now I have come to discover on my own.

     Everyone has a lesson to teach. It is only my insecurity that looks to another for what I consider to be right, true, correct. I will therefore agree or disagree, but I will never discover. Yet, if I am looking for another to supply the answers, how is it possible for me to conclude what his answer to me is, or that it is beneficial to me?

     How can I understand the meaning of what another offers if I do not have the meaning from the outset? How can I seek to achieve what I have seemingly lost? If the ideas of peace evade me, even when they come to caress me, I will never see them, since I have already concluded what they look like.

     Let us begin to look to others as the teachers of what each one wills to discover about one’s own mind. In this willingness to consider does the Harmony of Life come to sing to me of things I have never thought possible. The direction is pointed out to us. The signs are available if one wills to open one’s eyes.

     What lies beyond the realm of pretense and supposition cannot be touched by them. The respect for the limitless nature of one’s Self awaits to be claimed. It calls to us now.


      Bless you,

     David Joy







     As the two Brothers stood together, they shared the possibility of attempting to give meaning to life. They had resolved the seeming conflict of the illusions concerning time and space within their mind that they shared with all their brothers.

     The Father of Light, being united with all things within Him, extended His Love, His Mind, bringing about the creation of His Son. This extension was a single Thought which knew no limits or boundaries. This was His Son, created in Perfection as Himself. This could never change.

     This free mind, with the will and the power assigned to it within the instant of Creation, gave the Son the capabilities of expressing himself in whatever ways he saw fit. Although was there one Son, his beingness created endless expressions of his Self, each containing the Perfect Mind within the One Mind. Thus, the Son might take on endless expressions, each flawless and free, whole and pure, within the expression.

     There also came with this freedom the will to direct his power as it was given. The tiny idea of identifying with what the mind expressed became more desirable than the authorship of it. This introduction into the possibilities that saw the potential for the Son to be something other than his Self was the beginning of doubt. This was impossible within the Father’s Mind, yet did the Son try to make it real in his.

     What His Father gave in the Creation, that being His Total Mind, could never die nor change. What the Son did with this free gift became the will to make his mind unreal through deception, since change had become real to his mind. Now he thought he could think apart from his Father.

     This idea of possibility introduced into his mind the idea of imagination. The mind began to imagine what it might be, rather than being what it Is. The Son of God, with all power at his “fingertips,” began to marvel at the ideas he imagined, losing himself within them. He imagined himself to be the very things he imagined.

     Here is where he “forgot” his Reality as he was created. Here he forgot he was the author of his thoughts. He had fallen asleep, becoming deceived through his own free will. This is where the idea of  “beginnings” seemed to take hold in his mind.

     As he imagined himself to be the ideas he held and not the author of them, he began to experience what he imagined. Experiencing what he imagined he was, rather than being what he Is, dominated his mind. He identified with this more, making his Nature foreign to him, and his strange ideas seem natural. Now did he see himself as the idea he imagined, and he started to become it.

     Since he had made the idea of beginnings possible, he had to design a way to end this image he was experiencing. Letting an idea go began to cause him to feel he was losing something, part of his mind. As the ideas began to withdraw, he determined this to be the end of himself, rather than the end of the ideas he made.

     This is how death became possible for him. Now did he have the ideas of life and death within the mind that knew only Life. In his mind, he made the impossible possible.

     Since beginnings and endings were now possible, so were they given dimensions of time and space within which they would accrue. He imagined his ideas and entered into them, thinking he actually was in a place he imagined. And he believed that there was a limited amount of time these ideas would last.

     Now he imagined within this dream more and more ideas, each becoming more complex than the previous one, fragmenting his mind into millions of tiny compartments into which he might get lost. As he continued to hold onto the imagined ideas, their strength would solidify into matter and form. He became the matter he imagined.

     Out of this activity of frenetic imagery, a “place” took shape that became known as the world. Now his imagined thoughts became the playground where he would act out and experience these images that he determined were his real thoughts. He was convinced of the reality of these ideas, forgetting he made them himself, purely out of his imagination. He was stuck in his own dream.

     He felt that since he could place limits such as time and space within his mind, it was possible to be limited. He felt cut off, and saw his needs now had to come from another, rather than himself.

     His form he more acutely identified with, and he sought others to satisfy what he forgot how to do on his own. He began to steal from others, abuse others, and since others were doing the same, they too felt the loss. This began the ideas of loss and deprivation. This also began the ideas of hate and evil. Now was his free mind imprisoned by the very ideas he himself imagined. It was getting worse and worse.

     The two Brothers looked on as they saw their brothers struggle with the dream within which they seemed to be caught, made out of the insane wish to be left alone, and without a Father. The two Brothers were looking upon this imagination, yet they were no longer convinced of its seeming reality. They had risen above it, ascending to their Essence as It was initially given.

     Dark and bitter was this dimension of form know as earth, where the Son of God had made his dreams possible and real, pacifying himself with a blue sky and glorious sunsets. Earth-dwelling entities called “human beings” became the name given to this form that sustained itself through itself, rather than beyond itself.

     Now he imagined himself to be more powerful than his Father, since making beginnings and endings assigned him the role of “creator” of this lost world of imagery and fantasy. He attempted to usurp his Father as he tried to make himself God, rather than being His equal Son. God would never deny His Son anything. And with his free will he now utilized to make himself what he was not, with which the Father could not and would not interfere.

     For his suffering of the beginning, loss and ultimate end of his own ideas, he placed blame upon his Father and others, forgetting he was the maker of them. This began the fear of his Father. Now he could not turn to Him in need. This was also the incubation period of guilt for the Son, since he felt if he ever did try to make contact with his Father, surely He would be angry, perhaps even reprimand him. With possibilities firmly implemented within his mind, anything was possible, including the impossible.

     His own imagined ideas of need were placed upon His Father for which He was made responsible. Each one who made the imagined world real disclaimed his responsibility for this within his own mind. The contents of it did he deny, and then placed the blame for the contents upon his Father and his brothers.

     Here did the ideas he imagined seem external to him, and out of his control. The forms within which he now seemed to dwell experienced what his mind’s imagination dictated to him. Since the ideas he imagined were time-implemented, they multiplied into billions of tiny time capsules, making his mind seem to be separate from his Father for years beyond the count of numbers.

     The forms became painful, cruel and troublesome. There seemed to be no way out now. His mind seemed not to be able to stop the flow of time as it rushed aimlessly to nowhere. The two Brothers continued to observe. For although they were free of the madness of this purely imagined nightmare, they could not stop it.

     There could not be any interference into any Son of God’s mind, unless someone asked for Help. Each one’s free will would never be violated, even by God. This was His Promise. The pain, the trouble, sickness and death became what each Son requested, rather than release from them.

     “Perhaps we can help,” came the words of the first who looked on with empathy. The second asked, “Do they want help, and can we interfere?” Responded the first, “Their pleas are calls for help, no matter how primitive the form. We have found the Way back and now must offer This to the others.” This was the action in which they now could partake.

     So it was decided that these two would “go down” into the dream, into this place of time, taking on a human form, to lead the others Home through their example. They would not demand anything from anyone. They would offer an idea of their own that might become more meaningful than the ones now being experienced. This became the Plan through which the others might find what they seemed to have lost.

     Each one would have to make this Self-discovery a choice. Just believing the words of someone else was not enough. Each one would have to comb through the maze of ideas that was firmly planted in the mind, and let each one go through correction.

     Although this journey into time and space actually occurred in a single instant, it seemed to take billions of years to develop. This was the single instant the Son of God thought apart from his Father.

     So do we begin our story.


     The noon-day sun bore down upon the heavy helmet Theus wore. The uniforms were somewhat protective, but they were cumbersome and heavy. All Roman soldiers were provided with a wardrobe of uniforms. There was hardly a time they were not worn.

     This was the image Caesar demanded be upheld. This trademark signified his particularity. One might lose his head for merely talking disparagingly about the uniforms, in any way. Caesar was highly insecure, so one better have a good excuse for any damage to one of the articles that made up the Roman soldier’s uniform.

     This was the day Theus had come to dread. He was wrenched with a bleeding ulcer from the guilt he had carried for years. Longer than he could remember. His attempts to drink away the problem to which he was so accustomed only worsened the situation.

     As he threw up this morning again, like most mornings, the grim reminder of his worsening condition showed loudly in his bile. The blood was getting thicker. This day it was more abundant. His stomach burned endlessly. And he cried.

     He had come to believe the gods could not have called this punishment upon him. Did they not adore Caesar? Caesar told him so, why should he question his lord? Would he lie about such a thing? Still, the unending feeling of being held responsible for his actions could not go unnoticed, could it? Whom was he fooling?

     He continuously held to the idea that, no matter how “bad” the criminal was, there was always that unsettled feeling during the “event” that perhaps there was another way to deal with these wrongdoers. But this was his job. These were the duties assigned to him by Caesar. They were monumental, more than one could handle alone. And he was held directly responsible for seeing the job be done. Or it was his ass.

     Theus never could get comfortable with it. The screaming, the writhing and the permanent blood-painted images in his mind he could not shake. They even entered his dreams, thereby never offering him the rest into which he sought to escape.

     Over and over and over was this role played. Again and again and again. The sights and sounds had made him deaf and blind to everything surrounding him. His mind reeled and his skull pulsated with the cries of pain and sorrow. The faces of these people, the permanent screams of agony of each one frozen upon his memory he carried wearily within each second of his miserable life.

     The condemned. Soon he must join them, for it could not go on this way forever.

     Each one systematically crucified by nailing the hands and feet to a solid wood cross. The stench of rotting corpses filled the air as the sun blazed upon their lifeless figures, the grim reminder to all who defied the law. Suffocation took place not for at least thirty hours.

     The bleeding weakened each one terribly, and breaking the legs left nothing to support the body assuring one’s passing into “hell” would be unmerciful. It was horrendous. Perhaps hell was less critical of the condemned. Perhaps this was hell.





     As he led the procession through the streets of Jerusalem this Friday, Theus quickly stole a glimpse over his right shoulder at the latest candidate. The movement of the group slowed again, another spectator offering something to this one who now carried his own cross.

     As Theus turned to look, he noticed someone helping the “criminal” up from the cobblestone street where he had now fallen for the third time. This one was weakened considerably from the terrible beating administered to him. He should have been dead by now. His face was broken, compliments of the guards.

     No one could possibly survive such a beating, and still have strength left in him to carry this structure of wood he now was expected to bear. Theus almost wanted to help him, and with this idea in mind, noticed another spectator offering assistance to him now. Theus mentally thanked the Gentile who now was helping carry the cross beam of the cross.

     This criminal was not like the others. He apparently had done nothing for which to be condemned. Even Pilate found him guiltless. As Theus watched him being helped to his feet, their eyes met. They had such strength within them. This one’s gaze was a compassionate one, making it difficult for Theus to look directly into his eyes.

     Was he bearing a smile? Theus quickly turned away, wiping the sweat from his brow onto his forearm as he led the group along.





     This place was known as Golgotha. As always, the crowds gathered to witness the events that were to transpire. Jeers of hate came from most. Others cried for mercy. There were a few in the front who merely observed, specifically a middle-aged man and woman and a younger woman Theus recognized as a prostitute with whom he once had shared a bed.  These three bore the absence of emotion of any kind.

     Theus dropped the hammer, its weight making a deafening thud as it hit the ground. It left an indentation in the earth, as he stared at it hypnotically. It was as though time had now slowed to a snail’s crawl, everything moving in slow motion. His eyes rested upon the steel spikes that lay nearby in a burlap sack. The external noise of the crowd now rose to a level he thought might deafen him.

     As he looked up, this “troublemaker” was standing before him, stripped to the waist.  They said his name was Jesus. His cloak lay in the dirt at his feet. He stood as he awaited the guards to place the cross, upon which he would be laid, beneath him. Again their eyes met. They were hard to evade.

     The two men’s eyes were locked and Theus could not remove his gaze as the world surrounding them dropped away in an instant. Theus felt faint, and Jesus steadied him as he swayed, almost falling. His gentle stare made it difficult for Theus to look away. He seemed so calm about what was taking place.

     His face was swollen and his beard was matted with blood from a wreath of thorns the guards mockingly placed upon his head, raising Theus’ shame to an unmanageable level. Although much of the blood had been wiped from his face by an onlooker during the procession, still a great quantity remained and continued to flow.

     His back was terribly torn from the whipping. The small metal beads tied to rawhide at their tips would rip trenches into the flesh to the bone when struck. It was incredibly painful for Theus to look at his back. How much worse it must feel to him who now lay upon the raw wood structure. Hopefully, death would come quickly for him, Theus thought.

     Theus found himself kneeling at Jesus’ side. Spans of time passed now and Theus knew not what impelled him from standing in front of Jesus to kneeling by him. He was having blackouts, perhaps from the heat. And he felt more faint, wishing the task were completed.

     The drones of the mourners were now barely audible, the chanting of monotone sounds like a prayer in some strange language. Now the noise began to subside. Theus found himself within dead silence. Only of the laboring of his own breathing was he now aware. As he looked about himself, the crowd continued to jeer, although no sound came from their mouths. He shook his head wondering if he had lost his hearing, or had he begun to lose his mind.

     Jesus was now lying upon the ground with the cross beneath him. The corporal was holding his wrists in place with the full weight of his body. The intense pain of the nails being drive through the base of the palm would force an individual into a sitting position. It was the corporal’s duty to see that the hands and feet were held firmly in place while the nails were fastened.

     Theus was sweating profusely and he removed his helmet. His palms, soaked with perspiration, made it almost impossible to hold onto the heavy hammer. His hands trembled as he placed the steel object against the soft flesh of Jesus’ hand. The nails were approximately eight inches long and an inch in diameter, heavy enough to hold flesh to wood, while not so large that they might split the wood into which it was driven.

     The sharpened tip pierced the skin of Jesus’ hand as Theus pushed upon it, marking the spot where the object would enter. Theus looked at Jesus, but his eyes were fixed upon the late afternoon sky, blue and lustrous. Theus’ stomach burned as he raised the hammer, the bile catching in his throat like an acidic chemical, foul-tasting, and all too familiar by now.

     The hammer came silently screaming down with the force of a pile-driver meeting the head of the steel spike with a sickening crash, driving it almost completely through the hand. Blood spurt from the palm into Theus’ face, complicating his sight as the steel object trenched a pathway through skin, muscle, cartilage, bone, and wood. Tears that had formed in Theus’ eyes now streamed down his face.

     Theus felt Jesus’ body lunge forward, attempting to escape the pain. With the corporal still holding his body down firmly, additional blows from the hammer secured the palm to the cross beam. Theus gagged as he held back the need to vomit.

     He was now a mere automaton following the dictates of his mind, programmed with this sick ritual that he had carried out almost daily for the past years. He rose slowly, proceeding to the base of the cross. It had been raised into place with Jesus’ feet yet to be fastened. The corporal was holding the feet in place, the left on top of the right. They were supported by a wedge that offered support to the body upon the breaking of the condemned’s legs, although Theus ordered this action not to be carried out.

     Theus’ guilt was far too severe now for him to contain, and he began heaving. He wanted to run away and not finish the task. His tears flowed steadily now. Blood stained his face, arms and uniform.

     As he knelt before Jesus’ feet, his eyes locked upon them. Soft was the skin, almost pink, pure, and milky smooth. The symmetry of his feet was perfect, unscathed by wounds or scars of any kind. Theus thought of how he was to violate the beauty of this man’s foot with the trauma of violence he was about to deliver. He had never seen someone’s foot this way before.

     Theus reached out and placed his index finger upon the foot. He ran his finger gently along the soft curve, just above the arch where the top of the foot meets the base of the shin. The skin was like silk. The gentle curls of hair danced to the command of the wind. Theus wept uncontrollably.

     His guilt raging now, Theus knelt before Jesus so that he could effectively secure his feet to the cross. His position took on the appearance of a servant before a lord, requesting mercy from his master. Theus’ need to find forgiveness overwhelmed him now, for the thoughts entered his awareness as to how he might ever be forgiven. He felt the world might hear his heart as it began to beat fast and painfully hard. He thought of all those who despised his role and how much more of their hate he must endure.

     Blood screamed violently from the torn flesh of Jesus’ feet. The tremendous blows from the heavy hammer with which Theus pounded away sent rusted metal ripping through both of Jesus’ feet and completely through the back side of the cross. The corporal fell to the ground attempting to hold the feet in place as the body twisted and contorted uncontrollably.

     The cross shuddered as Jesus’ body reacted to the foreign objects now impaling it to wood. Theus dropped the hammer, the spikes holding him firmly in place. He was not going anywhere.





     Theus remained kneeling, his task completed. His breathing was labored. As he looked up, eyes clouded by blood, sweat and tears, he noticed Jesus was speaking. To whom was he speaking? The sky perhaps?

     Theus could not hear what he was saying. As his hearing began to return, Theus’ attention fell upon Jesus’ words. Theus stared at Jesus, as if expecting to see the words come visibly from his mouth. What was he saying? He was praying. For what was he praying? Surely it had to be for the sins he bestowed upon himself, since his situation was now a grim one.

     The words appeared as Theus listened to Jesus’ request for forgiveness for others. The words captured Theus by surprise as he was attempting to stand. He could not believe what he was hearing. He had heard of this “teacher” before, but had never been present when he spoke.

     Jesus’ words were like a blow to the solar plexus, and Theus fell to his knees the second time, his head bowed. He listened as this man prayed for forgiveness for the others in the hour of his own death. He seemed to be not concerned with his own demise, but rather with bringing peace to all of those around him.

     Theus listened as Jesus addressed the three individuals who stood in front of him, the somber ones. Apparently one of the women was his mother. Theus raised himself up on one knee, as the corporal tried to assist him. He almost pulled the corporal to the ground with the weight of the despair that now consumed him. And he continued to listened.

     Jesus’ breathing began to labor, though his words remained strong, calm and assuring. Theus had never witnessed anything like this before, and he had crucified many. Jesus was instructing the others to care for one another. He addressed the concerns of the others, rather than his own.

     Theus buried his face in his palms, weeping as he heard the words of this one whom he had now crucified. There were two others who were condemned along with Jesus on this afternoon. Theus looked up from his pain to witness Jesus offering his words to these other two. He addressed their concerns also, rather than his own. And then Jesus’ words were heard no longer. Theus wept, unable to stop.

     He clinched his fists tightly against his eyes. His stomach tightened. Stumbling to the rear of the cross, he looked to the sky as screams of anguish burst from his throat like that of a dying animal, his wounded cry echoing throughout the countryside.

     Deep wells of release from the bottomless pit of his guilt surged forth, and he sobbed deeply, able to retain composure no longer. He cried as he had never cried before. It paralyzed him, and he dropped to his knees for the third time.

     Then his mind went blank.




     Theus knew not how long he had been kneeling before the foot of the cross, nor how he got there, crying with his arms wrapped tightly around its base. It was hauntingly still, deafeningly quiet around him, although the wind whispered its presence against his ear. His brow was cooled by this gentle breeze, his face brittle from the dried fluids upon it.

     As he looked up, he saw Jesus looking upon him. Theus caught a hint of a smile upon Jesus’ face as his eyelids gently closed. As did Theus’.

     The sky turned threateningly dark and the wind began to wail.




     As the two Brothers stood together, Jesus and Theus, they shared the possibility of attempting to give meaning to Life. Jesus explained to Theus his role, and that he needed Theus to go through with this plan. Theus was deeply concerned.

     “I cannot do this. Please ask me not.” Jesus responded, “You must, for you have chosen to participate in this task. I will be with you.” Theus asked, “What will become of me?”

     And Jesus replied, “I will wipe away all the guilt from every mind that dwells within the Universe, dissolving your own need for it. Will you help me? I cannot do this alone. I need your part, my Brother.” Theus responded to him, “Yes, Brother, I will do as you ask. The need for this example is great. I wish to uphold my part.”

     “Bless you, my Brother,” was Jesus’ answer to Theus.

     They embraced within their formless state, with mind joined to mind as One Thought. Their task was set and their purpose would be a mighty one. They would receive all the Guidance and Strength needed to fulfill this promise to themselves and to all their brothers.

     Now did they rest in Silence, outside of time and space, outside of the world of form. They remained within communion with Him, awaiting their own manifestation upon the planet.




     Earth Date: 05 BC:

     Theus Gratis as a child pretends to be a Roman soldier, waving his olive tree branch about as if it were a sword.

     In Bethlehem, a child is born. The holy Scriptures prophesy of the coming of a Messiah.

     Would he be called Theus or Jesus?