Sheila M. Kelly

Would Jesus be on Twitter?

Imagine that you live on the East Coast of Canada, and you are sharing a vehicle with a revered, respected, and renowned spiritual guru. You have been anticipating these precious moments as you drive this best-selling author of dozens of books and a frequent guest on talk shows like CNN to his hotel. You are somewhat nervous. What will you say? What will he be like?

As it turns out, there was no need to worry, because the only connection this esteemed spiritual teacher is interested in is with his electronic device. He, in fact, spends the entire drive time on Twitter and Facebook, connecting with his millions of followers around the globe instead of focusing on you, the person who so eagerly anticipated meeting him.

I was not the person sharing the drive with this spiritual teacher, but I believe the story to be true because I trust the person who shared it with me.

This story has me pondering this question:
If Jesus… or the Buddha, Gandhi, Krishna, or any of the Master Teachers… were walking the planet, would any of them be on social media?

Please share your thoughts. I’d love to know:

1. Do you think any of these great Teachers would be on social media? Why or why not?

2. What is the connection between this guru’s behavior and leadership?

9 thoughts on “Would Jesus be on Twitter?

  1. Jamie Pritchard

    Would Jesus be on Twitter”

    My short answer to this would be yes.

    Before I explain my answer I want to address the problem that you have so eloquently hit on in your question.

    The problem is this.

    As individuals and a society in general social media connects us, but it brings out obsessive behaviour that actually disengages us from the rest of the world.

    As you noted in your story a Spiritual Teacher that is more concerned with what is happening in the virtual world of Twitter, Facebook etc. is missing the opportunity to truly make a difference with an individual that needs their guidance in the here an now.

    For me social media is not the problem, it is only an expression of something that already exists in our society. That is that as individuals the majority of us are disconnected from honest, authentic conversations with others and most importantly-ourselves. So we unconsciously seek acceptance through obsessive connection to social media. The social media gives us validation when we get multiple likes, or better yet someone comments on a post we sent out- Yeah!! I feel good. I am worthy. “People like me, they REALLY like me”

    In reality that feeling is an illusion. It is not real.

    As spiritually minded or connected beings, I believe we can use social media as a tool, to spread a message of hope and love to others. When we use social media in a time bound, and purposeful way to write about the differences between an ego centric vs. a spiritual centric perspective we do more to change others ways of thinking and being.

    Would Jesus be on Twitter? Absolutely. However he or any spiritual teacher would use it as a means to provoke thought and reflection, not as a way to validate their own ego.

    I think Jesus would have used social media as part of his spiritual practice and post 1 or 2 powerful messages to get others to wake up to the way things really are.

    That is the peace that you seek is not “out there”, it is within you. You just have to make a choice to pay attention to what is and the peace you seek will be found.

    Your brother in love and spirit.

    Jamie

    1. Sheila Kelly Post author

      Thank you, Jamie, for your eloquently written and heartfelt sharing. I agree with your wisdom, except for your certainty that Jesus would be on social media. I think it’s possible, but I’m not as certain as you. I’ve got a feeling that He might be too busy out in the community, leaving others to share his wisdom with others on social media. Again, my thanks, my friend.

  2. Context Consulting my

    This is such an interesting statement. I know of similar stories of famous tech gurus, entrepreneurs, etc. My guess is that Jesus would be on social media and his disciples would be on it more. However, it is even clearer that he would not ignore those around him. Most Jesus stories involve him reaching out to regular folks in front of him and getting in trouble with the powers that be.

    Our society is obsessive and this is fuelled by social media and mass media, including endless news reports about “terrorism” — such a loaded word. I prefer “fearism.” It is this obsessiveness, anxiety and lunging into the future that is not so spiritual. Jesus was a carpenter so maybe he liked working with his hands. All this digital (finger) stuff is cool but it isn’t very hands-on (manual) the way artisans and artists work.

    1. Sheila Kelly Post author

      Thank you, David. Love that word “fearism.” In fact, I think I shall start using it! I see someone named Desh Subba has written a book on it. “It is this obsessiveness, anxiety and lunging into the future that is not so spiritual.” Well said, my friend. Again… thank you.

  3. R. Michael Fisher

    Sheila,
    Of the comments so far, I think you are getting near a closer truth to your question, when you said, “I’ve got a feeling that He might be too busy out in the community, leaving others to share his wisdom with others on social media.” I personally don’t like answering hypothetical questions of the ‘extreme’ type as you posted, albeit, it makes one perhaps think “What am I doing on social media?” and, in this case of your interest, it seems you are asking, “What is a spiritual-practitioner doing on social media?” Besides the concerns others have expressed about quantity vs. quality thematics of social media use and abuse, it seems my own thoughts prefer to think a little farther down the ‘rabbit hole’ and I settle for a moment. I stop. Listen in the dark beyond endazzlement of the “screen” … Jesus whispers to me, I imagine… “What you are doing man? Don’t you see how dangerous it is to “all” be using the same designed platform for communicating with humans through a machine you didn’t invent nor a program you know how it was created, nor even probably who created it. I would never trust to offer anything deeply true through a channel that is not of my making/design and that is not so monocultured in digital expression and… “. Suddenly, I’m shunted to the top, back into the bright light of the everyday. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason I never have chosen to go on social media with my work on fear and fearlessness, and yes, fearism (I am a colleague and co-author of a new book on philosophy of fearism with Desh Subba)… people keep saying you’ve got it to get your message out there; my Gen Y daughters say the same… and, I walk a different path, sometimes led to websites like this one (thanks Desh for telling me about this)… Why I have not succumbed to social media is worth an essay, not a few sentences. If you squeeze me up against a wall, I’d probably say what Jesus said to me deep in the ‘rabbit hole’… of course, who knows who ‘Jesus’ is and if and when a voice inside seems to speak some wisdom… mostly, while up against the wall, my intuition, at least, says “don’t do it” (at least, not for now), there’s something to learn from the fall out and shadow side of social media and the Internet overall. I’m 65, so I wasn’t raised on the same digital teats as so many are. For what it is worth…
    p.s. Desh and myself have 2 different ways we use “fearism” (one a healthy form, one a pathological form) but that’s another topic….

    p.s.s. yes, I have used list-serves way back, and now use a ning, but those have an entirely different feel than what I see (cursorily) happening on Fb, Twitter, etc.

    1. Sheila Kelly Post author

      Thank you, Michael, for your very thoughtful and insightful message. I am struck by the irony of the fact that, although social media is not your favored medium, here we are meeting, thanks to technology. I feel as though I have met a kindred spirit, and I am indeed grateful. I love that you imagine a conversation with Jesus and I love that we share a similar curiosity about “who Jesus is anyway.” 🙂 I often refer to “him” as “the energy of Jesus,” for I can imagine that he never walked the planet but is possibly a metaphor for deep Peace, Wisdom and Love that is an aspect of each of us and all of us.

      I honour you for honouring your intuition by following where it leads… on or off social media.

      Please say “hello” to Desh Subba from me and thank him, as well, for the energy and wisdom you are both putting into “the world”… this illusory space we think we live in.

      p.s. I “get” what you mean about two different ways of using fearism… at least I think I do. To use some clichés, there are always two sides to a coin. Nothing is all good or all bad. No matter how you flip it, a pancake has two sides. (I can digress.) There are some fears that serve us in a healthy way; others are destructive. The most destructive are often buried deep within the subconscious mind, driving our behaviors despite our finest conscious intentions.

      I look forward to continuing our conversation, Michael. Thank you. I am blessed by “meeting” you.

      1. Sheila Kelly Post author

        Michael, I have just joined the Fearlessness Movement and am reading your interview with Desh Subba. If you are not already familiar with Dr. Bruce Lipton’s work, you may want to check him out. He is a cell biologist and author of The Biology of Belief. He has a lot of videos on YouTube, as well.
        If I am understanding what DS is saying, he, too, believes that illness comes from fear. In my world, fear comes from a belief system, one categorically different from a belief system based on Love, Light and Truth.

  4. R. Michael Fisher

    So cool to meet you to in this digital world. I also have come to imagine, as have others, we are more and more in the so-called post-industrial “developed” world hybrid entities or assemblages anyways, what Donna Haraway called “cyborgs” (human-machine) and hey, if that’s part of a complex identity formation to work with and that is evolving, I’m not one to say its all bad. Any JC energy/idea/pattern/archetype or even historical figure is still being interpreted, don’t you think. Nothing isn’t interpreted as long as humans are interpreting. So, let’s interpret fear (‘fear’) in a flexible way, and multiperspectival, just as we interpret belief systems (and our relationship to them) rather than merely embed ourselves in them. I sense that’s part of what you are saying Sheila.

    Indeed, like-spirit, I too found Bruce Lipton’s work some years ago very useful to complementing an integral web of meanings of fear, of love, etc. Feel free to write up some of his work that intrigues you on the Fearlessness Movement ning… so glad you joined in there too.

  5. R. Michael Fisher

    Sheila, you wrote “In my world, fear comes from a belief system, one categorically different from a belief system based on Love, Light and Truth.”

    I am familiar with this distinction and have studied it’s architecture philosophically for many years. I also work with it experientially. It’s attractive in its binary formation. I also have doubts about such binary configurations, at least as we use binary English to communicate these things, problematic as that is.

    I usually move to an integral evolutionary perspective (a la Ken Wilber, etc.) to make sense of what “different” actually means in the binary architecture of this position you take. Because, at a nondual consciousness, even theoretically (if not embodied), there is only One Spirit– and, it seems to take Many forms (Love and Fear being meta-archetypes or meta-emotions). Those who interpret in other ways tend to make a Good vs. Evil, or Spirit of Love/Light vs. Fear/Darkness and I find that less and less satisfactory on a lot of grounds. Your thoughts?

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