or "Is the premise of The DaVinci Code really true?"


I speculate Jesus' marital state matters only because some people pursue a sort of Platonic, unshakeable "Truth-with-a-capital-T" that can be invariably and absolutely depended on. People want stability and order in their lives, and having a deity that's straightforward, un-mysterious, unchallenging, completely external, and completely understandable (Big Brother is watching you) may be part of that for many folks.

Unfortunately, an "absolute truth" like that should give consistent and dependable results. Looking to organized religion for that sort of dependability in life is unlikely to produce consistent results.

My advice is to seek your own spirituality. I consider true religious gnosis (or personal knowledge) to be found within — rather than in the fossilized, externally-focused organization which Christianity has become. Take a look at Verse 70 of the Gospel of Thomas, which offers what I consider a compelling view of true spirituality:

[70] If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

As Elaine Pagels puts it in her fascinating book Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, "It's a question of knowing who you really are. Not at the ordinary level of your name and your social class or your position, but knowing yourself at a deep level. The secret of gnosis is that when you know yourself at that level you will also come to know God, because you will discover that the divine is within you."

That's my spiritual advice: Know Yourself. Remember the various stories the way that makes you happy and suits your spiritual needs — and get on with your life. If you must have a Truth to lean on, I suggest the following:

Treat others as you would be treated yourself.

This Truth crops up in multiple religions, handles most moral issues well, throws responsibility on yourself instead of some distant deity, and is easy to remember… if not to implement.

Good luck. Keep the faith. ;-)

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