Hi Doug Mason, thank you for that insight into Johannine community!
When we compare all myths from around the world, we find amazing similarities. Without realizing this, most people are stuck with the details, hence miss out on the essence. If anyone wants to know the truth, he can even without any external help.
If anyone doesn’t want to know the truth, then even any amount of external help would not help.
After my comparative studies, what I have understood is this. Religious leaders wrongly assumed knowledge of God would help people to be good citizens. But it would notbecause we find people of the religions still continue to be egoistic, root of all evil. This explains why God remains unidentified.
If knowledge of God doesn’t help, then what would help? It is the knowledge about ‘Who I am’ that helps us. For this we don’t have to go anywhere as rightly understood by Carl Jung: “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
See what happens when we look beyond thinking ability. “The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace — arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.” (The Power of Now, Ekhart Tolle) Many scientific discoveries (such as Periodic Table, Aromatic Chemistry, Insulin …) have their roots in dreams. (http://dreamtraining.blogspot.com/2010/12/inventions-that-came-in-dreams-largest.html) Even Einstein’s great invention of Theory of Relativity is connected with two dreams he had. (Einstein: A Life by Denis Brian p.159)
In view of the above, the primary knowledge everyone should have is this: “I am a soul with vast intellectual and insightful ability to guide myself with knowledge of what is right and what is wrong.” This primary knowledge can make the difference of heaven and hell! If you remember only half truth, and say you are this transient body, you are inviting hell for you because you would then want to enjoy and accumulate as much as possible within the available period with the attitude that “let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die.” Such insatiable greed has made this earth into a hell: “The world’s eight richest billionaires control the same wealth between them as the poorest half of the globe’s population” (www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jan/16) which may remind us the famous idiom “dog in the manger”—an attitude of accumulating excessively whereas many are deprived of the same [which is against the Bible’s command: “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same”—Luke 3:11]. In contrast, when you realize that “I am immaterial and immortal soul, and this is my body which I use as my vehicle, focus is changed from transient body onto the eternal life we already have. And it is everyone’s experience that body is activated when soul enters and becomes a corpse when it exits, and everything happens according to some unerring law, which makes a person responsible-minded. In such knowledge, there is acceptance (peace), and in peace one interacts with others lovingly result of which is joy. This is the whole essence of Christianity (Mathew 25:31-46)