Donna Quesada: Leonard, you experienced a series of awakenings in the 80s,
and in preparing for this interview, I read through them and they are riveting. They would be beyond the scope of this interview… they would have to read your book, Liberating Jesus. But in the context of these awakening experiences, you spoke with God. And he/she asked you to reveal the truth about Jesus.
Leonard Jacobson: I didn’t speak to God. God spoke to me.
DONNA: God spoke to you.
LEONARD: And God asked me a question… asked me to do something which was exactly like you described. Out of nowhere. Prior to this moment I was in the middle of a very profound awakening. I was in oneness. Heaven on earth. Completely intoxicated with love… Overwhelming sense of oneness at the perfection of everything. I was having a full-on awakening. One that there is no way for anyone to be prepared for. There’s nothing in my past that could have prepared me for this. And prior to this happening, I was somewhere between atheist and agnostic. I had no interest in religion. Jesus, I’d never read the Bible. I could care less. I mean I had heard certain things, of course. You turn on the TV or whatever. But I had rejected it all as ridiculous.
But here I am in the middle of this first awakening in 1981, and suddenly the energy changes. I mean, I was in a beautiful divine energy all around me. But I felt the energy significantly shift. Something happened. I can’t describe it but all of a sudden, I knew it was God. From an atheist to God in an instant. I knew. I don’t know how I knew. It was palpable. It was unmistakeable. And I had never thought about God. I had no interest in God. I didn’t know. It was outside of me. All around me. In the trees. It was everywhere.
You’ve heard the expression that God is omni-present. That’s what it felt like. The presence of God in everything. That’s what omnipresence means. So then, suddenly God asked me to tell the truth about Jesus. My response… which was completely honest and authentic was “I don’t know what you are talking about.” I don’t know the truth about Jesus, which was true. I did add “and if I knew, I wouldn’t tell any way.”
But what was profoundly transforming for me… totally changed something deep within me… was, I was allowed to say “no” to God and go away. The energy of God stayed and it was just as strong. Every now and then God would repeat that request, “Tell the truth about Jesus.” It never went away, so that gave me the feeling, a sense, that God is unconditional. Unconditionally loving. Unconditionally accepting. Unconditionally allowing. And utterly and completely without judgment. That’s the God that I encountered. I mean, that’s God. There is God and that was God. And you can’t know God within the mind. What we humans have done is, within this dream, which is a dream, which is of separation. We feel separate. That’s the common element, but nobody is aware of it.
DONNA: It was an energy of love. It wasn’t a gender. It wasn’t a being, per se.
LEONARD: No, I never call God he or she and I never personalize God, even though I can talk to God. I always address God just as God. Even if it’s incorrect language or grammar. I don’t say him or her ever because there is God the Mother and God the Father. There is Divine Mother, Heavenly Father. That is one dimension of God, but transcendent of that is the oneness of God. I am that I am. There is no movement beyond that.
Beyond that is just pure consciousness. Infinite nothingness. Perfect silence. Infinite love. Eternal love. That’s what’s beyond. That is God, too. And that’s you, too. So, I discovered this about God and it’s never left me. This feeling of who and what God is. But I didn’t know what God was. I didn’t know the answer to God’s request. I couldn’t tell the truth about Jesus.
But three years later, I had a second awakening. More powerful than the first. And it was during the second awakening that I had this ridiculous experience. That revealed… It wasn’t ridiculous. It was over the top and multi-dimensional. Too much for any one human to manage, but it was a multi-dimensional experience with Christ on the cross. With all sorts of revelations that came through to me. And revelations about who Jesus was, really. His true teaching. What really happened on the cross and what has happened ever since. And if Jesus came back today, what would he have to say? And how would Christians respond to what he had to say? I’ll pretty much guarantee you that if he came back today and was authentically and openly… they would probably declare him the anti-Christ.
DONNA: What did we most get wrong about Jesus?
LEONARD: There is a complete misunderstanding of his teachings. First of all, he never, ever indicated that he was anybody’s savior. Not for a moment. That’s number one. The notion and concept of a savior is simply a reflection of complete and total abandonment of responsibility for yourself… your own thoughts, your own actions, your own feelings, your own deeds. All of it. You’re not responsible for yourself… Jesus will save you. Where as, I declare that everybody is the savior. Everyone is the savior, but only of themselves.
DONNA: And so, what did he want to accomplish?
LEONARD: It’s very simple. You have to remember that Jesus was a Jew. He was never anything but a Jew. He never thought of himself as anything but a Jew. He was a mystic Jew. And his message was for the Jews because they were lost. They were supposed to be fulfilling their sacred covenant with Abraham. That’s the origins of Judaism. The Covenant with Abraham, but it was so unclearly stated. The Jews had been trying but they can’t find their way to it or very few can.
So, he was here to reflect to them in the simplest terms. All that you are looking for is here, now. Open your eyes. You will see it. Have you forgotten who you are? Don’t project everything on to me. All that I am, you are. If you love me, this is what he says in the play, what should have been in real life. If you love me it’s because you are love. There is no other possibility. If you experience God in my presence it’s because God is within you. You can’t experience God unless God is within you. That’s where God is. You can’t come to God through me. You come to God through the I am that you are.
DONNA: Looking outside for that divine spirit…
LEONARD: And so, we have all gotten lost because we have misunderstood his teachings. And worse than misunderstood… his teachings and his words have been twisted. And misused to attract followers and create the kind of religion we are living with. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not singling out Christianity. I’d happily single out just about every religion. In my view, Buddhism is by far the closest to the truth. But even then, I have many Buddhist monks and nuns come into my events when I am in China and I can see how lost they are in their rituals and their concepts. Their Buddhist concepts. And their beliefs. And their Buddhist rituals and practices. I love to say to them, “Don’t be a Buddhist, be a buddha.” “Don’t be a Christian, be a Christ.” Which is the whole point of our visit upon planet Earth… to reflect to you, Hey Donna, don’t you know who you are? You are a Christ.
What is Christ? Christ is a very, very awakened state of consciousness where you open into oneness with God just like Jesus awakened into oneness with God. It’s that simple. And because this world is such a mess now. We really need to get this right. We need to come back to truth. And come back to the truth of who we are. The truth of love, the truth of oneness and the truth of God. If you recognize the oneness that is in everything. How can you even chop down a tree with the greatest and deepest contemplation? And even asking the tree, “is it ok if I cut you down and I promise you that I’ll put you to very good use and I’ll make you very beautiful.” The tree will probably say “yes, no problem.” But we don’t do that. We just chop down forests with our huge machines. So many species are being eliminated day by day. Extinguished. All because of human unconsciousness. There is no other plague upon the earth other than humanity.
DONNA: Well, you are talking to a huge animal lover. It just fills me with so much pain…
LEONARD: I couldn’t agree with you more. I love, love, love animals. I watch them on YouTube. Even the wild animals in Africa. It can be a little brutal, but I still love them all. Humans are so stupid. I don’t mean that as a judgment, or maybe I do. We really are stupid. Look at the world today. Look at what is happening in America. How stupid can you be?
DONNA: What is the significance of the cross? I remember reading through the question and answer section of your book. Someone asked you if you were trying to take Jesus down from the cross?
LEONARD: Absolutely. But it’s not up to me. It’s up to every Christian to say, “My beloved Jesus. You don’t need to stay on the cross for my sake. You don’t need to continue suffering for my sins. I will now from this moment forward, take full responsibility for my emotions, my feelings, my emotional reactions, my thoughts, my deeds, my actions and how I present in the world. I will take responsibility for myself. Do not stay on the cross for my sake. Please come down. You’ve been on the cross long enough.”
DONNA: What does that even mean? To suffer for my sins. What is that story all about?
LEONARD: Well, it’s just not true. Jesus. Well, it’s all metaphor, anyway. I’m not saying Jesus is still physically on the cross. But as a metaphor within human consciousness at a certain level, he is. So, we humans have to take responsibility for ourselves. That’s the bottom line and we have to open up in presence the truth of love. You see, the love we normally live with is not the truth of love. The power that we engage with in this world historically, through all of history, is nothing other than false power. We need to open up into the truth of love, the truth of power, the truth of compassion. All revealed instantly as you open into presence. You get the whole package as you open into presence.
So, the only question really should be, “Wow, Leonard. That sounds great, but how do I free myself from this mind… these thoughts, that just keep coming… this mind that I’ve been living with all my life… how do I free myself and open into this silent presence that you are describing?” And the answer is simple. Very simple. When you are in the mind, you are somewhere in the past and the future. You have gone into the past and future. Now you are somewhere in the past and the future world of the mind. In order for you… because you are in the mind, to come out of the past and future… you just shift your focus and become present with something that is actually here in the moment with you. If you can see it in this moment, you can be present with it. If you hear it, feel it, taste it, touch it, smell it… In other words, through the senses, you can relate moment to moment to what is here.
The moment you are truly here, your mind will fall silent. Now you are here. You could actually declare if you wanted to. If it’s genuine. You could say, “God, I am here now.” You could say that to God. You could say that to a tree because for me, the tree is not really a tree. We need to recognize that. We need to wake up. A tree is not a tree. A tree is God in the form of a tree. A dog is God in the form of a dog. A cat. An elephant. A tiger. All God expressing through God’s many facets. Infinite numbers of ways.
So, what I say to people… Bring yourself into presence with the body of God. That’s everything in the present moment, in the physical form. Bring yourself present with the body of God. And you will begin to experience the living presence of God in all things present. I could also say it’s very hard and very difficult, if not impossible to find the creator, but it’s incredibly easy to find the creation. God is both creator and creation. The creation is always in front of our eyes. Or we are hearing it moment to moment. Whatever it is, it’s this moment. The creation is this moment revealing itself to you moment to moment. It’s fluid but it never changes. The present moment is the doorway to the eternal now. So even just those words can bring about a shift within us. The eternal now. The present moment, a doorway to the eternal now.
LEONARD: And we can just… You can hang out in the eternal now. Now, of course, when it’s appropriate to go back into the mind, you do it, but you don’t get lost there anymore. You know you are just playing in the world of time and you come back. You know where the truth is. The most important thing is to know where the truth is. It is here in the present moment. You are present with what is here in the moment. That’s as close as anyone will ever get to the truth.
DONNA: You said something beautiful. You said “if God is within you, no harm can touch you. And you won’t be bothered by Satan.” I found that so interesting because that’s another notion that has been so misunderstood. Perhaps you can speak to that. This notion of Satan. How has that been twisted and misunderstood?
LEONARD: Completely and dramatically twisted by the mind because when you are in the mind you are dealing in a world of illusions constructing concepts to explain things to you and to your mind that makes you feel a little more comfortable in a world of separation and illusion… Right? So, that’s that.
DONNA: When God’s presence is within you, no harm can touch you. You won’t be bothered by Satan. That’s so beautiful and what is Satan?
LEONARD: I will tell you. I will tell you and I will tell you how wrong we have got it. Satan is nothing other than the ego at a collective level. That’s all it is. And as long as we judge Satan… reject Satan… You are evil, Satan! Then you condemn your own ego because Satan is just a manifestation of all their egos together. That’s just how it is. And ironically, if you judge and reject the ego, the ego wins. If you judge and condemn Satan, Satan wins. What does that mean… Satan wins? It just means that you are in the separation.
The role of the ego (Satan) is to keep you in the dream. That’s the ego’s role. That’s its job and it’s really good at it. The role of Satan (The ego collectively) is to keep you in the dream separate from God. That’s what it’s supposed to do until it’s not supposed to do it. I’m going to tell you, and probably no one has heard this before… The ego, which extends to Satan on a collective level, but it’s really the ego… Your ego and my ego, and so on… It just manifests as Satan on a collective level. I’m having trouble remembering questions.
DONNA: It happens to me all the time.
LEONARD: What happens is that if I take a little side track speaking from presence… If I take a little side track, it interrupts my flow.
DONNA: We can just be present with one another.
LEONARD: We could. We could. Anyway, oh… I know what I was saying. We humans have no clue how to be in the right relationship with the ego and I can tell you that no one in the history of humanity, including Buddha and Jesus and anyone else… No one has ever defeated the ego. You cannot defeat the ego. The very thought with Enlightenment I get rid of the ego will guarantee that you don’t. It will guarantee it. You can’t get rid of the ego. You can’t defeat the ego. It’s not possible, and there is a simple reason for that. The one trying to defeat the ego, or having that thought to defeat the ego is the ego itself.
It’s a trick. It’s a trick of the ego to keep you. So, how many people are on the path to awakening… or a spiritual path think that with enlightenment the ego has got to move off. Well guess what? The ego is reading that with you, or listening to that with you. And the response of the ego is Oh really? You are going to get rid of me? Good luck with that!
So, you can’t get rid of the ego. You can’t defeat it. So, what’s left? Only one possibility. You come into the right relationship with the ego. The right relationship with the ego is only possible from presence, which means it’s from presence. Love, acceptance, compassion, allowing… That is the energy you bring to the ego. I see you ego. I’m aware of what you are doing. I don’t reject you, but I don’t follow you. I love you. And thank you for everything that you are doing for me. You see the real identity of the ego. The real role of the ego is that it is your protector. In a painful world of separation where no one is present.
DONNA: But it’s hyper-active.
LEONARD: It gets very hyper-active for some people.
Read and Watch Part 3 Here: Awaken Interviews Leonard Jacobson – Pt 3 – You Can Believe In God or You Can Know God
Read and watch Part 1 Here: Awaken Interviews Leonard Jacobson – Pt 1 – Awaken Into the World of Now and Oneness