It is obvious to any informed student of the history and psychology of
religion that Jesus was one, of many, who had an intense experience of
cosmic consciousness--of the vivid realization that oneself is a
manifestation of the eternal energy of the universe, the basic "I am."
But it is very hard to express this experience when the only religious
imagery at your disposal conceives the "I am" as an all-knowing and
all-powerful monarch, autocrat, and beneficent tyrant enthroned in a
court of adoring subjects. In such a cultural context, you cannot say
"I am God" without being accused of subversion, insubordination,
megalomania, arrogance, and blasphemy. Yet that was why Jesus was
crucified. In India, people would have laughed and rejoiced with him.
--Alan Watts from Was Jesus a Freak?
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