In the early part of the 20th century, the Canadian
industrialist Dr. Henry Burton Sharman left his successful career
in the railroad business to pursue an in-depth theological study
of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke -- he treated the more
mystical Gospel of John in a separate effort). He enrolled in the
Theological Seminar at the University of Chicago and studied
Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, so he would not have to rely on
translations. In a multi-year, full-time meticulous research
program he undertook the difficult task of isolating from the
Gospels that which, in his best scholarly judgment, was authentic
with regard to the person Jesus of Nazareth and his teachings. The
result of his research was published (by Harper and Row) in a
series of books. The most significant titles are "Jesus, the
Son of Man," "Records of the Life of Jesus,"
and "Jesus as Teacher." (While these titles have
long been out of print, a limited number of these books are still
available from us ( contact us
directly in this regard)
In the 1930s, the late Stanford University law professor Dr.
Harry Rathbun and his wife Emilia followed an invitation by Dr.
Sharman to attend a 4-week long intensive at his ranch in the
Canadian wilderness, in which they studied "Jesus as Teacher" in
scholarly depth. The insights they received at that seminar
profoundly changed their lives. Harry and Emilia started "JAT"
groups of their own at Stanford and Palo Alto, started the
spiritual quest movement "Creative Initiative Foundation," and
relentless taught and lived by the principles of love, peace,
acceptance, surrender, and forgiveness, until they passed on in
1989 (Harry) and 2004 (Emilia). They touched the souls of
thousands of people, such as ourselves. Their most remarkable
legacy is an example of incredible congruency between the
messenger and the message. Their lives were impeccable. Even if
one would hesitate to accept their, at times, "harsh"
interpretation of what it means to be single- focused and 100%
devoted to the path of doing the will of God, seeing their example
would profoundly complement their teaching to the extent that
those, "who have eyes to see and ears to hear" will not be the
Emilia taught "Jesus as Teacher" until two weeks before her
passing at age 98. The study evenings were never the same. There
were always new insights, new relevance to be drawn for our modern
lives today from this person who lived 2000 years ago. Certainly
the most profound teaching is the simple command "resist not."
Extracted from the well-known biblical command "resist not evil,"
Sharman concluded that Jesus' teaching was likely more correct,
and more profound, if the third word was omitted....
Following Emilia's passing in 2004, we have held Jesus as
Teacher focus groups in Sunnyvale, California. Even though
we follow the Jesus as Teacher text, augmented by other
teachings, including those of Bruno Groening, Ron
Roth, and Amma Bhagawan, there is
neither a formal beginning nor a formal ending of a "course." Each
evening meeting stands on its own feet and is, to a large extent,
conducted in a leaderless, participatory fashion. We invite
anybody who is interested to join
us . There is no charge to