Savannah Hanson: Exiting Gethsemani |

Savannah Hanson: Exiting Gethsemani

Savannah Hanson
For so long religion has encouraged us to humble ourselves, to admit our sins and ask for forgiveness. Of course there is truth in these practices yet along the way our magnificence has gotten distorted.
Submitted photo

I recently returned from Israel. I was fascinated to witness so many people prostate themselves before entering various churches, kissing the rock upon which Jesus seemingly spent his last night in Gethsemani or performed a miracle.

While I watched with interest, I also knew that this was no longer my path, that I was exiting Gethsemani, the path of suffering and false humility. “A Course of Love” speaks of these times where we are beginning to leave behind the path of contrast learning through the ego thought system. Instead we are able to embrace Christ Consciousness, know ourselves as the Accomplished.

For so long religion has encouraged us to humble ourselves, to admit our sins and ask for forgiveness. Of course there is truth in these practices yet along the way our magnificence has gotten distorted. We forgot we are made in the image and likeness of God. We are as God created us as “A Course of Miracles” repeatedly reminds us.

While I was initially interested in standing at the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem, walking the same path Jesus walked on Palm Sunday, seeing where the last supper occurred, where Jesus is said to have been crucified and buried, over time a strong feeling began to wash over me, something that was a large internal no! By the time we got to where the Sermon on the Mount was believed to have been preached and the town of Capernaum where Jesus spent three years, I felt a vast impatience with history, His story. The message was for me to continue my own “ministry” beginning to live as one who knows the Truth rather than one who always seeks.

The day before we visited those two locations my friend and I had exited the bus tour/pilgrimage to spend the day alone in Magdala. I asked within if there was any message I was meant to receive that might help me understand why I had felt impelled to visit Israel. I cannot fully put into words what occurred. I can say I felt an incredible peace and sat for a few hours by the Sea of Galilee with my friend and we spontaneously did a ritual of forgiveness and gratitude.

My friend left to take pictures and a man walked up to me. This was after hours of being alone at this sacred site of an old synagogue in Magdala. This was very unusual since we were usually surrounded by hordes of tourists. The man walked up to me and asked if he could serve me, if I would be visiting Jerusalem. He told me he worked in the garden of Gethsemani and this left me in awe as this was one of three places I did feel a powerful presence. He kissed my hand and asked if I was married which provoked suspicion. At the end he again offered to serve me and walked away. It was only after my friend and miracle buddy Tiina returned and we discussed what had happened that I recognized the radical significance for me. The man worked in the garden of Gethsemani where a profound confirmation of my commitment to exiting suffering occurred, exit the suspicion of the ego thought system. He asked how he could serve me!

This was the final impetus for me to fully embrace the message that we are meant to claim our own magnificence and live from that inner Knowing. Immediately after this encounter three tour buses arrived. As we left, a woman passed me wearing a shirt saying “Love is all around us, breath it in deeply.” Then I saw a man wearing a shirt saying “We are here to change the world.”

Recently, I have been extremely triggered by perhaps the most difficult aspect of my life, a life long challenge with co-dependency and neediness. I have fought this aspect for decades The message now is to embrace all of me, not let anything throw me into guilt, doubt or separation. Ironically, admitting and surrendering our greatest weakness with humility and trust can be the gateway to vast inner freedom.

My friend Patrick summed it up beautifully. “Israel is the Holy land? This is a cosmic joke: the true Holy land is within us.”

This is what I am coming to real eyes (realize.) Even my/our supposed greatest limitation can not touch the holiness within each of us. Facing and unmasking the most criticized aspects of self only reveals us to be eternally the embodiment of Christ Consciousness.

For information on private sessions or classes or to schedule a free 20-minute consultation, contact Savannah Hanson, M.A., MFT #40422 at 530-575-5052 or

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