Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation

Deepening Connection

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Salvation as At-One-Ment

Deepening Connection
Thursday, July 27, 2017

If we would imitate Jesus in very practical ways, the Christian religion would be made-to-order to grease the wheels of human consciousness toward love, nonviolence, justice, inclusivity, and care for creation. Mature religion serves as a conveyor belt for the evolution of human consciousness. Immature religion actually stalls people at very early stages of magical, mythic, and tribal consciousness, while they are convinced they are enlightened or “saved.” Then we are more a part of the problem than offering any kind of solution. Only the nondual and mystical mind gets us all the way through, and that happens only by continual enlargement of the True Self and continual loss of the small ego self.

Unfortunately, Christianity became another moralistic religion. It was overwhelmingly aligned with a very limited period of history (empire building through war) and a small piece of the planet (Europe), not the whole earth or any glorious destiny (Romans 8:18) for us all. Not surprisingly, many Christians ended up tragically fighting evolution—along with most early human and civil rights struggles—because we had not been taught any evolutionary notion of Christ who was forever “groaning in one great act of giving birth” (Romans 8:22). Until the reforms of the 1960s and the Second Vatican Council, Roman Catholicism was overwhelmingly tribal. Protestantism wasted too much time reacting against that tribalism—which made it tribal too. We become another version of anything we dislike or react against too strongly.

Authentic mystical experience connects us and keeps connecting us at ever-newer levels, breadths, and depths, “until God is all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). “The world, life and death, the present and the future are all your servants, for you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God” (1 Corinthians 3:22-23). Full salvation is finally universal belonging and universal connecting. Our word for that is “heaven.”

God is forever evolving human consciousness, making us ever more ready for God. The Jewish prophets, Jesus himself (Mark 2:19-20), and many Hindu, Catholic, and Sufi mystics used words like wedding, espousal, marriage, or bride and groom to describe this phenomenon. That’s what the prophet Isaiah (61:10, 62:5), many of the Psalms, the school of Paul (Ephesians 5:25-32), and the Book of Revelation (19:7-8, 21:2) mean by “preparing a bride to be ready for her husband.” The human soul is being gradually readied so that intimacy and partnership with the Divine are the final result. Note that such salvation is a social and cosmic concept, and not just about isolated individuals “going to heaven.” The Church was meant to bring this corporate salvation to conscious and visible possibility, but it was itself too tribal to accomplish much in this regard. It was not catholic (universal or “according to the whole”), a word we began using to describe ourselves as early as the year 108 AD. In some ways we’ve gone backwards.

Gateway to Silence:
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi, pp. 218, 222-223, 226;
Hell, No! (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2014), CDMP3 download; and
Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality (Franciscan Media: 2008), 212.

Image credit: The Yellow Christ (detail), Paul Gauguin, 1889, Albright–Knox Art Gallery
Navigate by Date

This year’s theme

A candle being lit

Radical Resilience

We live in a world on fire. This year the Daily Meditations will explore contemplation as a way to build Radical Resilience so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or burning out. The path ahead may be challenging, but we can walk it together.

The archives

Explore the Daily Meditations

Explore past meditations and annual themes by browsing the Daily Meditations archive. Explore by topic or use the search bar to find wisdom from specific teachers.

Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.

Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Radical Resilience. How do we tend our inner flame so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or out? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.