Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation

Evolution of Consciousness

Sunday, December 28, 2014

In Our End Is Our Beginning

Evolution of Consciousness
Sunday, December 28, 2014

From birth through the development of ego, the fall that can drop us into the “second half of life,” the descent through suffering and grief, ever evolving us toward greater awareness of our True Self, and eventually death—we are moving toward union with God and all that is.

Studies of development show a commonality to the evolution of our growth. I’ve correlated the various schemas in nine stages:

  1. My body and my self-image are who I am.
  2. My external behavior is who I am.
  3. My thoughts and feelings are who I am.
  4. My deeper intuitions and felt knowledge in my body are who I am.
  5. My shadow self is who I am.
  6. I am empty and powerless.
  7. I am much more than who I thought I was.
  8. I and the Father are one. (John 10:30)
  9. I am who I am.

The ego’s temptation is to assign itself to a higher level, and labels are inherently divisive, getting in the way of union. But I find it useful to have a map which can help us understand ourselves and others with greater compassion. Through the meditations this year I’ve attempted to offer a primer of sorts, a guide for approaching the shared human experiences of love and loss.

We each move at our own pace, mostly very slowly, with many stumblings and regressions. Yet at every stage we see grace (unearned love and growth) at work. It’s not primarily up to us. Life is living itself within us, even in spite of us. We are simply invited to join in the dance with our intention and desire, to allow grace to flourish all the more freely and abundantly. And as we practice being conscious in our loving, we find an always available love becoming our most foundational way of being. (Whenever I can remember one, I will use an appropriate Judeo-Christian Scripture to validate my major points. The connections are always there, and usually in many places. But my mind is in many places too.)

Gateway to Silence:
God, keep me in your truth.

Image Credit: Ensō (円相) – Zen/Japanese calligraphy wallpaper (detail)
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.