Jesus: The Christ
Summary: Sunday, March 22-Friday, March 27, 2015
Christ is a word for the macrocosm, Jesus is the microcosmic moment in time, and all else is the whole cosmos—including you and me. (Sunday)
Whenever the material and the spiritual coincide, there is the Christ. (Monday)
What was personified in the body of Jesus was a manifestation of this one universal truth: Matter is, and has always been, the hiding place for Spirit, forever offering itself to be discovered anew. (Tuesday)
I am making the whole of creation new. . . . It will come true. . . . It is already done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. –Revelation 21:5-6 (Wednesday)
As John Duns Scotus taught, “Christ was the first idea in the mind of God,” and then Teilhard de Chardin completed the cosmic schema by calling Christ the final “Omega Point” of history! (Thursday)
Authentic mystical experience connects us and keeps connecting us at ever-newer levels, breadths, and depths, “until God can be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). (Friday)
Practice: Unitive Seeing
Some of us may experience the mystical reality of oneness in our lifetimes. It might come through meditation or psychedelic substances, in washing the dishes or love-making. These encounters are always grace, never contrived by us nor given as a reward for being holy. Cynthia Bourgeault describes mystical experiences beautifully: “To perceive oneself as one with everything is to directly experience the flow of divine abundance that holds everything together; to know directly (rather than merely deduce) the extravagant Trinitarian joy with which everything is at all times giving itself away and receiving itself back from the molten flow of love at the center of everything.”
These experiences of ultimate and intimate belonging are not the norm for most of us. And when we do stumble upon and through them, the temptation is to cling to the feelings of bliss. Unless we let the experience move us out of our dualistic thinking—beyond the moment of ecstasy—our ego attaches to the mountain-top and claims it as its own. Mystical experiences are only a “sneak preview of what the universe looks like from the point of view of non-dual consciousness,” Cynthia says, and they invite us to integrate the momentary unitive perspective into our ordinary thinking. The goal is a permanent rewiring of our operating system. We must actually let go of mystical experiences in order to move into unitive seeing, which can happen at all times, in all places, with practice and patience.
Perhaps Jesus experienced profound union during his baptism, but we don’t know if there were many, if any, other such encounters with Oneness. Yet clearly, throughout his life, Jesus saw through unitive eyes. He saw the Kingdom of Heaven even “in the midst” of the Pharisees; he saw the real woman behind the label of Samaritan; he saw the thief on the cross with him in paradise.
So welcome mystical experience when/if it comes, but don’t measure your life by it, judging yourself neither as a spiritual hero nor loser. What matters is letting the awareness of your inherent union with God flow into every part of your life. The only way to do this is to die to self, as Jesus did, though for us it happens slowly, steadily, day-by-day through contemplation and letting go.
Gateway to Silence:
In Christ, we become God’s Love.