Entering the Mystery: Opening to a "New" Jesus Christ
In my previous post (click to open) I spoke to my sense of being in Stage 2 (atheist/agnostic stage) of my spiritual path. This felt like my truth, and being in my truth, I found peace. In a sense this was an emptying out of any remnants of an untruth (the untruth being twofold: 1) I am in Stage 1, a believer in the external God and all the dogma of the Lutheran Church, which I am not; or, 2) I am in Stage 3, enlightened and living from my divine Essence, God within, which, again, I am not).
Yes, I am in Stage 2, that place of self-responsibility, that egoic place where reason and self-will guide my actions, and a place where I feel separate from God and others. Though sad because of feeling separate on many levels, and certainly not workable in the long term, I can feel the freshness of being in truth, and I find peace from being in truth, in acknowledging my place in atheism/agnosticism. I have a peace that I could never find pretending that I was either “solidly” and “safely” in Stage 1 (the dogmatic Lutheran or fundamentalist) or “enlightened” (the Mystic) in Stage 3.
This morning, as part of my meditation, I went on with Pathwork Lecture 227 Change from Outer to Inner Laws in the New Age. Paragraph 24…
… Those of you who work on the path find out incontrovertibly, and without a shadow of doubt if you are willing to really look, that each crisis you experience means a negation of truth, a violation of your divinity. And that is why you are in difficulties, crisis, and suffering. You are in fact blocking the immensely powerful energy stream of your spiritual growth process.
With this new awareness, you also gain a wonderful key, which helps you to recognize and open up those areas of consciousness where you have blocked and inverted powerful creative energies, so that they have turned against you. On this path you learn to harmonize the whole process by surrendering all of you to the Christ who is awakening within you, on your plane of inner reality. …
I paused at these words. They grew within me, and as they did they gave me valuable insights for my life. The “wonderful key” did indeed begin to “open up those areas of consciousness where I have blocked and inverted powerful creative energies.” What does it mean to be living in a “negation of truth, a violation of my divinity?” What does it mean to be “blocking the immensely powerful energy stream of my spiritual growth process”? Perhaps what it means is that I have been blocking “the Christ who is awakening within me, on my plane of inner reality.”
Again I paused to take this in. Is this what all my wrestling with Jesus Christ these past 20 years has been about, blocking out his awakening within my heart? This Lecture suggests that I consider this possibility.
What I see now is that, in my Stage 2 atheism/agnosticism I have been resisting Jesus Christ with all my might. Why? Because of my fear that surrendering to Jesus Christ would mean going backward in my spiritual journey from Stage 2 to Stage 1 – the world of the external God, external authority, and the external authority’s teachings about Jesus Christ in the framework of the dogmatic teachings of the Lutheran Church as I had come to understand such teachings in my youth. In this Stage 1 had a lot of reason and will, but little heart. And again in Stage 2 my reason and will would be there in full force, saying, “NO, I shall not go backwards!” “NO, I shall not return to the teachings of the church about Jesus Christ, at least as I had come to understand these teachings in fundamentalist or evangelical Christianity.”
And in this resistance and this fear of going backwards to Stage 1, while I was certainly being “self-responsible” and developing and using the healthy and needed adult ego strength of reason and will, I was not only saying NO to going backwards, returning to Stage 1 with its fundamentalist and evangelical dogma, I was also saying NO to moving forward from Stage 2 to Stage 3. I was saying NO to the “Christ who is awakening within me, on my plane of inner reality!” By my NO I was saying NO to being born again, NO to being reborn from within. I was saying NO to my own awakening into Christ consciousness. Yes, in my ignorance I was so afraid this would be moving backwards in my spiritual journey.
And in my resistance to moving forward to a new relationship with a new understanding of the true nature of Jesus Christ, the Jesus Christ within, I was “blocking the immensely powerful energy stream of my spiritual growth process.” And to the degree I suffer and live in angst, this blocking of the life force within, this Christ consciousness that is inevitably awakening in me, is “why I am in difficulties, crisis, and suffering.” I am fighting my own growth!
Suddenly a wall of resistance came tumbling down, at least in this moment. I have no idea what this new relationship with this new understanding of Jesus Christ will or would be like, but I find I am eager to move forward into Stage 3. This is a miraculous change of heart within. Yes, this Stage 3 involves the heart in ways that Stage 2, with its reliance on reason and self-will, could not. This is Grace. I am humbled and full of gratitude. And perhaps the only thing I can “take credit” for is courageously acknowledging that for years I have been in Stage 2, terrified about going backwards to Stage 1. And since I had no inner authentic understanding of Stage 3, I remained stuck in Stage 2 and all that that meant. May I now move forward into the Mystery of Stage 3, into a New relationship with a “New” Jesus Christ, who is not really new at all, but rather I am seeing Jesus Christ with my more truthful understanding of who Jesus Christ truly is, the Christ within me, the Christ that lives me.
So I intend to move from Stage 2 where ego rules supreme with its reason and self-will to Stage 3, where my ego “surrenders all of me to the Christ who is awakening within me.” With humility, gratitude, and courage I enter the Mystery that is Stage 3. I pray for help and strength for this next chapter of my journey.
Shared with love, Gary