beyond self-boxingConsciousness Outside All Boxes
I am a heretic (from Greek hairetikos ‘able to choose’). I do not conform. This means I am often lonely, frequently feel rejected, and not good at fitting in. It means I am always wondering, questioning, doubting. It also means that I am original, creative, and live at the edge of evolving consciousness. It also means I find it difficult to define and delimit myself and my Self…no box can contain all that I am and all that I am becoming.
Self-is-unboxable might be the best expression of my worldview. If I am conversing with a friend, a client, a stranger, I am listening from this unlimited and unlimiting worldview. My openness to what lives in each can expand to hear the ever-unfolding of her imagination of self. When you are unboxable in your worldview it means you do not have any interest in boxing up others.
Like Self, Spirit cannot be contained in a box of beliefs or a box of rituals. Institutionalized beliefs and rituals may be comforting, offer wisdom, and bring guidance of great meaning and purpose, but they limit, define, and structure your spiritual choices. They exist to provide answers and certainties, rather than inspire wonder, questions, and doubts.
Let me share my early biographical spiritual journey through many boxes of religious beliefs and practices to the unboxable experience of Spirit that lives in me now.
My Journey Through A Lot of Boxes
As a child I was baptized Episcopalian, attended Sunday school at the nearby Methodist Church, then went to Christian Science, then 4th grade at a Catholic boarding school, 5th grade in a Quaker Friends School, then sang in the choir at an Episcopal Church. In 10th Grade world history, I was introduced to comparative religions and was fascinated and enthralled. I went with friends to a large evangelical church a few times and sat in a meeting with proselytizing Mormons. I graduated college with a minor in religion. Early adult life was a combo of Buddhism, Judaism, Sufism, and the 12 Steps of AA as I married a recovering alcoholic. Everything appealed, yet nothing satisfied as I thought that the spiritual journey was about looking for the right box and fitting into it.
In my late 30’s I discovered Esoteric Spirituality and Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy. It was the biggest box I had ever found. The richness of compassionate wisdom, the imagination of the ways we experience being human, the insight into the complexity of spiritual beings, the understanding of evil, and the evolution of consciousness was transformative for my own consciousness. Steiner’s boxes always have three doors which he encourages all to open when they are ready to go beyond the box. These doors he calls higher cognitions: Imaginations, Inspirations, and Intuitions.
Soon, I came to the work I do through Imagine Self encouraging and guiding each individual to imagine, recognize and evolve their own selfhood…both the fulness of their humanity and the uniqueness of their complex individuality. Central to this self-imagining is the personal awakening to a private faith and a direct inner experience of spirit. I support others in unboxing their souls.
I find truth, beauty, and goodness in all spiritual paths. I revere all that is universal and utterly individual, an inner and intimate consciousness of self as both earthy and spiritual.
In this post, I will share my newly imagined thoughts on the inner consciousness of Jesus Christ, an esoteric, unboxable, ever-expanding understanding.
What is Christ-Consciousness?
If I was to ask 20 people “What is Christ-Consciousness?” I would get 20 different answers ranging from “I don’t know” to a two hour lecture. All answers would be right. Christ-consciousness is not a religious dogma. It is a deeply personal experience of a Universal Presence. It’s personal because it is not defined or described by scripture or worship. I can imagine even atheists being comfortable in exploring and contemplating Christ-consciousness because it is an inner felt experience beyond a box of beliefs and we humans love using inadequate words to describe such feelings. So that is what I intend to do in this post…describe my imagination of Christ-consciousness hoping to inspire and encourage you to find your own answer to “What is Christ-consciousness?”.
But, what about Jesus-Consciousness?
As I was contemplating Christ-Consciousness, I was surprised by an inner question: What about Jesus-Consciousness? I began to wonder.
It became clear that I needed to make a distinction between Jesus-consciousness and Christ-consciousness which requires an understanding offered by Rudolf Steiner that the Christ did not incarnate into the life of Jesus until the Baptism when Jesus was 30 years old.
Between his birth in Bethlehem and the Baptism in the River Jordan, Jesus and his body were being prepared to be the vessel for the incarnation of the Divinity we call Christ. This process of preparation was a series of epiphanies. Jesus had a body of pure innocence and great wisdom. But it needed 30 years to develop the forces to embrace and contain the Christ. Jesus had to form his body and soul into the Holy Vessel ready to receive the Divine.
In the first epiphany in the manger of his nativity, he was offered gifts from the shepherds and Magi that were to protect his purity and his wisdom as he came of age. Then at puberty, he became a student of the great rabbis and was often in the temple acquiring the spiritual knowledge that would shape his soul. Other epiphanies occurred which recapitulated the first two. Many more gifts and many more teachings. Sometimes he struggled and suffered but he knew he had a great spiritual destiny. He knew the time would come when everything in his life would transform, be elevated.
To develop Jesus-consciousness, we need to consider our path of spiritual preparation. What gifts do we need to receive to keep alive our ability to wonder with innocence? What questions do we need to ask of our spiritual teachers to nurture wisdom? What suffering do we need to experience in ourselves and witness in others to develop equanimity and compassion? What journeys do we need to take to learn how to be open to all things strange, frightening, and wonderful? What darkness do we need to dive into to find inner illumination?
Reflect on your life and find your own answers, see your own preparation for the one day in your life when you will come to your river and your Baptism. Something so new, so powerful, so sovereign will enter your soul. Into your very own “wild and precious life” your own divinity will enter, and you will know your life has meaning beyond your instincts, impulses, and desires.
Live everyday so that you go to sleep full of Jesus-consciousness. Sleep with trust and patience that the day will come when in your soul you will have received Christ-consciousness.
What is Christ-Consciousness in Light of Jesus-Consciousness?
What is Christ-consciousness? This is the consciousness within your soul that reflects the moments in the mystery of the three years between the Baptism and the Crucifixion that Christ was alone and struggling with the limitations of being human.
These are not the moments of his profound teachings and healings. Not the moments when He was with his followers who recognized him as the Messiah, their Savior and Lord. These are the moments when he was on His own, facing demons, knowing suffering, struggling with these mysteries of incarnation and the strange limitations of time and space. And then, the earthly experience of life and death. We can find these moments in the stories of Lent and Easter.
Christ-consciousness awakens in your soul when you are alone in the wilderness knowing you are surrounded with beasts that can tear apart your flesh. The days when you have hungers that can never be satisfied. The nights when all comfort is denied.
Christ-consciousness lives in you when you vanquish temptations…all the everyday temptations and the great big ones. You discern the difference between stones and bread. You don’t need to magically prove anything to anyone, not even angels. You want no dominion over anything or anyone. You cannot be seduced or tempted.
Christ-consciousness comes when you can celebrate the fullness that within your soul lives all that is divine and all that is human.
Christ-consciousness lives when you accept the necessity of sacrifice and death so that others will be transformed and redeemed. Christ-consciousness fills your soul when you find moments of resurrection and ascension. These moments do come and then something greater than ordinary existence for every human soul shines through you.
This is Christ-consciousness, but first comes Jesus-consciousness. I find hovering above me in these moments of my higher self, my Highest Self, the fluttering and flaming presence of the Holy Spirit.
I’ve written just a few hints to the presence of Jesus and Christ that is waiting to come alive in your own consciousness. I hope they inspire some new thoughts, feelings and intentions in your soul.
The Inner Easter Webinar
If you would like to explore these inner Jesus Inner Christ mysteries more deeply, I invite you to register for the Inner Easter webinar I am offering
1:00-2:30 PM Eastern Sunday, March 28 via zoom.
We will seek inspiration including and going beyond all religious boxes of beliefs. We will explore Easter esoterically and personally. Each of us has formed our own beliefs based on an inner longing engaging with outer structures. The webinar will look at Easter from our inner longings for a deep resonance between our earthly self and the vast inspirations of the Divine, between the Inner Jesus and the Inner Christ we experience.
The webinar is live and there will be time for holy questions and sacred conversations. Yes, it will be recorded so you can listen to it anytime and anywhere.