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“Christ Consciousness” is a universalist expression of basic Christian beliefs. Therefore, it attempts to transcend religion and appeal to underlying spiritual principles shared by all humans, but from within a Christian context. It means ” higher consciousness” as opposed to “lower, or mundane, everyday consciousness, a distinction that the German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher made early in the 19th century, but which has very early roots in classical eastern religions. For example, Buddhism distinguishes between paramartha, or absolute truth, and samvriti, or illusory, false, or delusional reality. It is what Hindu yogas refer to as “super consciousness,” Gurdjieff as “objective consciousness,” Theosophy as “Buddhic consciousness,” as “cosmic consciousness” by Bucke, and as “God consciousness” by Sufism and Vedanta Hinduism. “Christ Consciousness” was popularized by the founders of Unity, the Fillmores, and became the commonly accepted way of universalizing the Christian message within what has been called the “new thought” and “new age” movements. For example, the definition of “Christ Consciousness” from the Edgar Cayce psychic readings is “the awareness within each soul, imprinted in pattern on the mind and waiting to be awakened by the will, of the soul’s oneness with God.”  Christ Consciousness, then, is mystical consciousness, which itself has been divided by classical Buddhism, Underhill, Wilber, and many others, into nature, saintly, formless, and non-dual varieties. Christ Consciousness applies to all of these, but generally to saintly, or devotional mysticism, in which a personal, loving “I-Thou” relationship with the divine is paramount. Indeed, among accounts of near death experiencers, this particular interpretation of “Christ Consciousness” is by far the most common.

The psychological functions of “Christ Consciousness” are powerful, which explains the continued popularity of this term. On the one hand, it provides Christians with an interpretation of their spirituality that is internal, personal, and independent, as opposed to one externally dictated by scripture and church doctrine, interpretations by priests rather than by oneself, and subjection to religious authorities. Consequently, “Christ Consciousness” is not only a direct shot across the bow of traditional Christianity but a liberating theology for many Christians. It represents a “syncretistic”approach, one which combine disparate ideas or beliefs while attempting a higher order synthesis of apparently conflicting ideas. In traditional Christianity, from its earliest days, the teaching of syncretism was a sin punishable by expulsion or death.

The term ” Christ Consciousness” also makes Christianity more approachable by members of other religious traditions because Jesus can be seen as another incarnation of Buddha, Krishna, or God.  Ramakrishna, Vivikananda, and Paramahamsa Yogananda, were influential Hindu gurus who viewed Jesus as a manifestation of universal consciousness of oneness with God. Such people influenced Blavatsky, Mary Baker Eddy, the Fillmores, Ernest Holmes, and the general zeitgeist which was the context for the Edgar Cayce readings. For example, Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose writings influenced many people in the new thought movement, was a student of the Bhagavad Gita. The Parliament of World Religions, held in Chicago in 1893, exposed many Christians to universalizing concepts from Hinduism and Buddhism. While this has indeed built many bridges between Christianity and other faiths, the term still implies a pre-eminence of the Christian revelation and of Jesus as the source of it. Therefore, “Christ Consciousness” does not fully overcome Christian claims to exclusivity. For example, when you read Cayce’s definition of “Christ Consciousness,” above, you get no inkling of a sectarian exclusivity. However, if you pursue its usage within the readings, you find that it is very much imbued with core concepts of traditional Christianity. These include 1) the primacy of the soul who was Jesus as the savior/messiah/rescuer of humanity; 2) the uniqueness of Jesus as a messenger of universal love and oneness with God; 3) the specific and unique gift of grace, which made possible the evolution of human consciousness and the access of mankind to God’s grace that Jesus’ death and resurrection represent; and 4) the continued presence of the soul the world knew as Jesus  today, now, for everyone, as the universal Christ. Christians generally do not view these tenants as statements of sectarian exclusivity because they emphasize the universal aspects of these interpretations while minimizing or ignoring those aspects that are culture and belief-specific.

In the traditional Christian world of the West today, particularly in the majestic centers of European spirituality, churches have been turned into museums or sold off at an increasing rate.  Religion in general, and Christianity in particular, becomes one more cultural choice for which there is no social consequence for either adopting or ignoring. Without the heavy social and cultural reinforcers of belief, ideas like the Christ Consciousness have to compete with the internet, secular humanism, forms of Hinduism, Buddhism, agnosticism, and atheism. Mysticism becomes less a religiously framed pursuit and more of a non-religiously affiliated spiritual practice. As for religious practices themselves, people are free to experiment with many traditions and create their own syncretistic integration, just as Cayce and the Fillmores did.

The approach that Integral Deep Listening takes to all these issues surrounding the Christ Consciousness is to encourage you to reach your own conclusions. However, it does not believe that is best done by merely reading, the exploration and adoption of various religious practices, or meditation. While it encourages all of these approaches, your unique relationship to the term “Christ Consciousness” evolves as you do. Therefore, Integral Deep Listening encourages you to interview your own conception of Christ Consciousness and see how it defines itself to you. The following interview is merely meant to be an example of that process, rewritten in a way to apply to everyone, although the following transcript of the interview indicates that it was addressed uniquely to the author.

Anyone can do such an interview, whether or not they are a Christian, because everyone has some familiarity with Jesus and the universalization of his life and message as Christ Consciousness. Perhaps you hate what Christ Consciousness represents. Maybe, on the other hand, you are a strong advocate for this approach to oneness with the divine. Maybe you’re not sure what your relationship with Christ Consciousness, or the “universal Jesus,” is. Whatever the case may be, because you live in a world drenched in stories, beliefs, and histories that are either about or reactions to what this or that person thought about Jesus, he represents a persona and a set of experiences that cannot be ignored. Hugh Lynn Cayce, the influential and talented son of the psychic and father of holistic medicine, Edgar Cayce, believed and taught that the most important question anyone could ask themselves was, “What shall I do with Jesus?” The following interview is an example of what you can do to clarify and improve your relationship with this potent personal, spiritual, and cultural reality.

Why not interview your own archetypal Jesus and give it a chance to be heard? I do not expect my interview to express truths or realities for you – you have to do your own interview to do that – and I don’t expect it to be free of my own projections, biases, and prejudices. How will you know if the Christ Consciousness will provide a helpful, broadened, useful perspective or not unless you allow it to speak to you?

All IDL interviews begin by an expression of three fundamental life issues that are important to you at this time. The one that was chosen for this interview was “staying centered in luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance, because these are “my present conceptualizations of the sacred and how to build my experience of it in my daily life.” Thinking about this issue evoked feelings of  “confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing as well as a sense of being on the right track and doing what I need to be doing. So a sense of happiness and contentment.” These feelings associated themselves with the color white and “a heavenly Jesus, complete with wings, sacred heart, and halo…The works. He’s smiling beatifically, full of love and peace…It’s the Christ Consciousness.”

Christ Consciousness, look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see… 

I see a world of suffering, delusion, confusion, and fear. I see a lot of scared, alienated people, who don’t feel supported or loved. I am universal love and wisdom. I am praying for humanity. I am welcoming all to me that are receptive to me. I like that I am loving and wise. My strengths are that I am patient and never-failing. I don’t like that I do not get heard. My influence is limited. People are more receptive to me when they are in crisis, near death, or dying. I would like more people to experience my love and my wisdom. I most closely represent humanity’s awareness of its oneness with God.

But Christ Consciousness, what about those people for whom the concept of God is either not relevant or inadequate? You seem to be saying you are only universal for those who believe in God.

From my point of view, those who do not believe in God are deluded. They think they have outgrown a childhood, naive belief; I think they haven’t yet grown into what belief in God really means. The problem is, since more and more humans doesn’t have much use for the concept of God, awareness of oneness with God doesn’t resonate with such people so much. Such people may dismiss Me because they have never had mystical experiences of my reality or, on the other hand, they have had mystical experiences of my reality and not been as impressed or transformed by them as I think they should have been. For instance, they may view such experiences as temporary because I am so far beyond their everyday experience that they don’t know how or are unable to integrate me into their daily lives. Maybe they aren’t looking for mystical experiences or transcendental awakenings. Maybe they feel they can experience divine, I-Thou love in day-to-day relationships without needing me as an intermediary or explanation. So for me to reach such people I need to be a personification of what they desire. In this case, it would be the awakening of my qualities of selfless love and service awakened within him. Just white light.

As far as those qualities go, I would score myself zero to ten in confidence as a ten because I can’t die, so I have nothing to fear. In compassion I’m also a ten, because I’m Jesus! Who could be more compassionate? In wisdom I’m also a ten; I know more than Santa Claus! I’m also a ten in acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing. I totally accept everyone and everything; nothing stresses me out, not even all the suffering I see; and I get to see everything and everybody from my perspective. From up here, the view is great.

Forgive me for my skepticism, Christ Consciousness, but your perfect high scores are beyond my reach. They are unattainable. It seems that you are encouraging me to embark on a fool’s errand – to attempt to attain the unattainable. Is that useful? Is that helpful?  

Your attempts at perfection will of course fail, but you can grow into these qualities more than you are, and I can point you in the right direction! The goal is not to compare yourself to me, but to recognize that I represent emerging potentials that are growing and want to grow within you.  I would recommend that you humans focus on what you have: some portion of my love and wisdom, not on what you don’t have. I agree with and support the goal of staying centered in luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance. I also recommend that humans focus on avoiding and ignoring distractions, developing a laser focus, and enjoying each moment. Humans will benefit from becoming me whenever they lose focus or direction; whenever they need a clearer sense of direction.

White Light/ Christ Consciousness, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

Nope. Too busy being me. 

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

I stay too focused on love and wisdom. 

Christ Consciousness, you are imaginary, to the extent that you are a projection of humanity’s idea of you. Why should humans pay attention to anything you say?

I am a reality for a good part of the human race. The more humans internalize me, the more they relate to others in a loving, compassionate way. I’m a part of the reality many humans meet when they die. I score higher than most humans do in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing. I embody the love and wisdom humans seek. I have come to reassert myself as an important, valuable emerging potential for humanity. I will be ignored by most, who will merely see me as just one more of many valuable and valid emerging potentials in their lives. But that is OK, because it’s true!

Notice that  this portrayal of Jesus/Christ Consciousness/White Light did not have any sense of exclusivity.  It is content to be seen as just one more of many valuable and valid emerging potentials. Christ Consciousness seems to acknowledge that other interviewed emerging potentials may also score all tens in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, and inner peace. Consequently, it is not assigning itself a higher value to itself than any other interviewed emerging potential, which is interesting. It reflects a perspective that says that everything is a portal for the sacred. Your interview, however, may produce a Christ Consciousness that is exclusive. There is a place for that perspective as well.

You may also find yourself disappointed that an interview with such a transcendent immanence is not a mystical experience. Certainly, if it was a real contact it would be transformative, awe-inspiring, and life-changing, right? The challenge of spirituality is the alchemy of turning the lead of this present moment into gold, and to keep doing that moment after moment. That can only happen when we become that gold, when we become that Christ Consciousness. IDL interviewing is designed to help you do that, using whatever is your icon for the MOST HIGH: Jesus, Buddha, Christ Consciousness, money, fame, health, a government that is fair and just…I invite you to interview your own Christ Consciousness or your equivalent, and share with us what you learn!

Here is the transcript of the original interview…

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

Staying centered in luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance.

Writing, editing, publishing.

Learning German.

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?

The first. It’s my present conceptualization of the sacred and how to build my experience of it in my daily life.

What feelings does this issue bring up for you? 

Good ones! The six core qualities – confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing. A sense of being on the right track and doing what I need to be doing. So a sense of happiess and contentment.

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?

White.

 Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.  

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What? 

Let’s go with a heavenly Jesus, complete with wings, sacred heart, and halo…The works. He’s smiling beatifically, full of love and peace…

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Christ Consciousness, look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see… 

I see a world of suffering, delusion, confusion, and fear. I see a lot of scared, alienated people, who don’t feel supported or loved.

Christ Consciousness, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I am universal love and wisdom. I am praying for humanity. I am welcoming all to me that are receptive to me.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I like that I am loving and wise. My strengths are that I am patient and never-failing. 

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

I do not get heard. My influence is limited. People are more receptive to me when they are in crisis, near death, or dying. I would like more people to experience my love and my wisdom.

Christ Consciousness, what aspect of Joseph do you represent or most closely personify?

His awareness of his oneness with God.

Christ Consciousness, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

The problem is, since he doesn’t have much use for the concept of God, awareness of his oneness with God doesn’t do much for him any more. He is not much interested in mystical experiences, because they don’t last and he’s not looking for transcendental awakenings. He wants to be more awake in mundane ways: when he listens to people, when he’s washing the dishes. So for me to reach him I need to be a personification of what he desires: my qualities awakened within him. Just white light.

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

White Light/Christ Consciousness, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10 I can’t die so I have nothing to fear.

  Compassion: 10 I’m Jesus! Who could be more compassionate?

  Wisdom: 10 I know more than Santa Claus!

Acceptance: 10 I totally accept everyone and everything.

Inner Peace: 10 Nothing stresses me out, not even all the suffering I see.

Witnessing: 10 From up here, the view is great. I get to see everything and everybody.            

How would Joseph’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

He wouldn’t need me; he’d be me! But he’s not, so he needs me!

If you could live Joseph’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

Focus on what he has: my love and wisdom, not on what he doesn’t have.

If you could live Joseph’s waking life for him today, would you handle his three life issues differently?  If so, how?

Staying centered in luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance.

He’s on track with that one. Keep it up!

Writing, editing, publishing.

Set a daily schedule, do a bit of self-discipline.

Learning German.

The same.

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Joseph’s life?

Avoiding, ignoring distractions. 

Developing a laser focus. 

Enjoying each moment!

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Joseph to imagine that he is you and act as you would? 

Whenever he loses focus or direction; whenever he needs a clearer sense of direction.

White Light/ Christ Consciousness, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

Nope. Too busy being me. 

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

Too focused on love and wisdom. 

Christ Consciousness, you are imaginary, to the extent that you are a projection of Joseph’s idea of you. Why should he pay attention to anything you say?

I am a reality for a good part of the human race. The more he internalizes me, the more he will relate to others. I’m a part of his larger self he’ll meet when he dies. I score higher than he does. I embody the love and wisdom he seeks. Those are pretty good reasons. 

Why do you think that you are in Joseph’s life? 

To reassert myself as an important, valuable emerging potential for him.

How is Joseph most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?

See me as just one more of many valuable and valid emerging potentials. 

What would you recommend that he do about that?

Nothing! That’s true!

If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?

There is a role for Christ Consciousness in my life and in my growth.

Is there anything you want to take away from this interview to apply in your everyday life?

Become Christ Consciousness whenever I lose focus or need a clearer sense of direction.

 

Notice that  this portrayal of Jesus/Christ Consciousness/White Light did not have any sense of exclusivity. In response to the question, “How is Joseph most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?” the answer was, “See me as just one more of many valuable and valid emerging potentials.” “What would you recommend that he do about that?” “Nothing! That’s true!”Christ Consciousness is not assigning itself a higher value than any other interviewed emerging potential, which is interesting. It reflects a perspective that says that everything is a portal for the sacred. Your interview, however, may produce a Christ Consciousness that is exclusive. There is a place for that perspective as well.

You may also find yourself disappointed that an interview with such a transcendent immanence is not a mystical experience. Certainly, if it was a real contact it would be transformative, awe-inspiring, and life-changing, right?

The challenge of spirituality is the alchemy of turning the lead of this present moment into gold, and to keep doing that moment after moment. That can only happen when we become that gold, when webecome that Christ Consciousness. IDL interviewing is designed to help you do that, using whatever is your icon for the MOST HIGH: Jesus, Buddha, Christ Consciousness, money, fame, health, a government that is fair and just…I invite you to interview your own Christ Consciousness or your equivalent, and share with us what you learn!

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

Staying centered in luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance.

Writing, editing, publishing.

Learning German.

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?

The first. It’s my present conceptualization of the sacred and how to build my experience of it in my daily life.

What feelings does this issue bring up for you? 

Good ones! The six core qualities – confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing. A sense of being on the right track and doing what I need to be doing. So a sense of happiess and contentment.

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?

White.

 Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.  

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What? 

Let’s go with a heavenly Jesus, complete with wings, sacred heart, and halo…The works. He’s smiling beatifically, full of love and peace…

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Christ Consciousness, look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see… 

I see a world of suffering, delusion, confusion, and fear. I see a lot of scared, alienated people, who don’t feel supported or loved.

Christ Consciousness, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I am universal love and wisdom. I am praying for humanity. I am welcoming all to me that are receptive to me.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I like that I am loving and wise. My strengths are that I am patient and never-failing. 

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

I do not get heard. My influence is limited. People are more receptive to me when they are in crisis, near death, or dying. I would like more people to experience my love and my wisdom.

Christ Consciousness, what aspect of Joseph do you represent or most closely personify?

His awareness of his oneness with God.

Christ Consciousness, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

The problem is, since he doesn’t have much use for the concept of God, awareness of his oneness with God doesn’t do much for him any more. He is not much interested in mystical experiences, because they don’t last and he’s not looking for transcendental awakenings. He wants to be more awake in mundane ways: when he listens to people, when he’s washing the dishes. So for me to reach him I need to be a personification of what he desires: my qualities awakened within him. Just white light.

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

White Light/Christ Consciousness, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10 I can’t die so I have nothing to fear.

  Compassion: 10 I’m Jesus! Who could be more compassionate?

  Wisdom: 10 I know more than Santa Claus!

Acceptance: 10 I totally accept everyone and everything.

Inner Peace: 10 Nothing stresses me out, not even all the suffering I see.

Witnessing: 10 From up here, the view is great. I get to see everything and everybody.            

How would Joseph’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

He wouldn’t need me; he’d be me! But he’s not, so he needs me!

If you could live Joseph’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

Focus on what he has: my love and wisdom, not on what he doesn’t have.

If you could live Joseph’s waking life for him today, would you handle his three life issues differently?  If so, how?

Staying centered in luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance.

He’s on track with that one. Keep it up!

Writing, editing, publishing.

Set a daily schedule, do a bit of self-discipline.

Learning German.

The same.

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Joseph’s life?

Avoiding, ignoring distractions. 

Developing a laser focus. 

Enjoying each moment!

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Joseph to imagine that he is you and act as you would? 

Whenever he loses focus or direction; whenever he needs a clearer sense of direction.

White Light/ Christ Consciousness, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

Nope. Too busy being me. 

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

Too focused on love and wisdom. 

Christ Consciousness, you are imaginary, to the extent that you are a projection of Joseph’s idea of you. Why should he pay attention to anything you say?

I am a reality for a good part of the human race. The more he internalizes me, the more he will relate to others. I’m a part of his larger self he’ll meet when he dies. I score higher than he does. I embody the love and wisdom he seeks. Those are pretty good reasons. 

Why do you think that you are in Joseph’s life? 

To reassert myself as an important, valuable emerging potential for him.

How is Joseph most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?

See me as just one more of many valuable and valid emerging potentials. 

What would you recommend that he do about that?

Nothing! That’s true!

If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?

There is a role for Christ Consciousness in my life and in my growth.

Is there anything you want to take away from this interview to apply in your everyday life?

Become Christ Consciousness whenever I lose focus or need a clearer sense of direction.

 

Notice that  this portrayal of Jesus/Christ Consciousness/White Light did not have any sense of exclusivity. In response to the question, “How is Joseph most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?” the answer was, “See me as just one more of many valuable and valid emerging potentials.” “What would you recommend that he do about that?” “Nothing! That’s true!”Christ Consciousness is not assigning itself a higher value than any other interviewed emerging potential, which is interesting. It reflects a perspective that says that everything is a portal for the sacred. Your interview, however, may produce a Christ Consciousness that is exclusive. There is a place for that perspective as well.

You may also find yourself disappointed that an interview with such a transcendent immanence is not a mystical experience. Certainly, if it was a real contact it would be transformative, awe-inspiring, and life-changing, right?

The challenge of spirituality is the alchemy of turning the lead of this present moment into gold, and to keep doing that moment after moment. That can only happen when we become that gold, when webecome that Christ Consciousness. IDL interviewing is designed to help you do that, using whatever is your icon for the MOST HIGH: Jesus, Buddha, Christ Consciousness, money, fame, health, a government that is fair and just…I invite you to interview your own Christ Consciousness or your equivalent, and share with us what you learn!