The human being truly resembles Christ when, after transcending his or her own selfhood and recognizing his or her essence is somehow one with Christ and therefore God, he or she realizes life itself is an awesome gift of love and compassion that must be shared with others. In the same way, God is immanent in creatures and creation, and constantly labors to bring the world to its ultimate perfection; the purpose of the human being is to labor for a new heaven and new earth. ... This is what is called the great work, the nature of which is love and charity.
*Tau Malachi, Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ
Manifestation of Christ Consciousness~St. Paul calls this pneuma, spirit~by transmutation of energies bound to the mind-body-self~what St. Paul terms sarx, or flesh~occurs through two conscious processes.
1) The drawing downward of spiritual energies.
Downward is a spatial metaphor. "Upward" symbolizes more refined energies, closer to Pure Spirit, or expressions of the Spirit of Christ, the holy Spirit. The transforming by Grace of less spiritualized aspects of self is what the Eastern Church terms theosis, or divinization. We, by conscious development of ourselves through downward drawing of Grace energies, are being progressively en-god-ed; this process is a developmental one of en-god-ing. Contemplation is not abdication of our personal awareness, our consciousness.
We are god-ing progressively; that is, manifesting God through our very selves in more refined expressions of love, joy, and peace.
The "up" and the "down," or spirit and flesh, are not separated in the spiritual emergence from and toward Christ Be-ing. The more refined is the closer to God. This spirit is transmuting the coarser energies of self into godlikenss and, finally, we know, or hope, a full expression of Christ.
2) The integrating of spiritual energies.
"Integrate" comes from a Latin root. This root means "to renew, make whole." We United Methodist refer to this as growth toward Christian Perfection.
The Christ Spirit is the God-seed within each son and daughter of God. This seed is the divine potential of wholeness. Some Christians, along with other spiritual devotees, claim we have fallen from a first state of perfection, or wholeness. Biblical literalists, which I am not, agree with this, based on readings, for example, from the Book of Genesis.
Other spiritual pilgrims say we have not fallen from a first state of wholeness. We have and are by Divine Grace working in the fabric of history and nature evolving toward an end point of wholeness.
Spiritually, there is likely truth in both the above positions. Historically, however, it seems much more reasonable to move on the assumption that we are not fallen creatures seeking a return to time before fall into a sinful state; rather, we are "fallen" in having come from God, and we are returning in the sense of progressive, conscious emergence to the fullness of our Source, or God.
The stream is returning to the Ocean. However, the stream is, due to being co-creative with the Divine, co-operating in holy communion of loving union in the conscious return.
Likewise, the person in this conscious emergence is not losing his or her identity as person, as though the stream will become an un-stream when it intermingles with the Ocean. Rather, the stream-pilgrimage is for the full individuation of god-ing at all self levels to ascend back to and into God fully as Ocean and stream. This conversion is the glory of God, and our thanks to our Sourcing One.
The Gospel, then, is our story: our story of coming forth, our story of return. Christ is our Savior, for God~Christ en-lightens us and en-graces us with full immersion in the world, a baptism necessary to transmute it and for it to ascend back to His Father and our Father.
The holy Spirit activates us grace-fully, en-abling us, through divine power, to participate in this salvation-process. The holy Spirit is the this-worldly, immanent, and feminine aspect of God, connecting us to the Son and Father: the paraclete Jesus in the Gospel of John promised would come to us.
So, contemplation is not escape from matter, but conversion, or return, of matter into Christ Consciousness, or oneness with the Father, God-ing~Source.
In light of contemplation being a conscious participation with the Divine in emergence of a new Creation, and in the process the mystic himself or herself being transformed into that new Wholeness, how does this contrasts with individually-focused, world-despising teachings of Christian salvation and morality?
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