FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
By Dr. Jun F. Teoxon
Concepts like the Ultimate Reality, the Absolute, or even the Godhead may be too abstract for the understanding of those who are non-specialists in such disciplines as philosophy, metaphysics or theology.
Even such teaching as the Triune God in both Catholicism and Hinduism is not that easy to grasp by using discursive thought.
What is then needful is to bring down these otherwise remote ideas to the level of immediate, concrete human experience.
That’s why the doctrine of God becoming man could be interpreted to work in that direction. So now, the Divine Reality is no longer far too distant as it has manifested itself as human, that is to say, incarnated as one of us without losing His divinity.
In the figure of Jesus Christ, we behold the Supreme Being as familiar, even sharing with us our human nature and earthly existence.
Nevertheless, the truth remains that leveling up to the state of Christ-consciousness is no easy thing to do.
The imitation of Christ or following in the footsteps of Jesus, or representing Him as His vicar requires what is termed in the Holy Scriptures as “metanoia,” which means not so much repentance as a radical change of mind and heart, a 360-degree turnaround in the seat of our consciousness.
This is to say that our mind no longer works in the old ways of thought but functions in a completely new fashion, in a quite different mode.
For that reason, to profess to be a Christian is no trivial matter; and mind you, Christianity is really a serious affair. What is one to make of Jesus’ teachings stripped to the core, without the spin of denominational exegesis or theological ratiocination?
Jesus taught people the mastery of life, of living fully as well as meaningfully in the world but transcending it.
Put another way, He would like us to make the best of our humanity and at the same time exceed it.
For let us face it, He has injunctions (like loving one’s enemies or turning the other cheek) that are impractical from our all too human vantage point, or disposition.
Were humans merely mortal beings, the foregoing challenge could easily be brushed aside as absurd if not irrational. But Christ’s teachings are meant to appeal to that which is actually man’s essence yet universally forgotten.
Yes, you and I have lost our sense of who or what in point of fact we are, that is, that we are spiritual beings. People have all but forgotten this fundamental truth.
At the center of our being is the seed of the Divine. In referring to it different wisdom traditions have different terms for it.
Hinduism refers to it as the Atman, Zen calls it our Buddha-nature, sage-mystics like Sri Ramana labels it as I-I, and Gurdjieff, the Real I.
The perennial philosophy points to it as the Self with the capital letter S.
Our whole trouble is a case of mistaken identity. We have learned to identify ourselves with what at the deepest level we are not. We are caught largely in our material sense of existence even as the beasts in the wilderness are.
It cannot be denied that we move around, live and function in the world in our various bodies—physical, emotional, mental. But the ancient wisdom teaches that we are more than all these taken separately or as a whole.
We are all an integral entity and as such our invisible component is as much indispensable as the visible if not more so, and hence could not be left out of account.
It can in fact be said that spirit is prior to the physical, and consciousness antecedes the body.
Eminent spiritual luminaries hold that the purpose of our life is to remember our Divine heritage, to reclaim our birthright as children of God.
Christ urged us “to seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
This entails awakening to “the kingdom of God [that] is within you.” Thus, it is by going within that we tread upon the path to the sacred ground.
In the heart of the stillness the wayfarer comes to realize that the point of origin and the destination of the spiritual journey are one and the same. (MTVN)