And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
It seems that nowadays it doesn’t take much to identify as a Christian. Millions of people in North America consider themselves Christian or are a member of one of the many mainline churches. It seems that there are only a few requirements to being able to call oneself a Christian, such as accepting the Bible as the word of God, and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
I did not grow up in a religious home. The idea’s of religion came into my awareness by society, and due to naturally developing quickly into modern and post-modern altitudes of consciousness, what I was being shown was aptly rejected as fantasy, mythology, and just plain silly.
Ironically, without officially identifying as one, I was an atheist. Religion, in whatever form, was perceived as archaic and useless in the post-modern age. Though there was something else “natural” within me, and that was the magnetic pull of Spirit. I was powerfully drawn to metaphysics, the supernatural, and philosophy.
My study began with the Occult and LHP. Since I had already created a stance against Christianity, the LHP was the only logical path I could follow. So I began soaking up the literature of the occultic minds of the past and present, from H.P Blavatsky to Anton Szander Lavey. This lasted a few years, but with my study and practice in meditation and contemplation, I had reached the LHP ceiling.
The primary focus of the LHP is the aggrandizement of the self (ego), believing that this little self can reach equal footing with God. Of course, this has a ceiling, simply because I would later learn, the little self is illusory.
My journey with the occult had concluded, though I was still in need of being spiritually fed. Life would have it that I would come into contact with Eastern traditions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, where my healing journey would really begin.
I never joined an ashram or temple, my study had always been personal and self-driven. I read many of the more prominent Buddhist and Hindu literature, such as Mahayana Sutras and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, as well as the Upanishads and The Bhagavad Gita. In addition to these, I would follow the work of other pupils and students of these traditions.
After years of trying to “perfect” my ego into something it could never be, I had inadvertently succeeded in bringing a lot of my shadow to the surface. My study and practice in these eastern traditions, while very potent, did not, however, provide enough in the way of psychological healing. Sure, I was able to move into deeper states of consciousness and breach into greater altitudes of awareness, but the shadow-work was still an element yet to be begun.
So as if on cue, I eventually came across the spiritual tome A Course in Miracles. It sat on my shelf for quite sometime before I was ready to begin reading it with any seriousness. I met the wisdom of this book with great resistance, so life provided me with mighty companions to help dislodge the barriers to my willingness. In time, the real work of healing began.
[For those who are not familiar with ACIM, there is a great many resources online to get you started, and I hope to offer my own experience with the book in subsequent articles.]
Through my experience with the Course, I was re-introduced to a lot of the ideas and concepts which I had rejected in the past. I learned that I was wrong about everything I previously thought in regards to Jesus, God, Christ, Spirit, Reality, and my relationship with each.
The idea of Jesus being a “special” character in history, who sacrificed himself [or was murdered] for the short-comings of humanity was an insane thing to believe. Fortunately, I learned that such a belief only makes sense at a certain level of understanding.
In addition to the Course, I would also fall into the work of Ken Wilber and his Integral Model/Framework which has been a priceless resource in my development and learning.
In concert with all of this new information and perspective, I would step again into the presence of Jesus [in mind] and offer a willingness to learn. This decision has brought to life the timeless quote of T.S Elliot;
We shall never cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
It is quite clear to me that my journey, thus far, and though it had always seemed to be a moving forward, was, in fact, a return.
A Return Home.
My life is a testament to the transformative power of Christ; the Holy Son of God; the first and only created.