The Christ Consciousness
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Oftentimes, when individuals hear the terms "Christ" or "Jesus," right away they may fall into preconceived notions based upon their upbringing or particular religious background. Throughout history, the perspectives people have had on the life and teachings of Jesus have been varied, oftentimes even at odds. Sometimes individuals involved in so called "new age" philosophies or comparative religious studies have decided that Jesus was "just a teacher." Was he only a prophet? Others have decided to disregard him altogether. Members of non-Christian faiths may have ignored his life and ministry. Was he a man who committed blasphemy by thinking himself a God? Others may have said, "Well, Christians have been cruel to me and therefore I'm not interested in Jesus." Even among those who call themselves Christian there is not complete agreement about the meaning of Jesus' life and work. These disagreements have resulted in dozens of denominational factions, charges of heresy or breaking away from the faith, and countless wars. The Edgar Cayce material, however, offers an approach that suggests there is a way of looking at Jesus' life in a manner that unifies all of humankind rather than dividing it.
Our Spiritual Birthright
Because of our focus on the material things in life, much of humankind has forgotten its true birthright as a child of a loving God. From Cayce's perspective, we are not simply physical bodies, instead we are spiritual beings who are having a physical experience entailing personal growth and development. Many individuals have incorrectly assumed that the goal of being in the earth is to simply reach heaven, find enlightenment, or somehow "get out of the earth." And yet, this is a perspective quite different from that contained in the Cayce material. Instead, Cayce believed that as children of God, our mission was to somehow bring spirit into the earth.
The dynamics of our deep and literal connection to God can be found throughout scripture, beginning with Genesis when we are told that God made humankind in the Creator's image. But our relationship with God as our Parent is perhaps no more clearly illustrated than in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-24). This parable describes the journey of the soul: we were with God in the beginning, through the power of our free will we were able to make choices that were not necessarily in perfect accord with the Creator. And, at some point, we will "arise" and decide to return to God, regaining our inheritance and experiencing our true relationship with Him. One of the readings beautifully describes the spiritual nature of humankind in this way:
"For ye are a corpuscle in the body of God; thus a co-creator with Him, in what ye think, in what ye do." Edgar Cayce Reading 2794-3
Jesus as "Pattern" of Wholeness
The readings state that God desires to be expressed in the world through us. The example set by Jesus is apparently a "pattern" of wholeness for each and every soul.
Regardless of an individual's religious or personal beliefs, this Christ pattern exists in potential upon the very fiber of their being. It is that part of each of us that is in perfect accord with the Creator and is simply waiting to find expression in our lives. This Christ pattern was further described as "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" (5749-14), and its manifestation is the eventual destiny of each and every soul. With this in mind, the readings present Jesus as our "Elder brother," a soul who came to show each one of us the way back to our spiritual Source by perfectly manifesting the laws of the Creator in the earth.
Just as an older sibling can sometimes provide insight and counsel into some of life's difficulties (because he or she went through them first ) Jesus as Elder brother can assist us in facing life's challenges. What may surprise individuals is that this fact has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with spirituality and discovering our true relationship with God- a relationship we share with Jesus. The readings not only affirm that Jesus was the Son of God, but they also state the same thing about each and everyone of us. In other words: Jesus was like each one of us and, ultimately, each one of us is destined to be like Him.
I and my Father are one. Then they took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of these do you stone me? They answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, "I said, Ye are gods." John 10:30-34
Although many of us may be repelled at first by such a suggestion, evidence for this premise is found in both the Bible and the Edgar Cayce material. When speaking of humankind, Jesus, himself, states, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world," (John 17:16). Surprisingly, perhaps, a Jewish businessman came to this very conclusion in questions that he posed in a Cayce reading:
Q. Jesus was made perfect, God came into His Own. We are men not yet perfect, god not yet equal to God. He represents our so-called future, the path to the Throne?
A. Correct. He is the path to the throne, in that we, man, must become as the One as directs the way.
Q. ...Like us, Jesus was both God and Man until He became God alone?
Edgar Cayce Reading 900-100
Before becoming offended by this incredible possibility, shouting out charges of heresy, or believing the idea to be the work of the devil, we need to look closely at the life of Jesus. Not only will we find that He was charged with blasphemy for this very claim, but we will find that He stated this truth for each and every one of us:
For indeed in Him, the Father-God, ye move and have thy being. Act like it! Don't act like ye think ye are a god! Ye may become such, but when ye do ye think not of thyself. For what is the pattern? He thought it not robbery to make Himself equal with God, but He acted like it in the earth. He made Himself of no estate that you, through His grace, through His mercy, through His sacrifice might have an advocate with that First Cause, God; that first principle, spirit... Edgar Cayce Reading 4083-1
The law Jesus is referring to is the Old Testament, specifically the 82nd Psalm which asserts that not only are we God's children, but we are also "gods" (to be sure in-the-making), as well. Although some individuals may be offended with the statement that everyone is a part of God, in recent years more and more people working with esoteric spiritual traditions have come to that very conclusion. Unfortunately, oftentimes those individuals who accept this premise have forgotten the appropriate attitudinal stance that should accompany it. In reality, this claim is not so much true as a verbal statement made about oneself. Instead, it is only true as we become god-like toward one another:
For the Master, Jesus, even the Christ, is the pattern for every man in the earth, whether he be Gentile or Jew, Parthenian or Greek. For all have the pattern, whether they call on that name or not; but there is no other name given under heaven whereby men may be saved from themselves.
Edgar Cayce Reading 3528-1
When Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life," (John 14:6) it was not a call to religious conversion; but rather an opportunity for us to realize that His life could serve as an example for each one of us. Regardless of our religious background, in Jesus' life we can find a pattern of how to live, enabling each of us to overcome our personal weaknesses, our shortcomings, even our problems. In the language of the Cayce readings:
Q. What is the main purpose of this incarnation?
A. To glorify the Christ Consciousness in the earth — in the lives of those with whom ye come in contact, and to live the same thyself.
Edgar Cayce Reading 2441-4
On one occasion, a thirty-eight-year-old male who primarily desired additional information on how he might better manifest his life's purpose, asked Edgar Cayce for clarification on these words "Jesus" and "Christ":
Q. What is the meaning and significance of the words Jesus and Christ...?
A. Just as indicated. Jesus is the man — the activity, the mind, the relationships that He bore to others. Yea, He was mindful of friends, He was sociable, He was loving, He was kind, He was gentle. He grew faint, He grew weak — and yet gained that strength that He has promised, in becoming the Christ, by fulfilling and overcoming the world! Ye are made strong — in body, in mind, in soul and purpose — by that power in Christ. The power, then, is in the Christ. The pattern is in Jesus.
Edgar Cayce Reading 2533-7
The Transformative Power of the Christ Consciousness
This transformative power of the Christ Consciousness is awakened as individuals act in accord with the pattern set by the example of Jesus' life. In fact, this awakening is the essential purpose for which each soul enters into life: In terms of how this Christ Consciousness could unfold in an individual's life, one person was told:
What [then] will ye do with this man thy elder brother, thy Christ, who — that thy Destiny might be sure in Him — has shown thee the more excellent way. Not in mighty deeds of valor, not in the exaltation of thy knowledge or thy power; but in the gentleness of the things of the spirit: Love, kindness, longsuffering, patience; these thy brother hath shown thee that thou, applying them in thy associations with thy fellow man day by day, here a little, there a little, may become one with Him as He has destined that thou shouldst be! Wilt thou separate thyself? For there be nothing...that may separate thee from the love of thy God, of thy brother, save thine own self!
Edgar Cayce Reading 849-11
From Cayce's perspective, Jesus is the Elder brother for all of humankind, deeply committed to assisting all souls in reawakening to the awareness of their oneness with God. This Jesus is not interested in religious conversion, denominationalism, or even mighty personal accomplishments. Instead, He is simply interested in how we treat one another. With this in mind, even in the midst of our diversity as a human family, we share a common spiritual heritage. We are all Children of the same God. We are all part of the one spiritual Source. And, we are all destined to return to our Creator, our Mother/Father, our God.
Adapted from: Twelve Lessons in Personal Spirituality by Kevin Todeschi.