Letting Go of Religious Bias
It is wonderful to see the practice of meditation becoming more universally accepted by western cultures. When I was growing up, as a Southern Baptist, we were taught in church that meditation was essentially a path to evil and a sure way to be led astray and influenced by demonic forces. We were even shown frightening videos of ‘evil’ eastern practices. As you can imagine, I struggled for many years to get past this mental block because of my programmed fear of engaging in a practice that could bring me even further away from God than I had already led myself. Would meditation and its various underlying philosophies be the last step in what seemed like my never-ending struggle with ‘back-sliding’?
This is the question that led me to studying metaphysics and metaphysical mysticism. The answers I found are why I left my corporate career of over 20 years to pursue a degree in metaphysical science, with a concentration in Christian studies. I wanted to start my counseling and coaching practice to help others reconcile their faith with metaphysical concepts that they’ve been taught to avoid. My hope is that you too can let go of any religious bias you may have and embrace the tools available to change your life and align your mind, body, and soul in Christ.
Understanding Mental Awareness & Christ Consciousness
I had my ‘Ah-Ha!’ moment, as Oprah would say, when I realized that the 5 concepts listed below are of extreme importance throughout the Bible, particularly in the New Testament teachings of Jesus and Paul. I will go into each of these areas in more detail in upcoming blogs and podcasts. My focus in this post is relating mental awareness, consciousness, prayer, and meditation to mystical metaphysics.
Mental Awareness and Consciousness
Meditation and Prayer
The Kingdom of God
Christ & the Holy Spirit
The Fruit of the Spirit and How We Relate to Others
Mental awareness and consciousness are not relegated to the New Testament in the Bible. These concepts are fundamental to the Old Testament as well. One of my favorite verses in the Old Testament is Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know”. While encouraging, you must wonder how exactly you can connect to God and receive such illumination?! The answer, of course, is meditation. Specifically, mystical meditation.
Unlike other forms of meditation that focus on self-awareness and being ‘present’, the goal of mystical meditation is to connect to the Christ Consciousness within your mind. Non-Christians refer to this energy as Spirit, Universal mind, or the Higher-Self. There are many other names used, but no matter how it is labeled, it is the universal energy, or life force, that connects every living entity to the Universal Creator, or God.
The precept for mystical meditation can be found in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God”. Be still both physically and in your mind, resting in the acknowledgement of God, with the intention of connecting directly to God’s divine presence (energy) through Christ Consciousness. It is the act of meditation, with this specific intent, that brings forth divine guidance to your conscious, very human mind. As discussed in Part I of this series, your mind is the light within your temple (YOU!). What resides in your mind sets your path in life.
Accessing Christ Consciousness requires not only an openness in your conscious mind, but also an awareness of the difference between the thoughts generated from your conscious, human mind rather than Christ Consciousness, or your higher mind. It is often easier to refer to your human mind as your ego-mind, as both higher and lower can exist in your conscious thinking, particularly with consistent meditation. This parsing of thoughts is referenced in Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”.
As you drift deeper into a meditative state, the ego-mind will begin ruminating. It has been forged and programmed, through all your life experiences, into specific thinking patterns. The ego-mind is inherently self-preserving and does not want to relinquish control of your thoughts or deviate from its set patterns. Vigilant mental awareness is needed to identify the difference between the thoughts generated from your ego-mind and the thoughts and inspirations being transmitted through Christ Consciousness. As instructed in II Corinthians 10:5 “…and we tear down every proud idea that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ”.
Ego-Mind vs Christ-Consciousness
The ego-mind is sometimes referred to as the false-self. You may experience happiness and contentment following the thoughts of the ego-mind, but you will not be completely fulfilled because you will not be aligning with the full measure of your purpose in life- which can only be revealed through meditation and the revealed knowledge of God’s will for you. As you turn away thoughts emanating from your ego-mind, think upon Philippians 4:8, “whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things”. A good litmus test for your thoughts is comparing them against the Fruit of the Spirit, as instructed by Jesus in Galatians 5: love, joy, gentleness, peace, forbearance (tolerance), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. Anything contrary is not from Christ Consciousness as these ‘fruits’ are manifestations of God’s energy, flowing in our true selves, connected through all creation.
Meditation should not become hang-time with your ego-mind. Meditation styles that focus on self-awareness and being present with oneself and thoughts invites erroneous thoughts, and therefore perspectives, to catch hold in your consciousness and allows the ego-mind to further cement its programs. The University of Buffalo released a study this April titled “Mindfulness Can Make You Selfish” (Science Daily, 2021). The study is quite interesting and nuanced, but the findings are expected if you’ve studied this form of meditation. The ego-mind is all about the false self, where Christ Consciousness is about creation, connections, and our role in within the context of unity. It’s always fascinating to me to connect scripture written thousands of years ago to scientific ‘revelations’ in the present. Reading the summary of this study reminded me of Proverbs 28:26 “those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe”.
Meditation, with the intent to connect to God through Christ-Consciousness requires mental awareness and the ability to observe your thoughts to determine if they are being generated through your ego-mind or entering your consciousness through your connection to Christ Consciousness. Effective mystical meditation cannot exist without these distinctions. When you can classify your thoughts and begin to determine patterns, that is when you can begin the real work of healing your mind so that Christ Consciousness can enter your conscious mind fully.
Next week I will dive deeper into processing your thoughts, healing negative thoughts, and fully bringing forth God’s wisdom into your conscious mind.