Transformation of human consciousness

The essence of the journey of meditation is to follow Jesus’ command and let go off our ego pre-occupations

The essence of the journey of meditation is to follow Jesus’ command and let go off our ego pre-occupations: “If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine, he must leave self behind…. But if a man will let himself be lost for my sake, he will find his true self.” (Matthew 16:25-26) This does not mean that the ‘ego’ is bad in itself. We need the ‘ego’ to survive in this world. As Laurence Freeman says in ‘Jesus the Teacher Within’: “Jesus had an ego. So it is not that the ego in itself is sinful. It is egotism, fixation on the ego that leads to the forgetting and betrayal of our true Selves. Sin happens when the ego is mistaken for the true Self….We need to balance the needs of the ’ego’ with the wisdom of the ‘self’. When we live in healthy contact with the ‘self’ we become a fully human and integrated person, who shares in Jesus’ consciousness and through Him in Divine Consciousness.

The way to this integration and balance is deep contemplative prayer, meditation: “In meditation we seek to disassemble the barriers we have set up around ourselves, cutting us off from our consciousness of the presence of Jesus within our hearts….once we enter into the human consciousness of Jesus, we begin to see as he sees, to love as he loves, to understand as he understands, and to forgive as he forgives.” (John Main ‘The Hunger for Depth and Meaning’). It is the power of the mantra that “unlocks the door to allow the pure light of love to flood in.”

Talk of different levels of consciousness often seems very esoteric and even incomprehensible.  But right from the beginning of Christianity we hear the Church Father Origen say: “Besides our bodily senses, there exist in human beings five other senses.” These ‘exterior senses’ and these ‘interior senses’ are different ways of accessing different realities. In our present world we put all the emphasis on the ‘exterior senses’ and scientific materialism even denies the existence of anything other than matter. This attitude is part of human nature. We hear Plotinus ask in the 3rd century CE: “How is it that, having such great things within us, we do not perceive them….How is it that some people never activate them at all?”  Albert Einstein, the most famous scientist of our time, talked about ‘the intuitive mind’ and the ‘rational mind’ and tried to redress the balance: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

We need to accept what William James, the American psychologist,  reminded us of at the beginning of the 20th century in his book ‘Varieties of Religious experience’: “Our normal waking consciousness is but one special type of consciousness, while all about it, parted from it by the flimsiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.” Then John Main’s teaching on our “being open to the human consciousness of Jesus” through meditation will make perfect sense.

Image by Petra from Pixabay

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