Shifting to the New Story

Photo: Don MacGregor
Photo: Don MacGregor

Shifting is a shock. Can you imagine living at a time when everyone knew for sure that the earth was flat with God abiding in the sky ‘above’ and the devil and his cronies somewhere down below ? Can you imagine how you might have felt when the bombshell came that – in fact – the earth was a round sphere.  It was not only not flat – it was also not the centre of the universe, but rotated on its axis and orbited the sun? No one liked this reversal of certainty. At first they blamed those who told them – imprison them, burn them, pillory them. Acceptance was slow. This shift came from outside each person’s inner  self and it took time for people to grasp a new vision of reality and allow their world view to shift to fit with it.

Most horizons have a way of widening as we journey towards them. I can recall two major shifts in my own journey of exploration towards something that was pulling me beyond the horizons of my Christian background, formed through an Anglican home and parish and a Catholic school. My own inner sense told me that these two denominations were talking about the same thing if only they realised it, and my inner sense also knew that I had to find the answers for myself. As I journeyed onwards there were two major shifts in my understanding, as well as a succession of smaller ones.

The first was to realise that ‘Jesus’ and ‘the Christ’ were not synonymous terms.

Reading geography at university, which offers a global perspective on life, and teaching an inter-disciplinary course in the early days of the Open University, lead inevitably to a dawning sense of inter-connectedness. I had already struggled to accept that one human being born in one spot in one period of time could be the only ‘saviour of the world’. Suddenly it dawned: there was something more global, more cosmic even, working through him. The Christ was vast. And Jesus both embodied this fully and was the signpost to the embodiment that I was following. I was also discovering that there were other teachers who had also embodied this Christ pattern. Still, I sought for affirmation and was much relieved when I found a book, Jesus: Healer and Teacher,published by the White Eagle Publishing Trust. Relief! It confirmed my growing inner knowledge.

Abbotsbury Gardens, Dorset UK

Then came another shift. The realization that our own life  is not a one-off event – birth, maturity, death – then eternal safety in the ‘bosom of Jesus’ so long as we believed , but an ongoing cyclical journey of many experiences, many lives and  onward progression towards the infinite. This was another shocking shift. But by this time I had found a companion to share these seemingly ‘heretical’ thoughts. We journeyed and explored together as best we could whilst living 400 miles apart – and through a series of experiences were drawn to write our first book, Christian Evolution: Moving towards a Global Spirituality (1984 Turnstone Press). We truly expected the wrath of the Church to descend as we turned upside down some of the creeds of our youth, but instead we received many letters from people, and they almost all said the same thing: “When I read your book a great wave of relief flooded over me – I was not going mad after all.”

We paused for a while, but the journeying does not cease and now many others are beginning to share similar widening horizons. Together with a group of friends I was part of starting Christian Awakening to a New Awareness (CANA). The horizons continue to widen, propelling us all towards another shift. It’s time for us to ‘hold on to our hats’ for this shift feels a bit like being on a big dipper that is moving us rapidly towards an awareness that ‘God’ is truly the ‘ground of our being’, the quantum field from which all manifested reality emerges so that we ourselves, and all life, are a part of this One and therefore deeply interconnected.

Having grasped this huge shift we then begin to discover that we can live and work from another dimension of reality altogether.

There have been  signposts to this, many of us have not yet fully grasped them. “Greater things than I do shall ye do also” – “Who, me?” – “Yes you, and you and you.” It is time for our ‘christening’ – we too are being called to embody the same consciousness that Jesus demonstrated. We can live in this world as humans and – at the same time – live as divine beings. Maybe we too are sons and daughters of God as well as of man. So what does that mean and what does it feel like, look like? And what if lots of us move into this reality together – might that be more than a ‘Christ spark’ – might we too truly become ‘the light of the World’?

Janice Dolley


Janice Dolley is an author, initiator and workshop leader, and co-convener of the Into Christ Consciousness gathering at Findhorn over Easter 2012.





5 thoughts on “Shifting to the New Story”

  1. Hi Janice, I wanted to tell you of the shift that happened in my life. It happened so suddenly, and it turned my life upside down – it (my life) was changed definitively, totally, and forever; All my long cherished beliefs and convictions about reality, myself and this life were completely and suddenly destroyed by a new understanding which came by revelation and which I never would have anticipated. This shift was of such a nature that I experienced it as the death of the person I had been until then (age 43). I’m not the same person I was before it happened. Most amazing of all, after it happened I discovered that it has happened to many, many others too, and has been happening for centuries. In fact I’d even met such people before who had told me about it. I hadn’t understood what they were trying to tell me at all. What they said had made little sense to me – it sounded quite unbelievable, if not foolish at the time. I had been a spiritual seeker for many years, been involved in western esoteric traditions, Tibetan Buddhism, Krishnamurti, contemporary non-dualism teachers, and explored lots of beliefs and practices besides. Central to my search was daily meditation, in one form or another. I moved to the Foundation in 2003.
    I had for a year been greatly troubled by a recurring dream of being trapped in a place of eternal isolation and darkness. In one such dream I called out the name of Jesus; “Jesus, Help!” I kept shouting it ‘til I awoke. It was shortly after this that the shift happened. God revealed the truth to my heart, that he was my father, that I belonged to him, that I had been living in denial of this, that all my spiritual beliefs and the purposes of my life to date centred around maintaining and furthering this denial.
    The God who revealed this to me was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the one who Jesus called his Father. It was through the preaching of the Gospel that this was revealed to me, by the Holy Spirit. I had not ever believed, nor wanted to believe that He, indeed was God. I had not been able to believe it, even if I had wanted to. I can’t tell you how utterly amazed I was – the last thing in the world I would have believed. I was completely passive in this change. I hadn’t sought it, had not been interested in Christianity (had discarded it many years ago) and firmly believed in the perennial philosophy as self evident. (I am no longer able to believe this). What I had done was call on the name of the Lord Jesus from the depths of my being.
    “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (ROMANS10:13). What have I been saved from? Well about 6 months before this happened an awful conviction came that my soul was dying and there was nothing I could do about it. The dreams were part of that. It’s a long story but I can say I have no doubt that it was true – I was heading for irreversible soul death, this in spite of all the meditation, letting go, seeking stillness and all that.
    Now I’ve come into a personal relationship with my saviour, Jesus Christ, the evidence and fruit of which I can testify to in the circumstances of my life from day to day; I now feel compelled to testify to any one who seeks freedom and truth, that I feel and believe that the spiritual practices and paradigms I used to follow have nothing to do with life in Christ, they had no power whatsoever to ever move me one inch closer to my creator. I was spiritually dead and there was nothing I could ever have done about it – it’s Jesus Christ that has freed me and given me new life. All that I experienced and continue to, is in explained within the teachings of Jesus and his apostles given in the New Testament and prophesied in the Old. It just isn’t to be found anywhere else. I have to respectfully say in response to the doctrines you are presenting in his name that when I look back at who I was and what I was like before I came to know Christ (not that I’m especially evil or anything), the idea that I am Christ, that Christ is my true nature, that I am essentially no different from Jesus, is, well, absurd. I know beyond a doubt, from my own hard and painful experience that this is simply not true. I looked as hard as anyone for this God within. All I found was poverty and self deception.
    “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves his child as well…and it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth… We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about His Son. Anyone who believes in the Son has this testimony in his heart.” (1JOHN 5)
    ” I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (JOHN 3:3)
    I’m sorry If all this seems outspoken, or perhaps arrogant. I have to testify about what he has done for me and to draw attention to the fact that many contemporary teachings are wholly irreconcilable to the gospel and bear a message which is fundamentally in contradiction to it. I find this fact is often glossed over or misrepresented. Respectfully, sincerely, Jonathan.

    1. Hello Jonathan – Thank you for sharing from the depth of your experience. As website editor, I can only share from the depth of mine which looks rather different as I believe there is life and benefit in some of the philosophies and practices that you experienced as barren. Having said that, I also love Jesus. Regarding whether Jesus is fundamentally the same as us or different from us, when I connect to Jesus with love it is from a place of recognition – something it seems to me I would not have capacity for if I were not in some way the same. But when I have truly felt in his presence, I notice I have been moved to kneel and weep.…
      Didn’t Jesus say, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” I honour your sharing of your experience. It is the responsibility of each of us to seek truth in our own heart. Gillian Paschkes-Bell

  2. Feeling Universal Love in this Divine Vastness, centered in the Sacred Stillness. Thank-you Janice, Sheila and Gillian – especially Janice and Sir George for all your work in promoting the Divine Reality.
    We know this is our true communion and service. We look forward to nurturing Christ Consciousness intimate in love with the Divine Feminine and their work together as ChristSophia in the living landscape. Namaste Karen Bishop

    1. And thank you, Sheila, for getting in touch and letting us know you’re there, and being with us in that vastness that you write of.

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