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