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Essay BY Kell Keanrs on The Consciousness of the Christ

Last post 12-21-2006, 4:46 AM by jwcargile. 20 replies.
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  •  12-18-2006, 11:37 AM 16790 in reply to 16773

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 04-28-2008, 12:53 AM maryw
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    Re: Essay BY Kell Keanrs on The Consciousness of the Christ

    Hi Charles --

    Looking at your first post here again, I have a question for you. You wrote:

    I wonder how a similar, but more nearly integral attempt would read when stripped of its plaguing ethno-centrism, and cultural-creative do-goodism; especially if it included an injunction, a true paradigm, a method, or technique, something that works; i.e. along these lines, if you want to know this, do this.

     

    Could you explain where you see the "plaguing ethnocentrism" in Kearns' essay? Later you also hint that his stance is "fundamentalist," even if he is "nobly" trying to rise above it. It seems to me (and correct me if I am wrong) that you are suggesting that a person who uses the language of a particular religious path promulgates (perhaps unconsciously) ethnocentrism and fundamentalism. But in the following passage from Kearns' essay, I see more of a global, pluralist, universalist perspective, not an ethnocentric and fundamentalist one:

    The time has past for separated religions. There is only one. You may call Christ consciousness whatever you wish as long as you call it love and as long as it is universal, the innate center of every sentient being. Just as the teachings of the Buddha transcend Buddhism and all religion, just as the Sufi poets transcend Islam and all religion, so does the consciousness initiated by Jesus of Nazareth transcend Christianity and all religion. Truth is truth everywhere. Truth, the Hindu Gandhi said, is God. In whatever culture, love that knows no boundaries is Christ consciousness.

    To some extent this may be "namby-pamby green" and stemming from "cultural creative do-goodism" -- but I'm not sure that it can be simultaneously "fundamentalist," "ethnocentric," and  "green meme," if that's what you're suggesting.

    I bring up these questions also because there are teachers at ISC who come out of a particular religious tradition or lineage -- i.e., rabbis, priests, swamis, Buddhist monks, Benedictine brothers -- and who often express transformative truths using the language, stories, metaphors, and symbols of their lineage  ... It doesn't seem to me that having an integral view necessarily means abandoning these gifts of culture, but rather, seeing those gifts in a different light and integrating them with the perspectives of others.

    What do you think?

    Thanks,

    Mary

     

     


     


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  12-18-2006, 4:05 PM 16800 in reply to 16790

    Re: Essay BY Kell Keanrs on The Consciousness of the Christ

     

    Hi Mary,

     

    What i think is that we are often on a very slippery slope, especially when it comes to the indoctrination process employed by the culture into which we happen to have been born. This is precisely because no culture, at least none known to me, is founded on or manifests on a general level of development on par with an enlightened state. To the extent that this is true any person who, for what ever reason, seeks to rise above this general level inevitably comes into a state of tension with that culture. It is this tension that sadly proves to be the bane of individuality.   

     

    I have no problem with the life of Jesus; at the very least he was extraordinarily charismatic and more likely was transformed while being held under water by the hands of that ‘crazy wisdom’ guy known as John the Baptist.

     

    But when the less realized, the cultural cognoscenti, choose to employ the word ‘savior’ or ‘christ’ to describe Jesus, and to change the calendar to meet their view of him, i consider their doing so an act of ethno-centrism. So to the extent that Kearn’s essay employs such a view, a claim of ethno-centrism seems quite valid.

     

    And phrases such as “domination paradigm of his day and ours”, are clearly not based on fundamentalist views, but seem much better described, at least from my view, as infected with the ‘green meme virus’.

     

    I am up for including stuff from all sorts of developmental stages or levels and Kearn’s essay suggests several, but not if the price is to forego their transcendence; doing so is the equivalent of allowing a very excellent vehicle to lose its traction, and risk spinning out of control into a ditch.

     

    And finally, i have had limited contact with the various teachers at ISC; but my guess is that they would find this ‘slippery slope’ business to be old ‘news’.

     

    Warmly,

     

    Charles

    88W18'28" 41N58'02"    

     

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  •  12-19-2006, 2:06 AM 16815 in reply to 16800

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 04-28-2008, 12:53 AM maryw
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    Re: Essay BY Kell Keanrs on The Consciousness of the Christ

    charlesb:

    But when the less realized, the cultural cognoscenti, choose to employ the word ‘savior’ or ‘christ’ to describe Jesus, and to change the calendar to meet their view of him, i consider their doing so an act of ethno-centrism. So to the extent that Kearn’s essay employs such a view, a claim of ethno-centrism seems quite valid.

    Thanks, Charles -- I think I understand what you're getting at ... (not sure about the calendar thing, though -- I mean, those changes were enforced centuries ago, and many of today's "less realized" are aware of that ...)

     

    You use the words "realized" and "enlightened." Those too are culturally encoded terms, alluding to ideas from the eastern traditions. Yet when you use them, I do not think you're being ethnocentric. I see you as using them to describe a high (and rare) stage of development. Similarly, I think that words such as "Christ" to describe Jesus -- and what Jesus has come to represent for many -- can be used in much the same fashion. That's what it seems that Kearns intends in his essay: not Christ as an exclusivist savior, but Christ as transformed consciousness and love embodied. (At the same time there is something kind of "rah-rah" and smilingly new-agey about Kearns' essay, a kind of "it's all going to be wonderful-ness" that puts me off, despite its several good points).

     

    Here's another example from a book (The Mystery of Christ) by one ISC teacher, Father Thomas Keating. In this excerpt he's clearly speaking to a Christian audience -- before a more mixed group he'd likely qualify his terms more to avoid misunderstandings ... but still he's never averse to using phrases like "Christ consciousness." Here he examines Christmas as part of a discussion about evolution and spiritual transformation:

     

    The feast of Christmas is the celebration of divine light breaking into human consciousness ...

     

    Let us try to grasp the significance of the Word made flesh. The Greek New Testament word for flesh is sarx. Sarx means the human condition--the incomplete, unevolved, immature levels of human consciousness. It means human nature in its subjection to sinfulness. Jesus did not merely assume a human body and soul; he assumed the actual human condition in its entirety, including the instinctual needs of human nature and the cultural conditioning of his time.

     

    Sarx refers to the human condition closed in on itself; fallen, and not interested in rising. It is the human condition committed to biological survival for its own sake or for the sake of the clan, tribe, nation, or race.

     

    The Greek word soma refers to the body insofar as it is open to further evolution; it is the human condition open to development. "The Word was made flesh" signifies that by taking the human condition upon himself with all its consequences, Jesus introduced into the human family the principle of transcendence, giving the evolutionary process a decisive thrust toward God-consciousness....

     

    Our own development into higher states of consciousness is the cutting edge of the corporate personality of "the Christ," the gradual unfolding in time of the new Adam. Every act that is motivated by that vision--every healing of body, soul, or social ill--is contributing to the growth of the Body of Christ and hence to the pleroma. This will occur when enough individuals have entered into Christ-consciousness and made it their own.

     

    Don't want to keep going on too much of a tangent here -- what I'm trying to suggest is that both the "less realized" and the "more realized" might use lineage-specific language and ideas to point to something that transcends (yet also includes) that lineage ...

     

    Best,

    Mary

     

     

     

     

     


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  12-19-2006, 9:02 AM 16825 in reply to 16815

    Re: Essay BY Kell Keanrs on The Consciousness of the Christ

    Hi Mary,

     

    Thanks for your input. It holds value for me: a special sort of joy found in hanging out in a place where such things are up for discussion.

     

    Of course, i agree that any language is cultural specific -where no linguistic apple falls far from the tree. Therefore, users of language must always be interpreters; and interpretation is dependant on context. However, this context business is a two-way street, involving speaker and hearer; both of which have their own contextual frameworks.

     

    Let’s look at an example from your post: “The “less realized" and the "more realized" might use lineage-specific language and ideas to point to something that transcends (yet also includes) that lineage ...” (italics are mine)

     

    I am happy to agree here too, but might implies might not, the latter being, sadly, in the vast majority. I do however; reserve the right to read the words of others with an eye that is both critical and sympathetic, if i must choose between these two i tend to come down on the side of being critical. In large measure this is because of an iconoclasm that is a deep and enduring part of my being. It’s a feature that appears to extend beyond this single lifetime, others may see it as a fault, as something to be corrected; i have chosen to see it otherwise. If my life had been stripped of this potential it is very unlikely that i would be posting here in this forum; rather i would probably be concerned with more hum drum matters, as it was, in part, that very iconoclasm that first permitted me to begin to transcend the limited view into which i was born in favor of one that is more inclusive, by any other name a world view.

     

    In practical terms i read with an eye to clues, including those that have to do with calendars. Attempts have been made to construct a calendar from a world centric view but they have met with negligible acceptance. So a large part of the world (excluding Judaism, Islam, and others) is stuck with the current system. But when i see a usage of BCE instead of BC, i.e. Before the Common Era instead of Before Christ, i interpret this as a crack in the ethnocentric armor that created this system.

     

    But at the risk of long-windedness here is a story. It was January; on the wall of my work station i hung a calendar for the New Year. It was astrologically based as part of my life practice is to tune into the natural rhythms that a study of the Ancient Craft offers. A young fellow employee took vehement exception to my having done so, apparently driven by the fundamentalist notion that such calendars are the work of the ‘devil’, he told Tom ‘the boss’ that he would quit if it was not removed. But Tom was a prince of a fellow, and he explained his take on the situation: if i wanted to keep the calendar, he would opt to accept the objector’s resignation. This seemed rather a harsh result to me, especially when all i had to do was switch the office calendar with one from home, the latter being adorned with pictures of animals in the wild. But before doing so i informed the objector that if it wasn’t for folks like me, i.e. astrologers and other star gazers that calendars would not even exist.

     

    And finally Sympathy and Criticism are at ends of a spectrum, a syzygy, a pair of matched opposites; astrologers see them as archetypes called in this case Pisces and Virgo. From my view the wise option is to see the play of the opposites as complementary rather than antagonistic; doing so holds great rewards, not the least of which is an end to the ‘war between sexes’ and extends to possible “clashes of culture”. 

     

    Warmly,

     

    Charles

    88W18'28" 41N58'02"   

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  •  12-21-2006, 2:00 AM 16937 in reply to 16825

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 04-28-2008, 12:53 AM maryw
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    Re: Essay BY Kell Keanrs on The Consciousness of the Christ

    Salud, Charles -- here's to Pisces and Virgo, dancing!

    Music [8]Party!!! [<:o)]

    Mary (paradoxically, a Virgo ... Smile [:)])

     


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  12-21-2006, 4:46 AM 16942 in reply to 16937

    Re: Essay BY Kell Keanrs on The Consciousness of the Christ

    Mary, Charles...Capricorn, the sure-footed Goat, dances too, though slowly on slippery slopes.Big Smile [:D]
    JC
    33° 13' N 87° 37' W
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