Who or what is the Christ?
The Christ is a spiritual phenomenon that has existed not only since the beginning of time but also since the beginning of creation. The Apostle John speaks of this in his Gospel, referring to the Christ as the Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1,2). Thus we learn that the Christ, or Word, is an aspect of God—one that has been extant from the beginning and as such has always had a direct bearing upon human life. John also tells us that the Christ has been active in the world of men, but the world has not recognized it. As with nearly every other purely spiritual concept, we have failed to understand who or what the Christ is, and this failure has resulted in a very profound loss of power and blessing for us.
One of the mistakes we have made is that we have personified the Christ, just as we have done with God. It seems that in our mind-dominated Adamic consciousness we take this route with just about every spiritual truth that is difficult for us to understand. Thus we reduce the lofty realities of God to something we are more familiar and comfortable with—that being our own human thoughts and emotions. But what we have failed to realize is that this one mistake alone renders these high spiritual concepts powerless and void in our experience.
The misrepresentation of the Christ has its origins in antiquity, when Jewish sages and prophets began to speak of a future day, in which the Christ Spirit would become incarnate in human flesh and dwell among us for a time. In their language the Christ was called the Messiah or Mashiach, which translated means: the sent one—that is, the one sent from God to minister to and elevate the consciousness of mankind. But it was not known to these sages what form and character this sent-one’s ministry would take. So, right away there was plenty of room for conjecture and erroneous ideas to take root in men’s minds. All that the prophets could see was that the Christ’s advent would be extremely beneficent for the human family. Somehow it would be an advent wrought with the power to save men and deliver them out of all their adverse and oppressive circumstances.
Over the centuries those who had been instructed in this prophetic word concerning the Messiah’s advent developed an elaborate system of speculative thought pertaining to what he would be like and what he would do. It also happened that the more the people suffered due to adverse, oppressive circumstances, the more their hopes for deliverance and salvation became bound up with this savior figure—the figure of the Christ man.
Perhaps because the prophets had understood little about what form his ministry would take and even less about the spiritual essence and origins of the Christ it was natural for the error of personification to creep in. They believed that the Christ would come from God, but could not grasp the idea that he would actually be a spiritual aspect of God—a revelation that eventually graced the New Testament era through the writings of the Apostle John. In their minds the Christ would be a great man like a king, but it was beyond their comprehension that he would be God in the flesh. And so, very little truth about the Christ was known before Jesus arrived on the scene. But this was in line with the reality that very little truth about God was known either. And the dominant error in men’s minds in both of these cases was the tendency to personify purely spiritual concepts.
Perhaps more surprisingly, even with the great revelatory writings of the New Testament the Christian era has also been plagued by error-prone thinking about the Christ. While accepting and believing that Jesus was the long awaited Promised One spoken of by the prophets, many Christians still have been unable to grasp the pure spiritual idea of the Christ. The tendency for them has been to view the man Jesus as the one and only Christ that is to come and thereby make him into a god in his own right instead of understanding that the Christ is a Spirit that is an aspect of the One God and under the right conditions can become active in the life of any man or woman. This may sound like a subtle distinction, but it has effectively rendered the Christian Church weak and anemic and obfuscated the true spiritual revelation about the Christ for the past two thousand years.
Only now in our day, as the new consciousness begins to dawn in the hearts of men, is the true concept of the Christ starting to be rightly understood. This is because at long last men are beginning to discern the spiritual connecting link between God and man. That link is our genetically inherited faculty of spiritual consciousness—a faculty that we are all born with because it is a part of our created makeup. How does this discovery about our own created makeup help us to understand the Christ? It leads to the revelation that our spiritual consciousness makes each and every one of us into potential candidates to be a Christ man or woman, not unlike Jesus was. This only holds true, however, to the degree that we work with and develop our consciousness. If our spiritual consciousness lies unrealized and dormant within us, it cannot be said to be the Christ. It is only when we realize it and raise it up to assume the throne of our heart.
The truth stands, however, that on account of our created endowment of spiritual consciousness, each and every one of us can become a Christ. And it goes without saying that when this happens to us it then becomes a source of great power and goodness in our lives. This is perhaps our greatest endowment from a loving Creator. As the Christ Spirit becomes ascendant in our hearts, it makes everything right. Through its governance in the human psyche, a godly order is established therein, and all other elements that had previously gained entrance and taken up residence there are cast out. These “foreign” elements never belonged there in the first place, but they gained entrance to our psyche because of our perceived vacuous condition of ignorance, wrong belief, and unconsciousness. And not only did they mean us no good; over time their presence within us became a source of much suffering and misery in our lives.
Understanding Jesus Aright
One might then ask: If the Christ can potentially be raised up in all of us, why then was it necessary for the man Jesus to come in fulfillment of the ancient prophecies? Who was this man, and what made him so unique and special?
The mystery surrounding Jesus has been perpetuated throughout this age because we have not understood that we all have the capability of raising up the Christ Spirit within us. We have not rightly discerned this aspect of our own created nature. We have not made the association that the concept of the Christ is bound up with human spiritual consciousness. In light of these lapses in our revelatory understanding about ourselves it is not all that surprising that we turned Jesus into a god. We saw him performing God-like signs and wonders—signs and wonders the likes of which no other man had ever performed before—and we merely assumed that he must have come down from Mount Olympus. But what was Jesus’ take on these matters? He told us that we too have this ability. We too can do such works. How? Through the raising up of the Christ Spirit in our own consciousness.
Jesus knew the full revelatory truth about the Christ. He knew that in the same way that he had raised the Christ up in his own life so could other human beings. And because his knowledge of these matters was not subject to doubt he was able to fulfill all the ancient prophecies that had been written about the Christ’s earthly advent. In the same way, it was not then baseless for him to at times speak and act from the identity of the Christ rather than from his human identity—a tendency that severely confused and confounded those who heard and observed him. This was especially true of those who were antagonistic toward him. It was, in fact, this tendency to identify himself publicly with the Christ of God that landed him on a Roman cross. Had he identified foremost with his human self, people would not have had cause to take such irrational offense with him. Why then, knowing where it would lead to, did he persist in this practice? He did it for us. And so it became evident that Jesus’ true calling was that of being a servant, not only to God but also to mankind—one who did all he could to show us the truth about our own created nature and potentialities.
Throughout this age of Adam mankind’s spiritual consciousness evolution has not
only stalled and sputtered; it has, for all intents and purposes, been derailed. Not only have men known nothing about raising up the Christ within; they have known little or next to nothing about spirituality generally, including consciousness. Thus it was Jesus’ purpose to show us these aspects of our own created makeup. Up until his day not only had there never been a fully realized Christ man walking the earth, in the western world there had never even been a teacher who taught from the angle of consciousness. This made him special indeed. It also lent credence to his claim to have been sent by God.
In our time many are now coming to recognize spiritual consciousness as an integral aspect of the created human makeup. Some have even experienced the raising up of the Christ within them. But for us these breakthroughs have invariably come as the result of our own efforts and spiritual practices, while one of the most astounding things about Jesus’ persona was that he was born as a fully realized Christ man. According to all the historical records we have, this was readily apparent even in his childhood. Thus for Jesus there was no need for practice or development. This not only made him a spiritual teacher of unparalleled revelatory power; it also gives strong validity to the idea that he was somehow sent from God. Who he was as a fully realized Christ man is who we all have the potential to become. That is why the New Testament calls us children of God—children not reborn in the physical human sense but rather children who have come forth from God in the same way Jesus did.
Though the men of his day tended to view Jesus as either a devil or a god, he knew very well that he was neither. He knew that he was a Christ man. He was not the Christ man, but rather a Christ man. He might have been the first but he knew that he would not be the last. Even the terminology later used to describe his followers attests to this. For, the word Christian literally means little Christ.
The New Testament puts it this way: Jesus was the first fruits of all those who were to rise from the dead. Thus it equates the experience of raising up the Christ in human consciousness with spiritual resurrection. Jesus’ entire life testified to this reality. Not only did he demonstrate the powers of the Christ during his ministry years, but his death on the cross, his resurrection from the tomb, and his ascension back to God all spoke of a procession of spiritual experience that await those who raise up the Christ in their human consciousness. All who come to realize the Christ must first die to all the unspiritual temporal aspects of their being, in order to then be resurrected into the consciousness of the fully evolved Christ man, after which the remainder of their earthly plane experience becomes a slow ascension into the consciousness of God union.
Thus Jesus was not only a teacher who sowed the seeds of evolution through his verbal message; he was a dynamic way-shower by virtue of his own life experience. And it was this way-showing aspect of his ministry with its accompanying unforgettable imagery that eventually turned the tide for us to be able to awaken from the dream of stalled Adamic consciousness. Indeed the evolutionary thrust that we are now at long last embarking upon as a species is the fruit of the seeds that Jesus planted.
As the new consciousness begins to dawn in the life experience of a multitude of individuals, it not only is highlighting the truth about our created makeup as spiritual beings with the predominant faculty of consciousness; it is revealing that we are all potentially Christs, capable of living with the ultimate grace and ease and doing the same works that Jesus did. This is why the new consciousness is also sometimes called Christ consciousness. When a degree of enlightenment comes to us, we begin to move in the consciousness that Jesus exemplified. This is also why the New Age is sure to be an age of unparalleled light and glory for mankind. Two thousand years ago the world witnessed the glory of God displayed in a Christ man named Jesus. How greatly multiplied that glory will be when not just one Christ man (or woman) walks the earth but rather a veritable multitude. Thus the glory of the second advent of the Christ will far outshine that of the first advent, even as Jesus said it would.