Christianity with Jesus of Nazareth as a Spiritual Master

Common to Trinitarian, Mormon, and New Thought conceptions of Jesus of Nazareth is that he was (at least) a spiritual master.

Central to this is the notion that Jesus developed or was born with a kind of consciousness or habitual mental state. What is this?

The basic idea is that he created or had a close, personal link with God the Father. He aligned his will and purpose with the Father to a very high degree, had a felt connection with God the Father, and was able to allow certain things to happen by the Holy Spirit moving through him (these things would sometimes cause wonderment to those around him, hence the term ‘miracle’, from the Latin ‘miraculum’ meaning ‘object of wonder’).

We can call this sort of state a ‘Christ consciousness’.

Classical Trinitarian, Mormon, and New Thought traditions all hold that we can, to varying extents, become like Jesus of Nazareth in this way. Although there is a difference in language, all hold that a process called theosis can bring us closer to this sort of state.

What is interesting here is that there is nothing theoretical or abstract about this. Rather, it is something that we know happens in people, as it is direct and experiential. The only question left is how to interpret what happens when people approximate in varying degrees to a Christ consciousness (for example, are they really connecting with something like the Christian God, or are they misunderstanding the experience, and so on).

New Thought understands ‘Christ’ primarily to refer not to a specific human being (Jesus of Nazareth), but rather things related to this state of Christ consciousness, which he most fully has embodied, but which is open to any human being. (Hence, ‘Jesus Christ’ refers to his embodiment of this state.) So, when there is talk of ‘the Christ’, the reference is at least to some extent to the kind of state exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth. For example, people’s lives might be transformed by the Christ, by which we mean the psychological transformation which occurs in those people and which to some degree approximates to Jesus Christ’s habitual state.

This makes talk about ‘the Christ’ very direct and straightforward, for those who have experienced the ‘Christ consciousness’ in varying degrees. Instead of primarily being a historical question (“is there something to the Christ?”), it becomes an everyday, practical one – testable.

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