There is a world within me that I can tap into. In “Integral Christianity” by Paul R. Smith, I read about three different and identifiable states of consciousness which have been experienced by mystics of many traditions around the world.
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Most of us operate in the world with our ordinary awareness. The ordinary awareness is the day to day world that we all function within as we go about our daily tasks at home, work and in our communities.
During this state we utilize our five senses. We see, move, smell, taste, hear and touch. There are two more states of consciousness that can be experienced: spiritual awareness and divine awareness.
It can be entered during prayer, meditation, worship, song, chant, and the Eucharist. It can be entered while you take a walk in the woods, the mountains, the beach, or whatever that sacred place is for you.
How do you feel the spirit’s presence? This will also be different for each person. Some examples include: joy, peace, warmth, energy, or a sense of touch. We perceive these with our spiritual faculties.
Lastly, there is divine awareness. This is an awareness of our inner divinity. This is an awareness of our True Self–of God’s presence. This is an awareness of union with God–that we are divine beings. It’s an empty state. It’s a state where there is an absence of things or forms. We are free to experience unmediated pure Spirit.
Paul describes it when he said, “I live, yet not I but Christ lives within me.” I let the I of the universal Christ live, not the I of my ego. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus said whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me. I myself shall become that person and the hidden things will be revealed to him.
Paul R. Smith, Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve
Paul has a new book out, Is Your God Big Enough? Close Enough? You Enough?: Jesus and the Three Faces of God
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 Paul R. Smith, Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve, (Paragon House): 2011
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