Express Your Humanity


At the October 22nd Prayer and Praise Gathering the topic discussed was – What is the state of your prayer? A portion of a chapter in the book, Integral Christianity by Paul R. Smith was reviewed to help facilitate the discussion.

Luke, 10:38-42 was read. This was the story of Jesus visiting the home of Martha and Mary. While Martha was busy preparing the meal, Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus and was completely focused on him. Martha was annoyed and even complained to Jesus about Mary not helping her. In this story, we see three states of consciousness that we can think about and how we relate to God – ordinary awareness, spiritual awareness and divine awareness.

Ordinary awareness is going about your normal everyday tasks. It is an awareness of everyday reality. We see, smell, feel and hear things in the physical world. In this story, Martha is focused on ordinary awareness. Jesus is a guest in her home and she is very busy being a host. She is annoyed that Mary is not helping her. The group felt that often there was a negative connotation for Martha since she was not allowing herself to enter spiritual awareness. However, tasks needed to get done and Martha was doing what she thought needed to be done. Jesus does not seem to scold her for doing so even though she is missing out on an opportunity to just feel his presence.

Spiritual awareness is being connected to the non physical reality that flows from Jesus. It is a connecting state. It is being focused on Jesus and feeling his presence and love. In this story, Mary is connected with Jesus. She is sitting at the feet of Jesus and is basking in the spiritual reality that flows from him.

How do we enter spiritual awareness? It is different for each person. It can be entered while praying, meditating, worshipping, singing, chanting and participating in communion. During this time, the spirit’s presence is felt.

How do you feel the spirit’s presence? This will be different for each person. It can be any of the following: hearing messages in your mind, joyful feelings, peaceful feelings, warmth, energy, touch. It is different than the physical world. These things are perceived with an interior version of sight, hearing,touch, taste and smell. The group felt it was interesting how some people can have these feelings during communion for example while another person seems to feel nothing during this event. Some of us are still waiting to have any type of spiritual feeling.

Divine awareness is being aware of your inner divinity. It is a direct experience of your union with God. It goes beyond spiritual awareness. You know that you are a divine being. It is letting the I of the universal Christ live, not the I of your ego. Paul said I live yet not I but Christ lives in me. 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. The group felt that having divine awareness was really just expressing your humanity – being yourself. Remember, Jesus was both a divine being and a man. Even allowing oneself to express his or her inner humor is being human and allowing your inner divinity to be revealed. We are all divine beings made in the image of God expressing the personalities that God has given us. Being human is feeling comfortable in sharing your personality with the world.

What do we do with all of this? Be yourself. We don’t really need to get all worried and concerned with what state we are in and if we are getting messages from God. Jesus had a simple message. He wanted us to love God and love others. He wanted us to have life to the full. Jesus was a human who expressed his humanity. We are all made in the image of God. Perhaps the best way to represent this image is to allow ourselves to express our individual humanity.

The next Prayer and Praise Gathering will be on Tuesday, November 19, 7 p.m. in the church lounge. Our topic of focus will be – The Controversial and Radical Jesus. All are welcome. Please join us.

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