In The Universal Christ, Franciscan friar Richard Rohr makes an astounding claim: You and I share the same superpower as Jesus—the ability to establish a direct and intimate relationship with God, or what’s known as “Christ Consciousness.”
Sound implausible? Not if you take into account our perception of Jesus. Rohr points out that many of us believe that God came into the world through Jesus—and Jesus alone. To our detriment, we “limit the Creator’s presence to just one human manifestation, Jesus” without putting ourselves into the equation.
But consider: What if Jesus was a human being like you and me, albeit with an enhanced sense of spiritual awareness? Perhaps Jesus realized something that we can too. God isn’t just in our DNA, God is everywhere. In every breath we take. In every molecule of all we see. Everything, everyone, completely saturated by the presence of God.
Like Jesus, we have the power to sense God’s presence.
If we saw the world with Christ Consciousness, we would see that we are not separate from God. We are, in fact, immersed in God. As Rohr explains, we would come to realize that “the Divine Presence is here, in us and in all of creation, and not “over there” in some far-off realm.” God is present in the material world all around us.
A search at Google’s Bard reveals Christ Consciousness to be “a state of heightened spiritual awareness and connection with the divine. It is often seen as the ultimate goal of spiritual development.” It’s like a superpower and it’s characterized by a number of Jesus-like qualities including:
- Unconditional love and compassion
- Unity with all beings and things
- Peace and inner harmony
Rohr has achieved Christ Consciousness—and we can, too.
Rohr paints a vivid picture from his own life of what living with Christ Consciousness is all about and how this type of consciousness can permeate our own lives. It’s all about seeing God, or in his words “Christ,” everywhere. He explains:
I can see Christ in my dog, the sky, and all creatures, and it’s why you, whoever you are, can experience God’s unadulterated care for you in your garden or kitchen, your husband or wife , an ordinary beetle, a fish in the darkest sea that no human eye will ever observe, and even in those who do not like you, and those who are not like you.
Rohr writes that the ability to “see Christ everywhere” does not happen all at once. It occurs over our lifetime. Our ability to see the world with Christ Consciousness is continually expanding and over time, “you do not include less and less, you always see and love more and more.”
We begin to see “Christ” in “every single creature—a teen mother nursing her child, every one of the 20,000 species of butterflies, an immigrant living in fear, a blade of grass.” With this mindset, Rohr states “you are never separate from God, nor can you be, except in your mind.” We see God in all things, including ourselves.
When we see God is in all things, we view the world differently.
Our perspective changes when we “stand in solidarity with everything and everyone else.” We see the Divine literally everywhere. And by accepting this as fact, it can cause a radical change in our state-of mind. Rohr explains:
Once we know that the entire physical world around us, all of creation, is both the hiding place and the revelation place for God, this world becomes home, safe, enchanted, offering grace to anyone who looks deeply.
When we learn to see God in all things, we see the world and ourselves “in wholeness, not just in parts.” We see oneness because we look out from oneness. According to Rohr, we see everything visible, without exception, as the outpouring of God. We see that God is the light inside of everything.
We have help in finding God—because God provides us with clues.
Rohr tells us that anything that “draws us out” is a sign of God operating within us and the world around us. There are three things in particular that God uses to grab our attention:
When we see someone doing good in the world, that is a sign of God. When we see a newborn baby or watch a beautiful sunset or the waves crashing on a beach, that is a sign of God. Rohr informs us that these signs can happen “in a physical gesture, a quiet word or a smile, a meal shared with someone we care for, anytime you are suddenly enlivened by a force larger than yourself.”
The key is to be fully present in our own lives, recognizing “this Presence” with our own presence. When you “learn to trust and draw forth your own deepest experience, you will know Christ consciousness,” all day and every day. You come to realize that God is with you at all times, even at this very moment. We find that what we have been yearning for has been with us all along.
Enjoy this story? There are 112 just like it in my new book Wake Up Call: Daily Insights for the Spiritually Curious, now available from Wildhouse Publishing.