Natalina | Extraordinary Intelligence
It is not uncommon for me to use the term “Christ Consciousness” when discussing matters relating to New Age philosophies. Indeed, it is a commonly used buzz word in New Age and Occult circles, and I myself spent a fair amount of time trying to achieve this supposed level of enlightenment prior to becoming a Christian. In recent weeks, it has been brought to my attention via a number of readers that I’ve not provided a good description of what exactly Christ Consciousness is, and why it is a dangerous concept.
To much of the non-Christian world, Jesus is dangerous. If He lived, and if He died, and if He rose again – this creates a conundrum for non-Christians. Some focus their time trying (and failing) to prove that He never existed, or that if He did exist, He surely was not God. However, with ample evidence that He indeed did live, that He was indeed crucified, and He was, in fact, resurrected…. some have adopted an entirely different approach to undermining Jesus Christ. Rather than deny His existence, they have attempted to redefine His purpose, and have created a designer guru-Christ – one who was really no different than you or I… just more “in tune” with his spirituality.
This is the most common thread throughout the New Age paganism that we see today. It is a mish-mosh of Hinduism, Buddhism, neo-Paganism, and gnosticism. And while it sounds to some like a revolutionary sort of “Age of Aquarius” philosophy of Oneness and enlightenment, it really is based upon that lie of old, “Ye shall be as gods.” (Gen. 3-5)
The philosophy of Christ Consciousness is based upon the belief that Jesus was a god, but not God. He can be looked to as an inspiration, and His spiritual status is something we can all achieve. The idea is that human beings spend their lifetime evolving toward the level of Spirit. This Spirit level is the New Age concept of god. It is an intangible cosmic… something… that we can all tap into.
There are two main ways that Jesus is understood in this capacity. The most common belief is that Jesus was a man of flesh, born as you and I were, who was able through diligent study and focus to achieve the highest state of Spirit, and thus was able to manipulate natural laws to perform miracles. These folks will be quick to say that Jesus was not wrong to call Himself God, because anyone who achieves such a high state of spiritual enlightenment has tapped into the god-source, and is, in fact, god.
The other concept is that Jesus was an ascended master. That he was sent to Earth to act as a guide, along with other ascended masters throughout time, including Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, et al. These ascended masters came here for the purpose of teaching mere mortals how to transcend our humanity, break the mortal coil, and become like them through a process of ascension, which once again means that we must reach the pinnacle of Spirit. Both philosophies lead to the same end.
Not every New Ager is required to believe or embrace Jesus… but for those who do, they will refer to the highest state of spiritual awareness as being “Christed.” They will have united with the source of Creation, thus making themselves god. According to the Center for Christ Consciousness:
Christ consciousness is the state of awareness of our true nature, our higher self, and our birthright as children of God. Christ consciousness is our living expression as a child of Spirit as we unfold our own divine life plan onto the earth plane: bringing heaven to earth. Living in the reality of our “christed” self is actually being fully alive and invested in who we truly are. In our “christed” self we live as inspiration for others to seek this for themselves so we can collectively move our planet forward into the divine plan for planetary transformation and glorification.
Popular website “I AM University” (the I AM stands for Integrated Ascended Master), which was founded by influential guru Dr. Joshua David Stone, says it must more plainly:
The Christ consciousness is not just for Christians. The Christ consciousness, the Buddha consciousness, the Krishna consciousness, God consciousness, and the consciousness of all religions are all the same thing. Many people have a lot of negative programming behind their religious upbringing. It is important here not to get caught up in the words, or semantics. It is also important to understand that whatever religion, or spiritual path you are on, I suggest you keep it.
The new religion of the future is the one that honors and recognizes all religions and all spiritual paths, for they all lead to the same place.
I have received a number of messages from New Age practitioners who have attempted to “prove” to me that their belief system is not so different than mine. They maintain that they adhere to the principles that Jesus taught. They claim that Jesus taught exactly what they teach and believe.
They have said, “Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within you. Therefore, he admits that we’re all gods in our hearts having access to the cosmos and the heavens.” What they miss here is obvious to those of us with a deeper understanding of scripture. In Luke 17:21, Jesus does say “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Of course, that is the KJV translation and we cannot fault non-believers for not understanding it without context. The ESV translation of this same verse says, “nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (emphasis mine). Part of what Jesus is explaining to the Pharisees here is that God Himself was already among them; in that Jesus is God. Further, because they did not believe, they could not “see” this. In John 3:3 Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
This has not stopped gurus of the New Age from perverting the words of Jesus for their own philosophy. One of the most prominent New Age poobahs of our time is Eckhart Tolle. His book “A New Earth” was brought to the world’s attention by self appointed spiritual diva, Oprah Winfrey (Winfrey is also responsible for bringing “The Secret” to soccer moms and average Joes the world over: Law of Attraction: A New Age Practice in the Modern Christian Church )
Jesus said ‘the kingdom of heaven is within you.’
I think if he lived nowadays, instead of ‘kingdom,’ he would have said, ‘dimension.’ And ‘heaven’ refers to a sense of vastness or spaciousness. So if we retranslate the words of Jesus into modern terms [it would be] ‘the dimension of spaciousness is within you.’
And then Jesus said — when they asked him, ‘Where is the kingdom of heaven and when is it going to come?’ — he said, ‘The kingdom of heaven does not come with signs to be perceived. You cannot say, ah, it’s over here or look, it’s over there, for I tell you the kingdom of heaven is within you.’
These words of Jesus were also usurped and re-defined by practitioners of Transcendental Meditation. At the official blog of the TM movement, we find this:
Jesus was once asked when the kingdom of God would come. The kingdom of God, Jesus replied, is not something people will be able to see and point to. Then came these striking words: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)
With these words, Jesus gave voice to a teaching that is universal and timeless. Look into every great religious, spiritual, and wisdom tradition, and we find the same precept — that life’s ultimate truth, its ultimate treasure, lies within us.
As Jesus made unambiguously clear, we can experience this inner treasure — and no experience could be more valuable. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” he declared, “and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). From this interior plane of life, he is saying, we will gain all that is needful.
The axiom “there is nothing New about the New Age” is accurate on more than one level. While the New Age movement appeared to go somewhat underground for a time (it never really left, just repackaged itself), a burgeoning new interest has made way for previously debunked and defamed kooks who rose to prominence in the 70’s and 80’s to re-emerge, and a perfect example of this is JZ Knight, who claims to be the channel for an ascended master named Ramtha. Knight’s “Ramtha School of Enlightenment” has been in existence since 1979, and faced a fair amount of criticism since that point. Former members say that intimidation was used to prevent attendees from fleeing the cult, using a prophecy that unless students remain faithful to Ramtha, they will become prey of the “lizard people”, and that Jehovah would return to earth accompanied by lizard people, in a spaceship. Sounds legit, right?
JZ Knight and Ramtha never really went away, but the ongoing controversies about the RSE cult were enough to keep them out of the public eye for quite some time. Then, in 2004 a documentary was produced titled “What the Bleep Do We know?” which was put together by 3 RSE members. This documentary gained unexpected popularity and was full of pseudo-scientific misinformation about the nature of quantum physics and its relation to consciousness. No matter. The film prominently featured JZ Knight, and as a result of its success, Ramtha was back on the map. In a later documentary titled “Wake Up”, Knight was again featured as a spiritual guru. In that film, she said the following:
Again, we see the New Age concept of divinity is that all power, knowledge, and spiritual potential lies within us. There is no external source, no higher power, other than what already exists inside of a human being. It is our purpose in life to tap in to this source of divinity that we… shall be… as gods.
Another portion of scripture that this movement will often use to justify its connection with Christ is 1 Corinthians 2:16. They use this as their “proof” that Jesus was nothing but a mahatma of universal oneness. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Having “the mind of Christ” is entirely different than the claim that we ARE Christ. What Paul means here is that as believers, we can identify with Christ. Through the Holy Spirit, we are able to understand God’s plan for us and for the world. A very good explanation can be found here.
My point here is this: Many religious and spiritual movements invoke the name of Christ in an attempt to add legitimacy to their own twisted beliefs. Remember, in the Biblical accounts of Jesus’ temptation, Satan proves that even he knows the word of God, and attempts to use it for his own benefit (Luke 4:9-13). Do not be misled by those who use the name of Jesus to try to tempt you. You must be grounded in the Word and Truth so that you can discern when lies are being told.
If this article has left questions about Christ Consciousness unanswered for you, please feel free to use the contact form at the top of the page to email me, and I’d be happy to discuss the matter further.