By: David Benner
Nothing could be more important for not only the future of Christianity but also the future of the world than humans learning to make the mind of Christ their own. This is the ultimate source of the wisdom we so desperately need if we are to avoid annihilation. It is the wisdom we need to deal with the world’s most pressing geo-political challenges. It is the wisdom we need to guide as we live our personal lives.
Acquiring the mind of Christ allows us to fully participate in the kingdom or reign of God as a here-and-now reality, not just a hope for the future. This is not simply for Christians. We have no monopoly on the kingdom of God or the mind of Christ. Almost unbelievable, it is God’s plan for all people and everything – a plan to make all things new and whole in Christ.
Transformation is the crucial word in describing this grand cosmic plan. Not surprisingly, therefore, transformation is the key to both accessing the mind of Christ and the wisdom that issues from it.
Accessing the Mind of Christ
Paradoxically, the mind of Christ is something we already possess but must learn toaccess. We cannot, however, simply grow our way into living the wisdom of the mind of Christ by trying to think or act like Jesus. Although there is an important role for the historic Christian practice of the imitation of Christ, it is impossible to cross a chasm with many small steps. Accessing and living the wisdom of the mind of Christ requires a transformational shift in the core of our being. It is the fruit of an awakened heart and a transformed consciousness.
This is why wisdom is such a spiritual matter. Much more than simply involving the acquisition of information or even knowledge, wisdom is seeing and living through the Christ who is in us and in whom we exist and have our being. And when we see from this deep place within us – a place I refer to as our true self – everything in existence is recognized as a manifestation of the Christ in whom all things are held and belong.
Wisdom teachers do not primarily communicate information; they facilitate the awakening of hearts and the transformation of consciousness. This is, of course, what Jesus did, and is how he is so easily recognized as a wisdom teacher. He didn’t offer a set of propositions to be believed but a transformational path to be walked.
It is the transformational path that Jesus walked and lived that has such practical importance to us. At the core of this path is dying to the egoic self and coming to newness of life in the truth of our self-in-Christ. This is how we not only access the mind of Christ but allow it to flow through us.
Seeing through the eyes of Christ and our own awakened hearts we recognize the sacred interdependence of all things. Like the astronauts who went to the moon but came back most impacted by seeing earth from a new perspective, we no longer see an earth divided by national, ethnic or religious boundaries but a single bright, living planet suspended in the midst of a dark sky. From this awakened perspective we recognize how essential it is that we not hide behind or fear differences but learn to honor, cherish and nurture the diversity of life in all its forms – human and non-human.
This is the wisdom that begins to flow from the recognition that we are all one in Christ – one body, one people, one global community aboard the same fragile and increasingly vulnerable spaceship that we call earth. Caring for that earth and all it’s inhabitants becomes an obvious priority. Social justice and eco-spirituality are easily recognized as essential parts of simply being responsible humans. We no longer need to be convinced of the importance of taking care of our bodies or our inner selves. All these things are quickly recognized as part of living wisdom.
Learning and living this wisdom requires the help of others. We all need others to offer reminders, encouragement, modelling, and practical help in not allowing our awakened heart to go back to sleep. We also need the help of others in maintaining alignment with the creative Spirit of Wisdom who inhabits all of creation and who is our truest and deepest self. This is the practical work of facilitating awakening and transformation. It’s the practical work of learning and living wisdom.