Consciousness of Christ - Part 3
When we are living in Christ Consciousness is when we can be aware that we are One with God. I'd like to distinguish between this state and the lower astral delusional awareness of believing that one *is* God. Although there are superficial similarities between these conditions, they are not the same. Usually, a simple way of seeing the difference is to look at what the individual is manifesting in their life. The person in the delusional state is generally living a life of chaos. They may have several enemies, are probably misjudging their personal conditions, such as believing that they are powerfully abundant when actually on the verge of bankruptcy, and tend to be negatively judgemental about a number of people and elements in their lives. The delusional aspect of this condition, while they believe that they are God, is apparent.
The individual who knows that they are One with God, generally has very good relations with others in their lives. They have a clear understanding of the conditions in their lives and are happy with them. They ordinarily will exhibit a sense of deep gratitude for their gifts and want to share them with others.
The mental state of Christ Consciousness has a similarity to a dissociative condition, in that one has to let go of the 'evidence' of the senses. So, if there is a report of violence on the evening news, the person experiencing Christ Consciousness will know that both the perpetrator and the victim were, at some level, in on this together. The violence was, at a deep spiritual level, planned in advance. At the level of Spirit, it was decided between them, that a karmic obligation needed to be balanced, that a lesson had to be learned and this was a last ditch effort to do so, or that there were other people who badly required the experience of this happening to a family member in order to have the courage to intervene. There could be many different reasons. But the person in Christ Consciousness, knowing that bodies are simply vehicles for the Spirit, understands that there was no *real* damage, and that in the eternal perspective, this was just a passing phase of spiritual education.
So, the individual experiencing this degree of awareness is rather detached from the ordinary world, though he/she must still function in it. What is significant though, is that the meaning of being here is very much altered. The purpose for continuing in this life may no longer be survival, but instead could be to make a difference that will last beyond a single lifetime, or to learn the lessons which will apply either in or out of human experience (such as love lessons). Thus the old Zen saying that before enlightenment, one chops wood and carries water, and after enlightenment, one chops wood and carries water. The actions are the same but the purpose and meaning is very different.
Many people will tend to move in and out of Christ Consciousness in daily life. It can be a challenge to maintain that quality of perception in a life filled with depressing media input and materially oriented co-workers. However, those who meditate on a daily basis will often experience a far greater consistency of experience with this.
There can be psychological challenges for people who continue to live in this world with this altered state of consciousness. This can be easily seen in case studies of those who have had near-death experiences. Having had it subjectively proven that the material world is far less significant than previously believed, these people can long for a return to the after-death state, or find it difficult to re-enter a lifestyle based on material importance. They can become misfits in their culture, families and work environments, as they struggle to find a reason why they are still here. It is perhaps the reverse of the mindset of the survivor of loss, someone who has lost a loved one. In that case, one might ask why the dearly beloved has passed on. A near-death survivor may ask why they didn't.
Some degree of this psychological reorientation may be necessary for anyone experiencing the Christ Consciousness. Since this is a level of awareness, one is always capable of shutting down, denying or otherwise moving away from the memory. When the choice is made to maintain this state, the issues of daily life must be dealt with, and this can require a strength and committment all of its own.