I was in my late teens when I first heard the term, ‘born again Christian’. Not involved in mainstream religion, but certainly full of obnoxious self-interest, I laughed. My acquaintance was belittling these ‘religious psychos’, as he referred to them. When I asked him what the phrase ‘born again Christian’ meant, he responded:
“Oh, it’s someone who has found Jesusssss!” My condescending response followed.
“I didn’t know he was lost!” We howled in frivolous, egoic delight.
Later in my 20’s, I met several sweet Christians, who claimed to be ‘born again’. With a large coat of superiority conditioning, I barely heard their words, for the emotional and spiritual emptiness I was covering up certainly did not need Jesus to save me.
I thought: “You’ve been saved by the savior, huh.” Yet, their energy and aliveness touched something within.
Years later in my 30’s, during a deeper and more sincere reflection, I remembered that energy and aliveness, spoken by those born again Christians awakened by the living truth of Christ:
“Jesus entered my heart… He spoke to me…He healed me of addiction…” I began to see, after much humbling, that the born again Christians I met, most likely were more alive inside, more attuned and astutely aware spiritually, than I was. Whatever had happened to them was transformative and they attributed it to Jesus Christ.
During this time, I read a beautiful book which acted as a bridge for Eastern spirituality and Western Christianity. The term ‘Christ Consciousness’ was seen for the first time. The description never left me:
“…As Truth peeps through the window of thoughts and words, so God manifests through Christ Intelligence and vibratory creation. When the beads of nations are not held together by the thread of universal perception of Christ Consciousness, of Christ Peace, they fall apart, knocking and scattering on the rocks of selfishness. The Christ of Christmas must be celebrated in the hearts’ love of all races for one another.
I pray Christ be born in the cradle of a new international understanding; that out of the dark night of war, the star of Christ Love may illumine a new United World. I pray Christ be born in all nations as love of unity…”
I came to see and feel deeply that Christ Jesus was not some former overly-glorified, religious figure from 2000 years ago but the living embodiment of Christ Consciousness, the animating spirit inside all beings. The direct experience of this truth continues to deepen as Christ comes ever more alive inside me.
These intense religious and spiritual experiences are happening to many people:
Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and atheists, along with those without any religious affiliation. Some of these people are profoundly touched so deeply that they feel as if they have gone mad (when referenced against the rest of the world).
From my perspective, many of these born again Christians have been blown open by what they call in Japanese Buddhism (satori)- a term that means ‘seeing into one’s true nature’.
Some of these awakening Christians have no one that can relate to their experience within the church congregation and hierarchy. Often they leave the church and their regular social clichés as well. Others stay within the church system and become magnets and iconic figures within their congregation, as they are now living like Christ and not simply following the basic doctrinal pathway. The born again Christians truly put the highest spiritual teachings to the living test while remaining engaged in regular non-secular activities.
In many of the Eastern-based spiritual pathways, much has been written about and shared amongst those that have had awakening experiences. This creates a series of guideposts so one can see a beautiful reflection of their own experience.
In the Western-based Christian churches, without this rich reference point, the awakening ‘born again Christians’ often miss the deeper truth:
Jesus Christ was not a person but an awakened being that resides in all hearts as the living Christ Consciousness. And all that one needs do is turn within, be patient, immensely sincere and let God’s grace enter. Then God’s grace showers forth the awakening of the Christ Consciousness within. Then life is never the same.