Susannah (susannah) wrote in theologia,

'In' Christ

What does it mean, to be 'in' Christ?

Is Christ part of who we are when we are 'in' Christ?

Is there a union of personalities, sort of patterned on the union of personalities in the Trinity?

Are we part-God (as children of God)? Is God a united part of the whole of who we become?

Do we share awareness and consciousness (for example, in contemplation)?

What does it mean, to be 'in' Christ?
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***What does it mean, to be 'in' Christ?***

Well, I guess it depends on context, perspective and/or belief structure. It is traditionally used in organized religion to denote an invocation of power such as in prayer, for example "In Christ's name we pray...", or the term 'in Christ' is used to claim allegiance under the banner of the personhood of Jesus (or Yeshua, the Nazarene, etc.) in action or duty or belief. Unfortunately, like most things we have a tendency to turn it into what we want it to be or we are indoctrinated by those in power rather than educated. The first thing to realize is that the term 'Christ' is a title and not a name. Therefore understanding exactly what that title means is somewhat important. In the christian belief structure it is solely used to refer to Jesus in the position of the Son of God, however this is somewhat misguided. Yes, the Nazarene brought the title of Christ to this place but it does not refer to being in the position of only son of God or God made flesh. The term Christ is the title given to the highest level you can attain in the physical before you graduate into that of a higher self. This means that we are all working towards that same goal of becoming a Christ to graduate into a higher level of our spiritual evolution. In the case of the Nazarene, he had already attained that title and it was decided that he would incarnate (effectively coming down a level) in order to be a living example and help us along our paths. Of course the early church sort of ran with it and made it into something else because a saviour was needed to save the Roman empire, but that is a long story for another time.

***Is Christ part of who we are when we are 'in' Christ?***

Again, Christ is a level of attainment reached before we become a higher self. However there is also a thing called the Christ Consciousness which is a representation of the white light and is a universal symbol that opens up freedom of choice. The Christ Consciousness is synonymous with free choice, that you have free choice, that you are not deprived by the negative forces where you must oblige to their will or whims. Therefore you can call upon it at any time to invoke the light and because the darkness can not stand the light it will therefore release you.

***Is there a union of personalities, sort of patterned on the union of personalities in the Trinity?***

The reference of the title means that you have qualified to an understanding of being ready to amalgamate between your male and female half. In other words, you are ready to become a higher self. This is when you graduate to a next level when the marriage was made in heaven as so revealed in Revelations.

***Are we part-God (as children of God)? Is God a united part of the whole of who we become?***

Everything that has a consciousness has a Divine Spark and that Divine Spark is an extension of the universal God. Whether it be plant, animal, bug, microbe or human, it all has one source. However how brightly it shines or how covered up it is depends on us.

***Do we share awareness and consciousness (for example, in contemplation)?***

Again it is up to the individual exactly how much communication is experienced. There is prayer and meditation as well as opening lines of communication with our higher selves, etc., etc. As this physical earth is basically a school, our lessons and awareness will reflect whatever grade we are in. You are where you are and as such are taught appropriate things. This does not mean we should look down on others for being at a different level or praise and follow blindly those on another level. It simply means that we are all learning different things at different times by different methods and that they all have their place, whether we approve from our vantage point or not.

***What does it mean, to be 'in' Christ?***

As explained above it depends on the context and perspective, but all in all if you make a conscious effort to live in the white light and really make an effort to attain the wisdom in the lessons of your everyday life for the bigger picture (not just religion) then you are on the path to your graduation!
Thank you for your response, which admittedly I find quite hard to identify with because some of the observations lie outside my experience or the expectations of my faith tradition.

"Christ is a level of attainment reached before we become a higher self"

For example, in most Christian theology (and I appreciate Christian theology is only one of various theologies welcomed here) Christ is used to reference the person Jesus Christ the Son of God. This person is quite hard to fit into the idea of "a level of attainment" (though I appreciate this divergence may be in part because you are reading 'Christ' as a title whereas I read Christ as a title-identifying-a-specific-person... the specific Son of God who is one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity.

The "in" part of the term "in Christ" was something I wanted to explore theologically to try to understand the way in which 'union' with God relates to our being, who we are, the degree to which God becomes part of who we are, and the nature of communion, particularly with reference to the later chapters of John's Gospel, and the experience of Christians such as the Spanish Mystics, for whom contemplation led to an awareness of something of what this "in Christ" meant.

But thank you, and I believe we should all seek 'graduation' to deeper consciousness, which consciousness I seek in Christ who, being God, I also seek in God. The 'in'-ness to me has a lot to do with the relational and communal nature of deepest reality and the eternal nature of God... into which life we are called, as into a household or family.

And just as the persons of the Trinity surrender degrees of independence in areas of consciousness and awareness, so - made to a divine template - I am interested to explore (primarily in Christian terms) how we may be drawn into similar household, and shared consciousness, as we recognise the Divinity within ourselves and surrender independent self and discover "the life that Christ lives in me" where Christ's will and my own will might converge in a growing shared consciousness, relationship, and love.
My knee-jerk answers are yes, no, no, maybe. (But I have to admit that this is probably just my personal prejudices!)
My general tendency on this issue is to take the image of "I am the vine, you are the branches" and run with it: to see Christ as the root of what we are if we are connected with him, and to emphasize that our life as Christians depends on him, BUT that even as we are linked to him, we remain distinct. [But see above.]
Thank you. The vine image is, of course, profound and very informative.

If we "remain distinct" though, does that imply some separate life from the vine? Could we live or be who we are, if we were lopped off the vine?

Or does the teaching on the vine point towards the fact that God's own person and life actually courses through our own life and being, and indeed is the root of our being, while we (of course) are dependent parts.

I don't think we need to claim we are God, to believe that God may have created us to be God-children, created, dependent, but only fully who we are when we find God at the centre of our being, and our 'distinctness' is the way God uniquely grows us, not a 'separateness'.

Not saying these suggestions are right or wrong. I posted here in the hope more people might explore with me what "in Christ" means for us, as children of God, as a spouse to be joined with God, and the degrees of dependence and separateness we have.

I'm inclined to see each soul as integrally made with God as the main and governing component in it, though we are created, and thus wholly dependent on God for our life, our being.

Are we made to become human-divine hybrids, of a lower order than the Trinity, because created and eternally dependent on God for our being?

And even if that was so, couldn't we still be 'distinct' in terms of the unique way God developed each person... but not 'distinct' in terms of ultimate 'oneness' in Christ and in terms of our dependence on God "in whom we live, and move, and have our being"?