mystic


Spiritual Copernican Revolution

By: Brian Robertson


Spiritual Copernican Revolution

"Nicolaus Copernicus (19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was the first astronomer to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology, which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe. His epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), published in 1543 just before he died, is often regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy and the defining epiphany that began the Scientific Revolution. His heliocentric model, with the sun at the center of the universe, demonstrated that the observed motions of celestial objects can be explained without putting the Earth at rest in the center of the universe. His work stimulated further scientific investigations, becoming a landmark in the history of modern science that is now often referred to as the Copernican Revolution."

-Wikipedia

What I would like to suggest is that it is time, in Christianity, for a kind of Copernican Revolution that, curiously enough, brings us closer to the spirituality of Jesus.

We live in a world of competing religious ideas or, perhaps put more at the heart of it, apparently differing views. I would say that they are perhaps different like the same sentence spoken in French, English, Japanese and any of the other languages. They are speaking of something with words that are filtered through cultural bias and slant. What is at the base of many of these religious approaches? That is the question we must ask and answer truthfully and directly.

We cannot expect God in any real way to favor a particular religion and a specific place and time, as religion by and large tends to be geographical when you look at the numbers of devotees or followers. It makes no sense, as the later Christians said, that tens of millions born before Jesus plus those who have never heard his name, much less adding in those who otherwise did not profess their identity as a Christian, were going to spend eternity in Hell.

How do we deal with the fact that God speaks differing languages to others? As an example of the vast compassion and love of God who, thankfully, is not bound by our own prejudices, limitations, love of being exclusive, and more.

However, there is one additional factor, one that is what the metaphor for a Copernican Revolution calls for and one alluded to in my opening line.

A true revolution, the kind that Jesus termed the Kingdom of Heaven which was both within and around us if we had but eyes to see and ears to hear, flies in the face of established Christian thought as it veered away from Jesus' spirit and teaching.  Jesus has been the center of things in the Church and in Christianity, when, in reality (or Reality) just as the earth was supplanted by the sun as the center of the Universe (from our point of view, of course), at the center of our universe must be God, not the dogmatic attempt to tie Jesus in and make him a kind of disguise for God, a notion he protested with his very soul .   "Why do you call me good? There is none good but the Father?" among other comments and actions.

How would Christianity be if God was at the center of your Universe? How would you feel about others, perhaps a Vedantist/Hindu, who also has God (as he or she can feel and know) in the center of his life as all else moves around it in celestial orbit? Would you see a different language of God and a follower of that to be akin to you, a fellow seeker whose journey is to be encouraged and supported, not denigrated and belittled as less than your own "right" way?

Since I was a child, meaning as early on as I can remember, my prayers were straight to God, my sense of Presence that appeared in my later years was felt to be that as opposed to a Jesus or a Buddha or a Krishna. I also, later, found myself awed not by God favoring my team, as it were, (white, United States of America, my particular Church), but, rather, the startling universal compassion  which Jesus spoke of constantly and said was right here and right now available to us.

So, perhaps it is not time. Perhaps it does not speak to you.  All that is fine.  But for myself, anyway, the power of a Christian's Copernican Revolution is Jesus' desired revolution in the vision and Presence in this world.

May you find Peace,
Brian

 


Comments:

[I totally agree that we as Christians have taken Jesus’ teachings and twisted them around so badly that our words belie our beliefs.

As I study scripture, I am able to accept the words that “There is no name under heaven by which men must be saved,” without belittling other religions. However, I am not going to cheapen Christ’s death by saying that others’ impressions of God (as sincere and awe-inspiring as they can be) are going to lead them to heaven.

Paul in the book of Acts has it right when he comes upon sincere seekers in Athens and says, “For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.” He didn’t slam their beliefs, he clarified them.

I’ve read the Hindu scriptures in the Gita. They read amazingly like Isaiah. Man was created in the image of God. God the Father also leaves much revelation about Himself intact in us and this fact shows in other religions, but the bible makes it clear that we are to bring good news–that every good and proper thing that god-fearing people of all religions seek is ultimately found in the person of Jesus Christ. However, without Christ’s atonement, all of us will be found short in the end.

It is imperative that we realize that Scripture does not say without reason, “how beautiful are the feet of him that brings good news.” Telling others in different religions that everything they believe is wrong is bad news. Telling others in different religions that their faith ultimately points to the only One who saves is good news. Telling them that all religions are one, well… that’s a damnable lie and makes Christ’s command to make obedient disciples of all nations an irrelevant suggestion at best.

Blessings to you, and may Christ give us all more grace to comprehend Him as He really is and not what we want Him to be.]

 

[Truly refreshing, its what this first read on this website is for me. I was raised amongst Kardecist Spiritualists, and tolerance and fraternal love where taught to me as Christ’s most important lesson. Afterall he gave his life for us, all of us.

I’ve been really disappointed with most christian denominations. The whole idea of eternal damnation, that is so central to most of these, is opposite to the fact that God’s love is unconditional. Needless to say the “my way is the only way” philosophy was really upsetting to me. How can people distill such callousness and exclusivism from Christ’s teaching is beyond me.

I am truly happy to encounter a place where I see people seeking to understand the infinite vastness that is our Creator. And not only understand, but feel His presence in this state of being that we find ourselves at this moment.

That the journey is fruitful, I have no doubts. But I hope that it is also certain for all who decide to start on the the path.

Blessed be God, and may He bless us all!]

 

[hi
I just want to ask a question , jesus is full of love and compassion, but there is something the bible i do not understand, although jesus came to let us know the christ within us he was human like us he was not God as the church say but an advanced soul.. ok but i want to know why sometimes he hated gentiles, he once called a gentile woman a dog, that she is not worthy to eat from the bread what does the deeper meaning of this story mean? and also why did he forbid his desciples not to enter gentile and samiritan area but only to Israel? isn’t this discrimination?]

 

[Since I discovered Christian Mystics, early this afternoon, I have been gladly reading from your site, drinking it up like a thirsty man come to an oasis. I have been ‘curbing’ my enthusiasm for much of my life, rarely giving voice to that which is most important to me, due to the worldly response to a belief that any one ordinary human being can walk as friend and companion with God. Yet that is my hope, faith, belief, and experience. I’ve only rarely given voice to express that which has brought me such joy, peace, love and understanding, even in the most troubling times, and I hope to others as well. And yet, for the taste I’ve had, I know it is a infinite, revolutionary process which will continue to engage my heart and allegiance. It has been so refreshing to read the encouraging words of others who walk this path. Thank you.]

 

[I’m glad to see this. I’ve been teetering on my own self spiritual discovery as I feel kindred with other religious beliefs in the idea of holding God as their center and found a common denominator in most. This is my own experience mind you but I ended up letting go of the specific Christian denominations because my beliefs were common with many but going further into specific denominations, I felt too conflicted just the same. And so I went back to the root of it all and took God as my center and identified myself as a Mystic being on a journey of Truth and acknowledge all His creation, man, nature and whatever is unknown. Just wanting a direct, immediate relationship with God without needing another man to do so. I’ve been at peace and very happy since.

However in the same aspect I acknowledge Jesus and his teachings as well, he was an amazing man. In regards to that, I use Christian terminology because that is what I am most comfortable with as I was initially raised a Christian (Lutheran specifically), but I don’t place him as my Center like I do God, I don’t worship Jesus. I respect him and acknowledge all he is and has done but I place him next to me as an equal Mystic who learned from God and taught what he learned. He is a wonderful role model. With the way I see things I’ve been termed a Christian Mystic and even ordained as one but am worried that it may be a mis-label (I hate labels honestly but I unfortunately needed one for my legal ordainment). My concern is I don’t want to insult anyone or hurt anyone if my beliefs don’t follow the majority of a Christian Mystic’s ways, which is kind of ironic in a sense I know. It’s why I normally just say Mystic just to be safe.

Anyway this article that was posted was actually one of my thoughts on why I did take the path I chose. What happened to the people pre-Christ? God was there before him and I have difficulty accepting that an entire civilization before Christ was condemned per se because he didn’t exist to worship or use as a guide to God and Heaven.

Sorry just thinking out loud with you all. Happy I found this…]

 

[You’ve rightly said: “We cannot expect God in any real way to favor a particular religion and a specific place and time…”
God just Is, beyond all descriptions and antrophomorphic distortions heaped on Him by various religions.
As for Jesus, He came on earth as an Avatar, for the sole purpose of saving us. His teachings are particularly valuable (i.e. made culturally familiar, through the centuries of religious movements) to the westerners; similarly, as Buddha’s are to the people of the East.]

 

[Almost everyone has had a genuine mystical experience at some time or times in their life. although they may not recognize it as such. The feeling of being at one with all (around you, on Earth, in the Universe) is awesome and, for most people, unfathomable. Unfortunately, the leaders of many of the major religions would not recognize it as such unless framed in the terminology of their institution]

 

[Forgive my intrusion, but I found this a very interesting article, thank you for sharing it.

A truly powerful statement when the sun became the center of the universe; it would seem people always need to feel important or grand in the eyes of God.
There is an old Zen Koan that says to polish a stone until it becomes a mirror, or something to that effect.
What does this have to do with it? Perhaps nothing.

The very act that gives us pause, that actually brings on reverence is an act of selflessness, an example of unimportance, of humility, of placing the path and teaching before the person or teacher.
The very fact that Jesus was killed, executed, the teaching was more important than his own life, but even in death there is a lesson to be learned.
I do not look at this as an act of salvation, I look at it as an act of setting an example, of teaching one final lesson.

From Christo-centric to Theo-centric, this would imply that Christos implies a ‘person’ rather than a principle or ‘Christ’ a title of someone whom has realized that principle.
Greek terms, and it all sounds very Greek to me. The experience is more important than speculation and opinion in either case; the Church, these days, seems to be locked down and backed up with many traffic jams of speculation, opinion, and judgements.]

 

[Brian, thank you for the perfect analogy!

I also believe that God is a Parent for everyone. He has a special approach to every child, just like all good parents do. That’s where all the different religions are coming from.

Note, that every religion originates from one person, who experienced God in his own special way. Who had a relationship with God and received a “revelation”, a “message from the Lord”.

Many people don’t even bother to look for their own Answer, didn’t try hard enough to experience God themselves. They just assumed that they are of lesser value and ability, and therefore should just follow the One, who had the experience. Truth is – we are all the One, even when we don’t know and don’t believe we are.

Jesus said that – we are all sons and daughters of God. Therefore, every person should experience God in her own special way. Isn’t it what He is waiting for?]