Today is Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent in the Western Christian tradition. What do Lent, Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, and Easter have to do with those of us who have chosen to adopt the label “Metaphysical Christian” or simply Metaphysician? You may or may not know that during this Lenten period of approximately six weeks leading up to Easter, it is characterized as a time of great solemn observance and practice of prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, self-denial, and atonement.
For the mystic, the New Thought practitioner, these concepts are metaphysical in nature and not seen or practiced as our more traditional brothers and sisters do each year.
For example, the concept of repentance of sins, if you do not believe in sin in the traditional sense of the word, what sin is there for you to repent of? Therefore, for the mystic, the metaphysician, we repent by making a change in mind, a shift in consciousness recognizing that in this instance we “missed the mark.” We reset our sights on the desired state of mind or behavior and we move in that direction rather than continuing along the course of the undesired. There is no need to wallow in the feeling and emotion of regret or contrition; it is far more empowering to acknowledge the ineffective, undesired behavior or thought forms and to correct them. Of course if we have done something to another person and have the means to apologize, then we do so making amends for the “hurt” caused them. And even higher is the state of forgiveness that we engage in where we forgive ourselves for having missed the mark.
Another example is that of atonement or as the Course in Miracles refers to it At-One-Ment, the state of being At One with the Divine (which is Everything)! It is precisely because we perceive a separation between us and God that we miss the mark and do many of the things we do based upon that feeling of separation; when in fact it is impossible to be separate from the Source. If God, Source, Love is all there is, what are you? What am I? Source manifested in, as, with, and around us, there is no where God / Source is not . . .! Atonement then becomes the active remembering of this Oneness rather than a solemn sense of having to reconcile to God. There is in Truth, nothing to reconcile, there are no sins to forgive.
The last of my examples is that of fasting, one form of self denial that is still widely practiced in many churches; though I am seeing and hearing how this is changing in many others. Fasting or self denial is supposed to allow the devout to abstain from worldly pleasures in order to focus solely on the spiritual and in many ways to allow them to “suffer” to a certain extent as a form of penance. This is why many like the Amish refrain from modern “comforts,” their Puritanical belief that these “worldly” accoutrements tempt and stand in the way of one’s relationship with God. Pleasures, to the more austere believers, such as the world offers are to be avoided and we are reminded of how Satan tempted Jesus by such comforts during Jesus' time in the desert. And yet, self denial is in large part missing the mark!
Denial of self is in fact a denial of God; it is a denial of your own divinity, your infinite connection to Source.
Clearly it is not wise or most effective to give in to our “addictions” or to give in to all of our needs. Self control, discipline, and restraint are empowered virtues when they come from a place of Higher awareness. From this Higher, more enlightened state of consciousness we can actually make eating that chocolate cake a spiritual experience, sex can become sacred practice, going to your neighborhood Starbucks could be likened to going to a place of fellowship versus a den of iniquity as many have referred to it.
This Lenten season, I encourage you to fast from negativity, release hate, anger, grudges, and bitterness. Give alms of forgiveness, compassion, and love. Deny yourself nothing, be open, honest, authentic, and transparent; realizing that you may want that chocolate cake or you may want to have sex with that person and the thought or desire is fine. Do not deny it! You can stand in your truth that this is what you think, feel, desire while knowing that it is not the most empowered thing to do. So you do not deny, repress, or ignore; instead you acknowledge, recognize, and accept it for what it is and from that place you make a consciously aware decision to indulge or not. Take this time before Easter to reassess what Easter means to you. Release the old paradigm that simply identifies Yeshua (Jesus) as the Christ and step into the new paradigm where you ask what does “Christ” the state of being, mean to you? You have full access to this state just as Yeshua did, how do you tap into it this Easter?
Think on these things over the next few weeks!
Love Everything NOW Today!!
If you are near a Unity Church, Center for Spiritual Living, or other New Thought center, stop in and celebrate Lent with them, ask questions, and shift your paradigm being transformed by the renewing of your mind, resurrected a new being.
Blessings and love