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Altered States: How to Shift from Crisis to Christ Consciousness with the 23rd Psalm

"The concept of Christ consciousness is a universal truth that transcends religion. It is the awareness of the Beloved in all creation."

Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

Life is uncertain on a good day, exponentially so in times of crisis. When the constancy we need to feel safe, grounded and assured is upset, we can lose our foothold of faith. It is hard to believe all is well with the routines, systems, supplies, and conditions we rely upon for daily life in question. The longer we remain in flux, the more susceptible our thoughts are to fear.

“The longing for certainty … is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes


Fortunately, one thing is certain – the Almighty Spirit. No matter our circumstances, we can train our minds upon the force of all creation, the holy omniscience and omnipresence that resides within us, animates the seen and unseen, and conceives infinite possibilities. So, when outside circumstances force inactivity, we have the choice to let our thoughts idle in darkness and despair, or lift our eyes to the Lord with faith, and adjust our consciousness to a higher truth.



Crisis vs. Christ Consciousness


Despite the name, the concept of Christ consciousness is a universal truth that transcends religion. It is the awareness of the Beloved in all creation - animal, vegetable, and mineral. Hallmarks of a Christ consciousness are the qualities Jesus (the) Christ demonstrated for us: love, compassion, humility, selflessness, patience, kindness, creativity, truth, wisdom, and faith.


The purpose of a Christ consciousness involves more than a feel-good outlook; it is how we understand our place in the Universe and show up in the world. As above, so below. In 1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV, it is written that “we have the mind of Christ.” Meaning, we are each born of God by the same cosmic consciousness manifested in Jesus, Krishna, Zoroaster, and other holy ones. Thus, we are endowed with divine disposition, fully-capable of knowing, seeing, and being in unity with the Infinite Mind in every circumstance. In crisis mode, we tend to be reactive, resistant and overwhelmed with survival mechanisms of fight, flight, or freeze. It is a fixed and narrow mindset that can help us get through short-term emergencies. But if the issue remains unresolved or our attitudes are left unchecked, we can downplay or catastrophize the situation, dwell on the way things were, and wallow in victimhood. But the more we calm and center ourselves in Christ consciousness, the more likely we are to discover the solutions we need for a brighter tomorrow.

We Can and Will Survive

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, many of us are facing difficulties with isolation, fatal disease, and financial ruin. While we do not have to be superhuman to rise above these circumstances, we do need to strengthen our resolve to temper the fear, accept the challenge(s) before us, and raise our consciousness to a victorious outcome. Most sacred texts offer stories of people who have done just that – like Job in the Old Testament, or Abhimanyu in the Bhagavad Gita. We can also draw inspiration from our contemporaries: · Immaculèe Ilibiganza survived the Rwandan genocide sheltered in a 3’ x 4’ bathroom with seven other women. For 91 days, these women were kept hidden, isolated in a pastor’s home while their families, friends, and community were raped and slaughtered outside. Almost 800k people were murdered, and over 2m refugees fled the country. Armed only with a Bible, Immaculèe prayed through fear and anger, plus learned English. Today, she is a recognized humanitarian and shares her message of faith, hope, and forgiveness. · Timothy Ray Brown is the first known patient essentially cured of AIDS. In 1984, scientists identified the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS, and more than 25 million people have since died of the virus. Brown received a positive diagnosis in 1995 and began treatment. Ten years later, he was also diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It took three more years of illness, therapies, and severe side effects until Brown received two stem cell transplants that eradicated both diseases from his body. Now, he works with the World AIDS Institute to find a cure. · Sean Sandona owned a successful home building and remodeling company in the Chicago area until the Great Recession of 2008. He lost his business to bankruptcy, his marriage to stress, then his house to fire. Left with $100, he posted flyers and scooped dog poop to get by. Determined not to quit, he started a new restoration company on borrowed funds that soon generated $4.25m in revenue, as well as a tech start-up. While the uncertainties of war, pandemic, and market collapse are far beyond the control of any single person, we each can steady our lives at any time in heart, mind, and spirit. This is the position of the Christ consciousness of faith in action - turning unforeseen situations of distress into pivot points of unexpected good.

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~ Gilda Radner

How to Upshift from Crisis to Christ Consciousness


Upshifting to a state of Christ consciousness is like shifting a car to a higher gear; it opens the force within to moves us forward with maximum power, precision, and performance.





Photo by Martin Wyall on Unsplash


Our minds “fire on all cylinders” with the best information of Universal intelligence and human experience combined. Our hearts lead us in the right direction without confusion or distraction, and our spirits propel us to evolve in more fulfilling and joyous ways.


To transform your thinking today:

1. Quiet the mind and senses to hear the still, small voice within. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 NASB 2. Suspend beliefs. Let go of fears or expectations and accept the conditions of life as they are right now. 3. Contemplate the wisdom found in spiritual writings. (We offer the 23rd Psalm below.) Consider how the Holy Spirit flows through the words to your heart. 4. Consider how you can use your sphere of influence to serve a purpose greater than yourself. 5. Act in accordance with your Christ consciousness. As above, so below.

 

The world’s sacred texts were composed to help us navigate trials and tribulations through contemplation and application. This month’s inspiration is the 23rd Psalm from the Judeo-Christian Old Testament.

(Note: Because of the extraordinary need for spiritual nourishment at this time, we also offer an Interfaith/inter-spiritual interpretation for those of different beliefs.)

Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash


Psalm 23. The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd. A Psalm of David. (NASB)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

An Interfaith and Inter-spiritual Interpretation:

The Infinite Spirit guides and provides for me abundantly.

In right action, I can live in ease and peace.

I am divinely guided to the safety and stillness within,

Where I am restored, made whole again;

Oneness revealed through devotion, goodness, and loving-kindness.

Even in times of trouble or sorrow, I am not afraid or alone. For Spirit is omnipresent, always with me inside and out;

Guiding and protecting me with quiet reassurance.

So fortified am I, that those who are against me have no power over me. I am blessed beyond measure.

In Spirit, I experience goodness and kindness throughout my life, And I am one with Infinite Love now and forever.

 

With a faithful, loving heart, quiet mind, and creative spirit, we are capable of far more than we believe. That is the extraordinary nature of the god-ness in us – driving us to grow beyond our limitations with grace. While circumstances may be beyond our control, our consciousness is not. God, by any name, is the most powerful, wise, and transformative force in the Universe. A fact we can all count on. But it is up to us to desire a better future for ourselves and the world, and let shift happen.

References

Brown, Timothy Ray. “I am the Berlin patient: a personal reflection.” AIDS research and human retroviruses vol. 31, 1 (2015): 2-3. doi:10.1089/AID.2014.0224

Ghose, A. “The Essential Gita.” Sri Aurobindo Divine Life Publication, 2002.

History.com Editors. “Rwandan Genocide.” A&E Television Networks, updated Sept. 30, 2019. Accessed Apr. 30, 2020 https://www.history.com/topics/africa/rwandan-genocide Holy Bible, New International Version. Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.

Huddleston, Cameron “5 People Who Lost Everything in the Financial Crisis and How They Bounced Back.” Understanding the Economy. MSN, Mar. 29, 2019. Accessed Apr. 29, 2020 https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/5-people-who-lost-everything-in-the-financial-crisis-and-what-theyre-up-to-now/ss-BBVkllX

Ilibiganza, Immaculee. “About.” 2020 Accessed Apr. 30, 2020 https://www.immaculee.com/pages/about New American Standard Bible. The Lockman Foundation, 1995.

 

© Nancy Noack and Mighty Oak Ministries International, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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