Session 89 Christian Non-Duality
Father Keating discusses how we are all one with each other and one with God. Jesus came to earth to join us to the Father and we become one with God by becoming empty of our will and letting God’s will take over in us.
Keating notes, “Non-dual originally is the idea that the separate-self sense disappears and so everything that happens is the direct experience of reality, without being necessarily a great experience. It is just being able to lead ordinary life without thinking of oneself. So that when you look at a tree, it is the tree and not you looking at the tree, which is the normal response of our rational intellect. So, how do we grow in this?”
Keating tells us that Jesus is our model for how to do this. He is the new Adam and comes to earth to show us how we are to be one with each other and one with God. Keating says, “But what is clear, was that he was manifesting the love of God for human beings by becoming one with them in order that human beings might become one with God. And this is one of the classical statements of the early Church Fathers: that God become man in order that people might become God.
Father Keating explains, “Each human being is invited – and those who do – certainly become a New Creature in Christ as cells in the Mystical Body. So, we bring our little holon or our little fractal expression of the divine geometry into ordinary life and everything we do cannot be separated from this Oneness. It dwells in us as a kind of deepest self. And little by little, we are meant to develop into a capacity of being conscious of that higher self from which we come.”
He continues, “In the Christian tradition love is the bottom line: Love God with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength and your neighbor as yourself because the same God is in them and in us. So that all humans basically; are equal in dignity and in their nature, and they’re also inserted now into the Mystical Body of Christ with a call to be, to serve, and to build-up the Body of Christ in various ways.”
Extraordinarily, Keating clarifies, “You’re a living cell in a living body that has the Holy Spirit as the life blood. It fills the whole, every cell and, indeed, every particle of cells. Since we are made up of trillions of them, we are saturated, really, with God.”
And how do we become aware that we are saturated with God? Keating believes it is through experientially knowing, not by logical reasoning. As our relationship with God becomes more and more intimate, we are able to let go of our false self, so that it is not the focus of our conversations. As our false self is diminished, our oneness with God grows.
Keating explains, “ . . . (It) is the importance of cultivating an awareness or a faith or a conviction in the Divine Indwelling. That is really the source and root of the spiritual life: That it is possible, that it is here, and so we do not have to become anybody. We already are all that we can be, so when there is nobody to become, think of how free you would be! Relaxed. We only have to be what we are already, which is the creature and the beloved of God.
So, non-duality for the Christian is to be guided by the Spirit, not by one of the false selves or the ego. Effortless total receptivity is the best way to be open to God’s guidance. It is like being a container for God. So, for a container to be filled, what is the best response? Emptiness. Openness. It is very simple, but very hard to do. All you have to do is nothing. Try it! But it does not mean you actually do nothing. It means that you are empty of all will proposals but open to God’s actions, so that you do what he wants to do. Emptiness is not total nothingness, but emptiness with an openness to becoming more – by God’s will.”
Next week, Father Keating has more ideas on how to be open to God’s actions.