"Nonduality as a Definition of Christ" a paper by Bernadette Roberts

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"Nonduality as a Definition of Christ" a paper by Bernadette Roberts

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:45 am


"Non-duality as a definition of Christ" is the subject the paper Bernadette Roberts presented at the SAND conference in San Jose, October 22, 2015. I have linked it to our site by permission of the author.

To read, download using the link below:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2P_M5SRzwPdWi1GN1psSE9jSmM/view



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Hesitations

Post by amythebird81 on Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:03 pm

I am so very drawn to the truth of what Bernadette has written in her book the Real Christ and in this posted piece. Thanks for posting it! I do have some hesitations in giving myself over to Bernadette's Christology completely. One is, I wonder why so few individuals have really 'experienced' Christ as their true essence. If man is born theocentric and made to become the image of that in which it was created, then how does this account for the lack of 'God experiences' in the lives of individuals? Is God only revealing Itself to certain individuals? If so, why would He work that way? Also, why is mankind so dulled to its own theocentric core? Why would God create us that way? Surely some people would say they have never experienced God in any real way, and what a tragedy! I think it is this sad experience of being man that still leaves me questioning. In my former theology, 'original sin' explained our brokenness, but I don't really find an explanation for my brokenness in Bernadette's theology. Can you speak to this? Thank you!

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Re: "Nonduality as a Definition of Christ" a paper by Bernadette Roberts

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:40 am

Dear Amy,
So nice to hear from you here! Thanks for your comment and question which is very interesting to me. Let's put our heads together on this. I will write back later today or tomorrow with my thoughts on it.
Joe

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Re: "Nonduality as a Definition of Christ" a paper by Bernadette Roberts

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:37 pm

Amy, your post contains many views and questions, so I hope we can have a conversation about various points, one at a time.  
To begin with, I hope we agree that it is not a matter of "giving oneself over" any any writer's view, including Bernadette's, or that of any writer on Christianity, but to see that we can only know as much of Christ has been revealed to us.   From that understanding, of course, we can review what others have said about Christ, and see if it 'rings true' to what God has given us to know.   The phrasing 'giving oneself over to a view" (whether its Merton's or Cyril of Alexandria's or Teilhard's or Bernadette's) is so foreign to Bernadette's perspective, in my view, that I wanted to say that first.  Our rapport with God is One on one, and I think so --I think-- must be each's approach to Christology.  
Are we thinking along the same lines on this?
Joe

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Re: "Nonduality as a Definition of Christ" a paper by Bernadette Roberts

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:04 pm

Amy,
You wrote: "One is, I wonder why so few individuals have really 'experienced' Christ as their true essence. If man is born theocentric and made to become the image of that in which it was created, then how does this account for the lack of 'God experiences'."
This was issue was not directly brought up in the article, so I think you are thinking of material in The Real Christ. That is ok-- just want to let others know if they are reading this that many of your points are not addressed at all or at length in Bernadette's article your post is referencing, but are in her book The Real Christ, which I know you have read or are reading.

So my question is: When you say few people have 'experienced Christ' what do you mean? Do you mean few people have experienced God, so that's why the view that we are born "theocentric" does not make full sense to you?
I question the premise that few have experienced God. I think lots of people experience God-- though they don't have the word "God" for it-- and that God reveals Itself to all. Every experience of God implies Christ, I think, because Christ is the Great Oneness, as Chalcedon says, the oneness of the essence of God and essence of humanity.
What do you think?
Joe

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Re: "Nonduality as a Definition of Christ" a paper by Bernadette Roberts

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:32 pm

Amy,
Could you clarify for me what you mean by this? "One is, I wonder why so few individuals have really 'experienced' Christ as their true essence." What do you mean by "experienced Christ as their true essence"? Are you referring, for example, to "union with God" as understood in light of the Christian mystical tradition? Or some other view of this-- such as looking at this from a Hindu-influenced view of realization of "oneness"? This will help reflect on your questions, thanks!
Joe

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Re: "Nonduality as a Definition of Christ" a paper by Bernadette Roberts

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:37 am

Amy,
If I understand your question, I infer that you saying that a Christological perspective you once embraced, which had Original Sin and "fallen" human nature as key premises, explains what the human condition as we experience it well, including the infrequency of experiences of God-- or, at least, seems to explains it better than Bernadette's perspective, which affirms theocentricity-- that God is our true Center from the beginning.

I addressed part of your question in a previous comment: I think that God reveals itself to our theocentric nature again and again, in experiences of Beauty, Goodness, Peace-- we all have quite personal and acute experiences of these, which invite our hearts to ask-- may I have this experience --of Beauty, Goodness, Love, etc-- more deeply? This is God knocking at the door of our hearts-- and it is measure, I think of our, of our theocentric nature.

Love invites the cooperation of the will, and our will free to choose for Goodness, Peace, Love, or against it. Of course, the will stands between self-love and yielding to a deeper Love, God. The fact that we have free will, and our will can be fascinated by self-love, does mean, I believe, that our will is contaminated by Original Sin. So those who follow up on God's revelation to them, as Goodness, Peace, Love, etc., are rewarded, by God's doing a work of transformation in them, to bring more closely in union with God.
I'll end on that. Please let me know what you think.
Grace,
Joe

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