INCARNATION: CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM’S TAPROOT

The incarnation is Christian Mysticism’s taproot. It’s the bones upon which all the sinews and flesh are anchored. If we understand the bone structure, we have some chance of understanding the anatomy.

Who is better to guide us than the spiritual geniuses of Christian tradition—the Alexandrian Mystics (a.k.a. The Alexandrian Elders)? These mystics give us language to approach the dynamic essence of Jesus, the moving target, beheld by holistic supple minds. If our minds cease their incessant striving after reward and repulsion from punishment, if our minds relax into open receptivity, the freshness and freedom of the present moment may take us by surprise. If our minds are habitually stilled and if we consent, in this moment and no other God is revealed in our flesh and we become Christ’s body.

With time, if we consent on deeper and deeper levels of our being, Jesus reveals the Word prepared for us from the beginning of time. Jesus reveals our God-given name hidden beneath layers of conditioning. Beyond the habitual programs and animal instincts there is a freedom beyond imagining. This freedom is a state of mind, which is liberated from the bondage of attachments and aversions—a state of mind the writers of The Philokalia refer to as “dispassion.”

Just as we can’t imagine the taste of a food we’ve never tried, so too we can’t imagine this freedom until we have tasted it. And once we have tasted it, all the passing fancies of the world will seem like mere dross. Then we’re in communion with him. Then we are graced with an abiding joy that no worldly thing can threaten. Then the soul knows profound contentment and homecoming. Then the soul desires nothing that it does not already possess. Then we are complete. Then we are whole. Then we are resplendent!