Until we can get back to direct primary first-hand personal intimate contemplative mystical ecstatic experience of God in the lives of each and every human being, then God will increasingly become an abstract distant concept instead of a Living immanent reality. (The painting above is The Transfiguration, by Greg K. Olsen.)
Many Christian churches, and religions more generally, may devolve into exclusionary and divided social institutions that have very little to do with God, and may even come to fight against God, if they haven’t already. They have a form of godliness, but deny the Power. That Power is nearly gone, or absent.
God is here and now, for in him we live, and move, and have our being! (Acts 17:28). The Kingdom’s come, and is here and now! It is not in a distant future. God has come! Come and see! Come! This was Jesus’ message. It has been the message of nearly every prophet-mystic in every age. Have you noticed?
The Divine mystical experience cannot necessarily be ordered on demand (although that may be changing), but there are many things we can do to create an environment and setting where it is welcomed, nurtured, desired, invited, wanted, opening ourselves to let it in, to let it be, to cheer it in gratitude and thanksgiving. This is what leads to pentecostal experiences.
Unfortunately most that have had deep mystical intuitions and experiences have been quieted, censored, shut down, or driven from Christianity, instead of celebrated, allowed, and learned from. The institution has largely shut down all signs or inklings of mystical experience at the door, not so much as allowing them to enter into our conversation and communion. The prophets among us have been stoned and cast out. Jesus had harsh words for those who cause such things (Matthew 23:13).
I have also had such experiences, which are the highlight of my spiritual life, and have brought me to tears on many occasions for the Joy, Exuberance, and Light I’ve felt and known. But this leaves me averse to much of mainstream Christianity, because it won’t have it. What starts as an explosive mystical outpouring of Spirit and Fire and God in the prophet-mystics, even Jesus, is often abhorred generally in the institutions. In fact, this is the very thing Jesus championed, what he yearned for, that we would all experience being One in God, and the loss of this he fought against, which ended up costing him his life.
This is how things end, “not with a bang but a whimper” (T.S. Eliot). Fortunately, God still lives, because we are still here. God still loves, and still sends Fire into the hearts of those who seek this Divine consciousness.
I know this.
I have experienced it.
I know it is real!
It is us! It is our Life! It is the Light of our consciousness, and the Glory of our being! It is right here, and has always been right here, within us, if we look.
Transfiguration is not something that happened exclusively to Jesus, but it is something that may happen to each and every one of us as we come to know God within ourselves. When we become “fully awake” then we too will see the Glory of God, and we will realize that it is our Glory in Oneness with all living beings, and all of Life that has ever lived (Luke 9:32 NIV).