New Awakening: A New Resonance

I begin this post confessing that, given the perils we are facing these days, I am tempted to “cut to the chase” and write about the new Awakening in a direct and applied fashion. But I am resisting that temptation because I believe it is more important to provide a big-picture look before going into detail. Please bear with me as I do this.

The stakes are too high to rush ahead and run the risk of leaving important things unaddressed. The new Awakening is a many-splendored thing. We need to see the magnificent “forest” of it before we look at particular “trees.”

With the new consciousness (the last post) in our minds, we regain an awakening of resonance. When we wake up, we not only regain consciousness with this world, we experience our oneness with it. Awakening is a resonance with this essential singularity and union with everyone and everything.
Indigenous people have been aware of this much longer and more profoundly than many of us are. Sherri Mitchell writes of it in her book, ‘Sacred Instructions,’

“We all come into this world with a set of instructions. These instructions guide us toward our highest purpose. They lead us to the essential truths that live deep within us. This truth is encoded into our DNA. It is embedded in our genetic memory. It vibrates within us on a cellular level. Every element of life carries this vibration. Every living being has its own vibrational tone. When these tones are combined, they form the voice of creation. If we learn to listen closely, we can begin to hear that voice and allow it to guide our steps through life. Then we can begin to attune our daily actions with our higher purpose and become who we were meant to be.” [1]

Breathtaking insights from the sciences are confirming this. [2] We are one with everyone and everything. We share 98% of our DNA with primates, 35% with plants. We are part of a uni-verse. There is a recognizable resonance between and among all things. We are “in” all of life, and all of life is ‘in” us. Our Buddhist friends call it interbeing. Essential oneness is the story of our existence.

The creation stories in Genesis 1-2 bear witness to it. The heavens and the earth are the unified creation of God–two dimensions of one Reality. The “days” of creation are metaphors telling us that each act of creation is united to every other one in a larger “week.” Everyone and everything share an original goodness.

Jesus, as a Wisdom teacher, described interbeing in the second commandment, to love our neighbors…as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). In the contemplative tradition, “as” is more than a comparison with someone or something, it is a oneness with them. Paul communicated the same oneness when he wrote that we all live, move, and have our being in God (Acts 17:28), and that Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11)

John Donne described it poetically, that when the bell tolls, it tolls not only for others, but for us also. We are part of everyone and everything. Resonance. People whose faith includes the contemplative and intuitive, know this. Cosmic oneness lived out in everyday living is the heart of the mystical tradition. [3]

Far from being abstract, the new Awakening to resonance opens the way to the renewal we so desperately need today. Resonance exposes the evil of separatism, sectarianism, supremacy, and subjugation. It does so as Light—shining into the darkness of our night. God’s daylight is unity, community, and oneness.

Resonance overcomes evil with good. John described it this way, “The light shined into the darkness, and the darkness could not put it out” (John 1:5). And as we know, John understood that this light is Christ, the light of the world (John 8:12). [4] When we awaken, we resonate with Life, we see our oneness with everyone and everything, and we receive the gift of the new day as a fresh invitation to live abundantly and in union with all God has made.

[1] Sherri Mitchell, ‘Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Spirit-Based Change,’ xix.
[2] Thomas Berry’s ‘The Sacred Universe’ is a good resource for seeing this. Scientists estimate that there may be a trillion galaxies, each with 100 billion stars–and all in a single, interactive cosmos.
[3] Richard Rohr, ‘The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See’…and Matthew Fox’s, ‘One River, Many Wells’ are excellent means to understand that the contemplative tradition is at the heart of Christianity, much older than the rationalist/informational definition of faith that today is alleged by some to be “true faith,” when it is only half of the story.
[4] E. Stanley Jones’ writings have (for more than fifty years) schooled me in recognizing, relating with, and responding to the cosmic Christ. More recently, Matthew Fox’s book, ‘The Coming of the Cosmic Christ,’ Jürgen Moltmann’s ‘The Way of Jesus Christ,’ Thich Nhat Han’s ‘Living Buddha, Living Christ,’ and Richard Rohr’s, ‘The Universal Christ’ have been especially helpful.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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