The Mystical meaning of Easter
Christian mysticism may be defined as the encounter and experience of our union with the divine as Jesus. This in fact partially defines my spirituality, as a mystical experience and understanding of Jesus has been very helpful to me in my journey to authenticity and the “all-knowing” of my divine self. As we approach the Easter season, I am considering the mystical meaning of it.
Traditionally the season celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus, and consequently his substitutionary death on the cross and atonement for our sins. His resurrection gave us the power to live a new life, free of sin and spiritual death. To the mystic, that is “too much information”, as the mystics would answer: What does that mean to me?
All the points and experiences of Jesus’ life represent some aspect of our own journey. The story is not about a “God out there” named Jesus, but it is about my journey, my spiritual incarnation, my death and resurrection.
Jesus did not come to be the God, the savior of the world, the atonement for my sins. He came to do a greater thing: to show me how to save myself from the illusion of duality. He shows me that my feeling of separation from everyone and everything was false. He shows me that love is the very essence and fabric of human action, and that my compassion is the sweet incense which will awaken the world. After all of the illusions are stripped away, after all the programming stays hanging on my cross, after all the charged emotions and behaviors are exposed so that I can be healed, then I see it! . God is not outside of myself. My resurrection shows me truly WHO I AM.
When I consider Oneness, I now realize that Oneness is the nature of all things. This concept may be felt as the dance of God in the garden and in the dance of God in the swamp. It is my worship of the new born child, and the worship of the beggar outside of my local store. It brings absolute non-judgment, and the acceptance of what is. Death and birth are cycles of reality, not things to be feared. All things are perfect, and where we see need, that activates our compassion. It can help me to say, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”.
When the stone is rolled away and I walk out of the tomb, love is waiting there for me, and so are people suffering. The balance and experience of equanimity and compassion helps me to do my own divine dance.
This experience is perhaps expressed well in the Bodhisattva vow. The bodhisattva is the representation of the God realized person, who knowing they have experienced bliss in existence and consciousness, forsake the immersion experience of bliss for the sake of alleviating the suffering of the world. Their intention is simply to be there for all of those suffering souls, to point the way out of suffering. The vow is here:
Creations are numberless
I vow to free them.
Delusions are inexhaustible,
I vow to transform them.
Reality is boundless,
I vow to perceive it.
The awakened way is unsurpassable,
I vow to embody it.
from Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe, NM
Jesus was a realized Bodhisattva, and his intention was to awaken that spark and intention in us all. This vow is experienced in duality as a ritual vow, a ceremony. But in non-duality it is the nature of our existence. It has always been our vow, we just had to awaken to realize it.
My intention is that I not allow some old stone of resistance to keep me in my tomb, this year, or today, or in this moment. That is the mystical meaning of Easter for me.
Virginia Stephenson 03/08/2013