Concluding The Wild Reed’s special Holy Week 2010 series, I share today a seventh excerpt from Andrew Harvey’s 1998 book, Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ.
Our greatest guide in [the journey of daring to “Christ” ourselves] will be the historical Christ, for it was the task of Jesus in time to birth the eternal Christ, who could help all other beings directly from the heart of divine power and divine grace. This means nothing less than adopting the historical Jesus’ fierce, humble, illusionless radicalism in every way and in every arena; nothing less will cost enough or strip us enough or awaken us sufficiently to the extent of the evil, ignorance, and suffering that make the transformation of the world into the Kingdom not a mystic dream but the most urgent of necessities.
Just as Jesus did in his time, we will have to fight with all our powers for the triumph of divine clarity, mercy, and justice; just as Jesus did, we will have to be prepared to excite and suffer derision, persecution, betrayal, abandonment; just as Jesus did, we will have to learn to pass through zone after zone of death and surrender; just as Jesus did, we will have to dedicate everything we learn and all we have and are to a deeper and ever-humbler service of all beings in the spirit of the all-encompassing compassion of Kingdom; just as Jesus did, we will have to be prepared to rest nowhere, and be ready always to dare to go deeper and deeper into the furnace of divine love, until we become, as Jesus has, one with its fire in all possible dimensions, now and forever.
We will, however, have one advantage that Jesus did not have: we will have Jesus himself, as the Cosmic Christ, to be our brother, lover, friend, divine and tender guide; we will have the Christ-force that streams forth from the heart of God toward humanity to inspire us; we will have the sign of his resurrection to give us the certainty that the impossible is possible; we will have the truth of his splendor in life and death and beyond continually to remind us of ours.
All those who risk Christing themselves know the truth of these words. Throughout Christian history, and often despite the church, the challenge to follow Jesus to and beyond the end has been taken up by beings who staked their lives not merely on following some version of Christ’s teaching but on submitting themselves to the same, almost intolerable, recognitions, pressures, vicissitudes, and passions as had so as to be “Christed” into the Kingdom with him. For them, Christ was far more than a teacher or sage or even divine icon; he was the pioneer of a wholly new kind of human being, one who wanted above all to become one with the glory of love and to be its selfless revolutionary in the night of history Brave and loving enough – and constantly inspired by divine grace – these heroic men and women took up Christ’s challenge – the challenge above all of the cross – and allowed themselves like him to be crucified into resurrection, killed into an eternal life dedicated utterly to love and the service of others, and to the birthing of the Kingdom in reality.
– Andrew Harvey
Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ
Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ
NOTE: Harvey observes that over the centuries, “these great lovers and brothers and sisters of Jesus discovered, with the help of the Cosmic Christ and divine grace, an ever-more accurate ‘map’ of how the transformation into Christhood could be accomplished.” The second part of Son of Man, entitled “The Mystical Christ,” details this map. It’s a map that “reveals just how the Christ-force can be unleashed at the heart of reality and how the human being can be transformed to stand its demands and incarnate its divine passion with ever-increasing, and ever-more radical, effectiveness.”
For previous installments of this series, see
Jesus: Path-blazer of Radical Transformation
The Essential Christ
One Symbolic Iconoclastic Act
One Overwhelming Fire of Love
The Most Dangerous Kind of Rebel
Resurrection: Beyond Words, Dogmas, and All Theological Formulations
See also the related Wild Reed post:
The Sacred Heart: Mystical Symbol of Love
Image 1: "Cosmic Christ" by Alex Gray (1999).
Image 2: "Sacred Heart" by Robert Lentz.