Crisis State

Undoubtedly, we sense that our national and global life is in a state of crisis!

Covid-related health, relationship, and financial challenges exist everywhere. Senseless violence against innocent individuals has limited our freedom of ease in moving about. Tempers flare over trivial issues. Distrust of religious, political, and educational institutions and their leaders leaves many of us without solid footings.

This state of crisis is a collective reality and a collective realization; however, it exists for each of us in individualized ways and with individualized effects. When our own individualized sense of crisis is experienced within the collective sense of crisis, our individualized experience can get dramatically magnified and we can get tossed into what seems like a raging sea of chaos. The more we lose control of our individual sense of crisis, the more we amplify the collective sense of it. On the other hand, the more each of us is able to manage our internal sense of crisis, the more we may contribute to an overall calming and healing effect to achieve balance.

We do not exist as just a physical or a material entity. We are fundamentally spiritual beings—beings of consciousness—having, as the saying goes, physical experiences. Nevertheless the vast majority of us primarily identify with our physical nature. This physical nature becomes easily conditioned through repetition via the sensory neurological input we experience. Our brain coordinates that input, along with the meaning our mental nature assigns to it and the triggered associated feelings that result from it. We can look upon our brain as a computer that processes a multitude of experiences as data, but this brain computer cannot process meaning from it. Meaning is actually assigned to the input via another subtle level of our consciousness: the mental level, or mental body.

We could spend much time detailing and tracking how all the above operates, but here are the important points:

  • Each one of us individually contributes to a collective universal human consciousness. This shared consciousness has an associated “feeling” or tone. In our present crisis, the tone consists of generalized anxiety and fear.
  • Our individualized human consciousness results in our behavior, formed from a variety of personal neurological inputs and interpretations that develop into fixed habit patterns. These patterns are also affected by the larger collective field of consciousness in which we exist.
  • The larger collective universal field, with its overt and subtle energies, can greatly increase any distress created and reinforced within our own individualized experience of consciousness.
  • Because we largely identify with our physical nature with its ingrained tendencies and habit patterns, it can be a struggle to move into a place of interior freedom and peace.
  • Ultimately, the way out of our individual and collective crisis situations is for each of us to do all that we can to realize how we unintentionally contribute to our collective sense of crisis.
  • The solution is spiritual … and it is a spiritual struggle. It involves each of us discovering and ascending always more fully into the heights of our own spiritual center. We do this not as a private salvation project, but to participate in one of the central Christian doctrines known as eschatology, which refers to fostering the birth of a New Earth, or as the Nicene Creed says, ”the world to come.”

Spend some time in the days and weeks ahead periodically and consistently withdrawing your awareness away from the contents of your mind. Go to that place where you can witness what your mind is doing, saying, creating. If you perceive a sense of crisis, try to stay in your awareness at a distance from what you are witnessing your mind to be doing. Notice in those particular moments that nothing your mind is creating is actually happening. You are just being, just noticing … just witnessing.

The more we can individually shift away from our minds being “in control” the more we can live an authentic spiritual life and help calm the sense of panic about us.


God has been related to and described with such terms as a Higher Power, Divine Energy, a Force, the Almighty, Absolute Being, Divine Being, etc. As well, God has even been described with theological concepts and doctrines akin to the academic; however, all such terms and relationships are quite impersonal when we reflect on the fact that God can be challenging to explain. Who is God? What is God?

For example, it can be hard to express devotion, to fall in love with, or to develop a fondness for a form of energy. Likewise expressing devotion through concepts and doctrines held within one’s intellectual mind is nigh impossible and quite ego-centered. 

The Orthodox Nativity chant proclaims with a beautiful simplicity, “God with us.” Here is God in a human being; our God to whom we can open our heart and with whom we can develop an ever-deepening devotion.

Perhaps this is why God revealed himself in the person of Jesus, whose birth we commemorate soon and whose entrance into the world split apart history as we knew it.

Spend some time this week silently gazing upon both the manger and upon Christ Jesus on the cross. Doing so can open a space in our heart where devotion to God is both born and sustained.

Crucifix of Divine Love

Traditionally understood as atonement for the sins of mankind, the crucified Jesus invites us, rather, to see and feel an all-encompassing embrace of Divine Love.

Christian theology defines God as being One God existing in three persons, each being co-equal, co-eternal, and consubstantial. This Trinity, known as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, is three persons sharing one essence. The defining statement of belief in Apostolic Christianity is the Nicene Creed. It begins, “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible…”

Nothing therefore exists outside or beyond this One God. In Isaiah 45:7 we read, “I form light and create darkness;  I make peace, and create evil;  I the LORD do all these things.”  Other translations read, “I send good times and bad times;” “I make peace and create calamity;” “I bring prosperity and create disaster.” If nothing exists outside or beyond God, then this makes perfect sense. All events have their potential and realization within the Oneness that is God.  

We often hear, and we have probably asked, that in the midst of difficulties, Where is God? or Why is God doing this? and Why is God so unfair?

God created a world of possibilities for us. Quantum Physics reveals this truth as a field of consciousness in which all sorts of potentialities and possibilities exist. We humans, made in the image and likeness of God and functioning as co-participants with God, are capable of individually and collectively creating a Heaven on earth or a hell on earth. To create and live within Heaven on earth requires our humility and sacrifice, just as we see modeled for us in the birth of Jesus amidst the humblest of circumstances, and as we see modeled in His sacrifice on the Cross–a sacrifice not of atonement but of Divine Love.

In the world, there is vast potential and possibility for us to live in darkness, evil, and violence. There also exists the vast potential and possibility for us to live within Divine Light and Love. On the cross, we see the way forward in the trajectory of the Love that is God, and of the Heart of God. We see Jesus taking upon Himself and into Himself the possibility and potential of evil, violence, and death. In turn, we conceive of this as a Trinitarian modeling of subsuming destructive energy and power that is channeled into the Light and Love of the Resurrection.

As you and I are united in and through His way of being and His pattern of life, and so choose to model it in our daily lives, we can discover within the image of the crucifix an outpouring of the Divine Love of the Blessed Trinity. There is a perceptible shift occurring; it is moving the practice of Christianity from a mental assent of dogma and doctrine to a mystical intimacy with a God of Divine and Enduring Love.

Meditating before a crucifix, properly seen, can bring us into that union and empower our lives for sacrificial service. This becomes a response of the heart, not simply a response of the mind.