Years ago, before I was 21 I came across something in the Book of John - a something that I now know is called non-dualism. I did not know what this meant then, but I could perceive that when John spoke of Jesus, the Living Word as being the Light and the Light of the world, it was non-dualism that was being sign-posted. What he meant was that in Christ we are one with God now.
Just so we know, dualism means that a thing is separated from its essence. Where Jesus is concerned it mean that He is the Living Word of God. The separation of God into God and the law is an example of dualism. People caught in this trap make a god out of the law and imagine that they are Godly if they ‘keep the law.’ But the command of God is to believe His Son and agree with Christ that He is our life.
Informed Believers understand that Jesus is life itself as well as truth and being. To live this is to be born again. We are not born again until Christ is our life. Leanne Payne in her book Real Presence explodes the notion that there is us and then there is a structure of good and evil to which we attempt to comply. She states following C. S. Lewis that because of the incarnation Christ’s life is our life.
There was once a Baptist journal available in Melbourne entitled ‘On Being.’ Being is a notion of non-dualism as in being a son/daughter of God rather than a collection of Christian virtues and abstentions. You are whole, not because you have a whole person approach but because you have been made on in Christ’s oneness.
‘I am the way, the truth and the life’ is the foundational non-dualist statement of ultimate being. Jesus was this as the manifestation among us of the Holy Trinity. He was one with His Father. In Jesus you are one with God.
YOU THE EXPRESSION OF CHRIST
We are not priests and kings because we have conformed to some ideal. We are so because the ideal has been expressed by Jesus in and as us. The common misconception is to live as a binary. The new and living way is for Christ to be expressed as you. We are graced by Jesus’ life. Graced with His life as our life.
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. What we have here is oneness with God.
Leanne Payne’s book Real Presence is an explanation of non-dualism by way of incarnation. Sin separates real from ideal. Outside of Christ the real stands separate to us accusing us. In Christ the Real is both in us and with us as Christ draws us into Himself and His life. We are, since the cross, already in Him. Our life journey is the opportunity for us to grow into the reality of Christ our life and in doing so become who we are as sons and daughters of God.
RELIGION IS NOT SPIRITULITY
I suspect that all spiritual people, as opposed to religious people have some intuition that oneness with God means a healed relationship with God and a growing oneness of self that has resulted from the healing of a fractured self.
NON-DUALISM IS SIMPLY ONENESS WITH GOD
Dualism is an illusion of the knowledge of good and evil. Faith communities that have made a life out of sacred and secular participate in this illusion. The fact it that Jesus has ‘made the two one’ in every way. This is the meaning of Christ is all and in all.
‘Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all’ Col 3.11 NIV. Paul is referring to people as well as the entire Reality we call life.
Non-dualism can be expressed as seeing situations as a glass-half full. But we need to take care that this perspective does not obscure the fact that some glasses are running over with life and some glasses contain but a few drops of water at the bottom of the glass. These are the legalism glasses. Keep in mind, that before the fall dualism was not part of our reality. It’s a function of separation from God and the compartmentalizing of life known as knowledge of good and evil.
Rev Whitney Altopp observed that “Non-dualistic thinking has opened for me a way to accept and proclaim the redeeming work of the Living God; the grace known in Jesus Christ. So, I’m passionate about cultivating this practice within myself, and coaching others in it as well, so that the Always Redeeming Love of God can be made known in the world.”
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
The Kingdom of God is like a seed in the ground or a yeast in a loaf. In Australia a gum tree seed can start to grow. Come back in 200 years and it will be a huge tree. The Kingdom of God grows in us when the seed in us is Christ our life. We become trees of life in our daily life. Unlike the gum tree we are spirit and life.