Although the term “Christ Consciousness” is used extensively in the Cayce readings (181 readings), "Christ Spirit" is much less common (38 readings). The main context for the usage of Christ Spirit is in the study group readings (262 series), particularly in the lesson on The Open Door.
In fact, in the first readings for this lesson, the affirmation zeroes in on Christ Spirit as the essence of the lesson:
AS THE FATHER KNOWETH ME, SO MAY I KNOW THE FATHER, THROUGH THE CHRIST SPIRIT, THE DOOR TO THE KINGDOM OF THE FATHER. SHOW THOU ME THE WAY. (262-27)
Along with an affirmation, the first reading for a lesson also typically provides an overview or summary of the key points that are to be focused upon. Thus in the lesson overview, Christ Spirit is again emphasized strongly, calling it the “door.”
(Q) What should be the basis and fundamental thoughts to be presented in the lesson on THE OPEN DOOR?
(A) The Christ Spirit is the door, the truth, the way; not the man for, as the Father knoweth thee, so may ye know the Father through the exemplifying of His attributes in the earth. Little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, for the glory of the Father – not the exaltation of thine own self; for with the exaltation of self – or the gratifying of the desires of flesh – the door closes. (262-27)
Notice the importance given to manifesting the Christ Spirit in the earth: "Little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little …." This is a common pattern in all the readings that discuss Christ Spirit – it is an activity, putting into practice the spiritual knowledge, the fruits of the spirit, so to speak. In short, Christ spirit is about application. Application of spiritual truth opens the door to higher levels of consciousness – Christ Consciousness or the awareness of oneness with God. The relationship between Christ Consciousness and Christ Spirit is distinct, as was noted in a subsequent reading:
(Q) Please explain clearly the difference between the Christ Consciousness, the Christ Spirit.
(A) As the difference might be given in that which makes for the birth in the flower, and the flower. The consciousness of the Spirit and the abilities to apply same are the differences in the Christ Consciousness, the Christ Spirit. (262-29)
Notice that the difference is a matter of consciousness (awareness) and the application. We may know or have an awareness of a spiritual truth, but putting it into practical application makes all the difference. It is the application that opens the door to higher levels of consciousness. Thus this lesson is a preparation for the next one (In God’s Presence). To fully grasp the meaning of Christ Spirit and its distinction from Christ Consciousness, we will consider each in turn.
Let’s review the concept of Christ Consciousness that we have encountered in previous lessons.
(Q) Should the Christ-Consciousness be described as the awareness within each soul, imprinted in pattern on the mind and waiting to be awakened by the will, of the soul's oneness with God?
(A) Correct. That's the idea exactly! (5749-14)
Notice the use of the terms “awareness” and “pattern on the mind.” Christ Consciousness is essentially a function of the mind. Here are a couple more quotes that reinforce this connection:
Know that as the Mind is represented by the Christ-Consciousness, it is the Builder, it is the Way, it is the Truth, it is the Light; that is, through the manner in which the Mind is held. (1348-1)
Christ-Consciousness representing what in thy daily experience, thy daily contacts? whether in the street, in the commercial life, in the world of every nature? MIND! (1472-6)
Thus Christ Consciousness, the mental pattern of oneness with God, resides within each of us as a potential waiting to be awakened.
It is Christ Spirit that opens the door and awakens a higher level of consciousness or awareness within the mind:
THIS, then, IS that which should be the ideal OF this body, "In Him will I put my trust, as to open the way that I may have a better insight as to what He would have me do, day by day. In the relationships with individuals about them, with the individuals who have known them best, with the individuals whom I may meet only in the passing, will there be seen by those even who run, that the Christ spirit hath awakened the body-consciousness, the mental forces of the body itself. (3871-1)
Notice the role of the ideal as a focal point for the awakening and energizing effects of the Christ Spirit. We shall return to this important point shortly. But for now let’s consider the meaning of the term Christ Spirit itself.
The term Christ was first used within the ancient Jewish tradition, where it meant Messiah or Anointed One – the special person who was to come and restore the people in their relationship to the One God. Although not accepted by Jews as the Christ or Messiah, the individual Jesus has been identified with the Christian tradition as the Messiah, a means of restoring Oneness with God.
We have seen this previously in the definition of Christ Consciousness – awareness of the pattern in the mind of ONENESS WITH GOD. Thus Christ = oneness with God. Since consciousness = awareness, Christ Consciousness = “awareness” of the oneness with God.
Spirit is synonymous with energy, activity, movement and motivation. We use the expression, “The spirit moved me.” A future lesson on Spirit delves into this defining quality of spirit, so you may want to skip ahead and watch the video overview if this concept is unfamiliar to you.
When we put the two words together we have Christ Spirit. In essence, Christ Spirit is an energy of oneness with God, an expression of the Divine within. In practice, Christ Spirit is the energy or spirit with which you do something; being the highest spirit or energy that you can express. In this lesson the concept of “Christ spirit” is emphasized as a means of opening the door to higher consciousness (Christ Consciousness) as a prelude to experiencing God’s Presence in the next lesson.
Consistent with Judeo-Christian tradition, the meaning of Christ in the Cayce readings is oneness with God. The life of Jesus is the ultimate example of this oneness as lived in a flesh body on this planet. Thus Jesus became Christ, attained Christ Consciousness (awareness) and expressed Christ Spirit (activity in the world). The readings insist that we each become Christ by following that example.
“The Christ Spirit comes as a result of Christ-like action…. When we are aware of the Christ Consciousness within, we begin to put into action the Christ Spirit without. (Study Group #1, 1992, p. 82)
This process leads us back to role of ideals, as a practical means of working with Christ Spirit and Christ Consciousness.
Spiritual, Mental, Physical
The lesson must ever be, the spirit is the life, the mind is the builder, and the physical is the result. (Study Group #1, 1992, p. 82)
This triune pattern of spiritual, mental and physical should be pretty familiar by now. To be sure, we have covered this in almost every lesson and particularly when exploring Ideals, Faith, and Patience.
Christ Spirit: The highest form of energy, God Force
Christ Consciousness: The highest awareness within the mind of oneness with God
Physical Result: The manifestation of God’s love in the world through our activity and behaviors.
This is the pattern of working with ideals – holistic manifestation centered on a spiritual ideal. If that ideal is oneness with God (Christ Consciousness), then we can expect our application (mental and physical ideals) to open the door of Christ Spirit. That is the essence of this lesson. But the choice to open the door is ours. It is a matter of using our will constructively and actively. Like Faith and Patience, Christ Spirit is active.
Christ Spirit in the Body
As the Christ Spirit is manifest outwardly through our physical ideals as service to others in the external world, we may also experience this powerful divine energy within our physical bodies during meditation. As Mark Thurston pointed out in his supplemental resource for the lesson on The Open Door:
And so, a special relationship exists between the … Leydig and the pineal (i.e., between the closed and the open door). The readings suggest that the most effective way to work with meditation is to raise the energy associated with … [the] Leydig directly to the level of the pineal temporarily by-passing the other lower centers. That energy then awakens the highest center (associated with the pituitary) and flows back down to cleanse the patterns of consciousness related to the lower centers. (Thurston, 1976, p. 88)
The raised energy associated with higher states of consciousness is powerful and sacred. Opening the door may lead to mystical experiences or higher states of consciousness, as was mentioned in the video overview. This is particularly true with regard to deep meditation, as described in the Attunement video at the beginning of this course.
- Spirit = energy, movement.
- Consciousness = awareness, mental patterns (i.e., Mind).
When opening The Door during meditation, some people do experience movement of energy (i.e., spirit, lifeforce) through the centers of the body culminating in increased awareness or consciousness as it flows into the head (sometimes experienced as a flash of light). To the extent that one is using "oneness with God" (i.e., Christ) as the ideal, this might be considered as the experience of Christ Spirit opening The Door to Christ Consciousness (awareness of oneness with God).
It is through meditation that we become aware of the existence of the spiritual forces within, that we unlock the door between our physical and spiritual bodies. Through this door come impulses from the soul, seeking expression in the physical.
Our souls are endowed with many faculties that are limited and bound by our impressions in the physical. The soul is always present, always willing to express its true purpose, its true relationship with the Creator. Through meditation we make this possible; we open the door. (Study Group #1, p. 9)
Keep in mind that this lesson is leading us in the direction of being in God’s presence. So you may experience some form of altered higher consciousness as you work to express the Christ Spirit and use meditation to attune within. You may even experience some bodily sensations or physical phenomena as the energy moves through the body. Don’t force the issue or feel pressure to make anything happen; just let it happen if you feel ready. It should be spontaneous and have the quality of a gift. Ideally, you will start to become more aware of the immedicacy of God and the possibility of direct contact with the divine as you move forward with these lessons. The effect might quite subtle. As the first study group noted when they wrote this lesson:
… so we open the door. Then it is that we heed the call to the Spirit within that stands ever ready to commune with us. It does not come in the whirlwind, but as a still small voice. (Study Group # 1, 1992, pp. 83-84)
Study Group # 1. (1992). A Search For God. 34th Printing. Virginia Beach, VA: A.R.E. Press.
Thurston, M. (1976). Experiments in a Search for God. Virginia Beach, VA: A.R.E. Press.
Opening The Seals – Video from the Revelation (Rivers of Light) project. Note that service to others in daily life (e.g., my daughter) represent Christ Spirit in action that activated a higher state of consciousness (kundalini awakening) during deep meditation.