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Part of my daily routine in my spiritual life is to
pray before getting up in the morning and also last
at night. I read the daily offering from the
Daily Meditation from the Centre for Action and Contemplation
Jesus: Human and Divine
One United Dynamic Nature
Sunday, January 27, 2019
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one
that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. —1
We’ve begun this year’s Daily Meditations
focusing on Jesus. While the Christian faith is living
and evolving, its foundation is still Jesus, the Christ.
Such a firm clear centerpiece will allow us—indeed
demand of us—that we move outward from there.
But the pieces of the Rubik’s Cube that we must
forever untangle anew are all firmly in place. The
forever union of matter and spirit, of human and divine,
of God with Creation, is revealed in human history
as Jesus, and in the cosmos as Christ.
This pretty much makes any attempts at exclusion virtually
impossible. Such wholeness at the heart of the universe
is known by other names in various religions and fields
of study, as we’ll see later this year.
Understanding how Jesus was fully human and fully divine
at the same time requires nondual consciousness. That’s
probably why it has often been best taught by mystics
who spend much time in deep prayer. For example, let’s
look closely at the Alexandrian Mystics (312–454
CE)—hermits, monks, and nuns living in the Egyptian
desert. Some of these mystics are known as the Desert
Fathers and Mothers. In general, the early Alexandrian
school represents the more mystical and nondual tradition
of Christianity, but it never dominated in the common
imperial versions of the Gospel (either Roman or Byzantine),
so it was completely lost by the time of the Protestant
This period of early Christianity is largely unknown
and of little interest to most Western Christians today.
With the self-sufficiency and arrogance that has often
characterized the West, we have proceeded as if the
first centuries of the Christian church were unimportant
or not a part of the essential Christ Mystery. So,
bear with me as I share a bit more historical and theological
nuance than I usually do.
Christian theologian and friend Amos Smith offers some
very helpful context to help us understand these early
The Alexandrian Mystics were predominantly Miaphysite
(one united dynamic nature in both Jesus and in us).
Jesus is the Great Includer and we are the endlessly
included. They were also hesychasts [practicing a form
of contemplative prayer that focused on clearing the
mind of all thoughts and sensory distractions]. These
monks and monk-bishops predate the split between Roman
Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy (1054). They also
predate the Oriental Orthodox split that eventually
followed the Council of Chalcedon (451), so they rightfully
belong to the early Church universal. . .
Miaphysite is the non-dual awareness of Christ, who
as Cyril of Alexandria put it, is “at once God
and human.” If Jesus is at once God and human,
that means as believers we cannot refer to Jesus as
God without qualifying that: “God in human form.” We
also cannot refer to Jesus as human only without qualifying
that: “the human incarnation of God.” The
legacy of Miaphysite theology is only well preserved
today in the Oriental Orthodox Church (not to be confused
with Eastern Orthodox). Miaphysite is the crown jewel
of the Alexandrian Mystics. It is the center piece
that holds the various strands of Mystic Christianity
I hope I do Amos Smith’s scholarship justice
in my brief summaries the next few days as we continue
to explore how the incarnation is essential to our
faith and how we, too, participate in this mystery
of creation embodying the divine.
Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation,
take note of what word or phrase stands out to you.
Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day,
being present to its impact and invitation.
 Amos Smith, Healing the Divide: Recovering Christianity’s
Mystic Roots (Resource Publications: 2013), 242, 253,
Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Desert Christianity
and the Eastern Fathers of the Church,” the Mendicant,
vol. 5, no. 2 (Center for Action and Contemplation:
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