In the Western Spiritual Tradition one of the names give to the Divine is Holy Spirit. How do we understand this concept and come to embody it more fully?
Growing up Catholic, one of the first things I learned as part of worship and prayer was to make the sign of the cross: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.” The concept of God as loving, Divine parent (as in Father) and the concept of Jesus as an expression of the Divine (Son) was pretty easy to grasp. But understanding of the Holy Spirit tended to elude me. Apparently this is true for the Church as well since there is very little written on the theology of the Holy Spirit. The best I could gather was taken from the Pentecost story when the disciples experienced the Holy Spirit like a flame coming out of the heavens and coming to rest at the top of their heads. (Acts 2: 1-4) In my own lived experience, I was taught to believe that the I would receive the Holy Spirit through my confirmation when the Bishop layed his hands on the top of my head. Sadly, I did not have any sort of life altering experience when the Bishop layed his hands on the top of my head, as such, the Holy Spirit remained a mystery.
As I have embarked upon and fully embraced the path of spiritual growth, however, the concept of the Holy Spirit has begun to make sense. I am grateful for my exploration of the Eastern Spiritual traditions and my own contemplation of Hebrew and Christian scriptures that have helped to illuminate the Holy Spirit and how we can better comprehend, experience and embody the fullness of this expression of the Divine. Here is my current working theory on the Holy Spirit and how we can come to experience this aspect of the Divine more fully:
The Holy Spirit is the Kundalini energy referred to in the Eastern Spiritual traditions. The Holy Spirit is the in-dwelling presence of the Divine and the seed of our human potential. In Eastern Energy medicine the Holy Spirit/Kundalini is imagined as a seed, a lotus, a flame or a serpent that lies dormant in the deepest center of our being – most frequently depicted as lying dormant at the base of our spine/root chakra. This in-dwelling presence of the Divine is God seeking to be expressed uniquely through us through our God-given gifts and call. As we grow spiritually, this Divine potential is unleashed within us, freeing us, liberating us, healing us to embody and live the fullness of our human potential. As we allow the Holy Spirit within us to be unleashed, we are freed to live more and more fully as the uniquely magnificent beings God created us to be. We come to know our gifts. We nurture and cultivate these gift, and we freely and openly share these gifts in the world. It is through the sharing of our gifts that the love of God that seeks to be made manifest in the world is expressed through us and in sharing our gifts, others are inspired to come to know their own unique magnificence as well.
This understanding of the Holy Spirit is present within the Christian scriptures if we take the time to seek the truth beyond the words. The Pentecost experience depicted in the Christian scriptures described this moment of awakening as it was felt by Jesus’ disciples. Through the Pentecost experience, the disciples who had previously been hiding in the Upper Room for fear of persecution, suddenly became empowered to freely and openly share God’s truth in the world (as revealed to them by Jesus, the Christ). Scripture describes this Pentecost experience as flames coming down from heaven. I think it was more like that which is described in the Eastern texts, the Kundalini is awakened at the base of the spine and moves up through the body, exploding out of the top of the head as a flame reaching towards the heavens. Looking at the Pentacost experience from this perspective allows us to let go of our perceptions of God as outside of us, and invites us to seek the Divine that dwells within. Setting aside these perceptions of separation opens us to a deeper and more intimate understanding of the Holy Spirit as the aspect of the Divine that dwells within and that seeks to be made known in the world through our own unique magnificence. Think of it this way, the Holy Spirit is the acorn that holds within it the fullness of our potential, and when we allow this acorn to be open and grow within us, only then can we become the magnificent oak that we were intended to become.
What has been your understanding of the Holy Spirit?
How can you connect more fully with the Divine Potential that seeks to be made manifest through you?
How can you embody your own Divine Potential?
Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth
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