The Tao of Christ is a podcast which explores the mystical roots of Christianity, which Jesus called the Kingdom of God, which church historian Evelyn Underhill called the Unitive Life, which Richard Rohr calls the Universal Christ, and which I refer to as Christian nonduality, unitive awareness, or union with God. This is the Tao of Christ.
The Way of Nondual Love
Love is still alive and well in spirituality. It is the heart of what I call Christian nonduality. Love is the way of spiritual awakening. It is the Tao of Christ, the Way of Christ. Love may seem to be a dualistic activity because it appears to be about relationships, and relationships imply two or more, hence dual. But in actuality love transcends duality. It is an expression of unity that transcends and embraces duality.
Transcending the Duality of Politics
It is election time in the United States. Elections always raise the issue of how nonduality is expressed in such a dualistic exercise as politics. There is no better example of duality than American politics, especially the polarized form of politics that has emerged in recent years in our country.
Nonduality can be expressed in all dualistic activities, including politics. We do not have to go off into the forest or a monastery or an ashram to live a spiritual life. The apparent tension between nondual spirituality and politics is not real, because in nonduality there is no real tension. It is only apparent tension. Indeed in nonduality all dualities are resolved.
How to Speak with a Fundamentalist
The topic of this episode comes from a listener. He wrote in part:
“Your videos are infused with insights that aid the nondualist in speaking with dualists. However, there is not (or at least I did not see) a single video that addresses these insights together. This request may seem counterintuitive: why should a nondualist need to defend themselves? Sadly, I come from a large family of Fundamentalist Christians, and I am constantly harangued because I am not a Fundamentalist. … Unfortunately, as you may imagine, I do not get very far when I share my view in this way, and so, I would benefit greatly by a video of the aforementioned suggestion.”
His actual suggestion was worded as “How to talk to a dualist.” I am calling this episode “How to Speak with a Fundamentalist” but it applies to non-fundamentalist theists as well.
The Third Way of Awakening
There is one question I am asked often. In various ways people ask what they can do to help them wake up. In this episode I answer that question using the Book of Ecclesiastes as a source. I explore three ways of awakening: Self-inquiry, God-inquiry, and Life-inquiry.
In this episode I tell some stories about idol-smashing, beginning with the Midrash about Abraham destroying the idols of his father’s idol-making workshop. In telling these stories of idol-smashing I discern the spiritual meaning behind iconoclasm. I am talking about smashing spiritual and religious and intellectual and theological and philosophical idols. Idols of the heart. The spiritual search is an iconoclastic process. In particular I address the idols of Christianity, but I also address the idols of the nondualism spiritual movement.
Beyond Relationship with God
Many Christians talk about having a relationship with God. Evangelicals in particular speak of the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They say this begins when one “receives Jesus into your heart” or “accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.” This relationship is thought to continue after death in heaven, where one will have a relationship with God and Christ forever.
Evangelicals frequently distinguish themselves from other Christians – like mainline Protestants and Catholics - by saying that these groups only have religion, but “born again” believers have a relationship with God, and that makes all the difference. The slogan goes something like this: “It is not a religion. It is a relationship” or “It is not about religion; it is about a relationship with God.” You can even buy t-shirts, mugs and caps with that slogan, if you are so inclined.
I go one step further. I say, “It is not about religion or relationship. It is about realization.” By “realization” I am referring to Self-realization or God-realization, waking up to the Spiritual Reality that Jesus called the Kingdom of God. Others call it spiritual awakening or enlightenment.
Part the veil…
I’ve been listening to The Tao of Christ for a couple years now. I grew up with the teachings of Christ but never connected with the Christian church. After surviving a lot of tragedy and seeking a new way to live I found the practices of Yoga and Meditation. I began to learn about eastern teachings such as the Tao, the yoga sutras, and the Gita… these teachings reconnected me to the teachings of Jesus Christ and I began to see that God is bigger and greater than a single perspective. For the first time in my life I felt like I could feel the presence of God and an undeniable connection to all life. Marshall Davis does an amazing job cutting through the illusion of western religion and getting to the heart of what Jesus Christ was trying to tell us. We are all the children of God. Realize the kingdom of God is within us… heaven is here and now. Thank you Marshall for taking the time to share! Love, peace, and joy be with you!
I love listening to the podcasts. I was just curious what Bible Translation has the most accurate non dual language? The fundamentalist, literal, flat reading of scripture is so hardwired into my head that it can be difficult to pick up on some of the non dual aspects of Jesus’ teachings without having it spelled out for me.
NonDuality, I’ve been searching for you my entire life. This is a wonderful exercise I’m so glad someone recommended.