To receive Christ means to tune in to the Christ consciousness within us. That consciousness is omnipresent; it is with us always. Christ consciousness is the potential rest point at the center of all conscious vibration. It is potentially manifest in every pause in activity; at the moment a wave crests, and at its depth, just before it begins its next rise. To “receive Christ” means to be aware of him as what might be called “the stillness at the heart of stillness.”

No one can achieve sainthood if he clings to his accustomed, human state of awareness. And what concerns us here is not ordinary goodness, but sainthood. Millions of people call themselves Christians (or Hindus or Buddhists or Moslems or Jews) but if their devotion is lackluster, and diluted by worldly desires, they do not yet deserve to be identified with those high designations. There are few true saints anywhere, and in any religion. Most self-described Christians, though well-meaning, could not receive Christ if they wanted to: They are too busy “receiving” so much else!

It is no easy task to transcend one’s individuality. And what is asked of those who would “receive” Christ is self-transcendence. Most people think, “This collection of thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes, and talents, and possessions is who I am.” To love God truly means to shatter such self-definitions. We must repeat constantly in our hearts, and mean it fervently, “All that I have, Lord, and all that I am is Thine alone!”

If we would truly receive Christ, we must cross the bridge over the chasm that separates our egos from divine consciousness. To “receive” Christ means to absorb him into ourselves, and to allow him to transform us into Himself.

How can “receiving him” give us power to “become the sons of God”? The answer is that what we receive is his consciousness. Paramhansa Yogananda explained this point further: A little cup, he said, cannot contain the whole ocean: Only an immense basin of land can do that. Our consciousness must expand to become a receptacle for Infinity. We must ourselves, in other words, become infinite. The “power” to know God is the power of self-expansion to infinity.


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These techniques are based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi.

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