“Only God is love, and for this love to be fully realized self must step aside. And not only do we not need a self to love God, but for the same reason we do not need a mind to know him, for that in us which knows God, is God.” — Bernadette Roberts
Bernadette Roberts is a Carmelite nun who reached a deep state of union through the Christian practice of contemplation. She continues a long tradition of mysticism within the Carmelite Order that goes back to Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila.
Roberts joined the Carmelite Order at a very young age after having had many experiences she described as mystical and transcendental. Her means of prayer and contemplation was to sit and rest in absolute quiet. In that quiet solitude she found what she was looking for.
Her work describes it as a two-stage process. The first stage is to unite with the divine within. Joining with the spiritual presence begins a person’s mature phase in life. The following step, one which she believes is largely missing from previous Christian mystical works, is the complete loss of self. The self plunges into a dark and silent abyss. It is forever loss, leaving no sense of duality whatsoever in the seeker.
Bernadette Roberts is refreshingly free of the language one often associates with enlightenment. While she admittedly brings her own Christian perspective to the table, her expressions seem genuinely personal.
In her unpublished work The Real Christ, she challenges the common understanding of who Jesus Christ was. As she explains it, the Christ was the divine unity Jesus, as a regular man, achieved. He was not a God but one of many of God’s expressions in this world. Roberts explains that we all have this potential for union. This is hardly a new understanding but her insider status makes it more palatable for Christians to consider. Interestingly, this viewpoint coincides with Marshall Vian Summer‘s perspective as elaborated in the New Message from God teachings.
The moment was unheralded, unrecognized, and unknown; it was the moment “I” entered a great silence and never returned. Beyond the threshold of the known, the door upon self was closed, but the door upon the Unknown was opened in a fixed gaze that could not look away. Impossible to see the self, to remember the self, or to be self-consciousness, the mind was restricted to the present moment. The more it tried to reflect back on itself, the more overpowering the silence… Read the rest of Bernadette Robert’s enlightenment story.
- Bernadette Roberts website maintained by her close friends and associates.