“And [Jesus of Nazareth] was transfigured before them,
and his clothes because dazzling white.”
--Mark 9:2-3 (NABR)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed [metamorphized] by the renewing of your mind.
–Paul of Tarsus,
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory,
are being transformed [metamorphized] into his image with ever-increasing glory,
which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
–Paul of Tarsus,
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)
Our true self is Divine, Infinite and Perfect.
--Swami Rama of the Himalayas
The words transfigured, meaning “a change of form or appearance,” metamorphized, meaning “to change into a different physical form,” and transformed, meaning “to make a thorough or dramatic change in form, appearance or character” can be interchanged with each other. If that is true, then the Yoga Tradition and the Christian Tradition are saying that our essence as human beings is the same essence—a divine spirit. At our core we dazzle as Lord Jesus Christ dazzled on Mount Tabor in Mark’s gospel statement.
Let’s look a little closer at this similarity!
According to Christian understanding, Jesus of Nazareth revealed his divinity to three apostles on a mountain in Palestine by changing his form and showing his true essence, which was a bright, dazzling being. He was accompanied by two other bright, dazzling beings, Moses and Elijah. This event is called the transfiguration of Jesus. Jesus was, in essence, divine, is the Christian belief. His body, that eat, drank and walked around in Palestine, was the physical form of his real presence, his divinity.
This is like the reality of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. The caterpillar is the physical, gross form of the butterfly, but its essence is a spiritual essence—the glowing, dazzling butterfly. When I was teaching young children about the resurrection and the mystery of life, I would use the image of the caterpillar shedding its physical self to reveal the spiritual essence of itself. Yet, this spiritual essence was still physical. It could be seen, witnessed, experienced. That was called metamorphosis in the scientific world. It had totally revealed its core self, just like Jesus revealed his core self on the mountain.
Then, in Paul of Tarsus’s writings to the to the Romans and the Corinthians he shared the Christian belief that is totally one with the Yoga Tradition’s understanding; namely, we are spiritual beings that need to be transformed, metamorphized, transfigured into our true self, a dazzling, bright, loving divine, perfect and infinite presence. Yet, we would remain physical.
From the quantum physics perspective, we would just need to change our vibrational, gross, dense, dark physical self into a glowing, dazzling, brightness. We need to, as my local Catholic priest says, let the vitality and vibration of the spirit (our true self, our true DNA) shine forth.
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful experience and an incredible living situation in our world today if we transformed, transfigured, metamorphized ourselves into beings of love, compassion, generosity with the purpose of serving others rather than just ourselves? The whole world would be brighter. I have a sneaking opinion that this is the destiny and goal of humanity.
However, how do we do that? How do we transform our human existence into this divine reality? Mystical Christianity and the Yoga Tradition know how to do this. It is through prayer, contemplation and meditation. These are our paths to transfiguration, to transformation, to metamorphosis.
Let’s explore those three practices in more detail in the next writing.
I pray to that Divinity within all of us!