Holy Baptism (Spirit-Initiation)

Baptism and Shaktipat

Can you compare Christian Baptism with Hindu Shaktipat?

The Indian yogic term Shaktipat means the “descent of Divine Power.” Receiving Shaktipat initiation is equivalent to being baptized by the Spirit. John the Baptist initiated disciples the same way a Shaktipat guru does. Even though he wasn’t a fully enlightened master, a Christ, he was a powerful yogi with the ability to transmit Shakti to ripe seekers.

Is a guru necessary for baptism?

It depends on the seeker. Innumerable yogis have awakened to the Spirit without the help of a human intermediary, but the Grace flowing through a master, or even an advanced teacher, can often trigger the Spirit-baptism of a disciple. Empowered spiritual sites, such as holy temples and sacred burial grounds, can also facilitate initiation.

Electrical Baptism

What is the best way for a disciple to awaken to the Spirit on his own? I have no interest in searching for a guru.

The spiritual practice that generates the most “voltage,” or conscious “push,” is what most effectively pulls down the Spirit-current from above. And this practice is the discipline of Holy Relationship (or Communion). Conscious push = relational force, and this relational force instigates the flow of Grace from above. Holy Relationship (or Communion) is simply the practice, or sacred discipline, of religiously, or intensely and devotedly, plugging into the Divine Being (or Source), and receiving, or conducting, His Power (or Spirit-energy). Thus, the best way to awaken to the Spirit and receive your initial “Gift from God” is to practice Holy Communion.

Even if you don’t want a guru, you should participate in a spiritual prayer/meditation group and/or find a sacred, empowered church or temple to practice in. The spiritual force field generated by a group or provided by a holy temple significantly favors the flow of Shakti. In a gross secular environment, it is much more difficult to invoke the descent of the Divine. Even advanced disciples benefit from the free flow of Grace available in a sacred milieu.

What does it feel like when the Spirit initiates you?

It varies according to one’s karma. In some cases, the “touch” from above is light; in other cases, it is intense, as the Divine Power seems to crash down on the disciple. Usually, it is felt as a distinct pressure in the head, particularly in the third-eye area. One’s head and/or body may jerk or shake in response to the Spirit’s invasion.

Once you awaken to the Spirit, you can rest in its Power and mystically (or yogically) contemplate the Divine. In Christian mysticism, this stage of contemplation is termed infused contemplation. Prior to infused contemplation, the disciple practices acquired contemplation, prayer and meditation exercises that help him to establish a connection to the Divine. Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk who has championed the resurgence of the contemplative dimension of the Gospel, calls these two stages of contemplation centering prayer and contemplative prayer. Keating’s book Open Mind, Open Heart, which I strongly recommend, is an excellent introductory text to the Christian contemplative tradition.

You say that the Eucharist is the “whole of Christianity,” but now you are emphasizing baptism. Can you clarify the relationship between the Eucharist and baptism?    

In The Foundations of Mysticism, author Bernard McGinn, the foremost scholar of Western Christian mysticism, identifies baptism as “foundation” and Eucharist as “crown” relative to the teachings of Jesus. In other words, according to McGinn, the “rock” that true Christianity is built on is baptism. For unless you are baptized by (or in) the Spirit, the Eucharist has no real significance. A good analogy is an electric lamp. Ohm’s Law (analogous to the Eucharist) can be said to represent the lamp’s functioning circuitry, the physics that enables it to shine light. But unless the lamp receives power from a source (analogous to baptism and Spirit-reception), it can’t be turned on, and Ohm’s Law will have no significance relative to it.

As long as you are practicing acquired contemplation (or centering prayer/meditation), you haven’t received Power from the Source; hence the “electrical“(or Spirit-energized) Eucharist remains just an abstraction to you. But once you’ve been baptized and have graduated to the practice of infused contemplation (contemplative prayer, or empowered meditation), then the Eucharist—the sacrament of becoming Christ-like by virtue of Grace—concretely represents the whole of Christianity to you.

Baptism by Water and Fire

What is the significance of being baptized in water?

Water baptism symbolizes the washing away of sin through a new life to be lived in the Spirit. But, of course, in mainstream churches, baptism is merely ceremonial, and the “initiated” are not really initiated. Because water is the universal solvent, it is the perfect symbol for the cleansing from original, or primal, sin, separation from God. But symbolic baptism can’t save you from your primal sin of separation; only baptism in (or by) the Spirit can.

Why is the Spirit sometimes referred to as the Baptist Fire?

Our sins are not just “washed away” by the Spirit; they are also “fried” in the Baptist Fire, the flaming heat of the Light-energy from above. God is an all-consuming Fire, and unless you submit to His white-hot Energy, and are transformed into a living Flame, a single, radiant Intensity, you cannot become spiritually en-Light-ened. Ultimately, the Spirit is experienced as a Bliss-current—but before you can rest in the Ambrosia from above, you must first suffer the heat of the purgatorial Fire.

Spirit-baptism can begin as a light and pleasant experience, a “touch” from above. But at some point, if your spiritual life is to evolve into a truly Spirit-full one, you must experience the fiery, violent action of the Spirit. Matthew 11:12 says, “The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” This was true in the days of John the Baptist, and it is true today. The force of your Plugged-in Presence must pull down the Highest Power, the Upper Force, and this Force, or Spirit-power, must “violently,” or intensely and energetically, purify your bodymind, transforming you into a fit vehicle for the Divine.

Why doesn’t the Church teach this?

We live in a dumbed-down, de-esotericized society, created and perpetuated by both the State (the leviathan government) and the Church (the conventional religious establishment). The State (via its army of brain-dead bureaucrats and secular educators) preaches statism, servitude to the fascist, neo-Marxist, Mafia-like government; and the Church (via its collection of depthless pulpiteers masquerading as “holy men”) preaches churchianity, blind belief in exoteric Christian dogma. Just as the State, through public schools, including universities, fails to teach individualism, the principle of personal and economic liberty espoused in the U.S. Constitution, likewise, the Church neglects to teach spirituality, the principles of Spirit baptism and Spirit communion.

It sounds like the Matrix.

Exactly. The State, Corporate America, and the Mainstream Media (which obediently pushes the messages of the State and Corporate America) have, in a neo-Orwellian manner, combined to create a Matrix of sorts, a sociocultural zeitgeist that, in effect, puts a ceiling on individual freedom, intellectual inquiry, and spiritual verticality. The Church creates its own form of the Matrix, brainwashing its “sheep” with an exoteric, anti-mystical, ultra-moralistic version of real Christianity.

So we need to take the red pill, not the blue.

Take the Shakti pill, and wash it down with Holy Water from above. For if you want to ascend above the Matrix, you must first allow the Holy Spirit to crash down through it, so it can liberate you, allowing you, like the phoenix, to rise above the “Network of Madness.”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

KDC September 13, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Hello Mr. Gardner,

I found this article very interesting, especially about the baptism of fire. When I was about 14, I did Confirmation and received an oil-anointed blessing by a bishop at the Episcopal church I went to. I remember when receiving the blessing that I did feel this inner radiation or even electric kind of sensation, I literally felt like I was radiating from within and outward, I would consider that maybe my first mystical experience. It was truly something amazing. I respect that it could be different for everyone but wanted to share that. In my case anyway, I have always sensed a Holy presence which has shown up in different ways (meeting my future husband or getting good or bad vibes from people or places, etc). You have an awesome website. I am reading Electrical Christianity now and the name is pretty catchy, I’m sure for good reasons :) Bless you and keep it up!

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L. Ron Gardner September 14, 2014 at 3:17 pm

KDC, I’m glad you appreciate this site and “Electrical Christianity.” Hopefully you’ll be able to practice Plugged-in Presence and regularly experience “electrical” Blessings.

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