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  • Writer's pictureRev. Ani

Jnana Yoga: The Path of Wisdom

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

an introduction for Christians

photo by Paola Chaaya on

“Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.” Colossians 3:2-4

Yoga means to yoke up or join with the higher consciousness of Love. For Christians, this Love is Christ. Jnana yoga is the path of yoking to Christ through wisdom. The traveler on this path finds God in intellectual and philosophical pursuits. The wisdom seeker ponders the nature of the True self and asks, “Who am I?”

The inquiry of the wisdom seeker progresses through the negation of the false self in search of that which is eternal. For example, the wisdom seeker asks the following questions:

“Am I my name?” “No, my name is just a collection of letters in the alphabet.

“Am I my body?” “No, the body I have now is different than the form I had as a baby and changes in all my life stages.”

“Am I my personality?” “No, my personality is just a collection of beliefs, attributes, and preferences that have evolved throughout my life.”

“Am I my thoughts?” “No, my thoughts are constantly changing.”

“Am I my emotions?” “No, emotions are just energy flowing thorough me.”

“Am I the roles I play?” “No, those roles are directly tied to this earthly life and vary according to the situation.”

Through this line of inquiry, the wisdom seeker comes in contact with their true nature in Christ and transmits this knowledge to others. The great jnana yogi, Thomas Merton, described the True Self thusly, “To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.” (New Seeds of Contemplation, Chapter 8)

On the path of wisdom, Teresa of Avila, 15th century mystic, advised, “Always visualize your soul as vast, spacious, and plentiful. This amplitude is impossible to exaggerate. The soul’s capacity far transcends our imagining. The sun at the center of this place radiates to every part.” (The Interior Castle, First Dwelling)

For those who are drawn to philosophical pursuits, the path of jnana yoga offers an open door to yoking with Christ. Learning to dis-identify with all that is impermanent is the primary practice of this spiritual journey. As the transient is shed, the wisdom seeker understands themselves as an integral part of the eternal Christ. After her near-death experience when she encountered Jesus, Julian of Norwich, 14th century mystic, proclaimed, “Our soul is made to be God’s dwelling place; and the soul’s dwelling place is God, who is not made. It is a tremendous thing to have an inner assurance that God, our Creator, dwells within our soul. Yet it is even more tremendous to know that our soul, our created soul, dwells in the essential being of God! We are what we are because we come from that being.” (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 54) May the same mind be in you that is in Christ Jesus.

Namaste (Christ in me greets Christ in you)

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