The Centre (The Independent Church of Australia, The Independent Church in New Zealand, Het Esoterisch Christelikj Centrum in The Netherlands) was founded in 1969. Our message is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory!’ and our purpose is to set people free.
This purpose is worked out through a total dedication to bringing the spiritual teachings alive within us; through praying, meditating and working so that the life of Christ, which exists as a seed within us, is nurtured and grows into maturity.
We believe that the final goal of humanity is perfection and wholeness and that the fulfilled, balanced human being is the most potent, free being in the universe. To become free is a process which involves the whole person and the whole of their life; the heart, the head and the hands; the body, the soul and the spirit; the heavens and the earth. In our Centre we seek to harmonise and unify all these areas in order to create a lifestyle which is in accord with the vision of what human beings can be. We call this our healing ministry and it is expressed through four key areas:
- worship and devotion
- study and learning
- fellowship and working with others
- creative self-expression
These are the cornerstones of our spiritual community and the means by which we come to know ourselves as evolving spiritual beings with a unique destiny to fulfill.
The principles underlying this philosophy are embodied in our affirmation which every member holds in common. This Affirmation is said at every Cosmic Mass and by it we affirm the spiritual basis on which our lives are built.
that the dweller in the innermost spiritual sanctum of a human being,
which is the real self,
is of the same essence as that spiritual reality which we call God,
with is within, beyond and behind the universe;
that the nature of this ultimate reality,
unknowable to the intellect, but knowable to the heart, is love;
that perfect justice rules the world,
that all God’s children will one day reach his feet;
that God was manifest in the Lord Jesus Christ,
reconciling the world unto himself.
There are five major principles inherent within it:
Our real self is divine
We know that the dweller in the innermost spiritual sanctum of a human being which is the real self, is of the same essence as that spiritual reality which we call God.
We recognise that we are created in the image and likeness of God, that our origin is in God and our real self is therefore divine. We also acknowledge that at this stage of our journey we are imperfect and incomplete and that the image of God is only dimly seen within us. Nevertheless we recognise that the reality of that image of God is always there and we actively work toward the time when Christ will be perfectly manifested in us.
We recognise that the spirit in us is immortal and although we live now in a particular body under particular circumstances, our spirit has existed from eternity and will exist to eternity. As we journey through time, our soul is able to take within itself more and more of that immortality and express more and more of that divinity
God’s nature is revealed to us
We know that the nature of this ultimate reality is love.
This is to know that whatever the outer circumstances of our lives or the lives of others may be, these are the results of love. This may mean that we have to change our view of what love is, for God's love is not sentimental. It is a strong love that wills only our ultimate good and therefore does not protect us from those experiences that we need in order to grow and for which we came into incarnation. To know this is a revelation to the heart rather than to the mind.
Since we are made in the image and likeness of God, since Christ dwells within us, it follows that we too are love beings. As we recognise this love within the universe, we recognise it within ourselves and can express it to others. The outcome of the divine life in us is this: “Love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
What happens in the world is the result of the unchanging laws of the universe
We know that perfect justice rules the world.
If we are able to see from the viewpoint of eternity, we would see the chain of cause and effect that has brought certain things to pass in our lives and the lives of others, and we would see that justice and love go hand in hand. What we now reap is the result of what we have done in this life and in previous lives. This is sometimes referred to as the law of karma or, in the words of St Paul, “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7).
The effect of this realisation is to view the experiences that now come to us as essential for our balancing and growth in spiritual development. It is to know that all things work together for good. It is to know that nothing is ever lost. It is to know that our thoughts, words and actions in the present are the seeds of future lives. In short it is to take responsibility for all that we now are and will be.
Evolution is the process by which we progress until we emerge into the fullness of our destiny as children of God
That all God’s children will one day reach his feet.
The whole movement of the universe is towards the perfect expression of the divine in humanity. We choose to actively work with this movement of life by becoming aware of what is progressive, forward-moving and uniting. The goal of our development is to fully express our divine nature, the Christ in us. At different times in world evolution this has meant different things, as our capacity evolves and grows. At this stage of our evolution, to express the I AMness (the spiritual individuality) of Christ means:
- Being in control of our emotions and using our feelings for the benefit of others.
- Becoming conscious and responsible for our thinking and using it creatively.
- Encountering evil and transforming it into good.
- An awareness that we are citizens of the heavens as well as citizens of the earth, that we are surrounded by a host of spiritual beings, and that what we do ‘below’ has an effect ‘above’.
In Jesus Christ, we see the divine fully expressed within human life. Through his death the course of world evolution has been altered.
We know that God was manifest in the Lord Jesus Christ reconciling the world unto himself.
The Centre is Christ-oriented. We recognise the validity of all religions as spiritual paths and philosophies, but we see also that through Jesus Christ a new force entered into the earth which gave us the power to realise our spiritual identity and so walk a spiritual path.
In Jesus Christ, we see the picture of the Son of God in human form and the power to realise this sonship in ourselves. Through the event of Golgotha, the blood of Christ, the Sun God, entered into this world. This has been working, like a seed in the earth, for the last 2000 years. Over this time we have seen, slowly but surely, an increased human power to love and to give of self beyond our narrow cultural limitations. Golgotha gave to us the power to ‘burst the sheath of selfhood.’
The resurrection gave to us the power to transform and redeem our physical bodies, so they become bodies of light once more. It was the great evolutionary turning point making it possible for us to change, from becoming further enmeshed in matter and materialism to realising our spiritual identity − first in mind, later in all parts of our being.
Therefore we seek by many means to know Christ, to love him and to honour his presence within ourselves and each other. One way in which this relationship with the inner and outer Christ is developed is through the celebration of the Mass − the sacrament given by Christ for remembrance. Each member is encouraged to attend the Cosmic Mass and also to celebrate a private Eucharist for themselves.