Joshua Tysinger has been a member of the greater North Carolina circle since 2013, when he attended the inaugural Introductory Wisdom School at Valle Crucis. When he returned for our 2014 school, by then a first-year student at Wake Forest School of Divinity in Winston Salem, I happened to mention to him that Winston Salem was also home to one of the most renowned nondual Christian Contemplatives of our times, Dr. Beatrice Bruteau. I suggested that he give her a call, and he actually followed through! The two of them connected strongly, and for more than a year Joshua became Beatrice’s private student, support person, and designated lineage bearer as she rounded toward the end of her life. Beatrice died in November 2016. The impact of her presence on Josh’s already cosmically attuned heart charted the new course for his life, although it took him a few more years to fully integrate and accept what had essentially been delivered in a thunderclap.
Joshua is now an independent scholar and Wisdom teacher living in Raleigh, where he continues to nurture Bruteau’s Wisdom legacy through on-the-ground retreats and in his imaginative Grand Option Circle zoom group (named after the title of one of Bruteau’s most compelling prophetic works) which he describes in more detail in the following post. Josh is one of our most popular Northeast Wisdom commentators, with his highly unique voice and evolutionary/prophetic perspective. The “relational-contemplative” methodology he describes here is to my mind a bold experiment in “putting legs” under the Teilhardian vision of convergent evolution, reframing spiritual illumination not as an individual attainment but as an emergent property of the whole, equally and eucharistically participated in by all members of the circle. If you feel drawn to join him in this work, Joshua welcomes you to connect with him; see More About Joshua below.
~ Cynthia Bourgeault
In 2014, after my first semester at Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity, Cynthia graciously slipped me a series of numerical digits that contained the telephone contact of the renowned contemplative theologian, Dr. Beatrice Bruteau. Over a year-long period, I received tutelage under Bruteau—which ultimately culminated in a direct transmission from her spiritual lineage. From that point onward, my life has been geared toward aiding the recovery of Christian Wisdom, promoting a widespread recognition of Beatrice Bruteau and her efforts to inspire planetary wholeness.
In my encounters with Bruteau, a Teilhardian framework for “relational contemplation” emerged over several transmission sessions with her. What she imparted were not specific Wisdom practices for the cultivation of a higher vibratory awareness, but a direct quickening of that higher vibratory awareness within myself. As I became entrained with the radiance of her inner being, I received the ability to transmute my own evolving consciousness in various ways that could be passed on, like an invisible contagion, via center-to-center exchanges.
It must be said that heightened self-awareness when it emerges at any particular locus along the evolutionary spiral of development can radiate into an open receiver. This catalytic process of pure becoming can be initiated from the ecstatic inward center of persons who’ve attained conscious illumination. For Bruteau, such a generative transmission phenomenon equated to God’s ecstasy.
An effervescent radiation from the source of an enlightened presence shifts the very ground of the receiver’s self-identity. In doing so, the receiving agent unlocks the dynamic creative potential to morph into a Christic transmitter. Undergoing an incarnational metamorphosis, they then go on to transfer their radial selfhood into the heart of other receptive persons.
If this all sounds like an incarnational version of Trinitarian metaphysics, surprise! It is. From my experience, it’s only through the evolutionary act of transmitting and receiving this abundance of Christic being that the planet is upheld on the right axis of love. The very Eucharistic dimension of Christ’s overflowing mercy energizes all aspects of the world.
Over the last 5 months, I’ve actively experimented with a multifaceted “relational contemplation” model in service to Bruteau’s integrated communion-consciousness. Although constantly permeating into the ever-expanding realms of my ordinary relationships, the practice of this “relational contemplation” model has primarily transpired over a continuum of conversations in my Grand Option Circle. The Grand Option Circle formally joins on the luminous psychic grid of the world-wide-web for bi-monthly transmission sessions via Zoom.
Despite the perceived digital abstractedness by which any group might suffer, we find that Zoom (as a constructive interactive platform) tethers us all together with the energetic currents teeming within a noosphere reality. Perhaps our transpersonal dialogues are fluidly channeled throughout this dynamic field of merciful relationality, fusing us with the many self-transcending forces that remain undetected by normal vision. Only time will tell how we become re-shaped and transformed by operating through such a vast amount of interstitial space that is endowed with a booming repository of energy and information. We can only hope that some good will come out of our endeavors to maximize its potential.
In the Grand Option Circle, my aim is to inter-circulate the gift of Bruteau’s transmission in such a way that it efficaciously activates our inward creative potentials. Our guiding principle is that we each equally possess an interior wisdom center that can be looped in with one another to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. These individual wisdom centers are ultimately joined with (and in) the Personal Center of All Wisdom that goes beyond our self-expressions.
If all of the above seems abstract to you, I assure you it is not. The Grand Option Circle synchronizes our experiences together. As we descend into deepening layers of meaning, we intentionally harmonize as inter-individualistic beings on the precipice of greater cosmic belonging. Just as our individual selves contact their powerful ecstasy as persons-in-communion, they are strengthened by a Christic field of vibrational resonance that uplifts us into new creations: always within the experience of an emergent communion consciousness. We strive not only for personal transformation within ourselves, but for the shifting of group awareness toward higher levels of intuitive knowledge. It is essentially eucharistic in nature: One body, “in which all things hold together.”
One discovery I’ve already made in these sessions is the absolute potency of the Spirit in evolving group processes. Although I do compose simple rubrics for the basic pacing and flow in our bi-monthly exchanges, the Eucharistic dimension of what we do remains the active and generative element. When we crack open our autonomous enfleshed shells, an intermingling of radial energies takes the reins of the present and pulls us toward our future becoming.
We all strive to bring our own radically authentic selves to the “eucharistic table” as we penetrate into the existential nature of our own vitalities, our very life blood, for the sake of each other. No rubric can fully imitate the freely flowing, spontaneous waves of mutually charged energy that draw all participants’ centers inward into that great reservoir of boundless mercy. We wait for all our tangential lines to collapse upon the self-transcending center of our collective: the bottomless depths of our core Christic beings. Then that center explodes back out again for the renewal of our consciousnesses.
We each intuitively improvise the Spirit’s direction, together, in the unity of Christ’s body. From this vantage point, my growing edge is simply letting go into an effortless flow of intuitive knowing and loving. Ultimately, we draw upon the teachings of Beatrice Bruteau, Sri Aurobindo, and Teilhard de Chardin. Personal disciplines are vital to grounding any evolutionary metamorphosis; therefore centering prayer and lectio divina remain integral components of our practice-based model. Nothing fancy, but nothing unessential is offered.
While I once practiced contemplative exercises over a long period of time, I now find that said “relational contemplative” model offers much more for the renewal of our alienated cultural milieu. Now, more than ever, we are tasked with breaking the unspoken rule systems and barriers that keep a communion consciousness in check. The loneliness that plagues our society has reached a fever pitch – ultimately manifesting in deaths from suicide, gun violence, drug abuse, and psycho-physiological illness.
Any disciplined practice ripped away from its more relational cosmology sincerely loses its ability to provoke change. This has been an ongoing trend in Western civilization, over the past 30 years. What we need to do is to return to our roots as social beings yearning for an incarnation that sacramentalizes the planet. In essence, I posit that a “relational contemplation” model can do just that.
More About Joshua Tysinger
Joshua Tysinger currently lives in Raleigh, NC, where he remains dedicated to building up its Wisdom community. A published author in Ilia Delio’s Personal Transformation and a New Creation: The Spiritual Revolution of Beatrice Bruteau, Josh also routinely composes articles for Northeast Wisdom. As the leader of the bi-monthly Grand Option Circle, Josh also offers Wisdom Spiritual Direction in coordination with group involvement and is planning future retreats for the strengthening of his Circle. If you’d like to connect with Josh and for further information, Josh’s email address is Joshua.email@example.com.
Joshua has posted a number of pieces in the Home Page Blog and on Breaking Ground, including most recently his Meditations on a Death Transmission and On the Imaginal on the Home Page and Bearing a Contemplative Homelessness on Breaking Ground.