Jim Marion is a public policy lawyer in Washington, D.C., who has followed a Christian path since childhood. He spent eight years studying for the priesthood and pursued divinity studies at Hartford Seminary Foundation. A mystical experience that rocked his being as an adolescent has kept him attentive over the years to the depth-charge of spiritual renewal. He defines a mystic as "a person of prayer and meditation who has been blessed by God with a certain amount of psychic ability, the ability to 'see,' 'feel,' and sometimes 'hear,' beyond the spacetime world we ordinarily perceive with the physical senses." With this foundation, Marion sets out to map the nine stages of consciousness through which the Christian grows toward full spiritual maturity. No wonder Ken Wilber calls this "a pioneering book, a truly inspired revelation, and a gentle guide to the deepest terrain of our own souls."

Marion believes that the central mystery in the evolution of human consciousness is the Dark Night of the Soul described by St. John of the Cross and others. Using examples from his own experience, the author lays out just what this means in reference to Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Marion sees Christ consciousness as a nondual vision of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Here there is no dividing line between "creature" and "creator." Christians, using this way of looking at the world, should be able to see themselves and others as divine.

This radical revisioning of the Christian path leads Marion to discuss his own unusual interpretations of good and evil, reincarnation, the problem of God's favorites, and the eventual arrival of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Meister Eckhart would rejoice in Marion's interpretation of Christ consciousness. But then he, too, was ahead of his time.