Updated: Jan 10, 2022
"Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth." - Rumi
Religion is filled with timeless stories. They inspire us to heights, they inform our choices, they give meaning to the mundane and guide us through the all the various phases up to the inevitable end.
At their best the ennoble us, making us more and better than we would have thought possible. At their worst they abuse, shatter and justify the most inhuman acts. All because of story.
And what is story? It is our endless, intense search for meaning.
Our modern world is obsessed with "fact."
Did these events really happen?
Were those really the words spoken?
Did someone really see a star in the east?
Was the current power structure really threatened?
Did a virgin have a baby?
And was "dad" really cool with that?
The problem lies in our exalting of the literal and our distrust of the poetic.
Of course, a virgin birth and an actual, historical event is impossible. But that is the whole point. It is not suppose to be taken as a literal happening. The impossibility of the event is suppose to to turn our attention away from the narrative so that we explore the meaning.
And what is that meaning? Well, the purpose of an archetypal, metaphorical story is for you to probe it and find your own. But, let me give you my impressions, which hopefully will stir up some spiritual curiosity in you.
The Metaphor of the Divine Child
We are all born as The Divine Child. While the physical body has a process by which it must grow and requires many different things to accomplish that, and quite a bit of time. Moreover, not getting all that is needed creates rather troubling distortions in self-perception that we will have to deal with later. But, and here is the liberating part, the occupant of that vehicle came from somewhere altogether beyond.
To the sage, the mystic, the seer, what is born is but the instrument for the momentary expression of what is beyond time. What is born will die. What is functioning will cease functioning. Every flame eventually exhausts the fuel and vanishes in a puff of smoke. So the sage puts no faith in the temporal form and places no emphasis on it. It is but a clever, useful suit of clothes, worn until worn out.
The Divine Child and the impossible conditions of his/her arrival, represents that which does not wear out, that which is wearing the costume. Moreover, to the sage, this is a universal fact.
It is not a historical event, limited to a single individual, it is every being you have ever or will ever encounter.
And this is so even if they do not recognize this sublime fact and instead believe themselves to be the useful but hapless meat suit we are walking around in.
The true meaning of the Virgin Birth refers to the timeless inhabitant, the very son (or daughter) of God, who is at once the child of God and God. Such is the nature of the timeless mystery.
Wise ones still seek this realization and still worship the Divine One.
They still see the signs written in the sky of human consciousness, nudging it closer.
They still hear the sound of celestial music with prophetic rhythms.
They still know to look for the Child, but not in palaces or seats of earthly power.
They know to look in the humblest, lowliest and most hidden of places.
They wise ones know to look, and are willing to look, in the one place that few will, deep inside their own heart.
That Star of Bethlehem, leads inward and comes to rest above the site of your nativity, your birth into spiritual realization..
Bethel means house of God, place of God or presence of God. It is the place where wisdom, love, tender nurturing and all the beings of the earth come to honor. It is not a location with latitude and longitude. For where could Infinite Being not be. So where then is Infinite Being to be discovered? Where is the true occupant of the mortal costume to be found? Out there somewhere, in a church, an ashram, a mandir, a temple?
Right here, where you are, this alone is Bethlehem.
This glorious realization, heralded by angelic trumpet and voice, is the Child born to a Virgin. It is the culmination of the journey of the Magi and you are those Magi. So celebrate the nativity that is the culmination of the search for Self, in the realization of the Self. You have seen the star in the sky of yearning and have followed it to a simple manger, in the center of your own heart.
I again welcome the Christ child (you() into the world with ancient words, ever reborn, "He who drinks of my mouth shall become as I am and I shall be he."
Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to you all!
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