Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Birth of Jesus

“Now the birth of Jesus was on this wise…” says the gospel of Matthew verse 18. But was it? The gospel of Luke gives a slightly different, but not totally incompatible account. And there is a great deal of scholarship these days which brings to question whether Jesus, as depicted in the gospels ever existed. Others say, ridiculous, there is too much evidence. Well, it depends on how much of the evidence one considers valid. It’s like that old argument, “what you say isn’t true. What is your source for that? My sources are better than your sources. Mine have college degrees. Yours do too? But not from Yale or Harvard! Well, this source says this, that one says that, did Jesus ever exist? And another thing. The story of the birth of Jesus, and indeed almost all of Jesus life can be found in Egyptian, Greek, and other mythologies. What is going on here? (One argument I personally like is that the Buddhists, some groups anyway, from places as far away as India claim to have records of having been visited by Jesus.) But ultimately, for the purposes of our discussions, it doesn’t matter, because it is the message, and I mean the spiritual message, not the letter, that is of consequence. The birth of Jesus is the birth of spiritual wisdom and understanding in our heart. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, and he might have, but not in the traditional literal sort of way, then we are saying that there is a God, not only separate from us, but separate from his entire creation. My friends this cannot be true, for there is no separation, there is no God out there as opposed to us in here. The first and foremost metaphysical principle is that all is one. Therefore, God is not something outside of us, but something within us, and without too, but only as much as within. There is nothing out there as opposed to what is in here.

So the story must be symbolic. The birth of Jesus can be the birth of the immortal spirit within us. This is something that Taoists, and some Buddhists, and other spiritual groups have been practicing for years, the means of birthing the immortal spirit within. But that is for a later discussion. Here we will speak only of the birth of Christ as the Birth of Christ within ourselves. Without this second birth, we cannot understand, as Nicodemus did not understand, when Jesus spoke to him of heavenly things. We understand only physically. It is the phenomenal world that is of importance to us, because we recognize no other, except as some plausible heaven or hell that we go to after we die, a place outside the realm of science, and the realm of the known universe, but something created by some being outside of ourselves so that he could transfer us there according to either his whim, or his perception of our sainthood. I am sorry people, but it is a lie. As Paul said, spiritual things must be spiritually discerned. Also, as Jesus said, “That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of spirit is spirit.

But enough of this, you get the idea, an idea to be carried forward later.

“When Herod heard these things he was troubled.” Herod being a king is a symbol for the ego that rules us. When he hears that the Christ is due to be born, he immediately sets out to kill the Child. For his rulership is now in danger. The ego never willingly gives up its throne. Then Herod says, “…bring him to me, that I may come and worship.” The ego never can be truly honest, even with itself. It doesn’t stop at anything to maintain the kingdom it has inherited. In this case, the ego is even ordering the mass destruction of children, whatever it takes to terminate the one life of the one ruler that can terminate his rulership.

“Out of Egypt I have called my Son” The land of Egypt can have various metaphorical meanings in the Bible, but here one meaning is that Egypt represents the material, and/or, the dualistic world. The Son is called out of the world, into the “kingdom of heaven.” Into the spiritual realm where the understanding is there that the physical world is a mere illusion, and we can make of it what we will. The kingdom is where the spiritual realm takes us out of the realm of ego, and into the dimension of oneness, and the surrender to the will of God. (The one time positive thinking is at its most powerful is when we are positively thinking about the surrender to the will of God. “Not my will, but Thine.”) We are called out of bondage to the material, (The Israelites were slaves in Egypt) and into the freedom of the kingdom. Rulers and joint rulers with Christ.

“But when Herod was dead, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream…” When the ego dies, then and only then can we truly hear the call of the spirit. Only when the ego is dead can we understand and follow the will of the Lord. Our left and right brains unite and work together. Our male and female sides unite into one awesomely powerful individual. “Dividing the middle wall of partition between us”

One final point here, I wish to make today, this time from the Gospel of Luke. Luke Chapter two verse seven says, “And they laid him in a manger, for there was no room for them in the inn.” The inn is a symbol for our hearts. There is never room for Jesus in our hearts, because it is ruled by the ego. The ego has no wish to see the baby Jesus alive, unless, or course, the story is relegated to the material world, is a story that we follow at Christmas, and no other time of the year. As long as we see it as an event outside ourselves, in the manger, and thereby give it no power by which it can overthrow the ego’s control, then it is of minor import to the ego.

Can you see here how the real story corresponds, and compares to the stories we find in eastern religion, or philosophy, for the religion of the east is not really religion, it is practical and experiential.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Hi Gene,

I am completely on board with your ideas.

The only way we can all be One is if we each are droplets of spirit in one universal ocean.

As soon as *I* am me, *you* are over there somewhere, we are no longer one...

I do have to chuckle, though, because I joined a Taoist list a while ago and introduced myself by talking a bit about my belief in philosophical Daoism. I was immediately informed by a young man that if all I followed was the philosophy, I wasn't a Daoist at all!

Oh, dear......