My thoughts today are on the babe in the manger… beginning with a snapshot from my childhood. At the age of eight or nine I did most of the things that my well-intentioned parents wanted, but I had started to think and question and resist what I didn’t understand. Fear wasn’t born at that moment of resistance, but it was recognized: “I’m afraid, but I still can’t stand up and say that Jesus is in my heart.”
Where was fear born? For me it must have come with the concept of conditional love. This was the dilemma, as it was for a whole lot of us as children I suspect… do we think about things and question what we are given, and risk losing ‘God’s love’ and/or the approval of our parents, family, teachers, friends, society and so on?
Resistance to conditioning is something we all go through one way or another. It’s natural, healthy, and very necessary; and it can take far longer than childhood. For some of us the journey slows down or stops with adulthood, when we make an agreement to do what is expected. For others it begins in childhood and continues on, and on.
You set off first to find yourself, then find what to do, then start to know yourself more deeply, and then change what you do, and ask why you’re here, and ask why the suffering, then ask what ‘here’ is… and that’s just the beginning.
As I grew, there was hardly a thing I did that didn’t bring up the feeling of fear. “I was afraid but I did it,” seems to be a life-story. The idea that you could do something wrong and cause yourself to be abandoned by God took years and years to look at straight in the face. I remember my little self, in my bed at night, thinking about it, and my grown-up self, and my mature self, still thinking about it.
Why such a long journey with the greatest of fear? Seems like the emotional vulnerability of a child unresolved, combined with a deep love of that which is holy and divine… to be in it and of it, to be safe and sure-footed, no matter what.
Spoken with gratitude to every teacher who helped me… slowly there came the realization: that I Am a part of All that Is, and God is within me, is me, and cannot leave me. Then came the moment of another realization: that I am loved, unconditionally. I am the Holy that I love.
So here we are, talking about God, fear of loss, and love… what about the manger. Yes, it’s the season for our soiled world to sing holy songs. The other day I listened to one of my favorite performers singing Silent Night: such a beautiful song. My ears perked up at the second verse, and the phrase, “Son of God, loves pure light.”
When I was a child, I envisioned a little baby who loved pure light. No one made it clear… there should be an apostrophe: the little baby IS love’s pure light. It’s a story of the birth of divine love: the light, sound, resonance, energy of Love in a human being. We only need to see the manger in the chamber of our own human heart, and there we have it… the silent and holy night within.
Can humans be abandoned by God? No… and Yes. We can lose consciousness of who and what we are, and of course that has been the world we live in, and is still today for all but a small percent of humanity. We don’t know our True Self, we don’t love ourselves; we judge ourselves… or I should say, we judge others first, and then in moments of truth, ourselves.
I was reading an article by Neville Goddard on the crucifixion of Jesus, and he made a point that fits. He said that in Divine history, the death comes first and then the birth. He talks about the interval between crucifixion and resurrection, the symbolism of three days, and refers to Blake’s writing of a deadly sleep of six thousand years.
That makes sense to me, both in the death to birth spiritual history and in the timeframe. And as to why… how can you know the birth and life of Divinity Within without having experienced the death, as things are known by the existence of an opposite. So now we know both the death and the birth. We do, indeed, have something to celebrate.
What about the fear? If we don’t fear being rejected by a judgmental God, what is the fear that remains? Fear of change is a big one, fear of loss is another, and fear of an attack on your peace is another. When you think of it, these fears are quite closely tied together, and very much woven into the time in which we live.
Has your experience shown you… what is best does come if you let it, if you are welcoming to change, and you overcome fear or determinedly move through it?
Earlier I mentioned how I felt a deep love of that which is holy and divine, and wished to be in it and of it, to be safe and sure-footed, no matter what. If the ego’s opinion of ‘this is good’ and ‘this is not good’ can be put aside, and we have a ‘heart place’ to stand, then life’s continuous invitation to change may just become part of the transformation.
So, let’s go back to Silent Night. Many of us focus on the Solstice, and reject the materialism of Christmas. I’m with that group. But still, I love the vibe of the season in those moments when the collective consciousness quiets down to contemplate something holy in the earth.
Certainly there are different ways of understanding the message in the story of the baby who is love’s pure light. Years ago a friend said to me that religion, especially that of the materialistic western world, was intended to keep us from savagery during that time of forgetting. It seems we didn’t escape savagery, but… we can be tremendously grateful that esoteric teachings have been kept alive by small groups, so that we were not entirely lost from knowledge of our divinity.
Is love’s pure light increasing in the earth? It certainly seems so to me that it is, and that we are here at the time of the re-birth, return, resurrection. In any case, it’s just something beautiful to contemplate and intend while enjoying a silent night or two, this December.