There is no doubt that the world conspires against anyone trying to have a contemplative Christmas. At this most inward time of year, we are frazzled by last minute obligations and the desire to have home and hearth just right for the holidays. To experience the Virgin Birth, however, we must seek the fire within and go there. We don’t want to neglect our social and cultural duties, mind you, because doing that only nags our attention away from our interior preparations.
The first objection of the mind is that THE VIRGIN BIRTH was a one-time event, and that was for the ONLY Son of God. I capitalize these words, because that’s how loudly mainstream Christianity shouts this warning to anyone who seeks the reality behind the story. The mind’s second objection is I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH (as though that had anything to do with it). This is a hand-me-down from the idea that God is everything human times one hundred—all good, all merciful, all giving—not like us! This is just a clever dodge by the ego to keep from having to surrender to God. I actually heard someone say once that he couldn’t seriously pursue the spiritual path because he smoked. Talk about putting the cart before the horse!
The third objection of the mind is I DON’T HAVE TIME. I know, this sounds ridiculous, but it is all the more insidious for its apparent unimportance. Because we have put Jesus on such a pedestal and made the path of Initiation loom so large, we have made him and it conveniently inaccessible. Anything that great couldn’t possibly leave enough time to have a life. We can still point to Jesus and revel in the richness of his legacy and the wealth of his teachings, and we can claim them as our own in a possession kind of way, but we don’t have to internalize any of it. This is sort of like the way the Israelites built the golden calf. As long as divinity can be objectified and placed far above the reach of mere mortals, the ego can continue partying and still look good. Moses saw right through that, of course, as does our inner knowing every time we try to buy our way into attainment with lip service, which is to say philosophy.
So let us not speak falsely now…we must experience the Virgin Birth ourselves if we are to know the reality of Christmas. “Of what use, O Gabriel, thy message to Marie, if thou canst not also give the same message to me?” –Angelus Silesius. And again, this doesn’t mean that we have to be as pure as the driven snow. I cannot emphasize this part enough, because the truth is that we will never be good enough. Besides, we don’t really know what that means anyway, so it’s not up to us to decide. The only thing we need to be is willing.
The experience of the Virgin Birth is an ever-attendant reality waiting only for the “pH” of our soul to shift into a receptive mode. As soon as we drop the reasons why we can’t receive it and open ourselves up and acknowledge that it has already been given, it will happen. It cannot NOT happen. The Star of Bethlehem will appear in our inner nighttime sky, the gifts of the East will be showered upon us, and the world will be transformed. Of course, later on, all hell will break loose, but that’s what Easter’s for. We’ll cross that bridge (no pun intended) when we get to it.
So, be sure to check out the lights this Christmas, not the ones “out there,” but the ones shining within you. Take time to experience the Birth of Christ. Merry Christmas (in advance) and God bless you.
Michael Maciel is the author of The Five Vows, Raising Your Spiritual Commitment to the Next Level, available on Amazon. He also writes The Mystical Christ weblog at www.mysticalchrist.org. He lives in Redwood City, California.