The Newsletter of the Northwest Branch of the Theosophical Society
December 2003 Vol. 6 Issue 10
We may look upon Christmas in two ways: first, as the record of a sublime fact in occult history and life, a sublime fact that every son of man some day in his own spiritual history will repeat, if he climb successfully. And the other way, even more dear to me, is that there is an unborn Christ in the soul of every one of us, the Christos, the Prince of Peace, the Prince of Love. As the cycling days bring the Christmas season around and the Christian world celebrates the supposed birth of the physical body of its Prince and Savior, we may take the words of the Christ in their higher sense: that we humans are the "sons of god," of the divine, and that the spirit of love and consciousness of the most high dwelleth in the sanctuary of every person's heart -- which means that there is a Christ-child in my heart, in your heart.
So when the Christmas season comes around it is a good time to let the Christ-child in our hearts speak, to attempt to understand it; nay more, to become at one with it so that with each new Christmas we may become more Christlike, more Buddhalike, more spiritual, nobler exemplars of the Christ which lives in the heart of each one of us, so that one day, at the proper time, the Christ-child may be born as a Christ-man. Then the sun of healing will have arisen with health, with wholeness, in its wings, healing our sorrows, healing our troubles, effacing our woes, wiping the tears of grief from our eyes; simply because we as individuals shall have become at one with the spirit of the universe of which a bright ray lives at the heart of each one of us. This is what we understand by the true birth of the Christ -- quite outside of the other facts of the case.
Let the Christ-child live. Do you know, we have not ever tried it? We talk about it and dream it and debate it, but how few of us men and women live it, come under its celestial influence? The one who does so is ten times the person he was before, keener of intellect, quicker of wit, larger of mind; for he is inspired by the very forces that hold the universe in order, in proportion as he becomes the Christ-child in his heart. -- G. de Purucker
The Bhagavad-Gita Book Circle continues on Thursday, December 4, 7:30-8:45 pm, at Newport Way Library. We will be reading Chapter 14. Subsequent meetings will be at 7:30-8:45 pm on Thursdays, December 18 and January 8 and 22, at the Newport Way Library, 14250 SE Newport Way, Bellevue. Feel free to drop in -- the discussion does not depend on having attended the meeting before.
Directions to Newport Way Library. From I-90: Take exit 11A to 150th, turn right onto 150th, go up the hill and turn right onto Newport Way at traffic light. The library is a short distance on the right-hand side, visible from Newport Way. Turn right onto 142nd SE and then right into parking lot. From I-405: Take the I-90 exit East, then follow the directions above. A map and directions are available online at www.kcls.org/npw/direct.cfm.
This month "What Do We Mean by God?" is our subject. We will be discussing such questions as: Is God finite or infinite, within or outside us? Do human qualities apply to the Divine? How does our representation of God affect our view of ourselves and the world? How is Divinity related to humanity, the earth, and the universe? Are there beings more evolved than human beings? Is there a Supreme Being or Creator, or is such a God an "unnecessary hypothesis"? Come and share your ideas!
Open to the public, unsectarian, non-political, no charge.
Coming home one day last spring I found a neighbor's child busily winding string among my shasta daisy plants. Annoyed yet speechless, I watched as she cut, wove, tightened, and tied each strand with careful intent. Then looking up, her eyes like stars: "I'm fixing up the spider's house. We broke it with a ball."
The smile this brought, the surge of joy, I'd never felt before. Those daisy plants have now expired, her tangled web collapsed, yet in my mind it is taut and strong, shimmering gold, with diamonds strung. For in her simple act of care I saw compassion which, thinking not of gain or end or self, unites all life, all kingdoms and species, in one great web of love.
As we're concerned and minister to the welfare of other human beings, of animals and plants, who knows what lofty hosts befriend our kind, who touch and teach, would we but heed, with just such simple benedictions. The warmth of sun, the colors of dawn, the sounds of thunder, of wave and wind, yes, the intriguing wonders of the stellar orbs, are these not the blessings of Those who "fix up our house" and in mysterious ways unknown inspire, protect and lead us on? -- Eloise Hart
There is something about the inner quality and warmth of feeling at this season that touches our deepest, most sacred nature, beckoning us, however briefly, to reflect on life's intent and the spiritual impact of the year's crowning-point. The return of the sun northward at the winter solstice has long been honored as the propitious time for the birth of saviors, for it is then that the initiant, if successful in trials undergone, is "clothed with the sun." The divine energy flows eternally through the sun, through Christs and Buddhas and, indeed, through all beings, for all are one. At this time of year the current is running strong and opportunities are greater for us to evoke more of the Christ spirit within ourselves. This quickening of the spirit is like a flash of illumination which affects everyone in varying degree, prompting acts of kindness and goodwill.
In thinking about the high attainment and compassion of the saviors of humankind, it is difficult for us to absorb the idea that we are our own saviors, and that in future ages our potential inner Christ will fully manifest. Yet the laws of nature are such that growth proceeds step by step through our own initiative and effort, for saviors are the flowering of humanhood.
The verses from John, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," tell of initiation, but they also may apply to each of us. We are made aware that there are two births: one of water or flesh, and the other of spirit. In other words, a definite distinction is made between Jesus, the man, and Christ, the initiate. There is the physical birth of the boy Jesus as an ordinary mortal, and the spiritual birth of the Christ, the anointed or awakened one. Born of the virgin or highest aspect of himself, he reflected in every part of his being the radiance of his own Christ-sun. The symbol of the virgin birth associated with many world saviors is a singularly beautiful one when interpreted in this context rather than as historic fact.
First comes seeing, and then entering the kingdom of God, for seeing precedes knowing and becoming. The transforming process within involves stages of seeing ever more clearly the glimmer of our higher self or inner Christos that is continually urging us to search, to know, and to transcend ourselves. Experience is the teacher and awakener as we gradually make the transition from man-god to god-man through an ever-expanding vision, and the desire to become that vision. It is a long road of learning and experiencing before finally we are prepared for the "virgin birth."
One feels the nobility of sacrifice made by the Great Ones who, like Jesus and other helpers of humanity, give of their knowledge as they have received -- "we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen." They are impersonal, unattached to results, and they know all the while that relatively few will be responsive. And what do they teach? Primarily that the path of the spirit is a necessary part of our destiny. "Except a man be born again" is a mandate to awaken to our human duty, for spiritual regeneration is the force behind all evolutionary unfoldment, the spur to change and growth.
In light of the grandeur of our human potential, there is always hope no matter how difficult circumstances may be. Each of us has specific needs and choices, but we can all work with the ongoing impulse of the coming year. Then the spirit, like the wind, will do what it will, and its influence will be felt.
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Now we are the children of the earth; in eternity we are the children of the whole universe. Do I not feel in my own soul that I constitute a part of this mighty harmonious whole? Do I not have the consciousness that in this enormous, innumerable collection of beings in which Godhead is manifest— Supreme Force, if you prefer the term — that I constitute, one link, one step between the lower orders of creation and the higher ones? If I see, clearly see, this ladder which rises from the plant to man, then why should I suppose that it stops at me, and does not lead higher and ever higher? I know that just as nothing is ever annihilated in the universe, so I can never perish but shall always exist, and always have existed. I know that besides myself spiritual beings must exist above me, and that truth is in this universe. -- Leo Tolstoi