The Inner Path To Christ 12

What is born this day?

When you open to the Mystery that is the foundation of your existence something happens within you. An influence starts to work in you, and this is often depicted as conception. It takes time for this gentle influence to grow, and this is why pregnancy is such an apt symbol of it.

Evelyn Underhill, ever explicit about the growth of Christ in us, says:

The long strange months of our expectation are over: that hidden certain trust of ours, that joyous consciousness of crescent spirit, ‘our own yet not our own,’ is justified at last. It is justified in the actual outbirth and appearance of that most real and mystic Life; which is so profound just because it is so simple, so far above us just because it is divinely near. Welcome all wonders in one sight, Eternity shut in a span, summer in winter, day in night, Heaven in earth and God in man, great little one, whose all-embracing birth lifts earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth.

In terms of its symbolism the New Testament is again a wonderful statement of what happens when the divine is born in your life.  Although the newborn Jesus is recognised as a special child, there are still shown to be surrounding doubts, objections and oppositions.  This is the way it will be for most of us.  Because the wonderful thing has happened to us, it doesn’t mean we are without doubts or that we can now see our way clearly.  The growth and maturity of this new path still faces the passage of time and the complications of growth.  There will be times when the light opens and shines in your life, but there will equally be times when the darkness returns and you lose sight of the wonder that is emerging in you.  These are represented by the child Jesus talking to the teachers in the temple, (Mark 2:46), and the doubts of those around him.

Writing about this inner change, Maurice Nicoll, in his book The New Man, says: [i]

The Gospels are from beginning to end all about this possible self-evolution. They are psychological documents. They are about the psychology of this possible inner development – that is, about what a person must think, feel, and do in order to reach a new level of understanding. The Gospels are not about the affairs of life, save indirectly, but about this central idea – namely, that Man internally is a seed capable of a definite growth. Man is compared with a seed capable of a definite evolution. As he is, Man is incomplete, unfinished. A person can bring about his or her own evolution, their own completion, individually. If he does not wish to do this he need not. He is then called grass – that is, burned up as useless. This is the teaching of the Gospels.

Nicoll also reminds us that what we are dealing with here is not the rational organised realm of thought. We are dealing with the Mystery, that which stands beyond what we understand. Therefore we cannot neatly organise it and control it. We must open to it and be fertilised by it or reject it. This is why Mary is shown with Joseph, an old man who cannot understand her condition, but nevertheless supports her.

Here it is summed up on everyday language:

Perhaps I can explain that through a conversation I witnessed. A man said to a woman he was confronting, “Religion; that’s surely a direction for failures and people who can’t really cope with facing reality.”

And the woman he is accusing of this inability to face reality said, “You poor man!  Is your mind or awareness so tiny that you have never realised the forces and processes of your own body are beyond anything you understand?  Can’t you see that your very existence is brought about by things so far beyond your knowledge that it is only a statement of your impoverishment to suggest an awareness of God is an expression of some sort of smallness and failure.  Have you never understood that?  Have you not seen that religion is not only an acknowledgement of what we fail to understand and yet depend upon, but it is also an opening to it, a willingness to relate to it?  It can also be something far more even than that.  It can be an active loving relationship what gives you life.  And such love is an exchange, a sharing, a way of merging one with another. It is an exchange –the very substance of life.

Imagine that; a glorious love affair with the very spirit of life! A love affair with the invisible and forever indefinable. Is that something you are afraid of?”

[i] This refers to

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