The Allegory of Christmas
Christmas is not one more occasion for celebration. It is a reminder that we were born humans, but we grow up to become Gods.— Sean Dragon
A Diamond Mine in Your Hands
All sacred scriptures, in all religions, are multi-level. They are written in such a way that anyone who reads them can benefit, no matter what his or her intellectual level is. Also the same person through a continuous study of them, and as he or she improves spiritually through it, can discover, every time, new spiritual treasures hidden in the deeper levels. Many say, for this very reason that the study of the sacred scriptures is like mining in a diamond mine. On the surface there are some small diamonds of medium quality, but the deeper you mine, the more and more valuable diamonds you find.
I wholeheartedly agree with this comparison. That's why I think these are books that must be read many times to offer us all their blessing. The purpose of this text is to show a small sample of this wealth.
One way in which this multi-level "storage" of spiritual (and not only) knowledge is achieved is the use of allegories. All sacred scriptures are written in the form of stories that are allegories with many levels of symbolic writing. So even if someone stays at the level of the simple stories, which can often have the characteristics of a fairy tale, he will take some lessons that they will help him. But if he tries to find the meaning behind the symbols, then he can gain a perspective in a whole new and superior spiritual world. A perspective that can change his life and bring him closer to true happiness. Let us not forget that myths have precisely the same characteristics.
We don’t exhaust the Bible even after reading it hundreds of times. Each time we read it we see it in a new light. That is the greatness of the Holy Scriptures. They are that way because they were created by holy prophets who experienced the truth. Each time we read these works we elevate ourselves to see a little more.— Swami Satchidananda
Another Essential Meaning of Christmas
The above also applies to the description of the birth of Jesus. A description that we all know more or less and we represent it every Christmas in the decorations we make. The nativity scene with stars, the three Magi with gifts, Mary with Joseph and the little Christ, shepherds, animals, angels are everywhere around us every Christmas. Everything has been taken out of the scenery of a beautiful story that has been touching human hearts for thousands of years now. In this article, we will try to analyze a parallel symbolism of that story, in order to understand another essential meaning of Christmas.
This story is an allegory referring to the effort of the man who lives in the material world, to discover again within him the seed of God and to give birth to His Son. A seed that always existed there, inside the human soul, but it has been covered by the distractions of the material world, and so it has been forgotten. The discovery of this seed will be, in fact, a virgin conception. Nothing from the material world can fertilize the spiritual. So we only need to remember that we should make our soul a receptive womb to feed this seed. This pregnancy will lead to the inner birth of the Son of God, the Inner Self who is part of the Creator of the Universe. And this birth will bring us the awareness of our unity with the Eternal Source of Love. The Inner God that will be born will offer us, the return to Paradise as the Savior of our Inner World.
Every human in this world is not only material. It is a perfect blend of matter and spirit. The balance between these two natures brings real happiness. It is only through this balance that we can accomplish our work in this world and to be able to move forward, by the spiritual progress that this effort will bring us, on our way back to our Father's House.
We cannot deny either of our parts, just because we cannot move on only with one of them. We live in a material world. We have come to become happy in this world, to learn and improve, but above all to be happy. So we have to educate our material part while we are enjoying the wonderful gifts of the fascinating world that have been offered to us in order to feed our soul with the energy it needs. Thus body and soul together will impel the Inner Self to take over again the guidance of our lives towards our truth.
Joseph and Mary
That's where our story begins. The story of each one of us. With Joseph and Mary. Joseph symbolizes our body, our material part and Mary symbolizes our soul, our spiritual part. Note that Mary needed Joseph to complete the divine work of the birth of the little Christ, just as our soul needs the body to fulfill its purpose. The soul must respect the body and the body must respect the soul as Joseph respects Mary and Mary respects Joseph.
Mary (her name has ancient roots and means "the beloved of God") gets pregnant by the action of God. The soul that has reached a higher level through its exercise in kindness, love, and understanding has been purified, has been delivered from everything that may shade the knowledge that it is one with God, that it is His own part. Thus, it is now able again to grow up His seed, the seed that God has left within the soul since the Creation. The soul is able to gestate and give birth to His true Son, the Inner God.
Joseph (his name means "God will bless him") accepts the fact with respect. He could certainly react in various other ways, and no one would accuse him. Instead, he is ready to do what it takes for the birth of this child, even though he knows it is not his own. How difficult is this in the real world! Think about it even in the "modern" times we live in, let alone then. How often our material part reacts against the progress of the soul because it knows that it will have to deny many addictions. Joseph, however, represents the body which through exercise has been cleansed of the material lusts that keep it anchored in misery while is using the gifts and the goods of the material world that contribute to our happiness. This is the wisdom of Joseph! He does not deny the material world, he does not reject it, but he uses it to improve. Through its improvement and purity, the body becomes pure again and recognizes that its true happiness is to serve the soul properly because, through soul, it can enjoy the blessing of deification. To become a step-father of a God is just enough. To live the miracle of seeing this God grows up and leads the world, material and spiritual, to redemption.
The Trip to Bethlehem
Apparently, this is not an easy procedure for either of them, neither for Joseph nor Mary. Because first of all means inconvenience! We must abandon the well-known and sure and start an adventure to the unknown. Because for us that we are accustomed to the inertia of life, whatever life is this, even a miserable life, the journey of returning to our place of origin is so terrifying sometimes as a laborious adventure. That's why we're postponing it. This is the symbolism of the trip to Bethlehem.
There must be an escape from the routine and its temptations. There must be an escape from the known, from the illusion of security that we have in our lives, and we fear that we may lose it. We must leave all these; we have to make the "census" of all that we have lived, we ought to see our mistakes, forgive ourselves, and start from a new point, the real point of change within us. This is the symbolism of the difficult journey that Joseph and Mary must begin, for the census that mentioned in the Scriptures. The Divine family, Body-Soul-Divine seed, must reach the highest place, where through the trials those three have become one, and so the Messiah can be born.
Bethlehem means "House of Bread." Bread constitutes in sacred scriptures a potent symbol of the complete soul that is now fed by the divine element. Bread is the product of all four elements, symbols of life. Mother Earth gives wheat that becomes flour. This symbolizes the Earth. Water is combined with the Earth and gives the dough. It develops, "inflates" with the action of the Air (the fermenting gases). Finally, the bread is baked and ends with the use of Fire. Earth, Water, Air, Fire, all together, create the bread that becomes the body of God. Do not forget that the Lord in His Prayer says "Give us this day our daily bread."
In the House of Bread, therefore, it is possible that body and soul can be appropriately fed and so they can give their seed. For this reason, the place of birth is at Bethlehem. But this trip, as we have said, is not easy, it has many obstacles. Obstacles that the material world will put in its effort to prevent what it sees coming and which is afraid, the loss of the kingdom of the world. This is Herod's role in this story. He represents the material world that fights the purity and the spirituality. The world will use every means to discourage us in our effort for spiritual progress. At first, it will try to tempt us and seduce us. Then it will threaten us and try to scare us. Finally, it will try to destroy us in the harshest and inhumane way, like the slaughter of the infants by Herod. Everything to prevent the new King from being born.
Out of the Cave
What should we do when we face all this cruelty? We have not to fear. We must not surrender. If we continue against all the difficulties to seek our inner truth, if we continue to search the love that we have hidden in a dark cave deep in our heart, then the help we need will come to us, and we will earn the treasure of Knowledge. If this sacred family continues, then the light of our Inner Self who is about to be born will begin to shine high up in the sky as a Star that it will become a guide for the help it needs to come. This is what the Bethlehem Star, which led the shepherds and the Wise Men to find and glorify the Holy Family, symbolizes. It is our message to the spiritual world that we are ready for the Great Event. And then high spiritual powers, which in our story symbolized by the three Magi from the East (the East is the symbol of spiritual resurrection and Sacred Knowledge), will come to offer us their gifts, gold, incense, and myrrh.
These spiritual gifts are our real treasure for the new life that will lead us to our return to God. Gold symbolizes the recognition of our kingdom in the new world of spirit. The incense is a symbol of our divine origin. Myrrh is the symbol of the death of our old self in order to raise our Eternal Self.
This Star will also illuminate the way to the humble manger, inside the cave, for the help and the glory Mother Earth will send to support our effort. This is the symbolism of the shepherds and the animals that warm little Christ. The love of Mother Earth is which embraces us in the weak first years of our material life to find the way to our spiritual birth. This love is there again to embrace us (isn't the cave an "embrace" of the Earth!) and to glorify us when that spiritual birth happens.
The Star will show our location to all the higher spiritual forms, such as the Angels who are fighting at our side, in order to come to us at this great moment.
The cave symbolizes our limited perception of the world too. How little we know and how we spend our lives in spiritual darkness. Inside this cave, however, the great victory will happen. The cave will be filled with the light of the Savior who is born. This, moreover, means Jesus, "God is Salvation." And this light will scatter out of the humble cave and teach the world to love that has so far denied it.
This is one of the allegories of the Holy Night of Christmas. This is a symbol of the birth of the Inside God that will change us and the whole world around us. A night that we all have to live. Let's get ready...
Fill each day with love. This is the meaning of Christmas.— Sean Dragon