The descent of the Holy Breath
In the Christian tradition the Christmas season is a period beginning with Christmas Eve on December 24th, and ending with the highpoint on January 6th. The visit of the three kings, or wise men, from the East to Joseph and Mary to worship the newborn Jesus with gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense is commemorated on January 6th. The story about the veneration by the magic priests is an invitation to place our head, heart and hands in the service of the new soul of the Other-One-within-us, of the newborn Jesus within ourselves.
On January 6th another event is also commemorated, one that took place, according to tradition, exactly thirty years after the worshipful visit by the magic priests: the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. With this baptismal covenant, the cosmic Christ-power bound itself with the physical man Jesus. In chapter 64 of The Aquarian Gospel we read about this:
Then John led Jesus down into the river at the ford and he baptised him in the sacred name of him who sent him forth to manifest the Christ to men. And as they came out of the stream, the Holy Breath, in the form of a dove, came down and sat on Jesus’ head. A voice from heaven said, This is the well-beloved son of God, the Christ, the love of God made manifest.
For this reason January 6th is also called ‘the feast of the Epiphany’ because Epiphany means ‘appearance from on high.’ In our culture almost everyone knows the background of the celebration of Christmas as the commemoration of the physical birth of the man Jesus, but only a few know the background of the Epiphany: the commemoration of the transcendental ‘birth’ of Christ in the man Jesus.
The Christmas story about the birth of Jesus is described in only two of the four Gospels of the New Testament. All four Biblical Evangelists, however, pay attention to the baptism in the Jordan, by which the man Jesus of Nazareth became ‘Jesus the Christ.’ The transcendental birth of the Christ is thus at least as important as the physical birth of the man Jesus.
The writer of the Gospel of John – a different person than John the Baptist – attached great importance to the fact that the power of Christ connected itself to a person who lived in a physical body on earth. In the prologue of the Gospel of John, which is widely regarded as the most Gnostic Gospel in the Bible, he wrote that the Word – a designation of the Logos or Christ – had been incarnated on earth:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth, and we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. John bore witness to him, and cried: This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me!’ From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(The Gospel of John 1: 14-17)
In the last fifteen reflections it was continually noted that we can see the events in the Gospels as processes that occur within ourselves when we follow the gnostic path. The inner birth of Jesus is only the beginning of a spiritual path where we focus on the fulfillment of our inner task: to restore the living connection with the divine realm from which we originated.
In the program, Spiritual Christmas, we have explained four different births in The Aquarian Gospel, the successive births of Mary, John, Jesus and Christ.These four figures represent aspects in ourselves which can develop alongside each other for a considerable time. It is therefore not true that Mary disappears when John appears. And John does not disappear immediately when Jesus appears. How can we view these four births?
- The birth of Mary refers to learning of the inner task.
- The birth of John refers to preparation for the inner task.
- The birth of Jesus refers to the growing execution of the inner task.
- The transcendental birth of Christ refers to the crowning completion of the inner task.
What is the actual meaning of baptism? It is immersion in order to achieve purification! John said:
In water I do cleanse, symbolic of the cleansing of the soul; but when he comes who is to come, lo, he will cleanse in Holy Breath and purify in fire
Of course immersion in water may be meant literally. But spiritually the baptism by water is the admittance into the higher power field of a living spiritual tradition. As a result of this entrance the spirit-spark in the heart can be rekindled and then initiate a renewal process.
Baptism by fire means receiving the cosmic Christ-force in the human system, and that it has become effective. You can understand that the need for a purification of the personality is necessary so that the latter is prepared and attuned; otherwise the high spiritual forces could not be received. The baptism by fire enkindles hidden forces in the head.
After the baptism in the Jordan, Jesus, who from that moment on was the Christ, first withdrew for forty days in the desert. Then he began his outward mission in the world on the basis of the internal task he had completed.
The great Christ-mystery is a mystery that cannot simply be understood with our ordinary thinking capability. Yet we certainly can form an idea of it, for instance by using the following excerpts from the preface of The Aquarian Gospel:
Before creation was the Christ walked with the Father God and Mother God in Akasha. The Christ is son, the only son begotten by Almighty God, the God of Force and God omniscient, God of thought; and Christ is God, the God of Love.
The Son is called the Christ, because the Son, the Love, the universal Love, was set apart, ordained to be creator, Lord, preserver and redeemer of all things, of everything that is, or evermore will be.
Through Christ they are preserved and if they fall it is the Christ who lifts them up;
Now Christ, the universal Love, pervades all spaces of infinity, and so there is no end to love.
Perfection is the ultimate of life. A seed is perfect in its embryotic life, but it is destined to unfold, to grow.
Into the soil of every plane these seeds, which were the Thoughts of God, were cast – the seeds of protoplast, of earth, of plant, of beast, of man, of angel and of cherubim, and they who sowed the seeds, through Christ, ordained that they should grow, and should return at last, by effort of unnumbered years, to the great granary of thought, and each be a perfection of its kind.
And in the boundless blessedness of Love the man was made the Lord of protoplast, of earth, of plant, of beast; and Christ proclaimed: Man shall have full dominion over everything that is upon these planes of life; and it was so.
And he who gave the lordship unto man declared that he must rule by Love.
But men grew cruel and they lost their power to rule, and protoplast, and earth, and plant and beast became at enmity with man;
But man had lost his consciousness of right; he could no longer comprehend the boundlessness of Love; he could see naught but self, and things of self; So that he might be close to man in all the ways of life, that man might comprehend the mighty spirit of the Love, the Christ of earth made manifest to human eyes and ears by taking his abode in some pure person, well prepared by many lives to be a fit abiding place of Love.
Thus Christ made manifest Love’s power to save; but, men forgot so soon, and so Christ must manifest again, and then again.
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The birth of which I speak is not the birth of flesh. Except a man be born of water and the Holy Breath, he cannot come into the kingdom of the Holy One. That which is born of flesh is child of man; that which is born of Holy Breath is child of God.
These words bring this online journey, Spiritual Christmas by the Pentagram Bookstore, to an end. We hope that the texts of The Aquarian Gospel and the daily reflections inspired by them have enriched your inner self and have given you new perspectives on your life.
We cordially thank you for your participation, attention and commitment and wish you all the best on your journey through life.