For me, the birth of the Christ Child refers to the awakening within us of the conscious but choiceless awareness of the indwelling presence within us of life, truth and love. Call it 'God,' if you wish, but we are certainly not talking about some far-away, anthropomorphic Deity. No matter how we try to describe this ultimately ineffable but otherwise very real experience, there is a penetrating and illuminating awareness of a 'larger reality,' even though that reality is still grounded in, and otherwise very much part of, so-called 'ordinary' reality. Such an awareness is, in this very special instance, occasioned by a profound sense of the numinous – that is, the awe-inspiringly sacred or holy.
Yes, the recovered [or recovering] alcoholics and addicts of this world know the reality of the inner birth of the Wonder Child. They have experienced it ... in all its wonder! So have those who have triumphed in their spirit against cancer and other serious illness, even if many of them ultimately succumb to their illness in their bodies. We are talking about the indomitability of the human spirit ... where the word human is simply not 'big' enough to capture the essence and character of the experience – an experience which is nothing other than ... divine!
Who are they who are 'chosen' (or rather choose) to experience and know? The shepherds! Persons who live close to the earth and the simple, lovely things of earth. Those who are patient, humble, resourceful and above all faithful. Those who, in Biblical language, ‘keep watch over their flock by night’ – that is, those who are always being mindfully aware of, and alert to, their thoughts as well as what is happening from one moment to the next, those who (in the words of Mary Baker Eddy) 'stand porter at the door of thought.' The shepherds did still more. They also watched and listened. They heard some sort of ‘heavenly music.’ Yes, to them came 'the angel of the Lord.' So, what did they do? They ‘came with haste,’ to ‘see this thing which is come to pass.’ Powerful imagery, indeed. It is not irreverent to assert that these people lived mindfully in the fullest sense of the word.
WILL YOU LET THE CHRIST CHILD BE BORN IN YOU?
THE PAGAN ROOTS AND ORIGINS OF CHRISTMAS
MINDFULNESS IN THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION
MINDFULNESS IN THE BIBLE
THE TRUE MEANING OF EASTER: THE ETERNAL COSMIC SACRIFICE
THE POWER WITHIN