Now, Christmas is involved in this entire subject, because Christmas represents the birth. In the religious world the mistake has been that Christmas is identified with the birth of a man, and actually the birth of a man has nothing to do with it, and nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever.
Christmas has to do with the birth of the Christ. The birth or recognition, or coming to awareness of the transcendental consciousness, which before the birth is not only unknown, but cannot be experienced.
For instance, when Moses was a shepherd, in spite of the fact that he had been educated, highly educated, in Egypt at a time when Egypt was at the height of its educational experience, that he was not only educated in all of the cultures, and sciences, and wisdoms, but also in the occult, but with all of this, he still remained a shepherd.
A transformation took place in Moses on a Christmas day, on a day in which was born in the consciousness of Moses the realization of the truth of this transcendental spiritual consciousness, that which is above knowing, or being known, that which is above the mind, that which really only comes in a period of unknowing, a period of silence, when the mind is still, the reasoning faculties, the thinking faculties, and it becomes possible to receive from the infinite consciousness an awareness of the infinite consciousness.
Remember that we are born only into a knowledge of our own limited, human mentality. We have no awareness, in our early days, except the few who are blessed with coming into this world mystically, but otherwise we have no knowledge that there is anything beyond our own mind. We have no knowledge that there is anything beyond our own education, beyond whatever wisdom we pick up between the cradle and the grave.
But, to Moses, in this instant of high consciousness, of higher awareness, meditation, there comes this otherness. In mystical literature it is sometimes called a presence or the presence. In the Oriental world it’s called the Buddha mind, or buddhi, or satori, a moment of illumination.
Whatever name you give it what really happens is that an ordinary human being, with no other knowledge than his own human mentality, in an instant, becomes aware of something greater than himself, something greater than his mind, something greater than his knowledge.
In fact, from now on, from this Christmas moment, the moment of the divine birth, knowledge and wisdom pour into the individual far greater than anyone has ever had from the reading of books.
Now, the Master, in teaching this, revealed that before Abraham was I am. Therefore, this that I am, this transcendental Self, this divine consciousness existed before the birth of Jesus. In fact it existed before Abraham was, and Abraham you know—the reason he used the name Abraham was that Abraham was considered to be the father of the Hebrew race, the origin of the Hebrew race, the beginning of the Hebrew race, and therefore, before the Hebrew race began, this divine consciousness existed, and It existed to manifest Itself forth as the experience of Abraham, Moses, and now Jesus; but before Jesus, It existed.
Therefore the important part of Christmas is not that Jesus was born, but that Christ was revealed, and this is the important part of Christmas now—not that we should celebrate the birth of a man, though this does not detract in any way from our love of the man, or respect for the man, or devotion to that man’s devotion, but rather that we understand why we have this feeling of veneration, of love for Jesus Christ, because he was one of the few who had the courage to reveal to the world that this is not the secret about a holy man, but this is the secret of a holy consciousness which is available to all mankind, all who will open themselves to the Christ—that which was before Abraham.
As you read this story, as you hear this story, year in and year out, eventually it gets under your skin. It gets beyond your mind, and reaches that area of you which can be awakened.
Every child that is born has an area of his consciousness which is dormant, and in so far as mankind is concerned most men go through their entire life times, and women, without this area of consciousness ever being awakened.
It is only the few in the history of the literature of the world, only the few, who have ever had the experience of the awakening of that dormant part of consciousness.
Well, for centuries it was believed that this could only happen to the few. Oh yes, back in the days of Egypt, and up until 200 AD, it was known that those who had an inclination toward the spiritual, and who could find a teacher on the spiritual path, could be awakened.
After that, in the Western world this teaching was omitted from all teachings, and therefore, the only record we have of any who have been awakened are those who came to it through some inner experience of their own without being able to account for it.
One such illustration you know is the experience of Jakob Boehme, the German cobbler, who for some unknown reason, while actually cobbling in his shop, looked up and saw the sun shinning on a rock, and something happened between himself, within himself, in that ray of sunshine on the rock, and all of a sudden this inner consciousness was opened, and he discerned spiritually. He saw reality, and of course, he became the father of the mysticism of the middle centuries. He had many students, some who were opened through him or through his teaching.
In the Orient, in particular in India and Japan, the teaching never died out—that if you could find a spiritually enlightened individual, one in whom the soul center was opened, that that individual could open students, and so we have had spiritual students, in the Orient, all through the ages.
You may wonder why every student wasn’t opened who went to these masters, because only a few were opened. Well that was the experience then, and will be now, and the answer lies in the word dedication. Many would like to be opened. Many would like to be spiritually illumined, if only it could be done in spare time and with spare change.
Oh, if only it wasn’t going to take too much time or too much money, but you let the element of time and money enter and you soon find antagonism to the spiritual awakening.
What element does time play?…Well, time plays this element—if this were merely an intellectual truth which could be imparted, then it would only be necessary to own a Bible. It could be a Hebrew testament, Christian testament, Oriental scripture, and it would be done because there is sufficient truth in any of these to do it.
Or, there have been some very good metaphysical and mystical writers in this past century, and in any one of the authentic ones, there is enough truth to do it, but it isn’t the truth that will do it.
It is knowing the truth, and that knowing doesn’t mean reading it, affirming it, stating it. It really means knowing, that is, attaining the actual awareness of it, and that takes time. That takes time.
We can read these books, and as I have told our students so often in class instruction, if you think for a moment that the truth lies in my books you are going to look in vain, because you can read them all the way through and not find it.