“I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”………. John 1: 33-34
I am leaving for taking part in the baptism of my brother’s granddaughter in Bangalore on Sunday and I thought it would be fitting to write this short article on the spiritual significance of baptism. To many of us Christians baptism is the rite of passage into the Church, being accepted as a member, but that is not the main purpose. It is also deemed as a sacrament which washes away the original sin passed on to unsuspecting innocent children of humanity because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. It is essential why the sacrament of baptism is the very first sacrament that is administered and why the sacrament of Holy communion follows.
The answer to this is in the Bible and we fail to see this when we read the words in a literal sense.
In the Gospel of Luke, it is ample evident that the unborn child in the womb of Elizabeth recognized the presence of the unborn Christ in the womb of Mary.
“When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”……..Luke 1: 41
Every creation of God starts of with a primary Divine consciousness which pervades it entire constitution. This is the reason that, according to Jean Piaget model of cognitive stages, ego does not exhibit itself in child until the age of four to five. There is unitive consciousness in the child. The human child does not evolve in an absolutely pure state of consciousness as there are evolutionary imprints in its consciousness. These are subtle and intuitive information which are necessary for survival and adoption to the social milieu. But despite this aberration, there is an innate capacity in the child to comprehend happening in the field of consciousness. For example, we are aware that prenatal experiences have a definite impact on the child’s physio-psychological development. This is the reason that when the mother goes through a mystical awareness this is amplified in the primal consciousness of the child, John the Baptist, and a recognition of the presence of a Divine consciousness happens. This is a typical case of unitive consciousness in operation. This transcends time and space.
But as John the Baptist grows into adulthood, though he is aware of the higher purpose of his life, he is unable to operate in the unitive consciousness and fails to recognize the presence of Christ who is embodiment of this higher consciousness. The linkage to this new awareness is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity. Holy Spirit is the all pervading Divine consciousness which unites the Creator and the created, the Father and the Son.
The ignorance of this truth is the original sin with which we all come into this world. The true knowledge of our Divine nature has to be establishes in the symbolic act of washing and anointing with the Chrism as Sons and Daughters of the Father. This is also the meaning being born again as revealed to Nichodemus by Christ.
“Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”……..John 3:5-6
Physical birth is only the construction of a vehicle or Tabernacle and will have no purpose until the Spiritual birth takes place through the recognition of the Divine consciousness or the Holy Spirit taking residence and setting in motion the power that drives this chariot to its intended destination,
which a Divine union at the end of this temporal journey.
Love to you all