Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Star of Bethlehem

"The spiritual friend’s role is to take you out for a walk to look at the star of Bethlehem. It is a real experience at that point, no myth. There is the star of Bethlehem out there shining, and it is not a matter of conmanship at all. It’s a real experience, very real. It can be called the meeting of two minds. The main point here is making enlightenment real, rather than purely a myth."
..............................The Path is the Goal by Chögyam Trungpa

The Buddha taught meditation as the key spiritual practice. Nothing else mattered more. Chögyam Trungpa, in this book, the Path is the Goal, reveals how the deliberate practice of mindfulness develops into awareness, insight, and openness. He also guides us away from the ego's trap: the urge to make meditation serve our ambition.

Seeing a star is an act of faith. Even though we may see a speck of light flickering in the sky, this visual perception gives rise to a concept called Star, though that speck of light is reaching us millions and billions of years after it has left a heavenly body, the actual star itself is not there at that specific location when we perceive this speck of light. It is the path of a specific light source when it culminates in our eyes that we assign it a name. It is only because we live for a very small period of time in comparison to the vast distance the light travels that we never catch up with the actual location of the source of light. If the Sun suddenly became dark, after it has burned its nuclear fuel, we will not know it for nine minutes after it has happened as light takes nine minutes to reach us from the Sun.

Why am I explaining to you this fairly well known fact to you? It is to illustrate the fallacy of observation with our senses. This is a universal truth that all our observations are subject to error both at the macro level as well as at the micro level, both being due to the extremely high speed of light compared to the speed of response of our senses.

The Star of Bethlehem, as commonly understood was not a comet as with all information available through modern science and computer simulation, this is now proven was not true. It is important to understand the spiritual significance of this event so as to bring it more nearer to our individual selves.
This is why Chögyam Trungpa says "The spiritual friend’s role is to take you out for a walk to look at the star of Bethlehem.................". The spiritually enlightened soul points out to the Star of Bethlehem not as a physical object but as a light that shines illumining the truth within the soul of a seeker.

This renewed mindfulness can be achieved through a development of awareness, insight and openness.
Awareness becomes the prerequisite as it is through awareness that we falsify some of the grounded belief system which cloud our consciousness. In order to reposition our perceptions, we require deep insight beyond common knowledge and then there has to be openness to accept the new insight and eradicate old belief systems. Let us take how Copernicus changed the  geocentric world view, which was universally ingrained since the days of Johannes Kepler, into a Heliocentric one through expanded awareness, a deeper insight and an openness to challenge the autocratic authority of the Church and intelligentsia.

The Star of Bethlehem has many interpretations both astronomical and mythical. I believe that given the background of astronomical tradition in the Egyptian-Greco-Roman world and the mythological assignment of the birth Solar deities in the ages before Christ, the star of Bethlehem could be represented by the star Sirius and the alignment of the three stars in the Orion belt with Sirius and the rising Sun three days after the winter Solstice could be a seen as a harbinger of a new consciousness called Christ. This is the new light breaking forth from the winter darkness of the individual soul to illumine a new reality.

"In The Catholic Encyclopedia article entitled “Christmas” we learn that “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts.... Concerning the date of Christ’s birth, the Gospels give no help; upon their data contradictory arguments are based. The census (see Luke 2) would have been impossible in winter; a whole population could not then be put in motion..... The well-known solar feast of "Natalis Invicti", celebrated on 25 December has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date (for Jesus’ birth). For the history of the solar cult, its position in the Roman Empire and syncretism with Mithraism has collected the evidence for the feast which reached its climax of popularity under Aurelian in 274 A.D.”

So do not attach any importance to the historical Jesus birth but as the Sun travels from darkness to light after the winter solstice, let our soul seek the birth of the light of Christ consciousness on this date in our individual consciousness.

Love to you all

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