“If the ego does not exist as a separate entity, then the god image does not really exist either. God is a consequence of consciousness, it is born in the human soul parallel to the nativity of Christ. That God requires conscious man in order to come into existence was first stated clearly by Meister Eckhart. He was a depth psychologist manqué.” ……………….Edward Edinger, Commentary to Aion
“The individual ego is the stable in which the Christ child is born” …........Carl Jung, Psychology & Religion
Usually at Christmas time I post about some unique dimension of the meaning behind the nativity of Christ. It Is unfortunate that even those who have been given the mind to deeply reflect simply conform to the age old practice of a celebration rooted to the material plane thus loosing the all important spiritual content which this commemoration is meant to evoke.
Hence it is good to listen to a great Catholic mystic, such as Meister Eckhart, on his take on nativity of Christ. Every event portrayed in the life of Christ has a personal dimension to the individual spiritual self. God is a consequence of individual ego consciousness without which we do not have either the powerful subjective experience of the Divine nor the ritualist objective symbolism to reach deep down into one’s soul for a subjective experience of God. This is the reason why both Meister Eckhart and Carl Jung placed the birth of Christ in the individual ego consciousness.
In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the ritual of communion is to evoke the transformation of the human nature of an individual’s soul through its many trappings into its unpolluted Divine nature through the ritual of consuming the consecrated host.
A colossus in the understanding and interpretation of mythology writes:
“This is an essential experience of any mystical realization. You die to your flesh and are born into your spirit. You identify yourself with the consciousness and life of which your body is but the vehicle. You die to the vehicle and become identified in your consciousness with that of which the vehicle is but the carrier. That is the God ... Behind all these manifestations is the one radiance, which shines through all things." ……………. Joseph Campbell, “The Power of Myth”
The essential metaphor here is "You die..." Here this means, metaphorically, that you experience in a subjective mode a transformation in conscious awareness that completely relocates and transcends all previous awareness. Misinterpreting this metaphor literally, that this is speaking of life after death, and hence the Divine access only after death, is the fundamental mistake that many religions make and which Joseph Campbell and depth psychologist like Carl Jung tried all their life to address. Yes, this deeper interpretation is the essence of the standard Catholic doctrine, and it is common to many spiritual and mystic traditions, but its literal interpretation is a mistake, and misses the whole point.
This has raised some valid points as to “Is not the body which is vehicle of the Divine, is itself a manifestation of the Divine” I do not refute this claim that the body is the glorious manifestation of the Divine.
But when we say that the body is the vehicle, it is a metaphor and in no way demeans the manifested radiance of God's creation. But this understanding is often downgraded due to our over indulgence in the material nature of our existence and a new level of conscious awareness is needed to bring forth the Divine within from its material trappings.
This is the reason that in Bhagavad Gita, the body is compared to the chariot, the mind to the horses, Lord Krishna, the Divine, is the charioteer but it is the individual ego of Arjuna which directs the course of battle. The whole of Bhagavad Gita is God prompting words of wisdom to the individual ego of Arjuna.
The mind, body and soul (or consciousness) cannot be segregated in their true subjective nature, this is reason for Joseph Campbell saying “……..Behind all these manifestations is the one radiance, which shines through all things." but are only objectively segregated at the individual ego consciousness level.
The whole human is Godliness and this is reflected in Teilhard de Chardin's saying: "We are spiritual beings having human experience, not human beings having spiritual experience"
To go back to this realization we need a metaphorical death of the physical.
Wish you all a renewed birth of Christ consciousness and a blessed new year.