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The Rite of the Immaculate Conception

   The Gospel of Matthew opens with the genealogy of the man Jesus. Esoteric Christianity teaches that though Jesus was the most spiritually advanced ego that ever lived upon the earth, yet, pure and holy a He was, He belonged to the human life, wave and came to earth in order to reveal the spiritual possibilities attainable to all. The Gospel of Matthew corroborates this.

   The inner teachings also maintain that Joseph and Mary were both high Initiates of the Order of Essenes (the mystic Christians of that day), and that with a full and complete knowledge of their mission, they prepared themselves to become the pure and chaste parents of the Master Jesus.

   It was the mission of the seers and prophets of the Old Testament period to prepare for the coming of Jesus and the great redemptive work of the Christ. Not only did they predict these events, but by their deep understanding they interpreted something of the nature and mission of both Jesus and the Christ.

   Following this verse is an interpolation which was added after the true esotericism of the Christian religion had been lost in dogma, creed and ritualism, which endeavors to prove the truth of the Immaculate Conception by the Holy Ghost. This was done by interpreters who did not comprehend the sacred meanings nor how the spiritual forces may operate in the life of every great Initiate.

   Jesus is more than an inspiring example: He is of all men the Supreme Way-Shower. Being a member of our own humanity, he reveals the possibilities of human attainment. That which He did, all may accomplish. Had Jesus belonged to another order of beings, He would not be the example for our emulation that He now is. He would then be looked upon rather as an abstract ideal portraying a perfection possible to us only when reaching some superhuman development. But it is everyone's destiny, while yet in the human stage of development, to attain even as Jesus attained, and it becomes the work of New Age Bible Interpretation to clarify and enforce this truth so that all may come into a closer and more intimate relationship with the high Initiates, Jesus, Mary and Joseph than has been possible hitherto, and by such association grow day by day increasingly into their likeness. A new awakening to these truths and their practice in daily living is a necessary preparation for entry into the Era now dawning, when definite steps will be taken to establish suitable conditions for the future return of the high archangelic Spirit, the Christ.

   Every event in the life of the Christed Jesus finds its parallel in the life of one who aspires to the attainments of such Initiates as were Jesus, Mary and Joseph. So also in every pre-Christian religion or initiatory School without exception, the path of attainment is foreshown in the lives of its great teachers as clearly as it is shown to the Christian in the life of Christ Jesus. They include an immaculate conception, performance of miracles, a crucifixion and a resurrection. This must of necessity be so since the path of Initiation is similar for all. Hence every teacher is represented as experiencing these soul steps in his career. There is one exception: the legend of the Star is connected only with the birth of Jesus. This mysterious Star was the Archangel Christ hovering above and blessing the birth of Jesus and imbuing his holy body with His own celestial powers so that it might become a fit vehicle for His later use during the three-year Ministry.

The Rite of the Nativity

   The Archangels are now the Lords of Capricorn. Jesus was born when the sun entered Capricorn, the sign of mastership, the awakener of the Christ consciousness and the ruler of the holy season, the Winter Solstice.

   It is because Initiation is a cosmic process of enlightenment and liberation of power that the experiences involved are similar for all. It is interesting from this viewpoint to note that Buddha, Krishna, Agni, the fire god, Osiris, Zeus, Mithras, Dionysius, Hermes, and many others were reputed to be born of virgin mothers through an immaculate conception, the holy birth taking place at midnight in a cave, grotto, or stable. Every messenger who has inaugurated a great world religion has been immaculately conceived and has come to birth with all the inner beauty and mystic meaning that such a conception signifies.

   An ego thus born is termed an "old soul," one who has had many preparatory earth lives during which he has evolved that sublime compassion which enabled him to live the life of complete self-renunciation necessary to become a Teacher of his people. Such an ego is carefully watched over and tended by the divine Hierarchies who guard human evolution. His birth is a momentous event, and Angels and Archangels watch and wait and sing hosannas when so lofty a soul is brought to birth. The Kabbala states that the Cherubim and Seraphim (the Lords of Cancer and Gemini) joined in the angelic chorus to announce the birth of the Master Jesus, singing, "Peace on earth, and good will toward men," a message fraught with deep esoteric significance, for with this birth a New Dispensation was ushered in, when at His Name every knee should bow and every voice proclaim His transcendent glory as Lord and Regent of the earth.

   The birth of the World Saviour was a cosmic event of unparalleled significance, and it is therefore not surprising that it is pictured in the skies from year to year. In the stars we may peruse a biography of the Great Ones who come to fulfill world missions. "As above, so below." In letters of flame, written so that those who will may read, we find in the starry vault of the heavens each year at the holy Christmas season the cosmic outlines of the great Christ event.

   At the time of the Winter Solstice, the Sun, the physical light of the material world, reaches its extreme southern declination, and is to the northern hemisphere partially dead so far as its beneficent, life-giving force is concerned. It then becomes necessary for a new god of light to be born to save humanity from darkness, cold, famine and eventual death. On the night of December 21, the Sun begins to rise slowly toward the earth's equator. Thus we say that a new Sun child is born at Christmas time. From about ten p.m. until midnight of December 24, in all northern latitudes, the sign Virgo, the Virgin, the sign of purity, of the Immaculate Conception and' of the deified type of motherhood, is to be seen on the eastern horizon brooding over the holy birth, while in the belt of Orion shine the three stars called the Three Magi or Wise Men (magus, meaning wonder worker) who heralded the glad tidings of the Nativity. At the time of the Winter Solstice these stars are in the western sky opposite the Virgin upon the eastern horizon.

   The decree of the Emperor Augustus that all who were of Bethlehem be taxed, brought great throngs into the village. The inn was filled, so Joseph and Mary took lodging in the stable, and the holy Babe was born in a manger where the beasts fed.

   After Joseph, with tender and loving care, had prepared the rude manger as best he could, he departed a short distance away and knelt to gaze upon the beloved Virgin with profound awe. She was kneeling in prayer and so absorbed in ecstatic visions that from time to time, according to legendary records, she was lifted above the earth and lost to sight in the glory of light that surrounded her and extended like a bridge of gold from heaven to earth. Down this ray came multitudes of chorusing Angels till the air was vibrant with their shimmering movement and the wonder of their triumphant canticles. At the mystic hour of midnight the luminous aura of the Holy Babe shone more brilliant than all the lights of earth as the blessed mother, together with Joseph and the hosts of Angels, knelt in rapture before the majesty of His Presence.

   The mystic legends add, furthermore, that during this joyous travail of Mary all the birds were stationary in their flight; the sheep, near water, did not drink; the cattle in the stables fell upon their knees-all nature was transfixed in ecstasy, so "gracious and so hallowed" was the time.

   This is but an allegorical way of saying that on the first Holy Night, through the power of that mysterious Star which focused its rays upon the planet, the entire vibratory rate was lifted and lightened in preparation for the coming of that glorious Spirit, Christ Jesus. There is an esoteric reason why Jesus was born in Bethlehem. There is a magnetic center between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, through which powerful spiritual currents are passing into the center or heart of the earth. For thousands of years before the Christian Era, the wise men and teachers of all Mystery Schools were helping to prepare this holy place for the transcendent work of the Christ. for be it remembered that in their innermost center all Schools of eternal truth work in unity and harmony to lift and enlighten mankind. It is only when the spirit is submerged by the letter and mere form that differences, dissensions, and antagonisms arise. A part of the mission of all so-called pagan religions — all high, beautiful, and true in their inception — was to help prepare mankind for the coming of the world Saviour, the Christ.

   This work of spiritualization in the Holy Land — so well named from the esoteric point of view — is still being carried on by the Mystery Schools of the etheric planes in preparation for the second coming of the Christ. The Mysteries of the Summer and Winter Solstices are much concerned with this work.

   The "field of Bethlehem" is a center of great spiritual power and at the time of the Birth was guarded by the Raim (seeing ones, or Initiate-Shepherds).

   The chant of "peace on earth, good will toward men," sung to a particular vibratory rate on Holy Night by the angelic hosts and the Illumined Ones among mankind, is infusing a new spiritual potency into the earth, making it easier each year for the masses to realize brotherhood, altruism and fellowship; it also aids the pioneers to awaken into active manifestation the powers of the newborn Christ within.

   We repeat, everyone is destined to experience all the steps outlined in the life of Christ Jesus, for every ego is a Christ in the making. The Immaculate Conception and the Holy Birth will at some time become a living, demonstrable experience within the personal life of everyone. Meditation upon these spiritual mysteries will draw the aspirant ever closer within the aura of the great Sacred Heart of Love which embraces all things and whose power is at the maximum during the blessed Holy Season.

 — Corinne Heline

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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