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The Presentation

   For the mystic forty days (esoterically a period of preparation for higher work and not literally the specified number of days), the Holy Family carried on their work together in solitude. These days were marked by three important events: the Circumcision, the Purification and the Visit of the Wise Men.

   Forty days after the Nativity, Mary and Joseph presented themselves in the Temple of Jerusalem for purification under the law. Those who were able to do so brought lambs as sacrificial offerings; the poor offered only doves or pigeons, For the highly evolved these were only symbols. The illumined in all ages have presented only flowers, fruits, and grains, knowing these to be the external manifestations of the body of the great Earth Spirit.

   Simeon, a holy man, was privileged by his attainments to attend the esoteric rites in connection with the holy Child Jesus, aswas the woman Initiate, Anne, the former teacher of Mary. The name Jesus was bestowed upon the Child at the Rite of Circumcision. Jesus in Hebrew is synonymous with Joshua, and means "salvation." Jes was a title used by the ancients for the sun, and Jas was a mystic name used among the Greeks for the sun god, Dionysius. Jod is the most important letter of the Hebrew alphabet and its symbol constitutes a part of every one of that alphabet's twenty-two letters; it represents the power of the ego, the I that must eventually become the I am.

   Simeon, through spiritual revelation, saw the real purpose of Jesus' mission as being the medium for the Christ, and the eventual glorious triumph of true Christianity. The prophetic utterance of Simeon regarding Mary bears a deep and mystic import: "A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

   Mary typifies the redeemed feminine in the body of man. This redemption is accomplished through sorrow, the only way by which mankind finds permanent salvation. Like Christ Jesus, Mary represents the perfect consummation of the work within which awaits realization in every individual in every race. This process, through which the sword of Truth, (lost with Eden, and piercing the soul until this Truth be recovered) is outlined in the Seven Sorrows of Mary as recorded in the foregoing chapter.

   The blessed Lady spent the hours of the night before the Presentation in prayer and the revowing of her life in dedication to the enlargement of her service as the perfected Type-Pattern of motherhood for all ages. She understood that all major events in the lives of both her Son and herself marked definite steps leading toward the future Christing of all men, hence the vital import of these various symbolic Rites.

   The two holy Initiate-Servitors in the Temple, Simeon and Anne, were both given a vision of the Presentation and its true meaning in relation to the Messiah and His redemptive work for the planet, for humanity and for every living thing. In the Memory of Nature they traced the lives of sorrow and of joy, of triumph and of seeming defeat. They noted, too, the important role the divine mother was to assume throughout the great Christ-Drama and the words addressed to her were for her courage and sustenance.

The Flight into Egypt

   Matthew gives the Gospel of the Path as this is outlined immediately after the Birth. Luke represents a higher phase of attainment. Consequently Luke makes no mention of the flight into Egypt, which represents the call of the sense life. There is a period of probation and testing for each degree of Initiateship, as well as for the neophyte. Such a period is represented by the flight into Egypt. This thralldom of the sense life has been overcome in the higher degrees, therefore the Gospel of Luke passes from the Temple Rites directly to the teaching in the Temple.

   Egypt was three hundred miles away, and the journey a long and arduous one. But all along the route lived groups of the Essenes who knew the work destined for the Holy Child, and consequently He and His parents were assisted on their journey by many friends. They were also constantly companioned and protected by angelic hosts.

   According to mystic legends, the Holy Family passed most of the time in Matariah, a town near Cairo, almost in the shadow of the Sphinx and the Pyramids. These legends also state that when the Family entered Egypt, all temple idols fell from their shrines — a veiled allusion to the eventual precedence of the religion brought to the world by Christ Jesus.

   Upon one of the nights of the arduous journey across the desert a band of robbers gave shelter to the Holy Family. The water in which Mary had washed the clothing of the infant Jesus she poured upon the leprous son of one of the robbers and he became as white as snow. Thirty-three years later this same son said to his Lord as they hung together upon Calvary: "Remember me in Paradise," and once again the Master and the holy Mary blessed his soul as long ago they had healed his body.

   The years in Egypt were productive of much good. The humble abode of the Holy Family soon became a shrine where illness of body, mind and spirit found alleviation. Seed planted now knew it flowering in the glory of Egypt's saints. Joseph with his carpentry and Mary's skill in fine needlework provided the physical necessities, while the hours from midnight to dawn were times of heavenly communion and angelic visitation. The child Jesus had communed mystically with His mother from birth. His first spoken words were addressed to Joseph as "my father."

   In His hours of daily communion with God the Father, it was Jesus' wish that His mother remain with Him. Legends quote Him thus: "My mother, remain with me always as the vessel and model of all perfection."

 — Corinne Heline

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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