«YULE AND NOEL: THE SAGA OF CHRISTMAS Yule and Noel: The Saga of Christmas By Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Ph.D. Get any book for free on: Get any ...»
What becomes indubitably clear from searching study of these old texts is that the Messianic "coming" they refer to is the advent into the evolving life of humanity on this earth plane of a form, grade or degree of consciousness which was not generable in the order of nature itself, but was the flowering to maturity of the conscious potential inherent in a seed of divine mind Get any book for free on: www.Abika.com 11
YULE AND NOEL: THE SAGA OF CHRISTMAS
The Christmas advent of the Prince of Peace would eventuate finally in the Easter crowning of the King of Love, for mind was to be glorified in the end by the sweet aura and radiant light of divine Love.
Of infinite significance it is to know that in all the antecedent and "prophetic" literature and religious ritual stemming into Judaism and Christianity from the venerable lore of old Egypt, the constructions dealing with the Messianic coming indubitably refer to this advent of the new higher dispensation that would supervene on earth from the birth of the thinking principle in human action, and just as indubitably can not be taken to refer to the physical birth of any personalized Christ or Messiah. Study of the ancient field of religious literature reveals no prevalence of the notion that Messiah would come on earth in the form of a human babe and man-Christ until about the second and third centuries of the Christian era, and then predominantly only in the region around the Eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. Tersely, it can be stated as verifiable truth that the conception of the Christ-Messiah as a human being of flesh and blood had not been extant in the ancient world until it took form in the degenerate philosophical period of the early Christian centuries. From the heyday of Greek philosophical brilliance in Plato's age some five hundred years before this there had ensued a tragic decline and decay in spiritual wisdom, which Sir Gilbert Murray has famously characterized by his phrase "the failure of nerve" on the part of the Greek mind. And it was at the very lowest ebb of the philosophical spirit that a phenomenon occurred which cast the shadow of ignorance that deepened into the "Dark Ages" of Medieval Europe. It was at this epoch that the conception of Christos-Messiah as a principle of higher consciousness was transmogrified into the form of a man-God Savior, the Christ as principle turned into the Christ as a man. This was the supreme tragedy of human cultural history. It generated and released the frenzy that was to burn the Alexandrian library, murder Hypatia and Bruno, close up the Platonic Academies and end the benignant light of an archaic spiritual wisdom older than ancient Egypt.
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YULE AND NOEL: THE SAGA OF CHRISTMASFully five thousand years before a Hebrew maid Mary nursed an infant of Nazareth the haloed Madonna and the Child were extant in Egypt as Isis holding her infant Horus. On the walls of the temple of Luxor, at a date as early as 1700 B.C. there were carved four scenes which have been reproduced in the Gospels as first-century Christian history. The first scene depicts a group of angels on a cloud making the annunciation of the coming of the Messiah King to a band of shepherds in the fields. The second represents a single angel announcing to a young maiden that she is to be the mother of this coming King. A third pictures the Nativity scene, with the two animals, the ox and the ass, present. And the fourth shows three noblemen kneeling before a babe and offering gifts. How we are expected to accept the thesis that ancient Egyptian dramatic and symbolic representation of man's evolutionary history turned into factual history in the year 1 A.D. has not been made clear to any reasoning mind. One must go deeply 21 into the study of this remote background of the Judaeo-Christian Scriptural literature to be impressed with the pivotal significance of findings such as these, for they are multitudinous and staggering in their implications.
The setting of the sun or a star in the west had been for long centuries the symbol of the descent of soul into incarnation as similarly the alternate rising of sun or star in the east at morning had allegorized the resurrection or rebirth of soul out of its burial in the dark cave of fleshly body.
The three stars in the hunter's belt in the constellation of Orion had been from remote times denominated the "Three Kings" who attended the birth of the coming Lord. The figure of the Christ born among animals, or exposed to be saved by animals in a stable or a cave, was common at a very early period. The symbolism of midnight, winter and the solstice was universally prevalent as depicting the period of the Christ-birth in the depth of the "dead" condition of soul buried down under bodily inertia. One is safe in saying that not a feature of the traditional forms of celebration of Christmas is missing in the ancient background of our religion. And as one canvasses these identities and correspondences between Gospel narrative and antecedent allegorism, there grows the conviction of the non-historicity and from that the ridiculousness of the Gospel accounts of the birth of the Christ when taken as assumed occurrence in objective history. The supremely beautiful scenario of the angelic heralding of the birth of Christ in Luke's Gospel becomes traduced into unacceptable reality if taken as history.
The singular fact of ostensible "history" that Jesus was born just six months after his forerunner John the Baptist can be given rational--and most sensationally enlightening significance only in reference to the symbolism of the zodiacal chart. That Elizabeth, the mother of John, gave birth to her son in 22 her old age, as did both Sarah and Hannah bear their sons Isaac and Samuel, carries a significance that has not been properly envisaged. The reference to the zodiacal sign of Aries, the Ram, in the items of the Christ featured as the "Lamb of God" and the shepherds with their flocks in Christmas pageantry, has been entirely overlooked, as have also the obvious Piscean implications of the Christ's twelve disciples chosen as "fishermen," and the Greek characterization of the early Christians as "little fishes" and the Christ figure himself as Ichthys, Get any book for free on: www.Abika.com 13
YULE AND NOEL: THE SAGA OF CHRISTMASthe Fish Avatar of deity. In the precession of the equinoxes the sun was entering the sign of Pisces, the Fishes, about the time of the founding of Christianity, and we are quite ignorant today as to the concern of ancient religious interest with both astrological and natural symbolic representation. To interpret ancient Scriptures solely from the historical point of reference and ignore the poetic, figurative and emblematic, will contort their cryptic esoteric significance into gross caricature of real meaning.
Then there is the item of the name of the location of the Gospel birth. One is now in position to say that if the divine babe's birthplace had been localized in Patagonia, Lapland, Alaska or Siberia, or London or New York, he would still have been truly born in "Bethlehem." Because it is as clear as anything well can be that the name, Bethlehem, carries no possible reference to the village of that name in Palestine. What then does Bethlehem mean? The Hebrew dictionary tells us that the word is made up of beth, meaning "house," and lehem meaning "bread." It therefore means "house of bread," and is a cryptic designation of the human body. Where else can the Christ consciousness be born but in the human body and its brain? As the "Red Sea" in both Old and New Testament symbolism is a glyph for 23 the human body blood (since it is actually sea water and is red!), so the "Bethlehem" house of bread is a semantic veil for the human body. In the archaic zodiacal symbolism the sign of Virgo, the Virgin Mother, was poetized as the house of bread--from the fact that in it was the great star, Spica, the head of wheat, symbol of the divine bread coming down from heaven--while just six months across from it was the sign of Pisces, the Fishes. The Sages of antiquity portrayed Virgo as the mother of the first or natural man and Pisces as the Mother of the second Adam or the Christ. How astonishingly significant it must be, then, to note that in the "miracle" of the feeding of the five thousand the two foods given were the emblems of these two houses of the zodiac, Virgo and Pisces, the one the Mother of John, the forerunner, the other the mother of Jesus, just six months later! At least two of the ancient goddesses in religious dramatism were styled "Fishmothers" of divinity, Atergatis and Semiramis. The semantic relevance of the mermaid in ancient mythology is connected with this area of reference.
24 THE RED AND THE GREEN
Having woven again the threads of connection of the great festival with its primal sources in ancient symbolic science, the way is clear to delineate as lucidly as possible the basic significations of the various rites, modes and symbols of the customary celebration. The explanation of the meaning of the two vividly contrasting colors which stand as the "theme colors" of Christmas, red and green, seems the most proper item with which to begin the exegesis. And the basic rationale underneath these colors will itself formulate the essential ground-scheme for the interpretation of most of the other symbolic features.
No treatise can dissertate upon such a matter as the birth of the Christ without blue-printing a chart of the interrelation of the several diverse but interlocked natures which enter into the constitution of man, the human-divine composite. The true--but long lost--bases of sound Get any book for free on: www.Abika.com 14
YULE AND NOEL: THE SAGA OF CHRISTMASreligious philosophy are to be located in the realm of anthropology. Religious experience is a phenomenon transpiring within the elements of human nature. It is, so to say, a psychosomatic ferment amongst the sensual, emotional, intellectual and spiritual components of man's compound existence.
Most graphically described, man is, in Plato's analysis, half god and half animal; a god by virtue of his mind, an animal by virtue of his body. He is a god inhabiting the body of an animal. He is thus fabricated out of four separate natures, which are interfused and interrelated in one organism. He is in toto a combination in one physical form of four organic entifications of being or consciousness, the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual, each functioning in and through its own 25 distinct body, which in each case is composed of matter in a state of atomic texture and organization consonant with its degree of fineness or coarseness in the evolutionary scale. These four bodies are maintained in communal relation to each other within the confines of the outer physical frame by the play of affinities and atomic energizations that life and nature readily, if mysteriously, succeed in regulating, the finer bodies interpenetrating and animating the coarser.
Their diversity of structure is seen as a matter of the differences in frequency, wave-length and other modes of vibration of the four grades of matter composing them.
The two coarser and, in the evolutionary sense, lower bodies and their activated types of consciousness constitute what ancient arcane science denominated the lower, or natural man, called in Pauline Christianity the first Adam, or the "man of the earth, earthy," while the two finer and higher ones composed the "spiritual man," the second Adam, Paul's "Lord from heaven." The first two, symboled respectively by earth and water, united to form man physical;
the second two, emblemed by air and fire, constituted man spiritual. The four united man earthly with heavenly man. When the Bible poetically says that heaven and earth have kissed each other, it refers to the union of the two natures in the body and life of mankind.
Man's complete constitution, then, consisted of four natures so conjoined as to make him a dual creature, with a material body composed of earth and water, and a spiritual body composed of air (Latin spiritus means "air") and fire, with the former housing the latter, but being animated and ensouled by it. As religion is the relation between man's physical-animal nature and that of this indwelling god within him, the gist of all meanings presented in the Scriptures and theology relates to 26 the interplay between these two co-tenants of the physical body, the psyche and the soul.
This analysis prepares the ground for the explication of the red and green colors so vividly flaunted in the Yule display. The strongly contrasting yet complementary green leaves and red berries of the holly branch are not only beautiful to the sense, but stand as mentally cogent types of the two natures in man. Green is the universal color of nature on this planet, at least in the Get any book for free on: www.Abika.com 15