(Excerpt from the book The Art of Meditation by Robert Elias Najemy)
I would like to share with you here some of my humble thoughts concerning these important parts of His life, His birth, His death and resurrection, which we celebrate yearly.
The Christ Within
We are mistaken to limit Christ to the form of Jesus. The fact is that we really do not know what Jesus looked like. We have a large variety of artists’ interpretations; some golden haired (which is unlikely considering his place of birth). Others with more Arab – Jewish features, others with Black or South American features. Each culture has created Jesus in its own image.
Although it is extremely beneficial to use the form of Jesus as a focal point for coming into contact with and worshiping the Christ, it would be a mistake to limit the Christ Consciousness to that one form.
The early church fathers realized this, and for this reason suggest in the “Philokalia” as does also a pilgrim monk in his book The Way of the Pilgrim that we focus on Christ as an “energy – light form” rather than as a physical form.
Christ tried in various ways to help us realize that he was not limited by the body of Jesus. He said, ÇI am in you and you are in me and I am in the Father and the Father is in meÈ.
He obviously could not have been speaking about the physical body, which we call Jesus. He was speaking as the Christ Consciousness, which is in and around every person. It is in us. We are in it.
When He spoke about the judgment day and how the Lord would say to us that we fed or didn’t feed Him, or helped or did not help Him, He was giving us the same message. For we would ask, ÇBut when were you in a condition requiring that I help or feed you?È His answer is that He is in every being. (As the life consciousness and spiritual essence of that being)
The various forms of worship are means for reestablishing that connective link, that unity with the Christ Consciousness.
How do we lose this connection? We lose it when we function out of ignorance in an ego-centered manner. The Christ Consciousness is the basis of every being’s existence. There is no other source of existence. Thus every Christian, Moslem, Jew, Hindu and Buddhist and atheist is in fact an expression or manifestation of the one Christ Consciousness and is our brother or sister.
We need to broaden our concept of Christ and love for Christ, to include humanity. This can be done best through service towards all.
THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
The birth of Christ then is not limited to the birth of Jesus. The birth, crucifixion and resurrection of the Christ are daily events occurring hundreds of times each day in each of us. The Birth of Christ has to do with the birth of the Christ Consciousness within us. It has to do with the awakening of wisdom, truth and love within us. It has to do with a feeling of oneness and unity with all beings. It has to do with the death (crucifixion) of the Ego and resurrection of the Christ within.
Christ lives and creates through us when we care as much about those around us as we care about ourselves. Otherwise, although Jesus may have come and gone, Christ is still dead to us.
Thus, although we celebrate Christmas at a specific time each year, the reality is that every day can be Christmas.