Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
[Matthew 2:1-2, NASB]
Perhaps the most esoteric story in the entire Christmas narrative is that of the Magi or Wise Men. These visitors to the nativity of the Christ are really the central characters on the story, the Holy Family taking on only what might be considered a small “cameo” role in the movies today. The story of the Magi is more than just the story of their long trip from their legendary home in Persia (modern day Iran). It is the story of YOUR “spiritual journey.”
The story of their journey to find the Christ-King starts with the Wise Men’s attainment of certain esoteric or heavenly wisdom, for which they earned the reputation of being spiritually wise or full of spiritual wisdom and by which they were bestowed the title of “magi” (magus, in the singular). This spiritual wisdom motivates them to travel westward outside of their native country in search of this King. They are given a sign to guide them and to follow — “His star,” which they have seen from their home in the east. The star leads them to the Christ eventually, whom they worship with gifts, thereby fulfilling the goal of their journey.
The paradigm of the Magi tells us that the spiritual journey — the pursuit of enlightenment or the realization of Truth — begins only after we reach the apex of our humanity as sentient thinking and feeling beings, that is, when we come upon the knowledge and acceptance of mystical truths. At that point in our unfoldment of spiritual consciousness, we see “His star in the east.” The east does not represent a place of dark magic or primitive energies, as some writers have suggested. The east represents a state of rising and ascendancy as opposed to the descent and decline suggested by the sun’s setting in the west.
It is not enough to read, study and learn principles of mystical teaching. We must act on the knowledge we acquire, by embarking on the inner journey in consciousness along the so-called mystical path. The spiritual journey will take us out of our humanhood through an uncertain pathway where there are no signposts or guide maps — only the light from a star to leads us on and to show the way — only the illuminating effect of Truth consciousness acting on our minds, changing and transforming us from the inside out. Our values change, as we learn to discern spiritual truth from the lies and deception of material sense and the illusory ways of “this world,” represented in the story by the city of Jerusalem and its ruler, Herod. Discreetly without fanfare, we let go our human beliefs and dismantle our emotional programs for human unhappiness (the life energy of the human ego, the personal and human sense of self, and the backbone of the false self system) as we continue on our journey.
Ultimately, we reach the transformative moment where we experience the mystical epiphany (revelation or showing) of Truth in consciousness.
After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
[Matthew 2:9-11, NASB]
In blissful ecstasy, we fall to the ground of our Pure Being-ness, and, in that experienced state of oneness, we worship the Christ-Self that we are. Yes, we worship not by bowing low or prostrating ourselves on the floor before someone or something, but by inwardly realizing our oneness with the formless, nameless, infinite cosmic Spirit.
We bare and lay down the treasures we carry with us in our humanity: our body, soul/mind, and spirit. These are our precious gifts of gold (soul/mind), frankincense (spirit), and myrrh (physicality) because they constitute the sentient beings that we are. We surrender and offer them to the Truth/Christ, so that our humanity may become totally transformed by the Christ, through the Christ, and into the divine Christ who we truly are.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all you magi of the 21st century.