This a special time of year. Hanukkah began this past Sunday. The solstice is today. Christmas is this Sunday. And the New Year begins a week from then.
In the Christian calendar, this is Advent, the time of preparation for Jesus’ birth. In the Christmas Story, it is the time of Mary’s pregnancy.
There is a spiritual download uniquely available at the solstice. Historically speaking, the birth of Jesus probably did not happen at the time of year we now celebrate as Christmastime. But there was an awareness of the power available in this season and the awareness of that in the culture of the day. And so, the celebration of Jesus’ birth was set to be near the solstice.
In the Christmas Story, the Holy Ghost comes into Mary. And for us, something similar is available at this time of year.
Stories from antiquity intrigue me. Not only for whatever historical significance they may have but for the powerful symbology they sometimes present, symbology that speaks powerfully to human experience now.
The story of Abraham and Sarah tells of another birth about 3,000 years ago. While Mary was a young woman, Sarah was much older. And she thought she was barren.
It is a story of divine visitation. Being a nomadic people, Sarah was sitting in the tent when she overheard the LORD foretelling her pregnancy to Abraham.
And he (the LORD) said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed, I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
People can come to a place where life feels barren, not just related to children. They come to believe that they have no more to bring forth, no more life to give, no more gifts to offer, and nothing to give birth to in their life. And if you told them that there was going to be some kind of fruitful fulfillment in their life, they might laugh at you.
The Christmas Story offers this telling of the spiritual download that came to Mary.
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
I attribute the virgin birth part of the tale to magical storytelling from the ancient world, either from original authors or translators. Some say that mistranslation of text from the Hebrew Bible was part of the picture.
But without elbowing Joseph out of the picture, doesn’t every conception and every glorious birth involve a powerful download of Universal Love, referred to here as the Holy Ghost? And that is true not only for the birth of a child but for the birth of all new forms. If the forms we give birth to are to be alive—whether a baby, a work of art, a business, or a nation—don’t they have to be conceived by a powerful spiritual download?
For that download to occur, there has to be a Mary. There must be someone present with the sacred space in heart and mind who welcomes it in.
This is the story of Christmas. Even though there was no room at the inn, there was space in a stable. Wise men from the East sanctified the space, and so did local shepherds.
As the events of Mary’s pregnancy unfolded, it is said that Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. She offered sacred space for spiritual conception, pregnancy, and birth.
Is that relevant to you and me? I find it supremely relevant to my life and the world that I live in. What is that quality of space that I need to hold for something to be conceived in me so that beauty and wonder can be born through me at a personal level? And what is that quality of conscious space we must hold together?
Do we laugh at the idea that there is something to give birth to that is beautiful and wondrous? And what is the quality of the space that we hold together, as a spiritual community, that might allow a spiritual download, a conception in us for the Christ Spirit to be born through us in this day? It all depends on the quality of the space that we hold.
For anything creative that you have undertaken, have you not prepared a place in yourself for the download that was to come through you? You probably did not just toss off some great project without preparing your state of consciousness to receive the inspiration that would create it.
If you are anything like me, I imagine you created a space in your consciousness; you cultivated something. And in whatever field of creative endeavor it is, you have learned, as I have, that what can come through depends on the quality of that space you created. And the richer the space, the more wondrous the creation.
The same is true for any collective creation. When I create with others, I seek a quality of vividness. The conscious space becomes crystal clear, the field of awareness unifies, and brilliant ideas begin to form.
Handel’s Messiah speaks about the birth of something glorious this way:
…and all flesh shall see it together.
That’s what happens when a group of people gives birth to something genuinely new.
I’m a songwriter. And so, I have given birth to new songs many times in my life. There is a space opened up in my mind and heart. I crack open, and something happens I can hardly describe, like the divine visitation to Abraham and Sarah or the Holy Ghost overshadowing Mary. The heavens open, and there it is! A song! And it drops down into awareness and onto my sheet of paper.
There is nothing casual about that process. It involves a full-hearted commitment.
I have written songs with other people, and it is the same, except it is shared between us, and together we enter a non-ordinary state of consciousness.
Last Tuesday, Keahi Ewa and I met with Bob Hau and some of his professional friends. They asked us about our vision and plans for the future of Sunrise Ranch. The little voice in my head said, What do you mean, the future of Sunrise Ranch? We are just getting through a pandemic and coming back to life after that.
The trials of life can loom large. And if they do loom large, they can blot out an awareness of what is to come. It became vividly clear to me that for us to really sow the seeds of the future of Sunrise Ranch, there had to be a quality of consciousness that could receive those seeds. There had to be a sacred space that gets vivid and real, full of love and full of fire.
If not for that, anything we create is stillborn. Anyone can build a building or a road. But will it be full of life? It is full of life because of the quality of the sacred space being held by the people who are creating it, so that what is conceived in them is alive and real, and of substantial spiritual value. The seeds of the future are not of human making. Is that not really what we are talking about here? Are we just interested in fabricating something out of human imagination and human will?
We are here to dare to open ourselves up to the ideas of the universe, to be inseminated with those ideas, have them reverberate through us, to stir our hearts and fire our imagination.
…and all flesh shall see it together.
And what are we seeing? We are seeing something initially invisible. It is the essence of something, whether it relates to Sunrise Ranch or anything else. For us collectively, it is the essence of what we have to bring forth as a global spiritual community. We are here to see that together, to know it together, to allow the seed of it to come into us. But for that to happen, there has to be a certain quality of heart, of mind, and a quality of spirit that is of the Great Mother. Mother Mary has to show up in us.
There is a vibrational signature to the space held by people who give birth to the Christ Spirit. I am not talking about a baby here, though I am not ruling out that possibility. I am talking about the forms of life expression that carry the spirit of the living God into the world. It could be a building, and it could be many other things. But what is the vibrational signature carried by people who are allowing themselves to be inseminated with those grand and glorious seeds of creation?
I am speaking specifically about us as a community, but also about each of us individually—the same principle is true in our life.
If you want to play poker, you have to ante up. You cannot get into the poker game unless you do. You have got to ante up to play this game. And what is the ante? Not much—just the deepest love in your heart. Let that vibration be in the space—your deepest prayers.
I have never been a mother, but I imagine it is like that as a mother. The deepest prayers of your heart are there for your child. There is nothing casual about it.
What is going to be born is going to be born out of the space people hold together. And the quality of that space is going to determine what can be born.