Our Day-Star Rises

Chapter XXII

In Lundy’s Monumental Christianity (p. 120) there is a paragraph of some length which it would be a crime of the deepest dye not to mention here. It stands as such a choice morsel of that combined arrogance and sad ignorance and misjudgment which the host of Christian writers has exhibited for centuries in their treatment of the religions of "paganism," that not to serve it up to the reader in this feast of clarification would be gross niggardliness. Comment must be restrained until the end. (The most egregious statements are emphasized by (our) italics.)

"It is a marvelous thing that Paganism has these Avatars or appearances of God on earth, whether as copies or as independent types or prophecies of Christ’s manifestation of God to men it matters not; and so we have the Bel of the Assyrians and Babylonians; the Mithra of the Persians; the Agni of the Hindus; the Horus of the Egyptians; and the Apollo of the Greeks and Romans, all bearing a striking analogy to the Real Son of God, being all of them sun gods themselves. Because the sun was the great creator and restorer in nature, he was adored or made the medium of the adoration paid to the Creative, Preserving and Restoring Power of the universe by all these ancient peoples. They were seeking after God; for to the greater part of the Pagan world God was unknown. Their mistake was in identifying nature and God, and not retaining nature as a mere symbol. Their religion as a consequence became unreal; and their gods mere fictions--mere forces of nature deified--mere creatures of the imagination. If nature be God and made itself, then there is an end to all argument about religion. In that case religion becomes natural science or natural history. God as a Supreme Being or Person above and beyond and independent of nature there is none; and religion is an impossibility. But religion is a fact; and has been a fact ever since the existence of the human race. It stands, therefore, as a witness to the universal belief in Something or Some Being behind nature and beyond it; and when the sun was at first chosen as the most conspicuous symbol and the most fitting type of God’s unknown being and attributes, they were feeling their way after him and making their images of the material sun like the grace and beauty and fresh bloom of nature acted upon by his warmth and light. If Christianity and this Sun of Righteousness are but copies or adaptations of this old Paganism, then how did it take the place of Paganism? It would be a house divided against itself. Some real and not merely ideal Divine Personage had appeared among men, or Christianity is but a fiction like the rest. It was not afraid of the Pagan Apollo, when it adopted the beautiful ideal of this youthful sun-god to express the divinity of Jesus Christ as a fact."

The passage deserves by way of comment and critique a whole extended essay instead of a few sentences. It is indeed an inviting pièce de résistance. The main puzzle, however, is to tell duck from turkey. Indeed it is a fact that the more of such underhand blows of Christian writers at paganism one reads, the more impressed one becomes with the realization that most of the presumed stones of slander and reproach they hurl at paganism turn out to be bouquets of the highest praise. The diatribes of intended abuse more often than not resolve themselves through an unguarded utterance into the highest encomiums.

Lundy begins by admitting that it is marvelous that the pagans had Avatars and Messiahs in their religions. But when he says it matters not whether they had them as copies, or as independent types and prophecies of the Gospel’s Christ’s manifestation, and that either way it proves the superior truth of Christian teachings, he gaily plunges right through a wall of impossible logic and contrary facts stout enough to stop any force but religious zealotry. It is the same fatal predicament that caught one Christian reviler of paganism after another in the net of its illogical absurdity. It being too confessedly humiliating to admit that the early Christians copied their unexampled true religion from the pagans, forsooth the copying had to be laid at the door of the pagans! But, horrors! The pagans were first, centuries ahead of them! A thing is not copied before it is in existence, but after. Later copies earlier, not vice versa. There was but one dodge to escape the dreadful onus of the logic of the situation, and peerless Christianity saw it and resorted to it. This was to charge that the pagans, instigated by the devil, copied the matchless Christian doctrines that were still to come with the birth of the true Messiah in the year one (or four, or twelve) A.D. Paganism was of the devil and the scheming serpent that whispered blandishing words in Eve’s ear came on the scene again to dictate artfully to the many pagan seers the "plagiarism by anticipation" of the faith to be. The pagans craftily copied the Christian religion centuries in advance.

Alternative to copying the items of Christian dogma ahead of their pronouncement, Lundy admits that the pagans may have preconceived the realities of Christ’s manifestation as "independent types and prophecies," with or without Satan’s whispering aid. If so, all that any sane mind could think of their accomplishment is that it was a feat of wondrous genius. If Christianity be the transcendently lofty pure revelation it is claimed to be, the pagans soared high to match its conceptions in advance. Yet a Christian writer musts needs treat it with a slur.

Then Lundy calmly admits that Bel, Mithra, Agni, Horus and Apollo all "bear a striking analogy to the Real Son of God," without the remotest suspicion that such an admission points with practical conclusiveness to the fact that Jesus was just another Sun-god figure with the others.

But the apex of both poor reasoning and bald untruth is reached in his statement that the mistake of the pagans was in identifying nature with God and not retaining nature as a mere symbol. He here charges pagan philosophy with making the enormous mistake that it took endless care never to make. The whole base of pagan religious systems is the explicit differentiation between nature and God, since nothing is more emphasized everywhere than the more exalted status of the Christ, second Adam or child of the spirit, over the first or natural man, of the earth, earthy, who comes first to prepare the way for the later and higher guest. The Christ comes in the fullness of time, in mother nature’s old age, to elevate and transform the child of nature. Paul states that the whole (natural) creation groaneth and travaileth in pain, waiting for its transformation by the power of manifested spirit. The great Egyptian religion is built on the conflict between Sut and Horus, who typify the natural forces and the spiritual. Horus’ victory over Sut is the symbolization of the highest aim and goal of all religious aspiration. The ancients expressly did not intrude the area of nature into the kingdom of spirit. To retain nature as mere symbol of higher values is precisely the thing they did do. And they did it so grandly that if Christianity does not turn back and adopt the same method of natural analogical representation and depiction of spiritual laws, it will continue to hobble along groping in semi-darkness, ignoring the natural correspondences that alone could eliminate its labyrinthine difficulties.

To assert that pagan religion was unreal, that its gods were mere fictions of the imagination, is simply to state what is not true and never was. Their gods were the real forces of both nature and mind, but personalized for the simple purposes of dramatism. To declare that Isis was a fiction, that Thoth was pure imagination, is to declare that Mother Nature is unreal, that Intelligence is not a true element.

God is a Supreme Being behind and beyond nature, though unquestionably in nature as well; but there is no body of evidence that the pagans ignored this knowledge. Any student who does not find that ancient religion is infinitely more than natural science or natural history has not read his books with eye to see what is there. Lundy simply reveals his total failure to grasp the profundities of archaic wisdom if he contends there is in it no Supreme Being above, beyond and independent of nature. This is sheer unwillingness or inability to see what is there for any mind to perceive. What Lundy has not seen, nor those who belong still to his party, is that the ancients discerned a relation subsisting between nature and nature’s God which they worked upon to achieve a greater lucidity in the formulation and exposition of the most recondite and cryptic truths of life. Though at a lower level than mind and soul, nature was known to be the analogue of cosmic truth, and as such provided the visible living types of that truth. It was the physical counterpart of all spiritual law, and its processes and phenomena were an unerring key to the mysteries of all subjective revelation. And the ancients never spurned nature or vilified it with the philosophical contempt which the Christians heaped upon it in virtue of its supposed inferior status. God was far more than it, to be sure; but it was a segment of his being, as much as a man’s body is a portion of his selfhood, and as such it had its own proper place in the sacredness of the whole.

The amount of charitable condescension Christian writers have lavished upon the poor pagans for their laudable seeking after God amid their prevailing spiritual darkness should certainly induce God to indulge them in his tender mercy. They were cut off from all true light, yet by some blind instinct they groped for what was vouchsafed in full panoply of glory a little later to the Christians. Heroically they struggled toward the light. So they chose the sun as the most conspicuous manifestation of the powers of light, life and creation, because, of course, they could go no higher toward a metaphysical idea. In dull blundering hazy fashion they could think far enough to see that the sun was the author of the beneficent provision that surrounded them on earth. With no power to see a Divine Mind working at a far higher level than that evidenced through the power in the physical sun, they were limited to their conception of the Creator in the garb and role of a sun-god. And if Christianity broke away from paganism and spurned it as a bundle of crude childish misconceptions, how, asks Lundy, can it be said that it was not infinitely higher than the system it so far transcended? How, he asks, as if it was a clinching argument of unanswerable force, how did

Christianity take the place of paganism? How, indeed, we ask in turn. This volume contains the gist of the answer, and it is not the answer that Lundy assumed to be the only and the true one. Contrary to every element of his implied answer, Christianity is not only a copy or adaptation "of this old paganism," with every single one of its doctrines rooted in an ancient item of symbolic portrayal of truth, but, sad to say, it is a vitiated and degraded copy of the shining original. This answer has never been given before. Christianity, grievously enough, took the place of paganism because it swept an overpowering wave of fanatical resentment against the aristocracy of the esoteric intellectual mysteries and drowned it out. This is the simple truth of the matter, so long submerged. The episode contends for the honor of being perhaps the direst tragedy of world history. The recrudescence of the esoteric movement widespread in the world today is the most general effort in sixteen centuries to regain what was then lost. And all the forces of the intervening centuries of obscurantism, reaching right up to the present and opposing the light now as then, are set to block the recovery.

The most fatal legend that clutches at the general mind today and stultifies all right exertion to regain what ancient pagan wisdom once held for humanity, is the legend that the Dark Ages are long past. On the intellectual side of religion and spirituality we are still dwelling in the lingering shadows of medieval night, hypnotized and victimized by superstition of the weirdest types flaunted from pulpit and seminary. This beclouded day of gloom must continue as long as we have not the acumen to dissociate sublime myth, allegory, drama and symbol from the dregs of history. For philosophical science has at last, in recent development, gone far enough toward the light that it now announces that the core and gist of all philosophy is summed up in the one word, meaning. And the transcendent meaning of the richest legacy of religious wisdom imparted to the race in all time has been lost for two millennia because it was preserved in an amber of allegory, which, mistaken for history, has yielded a farrago of clownish nonsense in place of the gold of truth. This is the biggest chapter in the cultural history of mankind.

Yet Lundy hits close indeed to the real truth of the matter in many other passages. He says, for instance, that Plato learned his theology in Egypt and the East and must have known of the crucifixion of the Buddha, Krishna, Mithra and others occurring long before the day of Christianity. He even argues that if the mythos has no spiritual meaning, all religion becomes mere idolatry. And he admits that the symbols of Oriental pagan religions do indicate a Supreme Power and Intelligence above matter. He says that the Greek and Persian Sun-gods were true types of the Sun of Righteousness. He even reaches the point of magnanimity at which he can say that surely the God and Father of all has not withheld a knowledge of the way of life and salvation from his pagan children and revealed it only to Israel, before the advent of his Son. Yet it is the Christian system which has not been at too strenuous pains to discourage a general belief that such had been the case. Indeed that very conclusion is practically enforced upon the mind as a necessary implication of all the Christian claims put forth as to the benightedness of the pre-Christian world. Lundy comes to the advanced point of admitting that the true Sun must have been somewhere close in the background to produce such shining types and anticipations of Christ as Agni, Krishna, Mithra, Horus, Apollo and Orpheus on the pagan horizon. But he, like all others standing in the same orthodox tradition, winks his mental eye at the obvious true implication of this admitted datum, which is that they and Jesus were alike representations of the one Christos who was never a person.

Lundy cites the "eagerness with which the pagans embraced Christianity" as evidence that it gave them in more comprehensible form what they had been imperfectly taught in their own systems. It explained the mystery of their own creeds. The entire religious world had long been looking for the birth of a "man-God," he says. The Redeemer promised to fallen man had been announced uninterruptedly from age to age. He had been eagerly looked for at Rome, among the Goths and Scandinavians, in China, India, in High Asia especially, where all the religious systems were founded on the dogma of a Divine Incarnation. Zoroaster had foretold it, and Zoroaster’s disciples, the Magi of Persia, had followed the star to the birth-chamber. Pagan oracles and the Sibyls had foretold it. So, concludes Lundy, when at last the news broke upon the pagan world that Messiah had indeed come in Judea, the nations eagerly flocked to hail the babe who brought the consummation of their hopes.

To summarize a long argument in brief, not only is Lundy’s picture of the "eagerness" much overdrawn, if not an actual fiction, but, as has been shown herein at an earlier place, the mass support that accrued to Christianity in the early centuries was the result of far other causes than the belief that the Avatar of the new astronomical aeon had appeared in personal form on a given day in Bethlehem. Lundy’s brief can best be answered by noting that there is no evidence whatever of a general widespread flocking of the nations to the banner of the new cult. So far from this being the case, there was for nearly two centuries almost no notice taken of the event at all. And the rabble of the Roman Empire that did after two and a half centuries flock into the fold, did so through default and decay of esoteric understanding rather than from any true recognitions.

The eminent psychologist, C. G. Jung, says that the mind of man, before it is inundated and indoctrinated or conditioned with fictions and falsities, is a clean tablet, a virgin womb, and that if it is properly nourished with truth it can give birth to the Christos. This is a pretty tropism and true enough; but it is not quite the meaning of the virgin birth of the Christos in the ancient glyphs. The Virgin Mother is matter, not mind. Matter is to evolve an organism in which Mind and a Spiritual Soul would grow, bloom and bear fruit of the highest divine consciousness. The planting of this soul in matter’s garden, its germination, growth, cultivation, blooming and fruiting were the birth and the "coming" of that Messiah to which the sages of antiquity taught the human family to look with eager expectation. Any preachment which distracts the concentration of the entire world’s aspiration and striving away from this goal of our racial evolution and dissipates it in sentimental release upon an isolated historical event (that proves in the finale to be no event at all, but only garbled allegorism), by so much defeats the vital message of ancient truth and thwarts the direct purpose of the early divine guardianship of the race. The true and only true expectation of Messiah’s birth in the world must be watched for in the mantling spread of Christly graciousness among all peoples. When the watchman, peering from the mountain top through the night and fog of low human selfishness and animal brutishness at last proclaims the signs of the appearance of the Sun-god in the rising tide of good-fellowship among the nations and the brotherly congress of all peoples in mutual amity, then and in no other way will the world be able to join with the angels above in filling heaven and earth with choric halleluiahs. Till then all Yuletide gladsomeness is but token of that which is still to come. The mythic birth of a babe amid all the pageantry of beautiful emblemism is a moving drama of the grand reality. But, alas! If the mind have nothing to carry it beyond the pageant to the transcendent actuality, or, worse, if the mind has been taught to take the pageant for the whole body of the actuality, it becomes travesty and tragic abortion.

Lundy is long departed, but it is for his followers and successors to contemplate the implications of his and their own historic claims. We have noted the odd fact that whenever the Bible narrative is accepted as historic truth and its accounts of factual occurrence are transposed into realism, monstrosities of unnaturalness are the result. Even more prodigiously fatal is the consequence of accepting in full realism the great Christian claim that Messiah has come and gone and left the world wholly unredeemed. No more tragic reflection could afflict the mind of sincere humans than the assurance--if the Christian claim be true--that the world’s great Messianic hope has been fulfilled--and that it has meant so little! If the nineteen hundred years of historic record that have followed this supposedly crowning event of the human aeon are to be taken as the actual fulfillment of Messianic promise, then we have witnessed the supreme anticlimax and disillusionment of the ages. So crushing would this realization be to the natural sanguine spiritual instinct and the hope of the race that in the face of it the human heart would cry out to Deity for the assurance that it may indeed not have been so. It is little to be wondered at now why Paul urged the brethren to shun profane and vain babblings of such as Hymenaeus and Philetus, who, he says, concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already. Of similar urgency today is the message that we should shun the vain babblings which err in saying that the Messiah has come already. Human courage and constancy would fail if the world was assured that the great aeonial denouement of all fervent aspiration and age-long faith had actually taken place, and meant nothing more than the record since then. The mind refuses to accept the centuries of medieval darkness and the nearly equally futile centuries of modern confusion of tongues as the laurel crown of historic consummation, the golden fruits of the mundane effort. From present view it would be almost to suffocate the heart with the chill of terror to admit the thought that the great culminating event of human life has already taken place--and proved so futile. Mortal spirit must sink in despair if the history since Bethlehem and Golgotha is the upshot of Messiah’s coming. The only salvation of that spirit is the assurance that Messiah has not come, but is yet to come. For discomfiture and dismay seize the mind at the thought of the pitiable historical denouement of the alleged Messianic fulfillment. If what the world has seen in the actual since the angels chorused to the shepherds is the reign of Messiah, then the dream of faith must die in the morn of hard disillusionment. As far as anyone can see, the world could have been no worse off if it had not happened at all. Indeed it proves to have been largely the cause and beginning of an initial period of sixteen hundred years of such spiritual benightedness as the world had not known before. It inaugurated the Dark Ages and in just those lands over which its blessings of "light" were distributed. And now, after nineteen hundred years of the supposed benignant effects of the reign of the planetary Messiah, the most blatant denials of his influence and blastings of his teachings are rampant in the world, and in that portion of it predominantly to which he delivered his message. Blessed with the unction of his wondrous message for nineteen centuries, the nations today are plunged in the depths of horrid chaos and direst tribulation. If Messiah has come and world history is the upshot of it, the mountain of ancient hope and prophecy has indeed labored and brought forth a mouse of human defeat and disappointment.

The only escape from the fatality of this dismay is to know thankfully that Messiah did not come in personal embodiment in the year one, four or twelve, or in any year on the calendar, but that he has come in part in the spirit of good-will among men as far as it prevails, and is still to come in the fullness of his birthing in all human breasts. Thus only can faith, hope and sanity be saved, and the dignity and meaning of sage ancient scriptures be maintained.

The actual sequel over so many centuries if proof final and positive that the alleged and never authenticated birth of Jesus the man was not the fulfillment of ancient Messianic prophecy. It is proof unanswerable that this prophecy was never intended or expected to be fulfilled in and by the birth of any historical personage. Until the ignorant debacle of wisdom in the third century the Christos to come was a spiritual principle and never a man, though dramatized in human form, as it was to manifest in man. The Christ was to come in man. The ignorant were told that it was to come in a man, and the Dark Ages were born. Ignorance is told now that it has come, and the subconscious thought of its proven historical futility grips the world mind with chaos and despair. What is there to buoy the religious hope of mankind if Messiah has already come and all in vain? Having corrupted every high doctrine of archaic wisdom into rank nonsense, it has remained for Christianity in the end to wreck also the great Messianic tradition. Christianity has dashed the high hope of the world into the dust of two thousand years of ignominious history. By fixing a specific date for the Messiah’s coming in a single man, Christianity has made the following two thousand years of appalling record of brutal inhumanity stand as the crushing sequel of that advent. And the inglorious character of that sequel drags the spirit of man down into hopeless defeat.

There is but one way by which that pall of perpetual hopelessness can be lifted and the psychological boon of perpetual high expectation given back to man again, and that is by mental rejection of the entire Christian thesis of the Messianic coming in the year one. Chaos and despair can be escaped only by the denial of the basic claim of Christianity, through the assured knowledge that Christ did not come in the form of Jesus of Nazareth on any given day. The only way to gild the skies of the future with the roseate hues of high expectation and ever kindling rational hope is to dash to pieces the whole structure of historical Christianity and clear the mental ground of its littered rubbish. Only then can the true form of the Messianic doctrine grip mind and heart with perennial buoyancy and anoint mankind with the oil of gladness.

Nowhere in either general study or in so-styled "occult" investigation has the real reason for the cyclical representation of the Messianic coming ever appeared to have been perceived and stated. That cryptic reason not only gives a light by which to solve the riddle, but at the same time adds perhaps the final crowning argument for the untenability of the man-Messiah theory. It has been seen that by ancient sagacity the coming of Messiah was pictured as taking place regularly, cyclically and periodically, under the figure of a star rounding its orbit to reappear again and again. This portrayal brought the representation as close to an analogue with the actual method of the coming as it was possible for the human mind to bring it. The Avatar was depicted as coming to earth under the symbolism of a long sweep of lunar, solar and stellar cycles, for the reason that, precisely like these revolutions, his coming was not a single historical occurrence, falling in a line of other single events, but was the one grand event that summed the whole series, and progressed to its consummation through the endless repetition, like the stellar revolutions, of smaller cycles of advance. It took the multiple repetition of minor cycles to round out the major grand cycle, which was in itself and in its product the coming, though each minor cycle within it was not only the prefigured type of the whole movement, but an actual integral portion of the coming itself. Not being a person, but a quality or degree of consciousness, and coming not in one man but in the character of all men, it could come in no other way than by a graduated approach, advancing a little further toward full arrival at each step and in each cycle. In all the life of nature, progress or evolution invariably makes headway by an endless series of forward steps, each one bearing the development ahead a certain distance, and generally receding somewhat to be picked up and carried forward by the next surge a little farther than before. This is unquestionably the logic back of the ancient thesis of reincarnation for the soul of man. It is unthinkable that the soul, starting its human experience from just above the level of the brute, can crash the gates of heaven in one short life. From animal selfishness up to godlike graciousness there is a gap that evolution can bridge only in a long course of the slow development of conscious powers through mingled sorrow, joy and discipline. The soul being an entity that can hold its gains in its interior ark of the sanctuary of life, it circles down to earth again and again, adding an increment of experience and its fruitage of wisdom, as well as developed faculties, at each round of the wheel of birth and death. The ever accumulating capital of enhanced godliness in the whole body of individuals thus brings the Christly soul of the world periodically nearer its full epiphany. This envisagement of the fixed rationale of the evolutionary movement sets the determinative seal on the logic of the argument. To predicate the coming of the Christ consciousness in one man only, would be to deny it to the race in which it has its real coming. To predicate it as coming all at once at a given historical epoch would be to interdict nature and annul the rhythmic movement and the cyclical advance. The true image of the coming was the sun, or the star, or the season, that came in endless repetition. There is but one story that nature has to tell, and that is the story of the endless coming of ever new life, the eternal renewal through endless time. The claim of the historical coming of Messiah in the first century A.D. would be as anachronistic as it would be for a playwright to throw the climactic denouement of his drama into the middle of the second act. From the strategic view of evolution’s long course the incidence of the climactic event anywhere in mid-stream is premature and abortive. It has not been prepared for, the forces at work have not had time to flow into position for the consummative effect. It is untimely and out of setting. It would break in upon the organic growth of the movement, would destroy the rhythm of nature, disrupt sequences and wreck the plan. The birth of the aeonial Christ, as a man, in the year four or twelve B.C. would precipitate a miscarriage of all ancient scriptural meaning and structure and would engender, as it has done, a hybrid prodigy of mocking irrelevance. Instead of being the fulfillment of all sacred prophecy, it has proven to be the untimely abortion of that prophecy. There is no logical place for it in the scheme of ancient religion, and its injection into the scheme disconcerts and nullifies the whole splendid order. If the sublime portent of ancient Messianism is allowed to discharge its whole body of meaning upon one historic person at a given year in the course, the great ancient drama of majestic purposiveness in the whole run of history crashes into wreckage by the roadside two thousand years back. If the coming of Christos is already past, the rest of history will represent man’s blind staggering forward with no goal of grand allurement ahead. For that kingly attainment which was designed to be the aeonial loadstone to draw mankind on to the end of the human epoch will have been drained out into one single (alleged) historical event, leaving the race still unenlightened and without its guiding star of knowledge, and further demoralized by a stupendous hallucination from the fulfillment of a great prophecy without visible result. Paul warns that the words of those vain babblers who say that the resurrection is already past "eat as doth a canker." The echoes and reverberations of those brave words of the Apostle have been rolling from age to age, as the centuries have brought the evidence of the canker corrosion of the Western mind by the vain babblings that Messiah has come already.

Sublimely sacred is the Nativity drama of the Yule. Let no heart reject its gripping import, let no mind disdain its reference. But it is the tragedy of twenty centuries that any soul should rejoice in it as the mere commemoration of an event that has happened and is not still to happen. If this tawdry notion can be lifted and expanded to the immensity of the conception that the drama prefigures the mighty reality of a cosmic event that is even now running its thrilling course in ever increasing grandeur of meaning, there is no power that will stop the voices of millions caroling joyous Noels unto the coming of the King of Love. Not until the Bethlehem stable scene is removed from mass consciousness as past history, and reintegrated in a wondrous new concept of heightened majesty and power on the understanding that it is sublime allegory of a racial denouement still in process and still awaiting consummation, will the song which set heaven’s arches ringing and filled earth’s temples with the echo at the solstice of winter sweep the human heart into abiding joy.

As it is no derogation of the greatness and dignity of the One God to cease to think of his power and intelligence and love as being confined within the personality of one grandiose Being isolated and detached from the universe, and instead to conceive of him as the life and mind manifesting in all creations, neither is it a derogation of the Christos to cease to think of him as one person and to pay homage to him as the irradiating charity transforming all human hearts. Surely to contract the religious idea of the Christ into the meager confines of one personality in history is to belittle that which we would magnify. To adore him as the King of Love ruling the immeasurable hosts of earth’s mortals and distributing his benignant influence out in million-fold streams to irrigate all lives, must be the conception that will mightily glorify itself through the infinite multiplication of its nature distributed out into countless creatures. Life never contracts into one except when it dissolves away all the forms of its multiple expression at the end of a cycle and retires back into unity. It is then retreating into dormancy in its condition of absoluteness--which to us is the negation of all our values,--nothing. Whenever its energies are pushing outward into manifestation in creation, its oneness is divided, then multiplied, into infinite diversification and modification. The creation would itself be both impossible and meaningless if it were not so. Oneness precludes all possibility of structure, or organism. It abolishes relationship among diverse elements, and with that goes meaning.

In the reflection of this great truth the coming of Christhood in one only character in history is meaningless. It lays no foundation for organic unity in humanity. Indeed by its unrelatedness to living mortals, by its isolation and exceptionality, it itself destroys the one link of unity that should bind the members of the race together in structural wholeness. No fitting place can be found or made for it in the beautiful system of ancient theology. And if it is forcibly thrust into it, the gleaming significance of the whole structure is blasted. The Christos in the heart of the race is adequate to carry with comeliness and consistency the magnificent meaning of the ancient scriptures. But no man-Christ in Judea or elsewhere is able to encompass in his tiny personality that range and sweep of significance. It is an anomaly, a lamentable malformation of ignorance dealing unwittingly and ruinously with the elements of cryptic beauty.

A priceless item of ancient knowledge was the recognition that each small cycle in nature is the type and analogue of the whole movement and design of life. The sages therefore read into certain of the most familiar cycles those epochs, stages, turning points which prefigured the momentous significance of ultimate reality, which itself comes to light little by little in an endless round of renewed cycles. Nature repeats endlessly in the small the analogue of that which is the reality of the large and the whole. Both the small and the large are the reality which alone is. That which in the day, month, year and precession appears over and over again and passes--and so has got the name of mere appearance as over against abiding reality--yet bears the stamp and image of that one omnipresent reality which does not pass. The returning star was the sign and harbinger of the Christos because it was the image and portent of that coming. The advent of Messiah was exactly prefigured by the features of every rolling cycle. The star in the east is that bright and morning star whose rising on the field of general human consciousness will deify humanity. It is the day-star from on high, but having plunged into earth and ocean "on the western side of heaven" in its descent into matter, it must rise again after its night of incarnation "in the east," as token that deity that goes periodically to its "death" in body will just as often have its joyous resurrection.

A Christmas carol has the following lines:

And the sky was bright

With a holy light--

‘Twas the birthday of a King!

Christmas celebration extols the wondrous significance of the birth of humanity’s King. A fine Christian hymn begins with the line--

The King of Love my shepherd is.

A common religious phrase is "Christ the King." A Christmas hymn exhorts:

Let earth receive her King!

In a world in which the ideal of democracy is rampant the rule of a King has lost some of its idyllic glamor. This is in the political field of human interest. Children need kingly rule and naturally pay homage to kingship. So the race in its childhood honored regal position and power. But neither the adult individual nor the race in its maturity cherish kingship so unreservedly. The reason for the change is that as the individual and the world grow to their adulthood, they feel the divine instinct to discard outward rulership and set up the function of divine kingship within themselves. The ideal of kingship is not lost; it is simply shifted from outside to the inner courts of the Self. In the spiritual world, then, the divine right of the King to rule his domain of consciousness and conduct is still inalienable and inviolable. A sad day for humanity when the ideal of the spiritual rule of a principle of love and righteousness in the inner life of mortals falls into disrepute. Hail then with renewed acclaim the solstitial birth of the King of Love!

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This King of Glory was named by the ancient Egyptians I U. This became later J U and Y U. As he was also God, the Hebrews added their word for Deity--E L. This gave Y U-E L, eventually YULE. The French form used the short root of the divine principle of intelligence, N O (cognate with our English know), the No-etic faculty, with the Hebrew E L and derived NOEL.

As fortune would have it, the study is completed in December, on the very fringe of the winter solstice. In ancient typism the period of the god’s incarnation in flesh and matter was dramatized as the midnight and the midwinter of its cycle. At midnight in midwinter the mighty constellation of Orion, followed by the great Dog-Star Sirius, takes its position in the central heavens south of the zenith. Orion prefigures the greater divinity; and as divinity endlessly seeks the thrill of life that accrues to it from becoming periodically incarnated in matter in its seven-period cycles, so the mighty hunter, Orion, with his Dog, is dramatized as pursuing the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades, ahead of him,--matter being eternally feminine.

But in the belt of Orion, the part of his dress that gives organic stability to his whole body, are the three stars known as the Three Kings. They point almost in a direct line to the following Dog.

Man is most philosophically described as "a God in the body of an animal." The God is leading in evolution, but it is bringing the animal behind it along toward the same high goal. Within the animal is the God that, like the dog, can dower the mortal animal-man with the divine instinct to guide himself unerringly through the darkness of incarnational night. So Sirius was made the type of the Christ-soul in mankind. He is preceded by the Three Kings who anticipate his coming and hail and adore him on his arrival. The Three Kings of evolving consciousness are Mind-Soul-Spirit, the ineffable trinity of divine life. In man’s ordinary consciousness they manifest as Goodness, Truth and Beauty. When brought to glowing intensity in the field of conscious being in man, the three fuse into one grand power of divine Love. This is the three-starred, three-rayed King whose birth is hailed at midnight of December twenty-fourth.

When Yuletide carolers raise paeans of joyous song to greet the birth of humanity’s King at midnight of the winter solstice, it is all in token of the birth of the three kingly elements of consciousness that are destined to rule in the life of man on earth,--Goodness, Truth and Beauty. Fused in the white heat of Love, they become that Prince of Peace who can touch the animal in man with his wand of magic and transform him into the fairy spirit. And only then will begin that reign of Saturn, that Golden Age, when the "halcyon days" set in, and the King-fisher of the souls of men can build its nest in safety on the tranquil waters of the erstwhile stormy sea of mortal life, in the winter solstice of evolution.

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We three kings of Orion are;

Bearing gifts we traverse afar;

Field and fountain,

Moor and mountain,

Following yonder star.

Oh! Star of wonder, Star of might,

Star with royal beauty bright!

Westward leading,

Still proceeding,

Guide us to thy perfect Light!