54. The Immaculate Conception And The Birth Of The Son Of God

The Immaculate Conception is not only meant in a physical sense; it is more specially meant in a spiritual sense, like so much else in the Bible. Only he who feels and recognises that a spiritual world exists in full activity can find the key to the right understanding of the Bible, and that it is the spirit that makes the word live. To all others the Bible is a book with seven seals.

In the physical sense every conception resulting from pure love is immaculate, provided man humbly and lovingly lifts up his eyes to the Creator, and that sensual instinct has not been the basis but merely the accompanying agent in the process.

This happens so very rarely that it is quite justifiable to give this case special prominence.

That sensual instinct was relegated to the background is vouched for by the
annunciation which is specially mentioned, because otherwise a link between the natural and the spiritual happening which intimate conjunction would be missing. The Virgin Mary, provided with all the necessary gifts to fulfil her high mission and led by spiritual guidance, came into contact with persons who were acquainted with and deeply interested in all the revelations and prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah. This was her first preparation on earth, and impelled Mary on the path to her goal and made her familiar with all the circumstances in which she herself was to play such a great role, without knowing it at the time. The bandage which blindfolds the eyes of the elect is only carefully and gradually loosened, so as not to disturb the necessary process of development, for all intermediate phases must be seriously lived through, to make it possible to attain the result aimed at. To know one's mission too early would result in leaving gaps which it would be harder to fill in later. By having the goal constantly in sight the danger would be incurred of pressing forward too rapidly, whereby much that absolutely must be seriously experienced to qualify for the appointed task would be overlooked or learnt too easily.

A man can only experience seriously that which he at the time regards as his life's duty. So it was with Mary.

Thus, when the day came on which she was prepared both inwardly and outwardly, in a moment of perfect rest and spiritual tranquillity, she became clairvoyant and clairaudient, i.e. her soul was opened to the other world of finer matter and she experienced the annunciation described in the Bible. The bandage fell from her eyes and she entered consciously into her mission. The Annunciation was such a stupendous spiritual experience for Mary that, from that hour, it wholly filled the life of her soul. From that time her whole being was concentrated on the Divine grace she was allowed to look forward to. The
Light intended, by the Annunciation, to bring about this condition of soul so as to check and drive back from the outset all base instincts and to prepare a pure physical vessel (the child's body), for the immaculate spiritual conception. By virtue of this exceptionally strong experience which stirred Mary's soul, the ensuing physical conception, which corresponded to the natural laws, was immaculate.

For those who have some knowledge of the spiritual world, whose varied and extended activity prepares for all great events centuries in advance, it is not difficult to understand that Mary brought with her all the qualities necessary for her mission, i. e. she was prepared prenatally. Thus the physical conditions were present (the child's body, the purest possible vehicle) for the immaculate spiritual conception that took place in the middle term of her pregnancy.

Here it was not one of the many waiting souls or spirit sparks, who, for the sake of further development, wish or are compelled to begin a new journey on earth; whose ethereal bodies are already somewhat tarnished, which means that they have but a dim connection with the Light, or are even from time to time altogether cut off from the Light. But here a whole portion of pure Divinity was given for love of man, erring in darkness. It was of such power that it precluded the possibility of a direct connection with the primeval Light ever being intercepted — a close tie between God and man. This Glorious One was Jesus Christ, a pillar of Light of unfailing purity and strength before which all baseness was forced to retreat! From the Light He received pure unadulterated truth and the gift of healing and his cures were accounted miraculous.

The account of the temptation in the wilderness shows how the dark influences tried to soil the purity of his soul and were repelled without doing him any harm.

After Mary's immaculate physical conception and after her pregnancy was half way through, it was possible for a spirit of such strength and purity that it could not be tarnished or dimmed on its descent straight from the Light, to incarnate in the mother's womb — an immaculate
spiritual conception!

Thus it is quite right in Jesus' case to speak of his immaculate conception, which proceeded both physically and spiritually, without any everlasting law being circumvented, altered or in any way remodelled for this special case. One must not think there is any contradiction in the terms of the promise which says that the Saviour should be born of a
virgin.* The contradiction solely lies in the wrong interpretation of the word virgin. Even the narrow-minded must allow that pregnancy and birth, without thinking of procreation, alone exclude virginity in the ordinary sense. The promise does not mean this, it means that Christ was born of a virgin as her first-born, i. e. of a woman who had never been a mother. In such a case all the organs that have to do with the development of the human body are virginal, that means have never before come into activity for this purpose, which again signifies that no child has issued from this womb. The organs of the body must be virginal in the case of every first-born. And only in this sense is this prophecy to be understood. A prophecy can only be fulfilled, if the conditions of its fulfilment are in strict harmony with Divine law and can only be made on this understanding.**

In Divine Creation, which is perfect, it is ordained that copulation is absolutely necessary, for the Almighty in his infinite wisdom ordered all things in Creation so that there should be nothing superfluous. He who thinks otherwise holds that God's work is imperfect. It is the same with him who affirms that the birth of Christ was not preceded by copulation. Copulation of flesh and blood must precede every normal birth and did so in this case.

A man who understands this, praises his Lord and Creator more than he who would admit and consider other possibilities. The former shows unshaken faith in the perfection of God and is convinced that no exception or change could take place. That is the greater faith. Besides this all other events entirely agree with this. Christ became
a human being. It having been thus decided he was obliged to submit to all the physical laws his Father had decreed for physical propagation, as the perfection of God demands.

If it should be objected that with God nothing is impossible, this rejoinder does not hold good, for another quite different meaning lies in these words which does not occur to the indolent thinker. To refute this argument it is only necessary to say that such things as incompleteness, want of logic, injustice, arbitrariness and many other attributes are impossible to God. It could be further argued that if nothing is impossible to God, He could, with one act of His Divine Will, have made all the inhabitants of the earth
believers, then he need not have let his Son become man, nor exposed him to the hardships of life on earth and death on the Cross. That stupendous sacrifice need not have been made. That things happened as they did, vouches for the inflexibility of Divine laws. They have governed all things from the very beginning and are perfect, so that it is impossible that violence could be done or change effected of any kind in Creation. The blind and stubborn opponent might now say that it was God's Will that it should happen so. That is quite right, but is in no way a counter-argument. Putting aside the more naive interpretation and seeking for the deeper spiritual meaning as it is man's duty to do, we shall find our assertion confirmed.

It was the Will of God, but that has nothing to do with arbitrariness. On the contrary, we find confirmation of the laws that carry out God's Will, that must be obeyed, allowing of no exception or circumvention whatever. It is just the
fact that God's laws compel obedience that makes it evident that God's Will is manifesting itself.

For this reason it was inevitable that to fulfil his mission Christ was obliged to submit absolutely to natural laws, i. e. the Will of His Father. His whole life proves that Christ did this: His normal birth, His growth, His feeling hunger and fatigue, His suffering and finally His death on the Cross. He was subject to all that a human being is subject to. Why then should just His birth have been other than normal? In that all happened naturally the Saviour's task appears all the greater.

May was no less blessed in her high calling on that account.

* Lecture No. 48: Cosmic Evolution
** Lecture No. 48: Cosmic Evolution