Late autumn has arrived. The November storms have swept away the last remnants of everything that reminds of the fruitful season. Life has retreated into the depths of the earth. It survives the cold and darkness in the roots, bulbs and seeds and will break through in the Spring again and bring new life into the visible world. Every year we receive the same messages, dressed up in the annual cosmic rhythm, so that we are reminded of what we have known but again forgotten – reminded by the knowledge of the soul of its origin and the human way with its task, which lies dormant in us as a seed.
Our eyes are still blinded by the lights of the world. The "letters from the father" are sent to us in many forms to awaken us, so that we can begin to see and to realise what lies behind being incarnated here on the planet earth in a human body. In order to understand the contents of these messages, it is necessary, "to break the seal". For us the cyclical changes of the year have become clearly explicable phenomena, forming so naturally a part of life that the message, which is hidden in them, does not reach our heart. The wonder that everything is as it is, is shrouded by a veil of shallow understanding – and in this way – sealed.
What lies beyond the explicable remains undetected in the darkness of our soul. The forgotten knowledge of our destiny is waiting there to be awakened. To find this memory, it is necessary to dive into its origin, deep into the silence. This is for our eyes, which are accustomed to daylight, to begin with, nothing but darkness. This "Silent Night, Holy Night" is reflected in the song we sing at Christmas. If we want to find it in us, it is possible only when we allow this darkness to enter. The new life of our soul is kept in the darkness of our unconscious, just like the seed in the dark earth finds a protective shelter in order to survive the transition to the new life.
In the season of darkness we are given support by the cosmic energy of the planet to dive into this depth. Nature does not draw us to the outside, does not give us the urgent necessity to keep us busy. She offers us time, lets us rest to find ourselves. It was like this in every spiritual tradition, in the turning point, at the time of winter solstice, the feast of the birth of light; the cosmic ritual is celebrated yearly not only in the sense of nature, but analogue to it, as an inner experience.
How can we possibly realise this in the midst of the glitter and bustle of the hectic time, which surround us especially during the Christmas season? We create a world of artificial lights around us, distracting ourselves from the perception of the inner light. We have become afraid of the darkness; we avoid the peace of the "Silent Night", which as in nature — alone leads into the depths, where a reversal is possible. This reversal, in the original Greek version of the New Testament called Metanoia, is always the precondition for entering the "way home". How could there be any other possibility, after we have been sent out from the Unity "into the multiplicity of the world"?
"Letters from the Father," of our origin as messages from the Unity, are not only reflected in nature. The religious feasts were invariably created to bind us back to our origin: The root of the word "religio" means in Latin uniting and binding back. Thus, parables, stories and legends of great religions became in this sense carriers of messages "from heaven". They survived thousands of years because they remind the soul of its own reality. Artists, who awaken to the origin and to the meaning of human existence, express in their works and images the innermost knowledge of this experienced reality.
The paintings, statues or stories in their different forms of images speak directly of this knowledge that makes the core of our soul. The soul communicates in pictures, and that is why the messages of spiritual and religious traditions are transmitted in images. We have lost access to the language of the images in our time more and more: the overvaluation of thinking blocks the possibility of direct contact with this understanding. These intellectual interpretations are like veils covering the soul.
In this book I have chosen four themes to show how we can approach the images in a way that makes sense:
The first part includes the stories from the New Testament, which contain valuable information. It is necessary to make the images accessible to the soul, without altering them with a detour through intellectual understanding. If you transform the stories into "understandable stories", they lose their meaning. The birth story of Jesus especially offers for understanding the basic structure of the way, which every soul goes through from its natural home to the birth of the divine.
This part can serve also as a suggestion, how the Bible can be studied to get to its deeper core.
In the second part I will tell my personal Christmas stories. In each individual life the process between the origin and the realisation of the universal human task is packed in a unique story. To "crack" one's own life story, to "break the seal", no one can do for us — it is our own innermost concern. Reports and experienced examples of others can bring us an idea of how we can approach it.
Beyond the institution of the Christian Church there exists knowledge of the way of realisation that has been passed on from generation to generation, but the thread of direct transmission on the individual path is interrupted, and only the skeleton of the teaching has remained — this is a particular problem in our time. Today we lack those who would accompany us on the basis their own inner experience on the individual way. This is why the search for living teachings from other, for us alien cultures, has become a necessary.
The aim of the third part of the book is to offer a taste from the world of arts to point into another dimension and to encourage another way of viewing works of art. The birth scene of the Isenheim altarpiece fits in seamlessly with the theme of the book, although the images cannot be understood in their full depth in the absence of their relation to the other eleven scenes of the altar. In the strict sense, this view of the birth of Christ is not a classical view at all, but it includes details that describe exactly the inner experience of the divine birth.
The fourth part is to encourage meditation and going into silence in the time of the Advent; it offers themes and simple exercises for every day.
All parts of the book are grouped around the theme of Christmas, around the birth of Jesus of our being. The different stories, both told in books and personally experienced in our time, are taken out of the shell of historical events, so that the pure inner experience becomes visible. My wish is that every reader finds himself in the descriptions. Many people are without a personal spiritual guide – real teachers are quite rare; there are many false prophets. For those looking for a clear direction on the way, the book will give examples.
What was given to me may open a door for the reader, to find his own, living Christmas. So that every soul, like the Virgin Mary, can arrive in Bethlehem, and become the mother of God.
For the reading of this book, I would like to give some advice. These writings are like a box of pralines for the soul. This means that this book should not be swallowed all at once, because it can be hard to digest. But a small section of it – after the meals of everyday experience – can become a dessert for the soul.
In other words: In the book, ideas are sometimes packed tightly, and explanations are kept rather short. The formulations are, so to speak, made of concentrates, which must be opened up and diluted, so that they can serve as food for the soul. The texts demand an active, individual process, which must be enabled in one's own psychic "digestive process". Through our own lives, all of us have collected enough experience and knowledge to produce the needed digestive aids for themselves. And as each digestive process, also this process takes time. Let us give ourselves time to read, bearing in mind that "time is a present from eternity".
I write the text to all, without making any distinction between the male and female form of address in the writing.
❧ My intention with this book is: To offer new impulses for the inner orientation.