The third birth takes place at a point of illumination, when the cosmic energy stored up in the crown. In the first birth Christ is the Son of God, the Word of the Father, in the second birth he became the Son of man by his birth from Mary, but in his third birth lie became the head of the church. THE THREE MARYS
The cave has always been the scene of initiation, where the birth of the light takes place. Here as well is found the whole idea of the cave of the heart, the dark chamber of the heart, where the light of the divine first appears. This image is also associated with the emergence of light in the beginning, out of the abyss of the early chaos, so that one senses the deep resonations of this theme
As Leonard Cohen said, There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light comes in.’ However, the ‘thing’ under consideration here is the human heart, the hardest, toughest thing in the world, and to crack its stony core takes more than even the highest wisdom and strongest will power.
One must come in real life to experience and truly comprehend the mystery of love and com-passion, to truly feel in one’s own soul the weak and helpless, wounded, mortal human being, and realize that all humans are like this—including you.
Only then can one find the way to the Grail a second time and begin ‘to know through compassion or Mit-leid’, which is the new, Christ given, spiritualized heart cognition and wisdom of the future, that opens the gate that leads to the new Grail event.
This gate of ‘knowing through compassion’ must first be discovered in real life, if the search for the Grail is to be truly individualized. And if this is the case, one knows that this helplessness will become a positive force and that the forces of the real Christ can only be individualized, if one can truly say, from one’s innermost ‘I’, that one cannot become a whole being without Him:
When the union with Christ is achieved, we will know that all previous suf-ferings were necessary conditions. For the Christ union to take place, suffer-ing must be there; this is an absolute factor in evolution. In that man over-comes suffering, he overcomes the feelings of depression and lameness. In this phenomenon man can see something good: how power grows out of helplessness?’
Human beings are small microcosmic reflections of God’s body, and they find themselves in a world of darkness, terror and suffering rather similar to the first stages of God’s own birth. From this dark and frightening beginning, they must struggle towards salvation, which can come only through the miraculous birth of light and love in their own hearts. In short, Bohme says that our task as human beings is to replicate the birth of God, thereby transforming ourselves into the perfect divine beings of light and love that we were originally meant to be.
This transformation, or transmutation, may begin here on earth but finds its fulfilment after death, when we leave the coarse material body behind and continue our existence in a more subtle, purified, luminous body. By achieving this new birth, we are not just reaching salvation for ourselves alone: rather, we are contributing to the redemption or reintegration of Eternal Nature, God’s own body.
He died. Yet death did not have dominion over him.’ He rose from the grave, as from a new birth.’ As he died for us, so he rose for us all, and his resurrection is the pledge and the seal of our glorious and immortal resurrection from the grave on the last day.
That will be the day, when not only our soul, but also the body will be immortal like unto his body, now immortal and spirit-ualize(‘ in the everlasting glories of the skies. Thus born of the Father before all ages, he was also born of his Father the day of his resurrection. Of that the Father says: ” This day I have begot ten thee.” By the first birth he is the Son of God ; by the second birth he is the son of Mary; by the third birth he became ” the first born among many brethren.”‘
Birth is the origin of a being in which he receives his nature. In the first birth Christ is the Son of God, the Word of the Father, in the second birth he became the Son of man by his birth from Mary, but in his third birth lie became the head of the church, the source of redemption for all the members of his mystic body. his kingdom on earth.
“By that he entered into glory he had with the Father before the world His death was for us all. By that death we were all buried with him in the waters of baptism. by which we become bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. For we form the church his spouse, all we who come forth from him by the waters of baptism and the blood of redemption.
When dead on the cross, his side was opened by Longinus. Then was the church his chosen people born, as long before Eve was formed from the side of Adam, to be his wife and to become the mother of his children. Adam. Eve, and their children are one flesh and blood, forming one human race.
So Christ and the church are one race, one body. oneorganization. At his death lie became the father and the head of a new race, of the Christians, who came forth generated by him through the church his spouse, as before Adam and Eve generated their children.
“Know ye not that all who are baptized in Christ Jesus. are baptized in his death ?” For we are all buried with him by baptism unto death, that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we may also walk in the newness of life.’ The body of Christ was not made of earth like that of Adam.
The saints simply exemplify for us the life of grace in which we all share. A prominent theme in Meister Eckhartn is the birth of the Word in the soul, the third birth of Christ (the first two being the eternal birth of the Word from the Unbegotten One and the histori-cal birth of the Word as incarnate in Bethlehem). “God’s chief aim is giving birth. He is never content till He begets His Son in us. And the soul, too, is in no way content until the Son of God is born in her.”” “May the God who has been born again as man assist us to this birth, eternally helping us, weak men, to be born in him again as God,” “Why did God become man? That I might be born God Himself!'”
THE THREE MARYS
The first step for man to receive Christ is believing. Once you believe, you are saved. However, for a person to further receive Christ, he must not only have faith but also have love. Not many Christians know what it is to love Christ, and not many Christians realize that if they do not love Christ, they will not be able to experience Christ or be filled with Him.
In the Bible there are stories of three people which show us specifically how a person has to love Christ in order to experience and know Him. Interestingly, these three people are all females, and all of them have the name Mary.
One is the Mary who gave birth to the Lord Jesus (Matt. 1:16). Another is the Mary of Bethany, who was a sister of Lazarus and who anointed the Lord Jesus with fragrant ointment (John 12:3). The third is Mary the Magdalene, who went to the tomb of the Lord Jesus after His resurrection and wept before the empty tomb, and to whom the Lord eventually appeared (20:1).
These three different Mary’s loved the Lord in three aspects—in His birth, in His death, and in His resurrection. Those who experience the Lord also experience Him in these three aspects: in His birth, in His death, and in His res-urrection. It is wonderful that there is a Mary in each of these three aspects. The Lord’s birth was through a Mary; before the Lord’s death, there was a Mary; and after the Lord’s res-urrection, there was also a Mary. Spiritually speaking, we all are “Mary’s.”
Just as Christ was begotten in Mary, Christ was also born in us. First, we must experience Christ’s coming into us; second, we must experience Christ’s death; and third, we must experience Christ’s resurrection. Paul said, “To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:10).
One who experiences Christ should have these three aspects in his experience: letting Christ come into him to be born in him, experiencing Christ’s death, and experiencing Christ’s resurrection. We can easily understand Christ’s being in us, but we may not understand that much about Christ’s resurrection. One thing is certain.
If we want to experience Christ’s death and resurrection, we must be a “Mary.” According to the record of the Scriptures, there is only one kind of person who has the experience and knowledge of Christ’s death and resurrection. The name of such a person is Mary. Without being a Mary, even though we may be saved, we still have no way to experience Christ.
Without being a Mary, even though we may be saved, it is as if we do not have Christ. For Christ to be born in us and to fill us, and for us to pass through Christ’s death, be delivered from the old creation, pass through Christ’s resur-rection, and enter into the new creation, we must be a Mary. The record of the Scriptures is very meaningful. Nothing is by chance or by coincidence. The birth of Christ needed a Mary.