On January the 6th it is the day of the three kings, who come from the East and travel, guided by a star, to the West to find the 'light that everybody enlightens' there. But it is also the day of the celebration of Epiphany, of the revelation. On this day Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, and his true Being was revealed. From that moment on His great mission started.
Earlier I wrote a piece about the phenomenon of insight. Understanding is a wonderful thing. If we don't understand a scientific problem or a problem in our life, we start to think it over. It is a kind of searching that we start. Maybe we don't find the solution immediately, maybe we never. do... But most of the time we do find the solution, and we have the relief of understanding. We can't follow exactly how this understanding origins, but something is clear enough: it comes by thinking hard enough, by asking inner questions and looking, waiting for answers. It is a miraculous thing, our capacity to understand.
Now we could imagine that there is a Being that is Understanding All. Not understanding in a human way, by first perceiving and then understanding, but by understanding creating everything that exists. For the narrow intellectual mind this is something that is irrational and so it must be too phantastic to be true. But we could at least try for once to think these great thoughts. In old Greek terms we could call the complete creative Insight as a macrocosmic and microcosmic Being 'Logos'. Our 'logic' would be a very poor and schematic print of a part of this Great Logos. In this Logos we would be able to find all insights and understanding - and every insight would be a revelation of the Logos, which we would call - also in Greek terms - 'Epiphany'. It is a sudden realization of understanding; it can also be a scientific 'breakthrough'.
If we can imagine that every Epiphany is a coming in true contact with the Logos, we would estimate this faculty of having insight much more in a religious way. If we then widen our imagination and try to reflect on this day of the 6th of January, we could think a very precious thought. A human being has sometimes a little Epiphany, a true insight. On January the 6th we celebrate the coming on earth of the full macrocosmic Logos in the microcosmos of Jesus, who becomes a divine person, Jesus Christ. It is the Epiphany in its full glorious fulfillment - from which we can receive only very small parts that are given to us in mercy: The mercy of insight.
The three wise kings from the East are representing the old wisdom that will be renewed to a capability of individual understanding by the entering of the Logos on earth. The great St. Thomas Aquinas had his Epiphany as he saw into the depth of the intelligence of the human being. 'Through the becoming human of Christ there has been given a certain example to mankind for this blissful unification through which the created mind is being unified with the uncreated spirit in the act of understanding.'
The cantata of J.S Bach for the first Sunday in the New Year has the coming from the East of the three wise kings as its subject. It is deeply moving music, but one has to listen carefully to it...
Icon of the baptism in the river the Jordan.
(publication of 7-1-2015)
Epiphany by Mieke Mosmuller
Liebe Frau Mosmuller,
Ist es nicht das, sich lösen aus dem gewohnten, zu fragen , und dann eben auch die Haltung zu finden, dass das einleuchten kann, was später als Antwort erfassbar, verständlich wird.
Versuchen wir das in einen kurzen Satz zu fassen, der gerne anschaulich werden, leben möchte.
frag - würde leben, kontrolliert.
Ich wünsche allen, besonders Frau Mosmuller eine gute Zeit und ein beschenktes tun.
Robert Michael Burnside
Thanks so much Mieke, a wonderful post, celebratory of Epiphany.
Robert Michael Burnside
Here's another performance of Bach's Cantata of the Three Kings, this is by a Norwegian Choir and Orchestra and has the full Cantata of 16 minutes.https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-65/
Ist dir mein Herze nicht zu wenig,
so nimm es gnädig an,
weil ich nichts Edlers bringen kann