It is difficult to understand Rilke’s Birth of Christ, unless you learned by your life (your life’s share in holliness) that simplicity, the essence and character of virginity, is where Christ brings His divine nature and is born. If we don’t know this, then we will have to imagine some negations, the absense of this and that, the concentration of one’s existence to some ‘oneness’. But we won’t have a real knowledge of simplicity, a simplicity that is touchable, speaking, appearing, we won’t know the existing but an imaginary and hopefully plausible simplicity.
Virtues do not exist by themselves, they exist in a person. To know simplicity, i.e. not only to imagine how should or might be, we must know a person of simplicity, one’s concentration to the one, which is the reason why God descends, reduces His distance from us to nothing and is born in the world. Simplicity is to receive this personal revelation of the divine, simple, personal and uncreated energies of God, and to be able to receive you must be simple. You are not simple before you receive, you become simple as you receive.
“Losing” the rationalistic intellect or emptying your mind resembles simplicity, because it leaves the multifragmentantion of the conceptual world, of the world of words and syllogisms. There is no real simplicity even if one becomes empty of feelings, wishes, passions, emotions, desires – not even if one stops breathing or stops one’s heart from beating and in all way empties oneself from the body-and-soul duality. There is a difference between being simple and being empty.
Emptiness is faceless and huge. Simplicity is of the One and receives the One in One. Outside a personal relationship there is not simplicity but, in the best case, an empty fullness or full emptiness that contains and goes above all conflicts. Simplicity is between you and God. You can not have simplicity before or outside your relationship with the Father in the Holy Spirit, you can not have simplicity when Christ is not born in you. This is also why simplicity is not above all separations, but in a special understanding which is also a feeling – in joy or in love or in fear – or whatever one can feel, be and think in the personal presence and revelation of God.