Each year on December 25th, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, and in every church a crib is set up. The child is there, lying on the straw; Mary and Joseph watch over him, and an ass and an ox, too. The ox and ass are never left out! But these two animals are symbols that have to be interpreted; they correspond to processes that take place in human beings. The stable is the physical body and the ox is sexual energy. As for the ass, it represents what tradition calls ‘the old Adam’, self-centred, stubborn and obstinate, but nevertheless a good servant- that is, the lower nature, the personality.
Those who decide to work towards the birth of the Christ within, first come into conflict with the forces of their lower nature and sexuality. Those are the forces they must master and put to work for the divine Child. And so it is said that in the stable the ox and ass breathed on the child and warmed him with their breath. When human beings succeed in transforming the ox and ass within themselves, they can then warm and nourish the newborn child. All those who have succeeded in bringing into being the Christ within will be sustained by the forces of their lower nature and their sexuality, which are amazingly helpful if we only know how to put them to work.
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov Daily Meditations- 25th December 2016