Therefore did Jesus Christ say, 'He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.' (Matt. 10:39) His reference in the verse just prior to this one, to 'taking up one's cross,' must be understood in the deepest sense of offering up more than physical life'which seldom brings more than temporary, and never completely satisfying, relief. It means, rather, offering up to God one's limited self-awareness itself.
In God, nothing is lost. God is our deepest reality''Nearest of the near,' Paramhansa Yogananda used to call Him; 'Dearest of the dear.' In the attainment of divine omniscience, the soul never loses the memory of having once lived as a separate, individual identity.
Thus, when Jesus Christ was born it was he himself who came: not an abstract manifestation of Infinite God, but a fully self-aware, individual expression of God's Infinite Consciousness. Jesus could rightly say (as he is quoted as saying in the Book of Revelation) 'even as I overcame.' He was, as I've said, a living expression of that never-lost individuality, and was by no means a mere manifestation of the Abstract Absolute. Even though he had, in the deepest sense, transcended that individuality, he was that same being, returned to earth for the salvation of mankind, who had lived on earth before. If he didn't, in fact, come 'for the salvation of all mankind,' he came at least for the salvation of 'as many as received him.' (John 1:12)
Excerpted from Revelations of Christ: Proclaimed by Paramhansa Yogananda.