Meta. Nicodemus (John 3:1-15) was not acquainted with the power of Spirit, and had no understanding of regeneration although he was a "teacher of Israel " Israel meaning thoughts pertaining to the religious department of the mind:
The new birth is a vague uncertainty to the intellectual Christian, hence there has gradually been evolved a popular belief in a change to come to the soul after death in those who have accepted the church creed and been counted Christians. But in his instructions to Nicodemus, Jesus makes no mention of a postmortem resurrection. He cites the blowing of the wind as an example of those who are born of Spirit. The new birth is a change that comes here and now. It has to do with the present man, the "Son of man," the real I AM in each of us. "And no one hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended out of heaven, even the Son of man, who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even BO must the Son of man be lifted up." This man in each of us is divine now, is in heaven now, but his manifestation is still in limbo. He must be lifted out of this condition into a spiritual one; this is being "born anew."
The two important factors in the new-birth process are to put away the old and to receive the new. Water is the natural and familiar symbol of cleansing from impurity, sin, and all its material filth. Spirit is the principle of the new life of harmony, the power from on high that puts in divine order both mind and body.
The Pharisees refused to be baptized by John. They did not consider that they needed the repentance that he demanded. They thought that they were good enough to take high places in the kingdom of God, because of their popularly accepted religious supremacy. Many people today refuse to deny their short-comings: they hold that they are now perfect in Divine Mind and that it is superfluous to deny that which has no existence. However, they are still subject to the appetites and passions of carnality, and will continue to be so until they are "born anew."
The new birth may be explained in a few words, as follows: It is the change from carnal to spiritual consciousness through the begetting and quickening power of the word of Truth. The begetting and quickening take place in man's inner consciousness, and the process of being born anew includes the whole of man--spirit, soul, and body. To be born again is to be made a "new creature," having "this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus," and a body like "the body of his glory."