snowy_woods.jpgThis week is Christmas, which is basically a Christianized form of a pagan celebration on the Winter Solstice, when the “Sun” begins its daily ascent higher and higher in the sky.  It is like a new beginning, a new year; starting out as a child and maturing to fullness of adulthood at the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year….

While our minds have become numbed by the hectic pace of modern 21st century life, a deep long forgotten spiritual force is awakened nevertheless.  We all share a primordial connection to the idea of the Incarnation of God: Christ, Krishna, Vishnu, Dionysus, or Osiris; and the names may be different but the story is the same: birth, death, resurrection, and eternal life….

This week is Christmas, which is basically a Christianized form of a pagan celebration on the Winter Solstice, Christmas 2008: Recollection and Recognitionwhen the “Sun” begins its daily ascent higher and higher in the sky.  It is like a new beginning, a new year; starting out as a child and maturing to fullness of adulthood at the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Thus the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. 

The materialization of Christmas time can take a dent out of my appreciation for it, so much so that I don’t personally give a lot of gifts during this time.  Usually gifts only get housed in some new corner of the house and take up more space and collect more dust.  The accumulation of things, especially cheap, plastic, and meaningfully void things does not gain the soul any ounce of liberation; but only more trouble, dissatisfaction, and unhappiness. 

Coming from a large family I remember there were always a lot of gifts exchanged and I never liked them.  Nobody really knew me and what I really wanted, and since we had a large family people had to buy more with less resulting in a lot of gifts for gifts sake that were pretty cheap.  We all loved each other, but the rote gift-giving seemed a lot like the prayers we mumbled in Catholic Church during the same season: pretty rote and void of meaning. 

Christmas 2008: Recollection and RecognitionIn spite of that, the appreciation of the season still transcends mere jolly-making and gift-giving. While our minds have become numbed by the hectic pace of modern 21st century life, a deep long forgotten spiritual force is awakened nevertheless.  We all share a primordial connection to the idea of the Incarnation of God: Christ, Krishna, Vishnu, Dionysus, or Osiris; and the names may be different but the story is the same: birth, death, resurrection, and eternal life. 

It’s pretty snowy here in Minnesota this year, very much reminding me of Christmas’ past and all the gift giving, snow sledding, ice skating, and sitting by the fire after coming in from the cold.  I have to admit I’m sort of a winter-type guy and Christmas to me always will be a snowy trek in the woods and my breath like a fiery dragon’s in the cold air. 

So this year now coming to a close, the commercialization can’t succeed in taking away what is special about Christmas.  In the Southern Hemisphere it’s going to be different of course (kind of a glitch in that tropical zodiac system I’m afraid loll), they are in the heat of summer right now.  Maybe they should celebrate Christmas in July….

At any rate, we should all celebrate the primordial cycles and realities of our lives; it reconnects us to the Heart of the Universe, and how we may be different in name and place but in truth we are All One in that same Drama of Life.  All things play out in us, the same with the gods—for we are gods—and don’t you forget it.

CB

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