I love Christmas. Almost all of it: the music, the parades, the lights, the greetings, the joy, the gifting, the trampling of shoppers, the annual paranoia of Fox News anchors—all of it. I love Christmas because I love Jesus, and I love Jesus because I love Christ, that awakened mind that reveals the unity of God, woman, man, and nature. (John 10:30).
That’s who Jesus is to me: a God–realized Jew. If Jesus has asked me instead of the disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16: 13-16), I would have smiled and said: you are Divine Wisdom knowing the unity of all life in, with, and as God. You are what each of us is and yet does not know ourselves to be: God incarnate. Sadly my answer never makes into the C.S. Lewis inspired trilemma that limits Jesus to either liar, lunatic, or Lord.
My problem with Christianity is that it teaches Christians to worship Jesus rather than to become Christ. Of course you might challenge me saying, “But that’s because you aren’t a Christian.” And I would respond, “That’s why I’m not a Christian!” If Christianity taught me to be Christ, to awaken to my truest Self and realize that all beings are manifestations of the singular Be–ing that is God, I would be drawn to it like a moth to a flame. But not being a Christian doesn’t keep me from loving Christmas.
For me, Christmas is the annual remembrance that each of us was born holy, that each of us a child of God the way a wave is a child of the ocean. Christmas celebrates our capacity to become fully God-realized (just as Good Friday reminds of the cost that realization demands, and Easter reminds us of the promise it contains). I look at the Christ child as the seed of God-realization present in each of us, and see in this holy day a chance to refocus my efforts at cultivating in me the mind that was in Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5).
What is this mind? I believe it is Chochma/Sophia/Lady Wisdom, the Divine Mother of all things arising in the Infinite Nonduality of God, and manifesting what the Taoists call the 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. She is the mind that knows the interdependence of all things. She is the love, compassion, justice that arises with this knowing, and She is the courage to confront the powers and principalities that oppose these things and this knowing.
Christmas is too important to be left in the hands of those who can see in Jesus only three options. Claim it for yourself, or better, claim it for your Self.
Wow! Thank you.
I agree with your comment about worshipping Jesus rather than becoming Christ. Isn't that the point? I've always thought it was and it's what I want for myself. I think that it's there that I'll find contentment. But, there are so many negative thoughts with the old labels we place on religious/spiritual ideas that I wince at words like God, Jesus, Christ, Holy Bible, etc. I think we need a new set of labels for the ideas behind these words. But, then, I can just learn to wince at the new ones when people screw them up too.
I'd add that the story told each December reminds me that each and every woman, approaching the birth of her child is virgin. There is no way to come up upon the cataclysm of giving birth with experience. It is forever new and forever a life changing passage and every delivery is as "first" as every other.
Love, love, love this! Thank you for sharing.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist has taught for over 100 years that Christ represented the perfect spiritual reflection of God and, as we are all reflections of God, by following Jesus’ example we can each achieve Christ-like perfection. A spiritual at-oneness with the omni-present Holy Spirit can be achieved. I don’t know they have the process down yet, but the goal seems correct.
It has been interesting to me that an independent thinking Jew came along mixing a little Socratic wisdom and Eastern spiritualism into the Jew beliefs and laws of a single God. This “holy rascal”, if you will, stomped around the countryside as one of the people and proclaiming the traditional religion had become too pre-occupied with wealth, materialism, political power and no longer focused on what is really important; that we all have a direct spiritual connection. We don’t need an answering service.
BTW, the powers-that-be handled the first holy rascal a bit rough after jokes such as "Again I say to you (not afraid to reuse good material), it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." But if you double check the original translation, his last words were: “Father forgive them, they have no sense of humor.” God apparently corrected that mistake.
So beautifully said. Thanks. And a belated Merry Christmas back at you.
Fantastic! That's the true meaning of Christmas.
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