Holidays, Essence and Art
As we look over the many years from the mid twentieth century until today there’s an evolutionary trajectory that’s worthy of our reflection. It has to do with the awareness of expanding consciousness and the inclusion of the myriad of human experiences that are both the same and different. What I’ve noticed over the decades is a slow yet progressive awareness of each others differences and similarities when it comes to holidays: an old English word haligdaegs which means ‘holy days.’
As we engage the Christian Christmas, Jewish Hanukkah, Muslim Ramadan, African Kwanzaa, Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist and many other religious traditions, it seems we Earthlings are discovering the gifts differing among one another and the ability to see and experience the sacred unity within our diversity. I noticed it in the parking lot of a neighborhood shopping center the other day when friends greeted one another with Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays with kindness and acceptance. It’s recognizing and respecting the dignity of every human being in our Holy Family.
All sacred traditions have ‘holy days’ which are observances of traditional beliefs that point to and honor the mystery of the Life we all share. They all emanate from suffering, resistance, impermanence, love, inclusion and interconnectivity. We all experience the blessings of giving and receiving, light and darkness, wealth and poverty, inclusion and exclusion, unity and diversity, scarcity and abundance, joy and sorrow, war and peace. We all have different ways of accessing these mysteries yet the deep life experiences are the same. We are all part of the same Whole yet discern and engage it differently.
Throughout the ages our differences divided us thus obscuring our similarities. We couldn’t see through the forms because they were foreign to us, weren’t part of our tribal consciousness and were a threat to the corner of our market of truth as we knew it. Today however, we’re beginning to know the sacred unity of creation, the integral nature of humanity and the interconnectivity of the whole created order. Seeing our ‘blue planet’ floating in the darkness of space changed our consciousness. It helped us see this fragile earth, our island home from a new perspective; with the eyes of a child.
Interestingly, all true spiritual traditions see the Essence of Life as integral to their approach in it. They have different names and even unnamed aspects of the Oneness of Being that transcend and include the whole of creation. Many have their beliefs on a shelf for further enlightenment, recognizing what we think we know as only a partial knowing because the mystery of Life is ineffable and unknowable to our rational mind. The primary teachings are stories, parables, metaphors, koans, analogies and cryptic pronouncements that cause us to pause and deeply reflect on their meanings.
Today there’s an enlivening Art awakening us to the inward significance of things that transcend the everyday externalizations we humans have been focused on for millennia. We’re beginning to see through the outer appearance of things that cause us to miss the Essence of the inner realities. We’re awakening to the acorn and the tree that’s in the divine seed within the shell of humanity. The subtle yet common themes in all Holidays are pointing to Unconditional Divine Love giving and receiving gifts that transcend, include and honor the dignity and design of every human being.
Through this Cosmic Unconditional Love, trust is released, hope is optimized, forgiveness is magnanimous, wisdom is filled with meaning, love is a revelation, joy is boundless and peace is illuminated as the bright shining star within every heart. Here the lion and lamb reside together, power unites with love, everyone shares in the first fruits and the Holy Temple is rededicated and honored in every sentient and non sentient being. Here there’s a realization that everyday is holy, every Life is filled with Essence and heaven is a life of creativity and artistry within the potentiality of All.
Here prayer is not a transaction but a transformation of consciousness in the one doing the praying; an awakening of an inner dialogue with the whole of creation putting on a new mind, an expanded mind, meta mind, an all inclusive and awakened heart/mind. Conflict only survives with our participation so the conflict out there stops when we stop the conflict within. Every holiday is a holy day. Everything that’s here contains the Essence of the Ineffable IAM and the Art of Life is the art of seeing with a Loving gaze, a Presence that unites everything in an illuminating attraction and appreciation.
With progressive momentum, let us all come together under the banner of our common humanity and divinity to celebrate the beginning of a new peace on earth with goodwill for all. Let us stand together as unique parts of the One Whole to begin again and again lighting the candles of our hearts in celebration of a new day. Let us make every day a holiday, a holy day to live, love, listen, learn, laugh, and enlighten up beyond our differences while coming together creatively in an ocean of emancipation for all. This is the great liberation of all true spirituality and it begins here and now within us all . . . .
- In celebrating your sacred holidays, allow the rituals to take you beyond themselves. Allow the stories to be not only about the external characters but also about you and the whole of creation. See the stories as your story and discover the depth of the message within for you in your day to day life situations. Surrender to Love.
- Allow your prayer to be an awakening to an inner dialogue. Be still. Be quiet. Ask and ponder what brings Life to Life for you and others. Practice giving a smile rather than a frown, a cordial greeting rather than a scowl, an encouraging word rather than a complaint, a forgiving acceptance rather than a judgmental dismissal. Be more gentle.
- Play with letting your doing come from your Being, your words come from your Heart, your feelings come from your Reverence, your significance come from your Essence and your wisdom come from your Presence. . . . Believe, Perceive, Receive, Achieve.