By now, most of us feel the holiday aura in the air. Much of the world is celebrating because these are high holy days in the Jewish and Christian religions. For the Christians, it means the birth of their beloved Messiah, Jesus.
Besides the religious nature of these holidays, there's a frenzy of commercial activity, the buying and selling of things to be offered as tokens of our affection and esteem to one another.
I like the feelings associated with this time of year, Hope, the promise of Peace, and unconditional Love. Sometimes I get and give some very cool presents, too, but I'd be really happy to see it all change.
I've learned from my dream life that there is a ridiculous amount of Hope, Peace and Love available to me all the time. I've learned that I'm not alone; I have guides and guardians and many teachers. I have a place to be with my beloved dead and they to be with me. Just don't ask me to name the Source. I don't want to.
In the Old Testament, the divine name for the Hebrew god, Yahweh was taboo, could not be spoken. I've noticed that some Jewish people still spell god, g-d, to avoid naming the divine. To name, whether in dark or healing magic, is to control, to have power over that which is named.
I believe in regards to the divine, to name is to limit - the divine, but especially ourselves. In dreams the divine is constantly shape shifting. Sometimes it appears absurd and outlandish, others religiously conventional and sometimes it's just a feeling of riveting awe. The lesson here is that if I don't name it, shape it to my own all too limited projections, it will surprise, inspire and deliver me from evil. It will appear as I need it to appear; it will say what I need to hear, whether I know it or not.
That Which Is exists. I accept that my mind is too limited, that it is way beyond what I can ever imagine, but also that I am safe in this dance with my divine Love and, because there will be other lives where I will see and hear differently, perhaps I'll know more of it's true Nature. Something to look forward to in death, at least.
Here and now, all I need is to feel it, live it and be delighted and surprised constantly by the experience.
I believe a change from Naming paradigms would bring about Hope, Peace and Love on earth. Who can deny that religion is at the root of most of our tragedies? When we fight with God on our side, we think we have the only truth and can justify any atrocity in god's Name. Witness now as in history, the World Trade Towers in NYC, the centuries of genocide of Christianizing colonialism or the almost world-wide subjugation of women. Muslims for Allah, Jews for Yahweh, Christians for God the Father, these patriarchal religions advocate one Truth that must be served and is only in the keep of mean old men. There's also communism and other state oligarchies where the State becomes the god, but it's still run by mean old men. ("HL Mencken once defined a demagogue as one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots..")
We give power to forces of destruction when we name the divine. It's not meant to be named, just experienced. It's the ultimate ineffable Love that we know is the only answer to everything. It will not be described by puny little humans. It will not be the crucible for those humans who want power, control, whose greed and savagery are wielded in the name of Truth. It doesn't need defending or defining; it needs to be lived. We are each on a soul journey here. We use symbols to express what we can't define, but we must know that what we seek to name is beyond and greater still. It is in perpetual revelation mode, now as it was in the beginning.
Just like dream images, it cannot be the same for you as for me; it is extremely personal. It is Mystery that goes way beyond the cognitive to ways of knowing that are often ignored. Inner knowing, inner certainty, not rational explanation is the key to knowing god.
Yet, we are naturally clannish; we crave relationship and community. Religion satisfies our need to belong to a tribe of "just like mees" and that's cool, if we can keep the doctrines flexible. If a religion teaches rigidity of belief and woeful punishments to the disbeliever, it's a dangerous paradigm.
I use largely pagan metaphors to talk about my Divine, but I hold them loosely. They are and they aren't. If you're saying Father and I'm saying Mother, that's cool, but these are, after all, anthropomorphisms. We're creating a human projection; surely, there's much more of Love to experience than that.
So the thought I'm offering for these holidays is that it's about the Feeling, no matter what the religious paradigm. I believe the experience of Love and Loving is salvific and that's what I celebrate, that Epiphany. I wish for you the certain knowledge that you aren't alone and that neither is anybody else and I invite you to join that clan, the clan of Love is the Answer.
"I Can Hear the Angels"