Saturday, December 21, 2019
THOUGHTS ON HANUKKAH AND CHRISTMAS
As we approach the Holiday Season and the celebrations of Hanukkah and Christmas, I would like to share some thoughts. All too often these holidays get us so caught up in the social activities of celebration with eating, drinking, shopping and giving of gifts that we lose sight of what the real spiritual meaning is behind these religious events.
Long before religions were created by humans and continuing after such creations, we received messengers of the Divine to help guide us on a path towards spiritual self- realization of Oneness with the Divine/God. Many of these messengers or prophets were disregarded, seen as threats to those in power or, as in the case of Jesus, killed.
The idea of Oneness is antithetical to the ego which can only thrive in a consciousness of separateness and self-serving desires and actions which manifest into much pain and suffering as we see today. Humanity has for millennia been at battle individually and collectively with the ego consciousness of individuation.
We have misinterpreted individuation as this desire to preserve self at all costs rather than recognize that the Creation process requires an expression of the Divine in the greatest diversity possible, otherwise Creation would not exist. The ego is that small part of individuation within each of us as a part of diversity within the Whole. It is meant to allow us to manifest the Beauty, Grace and Love of the Divine in our own special way as co-creators. Because of our misinterpretation of the ego, we have allowed it to overtake our Inner Being, our connection with the Divine and All That Is in the world and breed a consciousness of separation. It is this consciousness of separation which is the cause of all our problems today.
This egoistic separation and the continued journey to get beyond ego to the Oneness of All becomes more evident everyday as we look upon our world we have collectively created. A world of ego and separation has manifested in a totally collapsing ecosystem, famine, sea rises which threaten whole societies, a failing food system, corruption in government and other human activity all over the world, species die-off, manipulated weather and toxins from climate engineering and all kinds of human drama separating us from attending to the lessons we need to learn and addressing of the mistakes we have made.
So, what does egoism and its manifestation of a consciousness of separation have to do with Hanukkah and Christmas? In Rav Michael Lichtman’s article, The Meaning of Hanukkah, he offers a Kabbalah perspective on the Hanukkah story.
The war of the Maccabees and the Greeks is a symbol of the conflict between our ego and desire to raise our consciousness to That of God. The Maccabees represent our Inner Being and the Greeks represent our ego. “It marks the beginning of our experience of the spiritual reality, the initial crossing of the barrier between the corporeal (egoistic) and spiritual (altruistic) worlds.”
The war that we are fighting is an inner conflict between our ego and our Inner Being. The more challenging this war becomes and the more determined we are to raise our consciousness from that of separateness to Oneness, the greater our triumph. In fact, the Universe will continue to present us with ever greater challenges until we learn the lessons we are here to learn in the Earth School, most of which relate to the conflicting desire of the illusion of separateness and division and that of Oneness and connection.
The miracle in the story of Hanukkah where the light of the lamp lasts for eight days is the awareness and acceptance of the “spiritual light of unity, love and bestowal” which happens when we individually and collectively connect with our Inner Being and Divine Oneness. Having personally experienced this in my own way I can say that such an embrace of love and oneness, while seeming like a miracle, is truly what we are.
Jesus’ teachings were all about giving up the idea of egoistic tendencies of separation and division and accepting the Oneness of God and connectedness. Here are some sayings attributed to his teachings which reflect this:
“Love one another.”
“Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.” - Gospel of Mathew
“Jesus saith (Ye ask? Who are those) that draw us (to the kingdom, if) the kingdom is Heaven?... the fowls of the air and all beasts that are under the earth or upon the earth and the fishes of the sea, (these are they which draw) you and the kingdom of Heaven is within you; and whoever shall know himself shall find it. (Strive therefor?) to know yourselves, and ye shall be aware that ye are the sons of the (almighty?) Father; (and?) ye shall know that ye are in (the city of God?) and ye are (the city?)
-Second Saying (Reconstructed) New Sayings of Jesus and Fragment of a Lost Gospel from Oxyrhynchus, Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur Hunt
(This saying is all about Divine Oneness and how knowing ourselves is knowing our connectedness to the Divine, each other, all living creatures all of life. The world we have collectively manifested is the result of a dominate consciousness of separateness. As this dominant consciousness continues and as we fail to learn the lesson of Oneness, life here on Earth will get increasingly more challenging and painful until we wake up.)
"I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.”
"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." -John 4:24
“If we walk in the light, we have fellowship with each other…” -John 1:6-7
“God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.” -1 Pet. 5:5
This holiday season let us remember the true spirit of Jesus and Hanukkah and That of God: We are all connected, we are all One. Have compassion for those whose pain may manifest in fear and hate. Forgive those whose actions may cause harm because they are too tied to their egos to truly see; and embrace the Love of the Divine as your own to bestow on all those you meet.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Holiday Season full of warmth, love and awakening.