Tis Better

An excerpt from the fictional tales: Defender of the Christmas Faith

It’s often touted that it’s better to give than receive. Yet to become a giver there must be a receiver — therefore we should not place judgement upon either party lest we involve ourself in a game of spiritual hot-potato, always trying to give away what lands in our lap. We must graciously and appreciatively receive, lest we insult the giver.

In fact, Christmas is very much about receiving. For God so loveth the world, that he hath given his only begotten Son. Who are we, mere mortals, to give anything? We have nothing but what the Creator provides, we’re simply swapping the things we don’t own amongst ourselves. Truly, the only thing we can give is our thanks.

Believe not the naysayers proclaiming that some must lose for others to win. We’ve all already won. Don’t listen to lackers that believe in the finite, peddling their nonsense of limitless limitation. Doomsayers have plagued every era, yet the good times have kept on rolling. Why should we presume the fun will stop in our generation?

Christmas is a time for miracles, a time for receiving gifts we don’t deserve. When I fill out my Christmas Wish List, it’s full of items that stir delight. When I think of Christmas, I imagine thrilled hearts rapaciously tearing apart wrapping paper — I hear squeals of glee as long sought toys are finally in hand. What we’re experiencing through receiving, is joy.

Therefore, let us not shun this merriment, but embrace it. Let us lift our cups high in celebration of the season, a celebration of life itself, displaying our wholehearted appreciation for the gifts we receive. Let us wish the best for others and hope they receive their heart’s desire, but let us not forget our own enjoyment as we are part of the all.

As it is said, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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Wind and Waves

Believing that I’m a single perspective of an infinite being means that arguing has become pointless — I’m really only bickering with myself — what’s the point. Now when argumentative opponents present themselves in my head, I don’t engage. It’s nonsense that I don’t need. I’ve stopped wrestling with paper tigers of my own design.

Minds don’t need to be changed, people are just players in a grand narrative. But it’s dreamlike in that my mind will see what it wants, forming patterns to fit my interpretation. If I want a fight, I’ll find it. If I foretell a bad-day, I’ll have it. If I truly seek the calm seas then my mind must be stilled first.

Childlike Delight

The disciples came unto Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

What’s the difference between a child and an adult? An adult believes himself in control, tasked with full responsibility for his own well-being, believing himself knowledgeable and experienced in the ways of the world. Whereas a child believes he’s not in charge, has no responsibility but to play, and is always looking to extend the fun-times. A child knows he doesn’t know everything.

The difference between a child and an adult is the seriousness in which each plays. An adult simply loses the variety and levity in his playtime, selecting narrowly focused games while wearing the same costume daily. The adult imposes severe limits on his abilities and the available outcomes. The adult attempts to maintain a strictly logical course of events. The adult thinks getting to the end is the point and rushes accordingly.

To be as a child, is to be playful, unrestrained by self-imposed boundaries, freely imagining the best to come. It’s to know there’s no actual end-goal but the act of play itself. To be as a child is to realize one’s lack of control and overall ignorance within the world — to exist despite one’s feebleness, thankful for being well-cared for. To be as a child is to be inclusive of others, inviting them to play, sharing the fun. It’s to extract enjoyment from each activity and interaction, to smile and laugh.

Magical Mountain

“Unleash your power! Let go Jean! Jean let go!” — Professor X

Within the human narrative, there is a common theme of pent-up power. Crushed beneath a giant, energy of the seemingly weak finally surges, building until unleashing as a shockwave of supremacy. The so-called mighty fall at the hands of the formerly meek — after all, was it not said: they shall inherit the earth?

Themes such as this litter our landscape. So tell me again how random this world is? No, it’s as scripted as a book. Just don’t look too closely or you’ll spoil the surprises. It’s a funny thing to consider of course — yet, where would we wander without pre-cut paths? We’d be hacking through thick brush, lost while banging into trees.

It’s a comforting thought you see. They that mourn shall be comforted. Those seeking righteousness shall be satisfied. The merciful shall obtain mercy. What we seek, we shall find. It’s all there, written in plain sight for us to see. But the unrelenting captivation of daily life holds our attention too closely to consider the actuality of our situation.

But when we just keep staring, severing connections to the scenes, constraining ourselves to see only the pixels, we can perceive it — the fiction before us. And by understanding this artificiality, our power flows. “Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Spirits from Beyond

I was just reading the first part of the 1843 story A Christmas Carol, and found the chain metaphor an interesting one. Scrooge’s deceased partner Jacob Marley was wrapped in chains he forged for himself through earthly endeavors. He toiled ceaselessly in his business and thus wore the fruits of his labor.

As Jesus said: No man can serve two masters: for either he shall hate the one, and love the other, or else he shall lean to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and riches.

And in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says: At the end of time, he, who having abandoned his mortal frame, departeth thinking only of me, without doubt goeth unto me; or else, whatever other nature he shall call upon, at the end of life, when he shall quit his mortal shape, he shall ever go unto it. Wherefore at all times think of me alone and fight. Let thy mind and understanding be placed in me alone, and thou shalt, without doubt, go unto me.

It’s interesting to think we’re creating the chains in this realm that we’ll carry into the next. It reminds us to heed the focus of our time and energy lest we carry a burden we wish not.

At the very least, if we’re to carry chains, we should forge them from the things we adore. Yet in spiritual lore, the goal is to remove the bonds entirely. And we do that by detaching from the fruits of our labor while we endeavor.

We perform action not as a wretched creature lost to life, but as a master actor fulfilling his role on stage, aware of an ever-present audience, and joyfully performing the part we were meant to play.

Whole Season

Evil is separating others into us-versus-them. Evil is dividing wholes into digestible portions to be consumed for selfish gain. Evil is coercing others into a life they do not deem worthy. Good is cooperation. Good is disolving division. Good is helping others live the life they see fit for themselves.

Evil speech is divisive and incites outrage. Good speech is peaceful and induces calm. Outcomes cannot be predicted, so it is the intent and manner in which acts are performed that matters. Anger and fear are the foundations of evil and must be destroyed, not transferred to particular targets.

The battle against evil must begin within. We must undermine our own anger and fear. We must instantly forgive and seek immediate resolution. We must be brave and dismiss all worrisome thoughts that attempt to capture our attention. We must dismantle our own tendency to create borders within entireties.

Evil is harsh. Evil adds fuel to fires. Good is gentle. Good is stepping lightly amidst the storm. Good brings together, sewing a quilt of many patches that ultimately warms the whole. Evil is selfish and self-serving. Good is selfless and self-sacrificing. Evil takes without care. Good gives without care.

Imagined Battle

The modern battlefield is located within the collective imagination of mankind. Its soldiers are the influencers that impart particular narratives within the minds of followers. Whoever tells the most persuasive tale wins. But whose side are you on, those that paint with dower grays and sullen blues — or those that paint with golden hues?

The war is raging before us, yet if you step aside, apathy favors darkness. Step into the light, reflecting the brilliance for all to see. Illuminate the shadows and they disappear. But be vigilant as others work to cast more shadow in light’s way. Night fills half the day remember, therefore your work is never done.

The battle before us is outrage versus calm. There are those that stir the pot just to witness turbulence. Stirring in the opposite direction only results in splashing and spilling. Within a vast liquid, a tiny spoon has no effect — such spoons therefore seek to segregate wholes into smaller portions. Unite these parts and the spoon is lost within an ocean.

Do not attack the spoon — as another is always waiting. Attack the boundaries, destroying that which divides, causing the whole to come flooding in, washing away the spoons. Walls block the light — undermine their foundation, allowing them to collapse under their own weight. Follow the resplendent path, for those advocating cooperation and unity do good works.