Monday, December 25, 2006

In the Bad Old Days...

"In the bad old days, when the Mob ruled the world, the capo de capo, who then was Ceasar Augustus, let it be known that all the world should pay protection money..."

Things went on from there until, today, just after the darkest day of the year, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate Christmas and the birth -- the Gift -- of light in the world...

I remember one Christmas, hearing on the teevee news that the Pope had mentioned in his sermon that we really do not know exactly when Jesus was born. From an historical viewpoint, sometime in April would be a better guess, as it was the custom of the Roman rulers to levy taxes and do census in the late spring.

According to the teevee, some of the faithful were supposedly shocked.

Knowing that media creatures have a need to say things so people won't change the channel and that they sometimes come up with things like a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat, there's no way to know if anybody let alone any of the faithful was really shocked.

In any case, it is common knowledge that the December date for Christmas was chosen because most earlier cultures had a festival at that time of year.

For the Nordic tribes, it was "Jul". Of course, the date for Christmas was settled long before the Danes, the Swedes and the Norsemen ever heard of the "White Christ" or decided he was stronger than Thor.

The "Suffering Christ" has never had the appeal in the North as it has in the Mediterranean. The Northmen prefer the vision of "Christ-Triumphant". Also, the North was baptized in blood as much as in water. Perhaps that might shock some people?

My Norwegian forebears even have a saint, St. Olav, known as "Olav the Holy".

They might as well call him "Olav the Bloody".

When he was 17, Olav went viking and tried to capture London. Of course London was no where near the size it is today, but still he was a precocious fellow. Before he got religion, he was known as what I might translate as "Olav Squarepants". He was what they call "big-boned" and could throw two spears at once, a skill which impressed those who went viking with him.

Getting religion didn't change much in his behavior patterns. People he didn't like (= those who refused to be baptized) were treated...unkindly.

He ordered one chieftain, along with his sons, to be bound with their hands tied behind them and placed on a rock in the water -- at low tide. When the tide came in they drowned. Perhaps Olav thought this a sort of "baptism"?

He ordered others to have kettles with glowing coals placed on their tummies, or that they be thrown into pits full of poisonous snakes.

Um, and these are the tales told by those who are trying to praise him!

However, my intention was to speak of Christmas, the Birth of Christ and in that mood I want to speak of facts.

Not historical facts -- historical facts are almost trivial in this context. I'm not talking about facts like the price of a pound of butter.

Here is a real fact:

There is a light which shines in the heart of every human being. This is not true because it is writ there in John chapter one, verse blah-blah. This is a truth which is true only if you yourself have seen and understood it.

At the risk of being too specific, we could say that it is the light of conscious awareness.

That we have physical eyes, ears, tongue, nose and the feelings of the skin are, in my opinion, a consequence of or, so to speak, a reflection of that light, that is, there is an innate tendency of the universe as-we-see-it towards life and conscious awareness..

Is this light is in us, or does the human heart or essence somehow focus the light so that it can be revealed in the physical reality? I don't know and leave any answering to the experts.

In any case, without this light, without this tendency or drift towards conscious awareness -- such a loss!

In sum, there is a light which shines in the heart of every human being and here, at the darkest time of the year, we celebrate that that light is born into this world of struggle.

Merry Christmas!

2 comments:

JamesRaven said...

Good job bringing it full circle, my friend.

Merry Christmas back atcha.

From The One Who Believes "Got Milk?"

Chuck Cliff said...

I reckon if you can make good fudge, you can fudge a bit on the milk now and then -- but don't press your luck [heh heh]