I Remember Christmas
As a practitioner of the African spirituality of Ifa it should be no surprise to anyone that I don’t practice the traditional American holidays such as Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas. Having the conscious awareness to venture deeper into knowing more about the origins of these holidays instead of just applying the hype and propaganda associated with their traditional celebration I really can’t say that I have much cause to recognize the festivities of the occasions the way most people do.
I have to admit that up to a week or so ago my depression was getting the best of me. Unemployed and at the end of my rope I had my own insecurities to struggle through. Thankfully I finally found a job. But I’m far from being alone. This is the time of year a lot of people become really disheartened and unhappy with themselves and with their lives. Some may be so troubled that they actually come to the conclusion to ask, what’s the point of it all? And without a satisfactory answer a lot of people check out early. This is so unfortunate especially in a time when we are supposed to be coming together to celebrate life, fellowship, and spirituality as a community.
As a Christian I was taught to believe that this time of year is all in tribute to Jesus Christ the kings of kings and the son of god and the prince of peace. But what did his life and the sacrifice of his life come to mean? The other day there was a discussion on one of the television news program. Somebody asked the question would Jesus approve of the war in Iraq. Some military professional with a lot of stars across his shoulders and badges pulling at the front of his uniform actually said that as a good Christian he believed that if Jesus was alive he would sanction the war in Iraq.
No doubt this man is just one of many good church going people who would propagate the theory that the prince of peace would kill as many enemies of America as his god powered weaponry could slaughter without hitting the innocent. Trouble is a lot of innocent people are getting hit and are being seriously injured, maimed for life, and/or killed. I seriously doubt if a righteous and fair god would allow the innocent to suffer and die in a war for the liberation of their oil, I mean country. But nevertheless, a President wants people to believe that god told him to start this war. I guess when you stop and think about it, if the book of Revelations is true, somebody is going to have to start the war that brings Christ back. If anyone can start a global conflict that could ravage the world it might as well be the President of the United States.
And so this is what we have come to hold dear this time of year. Christmas is supposed to be recognized for the birth of a man who is widely accepted as the epitome of peace but somehow he would sanction unjust wars. To say that the philosophy of Christmas has become as complex as the mysteries of god’s workings would be an understatement. I’ve always believed the Supreme Being to be quite simple and direct with his principles for life. It is my personal belief that people will try to complicate things by twisting the principles of god to fit their own personal objective.
Even if I was still a Christian devotee I doubt if I would be following the junk that people pass off as the word of god these days. This twenty first century rendition of Christmas replete with messages of mandated consumerism for the sake of the economy is just not cutting it. I won’t let the corporate figureheads on the television tell me how I need to do to help assure that Macy’s and Wal-Mart have the best Christmas ever. Neither one seems too particularly worried on making sure I have the best Christmas ever. So we’re just going to have to call it even.
My personal philosophy is that the principle of Christmas, the overwhelming concept represented by the birth of the lord and savior of the Christian religion, runs along the lines of goodwill towards all men. As far as I know there isn’t an asterisk in the Christian bible that makes an exclusion of people who refuse to submit to our wants. Goodwill should be the monarch of all our hearts. Peace on Earth doesn’t equate to peace only throughout our land while our military machine continue to drop bombs on and occupy the territories of countries with government policies that run contrary to our government’s will.
I don’t celebrate Christmas the way a lot of people may recognize the holiday. I don’t even celebrate Christmas at the same time most people around me do. Personally, the concept of goodwill for our fellowman should be a philosophy practiced year round. Unfortunately, such a philosophy requires a strong sense of community that forces us to actually look out for each other without exception. But with this form of hyper capitalism that we have in place here in America, it’s every man and woman for his or her self.
Sometimes I really wish I could go back to the days of Christmas when all I had to worry about was what I was going to get under the Jesus tree. It doesn’t matter if it came from my parents when I was knee high to my dad or from my significant other back in my days as a younger unconscious adult neck deep in the propaganda of assimilation. But such wishful thinking ranks right up there with hoping that we would have the spiritual wherewithal to truly see each other as part of a global family. Peace and harmony? Not likely in this holiday season or in any other for that matter.
Happy Birthday Jesus, king of peace!