I wrote this article in December, but it has a timeless message. I considered calling this article “The True Meaning of Christmas”. Even though there are probably thousands of books, sermons, articles, webinars and other self-help literature out there with that title “The True Meaning of Christmas”, the question continues to be contemplated by all sorts of people. For me, the whole message of the prophet named Jesus/Jessua was to become more conscious and that the only hope for happiness (peace on Earth) was to change the way we think.
The first thing that most Christians don’t realize is that Jesus’s message is a common message. The same themes were shared by Buddha, the Hindu God Krisna in the Bhagavad Gita, Mohammed in the Koran, Sai Baba in his many discourses and many other teachers and sages throughout the history of mankind. Kind of makes you wonder why we have so much trouble with the concept of being happy doesn’t it?
In order to apply the principles of Consciousness/Christmas one has to be focused. We have to focus on the effects of our actions on others, we have to focus on the fact that most of what we perceive to be real is actually an illusion, we have to focus on the fact that suffering is our own creation, and we have to focus on the fact that life is a gift in any form, and it should not be taken from anyone.
I certainly applaud all of the efforts to support our troops who are fighting everywhere for peace. The True Meaning of Consciousness is that we are perpetuating our own suffering by hurting others, no matter what the reason. Perhaps it would be a better idea to bring those soldiers home.
Consciousness requires the focus on serving others without regard of reward or recognition. Not just on holidays, but everyday of the year. In relationships, consciousness requires the focus on the wellbeing of your partner, not of your own wellbeing. Consciousness recognizes the illusion of right and wrong; there is only what you want or what I want. Consciousness recognizes the illusion of separation consciousness that causes the myths of soul mates and marriage in the first place. I think what most people are looking for in a “soul mate” is actually someone who will be obedient. Consciousness recognizes that if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you are with (okay so I borrowed that one).
Consciousness has to do with being aware of everything that is happening around you. Let someone else have that prime parking space at the mall, go park a long way away and get some exercise. When we go shopping with our kids, make sure they understand that they are buying it for some needy family, not themselves. Instead of taking a family ski vacation, use the money to make someone else’s life easier. Pay their heating bill or rent for a month. Have our children make handmade gifts for their classmates.
The most important thing is to realize that each of us is the child that is born on Christmas Day, and every day we are lucky enough to wake up. We may have to go through challenges and adversity just like the metaphorical Christ child, but we can have just as big an impact on the world. The question is are we focused on that potential or are we focused on what everyone else is doing? Do people still feel insecure and unworthy because they don’t have as much material stuff as other people? Consciousness would have us realize that what we have has nothing to do with how we feel. Consciousness teaches us that how we feel determines what we have. We have total control over this circumstance. Only we determine how we feel. No one can make us feel this way or that way; consciousness knows that it our individual responsibility of how we feel.
So today, give yourself the best gift of all and start focusing on what you can do to help others and to think less about yourself. We can rise above being defined by Wall Street and Madison Avenue. We can stop caring about how our bodies and faces compare to others and start caring about picking up trash and being kind to people. We can stop criticizing others and ourselves. We can stop gossiping and start imagining what life can be if we focus on the welfare of others.
It is a far more conscious choice to be in church on Monday than it is on Sunday. Depending on your focus, you can be in church every minute of every day. Consciousness knows that God is in us and we don’t have to go anywhere to find God. So have a wonderful day and ask for some consciousness this year. That never goes out of style.