Most people think Christmas is real. I do not. I see it as a human construction that really means nothing in the world of spirit. Genuine love does not increase during this season of gift giving.
But, Christmas occupies many people's time and so the park was very empty today. I got to run for almost 4 hours; about two hours were in a heavy snowfall. The snow makes it seem more quiet. And strangely enough, a man I have know for decades caught up to me on my last two laps and decided to slow to my pace and chat.
While I was alone, I pondered what I read in the Course in Miracles text this morning (6.V.B): "What you must recognize is that when you do not share a thought system, you are weakening it. Those who believe in it therefore perceive this as an attack on them. "
To not participate in Christmas is a threat to many people and they respond to me with an attack. The attack often takes the form of calling me a Scrooge, so maybe I will feel guilty and get with the Christmas game. I realize that the attack is a result of my threatening their ego's thought system. The response I learned from A Course in Miracles is to realize the attack is a call for love.
This morning, as I thought about Christmas thought attacks, I realized that stuff like Christmas is invented to distract us from our pain. Most humans live in a very deep pain and don't want to look at it. The pain is related to the presumed separation from God which is lived out in the ego's thought system. The ego's thought system is very painful. So to give love in response to the call for love, I remember the Holy Spirit's thought system; and remember that we are one in God. The painful ego world does not really exist.
This line of thinking caused me to go very deeply into my litany (see below); especially the part about giving and receiving are the same. In the park, there is an old guy who can't really stand up straight, but runs very well. I waved at him and got a "hey" in response. That was my connection to the Christ in him. We both gave and received equally. The fact that Steve spent an hour running with me was an awesome expression of love. Then I went to the store and an assistant manager insisted on giving me a dollar off an item because they were out of the smaller size package. That was also giving and receiving for both of us. The money didn't matter; it was the connection. We both got love.
Christmas gift giving is more often an attack than love. And I believe what Jesus says in Miracle Principle number 5: "Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided." And number 32: "I (Jesus) inspire all miracles, which are really intercessions. They intercede for your holiness and make your perceptions holy. By placing you beyond the physical laws they raise you into the sphere of celestial order. In this order you are perfect."
Its not that Christmas does not involve miracles because each of us is a miracle and all expressions of love are miracles. Real miracles are natural and under the guidance of Jesus. They happen all the time, not just at Christmas. What happens at Christmas is ego satisfaction. And my point is that I have withdrawn my support of the ego's thought system, hence threaten other people's egos, hence get accused of being a Scrooge, hence see pain, hence overlook the pain and see perfect innocence and Christ instead. Thus, we both have inner peace.
Which brings us to Miracle Principle 25: "Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness (overlooking) which, when completed, is the Atonement (undoing). " My way of undoing the ego and returning to God is the above process.
Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.
If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this need not be.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.
I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.
Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.
God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.
This is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)