By Mankh (Walter E. Harris III)
Axis of Logic
Monday, Dec 21, 2015
|[Disclaimer: Am not a scholar on the topic, and it’s the holiday season so am either rather busy, moody, sentimental, or just looking to get some peace of mind amidst the noise and haste, and so am skipping the typical roster of footnotes and extenuating examples attempting to prove my point b/c also, OMG, you can look up stuff, too, if you wanna. Just sayin’.]
It is interesting to note that the big holiday would more accurately be spelled Christmass, referring to the rite or gathering in honor of Christ and/or the ‘'mission” of the Church. That there has been such a Christmission is historically undeniable; that much of said mission has caused suffering and horror across the globe is also undeniable. On the positive side is the gathering in honor of someone, some essence that speaks of divine love, peace with Earth, and acts of kindness toward others (gift giving not necessarily included), caring for those less fortunate, living from a pure-hearted place, and so on.
Christmass hints at another interesting angle. Via the Dead Sea Scrolls we know of The Essenes, a Jewish people with a devotion to non-proselytizing Christ-ways, perhaps akin to how an original meaning of jihad is “to strive”, referring to the internal battle each person’s life represents, an outer jihad perhaps only being necessary in the name of self-defense. The Essenes led a communal and spiritually guided lifestyle. The most interesting bit, from what I’ve learned and read (The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction by Timothy H. Lim, Oxford University Press, 2005), is that there was what could be called a messianic movement, rather than a fixation on one individual savior.
To my knowledge there is no physical proof that a single individual Jesus Christ actually lived at the time everyone thinks he did. This is not to say he didn’t, yet consider the huge scope of history and lives affected by such a statement if he didn’t, or rather reconsider that scope of history and lives if in fact no single such individual ever existed. Then reconsider what it would mean if there were a bunch of folk hanging out together and looking to improve their own lives and grow ‘closer with God’, instead of gallivanting across the globe trying to brutally convince others (for example, see The Doctrine of Christian Discovery/Domination).
So if there was a bunch of folk doing that, then the focus was not on one individual but on the success of each human being, at his/her own pace, striving to live in a fashion more attuned to some higher spiritual laws and the application of those laws in daily, Earthly, communal life. Sounds a bit like a bunch of Buddhists, or an enclave of Indigenous Peoples, or a party of street protestors...
Then there’s “mass” as in consciousness of the masses, as in (when not being blind followers) un-elitist, which gets to the crux of today’s global struggles. My theory is that at around the time of Christ-consciousness the elites didn’t want masses of people going off, being responsible for themselves and getting along just fine in small communities... so they re-focused the story onto one individual, one hero, one savior who then became The Dude that all would be required to emulate. Personally I strive to emulate him, and Lao-Tzu, and Buddha, and Moses, and the Christian man at the supermarket checkout counter because he takes the time to ask me how I’m doing then really listens to my response, and we talk about what’s going on with him, and the world... and I strive to emulate the trees in the backyard because they’ve been through more winters than me and must know a thing or two about wind, roots, weather, birds, bugs, and so on.
And another thing, remember that age old ball of Sunshine (sure your granpda’s cute, too), as the light of day is reborn, in other words, starts getting longer (at least in the northern hemisphere) on the day called Winter Solstice.
Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) is an essayist and resident poet on Axis of Logic. In addition to his work as a writer, he is a small press publisher and Turtle Islander. His recent book is “Drive-thru Theofascism & The Hero's Journey” and the newest is “Dear_______, poem-letters to friends and enemies.” You can contact him via his literary website.
READ MORE POETRY AND ESSAYS BY MANKH ON AXIS OF LOGIC
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