Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Solstice!

The Winter Solstice continues to be one of the most enduring moments for reverence and celebration (2012 Mayan end of time excepted.)  The darkest day of the year has come and hence forth each day shall be filled with more sunshine.  I'm not aware of any civilization that did not celebrate in some manner the turning point of the year.

It is not surprising that this became the season to celebrate the incarnation of Jesus who became the Christ.  It's pretty well accepted that Jesus was born not in winter, but in the spring and perhaps six years earlier than our calendar suggests.  Since Pisces, the fish, was an early Christian symbol, I'd surmise that the birth occurred under that astrological sign.  This is all irrelevant, of course.  The historical Jesus Christ was one of a handful of master teachers known to us, and his instructions on how to live a more wonderful life have proven themselves  repeatedly.
Mischief arose when the teachings of this Master were edited, blended, codified, and otherwise rendered theological and political.  Some even doubted Jesus existed at all.  However...

3. (63)  Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works - a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.  He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.  He was {the} Christ; (64) and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principle men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and then thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.

            Flavius Josephus, "The Antiquities of the Jews" 3.(63) (64)

This brief paragraph, from a massive history, is the principle evidence of an historical Jesus.  Josephus (A.D. 37 - c. 100) was born around the time of the crucifixion and likely knew people who had known Jesus.  A Pharisee, Josephus was a champion of the faith and worked to bridge the inherent conflicts of Roman rule and Judaism.

Through the years I've read that there was virtually no evidence of an historical Jesus who became the Christ.  The nagging little paragraph by Josephus was begrudged and considered inconsequential - if Jesus had the impact history implies, then surely an historian such as Josephus would chronicle in detail.  I think the paragraph is an astonishing summary.  I particularly like "...if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works..."  That pretty well sums it up.

The history is irrelevant.  It is the teachings that shifted much of human consciousness and continues to do so.  Jesus taught that thinking (a.k.a. prayer) was the way to a wonderful life.  Thinking is very personal, therefore the relationship to God that Jesus taught, had to be personal as well.  That, of course, didn't go over well with Priests or any positioned person to whom obedience and worship were required.  Radical stuff, actually.

So, to celebrate the Christ Mass, is a good thing.  It is a Merry Christmas.  It is a Happy Holiday.  It is as pagan as it gets, for the celebration is ancient.  As forever, it is the thought that counts.  Joy to the World!  Happy New Year!

(Previously posted in 2011.  Updated.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments welcome. You know the etiquette.