Christmas Thoughts

December 18, 2007 at 12:21 AM · Since it's coming close to Christmas again, and this deserves attention perhaps. Also, I, because I had a lot to digest emotionally, found myself taking a hiatus from composing for 2 months, I jsut didn't compose. In going back to it, I am amazed at what music really is...how a phrase can bring out a reaching out into a whole spiritual plane that eases the mind and relaxes the senses... balancing life. What kind of a miracle this is, is more than one can describe in just words – what music does. With Christmas and all the hype, I wonder how many people really still understand the simple lesson that Jesus was and his lesson in forgiveness which eases the mind and relaxes the senses, that we can perhaps come in touch with a world to help us when all our grievances would only confuse us and make things worse.

Just thoughts, because it'll be Christmas again soon.

Replies (52)

December 18, 2007 at 12:34 AM · Let's put it this way--if I didn't think about Jesus once in awhile--they'd be some more grievances--a bunch of'm. Yes... absolutely... Merry Christmas.

December 18, 2007 at 10:40 AM · Roelof, thank you for touching on a subject I was planning on writing about myself later this evening (if I ever get any time after packing).

For me, the season had been mildly irritating--that is, until the last movement of the Messiah, when somehow our community orchestra managed to communicate a bit of what Handel had in mind when he wrote the music for "Worthy is the Lamb." And although I'm actually not all that sentimental (for a girl), my heart softened and I wept when I thought about what a turd I'd been lately, and how glorious heaven must be. I had to get off the stage as soon as possible to go be alone, where I could pray and think. That's when I rediscovered my joy for Christmas.

December 18, 2007 at 09:20 AM · Yup, I'm beginning to hate Christmas - because of all the shopping you have to do (do we really need to give gifts at Christmas?), the parties (must everyone give a Christmas party?), the traffic, on top of all the other activities. Christmas is so darned expensive. But then I realize that God did give the most expensive gift this Christmas: Jesus. I just wish Christmas would be more peaceful. I'd like to find myself walking on a deserted road on a moonlit night to go to church, feeling the cool of the evening against the warmth in my heart. I'd like to attend Mass and hear carols without all the hype, and hear an orchestra that doesn't play for a crowd but for God.

December 18, 2007 at 10:04 AM · ooh-- that reminds me Emily--I can't wait to get the legato runs from "For unto us..." just as soon as my new chops get up to par.

Having my own beliefs though, Heaven and Hell, are in the moment now... And, we, choose those moments beyond indigestion... "Every word that proceedeth..."

December 18, 2007 at 10:45 AM · But don't we all have our own beliefs? Regarding heaven, I like to think that all this is a poor reflection, but someday, we will see it face to face.

December 18, 2007 at 02:13 PM · Doods. I can tell your Christmas cheer has gone all to hell. Here it is back. Works for me anyway.

December 18, 2007 at 06:46 PM · They spelled Claus wrong.

December 18, 2007 at 07:09 PM · I hear ya Emily. And agree. But in the meantime, use that mustard seed, and "proceedeth". Therein is the power sweetie.

December 18, 2007 at 07:30 PM · Emily, I really don't think Jesus wants you to think you are a turd. Well, unless you like turds (they are quite organic things, and when allowed to decompoase properly they help the seeds come up each spring). So, you see if you weren't a turd the seeds wouldn't come up each spring (which I definitely think is a part of heaven with it's calm assurance). Besides, I've been MUCH more of a turd then you have been...

If you only knew....

December 18, 2007 at 09:23 PM · Speakin, of which, I promised a couple neighbors I'd clean out their barns for the gardens. I hope that white Christmas holds off for a couple days. I guess that'll be their Christmas gift... We keep things simple and do not spend too much money and so on.

December 18, 2007 at 11:20 PM · Our poop's all frozen here.

I just found the next Christmas album I want. Joseph Spence's "saunyglauiesgommey--oo-hunn.."

You better dit-doh, ya-didda-din-doh...

December 19, 2007 at 02:15 AM · is frozen poop marketable? `#$%" on a stick,` for example

December 19, 2007 at 03:11 AM · It's a hit! I'm arranging it for symphony orchestra and double chorus. Buy me a ticket to New York. Here's another happy song by the same guy. You can hear how brilliant and calypso he is. It reminds me of the church programs on every a.m. radio station all day Sunday when I was a tiny tot. Often into Monday too, depending on whether they ended the service when the snake bit. Ancient songs from the British Isles. Buri, you can relate to this too. This really would be nice arranged for chorus.

December 19, 2007 at 03:10 AM · If you can make it there, you can make it any-where. It's up to you, New York, New YOOOOORRK!!!!

December 19, 2007 at 05:31 AM · Apart from the eloquent imagery of frozen poop pointing out nature's transformational powers, I was trying to point out Jesus simple lesson in forgiveness and how that helps.

I had been quite psychotic about things for two months only to find out my mind was going on about emotional wounds I wasn't completely aware of. In recognizing what was effecting me, Jesus lesson in forgiveness is truly effective in helping me to let go so I can heal. Music itself does this in allowing emotions to exist, giving them space to breath and find the light.

Note, I do this with help from a book called A Course in Miracles. And ofcourse...music.

December 21, 2007 at 03:06 AM · Forgiveness is the ultimate healer of the soul. I'm particulary stingy about forgiving people because, in some misguided way of thinking, it feels a bit like saying that doing wrong is okay, and it's just not. But to the same degree that I refuse to forgive others, I also refuse to forgive myself, and that vicious cycle can weigh you down to the point of death. If anyone reading this has seen the movie The Mission, they can recall the heavy load that Robert DeNiro's character hauled for penance as he climbed the waterfall to the village where his former enemies lived. In a truly symbolic moment, those he'd hunted in the village reacted to his return by cutting the burden from his body.

I want to think more about forgiveness, and how it can apply in my life.

December 21, 2007 at 03:09 PM · It's best to rationalize the thing you think you want to forgive in such a way that it affects you in a healthier way. Understanding situations more fully allows you do do that. For example, picture a drunk driver who kills someone. Imagine the trauma that happened to him as a child which led to his alcoholism and finally this point. Picture him as a tiny child being told he's worthless. Go back in time and watch that scene, and you can't hate him. That's the reality. In fact you want put your arms around him and rescue him. If someone robs you, it's because he has a miserable chain of events in his life leading to that point. So to me, the teaching to forgive is a teaching to understand fully, not a teaching to try to behave as if nothing ever happened.

The teaching I got as a kid was that if someone is truly sorry for what they did, then you can welcome them back into the fold. That might take a similar kind of rising above it all emotionally on his part. Until then, they stay in jail :)

December 21, 2007 at 05:48 AM · I prefer to think of the leeway one gives another as a right that that other person earns.

It has nothing to do with forgiveness if you don't let a rabid dog loose from his chain. It has everything to do with the fact that that rabid dog is not sufficiently able to handle the situation at hand. You are doing that dog a favor by not allowing him to harm others.

One should also apply the same treatment to oneself to the best of one's ability. If you see a situation that is beyond you, it is your responsibility to seek assistance, or to remove yourself from it. At the same time, it's important to try to stretch one's boundaries. By doing so, one grows as a person. But hopefully it's done in such a way that it harms noone else.

That's a concept I can personally be at peace with. It's much easier in concept than in practice, however.

December 21, 2007 at 06:26 AM · Emily, you hit it on the head I think. What I think is that, If you haven't forgiven yourself, this is the reason that one sees fault in others or can't see past that. I know this from experience even at a level of disease. I had an ailment which wasn't supposed to go away and before this (before I got the problem) had worked with a healer. This healer's energy works in that people lose consciousness or fall asleep and then wake up having discarded the disease (even ones the hospital says aren't possible to heal). He said something to me which really made me think, it involved trusting myself. I found myself thinking about that rather than losing consciousness. When I got the ailment, I was going to see him again (he can work over the phone) and had already written out the check to send, but then I watched a video he has and found myself going into that place where one loses consciousness. When I woke up, I had indeed shed the problem although the doctor told me I would have it for the rest of my life.

What I "remember" from the unconscious state is a place where one can go and literally have everything you feel guilty about washed away... that there is nothing that is unforgiveable. You really can let go of that (that scary feeling that something is unforgiveable and ruined forever) and that is the true cause for the disease. To see that part of yourself that is free of guilt does impossible things. Someone may say that a situation can't change or that a disease is terminal but where guilt is washed away this isn't the case. Such rules do not apply.

Now, that I said or wrote all this, forget it. It's something you experience, it's nothing like "I haven't shed my guilt so that's why I'm sick" kind of logic. I mean you can "know" or believe that but it sort of means nothing until you experience it. I don't think you're meant to have it cut and dry or black and white anyhow.

Here also is something about Handels Messiah I found. LOL

It's so much better not to have swords and hoop skirts. Now adays it't just people's perfumes that will knock you out...

Can you imagine what it was like having to dodge swords and avoid squeezing some ladies hoop skirt into a balloon!? One could probably hide under some of the hoop skirts.

On the day "Messiah" premiered in Dublin's 600-seat Neal's Musick Hall, the city newspaper admonished women patrons not to wear hoop skirts and for men to leave their swords at home. As a result, 700 people were able to cram into the hall, turning a fat profit of 400 British pounds, all of which went to charity.

December 21, 2007 at 07:08 AM · Emily, I get bothered when I see someone do something that is obviously (to me) wrong. I remind myself that not everyone has the same morals I do, and that people who misstep usually do so because of some inner torture of their own. That doesn't mean that what they did was right, but it helps me deal with the situation.

December 21, 2007 at 07:42 AM · The healer I was talking about is Gene Egidio...

http://www.egidio.org/

is a website about him.

Note, he is not affiliated with any religion. I have no problem with that.

I was involved with a spiritualist church and trance mediums. This was quite interesting as that I talked a lot with the spirit of Mozart's mother (who is my "best" friend) and others (Vivaldi, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and others). However, I only felt I was doing what I needed to do when I went beyond this and got involved with spiritual healing. So, I have been and "studied" with a Philipino Healer who simply knows from his child hood of something that can heal where the medical profession says it's over with (and the medical profession in the US doesn't like this it seems). I also have worked with Gene (and there is a lady at www.leaholof.com I like a lot). Actually, there are quite a few healers I have come in contact with by "chance."

Music, you see, comes from this place. The emotions one releases when hearing music are tended to by the same energies as when a miracle occurs.

This is what music is to me and when I compose I do this for what music is more than anything else...because it's music, and that's what music does: it heals.

December 21, 2007 at 09:06 AM · If you know Mozart's "Et Incarnatus Est" (translated as "and became flesh") from the C minor mass, this is my relationship to Jesus. This is what I see – The absolute innocence. Mozart also leaves off at the mention of the crucifixion and those movements are "missing."

I also find that even the "Christian" church in the middle ages already persecuted the very people who would have made life on earth more welcome and possible for Jesus. Much of the church seems bent on making "sacrifice" out to be it's main tenant, and, if someone hasn't "sacrificed" their human nature to the church and thus "purified" themselves, then they are considered evil – especially people who don't have an intellect perverse or devious enough to accompish such a feat. Not that Jesus was sacrificing his human nature to the church....

I just believe he deserved something better, and I'll stick to that...because it WILL happen.

something better

December 21, 2007 at 05:12 PM · Thus the fascinating journey of heretics in history. It wasn't in the 13th c. that Hugenot's started the dissolution of values that would become the Protestant denominations.

It was actually after the Manichee, those with more humble aspirations, the Paulicians being one example. And there are several before the first millenium who chose a personal faith based on a direct relationship with the simple spiritual nature of Jesus Christ, not through mysticism but through simplicity, sometimes nature, and sometimes the sound of silence inspired by person, family and custom..

The Christian church in the middle ages did not persecute people--a very important thing to remember. It was the secularized politicized church handed down by Augustine and Constantine that married church to authority--actually not unlike later in time when economy and freedom would define government.

And as these values, became separated, an equally political and material agenda drove those efforts as well.

For many heretic groups therefore, not all, a reflection of those in society who are more religious in some sense than others who see religion as a peripheral kind of convenience in life, was emblazened in history I call man's search for personal meaning. And while this search is not really a reflection of de Tocqueville's thousand year march of common man, it is a reflection of the ageless quest of thoughtful man.

That still small voice Thomas Cole quotes from Isaiah, was telling of that continuing journey where either by design or accident, someone heard Christ in their hearts. "It has not been in vain, the good, the enlightened of all ages and nations, have found beauty and consolation in the beauty of the rural earth. It was upon Mount Horeb that Elija felt the mighty wind, ...." (Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School of Art, America's first recognized tradition of art)

Similarly, when we hear history admonish religion for suppressing knowledge, we now know better, don't we.

So no, the church has persecuted no-one, because Christ's voice cannot persecute. "Be kind, feel God's joy". Bach. Now is that really that difficult? Merry Christmas.

December 21, 2007 at 08:59 AM · Boy Albert... and then there was also off spring from the protestants I'm trying to remember since I ran into one of them.....

Can't remember, I'll let it be for awhile see if it comes back to me.

Emily Dickinson

"Sown in dishonor"!

Ah! Indeed!

May this "dishonor" be?

If I were half so fine myself

I'd notice nobody!

"Sown in corruption"!

Not so fast!

Apostle is askew!

Corinthians 1. 15. narrates

A Circumstance or two!

December 21, 2007 at 09:33 AM · It was John Huss I ran into

December 21, 2007 at 09:46 AM · "The Christian church in the middle ages did not persecute people... It was the secularized politicized church "

Haaaa! Of course it did. You're pulling the old switcheroo.

December 21, 2007 at 09:46 AM · Jim initially I italicized the word "Christian." in reference to all this. Albert is just trying to make a distinction as to what really is a church and what isn't. People can call themselves Christian but that doesn't mean anything....

If going to church makes you Christian,

does going to the Garage make you a car? is a common bumper sticker

Of course the "Christian" church persecuted people, just ask Padre Pio or look at his history. It's just that the saints don't see it that way, they don't see it as persecution... it really doesn't matter how much they call themselves Christian the way they behave...

Let them call themselves cars....(no reference to Bush and the Iraq dilemna intended)...

Pray for Peace on earth and to all cars as well....

"Christians" need gas

this bumper sticker I haven't seen.....God help me already

December 21, 2007 at 10:00 AM · I'm sure they would argue with you that they are. I have to take them (all of them) at their word. A family with a lot of black sheep in it, maybe. Of course the "true religion" is hotly debated :)

December 21, 2007 at 09:58 AM · Technically, the term "Christian" was first used to describe those who followed the teachings of Christ. The teachings of Christ spoke against persecuting others, and I'll dig up the references for anyone who wants them.

Technically, the term "church" was used to describe the people who followed Christ.

And since the beginning of Christianity, people have gone on to do all kinds of evil in the name of Jesus, probably because even though Jesus' teachings gave us access to forgiveness and grace, it did not make anyone perfect. He just told the people to do good works and to be saved by grace.

It's just that people seem to be so bad at being good. And since the church is made of people, it's no wonder it has had its fair share of evildoing in the world. But just because a church condones evil acts does not make it the "Christian" thing to do, though. It just means that the church no longer follows the teachings of Christ.

December 21, 2007 at 10:12 AM · God save me from your followers

that's another bumper sticker

December 21, 2007 at 10:34 AM · Emily, I think there was so much meddling that people who think they know what those teachings were are just imagining they do. I believe they're mainly persuing a good feeling and driving under the influence of many levels of psychology and culture.

But, I have to say that even then under those circumstances I think it can be an interesting and worthwhile and beneficial exploration.

December 21, 2007 at 10:39 AM · By the way, the book A Course in Miracles I refered to is new.

It's a new something from Jesus (if you believe this, you'd have to look into it). This also has it's followers who take it's contents and say things I wouldn't even try to repeat, actually. But I think you get this just about anywhere.

John, Jesus disciple even, through a medium has told me that he took some of the gentle teachings and gave them harsh comparisons they weren't meant to have, and he said he did this because he got bitter after Jesus death. He said this is how he survived that he was so hard on himself that they didn't bother him... the one disciple that wasn't martyed. And, I'm sure he was heart broken...he was human.

Jesus on the other hand never said he was going to leave a book called the new testament behind. He said, that he would send a paramour – the holy spirit – after him. I think that that's something different than what you can use to judge others with.

December 21, 2007 at 11:22 AM · I wouldn't say you didn't talk to John through a medium, and I wouldn't say you didn't take lessons from Chopin or whoever it was through a medium. Stranger things happen every nanosecond. Tell John the 13th disciple says hi.

~~~~~~~

My recipe for whiskynog:

1 tsp eggnog

2 cups Ky. Tavern whisky (very old recipe, made just down the road)

stir well.

ummm tasty on a cold holiday season winter night :) Toss another apple tree log on the fire.

December 21, 2007 at 02:41 PM · Yes, it's that magical time of year again. It's called "magical" because you need magic to get through it (not to mention paying for all of the presents).

Being Jewish but also being positively inspired by the meaning of the holiday, by Handel's Messiah, Bach Cantatas, and other great classical religious music, I have to say that I really don't care for the usual popular Christmas song fare. I, too, played in many Messiah performances when I was younger. I have never gotten tired of the piece.

And, in general, classical music has taken on an even deeper meaning for me as the years go by. More than ever, the violin and its playing are to me an awesome creation that is both improbable and impossible. The combination of intelligence, talent, knowledge, scholarship, drudgery and hard work, attention to detail, perceptual-motor coordination, sensitivity, creativity, showmanship, and inspiration it takes to produce unique and invisible sounds that disappear immediately is a true wonder. What's not to like, especially at Christmas?

And, speaking of forgiveness, Norman Cousins once said, "Life is an adventure in forgiveness."

Merry Christmas.

Sandy

December 21, 2007 at 04:07 PM · Jim--read my remarks again, and again, and again... Maybe you'll get it.

--OR---

Walmart IS society.

December 21, 2007 at 04:51 PM · "Norman Cousins once said, "Life is an adventure in forgiveness."

Sandy, I think it's correct to say that you're ahead in the game if you need to be forgiven more than you need to forgive. And if you think you really, really need to figure out how to forgive those relatively few people, you're just way ahead ;)

Al, I don't think I could take it.

December 21, 2007 at 05:00 PM · Yes--that's possible.

December 21, 2007 at 08:59 PM · Actually, I hadn't talked (Here I'm "talking" already !?). I erase it to correct it (because fingers don't talk....not even in the Yellow Pages...Walmart are you listening)

So, here we are again and it comes out tackled!?

talking tackling.....(I supposed it rhymes with cackle)

I hadn't thought (or talked) about John for quite awhile. I have to say I really feel for him like I didn't when he confessed really personal things to me. Having to make sense out of the whole thing...Someone tries to speak the very truth which resonates in the air itself (which holds no grudge nor wields any magic wand to kill it's enemies)...and *ahem* he seems to have to escape the air itself to get away from it all. Just to speak the truth.

To be real accurate I mispoke....

A Medium is someone who has gone to a spiritualist church and gone to seances there. A Channel is someone who suddenly happens to go into a trance often, and usually works with the same spirit or group of spirits.

John talked to me through a channel when he told me about taking some of the gentle teachings and giving them harsh comparisons they weren't meant to have. It was through a medium that he actually expressed some problems he had with the channel and fortuneately for the both of us, both medium and channel have *ahem* flown away.

Perhaps one day space will be cleared enough for that miracle to return

Et Incarnatus Est

December 21, 2007 at 09:00 PM · And, I think it's something Universal. It's not just this one person. It can't be. It can be everyone though.

I think that everyone can forgive and everyone can find the lesson of peace the love is.

I guess I'm baffled the most by this with music. Having been given the opportunity of not having to be part of society but instead being able to experience music's healing qualities, how it moves through the mind, how it soothes, how it balances things....how the mind creates music all by itself when you let it do so, rather than deciding that's perhaps abnormal or crazy.

I'm baffled by what people, institutions go on about when they talk about what makes music.

All of that so the mind thinks it knows what's going on and misses the very essence.

Go to the forest listen to the birds. Go cook yourself a good nurturing meal. Try to let the music bring your thoughts together, even though it at first seems incoherent because things aren't the way they seemed, perhaps.

Air can hold the simplest tune, neither the tune nor the air judge anyone. The only thing that seems incoherent about it would be that they both were supposed to judge.

December 21, 2007 at 09:08 PM · Veni Vidi Vici

I c

I talked

I tackled

December 22, 2007 at 09:03 AM · Roelof--Let me start by saying I truly respect your belief in reincarnation. These beliefs are at the foundations of most world religions in one way or another.

But, also, my studies have brought me to a place where my heart tells me that reincarnation of the soul is misplaced in the world ideas as expressed through spiritualism.

I believe more in the reflexive nature of memory, emotion, and projection in such a ways as your memory will be there for your children. And your granfather's memory, especially if you remember him, for you.

Now, the tricky part, is that I also believe that your great great grandfather's memory will be there for the children, in an intelligence way, where those things that are life enhancing in terms of wisdom and survival will be there. Heaven. Ah, the story of the Samurai.

And those things that are not life enhancing? Hell. It is a lamarkian kind of thing, found in the reality that much less longer living species, have just very developed kinds of intelligence: the honey bee's direction to the nectar dance, fish swimming in schools, geese flying in formation.

My belief does not take away from the poetics of the soul--indeed they allow me to live in the moment now. Be kind. Rejoice in life and hear the voice of God within.

The spiritualist planes of development, are a mystery that in 10 billion more years when the sun has consumed it's energy, will be a reflective reflexion of the history of the living blue green planet, in cosmic terms.

In more down to earth terms, this genius may be seen in the symbolism found in the Christian book of Genesis, as well as most creation myths around the world. Be still, and know.

The emotive aspect of this belief, may be found in the reality that sacred places around the world, have many many times been upon older sacred places completely unknowingly. And sometimes where great tragedy has happened, people sometimes intuit this.

Chanelling, and such, in my mind, is a developed sensitivity to the inner ear listening to the very foundations of life itself, and all those memories. Christ's mustard seed is very important to this reality.

When people look too intently outward for meaning, they often become very disillusioned. But, the image, spiritual, is profound and actually through a lifetime of study when lucky, I think does bring one to the circle of spiritual.

Thus, the reason the things we've created beyond nature resonate with us, Bach, is that human's journey on earth, is an aggregate reflection of a journey so deep, we could not try to understand it in a single life time. This knowledge too, is cumulative.

As I said of Calvin Sieb's passing, his giving will resonate. So.. I have no idea on earth why if felt a need to share that... Anyway.

Merry Christmas again.

December 21, 2007 at 11:17 PM · Roelof, why wouldn't he let you talk? I know it wasn't that you didn't have anything to say.

I'd have had stuff to say too...

December 22, 2007 at 06:06 AM · Back to ...yes Jesus again.

What I learned, to my surprise, was that Jesus actually taught that there is no such thing as sin or evil. He taught that we create this ourselves the way we judge others and thus he taught forgiveness because this opens the path to sight, as Jim pointed out in his post about forgiveness. You can't see what is going on if your haven't "forgiven" and got past your attack thoughts.

I don't believe Jesus was part of a war against a creature called the devil and that he is the only sure defense against the Devil being able to doom people to hell, nor do I believe that the entrance to heaven depends on whether or not one has become Christian. I think Jesus taught something completely different.

People believe forgiveness is impossible and they also, with that thought system, create all manner of situations and even diseases they put the same limitations on. For Jesus those limitations didn't exist and I think somewhere he was quite disturbed and baffled wondering why people believed such things. So disturbed in fact that being crucified wasn't a torture anymore after encountering such behavior.

Perhaps though, it's even more difficult to completely walk away from the situation and truly let go knowing something beyond your ability to control will eventually change things. But, how can one say that to someone who is so hurt that death is an escape rather than a torture?

December 22, 2007 at 08:00 AM · There's a DVD called The Money Masters which talks about the corruption in the banking system. In pointing out that Jesus had thrown the money changers out of the temple it explains how these people had the monopoly on the one coin that could be used to give to the temple, and how they corrupted their power. It also points out how even Ceasar... had tried to take power away from the bankers, but after his fall from power they regained enough power to bankrupt Rome. There's speculation as to how much his assasination had to do with this.

This all takes me back to the one story that's most characteristic of the Christmas spirit, and that's Charles Dicken's a Christmas Carol....How the spirit of Christmas becomes Scrooge's conversion from a greedy banker to a caring old man.

December 22, 2007 at 10:53 AM · And there's something new about this? Want some examples from today's world?

December 22, 2007 at 02:16 PM · Jim: You wrote --

------------------

"Life is an adventure in forgiveness."

Sandy, I think it's correct to say that you're ahead in the game if you need to be forgiven more than you need to forgive. And if you think you really, really need to figure out how to forgive those relatively few people, you're just way ahead ;)"

------------------------------

I'm not sure that Norman Cousins was talking about forgiving others or forgiving oneself (probably both).

And, anyway, I didn't believe in reincarnation in my past life, and I don't believe in it in this one either.

And, to paraphrase Groucho Marks - Outside of a dog, your violin is the best friend you have. Inside of a dog, it's too cramped to play.

Sandy

December 22, 2007 at 02:31 PM · best friend? 'round here, that's a good thang!

December 22, 2007 at 08:52 PM · As a reminder, this discussion is about the Christmas Spirit. Not about whether one believes in reicnarnation or not, that is personal. I only brought up spiritualism because I was involved with it, and I found it quite fascinating and learned a lot, then I became more interested in spiritual healing (not that this isn't part of spiritualism as it is part of all religions I think). I haven't even mentioned reincarnation in this thread, but that I ever mentioned it seems to be an issue for others. If I was interested in being distracted by a discussion about personal philosophy or strumming my brain to scroll out a whole reclusive echo of how I thought things should be and perfuming it with imagery, I would engage with such issues.

However, this is a discussion about the Christmas Spirit and forgiveness. To me, that entails seeing the healing power in music because it does just that, it brings the mind into a place where one can release emotions and allow them to reintegrate with the source of creative energies... with the light. That is letting go, that is forgiveness.

This power of music I discovered with help from the spirits and I have also released physical conditions which the doctors said I would have for the rest of my life with help from spiritual healing. Those are things I have experienced, not things I "believe".

December 22, 2007 at 09:42 PM · Sounds good to me--whatever works for you--really.

Personally, I'm just very 'read' on spiritualism--as well as many religions, and the occult, and what it means on very broad terms after a lifetime of study.

Frankly, the occult, does not always come from a 'good place', and it's past is as checkered as any other religion. Spiritual maturity however, comes from 'all' religions.

Soooo. For whatever it's worth.

Now, back to "Christmas Thoughts".

December 23, 2007 at 08:41 PM · I happened to see Dicken's Christmas Carol on the DVD shelf last week, checked it out and watched it last night. It's a 1984 version with George C Scott as Scrooge. There's also a version that was on PBS with Cicely Tyson called Ms. Scrooge. She does that amazingly well.

It's always a complete joy to see the transformation of an old spooky tyrant with his money into a happy generous philanthropist. It's also quite notable that the spirits (or God) manage this change. Jacob Marley who appears in chains and has to keep his jaw tied up to his skull lest it drops down like a trap door (where it apparently took it's place once Marley was dead, taking in the shock of the unexpected place he found himself bereft of his money) – I don't really believe that death would find such a person having to traverse the earth as a howling specter for punishment of his miserly ways, perhaps death is kinder; however, such an image does work dramatically and I do believe that one would want to communicate the danger upon death... once one's jaw had taken the necessary plunge into disbelief, things not being quite they way they seemed like they would be, the access to a bank account having been curtailed. In Dickens story at least there is no access to a bank account, If one believes there is, one is welcome to write ones own story where Scrooge lives a happy life having taken all his savings with him to heaven (this would then naturally be after he didn't pay any attention to the ghosts trying to reform him and proved them all wrong by later on in life taking the happy leap finding that all his savings followed him into heaven like the rats followed the pied piper's tune). With current trends this story might become a big seller. Whoever wrote it might become VERY rich.

I myself believe the spirit of Christmas helped and that it changed things...

December 26, 2007 at 05:30 AM · From Emily Dickinson

We shall find the Cube of the Rainbow.

Of that, there is no doubt.

But the Arc of a Lover's conjecture

Eludes the finding out.

From A Course in Miracles

In you is all of Heaven.

Every leaf that falls is given life in you.

Each bird that ever sang will sing again in you.

And every flower that ever bloomed has saved its perfume and its loveliness for you.

January 27, 2008 at 06:07 AM · Emily here's the latest Joseph Spence for you:

All Hail the Power

It's just an excerpt. I'm trying to get the whole thing. This stuff is hard to track down. It's pure genius. Ignore the vocal if you want. Glenn Gould did the same thing (but not as prominently).

:D

Merry Christmas everybody.

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