Julie Ann's ConsciousSHIFT guest, Thomas Moore - author of THE SOUL OF CHRISTMAS (and New York Times bestseller "Care of the Soul," among his 22 books) - says that, in truth, "the enchantment of Christmas is a taste of what is possible if human beings could really love each other."
The infant in the manger symbolizes new life, the potential all human beings have to be a new kind of being dedicated to agape, a love of the other - whoever that 'other' may be."
Moore believes this sacred holiday has plenty to offer to Christians and non-Christians alike - that is an event and a transformation that belongs to everyone.
THE SOUL OF CHRISTMAS is all about Christmas - taking a look at one of the important symbols of the Christmas season (the birth of Jesus in a manger, the guiding star, the Magi, the Angels, and the Christmas tree), and exploring their history and their meaning, across belief systems - to discover how everyone, no matter what their religion or belief, can enjoy this magical time of year.
Moore shows that focusing on the meaning behind the symbolism and the sentiment behind the commercialism can lead us to a way of living that can hold value to people of any faith:
a grand experiment in living from generosity rather than competitiveness, a single day when children know better than anyone that magic exists.
With the right mindset, even shopping can become a deep practice of love and spirituality. Treasure the gifts exchanged at this time. "Christmas gifts are a taste of utopia, a way of being in the world that flows from the heart and overcomes ego anxieties. In this way, gifts are the real meaning of Christmas and are an important part of the entire, multi-faceted festival."
Christmas, says Moore, belongs to everyone. It has meaning only as a plan for the entire human race.
"If you enter the spirit of Christmas, the child could be born in you. You have a chance to rise above the unconsciousness that is widespread in the world today."
Christmas shouldn't be sentimentalized or turned into consumer frenzy: "The child lying in the manger is perhaps the most radical of all spiritual reformers."
The Christ Child reminds us of the infinite possibilities of life available to us, and we celebrate that vitality in the season of good cheer, gift-giving, and community.
Christmas also offers an opportunity to get in touch with our own mystical side, to recreate the Nativity in our hearts. "If we could but mix just a small measure of the child's naïveté with an intelligent appreciation of the traditional Christmas symbols, myths, and images," Moore asserts, "we might be surprised at the profundity."
Meditate on the nativity scene. Put one in your home and notice the ones displayed in your community. "Nothing could be more important than finding ways to incorporate in your person and your life the moment when the spiritual realm fully intersects with your ordinary life."
Join Julie Ann and Thomas to ponder the deeper meanings and wonders of Christmas - available to each of us, with the potential to lift the souls of humanity.
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