This is the time of year when our thoughts should take a bit of a detour into more spiritual waters. Hopefully amid all the chaos of Christmas shopping, traveling, the stresses of family gatherings and the commerciality of it all, we’ll find the time to reflect on the Christ and what His birth meant to the world. Perhaps we’ll also ponder generosity and what the true spirit of giving is about. But what most of us won’t think about is our true nature and the true state of the world in which we live. Perhaps we should.
Let me explain. The vast majority of us live in an immensely powerful illusion not unlike, in many ways, what was depicted in the popular movie, “The Matrix.” Hindus refer to it as Maya. In essence it means that the true nature of ourselves and our world is hidden from us by a veil of the material. The same concept is present in most of the world’s religions and spiritual philosophies. While those religions and philosophies differ from one another in a great many ways, the concept that the true nature of both man and the universe is spiritual is common to most all of them. Hmmm – might there be a reason that for once they all seem to agree?
Perhaps we can look to science for an answer. The field of quantum physics has long theorized that matter or what we perceive as “solid objects” is simply energy vibrating at various frequencies. The emergence of modern particle accelerators like the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN in Switzerland and FermiLab in Chicago have all but erased any lingering doubt that this is indeed the case. That means that everything, you, your dog, the coffee table, and the monitor you are reading this on are made of the same stuff. You simply perceive them differently because of their differing vibrational frequencies. What? WOW! Everything we thought we knew about our environment and our world is an illusion. Even science and spirituality are in rare agreement. (although those agreements are becoming far less rare) Who would have thought?
So that brings us back to our original point, who are we really? If we are to take our collective and individual behavior as any indication, it’s not a pretty picture. We kill each other in massive numbers every single day of the year and justify it in ways too many to count. Governments construct a beautiful and elaborate facade of nationalism which allows us to feel justified in our killing. We torture and kill the animals of the earth by the tens of millions, often for fun or sport, with precious little thought or emotion. Even when we are killing them for food, we have allowed the profit motive to condemn them to live in vile conditions so heinous that most of us, if we were to ever see it first hand, would wretch. With our words and actions we consistently condemn the “otherness” of our fellow human beings – other race, other religion, other socio-economic class, other nationality, the list goes on. And perhaps our greatest crime? We pass all of these behaviors and attitudes on to our children thus perpetuating the great illusion. There is nothing more in the world they want than to be like us, to gain our approval. So they emulate our broken behavior and we reward them for it. The cycle is forever perpetuated.
So this Christmas, perhaps we can give ourselves a new gift – the gift of sight. The gift to see beyond the Maya, beyond the great illusion. If we can do that, if we can begin to truly see not with our eyes but with our souls, then we will finally begin to see the world and ourselves as it, and we, truly are – loving spirit. There is but one way I know to accomplish this and that is, as Neo in “The Matrix” did, take the red pill. What’s the red pill? It is awareness. It is waking up from automatic behavior, questioning everything and applying one filter to all you words and actions. That filter is, “Is this loving, spiritual behavior? Is this who I really am or some conditioned response I was taught or inherited? Is this the example I want to set? Does this make the world a better place for all beings? Be still and listen to the still, small voice. The answers will always be there.
So this Christmas, give yourself and those around you the greatest gift you never thought of, the gift of true sight.