Over the years I have had many types of reactions to Christmas. I have dreaded it, celebrated it, been disappointed by it, I’ve even been angry with it. One year, annoyed with the contrived commercialism, the financial drain, and what I perceived as the gutted spirituality of modern observances, I determined to not celebrate it at all. I would do only what was absolutely required and not participate in anything else. I would ignore it. Not exactly a bah humbug attitude, more like one of “just let it go on without me.” I was determined to avoid it altogether, and that was the year when Christmas surprised me with magic.
I nod to political correctness about this being a diverse holiday time of year when we celebrate not only Christian traditions but many other traditions as well. I welcome our ability to diversify, but I will only nod, not bow, to pressure to lessen it’s prominence because it is this particular, specific, holiday, that I consider magical. How cliché that sounds, but perhaps you will agree with me by the time you finish reading.
Magic is Something that Mystifies, something unexplainable,something so out of the ordinary it is fantastical. We love the magician’s sleight of hand that gives to us, even for the briefest of moments, that pleasant feeling of disbelieving surprise while we join with him in making magic seem real. We say this or that occurrence was truly magical and what we mean is that there is a sense of mystery to it that is beyond the mundane commonness of everyday life.
My personal views about this holiday have been formed over many Christmases past. I remember being very young and tucked cozily in bed, fighting off sleep, and listening for the sleigh-bells that meant Santa had arrived. I fully intended to get up and run down to meet him. Sleep overcame me and when I woke up Christmas morning, I remember my disappointment turning to astonishment that the cookies and milk set out the night before were gone, proving he had been absolutely, undeniably, there. I had missed him but the magic was palpable.
I was raised in the Catholic religion, so some of our family Christmas traditions included ones that had been passed down hundreds of years. One of my favorites was displaying a Creche at home – a miniature tableau of the main actors in the Christian Christmas drama. In a stable-like setting there would be Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds, wise men, various barnyard animals, and of course the star of the show, the baby in the manger. The cardboard stable and the dime store figures made of wax would not have commanded the level of appreciation I had for them if it were not for the truly magical aura that my mother created in that little scene by using clouds of spun glass angel-hair, backlit by a blue light bulb giving it an unearthly glow once the house lights were off.
What goes into a magical stage performance? Practice. Props, Innovative ideas. Behind the scenes mechanizations. To understand my altered view of Christmas we need to take an unusual turn into science. A peek behind the curtain so to speak.
Many of you may be familiar with the recent popular movie, “The Secret”. In it the audience is taken on a journey that introduces them to the concept of the power of intention as a force behind events that occur in our lives. This concept suggests that the inner world may be the prime mover of the outer world. Quantum physics seems to support that view as well. Scientists have shown that the very act of observing an experiment will influence outcomes at the quantum level. The now famous double slit experiment demonstrated this by showing that a beam of electrons is affected by the simple act of being observed.
Moving from the atomic arena, consider a much larger one for a moment, the noosphere. Noosphere is a word coined to denote the concept of the sphere of collective human thought. Carl Jung postulated that it’s possible for the thoughts of one to influence the thoughts of many and vice-versa. The Global Consciousness Project, is an international volunteer collaboration of scientists, engineers, artists and others, begun over ten years ago under the guidance of Dr Nelson. It looks for confirmation that the noosphere does indeed exist. Examining the data surrounding major world events such as the September 11 terrorist attack, the death of Princess Diana, and the millennial New Year’s Eve celebrations, they found that it seems when millions of us share intentions and emotions the data does show meaningful deviations from expected values.
One last look behind the curtain is in the area of biology and biochemistry. I would like to introduce you to a young healer named Adam McLeod. He earned a BS in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and has recently completed his Naturopathic Medical degree. What is unique about Adam is that he is an energy healer manipulating subtle energy fields he is able to perceive with startling clarity. He promotes the notion of an energy field that surrounds us all that makes possible what it is that he is able to do.
Now the stage is set for magic using some very unusual props: quantum mechanics, global human consciousness, and subtle energy fields. These may help you understand what happened that year that I tried so hard to avoid Christmas, and instead ran straight into it.
If the quantum world reacts to thoughts, if the very air around us reacts to thoughts, if the subtle energies within and surrounding our bodies react to thoughts, consider what happens when the whole world begins to think Christmas time thoughts of peace, home, family togetherness, and sharing. Consider what the effect is of the prayers and intentions offered by millions maybe billions of people for peace on the very substance of the world around us. Imagine the effect of millions of people giving themselves permission to play with magic during this time. Filling fantastical stories and children’s pageants with angels, and wishes, and miracles. Watching Christmas movies full of heartfelt themes and singing carols together that connect us to the same longings for peace and a better world that flowed through so many other hearts, centuries before. Christmas is truly much much bigger than the sum of it’s parts.
That year that I took Santa from the North Pole, took the baby out of the manger, and took away all the materialistic and family observances, I was still amazed to be touched by a certain tangible “something” that persisted. Powerfully so. Although I had tried to avoid it, I found myself feeling uplifted and encouraged. I found that I enjoyed many moments of this holiday’s cheer, despite my perceptions of it’s shortcomings. I didn’t have to do anything to “work up” a Christmas mood. It was all around me and it carried me effortlessly along in its current. It was undeniably magical.
Through thousands of years of traditions and rituals, billions of prayers, good wishes, and actions, perhaps it is not unreasonable to think,( and someday it may even be scientifically provable) that together, mankind has succeeded in collectively creating something extraordinary,
a truly magical holiday.
Merry Christmas everyone.