Thursday, 30 November 2017 06:42

Why should we celebrate Christmas

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WHY SHOULD WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

December is upon us. Thus, we are in the Christmas season. I have Handel's Messiah, Israel in Egypt, Zadok the Priest and The King shall Rejoice, play insistently in my house.  Christmas is in my mind. So, what exactly is Christmas? Is it for real or is it some fantasy for children to feel that Santa Claus is going to give them Christmas gifts?

Some folks have made elaborate, painstaking efforts to show that Jesus Christ could not have been born on December 25, 1 AD. Among their explanations is that Augustus Caesar held his empire wide census in 4 BC not 1 AD.  The other discrepancy is that according to the Bible shepherds and their sheep were in the field when Mary and Joseph were going to be counted in the said Census. December is winter and shepherds are not likely in the fields with their sheep. Shepherds are more likely to be in the fields in the spring, summer or autumn. These dissenters further point out that the early Christian church probably took the pagan celebration of winter solstice celebrated around December 22 as their date for the celebration of the birth of Christ. In the winter Europe is cold and people are mostly indoors so why not give them something to celebrate while they endure the cold, such as tell them that their savior was born on December 25?

Atheists say that there was no human being called Jesus Christ and claim that the story of him is made up superstition by primitive Jews and gentiles. They dismiss Christianity as nonsense.

I have news for atheists: not only was there a Jesus that walked this earth two thousand years ago he is still present in our world! If you have not seen or heard from him you are not doing what he asked you to do: love and forgive those who wronged you to love and forgive you your wrongs to other people. Do what the man said and you see him in his light form and if such vision would scare you, he would subtly put redeeming ideas into your mind and allow you to take those ideas as yours (he has given up his ego and does not take credit for his insights).

Arguments against when Jesus was born or against his reality are interesting. However, they miss the point; they should focus on the meaning of Christmas, the birth of the Christ in the world.

It does not matter what date Jesus the man was born in the world; what matters is what his birth symbolizes. Christmas, the birth of Christ should not be taken literally and certainly shouldn't stand for the birth of one man in Palestine two thousand years ago.

Christmas represents when humanity is reborn in God.  Jesus was the first human being who allowed himself to be reborn in God.

Each of us must do what Jesus did, allow ourselves to be reborn in God, not in our present ego state.   I am sorry to say it but to clarify this situation I must take detour to the story of creation, if you insist, the myth of how our world came into being.  Myth or not, what the myth stands for is the truth.

There is just no way that I can make this point without explaining lots of things and that would mean writing many pages. Please bear with me.

FIRST CREATION

God is one. God is creative. There is no time that God did not exist and is not creating. God is always creating his children.

If there was a time that God did not have children then he was not a father, not a God for it is fatherhood that makes him a father, God.

God creates by extending his wholesale to each of his sons. God is a true giver; a true giver gives all he has to others (as the story of the widow's mite explains).

In your creation, God gives all of his self to you, his son. The son of God now contains all of God. Where God ends and his son begin is nowhere. God has created infinite sons.

GOD IS POWERFUL AND GIVES ALL HIS POWER TO EACH OF HIS SONS

God is in his sons and they are in him. There is no space and time between them. They are not in forms. They are ideas. Ideas do not have to have form.

God is the idea of the whole. The son of God is the idea of the part of the whole. God is the whole, we, the sons of God, are the parts of God.

The whole and parts need each other for without one the other cannot exist. Without God the sons of God cannot exist; without the sons of God he cannot exist.

God completes his sons and his sons complete him.  If it were possible for the sons of God to separate from God he would cease existing and the sons would cease existing; both father and sons must exist for the other to exist.  This is the state of heaven.

In heaven God and his infinite sons exist eternally, permanently and changelessly. They are glued together by love, and live in perfect peace and joy; peace and joy exists in unified state; there is always conflict in separated states.

The only difference between the sons of God and God is that God created them and they did not create God or themselves. Other than that single difference the sons of God are the same and coequal with God.

God gave his sons his power of creation so that each of his sons creates other sons of God. Creation begins in God and extends to his sons and continues from his sons forever and ever.

The one difference, the fact that God created us and we did not create God or ourselves, bothered us no end. We wished to reverse the situation and create God and create ourselves. We are already created so we cannot reverse the order of creation.

Please note that all the above expressions are metaphors; metaphors represent something else; the metaphor on how God created us and we separated from him captured in words the story of creation and the origin of our world but the actual events are different from the words.

THE MYTH OF CREATION OF THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE

We so wished to create God and ourselves that, as it were, we cast a magical spell over our spiritual eyes so that while still in God and in heaven, we went to sleep and in our sleep dream the universe of space, time and matter.

We used the mind of God, which is incredibly powerful, to create our phenomenal universe. God is spiritual light so we took a particle of that light and transformed it to physical light (this is the light that astrophysicists and cosmologists tell us emerged out of nowhere 13.8 billion years ago and evolved our physical universe).

Over time we transformed light energy to atoms and matter. With atoms and matter we constructed the galaxies, stars, planets, plants, animals and eventually the human body and now seem to be living inside body.

In seeming body we see our bodies as the boundary between us and other people and God. I am over here in my body and you are over there in your body. We take time to reach other people in the space separating us.  Thus, we now seem separated from each other and from God.

THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SEPARATED SELF CONCEPT, THE EGO

In the world of separation, space and time we construct self-concepts for ourselves. We work together to help each other construct an ego separated self-concept. We used our experiences in bodies and society to construct our separated self-concepts and self-images.

I have an ego separated self-concept and you have an ego separated self-concept. To be a human being is to have a separated self-concept. Separated self-concepts tell us that we are separate from God and from other people and things in the physical universe.

Each of us wants, by our mutual agreement, to see himself as only his separated self-concept, his ego.

We designed the universe in such a manner that our bodies are very vulnerable and fragile and all kinds of things and people appear attacking us, trying to snuff us out. Thus, we must defend our bodies and egos to stay alive in the phenomenal universe.

Each of us defends his ego and works for its self-interests. Generally, he works with other egos for their mutual interests but when push comes to shove he works only for his ego self-interest.

In such a world is conflict. We live in ego and the ego is separation and differences so we must live with conflict.

By design we are not equal in ego and body, in our world; some are tall and some are short, some smart and some dull; some powerful and some weak, some wealthy and some poor. This is the design of our ego based world. It was designed to have conflict in it.

As long as we live in the phenomenal world we must have conflicts. We must have war. Yes, we must have wars! Forget it if you fantasize a world without conflicts and wars. Conflicts and wars are designed into our world.

Of course we can and must overcome conflicts and wars. Read on.

Let me summarize what so far I have said. In the first creation, God extended his oneself into each of us. That creation took place in heaven, in unified spirit.  The birth of Christ occurred when God extended his self to each of us.

Thereafter, Christ died (this is not literal death for he is still alive but hidden as our ego). He died when he chose to separate from God and be born in body and live on earth.  On earth we are no longer aware that we are the Christ, the son of God. Now, we are aware that we are separated ego selves.  To see one's self as an ego is to be dead to Christ (since Christ is eternal what really happened is that we mask the Christ in us and are no longer aware of him as our real self).

THE CREATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT; THE HOLY TRINITY

God seeing that his sons are no longer listening to him and are sleeping and dreaming that they are in a separated world created another God, the Holy Spirit.

God does not destroy what his sons made but improves it for them through is Holy Spirit; through the Holy Spirit God gives us happy dreams.

The whole spirit is not a person, it is an idea. The idea of the whole spirit, not the partial separated spirit (ego) is the Holy Spirit, the immanent God as opposed to the transcendent God in heaven.

God placed the Holy Spirit into the sleeping minds of his sons. The idea of the Whole spirit is to remind the son of God that he remains as God created him, one with God and all his creation and to ask him to wake up from the dream of separation.

The Holy Spirit does not awaken us but is there to help us if we ask him to help us. The Holy Spirit is in your right mind; your wish for separation, the ego, is in your left mind.

To be in this world each of us has three parts to his mind. The whole mind (the one mind we share with God); we are not are of this one mind. The left mind where the wish for separation is and the right mind where the counter wish for union with God and his creation is.

There are now three seeming Gods: God the father, God the son (all of us, but we are now sleeping and dreaming that we are separated from God, the son of God is now the seeming ego) and God the Holy Spirit, the immanent God in the temporal universe.

There are three parts to our temporal minds: our shared one mind; the ego separated mind and the Holy Spirit part of our minds.

CHOICE TO ALLOW THE EGO OR HOLY SPIRIT TO GUIDE US

Each of us has a choice. We have already listened to the ego hence are in the world of separation. If we choose to listen to the Holy Spirit and choose to forget separation and return to union (which is love and forgiveness) we live from the Holy Spirit.

When we live from the Holy Spirit, while still in body and in the world of separation, we love all people and forgive all people the wrongs they did to us.

If we do so we occasionally see our world disappear and we see ourselves in the world of light forms. You literally see you in light form and see other people in light forms; you see animals, trees, planets, stars, galaxies all in light forms.

The world of light forms is still unreal but it is as real as our current physical universe; our physical universe is unreal, is fictional is a dream.

Our true self is not fictional and is not in form; it is formless unified spirit.

If you purify your mind you can see Jesus Christ in his light form.  All the selves you believe are dead, who were loving persons while on earth, are in the world of light forms.

Jesus, however, was the first to, while on earth see himself in light form.  His body did die on the cross but in the grave he resurrected in light form; he did not decay (body is made from light and through science, which Jesus knew, can be transformed back to light without it decaying).

Thereafter, Jesus showed his light body to his disciples. Subsequently, he went to the world of light forms where he lives.

Occasionally, he disappears into the formless world of God and is part of God, is, in Christian metaphors, in the right hand side of God.

Invariably, he returns to the world of light forms. From the world of light forms he, on our behalf, intercedes and mediates between heaven and earth. He helps us do what we have to do to join him and others in the world of light forms.

All of us must eventually renounce the ego and gain the awareness of the world of light forms. When we do so we are at the gate of heaven.

Thereafter, God opens heaven's gate and we all reenter it (what Christians call rapture); we return together to heaven, oneness for we all left together, during the shattering of the big bang.

In the world of light forms, Jesus is the ruler; he rules with people with higher levels of spiritual evolution, those who have let go of their egos.

In the world of light forms, as in our extant world, people are at different levels of spiritual evolution, some higher than others. The higher ones tutor the lower ones.

The world of light forms has been called New Jerusalem, New Israel and new world and those in it called new men (John in Revelation said that Jesus would rule new Jerusalem for a thousand years; that is a metaphor; it will last trillions of years, until all of us become light selves and thereafter we return to heaven in what Christians call rapture).

Christ (all of us) was created by God; Christ died when he became an ego; Christ is reborn in our awareness when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST IN OUR LIVES

The second coming of Christ into our lives occurs when each of us lets the ego go and lives from the Holy spirit; when such a rebirthed person dies he lives in the world of light forms; he lives as a new man in a new world (our world remade with love).

To be rebirthed is to be guided by the Holy Spirit; that is, to love and forgive all of us our trespasses.

THE LAST JUDGEMENT, EASTER AND CHRISTMAS

To pass the last judgment on the world is to reject it, that is, reject guidance by the ego and choose guidance by the Holy Spirit; the last judgement does not occur on the same day for all of us but occurs when each of us accepts the Holy Spirit and his star student, Jesus, as his guide.

What is Christmas? Christmas is the day you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and you stop allowing the ego to guide you. Christmas is the day Christ is reborn in you while you are still on earth.

Christmas is the same thing as Easter; Easter is the day you resurrect from death (ego is symbolic death).

You are now born again; you are rebirthed to living as God created you: a loving son who knows that he is one with God and all his brothers.

Did you get it? If not let me try a different tact; let me see if I can use other metaphors to explain the simple truth of oneness and separation from oneness. Let me explain the Jesus parable of the prodigal son.

THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON

Jesus Christ taught his followers in parables, metaphors. The meaning of the parables is not always self-evident; moreover, each of the parables could be interpreted at many levels. Consider the parable of the prodigal son, It can be seen as relating to the here and now world or as referring to the creation of the physical universe, our journey away from God and our return journey to God.

The parable said that there was a rich man with two sons. The youngest son asked his father to give him his share of his patrimony and was given it and he used it to go to a far place to live apart from his father and brother.

He initially lived well. But, sooner or later, he exhausted his wealth and became poor; he looked for jobs to do and succeeded here and there but eventually ran out of luck. Finally, he hired his self to a pig farmer and was relegated to eating with pigs.

In that odious situation he remembered that he has a rich father and said that he must go home and apologize to his father for leaving him and, hopefully, the father would forgive him and accept him or, at least, allow him to be his servant so that he ate as well as his servants, who ate better than pigs. Thus, he embarked on the journey homewards.

As he got close to his father's house servants saw him coming and ran to his father and told him that the lost son is coming home, the lost sheep has been found. The father was over joyed and ran towards the son and embraced him.

The father threw a humongous feast to which all were invited to come and eat in merriment for his lost son is found.

The older brother felt sibling rivalry and jealousy saying that his father ignores him who stays at home helping him with his work.

The parable can be explained from the earthly point of view. In our world we do leave our parents homes and go fend for ourselves. We often fail and wish to return to our parents who took good care of us.  We regret leaving our loved ones in an attempt to go fend for ourselves, to be independent. Our parents do forgive us for leaving them.

At a higher level this story is symbolic of the human condition. Man left God and separated from him and his brothers to go live egoistically and independently. He is on earth. For a while he makes it on his own but eventually trials come. He fails, as the foundation of his earthly house is not solid. He regrets separating from heaven and returns home thinking that God is angry at him only to find that God had been missing him, sending his messengers and prophets to go tell him to come home.

Heaven rejoices when each of us returns home, comes home from the journey without a distance, a journey to nowhere for wherever we go we go in God.

The senior brother been jealous is symbolic of human jealousy and does not add much significance to the parable.

The story symbolizes our separation from our creator and our realization that we can only do so for a while and that we eventually must return home.

We dream separation and for a while the dream is pleasant then nightmarish dreams ensue and we regret our choice to dream and awaken to the dreamless state of heaven, unified state.

In union with God and our brothers we feel happy (the eternal feast that God gives his sons).

Did this parable help you understand our journey away and our return journey home to God? If not let me try yet another metaphoric representation of our human condition.

THE STORY OF THE LOST SHEEP AND THE VINEYARD

Jesus told the story of a man with many sheep. Some of the sheep wandered away and were lost to their owner.  Their owner sent out search parties to go search for the lost sheep. He sent many such persons (messengers and prophets of God) to no avail.

He told another parable about a vineyard. The owner of the vineyard apparently went away and eventually sent messengers to go tell his sons in the vineyard to come to where he is at. They did not want to go.

Eventually, he sent his only son to go look for the sheep; and to go tell the sons in the vineyard to come home. The only son was seized by the people he was sent to search for. They killed him.

The meaning of this parable is that we separated from God and, as it were, are now lost to him.  God sent his prophets to go tell us to return home. We did not listen to them. Finally, he sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to come tell us to come home. We killed him.

We killed him because we like our world of separation and do not want to return to our real home in union with God.

We can interpret most of the parables of Jesus in the same manner; most of them talked about something lost, searching for it and the difficulty of finding it and even then the lost people do not want to come home for they are proud of the world of separation they made.

The world, physical and ego, is our making; we are proud of our handiwork. Yet, home we must eventually return, for this world is an alien place for us.

We have the capacity for enormous pain tolerance but eventually we must stop inflicting pain on us and return to joy, to our home in unified state, heaven.

DISCUSSSION

I can discuss the entire New Testament part of the Christian bible and the story will be the same: we left God and God wants us to come home.

We left selfless state and constructed ego selves and now seem to live in egos, in the world of egos, in space and time; this is our current situation.

The ego is not our real self. Our real self is formless unified spirit self. Our real home is unified state, heaven.

We have convinced ourselves that this world of separation is real and that heaven, state of selfless union is unreal; we are afraid to let go of our desire for this world.

Occasionally, a son of God trusts that heaven is real and meets the criteria, the conditions for heaven, total love and forgiveness of those who wronged him.

The instant he does that he first sees his self and the entire world in glistering light forms.  Until you have seen yourself and our world in light forms you do not know what beauty is, my friend! We talk of beauty in flesh just wait until you see us in light forms.

Some sons of God go beyond forgiving their brothers and sisters and let go of their desire for separation, the ego and the egos world of separation. When they do so they experience oneness.

No words can describe ineffable heaven but let us just say that it is a formless light world where there is no you and I, yet there are infinite us; no seer and seen; no subject and object; in it you know that you have a self and yet is part of infinite other selves. In it you feel permanent, eternal and changeless; in it you feel perfect peace and hoy, bliss.

All these may seem fictional to you. That was how I saw it in the past; thereafter I did what the Holy Spirit and his star student, Brother Jesus, asked us to do: love and forgive all and then extinguish the ego.

Just do as the messenger of God, the Holy Spirit, asked you to do and awaken to the gate of heaven and later experience oneness, heaven. After that experience you would smile at childish egos who say that heaven is not real.

God and his heaven is the only reality there is, other states are mere dreams, fictions, and illusions.

CONCLUSION

Christmas is the day the Christ, the son of God who is as his father created him, is reborn in each of us; it comes to us when we allow Christ to be born in us.

Christmas is the day those who accept the gospel of love and forgiveness taught to the world by the Holy Spirit and his star student, Jesus are born.

We must die to the ego and become reborn in Christ; that is, we must let go of the wish for separation and accept union with God and all persons.

Salvation, redemption and deliverance is as simple as giving up your ego and accepting your real self as Christ, and while you are still in the egos separated world allowing the Holy Spirit or if you prefer him in human form, Jesus Christ, to guide you back to our home in God.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

November 30, 2017

www.centerformindscience.org

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176