It is that one day upon which we should push aside all of our beliefs, many of which are prejudices that speak only to ourselves, and contemplate the image of a day – the birth of a child.
Often, the more self-assured we are about Jesus, the more we place ourselves in Bethlehem, and push aside that event for the exultation of the self. We have the finest room at the inn, and the Magi and the Star come for me, we assure ourselves. We wish to be the center of the Christian tale.
There are, it is told, seven sins and seven virtues that oppose them, a Western grouping and classification of vices. But these are hardly unique or original to the West. Buddhist schools speak of the vices in turn, and how they cause “reification of an ‘imagined self,'” that is, the creation of a thing from ideas – the thing being one’s prideful fantasy of one’s own self.
Here, in the West, it often seems that there is one central vice, and then the rest of them – hubris, or pride. We set ourselves as the center of the universe, out of fear that without our self-centeredness, the only alternative is chaos and disorder. Galileo brought forth great fear with his postulate that the Earth was not the center of the universe; Einstein perhaps more in that there is no center to the universe.
Of the many ignorant assertions about the Koran, none will mention the role of Is’a, Joshua, Jesus in the role of preparing the way of God, nor of the Injil, the Gospels of Is’a having the same stature in the eyes of God as any other holy book.
Nor will the ignorant often mention that in that Koran, the one woman who is written about, who is described and has live breathed into her in the story, is Mir’yam, Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
In the world of 2015, Identity and Self are eternally threatened, and it is only by power and control that we keep our fragile flame from being snuffed out. Our hubris comes from a great fear, that without Power, we can literally be made to not exist.
The more power we can wield, and especially that we can inflict upon others, the more remote becomes our frailty and weakness. To seize the power to do things, without any intention to do, but simply to own its power, is hypocrisy.
In the theology of Jesus, and of the Koran, the greatest wrath is displayed towards hypocrites – the false:
n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
2. An act or instance of such falseness.
[Middle English ipocrisie, from Old French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, play-acting, pretense, from Greek hupokrisis, from hupokrīnesthai, to play a part, pretend : hupo-, hypo- + krīnesthai, to explain, middle voice of krīnein, to decide, judge; see krei- in Indo-European roots.]
From the Free Dictionary.
At the roots, the harshness in the judgment of hypocrisy is based upon the obligatory mandate that there is a conscience, and that conscience has motive power in the actions of mankind. A logical absurdity in Puritan thinking brought about the conclusion that human actions are without free will, and thus pre-ordained at the birth of every human; so too is their fate of salvation or damnation – they cannot change it.
Today we should stand down on all the beliefs which involve US – our soothing and self-satisfying, our eternal meditation on the value of the I – and merely look and marvel. To do this is a good deed on Christmas, indeed – and whether Jew, Christian or Muslim, can be done in good faith.
None of this is intended to give the slightest sympathy or encouragement to the assholes who mercilessly betray their own God. You can tell that they have no genuine religious beliefs – otherwise, they would be petrified of what even an all-merciful God might have to say to them.
It is from their own weakness and hypocrisy that they take upon themselves the mantle of identity of many who are good, and take it to do evil. Those who kill to make a name for themselves, to destroy others for the claim to power, are wicked in the eyes of all religions – and belong to none of them. It does not matter if they pridefully claim to be Muslim – they are not. They are no more Muslim than the Devil can claim to be a Christian, simply by avowing his existence.
There are gloomy things to be said, because we humans are simple and fragile beings, and it is the most astounding idea that a God should willingly choose to walk in our form. Many fables have men becoming Gods. The sort of God that would be one of us, even for a little while, is something to contemplate indeed.
Merry Christmas to all.