eThoughts : December 1, 2008: Holiday Thoughts

This ought to be an interesting holiday season. The economy is somewhere in the tank with no obvious sign of recovery. War still wages. Belief is more powerful than ever, holding reign over other ways of creating and apprehending reality. It’s a slippery slope and gaining momentum—one foot is on the banana peel and the other in the grave.

Pretty cheering stuff, eh?

There is more than hope afoot after the recent elections, there remains the portal to see without experience, without interpretation—what some in Zen Buddhism call the “Witness” that sees all and judges nothing. An early theory of hypnosis also proposed that hypnosis was a state of awareness which produced a “hidden observer,” one who watched without participation (the most prevalent theory of hypnosis is one of a heightened state of suggestibility). It is easy to get into such a state, one can simply move from the subjective awareness of the internal dialogue to the objective awareness of “witnessing” what is “out” there. For instance, it is impossible to talk to oneself and listen at the same time. The sheer act of listening moves one from awareness running inside to awareness running outside.

All right, this bit of musing is about the Holidays which is about a different state of awareness—the awareness of beauty and plenty and connection. And I wish to point out that we do not have to impose that awareness, we can simply have it—it is our gift. In fact, we have to impose awareness that is negative, and such awareness takes a lot of work. After all, look around and notice how much trouble we’ve created! That negative creation was not ours apriori, it is imposed by us, on us. Okay, and the flora and fauna and the planet as well.

So here’s my Holiday thought—or one of them. Let’s give up the crap. We can do it a step at a time. Start by coming out of our heads and by polishing the energy between us. Say hello to someone. And mean it. Wish someone well. And mean it. Notice the lights and the spirit of the season. Really notice. Don’t go back inside to our own internal bedevilment. Or at least don’t stay there and honor it. Smile at such machinations—and come back out to embrace the beauty and the plenty and the connections. Notice that if we smile, we cannot stop from feeling good for a moment. Practice extending that pleasure within us. And practice giving it to others. That simple act, that simple behavior doesn’t just create beauty, it remembers it somewhere deep in the essence of our being—that existence that was before we were.

So take a moment—take two—and honor what is, that which was before us and what will remain after us. I think we’ll find it is beauty. I think we’ll find a very deep smile in us when we do. And that is one “contagion” that should spread like wildfire, one that will touch us in ways to make us cry and laugh at the same time. And those two feelings, those two states coinciding within us and between us, will be universally recognized by all. That’s a connection folks, and yet another great gift. I told you there was Plenty!

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