Saturday, December 17, 2016

Form and Content and Christmas: A Daily Tension

I received a comment and question from a subscriber arising from a message earlier this month [Msg-1-Dec-2106, The Resonance and Danger of Ultra Right-Wing Political Movements]. It is worth repeating here:
Hello, Don: The thing that puzzles me on the subject of your current essay on right-wing politics is this: The Iranians, for example, are allowed to keep their culture (except for the globalization effect of the Internet, perhaps); the Japanese, everyone agrees, should keep their culture. These are considered 'good ideas' . . . but the British, well, not so much. They should take in as many immigrants as possible, until the British culture has become so watered down it is no longer in existence. Or the Germans. I heard a story of a resort town in Germany, perhaps Bad Godesberg, in which one can no longer find a German restaurant . . . they've all been taken over by Middle Eastern culture. . . . How is that fair or right or just? And when protests are made for lower immigration levels, and to preserve one's own culture (this only happens in the West), people are called 'right-wing extremists' . . . These knee-jerk liberal expressions, including 'globalization is all good', develop a hollow ring after a while. There are parts of East Vancouver, British Columbia, or Richmond, its suburban neighbour, where a Westerner is an anomaly. In Richmond, citizens have to fight to have street and store signs appear in English. . . . How is this 'good'? . . . If you could be so good as to explain this to me.
Thank you for your comments – very astute and very well-expressed.
I am trying not to confuse "Form" with "Content." The spiritual is focused on content. My ego-mind is focused on form. The issue for me about lowering immigration, as the example you mention, is the fear that lies behind it - fear of losing control, fear of losing status/money/position/identity, fear of the "different," etc. Fear, more than anything else, will diminish any spiritual sense of light, love, inclusiveness, or Oneness, which is what I am seeking for me.
The "Form" this fear takes is almost immaterial - to Spirit, a hateful thought, a hateful word and a hateful action are all equivalent. Not so in the world of form. We live in both: spirit/content and ego/form. There is a quote dealing with the constant tension between being IN the world without being OF the world. What you've described is this same tension. Where I draw lines differentiating between Form and Content and you draw them will be different - we just need to respect and honor that between us. This is not a “once and done” kind of thing. It is a daily tension. Where I draw those lines differs some times between today and where I drew them yesterday. When someone expresses a rightness/wrongness about a “Form” issue, I try to focus on the fear in them and, when I do that, I am reminded of my own fear - so I can begin to relate to that person in terms of Content (in this case Fear) - rather than arguing over egoic manifestations of Form.
I hope this helps.
We are beginning Christmas week where we celebrate the “form” of Jesus’s birth. Exactly how we celebrate that form varies greatly among cultures and has morphed greatly over the centuries. The “content” of His coming is to help us remember that we have never separated from God. Our egoic perceptions that would have us believe we are sinful creatures and deserve God’s wrath are just that: perceptions or illusions. Jesus, the man, fully understood that and fully lived by the Spirit.
So can we – and that is the real meaning of the Christmas of Spirit.
The Christ is the single Self that is shared by all the members of the Sonship – all of humanity. Collectively, we are the Son of God. The Christ does not refer specifically to Jesus. Jesus is simply one of these “members of the Sonship,” who has remembered and fully lived our shared identity. [ACIM: T-15.V.10:9-10 – “Those who are joined in Christ are in no way separate. For Christ is the Self the Sonship shares, as God shares His Self with Christ.”]
I want to take this opportunity to wish all readers of this message a Merry Christmas and a wonderfully happy, peaceful holiday season – Kwanzaa, Chanukah, or simply enjoying family and friends. [Muslims have a little difficulty with Christmas because they do not celebrate their prophets’ birthdays. Since they believe Jesus was a prophet, they don't celebrate. In western countries, their children, however, get caught up in Santa Claus, school closings, and other hoopla. It makes it difficult for them.]
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening to me and getting to know me – warts and all. As always, feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
There will be no message next week.

#3 Dec 2016

Copyright 2016

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