All but the most distracted people are stopped in their tracks when encountering a sweetly contented baby.
Figurines of shepherds, animals, three magi, Joseph, and Mary… All gazing at the centerpiece.
And now imagine a time you’ve approached a group of live human beings gazing at that scene of gazing. Most eyes eventually settle on the focal point and rest there for some moments in wonder. Perhaps, in remembering.
With the power of our full being’s experience, it does not matter whether the baby is a figurine or real. Our conscious brains may be focused on that baby, but our wider soul is connecting outside of our conscious brain in a moment of communion and unity with each person gazing at that same centerpiece.
When we encounter an unsettled baby, our caregiver instinct within us longs to soothe. Sure, that involves some involuntary biological instinct to preserve and propagate our species. Psychology too can tell us that, when you behold an infant, you may be stirring your very own longing to be cared for again as a pure, innocent, dependent, as-yet-uncorrupted baby. Unto such as these belongs the kingdom…
For us to gaze upon that figurine baby lying atop manger hay requires nothing special about the figurine itself.
That baby is you.
That baby is me.
That baby is each of us.
The nativity’s context implies that this baby is divine. Now imagine any baby in *any* context. We act like every baby has some special power. They are all divine. Undistracted and oblivious of the confusions we accumulate and endure as we age. Infants are contented – and quite fearless – to be dependent on loving caregivers.
That baby is you.
That baby is divine.
You are divine.
Isn’t that the central message of Christmas?
Incarnation is another of innumerable signs from our ever-patient Origin about the divine goodness of human beings like you and me – an Original Goodness remains mixed in with our complex reality as human beings. It remains, because it’s incorruptible. The biological parents from whom we originate cannot be changed; that truth is incorruptible. Same for our Origin and our nature.
Pick your babyself up in your divine arms and pour your loving care out – your divine care – on your babyself. It needs it. Because that’s how we’re made. Our nature. O, holy night… he appeared – the same way you and I appear in this world – and the soul felt its worth.
You are an originall. Your ego – fundamentally good – tells you this. You are an independent and autonomous individual in creation, 100% unique. And, you also “know” you are a part of something much larger.
In-divi-dual = not di-visible. You are not visible as a “di-” (two-part) being. That you are both – an original as well part of something larger – cannot be actually seen as separate. To imagine those trees is to lose awareness of the forest. The ‘parts’ of you are not real being. They’re conceptual illusions for the sake of discussion that informs us they are not real. A human being is the indivisible individual.
In-divi–dual. You have a dual nature that cannot be divided.
The conceptual ‘part’ of you which senses your participation in some larger whole is your soul. It is that suchness and thisness which bestows your individual being. Your existence. You can’t doubt it. It’s impossible. To exist is to “know” you have a soul – knowing involuntarily, with no action of will.
When you, in the company of others, stand before a nativity scene, and you experience communion with that figurine baby and onlookers, your ego senses your separate originality while your soul senses connection with those of other 100% origin-al human beings. Our common Origin, in carne. In the very flesh of our being.
“God is in us
God is with us.”
God is in, for, with…
“Love is raining down on the world tonight
There’s a presence here I can tell
God is in us,
God is for us,
God is with us,
[God Is With Us – Casting Crowns]
This beautiful song is one of a dozen in this 12-video playlist assembled by a daughter of God named Beth. She often sits atop a stool strumming her six-string, and a dozen of us wait to be moved by her courage and faithful confidence in us, then join. She is a being larger than herself and us, and our souls fall into connection with one another because our egos remember they don’t have to dominate our being to be part of the celebration in, for, and with us. She unfolds creation by doing what she seems to love irresistibly; we cannot resist what she unfolds also in us.
Neil D. 2021-12-22
Whether you’ve ever heard any songs in the playlist or listened for the first time, if something moves you, please share it with all of us in a Reply below.
Share your feelings about any Christmas songs; here’s a series with Neil’s.
Another Christmas playlist – all one song “Do you hear what I hear” – best online versions. Preface: Awesome Dad