who believes in God can see God in the symbol of a wooden cross.
One who knows God sees God in the wood and not the cross." -
This month we enter into the
traditional Holiday Season; the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah begins at
Sundown on December 4th, Muslims commemorate Eid al Adha beginning at
Sundown on December 19th, Christians and Catholics celebrate Christmas
on December 25th, and the African American and Pan-African celebration
of Kwanzaa begins on December 26th. It is definitely the Holiday
Each of these traditional celebrations has
significant meaning to the people who celebrate them. And I
believe that whether we celebrate them, or not, it is important that we
show respect for them and to those people who do celebrate them.
And the way in which we show respect, to me, is to greet people with the
"inclusive" greeting of "Happy Holidays" ... unless
we personally know their religious faith. After all, there is truly no
sure-fire way of knowing someone's religious affiliation unless you have
personal knowledge of it ... and "Happy Holidays" conveys the
appropriate "spirit" of the season.
I believe it is important that we not let our
"realization of Oneness" be diminished by religious divisions.
There are those who will attempt to divide us with religious
celebrations. Fox News has a news article today that is titled,
"Christmas tree or Holiday tree?" ... why can't it be both.
If the "tree" is in the "public square" it is a
"Holiday tree" ... if it is in a Christian or Catholic church,
it is a "Christmas tree" ... the tree doesn't change ... just
the way we see it ... the tree has no religion ... it is merely another
expression of Life that is differentiated in our minds.
Historically, the decorating of the tree was to bring light into the
Winter Solstice celebration. It was brought into religion by the
Catholic Church to appease people they wanted to convert to Catholicism.
Once again, the tree did not change ... just the way they saw it.
Someone asked me recently if we celebrate
holidays in the Science of Mind? ... and I replied that "we
celebrate everything about Life." And this is the key to the
beginning of the end of the divisiveness ... the intention of these
religious celebrations is not to divide us ... but to celebrate
our individuality. But in Truth, although we are
"individual" ... we are also "One." An easy
way to understand this is to think of the waves of the ocean ... each
wave is individual ... but each is also One in their relationship to the
ocean. And this is our relationship to each other and to the
Infinite. I know for many of you, you have already accepted this
"Oneness" intellectually ... but as we recognize it once again
and are reminded of it, it will become a little more true to us.
I do not believe it benefits anyone to
celebrate anything unless our feelings of celebration are
"authentic" ... in other words, we should not participate in
something that is not true to us ... we will not be in the
"spirit" of it. A few years after beginning my studies
in the Science of Mind, I went to a Christmas Eve Mass at a Catholic
Church. It was a challenging experience because my consciousness
had changed and much of what the priest was speaking about was no longer
true for me. At the same time, I was keenly aware that those
around me were enjoying it very much and were in the "spirit"
of it. The Mass was all in Divine Order, and was in fact
"for" the people who enjoyed it ... it was their Mass ... it
was not mine.
And as we look out into our world, we can see
that this is so for many things. The world will want to judge
right or wrong, or superior and inferior ... but the Infinite will
always be "individualized" into immense differentiated
consciousness. Evolution takes place in "mind" first ...
and every new idea that has ever come to the "mind" of
man/woman ... originated in the One Mind ... awaiting the awareness of
that someone who could conceive of it to bring it into fruition.
Religious theologies and religious celebrations too, are part of this
evolutionary process of mind, and we can see evidence of this as more
and more of these celebrations become "inclusive" rather than
In order to become
more aware of our place in the Universe, we can begin by broadening our
knowledge of the Good in the world that we live in. I suggest that
for everyone unfamiliar with the Holiday Celebrations taking place this
month, that we learn about them. As we expand our awareness of
these things, we will find that the purpose of these celebrations is to
bring us closer in our relationship with God ... and in so doing, we are
all in the true Holiday Spirit.
SO IT IS!
Dr. Henry Lee Bates
Visit Rev. Bates BLOG: Living
the Science of Mind