RETHINKING CHRISTMAS: AN ARCHEOLOGY OF MEANINGS
Erle Frayne Argonza
A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone else!
That I started with a goodwill greeting associated with the Christmas occasion doesn’t make me a church devotee of which I definitely am not. I have departed a long time ago yet from Catholic Church, my childhood church, though I am still sympathetic to some of its key doctrines of faith notably Vatican II.
On the other hand, not being a church devotee doesn’t make me any less a disciple of Jesus the Christed One. I am very much a disciple of Jesus and his team-mates of Ascended Beings, and I’d categorically declare that I am, in this respect, a Christian. It is for this reason that I do attune myself to the rituals of the Christians who are largely fanatical devotees of the Cult of Jesus which was officially dubbed as Christian Church in the generic sense.
So many fallacies and lies were propagated by the Jesusian cults (i.e. churches) over the past two (2) millennia, one of which is the contention that Jesus was born on the night of 24th of December. Nobody knows about the exact date when Jesus, the World Teacher, embodied and was born as an infant a full Age ago (1 Age = 2,150 years approximately). There are mystics today who claim that Jesus was born around the end of March, but as to the exact day of his birth (using the Gregorian calendar) no mystic had made a precise claim.
In the first place, the devotional practice of giving so much importance to the exact day of birth of a founding Master in its literal sense is purely this: blind fanaticism. Even if we presume that Jesus was born on the 24th of December, there is a greater underlying meaning behind his birth that the ordinary devotees and cult hierarchs have no knowledge about. But if only the cult devotees would look to numerology for some answers regarding the question of meaning, they would find fruitful answers via this method.
But as everybody realizes, Jesusians are bent on declaring that any contention that lies outside the church/cult dogmas is a work of the Devil. You could just imagine how many freethinkers and esoteric seekers may have been labeled with the ad hominem Devil by the Jesusian cultists (church goers), and it is no surprise that this writer had earned the ire of many such fanatical cultists such as his former university students. Well, the bad luck for the fanatics is that this is no Medieval Period, and so I could make the boldest claims to unmasking church lies without being accosted or burned at stake by fanatics. Also, I reside inside the University of the Philippines (Diliman) which is the ultimate bastion of freedom in the whole of Southeast Asia. My big city, Manila, is also the citadel of freedom in Asia, so no one would stone me to death or burn me alive anywhere here for being an iconoclast.
Now, let me go straight to the question of meaning. This interpretive task is a matter of deep exegesis, likened to interpreting a dream. As one who had studied semiotics (science of signs) via the behavioral sciences and esoteric philosophy, the task is easy just the same. Humans normally resort to rituals or ceremonies, and often the cycles of seasons and weather patterns evoke ideas that then translate into ritualizing engagements. Social relations produce thought, as the sociology of knowledge (cognitive sociology) had so succinctly declared as a social law. This is our starting point for our recondite reflection.
In the ancient past, the production of rituals was the chief task of the Shaman (babaylan in ancient Philippines). The shaman was the priest (or priestess), medicine man (or woman) or healer, white magician/alchemist (taps energies for beneficial purposes), mystic (bridge to the Divine Beings), and philosopher, all rolled into a single functionary. It is important to cite the shaman here, as we can best understand the significance of the ‘December 24 event’ by putting ourselves in the position of the Roman high priests (Rome’s own equivalent of shamans) and see what this intersubjective process can reveal to us.
Remember that the Roman shamans were, in ancient parlance, pagans. In today’s anthropological language, they were animists. As such, they represented a people that was so close to nature, and knew well the cycles of seasons. Like the shamans from other cultures, they had designed rituals for every kind of human activity conceivable. A child, before being born, is prayed for using mantrams and ceremonial rites, and then receives another ritual upon birth, and another ritual upon reaching puberty, and so on till death. Likewise did the seasons of both hemispheres receive equal treatment in terms of ritualization. Ditto to the cycles of pre-cultivation, cultivation, and post-harvest for food production (agriculture, horticulture). The Romans were into such practices, to emphatically mark our point here, more so that they were already city-builders and were of advanced caliber in knowledge and technological pursuits of their time; their shamans, likewise of the highest caliber.
Culled from above is the idea of ritualizing for the end of the autumn season and the beginning of the winter season in the Northern hemisphere. The significance of Christmas, of Jesus’ birth being assigned to the 24th of December, has a great deal to do with the autumn-to-winter interface (to use current terminology). Officially, the equalization of the patterns of autumn and winter is cognized as the Winter solstice, which falls on the 21st of December in the North (winter solstice in the south falls on the 21st of June, which is summer solstice in the North).
Even before Christianity was declared an official religion, without doubt the Romans were already in the habit of ritualizing the coming of Winter. No further research is needed to establish this. All of the ethnic communities in the Mediterranean for that matter held rituals signifying the start of Winter, and the inter-permeation of cultural elements by dint of cultural diffusion is responsible for the degree of homogenization of Winter ritual patterns in the same area. Which means that the Latins (Romans), Etruscans, Greeks, Hamites, Semites, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Iberians shared more or less similar traits in their Winter rituals, the most focal being that they all celebrated Winter solstice in certain ways.
The question now is, what is the deeper significance of December the 24th other than that it marks the 3rd day after the Winter solstice? And why the 3rd day after the solstice was declared as the ‘birth of Jesus’ by the new rising religion, the Cult of Jesus (Christianity)? Why not simply assign the 21st of December as the day of his birth, which will make the birthday identical to the 1st day of winter (the 21st)?
As to the date, the 3rd day after the solstice, a note: 3 is the number of Trinity (Father, Son, Spirit) in Christology. In numerology (Indian and Pythagorean systems), 3 denotes creativity, productivity, motion, action, activity. The two semiotic sets do converge. Instead of copying the solstice day as D’ Day, the ancient shamans (who were the new bishops and priests of the Jesusian cult) decided that it would be more appropriate to indicate the Trinitarian power in the date, which makes the 24th rather than the 21st as the top candidate. For a numerologist, the day makes sense, in that declaring a creative-dynamic signification on a winter’s season, which is a season of rest or motionlessness, generates a sense of balance of the action-rest duality (yin-yang in the East).
Not only that. It would also make greater sense for the devotees or blind fanatics (a redundancy really, because devotee and fanatic are identical) if the date of birth would be on a day other than the 21st which most Mediterraneans and Northerners already celebrate. The ‘uniqueness criterion’ is an important element in decision-making, and by using this criterion means that the 24th of December made the Jesusians or Jesuits (church fanatics) a unique people who created rituals outside of the common ritual templates. That is, the 24th of December rendered the fanatics the illusion of uniqueness, which made them rest on solid psychological grounds: they need not defend any longer that they were copy-cat folks.
Now, that leads us to the next idea: converging the ‘uniqueness’ element with the ‘chosen people’ eschatological belief present in all religions and cultures. Supposedly, Jesus was the harbinger of the new idea that the ‘gentiles’ (literally the ‘outsiders’ of a chosen people who were the Jews) were themselves a ‘chosen people’ and not outsiders or outcaste. The Jesusian cult has now given the fanatics not only a sense of uniqueness, but also declared that such a uniqueness reclined in their being the ‘chosen ones’. The time for the old chosen ones has ended, and a new chosen one has begun in mandate.
You could just imagine the ecstatic impact that such a convergence of ideas could produce among the erstwhile herds of fanatics, who for many centuries were loathsome outsiders in the civilizational game. They were the barbarians & savages of the previous ages, the outsiders who were recognized best for their destructive propensities. Now they are the co-creators or co-producers of the Divine Spheres or God (co-creation signified by number 3), the next harbingers of civilization. And true indeed, the former barbarians, who were mainly Europeans, felt this mission so strongly in their psyche that for many centuries thereafter they scoured the earth for ‘heathens’ who would be converts to their idea of civility, of being cultured, progressive, rational, and humanist.
Of course, the psychological mood or theme evoked by the entire ritualizing of birth in the 24th is Hope: that Jesus was the embodiment of hope, that there was finally hope for the Europeans who for centuries were heathen slaves. Of course, it was the greatest psychological victory for the Latins (Romans & sister tribes) in as much as they were then the center of civilization world-wide. The 24th also gave the same Europeans the same sense of hope at a time of hopelessness and despair that were evoked by the cyclical winter season.
Cultivating the seed of creativity, activity, uniqueness and hope, all converging within a common seed-idea—the birthing of the Ascended Master Jesus and bestowing him with the role of Begotten Son of the Father God—and planting this in the psyche of Europeans is among the most profound developments in the genetic seeding and improvement of the Europeans themselves. True indeed, and humanity better accept this, no matter how destructive may have been the methods employed by European powers in their conquests, the Torch of Civility for the entire Piscean Age was vested in the European. Their time had come 2000+ years ago, and no force on Earth could stop that.
2000+ years ago, the seed of that historic mission of the Europeans was planted, concocted, congealed in thought, which then permeated right deep into their Collective Unconscious, which eventually got implanted in their genes. For the Collective Unconscious, which belongs to the Electromagnetic Field or EMF, interfaces directly with the biophysical, and that to induce changes in the EMF will likewise result to corresponding changes in the bio-physical dimension. The changes, in other words, will be planted as genetic traits that will govern the actions of the people concerned in the long run.
That, dearest readers, is the significance of the (night of) 24th of December. The mission of the Europeans has now been optimized, after the full Age of Pisces. Likewise the mission of Jesus: to carry on his shoulders for 2000+ years the collective karma of Earth’s humanity. The European-Jesusian missions are now over, and the Torch is now being passed on to the peoples of the East, particularly to the Pacific Asians. But this new development, which will be the definitive development of the Age of Aquarius, is another thing. Suffice me at this moment to say: I’ve shared my thoughts about the deep significance of the 24th of December, by resorting to an archeology of the psyche and soul.
A Merry Christmas again to you all! May my love for all Jesusian cultists be re-declared here, please accept my goodwill for you all. May you all evolve in spirit! Let’s all chant the mantram: Jesus is Love! Jesus is Love! Jesus is Love!
[Writ 14 December 2007, Quezon City, MetroManila]