The Season of Light
Today is the first Sunday in Advent, also known as, the Season of Light. The word advent means coming. As we move toward the winter solstice, the day of least sunlight, the ritual of advent gives us hope for the coming of additional light. We burn candles to show there is always light in the darkness; the two coexist, not oppose one another.
Most of us are not comfortable in the dark. We desire to see and to know, requiring light whether external sun, internal enlightenment, or both. For most of us, a fact is much more comforting than a mystery. We seek something sure in an ever-changing world. The growth of fundamentalist religion whether under the auspices of Christian, Muslim, or another moniker appeals to those who seek fact. These believers are more comfortable with a concretized spirit. The danger is it sets in place a divide; you are wrong, I am right. Every conquering nation has attempted to suppress the religion of those it subjugates. They bring their swords with facts and attempt to implant them into a culture. It has never been sustainable, and why we haven’t learned from the past is itself a mystery.
Carl Jung, a psychiatrist and a scholar of religion, attempted to merge the religious and scientific aspects of man’s search for meaning. He believed religion was instinctual. Our psyches are programed to seek a religion, meaning a re-alignment with a divine energy. When asked by an interviewer whether or not Jung believed in God, he answered, “I don’t believe; I know.” His God was much more about a connection with an organizing energy that manifests through us, not an exterior judge who rewards and punishes based on a set of rules.
My celebration of advent is a coming of consciousness, a light from the darkness of the unconscious. I await the light of a more loving and empowering Divine energy, one that stays in relationship with me and I with it, while nourishing my creative spirit. My definition of the Divine is an inner connected quality that lives in all of creation. I respect whatever language, perspective, or religion leads each of you to become conscious of your connection to the Divine. We may speak different languages when it comes to God. That seems very appropriate to me. What seems misguided is the division that occurs when one soul attempts to impose its practice, language, and belief system on another.
My wish for this season of advent is for the light of understanding, acceptance, respect, and freedom. Please, no more swords of division, but bridges of understanding. May advent bring about the birth of an empowering Divine spirit of love, peace, and goodwill toward mankind.