The THOMAS Web-Zine
July 2008 Issue 15

Giving at Christmas

Christmas is a myth!

Much of the Bible and other religious writings is a mixture of myth and allegory surrounding great Teachers. This is not a criticism, only an indication that these writings need to be considered with discernment to avoid literal meanings and mis-understandings.

What then are the facts surrounding Christmas? We have no idea when and where Jesus was born; there was no Bethlehem or Nazareth until 200 years after Jesus-pilgrims created the towns; Jesus of Nazareth is a corruption of Jesus the Nazarene, a Jewish and Middle-eastern sect. In the western world, the existing the pagan mid-winter festival was chosen as the date of our Christmas. After all, the early Church Fathers wanted to discourage such merriment and encourage religious attendance!

So be discerning about Christmas, overcome its relevance, and shape your response to the growing materialism and corruption that surrounds us all in the coming weeks.

Where does all this Christmas 'stuff' lie?. It lies in the world of objects, in the material world of our mind. Our mind creates these desires, wants, need, greed, possessiveness; our ahamkara is fully in charge! Be aware of our motive for giving: are we seeking praise, thanks, love, companionship?; doing our duty?; easing some guilt?; following the crowd? What is our motive behind the gift?

Jesus in 'Thomas' continually warns us of these dangers; here's a selection:

Jesus said:
..In the days you fed on what is dead,
you made of that the living.
When you are in the Light
What will you do! ...#11

.If you abstain not from the world,
you will not find the Kingdom; ...#27

..He who has found the world
has found a corpse;
and he who has found a corpse
of him the world is not worthy ..#56

."My Master invites you".
[about us all: 'abroad in the world' ].#64

.He who has found the world
and become rich,
let him deny the world ..#110

We can however feel generosity, friendship, love, etc., which are qualities of our Real Self. Let these then be part of our "giving of gifts" at Christmas.