This is the season of gift-giving. As we give our gifts to another, the motive can be central to its purpose. I think most of the time, we don’t even realize our motive for giving…in order to get something back.
In the book A Course in Miracles, it speaks of gifts of littleness versus gifts of magnitude. It reveals that what we give is really how we understand and see ourselves. If we see ourselves as “little” or in need of things and special love, we give in kind. On the other hand, to see ourselves in “magnitude,” we understand ourselves, our Higher, Central Self, to be Spirit, Everything, and complete.
Most of our life journeys are spent trying to find satisfaction and security. We want to be loved and joined to somebody or family that will always love us regardless of our mistakes. For most this is a most fragile, endlessly trying and disappointing hope. Yes we experience a few times of bliss, deep love, but then it evaporates as melting snow flakes. People betray us, say things that hurt, ignore us, give us things in order to “own us.” These are the gifts of littleness. They don’t last very long. The old resentments and attacks return ever so quickly.
On the other hand, if we can find a way to see ourselves complete, wholly at peace with whatever, we are entering the realm of Magnitude. As the bible verse goes, “Behold, everything is new! The old is gone.” Where this originates is in the perception of ourselves as one with God, or as the bible says, “In Christ.” It could be called “in Atman,” “Bahaula,” “the Tao” or whatever one might call the Center. Some prefer simply “It” since the idea is beyond description. I like the word “Love.”
How does one come to this realization? By seeing one’s center as Spirit rather than as body and to view others in the same light, the same Magnitude. It changes everything. Forgiveness takes on a much larger and universal meaning. I grow to let go my past since it also is bound to the time/space dimension, or prison. I grow to no longer feel attracted to somebody I can “fight with” and hold grudges against. The attraction of guilt, as the Course terms it, loses it luster. I want to experience my freedom and in so doing, allow it for others.
Thus in this season of gift-giving, we ask, “What are we giving others?” What do we give with each glance, thought, or expression of love? Is it a bargain hunting swap, or is a truly a gift of eternal value? And with each little material gift we offer, covered in sparkling wrapper and ribbon, what goes with it—a wish for Magnitude to be enlarged or littleness to be maintained in resentment and grudge-holding?
Forgiveness is simply then a letting go, letting go of the unreality of the physical and body bound, time imprisoned world. It is a different way of seeing things, of life. Thus it is a new awakening from the sleep most of us usually exist within. It is as the darkness of the season suddenly infused with the passing of solstice into a new realm of light. Ah, it’s so refreshing, unloading, and wonderful to experience.
This season, vow to at least try it, to spend time each day telling yourself you are not this body of constant decay and disease, but Eternal Spirit, One with All that is! Sound impossible? It’s sort of like Dr. Seuss’ book, “Green Eggs and Ham.” At first it may sound repulsive with anything– Not in my home, not with my spouse, not with my neighbors, not with my church, not with my politicians, not with anything! But then suddenly, just a taste, a moment, a simple gesture of kindness and forgiveness, and wow! It’s deliciously splendorous beyond all description!
Give this gift to yourself early this year, and in renewal, those around you may receive the largest gift ever, only to multiply your own into even larger magnitude. Blessings on you as you ponder such wonder and possibility during this season of darkness, yet one of hope and renewal in light.
I will read this again to help me keep myself in check this holiday season! Merry Christmas! PASTOR DAVE FOREVER!