«YULE AND NOEL: THE SAGA OF CHRISTMAS Yule and Noel: The Saga of Christmas By Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Ph.D. Get any book for free on: Get any ...»
Like the winter sun, his own sun-soul has gone down into the underworld of material darkness and lies "dead" and inert in that cave of earth. The solstice tells him that for the period of the human evolution that soul of his is bound in with matter in a state of stabilization, or equilibration of its energies. For a long time--pictured by the ten days of the solstice--that soul, a divine unit in its own right--will wage an even battle with the elemental powers of this plane of existence. But slowly the cycle will swing around past its solstice, the soul will begin to gain on the inertia of matter and the sluggish inhibitions of body; and finally it will have put all material powers under its feet, and emerge victor over "death" and the "grave."
These ennobling truths the seasonal festival will impress upon human intellection with ever more realistic cogency; until the tree, the holly, the lights and star, the candle, the cradled babe, the carols and the organ will release such a tide of sweeping realizations in man's psychic realm as will cause his heart to throb in thrilled ecstasy, with access of a more than joyous sense of brotherhood of mortals linked together in the bonds of cosmic beneficence. A choir marching past him in a church aisle, with each singer carrying a lighted candle, and pouring out the strains of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the New-Born King.
will lift the psyche close to the level where truly the song of angelic voices might be caught in mystic enchantment. And as surges of transcendent emotion of beauty, love and goodness inundate his mind, he will indeed realize what in truth it means to give glory to the new-born King. For it will carry far beyond the mere outward idea of paying homage to a babe in remote time and place--beautiful though this is as symbol--and cause to glow within the breast that star of inner light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
There are those who have been impressed with this view of the Yule festival and who mentally assent to its essential correctness. But they demur to it as a detraction from the psychic force and impressiveness of the holiday if it is thus reduced to a psychological and intellectual realization and not invigorated with its significance as the commemoration of a historical event of transcendent importance. They raise the demurrer that 61 to denude it of all outer dress of historical association and leave it standing as mere drama of an internal and purely subjective ideation in consciousness sadly detracts from the realistic and affecting unction of the festival.
To this there must be entered here a vigorous counter-claim. No mistake could be greater than this assumption. History has now demonstrated that the impressive power of the festival, when based on its alleged historical foundations, has fallen short of the saving efficacy it should have yielded. The fact, strange but true, is that not only would the rituals not lose their dynamic dramatic power from the understanding that they are outward symbolizations of an internal spiritualizing process and not historical events reviewed in commemoration, but they would take on a tenfold greater force of psychic beatification from the recognition that it is a birth in all men and not in one single historical individual that they celebrate. Instead of going flat and meaningless because this view attaches no single event of history to them, the ritual would rise to unimaginable heights of exalting emotional power from the knowledge that they memorialize not one, but all spiritual rebirth in history, past and still to come. When the mind catches the universal and at the same time personal meaning and reference of the customs, the beauty of the observance will lift the consciousness to ineffable mystical experience. The weight of cosmic recognitions and intuitions of transcendent insight could become almost insupportable. It is a strange and illogical argument to contend that the profounder intellectual comprehension of the
rites would diminish their force and their moving power. While the outer historical significance is lessened or even entirely dismantled, the Nativity legend and all the mythical episodes of the 62 festival's background would be vested with a greater and more cogent aura of psychic pertinence than before. They would become lovelier than ever, since the mind has freighted them with meanings of dynamic import to the soul of the celebrant himself. They would bring their meaning and significance home to the individual and they would remain with him as a leaven of divinizing ferment from one Yule to the other.
The name, dignity and authority of "king" stands in much disesteem and disrepute in the world today. But the world sadly lacks the basis of that proper homage and worshipful reverence which it should never fail to accord to the true and rightful King of Righteousness, whose birth and later rising with healing in his wings the great Yuletide festival was set to commemorate. Until moderns can join their voices with angelic choirs caroling eternal praise to this King and thus by their own divine initiative seat him at last on the throne of the nations, the continued celebration of Christmas can avail little. Can there be any question whether it were better to hail a king in ancient Judea, or a king of Christly graciousness in the collective heart and mind of humanity?
Human destiny hinges on the choice, as at this epoch in racial evolution the divine soul of humanity swings slowly around from outgrown animalism to the sweet charity of a heavenly grace on the solstitial "hinge of the sun."
The supreme message of the Yule is that we have been given, deep within the confines of our own natures, a divine babe of consciousness to raise from infancy to the fulness of the stature of his godly nature. His coming has linked us with the skies, for he is a child of celestial kingliness.
Hence it is that the dominant note of Christmas joyousness is the uniting of our earthly voices with the choirs of heaven. Those choirs are chanting 63 halleluiahs in jubilation over the gift of heaven to earth; on her part earth must lift her voice to hail in utter joy the advent of her divine visitant from the empyrean. So the Yule resounds with the strains of "angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold;" of hosts of heavenly citizens caroling "Peace on earth, good-will to men." And, in the deepest sense of its sublime connotation, the symbolism of angelic hosts filling the skies of Christmas-time with soul-lifting music must be translated psychically into the realities of surges of mystical sweetness sweeping through the upper areas of the human soul. For the angelic voices that man can hear are the echoes in his own consciousness of the outpouring of divine radiations of Love and Light from the mind of God. And man in his upward march must ultimately provide the wondrous answer to the question couched in the lines of the Christmas hymn:-Hark! What mean those holy voices Sweetly sounding through the skies?
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