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M0920

Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

by Martinus

1. Christmas and New Year festivities

Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are two very remarkable evenings. They differ from all the other evenings in the year. They are nights of culminating festivity. They are celebrated in honour of two great, fundamental principles of life in the eternal, all-embracing world-order. As we will see from the following, the Christmas and New Year festivities respectively constitute, in a cosmic light, a commemoration of the principle of love and the principle of immortality.

2. Christmas Eve and the principle of world-redemption

The fundamental principle for which Christmas Eve is a festival is the principle of world-redemption. This principle consists of the strong helping the weak, the clever helping the less clever, the fit or healthy helping the sick, the rich helping the poor and so on. It is therefore this principle which is the basis for the maintenance of the entire world. Where this does not take place Armageddon and doomsday exist.

We see the unfoldment of this aforesaid principle particularity in the form of the parent principle. Parents must take care of their children until they can manage by themselves. We see this principle likewise unfold among the animals. Here the parents see to the survival of their offspring. Indeed, even in the plant kingdom we see how offshoots grow out of the mother plant. This situation, as well as the development and protection of the embryo in the mother's womb likewise constitutes the principle: the mature protect the immature until they themselves are mature enough to manage by themselves. We see this principle hold true in even higher or wider circles. When there has existed a Buddha, a Mohammed, a Christ and the like, it is also an expression for the fact that the spiritual guidance of mankind or the creation of religious culture is borne by the principle: the wise or clever have led the less wise or less clever. And if we go even further or higher up in our view of the eternal principle we see how the beings in microcosmos get all their life-conditions fulfilled in a macrocosmos. If we look at this macrocosmos we see in turn that this in reality rests in an even greater macrocosmos in which it gets its conditions for life-experience fulfilled and so on continuously upwards eternally. The entire universe is built up by the principle: the smaller life gets its life-conditions fulfilled by the larger life.

3. The Godhead as a living being

To describe this previously mentioned greater life as a unit we use the term "God". As all these forms of life inside each other constitute a mutual, absolute life-condition for each other's existence so that not one single existing intermediate link can be dispensed with, all these forms of life become one single eternal and infinite working organism. And as the work and manifestation of this organism thus expresses the very highest logic which can at all be manifested through a consciousness, name namely that the mature help the immature, the strong help the weak and so on, and with this fulfil the principle of neighbourly love, we here become compelled to recognise that the source of this great working organism which we express as God is a living being. Only a living being can manifest logic and love.

4. Why Christmas is a holy tradition

When people within the Christian world celebrate Christmas it is in order to keep holy the memory of the birth of Jesus, the memory of the being who came to the world in order, by virtue of his greater wisdom and more loving behaviour, to help the less wise and less loving mankind and thereby lead it forward to a greater perfection or a greater fulfilment of this universe's or Godhead's great principle of giving and its ensuing absolute peace or great goodwill for mankind. Christmas becomes thus in reality a commemoration of the great principle of giving under which all living beings live. As people have thus come to celebrate the memory of Jesus' birth, they have, with this sympathy, come into contact with this, the Godhead's gigantic principle of giving. And it is due to this contact that this annually recurring commemoration of Christ's birth has become a tradition of light which has, so to speak, broken all limits. Has one ever seen the like of this commemoration? Although it will soon be a two thousand year old tradition it is so strong that it, at the time of the solstice in the middle of the darkness of winter, is able to penetrate the entire Christian world and for a while enliven the mind of millions of people and bring it into contact with the heavenly light. It is in this moment as if everyone would like to be good, everyone would like to give gifts, just as one does not wish that anyone, during this acute passage of the celestial light through one's mind, must starve and be cold, be homeless or abandoned. Everyone would like to make everyone else happy. No one must be outside in the darkness and cold of night. Everyone should feel the love. Imagine what a divine light in a mankind which lives in its epoch of Doomsday or its warlike epoch of Armageddon. Millions of letters with loving greetings and tons of parcels with presents with which the givers will delight and encourage other people are sent from one part of the world to another. Millions upon millions of extra lights are switched on in the homes and on the highways and byways, and create sunshine in the middle of the darkness of the night. In the squares and open spaces of the towns the Christmas trees sparkle their invitation out to the people to take part in the great world-saving principle: rather to give than to take, so that there can be help for creating a good Christmas for those who live in the darkness, in need and poverty. Indeed, the light from Bethlehem still penetrates the world, and the angels' song about "peace on earth" has found resonance in the minds of many people. All those who work for peace and the abolition of war between themselves and their neighbour sing in the angels' choir. The celebration of Christmas is thus not just a commemoration of the birth of the world-redeemer but also constitutes a holy tradition in the light of which people's contact with life's greatest principle - the principle of giving, the eternal Godhead's all-love, the eternal foundation of all manifestation and life-experience - was revealed.

5. The celebration of New Year will not continue to be merely a materialistic celebration

Immediately after Christmas has been celebrated, New Year is celebrated. Here the principle of giving is also present even if it does not appear as realistically as it does on Christmas Eve. Here it appears only in the form of the more or less loving wishes for "a happy New Year" which people express to one another. But in the case of the New Year festivity it is not the principle of giving which is the basis for the celebration. It is, as known, another fundamental principle, namely the commencement of a new year. Is then the commencement of a new year holy? Yes, in reality the commencement of a new year is just as divine and vital a principle in the maintenance of the universe as the principle of giving. But people do not yet know this principle in its true greatness. For many people the commencement of a new year is only an excuse for having a pleasant evening or in the worst case an excuse for excess in drinking and bingeing. Indeed, for certain people it has become such that they are simply of the opinion that it is a part of New Year's Eve to be more or less drunk and uninhibited. They even boast about how much of the different poisonous liquids they have been able to consume on such an evening. Some boast that they were able to drink so and so much without being influenced. And others boast that they were so and so much under the influence or were so unconscious that they did not sense how the evening went or how they at all came home. The New Year's celebration is therefore still in reality merely a purely material celebration for most people. But it will not continue to be so.

6. What the twenty-four hour cycle and the year cycle mean for the existence of life

The reason for the New Year celebration is thus the commencement of a new year. But the commencement of a new year is only a single local release of an all-embracing, gigantic, cosmic principle without which an eternal experience of life would be an absolute impossibility. How would it be if the commencement of a new year did not exist? If the earth did not rotate around the sun we would not so fundamentally be able to tell the time or the hour. The earth would be red-hot on the side which was turned towards the sun, and frozen solid on the side which was turned away from the sun. All animal life would be an impossibility in the high-intellectual form in which it today appears on earth. But by virtue of an all-over-radiating divine principle of renewal which pervades the entire universe, the earth does not only move itself around the sun but it also turns about itself whereby day and night arise. The colossal amount of light and heat which the earth receives from the sun become thereby adjusted so that the physical experience of life is made possible. The earth, by virtue of this movement, cannot become a red-hot mass on one side and a totally lifeless icy waste on the other. It is true that there are icy wastes at its poles and much heat at its equator but it is precisely these two contrasts which give rise, in the latitudes between the equator and the poles, to a particularly well-suited temperate climate for people's development in the direction of high-intellectuality. It is not pre-eminently in the high temperatures of the equatorial rain or in the ice-fields of the polar regions that materialistic science has come into being or has grown to its present genius.

7. People's terrestrial lives each constitute a link in a chain of terrestrial lives in a cosmic cycle

The earth's movement around its own axis thus creates the twenty-four hour cycle just as its movement around the sun creates the year cycle. Just as these cycles give rise to the absolutely vital distribution of light, heat and cold for the earth's physical life, there thus exist still both higher and lower cycles which are just as vital for the beings' experience of life, manifestation and creation. All movement, all experience of life, all creative processes can only exist as links in cycles. Just as a day as well as a year each constitute a single link in a chain of days and years respectively, so our present physical terrestrial life also constitutes a single link in a chain of terrestrial lives. Just as people through these terrestrial lives will grow to being reborn in more and more perfect lives and thereby reach that stage in which they will fulfil God's plan for the human being which means, they will have reached the point where they constitute "man in God's image after his likeness", so people have also by virtue of physical terrestrial lives grown from lower or less perfect lives forward to the stage of evolution for life which they today constitute. It is such a cosmic cycle we see starting in the mineral kingdom and continuing forward through the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom to which the unfinished terrestrial human beings, with that side of their mentality which has not yet become "human", still belong.

8. If the cosmic cycles did not exist

By the "human" side in the human being's mentality one understands the disposition which releases love, the disposition which has the effect that they cannot have the heart to kill, cannot have the heart to hurt other beings. It is recognised in those people who would rather suffer themselves than have other people suffer, beings who would rather give than take, beings who love both their God and their neighbour. The "animal" disposition in the human being is that which to a greater or lesser extent releases hate and persecution, intolerance, envy, jealousy and bitterness. It is recognised in those beings who live at war with their surroundings, those beings who can have the heart to kill, rob, plunder, steal and cheat, those people who oppress other beings and live well at their expense, those beings who cannot forgive an insult, those beings who slander and harm other beings, those beings who mock and ridicule both God and their neighbour. If the living beings' state of life-experience and the ensuing ability to manifest and create were not subject to the cosmic cycle principle which leads them forward to more and more perfect lives, how should they then ever become totally perfect? And how should they be able to find themselves in an eternal existence if they, after the satiation or the acting out of the state of bliss and happiness of the coming perfect, human form of life-experience and creation could not continue in a new cycle and here come to experience life in new variations of the joy- and bliss-promoting states of the forms of life-experience and creation of the perfect state? Indeed, no life-experience whatsoever could exist at all if these cosmic cycles did not exist.

9. Terrestrial mankind is in the winter zone of a cosmic cycle

These cosmic cycles also have their seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn. I cannot go into these "seasons" here but must refer the reader to my main work "Livets Bog" ("The Book of Life"). I will only mention here that mankind, seen from a mental point of view, is at the moment in the "winter" of such a cosmic spiral cycle. Winter is of course the season of death and cold. People also live in the culmination of death or the killing principle. With their wars, instruments of murder and machines of destruction they have brought much death, invalidity and mutilation upon the earth. Mental frost, ice and cold is not lacking in the world. The incipient winds of spring in this mental winter are the Christmas celebrations. It is wonderful to know that the cycle unshakeably leads mankind out of this darkness towards a cosmic spring after which a summer of love just as certainly comes, and it is after that again led into a new cosmic spiral cycle's great epoch of life to the evolution and experience of even greater shining variations of life's experiences of bliss, and so on continuously in all eternity.

10. The New Year's celebration will become just as important a celebration as the celebration of Christmas

When it becomes evident for people what the basis for the year cycle is, that this is in reality an offshoot of an all-embracing, divine cosmic principle by virtue of which the beings' ability to experience life and to manifest is continuously renewed and that they are thereby guaranteed eternal, unshakable life-experience in light and perfection, their New Year's celebration will come under a higher dimension than only being a purely materialistic celebration. The experience of New Year will then become as important, divine a celebration of immortality as the Christmas celebration today is a celebration of love.

 

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Original Danish title: Juleaften og Nytårsaften published in the Danish edition of Kosmos no. 16, 1974.

First published in Danish in Kontaktbrev no. 26, 1969

Translated by Mary McGovern.

 

Article ID: M0920

Published in the English edition of Kosmos no. 6, 1987

 

© Martinus Institut 1981, www.martinus.dk

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