Dr. Mike Obsatz, Professor Emeritus at Macalester College
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The Spiritual Meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas
Thanksgiving is a time when we slow down and appreciate all of our blessings. It is a holiday of gratitude. However, it is also important to remember that British people stole the land they claimed was theirs from Native Americans, in true Empire Consciousness fashion.
Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, and the reminder about Oneness Consciousness. It is a time to enjoy family and friends, and live in the knowing that love and compassion are the only to ways to true joy and peace.
We celebrate these holidays by spending time with loved ones, eating together and exchanging gifts. However, the greatest gifts of these holidays are Gratitude and Oneness Consciousness. We can't buy them in stores at the mall. They come from inside ourselves, when we connect spiritually and emotionally.
Connection is the the Ultimate Gift of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Connection to self, to others, to Spirit. This Connection is crucial for our well-being, and the well-being of the planet.
How do we make amends to Native Americans for forcibly taking over their land? What kind of justice have they received?
It seems that we can live in Gratitutde and Compassion with all of creation by being mindful of our own behavior and being aware of Empire Consciousness of those who are in power. Do we share what we have with others? Do we try to help those who have been persecuted and oppressed? To we see the Christ Spirit, the Divinity, in every person, no matter their appearance, background, or beliefs?
The birth of Jesus is about the birthing of Oneness Consciousness. Thanksgiving is about remembering those who suffered and the hands of others in power. These are spiritual holidays, not commercial enterprises. They are about internal awareness rather than outward appearances.