Remembrance of the 1914 Christmas Truce: It’s Our Turn Now

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This is an account of a pilgrimage in remembrance of the 1914 Christmas Truce. In World War I, enemy forces left the safety of the trenches to the song “Silent Night” in their own language. Soldiers; sons, husbands, fathers wanted the peace beyond understanding. You are invited to follow the author’s pilgrimage to renew how we imagine the meaning of Christmas. Noel “New Sun” in Gaelic, has always been the unexpected birth of New Life in a most degraded, forgotten, even despised place. In our traditional telling, the savior was born into a forsaken shelter surrounded by animals. In the early 20th century, that unexpected location was No Man’s Land — the devastated landscape between the enemy trenches. This book is a recollection of the past in order to bring forth a more peaceful future.

Words and Our Social and Spiritual Conditioning

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If you examine the word, addict, in its Latin roots are to surrender the voice. Culturally, we have a habit of ad-diction. This voice that is surrendered is to be understood in multiple ways at once: Your own point of view, way of perceiving, your way of creativity, your way of dreaming, your way of singing, writing, dancing, your way of loving. Expanding this with other languages, in French, the word for voice, voix, is also the word for vote. And the Chinese word, Tao, tao, when understood as a verb, means, to say.

It’s harsh, but true, that American culture is one that forces persons to surrender their relationship to the Tao, to surrender their Ways.

All of the singing, teaching and healing I do are intended to lead persons out of the Monumental world view and its ad-diction which is also known as normative dissociation.

My mission intends to invite individuals into the Third Great Awakening, a participatory world view of a New Earths and New Heavens, the New Story. This re-mythologization heals our ad-dictive cultural practices. Together, we can restore awareness of all voices and features of our ecosystems in such a way that all life and the cycles of evolution place our minds into relationship with the enduring and nourishing Beauty, the powers that sustain all that is.

Robert Almeder, among others, echoes my experience in the preface to his 1992, Death and Personal Survival: The Evidence for Life After Death. He wrote: “My 1987 book, Beyond Death: Evidence for Life after Death offered a brief defense of personal survival and concluded that the evidence garnered from the best case studies on reincarnation, possession, apparitions of the dead, near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, and trance mediumship is collectively compelling in ways not yet appreciated either by the public at large or by the scientific, religious, and academic community.”

More recently, theologian Marcus Borg (1942-2015) described this same kind of cultural reality in his 2014 book, Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most:

“The trigger for my third (conversion) was a series of experiences that began in my mid-thirties. They weren’t the product of thinking, even though over time they have greatly affected my thinking, perhaps more than anything else has. And they made God real to me.

In retrospect, I understand that they were mystical experiences. But I did not know that at the time. I knew nothing about mysticism. It had not been part of my four years of undergraduate education and five years of graduate study in religion. And whenever I had tried to read books about mysticism, they were utterly opaque. My eyes glazed over. I could not figure out what they were talking about.” (pp. 35-36)

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Educational reformer, Elliot Eisner offered this insight into how our own educational methods actually teach our children to limit their own awareness through the null curricilum – that which is never spoken of in the educational process:

What school programs tend to emphasize is the development of a restrictive conception of thinking. Not all thinking is mediated by words or numbers, nor is all thinking rule-abiding.

Many of the most productive modes of thought are nonverbal and illogical. These modes operate in visual, auditory, metaphoric, synesthetic ways and use forms of conception and expression that far exceed the limits of logically prescribed criteria or discursive, mathematical forms of thinking. When attention to such intellectual processes, or forms, of thinking is absent or marginal, they are not likely to be developed within school programs… (p. 98)