RE: 2006 wish
Jan 03, 2006 04:42 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
1/3/2006 3:50 AM
Thanks -- got the phone # now we can use it.
It rained all yesterday here – about 2 inches – winds from a different
direction uprooted trees and disrupted traffic – some flooding and mud
slides. The Parade went though enveloped in ponchos.
The Christmas poem was modified, but is not an original. We like it.
Here is where it comes from: [THE ETERNAL VERITIES] It is a kind of
text-book we have used at “THEOSOPHY SCHOOL “ -- usually Sunday mornings
10.30 – 12.00 -- for kids and adults. Here is a sample.
[The whole book is available, free on line at www.phx-ult-lodge.org/s ]
A CHRISTMAS LESSON
Toward Light and Life we move,
With hearts refreshed we sing,
The seed-time of old Earth renewed—
To all this message bring:
Good will to all that lives;
A waking-time of heart
In service that the Masters teach,
Rejoice what e’er the part.
And this—the Christ in all—
And all men brothers be;
One Source of Light and Life and Love!
The Soul’s own radiancy!
We shall find that all our “special day” lessons are Cycles lessons. Who
knows what is the longest day in the year? Who knows what is the shortest?
The ancients said that on these two days, the Sun stands still and trembles
in the balance, before it turns on its journey, whether to the north or
south again. So, we have the word from them in the Latin language, solstice.
(sol—sun; sistere—to stand) Of course, the Sun doesn’t ever really stand
still, but seems to, as we watch it from the earth. So, also, the sun does
not move at the rate it seems to us each day across the sky. It is the
earth’s turning on its axis every twenty- four hours that gives the
appearance of the sun’s moving.
During the year, the sun’s path changes in the sky. Now—north of the
equator, of course—the sun is rising on the eastern horizon way down in the
south, and shines in our south windows almost all day, because it sets far
down south on the western horizon.
Comes the winter solstice, December 21st, and first thing we know, the sun
begins to climb up the sky. In the spring-time, it makes its circuit from
east to west at the very top of the sky. For three months, it moves by
degrees up to the north. On what day, then, would you be expecting to see it
rise farthest north, bringing light even into some of our north windows all
Here, comes the summer solstice; the sun “stands still,” and then moveson
toward the south, in its risings and settings. ‘When the sun rises midwayof
the horizon, and high in the sky, comes autumn, with its equinoctial storms.
Farther down to the south, moves the sun, till it can go no farther; again
we have come to December 21st, to begin the real New Year, according to
Nature’s clock! Then it is, the seeds beneath the earth get a message from
the sun to germinate, although it will be months yet before the plants will
venture forth above the soil.
Most people celebrate the New Year according to men’s “clocks,” or
calendars, on the first day of January, but the real New Year is on December
21st, as we have seen. Two weeks after that—fourteen days—is another kind of
New Year, said the great Teacher of Theosophy, H. P. B. This was the Day
when the great host of Shining Monads incarnated on earth, in the beginning,
Now, the very ancient peoples—Indians, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks,
Americans, — thought of the sun as the Life-Giver to all growing things, but
they knew it to be only a symbol of the True Sun—the One Light—the Self.
They knew that the Self acts only through beings and that this great sun of
our world was just an instrument, or lens for the True unseen Sun. And when
they sang their hymns to the Sun in this cycle, it was with the thought of
acting for the Self in every heart:
“That which giveth sustenance to the Universe and to ourselves, from which
all dot/i proceed and unto which all must re turn — That Thou Art. In the
golden vase of thine earthly body may the pure Light of the Spiritual Sun
shine forth, that thou may’st know the Truth, and do thy whole duty, on the
journey back to the Sacred Seat! “ (Memory Verse*)
At a later time, people came to think of all the forces and beings in the
sun as making up one Being, which they worshipped as the Sun God—much as
some of your friends, perhaps, think of “God” as a great good man outside
themselves — rather than as the Real Self ‘within each and every being.’
It was on the 21st of December that the Sun-Gods went down under the earth,
the ancients thought, to help the Souls—the seeds—imprisoned there.
Remaining for three days, they came forth triumphant in all their glory, on
December 25th. And this was the new birth of their Sun-Gods.
The Egyptians celebrated the Sun cycle by the singing of hymns to the image
of an infant, symbolizing their Sun God, then born again.
Now it seems very fitting, doesn’t it, that an Elder Brother, who was born
into the world to be a teacher of the Three Truths, should have his birthday
at the birth-time of the new sun- cycle?
That, anyway, is what the Catholic church fathers thought, when it was given
to them to decide on a day to celebrate, nearly four hundred years after the
birth of Jesus. No one really knew by then when He did come— neither the day
nor the year. Only very Wise Men know that, because they know the cycles.
Yet, we know something about cycles—so let us see what we shall discover by
recalling that it takes the sun about 25,868 years to travel through the
signs of the Zodiac. There are twelve signs; so, dividing 25,868 by 12, we
find that it must take about 2,155 years for the sun to move from one sign
to the other.
It seems as if the old world learns and forgets in that time, so that a wise
Elder Brother has to come to remind it again of what it has forgotten; 2,155
years is the cycle which marks the time when a messenger is needed.
Well, the Sun turned into the constellation of Pisces 255 B. C. (B. C. as we
know, stands for Before Christ), and that means that a Wise One came
somewhere around that time, before the year 1—which is usually reckoned as
the birth year of Jesus. Again, very close to 1900, [1897/8] the sun passed
into the sign of Aquarius. So, it looks very much as if Jesus was born at
least 150 years before they reckon his birth.
Do you think it very strange we don’t know just when Jesus was born? You
see, such a Messenger is recognized only by a few at first; Jesus never
wrote anything, and those who knew him did not write of him till long after
he had died; so all we have is a few legends about him; and we can only know
he was a great Teacher by his wise sayings—which are according to the Three
Perhaps we think that we should recognize such an One!
Well, was there any Messenger teaching the Three Truths at the time the sun
passed into Aquarius?
Yes; in 1875 Madame Blavatsky began to teach Theosophy, just as we are
learning it now. She left her body in 1891 and she said that in the last
quarter of this, our twentieth century, another Messenger would come to
carry the work still further on, if those living up to that time are
faithful in learning the truths of Theosophy and in spreading it over the
world. Perhaps you very boys and girls will live to see that Messenger and
know him! Anyway, you can learn and teach the boys and girls who will be men
and women then how to know him. Both 1875 and 1975 come within the cycle of
Now let us go back to the birth-time of Jesus, who was called. the Christ,
the Illuminated One, because he had learned so perfectly that he knew only
how to think every thought, and do every deed for and as the Self, before he
entered that baby form in Bethlehem of Judea on the day now called
Christmas— Christ’s day. (.Mass—the service.)
Wise men knew the cycle then and were expecting this little one. So they
came there from far eastern countries to greet the babe with gifts and
thanksgiving. They gave him gold— as symbol of the sun; they gave him
frankincense and myrrh, because these had mysterious healing qualities to
protect him—symbols of love and thoughtfulness, as all gifts should be.
Little did it mean to Wise Men that Jesus was born in a lowly manger, with
patient oxen munching the sweet hay nearby; they knew that the glory of
Jesus would never come from riches and lands, but from knowing and showing
the treasures of the soul. And as they looked for the birth-place, they
followed a star, which led them to where he lay—that star called The Starof
It is recorded that Jupiter and Saturn were in conjunction in this cycle—as
you may re member Venus and Mercury were, not so very long ago, so that they
looked like one bright star. This might happen again when the new
Messenger’s birth is near.
All nature seemed to know that the cycle for the Messenger had arrived!
As Joseph, the father of the little Jesus, looked up into the air, the
legend tells, he saw the clouds astonished, and the fowls of the air
stopping in the midst of their flight. The sheep, while scattering, yet
suddenly stood still, and as he looked into the river, he saw the kids with
their mouths close to the water and touching it, yet not drinking. He saw a
bright cloud overshadow the cave and suddenly it was in the cave, such a
blinding light, that their eyes could not bear it. The stable was built into
a rocky wall, you see.
The oxen fell to their knees, and the shepherds sang hymns of rejoicing and,
to this day, the custom lasts of singing about the birth of Jesus—and they
say that on Christmas, alone of all days, always the oxen kneel. In ancient
England the hawthorn was said to bud on the 24th and blossom the 25th of
December, in memory of that birth.
Why do we use evergreens at Christmas time?
This is another recognition of the cycle, because long, long ago ‘twas
thought the spirits of the woods and dells flocked to the ever greens and
there were protected from frost till milder season.
So, while at Christmas time, we remember the birth-time of Jesus, and give
gifts as the Wise Men did of old, but now in memory of the Great
Messenger—the Christ—we do not forget December 25th is the hidden birth-time
of all nature. Without the turning of the sun on its cycle then, would be no
glorious bursting forth at Easter-time of all the living things in earth, of
trees and plants and little creatures.
Above all, let us not forget that we too are suns, reflecting the true
Sun—the Higher SPIRITUAL Self—and as we turn on our course, ever actingfor
The Higher Self that resides inside us each and all, we are day by day
coming to the Light— “of all our Light the Source.” Can it be that, like
Jesus and other Elder Brothers, we too may become Illuminated
Ones—Christs—to younger brothers in ages far away in the future?
The Tree was a sacred symbol among all the ancient peoples.
In India, the Ashwatta Tree was called their Tree of Life. Shedding its
leaves each winter and sprouting forth new ones in the spring, it also
symbolized the death and re-birth of the universe. It was said that this
Tree grew with its roots above, and its branches below.
The Masters of Wisdom were called Trees of Righteousness because they hewed
down the Tree below with the strong axe of dispassion.
With the Egyptians the sacred Tree was the sycamore. Like the Ashwatta, this
too, is a kind of fig tree.
But, with peoples farther north, the evergreen was the symbol of the
never-dying Fire of Life—especially the fir tree (fir means fire) which
grows in the shape of the candle-flame. Many, many are the boys and girls
who have sung this Christmas Carol of our Lesson on Christmas Eve before
living lighted Christmas Trees in California.
Would you like to know how we came to have our Christmas Trees?
THE ORIGIN OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE
The custom of the Christmas tree is a very recent institution. It is of a
late date not only in Russia, but also in Germany, where it was first
established and whence it spread everywhere, in the New as well as the Old
In France the Christmas tree was adopted later than 1870. According to
Prussian chronicles, the custom of lighting the Christmas tree as we now
find it in Germany was established about a hundred years ago. It penetrated
into Russia about 1830, and was very soon adopted throughout the Empire by
the richer classes. It is very difficult to trace the custom historically.
Its origin belongs undeniably to the highest antiquity.
Fir trees have ever been held in honor by the ancient nations of Europe. As
evergreen plants, and symbols of never-dying vegetation, they were sacred to
the nature-deities, such as Pan and Isis. According to ancient folklore the
pine was born from the body of the nymph Pitys*_beloved by the god Pan and
changed into a fir-tree.
[* Greek name for the pine-tree.]
During the vernal festivals in honor of the great goddess of Nature, fir
trees were brought into the temples decorated with fragrant violets.
The ancient Northern peoples of Europe had a like reverence for the pine and
fir trees and made great use of them at their various festivals. It is well
known that the pagan priests of ancient Germany, when celebrating the first
stage of the sun’s return toward the vernal equinox, held in their hands
highly ornamented pine branches. And this points to the great probability of
the now Christmas custom of lighting Christmas trees being the echo of the
pagan custom of regarding the pine as a symbol of a solar festival, the pre
cursor of the birth of the Sun. Its adoption and establishment in Christian
Germany imparted to it a new and Christian form.
Thence fresh legends—as is always the case, explaining in their own way, the
origin of the ancient custom. One such legend purports to give the origin of
the once universally prevailing custom of ornamenting Christmas trees with
lighted wax tapers, thus:
“Near the cave in which was born the Savior of the world grew three trees—a
pine, an olive, and a palm. On the holy eve when the guiding star of
Bethlehem appeared in the heavens, that star which announced to the
long-suffering world the birth of Him who brought to mankind the glad
tidings of a blissful hope, all nature rejoiced and is said to have carried
to the feet of the Infant-God her best and holiest gifts.
Among others the olive tree that grew at the entrance of the cave of
Bethlehem brought forth its golden fruit; the palm offered to the Babe its
green and shadowy vault, as a protection against heat and storm; alone the
pine had nought to offer.
The poor tree stood in dismay and sorrow, vainly trying to think what it
could present as a gift to the Child-Christ. Its branches were painfully
drooping down, and the intense agony of its grief finally forced from its
bark and branches a flood of hot
transparent tears, whose large resinous and gummy drops fell thick and fast
A silent star, twinkling in the blue canopy of heaven, perceived these
tears; and forthwith, confabulating with her companions—a miracle took
place. Hosts of shooting stars fell down, like unto a great rain shower, on
the pine, until they twinkled and shone from every needle, from top to
bottom. Then trembling with joyful emotion, the pine proudly raised her
drooping branches and appeared for the first time before the eyes of a
wondering world, in most dazzling brightness.
>From that time, the legend tells us, men adopted the habit of ornamenting
the pine tree on Christmas Eve with numberless lighted candles.
—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
Had it not been for a faint sniff, Ellen would never have seen the little
disconsolate figure of Betty Marie curled up in one corner of the big chair
there by the fire, for her mind was bent on the meadow creek now covered
“Whee-e—what’s the trouble, little Sis ?“ she cried in concern, tossing her
tam and skates on the couch.
“Oh, Ellen, I just can’t bear it—that there is no Santa Claus !“
“Not so, Betty Marie!” Betty Marie straightened. “That is — well, I’ll tell
you. Don’t you know it’s only the red-flannel-and-white-whiskers Santa Claus
we all have to give up when we get as old as nine. Because, that’s pretty
old! Only—this is a secret: I never had to give up some baby idea but there
was something a thousand times better and more interesting to take its
“But there isn’t something nicer than Santa Claus”—another sniff protested.
“Tell you what, Miss Betty Marie, you’ll like this story, anyway. ‘Will you
“Ye-es”-—even Betty Marie’s acquiescence for a story lacked its usual zest.
“Well, ‘twas the night before Christmas. Everybody had gone out except David
and his mother, and they were sitting before the fire in the library—just
like this—reading the story of ‘The Christmas Light.’
“You never read that one, Betty Marie, or you wouldn’t be crying for your
fat Santa Claus.
“The story tells how once in ancient times there was a Light that spread
abroad in the land making every thing bright and beautiful: it came from the
inmost heart of every human being and caught an answering light in every
thing and creature.
“Strange that it could ever dim, but there grew up in the land two Giants,
called ‘This’ and ‘That,’ who set flying all about little false lights that
people began to follow, as some times now boys and girls chase fireflies in
summer that lead them into mires and bogs.
“All through the year they chased and grasped for the false lights—and
dimmer grew the true. And when the season came to renew the True Light at
the birth of the Sun-God—yes, that’s Christmas! — the very urge of the Real
in their hearts, which at times they would almost touch, and then—lose,
would make them chase all the more madly to do the behests of ‘This’ and
“Of course, they really did not know these Giants by their true names.
‘This’ and ‘That,’ as they were content to be called, were really
‘Greediness’ and ‘Ungratefulness.’
“But, in my story, by the time David got to this place,” Ellen’s smile
caught Betty Marie’s still clouded eyes, “he was so drowsy that all he had
time to say was—’those Giants cover up the Real—make people run around after
little false lights—and when they get them—they are out—’ and he was fast
“I mean, his mother thought he was fast asleep, but, of course, he was just
awake in another world— the Land of Dream. And there, in a beautiful green
forest where he had been searching for something so long—so long—he satdown
on a fallen log.
“Suddenly, a voice roused him—a wonderful voice, all joyous and strong and
young and generous—asking what it was that David had been so long searching.
“So, David told the stranger—beautiful to look at, as his voice was to
hear—that he was hunting for the Real Christmas, because every one had lost
it since the Giants ‘This’ and ‘That’ had been abroad in the land. And he
thought if he could once reach Father Christmas, together they could help
everybody to find the Christmas Light again. The stranger was listening so
kindly, David asked him if he didn’t believe Father Christmas would help
him, if he could find him.
“The stranger smiled at this question, and said that he himself was Father
“Such a jolt that was. Why, he was a young man—not a day over sixteen—and
David had an awful time trying to be polite and at the same time explain
that he hadn’t expected him to look that way — that he thought Father
Christmas was old—very much older.
“But Father Christmas said he was as old as Time; that he never grew old,
because he was the Real in everything that people think and do at Christmas
“And he told David there is a Real Christmas Tree—and a Light it spreads
afar so that men grow blind, if they can never glimpse it. Once men lived in
the glow of that Light and lived to serve each other.
“It was Christmas then, all the time: all saw the Real in each, but after
the dark winter days, on Nature’s secret Birthday, their love welled up and
“That Real Tree and Real Light are needed shining forth in the world again.
There are Hidden Ones trying all the time to bring that Light, but They need
more help. Father Christmas paused, and then asked David almost solemnly,
‘Would you like to help, little boy?’
“Poor David stammered in confusion, for his eye had caught a band of
Christmas Thoughts coming toward them, and he became absorbed in their
pretty play, around Christmas Dolls, and Teddy Bears, and Soldiers.
“Soon, though, he saw creeping on them from the shadows little dark Doubts
“On then rushed among them, ‘I Wants,’ ‘Too Muches,’ ‘Disappointments.’ The
little Christmas Thoughts scattered panting and exhausted, as Envy,
Selfishness and Greed crowded quarreling around the toys.
“When the Giants ‘This’ and ‘That’ appeared with thundering steps, the
Christmas Thoughts fell fainting to the ground. With malicious glee the
Giants collected their ugly brood and left the fallen little ones to their
“David was just about to run to help them when he saw some Spirits of
Service already raising them from the ground, and Father Christmas, still
there, smiling at him and saying: ‘David, would you like to help enough to
give up your ‘I Wants’ and ‘Too Muches’?
“Then — some way — David knew that to give them up was the only way the Real
Christmas Light would ever shine again in the world. The only way was for
him and every one to say, ‘I will’—’I will.’
“And he said it— just as he woke up. But, as his eyes opened in the quiet
room with the vision in them still, his lips whispered, ‘I saw it,
Mother—the Christmas Light!’ “
“Ellen’s voice stopped, and there was silence for a moment. Then a pairof
arms encircled her neck and Betty Marie said shyly, handing her the tam and
“I like young Father Christmas!”
Hope this did not bore you, I always liked this story –it explains a lotto
Dal & Val
From: Mary H
Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 9:05 AM
Subject: Re: 2006 wish
Did you write that lovely Christmas poem you sent? Its is so
orginal I cant help but think it is yours!!!
Anyway, I appreciate your sending it.
I trust the rains up north of you will not bring you too many problems.
Many blessings and much love.
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