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Every holiday is for everyone, no matter what the belief or practice.

Wishing everyone a happy Solstice, Christmas, whatever you celebrate, whoever you are, whatever you believe, it doesn’t matter, wishing you all the joy there is. Because each of us has a right to peace, freedom, joy, dignity and love. And each of us, at our core, is peace, freedom, joy, dignity and love. It doesn’t matter what you believe or don’t believe. You are a shining being of light.

Any religion, belief system or ideology which preaches that someone is more worthy than another because of their religion, belief system or ideology, is based in false concepts. I know this might be triggering for some who identify strongly by their belief system. And many of my friends do, across a broad array of religions and ideological thought spanning political spectrums.

But it’s true. Any belief system which preaches that someone is a ‘better person’ based on their beliefs, is also based in false concepts. Your beliefs do not signify you a good person. There is so much evidence of this in the world right? People who supposedly represent highly moral values yet act in ways which desecrate the dignity of others.

But why is this so? Why are people so shocked when apparently ‘upstanding’ religious figures and other moral leaders show themselves to act in low ways?

Because belief is purely thought which has been practiced and repeated till it is deeply conditioned. It is something which is manufactured and can be manipulated very easily. There is good reason for this, it is part of the experience of surviving as a human on this planet, and our conditioned beliefs provide a framework for co-existence which is extremely helpful, up to a point.

But belief is not part of who we essentially are. It is not part of our intrinsic nature. The capacity to believe is. The capacity to have spiritual experiences is also part of our intrinsic nature, and even this has been shown scientifically.

But what we believe in is not intrinsically part of who we are. What we believe in is conditioned and learnt. Where you grow up in the world will largely facilitate what you believe. And none of us can help where we are born right?

But if we feel deeply into ourselves, into our hearts, there is something much deeper than belief that is a part of who we intrinsically are, and this doesn’t change from person to person. We all instinctively know right action. We instinctively know kindness, generosity, love, caring for others. These things are so so natural. The way we express it might be impacted by trauma and conditioning but naturally we want to co-exist with others peacefully, with grace, love, respect and honour. We all want to exchange creatively. We all want to share love. We may be conditioned into only being kind to certain people, or to disrespecting others. But essentially our human nature, indeed our survival instinct, is to share, exchange and be enriched by the experience.

To prove that we are all essentially the same regardless of our beliefs, race, identity is really easy. Here are a couple of ways:

1: Just look a baby, who is not yet verbal, but who is just old enough to interact with others. The baby in this pure state responds purely to the energy of another. It will interact, smile and laugh with someone who has different skin colour, eye shape, and of course belief structure. The baby doesn’t even notice these things. It doesn’t notice the priests gown, the suit or the traditional attire. It only sees the pure humanity of the person. If the person has an angry or unkind energy in that moment, the baby will be afraid of them.

2: Place 4 musicians from completely different cultures, religions, nationalistic identities with no shared language whatsoever in a room with their instruments. They can’t speak the same language yet, but very quickly they will start to explore their instruments and make music together, working out how to harmonise their different sounds. They will find such joy in this and create moments of pure bliss. I have witnessed this so many times. The music is a pure expression of the soul, the essence of humanity, perhaps of god, however people identify that. It surpasses the perceived differences. The music very directly and purely expresses itself through the musicians. It is part of their shared intrinsic nature and through sharing it they become one.  

Same goes with dancing or any art.

All humans have the capacity to experience this incredible inner connection with something more vast than themselves, regardless of their beliefs or identity. And the arts is a very natural way for this to occur.

This is why music and art in all forms is the most healing and powerful thing there is. It has the power to end conflict.

This is also why various forms of music, dance and art are quickly banned by some belief systems. Because the belief system loses its power if the people realise that separation based on identity is an illusion. Belief systems rely so heavily on identity. And not just religious belief systems, but all of them, including contemporary western ideologies seen as left wing and liberal.

So when we celebrate any holiday, any festival which relates to our belief systems and culture, let’s also have a thought for others too, that the joy we feel celebrating should be spread to all, for peace on earth for everyone. Let’s use the energy of our celebrations religious or otherwise, to spread peace and goodwill.

The family and culture I grew up in celebrates Christmas. But even deeper in this culture are the roots of earth religions, which observe the seasons and natural rhythms between light and dark. I celebrate solstice. The symbols of Christmas are deeply connected with the earth’s cycles. The symbol of the evergreen tree is a symbol the power of nature, and human spirit through even the darkest times. In celebrating the earth, I celebrate all people.  

Much love

Sandra

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