By Adam Crosthwaite
This Holiday Season marks my fourth Christmas as a student of the Qabala as taught by the tradition that Rev. Strickler represents. After four years I have come to understand in part the underlying meaning of one of his most infamous statements, “This is going to be an important season…” Each year that I spend in this place takes me to levels of awareness ever expanding and ever changing in richness and knowledge as the journey known as Agape takes me to inner reaches I never knew existed. Last year it was a focus on Agreement Reality and the pit falls of politically correct jargon blinding people to the celebration of life and the love of those around them that presented itself to me in the form of a child. As I walked along the path of my life last year it became blaringly obvious that the human race has a long way to go in order to grow up and stop worrying about how different they are from the person standing next to them.
In the year before that it was remembering the importance of the human connection outside the limitations of material cares that emerged through memories of my friends gathering to warm themselves around a trash can the night of Christmas Eve that rang out to me from the darkness. The moment of connection with the person outshined the moments of material cares. I can still feel the warmth of my friends who invited me as a companion, not a stranger into their gathering in friendship.
And in 2004, my first year with David and the crew, it was the gift of the strength in children that inspired me to reach out from the depths to grasp the unknown heights of the mysteries in operation throughout the universes. The possibilities of the future had been unveiled to me as I watched the strength of hope carry a child from darkness and despair into a bright and promising new beginning in life. As a nation and the world over we will greatly need to tap this strength if we are to make it through the coming year.
This year finds me looking into the past, present and future of not only my own segment of time but that of the generation before me and the one behind me. One might say I have ventured into my own personalized version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I find myself at a point of convergence where the past is retesting an audience with the presence and the future agreed to sit in on the meeting as well. There have been moments in these past few weeks that I have felt an empathetic view with the character Captain Jean-Luc Picard from the television show Star Trek the Next Generation (STNG) when he discovered an anomaly in space and time coming from him in the past, present and future. He had to function between the past, present and future in order to complete a puzzle and correct an error made by himself in different time lines. I laugh as I recall sitting with David in the evening during this time of year and watching the final episode of Star Trek Next Generation, Episode Number 747, entitled “All Good Things…” U.S. Airdate: June 5, 1994, his favorite episode that he shared with me my first Christmas as his student.
Throughout the years I recall moments from my past that trigger an entourage of reactions. Through the process of the teachings of the lineage that David represents, I have learned to alter these moments to aid in my growth. Instead of arguing with the shadows in my mind like a blind fool screaming at a reflection I find myself working with the various parts and pieces of myself that are seeking a way to join me in the present to grow and be with me in the moment.
On the days I am blessed to spend with my daughter Emily I am reminded of the inner child that stays with me as I grow through the years. At times I encounter the “Little Adam” who wants to spend time with the “Big Adam”. Some moments are playful and cute, like when Emily walks up to me smiling and takes me by the hand or shirt to her room and shuts the door so we can be alone to read or play. Other moments are not as playful, like when she cries because daddy was walking too fast and did not stop to watch the wind blow through the grass on a sunny day; Emily starts to cry when she looks up and sees me too far ahead. Even the times Emily comes to me crying with a bruised knee or scratched cheek for me to kiss so she can smile and say, “Much Better” reminds me of the importance in taking time to spend with myself and my smaller self to be at one with each other in the present.
For the past year now I have a job at a shopping center involving security. I have plenty of time during the day to observe people at some of their finest and most questionable moments. There are days I walk around watching the people around me scrambling to make sense of the situations and events in their days. As I watch I can’t help but notice that few, if any, of these people stop to watch the wind blowing through the grass, or allow the child inside of them take them to a quiet place for some time alone away from the craziness and frantic meanderings of a chaotic world. Every day I face off with drunks, crazy drivers, shoplifters, thugs and the occasional disgruntled shop keeper. When things get tense, I find myself stopping to watch the wind blow through the grass.
People are walking around all the time in a daze unaware of the child within their psyche screaming in their ears to hear and see it in the dark corner. They wince in pain not knowing why as the parts of them longing to break out from the darkness in the closets locked away deep within their past and summon them through the fabric of the world they operate in. These winces come in the form of reactions to other people as they encounter themselves reflected in the mirror of the subconscious. Many of them fight back against these currents of change with opiate behaviors which I can relate to from my own personal experience.
These opiate behaviors (escapism) are most evident during the Holiday season when people are in a rush to buy things to prove to themselves the value of relationships. Instead of holding in regard the connections they are blessed with by honoring what is, they unknowingly, as well as covertly, pervert the truth of the Holiday season to a time of consumption in the form of giving as they pay homage with material gifts. Sadly, as long as the status quo of the Agreement Reality is not challenged openly the currents sounding in the dark corridors of the mind will go unnoticed. No matter how loudly or how long the ghost in the hall rattles his chains, the frightened and abandoned child in the forgotten reaches will never have someone to kiss away the pain swelling in the psyche of the so called adult mind.
The drunken binges of shoppers running debt higher and higher for themselves send toxic fumes from the psyche in an effort to blur the images reaching out from the reflections in the mirror of subconscious, as it attempts to take them by the hand and spend some one on one time watching the wind blow, in my opinion and view. No amount of opiate behavior can kiss away the trauma in a harsh world. The frenzy of opiate behavior robs people of those few precious moments when the Hidden Treasures are revealed and not simply valued as a consumable item, for it is in the present with the child of the past standing along side the child of the present that the most amazing treasure is found in the discovery of knowledge, known to the Qabalistic tradition as Agape.
As long as people stay stuck spinning their wheels in place without aid from all parts of their being in the present, they will stay fixed in the illusions of weakness. In the many lessons we are gifted with none are as precious as those that come in the encounters with children, The Gift of the Child is forever with us all. Past, present and future belong to the child within us all. The world unfolds before us all as the children of children lighting a path to the future.
David is continually bringing me back to Psalm 115 vs 16:
HA SHA MA EEM SHA MA EEM LAHDOE NAH EE
VAY HA-AHRETZ NAHTAN LIBNEY AHDAM
The heavens are the heavens of the LORD
But the earth hath He given to the children of men.
This is the starting point for one point of understanding the world around us as is taught by David in the Qabalistic Tradition. We are all children; we are all responsible for our children.
As children living in worlds within a larger world, we have the ability to function in whatever mode we choose. We also have the ability to take the children of the past along with all the hurts and joys, lock them away in darkness forever and live out a life as a reactive creature bent on survival, or bring that child up from the dark to spend time in the light and grow.
Trudging about in the darkness of this mundane world I occasionally find time to stop for a second look at my circumstances, this usually takes place in time sitting in the presence of my Teacher David. In the past year I increasingly have come to take the processes learned through the Qabalistic tradition as taught by my Mentor and continue to exercise the tools and skills for evaluation and discernment for myself and my relationship with the world I function in, as well as the worlds in motion around me. At times it seems that the world is out to destroy itself, other times it seems to be fighting for survival against the numerous currents. Usually those may usher a change for the greater good and well being of those concerned. Currents that are sometimes initiated by the subconscious portions of the mind seeking a resolution to chaos go on ignored or forcibly suppressed. Ironically, the very changes initiated within a world for the well being of that world are at times fought against the fiercest of all.
Children need to be allowed to cry. No matter what age or gender, they have a place in the world. For too long I have waited to allow those parts of me to come out and play. For long enough I have hidden the shame and guilt of moments that could have been handled in a better way. For far too long has the twelve year old cowered in the corner and the five year old gone unheard, and this year they will be there on Christmas day standing along side the me that is now, watching the sun rise. They will learn from me to grow and trek the mundane world by my side. I will learn to change my world for the better with the lessons they learn in the world we will share.
Blessings to the Children of Children of Men, All of Us!