Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Christmas Greetings

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

December 20, 2007

This essay, Christmas Greetings, is the complete text of my 2007 holiday. wishes sent to one thousand one hundred and sixty five family and friends around the world.

Dear Family and Friends,

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and fabulous holidays.

As you celebrate with your families and friends, may you have an awesome festive season. And especially if you're fortunate enough to have around you young children leading the charge to excitement and wonder, may you revel with them and relish the joy of Life on Earth and everything Christmas promises and stands for.

As I step back and notice what I've just said, I see my words are genuine. They're real, and yet they don't really examine the spirit of this occasion celebrated around the world. My words are tinsel and glitter but not examined. Socrates was right: "The unexamined life is not worth living.".

So I look deeper at the significance of Christmas and the holiday season. And not too deep below the surface, I notice issues and questions.

For many, many people, Jews and Muslims alike for example, Christmas has no real significance. Foisting Christmas on the world as a universal  celebration is not only inaccurate: it's inconsiderate. Ironically, it's contrary to the spirit of Christmas itself. Yet it's rampant.

While I'm totally clear on the crux of what Christmas celebrates, that's not what mostly shows up in the world at this time of year. Mostly what shows up in the world as Christmas is a marketing push like no other at any other time of the year. We're duped and conned - again. Material gifts can't ever come close to what we really, deep in our hearts, want to give to each other and what we want from each other: ourSelves. Really! After the gifts are opened on Christmas morning, do we really behave any differently towards the people in our lives whom we love and who love us? Are we altered forever from that moment on in the way we regard, behave towards, and treasure all human beings?

If we spent half of what we normally spend on gifts, and spent the other half on those less privileged than us, wouldn't that be more in tune with the spirit of Christmas than going to the local Wal~Mart  to buy the latest marked down video game which will end up in a garage sale a few weeks from now?

And the biggest issue for me, the one which just won't go away, is this one: what's the deal with waiting for one day out of three hundred and sixty five days in a year to celebrate love, to celebrate family, even to celebrate Jesus Christ? Aren't they all worth celebrating 24 / 7 / 365?

I don't have the answers. I don't know what's the right way to be about Christmas. I hardly know what's the right way to be about Laurence, the life I seem to be responsible for in the world which I'm imbued with to live and which came with no instruction manual so I have to ongoingly work out what's worthwhile to do with it and discard what's not. I don't know what's right for Life. I hardly know what's the right way to be in my own  life. I seem to be an opening in which the truth can show up and more powerfully go to work. I've discovered mySelf as space, and the questions just flood me asking what's the best way, what's the most appropriate way to utilize this space, this gift, this miracle of life? What will my legacy be, given the raw material God has given me to work with?

This inquiry has brought me full circle, back to the spirit and meaning of Christmas: the birth of the possibility of a life well used and authentically lived. This, I get, is the message of Christmas. This is what Jesus Christ has taught me.

With all that in mind, I wish you everything I wished you in my opening paragraph ... but now unveiled, now fully experienced, now newly examined and totally alive. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holiday.

May 2008 be your best year ever - so far.

With my Love,

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