We choose to move toward peace or away from it
I have found that we are either going toward peace or going away from peace. It is sometimes difficult to consistently go toward peace. So, I started looking at the things that take me away from peace and there are many. What is robbing you of your peace this holiday season? Let’s take a look at the traditional Christmas story to find some clues.
The main antagonist in the story is Herod. The literal meaning of Herod is that he is a historical person who was king sometime around the time Jesus was born. On the moral/ psychological level, any king is a symbol for the ego. The ego is our personalized sense of our own identity. Because Herod had a long reign, he symbolizes a firmly established ego. A well-established sense of identity, for us as individuals, is necessary for our higher self to come into expression.
But Herod is egocentric. He is the ego in sense consciousness. Herod represents a narrow, jealous, and destructive consciousness. These traits are usually initiated by fear. Herod is obviously moving away from peace. So what does Herod mean to us personally? Metaphysically, Herod represents anything that takes us away from our peace and our journey to experience the divinity within us.
One of the primary things that takes away our peace is fear: fear of the unknown, fear of loss or failure, fear of not having all the answers, feelings of unworthiness, feeling overwhelmed, feeling fatigued. So how do we make peace through all this? Let’s look to other characters.
The three wise men had faith that their guidance, represented by the star and their astrological calculations, had led them on a long journey – a journey to find the Spirit within. They were moving toward peace within as we do with our spiritual practices. Significantly, only the Magi see the star, because only inner wisdom can form a conviction of the inner divinity.
Luke implies that the shepherds in the Christmas story owned the flock they watched, since he calls it “their” flock. That they leave their flock (their wealth) untended to find the Child clearly indicates the symbolic nature of the story. The shepherds represent the forces within us that protect and guard the valuable human virtues represented by sheep. The shepherds were obviously moving forward with faith and peace as they went to visit the Christ Child.
One purpose of our story is to become aware of the things that take us toward peace, keeping us in focus and moving ever in its direction. Make peace a priority by spending time in prayer and meditation. Follow the guidance we receive like the wise men did. Recognize God as source. Use denials and affirmations to reprogram that army of error thoughts and beliefs. Declare divine order in all situations. Stay alert to what is taking you away from peace and what is moving you toward peace.