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Blavatskyan Christmas Tales

Dec 23, 2004 02:13 AM
by Pedro Oliveira

"In our modern times, the bishops and the clergy join
no more with the populace in open carolling and
dancing; and feasts of “fools and asses” are enacted
more in sacred privacy than under the eyes of the
dangerous, argus-eyed reporter. Yet the eating and
drinking festivities are preserved throughout the
Christian world; and, more sudden deaths are doubtless
caused by gluttony and intemperance during the
Christmas and Easter holidays, than at any other time
of the year. Yet, Christian worship becomes every year
more and more a false pretence. The heartlessness of
this lip-service has been denounced innumerable times,
but never, we think, with a more affecting touch of
realism than in a charming dream-tale, which appeared
in the New York Herald about last Christmas. An aged
man, presiding at a public meeting, said he would
avail himself of the opportunity to relate a vision he
had witnessed on the previous night.

. . . He thought he was standing in the pulpit of the
most gorgeous and magnificent cathedral he had ever
seen. Before him was the priest or pastor of the
church, and beside him stood an angel with a tablet
and pencil in hand, whose mission it was to make
record of every act of worship or prayer that
transpired in his presence and ascended as an
acceptable offering to the throne of God. Every pew
was filled with richly-attired worshippers of either
sex. The most sublime music that ever fell on his
enraptured ear filled the air with melody. All the
beautiful ritualistic Church services, including a
surpassingly eloquent sermon from the gifted minister,
had in turn transpired, and yet the recording angel
made no entry in his tablet! The congregation were at
length dismissed by the pastor with a lengthy and
beautifully-worded prayer, followed by a benediction,
and yet the angel made no sign!

. . . Attended still by the angel, the speaker left
the door of the church in rear of the richly-attired
congregation. A poor, tattered castaway stood in the
gutter beside the curbstone, with her pale, famished
hand extended, silently pleading for alms. As the
richly-attired worshippers from the church passed by,
they shrank from the poor Magdalen, the ladies
withdrawing aside their silken, jewel-bedecked robes,
lest they should be polluted by her touch.
. . . Just then an intoxicated sailor came reeling
down the side-walk on the other side. When he got
opposite the poor forsaken girl, he staggered across
the street to where she stood, and, taking a few
pennies from his pocket, he thrust them into her hand,
accompanied with the adjuration, “Here, your poor
forsaken cuss, take this!” A celestial radiance now
lighted up the face of the recording angel, who
instantly entered the sailor’s act of sympathy and
charity in his tablet, and departed with it as a sweat
sacrifice to God.

A concretion, one might say, of the Biblical story of
the judgment upon the woman taken in adultery. Be it
so; yet it portrays with a master hand the state of
our Christian society. According to tradition, on
Christmas Eve the oxen may always be found on their
knees, as though in prayer and devotion; and “there
was a famous hawthorn in the church-yard of
Glastonbury Abbey, which always budded on the 24th,
and blossomed on the 25th of December”; which,
considering that the day was chosen by the Fathers of
the church at random, and that the calendar has been
changed from the old to the new style, shows a
remarkable perspicacity in both the animal and the
vegetable! There is also a tradition of the church,
preserved to us by Olaus, archbishop of Upsala, that,
at the festival of Christmas, “the men living in the
cold Northern parts, are suddenly and strangely
metamorphosed into wolves; and that a huge multitude
of them meet together at an appointed place and rage
so fiercely against mankind, that it suffers more from
their attacks than ever they do from the natural
wolves.” Metaphorically viewed, this would seem to be
more than ever the case with men, and particularly
with Christian nations, now. There seems no need to
wait for Christmas Eve to see whole nations changed
into “wild beasts”—especially in time of war." 

(BCW, vol. II, p. 166)


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