Last year at Christmastime, I gave an interactive presentation on exploring the personal meaning of
Peace On Earth to Human Souls of Goodwill
I find this translation from Rudolf Steiner, the most empowering of the individual and the most meaningful in awakening the forces of community. Do you?
Let me give you two contrasting translations,
“Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.” King James version and the one I grew up with.
“…on Earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” New International version
(which I feels leads to war – one group feeling another group is in disfavor and therefore unworthy of the respect and safety of peace)
Whatever translation you feel most comfortable with or most engaged in, I encourage you to seek the deepest personal connection to the declaration. Is this wording the right wording for what lives in your heart?
I thought I would share with all of you the basic questions and thoughts I explored with my audience.
I took them through each word and asked them to meditate on the meaning.
How do you experience “Peace”? How do you experience “Goodwill”?
These are words of great mystery and live beyond personal definiton. What is the thought behind each word?
I led my audience through brief meditations on each word asking them to let the meaning of the word speak to them in their hearts rather than thinking a definition in their heads.
As everyone shared their imaginations of Peace and Goodwill, I captured them on the whiteboard. “Seeing” these heartfelt meanings brought a warming energy to the group.
Perhaps each individual expression of Peace and Goodwill was filled with the resounding voice of an angel. Certainly there was a sense of a host of meaning.
How does Peace live in your soul, your actions, your conversations? How do you practice goodwill. When in the last year have you been the beneficiary of the goodwill of another? I hope this stimulates deep thoughts. This is the time of year when our souls call out for these questions.
Ask your self, your friends, your family members to meditate on these words. What a Christmas gift. Remember these words were spoken to simple shepherds.
I have spent some time considering our Christmas music and the relationship of Christmas carols and songs to each of the six Christmases. In looking at the Christmas of Nativity and the Shepherds and the Kings, I was surprised to see most Christmas music relates to the experience of the Shepherds.
Interestingly, most paintings of the Nativity focus on the Kings.
The shepherds hear the voices of the host of angels. The kings see the Star. Magi share the same root as image. The shepherds and the kings reflect on the two gestures of our brains. The left hemisphere is auditory and analytical and the right hemisphere is visual and intuitive. I see the shepherds as auditory and intuitive and the kings as visual and analytical. I find this fascinating. Do you?
With all my heart, I wish you peace and goodwill.