My New Year 2018 Message to my Frienemies: Fireworks, Thankfulness and Forgiveness

First of all I would like to send to all my readers all my best wishes for a very happy and prosperous New Year 2018. I am actually celebrating it in Mauritius, and as usual I turn emotional when I hear all those firecrackers at midnight, as soon as we enter into the New Year. In several parts of the World, especially some public and popular places per country, there are some special events which happen for the New Year with the festival of firecrackers. Everybody knows about the firecrackers in Sydney in Australia, the Big Ben in United Kingdom, Times Square in New York, Berlin in Germany, in China, etc. But what is common with those parts of the world, as I said before, is that those fireworks are organized in the most popular public places of the country. In Mauritius though, this is not the case. In Mauritius, the whole island is illuminated and animated with the sound and light of the colorful firecrackers. I never wondered what it looked like to experience fireworks in Mauritius on video, since I have been growing up in that culture since I was born as a pure Mauritian. But during the passage from year 2017 to year 2018, while I was celebrating it with my in-laws, I saw a Drone flying high in the sky. I didn’t really understand what it was since I am not at all technology connected, but then while doing some researches on YouTube, I saw that beautiful video from the sky filming the firecrackers in Rose Hill in the district of Plaines Wilhems, in the Centre of the island. Hereunder a look about the firecrackers seen from the sky, a video which I found really beautiful and which made me proud of being a Mauritian:

Each time I see firecrackers, I don’t know why but I cannot help myself becoming emotional. This morning then, I wanted to do a few researches about the firecrackers and its History. In this article from the Ancient Origins, here are a few extracts which I found very interesting about the firecrackers:

By the 11th century there were gunpowder weapons in China and in the early 12th century, the Chinese used firecrackers and fireworks (yen huo) to celebrate a visit of the Chinese emperor. Chinese fireworks included rockets (or “earth rats” because they were fired over the ground) and wheels, coloured smoke-balls, crackers and fireworks attached to kites. They all made a “glorious noise”.

The second paragraph explains a few historic details about the usage of firecrackers and its insertion in the European continent and culture and in which context it’s used, but one of the most interesting ones mentioned in that paragraph is the festival of Nuremberg in Ancient Germany, with an illustration a man in a bright costume wearing a smoking hat on the head and an artichoke in the hand spreading firecrackers. within the framework of the Schembart Festival of the 16th century, which was considered as controversial by some politicians who were offended by the Schembart participants who were doing some pranks at them with their costumes.

In Mauritius, one of the reasons why firecrackers are important in our culture dates from an Ancient Chinese Folklore, which is the legend of Nian, a monster who manifested before the beginning of Spring in China and who devastated humanity and all what it could destroy. The only way to repulse that monster was to light firecrackers. Since now for the Chinese Spring Festival, the folklore keeps on going on every year during the Chinese Spring Festival and was also adapted within the Mauritian culture, since we still believe nowadays that lightning firecrackers at midnight for the New Year removes all the negativity of the past year and welcomes the positiveness of the forthcoming new year. But there is also a much less known but very interesting festival which welcomes the venue of firecrackers, the festival of Thrissur pooram in Kerala, India, described in Wikipedia as “an annual Hindu temple festival held in Kerala, India. It is held at the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur every year on the Pooram day – the day when the moon rises with the Pooram star in the Malayalam Calendar month of Medam“, the Medam being from the 16th April to the 15th May of every year in the Western Calendar.

Seeing all those details, I meditated a lot on the effect of the fireworks and how it made me at the same time positive and emotional each time that we enter a brand new year. I am not the kind of the person who believes in New Year Resolutions, but this year I decided to forgive after such a long time.I decided to make of the New Year 2018 my special Year of Forgiveness, which however has nothing to do with the definition of the Year of Forgiveness explained in Christianity. I was in a mood today where after a long time, I decided to forgive all my enemies and frenemies, because they all destroyed me, but in return, without expecting it, they opened for me new doors and new opportunities that were offered to me and which they would never expect me to embrace one day. There is especially a quote which I really appreciated and which motivated me about the year of forgiveness:

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So meditating on that quote, I would like to list the categories of people and some specific people whom I would like to forgive and let go this year and to wish them a very happy New Year 2018 with a sincere heart. Saying that, I would like to dedicate an old song from Katy Perry, for which the lyrics and the video clip completely inspired me to write that blog post. I think that you have all seen the music video of Fireworks, where there were so many broken people including Katy Perry herself, who decided to get away from the past and to live their lives anew by spreading fireworks from their chests? But here-under I am sharing with you all the lyric video of Fireworks, since the images and lyrics are really inspirational and would be a perfect New Year Message:

One of the extracts which especially touched my heart says, I quote,

May be a reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt your heart will glow
And when it’s time you’ll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

Then I came to understand that the reason why all doors were closed for me was that I was unable to forgive those who hurt me so much, and which made that I keep all the time living in the past instead of living in the present or in the future. Also, this year I decided to forgive, to let go and to take a new departure, since I turned 37 years old in 2017 and since in this blog post, I obtained the number one as per described in numerology as the number of a new beginning in my life.

I decided, first of all, to forgive my toxic parents, a narcissistic mother and a passive and absent father. Thanks to the abuse that they did on me, they opened the door they would never expect me to experiment one day by marrying someone who doesn’t match at all with their choice, but which is giving me a satisfactory life where I am not missing anything, where I am slowly but surely and carefully building my social network and life in real life like in virtual, and where I drastically changed for the best even though it has been and it is still an extreme hard work. I decided to forgive my mother, who thought that by giving me her name Uma in addition to birth, she would make of me her photocopy and dirty Maha Shakti’s name and reputation under her Kali Avatar in her negative aspect. Instead, she made me discovering that Uma was a sacred name and that each woman should be like a Shakti in her home and a fighter at the image of a Jansi Ki Rani, as per described in a very beautiful speech made in Creole during the elections of year 2014 in Mauritius, where the speaker, Sandhya Bhoygah, was severely denouncing the lack of respect of our ex-Prime Minister against young girls and some women of the country, but also how, for money and power, some women ashamed and tarnished the Mauritian womanhood under the influence of that controversial Prime Minister. When I came to konw about the value of my name Uma, I decided to thank my mother for having given me that name, and I decided to forgive her since she gave me an opportunity to give to that name the blessed image of Goddess Parvati and no more the destructive and negative Tantric aspect of Maha Kali that my mother used to worship to destroy people.

I would like to forgive my sister-in-law, who is my husband’s young brother’s wife. She is the one who is behind so many controversial divisions she created together with my mother to endanger my marriage preparations with my husband, since she never wanted me to enter the family and instead preferred having her elder sister to enter into the family at my place. For so many years she destroyed a lot of things in the family and imposed her conditions despite being a daughter-in-law, but without realizing it, she helped me into getting away from my toxic parents forever, especially my mother, who was her number one complicit into dividing both my husband and me, and who now turned into one of my sister-in-law’s worst enemies. Thanks to her controversies, she encouraged both my husband and I to take our distance from not only my family but also my in-laws, not only morally, but even geographically, since my husband got new and better job opportunities overseas and since it allowed us to have a much better life than we would have surrounded all the time with my in-laws in Mauritius. Because of her divisions, she encouraged us to go, and this for better horizons, and for that not only do I thank her, but I also forgive her and wish her a Happy New Year.

I would like to thank and to forgive some of the in-laws who hated me and who still hate me since I come from a very rich and influential family and refused to understand that money doesn’t buy happiness. Those same people who hated me today are still the same ones to whom I am opening the door of my house and inviting to my table together with my family to eat and to drink. Those same people also hate both me and my mother-in-law since we are both cousins and since my marriage with my husband is an inbred one and made them gossiping that my mother-in-law would prefer me to my sister-in-law since we are cousins. But the fact that I left the country and gave high space for my sister-in-law and her family got everyone disconcerted my in-laws and made some of them discovering my sister-in-law’s true colors, but also my own true colors as someone humble who understands life despite my fortune and who understands the true meaning of family rules. For having misjudging both me and my mother-in-law for what we are not, I would like to thank and to forgive them since those same people belong to the category of dividers, the kind of people who don’t like unity and who love messing everywhere thanks to their short mind and gossips.

I would also like to thank another category of people who confuse division and diversity and who don’t understand the concept of unity. Among them there was someone whose ego was so strong that he felt suddenly endangered when he came to discover that he had a tough adversary. But that person who felt in danger wanted to monopolize everything and to be the only perfect Mauritian everyone should follow, an attention seeker and a narcissistic and divisive person who never wanted to give anyone the chance to be oneself but who wanted to brainwash everyone to remold them only at his image. Thanks to that narcissist, whom I came to discover the true colors and whom I had serious troubles with a couple of years ago, I came to acknowledge his famous adversary and that this adversary was someone who really understood the concept of the “we” instead of the “I” since he believes in unity within diversity and not unity within division.

I would like to thank and forgive some people among my in-laws who divided me from my family even though my family was wrong in a lot of aspects in their relationship with my in-laws and with myself, and didn’t behave properly towards my in-laws nor towards myself. I would like to thank and forgive them because though I kept silent and cried secretly all those years for having been parted away from my family because of those in-laws’ gossips and pressures, those same people indirectly taught me the famous law of karma which mentions that what comes round goes round, since at their turn they are experimenting in their own lives the same sorrows they wished to me, but which me in return, I never wished them, even in my worst moments of anger and sadness and despite all the bitter tears of blood I have been spreading because of them, since it was MY DECISION to stay away from those family members of mine who failed in having a good relationship with my in-laws, and NOT MY IN-LAWS to decide whether I should have stayed away from my family, especially my parents, even though I recognize that I have toxic parents and come from a dysfunctional and messy family.

I would like also to thank and to forgive all those who refused to help me when I was in need, those who were absent when I needed them the most, and the ones who “helped” me in disguise of a “coup de pied” (foot kick in the ass!) instead of a “coup de main” (helping hand), and who were people who pretended to help me but who were making me passing for an incapable in front of everyone, who kept on underestimating me all the time on my capacities and responsibilities, who kept on criticizing me and seeing everything wrong in all what I was saying and doing, and those same people who helped me to get all the awards and honors from their surroundings and making me passing for a zero. Thanks to them, I moved my way away from them, fought very hard most of the time on my own to be able to do something and turned slowly but surely from the handicapped caterpillar caught prisoner in its cocoon into a radiant butterfly. There was a blog post where I wrote about someone who wanted to “help” a caterpillar getting away from its cocoon instead of letting Mother Nature doing her job. By helping the caterpillar, when it went out of the cocoon it turned frail and was unable to grow up healthily, and it died. This was that kind of help “coup de pied” that I have exactly had in the past, but God was great to me and healed me with time, and I am slowly but surely recovering from my injuries of that toxic help and turning little by little into the radiant butterfly I want to become since I moved away from those so-called helpers and imposed my law, rights and conditions on them bravely and courageously.

I would like to thank and to forgive all those incapable and toxic teachers at school, in university and in real life who mislead me, since thanks to them, I came to understand that I could count only on myself and not on anyone else, and since they arose my curiosity on all the things I said and encouraged me to justify their words by doing my own researches myself and proving them wrong through my results. One of 6 the worst teachers I have experienced in life was a teacher I had when I was 6 years old and who always bullied me and menaced to put me as the last child of the class since I was shy and lacked confidence with myself. I succeeded into telling her my four truths before I took part in my final baccalaureate exams, and kept grudge against her for years, but today I decided to forgive her and to thank her for her bullies, since she contributed into spoiling her own reputation by her own fault because of her ego and arrogance, and since she made me discovering that I wasn’t finally that idiot, since I have a true thirst for culture and knowledge today 🙂

I would like to thank also all those who bullied me since I was born, either in my family, at school, in university, in church or any other kinds of society I evolved since I was born, since they always made fun of me and mocked me, but are being banged by Karma in return for some of them in their own lives, or are today discovering how, from their ugly duckling, I turned into the swan that was hiding in me and am doing my way for turning into a unicorn for having a personality of my own, regardless to the bullies, mocking and negative critics and judgments from others and which today are making me completely indifferent towards them, and more and more confident and in love with myself. Thank you so much Sinon Loresca Jr. for that beautiful lesson of using the bullies from others against you to fall in love with yourself and with life!

I would like to thank and forgive all the people who also discriminated me at the profit of other people, and who belong to the same category of people who let me down when I needed help at the weakest part of my life. They also belong to the category of people who will reject you because you are different from the rest of the gang and who use your difference for making of you the black sheep of a group or the ugly duckling of the group. But thanks to their discrimination, those people taught me that they didn’t reject me because I wasn’t good enough for them, but they taught me that they rejected me because I was different and that there were other opportunities which were better for me and for which they would never fit in, and which explains that every human should have the unicorn spirit for which you are born original and shouldn’t die as a copy.

Finally, I would like to thank all the elegant monsters who showed themselves with masks of hypocrisy towards me but who finally showed me their true colors at the example of that individual who made me discovery his adversary who believed in unity within diversity, or those who pretended to befriend me, but who acted as frienemies to me and stabbed me at the back shamelessly behind their ugly masks full of heavy make-up. Most of them unfortunately are part of my own family, who fished a lot of information from me when my relationship with my parents torn apart after my marriage, not because they wanted to support me, but because they pretended to befriend me only to collect all information from me to share them back to my parents since they were totally complicit with my parents. Those same elegant monsters remind me a lot about Rachel from the movie “My Cousin Rachel” or the sulfurous Catherine Tramel from “Basic Instinct 2” and I came to discover from those so-called relatives that they were all complexed and mentally sick people and minds hiding behind elegance and heavy make-up.

Also, to all those whom I thanked, forgave and wished Happy New Year 2018… Let’s begin that brand new year… And let the game of karma start 🙂 Tchin Tchin!

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The shelling of the Story of Nativity and its incredible coincidences with Paganism and Ancient Egypt

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As I am a big fan of Ancient Origins, I subscribed myself to a website which is called “Ancient Origins” and I wanted to seize the opportunity of the Christmas festivities to reconstitute the origins of Christmas through a blog post recapitulating several interesting facts that I have found on the origins of Christmas thanks to that website. All of us know that Christmas, for Christians, means the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ whereas for non Christians, it’s a very special tradition made with Christmas tree, Santa Claus and His Santa Helpers, the arrival of Winter, good food during family meetings, distribution of gifts to your loved ones and especially to children and a special thought especially for the vulnerable society including the poor, the elderly and the disabled among all of them. But do we REALLY know the origins of Christmas? Is Christmas REALLY linked with Jesus Christ’s birth, since there were some sources stipulating that he was not born in December? It would be interesting for us to discover more about the tradition of Christmas. I did several researches on Ancient Origins, and I would like to propose you a recapitulation of some interesting points to remember regarding the Christmas celebration.

It would take me a long expose in that blog to describe Christmas, since there were so many interesting stuffs I discovered in those sites and which I won’t be able to post in one single blog post. This one, for example, turns around the Nativity and the Birth of Jesus Christ, and what we should understand behind it and as per the interpretation of the Holy Bible in comparison with the interpretation of the Ancient Times. if I would like to write that blog post also, it’s because according to some press articles I have discovered thanks to a friend of mine, several countries in Europe banned and removed the traditional Christmas crib, which is a part of the tradition in most of those countries which follow Roman Catholicism. Because of the increasing number of migrants invading those countries and unfortunately applying their own rules instead of respecting and applying the rules of their new homeland, those countries completely turned upside down, mostly by the fault of their government who tolerates those migrants much more than their own citizens. I hope that through that blog post, I can contribute into teaching and reminding to the maximum people the true roots of Christmas and its place within religion, not only within Christianity, but also in all other religions of the world.

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First of all, where do the very first origins of Christmas come from? This article is first of all proposing to us an interesting book to purchase and to read from author Joseph F. Kelly, entitled “The Origins of Christmas”, where we may find some interesting stuffs in other articles about it until we acknowledge containing of that book. In this one for example, a British physician, chose to celebrate Christmas as per the Medieval Times. Here is an extract explaining the importance of the pilgrimage of the Medieval Travelers during Christmas time which is worth to be meditate about: “Pilgrimages were sometimes local affairs, or they could be epic voyages across land and sea. These trips, sometimes dangerous, were taken up as a test of the pilgrim’s faith. Medieval pilgrimages were a way of life, and initially an involved practice that took travelers to Christian sites connected to the life of Jesus—especially Holy Land destinations such as Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem, some 3,000 miles (4800 kilometers) away from Europe. As time went on, pilgrimages were done closer to home to see relics and places of martyrs and saints, becoming the first holidays (holy days) taken by Medieval people.

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His pilgrimage is very original and completely differentiates from the idea that we all have regarding the nativity. We all know about the Nativity scene described as per the Holy Bible, when Mother Mary gave birth to our Lord Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem. When Jesus was born, there was a shining star in the sky that the Shepherds saw and which was announcing the birth of the Messiah. After Jesus was born, three Kings saw the little angel and bent down in front of Him with precious gifts such as myrrh, cherubim and seraph. This is the scene that is reconstituted every year in most part of Roman Catholic countries.

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However, this article gives a completely different description about that Holy Star, which completely contradicts the Nativity scene that we all know, and considered as the celebration of the Winter Solstice: “Rooted in the cyclical pagan year, Christmas can be linked back to the celebration of the Winter Solstice around December 21st, a time when the night was at its longest, and the coming of the “light” was celebrated and revered. New hope, the Sacred Fire, the Light of the World, all represented the end point of one natural cycle, and beginning of another. The Solstice may have been the longest and darkest of days and nights, but from that point on, there would be more light and the promise of a coming spring.” Another article stipulates about the mystery of that Nativity star. According to the Holy Bible, the star guided the three wise men to the manger where Jesus was born. The Star was in the East Side, whereas the three wise men were taking a South route to Jerusalem. And what was strange was that the Star was guiding the three wise men to the South, whereas it was a star of the East. How could it be? In that article, one paragraph could perhaps explain that phenomenon:

If Matthew’s wise men actually undertook a journey to search for a newborn king, the bright star didn’t guide them; it only told them when to set out. And they wouldn’t have found an infant swaddled in a manger. After all, the baby was already eight months old by the time they decoded the astrological message they believed predicted the birth of a future king. The portent began on April 17 of 6 BC (with the heliacal rising of Jupiter that morning, followed, at noon, by its lunar occultation in the constellation Aries) and lasted until December 19 of 6 BC (when Jupiter stopped moving to the west, stood still briefly, and began moving to the east, as compared with the fixed background stars). By the earliest time the men could have arrived in Bethlehem, the baby Jesus would likely have been at least a toddler.

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What about the birth of Jesus? As per the Holy Bible, Mother Mary was still Virgin when she was pregnant of Jesus Christ, after the Archangel Gabriel came to her and spread a message to Her regarding the birth of the Lord. The word Virgin was always interpreted as someone who never had any sexual intercourse with anyone in the past, including one’s marital partner. However, the paragraphs here-under give a completely different version of the interpretation of the word Virgin, and describe the Mother Mary in a completely different personality, as someone who doesn’t need a lover nor a partner besides her, who is mentally strong and totally independent, in total contrast with the Virgin Mary known in the Christianity:

The greatest misunderstanding in the Virgin Mary’s story comes from a mistake in translation. It is common for translations to be based on former translations and the meaning behind words is often decoded by specialists in specific languages. Moreover, many translations were made of this story based on dictionaries created by specialists in Latin – which is the key to the mystery behind the word ”virgin”.

The word ”virgin” comes from the Latin ”virgo”, which means ”maiden” or a sexually inexperienced woman. This word was the basis for the stories about Mary as a woman who had never had intercourse with a man.

However, historically the term virgin meant ”one-in-herself” – a woman who didn’t need a man. It didn’t necessarily mean that she didn’t have one, however. This interpretation better represents a woman who was independent, financially free, mentally strong, and not overly dependent on her lover or partner.

In ancient times, women were sometimes believed to be very strongly attached or even mentally addicted to their first sexual partner. Therefore, to avoid this problem, an ancient society of the Mediterranean area (and also other parts of the Middle East and Persia) decided to create a custom which became a part of religious ceremonies.

It was once common for women in these locations to go to the temples of Ishtar or Aphrodite, for example, to have sexual intercourse with the priest. They could never meet again, but this act, which was seemingly approved of by the goddess of the temple, allowed the woman to avoid becoming too attached to her lover. The visit in the temple was usually a suggestion given by her family and it was not seen as a betrayal or scandal.

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Another article stipulates another coincidence with the Winter Solstice, alike the case of the Star, assimilating Jesus Christ to the pagan Green Man. Who was that famous Green Man? Here is the answer below from that article about the Pagan myth of the Green Man:

The legend of the Goddess and Green Man then skips to the Vernal Equinox, when the Green Man is ready to finally emerge from the womb of his mother. This is the time when the “male” light equals the “female” darkness, and their male-female polarity fully unites to produce a fresh infusion of life force to cover and fertilize the land. The fetal body of the Green Man is now ready to push out of the womb of his mother Earth in the form of the new tender sprouts of spring. Soon, his annual resurrection will be complete. This will occur on or around the same day as our Easter, a modern holiday associated with the much more recent resurrection of another Son of a virgin. 

The legend of the Green Man then covers the hot summer months, when the Son rapidly matures as the rapidly maturing vegetative growth of nature. He matures so fast, in fact, that the Green Man not only becomes One with his Father in Heaven, but he even mates with and inseminates his own mother. Their co-habitation produces a second infusion of the fructifying life force on Earth and manifests as a second proliferation of vegetation and accompanying harvest. Ultimately, this event would serve to hasten the Green Man’s demise, and soon he would die again with the decaying vegetation and the falling of leaves of autumn. The cause of his death? The sacerdotal interpreters of his legend would later assert that it occurred because of the sins of humanity. It was believed through original sin humanity had given up not only its own right, but the right of all life on Earth, to achieve eternal life.

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The Nativity Scene always represented Jesus as a newborn baby in a manger, surrounded by His parents Joseph and Mary, the donkey Mary was riding, a few animals and the Three Kings. But some sources mentioned that this Nativity scene wasn’t the first one. This article for example revealed the existence of a Nativity Scene which happened 3000 years ago before Jesus’s birth. By coincidence, the Nativity Scene, which was an Egyptian scene and the oldest one of the world, showed the same details that we find in the nativity scene that everyone knows, with a man and a woman surrounding a newborn baby, and a couple of animals around them. However, there were not the Three Kings. What if the nativity scene that everyone knows could have been inspired from that one from Egypt to represent Jesus’s birth? And another coincidence is that after Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary had to seek refuge in Egypt since the King Herod menaced to kill all male children under age of 2 since one of them would be the new Messiah at his place. Is there a link between those two nativities? In that thesis, here is the conclusion formulated by the author regarding the possible link between the Egyptian and Christian nativity scenes, which is worth to be considered:

To ignore in the analysis of the ultimate “King of Kings” these important Egyptian divine-birth scenes – which feature prominently in the human psyche of the time vis-à-vis important rulers – ranks as an egregious error. As are numerous other aspects of Egyptian religion and culture relevant to the study of Christian origins, the Egyptian birth scenes are highly germane to the study of the Christian nativity. The Egyptian religion remained a huge force to be reckoned with by the time of the Christian effort, and it simply would not have been ignored – indeed, it was not.

Prior to the creation of the gospels, the Egyptian religion had long spread far beyond the confines of Egypt, and there were Egyptian tutors at Rome, teaching the religion to emperors during the first century, along with shrines to Egyptian gods in as farflung places as Macedonia and Great Britain. Isis was hugely popular around the Roman Empire at the time, but long previously there had been in Israel Egyptian forces who left vestiges of their worship over the centuries. In a thorough analysis, we need to factor in all of this Egyptian influence and the proximity of this massively impressive culture to the area of the gospel tale.

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Another character who should not be ignored either, the character of Joseph. This article simply describes Joseph as Mary’s husband but the description of his character in that extract is very interesting:

If a type is to be sought in the character of Joseph, it is that of a simple, honest, hard-working, God-fearing man, who was possessed of large sympathies and a warm heart. Strict in the observance of Jewish law and custom, he was yet ready when occasion arose to make these subservient to the greater law of the Spirit. Too practical to possess any deep insight into the Divine mysteries or eternal significance of events which came within his knowledge (compare Luke 2:50), he was quick to make answer to what he perceived to be the direct call of God (compare Matthew 1:24). Originally a “just man” (the King James Version), the natural clemency within his heart prevailed over mere justice, and by the promptings of the Holy Spirit that clemency was transferred into a strong and enduring love (compare Matthew 1:24). Joseph is known to us only as a dim figure in the background of the Gospel narratives, yet his whole-hearted reconciliation to Mary, even in the face of possible slanderings by his neighbors, his complete self-sacrifice, when he left all and fled into Egypt to save the infant Jesus, are indicative that he was not unworthy to fulfill the great trust which was imposed upon him by the Eternal Father.

This character should not be confused with another Joseph featuring in the Old Testament, and who is known for his coat of many colors. By coincidence though, we find in his story another link with Egypt, since in this synopsis, Joseph is described as Jacob’s son and was the only good son of Jacob whereas all his other brothers were rogues. They wanted to get rid of Joseph since he was loyal to their father and always informed his father when his brothers were misbehaving. Joseph was then sent as a slave to Egypt and though being a hardworking and honest person at the service of the Pharaoh, the Pharaoh’s wife fell for Joseph and attracted him, which made the Pharaoh angry and sent Joseph to prison. While in prison, he was having some strange dreams about famine which would ruin Egypt for seven years, since he had seven dreams. Those dreams he had came from the power of his technicolor coat, which had some magical powers, and the Pharaoh decided to give Joseph a second chance thanks to his dream interpretations and to nominate him as a government worker, with the responsibility of storing food for the hard times. The coincidence is that, as well as that Joseph had some strange dreams about famine in Egypt during his exile there, Joseph as husband of Mary also had dreams through archangel Gabriel announcing the birth of the Savior. The second coincidence was that Joseph husband of Mary had to seek refuge in Egypt with Mary during King Herod’s menace of killing all those children under 2, and that they had to wait for King Herod’s death before bringing back Jesus to Israel.

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Here is another detail which should not be forgotten: the fact that Joseph and Mary had no place to stay to deliver the baby. Some interpretations mentioned that everyone rejected them and refused to give them hospitality. However, there is an article which denies that fact and which mentions instead that all homes were too busy to welcome them: To be “turned away” is not really the same as being “rejected.” The inns were full. There wasn’t a value judgment involved on the part of the innkeepers; they simply had no room. I think Luke adds this detail to emphasize the deceptively lowly birth of Jesus. Metaphysically, it suggests that we can’t expect the world around us to acknowledge the birth of Christ awareness in us. In a world busy with its own priorities, a spiritual birth may seem insignificant. But we know how important it is. I’m sure Mary and Joseph felt no sense of rejection or negative judgment. They were grateful and appreciative for the healthy birth. And, as is always the case when we are One with the divine, it happened at the perfect time and place. This explanation is worth being the subject of another debate regarding the difference between to be turned away and to be rejected, and which may be the subject of another blog post later.

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Finally, regarding those three Magi who came to know about Christ’s birth by following the star, there are not really some concrete explanations which could justify their knowledge about Jesus’s birth. But the article here shows us a very good lesson about those Wise Men. Here is an extract which is worth to be explained about them:

With these prophesies now fulfilled, it is easy for us to look back and understand the Scripture that revealed Jesus’ time and place of birth.  However, we know that hindsight is always clearer than foresight, so it causes us to wonder how the Wise Men/Magi could have understood the prophecies. 

The Bible does not explicitly tell us, but it is clear that the wise men did understand them well enough to know to follow “His star” and to believe that this Child was the promised King of the Jews (the Promised Messiah).  Perhaps Daniel had opened the Scriptures to the magi of his time.  Perhaps through the Scriptures and Daniel’s testimony, these men came to fear the Lord and we know that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov 1:7) and “the beginning of wisdom” (Prov 9:10).  This “fear” is a reverence, respect, and trust of the Lord and His revealed will.

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The conclusion of that article is also worth to be considered and meditated about: The Christmas lesson that we can learn from the Wise Men/Magi is that we, too, must trust in what God has said in His Word.  He gives us wisdom, just as He gave it to the Magi.  The Magi were Wise Men who believed God and His Word and acted accordingly.  Christmas is a wonderful time to reflect on the greatest gift God gave to mankind when He sent His son into the world.  It is a great time to examine our hearts and ask ourselves if we are wise men?  Before the Christmas celebration, I remember I shared a Christmas greeting to a friend of mine, who is at the Head of a local NGO in my country, and who very often organizes some charity activities. Among them, they regularly organize distribution of clothes to the poor, and when I wished him Merry Christmas, I assimilated the act of kindness and generosity of his NGO members to the one of the Three Wise Men towards Jesus, since thanks to their generosity, Jesus became a Master for the Universe, and that regarding that NGO, through their same generosity towards the poor, they can rise today a next Messiah for our country, why not?

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In conclusion, even though there are links of those Nativity scenes connected with Paganism and Ancient Egypt, it’s a proof that everything connects, and the sole message behind those connections is that regardless to the times, culture, religion or era, at any time a Messiah can take birth and be an inspiration for the world, thanks to the sharing and caring he or she will be given by some generous people of different walks of life. My friend posted something very interesting on his social platforms: Happy Birthday Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Isaac Newton and of course, Jesus. Merry Christmas. I’m thankful to my friend for having posted that on his wall. Everyone knows about Jesus, but what about those other people? Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is India’s Former Prime Minister and who turned 93 years old this year, was known for having brought 5 major changes in India, which include the construction of roads connecting Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai and known as the Golden Quadrilateral, for the Reining of the Fiscal profligacy, the Telecom revolution, the Sharva Shiksha Abhiyan which was a social scheme to promote education for non scholarised children and the privatisation of some sectors. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the founder of Pakistan and this article describes his greatest achievement of having found the nation of Pakistan: The political insight and wisdom that the Quaid demonstrated in achieving a homeland on the argument of Muslims being a separate nation has yet to be fully grasped. In this regard, I have yet to come across a more comprehensive tribute to the Quaid’s visionary leadership than what renowned historian Stanley Wolpert wrote in his famous book ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’: “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” Sir Isaac Newton was a key figure into the Scientific Revolution, which is described in Wikipedia as “a concept used by historians to describe the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematicsphysicsastronomybiology (including human anatomy) and chemistry transformed the views of society about nature.” Sir Isaac Newton was especially known for his law of gravitation stating that “a particle attracts every other particle in the universe using a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.” What is very interesting is that those four people were born on 25th December, though some statements still cannot retrace if Jesus Christ was exactly born on the 25th December, but what those four people have in common is that they are all four strong change makers and sources of inspiration for the world according to their respective achievements, all of them coming from different eras of time. Who knows if they are incarnations of each other as well? Unfortunately no sources stipulate about that possibility, but one thing is sure, they made of the 25th December a very special day for the world as true visionaries of our humanity.

New Year Eve: Remembering its values through Ancient Times and a short Catholic tradition called St Sylvester Day

As most of you know it well, everybody celebrates the New Year Eve also known as the St Sylvester day. But has any of you tried to know the link between the New Year Eve and St Sylvester? Frankly speaking, it’s only now that I thought about it and decided to do some researches early on that morning of the 01st January.

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According to that article, “Little is known about Sylvester’s life. His tenure as pope took place during the reign of the Roman emperorConstantine I. Legend claims that Sylvester played an active role in the conversion of Constantine to Christianity, buthistorians reject this tale. As Pope Sylvester witnessed the divisions between Christians caused by the rise ofArianism, a doctrine concerning the nature of Christ, he sent two representatives to the Council of Nicea. Convenedby Emperor Constantine, the Council debated and rejected Arianism. His feast day was established in 1227 by PopeGregory IX. At least one writer has suggested that his feast day was placed on December 31 for symbolic reasons.Just as December 31 ushers in a new year, so, too, did the conversion of the emperor Constantine usher in a newepoch in the history of Christianity.

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But what should  be more interesting to know is about the New Year Eve History itself. In an article retracing the history of the New Year Eve, it’s a phenomenon which appeared 2000 years BC whereas the 01st January celebration appears only as a new phenomenon: “The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice

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There are several versions of the New Year celebration quoted in that article, but the most prominent one is about when Julius Caesar included the 01st January as the first day of the year. I was amazed to read that according to the ancient Roman Calendar before Julius Caesar’s decision, the years were made of only 10 months, starting as from the 01st of March. Then, as per that extract regarding the insertion of January the 01st, “In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a vast improvement on the ancient Roman calendar, which was a lunar system that had become wildly inaccurate over the years. The Julian calendar decreed that the new year would occur with January 1, and within the Roman world, January 1 became the consistently observed start of the new year.” The 01st January celebration though, was abolished during the Middle Ages, since it was being considered as a Pagan and Unchristian celebration, and the New Year celebration then coincided together with the birth of Jesus Christ on the 25th December. But little by little, the tradition was restored and adapted through the years as a celebration separated from Christmas, by the Gregorian Calendar.

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But now, another question that I am asking myself also while writing those words: Was New Year eve celebrated in Ancient times? The answer is a medley of Yes and No. Yes, it was celebrated in Ancient times, but not in the same way as we celebrate it today, with the traditional firecrackers, huge parties until late in the night at home, in restaurants or in the streets, good food, alcohol, etc. Here is an extract of this article showing what the celebration of the New Year represents in some of the Ancient times, especially in the Babylonian era: “The earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal equinox—the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness—heralded the start of a new year. They marked the occasion with a massive religious festival called Akitu (derived from the Sumerian word for barley, which was cut in the spring) that involved a different ritual on each of its 11 days. In addition to the new year, Atiku celebrated the mythical victory of the Babylonian sky god Marduk over the evil sea goddess Tiamat and served an important political purpose: It was during this time that a new king was crowned or that the current ruler’s divine mandate was symbolically renewed.” And I have seen some pictures, while looking for an illustration for my blog post, revealing that the Akitu is still celebrated in some parts of the world as per demonstrated in that article.

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But in some other parts of the world, the New Year celebration was made in different ways, either for religious purposes or as a pagan celebration, at the example of Ancient Greece and Ancient Roman Times, which were two contrasting ways of celebrating the New Year. According to that article, “In Athens, however, there was an epigraph found reading of a religious ceremony that used to take place on the beginning of the New Year, or better said on the last day of the outgoing year, which involved only a small number of people. The celebration was a sacrifice of the outgoing officials to Zeus the Savior and Athena the Savior, which aimed at ensuring the blessings and favor of the two gods for the coming new year. It was not until ancient Roman times and while Rome grew in power, that the New Year festivities began to become extremely popular. The celebration known as the Saturnalia, a time of revelings, drinking bouts, orgies and human sacrifice in honor of god Saturn, was instituted as the festival of January 1st by Julius Caesar in 46BC upon deciding to adopt the Julian calendar. The popularity of the celebration was spread in all corners of the Roman Empire and continued with minor local and time alterations to integrate in the customs of all peoples within the Empire’s boundaries, including ancient Greece.

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Now, you will find strange why I am making a history of the New Year Eve among Ancient times with the way we are celebrating it, won’t you? Did you see the picture I have inserted above that paragraph in my blog post with that quote from Mark Twain, where you do the good resolutions and after one week, send them back to hell? The way I demonstrated the history of New Year during the Ancient Times is to show you that nowadays the humanity is celebrating the New Year mostly based on the Julian Calendar adapted by Julius Caesar, and also on the Ancient Roman Empire tradition made with revelations, orgies, human sacrifices to the God Saturn, etc. In Mauritius, the tradition of animal sacrifice to celebrate the New Year still exists in several Hindu Families, where on the 02nd January, they make an animal sacrifice as a yearly promise by killing a goat and after that, preparing the goat in some special meals. That tradition is more and more lost within the years according to my personal observations as an urban Mauritian, but is still practiced within rural Hindu families of the country, who kept their traditions in the total respect. The orgies, revelations, alcohol consumption in the Roman Era are also adapted not only in Mauritius but even worldwide in several parts of the world except in Muslim countries, where public alcohol consumption is forbidden. Unfortunately, what is sad is when you see how partying heavily for the New Year brings the population into some deceitful consequences: Lots of accidents in the streets mostly caused by huge alcohol consumption, crimes, fights between people partying during revelations made again under influence of alcohol, etc. Alcohol being the worst enemy for the New Year party, during which there are no limits imposed since it’s the very last day of the year.

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But the most prominent thought I had since the New Year Eve 2016 was about the importance of wishing Happy New Year. Why to wish Happy New Year? What is the need to make some new resolutions for the forthcoming new Year, for afterwards forgetting them and going back into our old bad habits? What is the need of wishing Happy New Year to everyone, including the ones whom you blame and dislike, or those who are your worst enemies, for after this starting again to blame them for the rest of the year? Personally, even though I wished Happy New Year to some of my in-laws, to my husband, to my son and to my LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Google+ contacts, personally I am very pessimistic when it comes on the importance of the New Year wishes, which I find personally useless and hypocrite, since they have no meaning. I was captivated by an extract of that article about the meaning of Happy New Year. The first paragraph from Albert Einstein captivated me the most: “When Albert Einstein’s good friend Michele Besso died in 1955, just a few weeks before Einstein’s own death, Einstein wrote a letter to Besso’s family in which he put forward a scientist’s consolation: “This is not important. For us who are convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.” The idea that time is an illusion is an old one, predating any Times Square ball drop or champagne celebrations. It reaches back to the days of Heraclitus and Parmenides, pre-Socratic thinkers who are staples of introductory philosophy courses. Heraclitus argued that the primary feature of the universe is that it is always changing. Parmenides, foreshadowing Einstein, countered by suggesting that there was no such thing as change. Put into modern language, Parmenides believed the universe is the set of all moments at once. The entire history of the universe simply is.” Personally, despite being religious, I fully agree with that Cartesian thesis and I disagree on wishing Happy New Year, because the cycle is still the same: people changing for the better of the worse. People taking birth and people dying. People loving and people hating. The same circus of life always going on and on. Yesterday for New Year eve, since we had a very awful New Year eve celebrated as per what I related in my previous blog post, I mentioned to my husband about the hypocrisy behind the New Year wishes. My husband replied me the sentence that could change perhaps a lot of things in the world: “The New Year resolutions are not bad. But it’s us, the humans, who are bad in general, and who make everything to turn the good New Year resolutions into unlimited deceptions and failures”. There again, my husband was right. And here is the extract of that same article, which resumes it all: 

There is, perhaps, a judicious middle position between insisting on the centrality of time and denying its existence. Something can be real—actually existing, not merely illusory—and yet not be fundamental. Scientists used to think that heat, for example, was a fluidlike substance, called “caloric,” that flowed from hot objects to colder ones. These days we know better: Heat is simply the random motions of the atoms and molecules out of which objects are made. Heat is still real, but it’s been explained at a deeper level. It emerges out of a more comprehensive understanding.

Perhaps time is like that. Someday, when the ultimate laws of physics are in our grasp, we may discover that the notion of time isn’t actually essential. Time might instead emerge to play an important role in the macroscopic world of our experience, even if it is nowhere to be found in the final Theory of Everything.

In that case, I would have no trouble saying that time is “real.” I know what it means to grow older or to celebrate an anniversary whether or not time is “fundamental.” And either way, I can still wish people a Happy New Year in good conscience

So before you think about sending your New Year wishes to other people and making some good resolutions for the New Year, think about it several times before planning them, because Happy New Year wishes and resolutions is something really powerful, but which should come from the heart and be sincere. If it’s so, then maybe we can contribute into making the world much better by doing our own part of efforts and being sincere to the ones whom we wish Happy New Year to, and to keep our promises on all the good resolutions we did for the forthcoming New Year.

So on that concluding note, Happy New Year 2017 to you all 🙂