Audio: Claude Debussy, Claire de Lune
Performed with the following text:
"I remember when I was very young, I asked my mother if she believed in Santa Claus. She answered to me that she was unsure if Santa existed or not, but that she believed that Santa was how we think of Christmas cheer, the spirit of Christmas, which motivates us to love and care for each other during the Christmas season. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I believe my mother is one of the smartest and kindest people that I know, and, in college, her major was an independently-created course of study in Religion. And I think now that maybe my mother telling me about Santa Claus was really her way of telling me about how she thinks of God.
"I believe that there are very many things that happen in our world which are completely beyond us. And although I don’t think that any one of us will really understand these things, I believe that it is valuable to open our minds to the possibility of a realm outside of what we can see and perceive. The study of the occult, which refers broadly to that which is hidden, can be a powerful tool in shaping this curiosity and awareness.
"There’s a phrase associated with the law of attraction, the idea that one’s positive or negative thoughts have the power to bring, respectively, positive or negative experiences into one’s life. The phrase is: “as if,” with the idea being that if we act “as if” we have something that we want, “as if” something were true,“as if” we know how to do something, even if we don’t, we create the conditions for the things that we want to occur. This idea can be a powerful tool for activism and self-empowerment.
"I think that this idea of “as if” is also a good way of looking at God. As humans, I don’t believe that we will ever have proof of God’s existence or lack thereof, nor of what form He (I’m using the traditional Christian pronouns here) might take.But, if we act as if God were real, and moreover, as if He were the loving God that we imagine Him to be, or would like Him to be, we might live a better and more loving life ourselves.
"I believe that God is love. I believe that God is the life-force which is within each living thing, and perhaps even within things which we do not consider living. I believe that this life-force is God’s manifestation of love. I believe that if we think back to the idea of life-force, in a biological sense, we’ll find that this life-force, this love, is light. And so, in each one of us, what makes us alive, what makes us real, what makes us creatures of God, is light, and by embracing this light, in a literal sense, or perhaps in a metaphorical sense, we might begin to accept ourselves as we are, to accept others as they are, and to make the world a kinder and more beautiful place."
Produced at VCUarts.