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Yes Virginia,
Santa Claus is Coming Tonight

This is a story told to one little princess who lives near Dallas, Texas. Her own story has still to be told, but we can see her story in the lives of other princesses. In 1997, the world lost the only person who could be called "Princess of the World," when Diana the Princess of Wales was taken to the stars in the heavens through a tunnel in the City of Lights called Paris, France. Although we were all saddened by the loss of her physical body, we gained far more by the ascension of her heavenly spirit. For eternity, Diana will be known as the Princess of the World, and every night when the stars come out, we can look to see if Princess Diana is coming again.

The birth of the legend of Princess Diana reminds us of the birth of a legend back a hundred years ago in the story of Virginia O'Hanlon, an eight year old princess that wrote a letter to The New York Sun in 1897. The Sun responded with an essay that has become a legend. Here is the introduction to that editorial, "Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus," by Francis P. Church on, September 21 1897:

Dear Editor : I am 8 years old. Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says "If you see it in The Sun it's so." Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia,
Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

It has been a full century since Virginia, O'Hanlon inquired about the existence of Santa Claus. She is now a legend. On the centennial anniversary of the editorial response that was heard around the world, we have seen a real princess rise to the stars. Is there a connection between Virginia, O'Hanlon and the Princess of Wales? Did they both wonder about the spirit of giving? Did Diana fulfill the role of Santa Claus to many needy children? In the spirit of the editorial Francis P. Church wrote, it is clear that Diana was a living Santa Claus, and a spiritual descendent of Virginia O'Hanlon. Princess, you have a lot in common with Virginia and Diana. This telling of the travels of Santa Claus is for your tomorrows, because one day there will be a princess in your life, who will see you as her own Santa Claus

When Church wrote his response to Virginia, the possibility of communicating the complete story of Santa Claus was restricted by the medium which he had to use, a newspaper. Today we live in an electronic world, where direct communication between any two people in the world is a possibility. With the advent of microcomputers and global communication networks, the new medium of the Internet, and the World Wide Web, we have the opportunity to answer Virginia's question in sufficient detail that every parent or child who chooses can come to know, Yes Virginia, Santa Claus is coming tonight. We do not want to take away from the importance of the legend which Virginia O'Hanlon has become, for Church spoke to the heart of all children, regardless of age. The full text of The New York Sun editorial can be found in many places. The text above was taken from its Source URL at Yes, Virginia by Marty McCann. It is the intent of the present essay to identify the sources of the story of Santa Claus, and the spirit of giving which he, Virginia O'Hanlon, Francis P. Church, and Princess Diana, represent so well. As such, this essay will be directed toward all the up and coming children who will be a Santa Claus or Princess Diana in the future.

The retelling of the story in its full detail is long over due. But for now, let us just focus on one little princess in Texas, who wonders, if there is a Santa Claus. She lives with her mother, in a small house which is in great need of repair. Her mother has trouble keeping a job and making payments. But for now, the little princess has a computer and can talk to a world she cannot see through the Internet. She cannot afford a printer, so we cannot send her a message that she can print. But she has something that many of us who live farther north do not have. She has the stars of Texas upon her. We will show her the exact route followed by Santa Claus down a chimney to the Earth every year, and indeed every night through the stars that shine on Texas during the Christmas season. So princess when you read this story, recognize that you are one in a billion, and every star in heaven is calling to you to look up, her comes Santa Claus.
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Stars of Texas

Can you see him in the star chart? Not yet? Keep the faith, Sweetheart, Santa Claus is coming tonight. To help understand those stars over Texas on midwinter's night, we have to find our bearings. Start with the four stars just to the right of center that look like a square. If you can find these four specks of light in the heavens over Texas on midwinter's eve, you can create a whole universe. They look bigger in the sky than on this star chart, but like the star chart, they are the key to understanding, and communication with the universe. Once we know where to look, and we get oriented in the proper direction, the complete story of creation will come to us, as if we had been blind from birth, for these stars mark the origin of life itself, and the chimney through which Santa Claus visits the earth on Christmas eve.
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Texas Horizon

Looking south we draw a line through the North Pole. That line is called the meridian. If we look up while facing south, the meridian divides the sky into east on the left, and west on the right. A circle drawn completely around the horizon is the limit of the stars we can see at 7:15 PM on December 21, 1997 around Dallas. It takes six hours for the stars on the east horizon to reach the meridian line, and another six hours for them to reach the west horizon. In a full day, the stars would come back to the east horizon, and be four minutes above it. The sun appears to move four minutes east every day. The reason why this happens is that the planet we live on is running eastward around the sun. This trip takes about 365 1/4 days. Thus, every year at midwinter's night, the stars over Texas look pretty much the same.

But not quite, for you see the earth wobbles like a top, and the meridian in the sky at 7:15 pm on December 21, will slowly move to the west. This wobble has allowed mankind to plot the place of midwinter's night for over ten thousand years. It takes a full 25,780 years for midwinter's night to go completely around the stars. And Princess, that is precisely why Santa Claus is coming tonight. Thirteen thousand years ago, midwinter's night would have come with the stars in the constellation of the Virgin, whom Virginia O'Hanlon is named after. And we would have to celebrate the coming of Santa Claus on midsummer's day. Can you imagine Santa Claus coming on Christmas Eve on a surf board? Well its still happening today, because children in Australia celebrate Christmas in the middle of summertime! Of course, Australians cannot see the North Pole, and they cannot see Santa Claus, because they are on the other side of the world. But they believe in Santa Claus down under, just the same.
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A Chimney in Texas

You have heard that Santa comes down a chimney. Well if you look at those stars over Texas, you will see a Great Square over your head and just to the west of the meridian. If you extend the sides of the Great Square up and down, the chimney comes into view. Now Princess, be careful of the skeptical little children who will tell you there are no lines in the sky. For if skeptics ever took a look through a microscope, they would find that there are no connections between any of the parts of our earthly existence. The microscope shows us that what appears to be solid is in fact just an arrangement of very very small items called atomic particles. Between these atomic particles is an empty space many many times greater than the space occupied by the particles. Everything in the universe is like the lines drawn on the sides of the Great Square, and appear to be something that is somehow connected as one larger being. The only things that are not connected in any way in this universe, are the tiny little minds of the skeptics who say they cannot see.

Look carefully and find the Great Square. Then let your eyes fill in the great spaces between the stars and find the chimney which comes down from the North Pole. See it? Isn't it beautiful? But in Texas, you may be able to see something more beautiful than Santa's chimney. People who live in big cities won't be able to see what the folks in Texas can see in God's country. If you can't see it in your back yard, then go to a deserted place where there are no lights and watch. There you will see our cosmic home, which we call the Milky Way.
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Chimney Smoke

See it in the chart above? That is it right on top of the chimney, like smoke running east and west. Here is an example of a line in the sky, which even the loneliest hearted skeptics can see. Yet, it is not a line at all. It is over a hundred billion stars. That is over one hundred billion celestial fire balls like our very own sun. So if Santa is going to come down that chimney, he will have to come from the Milky Way. But of course, we all came down from the Milky Way, didn't we? In fact, that chimney with the Milky Way on top sort of looks like a tree from Texas, doesn't it? Could it be that Santa's chimney and this Tree of Life are one and the same? Well Princess, that all depends upon whether we think that life is a gift from the heavens.

All the stars in the heavens are moving along the Milky Way, even the sun. In two hundred and twenty million years, the sun will travel all the way around the center of the Milky Way. That is a very long time. The center of the Milky Way is well below the west horizon in Texas on midwinter's eve. But we can clearly see the perimeter of the Milky Way. Look to the east of the chimney where the Milky Way thins out to practically nothing. That's it. That's the direction into "outer space." Beyond that point there are over one hundred billion Milky Ways, which we call galaxies. Goodness, that is a lot of stars. When we look with our telescopes, most of that space out there is empty. Yet, even skeptics see it as one whole universe. So do not be disturbed if at first you cannot see the connections between the stars. The connections are not there in reality, they are only there in the heavens if you take the time to look up. Oh, by the way Princess, the whole purpose of having stars in the first place is to get us to look up. Birds have been using the stars to navigate from the North Pole to the South Pole longer than it is possible to remember. If a bird can find those connections in the heavens, surely the minds of people can find something to look up to.
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Times and Places

Now there is a sky full of places and names. Those names written across the Texas sky were given to connections of stars thousands of years ago by wisemen, who recognized that the whole universe is following some kind of cosmic plan. These ancient star gazers connected the star dots like in a coloring book and divided the sky into sections which they named constellations. Constellation is a word made up of the words connection and stellar, which means star like. Princess Diana has a constellation that belongs to her now. Its name is Andromeda, and it is directly above Texas on midwinter's night. It is shown royal pink in the chart above. In fact, at the moment Diana died, the constellation of Andromeda was directly above the City of Lights where she died. For all eternity, she will be connected to that constellation, for she connected stellar performance in her life, and was rewarded an eternal place in the stars. Just like Andromeda, Diana will forever remain on the tree of life. There is no need to make her a saint, for she is there for us to remember every night.

That line that sweeps from the northeast to the southwest is the path of the sun as viewed from Earth, or the path of the Earth as viewed from the sun. Now if you feel a little skeptical about this, its because you cannot see from the sun. Never the less, there is a place which the sun could see, if it had eyes, that would mark the path of the Earth. As the Earth travels around the sun, it stays on a flat surface like a table, which is called the ecliptic. Ecliptic is a word which comes from eclipse. It is on this flat surface, or plane, that the moon blocks the sun and causes solar eclipses. The best way to remember the plane of the ecliptic is to call it celestial Earth, for it represents the place where the Earth runs around the sun. If the Earth were not running around the sun, there would not be any eclipses of the sun, or the moon. When the moon is eclipsed, the Earth blocks the light of the sun, and its shadow falls across the moon.

The ecliptic is a very special place in the sky. We can watch the sun and moon, and eight planets move along the ecliptic. Four planets are shown in the star chart above for 7:15 pm on December 21, 1997 around Dallas, Texas; Saturn - S, Jupiter - J, Venus - V, and Mars -M. They all move within that background of stars from right to left. Jupiter moves completely around the sky in about twelve years. Because of this, Jupiter is in one constellation along the ecliptic for about a whole year. There are thirteen constellations on the ecliptic, but twelve of them mark the months. Astrologers use them to tell fortunes or read mysteries about a person's life based upon where the sun was when the person was born. They call these constellations the zodiac, which is a Greek word meaning "circle of animals." Six zodiac constellations can be seen over the Texas sky in the star chart above, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces, Aquarius, and Capricornus. Two others are just beyond the horizons, Cancer to the east, and Sagittarius to the west.

Can you see why they called it a circle of animals in the star chart below? Look closely at Gemini in the east, and find where the sun was when Princess Diana was born (D). Then look right on the meridian and find the place in Andromeda which was directly above Paris when the Princess of Wales was taken to heaven. That's why she will be the Princess of the World forever, she has gone to her celestial home on the World Tree. When she died, the axis of the galaxy was directly above her, and on midwinter's eve, Saturn, the planet that represented the Ancient of Days, Chronos, and Father Time, will be on the axis of the galaxy, also. That is how we know that Christmas 1997 is the year that Santa Claus is coming tonight. He is bringing the beginning of a brand new cosmic cycle.
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Tabernacle of the Sun

Planet means wanderer, and the ecliptic can fool a person who watches the wandering stars. Their motion implies that the future is to the east, for tomorrow they will be a little further east than they were today. But don't be fooled by appearances. Time is measured toward the west in the heavens, as a whole, as assuredly as the sun rises in the east in the morning and sets in the west in the evening. The reason for this is the wobble of the Earth mentioned before. On the star chart at the ecliptic are little blue crosses which show where the sun rose on the first day of spring throughout the movement of the heavens caused by the wobble of the Earth. On this special day the sun rises on a plane which is in the same plane as the middle of the Earth, which we call the equator. Because of that it rises due east everywhere on Earth, and the daylight period is exactly twelve hours. Thus the length of night and day are equal on the first day of spring, and the sun rests at a place called the vernal equinox, meaning spring day of equal night. With our present calendars the day of the vernal equinox is March 20 or 21, depending upon minor variances in the seasonal calendar. Look at the star chart above and find the location of the vernal equinox in the constellation of Pisces in 1997. Look eastward to the date 30 AD, which marks the time for the death of Christ. Look west to the date 3000 AD in the constellation of Aquarius. Now you can see the meaning of the words of the song, "this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius." Even so, the vernal equinox won't be in Aquarius for another four to five hundred years. But when you consider that the length of the cycle of the equinoxes is nearly 26,000 years, we can say that the twilight before dawn is about us. We are to the Age of Aquarius what tomorrow morning is at forty five minutes before sunrise. We can see the glimmer of light on the eastern horizon forty five minutes before sunrise, when it is not quite yet dawn. And we can certainly be aware that sunrise is coming.

Maturity and wisdom are achieved with understanding that universal time is measured by the place of the vernal equinox, as proclaimed in the wonderful Christmas song; "We three Kings of Orient are; Bearing gifts we traverse afar, Field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star. O star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect light." We are searching for the field and fountain, moor and mountain. They are the ultimate extremes of the universal home, but time is recorded by the place where the spring sun rises. It is a tabernacle of the sun, which rejoices to run a race like a bridegroom in his coming out. Following its westward movement will cause us to see.

While we are on this measure of time called the Precession of the Equinoxes, look to the north pole in the sky chart. The dates 1997, and 3000 are shown in a circle of blue crosses. Between those dates is the year 2257. At about that date, the North Pole will move into a constellation called Cepheus. Cepheus is the king that lives near the North Pole. From 2257 until the year 9060, the North Pole will be in the constellation of the king, Cepheus. Well then, this is a man who reigns over the whole region around the North Pole, do you suppose that he could be none other than that fabulous elf who comes down the chimney every year at Christmas time? Look  below at Cepheus sitting on the top west side of the chimney which includes the Great Square, and see if you can find Mrs. Santa Claus, too? Her name is Cassiopeia, and she sits on the top east side of the chimney
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A Great Northern King and His Court

With this place in the stars, it is for sure that Santa Claus will fulfill the dreams of many children, just like Francis P. Church told Virginia O'Hanlon a hundred years ago in The New York Sun. No Santa Claus! Thank God, he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. The part about ten times ten thousand years is true Princess, it will take longer than that for the stars to move far enough that wisemen wont be able to see Santa and his chimney. During that time, Santa and his chimney will have been seen in the summer four times, and in the winter five times, counting today. Even so, Santa and his chimney will never come out in the day. The reason why is because the chimney is aligned with a place in the sky which has been called the night for as long as we can remember. That is why he soars off every year saying, "Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night." If the tree were in the day part of the sky, he would have to say, "Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Day." If he came in the day we would take him for granted, just like we take our parents and the whole Earth  for granted.

Ptah, an Egyptian Santa ClausHe was not always known as Santa Claus, for there once was a kingdom where he was known as the Great Potter. To see Santa Claus when he was known as the Great Potter we have to go back over five thousand years, before the start of Ancient Egypt. Even then there were many names given to the stars of Santa's chimney. Why it was also called the World Tree, the Cosmic Pillar, and even the wall from which the cosmic egg had fallen back down in the days of the Tower of Babel. The Egyptians and their ancestors called the person who fabricated the Cosmic Egg by the name Ptah. He is a predecessor of Santa Claus. They showed him standing by the pillar which was made up of the Great Square, or they showed him at the potter's wheel as he formed the egg that brought forth the whole galaxy. It is easy to see why they used these characters when we see the appropriate stars around the pillar.
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The Great Potter, Humpty Dumpty

At the very bottom of the chimney was an image of the man the Egyptians called Ptah. He holds a very special device in his hands, which they called a Scepter of Flint. This was a special wand which had a piece of flint on the top end and a two pronged tip on the bottom end. If you have ever seen a fireplace, the chances are that you have seen the pronged device. We call it a fireplace stoker, today. We also use matches instead of a flint stone to light a fireplace. Look at the feet of the man under the chimney and find the hearth for the fire. It has an eternal flame which nearly touches the foot of the man. This connection of stars we call Fornax, which means furnace. Today, we call the man Sculptor. When you consider that sculpting was invented thousands of years after the invention of pottery, it is clear why the earlier name for the man was the Great Potter. Most importantly, the bottom of the stoker in the Great Potter's hands marks the lowest spot in all the galaxy. If the galaxy were a plate like circus jugglers use to twirl on sticks, then the point near the end of the stoker would be at the bottom of the juggler's stick. Around this point, the whole disk of the galaxy spins, just like a potter's wheel, or a juggler's dish.

All of this wisdom about the central axis of the galaxy has been found and lost many times. What has happened over the last forty thousand years of history, for which we have archaeological records, is the cyclical rise and fall of civilization. Each time the cosmic egg was created, it was placed high upon the wall, or pillar of the galaxy, as a great ideal. But from this position great ideals can fall to the whims of skeptics and cynics. The legend of the creative rise and cynical fall of the cosmic wisdom has been recorded in a nursery rhyme about an egg. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again. Can you see Humpty Dumpty sitting on the great cosmic wall? He is Cepheus the king. He moves from the west to the east side of the wall as Cassiopeia, and falls to the bottom as Andromeda. Lying flat on his back, he is the Sculptor at the very bottom of the cosmos. And his future goose is cooked at the furnace.

Well that certainly would not be a good story to tell at Christmas time. Will Santa Claus be able to put Humpty Dumpty together again? If horses and king's men could not do it, maybe the wisdom of children can. Lets go looking for the story about Santa Claus, and see if we can put Humpty Dumpty together again with the help of Santa Claus.

QUIZ: Where is Santa Claus

(1) We need little girls and boys. (2) We need a sleigh and reindeer. (3) We need to see Santa checking out who's naughty and nice. (4) And don't forget Mrs. Claus. (5) Where does Santa come down the chimney, and how do the toys fit in the cosmic story? (6) What about milk and cookies or something for him to eat and drink as he rests by the fireplace after filling the stockings? (7) How does he get back to the cosmic roof top? (8) And last, what does he do until the next time he comes down the chimney? Can you find these parts of Santa's legend by yourself and put Santa back on top of the chimney? All the ingredients are in the next star chart. Just remember what it was like when you were younger, and believed in your dreams. Try your luck on the next star chart, before you find out what Santa Claus did by himself.

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Here comes Santa Claus

Now that was fun. Wasn't it? But what about the tree. Santa is supposed to be putting gifts under the tree. We have found the chimney but not the tree. The smoke of the Milky Way is not sufficient to warrant cutting down a tree and messing up the house for a month. We have to find where the Christmas tree comes from.

To find the tree we have to go back an additional 12,000 years before Ancient Egypt, 15,000 years before Christ, all the way back 17,000 years ago. Those were the days when humans lived in caves in the winter, and ate what they could hunt and gather in the forest, fields, and streams, all year around. Of course, it is not necessary to go all that far to find people who live that way. In South America, Africa, and Australia, there are many aboriginal people who still prefer to acquire their gifts from the Great Potter in the forests under the trees. In modern times, we flatter ourselves by saying they were savage ignorant people. But is it so?

Hall of Bulls

What we have evidence for about those times is the fact that people were drawing pictures of constellations and painting them on walls of caves in France, not very far from where Princess Diana ascended to Andromeda. In one cave they painted a famous Hall of Bulls. These bulls marked the seasons when ancient cattle, called aurochs, used to migrate through the grass lands of France. To help them remember when the aurochs would return, and plan for their seasonal retreat from the cold mountains, these cave dwellers probably plotted the stars on their cave walls.
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A Field of Aurochs

Thus we can see on the walls of the cave at Lascaux, the whole sky from Sagittarius to Taurus, over the top of the Milky Way. These bulls, the serpent Hydra, and the heads of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia seem to focus on the constellation of Cancer. Ancient Egyptians recognized this as the place where the sun was rolled out at sunrise by a dung beetle called Khephera. Cancer still carries the nature of feelings and senses. It is not difficult to understand why a cave dwelling, hunting and gathering culture of 15,000 BC would place feelings and senses above all other aspects of life. In those bygone days, if a people did not pay attention to their senses, they could be eaten alive by the other creatures. Never the less, they saw this place as heaven, and called it by the name the Elysian Fields. Only during the last four thousand years, after the vernal equinox entered Aries, have we taken leave of our senses. Now we read books rather than stars.

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Moor and Mountain

The trunk of the celestial tree of life grows in a furrow on a hillside between the two oppositely facing bulls #18 and #2, at a place known as a fountain, well, and pool of Siloam. Si is short for sidereal, meaning belonging to the stars. Loam is the ancient word meaning earth. Siloam means the earth belonging to the stars, or celestial earth. With the chart above we can see why, for the aurochs cross the river valley and the world tree rises from it being fed by the celestial fountain of youth between the mountain at Auriga to the east and the moor at Sagittarius to the west. Can you see the aurochs fording the river in the sky as they climb that mountain? When it comes to constellations, this was truly an age of Titans. The greatest Titan of all was the band of stars on the floodplain of the Milky Way. It is visible even to the skeptical mind. Below this floodplain was the garden which had been flooded at the beginning of creation.

Throughout the world on every continent the ancient myths speak of a great flood through which all the ancestors had come. These myths tell us that the ancient people identified the "Moment of the First Occasion" as the time when the vernal equinox was aligned with the bottom of the galaxy. At that moment the whole cosmos was understandable. Up was up. Down was down. Life was a simple correspondence to the senses, like they drew it in the Hall of Bulls. The cosmos has rolled over in its celestial bed over 200,000 times since the sun began to shine. Today the vernal equinox sits precisely aligned with the "Moment of the First Occasion". Up is up and down is down, once more, as the next revolution of the cosmos is about to begin. This is the time of rebirth, for we are at the fountain of youth. Now we can see if our story of Santa Claus still fits these old constellations. Did we find the right tree?
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A Christmas Tree

All but one of the bulls is gone today, it has been trimmed down as Taurus under the mountain where the vernal equinox was in 3000 BC. Ancient Egyptians called Taurus "The Bull of My Mother," for the fruits of life sprang forth from the perception of the bulls. But it would appear that the whole story of Santa Claus takes place in the Tree of Life. The message is quite clear. Yes Virginia, Santa Claus is coming tonight! He is making a list, and checking it twice. He's going to find out whose been naughty or nice, and skeptical or loyal.

Within the legend of Santa Claus is the whole of human history, nay, even the whole of creation. He is not a god in the skeptical modern sense, but it is clear that what ever belongs to God, Santa Claus has access to. That is how he travels all around the world in a single day. He delivers the gifts of life under the World Tree, to every creature on celestial Earth, even you and me. His return to the North Pole is on the gossamer wings of the eagle, Aquila. By his example, he tells us all to be generous with the gift of life, even if we fall down a chimney or drift down a river, for the bottom is no worse than the top, just different and harder to understand when we are upside down. At the end of the river is the fertile bottom land where the whole cosmos is renewed. If you ever feel skeptical again, just remember Humpty Dumpty and Santa Claus. These two celestial elves can retrieve you from any bottomless pit you find yourself in.

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A Once and Future King


On Gossamer Wings

Ever since Ancient Babylon we have had the story of a king who came down to Earth and returned on the wings of an eagle. So take these words from Isaiah 40:27-31 in discussing the skepticism of the Israelites, and use them to mount up to the heavens. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, my way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

So Princess, it is clear that Santa Claus does exist, and his legend has no end. Even when the stars have moved away in that eternal tumble of the heavens, the truth about Santa Claus will be known. You are young, with a full life before you. Take that gift and return it with great abundance. A hundred years ago, Virginia O'Hanlon cried in wonder  Dear Editor : I am 8 years old. Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says "If you see it in The Sun it's so." Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus? Virginia, your father was right. If you see it in the stars of heaven it must be so. The truth is, Yes Virginia, Santa Claus is Coming Tonight.

Listen again to the words of Francis P. Church from The New York Sun a hundred years ago. "Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge." Now reflect on the wisdom of the ancients as they passed on their stories from the heavens in Psalm 19, verses 1 through 6: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

To help remember these cosmic works, scriptures have been written. Because we read the barren scripture without an eye to the heavens we become skeptical. But if we keep looking up, all the words and myths which have come and gone become clear as crystal. Isaiah 64:8 tells of our cosmic substance; But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Jeremiah 18:1-3 provides a prescription for an ailing soul; The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. The Great Potter's wheel is where we were all fabricated. Out of the dust of stars, so ancient that we cannot fathom their begining, we have come. If you should ever wrestle with the Leviathan of skepticism, again, follow Zechariah's example in Chapter 11:13; And the LORD said unto me, cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. When the trials and tribulations of life come upon you, just keep looking up, because thats the way you are going, even when the bottom is approaching. When you pass through those bottomless pits you will know that you are at the "Moment of the First Occassion" of the rest of your life.

As Diana, Princess of Wales, traversed the fields and fountains, moors and mountains, of her short life, the bottoms seemed so inconceivably harsh, because the mountains she had crossed were just as inconceivably spectacular. That one life was lived so that all could know, by her example, the possibilities life has to offer, even though only a chosen few ever experience the fullness of the ups and downs on that roller coaster called the Grand Gallery of life. Most of us are pleased to accept the twenty third psalm and remain in more sedentary lives, while being grateful for the opportunities received, or simply perceived. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

The twenty-third psalm, more than any other statement in the scriptures, describes that place where Jeremiah watched as the Lord wrought a work on the wheels. The doubting mind needs only to look back from beyond that place which has been called the Potter's Field for as long as can be remembered. It is a place which can only be purchased by the giving of your heart, just like Princess Diana. When you come to see this place as a gift, you will know the folly of skepticism. Francis P. Church comprehended all the questions of the skeptics, with his spirit of the words of John 5, verse 11; He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, take up thy bed, and walk. But there is a verse that should be recalled every time you begin to doubt, and lose that precious sight of the Grand Gallery of life. It is a verse spoken by a blind man who had been placed into the Grand Gallery with the capacity to perceive, after living his whole life with out being able to see. When the skeptics and doubters asked how he gained the abilty to see and understand what he saw when he had been blind from birth, he spoke the words in John 9:11, "He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight."

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In comparison to all the galaxies that have been created, our Potter's Field is just a speck of star dust. But in comparison to the barren dreams and arrogant lives of skeptics and doubters, now, sweet Princess, you are more powerful than all these tormentors. You have something they long for. A place you can believe in for as long as there is a place to be. Keep looking up sweet princess, you have a place amongst the stars. When you can see the really truly big picture, you will also say, with great joy and pride,

Yes Virginia, Santa Claus is coming tonight.

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Edited October 2, 1997