I & II



2 3 9 2

1 The Christmas Factor

Dr. Pikkard put down his tattered, crumbling book on mysticism by Teilhard de Chardin, the great French philosopher-priest. He had set before him, for inspiration, a medieval painting of “Christus triumphans,” depicting a smiling Christ standing, not hung, on the cross. Instead of dejection and tragedy and failure, which one would normally deduce from a crucifixion horror scene if one were a skeptic or an unbeliever, this picture presented Christ in the cross's victorious dimension, the Christ who chose to lay down his life for others, who even chose his moment of death--attested to by his loud cry at the end instead of the weak, barely audible whisper of a man's last gasp.

Christus triumphans

Gazing at the picture, observing the realistic detail of the portrayal which included the blood Christ had shed for sinners—-drops of which spattered the ground at the base of the cross—-Dr. Pikkard experienced what some call a revelation. As can happen, it came suddenly, transfixing him on the spot.

He seized his ink stand, threw it against a dark, horned shadow that had seemed to be mocking him the whole time he had been contemplating Chardin's words, then leaped up from his chair. He almost ran from the room, intending to proclaim the great discovery he had just made, right from his balcony to the city below—but he stopped himself, fortunately.

Instead of frightening the whole town, he thought it better to return to his desk and attempt to commit the revelation to writing.

Seizing his notes on Chardin, dipping his pen in the spilled ink, he quickly added:

“I must agree with this ancient philosopher and priest. The Incarnation is, in my humble opinion, the pivotal Event of the Universe. There has never been anything before or after that can approach its meaningfulness, and the ability of that Event to change humanity and human development. Some sects see the Resurrection of Christ as the primary celebration of orthodox Christendom. Although I must agree with St. Paul as well, that a Crucified Christ, if not resurrected, would render our faith meaningless, and of all men we would be the most wretched for believing in Christ, I must take issue with any who would hold that His Birth is not a more colossal Cataclysm than His Resurrection, critical as it is for the confirmation and support of the Faith in upholding the Gospel and its evangelization program.

“This feeling of mine is easy to prove out. Think what was involved in God making Himself man! Being limited by our human perspective and finite dimension, we cannot realize what was involved, of course, but we can make a qualified guess. That guess alone causes the Resurrection to pale in contrast. Raising the Savior from the dead by divine power is admirable and even astonishing, but making God man--making the Infinite finite--again, bringing the ineffable, transcendent Deity of God’s son down to the bestial floor of humanity--turning all that into a mere zygote of divine characteristics joined to human characteristics in a rather ordinary human female’s womb--that inspires the greatest awe and the greatest wonder from a individual. As time passes, that awe and wonder can only grow until they are joined, in time’s passing, with the everlasting, incarnated Mystery Himself, Christ Jesus the God-Man ruling in the heavenlies!

“One more thing is probably the most important, and humbling, that a man in my position can say. Standing on my whole human experience, not just my scientific training, I know that the fatal hemorrhage mankind sustained in the Garden of Eden, that bled all human souls white until we became walking corpses--there has to be a Key, a Way to stop the bleeding somewhere in the all-encompassing Mysery of the Incarnation Event. What exactly it is--this unknown Christmas “factor”--I must leave to another younger talent to discover. Because I am a person of faith and not just a random creature producing “science” as certain coral reef snails secrete defensive phlegms, I believe it has to have something to do with the Shed Blood of Christ. Could it be that some element was introduced in the shedding of His blood that carried over to the spiritual “blood streams” of every believer after Him? That element would be the “Christmas Factor,” for want of a better term. My prayers are with the person who discovers it! May the discoverer come soon!”

2 A Younger Talent

How far-sighted Dr. Pikkard was! Years, centuries as a matter of fact before Dr. Pikkard, but lost in the wreck of time, a “younger talent," the ancient philospher and alchemist, Michael J. Behe, had already discovered the Christmas Factor in the Blood Cascade. Although not a Christian in his belief, unable to place any spiritual application upon his discovery, his work is still of great value: In Figure 4-3, given in his seminal book, DARWIN'S BLACK BOX, Blood coagulation cascade proteins were identified and named that aided clot formation. Other proteins prevented, localized, and even removed blood clots. Among the proteins he listed were "Christmas."

Building subconsciously on Behe's work, another "younger talent," Gabriel Tall Chief, despite his terminal illness, began his own exploration of the the Christmas Factor, as he defined it culturally and spiritually. Following his lead, Gabriel's trustworthy cousin and care-giver, Horace Brave Scout, traced out the sequence of proteins of blood coagulation in his own chronicles:

The Christmas Factor Activator

(Sequence of Proteins)

“Dogon Star Child”-------------- “Lakota Nativity”.-------------- “A Fawn in Winter”------------- “Christmas with James Dean”--------------- “A Victorian Christmas-------------- “A Fulani Christmas”---------------- “Street of Dreams”------------“Winter Rose”---------Christmas at Auschwitz---------Christmas at Andersonville (“Merry Christmas from Lyonnesse”)

As Horace worked through the patterns, the good and the bad, he enjoyed the solitude of a little cabin on stilts that he built in the Black Hills in a secret valley, not long after returning from his journeys in the Southwest and Northwest.

Horace also traced the Christmas Factor vs. the fatal hemorrhaging of the human spirit induced by the Alien Entities, the Stones of Fire:

1. “A Fawn in Winter______________________________________Sardius/Carnelian 2. “Lakota Nativity,” “A Fawn in Winter”_______________________Topaz 3. “Lakota Nativity,” “A Fulani Christmas,” “Street of Dreams,” “Winter Rose”_____________________________________________Beryl 4. “Christmas at Auschwitz,” “Winter Rose”______________________Diamond 5. “A Victorian Christmas”____________________________________Onyx 6. “Christmas at Andersonville”/”Merry Christmas from Lyonnesse”____Jasper 7. “Christmas at Auschwitz,” “Winter Rose”_______________________Gold 8. “Winter Rose”____________________________________________Sapphire 9. “Christmas with James Dean”_________________________________Emerald 10. “Christmas with James Dean,” “A Fulani Christmas,” “Christmas at Auschwitz__________________________________________________Carbuncle

Finally, Horace identified a "Cascade of the Golden Thread," comparing it to a three-fold cord that Proverbs in the Bible said is not easily broken:

A. Andersonville, Georgia, Anno 1863---------------Rosebud Reservation, S.D., Anno 1987-------- Omaha, Nebraska, Anno 1994--------X-2914000, Anno 2170-, ---------------------------------------------------Alpha Centauri, Anno 1, 136, 786 B. Auschwitz, Poland, Anno 1943-------------------Omaha, Nebraska, Anno 1994-------- Alpha Centauri C. Andersonville, Georgia-----------Rosebud Reservation-----------Omaha, Nebraska----------- Auschwitz, Poland---------------------------------------------------------------Alpha Centauri

Horace, while following the "Golden Thread," found other threads as well, which though not so golden, and better described as homespun:

1. “Winter Rose”/South Dakota----------”A Victorian Christmas”/England----------”Christmas with James Dean”/California------------”Street of Dreams”/Washington State, USA------------------- 2. “Christmas at Auschwitz”/Poland---------------”A Fulani Christmas”/Cameroon---------- “Dogon Nativity”/Western Sahara, Africa--------- 3. “Christmas at Andersonville”/Sumter County, Georgia-----------”Merry Christmas from Bedford Falls,” Omaha, Nebraska-----------X-2914000/Charon moon orbit--------------------

As Horace walked through the high valley where his cabin was located, he drifted along in his dream canoe, exploring the sunrise much as Teilhard de Chardin would have done in his place and time.

Even if no one else ever saw what he was seeing, or caught the visions he was catching as the sunrise took him from vast chamber to chamber of its beauty and light, it hardly mattered, for the sunrise in the Black Hills was so powerful it could not be denied its full expression, though no other eyes but his witnessed it. Someday, he knew, the sacred mountains of his people would be islands in the sea, with a lighthouse standing vigil like a sentinel--but they would be no more beautiful than when they were standing alone, with waves of grass beating against their flanks that grew from the surrounding sea of prairies and plains.

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