The red-nosed wonder was the creation of Bob May, a copywriter for Montgomery Ward. In August of 1939 May wrote a Christmas story to cheer up his daughter, but when he shared the story at his company’s Christmas party, everyone asked him to use it to bring traffic to store.
You know the story. It’s about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. When Christmas Eve turned foggy and Santa was worried that he wouldn’t be able to deliver gifts, the former outcast saved Christmas by leading the sleigh team by the light of his red nose. He was admired and respected by all of the reindeer.
May’s first choice for the reindeer’s name was “Rollo” but he was told it was too carefree. He picked “Reginald” next but that was considered too royal. In the original Rudolph story written by May, Rudolph was not singled out by Santa from the rest of the herd because of his shiny red nose. And in the original story Rudolph did not stay with the other reindeer at the North Pole. He lived in an ordinary reindeer household with loving reindeer parents. Rudolph was discovered quite by accident. When Santa was in the middle of making his rounds, he stopped by Rudolph’s parent’s house and noticed a glow emanating from Rudolph’s room. It was then that Santa asked Rudolph to lead his sleigh team.
The original eight named reindeer team of Santa Claus first appeared in American literature in 1823. They were featured in the famous poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore. Prior to Moore’s rendition, legend had Santa’s sleigh pulled by only one anonymous reindeer.
Montgomery Ward sold 2.5 million copies of the Rudolph story in 1939. It was reissued in 1946 and sold over 3.5 million copies. In 1949 Johnny Marks, May’s brother-in-law, wrote a song called Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Originally, Rudolph was sung by cowboy Gene Autry. His song has sold more than 12 million copies, second only to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”
Rudolph, From a Metaphysical Perspective
Why is this song loved so much? What is it about it that captures the imagination of children of all ages? What makes it resonate so deeply? Before we answer those questions, let’s look at the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer story from a metaphysical perspective. Some of you may be thinking – a metaphysical perspective? Come on, it’s just a children’s Christmas story for Heaven’s sake. Isn’t a metaphysical treatment much ado about nothing?
We have found that simple stories like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or Frosty the Snowman, or Cinderella, or the Little Engine That Could can have profound meanings. Stories like these capture the human imagination. They resonate with ‘something’ deep within us. That’s what makes them so powerful and well-loved all over the world. On a subconscious level and on a superconscious level they connect with our Spirit.
As we thought about making that metaphysical leap in preparing for this blogcast we came across a book—actually, the book came across us. (It usually works that way you know. It can be a book, or something someone says, or an event, or something you remember from a long time ago, or something you do that day, or an insight from a meditative experience. They are all ways Spirit speaks to us.)
This passage from Life and Teachings of the Masters by Baird Spalding helped justify our metaphysical approach to Rudolph. Baird was on a spiritual pilgrimage in India and asked his guide Emil what he thought of the street performers in the square. His wise old guide said:
“These performers are called fakirs, and they are all the name implies. But underneath it all is a deeper spiritual meaning that few discern, and good will come of their antics someday. Their street magic is but the shadow of the thing from which it springs. Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear can see the truth beneath it all.”
So, armed with the blessings of a Hindu mystic here is our metaphysical interp of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:
The 8 reindeer in addition to Rudolph each have characteristics that make the nocturnal flight possible:
- Dasher: represents out-of-the-box thinking
- Dancer: represents innate wisdom
- Prancer (Dancer’s twin) represents authentegrity
- Vixen: represents a giving consciousness
- Comet: represents an internal locus of control
- Cupid: represents love
- Donner: represents inner strength
- Blitzen: represents an optimistic spirit
These reindeer represent qualities within us: out-of-the-box thinking, innate wisdom, love, and so on. They could also represent the Eightfold Path of Buddhism: Right understanding, right thoughts, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. The number eight also stands for balance and adjustment; magical alignments; the clearing away of obstacles and barriers; and karmic conformity, to name a few.
The Rudolph of us is that part of us that doesn’t fully comprehend that we are spiritual beings in human form, that we are divine beings having a human experience.
Santa is the Authentic Us, the Extraordinary Us, that encourages us to let our light shine, to use our unique gifts to bring peace and healing to the world.
The room where Santa finds Rudolph represents our ‘going into the Silence.’ It is there that our inner light, the truth of us, shines. It is there that we become one with our Christ nature.
The sleigh stands for our positive, giving state of consciousness which is our vehicle for unlimited prosperity and abundance.
Santa gave Rudolph a choice. He invited Rudolph to lead his sleigh. Rudolph could have refused, and we would have had quite a different story. Choirs would sing – Rudolph the Red-Faced Reindeer –because he would have missed the opportunity of a lifetime.
Rudolph could have kept his light hidden under a bushel. Instead he listened to that ‘Still Small Voice’ that says “will you guide my sleigh tonight? Will you let your light shine?”
What Would Jesus Say to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
Whatever Jesus would say to Rudolph would be the same message communicated to the Rudolph within each of us. See how the message resonates with you.
First of all, we believe Jesus might say something like this:
“You know, Rudolph, sometimes we don’t recognize our greatest, most valuable gifts. Sometimes, they may even look like problems and embarrassments. But if we hold the faith, believe me, those problems will transform into the greatest gifts that the world needs.”
So, we need to look deep within ourselves, and acknowledge the issues that create the biggest problems for us. It may be a physical characteristic, an emotional issue, a quirky style preference, something that is ours to own, and we can’t understand why we got “stuck” with it. We can transform the thing into a great gift, with a powerful message to give the world. We must embrace it, love it, and be open enough – and wise enough – to see how our attitude about it transforms us.
Secondly, Jesus might say,
“And here’s a real keeper for you, Rudolph. Quite often in this world, your special gifts may be misunderstood. That happened with me, you know! The more I developed my Christ Consciousness, the more I became consciously one with God, and the more I was misunderstood by those who chose not to “get it.” So don’t worry, buddy, if people make fun of your nose, and judge you based on appearance, because you are a little different from others. Make it okay, and be kind to them. Love them, and see the Christ light in them. They really don’t know what they are doing.”
So we invite you to realize that others may misunderstand you as you begin using your gifts. As you strengthen your spirituality, and become consciously one with your divine nature, you may run into people who judge you, or make fun of you. Make it okay, and behold the Christ in them.
Finally, Jesus would probably sum it all up by saying,
“Here’s the deal, Rudolph! Regardless of what anyone tells you, no matter what … let your light shine!”
And that’s the message this blogcast brings to you during this Holiday Season, from the Rudolph in us to the Rudolph in you! Let Your Light Shine, as you walk the spiritual path on practical feet!