Ho, Ho, Ho?
After watching Dennis Leary’s “Merry F#@&* Christmas
” Special I realized that I am not the only one burned out on the ‘season to be jolly’. There is a lot to be turned off by; the crowds, the gross and flagrant consumerism, the stress over the whole gift thing. Its a time when people are literally trampling over others in their attempts to get the next best deal. It’s not just the high and mighty on Wall Street who are trampling over their fellow man. Shoppers at Wal Mart trampled a man to death in a buying frenzy. I’m sure most of us have experienced the insanity – from the parking lot jostling to the long check out lines. From buying madness to Bernie Madoff the world often seems to spin out of control.
Then you have the secular issues, from scholars that deconstruct the myth of Jesus, to others who claim the overdone Christmas holiday undermines the celebration of their religious holiday. And with the economy heading further and further south, its hard for anyone, let alone an anarchistic atheist like myself to have Christmas Spirit. Until I was saved by Santa!
Sure, Santa, like Jesus (God) are conformity enforcers, “He knows if you’ve been bad or good…” where kids get presents for being good and adults get heaven. But lets not throw the baby out with the bath water, Santa, like Jesus, offers the open mind an invaluable insight on life that most never get.
So this is how I found my way back to believing in Santa:
Reason #1: Faith In Santa:
Forget about Jesus, lets look at an even more difficult guy to believe in: Santa Claus. Every adult knows Santa does not exist. And yet Santa Claus has in some small way made parents all over the world more compassionate and generous with their children. Even the gift giving among adults is in some way nurtured by the story of Santa.
Think about it – Santa is the symbol of compassionate giving. A man who flies around the entire world giving children gifts as a reward for them being good. In our hearts all humans yearn to be good, to do whats right, to act Noble. Children in particular want to be good, since often they have not yet been scarred by traumatic events that can twist their developing psyches. And Santa adds a measure of accountability to their self-awareness of being good. Children, like adults, often do better when they feel they are held accountable.
Santa does not just give his children gifts, he gives all children gifts. He is a compassionate giver – with no prejudice. He has an open heart, and his love flows freely. This is the real symbolism of Santa that everyone seems to forget. But the hope and possibility for all of us to wake up and realize the hidden power in these stories is given to us year after year.
I have faith in the Power Of Santa and his open heart. This is one reason why I believe in Santa.
Reason #2: ‘Santa’ Does Exist- Really!
The story of Santa is real, no matter whether a real man called Santa (or Kris Kringle) ever existed. And the story of Santa, we can all agree, is what we call an idea or “information”.
If the idea of Santa does exist, that’s as good as him really existing. Think about it for a second – all reality is what we call information. You are made of genes, units of biological information. Our brains and computers share and store information as well – ideas, facts, theories, etc. This entire world manifests from the ‘formless’ to ‘in form’ – hence the word information. Good ideas, like good genes, tend to get spread around. Santa, like God, seems to have been a good idea. Hence their popularity.
We store good ideas, facts, memories, stories, etc – in our minds. All reality is a story my mind creates for me. So Santa, like Jesus, and Einstein, all exist only in my mind. I never met Martin Luther King but he and his speech (“I have a dream…”) live in my mind and still continue to inspire me today. So Santa, like Einstein, does exist, where everything else exists – in our minds.
In Mel Gibsons “The Passion of the Christ” Jesus said “I am the Word” meaning of course, that it is the words (information) that are what matters, not the flesh.
Reason #3: Reality Is An Illusion We All Agree To:
“After all, what is reality anyway? Nothin’ but a collective hunch” Lily Tomlin
My friend Howard Bloom devotes an entire chapter of his book, ‘Global Brain’ to explaining in detail that reality is a shared hallucination. Whats the difference between the information of Santa and his story, and Einstein and his story? My choice of whether I believe in them. And my choice is deterimed in large part by the collective choice of society. My reality tells me to say ‘No’ to Santa and ‘Yes’ to Einstein. But they are all information. The only thing separating good (yes) information from bad (no) information is how our minds choose to process them.
Information always comes from one place: energy. Energy is still a mystery to science. But its the fabric of reality – a reality that all great teachers from Jesus to Buddha to Einstein have said is an illusion. For example, when you touch someone, the energy from the atoms of their skin triggers energy in your body to travel up to your brain where you perceive touch. Its all just energy acting in both positive (attractive) and negative (repulsive) ways.
If I saw the “real” Santa, energy in the form of photons would hit my eye and send energy to my brain where the software program in the brain (a horribly outdated program I might add. You think Microsoft sucks?) would translate the information to me: “Flying Fat man on Sleigh, Red Outfit, White Beard – must be Santa Claus.” I then believe the story of Santa.
If I read a book on Santa, the photons send me the same message as above. If I am told the story of Santa by someone else – the energy in the sound waves hit my ears where a pulse of energy from my eardrum goes to my brain and once again, my software translates the information to me.
In the end its all information and if the information inspires us we act from it. From Santa and Jesus, to Einstein and MLK, it’s the information of each of these that inspires me to act. And after all, all information ends in it’s ability to inspire where you begin. Ultimately the choice to act from information is a personal one.
And I choose to act from the inspiration of Santa. Christmas is one of a million reminders to me that I can wake up to the real story of Santa and Jesus, and act from that awareness.
So Have a Merry Christmas All!
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