T’is the season to engage in all sorts of ritualistic behaviour without any forethought for our actions. We are hopelessly surrounded with bright decorations, trees, wreaths and mistletoe everywhere we turn. You are to decorate your space as such or be frowned upon by an overwhelming solidarity and social acceptance of mandatory Christmas cheer. And I am not downplaying this ‘cheer’. The emotion in the air is real. Strangers are smiling at one another and exchanging positive emotions more often than any other time of year. Everyone is excited to spend time with family and loved ones, gathered around the decorated tree on hand and knee, taking turns bowing to reach the gifts beneath it. We are taught how to participate in the ritual long before our oldest memories. We reminisce on the fond emotions of Christmas from our childhood and crave to re-create those moments with our families. We are taught that this is a Christian holiday and subscribe to that statement so adamantly that some of us become genuinely offended when one says “Happy Holidays” or “Xmas”, omitting the word ‘Christ’ from the phrase. We are told we are celebrating the birth of Christ, and frankly, it seems as though that’s all we need to know. We believe so strongly with so little thought. We believe from an age long before we can think for ourselves. Anything we ask is readily accepted as God’s truth. Say no more. It brings happiness to you and everyone around you. There’s a sort of magic in the air. There is no urge to denounce something that feels so right. We are celebrating the birth of Christ says mom, pastor, sister, friend, stranger, radio, TV show, etc. NevR mind the fact that it cannot be disputed that Jesus was not born Christmas day. Or the fact that our whole world switches into Christmas mode quite literally the day after Halloween (and I would argue this is much more for the benefit of commercial enterprise and corporate profit than anticipation for the special day. Let’s also NevR mind the profound financial and emotional burden this holiday has on so many of our underprivileged). Disregard the phenomena of plant life like trees, wreaths and mistletoe being symbols that come from Pagan tradition eluding to growth, everlasting life and next year’s successful harvest. And I won’t go into other similar Pagan/Christian mash-ups like eggs and Easter bunnies being tied in to the death and resurrection of Jesus. There are real answers and origins to all of these things; however my intention is not to write a 10000 word essay. My point is this; are these inconsistencies not absolutely obvious? What inspires us to not ask, to not look up, to not study, and to not make up our own minds on the issue? Do you know the reasons behind why you do things? Are you content with not knowing? I’m sure the idea of the subconscious warrants a degree of comfort in regards to making irrational decisions. It’s perfectly human to react instinctively to things or make choices steeped in emotional response before thinking things through. There are many things we all do, many staples in each of our characters that are formed outside of our knowledge. “I don’t know why I’ve always done this, or why I have always been this way.” Many of these reasons lay in a realm beyond the surface of our conscious mind. But what if it’s not simply instinctive … or inherently human? What if something was taught to you a long time ago and over time had simply become a part of you… And more importantly, what if you weren’t taught correctly? That would mean something as inherent to your being as the emotions you feel on a day to day basis was stuck inside of you in an unnatural way, like rape or a poison in disguise, forever hindering you from profound truth or a complete understanding of the world you live in and interact with. It is for these reasons that I suggest we all draw a careful line between what we call inherent, and what is simply ritualistic. I understand it can be difficult to change certain things within you. Some glitches can’t be corrected short of a total meltdown, one’s entire world and life’s meaning shattering into sharp, falling pieces around them. To unplug from the matrix can be a severe emotional and psychological strain. Sometimes a person may even instinctively attack a threatening truth in anger or label a fact as foolish to the point of complete disregard in order to continue feeling safe and unharmed. Please be aware of these subconscious defenses now. My intention is not to convince you of anything. My only hope is for you to think and develop an opinion of your own. You are no sheep. Nor is this the walking dead. Think outside of the herd, and look deeper into the things you don’t understand. Create that expectation for yourself. That’s all from me for now. Have a Merry Christmas. I hope Santa answers all of your children’s prayers.
-This was NevR supposed to happen