I’m not sure how old I was when I went snooping in my parents closet and found my presents from Santa were stored there, a week or so before Christmas. I’d been encouraged to look by a classmate who had made a small step towards truth and enlightenment himself, and was more than happy to share it with his “wittle baby fwends”.
Asking my parents for confirmation seemed awkward, even after a second look to make sure everything was back in it’s original position after my rummaging. This was one of my earliest exposures to the emotional risks of fervently believing in myths, but the presents kept arriving every Christmas and I gladly received them. I may have been young, but I wasn’t foolish…. at least not as foolish as I’d been in my “younger years”.
After this startling revelation, I took great pleasure in watching the growing excitement in my younger brothers as the holidays approached, slowly shaking my head and thinking, “You poor gullible bastards”….. **probably not my precise thoughts**. I believe this event helped spawn my lifelong skepticism and search for truth. Albeit with good intentions, my parents had been lying to me. As the years, then decades passed, I would discover many other myths, presented as truthful facts, that were also lies.
Thankfully, I wasn’t exposed to religion as a child. Our family had a brief foray with it, but as upper middle class WASP‘s, church attendance wasn’t mandatory and was satisfied by a few token visits to the towering Presbyterian church (the church of WASPs) before trimming down to only the more pleasant traditions like the meals (without the obligatory pilgrimage or prayers) and, of course Christmas, the king of holidays. Easter was “meh”. Hard boiled eggs, and chocolate do not make a stelar holiday (but bunnies are super cute).
I became a fervent seeker of truth in my early teens when the assassination of JFK blew my mind as well as his. Drifting into adulthood, I began reading and accumulating books on a wide variety of both common and esoteric subjects. Eastern philosophy, Ram Das, Buddhism, Christianity and much more, including political and world events (after realizing I’d been raised in a bubble of entitlement, removed from reality).
My years of study with the AMORC was particularly enlightening. I realized that “my Mind” was not me per say, but rather my brain hard at work fleshing out “meaning and purpose” like a thirsty sponge (as it the case with all seekers of truth). I learned that “I” could, with concerted effort and practice, watch my Mind at work, and control the building blocks of my “reality” and world view.
After a few months of initial basics, I was made aware that the “voice in my head”, just like the one in your own as you read this, requiring direction, correction and supervision, just like a small child. One of the exercises was to make the voice stop at my command. To stop thinking. To remain quiet and still. The first hurdle was one full minute. “Hah”, my Mind laughed. “We can do that.”
Initially only ten or so seconds would pass before I’d hear some murmuring from within my skull. Some random thought. It was often something like “I wonder how long it’s been now”?. DAMN IT!!!! SHUT THE HELL UP!!
It took months to get it under control and the admonition that not being able to control your own mind (which could be called insanity) would make the road to enlightenment, longer, fraught with detours, roadblocks and potholed paths understood. I worked very hard to “lose my Mind”, but it’s been well worth the effort.
The Santa myth is still pervasive in our culture and brings joy to many millions, both adults and children. For many of them, this jolly, generous wizard has eclipsed the namesake of CHRISTmas, and has shockingly been morphed into one giant muddled mishmash. However, aside from the humiliation, it may bring to the last child in it’s class remaining a “believer”, it’s relatively harmless (and great for retailers). But virtually all adults realize that it’s all myth. Eerily, Santa is an anagram for Satan.
But religious myths continue to spawn hatred, bigotry, death and destruction on our planet. My species, (and yours, my friends) Homo sapiens, stands apart from the 8 million+ species on our planet. There are a plethora of creation myths that are still in circulation and many of the deities that were worshipped in the past have been relegated to the dustbin of history.
Although it’s common for us to feel superior and more highly evolved than our fellow species, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to name a single blessing we’ve bestowed upon our planet that benefits all living things. Quite to the contrary.