At this time of year our ego lemming natures awaken to follow the Christmas herd. Store owners and their manufacturing sponsors clap their hands with seasonal joy as the cash tills begin to ring. The time for giving has become the time for financia survival and a balanced profits sheet.
Bizarrely we tend to give much unnecessary and unneeded stuff to those whom we love as a token of our undying loyalty. The trouble is, we lie and deceive ourselves as we’re swept along by the Yuletide frenzy.
Those whom we genuinely love, know it already. Those whom we don’t, probably know it too. No gift wrapped bauble, made in China, will change that. We intrinsically know who we want to exchange energy flow with and those with whom we don’t.
So am I being a bit of an old Irish Scrooge, with Dickensian cries of ‘humbug’?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, because the more I observe the media hyped festival of Christmas or The Holiday Season as my politically correct, American friends refer to it, the more I see a darker hand at work. No, not the supposedly pagan hands of ancient fertility festivals but the subtle desire infection that is the essence of dysfunctional mankind. This is the time for subliminal mimetic or imitative desire to run riot; its annual consolidation under the guise of religious and humanitarian trappings.
Interestingly, those who chose to opt out of the somewhat crazed frenzy tend to be scapegoated by family and friends and labelled, albeit behind their backs, as mean or uncaring. The hidden mechanism that the Nazarene came to expose always plays the same old game: desire along with its consequential scapegoating. Isn’t it bizarre, that by pseudo-revelling in the very birth of its Divine Nemesis, the primal mechanism strengthens its grip on the human family. What a devious little foe we constantly face.
No, because like most of us, I too need time to recharge my social and relational batteries in the midst of Winter’s dark dance. Yet I find that the present cultural setting doesn’t do it for me. The Light of contemplation and renewal has been replaced with the flashing neon signs of a glitzy Santa and and robotic reindeers, as benevolently produced for us by the raging market economy. I guess the greater the simplicity, the more I enjoy this hijacked sacred event that we call Christmas. Stripped of all its stuff, what’s left are the ones we love and our Self, those two great mysteries in our swirling Cosmic Consciousness. And yes, at the heart of all lies the still small Voice with its determined whispers, asking to be heard above the phoney piped music of mall and iPod.
So, is there a Gift under all our cultural wrapping?
I believe so.
A gift that’s present 24/7, throughout the varied seasons of time.
A subtle but insistent Presence that wants to embrace us without charge.
A gift of Being, the gift of knowing where we’ve come from and to Whom or What we shall return.
That beats the techie gizmos of the 21st century anytime.