This Christmas season, I decided to re-begin blogging by following the thread of “Santa Claus” through my channel.
First, a channel talked about a child’s view of Santa–the direct miracle of experiencing a great gift. Then, the channel talked about the parent’s view of Santa–the direct miracle of creating a great gift. The teenager was disparaged somewhat as being cynical and bitter about discovering the superficial truth — that Mom & Dad are the gift givers — without discovering the deeper truth — that Mom and Dad are trying to communicate that the Universe itself is a great gift; that the Universe IS Santa Claus.
But, the channel doesn’t stay still. Here, in this channel, the teenager is portrayed as also experiencing the great gift of youth — that marvelous gift where we are invincible, uncontainable, unstoppable and on top of the world — and likens that time to the religion and science and technology of our day. Over and over, the channel points to the idea that Great Truths contain and express seeming opposites.
I’m trying to incorporate this into my everyday life and if these days are any testament to that, it must be working. These last two months have been a true Xmas miracle for me. And part of that miracle is to realize this really isn’t about me at all…XOXOX,
A few days ago we begin discussing, however or at least somewhat feebly, the possible nature of light and necessarily the nature of time, then after barely beginning the foray into that, we find ourself having to talk about the nature of balance, which could be related, but in this case wasn’t, because we needed to talk about personal matters, which we might add are starting to resolve themselves thanks to an HR investigation that we prompted. Even so, the thoughts of this event or events still occupies our thinking time and we are hardly in a thinking space to think about light. Even were we 100% focused on that concept, we’d still be inadequate for the task. As mentioned a few weeks ago, our concepts and ability to conceptualize are right-sized for our system, be it an individual system of neurons and glial cells and myelin producing cells, and astrocytes and so on, or be it a different kind of system consisting of people and computers, networks and communication systems. Even the latter, more robust, system is incapable of understanding the true nature of light. Light is so fundamental to the construct of this universe that to understand the nature of light means truly experiencing the big bang as an event, which is something our constructs are not privy to. Indeed, no matter how large a brain we were to get, be it our human brain, or be it the new brain we have postulated consisting of all of us networked together, such brain is still inadequate to the task and too limited spatially and temporally to be able to gather the data necessary to see the big picture. As we stated, non-true concepts will reflect and echo off the elements of the system until such non-truths have disappeared entirely. Unfortunately, from one viewpoint, the opposite is also true. Truths that are too large for our system will amplify off the elements of the system until the truth exits the system entirely. We may be left with a remnant of the truth, an echo of a paradox perhaps, such as the idea that God exists and God cannot exist as being simultaneously true somehow, but even that is not a statement of our truth but if anything a poor example of what we mean. In any case, this should be a concern for all humanity. Whatever concepts we have are limited by the universal system creating such concepts. We are able to write like this, because it is a possibility within our system, and to some degree this writing stands as testament, again however limited and however feeble, that there is something in our brain that is either able to tune into (if preexisting Jungian knowledge/consciousness) or able to create (via as of yet unexplored vistas of the ordinary human brain) or via some other physical/electroneurochemical mechanism. Whatever the case or whatever the cause here we are a-writing about the nature of things again, but today with a warning. Whatever truths we discover are truths that exist for our system and construct only, and the real nature of reality will escape our grasp. Like parents talking to children, the ideas must be right-sized and also based upon the current state of knowledge and being of the child. We are like children then to the universe, specifically children of the universe itself, and as children we can only understand a little about what Santa Claus is. We understand Santa lives up at the North Pole, perhaps, with Mrs Santa Claus and has some amazing toy factory, of which we are privy to a small selection on Christmas morning. What we are not privy to as children is the actual mechanism of the gift creation and placement, and generally are not privy to the intentions or finances of our parents. But beyond those obvious limitations in our childish knowledge base and understanding of how-the-Christmas-Universe-works, is a deeper and more fundamental reality, and that is the true nature of Christmas, of giving, of creating magical moments, and how as parents we are given a fleeting opportunity to create a miraculous moment, and for the briefest of times understand what it is to be a true creator. We look in our children’s wide eyes that Christmas morning, and know we have created and done a very good and very blessed thing, and even though our children’s eyes will age and no longer see the miracle we created that morning, if lucky they, too, will be privy to the knowledge that in spite of mean teenager glimpses into the contrary, Santa Claus really does exist in a deeper and more profound way.
Now this analogy or metaphor – we find ourself confused as to the differences at times – of how we go from Childlike wonder, to teenage skepticism, to parental creation of Childlike wonder, is an analogy (we suppose) of what it is we are trying to communicate. We begin in some child-like state of awe as to the existence of the universe, and we begin inventing Gods that we can understand and eventually these Gods form the basis of a communal religion. However, as we share our teenage stories and glimpses of reality to each other, there are those more enlightened teenagers among us that realize something about our parents’ story of Santa Claus or God is somehow remiss. Whether we be Muslims or Christians, Mormons or Pagans, Shamans or Tribal Witch Doctors, New Age Mysticists or Crystal Consciousness Healers, Catholics or Buddhists, Taoists or Confucians (and we don’t mean that any of these arbitrary groupings are anything but arbitrary – we are sure that a Mormon would be as opposed to a pairing with a Pagan as a Pagan would be with a Mormon!), we all come to agree that something has Come To Pass in our story that probably didn’t come to pass. Whether God is some turtle or elephant holding up the flat earth, or an angry, vengeful God, or Zeus upon Mount Olympus, or a benevolent Christ, we are stuck inventing all sorts of nonsense like nirvana and hell, two places we come to believe certainly don’t exist, although most of us have to some degree experienced nirvana and hell while on earth, even if only for a brief glimpse. As teenagers disgruntled with our parent’s inadequacies, we finally go on to rebel against their lies, explicit and implicit, and form our own, more learned, opinions such as that earth was created via some big bang, whose details still elude us, but we invent inverse square laws and stress energy tensors and phase functions and Hamiltonian dynamics and LaGrangian operators and the like to explain the universe away. Yet even those wonderful equations that guide our telescopes and satellites, our communication systems and computers, our microscopes and bubble chambers, have left us with an adolescent unease. We still find ourselves drawn to questions of God and spirituality and feel that perhaps there is more than a ghost in the machine, but perhaps a Holy Ghost. While we doubt the trinity, there does seem to be some infinity of spirits in this universe, and we find ourself struggling again with the mystery and miracle of creation and existence, and yes, we see light first as something amazing, then deduce its color spectrum and electromagnetic & photonic properties, and we invent Relativity and QED and other theories to describe it, but those theories are not the nature of light, any more then Mom and Dad’s pocketbook explains the nature of Santa Claus’s gift giving ability. There is a great truth behind what children see with wide-eyes, a truth that is lost to the skepticism and bitterness and hormonally-driven years of the teenager. In fact, Mom and Dad are not perpetrating a great lie, but rather a Great Truth, and even though poorly executed by plenty of Mommies and Daddies, there are those fortunate parents who have seen a great light, relit that candle, and set it burning brightly in the darkness for their children to see.
We now are growing up. Being a teenager is necessary and important, and had we not gone through and continue to grow through our teenage years, we would never advance as a species. Teenagers like to think they know it all, but we as older adults know otherwise. As we age, we realize our infirmities will sooner or later get the best of us, and even until then we are not so sure of things. We do realize the old adage is truer than we like, and yes, the more we learn, the less it is we really seem to know. The surety and brash boldness of our teenage years, when we felt on top of and indeed were on top of the world, where we were invincible, all-knowing, handsome and lithe, with clear eyes and youthful skin, where nothing was beyond us and our youthful capabilities, where this brash boldness once flowed through our veins like liquid testosterone, is slowly replaced by the frailty and humility of older age. We let our teenagers enjoy their brash boldness, just as we let our children enjoy the miracle of Christmas, because even here we understand the analogy, and that is that there is a great truth to what our teenagers know, and although we do not know for certain how to express it, there is something amazingly true about being on top of the world, where the sky is the limit, and for all we know our adolescent dreams may indeed come true. Our medicine is curing disease and even now entering into the realm of genetic cures. Our telescopes do peer deep into space and our teenage pontifications on the nature of light provide us dazzling insight and theoretical prowess. Our cities are great indeed, supported by advances in architecture and economy, in understandings of finances and money, in growing our food and transporting and so on. But these great achievements are teenage achievements, and although true and wonderful and miraculous, we are now just smart enough to realize we are not just smart enough, we know enough to know that we will never know enough, and God and spirit, and the true nature of light and time evade our grasp, and we are no closer to the end, then when we were childlike and wide-eyed staring at our Bibles and Qur’ans and Sacred Scrolls or repeating our Sacred Stories.
In reality, our teenageness is interrupted by our teenageness. Rather than talking on and on about the deep nature of things, we are distracted by the antics of our youth. The going-ons at work, which seem so vitally important to our teenage mind to focus on, are like the teenage antics of flirting with the pretty girl and puffing our chests at the football gang. We look at these pastimes as adults with a degree of knowing smiles, and realize high school for what it is, but know a more difficult reality lies ahead, and we shield our teenagers best we can from the horrors of bills and credit cards, divorce and miscarriage, legal entanglements and crushing accidents, and we sadly know that that great time of teenagers is all too brief, that that child-like but grown-up like time comes and passes all too quickly, and we do our best to loan the car, and calm the nerves of the boy spurned by the girl, and dry the tears of our daughter who didn’t make the cheerleading squad. We know these things really don’t matter in the long run, but we also know these things are every bit as important and as magical as Christmas and Santa Claus, and we do what we can to preserve them for our children.
We need be careful so as not to dash the teenage hopes of religion and science, knowing that all too soon the limitations of both will be all too apparent, when especially in the meantime we have little to offer but the decrepitude and frailty of old age. We now find ourselves being more adult than we ever wanted to be seeing the miracle and seeing the banality of virtually every action our planet and the people on our planet are capable of creating. We know enough to know that we don’t know enough, and we understand time enough to know we as individuals do not have time, and yet despite all of this, we have faith that our pontifications are not in vain. Yes, we know our focus on HR at work is no more than an idle teenage fantasy, and really doesn’t matter. All those things we are so afraid that the world will discover about us are those teenager things that teenagers desperately try to hide from their parents: their questions about religion, the apparent brutality of technical and scientific progress, smoking weed with our friends and drinking beer underage, driving our cars too fast, and unprotected sex with our lust-driven teenage crush. We use four-letter words, skip school, and defy our parents demands to go to church and shank our pants up, with our clueless parents oblivious understanding of being cool, being hip, and letting our boxers and briefs illuminate the world, and frequently our buns joining in the thong/throng. We hope we are all laughing, because in the end there is really nothing more than light. The light of a child’s Christmas eyes, and their parents glimpsing that miracle. The light of a teenager’s first date, and their parents glimpsing that miracle.
We are actually in a joyous place and rather than bemoan our limitations, we can rejoice in them, knowing that we have been given enough, knowing that what we have is enough, and that all our big questions: the nature of life and the universe, of light and energy and time and space and matter, of spirituality and ethics, of God, of science and technology, that these big questions will echo throughout our brains and our collective consciousness, and whatever is true will harmonize and stabilize within the system. All these things will be neither too small and fade away or too big and expand away, but like Goldilocks, we can have our bowl of porridge and eat it too.
We are only beginning to learn to let go, and we have so very, very far to travel. But even so, holding onto what we have and travelling nowhere but here can be enough for us. Our journey is to not travel, but to be still, and be that child and that parent and that teenager and that grandparent all at once, to be all things and to be no things, knowing that we cannot truly express what we know, any more than we can tell our suffering teenager that all will be okay.
All will be okay, now and forever. The universe can contain our teenage antics and we need not worry about the destruction of the universe for it cannot be destroyed. We need not worry about the antics of the priests and the technicians, the scientists and the politicians, for all is good and all is great, and although we cannot prove this, we don’t need to, for we have seen a great light in the darkness, and that light has illuminated our way. Amen!