Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Santa Claus - a myth we understand inside one we don't

Why do we tell our children the gifts we give them for Christmas come from a man with a beard in the sky?  For two reasons.  One, the myth of Santa Claus creates mystery around the gifts, like another layer of wrapping paper.  Not only is the gift concealed, it comes from someone the child has never met - someone with strange powers of transportation and intuition into choosing (and making) the right gift.

Inevitably, the child finds out Santa Claus does not exist.  Are we just being cruel - delighting in the disillusionment of childhood?  I don't think so.  We recognize on a deeper level that finding out a man in the sky with a beard who does nice things for us (or gives us coal if we are bad) does not actually exist is a good thing -  to discover that the gifts we receive are generated from the raw materials around us, and given to us by people who know us and love us.

But we have to remember one more thing as adults.  Santa Claus is a facsimile of another myth - a larger man in the sky who dispenses blessings or can curse us.  And like a child, the discovery that this is just a story both dispels an illusion and is empowering.  We grow up again.

The larger myth of the man in the sky was told and retold for similar reasons we tell a child Santa Claus exists.  It helps to create a reward/punishment model to keep us in line, and creates a sense of wonder.  However, the sense of wonder at the gifts dispensed from above has had some rather negative side effects.  Primarily, we don't recognize the gifts actually come from the raw materials and people around us.

The raw materials that the gifts are made from  We too are resources for others, gifts for others.  And when we dissolve, we dissolve back into the elements the gifts of nature are composed of.  We don't go back to the north pole on a flying sled.  This is the bigger reveal that the myth of Santa Claus is meant to prepare us for.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I am a recreational vehicle

Vehicles we make use of can be categorized in this way:

- Daily transportation
- Recreational vehicles.

Daily transportation should fulfill certain needs like dependability, efficiency, comfort and safety.  Because these vehicles are designed for the above, they often are not as fun as a recreational vehicle, but more comfortable to use regularly.

Recreational vehicles are fun, designed often for a specific purpose (like a camper) and do not fulfill the needs of a daily driver.  Because of their design (low fuel efficiency, large and hard to park) they are not comfortable to use long-term.

Frustration can occur when one forget forgets the design limitations of each category.

I own two recreational vehicles - a camper van, and a motorcycle.  I do not own daily transportation.  For that, I rely on walking on my own two feet.

I prefer walking for daily transportation for several reasons.

It is the most dependable form of transportation, and the most adaptable (I can enter a new form of transportation without leaving behind my legs).
I know how to maintain it, cost free.  I do alignment based hatha yoga daily to tune up my body, and I eat pretty well.
It's a very quiet and pleasant way to travel, and others can join me and peel of in their own direction when it suits.

I enjoy my camper and motorcycle because they are unique and fun.  I accept they have limitations and I use them in a way that reflects my acceptance.

When one makes use of a recreational vehicle, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The vehicle should be left in as good or better condition than it came to you in, so others can enjoy it in the same way
Recreational vehicles are not very dependable.  Make sure you have roadside assistance in case of a breakdown, and please do not abandon the vehicle on the road - bring it back to a safe place.