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Archive for December, 2010

There is something profoundly human about the practice of hanging up Christmas stockings.

There it sits, dangling from our mantle, empty and waiting, yearning to be filled. Poor stocking. It carries the weight of all our expectations, not only for the Christmas holiday but for the entire year, and yes, perhaps, even for our entire life. There, on display for all to see, is the hopes, fears, hunger and wishes of the human soul.

The emptiness inside the stocking is the bottomless place inside ourselves. It is a thing we keep well hidden, this dark and infinite hole. Here is the secret that we dare not reveal to another living soul, lest we reveal our vulnerability, risking being gutted like the puppy showing its soft underbelly to the alpha male wolf. We tell no one.

Listen. This is the secret. We want to believe in the ineffable and infinite consciousness that resides in all things. We want to believe we are part of the Universal Whole. We want to believe that Oneness, not love, will conquer all. We want to believe in magic.

As adults we forget the gentler time, when we were young and the memory of our lives beyond the veil was still fresh. We were convinced that we were magical creatures in tune with the magic of the Oneverse. We loved everything and expected nothing in return, trusting implicitly in the abundance of the Oneverse, assuming that everyone around us operated on the same wavelength. Experience has taught us otherwise. Our hearts have been broken a thousand times by the time we reach adulthood. Magic was forgotten as the ways of the world split us off from our Source.

The Santa myth triggers the old memories and dredges up the secret yearnings. There in the darkest part of the year, we remember that we once believed that there is a jolly old fat elf that fills up that empty sock, thereby filling up our souls by acknowledging our existence, thus reconnecting us once more to the Wholeness, to the Oneness.

What we want is for Santa to be real. We need there to be an all seeing, all knowing being. We need to believe that goodness is rewarded and evil is abhorred. We need someone to see us for who we truly are and love us unconditionally, despite all our faults, perhaps, but in truth, we want to be loved for our supposed blemishes as well as our imaginary perfections. If Santa were real, then there can be things like morality and honor and justice and, the holy grail of holy grails, boundless and unconditional love. If Santa were real, then wishes really would come true.

We can sometimes find a pale substitute for this connection in the eyes of the ones who love us. (A tall order, humans being what they are, imperfect and ego centric.) We have pared down our needs. Simplified them to conform with the current reality. As adults, we  settle for a moment of togetherness, the illusion of connectedness, or simple companionship in the form of the grip of a friendly hand in the darkness.

The thing we dread most is disappointment.

Gifts given during this time of dark light are meant to be reaffirmations and re-connections. But quantity has replace quality. Holiday gift giving has morphed into a perverted parody of true giving. We cannot love, so we give useless gifts as a place holder for our true feelings. The presents under the tree become a sort of horrific test that few can pass. If you loved me, you would know me. If you knew me, you would give me what I wanted, or better yet, what I needed. Lately, less and less effort is put into the process. “It is the thought that counts” is the battle cry of the callow and the emotionally stunted. Gift giving turns into a surreal sort of cruel torture. The gifts are of little or no value to the giver or the receiver. Stores fill their shelves with useless things that no one in their right mind would buy at any other time of the year. (Do you wonder, then, why there are so many emotional breakdowns during this crazy season? Relationships are destroyed, families torn apart, hearts broken, as the true nature of people’s hearts are revealed in all their awful self centered glory underneath all that glittery wrapping paper.)

But what would one expect? The true believers are outnumbered by the pretenders. There is a way to remedy this. Close your eyes and believe with all your being, that the Santa myth,with its feet buried deep in the human condition, is a thing we need as surely as we need the air we breath and the water we drink. Imagine, as you hang your stocking, that the magic is real.

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Death: Humans need fantasy to *be* human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.
Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?
Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.
Susan: So we can believe the big ones?
Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.
Susan: They’re not the same at all.
Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.
Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what’s the point?
Death: You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?

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If one were to read between the lines in the current fashion of zombie fascination (which of course is where you see the most interesting things, between the lines, that is), one would begin to get an inkling of the current anxiety that hangs over the human hive mind’s group think.

The evolution of the hive mind and its current awakening into a new and higher awareness is problematic. Those who have made the leap, who have assimilated the future path of the human species, know consciously and intuitively that the status quo has ceased to serve a purpose. While they are busy forging the proverbial brave new world, they become increasingly aware that their biggest obstacle to change are those who are still asleep. The unconscious. The unaware. The sleepers who refuse to wake from the dream of their own birth and insist on being stillborn.

What if the Rapture, described so diligently by the ergot eating prophets, was this? This moment. This time. Only the un-ascended do not conveniently disappear. They just linger, clinging to you, pulling you down with their old thoughts and old solutions and old ideas, wishing you were just like them: Dead inside and insatiably hungry for the Light that they refuse to see, intent on eating out your brains because you dare to act alive.

What if….?

 

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Loki, it is said, mated with the giantess Angrbooa and had three children, the giant wolf Fenrir, the giant snake Jormungandr and a goddess named Hel. It is said that the other gods and goddesses were horrified upon hearing this news, believing that nothing good could come from this mixture of the worst of both bloodlines. It was prophesied that Loki’s children would be the catalysts for the ending of heaven and earth. In a bonehead move that became something of a self-fulfilling prophesy, the gods hunted down Loki’s children and found them hidden in the land of the giants. Loki, it seemed, did not trust his fellow gods to leave his children unmolested. Fenrir was bound, but not without inflicting great bodily harm on the gods who were foolish enough to try. Jormungandr was cast into the deepest part of the oceans where he grew so large, he encircled the earth, biting his own tale. Hel was cast into a parallel universe and given dominion over 9 worlds (mirrors of the 9 world of the gods, perhaps). Hel’s worlds are populated by the people Odin and his brutish ilk had no use for, the dead who died from illness and old age.

It is Loki’s children who initiate Ragnarok, the ending and rebirth of the world. It is Fenrir who kills Odin. Jormungandr lets go of his tail and the world ends but in the timeless perception of gods, this has not yet happened or is a past memory, depending on your point of view.

What of Hel? Well Hel has had a long time to think, there, in the prison constructed by the other gods. Ragnarok has drowned the world and washed away the old gods. The magic that kept her has chained faded and crumbled to dust. Her enemies are all ghosts, a thing that must frustrate, for she surely would have loved to kill them herself, to ease the rage caused by their unjust treatment of her. But one thing is for sure. The magic and the old gods who could have constrained her are long gone. The 9 worlds are hers for the plucking.

This would be frightening if she were anyone else. But she is Hel, half black and half white,  the balanced Yin/Yang, able to hold onto the tail of the dragon of paradox that powers reality. She stands in that knife-thin place halfway between the infinite spiral into the depths of introspective contemplation and the infinite explosion of possibilities, infused with grace, serenity and a ruthless pragmatism that frightens those who are less than honest, less than moral, less than brave.

And she has had a long time to listen to the stories of the dead, from the dead who were wise enough to die of old age, and from those too fragile or too vulnerable to survive in worlds that had forgotten that the heart of any civilization is the sacred communion of mothers and children around the hearth of a home.

Hel is a figure of unhealable tragedy. She is alone. More alone than anything in the Universe. She searches for Fenrir, intent on setting him free, no matter what the consequences, for she feels she owes him at least that.  Jormungandr listens to her night thoughts and writhes in sympathetic agony, shaking the world and spouting his anger in volcanic fury. He would end the world if she spoke the word.

But, she is not ready to end it. She has things to do, things to prove. Injustices need to be adjudicated. Ancient messes need cleaning up. The prayers of a billion dead children need to be answered. Do not discount her resolve. One of her faces is the white light madonna, but the other surely is the black hearted warrior. She carries a sword and its name is Death.

And one more thing. She is intent on solving that ‘alone’ thing. Whether her children are made or born or forged in the fire of her own yearning, she will populate the 9 worlds with gods once more. Once done, she will challenge the authority of Heaven, with Fenrir as her champion and rise to rule from the One Throne. Odin should have left well enough alone.

Julian Assange

And if one were to take this as allegorical teaching tale for current events, one can see Julian Assange as one of Fenrir’s children.  Revenge, after all, is a dish best served cold and blood feuds never die.

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