I remember my youngest son was about 5 years old when he came to me and asked point blank, "Is there a Santa Clause? A real Santa Claus?"
We were able to hold off on answering that question for his brother till he was older, but the second born grows up in the accelerated class.
I repeated the same story that seemed to work on his older brother.
"You know, Santa is like the spirit of Christmas. He is the symbol of the giving nature of Christmas. Just like the Kool Aide man who bursts through the walls in those TV ads; that animated drink pitcher is to Kool Aide as Santa is to Christmas."
No visible reaction on his part. I continue with my revelation, "You know you can't really see spirit with your eyes so we sometimes invent pictures that symbolize the essence of what spirit is."
In the few seconds of silence that followed I could tell my son was not buying this explanation. He turned his head to look at me more directly through his left eye, and said,
"Is there a man with a white beard wearing a red suit that actually comes down our chimney on Christmas Eve every year?"
There was no other way to answer that question.
My five year old son wasn't questioning the idea of Christmas nor the Christmas spirit of giving, he just wanted to know if there was really an unshaven, over weight guy in a funny red uniform delivering packages through the chimney?
For me there is a lesson in that experience. It becomes a metaphor to Life's other conceptual struggles.
(Me) My inner self asked (I) my conscious self "Is there a God? A real God?" Everyone comes to that point in their growth and maturity, when we ask ourselves if God is real. We have been told stories about God. We have been shown images of God, there are books on God. Good things were said to be delivered by God, but what is my individual adult opinion of who or what God means to me. I ask the question of myself. There is no answer immediately. I continue with my revelation, "God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, All Life, Truth, Intelligence,
I turn my inner head to look at me more directly through my right-eye and say,
"Is there an old guy up in the clouds with a long white beard wearing a long white robe with thunder bolts from his finger tips? He blesses some and judges others according to a strict set of rules?"
Any anthropomorphism of God inverts creation. No human concept of God can be true. We exist in the image of God not God in the image of us.
If God doesn't have any human physical qualities nor any human emotional qualities in what "image" are we made the same? The capacity to conceive of conscious existence, that is the Image and Likeness of God. To know that we know, I am that I am. It could be religion is as simple as that. What we call Mankind is the point at which Omniscience becomes aware if ITS self. God can not exist without mankind any more than Knowledge can exist without knowing. A consciousness that does not know of its own existence can not exist as consciousness.
Religion defined is: an organized collection of beliefs and cultural systems. So past the idea of I AM, the point at which knowledge knows itself, the rest of religion is just costumes, clubhouses, rules and exclusivity. Can't we all just let everybody celebrate this consciousness in any way they want to? We need to find our own salvation and stop trying to "save" everyone else from theirs.
The only thing that I am certain of is this: God would never encourage, condone, require or accept violence and killing as a franchise to any reward, here or hereafter.
Stepping every so quietly off this very short box I am standing on. Deep Breath... explain what that was all about...
I just keep hearing the term Holy War or War against Religion it seems like such an oxymoron. God on the side of War... any side, of any War? It's impossible.
All for now.
As you were,