Christmas

And not just any old Christmas but the last Christmas of the Mayan calendar.

So much has been written about the significance of 21st December 2012 – from the literal “It’s the end of the world” to the metaphorical – “It’s the end of the world as we know it” and everything in between.

Most people fall into the “everything in between” category.  They remember all the doomsday prophecies around 1st January 2000 when it was rumored that all the computers in the world would stop working, that peoples’ entire medical records would cease to exist and planes would drop out of the sky. A lot of companies bought the hype and spent an enormous amount of money on “Year 2000 solutions.”  And of course many other people got hugely wealthy selling these solutions to them.

This is how we operate as a species.  Our modus operandi is fear, therefore the vision for our future is built around defence. 

In the Western world, most of us don’t have a daily struggle to find clean water, shelter and something to eat that won’t kill us, yet we are consumed with anxiety and because we are enterprising, entire industries have sprung up to capitalize on our fear driven emotions…

Insurance companies – What if we fall sick, get injured, can’t pay our mortgage, have our house broken into, leave a bag on the bus, drop coca cola on the computer?

Financial services – How will we protect our money and keep it from the taxman?  How will we know if interest rates are going to go up or down?  What if the Dow Jones wobbles?  Can we even get our head around the pension thing?

Pro-Life companies (forget the anti abortion brigade – we’re the ones who want to live… and we want to live forever).  Cosmetic surgeons, health spas, collagen implants, oxygen tents, nanobots. Because the only fear greater than death is the fear that we might age!!

Expensive food – food that is whole, raw, organic, sprouted, hand rolled, loved, free from GMOs, E numbers and the various interventions of big business.  The kind of food that will guarantee we stay young for ever.

Fast food – because we’re so busy earning enough money to pay for all of the above, it’s the only thing we have time to eat.

Eets crazy.

And that’s just the fears we personally preside over.  On top of these are the government sponsored fear based industries –  corporations that make BILLIONS OF DOLLARS from the sale of increasingly absurd airport scanning equipment; cyber security, anti terrorism procedures, weapons grade weapons, genetically modified dogs… it’s endless.

On the other hand, this has to signal a high five for the “end of the world as we know it” brigade.  We can’t go on like this.  At some point we have to bring in some better intelligence.

It’s time for the quiet, reasonable voices of science and spirituality to be heard.

From the scientific point of view, it’s simple magnetics.  Defence calls forth attack.  From the spiritual perspective the answer is – and always has been – love.  Love, being the opposite of fear is the only thing that can change reality for the better.  Love is the only thing that can make someone feel safe – contrary to popular opinion, no amount of hand guns can do that.

This is a conundrum for the people who want to make fortunes out of our capacity for fear… they can’t make money out of love.  In order to get around this troublesome problem, they just changed the definition of love.  Hey presto!  Now love has financial value.  It was a clever and heinous branding exercise.

Which brings us to Christmas!

Every year, what should be a joyous celebration of the love we feel for each other, is turned into an anxiety ridden charade, for the benefit of… you guessed it corporations who want to feed on our fear.

The fear of buying the wrong present – spending too little (if they spend more on me, I’ll be embarrassed) or spending too much (if I buy this and they get me a cheese grater I’m going to be really pissed off).  The difficulty of spending EQUALLY.  If I buy one friend a gift of $50 and another a gift of $32 it will look like I care less for them so I need to find an extra present to even things up.

The inevitable outcome of the above dilemma – “Ask Dad what he wants, then you buy it, I’ll wrap it and we can all just act surprised on Christmas morning”.  (I did mention charades).

The absurd stress of rushing around aimlessly buying things that nobody needs.  In order to fulfil what exactly?  Some ancient tradition?  No, this has all been created in the past fifty years by corporations who want to make their end of year sales targets.  Since the invention of the credit card, the notion of being without something we need is a quaint memory.  If we need something we buy it… we don’t wait around for a few months in the vague hope that someone will pick up on the fact we really need something, so they can buy it for us at Christmas.  Ergo everything we receive is superfluous to our needs – further adding to the burden of “stuff” that we accumulate over time.

There is the blatant association of gifts and love – the more you love someone, the more expensive the gift should be.  Spending money ‘proves’ how much you love someone.  Just as people are struggling with one of the worst recessions in the western world they’re hit with the 24/7 anxiety producing advertising of luxury goods.  “If you really love her… “

Or even more disconcerting the association between the size of the gift and the size of the appreciation.  There is a hideous advert in the U.S. for Kay jewellery whose strapline is  “Every kiss begins with Kay.”  Subtext… buy this diamond pendant and there’s a good chance you’ll get laid.  It would be more honest to chuck a few hundred dollars on the bedside table.  Subtext… I haven’t got the brains or the poetry to make a meaningful connection with you.  You seem to be easily distracted by bright shiny objects, so get your kit off and we’ll call what happens love.

Lastly of course, there’s the piece de resistance… the all consuming fear of the credit card bill that lands ominously in early January, just as the fog of the New Year’s Eve hangover has cleared.  No wonder mid January has the highest suicide rate of the year.

Are we getting how insane this is yet?

Life has become very complex, but it isn’t complicated, it is in fact very simple.

1.  The force that drives all our actions and all our behaviours needs to change from fear to love.

2.  We need to reclaim love.

Instead of driving ourselves crazy trying to think of clever, creative gifts (then in frustration throwing down the plastic card again) we need to remember a simple fact.

Nothing we really need costs money.

We need to be loved, we need to be seen, we need to be appreciated, we need to be listened to, we need to be comforted, we need to be inspired.  We need to laugh, we need to cry, we need to talk past midnight, we need to love, we need to care, we need to connect, we need to gaze into each others eyes and feel the miracle of existence.

None of these things cost money.

The revolution doesn’t have to involve bloodshed and barricades.  We don’t have to figure a way to outwit the fat cat corporations and the million dollar bonus bankers, we could kill them more effectively by choosing to spend less and love more.

Could love finally trump fear?  Like Neo in the Matrix, could we wake up and stop buying the illusion we’ve been fed.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.  And not before time.

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