[lit-ideas] Re: practicalities, hoaxes and holidays

  • From: Andy Amago <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 18:54:16 -0800 (PST)

-----Original Message-----
From: Eternitytime1@xxxxxxx
Sent: Dec 23, 2004 9:07 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: practicalities, hoaxes and holidays

In a message dated 12/23/2004 9:32:42 AM Central Standard Time,  
aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
But, you  see, I have self esteem issues, so I can't help thinking  this.

Hi, Andy!
<g> You misunderstood--my friend thinks it is relating to self-esteem  as to 
whether or not a person from a different religion can celebrate someone  
else's holidays.  *I* think it has to do with finding the wonder in  everything 

A.A.  I do apologize, I just saw this post.  The last few days were hectic.  I 
think I do a pretty good job of celebrating Christmas.  I have a Christmas tree 
(which I can't wait to get rid of) in my family room, lights strung between the 
kitchen and dining room, a fiber optic Christmas tree in my breakfast nook, a 
small reindeer on the living room coffee table, Christmas candles in the 
fireplace, two large poinsettia baskets with electric lights, a small standing 
Santa, stuff hanging from windows, and I guess that's it.  Plus I did my share 
keeping up the economy at Christmas time, mostly through catalog shopping, and 
even did my traditional trip to the mall for some real Christmas spirit.  I 
must say it was kind of disappointing this year.  Any ideas for what more I 
could do to convince your friend?  

M.B.And, I also think that we can get so tangled up inside or so hurt that we  
forget how to do that.  

A.A. What in the world makes you think I'm hurt?  Just because I wait for the 
sales at the dollar store, geez, is that any reason to think ...

M.B. (I also think of the neurological studies being  done 
whereby they are looking at the brain waves of people when they do things  like 
listen to music, look at colors, look at lights, look at patterns, focus on  
their belief systems. Certain ones of those change our brain patterns/waves  -- 
and so, things like music therapy, etc. have taken off and there really is a  
medical angle to why they work.  The religious folk--very interesting. No  
matter *which* religion, if you are in the fundamentalist end of it, your brain 
waves are all the same...and so forth. When I read, periodically, of such  
things, I often think of a book I read ages ago called The Heretical Imperative 
by Peter Berger which details three schools of thought within his conception 
of  'religion'...)

A.A. That's old news that religion is good for the health.  Praying evokes the 
same brain activity as meditation.  I prefer to meditate.  My health is fine, 
and at this point I just couldn't convince myself that there is anything to 
pray to.  

M.B. I have decided that I really DO need to put my Belief of the Month Club on 
the web...It might assist in explaining so much!  <g>   (actually, one of the 
people I met while in Canada emailed me and asked me to do  that...!)
Pagan Christianity.  Yep--that is *really* the religion that you seem  to be 
observing around you in your world.   It is NOT fundamentalist  Christianity.  
Please please know that there IS a difference.  The  True Believers do NOT 
have Christmas trees.  (unless they have recently  come into the fold and have 
not gone through the entire indoctrination program  yet)   True Believers do 
NOT tell there kids that there is a Santa  Claus (the ones who are on the edge 
will buy the story that has Santa praying to  Baby Jesus--but, again, they are 
not yet fully indoctrinated and True Believers  will sigh and try, yet again, 
to explain why that is *not* appropriate True  Christian behavior.

A.A. I'm very sure.  It's the nature of fundamentalism to take joy out of life. 
 Hide it behind veils, throw out the light along with the lights.  For most of 
the U.S. though, Christmas without a tree is not Christmas.  

M.B.  But, there IS a pagan Christian. (or perhaps, a Christian pagan--I do 
actually, a few of those--<g>) and they are different from the  Mystical 
Christians.  You are also forgetting that there is this whole slew  of Liberal 
Christians that exist--they have elements of both the True Believers  as well 
the Pagan Christians.
I could tell you about the Messianic Jewish group as my son is going to be  
hanging out with them the next few days.  (so don't even go 'there' with  
telling me about being silly to find the 'good' in all religions. <wry  look>)  
someone who, literally, would leave her home in total  expectation of G-d's 
wrath because of not being married to her son's father any  longer (I did tell 
you about the 13 things that G-d was going to let happen to  my child and 
myself because of this direct disobedience and as a True  Believer--well, I 
*ought* to know better.  I also know, very very well,  what it is like to have 
crisis of faith and to be in the middle of nowhere in  the dark and having just 
been let out of 'prison'...and take one step with great  trepidation only to 
land in the midst of the darkest of the darkest  jungle.  
I would much much prefer that those who have faith in ANYTHING keep  it.  
Close to their hearts and cherish the fact that it is there.  

A.A.  Does Satanism count?  Just kidding, but I have a problem with the old "we 
have to believe in something" idea.  Why do we have to believe in superstition?

M.B. I  had to take 
every single belief out of my brain (and soul and heart and all the  various 
assorted dimensions of each of those aspects of me) and examine them  each very 
very carefully.  I also had to figure out how to reconnect myself  with 
myself, again.  (and would never be one who would say that the  journey is half 
fun <g>)  

A.A.  I'm sorry you experienced pain in your life.  I do subscribe to the idea 
that those who get to the other side of painful situations end up stronger.  
You sound pretty strong to me.  

M.B.  But, that is another story.  But, email me off-list and I'll tell you  of 
what I call my 'metaphysical journey to Las Vegas' (metaphysical in a New  Agey 
sort of way -- not the way that I have since learned metaphysical is often  
used <g>)   I'd never been there before--and it's a long story  as to how and 
I did end up there...but well, most people go there to gamble,  play, have a 
good time.  Me-well, I DID end up having to go after all  because I had 
promised to give this presentation to some library-types on  literacy...but I 
NOT happy about it at all.  (as I said--there is a  story <g>)   And, was in 
process of reconstructing belief  system aspects of life.  So, I met six wise 
ones--three women and three  men.  and came back with a story to tell--and 
lots to ponder and the  beginnings of the Belief of the Month Club <g>
But, I will try to post something from The Heretical Imperative so you  can 
see why I have difficulty with people lumping *all* members of a particular  
faith into one school of thought of that particular faith.  

A.A. I suppose you're right.  I go by the assumption that people follow their 
gurus, so they will tend to think alike.

M.B.  In fact, the friends I know who are members of a Unitarian Church are  
atheists--and many of the fundamentalists that I know simply cannot understand  
they would call it a 'church' that these folk attend.   Religion...

A.A. That's cool.  Atheists in a church.  It must be a very open minded church. 
 I tend to not talk about my atheism because people just don't get it.  

M.B.  I do apologize for the rambling effect of this post--it's been a day and 
did want to respond...

A.A. Likewise, I just saw your post now.  My apologies as well for the 
unintentionally late response.

Andy Amago

From your pagan Christian listmate (it's the religion of the month, don't  
you know?) sending you luck and light,
Marlena in Missouri
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