It happened every year. The first signs appeared on his commute to work. Shy reindeer and slightly embarrassed baubles edged their way into the shop windows. “Jesus Christ! it’s only the first of November” Joe Turner would rage as he stormed into the office.
Joe’s staff were familiar with his contempt for “the whole Christmas malarkey.” Some of them shared his disdain and watched with horror as the nation descended once again into a frenzy of present buying and binge drinking accompanied by the hypnotic mantra of bad Christmas music.
Joe’s family teased him for being a Grinch. Then, without a trace of cynicism, he would argue the facts:
Christmas was supposed to be a celebration for the Baby Jesus, not a ritual for the Retail Sector – who were only concerned by the announcement of their own year end Profit. It was over-hyped. It made no sense.
During the third week of December he cracked. It happened so quickly – a triple whammy of twinkling fairy lights, the smell of mulled wine and the the opening bar of “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” The assault on his senses, rendered him senseless.
But what’s really going on here?!
We have inside us a blueprint for the next stage of evolution. Our future selves are calling us towards higher ground (remember time is just something we made up so this is not as wacky as it sounds). Some artists and mystics have glimpses of this through a crack in the fabric of our current dimension.
Leonard Cohen famously wrote “There’s a crack, a crack in everything…that’s where the light gets in”. Our senses lead us to this place – a fact that the Catholics used, to much effect. The smell of incense, the visual feast of stunning architecture, the haunting beauty of Gregorian chants. Guaranteed to produce a hyperlink to the edge. But they got seduced by the senses and became a little indulgent and power crazy. (Have you seen the Vatican?)
Joe Turner rejected religion when he discovered John Lennon in the sixties. He found other means to travel to the edge of consciousness – LSD, peyote, magic mushrooms. But when the music died, he ditched the patchouli oil, cut his hair and became a copywriter. That was all behind him now. Or was it just another misinterpretation of the longing to glimpse through the veil?
Like curious children, we are drawn to the crack in the curtain – particularly at Christmas. But we get hijacked by our undisciplined senses. The sight of gifts piled high, the taste of rich food, the smell of fir trees, the poignancy of carols, the anticipation of hugs on the exchange of presents (I’m so touched!). We become enchanted.
Then we wake in January with monumental hangovers, having maxed out our credit cards. Just like Joe we rail “It was that damned spell… it got me again!”
We can’t really blame the Magic of Christmas. Something inside us longs for a transcendental experience – we just don’t know how to get there. Our senses were supposed to signal the way to illumination. But in our crazy wisdom, we built an altar out of the signpost, pitched tents and stayed put.
Now we make sacrifices to the Gods of Consumerism who bring us the lovely things that delight our senses. We gather, transfixed around the crack of light, because we lack the discipline to go beyond our five sensory world.
We need to come to our senses – all of them, including the sixth and possibly a seventh, eighth and ninth! This requires our spiritual expansion – not the literal expansion of our waistlines!. It requires the breaking of our small heart – in order that we gain access to the mystical heart… the heart that can love for no reason.
Because we are now going beyond the Age of Reason.
It’s a tough gig. It takes courage and discipline to tear down a wall – but we need to let the light in. There will be battles. We will be dismissed as heretics by the religious fanatics and ridiculed by the science geeks (apart from the quantum guys!) No end of people will label our vision a pipedream (etymology, the fantasy experienced by smokers of opium pipes!)
Oh… and no-one will thank us for it.
But what are we gonna do? Consume ourselves to death?
We were built for this fight. Humanity isn’t over yet and we are definitely not the finished article.
Instead of being mesmerized by the light we can develop our capacity to contain it.
Let’s start evolving now!
Anything less is just crack addiction.