I see bright lights both white and colorful shining from street to street, neighborhood to neighborhood, house to house, strung professionally, strung personally, some with care, others carelessly. I see families gathering festively around shiny bauble laden trees, the wounded showpiece of our tradition dying slowly at the center of our chaotic trance-like dance of conditioned ‘merriment’. I see children wild in anticipation of sleigh bells signaling the ‘magical’ travels of an old man and his loyal family of flying reindeer, the magic slipping away the next morning with the tearing open of each gift, eyes glazed over, throwing one box aside in anticipation of the next, sensitive to none.

I see children possessively gathering their spoils, shoving each other, sitting at the center of 10 ransacked gifts crying for not ‘getting what I want’. I see shallow smiles of parents who sense the intense waste of the days spent consuming, wrapping, and decorating as they throw out tons of unrecyclable packaging materials into trash bags, wiping their brows with relief for the conclusion of the rituals they first began preparing for a month ago with great anticipation.

I see the emptiness and unfulfilling ‘joys’ of excess in the eyes of both children and parents, of young and old, and yes even of rich and poor. I see the after effects of indulgence, the consumption of commercial, social, and physical ‘goods’ which leave us dragging, mentally and physically drained.  I see the waste of months laboring in anxiety as we spend every ounce of energy competing, cooking, fighting crowds within and without, spending, and cleaning only to rush in anticipation of the end of this happening whose chain of cause and effect began millenia before our births.

I see the collective conditioning of masses of people learning how best to ‘pass time’ using every arsenal of pastime within that gigantic sack of traditions which come fully equipt and loaded with a million pieces and parts ready to be assembled, marketed, sold, and “celebrated” from without as has been done for centuries in the form of rituals which have been accumulated and passed down from generation to generation.

Yes, our most cherished tradition, our most “valuable” lesson is how best to pass the time. This ball began to roll, it seems, upon the conception of mankind some 40,000 years ago and has been rolling ever since, accumulating knowledge, fear, boredom, and subsequently, religion, ritual, and tradition creating a happening which many call the intentional civilization of a highly intelligent species. Yet the cumulative effect of this snowball is the cause of natural phenomena beyond the reach of man’s will, and as it propels forward gaining exponential momentum from the energy man expends on it unconsciously, it drains him of his beauty, his potential to CHOOSE and to use his potential in genuine creativity, without waste, without boredom, without fear.

Yes, what humankind calls ‘life’ is just a snowball of happenings rolling over and through us, creating happenings within the mind which reflect outwardly into a world of happenings, a world of intellectual knowing which leads to fear which leads to ritualistic consumption, waste, ruthless competition, corruption, victimization – and an overall desenitization of a species unconsciously filling their world with an atmosphere of fabricated bright lights producing meaninglessness, emptiness, and decay within and without as all the projections of external decorations and lights always reflect the darkness inside.

This inner world of happenings is “celebrated” outwardly as a “gift”, a world wherein what is deemed ‘beautiful’ is our own doing, and ugliness is deemed an ‘occurance’ beyond our control, perhaps “God’s Will”. But if it were our own Intensions willing the atmosphere and creation of our so called ‘civilized’ world then we could stop the ball from rolling couldn’t we? We could stop the fears from snowballing into the need to hone the skill of passing time to a point of senseless desensitization to every aspect of LIFE as it IS NOW. We could stop laboring and toiling in the mechanical workshop of ego building, trying to fill the emptiness with meaning through power and pleasure, building ourselves up, mechanically following and augmenting traditions for the sheer purpose of recalling and daydreaming of these paper edifices as a means of inflating our ‘small selves’ through competition, using the occasion to ‘rise’ before the eyes of others, anticipating and waiting for the ‘next’ rather than living fully, whole heartedly, fearlessly and Intentionally creating one’s world within and without with all of one’s being, facing the moment, undoing the self that is conditioned to pass the time.

No, I see no magic here, no depth of meaning, no fulfillment, no enjoyment of Life in the bloated, excessive, anxious-ridden passing of time we call ‘holiday’ which we believe we are experiencing joyfully whilst our minds eagerly look forward to the next celebration, the next pass time, the next occasion to indulge in the distorted ‘joyful’ memories of moments in life that we have actually MISSED, numbed and finding comfort and meaning only in the recollection and projection of life and not in Life itself.

And each year we will mechanically repeat every ritual, every tradition, every waste, every indulgence, and in doing so once again reinforce every conditioning, keeping that snowball ever rolling, ever shaping us instead of us shaping it. I sit back now and think of all the holidays past and smile as I recall the ‘magic’, the ‘joy’, the ‘merriment’, the ‘meaning’, and the ‘fulfillment’ they brought to my life.

Suddenly I wake up to the scene unfolding before me here and NOW. The children’s eyes glazed over searching out the ‘next’, crying, complaining, wanting more, feeling entitled, thinking only of themselves. I also ‘see’ the children with ‘less’ who feel compelled by their conditioning to compare themselves to those around them, valuing meaningless excess as much as the rest of us, yet suffering its lack. Yes, we value the meaningless and discard the meaningful and in this way we all, both rich and poor, suffer the consequence of the living dead.

NOW, as the scenes unfold, I see only one effect of this cause of ever inflating tradition of ‘holidaying’. I see suffering in the guise of celebration, in the guise of warmth and ‘love’ and ‘giving’. I see a great depression at the center of this thin crumbling rim of elevation which we tread with a feeling of great certaintly, utterly unaware of the cracks or the precipice. Someday we shall all collectively fall in, no longer celebrating the passing of time but arriving in notime, helplessly.

Will I ever have the courage to face the time in a genuine state of self-less-ness instead of passing it with such great effort, feeding every selfish self within, adding to the sickness of the world without, adding to the sickness of my own being? Can I? Can you?