A source of trauma here, Emilio explains further, that Santa Claus is inextricably bound to the holiest day of Christianity. He appears to many, an essential religious figure that cannot be happily discarded, by some growing wisening children, without serious consequences,
That brings me to what I want to talk to you about today. It seems like you think we, former fundamentalist Christian children, believed because of our unformed minds. That is true. The thing I think you are missing is that as you grow up, you have to keep believing at all costs, whether your mind matures or not - hormones be damned!
You question it, and you put yourself in danger of eternal fire! That's the problem with Santa Claus - it's so ridiculous and unbelievable, but if you question that, then you open a door that can never be closed again. Its like your mind wrestles with the possibility of questioning everything, and going to Hell, OR you keep the blinders on and all costs. What do you do? Because you know, deep down inside, subconsciously, that as soon as you consciously disbelieve in Santa, the whole house of cards is going to come down. Santa is a big fat jolly cornerstone of belief, you see, and cruel Jehovah is the apex of that structure. It's only a matter of time between disbelieving in Santa until you are an unrepentant Hell-bound outsider howling in the wilderness.
Looking back I know that I realized these things deep inside, and that my conscious rejection was just window dressing. I fought very hard to change it, to reverse it - but it was no good. I was running from myself. I also know that as soon as I rejected Santa, I had rejected everything including the Bible. It was just a matter of time, until my conscious mind did the song and dance of formally rejecting, everything I once held as sacred. I was on dangerous turf, you know, because now I'm in uncertain territory. There is no road map out of here, like the Bible had been for so long. It's a dangerous wasteland and I had no compass, or so I thought (because I wasn't told that I did have a good compass between my heart and my mind - you aren't made strong to stand on your own - that would ruin the church's business).
Another thing you don't see here is the indoctrination. You didn't go on that bad trip. When I did LSD as a young man I was immune to 'bad trips'. It was because I had already been on a 12 year bad trip of the worst kind. Nothing could ever ruin my trip again, you see!
I remember one time at school we had a special assembly. It was right before Halloween (Satan's very own day - they did their best to ruin our Halloween every year) and they had a film for us. It was a group of people in a waiting room. They had no idea why they were there, except for one guy. He remembered having died on a motorcycle. Long story short, they were all dead and only one of them, was going to make it to heaven. The idiot maid got into heaven, in case you were wondering. She was too stupid to question anything. Everyone else got what was coming to them including the avid church goer. The church goer make some tiny error in her faith and was cast into Hell with the biker, the rich snob, some little kid and a Satanist. I think thats how it went. The part I remember is them screaming and falling in fire, hungry demons awaiting a Satanic feast of flesh! Damn they made that shit look awful. They didn't show heaven. This film sent me into a tailspin. I was about 13 and had rejected salvation, but the horror of the thing pulled at me still. I decided right there, based on what I learned in the film, to be the worst sort of person I could. Do everything I wasn't supposed to do with no regrets because heaven is an exclusive club, and I wasnt a member. No more abstinence from life, because you get the same punishment whether you enjoy life or not.
Belief is the problem here. I never believe in anything because that's how you get burned. That's why I call myself a skeptic
. For instance, I don't believe in God - I know there must be a higher power of some nature because it is logical (chaos never gives rise to order, therefore there must be an ordering principle in the universe). Belief has nothing to do with it. Atheism is a belief that something doesn't exist. I find that absurd. Who builds a belief that something is not? I guess the answer is that I did. I owe a lot to Atheism even though I reject it now. Never believe. I never believe, yet I am open minded because I am free to form an hypothesis about anything I want. I can contemplate aliens and God and dowsers and damned near anything and look for evidence. I am just skeptical about the evidence.
If the evidence is there, then I still don't believe - I theorize.
The difference between a belief and a theory or hypothesis is that beliefs must be adhered to no matter what, but theories can be verified or rejected with little consequence. It doesn't strangle my mind. It doesn't change who I am. I am no longer constrained. I am not obliged in any way.
I don't owe Jesus anything like I once did. When I was a kid I saw commercials on television for some sort of chemicals that removed hard water stains. When they spoke in Sunday School about Jesus walking on water I raised my hand and said, "they must have had hard water back then." Everyone in my family thought that was a real good laugh, but there were people at church who got upset about it. They were angered at me, a preschooler, for making light of Jesus in such a way. How dare I question Jesus' magic? I didn't really know what I was saying, it just seemed to make sense, but I think it illustrates a point: fundamentalists are working so hard to keep the blinders on, that a comment like this from a child would infuriate them, because it threatens a fragile world view. Deep inside they know, just like I knew, that it's all bullshit. But what if it's not? Cowardice! They cannot take the risk of damnation. They lack social courage.
So, the mind matures as hormones do their worst to ravage our once perfect, smooth little selves. It occurs to me that perhaps the whole thing is geared to keep us in an immature, childlike state. If you grow up you go to Hell. If you eat the apple and gain the knowledge of good and evil, you fall. After this turning point sex and death are both very real possibilities - inevitable. You are no longer shielded by the garden of your childhood imagination. You make your living by the sweat of your brow, and misery follows your every endeavor. But, as the serpent promised, and Jehovah feared, you can become 'as gods, knowing good and evil'.
Valuable commentary from Emilio here on how to become a skeptic.
"Belief is the problem here. I never believe in anything because that's how you get burned. That's why I call myself a skeptic",
The difference between a belief and a theory or hypothesis is that
beliefs must be adhered to no matter what
, but theories can be verified or rejected with little consequence.
Is that a marker or what ?
Pay attention readers because the US school system turns out large numbers of these skeptics continuously.
So mainstream people, note the skeptics disabling "all or nothing" commitment to a belief policy. Apparently no gray areas, no wavy line boundaries. No, "Oh its only a story, only a movie." No probationary beliefs pending further evidence, no partial acceptance, or mere lip service to, for some practical pursuit. Such as surviving school.
And everything in the accepted belief is perceived as literally true, which can trigger numerous disabling fears, punishing this extreme believer.
It looks like a deeply impressionable captivating imagination, coupled with a tendency to dwell on the scariest punitive parts, results in serious grief and disaffection.
So to escape the potential, runaway, over engagement, with any damaging belief again, and forever fearfully mindful of what seems like a near possession experience, the only solution available is to believe nothing, and call oneself a skeptic.
So it seems the skeptic is engaging in self preservation. Preserving themselves from the damaging effects, their early unsophisticated methods of overbelieving, and utterly surrendering, inflicted upon themselves.
Many thanks to Emilio for explaining this denoument to mainstream viewers. This is of immense interest to many,
Can I just mention here that none of us is entirely immune to having our buttons pushed without our permission. Its generally done by ambush.
A US astronaut back from the moon, required psychotherapy, because of a childrens book that sold the notion, very convincingly, that walking on the moon caused irretrievable insanity.
How do I know? Oh I read the same book, and it scared the hell out of me, too.