Yesterday in the car the kids were talking about going swimming on Sunday. My oldest said that a lot of people go to church on Sunday, and my wife said that Catholics go on Saturday night for mass. He then asks what is a Catholic, to which my wife replies “it is a form of religion”. And then what is religion, and she says it is what you believe. He doesn’t miss a beat and says “Well I believe in Santa, and the Easter Bunny.” And it go me thinking, why isn’t there a church for Santa and the Easter Bunny? We place them on such pedestals during the holidays and we encourage children to believe in them. It is funny that there isn’t a full blow church dedicated to this. Then I thought about our shopping malls. The trees we erect, the rituals that we go through each year paying homage to Santa and EB. Oh we have a pretty good religion going for these two already.
I am not trying to turn this into a religious post. I honestly try to stay away from judgments like that. Although I have to admit that when three boys all dressed the same got out of a car when we were leaving yesterday, I did say the word “cult” a little loudly. Which is wrong. These boys are fervent about their beliefs, so much so that they are willing to dress in slacks and shorts with ties on a hot day. They are willing to go door to door and listen to jerks like me whisper things that they can hear. They know what they will encounter, but they care about your soul and they are willing to give up their free time to talk you into seeing things their way. Really kudos to them. It doesn’t jive with me, but I try to allow everyone to have their own belief system. All paths lead to the same destination. I think that there is absolutely no denying that. The path may go through multiple “lives” to get there, but it all ends the same. Back where it started.
How ever much we feel we are bound by karma, we are bound. That karmic burden is carried forward into the next cycle where we accumulate or hopefully deposit until there is no more left.
Letting go of the unessential is tough. “What if I need it later?” “It is a lot of work to actually get rid of it.” The mind talks and we listen. We throw our idea out there and the mind sits in our way playing devil’s advocate*. But this is really just one last hurdle to overcome. When sitting alone with the mind we are sitting alone with the universe. When alone we cannot deny that everything that we are experiencing is only something that we will experience. This is something absolutely unique that will never be repeated again. And …
Meaning that we tell our own story. If we make a mistake when we are alone** it is not a mistake. It is a learning experience. We tell our own story on how we came to be where we are. There is no one else that can tell that exact story. The lines cross here and there and shared stories are pretty epic, but from cradle to grave only you can tell your story.
*Holding two conflicting thoughts at once is called cognitive dissonance.
**alone where you are comfortable accepting everything around you as a projection of the self