Daily Prompt: Trick or Treat
If bloggers had their own Halloween and could go from blog to blog collecting “treats,” what would your blog hand out?
This time of year there are several celebrations which take place. Halloween is the most commercialised one and in its popular form it is mostly about dressing up and eating candy. If you look up the less commercial version of this day you will find other versions of it going back in time. All of them similar, all of them hinting at this being a moment when the veil between worlds drops and beings who reside in those other worlds can pass into this one.
Whether we can also cross the threshold between worlds and enter into one of those is not clear.
If you research most holidays of this sort you will find a link between a present day belief and an ancient one. That ancient belief was transformed as ages passed. Each age brought with it a new state of consciousness, and this altered the previous collective consciousness. When Christianity came into being it absorbed many earlier rituals and celebrations, to help those who believed in an old belief to accept the new one, to create a willing bridge between one state of consciousness and the next.
This doesn’t just happen on the level of belief. Consciousness permeates everything.
A few years ago it was considered very desirable to be rich and proud of being rich, those with pockets overflowing with cash were celebrated and encouraged to do outrageous things with their wealth. Those of us who were less wealthy clapped and gasped at the excesses to which we were a vicarious witness.
How did Paris Hilton become Paris Hilton? She surfed the wave of a Zeitgeist.
Now it is increasingly considered a bad thing to do to boast about your wealth. The super rich are now Bond villains instead of being heroes of the materialistic dream. It is no longer trendy to tell people that you had palm trees flown in on a private jet from an island in the Pacific to turn your home in an exclusive Winter resort into a tropical paradise for an apres-ski party.
These are difficult times financially, so being poor is the new rich. Like it was during the French Revolution. Plus ca change… Tales of struggling to make ends meet and being thrifty and inventive with what we have, which is not very much, are in.
Resources which were squandered are now restricted.
Our values are shifting.
Our beliefs are changing.
Just as once it was good to be good, then it became bad to be good and good to be bad, then it became bad to be bad and good to be good again.
The Hippies gave way to the Yuppies. The Yuppies gave way to the Techies. The Techies gave way to the Plastics. The Plastics melted and gave way to the Ecos. That spaceship we bought on Ebay is grounded for an unlimited time, even in the space-time continuum, and we should consider recycling it, either as a terrarium or an end of the world shelter.
Why you would want to survive the end of the world is your business, but Big Business is desperate to stop their rapidly declining profits from swirling down a giant sinkhole, and in their search for an opportunity to save their asses plumped up by cash they might see a nuclear or other global disaster as the plug needed to halt the process. War has been profitable for them, but it is also proving costly. The effort to keep those wars going or start a new one may not be worth it.
Starting a war is easy, controlling it is another matter entirely. People are predictable. Especially where their passionately held beliefs are concerned. Beliefs of all kinds, even if they contradict each other, can live peacefully together, the people who believe in those beliefs on the other hand don’t, won’t, and find turning a can’t into a can to be something the other side should do.
But sometimes the veil between worlds drops. And predictability becomes unpredictable.
A fundamentalist may be willing to die to prove their point, that their belief is the only viable one, and as long as they have someone to prove their point to, someone who disagrees with them, they will rarely veer off their narrow course. And I don’t just mean a religious fundamentalist. Religion is one form of belief with variations. There are many other beliefs which bring out the fundamentalist in us. Those who don’t believe in religion. Those who only believe in what they can see. Those who believe the truth is out there. Those who believe that you should trust no one. Those who believe that money is everything. Those who believe that the planet needs saving. Those who believe in nothing.
Fundamentalism is fundamentally human. Whatever you believe, you, the person believing your belief, are a human being. But what does being a human being mean?
That questions frightens us more than any ghost or ghoul. That fear spurs us. Our beliefs are one way we try to answer that question. Just being is not enough. Something else is needed. Something numinous and otherwordly. Power. Transcendence. Nothingness. Science. Nature. During the day we may feel certain of our beliefs, but at night when the space around us looms, when we look out at the darkness and see nothing but shadows, when we glance up at the sky, stars glinting… we feel small, lost, and we search for something to hold us, protect us, give us something tangible amid so much intangibility. Emptiness. Meaningless. Meaningless emptiness. With no point. No focal point.
If a door appeared before you, a portal into another world, and what or who would pass through it? What guise would they be wearing and what would they ask of you? If they asked you to follow them back through the door, would you and where would that lead?
People often contemplate what they would tell themselves as child if they could travel back in time. Pass through a door into the past. They think of themselves as older and wiser, another adult to lecture their child self on what life is all about. But what if through that door stepped your child self and you, as you are now, were unable to speak or think but had to listen to them. What wisdom would they impart to you about life, your life?