“I don’t think Christmas is necessarily about things. It’s about being good to one another, it’s about the Christian ethic, it’s about kindness.” – Carrie Fisher
I do not follow the traditional teachings of Christianity. I was recently introduced to Gnostic Christianity and find it more appealing than the traditional path. But still, the Gnostic writings were written by man. As are the writings of all religions. And man is imperfect. Do I believe in God? Yes, I do. But not the one who is angry, jealous and upset as cited in the Bible. The god that tests his creations. The god who loves us so much he had to create a material world riddled with pain. No, the real divine entity is in a much higher plane. That entity is pure, love and not touched by our material world. We will go back to that origin some day.
I wanted to establish my beliefs to you, Reader, because I want you to know where I stand when it comes to my understanding of the Great Beyond. You see, I uncover more evidence that this planet, this solar system, this universe, in fact, is a stopping point. It’s not our final destination. We don’t belong here.
Have you ever wondered why you feel like you don’t belong? You may be wealthy. You may have everything. But you have nothing. It doesn’t make you happy. The sex. The drugs. You may even have the wife or husband and kids you always wanted. You have an amazing career. You go to church on Sundays. But you’re still unhappy. Why? Because this is a material world. And all the things here are imperfect and not designed to make anyone happy.
Here’s an example. We finally find the person we think we are meant to be with the rest of our lives. It makes us happy. That’s good. We love them. And that love is real. That love is not material. We have children. We love them unconditionally. But we suffer for that love. Every day, every moment, is a constant worry that something will happen. That we will fuck them up somehow. The minute our children are born, we become slaves to that unhappiness. The unhappiness that cruel fate will take them away. Or that our decisions will ruin their lives. Or that they will wake up one day and not love us anymore.
I saw the news stories today. The first one was the mall riots after Christmas. The perfect demonstration of how this fucked up material world consumes us. There are videos of people fighting each other. Strangers. A mad mob running away. People stopping to shoot the videos. Mass chaos. Hive mentality. I wonder if these people ever internalize anything. Forget compassion for fellow man; where is their intellect? What is the benefit of acting like an animal? Like a slave to the material world. We think that slavery in the US is a thing of the past, but it’s not. We in America are slaves to the material. We are slaves to social media peer pressure. We are brainwashed.
That leads me to the next news story. Carrie Fisher died. The woman who played an iconic character in a beloved film franchise. For me she was an inspiration. It did something to me when I saw her for the first time on that screen. Princes Leia was a badass. Giving orders, fighting bad guys with the men and looking good while doing it. But Fisher was more than the sexy iconic feminist screen siren.
“I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.”
Carrie Fisher was a voice for people with mental illness. She suffered from bipolar disorder. Like many of us who suffer from mental illness, we tend to start off in denial. Then for a while, after we accept it, we are ashamed. It’s difficult because people around us don’t understand. And they judge. But Fisher didn’t hide. She became a voice for those of us who struggle.
I don’t know how to connect these two stories. Maybe it’s some kind of sign from the universe that we need to stop and reflect. We need to heal. There are a lot of good lessons we can learn from Star Wars. The fight against evil and that can be anything in our lives. The obvious ones like the urge to pick a fight at a mall. Or the internal ones like not listening to the voices in your head that tell you you’re worthless. I can’t say that 2017 will be better. But maybe we can try harder this time.