There are two ways to be fooled: one is to believe what isn’t true, the other is to refuse to believe what is true.
Søren Kierkegaard, Works of Love (1847)
Subject: Your atheist parents and Christmas
…were you also lied to, about Santa?
Had figured that Neil’s atheist mother and stepfather would be most inclined to be particularly blunt about what was going on. Couldn’t remember what was the Christmas festive scene at Neil’s childhood home, next door to my own.
Neil responded as follows:
Undoubtedly I was conned on the subject of Santa, since when I was six I devised a trap of string and pulleys to catch him in my room, the lure being the stocking. Of course, I fell asleep.
Easter bunny, tooth fairy, Santa Claus; all made up. Then the child grows wise and says, “And God, too!?”
And we wonder how our cultural march from the spiritual to the material began? Malls as bursting. Temples to empty commercialism – at least they a full of “real” objects – as real as marketing can devise.
Somehow our wisdom stopped short. Cynically, the bunny, fairy, and Santa are revealed to the masses to be untrue, but we inevitably believe in the fantasies created by the marketers. Curious that “wisdom” extends only so far, like headlights on a dark and misty night. Reliance on same may be smart, but infinitely gullible.
It’s the cross we bear in our maximum information society.
Which dreams are real? Which realities are dreams? What are the criteria to know for sure?
They all look the same, in their differentness.
Only Faith makes true the one that’s true for me or for you, as Kierkegaard said.