That New Religion

          Since I started my new religion, which has been referred to, with varying degrees of accuracy, as the Nameless Religion, the Anti-Church of the Anti-Everything, the Secret Sword, the Charis Conspiracy, the Campaign Against The New Gods, the Hidden Covenant, the Djinn Army, Gnostic Anti-Thought, etc., etc., I've received a lot of questions and concerns, the more reasonable ones being: Why haven't you named it? Don't you think it needs to be made more clear exactly what you're talking about and what you want people to do? Who do you think would follow such a “religion?” When will you lay out the rules for adherents? Don't you think you're being a bit too vague/negative? Uh.. one of your evil Gods is SANTA CLAUS? Seriously?!?

          Since I'd unplugged in honor of Mind Control Wednesdays, I've had a moment to reflect on these questions and I wanted to briefly address them and perhaps share a little more about where I'm actually coming from with all this. First, the name is not only not important, it's a trap. People misuse such labels to either identify or distance themselves from a complex collection of ideas, people, and events, with both sides, the self and the other, becoming unnecessarily reified and misunderstood in the bargain. You are not any of the labels you dress yourself up with, regardless of how accurately they may describe the person you want to believe you've appeared to be, and neither is anything else you're trying to tie down with language.

          One relevant example would be the so-called “Gnostics” who were, in fact, a quite disparate collection of magical traditions, schools of enlightenment, alchemical conspiracies, and competing cults, which the more orthodox Catholic Church attempted to collapse into this one single label. The term itself could loosely be translated as “one who seeks to really know,” and was selected not only to emphasize their departure from the Church's demands for unquestioning faith (and its prohibitions against magic), but, in my opinion, it was also a rhetorical move to better disregard the plurality and multiplicity of thought that characterized their spiritual opposition at that time, some of whom, I should point out, weren't even terribly opposed to them. However, in the end, it was far more expedient to have one single term with which to swat at a thousand flies than to learn each of their names and their individual stories, which, for obvious reasons, would have been a very dangerous move, both politically and rhetorically.

          Of course, in the end, the Church managed to crush those movements, driving them either to the pyre or into obscurity, with many of their names all but forgotten, and, in this way, I suppose, I am doing my ideas an enormous disservice by refusing to brand them. After all, how could you follow this anti-faith if you lacked a convenient way to tell your friends and family about it? How can I argue about it's differences with other faiths or search desperately for some common ground that might allow us to comfortably associate? Is there nothing to put on our T-shirts? What will we write on the census or when we file with the government? These are, of course, all things you can work out on your own, but I sincerely hope you've figure out by now why you don't have to.

          The truth needs no such labels. The Taoists expressed these same sentiments when they said that the Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao, and also that those who know don't say, while those who say don't know. Now obviously I'm saying a lot of things even by saying this, and it's not like I have no doctrines or opinions to express, but it's important that you approach all of this from a place of freedom. You didn't come here, I hope, to be told how to act, or even what to think or feel. If you're really cut out to be part of this religion, then I would hope you're one of those rare individuals who can be comfortable searching without perhaps ever definitively finding, of seeing any answers I may appear to give as merely the impetus for further questions and for your own continued research; a person who is capable of being without becoming and of becoming without being. Mostly, I would hope that you want to be free or, to some extent at least, that you already are.

          Hopefully that explains many of the questions above. While I may engage in ethical discourse from time to time and even call for certain actions, I would never presume to do so as the sort of authority that must be listened to uncritically, because there is no such authority on Earth. While I may at times be intentionally vague, I'm certainly not trying to be unclear. While it's true that I have a lot of things I want people to understand, I also want people to think for themselves and not use the things I give them as an excuse to avoid working out the truth on their own.

          Which brings me to that last question: Am I seriously suggesting that Santa Claus is a dark god who needs to be fought? Well, yes. Obviously.

          Of course I can understand how this might not be as obvious to those who've never looked beneath the surface, into the old pagan Solstice rites, or observed the historical shift whereby the light god of Spring was unfairly transformed into a vicious demon and the dark god of Winter was literally made a bishop in the Catholic Church. My war against Santa Claus not only encapsulates almost everything that's wrong with the Church (their demonization of man-as-animal, their shameless cannibalization of pagan traditions, their Dominionist attempt to enslave and oppress both nature and the human body, their exile of magic, and their exceedingly questionable intentions towards small children, to name a few) but also speaks to the more pressing issues I have with the current Consumerist society which has largely eclipsed them. This enemy is so entrenched in the hearts and minds of those around you that I strongly suggest an indirect approach should you choose to address any of the real issues that lie beneath this seemingly farcical war. Indeed, the almost cartoonish idea of the war itself, if presented properly, with the so-called Krampus as a captive and misunderstood hero and the ever popular Santa Claus as a two-faced villain running an Elven sweatshop, should be more than enough to set the mind thinking in a dangerous direction, one that will inevitably lead it to some awkward realizations, which might just be far easier to accept if they come from within than from someone else.

          There are many such revelations buried inside what little I offer as “doctrine.” For instance, every child will one day learn the true identity of Santa Claus, yet there is another, even greater revelation, one that almost never comes because our circumstances never force us to ponder it: Who is the Krampus and who keeps him in chains?

          The answer to this mystery if you truly get it, could even be enough to finally set it free. Good Luck and Namaste.

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