Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by 17th Angel, Sep 13, 2005.
Jelly Flippers ;\
Re: Santa = Satan?
that was an interesting article Juan. i read through the whole thing.
If I had any criticism it would be under its overall generality - throw enough spaghetti at the wall, and some of it will stick - but often these things don't stand up to individual examination.
So broadly, a reserved OK.
In general terms, the 'wild man' refers, always and everywhere, to man's 'base nature' - his outlook is at worst evil, usually delusional, at best optimistic, but his horizon is cosmological, not spiritual, a general error more profound in modernity which tends to confuse and confound the psychic and the spiritual domains.
Christianity speaks entirely within the spiritual domain and from here stems its apparent antipathy to the body - 'apparent' in the sense that Christianity accords the physical self the highest ontological foundation of any religion, but in so doing is perhaps somewhat outspoken in its separation of the 'body' and the 'flesh' - of agape and eros respectively - that the 'wild man' (like Pan) is eros incarnate, the saint is is agape incarnate.
The highest virtue of the Christian Tradition, according to Eckhart, was 'detachment', and the Fathers spoke of 'apatheia'; these pagan (ie animic and cosmological) celebrations are often accompanied by rites of surrender of self to the 'passions' (eros) - signifying man's creatureliness and his subjectivity to the world - thus many of his religious acts, and the whole notion of 'sacrifice' were rites of appeasement - the 'wild man' allows for a necessary and providential dispensation of 'anything goes' whereas the Christian ideal is towards 'moderation in all things'.
As ever, in incorporating pre-existing tradition, rite and ritual, the Christian highlights the spiritual essence whilst discarding the (often occluded or even degenerate) material and physical form.
Re: Santa = Satan?
If I may be so bold
[font=comic sans ms, HELVETICA, ARIAL][size=+3]'Twas the Night Before Christmas[/size]
[size=+1]or Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas[/size]
[size=+2]Major Henry Livingston Jr.[/size] [size=+1](1748-1828)[/size]
[size=-1](previously believed to be by Clement Clarke Moore)[/size]
[font=comic sans ms, HELVETICA, ARIAL]'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"[/font]
Someone who did not know of the 70,000 years of wild man antics took the St. Nicholas concept, and wrote a story for his children, as a way to explain the little gifts they found, and how being good year round had it's rewards.
Society got hold of this little ditty, and rocketed it to the forefront, in less then 50 years...why? Because the wild and wooley ways of Christmas back then were anything but condusive to the most innocent of society (family). Keep New Orleans in New Orleans (for example), but do not have it in every town square on earth...families could not function with that kind of destructive mind set. Parents were determined that "Christian Christmas" was different from Winterfest in a sublte but dramatic way.
Santa Claus is most definitely a British/US invention, and more American than British (the small guy with the tiny deer and red coat, stuff).
Even today, when I tell the story on Christmas Eve (2004 last time), to my neices and nephews before a blazing fire, even today, their eyes twinkle with hope...and for a moment...they believe. And they vow to be good, and make parents proud of them. Hell, even my sons look lost in thought for a while, as they remember...(they wonder if the sound they heard on the roof of our house was really...Santa? And what about the tiny soot marked boot prints all around the tree...so many years ago) I never tell...
Re: Santa = Satan?
that is the Santa i gew up to know.. i even looked for the sled marks on the snow in the front yard on Christmas day. of course there never were any & we did not have a fireplace chimney, so i made my own sled marks on the snow for Santa & for just a moment... I believed
Re: Santa = Satan?
So Santa the one who bows before Christ (ole Kriss Kringle, the merry old elf), still lives on. We make it happen, hence it happens, and he exists today, despite the attempt to kill him.
By the way...you should have looked for his tracks...on the roof, 'cause he still came down through your chimney...only into the basement, through the clean out of your furnace...(LOL)
Kindest Regards, Earl!
I am thinking the association with St. Nicholas (patron saint of pawn shops, among other things) had to do with the Christian adaptation, the "turning 'bad' into 'good'." I think this author was attempting to show the connection with the "wild man" mumming play / festival / ritual, which by my understanding is (one of) the pagan rituals recognizing the death of the year / nature and rebirth of the same. Which explains the connection with "the rebirth of the unconquerable sun," although the article notes the act(s) were sometimes performed in the spring, depending on culture. What I found interesting is that the whole thing is recognized well beyond Mediterranean Europe. The author noted connection well into the northern latitudes and as far East as the Ainu. So the Wild Man, and the ritual process associated with him, is very widespread. In associating the Wild Man with Pan, I am thinking Christianity did indeed project the unfavorable (in their view) elements onto a character who then (after Dante) became a personification of the Devil. So I think I see your point about shadow elements and Jungian archetypes. Somehow the whole thing became split in Christianity, the unsavory elements being "hidden" in the devil, and the more savory elements over time were transferred onto a "jolly old elf," who I would guess of necessity was renamed after a patron saint. Old habits die hard, especially when we enjoy them so much, even if they are "bad" for us...
Kindest Regards, Thomas!
Agreed, but then it was a short article and not an indepth thesis. I saw enough that coincided very well with Frazer's "The Golden Bough."
This I see as being in agreement with Earl's point about shadow elements and archetypes. In my experience, we gravitate towards those things that are "optimistic" and shy away from and even ignore "evil." I know so little of paganism, but I am inclined to think that the purview of those of long ago, those with no hope (in a resurrection, heaven or Christ, for example) who saw their lives as inextricable from and identical with the nature around them, perhaps had a somewhat different view as to what constituted "optimistic" and "evil." Christians have a deliberate focus on life. Ancient paganism, it would seem, understood death as a part of life.
Agreed. Of course, it also became, for whatever reason, politically expedient to personify eros incarnate, and in the time of Dante we gained the modern caricature of the devil. Hmmm, you've given me a bit to consider, in that Dante was not very long after (100 years, give or take) from the end of the disasterous wars we know as the Crusades, and also close in time to one of the several devastating plagues that rocked Europe (Black Death?). Perhaps it was that the common people of the time needed a scapegoat, and pan got tagged as "it." The political hierarchy dodged a bullet by providing that scapegoat and redirecting the anger of the masses. Of course, this is conjecture on my part, I cannot prove it, but an interesting passing thought...
For the most part I am in agreement here. I am not certain that the Wild Man represented "anything goes" so much as death and rebirth, or resurrection. The form was unsavory for Christians, but the underlying concept was very much in agreement with Christianity. Which may well be why the alteration was done specifically in the form that it was, that is, Christmas became the birth of Christ. Easter was already the time recognizing the resurrection / rebirth.
Agreed. Christianity in the course of modifying pagan traditions (for a number of reasons, not least political) does shift the focus to the elements important to Christianity. No question in my mind. I still find it interesting that the original form, a ritual recognizing death and rebirth, predates not only Christianity, not only religion, but even civilization in anything even close to what we know. This ritual reaches into prehistory, and is very widespread and pervasive. Do we then consider it to be a form of mass delusion? Or is there something at the root, something perhaps we are now afraid to look at and consider?
Re: Santa = Satan?
Kindest Regards, Q!
Yes, Q. Of course, we are looking with hindsight, and through rather cloudy lenses. It is well to create (or translate) a holiday in a manner you see as most appropriate for your family.
Perhaps in the modern sense. Fat guy, white beard, red suit, etc. I understood the original Santa Claus to be German, along with the Christmas tree, imported to the US by German immigrants in the mid 1800's.
And I won't spoil your fun, I won't rat you out.
As for me and my house...well, I'll just leave it at that for now.
To me Santa is the personification of the aspect of God that makes most people just a little bit friendlier and giving during that season. Of course, the object should be to not tie Santa up in the attack every Dec. 26 and try to carry that spirit of giving and love through the whole year. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, so why not let Him out more often?
If you mean a "Saint", then I agree. But Santa is more than just one person. Santa is each and everyone of us. Betchabygollywow, each one of us have been in a position to be a gift bearer, to some unsupecting soul. And in reverse, each of us have received a "gift" totally unexpected from one we did not expect anything from.
That is the spirit of Christmas. And the jolly ole elf is still afoot...!!!
Just remembered when I read this, in parts of the US Satan is called "Old Nick" or "Old Scratch" - anyone have any ideas where these names come from? Does it have any connection at all to St. Nick/Santa?
Re: Santa = Satan?
So, am I wanted for attempted homicide? .........AGAIN? Sheesh! lol....
I believe the story about Webster and the Devil is where Old Nick and old Scratch came from (or was made famous). In the story, Webster out foxed the devil, though it was close for awhile there...
Made famous, I'll buy...but I was under the impression that Irving used those names because they were already common nicknames for the devil in New England. Of course, maybe that's just exactly what he wanted us to think.
I have to agree with this assessment, however...Santa was not common as an entity at all, not by the name Santa anyway.
There is however, strong belief by Catholics and many Protestants that Nicholas of Bari once lived in Asia Minor, and died circa 345-352 AD. He is honored as a Patron Saint in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Sicily and Switzerland. He is also considered the patron saint of children and sailors.
By the 19th century, St. Nicholas was superseded in much of Europe by Christkindlein, the Christ child, who delivered gifts in secret to the children. He traveled with a dwarf-like helper called Pelznickel (a.k.a. Belsnickle) or with St. Nicholas-like figures. Eventually, all three were combined into the image that we now know as Santa Claus. "Christkindlein" became Kriss Kringle.
Today, St. Nicholas/Santa gives gifts to kids throughout Europe on 5 December, while others see their gifts during Christmas Eve, or during Advent.
The jolly old elf in North America went from England's version of Father Christmas dressed in Green velvet and ivy, or holly wreaths on his head, to the red suited grandfather figure with ash and soot on his coat and a sleigh with reindeer, thanks to a certain soft drink company...
I figured it out at 7 when my father snuck in my room to get my train set to put it around the tree (santa bought me new train cars)
My son was 10 when his friends were telling him there was no Santa, he told them he had proof, and when they asked him what it was, "Do you really think your parent's would buy you all those gifts?" QED
Like it or not, if Santa is to exist it is to be us, and long after they quit believing!
namaste (the santa in me, recognizes and respects the santa in you!),
According to the Oracle of Bacon, Kevin Bacon was in Trapped (2002) with J.B.Bivens who was in Santa Clause 2 (2002) with Tim Allen who played Santa Claus.
There are a few of us who see things the other way around. Santa also called St. Nick, grew from the mythology surrounding an old Pagan god, whom was occasionally referred to by the term 'Old Nick', meaning the Horned God. Christmas was known as Yule, thus you have the Yuletide season and the twelve days of Christmas.
Many of the 'Christmas' traditions similarly have there origin in older Paganism or Heathenry. Yet, the Church in an effort the convert the old Pagans and Heathens absorbed these traditions into itself.
As far as commercialism goes, what in America does not get exploited for the all mighty dollar? Its the essence of Capitalism to capitalize on things to make a buck.
bump for the holidays
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